Becoming an Outdoors-Woman

Sponsored by Arizona Wildlife Federation    

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) offers hands-on workshops to women 18 and older at all fitness levels. No experience is necessary. BOW encourages a supportive environment conducive to learning, making friends, and having fun. Participants learn skills such as gun safety, shooting, angling (including fly fishing), camping, Dutch-oven cooking, map and compass reading, rappelling, geocaching, and marksmanship with rifle and bow. 

Upcoming BOW Weekends

Mini BOW Workshop August 8, 2020 in Flagstaff.

Friendly Pines Camp in Prescott, September 11-13 2020 

BOW Deluxe at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch, January 22-24, 2021

Friendly Pines Camp in Prescott, April 16-18, 2021

Friendly Pines Camp in Prescott, September 10-12, 2021

Mini BOW Workshop

AUGUST 8, 2020

Location: Arizona Nordic Village, Flagstaff



Workshop Fee: $150*

*Additional fees of $20  if taking Backpacking 102


COVID-19 information: We will be limiting the workshop to 30 participants and limiting class sizes to a maximum of 10.  We will take all precautions possible to prevent potential spread of Coronavirus (social distancing as much as possible, mask wearing when necessary, hand sanitizer, washing stations, etc.). 

Workshop Fee Includes:

Instruction, Program Materials, Use of Equipment, and  Lunch

If you are taking Backpacking 102, you will also be provided with additional backpacking meals (dinner and breakfast the following morning)


Register Here

Workshop Schedule:

8:00 am - 9:00 am        Check-in
8:45 am - 9:00 am         Group Photo
9:00 am - 12:00 pm      Morning Session
12:00 pm - 12:45 pm   Lunch (provided)
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm         Afternoon Session
 4:00 pm                              Say our Good-byes

Session Choices:

Bowhunting 101 AZ Wildflowers
AZ Wildlife Identification
Backpacking 102 (extra $20 fee included in registration fee; must provide  own gear) download gear list

Backpacking 101

Wilderness Survival Skills

Session Descriptions:

Bowhunting 101

Join the growing field of bowhunters! Our expert instructors will teach you about equipment, tree stands, still hunting and stalking.  Highly recommend that you to bring your own equipment, but instructors will have equipment to demonstrate for the class.

Backpacking 101

Despite what the glossy magazine pictures will show you, it isn’t required that you spend two months of your annual salary for backpacking gear.  This class will help prepare you for a comfortable and enjoyable overnight hike into the wilderness.  Together, we will talk about the ten essentials, safety considerations, Leave No Trace principles, as well as gear and equipment selection.

Backpacking 102 *extra $20.00 for overnight stay; must provide your own gear

In the previous class you learned what is necessary to have a tranquil hike into the wilderness.  Now, we are going to practice skills that will bring you confidence of the how is and why’s.  This session will be in the field and include an overnight backpacking trip to one of the backcountry areas of the Nordic Center.  Dinner and breakfast while backpacking will be provided for you. You will be required to bring your own gear.  Download the required packing list.   

Wilderness Survival Skills

Empower yourself with skills that will help you be more confident and comfortable in the outdoors. In this class, you will learn to read the landscape and discover the resources at hand that will help you make fire, build shelter, and seek food and water in a wild setting. Whether for survival or just camping, the hands-on activities in this class will help you confidently face any outdoor situation with the best tools and the right attitude.

Arizona Wildflowers

 Arizona is blessed with a spectacular variety of wildflowers from alpine to low desert. Learn the basics of plant identifications with some cool tools to help you on your path. Discover commonly found plants for your area, while making the acquaintance of some of Arizona's more bizarre species.

Arizona Wildlife Identification

Learn how to identify wildlife sign such as tracks, scat and the foods that are important to Arizona wildlife. Participants will be instructed on how to interpret or read wildlife tracks and sign and learn the fundamentals of observing wild animals, including tips on getting closer to wildlife and use of camouflage techniques.

Past participants know the sisterhood that forms from the BOW experience. We encourage you to responsibly and safely continue to practice your outdoor skills and build confidence in your ability to take on physical and mental challenges. Please join us online at our Facebook page: to share your photos, your questions, your stories, and your support for each other.

What is BOW?

One way to understand BOW is through this YouTube video by Mike Rolfe:  

You can also get to know BOW through our Facebook Page (please like us!):  Arizona Becoming an Outdoors Woman.

The Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF) conducts Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW ®) twice a year at Friendly Pines Camp outside Prescott, AZ in the spring and early fall. AWF also hosts a Deluxe BOW in the desert at Saguaro Lake Ranch in January or February.  The three-day workshops begin at noon Friday and end shortly after noon the following Sunday.

BOW gives women (18 and older) the opportunity to learn about hunting, fishing and related activities in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Skills such as gun safety, shooting, angling (including fly fishing), camping, Dutch-oven cooking, map and compass reading, marksmanship with rifle and bow are taught.  A complete list of courses which you may find at BOW can be found at BOW Class Descriptions

In addition to the various classes, there are a number of evening events for the women to enjoy, that may include, "hawk talks", nature hikes, fashion shows, fly tying and wild game tasting. The weekend schedule would be similar to BOW Sample Schedule

Our instructors, who volunteer their time to teach these classes, are experts in their field. Some are employed in the fields they teach; others are experts in their subjects, including archery and rifle marksmanship. Still others are Arizona Game and Fish and U.S. Forest Service employees with years of experience in the flora and fauna of Arizona.

Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) is a program started by Christine Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Resource Management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Pointe. The first BOW clinic was conducted in Wisconsin in September 1991. The Arizona workshop is part of the same curriculum and each workshop is organized with the aid of the Safari Club International of Phoenix and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The National Wildlife Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are just two of BOW’s national supporters.  Visit the national bow site:

“I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU ALL at BOW for such a wonderful experience. I thoroughly enjoyed learning and participating in activities at Friendly Pine Prescott. I could sense that it would be an amazing adventure. I look forward to sharing this event with other women!" - BOW Participant


You can help send another worthy woman to BOW by donating toward our scholarship fund.  Either send a check to the AWF office, writing “BOW Scholarship” in the memo, or click on the “Donation” button below.  When completing the payment screen just indicate the Sandra Nagiller Fund for the purpose.

Contact BOW via e-mail at or call 480-201-7456 for more information.


Opportunities Beyond Your BOW Experience

The Arizona Wildlife Federation does not offer a Beyond BOW ™ program at this time. 

Please click on the logos of our instructors, partners and sponsors below to explore the various opportunities they may offer.

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