NRA's Women's Wilderness Escape teaches shooting, hunting and outdoor skills in New Mexico

Welcome sign for the NRA's Women's Wilderness Escape at the Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico

Fairfax, Virginia - Labor Day marks the end of summer. Kids return to school, weather starts to chill and football is back in season. But for the NRA, Labor Day marks the final sprint towards the Women's Wilderness Escape.

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Two sessions of wilderness shooting, hunting and survival lessons in New Mexico

Learning shotguns at NRA's Women's Wilderness Escape in Raton, New Mexico

Fairfax, Virginia - You don't need to know how to survive in the outdoors. You don't need to know shoot a rifle, catch a fish, to build a fire or clean a shotgun. You don't need to know how to do any of that, but wouldn't it be nice to know?

That's the opportunity the NRA is offering this September in Raton, New Mexico. We only have one stipulation ... ladies only.

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Three years ago this week, Lisa Metheny filed a report about her time working at the NRA's Women's Wilderness Escape in Raton, New Mexico. Here's a look:

Archery at the Women's Wilderness Escape

NRA Hosts Women's Wilderness Escape

For nine days this fall, a diverse group of homemakers, teachers, nurses, a district judge, commercial pilot, veterinarian, and even a doctor all shared a common desire: the longing to experience something unique, unexpected, and challenging. Something that would force them to step outside their comfort zones. Many of the women received an encouraging nudge from a supportive spouse, while others made the decision entirely on their own. But each eventually chose to venture to the Land of Enchantment for an adventure camp for women, the National Rifle Association’s Women’s Wilderness Escape (WWE).

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NRANews shooting a segment of Curator's Corner at the National Firearms Museum

Fairfax, Virginia - As the summer season starts to roll in, NRANews rolled into NRA Headquarters to hear about the latest in General Operations. Shooting a series of bumpers spanning from the National Firearms Museum to Education & Training to the Law Enforcement Division, the bumpers serve as commercials for the online broadcast.

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NRA Women's Network

Today is Mother's Day, a day dedicated to recognizing women who play a special role in our lives. But here at the NRA, we celebrate the role of women in the shooting sports each and every day. The new NRA Women's Network is helping us do just that, serving as a resource and tool. Whether you're looking to become more involved in the shooting sports or just want to meet likeminded ladies, the NRA Women's Network has all the information that you need.

This new resource provides information on hunting, shooting, training, education, and much more. It also gives an in depth look at some of the "The Women of the NRA" - the ladies who have made the NRA a part of their lives. We encourage you to explore the NRA Women's Network and discover all that the NRA has to offer women, including program like the recent NRA Women's Outdoor Adventure. Take a look at the video below to meet Elizabeth Lanier, an instructor from the event with a passion for getting more women behind the gun.  

Prois Hunting & Field Apparel focuses on the female market

Prois Elevation Series at SHOT Show Las Vegas, Nevada - As it says on her website, Prois Hunting & Field Apparel CEO Kristie Pike is proud to NOT be one of the guys. It’s not required in our sport. After all, hunting is a discipline that can be mastered by all … especially if you have the right gear. With that mission in mind, Prois unveiling their new Elevation Series here at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas Nevada.

“We’re really excited about the new Elevation Series,” said the Colorado based Pike. “It answers the call for the more performance, aggressive hunts that take you up into high altitude for sheep, goat, elk and muley. The kind of hunting we do in our neck of the woods. ”

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Prois Hunting and Field Apparel, a supporter of NRA's Women On Target® Hunting Programs and the Women’s Wilderness Escape, is holding a contest for the most hardcore female hunters. After watching the video, visit their website at www.proishunting.com/proisaward/ and submit your entry.

But make it fast ... the deadline is Friday.

Prizes include an Elk, Mule Deer, Whitetail and Wolf hunt of a lifetime in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along with gear from Prois, Black Creed, Bowtech Archery, Swarovski Optik and more.

Scenery from the NRA Whittington Center

Even though Lars and I were in New Mexico last week for the National Police Shooting Championships, we didn’t have to chance to head up to Raton to check out the Women’s Wilderness Escape. But fear not, because Bill Poole, Director of NRA’s Education & Training Division made the journey out west to visit with the women during the first of two sessions.

“I have never been so overwhelmed by positive reactions at an event as I was at the Women’s Wilderness Escape,” said Poole. “The ladies were stopping me to say how much they loved the event. The number one word I heard was ‘empowerment’; referring to the feeling they had learning to shoot a firearm.”

The women not only had the opportunity to learn how to shoot rifles, pistols, and shotguns, but they also earned their NRA FIRST Steps certification in all three disciplines. That's something the staff just added to the program especially for the 2011 sessions.

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NRA Women's Wilderness Escape

Yesterday marked the beginning of the first session of the Women's Wilderness Escape at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. Ann Marie Foster, our Women's Wilderness Escape (and Women On Target Hunts) Coordinator is leading a group of 60 ladies through a week of hunting, shooting, outdoor activities, and camaraderie.

Throughout their eight-day adventure, the women will participate in many different shooting, hunting, and outdoor fun including learning to shoot smallbore rifle silhouette, scoped/tactical carbine, long range high power rifle, conventional and tactical pistol, historic firearms and shotgun (five-stand). Upon completion of training in pistol, shotgun and rifle, attendees will earn the NRA FIRST Steps Firearm Certificate in each discipline.

Attendees will also get to learn archery, tree-stand safety, and participate in a mock hunt. Completion of these three events will earn participants the Bow Hunter Education Certificate. Other items on the agenda: survival training, game calling, and a chance to shoot the Laser Shot system. Evening fun at the NRA Whittington Center will also include a special evening dinner buffet, a wine social, and a Friends of NRA Event!

The first session will run until the 25th of September, with the second session held immediately afterwards from September 26th -October 3rd. Although NRAblog can't be in two places in New Mexico at once, we'll be sure to bring you a wrap-up of the event and photos once Ann Marie returns to NRA Headquarters.

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