Like many previous years, 2010 saw some great moments and events for the programs of NRA’s General Operations. I was fortunate enough to write about some of these events, and even attend a few while covering them for NRAblog. Although I can’t include all of my favorites, there are several moments that really stuck with me this year.

Throughout the day, I’ll be sharing a few of my top stories from the competitions and events I covered throughout the year including pieces from our Hunter Services Department, Competitive Shooting, and Women On Target® Hunts.

Thanks to Ann Marie Foster, our Women On Target® Hunt Program Coordinator, for this report on a hunt held in October. This was a managed elk hunt at the Laguna Vista Ranch in Pearsall, Texas hosted by Outfitter Jed Knowlton. "All four ladies scored big on this one," said Foster of the amazing trophy bulls. Here's what the huntresses had to say about their hunting experience:

"I am just incredulous over the whole experience. Shots ranged from about 60 yards out to around 225 yards. It took me multiple rounds, but the other ladies dropped theirs with either 1 or 2 rounds. What a great experience and a wonderful place to hunt. I just wanted to let you know the hunting experience [at Lauguna Vista] was beyond my wildest expectations. They treated us so well a girl could get spoiled quickly. The elk we all we fortunate to harvest and all the other species we saw were magnificent. I definitely plan to head back there for another hunt. We all had a grand time. Thanks for setting everything up."

Melanie Sturgis of Carrolltown, Texas who harvested a 7x7 bull with a score of 355.

“The NRA Women On Target® hunt program helped me fulfill a dream that I would have never had the opportunity to do by myself. I never dreamed that I would be able to harvest such a big elk. It was a once in a lifetime dream come true! I also met and became friends with three other ladies who had the same dream. Thank you so much!”

Patricia Utley of Wyoming, Delaware, whose 8x7 bull came in with a score of 349.

Also on the hunt were mother and daughter pair Pamela & Sky Roehl from Fairbanks, Alaska. Pamela's bull was 6x7 with a score of 304 1⁄4, and Sky took a 6x6 bull who came in at 347 2/8. Check out the Women On Target® hunting excursions scheduled for 2011 – including a Rio Grande turkey hunt at Laguna Vista – and book your dream hunt today!

Women on Target Celebrate 10 years

Women On Target® has now been hunting in Nebraska for ten straight years. They celebrated with a couple of great hunts this fall. Justin McDaniel of nrahuntersrights.org was there:

For the past 10 years, this hunter’s paradise has served as the backdrop of one of the most sought-after hunts offered by NRA’s Women On Target® program. And it's easy to see why. When booking a hunting trip, it turns out that men and women aren’t all that different. We all want first-rate hunting, good company and great food, and Oak Creek Sporting Club, a 1,500-acre hunting and shooting facility in Brainard, Neb., owned and operated by the Kriz family, offers all of the above and then some.

Whether you visit for a round of sporting clays or an upland hunt, Oak Creek showers its guests with the hospitality you’d expect from a Midwestern farm family. That’s why the women who attend the annual hunt there can’t wait to return each year, and it’s why NRA Women’s Programs awarded Oak Creek with its very first Outstanding Outfitter Award in October.

“This past year when I was flipping through outfitter proposals, I noticed that the Kriz family had something quite unique that set them apart from other outfitters—consistency,” said Ann Marie Foster, NRA Women On Target® Hunting Programs coordinator. “Consistency in their level of professionalism, consistency in maintaining a cost-effective hunt, and consistency in all of the great comments we received from attendees about this hunt.”

Read McDaniel's entire article on a great hunt..

The 2011 Women On Target® schedule features two hunts at Oak Creek – a pheasant & chukar hunt in October, and a hunt specifically designed for the first-time huntress in November. Visit http://www.nrahq.org/women/hunting/excursions.asp for information about these and other upcoming Women On Target® Hunting Excursions!

Earlier this month, we told you about some exciting new Women On Target® hunts scheduled for 2011, including one very special excursion known as “Cast n’ Blast.” New Field Hunt Coordinator Tracy Splechter will be the hostess of this pheasant, chukar, and Hungarian partridge hunt which will also include trout fishing.

Scheduled for September 27-October 1, 2011 at the High Lonesome Ranch in DeBeque, Colorado, this is one excursion that combines the great outdoors with a luxury getaway. Participants will enjoy their stay in deluxe accommodations along with delicious meals prepared by the High Lonesome staff. In addition to the guided fly fishing and three and a half days of guided hunting with dogs, ladies on this trip will also relish a one-hour massage, a round of sporting clays, and a culinary cooking class. Check out all of the details here.

This is the first time that the Women On Target® hunt program has offered this type of excursion, and it’s limited to just 15 lucky ladies. The deadline to register for this hunt is July 1, 2011, but it’s sure to fill up quickly.

To register, contact Tracey at tracey@outdoor-connection.com or call 620-364-5500. This is truly a one-of-a-kind hunt, so register today to guarantee your spot so you can “Cast n’ Blast”! Take a look at the other excursions offered by Women On Target® hunts.

With only another two weeks to go until hitting the new year, NRA's Women On Target® Hunt (WOT) program already has 10 women-only hunts up on the 2011 calendar — and they're still working on new avenues and opportunities to add to the record. But the good news doesn't stop there.

Not only are they planning to add more excursions to the calendar, but some of those already on the docket (Eastern wild turkey in Kansas and pheasant and chukar in Nebraska) are designed for first-time women hunters only.

“These hunts are the ideal opportunity for women who want to hunt but simply have not had the chance,” said Ann Marie Foster, NRA National Women’s Hunting Programs coordinator. “Everyone in the group will be on the same experience level, and the outfitters will provide as much individual attention and support as possible.”

Another new twist is the addition of Field Hunt Coordinators. These are women who will work in their home state with outfitters, guide services, and individuals to contract a variety of hunts, including at least one per year specifically designed for first time hunters. Though not official staff members, these huntresses are charged with increasing the number of women who would like to hunt but haven't had the opportunity to give it a try.More

Turkey hunting with NRA Women On Target Yesterday we introduced you to Tracey Splechter, one of our new Field Hunt Coordinators for the Women On Target® Hunts program. In her short time in this new position, Tracey has already set-up three very exciting hunting excursions.

The first is a Wild Boar Hunt near Mill Creek, Oklahoma scheduled for March 4-6, 2011 at the Pennington Creek Hunt Club. Ladies can spend two days hunting for two feral hogs on this excursion which includes lodging and meals. This hunt is limited to just six women, so book now! The registration deadline is February 4, 2011.

Tracey's next hunt is an Eastern Turkey Hunt for first-time huntresses from April 21-25, 2011! K&K Outfitters near Mulberry, Kansas will host this special hunt that includes three days in the field to harvest two Eastern gobblers along with lodging, meals, hunting licenses, field dressing and cleaning. Attendees have the option to use a shotgun or bow to take their gobblers while enjoying the camaraderie of other new huntresses. The deadline to register for this hunt is February 21, 2011 and these ten slots are sure to fill quickly.

The third hunt Tracey has scheduled is a very special excursion in DeBeque, Colorado from September 27-October 1, 2011.  We'll have a feature story on this hunt known as "Cast n' Blast" later this week, so check back for all the details on this hunting, fishing, and surprisingly luxurious trip!

We've got more coming on the Women On Target® Hunt program including additional excursions and more interviews with our new Field Hunt Coordinators, so keep checking back! Have you attended a Women On Target® hunting excursion? Send your story and photo to gomedia@nrahq.org to see yourself on NRAblog.

 

A while back, NRAblog told you that Women's Hunt Coordinator Ann Marie Foster would be getting some help from huntresses in the field, better known as our Field Hunt Coordinators for the Women On Target® Hunts program. Now we'd like to introduce you to Tracey Splechter, one of our new Field Hunt Coordinators from southeast Kansas. Tracey is currently the Vice President of Operations for Outdoor Connection, but her passion to introduce more women to hunting and the outdoors made her a perfect fit to host Women On Target® Hunts. NRAblog recently caught up with Tracey to learn more about her and the hunts she has planned.

Field Hunt Coordinator Tracey Splechter NRAblog: How long have you been hunting?

I have been working in the hunting industry for 12 years now but only recently began hunting. I have hunted turkey, whitetail, hog and upland birds. I shot my first turkey back in May of 2010, my first hog in September of 2010 and my first whitetail in November of 2010.

What is your favorite species/game to hunt?

So far my favorite is the whitetail hunt I went on in Saskatchewan! There are many more hunts planned for different species!

Why did you decide to become a Field Hunt Coordinator?

I wanted to become a Field Hunt Coordinator to get more women involved in the outdoors. The second reason is to take advantage of my knowledge of working with outfitters all across the world (through Outdoor Connection for the past 12 years) and bring those opportunities to women from all walks of life.

What advice would you give to a woman on her first hunt?

I would recommend that a woman should choose a hunt that excites her and then do the proper research about the destination she has chosen to make sure there are no surprises once she arrives at her destination!

Welcome aboard, Tracey! We're glad to have you as part of our team! Tracey has already planned a number of hunting excursions for 2011, so stay tuned for a feature on these amazing hunts next week.

NRAblog recently caught up with Ann Marie Foster, Women On Target® Hunt Coordinator here at NRA Headquarters. It’s no secret that when she isn’t in the office setting up new women’s hunting excursions, Foster is often out in the field, helping introduce women across the country to the joys of hunting.

Due to the popularity of the program and the increasing demand for more women-only hunts throughout the nation, Foster has the help of two new Women On Target® Field Hunt Coordinators. Tracy Splechter from Kansas and Angie Patak of Texas have come onboard as Field Hunt Coordinators to coordinate hunts in their home state and surrounding areas. They’ll work with outfitters, guide services, and individuals to contract a variety of hunts, including at least one per year specifically designed for first time hunters.

“We’re looking to recruit new huntresses and help them take the next step,” said Foster. “These Field Hunt Coordinators are seasoned huntresses who share a passion for hunting and teaching.”

While there is no true minimum as to how many hunts a Field Hunt Coordinator must contract, she does attend the hunts she coordinates to act as a NRA liaison and hostess for attendees.

If you’re an experienced huntress looking to share your love of hunting and the outdoors with other women, then consider becoming a Women On Target® Field Hunt Coordinator. Women all over the country are looking for a ladies-only hunting opportunity where they can enjoy the thrill and camaraderie while afield, so if you’re interested in becoming a Women On Target® Field Hunt Coordinator, contact Ann Marie Foster at womenontargethunts@nrahq.org.

Stay tuned for information on upcoming hunts, as well as profiles on both Tracy and Angie! Learn more about the Women On Target® Hunting program and all the other shooting sports opportunities offered by our Women’s Programs Department.

The Oak Creek Sporting Club in Brainard, Nebraska, has hosted a Women on Target hunt for 10 consecutive years. Not only did 16 women come out for a successful hunt in late October, but the occasion was marked by a much-deserved award. The Krinz family, owners of Oak Creek, which has hosted the hunt for all 10 years, earned the first ever NRA Women’s Programs Outstanding Outfitter's Award.

Ann Marie Foster of NRA Women's Programs was there to present it in person on behalf of the NRA, and both award and hunt were photographed by Justin McDaniel, assistant editor of HuntersRights.org. As for the hunters, they clearly had a great time, and caught up to some pheasants. He'll be reporting on the hunt, but for now, enjoy the photos!

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