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August 24, 2009 10:07 PM

Gal Getaway Outdoors

It's no secret South Dakota is a big outdoor state. With hunting and fishing, there are a lot of getaway options for the guys or the girls.

Men might be known to hunt and fish more than women but a Redfield woman sees no reason the outdoors shouldn't be open to her gender too.

Spend a day with Jane Keller on her parents ranch near Hitchcock and you'll get a good idea of what her hopes are for women in the outdoors.

"Facials and massage," Keller said.

You can add picking flowers and getting pedicures to that list and a few other things too.

"Archery range, the handgun range, the shotgun range," Keller said.

These are all things she does with a group of women in a venue she started called Team Huntress. Keller's goal is to get women in a comfortable environment to enjoy the outdoors.

"Guys have a tendency to kind of ding on each other when they're outside," Keller said. "Girls on the other hand are very nurturing and they'll say, ‘Oh, you'll do better next time’ and they're encouraging."

Keller held her venue’s first clinic at her parents’ ranch in June. She enjoys looking back at pictures of the women whether they're roughing it at the range or being pampered in the lodge.

She says the comradely was great, even though some were shooting for the first time and others had grown up hunting like her daughter, Kasen.

"I got my first deer when I was 12 and that was pretty awesome," Kasen said.

Like her mom, Kasen is no stranger to shooting guns. But she had never shot a bow until she learned how to at Team Huntress.

Now she’ll spend an hour a day sending arrows at the target. At seventeen years old, she doesn't plan to be around home forever but her mom's venue isn't something she plans to ax from her life when she leaves.

"We get to go have a lot of fun, shoot a .50 cal Golden Eagle, you know those things really have quite an awesome kick to them," Kasen said.

It wasn't tough for Keller to get her daughter on board. But she even has her little brother, Dave Olsen, sporting a Team Huntress shirt.

"That's because she has beaten me enough, I am tough enough to wear pink," Olsen said.

Olsen is president of the lodge where Keller held her first clinic. He's seen plenty of groups come through and it doesn’t take long for him to notice a difference.

"The guys just love to pick on each other. It's who can we tease the most about what mistake they've made that day,” Olsen said.

But he doesn’t observe the same with the women.

“They're each other's little cheerleader and they have so much fun. And all of a sudden they might be over taking a picture of that particular flower or the whole hunt may stop momentarily but they don't care," Olsen said. 

But Olsen enjoys watching the group have fun and wants to see Team Huntress grow. Keller wants to expand her list of outdoor activities and she doesn't only want to hold events in Hitchcock.

"I'd love to go try fly fishing or horseback riding somewhere that I've never been and I think it would be a great time," Kasen said.

Getting her daughter to try something new outdoors isn't a challenge but Keller extends it to others too.

"A lot of gals that come to our venue maybe have more guy friends than they do girl friends because of their interests. So when they've come here, they've really been bonded with a special sisterhood of other gals that enjoy outdoor pursuits," Keller said.

Whether they have a flower pedal in hand or a pistol.


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