Southeast is filled with folks who aren’t afraid to delve into a heap of fresh king salmon and start cleaning. It’s here residents will carry a handgun or rifle as often as they put on a rain jacket. They know the perfect ratio of ingredients for smoked salmon and have tasted the fruits of summer. Certainly, women of the region are no exception.
So for the second year in a row, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has teamed up with the Outdoor Heritage Foundation to bring a series of classes aimed at helping locals become more savvy when it comes to living and thriving in our outdoor surroundings. This year’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Workshop will run Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22, at Echo Ranch.
Similar to last year, the workshop consists of four sessions with 25 classes total. Participants may choose from classes specializing in a multitude of outdoor-related topics such as skiff fishing, kayaking, deer hunting, wild edibles, crabbing, survival, chainsaw and fly fishing — just to name a few.
Michele Elfers, a fly fishing class instructor, said there are even a few new classes to note this year that take advantage of amenities already at the ranch.
“We have a horse riding class (this year) and a handgun class” she said. “(And with the) dutch oven class, one that came down from up North, we’re trying to make it a little more realistic to camping in Southeast.”
Generally, the workshop focusses on three main areas: fishing, hunting and outdoor skills. Organizers try to offer a balance of classes within those subjects, Elfers said.
Organizers are also trying to encourage attendance from residents all over the region this year.
“We’re really trying to get folks from other southeast communities ... places like Hoonah, Angoon, Sitka, Gustavus (just to name a few),” Elfers said. “We’ve had people come from California before and other parts of the state. People can come from all over.”
And while the classes are designed for women 18 or older, men are allowed to sign up for the workshop that will top out at 75 participants this year. Registration opened last Thursday for this year’s workshop and Elfers said those interested should not wait to sign up.
“It is going to fill up fast,” she said. “When it comes to classes you get to choose your first, second and third choices. The sooner you register, the better chance you have at getting your top choices.”
Elfers said registration will be open at least through April. Cost is $250 per participant and that fee covers the entire workshop, meals, lodging and transportation.
• Contact Outdoors editor Abby Lowell at abby.lowell@juneau