In 2013, when the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt was launched, it was the first of its kind in the country. Since then, it has grown and now includes more hunters than ever.
During the second weekend in October, first-time female hunters will pair up with an experienced mentor in hopes of harvesting an antelope on the Ucross Ranch east of Buffalo.
Former Wyoming Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kite helped create the event to get more women out into the field, and it’s done just that: Wyoming Women’s Foundation’s Rebekah Smith said this year the event will feature 44 hunters, compared to the 34 they had in 2013.
Smith said both men and women volunteer as guides, but there is something special about women teaching women how to hunt.
“Like anything, when you see someone doing something who you can identify with, it is empowering, just as seeing women in leadership positions can empower more women to pursue leadership positions,” said Smith. “Seeing women hunters can encourage more women to think, ‘That’s something that I can do.’”
Tickets are still available to the auction dinner Friday October 13, and funds go towards scholarships to help support first-time low-income hunters.
This year also marks the first since the Shelley Fund was established, in honor of Shelley Simonton, a founding host of the hunt and an avid hunter herself, and will help ensure participating hunters always include single mothers and women of diverse income levels.