AGFC’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman

So maybe you know how to set up a tent, but starting a campfire seems like black magic. Or perhaps you love to go on the occasional hike, but you wouldn’t know a trekking pole from a walking stick. We get it. But that yearning to experience Arkansas’ natural resources is about all you need to start Becoming an Outdoors-Woman—and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission can help you fill in the rest. You’ll choose from several courses to take over the course of a weekend, when you can try your hand at outdoor standards such as hunting and fishing, or channel your inner Katniss Everdeen by learning survival skills and how to identify edible plants. Whether it’s an activity you’ve always wanted to try or a skill you just want to hone, you’ll leave BOW ready to take to the wilderness.

Fine Print: This year’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend will be held Sept. 28-30 at the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale, about 15 miles west of Little Rock. Registration will start Sept. 28 for $150. (agfc.com/bow; (501) 978-7342)


UAEX’s beekeeping courses

Whether you hope to combat the decline of honeybees, aid your garden with a pollinator power-up,

or you simply can’t get enough of that sweet, sweet honey, these beekeeping courses from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service are just what you need to be all you can bee. Learn everything you need to know to be a safe and successful apiculturalist from UAEX’s certified master beekeeper, Jon Zawislak.

Fine Print: UAEX will offer the course at the Paragould Community Center on Saturdays, Sept. 10-24, and at Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope campus on Mondays, Oct. 22 to Nov. 5. Registration is required, but the three-session courses are open to the public and available at no cost. (uaex.edu/bees)


Dave & Emily Whitlock Fly Fishing

Remember in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke Skywalker went to Dagobah to learn the ways of the force with Yoda? Imagine if instead of a lightsaber, Luke had a fly-fishing pole, and instead of going to Dagobah, he went to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, 55 miles west of Fayetteville. Basically what we’re trying to say is, Dave Whitlock is a Jedi master of fly-fishing, and if you’re a willing student, he’ll teach you his ways. Among his credentials are 50 years of fly-fishing experience, 35 years of teaching and 10 years of directing the LL Bean Fly-Fishing Schools (that he also designed). And don’t forget Emily Whitlock, the Obi-Wan Kenobi to Dave’s Yoda, who’s been his fly-fishing partner-in-line for the past 20 years. Under their tutelage, you’ll have no problem handling Carp Vader.

Fine Print: If you’re planning on going Solo or with a friend, a Day with Dave will run you $650 total (not per person). A Day with Dave and Emily allows for a group of up to four for $950. (davewhitlock.com; (888) 962-4576)


Diamond TR Ranch

Haven’t you always dreamed of riding off into the sunset on your faithful steed? Well, it might be helpful to, y’know, actually know how to ride a horse. In that case, look no further than Diamond TR Ranch in Perryville. Whether you want to learn basic horsemanship for trail riding or hone your skills to compete in dressage riding, Diamond TR can steer you in the right direction while letting you advance at your own pace. Before you know it, you’ll be able to groom and tack your horse and maneuver the animal like an extension of your own body. Let’s ride!

Fine Print: Individual lessons are available for $40 each, or you can purchase lesson packages at $195 for five sessions and $350 for 10. Lesson packages are good for a full year. (diamondtr.com; (501) 333-2891)


Arkansas Golf Center

Is it just us, or is golf one of those sports that’s always seemed slightly inaccessible to most average folk? Here’s the truth, though: Anyone can play the game, it just takes a little guidance. So whether you don’t know the difference between a 9-iron and a tire iron, or you’re just tired of Jill from accounting constantly showing you up on the links, you’ll be swinging like a pro after some instruction from the folks at the Arkansas Golf Center in Conway. Best of all, AGC instructors use iPads loaded with digital video coaching software to capture your swing so you can see exactly where you’re going wrong.

Fine Print: Did we mention that AGC’s head instructor (and founder!), Brannon Watson, was named Best Golf Teacher in Arkansas by Golf Digest? Hour-long lessons with Brannon go for $90 each, or you can purchase lesson packages at $250 for three sessions and $450 for six. (arkansasgolfcenter.com; (501) 327-0171)