How Women in the Outdoors Works

History of Women in the Outdoors

In the beg­inning, there were women -- women who wanted to hunt.

WITO was created in 1998 as an outreach program for the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWFT), which is an organization dedicated to preserving hunting traditions and protecting wild turkeys. NWTF was founded in 1973 to revitalize the wild turkey population, which it succeeded in doing. Instead of closing up shop after its goals were reached, NWTF decided to branch out into new areas and created WITO [source: NWTF: About the NWTF]. The female-oriented program is aimed at helping women learn more about interactive outdoor activities through hands-on education and expert-driven instruction [source: WITO].

­When the WITO pilot program began, few could have anticipated the response. During its first year, 3,000 female members signed on. By August 1999, more than 10,000 members had heeded the call of the wild [source: Wilbanks Jeter].

From the start, the organization embraced geographical differences, realizing that women on the coast may enjoy saltwater fishing while Midwestern women may prefer hunting. The diversity of programs and classes offered to women has led to its success [source: Wilbanks Jeter]. WITO went from 18 events in 1998 to over 400 events in 2008 [source: WITO].

So now you know there are women all over the nation seeking to learn outdoor skills. But why do they join the group? Read on to learn WITO's mission.