Winter Doe Camp at the Hulbert Outdoor Center

Course Descriptions for 2017

Winter Doe Camp will be held on March 3 - 5, 2017

Winter Doe Camp is a women's weekend retreat for outdoor skill development, adventure, health and just plain fun. Classes include winter survival skills, sports, nature and health programming.

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Physical Levels:

E= Easy         M= Moderate       D= Difficult

Note: Most courses will be held regardless of weather conditions! This schedule may change due to number of participants, instructor availability, and Vermont inclement weather changes. This is a general overall course list. Please refer to the registration page for letting us know what subject of courses you are interested in attending. You’ll receive more class specific information closer to the weekend.


* Archery For All Skill Levels:  Confirmed
(E) The archery class teaches positioning of a person's body, proper alignment of their arms with the bow, and address the focusing of their eyes in conjunction with proper targeting position. It also teaches proper draw alignment and the length of the bow. (Experienced archers will also benefit.) It involves listening and following instructions at the beginning; but once a person gets comfortable she is able to practice on our targets. The instructions usually take approx. 30 minutes and the rest is practice shooting.  If you already shoot archery but want to hone their skills, try something different, or tune their equipment. This class is a favorite for many avid archers and is a great family activity.  Participants should bring their own equipment to get the most out of this course but we can supply some bows.  Instructor: Linwood Smith, Archery & Pro Shop from St Johnsbury, VT Limited to 10 per class.
Please Note: This class is held in an indoor heated facility, approximately a 40 minute drive from Hulbert Outdoor Center. If you sign up for this class on Friday, you can drive there before registering at Doe Camp. We encourage ride sharing to and from camp. Directions will be provided.
Fishing and Hunting
* Becoming a Deer Hunter: What the total beginner needs to know. Confirmed
(E) Do you dream of hunting your own wild meat but don't know where to start? Hunting Guide Mary Murphy has taught many women the essential skills of deer hunting and guided them to their first successful kill. In this workshop she will help you understand the steps to success: what you need to know about hunting laws, finding land to hunt on, finding deer in the woods, guns and bows, other essential hunting gear, and what to do after you've shot your buck. We'll also make room for a discussion of how ethics and spirituality impact our hunt. What you should bring: Enthusiasm & Questions Instructor: Max: 10 Mary Murphy, Mountainsong Expeditions, 
* Ice Fishing, Confirmed
Learn how to drill holes in the correct spots, set tackle, types of bait and general techniques for staying warm and enjoying our frozen lakes so that you can catch fish in the Winter! Instuctor: Bradley Carleton, Sacred Hunter -
with Cheryl Frank Sullivan. Limited to 10 per class
* Spring Turkey Hunting, Confirmed
Learn how to cluck, purr and gobble with the best of them. Turkeys are very communicative and their vocabulary is very specific – even to the tone of each individual bird. At certain times of day, hens will be singing sweet love songs, while jakes will be challenging each other with a fighting purr. When it comes time for the Ol’ Boss Tom to seek the dominant hen it’s a very heated dialogue, not unlike two star-crossed lovers meeting for the first time. Come join the fun and learn the language of Meleagris Gallopavo (Eastern Wild Turkey) while practicing the seductive language of love in the spring. Max students: 8, Instuctor: Bradley Carleton, Sacred Hunter -

Sports and Recreation

* Advanced Snowshoe Techniques, Confirmed
(M - D)  Snowshoeing on gentle terrain is almost as easy as walking. But what happens when terrain and snow conditions are more challenging? We'll show you the latest in snowshoe designs and discuss which boots will keep your feet warm and still give you the ankle support and edge control you need. Then, we'll put on snowshoes, grab trekking poles and go looking for deep snow, breakable crust, steeps, sidehills, brooks and logs to cross and other fun challenges. We'll take along some heavy women's winter packs so you can practice with those, and even a pulk you can try pulling. If there's time and the snow conditions are right, we'll also have a chance to play with some sliding snowshoes. Come dressed for several hours outdoors in any conditions. Bring your own snowshoes if you have them (we'll have extras) and, if you have your own large backpack, load it and bring it along. Instructor: Tim Jones and David Shedd, Limited to 10 per class

* Dog Sledding,  Confirmed
(M) Dog sledding is an ancient sport that is growing in popularity throughout the northern states. Join a seasoned musher for a session on topics such as choosing dogs, handling dogs, sled basics, types of sleds and how to manage a team. Participants will get hands on experience with these social and lovable northern breed working dogs. Come prepared to fall in love with the dogs. Instructor: Kathy Bennett 

* How to Pick, Pack & Carry A Winter Backpack,  Confirmed
Winter is a time of extremes; if you want to leave the road behind and travel safely and independently on skis, snowshoes or crampons, you need to carry extra food and water, appropriate clothing, and some basic survival gear. That means you need a backpack. And, since winter gear is always bulkier and heavier than the summer equivalents, it's probably going to need to be bigger and capable of comfortably carrying more weight than the daypack you use on summer day hikes. Winter backpacking is another world, too. The ultra-compact, ultra-light pack you can carry in the summer may work for the extremes of winter--or it may not.
These days, there are lots of backpacks made specifically for women. We'll show you what manufacturers mean when they market a pack as a "woman's backpack,” help you decide on the size and features you need. Then we'll show you how to load it efficiently and fit it to your body for comfort.
If you already own a backpack (or several!) bring them to class and we'll help you assess them for fit and winter suitability. While this is primarily an “indoor” class, we may have time to take a short hike with backpacks, so come prepared. Instructors: Tim Jones and David Shedd,  Limited to 10 per class

* Introduction to Lightweight Winter Camping, Confirmed
(E)  Have you ever dreamed of winter camping with your family or friends, exploring the beautiful winter wilds on skis or snowshoes, then watching the sunset from your tent...but thought it would be too cold, the gear too heavy? The staff of  will show you the lightweight gear, clothing, and accessories (even packable woodstoves that run on branches you break off trees!) for safe, easy, comfortable winter camping. Together, we'll set up two complete winter campsites, one with a heated tipi and one with a conventional tent. We'll show you how to safely and comfortably ease into winter camping as you grow your confidence and skills. We'll teach you step-by-step how to stay warm, dry, and comfortable, even in unexpected weather. Bring along any gear you own, and we'll help you assess whether it's appropriate for winter use. Come dressed for several hours outdoors! Participants will have the option of spending the night in one of the camps we set up; contact us in advance about space and what personal gear to bring. Instructor: Tim Jones and David Shedd,
Limited to 10 per class

* Nordic Skating, Confirmed
Experience the centuries old art of Scandinavian style cross country skating. Learn how to skate efficiently and safely across all types of ice surfaces. Be able to take your own “wild skating” tour. Depending on the ice conditions, Lake Morey will have a 4 mile loop for us to enjoy! Instructor: Jamie Hess, The Nordic Skater, 
Limit is 10 people

Firearms Classes

*Equipment will be provided. However, if you choose to bring your own firearm, be sure it is properly transported and stored with security lock and/or a lockable storage case. Bring a cleaning kit, two boxes of new factory loaded ammo, shooting glasses and hearing protection rated at 21 decibels or above. 

* Handgun Skills & Marksmanship, All Levels, Confirmed
Beginning with basic firearm safety, become familiar with pistols, loading, unloading and safe handling in a real setting. We will learn shooting techniques, have the opportunity to develop or improve marksmanship, and discuss how to find a range or club in your area and what events are available on both a local and state level for women interested in additional instruction or competition. Instructors:
Larry Hamel, Aaron Cochran,
Limit is 10 people

* Muzzleloader Skills & Marksmanship, All Levels:  Confirmed
(E) Take a step back in time to learn about the pioneers' most important tool - the muzzleloading rifle. Gain experience; learn safety and proficiency with the modern caplock, traditional flintlock and matchlock muskets.  Instructors: Larry Hamel, Aaron Cochran,
Limit is 10 people

* Rifle Skills & Marksmanship All Levels: Confirmed
(E) Beginning with basic firearm safety, become familiar with rifles, loading, unloading, and safe handling in a real setting.  We will learn shooting techniques and positions, will have the opportunity to develop or improve marksmanship, discuss how to find a range or club in your area and what events are available on both a local and state level for women interested in additional instruction or competition.  Instructors: Larry Hamel, Aaron Cochran,
Limit is 10 people

Winter Survival, Health and Nature

* Basket Weaving (Introduction to Basket Weaving): Confirmed
(E) Learn to weave a simple basket. Basket weaving is fun, practical and a great way to exercise your creative side. Caution: basket weaving is addicting and you may never clean your house or cook another meal again! Max: 10 Instructor: Johanna Laggis

* Cheesemaking at Home Confirmed
Cheese, like bread and wine, is one of those marvelously complex and diverse foods rich in history, tradition and flavor. Everyone has developed some sort of relationship with cheese, for better or for worse. If homemade dairy products interest you as a hobby, as a form of self-sufficiency, as a way to impress dinner guests or as one of the few old world food traditions relatively untouched by time—or even if you just like to eat cheese and are curious about it—this is the workshop for you. We will sample several different kinds of cheese in our quest to understand how they are made, and by the end of our three hours together you will have tried your hand at queso blanco, mozzarella and camembert, and you'll be able to take home the fruits of your labor.
Instructor: Lea Calderon Guthe

* Fire By Friction: Bow Drill 
Learn how to coax fire from a simple wooden kit. Using a bow drill set along with a little patience, technique, coordination, and effort you can make a coal to then blow into flame. This is both practical as it enriches your understanding of fire, as well as a real magical experience. Max 10, Sarah Corrigan, Roots School,

* Fires in Winter, Confirmed
Winter is the time of year when being able to build a fire could save your life! But first you must learn how to find good tinder and dry firewood even when show covers the ground. In this class we will go on a short hike to examine winter fire materials, gather materials in nature, and build an outdoor fire in the snow. We'll also look at several different fire-starting methods and review what fire supplies you should always keep in your daypack for winter adventures. Taught by Murphy Robinson, an experienced winter camping guide at Mountainsong Expeditions. Max: 10 Mary Murphy, Mountainsong Expeditions, 

* First Aid with Plant Based Remedies Confirmed
Injury and sickness is something that we all experience, and learning accessible and effective strategies from plants to take care of yourself can be a huge advantage. As a group we will be talking about common injuries, basic protocol, and treatments supported by simple herbal medicine applications. Max 10, Sarah Corrigan, Roots School.

* Gourmet Outdoor Cooking Confirmed
Campfires aren't just for s'mores—they'll bake your bread, roast your meat, simmer your stew, fry your eggs, puff your popovers... Anything you can make in your kitchen can, with the right enthusiasm and proper tools, come hot off a well-tended fire. Join me for a foray into the great culinary adventures of the outdoors. We'll prepare our fire for apple crepes, fresh French bread, a hearty stew and a recipe of your choice.
 Instructor: Lea Calderon Guthe

* Introduction to Winter Bushcraft Confirmed
(M -D)
Bushcraft is the natural world skill set of doing more with less. Indigenous populations around the world have adapted to their environment by learning how to utilize their resources in a sustainable way. In Introduction to Winter Bushcraft, learn how to use a bare minimum of tools to build fires in any condition, to create cordage, find/collect/treat water, make shelters, signal for help and so much more. This course will be taught outdoors for the entire session and participants should be dressed for sustained activity in the elements. It will be suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Participants should have some basic equipment with them including a sturdy belt knife, ferro rod fire starter, metal water bottle and cup, jute twine and 550 paracord, daypack or satchel, notebook/pencil Optional: folding saw, foam kneeling pad, thermos with hot coffee or cocoa, personal equipment for testing in conditions. Class Max 12, Instructor: Kevin Estela,

* Open Fire Baking Confirmed
If you've ever cooked over an open fire, you know it can fill your belly just as well as it can warm your hands. In this class, we'll put our outdoor cooking skills to the test with a variety of baked goods, including sourdough bread, a few pastries, muffins and popovers. Brush up on your fire tending and maintenance skills while growing your knowledge base of international baking styles. We will also discuss practical ways of getting your baking materials into the backcountry.
Instructor: Lea Calderon Guthe

* The Power and Potential of Paracord Confirmed
Participants will learn how to use paracord in more ways than just cordage. Paracord can be used as a blade, an impact weapon, for first aid, to carry water, to evacuate wounded, for rappelling, creating tripods and much more. Participants in this seminar will leave with various products and a working understanding of how to fully utilize this common survival kit item. Class Max 12, Instructor: Kevin Estela,

*Traditional Ax Skills Every Woodswoman Should Know  Confirmed
In these days of power tools ax skills are dying out, but there is no more versatile tool for working with wood in the backcountry. Your ax can help you harvest wood for winter camping, cut poles to erect a wall tent or tipi, create stakes for camp shelters, and keep trails clear of blow-down trees in any season. In this class we will learn about selection, care, and sharpening of your ax, and then practice the traditional skills of limbing and bucking up a small tree, plus advice on splitting wood. You will learn proper body mechanics that allow you to use your ax more effectively, using the weight of the ax head and gravity instead of straining your muscles.  What you should bring: Dress for the outdoors but prepared to strip down your layers as you get warm swinging an ax. You are welcome to bring work gloves, safety glasses, and a hard hat (but we will provide these as well). You are welcome to bring your own ax, or you can use one of ours. Maximum: 8  Instructor: Leslie Ruster, Mountainsong Expeditions,

* What's That in the Woods? Winter Tree ID and More. Confirmed
Take a winter walk in the woods and learn to identify trees and shrubs by examining twigs, buds and bark. We'll teach you how to confidently identify Vermont's common trees when there are no leaves around for clues and talk about the importance of each species and how it fits into the forest ecosystem. Instructors Barbara and Johanna have many years of outdoor experience between them and are eager to share their knowledge about everything that pops up on our walk. Max: 12 Instructors: Johanna Laggis & Barbara Schultz

* Wildlife Photography: Calling and Tracking for the Camera  Confirmed
This unique class starts with a quick indoor presentation on the basic skills photographers need to create quality images and the tactics we use to obtain opportunities to use these skills on a variety of wildlife.   The group will then venture into the wilderness where we will put what we dicuss into action. Participants should come away with a basic knowledge of wildlife behavior, calling, tracking and possibly a few pics of some creatures. Feel free to bring your own camera!  Class size Max: 12, Instructors: Dawn & Dylan Ainsworth,

* Woodlot and Wildlife Management Confirmed
This will be both indoors and outdoors, so dress for the weather. We will start with a slide show presentation on the history of Vermont forests showing how we got to today's condition, both the good and the bad. We will consider both wildlife habitat and timber stewardship, and especially how to increase the habitat diversity in your area. A walk in the woods will give real-life examples. Join with consulting forester Robbo Holleran for an engaging interactive presentation for Friday afternoon. Robbo is the co-author of the new "Silvicultural Guide for Northern Hardwoods" with noted forest scientist Bill Leak and wildlife biologist Mariko Yamasaki. Max: 12, Instructor, Robbo Holleran,


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