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Becoming an Outdoors-Woman



Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops are designed primarily for women with an interest in learning skills usually associated with hunting, fishing and other outdoor endeavors. Although they are open to anyone 18 or older, the workshops are tailored primarily to women who have never tried these activities or who are beginners hoping to improve their skills. 

New in 2016

As a response to an increasing number of women who are interested in learning outdoor skills, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department will begin offering its summer Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop as an introductory course, which will initially be open only to those who have not participated in a BOW program in the past.

At the same time, education coordinator Brian Schaffer and staff are excited to start creating more opportunities for women and families to participate in a variety of intermediate and advanced one-day events that will be scheduled throughout the year.

Schaffer says the day-events will be located in different areas of the state to reduce driving distance, and will focus on proficiency in skills such as shotgunning, archery, operating watercraft, fishing, hunting and cleaning and preparing wild game.

An increased effort to provide day-classes also creates an opportunity for women who have been through BOW programs in the past to help. Game and Fish is looking to form a group or organization such as a “Friends of BOW,” with volunteers who would help promote events in communities and support every aspect of the program. Anyone interested in participating can contact Brian Schaffer at 328-6312.

Otherwise, keep your eye on the calendar for upcoming events in 2016.

2016 BOW Workshops

  • Summer BOW Workshop - August 5-7, 2016

2016 Beyond BOW Workshops

No Beyond BOW workshops are currently scheduled.

(Dates and information on BOW and Beyond BOW Workshops will be posted as they become available.)

For more information on Becoming an Outdoors-Woman contact Brian Schaeffer, BOW-NDGF, 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095, (701) 328-6312, or email

Partial scholarships may be available for some BOW events. Contact the Department for more information.

Hunter Education: Those interested in earning a hunter education certificate (needed to hunt in North Dakota) have several course options available. Each year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department offers a ‘women only’ hunter education class. This is the traditional 14-hour classroom course needed to receive a hunter education certificate. This class is generally held in Bismarck and Fargo. Adult-only classes and Home Study classes are also offered throughout the state, in addition to the regular classroom classes which are open to everyone.

Hunter education classes are held primarily during the spring and early summer months. Classes are listed on the Online Services site as they are scheduled (generally during early winter). These classes fill quickly. To receive a hunter education certificate be sure to sign up for one of the "Gun" classes. Classes designated Bow or Trapping are specialized and do not meet the requirements for obtaining a North Dakota hunter education certificate (though they may be required to bow hunt or trap in some other states).

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Videos

Summer Workshop

Summer Workshop

Winter Workshop

Darkhouse Spearfishing

BOW Bow Hunt

Becoming An Outdoors-Woman Workshops