Becoming an Outdoors-Woman 


Registration for 2016 BOW is closed.

2016 BOW will be at C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale on
Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2016.


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Program Overview

"Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" is an outdoors skills workshop for women. The objective is to provide a supportive atmosphere where women can have fun learning skills that will enhance their enjoyment of Arkansas’s outdoors.

This workshop is for you if:
  • You have never tried these activities, but have hoped for an opportunity to learn.
  • You are a beginner who wants to learn and improve your skills.
  • You know how to do some of the activities and wanted to try some new ones.
  • You are looking for the camaraderie of like-minded individuals.

Any woman 18 and older is welcome to join the workshop, whether you’ve never participated in an outdoors pursuit or are a veteran outdoorsperson looking for your next challenge. Space is limited, and spots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Workshop Date and Location

The 2016 BOW workshop will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2016.

The workshop is held at the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center located about 15 miles west of Little Rock. The workshop begins with check-in starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, and ends with lunch at noon on Sunday. Participants will pick four classes, one on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Register for BOW

A maximum of 135 women will be allowed to register. Women who are signing up for their first BOW program will receive priority.

Program Staff

Name | Title:Tisa Bomar | Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program Coordinator
Address:2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205
Phone | Email:501-978-7366 | Email

Workshop Class Descriptions

A Walk on the Wild Side: Edible Trees and Plants
Many of our grandparents and parents used wild plants. We all know about sassafras tea and the glorious taste of wild blackberries, but we have forgotten how extensively wild plants can be used as food. In this workshop, you will not only learn to identify a few edible species of Arkansas native and non-native vegetation: you’ll also have the opportunity to sample a few tasty dishes including acorn scones. The workshop covers concepts of conservation, history, culture, and plant identification—while you’re learning to walk on the wild side.
Advanced Dutch Oven Cooking
We’ll go beyond the basics in this class, to stacking ovens and cooking wild game. Come hungry so you can taste-test all you cook! Basic Dutch Oven Cooking is a prerequisite for this class.
All about Hummingbirds
Learn how to increase the chances of hummingbirds visiting your backyard, what kinds of flowers might help, and how to tell the difference between males and females.
ATV Rider Course
This hands-on class emphasizes safety relating to riding an ATV. Learn about proper gear, environmental concerns, pre-ride inspections as well as proper maneuvers. You will learn to enjoy riding and handling an ATV.
Backyard Habitats
Backyard habitat is simply a space with a combination of food, water, shelter, and plants in a configuration conducive to the needs of wildlife. The plants chosen will determine the types of wildlife that frequent the area. This workshop will provide an introduction to backyard and wildlife habitats you can find in The Natural State or you can create or restore in your rural, urban or suburban backyards.
Basic Archery Skills
This class will teach you archery techniques for target shooting and bow hunting. You will learn about all types of bows, arrows and the latest archery equipment. Participants will have an opportunity for lots of hands-on bow shooting at an archery range.
Basic Camping
Are you new to camping or has it been awhile since you’ve been camping and you’d like to start back up again? Come learn some basics about camping at campgrounds and camping in more primitive settings. We’ll cover topics such as gear, how to pick a campsite, how to put up a tent, how to start a fire, as well as covering specific questions you have about starting your camping adventure.
Basic Dutch Oven Cooking
Come out and enjoy an outdoor cooking tradition. Workshop participants will go beyond the basics of Dutch oven cooking, to stacking ovens, cooking game, making a box oven, and more. Come hungry so you can taste-test all you cook!
Basic Firearm Safety
This class will cover types of firearms, firearm safety, firearm purchasing and how to care for firearms. This class does not include shooting and is a pre-requisite for anyone who has not had hunter education to register for any of the shooting classes.
Basic Fly-casting
Fly-casting is the heart and soul of fly-fishing. Instructors will teach fundamentals of the basic “Pick-Up and Lay-Down,” as well as the “Roll Cast.” The class is required if you plan to participate in the “basic fly-fishing” class.
Basic Fly-fishing
This is the class where the fly-fishing magic happens. You will learn why fly-fishing is one of the most effective and fun ways to catch fish. Also, we will cover what fish eat and what flies to use to imitate the food - all while on the water. Basic Fly-casting is a prerequisite for this course.
Basic Fly-tying
Once you have learned the basic fly-tying steps, with a bit of practice you can tie just about any fly that exists. We’ll take a step-by-step approach to teach you these basic techniques and a hands-on session tying three flies you will fish with.
Basic Fishing
Get hooked with hands-on instruction on choosing fishing equipment as well as landing the fish. Learn types of equipment, knot tying, choosing bait and loading a reel. Lots of on-lake fishing time using spinning rods and bait-casting equipment. All equipment provided but participants can bring their own tackle.
Basic Trapping
Learn the basics of furbearer trapping; the rules and regulations of trapping, equipment needed, trap preparation, how to make sets for “critters,” and what to do with your catch. This is a hands-on class so participants should be prepared to dig in the dirt. All equipment will be provided.
Becoming an Outdoors-Family
Learn simple ways to introduce your children to the outdoors, and make outdoors activities together a part of your family’s weekend routine. We’ll also incorporate technology and hands-on activities that are sure to keep the attention of today’s kids.
Fledgling birders will learn to improve their birding skills. From spotting birds high in the canopy, hearing a bird sing in the distance, to seeing only a bird bottom as it flies away, we will learn tips for identifying birds in real-life conditions. We will also do some birding in the field with traditional birding gear, but we will also discuss and use smartphone birding apps and learn how birding websites can enhance your birding experience. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Bring your own smartphone or tablet if you’d like!
Boating and Trailering
In this class you will learn the basics of boating safety, how to back a boat trailer and how to operate various types of motorboats. You will have an opportunity to operate boats on the water and learn trailering first hand.
Camping with Kids
Are you wanting to take your kids camping for the first time but you’re not quite sure where to start? Then this is the class for you. We’ll approach camping from the perspective of taking the kids along and what special considerations that might mean for your family. Be prepared to think like a kid and have some fun in this “learn-by-doing” course.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Learn basic paddling strokes, techniques and equipment for both the canoe and kayak. You will have an opportunity to try out your newly learned skills in both kayaks and canoes on the lake.
Deer Hunting 101
This is a hands on class for any deer hunter, expert or beginner. We will cover basic biology, management, and upcoming hunting regulations. We will also cover hunting equipment, fall arrest systems, and deer stands. This is an all-around great class for discussing issues, regulations, and settling firelight disputes with hunting companions!
Find Your Outside
Are you ready to explore the great outdoors and see what Arkansas has to offer? In this session, we will determine who the go-to agencies are for different outdoor recreational opportunities, which attraction guides and websites are the easiest to use for planning your outdoor getaway and along the way help you discover what your ultimate outdoor experience looks like.
From Field to Freezer
So you shot something. Now what? Many people rely on a butcher or friend to clean and package their game. In this class, participants will learn the basics of field care, cleaning and butchering of wild game. It doesn’t get more green, local or organic than that. Come prepared to get your hands dirty, and bring your ice chest.
Fur Handling
Humans have handled fur for as long as they have walked the earth. Fur from many of Arkansas’s mammals go to auction each year. They are shipped overseas to make full garments, hats, gloves and trim pieces. This class will cover proper field care, skinning, fleshing and boarding of Arkansas’s furbearers to maximize your profit on the trap line. Basic Trapping is a prerequisite for this class.
Want to learn about Geocaching? Geocaching is a recreational activity where someone hides a “cache” for others to try to find using a Global Positioning System ( GPS ) receiver. The pursuit can be thought of as a GPS-enabled treasure hunt. GPS units will be provided and no previous knowledge is needed. Learn a great new way to spend time outside with friends and family.
Arkansas has miles of hiking trails and a variety of settings. Grab some sturdy walking shoes, your sunscreen and bug spray as we take a look at: Leave No Trace, trail etiquette, the balance between prepared and way too much stuff and how to safely hike with children and dogs.
Intro to Archery Hunting
Are you ready to take on this challenging hunting method? Archery deer season lasts from late September through February, and can lead to some very exciting, close encounters in the field! Learn about tree stand placement and safety, and how to set your archery hunt up for success! Basic Archery Skills is a prerequisite for this class.
Introduction to Scuba Diving
Bring your swimsuit and learn if this underwater sport is for you. Learn in the classroom and in the pool. The exciting world of watchable wildlife below the surface of our clear lakes and rivers is waiting to be explored. All equipment provided.
Learn shooting techniques and shooting stances with small, .22 rifles. Then shoot a variety of other rifles. Participants must have a valid Hunter Education Card or have attended basic firearm safety.
Outdoor Photography
Bring your camera and learn techniques for taking great shots of animals, plants and landscapes. Participants will be given time to practice what they have learned. Class will view photos and receive critiques at the end of the class.
Outdoor Survival Skills
Learn how to take care of yourself and others while enjoying the outdoors. Learn techniques that could save your life or the lives of others.
Shotgun Basics
This class will teach you shotgun techniques with an emphasis on hunting and shooting sports. There will be plenty of shooting practice at clay targets on the shotgun range. Participants must have a valid Hunter Education Card or have attended basic firearm safety.
Squirrel Hunt
Load up at 6 a.m., and head to nearby Winona WMA (transportation provided) for a guided squirrel hunt with the Arkansas Squirrel Hunters’ Association. A squirrel hunt is a great introduction for novice hunters. No experience is necessary, but Hunter Education or Basic Firearm Safety are prerequisites for this class. Wear a camouflage shirt, camouflage pants and sturdy shoes. We will bring the guns and ammo. You are welcome to bring your own firearm. Learn how to hunt, harvest and clean everyone’s favorite wild snack.
Stream Ecology
You’ll gather all sorts of invertebrates and learn why they are important to good water quality. This hands-on class will take you to the water and teach you what sort of critters live in our streams. Bring your water shoes and wading clothes for the fun.
Turkey Hunting 101
Keep calm and call on. This class includes information about turkey hunting season, regulations, habitat, scouting techniques, equipment and how to use turkey calls.
Waterfowl Hunting 101
Learn how to use a duck call, decoys and camouflage and how to improve your chances of harvesting, viewing or photographing these magnificent birds.