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Women Hunters

Christy Barney, New Director

Hi to all: My name is Christy Barney, and I am a new member of WomenHunters.

 Christy Barney 2013 Antelope - Copy

I was born and raised in Southern Utah, with the famed Paunsaugunt mule deer unit as my back yard. I grew up water skiing, camping, four wheeling, and hunting with my family. I spend all my free time in the outdoors, which is my true passion in life.

Read more: Christy Barney, New Director

The Sisterhood 2

Change is contrary to our nature.  We humans mostly like our status quo.  We enjoy some adventure injected now and then, but for the most part we thrive on the familiar and our routines give us a decided level of comfort.  Too many new places and things can be disconcerting.

I have several of those familiar constants.  The most important one for me is my Christian faith.   No matter where I go and no matter what life presents, God is always God.   Another is hunting.   For women, finding other kindred spirit women hunters is a challenge in the male dominated hunting and outdoor sports.   We are a minority, especially if you happen to live in a city.   I just moved back to a city in January this year.  However, there is a Sisterhood among us lady hunters no matter where we go.  I had not realized the full extent of this until I remarried and moved from my native Minnesota to Ohio to live for a couple years.   Back home, I was settled with my hunting, my routines and work, my hunting buddies and my life.  I have hunting land and a cabin with many places to hunt many critters.  My new life here in Ohio is wonderful, but the absence of fellow lady hunters had left a decided void in my heart.

Then, through a Facebook announcement, I discovered that Michele Leqve was to be a seminar presenter and also speak at a women’s luncheon at the Cleveland Hunting and Outdoors Show the second weekend of February 2010.  Michele is a native Minnesotan like me and I had not seen her a long time.  I was elated!  I had known Michele for years through the hunting industry and thru  The Cleveland show was only an hour from me.

When I arrived, I was introduced to two other women with whom I felt an immediate connection:  Hollie Fluharty, a newly appointed County Wildlife Conservation Officer with the Ohio Division of Wildlife in the Cuyahoga Falls area,  and another fellow lady hunter, Mara Manke from the west Cleveland area.  Michele introduced me as the current President of WomenHunters.  I was able to talk about the WomenHunters organization and about hunting with many of the ladies there, some of whom were not even hunters (yet!).
Linda K Burch and Michele Leqve Hollie Fluharty and Linda K Burch

The Cleveland show boasted a huge 3D shooting area and I was encouraged to see a great many women, young and old, shooting their bows both alone and with family members.  To be surrounded by camo and archery gear and guns and taxidermy was balm to my soul.   Michele gave an extraordinary presentation in her usual unassuming and dynamic manner.   She outlined her introduction to archery, her world record polar bear kill taken with her Mathews bow and talked candidly and honestly about how women can get into both archery and the hunting sports.  What I find so endearing and honorable about Michele, is that while she has harvested countless trophy animals and even has a very professional DVD out, she is humble and honest about her hunting foibles as well as her triumphs.   That takes a lot of the mystery out of hunting and helps her female audiences relate to her and really feel they can get out there and hunt successfully.

Our Sisterhood of lady hunters is growing every year.  More women hunt in Isle,  Minnesota where I used to live, than in suburban Stow, Ohio where I now live, but in time I hope to make more connections in Ohio.   I will be back in Minnesota to hunt archery deer opener and firearms opener this year of course.   Meanwhile, I had already found a hunting buddy name Mara who shoots a crossbow and wanted to turkey hunt.

So let me tell you about Mara Manke who is not quite 40 years old.   She shot her first whitetail doe with a Remington 870 twelve gauge from a climbing tree stand in December 2008 from her own setup and all by herself.   She had hunted for several years before that but had not put meat in the freezer.  Her second whitetail was a six point buck in December 2009 from a tree stand as well.  Crossbow is very popular in Ohio, so she added that to her hunting repertoire.   She decided she wanted to turkey hunt this year and went to seminars, took classes, bought all the gear and attire and just went for it.   Unable to round up a turkey hunting buddy for season opener, she just went out solo with decoys and a 1958 Savage 775 with no choke tubes, loaded with upland game shot.  On Ohio turkey opener, she used an owl call because she was unsure how to use turkey calls.  Amazingly, she had a big gobbler come in to her decoy and got a shot off.   The tom rolled and fluttered, but stood back up and ran.  She ran after the bird but he won the foot race so there was no turkey in the freezer that day.  What an experience for a first turkey hunt !  The next weekend she and I primitive camped at the edge of a farmer’s field and turkey hunted the next morning.  She had now bought herself a Mossberg 500 twelve gauge with the right choke and ammo, and bought a tent for her pickup truck box too.  It was a comedy for us to put up that tent!   The next morning, while hunting she got a great case of poison ivy. We saw one hen milling around all morning, but we had no shots.   Mara is an inspiration and proof that anyone, male or female, can find the resources and take advantage of them to get out and enjoy the hunting sports.  You just have to make up your mind to do it, and just DO IT as Nike says.

Mara went out two more times, never to have another shot at a bird this season.  But we have our eyes on some wild pig archery hunting in southern Ohio in the near future and she is coming to Minnesota for archery opener at my land.

The Sisterhood of lady hunters is amazing, and organizations like WomenHunters along with people like Michele and Mara, can provide inspiration to us all.


Girls With Guns Equal More Fun

If you’re a woman hunter and have always wondered what it’s like to hunt amongst other women that share the passion, then you’re in luck. There’s a secret stash of land in Ohio’s district three area, 21,683 approximate acres to be exact, and for one day out of the year only women hunters are allowed a crack at some of the trophy bucks that roam the property.

The hunt I’m referring to is held at the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Area, the former Ravenna Arsenal, and is part of Ohio’s Controlled Hunt program.  No one knows the quality of deer that the property holds better then Kimberly Ludt, Environmental Specialist for the Ohio Army National Guard who is permanently stationed at Camp Ravenna. Kim assists Environmental Supervisor, Tim Morgan, in organizing and managing the hunts held on the property and is a hunter herself.

This past season Kim was hunting on the grounds during the last hunt of the year when she downed a monstrous 11-point buck, a buck many hunters only hope for a chance at. Kim has been a hunter for the past six years and you can tell by the sound of her voice that she’s proud to call herself a hunter. But that wasn’t always the case for Kim. “I actually wasn’t in favor of hunting and was a vegetarian for many years. I got to be more comfortable and accepting of hunting after my husband and I met. After we got married I started spending some time with him in the field while he was bow hunting and thought that this was something I could get into. A few years later I ended up taking archery at a ‘Women in the Outdoors’ event and I was hooked. My husband bought me a shotgun for my birthday one year and a bow the following.”

As an employee of Camp Ravenna, Kim is able to participate during the hunts as long as she isn't scheduled to work. On November 28TH she had taken the morning off to go hunting and was in the field with her husband. They were hunting 75 yards apart when Kim heard him shoot. The shot was aimed towards the 11-point buck, but wasn’t lethal as it hit him high. Kim paused after his shot as the buck ran from the direction of her husband and stopped 50yards from her. Her Remington 870 sounded and this time the buck wasn’t so lucky as Kim’s shot found his vitals.  The buck field dressed 160lbs, and is estimated to have been over 4 ½ years old.  Better yet, this was only Kim’s second deer ever. Her first was a year and a half-old spike taken from Camp Ravenna last year.

Kim’s success is one of many that women experience during the hunts held at Camp Ravenna and the only way Kim agreed to do this article was if we could get the word out about the Women’s Hunt and talk about the success that women have experienced. Here’s how you can get involved:First, don’t let age or experiences stop you, these hunts are for all as one young lady found out.

It was 2008 when Rachael Gatt, then 11yrs old, of Medina, Ohio, passed her hunters' safety course. She was later picked to hunt at Camp Ravenna and this hunt would be her first ever. With her grandfather accompanying her, Rachael was able to harvest her first deer, a spike buck. That’s what it’s all about!

The Ohio Division of Wildlife offers Controlled Deer Hunts on properties around Ohio that are normally off limits to hunters. Camp Ravenna is part of this program and has been for years.

A Controlled Hunt works like this. From June 1ST to July 31ST, the ODOW accepts applications from anyone that fills out and sends in applications for the hunts. A small fee is required to enter each hunt you apply for - $3 per hunt if you submit online or $5 per hunt for hard copy. Randomly selected applicants are then picked and notified. If picked, hunters can bring a partner with them to the area for the assigned day but must comply with all rules and regulations specific to the hunt's district as well as any rules set by the property managers. Camp Ravenna has such regulations and we’ll get to those shortly.

The ODOW first approached Camp Ravenna in 2006 in regards to holding a Women’s Hunt as part of the Ravenna Controlled Hunts. The commander at the time, LTC Thomas Tadsen, agreed to the hunt and they’ve continued it since. Only women can apply, but if chosen she may bring a male or female hunting partner of her choice.  However, only women may take an antlered deer on this hunt and only one antlered deer may be taken per pair of hunters. For example, if two women partner up for this hunt, only one of them may take a buck.

The 2006 season drew 672 applicants, out of those, 200 pairs of hunters showed up to hunt. That number dropped slightly in ’07 and ’08, but in 2009 779 hunters applied and 234 hunted. A normal hunt can draw as many as 260 hunters. An interesting note from Kim was the success rates they’ve had for this hunt – 2006 16.5% - 2007 19.9% - 2008 22.84% - 2009 23.9%. Increases are always good and Kim said that these percentages are usually a little lower than the other hunts, because women tend to be more conservative, waiting for the perfect shot rather than taking a lucky shot. Women’s hunts tend to be centered around the rut, just to give women a slight edge.

There are approximately 130 hunt areas ranging from 50 to 200 acres that each pair must stay in. To help keep hunters safe and in assigned areas, Camp Ravenna utilizes Volunteer Escorts. They patrol hunt area boundaries and by doing so they help get deer up and moving. As reward for volunteering their time, they’re also permitted to hunt.

Because Camp Ravenna is a military training site, some areas are designated as off limits to the public. These areas are designated as military hunt areas. Military hunters can apply to hunt these areas, similar to the public hunters that apply to the ODOW.  The selection process for the military hunters is random, just like the drawing for the public hunt areas.

Specific rules apply and every hunter that is picked to hunt will be provided with rules that must be followed. To relay a few – only ahotguns are allowed, hunter orange is a must, and certain bag limits apply. White/albino deer roam the property but they ask that you do not shoot them, simply enjoy actually seeing

Curious about the background of the property? Camp Ravenna is federal property managed by the Ohio Army National Guard as a training site. There’s still a small amount of cleanup occurring in areas where munitions were produced and/or stored. The Army still retains responsibility for those areas (approx. 1300 acres) until cleanup is complete. After its complete the property gets turned over to the Ohio Army National Guard to manage as a training site but still remains federal property. They’re required to manage the property in accordance with Army regulations, also state and federal laws.  “Army Regulations require being good stewards of their lands and managing the resources on it appropriately. The deer hunts are integrated as part of the natural resources management program. Keeping the deer herd at a healthy population is an important part of wildlife management and overall ecosystem management on the facility.”

In an effort to get an estimate of the deer population and determine the number of deer that need to be harvested the following year, employees perform roadside deer surveys in late August. This helps determine the buck to doe ratio. Also contributing to determining the deer population, ODOW completes winter counts by flying over the facility with a helicopter. These two factors along with the number of deer already harvested the previous year help Camp Ravenna determine how many hunts to hold the following year.

Now all you need to do is apply and cross your fingers. This is a fun hunt any which way you view it and it’s just waiting for you to give it a try. For additional information on Controlled Hunts and how to apply visit or call 1-800-WILDLIFE. Good luck!

Many thanks to Kimberly Ludt for the information and photos provided. And my congratulations to her on a successful season.


Linda Burch New Executive Director - WomenHunters

WomenHunters, Inc
8268 Old Jefferson Hwy
Kershaw SC 29067

Linda Burch New Executive Director - WomenHunters

Contact: Janice Baer
October 9, 2007
Phone: 763-442-1413
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sue Burch, founder and to date Executive Director of WomenHunters, together with the WomenHunters Board of Directors, is proud to announce the appointment of Linda Kistler Burch as the new Executive Director of WomenHunters, effective immediately. 

Sue Burch founded the WomenHunters organization in 2000 and saw it through the process of becoming a nonprofit organization three years ago.  Linda Burch, no relation, was one of the original writers for WomenHunters and was instrumental in helping obtain the non-profit status for the organization.  Linda has been a significant contributing writer, serves on the ProStaff, has helped WomenHunters at the ATA show for a number of years, Board member, and has served as President since January 1, 2007.  Sue Burch's  health problems prevent her from continuing at the current level with the many and varied duties she has performed  as Executive Director.  She will continue on as Director Advisor and Founder, as well as being integral to the continuation of the dynamics of the organization and the web site.

Stepping in to finish Linda's two-year term as President is WomenHunters current ProStaff Director, Alyssa Haukom.  Alyssa has also been actively involved with the organization since its beginnings, attending ATA shows, serving as Pro Staff, writing, and previously serving on the Board as VP Communications. She will continue as ProStaff Director for the time being.

"We are excited about helping Sue, and excited about our plans for the future", said Linda Burch. "The Board of Directors and I have many goals and dreams for the future, besides carrying on the goals and dreams of our founder, Sue Burch.  Many of these future plans will be announced at the start of 2008 and at the annual ATA Show in January 2008".

The WomenHunters Leadership Team for 2007 is as follows:

WomenHunters Board of Directors

  • Linda K Burch, Executive Director
  • Sue Burch, Director Advisor and Founder
  • President - Alyssa Haukom
  • VP Communications - Claudia Eisenmann
  • VP Public Relations - Michele Leqve
  • VP Operations - Beth Ann Amico
  • Secretary/Treasurer - Janice Baer

General Board Members

  • Lisa Metheny
  • Heidi Strosahl
  • Andrea Johnson


  • ProStaff Coordinator/ProStaff - Alyssa Haukom
  • Linda Thompson
  • Linda K Burch
  • Beth Ann Amico
  • Claudia Eisenmann
  • Lynne Frady
  • Lisa Metheny
  • Michele Leqve

Field Staff

  • Field Staff Coordinator/Field Staff  -  Janice Baer
  • Kimberly Kanapeckas
  • Kathleen Kalina
  • Brianne Wood
  • Ann Horsmann


  • Newsletter Editor -Andrea Johnson
  • Web Site Editor - Sheila Ogle


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