DOBSON — Five years ago, Sherie Haymore attended her first Women in the Outdoors event.
She had no previous experience shooting a gun, fishing or using a bow.
But, she had taken her teenaged son to another event hosted by the Tri County Ridgerunners (a chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation). That event was Wheelin’ Sportsmen, a deer hunt for those with disabilities, and she was impressed.
“I saw how everybody collectively came together to help people,” Haymore said, adding that her subsequent participation in the women’s day out lit a fire.
“I thought, I’m going to learn archery,” and she didn’t just learn it, she attended James Madison University and became a level-two archery instructor.
On Saturday, at the eighth-annual Women in the Outdoors held at Fisher River Park, Haymore helped fellow women as inexperienced as she once was.
“It’s just cool,” she said. “If you ever wanted to learn any of these skills, this kind of event is place to do it.
“Had it not been for events like this, I never would have experienced that,” Haymore said, referring to an activity that has become far more than a hobby.
Organizer Lee Freeman said that is the whole point.
“There’s a lot of new ladies here learning new outdoor traits,” he said. “The possibilities are endless of where it can go.”
The event featured various stations that were set up in the park, including archery, pistol, rifle and skeet shooting.
A fishing derby was ongoing all day.
The $15 event ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and included lunch. In the morning, survival skills and yoga were taught and in the afternoon, kayaking was available on the river.
Jennifer Willis attended with her 13-year-old daughter Cacey Willis.
“We like coming to it,” she said. “We’ve learned a lot,” such as how to build a fire out of a pop can split in half and a splash of alcohol.
The mother and daughter both enjoy hunting, “which is something most women haven’t gotten to do,” Willis said.
Julie Roberts, 28, of Siloam, said while she enjoyed shooting, she came to the event for the first time because of the chance to enjoy those sports in the company of other women.
“It’s not just a man’s thing,” she said.
Ginny Forestieri, of Dobson, who moved to the area from New York, attended to get more familiar with the outdoors.
“Living in Surry County, I just thought it would be good to avail ourselves of the local surroundings,” she said.
Sisters Christina Eliason and Suzy Coley attended with their mother, Judy Ledbetter.
The trio headed to the river to fish after lunch.
Were they experienced? They said no.
“We’re going to try,” Eliason said. “That’s what it’s all about, being able to try different things.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.