NWTF offers women the opportunity to learn outdoor skills

Women looking to learn about self-defense, shooting, hunting and more can do just that next month, during the Lower Delaware Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) second annual Women in the Outdoors event.

“We really feel that a lot of women are interested in self-defense and home defense. Many are going out and getting their concealed-carry. Their husbands are buying them pistols to have for home defense,” said Stacie Street, secretary and treasurer of the Lower Delaware Chapter of NWTF. “I really think it’s important for women to know what to do in an emergency situation if something were to happen at home or something were to happen, say, at the mall.”

According to its website, NWTF members “are sportsmen, women and children who care deeply about our natural resources and the wild places we love to hunt… Collectively, we come from all walks of life to engage in conservation and preserve the hunting heritage we all hold dear.”

“We’re really trying to work on getting more hunters into the field safely. That’s where Women in the Outdoors comes in, because hunting isn’t only for men, it’s also for women. We’re trying to get more people involved in hunting and preserving the land,” Street explained. “Just because we’re the ‘National Wild Turkey Federation’ doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all about turkeys. We’re focused on conservation in general.”

The outdoor event will allow women to learn about self-defense, home-defense, sporting clays and more.

“There’s a device that shoots off this orange clay, round disc that flies through the air in different directions,” explained Street of sporting clays, for those who may not be familiar. “Some might be higher, some might be lower, some might be right in front of you. You shoot them with a shotgun. Depending on how you hit them, you’re awarded different points.”

The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 4, at Owens Station in Greenwood. Those who wish to participate in the event must preregister by Wednesday, Oct. 1. The $35 registration fee can be paid on Oct. 4 by credit card, check or cash beginning at 8:30 a.m., with the activities kicking off at 9 a.m. Registration includes supplies, a year’s membership to NWTF and lunch.

“We are going to be having Hocker’s BBQ down by the beach catering our event this year. And you’ll get a one-year membership to the NWTF, and you get a magazine every other month.”

Street said that, this year, women participating in the program will be able to have more one-on-one instruction time with a Delaware state trooper, who will be providing self-defense instruction.

“Last year, the state trooper was only able to be there for two hours. So the home-defense and self-defense were cut short. This year, he’ll be there all day,” she said. “We’ll have the girls break up into smaller groups with him so they can get more one-on-one time.”

Street said that the shooting instruction and supplies will be provided by 4-H.

“They provide a lot of the guns and instructors for us. Scott Ventura usually does the sporting clays for us, and he does such a great job. The women really love him.”

Street said that, last year, 23 women participated in the event, and this year they hope to draw an even bigger crowd.

“The women last year all gave us great reviews on everything they did. The women had an awesome time. We have a lot of women who came last year coming again this year.”

Each year, the chapter holds a number of events, including one called Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics & Sportsmanship — also known as JAKES — which is dedicated to informing, educating and involving youth in wildlife conservation and the wise stewardship of natural resources.

“The organization as a whole is one of the best organizations I’ve ever been involved with. I was part of another organization that was so big they really didn’t even know who I was. NWTF — the people in it are just the nicest people,” said Street. “Our regional director is one of the nicest people. I went to the national conference last summer, and every single person I met down there was just super-nice. It’s just an amazing organization to be a part of.”

Street said she became involved in the group two years ago, after attending an outdoors show in Harrington.

“The National Wild Turkey Federation was the only organization that had a Women in the Outdoors program. That struck my eye, so I signed up with them that day and have been active ever since.”

Currently, the Lower Delaware Chapter has 10 active members, a number Street said is growing, along with the national organization’s membership.

“The whole organization itself is growing. The National Wild Turkey Federation has been around for years and is becoming a bigger organization.”

Of the upcoming event, Street said she hopes it is well-received and that women from all over attend to learn more about NWTF and learn valuable skills.

“I just hope the women have fun, learn something new and feel more comfortable around guns — that they feel more prepared if something were to happen in their home or to them out in public.”

For more information, or to preregister for the event, call Stacie Street, at (302) 381-9354 or email staciestreet587@hotmail.com. Owens Station is located at Road 602 in Greenwood. For more information about the Lower Delaware Chapter of NWTF, visit www.lowerdelawarenwtf.com or www.facebook.com/pages/NWTF-Lower-Delaware/485577614841513.