- Guns & Gear
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I just had the pleasure of spending two and a half days with nearly 100 women, sharing close quarters in rustic cabins nestled in the woods. We were all participants or volunteers at the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunter’s (OFAH) annual Women’s Outdoor Weekend (WOW). The event was held at the Kinark Outdoor Centre near Minden. Despite Saturday’s unrelenting rain, it was a blast.
Women travel to WOW from all over the province to learn how to bait a line, shoot a bow, shoulder a gun, and lots more outside-focused activities. And before you assume we’re all country folk, consider I was bunked in with two university professors, a chief financial officer, and a nurse. WOW is a showcase for diversity of profession, age, and experience, which makes it way more fun.
This was my seventh trip to WOW, but first time helping out at the firearms range, led by the very capable Colleen MacLeod. It was an honour and a joy to help other women load their first rifle, or hit a duck decoy with a well-aimed 12 gauge shotgun. Many had never even held a gun before. Nonetheless, they were all brave, gracious, and pretty good shots! New shooter Brenda M put 96 pellets in the vital area of a paper turkey target. I’ll hunt with her any day.
At the waterfront, lots of fish were caught – despite considerable rainfall (huge understatement). Yvonne Brown of Ontario Women Anglers and her terrific team ran the Sue Robins Memorial Fishing Tournament, a fly fishing class, and a fish cleaning demo. I’m pretty sure we have some eager new female anglers in our midst.
I also heard terrific things about the archery rotation, which included a small engine repair session. New this year, the trees and plants ID rotation involved an hour’s hike and a fascinating crash course on hunting upland birds.
After a fully-packed Saturday in the elements, we tucked into a delicious pig roast dinner and a glass of wine. We then fell under the spell of comedy hypnotist, Robert Maxwell. Tip of the hat to all those ladies who ventured onstage! Hope you got that well-deserved sleep he promised you.
Thanks to the OFAH for running this event and to Alesha Howran for keeping things on track. And thanks to all the volunteers and participants whose positive attitudes made it such a wonderful weekend. If you haven’t been to WOW yet, please consider this your invite to join us next year.
To learn more about WOW visit their website here.