Women’s participation in hunting and fishing in America is growing rapidly, fueled in large part by their desire for healthy, free-range meat and outdoor activities that can include the whole family.

But women’s participation still lags behind men’s. California Waterfowl’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program helps address that deficit with a wide variety of events for novice outdoorswomen in supportive environments, as well as events for women of all experience levels.

For novice events, gear – including firearms – is provided. The camradery happens all on its own!


Women watch a duck-fileting demo

Participants in the Novice Women’s Duck Hunt learn to filet a duck.

Practical skills

A successful hunt or fishing trip is just the beginning; what do you do once you have the fish, duck or wild boar in hand? BOW knows women want answers to that question, so our workshops and hunts place a heavy emphasis on learning how to process and cook game.

We also address issues such as how to choose a shotgun, and where to find women’s outdoor clothing and gear.

Equally important: Participants and instructors stay connected with one another long after the events where they meet, forming a network of hunting and fishing buddies to last a lifetime. For many women, these networks are the hunting family they never had.

You can reach Becoming and Outdoors-Woman Coordinator Sarahbeth Gonsalves at 559-972-3441 or sgonsalves@calwaterfowl.org.



Women’s Shooting Clinic and Sporting Clays (1-day)

The 2018 event has concluded! Check back in January for the 2019 event date.

  • Held each spring at CWA’s Grizzly Ranch in Solano County
  • All experience levels welcome
  • Guns, ammunition, targets, and ear and eye protection are provided
  • Shotgun, rifle and archery taught by trained instructors
  • More experienced shooters can try our challenging clays course (50- or 100-target packages)
  • Includes lunch and wild-game tasting

A shooting instructor helps on the archery range

Women’s Multi-Course Weekend (3-day)

This is the workshop that has come to define BOW – a three-day extravaganza of outdoor skills and camradery at CWA’s Grizzly Ranch in Solano County. The 2018 camp will be held April 27-29 and will include:

  • Hunter education
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Boating
  • Archery
  • Firearms
  • Orienteering
  • Leather work
  • Bowhunting certification (required to bowhunt in some states)
  • Canning
  • Wildlife art


Women’s Fly Fishing Retreat (3-day) – WAITLISTED

  • Annual event
  • Held at GreenHorn Creek Guest Ranch in Quincy
  • Next retreat is May 4-6, 2018
  • Gear provided, with an option to purchase your own
  • Learn fly fishing skills
  • Fish some of the best waters in California

Get on waitlist

Yes, we know they’re men. We’re looking forward to putting women in the picture!

Women’s Halibut and Striper Fishing Trip (1-day) – NEW THIS YEAR! –WAITLISTED

  • California Dawn excursion on San Francisco Bay (launching out of Berkeley Marina)
  • Next trip is June 2, 2018
  • Fishing gear provided
  • Breakfast and lunch provided, including fresh halibut ceviche demo
  • Optional overnight lodging

Get on waitlist

Women’s dove hunt (1-day) – NEW IN 2018!

  • September 8 in the Fresno area – exact date and location to be determined
  • For women 21+
  • Mentors will help participants get the hang of shooting these fast-moving birds
  • Dove feast will follow the hunt

Stay tuned for registration!

Women’s Pheasant Hunt Weekend – INCLUDES HUNTER ED

  • Held at Birds Landing in Solano County each September
  • Next event is Sept. 29-30, 2018
  • Gear provided
  • Overnight lodging optional
  • Complete hunter ed
  • Get shooting instruction
  • Hunting license included
  • Go on your first hunt


Looking for more Hunter Ed events? Click here.

Women’s Pheasant Hunt (1-day with overnight option)

  • Morning hunt at Hastings Island Hunting Preserve in Solano County
  • Next event is Oct. 13, 2018
  • Mentors/guides provided for novice hunters
  • Lunch included
  • Afternoon trap shoot
  • Dinner at CWA’s nearby Denverton duck club – overnight lodging included

Registration coming soon!

Novice Women’s Duck Hunt (3-day)

  • November Workshop and hunt for already-licensed hunters in the Upper Butte Basin
  • Lodging at Bird Haven/Casa de Patos
  • For women who have done little to no duck hunting
  • Shooting instruction and sessions on duck calling, duck ID, duck plucking, duck processing and duck cooking
  • Hunt in pairs at one of three prestigious clubs: Little Dry Creek Farm, Closed Zone Farms or Mom’s

Registration coming soon!

We also have mentored women’s duck hunts that include overnight lodging – check back closer to duck season!