The hunt is on at the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt in northeastern Wyoming. Hunters checked in yesterday for the hunt at the Ranch at Ucross, located 17 miles northeast of Buffalo, Wyo. Hunting began early this morning for the 34 women participating. This is the second year for the hunt.

The Wyoming Women’s Foundation created the hunt to promote mentorships through hunting while raising awareness of and funds for the foundation’s mission to improve economic self-sufficiency of women in Wyoming.

“It’s set up so that we can foster mentoring relationships, and so the women are really bonding out there, and they’re helping each other,” says Rebekah Smith with the Wyoming Women’s Foundation. “Some of them will be experienced hunters and some of them will be new hunters and some will be somewhere in between, but the idea is that they can work together and support each other in their hunt.”

Women were split into pair based on their experience and areas on the licenses. The pairs then are assigned a guide and start their hunting. The women and their guide will then stay together through the duration of the hunt, with two days to complete the task. Hunting ends Saturday, October 11.

An award ceremony will conclude the event Saturday evening. Not only does the women’s only quality make this a unique hunt, but the awards are unique as well.

“It’s not about who gets their antelope first or who gets the biggest antelope. The point is really trying to accentuate that ethical hunt and going out there and putting your best effort into the hunt and taking your time with your shot,” says Smith.

Awards are given to those who harvest an antelope in one shot, those who get closest to their antelope and for the women who perseveres the most in her hunt, even if she does not harvest an antelope.

All the women will hunt within a 45 minute drive of the Ranch at Ucross, meaning all hunting will take place in Sheridan and Johnson Counties.

This year Wyoming Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kite, who helped found the hunt, will again be participating. In addition, this year’s special guest is Ms. Wheelchair USA Ashlee Lundvall, who is from Cody, Wyo.

Sponsors for the event include The Warren Ranch, The Merlin Ranch, Smith and Wesson, BP, Cabela’s and more. Click here for a complete list of sponsors.

For more information on the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt, visit http://wyomingwomensantelopehunt.org/.