An Artemis Weekend at the Valles Caldera

By Kara Armano

Artemis joined the NMWF over the weekend for a family camp out event in the Valles Caldera, an extremely important place both culturally and from a sporting perspective. This is a place where native puebloans traveled, made tools, took elk, fish, plants and more to survive and still consider this area sacred to their way of life. It is also an incredibly visually stunning place with big open meadows where you’ll find elk grazing and trout swimming and sportsmen and sportswomen can wander in awe of these public lands.

Nearly 50 people joined us for a group camp-out under impressive stars and relaxed around a campfire to hear Jemez Pueblo elders talk about the importance of this land and all land from a group called Flower Hill. After a good night’s rest, Artemis co-founder Christine Gonzales taught nearly every participant the finer points of shooting a bow, while I set up fly rods and taught casting on dry land before traveling to the San Antonio river to test newly learned skills. We learned about the importance of the obsidian quarries on the land, about the bugs and fish living in the stream, how to tie flies and even how to catch some fish!

Ending the weekend with yummy green chile burgers, the families, native youth, and other attendees traveled home full of knowledge about a special place, sporting traditions, and the importance of public lands and species health – all with the hope that they will continue to learn and educate peers to grow the flood tide of our mission.