Awakening the Hunter

This four-day course, located on private hunting ground in Kettle Falls, Washington, will cover in-depth big game hunting training and education for those wanting to deepen the human-nature connection by awakening and honing the senses that arise during the hunt. Not to be confused with a guided hunt or the pursuit of trophies; this is a more holistic approach to learning the entire process from planning and prep to stalking and hunting to field dressing and butchering. The underlying purpose is to heal the connection between humans and nature by experiencing the essence of the hunt, which requires time in the field and thinking like a wild animal. This process is a slow, thoughtful immersion to establish the strongest bonds possible to the land and our ecosystem, at which point hunting becomes more an act of giving and receiving than of conquering and taking.

Limited to eight participants, there will be minimal classroom time with emphasis on hands-on, outdoor active learning. Meals are included and sleeping arrangements will be outdoor camping style with limited indoor facilities available. Minimum age is 18, however we encourage parent/children teams so please talk to us if you’d like to bring a young hunter with you.

This course takes place outside the general fall hunting season with the objective of participants feeling confident to get out and hunt on their own. Remaining involved with the instructor community after the completion of the course is encouraged as a resource to answer future questions and aid in the realization of successful outings. Anyone born after January 1, 1972 wishing to hunt in Washington is required by law to pass a WDFW hunter safety course, which typically fill up fast towards the end of summer.

Browse photos from previous courses here:  View Past Photos 

Read an Article in Crosscut written from a past participant: 

Life, death and the dinner table

At a four-day hunting school in backwoods Washington, students ponder what it means to eat meat, and whether they’d be willing to kill for it.

Samantha Larson

course dates:

  • May 4-7, 2017  Big Game & Turkey Hunting (Turkey hunting opportunities)
  • May 11-14, 2017  Big Game & Turkey Hunting (This Course will open to registration once the May 4 Course reaches capacity.)
  • August 17-20, 2017  Big Game Hunting Parent/Child Emphasis (Discounts available for accompanied children under 25) Open to single participants as well. 
  • August 31-September 3, 2017 Big Game Hunting

Registration Deposit: $400 to reserve your spot in the course. 

Total Cost: $900 - $1500 sliding scale (balance due by completion of the course.) By contributing more, you help further our mission and make it more attainable for others to participate. Thank you.

Includes meals (mostly locally grown food), on-site camping (tent platforms and small cabins in the works for 2017), access to outdoor solar heated shower and outhouse facilities, limited access to cabin with indoor plumbing. Please bring your own tent and sleeping arrangements. Expect warm days and cool nights.

Arrive by noon on the start date. Contact us about arriving the night before if that is more convenient. 

Minimum/Maximum number of participants per course: 5/8


COURSE TOPICS

Introduction
•    Ethics, safety, history & philosophy of the hunt

Preparation
•    Regulations, laws, seasons, cost of entry
•    Where to hunt (maps & research); Public lands
•    Equipment essentials and options

In-Field Skills
•    Hunting strategies and approaches
•    Tracking, scouting, reading sign
•    Stalking, walking with awareness
•    Wildlife identification and habitat
•    Using topographic maps 

Marksmanship & Firearms
•    Shooting: small & large caliber shooting skills, ballistics, how to choose a rifle, reloading
•    Archery & Muzzleloader basics; emphasis on modern firearms

After the Shot
•    Following a blood trail
•    Field dressing a large animal (gutting, skinning, quartering)
•    Transporting game in the field
•    Caring for the meat in the field and at home

Packing/Camping/Survival
•    Setting up base camp, camp essentials
•    Foraging/wild edibles breakout session

What to Bring

Tent & sleeping arrangements
Water bottle
Towel
Camp chair (if you have one)
Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
Layers for temperature variations
Rain gear
Swimming suit

(More information will be provided with Registration Confirmation)