This October 2023, at the FTW Ranch in the beautiful southwestern tier of the Texas Hill Country, selected women will partake in the facility’s cutting-edge Sportsman’s All-Weather All-Terrain Marksmanship (SAAM) New Hunter Course.
“Taking the SAAM Precision Rifle course in 2018 was an inspiring, life-changing event,” said Renée Thornton, WSF’s Women Hunt® Chair. “Participating in the New Hunter Course has been as well for the 24 women who have taken it over the last two years through Women Hunt®. The New Hunter Course is a comprehensive on-ramp to the world of hunting and conservation, and the participants receive expert training from former U.S. Special Forces operators and experienced hunters.” Thornton added.
From basic firearm handling to precision shooting at ethical hunting distances, the course has a track record of turning those who have never taken a big game animal into safe, successful, and conscientious hunters. The opportunity to hunt a whitetail doe after the training is part of the package.
Women Hunt® is also helping empower informed female hunter-conservationists into a world where their voice is more sorely needed than ever.
“I never really knew about the North American Model of Conservation before taking the course. Now it’s a passion of mine,” said 2022 graduate and native Texan Kat Hunter. “For me, Women Hunt® has sparked a responsibility to give back, and the FTW/SAAM New Hunter Course has empowered within me the confidence to hunt and harvest game and renewed and an incredibly deeper passion to engage and educate the next generation and pass these skills on to them.”
A popular part of the course is learning to field dress, prepare, and cook wild game.
Thornton said, “Sourcing healthy meat from the wild instead of factory farms was an important part of my journey to hunting. This aspect has also been an important motivation for many of the women from the first two years of the program. They will learn from one of the best wild game chefs around and come away with the skills to harvest, prepare, and share delicious wild game with family, friends, and their community.”
Brandi Love of Alberta took the inaugural course in 2021 and said the community aspect of the program had made a big difference in her life.
“Women Hunt® has brought so many newfound connections that would have never happened without the program. It has reignited a passion for giving back that I will forever be grateful for,” she said. “I’m proud to be an alumna and Women Hunt® committee member that continues to build a community and break down more barriers for women to enter the outdoors.”
Applications for the 2023 Women Hunt® sponsored SAAM New Hunter course are being taken from May 1st through 31st. A special committee will select 12 candidates based on those who best match the program’s objectives. WSF, our sponsors, and their donors underwrite the cost of this opportunity, valued at about $6,500, which includes the cost of the course, gear, clothing, and other benefits.”
“If you think this is something you want to be a part of, you should apply. Don’t let any apprehensions get to you. We’ll be there for everyone who gets selected and enjoy this fun, challenging, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity together as women who love the outdoors,” Thornton concluded.
Applications can be completed online at this link.