(Lander, WY) – State Auditor Kristi Racines and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow along with local Wyoming State Representative Ember Oakley and Megan Degenfelder of Morningstar Partners will compete in the 2021 Wyoming One Shot Antelope Hunt September 15-18.
While notable past shooters include the likes of General Norman Schwarzkopf, Roy Rogers, Senator Al Simpson, and Vice President Dick Cheney, this is the first year that women will participate as hunters.
“The One Shot Antelope Hunt has been a cherished Wyoming tradition for generations,” Governor Mark Gordon said. “It is a special year for the One Shot. I’m looking forward to spending time in the great outdoors with friends who appreciate our hunting legacy.”
The purpose of the event is to promote the ideals of good sportsmanship and game conservation, which has not changed since its inception 77 years ago. Emphasis is placed on camaraderie, ability in the field, and accuracy with a big-game rifle. In 1975, the Hunt partnered with the Water For Wildlife® Foundation, a conservation organization designed to benefit wildlife with a focus on providing water sources to drought-stricken habitats.
“I’m honored and humbled to be a part of this historic hunt, particularly since it’s in my home county,” Racines said. “In Wyoming, hunting is a critical part of our culture, and for good reason. It engenders respect for our lands, our wildlife, and most importantly, for each other. This hunt honors our past, while carrying these important values into the future.”
With the inclusion of seven women in this year’s hunt, several of the traditions have been altered or omitted from the event. Ceremonies this year include a Native American Ceremony, coordinated with members of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe. Hunters will hear the “Legend of the Hunt” and participate in a brothers and sisters ceremony, in which participants’ bullets are blessed for the hunt.
“The purpose of the hunt remains unchanged: to promote the ideals of sportsmanship and game conservation,” said Darin Hubbel, President of the One Shot Hunt Board of Directors. “It has always been our goal to bring new hunters and supporters to the community while maintaining strong traditional ties to our roots. By opening our event to a more diverse group, we ensure both the event and the sport of hunting remain viable for future generations. We also want to thank the Wyoming Game and Fish and the Shoshone Tribe for their continued support.”
Hunters shoot individually and compete on teams of three. Racines is on a team with Governor Gordon. Balow is on this year’s only all-Wyoming, all-women’s team with Oakley and Degenfelder. There is one other sponsored all-women’s team competing.
“It is novel to think about ‘breaking through the glass ceiling’ by being the first women to compete in the One Shot,” Balow said. “But, I assure you that is not why we are participating. Like others before us, we appreciate the comradery of the hunt and the stories that follow, we grow from the self-reliance of self-confidence that comes from an ethical harvest, and we are committed to conservation of wildlife and outdoor resources.”