Outdoors: Move over Bubba, the ladies are here
By James Drake
The days of boys having a monopoly on all the cool outdoor toys are gone.
Bubba, it’s time to move over and make room for Melissa and Tessie.
Actually, they’re already here, and Does With Bows (that's Does that rhymes with clothes and not Does that rhymes with buzz) is a grassroots organization to introduce women into archery either through target shooting, hunting or both.
Two best friends, Melissa Cornett and Tessie Foreman, are also twin sisters and started Does with Bows just last year. These St. Mary's County girls have a website (www.doeswithbows.com) and have gone even further worldwide with their own Does With Bows Facebook page. They can now boast over 1,000 followers.
“A woman with a bow in hand is becoming mainstream,” Foreman writes on their website, and it’s pretty hard to argue that claim.
The Hunger Games movie was released worldwide this year and it turned out to be a blockbuster. Some people have even compared it to the Harry Potter films and believe this might be the next big series.
I won't spoil the plot for you if you haven’t seen it yet, but I can tell you the heroine, Katniss, dispatches her adversary with an arrow.
Then, Disney/Pixar hit another bulls-eye with the top rated animated movie of 2012, “Brave.”
In this flick, Merida, a Scottish princess, also has a love of archery. In fact, you can buy today the official Merida lunchbox, totes, jewelry, bow and arrow set and even the approved red wig.
Indeed, you can safely bet archery has arrived for women and it’s here to stay.
I spoke to Cornett about Does With Bows and she explained how women feel exactly the same way as men when hunting with bow and arrow.
“It's just being outside, looking at the beautiful scenery, the silence and being so close to nature that makes it so special,” she said.
It’s hard to explain to a non-hunter how an arrow is never released or a bullet never fired and yet the hunt was truly successful. It’s the whole outdoor experience, and Foreman and Cornett are trying to get that idea across to as many people as they can.
Just the fun of target shooting is plenty enough reason to take up the sport.
“Get the kids out of the house,” Cornett said, which is also another primary motivation to experience archery.
With that in mind, Cornett and Foreman are inviting children 7 to 15 to participate in the Chaptico Optimist Club’s free Youth Day Event from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 30.
Children must be accompanied by an adult and door prizes plus food and refreshments are promised. Plenty of bows and arrows and some excellent instruction will also be available for young ones to sample the sport. There is even a 3-D tournament planned.
To register, call Gwen at 301-904-0794 or 301-769-4137.
Does With Bows also has its own clothing line on its website. You can see it in person at the Hughesville Sportsmans Liquidation Outlet Store, 7744 Leonardtown Road, Hughesville.
I did a little research before trying to contact Foreman and Cornett and found their picture online posing for a calendar that benefitted the Walter Reed Medical Center to help wounded veterans. Cornett also told me they’re both involved in breast cancer causes. Decent people.
Cornett wants people to know they’re actively looking for more girls to come out and join them.
“Even if you’re brand new to the sport, we'll teach you to shoot,” she said.
They’ll also pair you up with a hunting buddy if you want to give bow hunting for deer a try.
The outdoor sports have been a man’s world forever. It’s high time we make it the woman’s domain, too.
If you’d like to try a sample, contact Does With Bows from their website or through Facebook and they’ll get you started.
And, don’t tell too many people this, but Cornett said men are welcome, too.
Fishin’ Buddies tournament
The annual fall Fishin’ Buddies Fishing Tournament at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville will be from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 13.
This is one of the finest opportunities I know of for an adult and child to spend real quality time together for a few hours, working as a team toward a common goal.
Actually, working is probably a poor choice of words. Think more of smiling, laughing or fun, fun and more fun.
Each team must include one adult, at least 21 years old, and one child 6 to 15.
Children will compete in one of two age divisions and be further divided between bank and boat anglers.
Trophies will be awarded in several classes, and local businesses have donated plenty of fishing-related items to serve as door prizes.
The cost is $7. Registration deadline is noon Oct. 10.
Official registration forms are available at Gilbert Run Park or at the main office of the Charles County Department of Public Works on Radio Station Road in La Plata.
For more information or to obtain an entry form, call 301-932-3470 or 301-870-2778 weekdays during business hours. Folks with special needs can contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711 or TDD 800-735-2258.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act in 1937.
This law called for an 11 percent excise tax to be paid on things like guns and ammunition. It’s collected from the manufacturer, but it’s passed along to us.
Just figure 11 percent of every dollar we spend for hunting arms or ammunition goes to the states to restore and sustain wildlife and natural habitat.
Early in the 20th Century, few game laws existed. Hunting probably went on year-round and, along with habitat loss and market hunting for feathers and hides, many wildlife species were on the verge of extinction.
Pittman-Robertson provided the money to change public sentiment with effective hunting laws and proper resources management.
Just 50 years ago, there were hardly any whitetail deer left in Maryland. We sure can’t say that anymore, and it was the monies provided by sportsmen that funded this conservation movement.
I should also point out that both game and non-game animals benefit from Pittman-Robertson money.
Mei Xiang gives birth
A baby panda was born at the National Zoo on Sunday. A live cam is available at the National Zoo website at www.nationalzoo.si.edu, then follow the cam links.