By: Coral Minchey
Learn to hunt programs are important because they provide opportunities to anyone that might be interested in learning a new skill. I have lived in Georgia for 20+ years and have never utilized any hunting grounds or opportunities. It wasn’t that there was a lack of interest, but rather a lack of opportunity. How does an individual get started hunting if she doesn’t know the steps to take? Artemis Georgia was one solution for me, but there are many programs out there.
My first hunting trip occurred in December 2022 in Northern Georgia. I was promised to be taught to use a crossbow and how to hunt, but it did even more than expected. The first day of the trip, I met a wonderful group of women and was taught to use a crossbow during regular target practice. The amount of encouragement provided was unbelievable. Once the group felt confident in our shooting skills, we proceeded to the ground blinds and stands to begin the hunt. Sitting in the blind, I felt a peacefulness wash over me as I was immersed in the nature around me. I was able to see birds, squirrels, and deer and watch the sunset and the sunrise the next morning. Throughout the entire event, I was also taught common practices for hunting and felt much more prepared for any hunting events in the future.
Without this opportunity, I would not have learned about hunting and would not have made the connections that I did. While I was unable to harvest a deer at that event, I look forward to future hunting opportunities and the meat that can be gained from a successful hunt.
One of the most impactful components that I learned was my part, as a hunter, in conservation. Not only did I purchase a hunting license, proceeds from which go back toward wildlife conservation, but I was able to interact with experienced hunters. Listening to the hosts and other experienced hunters talk, I picked up on a lot of information that they had on the local population. They go out often enough that they observe the local fauna, habits, and changes to their movement and patterns. This is field knowledge that can be valuable for future law-making and/or awareness of potential issues with the deer.
Overall, the learn to hunt program with Artemis Georgia let me experience hunting without the usual barriers and I left feeling educated, having learned new skills, and feeling more prepared for the next time. I will definitely be pursuing more adventures with them in the future and can’t wait for the chance to do it again.
Artemis Georgia is a collaboration with Georgia Wildlife Federation and the National Wildlife Federation. Its mission is to engage, empower, and encourage women in conservation through hunting, fishing, and shooting sports. It’s supported by the Georgia R3 Initiative a cooperative effort between Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, National Wild Turkey Federation, Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International, and Ducks Unlimited.
Artemis Georgia: https://gwf.org/artemisgeorgia/
Georgia R3 Initiative: https://gwf.org/r3/
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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.