Hometown: Frierson, La.
Q&A with Belinda “B” Prudhome
This year’s Annie Oakley Award winner enthusiastically shares the NWTF’s message through the Women in the Outdoors program.
“A fiercely independent woman who lives life to the fullest,” said Terri Cedars, in describing her friend Belinda Prudhome, recipient of the 2010 Annie Oakley Award.
Those same words could be used to describe the award’s namesake, Annie Oakley, the world-famous sureshot who spent the better part of her life as an ambassador for shooting sports. Both spitfires — Prudhome and Oakley — have inspired women to pick up a gun and shoot for fun, many of whom never thought they’d ever pull a trigger.
Known as “B” to her friends, family and the hundreds of people she’s introduced to hunting, the spunky redhead from Frierson, La., makes a lasting impression on anyone she meets. Her energy and enthusiasm have spilled over into her efforts with the Women in the Outdoors program; as chairperson for the Bodcau Purrin’ Hens Chapter, she and her committee host hands-on educational events in her home state, where women ages 14 and older try their hands at shooting, camping, fishing and other outdoor pursuits.
NWTF: Congratulations on winning the Annie Oakley Award! How surprised were you to win?
B Prudhome: Oh my goodness, I have never been so surprised in my life! I can’t believe my family and friends were able to keep this secret from me. They were changing around my whole life behind my back, and I never had a clue.
NWTF: Who was the first person you called after winning?
BP: My husband. Without his constant support and understanding, none of this would have been possible.
NWTF: How would you describe the convention experience to someone who has never been?
BP: The convention has something for everyone to participate in and enjoy. If you have never been, you need to make it a part your vacation. It is awesome!
There are so many contacts and resources available in one place. You meet people from all over the United
States and Canada who share the same love and passion for turkey hunting and conservation. Although we may have different accents, we all speak the same language: turkeys, hunting and conservation.
NWTF: What is the best part about introducing women to the outdoors?
BP: Witnessing that split second when a woman recognizes the sense of empowerment she has and the abilities she possesses once she tries something she had never tried before.
NWTF: What fuels your commitment to hosting Women in the Outdoors events?
BP: When I see a woman show up at an event for the first time with a look on her face that says she doesn’t really know if she should be there — kind of like a deer in the headlights look — and I see her again later in the day, and she has a huge smile on her face and a sense of accomplishment and pride. Or, when I see women who were strangers before an event exchange phone numbers, because they plan to go to the gun range together to try out their new skills. Or, the 74-year-young woman who took a self-defense and hand gun class and gained a sense of security.
Those are just a few of the rewards, but that is what Women in the Outdoors is all about. If you have never attended a Women in the Outdoors event, you are cutting yourself short. Find or even host an event in your area — you will not regret it.
The NWTF and Women in the Outdoors has given me way more than I can ever repay. I have memories that will stay with me until I take my last breath. — Melanie Swearingen