Idaho Women’s Turkey Hunt
By Kami Elsisie, Artemis Ambassador and New Mexico Wildlife Federation Communication and Education Outreach Coordinator
I was given an amazing opportunity to go out to northern Idaho to hunt turkeys with other ladies from Artemis and the Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF). This opportunity was far too good to pass up. So what did I do, you ask? I hopped on a plane and was Idaho bound with turkey decoy and all. I was greeted by Artemis’ Idaho Ambassador and IWF staff member, Becca Aceto. Becca was the best host and was extremely knowledgeable about all the conservation and public land issues Idaho is currently dealing with. Being able to meet another like-minded woman who is just as involved in her state’s conservation efforts, was very refreshing and inspiring to me. Becca is based in Boise, so this meant we had a bit of driving to do to reach turkey camp the next day.
We ended up driving five and half hours north through Idaho, and I was given a glimpse of the world famous Frank Church Wilderness. For those who are not familiar with the Frank Church Wilderness in Idaho, it is composed of 3,698 square miles of protected wilderness in the heart of the state. It was created in 1980 and named in honor of Senator Frank Church. After a long but beautiful drive, we arrived at our campsite near Orofino, Idaho. We set up camp and headed out to scout and see if we could fill a tag that night before any of the other ladies arrived the next morning. Unfortunately, neither of us filled a tag but we got familiar with the terrain and the local turkeys and ended up calling it an early night so we could try again first thing in the morning.
As we shook hands and greeted one another, there was a sense of camaraderie and sisterhood which I had never experienced before in a hunting group. I felt at ease with these women, knowing we all shared a similar love and passion for hunting and the outdoors.
We were up and out of camp the next morning by 4:45 am. Hoping to bring a turkey back to camp, we posted up under a cluster of trees overlooking an open meadow. As the sun rose across the green field we got to see small herds of Whitetail graze in the early morning light. We heard turkeys call far off in the distance, but, apparently, our calls and decoys were not enough to draw a Tom or even a Jake. We returned to camp empty handed but were met by many of the women joining us for this event. As we shook hands and greeted one another, there was a sense of camaraderie and sisterhood which I had never experienced before in a hunting group. I felt at ease with these women, knowing we all shared a similar love and passion for hunting and the outdoors.
Whether through Artemis, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) or IWF, all these women have a connection to one of the above organizations. This makes talking with each other about conservation, public land, water access and wildlife issues so much easier. A topic the group really focused on during our stay was about using non-lead shot during our turkey hunt. I know my personal opinion on the matter is that I prefer to use all steel shot for any type of bird hunting. For me it is knowing my choice in ammo can and does make a difference to the local wildlife, the environment but also I would farther rather eat a steel pellet than a lead one. Overall, talking about lead versus steel made for an interesting and educational conversations with each other and among the group.
I hope we have even more women join us and become more involved with Artemis and their local conservation organizations.
Even though turkey camp was only four days long, I had a blast and can’t wait to go back again next year. I hope we have even more women join us and become more involved with Artemis and their local conservation organizations. I hope in reading this it inspired you to get out and get connected with people who enjoy doing what we all do. And if you’re not a member of Artemis ladies, sign up and come join us for our next gathering!