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The Boston Globe


On second thought

For some women, outdoor sports is a surprise pleasure

Title IX, signed into law 40 years ago next month, put women on the playing field, forever changed the way we think about athletics in this country. What Christine Thomas started a couple of decades later wasn’t quite as monumental, but for many American women it also opened up a new world -- the great outdoors and its abundant sporting opportunities.

Thomas, as part of her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the early-’90s, conducted a survey that ultimately proved the inspiration behind the program known today as ‘’Becoming an Outdoors-Woman.’’ In her survey, Thomas asked why so few women hunted or fished, and from there she soon began BOW, its mission to encourage women to take to the fields and streams, be it with shotguns or fishing rods, or merely with compass and map, or with an eye trained on identifying a hare’s delicate footprint in a blanket of new-fallen snow.

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