Women Hunt Committee
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 Summit Life Member of WSF, a Chadwick Ram Society Member, a WSF Legacy Society Member, and a Life Member of WSF Alberta, Wild Sheep Society of BC, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society, Washington WSF, Eastern Chapter WSF, Oregon WSF and Alaska WSF. She is also a Life Member of SCI and holds memberships in the Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance, other WSF Chapters & Affiliates, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. She is a member of the WSF Ladies Luncheon Committee and volunteers at various WSF events.
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.
"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.
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.