Artemis Welcomes Southeast Regional Coordinator Ashley Chance
By Artemis and Ashley Chance
Artemis sits down with our newest team member, Artemis Southeast Regional Coordinator Ashley Chance, to talk sportswomen, public lands, and her vision for Artemis.
Artemis: What brought you to Artemis?
Ashley: I was attracted to Artemis immediately because it is a program that aims to truly empower women in the outdoors and have them be seen as valuable contributors to the sporting community. Often in the past women-centered hunting programs have tried to be cute or focus on women hunters as an exception to the rule (pink camo anyone?). I appreciate the sincerity of Artemis and the ethos that not only can women be taken seriously as conservationists, but that they should be. The commitment to diversity and inclusivity that Artemis exudes was equally important to me. There are many people facing barriers to entry in the conservation community and I am incredibly excited to be a part of changing that.
Artemis: Where’s your favorite place to hunt and fish?
Ashley: My favorite place to hunt depends on what I’m hunting. Some of my foundational experiences occurred hunting elk in the mountains of south western Colorado when I was a teenager, so I think that area will always be hallowed ground. These days I spend a lot more time on the water in pursuit of ducks here in east Tennessee. Our area isn’t known for great waterfowl hunting, but it’s really special when I can shoot a duck and watch our dog retrieve it! I fished a lot when I was younger on lakes in the Midwest, but over the past year I’ve begun fly-fishing rivers in the Smoky Mountains and streams in the Valles Caldera of New Mexico. While I could use some skills development, I really enjoy watching fish close in on a fly and trying to read a body of water.
Artemis: What drives your passion for wildlife?
Ashley: Wild places and the things that inhabit them are inherently valuable to me. I’ve been interested in how natural systems function from a very young age and the more I’ve learned, the more fascinated I’ve become. I spent 7 years completing formal education in wildlife research and management. That’s how much I love it! I think that connecting with wildlife satisfies something in people that is hard to name, but incredibly important. Providing that opportunity to connect with wildlife, experiencing it myself and ensuring that it exists for future generations are really what drives my passion.
Artemis: What do public lands mean to you?
Ashley: Public lands exemplify one of the most magnificent things about the United States; the idea that extremely valuable and beautiful natural resources can be shared by everyone and stewarded well. I know that public lands can still be difficult to access for some people, but their existence provides so much opportunity to connect with the natural world.
Artemis: What is your vision for Artemis in the southeast?
Ashley: My vision for Artemis in the southeast is to create a robust network of women that can rely on each other for hunting and fishing advice, buddy up for trips, share stories from the field and grow as sportswomen in a community where they feel a strong sense of belonging. I want to normalize women as hunters and provide opportunities for women to explore hunting as a part of their identity.