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What’s the Best Way to Involve Women with PF?

What's the best way for women, such as Annice Bruce, to support Pheasants Forever's wildlife habitat conservation mission?

I recently received an email from a woman who is active with Pheasants Forever in Iowa and she wanted to know if we had a program specifically for women.  I explained to her that because Pheasants Forever chapters spend funds raised at the local level as they see fit, we depend on our chapters to engage women – and some plan special events geared to women.  She was very interested in contacting her local chapter and setting up a woman’s hunt.

Pheasants Forever supports the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program and works with partners to engage women and families, but we can always do more.  What’s the best way to get women involved, whether it’s in shooting or hunting or participating in family events with their children?  Would enjoy hearing your ideas of how we can engage women more in our mission and the enjoyment of outdoor recreation.

Get ‘em Outdoors is written by Cheryl Riley, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Education and Outreach. Email her at CRiley@pheasantsforever.org

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7 Responses to “What’s the Best Way to Involve Women with PF?”

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  1. Jessica says:

    I know this may seem trivial, but women get left out even at the most basic level in recruiting them for membership, and it’s probably not even intentional. I’m a former PF member, current DU member, and my husband is as well. We often get promotions in the mail, asking us to renew our memberships and get a free gift. Often these gifts are clothes, like a fleece or tee… What I’ve noticed is that the option of a “small” size is never available. While it may make sense to only offer sizes Medium and larger, by excluding small, I think you do, whether knowingly or not, exclude women from those promotions. Finding hunting clothes for women that FIT is a huge challenge, and by not even offering the items in a smaller size, you exclude them even further. Just something to think about. I know I do. When those offers come in the mail, I usually put off renewing my membership until another offer comes along… One that I can use and not just pass off onto my husband…

  2. Krista Johnston says:

    I agree with Jessica! It’s nearly impossible to find gear that fits correctly. I think another way to get more women involved would be to change the advertising demographic to include women – it’s percieved as a man’s sport! I love spending time outdoors with my husband. Training our 2 English Setters is great bonding time for us. We learn so much from the dogs – mainly patience and humility. Spending quality time together outside is so precious to us.
    Another great way to get more women involved is to educate them about the sport. The only reason I know about hunting is because my family has always been big time hunters, and I married into another family that is the same way. If more women knew about pheasant hunting then more would be interested.
    Finally, you guys should have a pheasant recipe forum! I would be all over that – a place that men and women can go to share and see new recipes would be awesome. There is nothing in the world like harvesting and preparing dinner for your family from scratch.

  3. Diane Lueck says:

    Thanks to PF for the LONG-TIME support of BOW. Women, do whatever you can to get out and learn. Take hunter ed, even if you are 25+ you’ll learn a lot. I offer adult classes, geared toward women, and you may be able to find adult classes in your area too. (Clothing, sigh. There is not much made for a stumpy 4’10″ gal.) Other ways to get involved, DOGS!! we all love ‘em. Best wishes, hope to see you out there!

  4. Tiffany says:

    I also agree with Jessica…Hunting clothing for women is limited aside from shesafari and realtree there is not much. I wear mens chaps for my upland hunting and have to jerry rig them to get them to fit. Upland gear for woman is nearly non existant!
    Ways to get women involved, maybe womens pheasant hunting workshops/hunts. BOW goes over basiscs but doesn’t allow you to get out there and actually hunt. What could be better than some CRP and a bunch of gals with guns.
    Some cute PF tee’s for women!

  5. Cheryl Riley says:

    Great comments, Ladies. Appreciate the dialogue and suggestions. It seems that in the clothing world we have to become more of a mass to get the industry to meet our needs. PF has been working on some cute t-shirts for women and I like our 1/4 zip lightweight blaze orange shirt that was designed specifically for women. Check with your state DNRs because many ARE offering workshops and hunts geared to women and some PF chapters host women’s pheasant hunts. I think we have to be a louder voice so I’m glad to hear from you — keep sending your thoughts and ideas.

  6. Kelley says:

    A great way to get women involved in hunting is to actually acknowledge then when they are standing at your counter looking at guns or other equipment! I have been overlooked and blatantly ignored many times when I was shopping for a new gun for myself-needless to say I never returned to those businesses. Men should not dismiss us so quickly in the field also. Many I have run into also think that it is novelty when they run into me in the field.

  7. Patrick says:

    Even though funds are to be spent by the chapters that raise them as they see fit, I do think that PF could set up a template on how to get more women involved. Much like what they have for getting youth involved. At one time or another my wife has experienced the same issues others have encountered. It does seem that PF and the outdoor manufacturers are missing out on a very under appreciated segment of the population that wants to be involved. I think having more women involved would be a great asset to the organization from what I have seen from the women that are active now. Doing habitat projects and hunting are true family outings. Mom and dad do not have to sit on the sidelines and watch the kids. They all can be involved in the field together for a lifetime.

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