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Nebraska Outdoor Women’s Month

Women have a rich history of outdoor exploration and conservation within Nebraska and have advocated for outdoor recreational opportunities for themselves and others statewide. Nebraska women have pursued outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, shooting sports and wildlife watching in record numbers over the past 20 years. Strengthening our communities by sharing resources, experiences and stories to change the future of outdoor women across the state.

In the month of March we will celebrate Nebraska Outdoor Women’s Month, or NOW as an acronym. Our hope is to create an annual statewide network of events, classes, workshops or programs in support of Nebraska Outdoor Women’s Month with 2021 being the kickoff year. Here, women can share experiences between organizations and agencies as to not over tax any one group or organization.

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Nominate a Nebraska Outdoors Woman

In honor of Nebraska Outdoor Women’s month, we want to recognize women who have a passion for and commitment to the outdoors. If this sounds like you or someone you know, we would love to hear from you. Click the button below to submit your nomination.

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Resources

The outdoors encompasses an unbelievable amount of activities, here are just a few to get you started. Each section below gives a short description of the outdoor activity along with a few high quality websites for more information.

Birding

Birdwatching, or birding, is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the United States. Recent surveys indicate that one in every five Americans enjoys watching birds. Birding is a hobby for all ages, at almost any location across Nebraska, and any time of the year. It can be as simple, or as complex as you choose.

You can make it a casual recreational activity, watching birds when an opportunity presents itself, or, you can make a passionate commitment, seeking out birds in far-flung locations and maintaining a list of birds you’ve seen throughout your lifetime. Or,

you can find some level in between that’s right for you. The resources below will help you get started:

Outdoor Skills

Before heading out into the great outdoors, you want to make sure you’re prepared! Whether you are hiking, camping, or just simply exploring the prairie behind your house you want to make sure you are ready for any situation the “wilderness” might throw at you!

Outdoors skills encompasses many different trades and know-hows from navigation, fire starting, knot basics, making a shelter, field first aid, wildlife identification, geocaching, packing a survival kit, and harvesting wild plants. All these skills will make you prepared for anything the outdoors throws at you. The resources below will help you get started:

Careers

Outdoor careers have historically been male dominated, but women have almost tripled themselves in the outdoor workforce in the last 20 years. In Nebraska, women find themselves as wildlife and fisheries biologists, outdoor engineers, environmental educators, hunter education and outdoor skills hosts, conservation officers, and park superintendents, and many more. Some of these jobs are careers that women at one time, never dreamed of having. Looking for a career change, or simply want to see what women are up to in the outdoor field? The resources below will help you get started:

Hunting and Shooting Sports

Women are currently the fastest growing hunting and shooting sports demographic in the country! Currently, women account for as much as 15% of hunters nationwide and 11% in Nebraska, with that number continuing to grow. In 2020, women made up 40% of one of the largest surges in firearms purchasing in history. Focusing on “Field to Fork”, women are hunting to put ethically sourced organic protein on the table. Their appetite for shooting sports focuses on personal protection and recreation. Additionally, females are seeking a deep sense of connection to the land, providing leadership to many conservation efforts and striving for personal empowerment. From squirrels, turkeys, big game or target shooting, women are in the field harvesting their own food and spending countless hours at the shooting range. Educational programs in a women-only environment are introducing beginners to these sports, as well as strengthening skill sets of experienced hunters and shooters. Such programs offer a venue for women to network and access environments where they can develop the opportunities to mentor and learn from each other by providing education and social support.

Fishing

Does catching fish depend on “luck” or can you learn to be a better angler? Successful anglers have mastered fundamental skills that enable them to catch more and bigger fish. It all starts with a basic understanding of the species of fish being pursued, their habits, habitats, movements, and the different baits and lures needed to catch them. The resources below will help you get started.

Hiking

Nebraska’s state park system offers a wide variety of trails for a wide variety of uses. Rustic dirt paths, challenging mountain biking courses and wide, paved trails perfect for a family stroll are all available within Nebraska’s state parks and recreation areas. Many trails offer excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and scenic vistas. The resources below will help you get started.

Water Recreation

Water recreation is anything from tanking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and boating in Nebraska. Nebraska’s rivers flow gently, making them ideal for family outings as well as an excellent resource for those learning to handle non-motorized watercraft. On the International Scale of River Difficulty, Nebraska’s rivers generally rate Class I: Easy. This is defined as moving water with riffles and small waves; few obstacles; risk to swimmer is slight and self-rescue is easy. An exception is the Niobrara River where there are several Class II, III and IV rapids that require portage. The resources below will help you get started.

Wildlife Watching

Nebraska is blessed with abundant, diverse wildlife and habitat. Nebraska is a biological crossroads of North America where prairie meets ponderosa pine forests, where wetlands speckle the landscape and more than 23,000 miles of rivers and streams ribbon through the landscape. The vast grasslands of the Sandhills stretch the imagination to recall pioneer days, while the Pine Ridge escarpments tower over the landscape. Nebraska is the place where plant and wildlife communities of different regions meet, giving the state a rich diversity of wildlife viewing opportunities.