Rifle Ready

Venery presents Rifle Ready, rifle instruction for women, by women.

Have you ever wanted to learn to shoot a rifle but didn’t know where to start, or didn’t have anyone to teach you ? Or maybe you want to improve your skills and learn more about your rifle. Now is your chance for both!

Venery presents Rifle Ready, rifle instruction for women, by women. A class for the never-evers, novice, and the experienced gun handler and hunter.

Rifle Ready is a rifle handling series where our time on the range will include in-depth instruction on Rifle Safety, Ammunition, Sighting in your Rifle, Rifle Cleaning and Care, Hunting Licenses and Regulations, Ethics and Conservation.

All geared towards keeping you in the field, increasing your odds of success while hunting, and ensuring your safety and the safety of others.

Space is LIMITED – Register TODAY and we’ll see you at the range!

Scheduled Topics: All sessions include shooting practice, plus
Session 1: Rifle Handling + Ammunition
Session 2: Sighting in your Rifle + Rifle Cleaning and Care
Session 3: Effective Range + Hunting Regulations, Ethics, and Conservation

  • All In One $115 – August 7, 2022 9am-2pm completed
  • September Tuesday Night Sessions (Sept 13, 20, and 27 from 6-8p)
    • Full Series $115
    • Single Sessions $48

Equipment:
Participants are encouraged to bring their own rifles, ammunition, eye and ear protection or reserve ours by adding on the equipment fee.

Equipment fee includes eye and ear protection, rifle use, ammunition, cleaning supplies and targets.

  • All-in-One $45
  • Full Series $45
  • Single Session $20

Regulations and E•Scouting Explained

Join us on March 29th. Venery’s all female crew is hosting Regulations and E-Scouting Explained. While you’re enjoying wild game appetizers, we’ll explain MT licenses, permits, and the new regulations, plus offer an E-scouting tutorial. This is a class for women to ask questions about MT FWP’s big game regulations and application process.


New to hunting? We’ll help you navigate the 2022 regulations.

Interested in applying for Special Limited Licenses and Permits? We’ll guide you through the permit request process and help you apply for the tags you want, just in time for the Deer and Elk application deadline on April 1.

Plus, we’ll hear about the $4 Block Management donation program from State Representative Marilyn Marler.

Want to know “where you stand?” Sarah Allen will walk us through using online maps to learn an area and to find likely hunting spots.

Regulations and E-Scouting Explained will:

  • Help you determine a hunting strategy that is right for you
  • Boost your knowledge of how the Montana permit process works
  • Answer questions about e-scouting and online maps
  • Connect you with other like-minded women

Special guests:
Rep. Marilyn Marler, Montana State Legislature (HD90)
Sarah Allen, E-Scouting Mastermind

Want to learn more about hunting?

Check out for Venery’s upcoming Turkey Tactics skills class and Turkey Camp.

We are currently planning more hunting, scouting, and camping events, not to mention we will also have workshops to practice our rifle readiness together.

All skill levels welcome!

Spring Events

Wow, January went by so quickly and before you know it deer season will be here. So, before we get distracted by talking about deer hunting, here’s what we have going on in the next couple of months.

We are a group of women teaching womxn the hunting skills they need to harvest local, organic, sustainable meat. We host skills clinics and hunting camps throughout the year.

Here are a few Spring events and classes to mark on your calendar:

Free Events:

February 22, 5:30p – 7:30p  Hunter Happy Hour at Dram Shop Central (near the mall at 2700 Paxson St, Missoula). Come and get to know us, ask us questions, and meet like-minded people.

March 7, 8, 14 ,15 – 6p-9p   Womxn’s Hunter’s Education Class –free (Missoula FWP office 3201 Spurgin Road) This in-person class is free however, registration with FWP is required https://www.register-ed.com/events/view/177655
MT Fish Wildlife and Parks requires Hunter’s Education certificate if you were born after 1/1/1985. 

Registration is OPEN

April 9,  9-11a  Turkey Tactics Saturday 

This in-person class is an introduction to Spring Turkey Hunting in partnership with Artemis Sportswomen and National Wild Turkey Federation. We’ll discuss scouting, habitat, biology, and behavior, followed by a calling demo and practice, then discuss gun safety and specifically talk about shotguns with a chance to shoot and pattern them. Register Here

April 12, 6-8p Turkey Tactics Tuesday

This in-person class is an introduction to Spring Turkey Hunting in partnership with Artemis Sportswomen and National Wild Turkey Federation. We’ll discuss scouting, habitat, biology, and behavior, followed by a calling demo and practice, then discuss gun safety and specifically talk about shotguns with a chance to shoot and pattern them. Register Here

Save the Dates:

May 6-8, 6p Thursday – 12p Sunday Weekend Turkey Camp

This Womxn’s Turkey Camp will connect you with mentors, putting your Turkey Tactics skills to use as you pursue wild turkeys in western Montana. Turkey Camp is an opportunity for womxn from all over the country to come together, share stories, learn from each other, and form new friendships. (fee and registration required)

November 11-13,  Womxn’s Weekend Deer Camp, Montana

This is a rifle hunt weekend on public lands and Block Management Access with opportunities for whitetail and mule deer. This Womxn’s Weekend is not a guided hunt. It is not guaranteed success. It is, however, guaranteed fun. (fee and registration required)

We hope you’ll join us. Veneryᵀᴹ  is a hunting community where all are welcome. We are women, LGBTQ+ individuals, other marginalized genders, and People of Color, we have a variety of ages and abilities. 

But the fish have no song for us to hear.

Musings by Jen Davis

There is a foam running rampant and not looking like much of a threat, but it is breaking my heart. I am an outdoors woman and this feels like the place where the foam is hurting me the deepest, but I’m not so sure that is true. You see I am also keenly aware of my connection to all other beings. I am the granddaughter of a pike and the distant cousin of freshwater snails, I have several aquatic plant sisters and my great great aunt is an egret, silently stalking the littlest fishes and frogs at the edge of that river over there. Yes, I am worried about my drinking water, but why on this mad spinning blue ball would I sleep better at night because some smart politician is running the water through a charcoal filter before it comes out of my tap? When I know that the rain on my garden and the fish in my river and the plants on her shores and my auntie egret get no such filtration. And where do the filters go? Where does the smoke from the incinerator go? If this foam is forever, how can you pretend to work on solutions? When do we say it is time to stop making this poison all together? Where is the army of voices demanding that we stop this hazardous material’s production, now? A silent spring can rally us for the birds, but the fish have no song for us to hear.

Editors note: The hunters we are creating a community with care deeply for nature, and are concerned and practice conservation. This piece was inspired by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services warning.

My journey as a hunter

I recently shared my hunting reactivation story with my close friend Marcia for an Artemis Sportswomen podcast. Have a listen, and while I didn’t have a closing thought at the time, I do want to invite you to take the time to keep our hunting community open to any who wander our way!

On this week’s podcast – Hunter Reactivation with Alex Stokman! Alex came to hunting in her 20s in the Florida woods. Then life happened and her journey as a hunter became a winding road. What takes women out of the field? What brings them back? What’s unique about their experience? Tune in for an awesome conversation about women hunters + field time.

Listen wherever you get your podcasts at https://artemis.nwf.org/podcast/

#R3 #reactivation #womenhunt #masterhunter

Train to Hunt & RevoMT

Train to Hunt

We have under 90 days until general deer/elk season!

How are your quads feeling about hiking in the woods and hauling that deer out? We want to help you have a good hunting season by helping you get ready for it.

Train to succeed. Training for the hunt should reflect the hunt. That’s why Venery is partnering with RevoMT to launch a 6 week Hunt Prep Class and Program.

RevoMT Hunt Prep Course

6 WEEKS of two classes per week
HANDS-ON COACHING and programming
CUSTOMIZED to prepare you to perform in the back country
AEROBIC DEVELOPMENT to be done on the mountain or in the gym to ensure you stay alert and capable no matter the conditions

We have a class/program ready to launch to prepare for hunt season specifically, improving overall fitness and work capacity so that the Montana hunter can go further, maintain high energy levels, and stay resilient and composed in any situation. The design is two strength classes a week, and a written aerobic work program (mostly rucking/hiking with other stuff done in our classes) to do additional days of the week. Because smoke season is approaching, we are going to open up the option to hunt prep attendees to pop into some of our conditioning classes during the week for aerobic work in case the smoke gets bad in the following weeks.

Classes run August 13th-September 24th – Limited space available to ensure quality coaching. Mention Venery when you contact Mike@RevoMT.com to sign up and join us as we Become Stronger and Go Further!

Hike + Social

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Please join Venery for a Hike + Social on Tuesday, July 30.

We will meet at 6pm at the Pattee Canyon Trailhead parking area.

The planned hike will be approximately 2.5 miles, an out/back, returning to the parking area around 7:30pm.

Hope you can make it. As an added bonus, there are huckleberries along the way!

Where to Start . . . permits

Interested in hunting, but don’t know where to start? Join Venery and our friends from Artemis Sportswomen for an introduction to the permit process – we’ll sort through the regulations together and help answer your questions – no experience necessary!

WHAT: Permit Potluck Party
(Bring hot soup, stew, dish to share. Venery will provide sides and dessert)

WHEN: March 12, 5:30pm – 6:30pm

WHERE: Missoula Public Library – Large Meeting Room

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Time

by Alex 

There’s a progression of activities that lead to a successful hunt. Take scouting for example.

I really do want to be out scouting. Hiking the areas I want to hunt before the season opens. Looking for rub marks on the trees. Seeing where the deer are eating and bedding down. It’s definitely an important part of the hunt. Not to mention breaking in my boots and actually getting some exercise to be in shape for hunting season.

What I struggle with is when, not as in the time of year, but when am I, a working mother of 3, supposed to find time (and energy) to actually fit that into my life?

Why do I feel so guilty scheduling a day to be in the woods? Or planning a weekend here or there for hunting? I don’t often put my desires above the needs of my family. Maybe they would buy it if I said I was “doing it for them.”  A successful hunt would put food on the table and in the freezer.  Don’t get me wrong, there are other benefits too: I get exercise, I enjoy nature. These activities recharge me – that’s good for the family, right?

Hunting like any other pursuit takes time, practice and commitment. What I’m realizing is I actually need to prioritize hunting- Hunting is personal. I do it for me. And, there is nothing wrong with that. All too often I do things for the benefit of other people.

So, this year, here is my plan –

  1. Communicate with my family – let them know how important hunting is to me
  2. Set Boundaries – make time for myself.
  3. Prioritize Hunting – set a series of dates for scouting, shooting practice, and hunting
  4. Be Grateful – for any time I am able to spend preparing and actually hunting

It’s the brief moments of time in between carpools, volunteering at school, and managing kids sports that I make count when I can. I am getting better at it as the kids get older and are more self sufficient. I’m passionate about hunting, there’s no doubt about that. It is a heritage that I have brought to my family, in spite of my family and because of my family. I believe in conservation, food from the source, and communing with nature. So I’m choosing to align a piece of my time and energy for what I believe in.

Yes- I’m a busy woman; wife, mother, employee, volunteer and hunter-  and Yes- I need time for myself.

The First Hunt

By Erin White

Safety off. The scope is trained. The crosshairs bisect a patch behind his shoulder blade. Exhale, then squeeze. The report is as crisp and honest as a temple bell.

As easy as breathing out, a life is taken.

The buck struggles back to his feet for a step, then two, then falls. Back to his feet to discover his shoulder is broken and lung punctured. Down again, up, then down again for keeps.

I am grateful for my true aim and hot bullet, because my hands are shaking too hard to do anything but needless damage with a second shot. His life dissolves rapidly into the Big Sky, mingling with pine trees and birdsong and the fresh November air.

By the time we reach him, his soft, glassy eyes stare without seeing. I hand off the rifle and drop to my knees, one hand on the strong, still-hot swoop of his neck. I look him in the eye and give him my thanks.

I am utterly at a loss as to what comes next.

***

When Marcia asked if I wanted to learn to hunt, my answer was a natural yes. As a Montana native, it felt like a fluid extension of the life I’ve crafted and the community I inhabit. Hunting marries power and humility, conservationism and environmentalism, and a contrasting need for both guidance and self-reliance.

I spent four full days in the woods with friends before I ever flicked the safety off. Four long, quiet, invigorating days of hiking, tracking, sitting, whispering, guessing, and second-guessing before I had anything resembling a good look at the broadside of a buck. There was no guarantee that I would come out of the woods with meat for our freezer.

I don’t eat a lot of meat, but my two boys are enthusiastic carnivores. I try to choose animals that have been raised and killed ethically, so it’s become a balance between feeding them what they need and being able to afford good quality meat.

A thoughtful, humane hunt following the principles of sustainability is probably the most ethical way to harvest animals as food. For me, it’s become a realistic solution to the dilemma. And those two boys are proud that their mama killed, field dressed, and butchered a deer.

I know for certain that the deer I killed lived a good life in the land of his ancestors, grazing native grasses, drinking water from the Blackfoot River, and roaming the Montana wilds. I also know that his death was quick, and a damn sight better than being mauled by a bear, hit by a car, or slowly starving to death in an overpopulated valley during the course of a deep winter.

Turns out that shooting is the easy part. After the life ebbs, there’s a body to deal with, and that shit’s messy. Blood, fur, fat, organs, fascia, bone, guts and guts and guts – these are all part of the prize. As I cut into the deer’s soft, warm fur and peeled back layers of fat and skin, I realized that opening the body of a very newly deceased beast will call a person’s bluff. You’ve got the stomach for it or you don’t.

It seems to me that much of that intestinal fortitude is based in a willingness to acknowledge how fragile and fundamentally body-based life is. If the idea of killing and gutting an animal turns your stomach, consider why. If the idea of killing and gutting an animal gives you a thrill, consider why.

In that balance between being squeamish and trigger-happy resides the vulnerable acknowledgement that, no matter who you are or what you eat, something must die so that you may live. There’s no escaping this rule.

In time, we’ll each have our chance to cede way to the next generation. So far, only birthing babies and hunting an animal have brought me so unblinkingly nose-to-nose with the reality of my precious and fleeting mortality.

So be tender with death. Thank the creatures that nourish you. Brim with life until the last breath fades and you cross to the next adventure.