BOWing over the darkhouse

The ladies learned the tricks of the trident despite less-than-ideal conditions for the Becoming An Outdoors Woman darkhouse spearfishing workshop held at the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge Jan. 25. The event was conducted by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

A total of 14 women participated in the BOW event, which was held on the Souris River below Lake Darling. Cloudy water made for difficult viewing of northern pike but, unlike a year ago, few fish were encountered.

“A couple of ladies got a chance to try it but they didn’t spear a fish. The chances were really limited,” said Nancy Boldt, NDG&F event coordinator. “The last two years we’ve been really spoiled.”

Plenty of northern pike were speared during previous BOW events at Upper Souris, enough for a fish fry with leftovers. This year the participants had to settle for sampling some pike recipes from fish previously caught.

The BOW event began indoors with an introduction to darkhouse spearfishing equipment, techniques and regulations. From there the participants proceeded onto the ice for a demonstration of how to cut holes for darkhouse spearfishing. A few of the participants tried their hand with an ice saw or auger before the group dispersed into a colony of ice houses previously arranged for the event.

Weather conditions were less than ideal and may have played a role in the lack of cooperative pike. Snow and sleet fell throughout the event, which ran from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

BOW events continue to grow in popularity. Another BOW event scheduled for Lake Metigoshe State Park Feb. 21-23 is already full with 55 participants registered for a variety of outdoor learning endeavors.

“I encourage anyone interested to watch our website,” said Boldt. “If something comes up it will be on there. I know we’ll have a summer hike scheduled.”