Teresa Patterson of Duncansville has always been an outdoors girl. When she was a baby, her parents carried her through the woods on hikes. At 12 years old, Patterson started hunting with her parents.
"My mom and dad had me in the woods as soon as I could walk," said Patterson, who works as field staff for Wiredoutdoors.com, an online hunting resource. "When I first started to hunt, it wasn't cool for girls to hunt. The only women I knew who hunted were my mom and Shirley Grenoble."
Encouraging women to hunt and spend time outdoors is important said Patterson, who will be talking to women about hunting at the upcoming Women Gone Wild event sponsored by the Altoona Mirror and Mirror Moms.
The event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 24 will feature hunting demonstrations, dinner and activities at Riggles Gap Sportsman Club in Altoona. Women will learn how to shoot bows, handle and shoot guns, fish, track animals and prepare wild game.
"Women in the outdoors are becoming quite popular," Holliday said. "We're trying to introduce this to our area."
Holliday thought of the idea for the show after shooting a bow for the first time at the Allegheny Outdoor Adventure show.
If you go
What: Women Gone Wild
When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 24
Where: Riggles Gap Sportsman's Club, Altoona
Tickets: $50 per person, which includes activities, lunch and a T-shirt. A mother/daughter special is $80 for both. Daughter must be 14 or older. Contact Candy Holliday, 946-7452 or cholliday @altoonamirror.com.
Registration: Deadline is May 16, only 100 slots available.
"I absolutely loved it and I wanted to learn more stuff about the outdoors," Holliday said. "I thought wouldn't it be cool to have an event just for women to learn how to do things they have never done before?"
The event will provide a comfortable, relaxing environment for women to experience outdoor sports, Patterson said.
"They can try so many different things in one day to see if it's something they really want to do," she said.
More women are becoming interested in outdoor adventures, whether it's hunting and fishing or simply outdoor photography, Patterson said.
"Right now women are the fastest growing number in outdoor sports," she said. Women are realizing the benefits to being outdoors, and hunting their own food, Patterson said, explaining she was able to feed her family for a year after she shot an elk.
"Women are saying 'Hey, it's pretty cool.' It's a great way to provide food for the family. It's healthy eating. It's family time. It's memories. It's just the whole experience, the adrenaline rush," Patterson said. "There's so many different aspects of the outdoors. Whether it's hunting or it's shooting targets or outdoors photography. It's empowering to women."