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Women Hunt Committee


Renée Thornton

Renée Thornton

Chair | Montana

Born and raised in rural Alberta to a large farming family, Renée Thornton serves as Lead of the Wild Sheep Foundation’s (WSF) Women Hunt™ Program and Chair of the Women Hunt™ Committee.

Although not raised in a hunting family or with a hunting background, in 2016 Renée embarked on a personal journey to become a hunter. This decision was driven by a decade-long pursuit of sourcing her meat more ethically and organically from small local producers and farmer’s markets. To Renée, the logical progression was to obtain her protein from animals that lived freely and naturally in nature, until harvested quickly and humanely, by her own hand. As a result of her experiences as a solo, adult-onset hunter, Renée is passionate about engaging with and helping more women cross barriers on their journey into fields and the mountains.

Renée believes in giving back of her time, talent and treasure. She is a Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) Summit Life Member and Chadwick Ram Society Member, a member of the WSF Ladies Luncheon Committee and volunteers at various WSF events. She is an active volunteer and Life Member of Wild Sheep Foundation Alberta where she serves on the convention planning and auction solicitation committees. She is a Life Member of the Wild Sheep Society of BC, the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society, the Washington Wild Sheep Foundation, the Eastern Chapter of the WSF, and holds memberships in other WSF Chapters & Affiliates, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance.

In addition to hunting Renée enjoys fly fishing, hiking, backpacking, camping, and adventure travel. As a hunter she has taken black bear, wild hog, whitetail, mule deer, and Axis deer and has plans this year for elk, mountain lion and antelope. She aspires to hunt wild sheep and join the ranks of accomplished mountain hunters.

An avid reader, accomplished writer, business leader and mentor, Renée recently retired from a 30-year career as a professional manager for the Canadian Federal Government. She resides in Manhattan, Montana.

Rachel Ahtila

Rachel Ahtila

British Columbia

‘Don’t be afraid to start where you are, to get to where you want to be’ has been Rachel’s unofficial motto since first getting a taste of hunting camp years ago. A southern British Columbian by birth, but a northerner by choice, what started as a summer childhood getaway quickly turned into the love of her life. The pursuit of wild places, riding horses and hunting started out as grand adventures that turned into a career path that she hasn’t looked back on. Obtaining her first guides license by 19 years old, she was a quick study that led her to working and guiding in British Columbia, the Yukon, and Northwest Territories, as well as abroad in New Zealand. Through school and post-secondary education at the University of Victoria, the mountains were her calling.

Her passion for life and its adventures has her teamed up with some tremendous companies, a staunch resume of conservation, and a zest for life. She’s worked her way up from the elementary roles at hunting camp, and set out to guide the premier species of Canada’s northwest. Accolades include working and guiding for ‘Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures’ and ‘The Professionals’, as well as aiding many clients to their hunts on and off the screen, an international columnist, product tester and ambassador for leading industry companies, one of the youngest women to ever serve on the Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia, and integral founding member of the Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance. Her life path and growth are owed largely to the opportunities that she took a chance on and the extended hunting family that has supported and encouraged her – a mission she has been actively working on in support of the next generation.

A devout hunter, avid equestrian, and hard worker, when she’s not in the mountains, you can be sure to find her somewhere on a horse, most likely ranching or off on an adventure!


Julie Chapman

Julie Chapman

Indiana

"Passion" is something very evident when describing Julie! An Indiana native, Julie has had a passion for living life to the fullest and has excelled in many different endeavors. While earning her Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Missouri she found time to have a record setting career as a 4-year starter for the women's basketball program. Following her college career, she married her high school sweetheart, Brandon and together they have passed down the love and respect for hunting to their two children, John and Madison.

Chapman is a licensed Healthcare Administrator where she owns and operates a skilled nursing facility in Southern Indiana. Additionally, she and her husband own and manage several other successful businesses within the community. Julie is a high energy, enthusiastic person that doesn't back down from a challenge. She and her husband created Graveyard Outdoors to provide opportunities for children from the surrounding counties to experience the outdoors. Annual events for children include turkey hunts, dove hunts, pheasant hunts, archery events, shooting sports, fishing days, and waterfowl banding.

This intense enthusiasm for the outdoors has led to many different opportunities to serve at a grass roots level with conservation organizations. Julie led the state with record setting financial achievements while serving as the Ducks Unlimited Chairman for three consecutive years. NWTF, RMEF, NRA, Florida Tarpon Anglers Association, and Physically Challenged Bowhunters Association are just a few of the organizations.

The love of wild sheep began with the harvest of her first desert sheep. Jack O'Connor said it best when he said, "There is no half way. After his first exposure, a man is either a sheep hunter or he isn't. He either falls under the spell of sheep hunting and sheep country or he won't be caught dead on another sheep mountain." Obviously, Julie is all in and there is no "HALF WAY" when it comes to the passion and energy needed to continue the mission of the Wild Sheep Foundation.

Linda Demmer

Linda Demmer

South Carolina

Linda Demmer has had a lifelong passion for wildlife, its habitat, and its conservation. Linda was raised in the shadow of Fred Bear and competed in Northern Michigan field archery competitions as a young woman. Those early passions have inspired her on a quest to hunt big game in North America and Africa.

Linda is a university-trained fine artist having spent her adult life restoring historic properties including their landscapes. Restoring Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Usonian home and his fourth favorite design is one of her credits. Currently she is leading the efforts to restore an historic property in South Carolina’s “Low Country.” This property is an early South Carolina rice farm with a cornerstone laid in 1697. The property was a Land Grant from King Charles. Linda is managing the farm’s wildlife habitat for deer, ducks, turkey, quail, and doves. Her game management also includes cover crops for wildlife and carbon sequestration enhancement.

Linda is an active partner with the Low Country Ducks Unlimited Chapters. DU created a video that they aired nationally featuring Linda and her friends duck hunting called, “Lady Hunters of the South Carolina Low Country.” The video, available on the DU web, is 2018 Episode 12-Southern Women.

Linda’s “Big Game” experiences includes the harvest of Alaskan Brown Bear and Black Bear, Yukon Territory Mountain Caribou, Rocky Mountain Goat, California Tulle Elk, and an Oregon Roosevelt Elk. She was the first woman in Oregon hunting history to win the Governor’s Tag Raffle for the Elk. Linda has harvested deer in Michigan, South Carolina, Texas, and Mexico. Linda’s African hunts include successful safaris in Mozambique and Tanzania. She has successfully harvested: Ocellated Turkeys in Campeche, Mexico, the Eastern Turkey, The Rio Grande and is booked to hunt the Gould Turkey in Sierra Madre Mountains, Mexico, and Red Stag in Scotland.

Linda’s love for the sporting life has led her to the world of conservation policy. She has engaged both at the state and federal levels working for the sportsmen and women of North America. Linda currently serves on the boards of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association, the Nemours Wildlife Foundation and Bear Trust International and National Wild Turkey Federation. She is on the founding committee for Women Hunt™ through the Wild Sheep Foundation. She also served on the Board of Directors of The Lowcountry Land Trust in South Carolina. In addition to her conservation passions, she had served on the Eli and Edith Broad Art Museum Board at Michigan State University.

Linda’s experience as an educator has equipped her with the capacity to mentor fair chase hunters. She also has the desire to work with and for the development of nontraditional hunters, women in particular.

Her love of the outdoors, being a passionate “fair chase hunter,” a dedication to preserving and enhancing habitat brings experience to Women Hunt™.


Sara Domek

Sara Domek

Wyoming

Sara grew up in the high sagebrush sea of western Wyoming. While a love for horses was a primary obsession for much of her childhood, Sara loved following in her father's footsteps fishing and hunting on Wyoming's public lands. Sara received her Bachelor of Science degree from Northland College in northern Wisconsin and her Masters in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path College. Her experiences working with backcountry trail crews and wildlife management agencies, to her role as the Executive Director of the National Bighorn Sheep Center, and her current fundraising work with The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming have all allowed her to give back to the outdoor world she loves most. Sara is a founding member of Artemis, another women's hunting and conservation organization, and she is deeply committed to helping youth and women gain meaningful outdoor experiences. She loves to hunt, and her passion for archery hunting grows exponentially with every season. She lives in beautiful Dubois with her husband and son where they enjoy incredible hunting, fishing and other outdoor adventures in some of the wildest country in the west. Sara is passionate about helping empower more women's voices in wildlife conservation and hunting.

Peregrine L. Wolff, DVM

Peregrine L. Wolff, DVM

California

Peregrine is a veterinarian who has focused her career on the health and conservation of wildlife. After graduating from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984 she worked for city and state agencies, large corporations, and owned her own practice. She has spent the last 10 years as the veterinarian for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Peregrine has recently taken a new position as the Executive Manager of the Wildlife Disease Association, an international organization focused on wildlife health and conservation. Passionate about sharing her knowledge and advancing the field of conservation, wildlife medicine and welfare, she has taught students and colleagues around the globe and volunteered her leadership skills and experience for numerous organizations and committees. She is a past president of the American Associations of Wildlife Veterinarians and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. She has served on the boards of the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners and the Wildlife Disease Association, and chaired committees for the American Veterinary Medical Association and the US Animal Health Association. As Nevada’s wildlife veterinarian, Peregrine was involved in wild sheep disease research and conservation programs. She worked with agency biologists, managers and veterinarians across western states and provinces to develop standardized handling and disease testing protocols, and conduct hands-on trainings for capture, handling, translocation and disease investigation in wild sheep. Peregrine is currently the Chair of the WSF and during her tenure with the WSF she has served on the Executive Committee as secretary as well as on the following committees: Budget and Finance, Bylaws, Chapter and Affiliates, Compensation, Legislative Affairs, 1 Campfire Initiative, Conservation Committee – Disease Initiative and Women Hunt™. She has been active in both the North American and International Conservation Visions. In 2017 she was the recipient of the WSF State Statesmen Award.


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