At 4:30 a.m. on May 3, I joined nine women and six guides for a turkey hunt in Devens sponsored by MassWildlife’s Becoming an Outdoorswoman (BOW) program. Fueled by coffee and a desire to hit the woods before first light, we met at the South Post of the Reserve Forces Training Area (RFTA) in Devens.
It was a really warm day, even at that very early hour. Every one of the participants saw or heard turkeys that day. I saw a total of seven turkeys during the hunt, including five toms, one jake (a juvenile male) and one hen, and I took my first turkey of the season.
Nancy Cunniff from Mansfield also took a turkey during the hunt (it was her first). We all enjoyed the camaraderie of the group hunt and got to practice our hunting skills with other women with shared interests.
After the hunt ended at noon, we came in from the woods to share lunch and our stories of the day’s adventures in the woods. Participants also saw deer, porcupine, bog turtles, a garter snake, and a coyote chasing a turkey.
Prior to the hunt, all participants had taken a one day class on turkey hunting skills and safety. The BOW program focuses on education for women on outdoor skills including basic fishing, beginning shotgun, kayaking, compass reading, archery, pond and stream adventures, nature photography, martial arts, outdoor and game cooking, edible plants and much more. DFG and MassWildlife appreciate the efforts of the many dedicated volunteers and partners who make the BOW program possible.
The hunt was led by a great group of experienced volunteer hunting guides. Many thanks to MassWildlife board member Bonnie Booth and fellow blogger Ellie Horwitz for organizing the event. Thanks also to Tom Poole helping us to partner with the RFTA for this annual event.
Coming up is a BOW weekend event, June 4-6 in Becket. Over 32 classes are offered over the weekend for women eager to learn new outdoors skills or brush up on existing skills.