Pam Carter, Kansas
Hometown: Wichita, Kan.
Home Chapter: Trail Blazers, Wichita, Kan.
Family: Husband, John
Special information: Pam and her husband own a transportation reselling business. She enjoys riding jet skis and spending time with her 7-year-old grandson, Jordan.
Pam Carter is living proof that "girly girls" can be hunters too. She is active with the NWTF's Women in the Outdoors outreach program.
NWTF: How long have you been turkey hunting, and how did you get started?
Pam Carter: I've been turkey hunting for nearly 12 years. Before I started hunting, I had a bow I used for target practicing, but I had never shot anything in my life. Then, I went to a Women in the Outdoors event, and the teachers were so patient with everyone learning to shoot. I thought, " Hey, I can do this," and my husband was just ecstatic. So it's been a progression from there -- from bowhunting to hunting with a firearm. Now I even have a pistol for target practice.
I'm a girly girl, so most people can't believe I like to go out and do these kinds of things. But this is just an added part of my personality.
NWTF: Do you have any advice for first time turkey hunters?
PC: Just be patient enough to sit there and wait for the turkeys to come in instead of chasing them. I saw the biggest gobbler strutting one day, but he was so far away that by the time I got to where he was, he was gone. All I could do was appreciate his beauty.
NWTF: How did you become involved with the Women in the Outdoors program, and what keeps you coming back to the events?
PC: I was so intrigued when I attended an NWTF event in Rock Springs, Kan., 10 years ago that I started going every year. I love seeing women's excitement when they come to an event for the first time and get hooked on the outdoors.
NWTF: How has Women in the Outdoors changed your outlook on hunting and the outdoors?
PC: Not only has it has given me the confidence to know that I can hunt, it has given me such a hunger to learn everything I can about hunting. I now read outdoor sports magazines instead of Good Housekeeping, because I'd much rather learn how to track a big buck than to cook a good casserole.
NWTF: What do you say to other women to encourage them to participate in Women in the Outdoors events?
PC: Most women have a perception that Women in the Outdoors is all about hunting, but that's just not the case. You learn so many other things. The events are very well rounded. The NWTF offers opportunities to experience just about anything outdoors, whether it's fishing or botany.
Everyone feels like they've known each other forever at these events, because we have common interests. It's like a sisterhood, and no one is a stranger once everyone gets together. So if people will just step out there and try it, it'll be like nothing they've ever experienced before.
NWTF: Why is the Women in the Outdoors program so important to you?
PC: I didn't grow up in the outdoors -- but through the opportunities and training I've received, a whole new world has opened for me. The Women in the Outdoors program gives women the opportunity to try things they thought they would never get to experience. It really builds confidence, and it's such a blast!
NWTF: When you think back on the time you've spent involved with the NWTF, what stands out for you?
PC: I had a tree stand accident last November that put me in the hospital for four weeks. I was hospitalized during the Christmas season, and while I was there, I received 15 cards from Women in the Outdoors members I didn't even know from all over the country. Then, I received a card signed by everyone at NWTF headquarters. Just knowing everyone had taken time out of the holiday season to reach out to someone like me meant so much. That's the heart of the NWTF. It's just an amazing organization.
NWTF: Pam, you host some really successful events. What's your secret?
PC: The secret is having a team that is committed to Women in the Outdoors, a cross section of activities that includes not only hunting, dedicated instructors that absolutely know they are appreciated, and an established year-round network of people to call on for help. The more resources there are to pull from, the easier it will be to put an event together.
NWTF: Do you have any tips you can share with other coordinators?
PC: Leave nothing to chance. The more organized you can be, the smoother the day will go. Use your team's talent and strengths. If you are not detail oriented, find a team member that is and direct those detailed areas to her. If you do the work ahead of time, the event will take care of itself.
Don't be afraid to ask for free or donated items when possible. It is amazing what businesses want to contribute, if you show them the value of having their gift recognized at your event.
It also helps to be creative with your event's venue. In Wichita, we used an extension office free of charge. And they provided the instructors for free!
NWTF: Will you share your favorite Women in the Outdoors memory with us?
PC: Because I was not very proficient with my shotgun, I chose to attend a pheasant hunt based on the instructor. He stayed in the field working his heart out for me until I finally shot a sorry, tattered and tired pheasant. You would have thought that pheasant was the best, biggest bird ever! And the best thing about it was that all the other women cheered like crazy like it was their own shot.