Women making a difference at the Wisconsin Deer and Turkey Expo

Kristen MonroeEveryone knows that more and more women are discovering passion for the outdoor life. It’s not just men who are found heading into the woods on a quest for the mighty white-tailed deer and other game.

Many people express their desire to grow the outdoor industry, but only a handful truly makes a difference. I walked the aisles at the Wisconsin Deer and Turkey Expo in Madison last weekend and discovered a few women business owners who invest their lives to do just that.
Karen Butler, CEO of Shoot Like a Girl, started her business five years ago. Butler travels all around the nation making sure women are fit properly for a bow. The inspiration came from her strong passion for archery and having to buy three different bows before she found the right fit. Butler's love for hunting helped her get through a very difficult time in her life; naturally she wants share her positive experience with others. An improper fit to a bow might spoil that chance. “Women are very influential to the continued health of our hunting and shooting heritage. Fifty percent of the daughters and 63 percent of the sons will become hunters/shooters with a shooting female parent,” said Butler. Those who step into the Shot Like a Girl booth try various brands and experiment with different shooting weights and draw lengths. Butler does not sell bows; rather she refers women to local pro shops that carry the brand that works best. Her goal is to get the women fit properly and motivated about archery. The pro staff that assists Butler is extremely friendly and approachable.
Shelly and Jeff Ray opened HERCAMOSHOP three years ago. HERCAMOSHOP is place to find women's shooting and hunting products from all different companies. Jeff came up with the idea as they bounced from one store to the next three years ago searching for hunting clothing to fit Shelly. “It was frustrating, because we could not find warm hunting clothes that fit me properly,” said Shelly. Staying out in the woods is nearly impossible when the clothing is inadequate. Jeff and Shelly have a retail store in Indiana, travel the Midwest to the local sport shows, and also have an online store with plenty of products and sizes for women.
Have you ever tried on a pair of Sabama socks?  Sally Schmidt started her business by raising alpacas in De Pere.  Alpaca fleece or hair is hollow, just like that of white-tailed deer and polar bears. Hollow hair means better insulation to help the animals get through the blistering cold weather.  “Alpaca fleece is not itchy and feels like a cross between cashmere and silk, it's five times warmer than wool, it's more durable than wool, and possesses superior wicking action to other natural fibers,” said Schmidt.  Schmidt’s business offers alpaca-made products for men and women. When Schmidt is not busy running her clothing business you will find her working hard at her bed and breakfast.
I attended nine sport shows so far this year. And every year I see more women in attendance who are buying products and sharing excitement for the outdoor life. It simply puts a smile on my face. Thanks to all the venerable women and men who are helping to make things happen.
For more information visit www.shootlikeagirl.com, www.sabambaalpaca.com and www.hercamoshop.com

Kristen Monroe in hat made from alpaca fleece

Shelly Ray talking to Deer and Turkey Expo attendee Holly Pitney about bowhunting products Karen Butler checking Amy Crook’s fit and form
Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Wisconsin – Kristen Monroe

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