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Becoming an Outdoors Woman - Iowa

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) is an international program aimed primarily at women, but is an opportunity for anyone 18 years or older to learn outdoor skills usually associated with hunting and fishing, but useful for many outdoor pursuits. Check out the BOW Brochure for more information!

The workshop is for you if...

  • you have never tried these activities, but have hoped for an opportunity to learn.
  • you are a beginner who hopes to improve your skills.
  • you know how to do some of these activities, but would like to try your hand at some new ones.
  • you are looking for the camaraderie of like-minded individuals.

The goal of the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) scholarship program is to broaden participation in the weekend workshop to women 18 years old and older who would be unable to attend without financial assistance. BOW encourages anyone to apply for a scholarship. However, preference will be given to first-time attendees and those promoting diversity in outdoors education across the state through their community affiliations, culture, region, and/or profession.

  • Scholarship Application
  • 2020 BOW: Scholarship applications due by August 15, 2020. 
  • 2020 BOW: Scholarship winners will be notified by September 1, 2020.


Annual Becoming and Outdoors Woman Workshop "Take 2"

Mark your calendars, and start inviting your friends and family to join in! This is our main event of the year and we would love to have you along for the adventure. Women from all over will join together to try new activities, learn new skills, and make lifelong friendships with others with similar interests. 

Full 2020 Catalog - Workshop, Lodging, etc

Location: Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center, Indianola, Iowa
Included: Workshop fees include instruction/training, program materials and equipment, meals and lodging (if selected). Various options are available.
More: Spring BOW Workshop - May 1-3, 2020
Postponed until October 30 - November 1
Info and registration: BOW Workshop, Take 2: October 30 - November 1

[Sept/Oct 2020] Beyond BOW Virtual Outdoor Cooking Series

Attention outdoor enthusiasts or people looking to spend more time outdoors! Want to learn more about cooking in the great outdoors? A series of three virtual outdoor cooking classes will be taking place on Monday, September 14; Monday, October 5; and Monday, October 19. All of these classes will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will last for about 90 minutes. We will send out an ingredient list for each session ahead of time so you can cook right along with us. So don't worry about planning supper the night of the workshop as you will be sure to have plenty and something that everyone in the family will enjoy!

We will have a very relaxed format so participants can ask questions as we go. The sessions will be led by Christina Roelofs, Naturalist for the Shelby County Conservation Board and Iowa DNR, Shawnell Richter, and Lydia Goehring, both Dutch oven enthusiasts and Becoming an Outdoors Woman instructors.

Location: These are virtual workshops. Additional information will be sent out to you in regards to participating in this offering.

Full information and registrations:

September 14: 5:30PM - 7:00PM - Part 1: Simple Campfire Recipes
October 5: 5:30PM - 7:00PM - Part 2: Sandwich Makers (Pie Irons)
October 19: 5:30PM - 7:00PM - Part 3: Dutch Oven Cooking

[Sept 2020] Beyond BOW Virtual Workshop - Smoke on the Water: An Introduction to Smoking Fish and Game from the banks of the MIssissippi River

In this class we will focus on how to be successful smoking fish and game even if you have little to no experience smoking meat. We will cover a wide range of equipment available today along with tips and tricks to create some amazing flavors. Although this class is tailored towards the beginner, there will be information for all skill levels.

This workshop has been made possible by the Iowa Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program. This workshop is open to both residents and non-residents and any adult 18 years age or older. Younger participants may sign up for the webinar if accompanied by an adult.

A link to access the webinar will be sent out approximately two days prior to the date of the event.

The event is scheduled for 90 minutes and will include a short break around the halfway point. Questions and answers will be covered at the end of the session and may extend beyond the scheduled stop time.

Location: This is a virtual workshop. Additional information will be sent out to you in regards to participating in this offering.

Full information and registration:

Smoke on the Water: An Introduction to Smoking Fish, Sept 19, 2020, 1:00pm CST

[October 2020] Cleaning and Cooking your Catch

Did you know that Iowa stocks trout in urban ponds and lakes in the fall? Join author John Motoviloff and Urban Fisheries Biologist, Tyler Stubbs, as they discuss locations near home to try fishing. Additionally, they'll talk about cleaning trout and favorite recipes.

Additional seminar information including the Zoom Link will be sent out to all confirmed participants by Monday, October 12.

This event is made possible by the Iowa Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program.

Location: This is a virtual workshop. Additional information will be sent out to you in regards to participating in this offering.

Full information and registration:

Cleaning and Cooking your Catch, October 14, 2020: 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Future BOW Dates

Oct 30 - Nov 1, 2020
Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center, Indianola

April 29 - May 2, 2021
Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center, Indianola

Rachel Alliss at 515-729-6037 or  Rachel.Alliss@dnr.iowa.gov

Better yet - Join us on Facebook (Becoming an Outdoors Woman - Iowa) and connect with folks from all over who have attended a workshop!

Or never miss an event:
sign up icon Sign up for the BOW Newsletter   

September BOW Box

Women's Outdoor Subscription Box
Sign up by August 14 for the September 2020 Box which will highlight pheasant hunting. Don't miss out!

Each box is packed full of gear, educational resources, field guides, and more for only $50.00 (including shipping and handling).

Full Information:
Sept 2020: Pheasant Hunting Box


Modern Huntsman Volume Four: The Women’s Issue
Huntsman Magazine

Modern Huntsman Volume Four is focused on women of the outdoors. Led by a cast of female guest editors, this issue celebrates the accomplishments and stories of extraordinary gentlewomen in hunting, fishing, art, ranching and conservation. 

The individuals featured in this book have tremendous influence in forging the future for women in hunting while still honoring traditions that have been passed on for generations. They have overcome gender stereotypes to pursue their passions and professional fields, while challenging some of the preconceived notions of women in hunting. 

Due for release in late October, this issue will be available on Subscribe - Modern Huntsman and from select retailers.

Reserve your copy by subscribing to Modern Huntsman, and preorders will be available soon.


Use discount code: BOWIA
Apply for 15% off (applies to one-time purchases of Volume 2, 3 and (soon to be) 4, discount does not apply to full subscriptions)