Michigan DNR offering women outdoor training programs

SILVER CITY — If you’re a woman who would like to spend more time in the outdoors, the Department of Natural Resources is holding a weekend training session this month. The class will take place January 25th through the 27th at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, where ladies will enjoy activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and fishing.

For more than a decade, national reports have continued to show an increase in outdoor sportsmanship among women, and the Michigan DNR is embracing the trend with a program called Becoming an Outdoors Woman.

“Women come and get a chance to try out different activities that they can participate in and see if they like it in an atmosphere that’s an encouraging atmosphere,” said John Pepin, Deputy Public Information Officer for the Michigan DNR. “It’s a very popular program.”

Those activities include basic outdoor sportsmanship and is offered in both a summer and winter session, introducing ladies to the outdoors at an entry level, but training goes much further for those who want more than beginner’s experience.

“In addition to those general sessions, throughout the year they hold instruction called Beyond Becoming an Outdoors Woman,” said Pepin. “These are for the ladies who have attended the general session, or they have some background experience, but want to gain more knowledge and more expertise out in the woods.”

Ladies will be learning to ice fish in the Porkies, along with cross country and downhill skiing.

“Attendees do everything from photography classes and shot guns to building ice quinzees to sleep in, and they actually sleep in them overnight and things. There’s a lot of different activities that they’re involved in.”

Participants in the program must be registered by January 7th, and registration can be completed on line.

Pepin added, “Go to our website at www.michigan.gov/bow and there will be all of the information there on the program. The general session as well any of the Beyond Becoming an Outdoors Woman Sessions.”

This month’s weekend session is designed for women who have a little bit of prior outdoor experience. An introductory session is scheduled for next month in Big Bay, but due to it’s popularity that session is already full.

“It’s a great program, it’s a great opportunity, and it’s great fun for instructors to see women come and try out the programs and get to learn a lot of different things and gain that confidence and excitement about trying out new things once they get back home.”