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Sisterhood of the Outdoors-A Great Resource for Women Hunters by Erin Diegel

I recently went on a hunt with the Sisterhood of the Outdoors. This female owned and operated company books hunts across the United States for women and sometimes couples. Their goal is to make hunts affordable, accessible, and friendly to hunters of all abilities.

For each hunt, one of the field staff of Sisterhood of the Outdoors finds an outfitter, negotiates the rate, sets up the hunt, and acts as the host. Hunts often include lodging and food.  This system makes the hunt dependent, to some level, on the organization of the host. The outfitters chosen by the Sisterhood are vetted thoroughly. Often, they are places that members have hunted with before or are friends or family of the field staff. This is so important, on my first guided hunt, the guides treated me like I was an alien, alternating between asking me if 20 yards was too far and which of my hunting buddies I was “with”. It was insulting and put me off guided hunts as I’d heard of similar stories from other women.

I initially checked out the Sisterhood as I had quite a few ladies in my area ask me to take them hunting. This is a daunting task as taking a new hunter comes with quite a list of responsibilities.  As a single mom and avid hunter, this is a tough choice as days of hunting are limited and precious. So, I started looking for outfitters who offered women’s hunting packages and I found the Sisterhood.  The idea of still being able to hunt while offering some mentoring and allowing other women to become more comfortable in the field was attractive.

For me, the best part of going on the hunt with the Sisterhood of the Outdoors is the opportunity for mentorship.  The idea is that hunters of all abilities can work together. This was apparent on the Sika hunt I went on in November.  Krissy, the host, had done this hunt at Muddy Marsh Outfitters 9 times.  She was able to offer advice about this hunt on so many levels, both in camp and in the months prior to the hunt. I was nervous going into this hunt, working at an archery shop you see all sorts of different hunting personalities and you never know what you are going to get. Thankfully, our group had a good dynamic, as we all had our strengths and weaknesses. Krissy also set the tone by being open and honest. I was able to spend a good deal of time picking the other ladies brains about treestand hunting and then was able to show another girl how to cape, quarter, and bone out her harvest. Our different levels of experience at different aspects of hunting put us all on even footing, making for an amazing hunt both in and out of the marsh.

The outfitter also plays a huge role in the mentorship and hunting experience. Muddy Marsh Outfitters is top notch. Their hunting property spans about 2300 acres in different locations

with 70 stands and blinds spread out over that area.  As we pulled into the house the first night at sunset we were greeted by the guides and the sound of Sika bugling nearby in the marsh. The relationship they had with Krissy was apparent from the first minute. The teasing started immediately, and we formed a cohesive group within the first few minutes of arrival.  From the start, I knew that TJ and Joe were my kind of hunters. They spent time with us discussing shot placement, aging, animal behavior, and types of environments.  Their guide services are to the level that you want. They will do the cleaning and tracking or if you want to learn, they will guide you along in the process.  This hunt gave me so much confidence in my tracking ability.  Being a marsh tracker is difficult, but Joe let me walk along side him, looking for and often finding blood in the thorns and muck.  It is so important for a new hunter to get hands on experience, the Sisterhood and Muddy Marsh allow for that experience.

The Sisterhood of the Outdoors offers several hunts currently on their website for waterfowl, bow fishing, elk, hog and turkey hunting. After you pay the membership fee ($45), you also have access to great discounts from Prois, Orca coolers, other outfitters and more. They also have a private discussion forum where women hunters can share ideas and discuss issues. They also offer short, day hunts for waterfowl or upland birds. When I talked to Amy Ray, the owner, she said they are working on expanding to more Western hunts as well as more small game and fishing trips. As an intermediate level hunter who strives to learn new things, this group is great for me. I love sharing my knowledge with others and feeling like I’m on even footing with my hunting companions is just what I am looking for. Through my hunt with the Sisterhood of the Outdoors, I gained new sisters who will continue to hunt and work together.

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