By Tom Sternal
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have created an ambitious new program aimed at female hunters called Women on the Wing. The brainchild of the groups’ new head of education, Marissa Jensen, the initiative includes workshops, events, new chapters and strategies to recruit, retain and reactivate female hunter-conservationists.
The program has been buoyed by a $20,000 grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation that will be used to cultivate new sportswomen through a series of upland-oriented events. The activities will take participants through a progression of shooting skills, mentored hunting opportunities and then beyond the hunt with wild-game cooking and land-stewardship seminars. This includes a Women, Wine & Wild Game virtual event planned for August 20 featuring chef Danielle Prewett of Wild + Whole and MeatEater.
An interesting dimension of the program is the engagement of female landowners to aid the organization’s conservation mission. According to a 2018 report from the American Farmland Trust, in the US there are approximately 301 million acres—roughly one-third of America’s farmland—that are farmed or co-farmed by women. An additional 87 million acres are owned by non-operating women landowners. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are determined to connect with women landowners and operators to build a bright future—with conservation at its heart—for all wingshooters.
As Women on the Wing gains momentum, Jensen, who is a Nebraska native and licensed veterinary technician, looks to build on the organization’s mission and create a new generation of hunters. “I’m excited for the opportunity to help educate and engage new and diverse audiences on a national scale,” she said.
For more information, visit pheasantsforever.org.