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Outdoorswomen hunting for their own kind

WHSA promotes women's interest in outdoor sports

Oct. 2, 2012

Women are taking over the outdoors and are proving that outdoor sports aren't just men's terrain. Several female outdoor enthusiasts have come together to share the experience and their knowledge.

Women's Hunting and Sporting Association (WHSA) was formed 16 years ago by Mukwonago resident Sarah Ingle and a couple other enthusiasts. They founded the organization based on the mission: "Supporting and encouraging women in outdoor activities: fishing, hunting, archery and shooting sports, sharing knowledge and experience of outdoor skills and wildlife conservation and promoting women's interest in outdoor sports now and in the future."

Inspiration also came in part from Ingle's past. Growing up she loved fishing with her dad, and during her late teens became interested in other outdoor sports.

"I liked fishing, but I wanted to hunt. I didn't have many people in my life to draw from."

She began looking for other women who could teach her and provide camaraderie.

Learn and grow

"We are a club who's really, truly dedicated to the education and camaraderie part of it without taking a political stance in anything," Ingle said.

Founding members wanted the group to be a social opportunity, as well as a place for women to learn and grow in a nonintimidating atmosphere. In the sporting world, females tend to do things differently than men, explained Ingle, so often it's easier to learn from a woman.

The group has about 20 active members from around the state, but most are in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties. Seven members of WHSA are from Mukwonago, Wales, Eagle, Vernon and Big Bend.

Each month the women partake in at least one activity, including snowshoeing, sporting clays, fishing, canoeing, hiking, ATVing and more.

"Our membership drives what we do," said Ingle.

She added that women have always been interested in outdoor sports and activities, but didn't always have the venue or social acceptance to do so.

"I have encountered women in the area that enjoy fishing, canoeing, and kayaking as well as hiking the trails in the state forest," said Ingle.

"With the WHSA, I've had the opportunity not only to pass on to others what I know but to receive knowledge and experience as well in return. If I were to sum up the WHSA, it would be, 'With friends, it's easy to step outside of your box to try and learn new things,' " said WHSA Vice President Jean Tackes.

Affordable events

WHSA attempts to make events affordable and easy so everyone can participate.

Friendships have formed between members, and many of the ladies socialize outside of club activities.

Two types of memberships are available: active and supportive. Active membersattend monthly board meetings plus the majority of outings, and volunteer at club events. Supportive members typically attend just a couple of events per year.

Members are recognized for their accomplishments over the year at the club's annual holiday party. They name a sportswoman of the year, and acknowledge what the women have learned and how they've grown in their sports through the year.

"We always try to acknowledge that," Ingle said.

Annual membership dues are $25, which helps pay for their meeting space at Wern Valley Sportsman's Club, S36 W29657 Wern Way in Genesee.

For more information on WHSA, visit www.wiwhsa.org.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Rotary Pancake Day: 7:30 a.m. Feb. 28, Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Fundraiser for the Waukesha Rotary Club is 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Expo Center Arena. Advance tickets at Waukesha State Bank, downtown location., $5-$7. $5 advance, $7 at the door; free for children 5 and younger. www.waukesharotary.org.

Ninth Annual Oconomowoc Rotary Wine & Brew Fest: 5 p.m. Feb. 28, Olympia Resort, 1350 Royale Mile Rd, Oconomowoc. Wine, food and beer. Features foods from the best of our local restaurants. Purchase tickets at $50 from an O-Town Rotarian, through Facebook, or in person at most area First Bank Financial Centre locations, Books & Company & Lorleberg True Value Hardware. See more at www.oconomowocrotary.org. $50.

Chili Tasting: 11 a.m. Feb. 28, The Garden Mart, W297 S9115 Highway 83, Mukwonago. Chili tasting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local vendors will be selling unique merchandise. Judging is open to the public and all proceeds from voting will be donated to the Mukwonago Food Pantry. Event is free. Call (262) 363-5252 for information.

Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash Literacy Event: 10 a.m. Feb. 28, Hartland North Elementary, 232 Church Street, Hartland. Families with children in 4-year old kindergarten through second grade are invited to a special event. The Cat in the Hat and the Lorax will celebrate with a big birthday cake for all of our guests along with lots of literacy activities based around Dr. Seuss books.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.