2019 Women's Antelope Hunt Largest One Yet

This year's Wyoming Women's Antelope Hunt is the biggest yet, according to Bekah Smith. (Photo by Pat Blair)

This year's Wyoming Women's Antelope Hunt is the biggest one yet, according to Bekah Smith, director of the Wyoming Women's Foundation.

Smith said 46 women are participating this year in the hunt that continues through Saturday.

Friday night was a highlight of the event, with a dinner, live and silent auctions and raffles attended by county commissioners and state legislators among others, and featuring Governor Mark Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon as guest speakers.

Smith said this is the seventh year for the antelope hunt, held on the Ranch at Ucross.

Participants hunt in pairs, and Smith said an effort is made to pair a first-time hunter with an experienced hunter. She said each team also has a guide.

She said the weekend is about mentoring and building relationships that go beyond the two days of the hunt. Each hunter takes one animal, and those who don't get an animal on Friday have a chance to try again Saturday.

Among those on this year's hunt was Jamie Tankesley from Valley Falls, Kansas. An Air Force veteran and wounded warrior, Tankesley said this was her first antelope hunt.

She was recognized during Friday night's dinner because she had gotten her antelope and Friday was her birthday.

The event ends on Saturday, and awards will be presented to the hunters. Friday night's auctions and raffles were a fundraiser for the Wyoming Women's Foundation, which spearheads the hunt, and proceeds help the foundation fulfill its goal of investing in the economic self-sufficiency of women and the future of girls in Wyoming.

Friday night's master of ceremonies. (Photo by Pat Blair)