California’s varied terrain and micro climates offer outdoors-oriented folks a wealth of sport-oriented options. While training opportunities for women have increased greatly, many women still prefer to learn in the kind of supporting environment afforded by being around other women. Perhaps no other organization is doing that as well as the non-profit, Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, California. Its mission is to offer women the opportunity to learn outdoor skills in a safe and encouraging environment.
We had the chance to join them in April at their third workshop of 2013, an archery and bow hunting clinic. (Previous workshops in 2013 included a duck hunt (Williams, Colusa Co) and cross country skiing and snowshoeing (Mammoth Lake).) We joined the clinic on the second day of this 2.5 day workshop, held in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Sonoma. This is also the archery site of the Sonoma County Bowmen, an organization that in 2009 signed a five-year agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to establish and maintain an archery range there.
When it feels good, paint your face
The initial training, where we were coached on stance, arm positions and muscle engagement, was an exercise in concentration and repetitive drills. As we continually drew the arrow back in our compound bow, it occurred to us that, although bowmen can spend a pretty penny on the most technologically advanced equipment, most archers use bows that look and feel essentially the same as those archers used thousands of years ago.
During the second part of our training, we descended into the Lake Sonoma canyon, the site of the archery range. The Lake Sonoma archery range is undoubtedly located in one of the most jaw-dropping settings for learning and practicing this ancient art and sport in California. You’ll want to check out our accompanying slide show to get a visual sense of this location. We’ve also crafted a short video of our time on the range, so don’t leave this page before viewing it.
There’s still time to enroll in the last of the 2013 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, California’s workshops. In late May there’s a primer on riding ATVs and dirt bikes, in September a fly-fishing clinic, a multi-course (archery, fly fishing & tying, shooting, and kayaking) workshop in October and come November, a pheasant hunt.
Read more about these upcoming workshops here.
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, California
Susan Herrgesell, President P.O. Box 1505, Cottonwood, CA 96022
(530) 347-0227, email@example.com; Facebook