Hunting & Heritage  |  04/28/2022

South Dakota Women on the Wing Speaker Series Takes Flight


Hunting, habitat and conservation highlight topics for thought-inspiring, community-building sessions

By Jake Hanson, South Dakota Regional Representative for Pheasants Forever

Last fall, a group of passionate women gathered to charter the new South Dakota Women on the Wing Chapter with hopes to provide opportunities for women to get together to hunt, enjoy the outdoors, and meet other like-minded women who have a passion for conservation and giving back. 

This spring, the chapter launched an Upland Women on the Wing Speaker Series to share their love of the Pheasants Forever mission while providing information and a place for discussion on a variety of topics including bird dog training, women in the outdoors, conservation practices, cooking classes, gear and equipment selection, and much more.

Each event will be led by an expert in that field.

“Our goal is to make everyone feel comfortable to come and learn more about Pheasants Forever along with each of the topics of the series in a way that isn’t overwhelming and through an inclusive environment,” said Rachel Schmieding Vidales, the chapter’s habitat chair. The speaker series was an idea that Rachel brought to life to bolster the chapter’s outreach effort. 

While most of the six speaking events will be held in person, all the events will also feature a virtual attendance option so that anyone can join throughout all corners of South Dakota and beyond state borders. 

“Our goal is to involve as many women as possible and tell the whole story of the Pheasants Forever mission — conservation, habitat, community and collaboration,” said Cassandra Schmith, president of the South Dakota Women on the Wing chapter. “We encourage all of our attendees to sign up to become a member of Pheasants Forever.”

Upland Women on the Wing Speaker Series Calendar of Events

May 3, 2022
Topic: Women Leading Innovative Conservation
Speaker: Dr. Shefali Mehta, Acting Chief Scientist and Deputy Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Location: ZOOM Only
Note: You can pre-registration for this event here.

June 7, 2022
Topic: How to Choose and Use the Best Gun for You
Speaker: Dan Griffith and the Sioux Falls Scheels Gun Experts
Location: Sioux Falls Scheels and ZOOM

July 2022 (Date To Be Announced)
Topic: Pollinators and the Monarch Butterfly: Life Cycle, Migration, and Importance
Speaker: Catherine Beall, Pheasants Forever Monarch and Native Pollinator Coordinating Wildlife Biologist
Location: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Outdoor Campus East (Sioux Falls) and ZOOM

August 2022 (Date To Be Announced)
Topic: Field Dressing and Learning to Cook Pheasants
Speaker: Local Sioux Falls Chef(s) and Outdoor Campus Staff
Location: South Dakota Game, Fish and parks Outdoor Campus East (Sioux Falls) and ZOOM

September 2022 (Date To Be Announced)
Event: All Women’s Sporting Clay Shoot and Instruction
Location: Hunter’s Pointe, Humboldt, South Dakota

Find more information on these in-person and online events, as well as other Women on the Wing opportunities all across the country, here