Engage, encourage, and empower women in conservation through hunting, fishing, and shooting sports.
Covington, GA – In early May, six ladies headed into the northwest Georgia hillsides in pursuit of eastern wild turkey wrapping up Artemis Georgia’s 2023 turkey hunting opportunities. Participants of the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s three-part workshop prepared all spring for the chance to call and lure in a breeding male.
To familiarize new and intermediate female hunters with turkey, Artemis Georgia hosted the Georgia Department of Natural Resource- WRD’s state turkey biologist Emily Rushton on March 8th for a casual, virtual, fireside chat. Twenty-one women learned about wild turkey recovery, their habitat, diet, and behavior.
Nine attendees joined scouting trips in mid-March providing hands-on opportunities to identify clues on where the birds frequent. The workshop concluded with guided hunts. Thirteen women participated in the hunts with more experienced members coaching new members. Women left with a newfound understanding of the bird’s prowess, a sense of community, and gratitude for nature.
“It is always exciting to introduce new women to hunting and this weekend three ladies had their first experience in a turkey blind. Although we did not harvest any, we heard many. The new hunters were able to call and “talk” to the gobblers. We’ll be ready to get big Tom next year,” said Artemis Georgia volunteer hunt host Melissa Hulsey.
In America, the majority of conservation funding comes from hunters, fishers, and target shooters. Over the last few decades, the percentage of Americans who hunt has declined, leading to concerns over the future of conservation. To maintain conservation funding, the community is welcoming new audiences into the activity. This effort is known as R3- a national movement to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters, fishers, and target shooters.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, females make up less than 15% of active hunters. This gender difference is an opportunity to expand participation. Artemis Georgia was established by the Georgia Wildlife Federation in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation and the GA R3 Initiative. They are engaging women who have never had the chance to learn, encouraging mentoring and empowering everyone to pursue their passion.
The Georgia R3 Initiative consists of the Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Department of Natural Resources-WRD, National Wild Turkey Federation, the Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International, and Ducks Unlimited. For more information visit gwf.org/r3.
# # #
About Georgia Wildlife Federation
Georgia Wildlife Federation was founded as a sportsman’s organization in 1936 and is Georgia’s oldest conservation organization. Today, members include hunters, anglers, bird watchers, hikers, educators, and all Georgians who are interested in preserving our natural resources and outdoor heritage.