‘Everyone gets hooked:’ Women enjoy night of ‘stiletto bowfishing’ — fishing and archery in 1

WAUKESHA COUNTY -- "Bowfishing" combines two outdoor sports -- and one group of women took part in the nighttime adventure on the water.

“Lots of shooting. Lots of excitement. Lots of laughs. You don’t have to be quiet,” said Mathew Schillinger.

The two-combo sport is done after dark.

“Lots of people down here like bowfishing. It’s a great way to get out in the off-season of archery season. All the bowfishing boats you see out here today are decked out with lights and generators. When the sun goes down, we kick on the generators and that really helps us see into the water. A lot of those fish are calmer at night," said Schillinger.

It may be calm in the water, but on the boat, there’s no shortage of excitement.

"You know, bowfishing at night is kind of mysterious. There's times when the temperature is changing and there's fog coming across the water and you have your lights and you’re going along and then just outside those lights you see those fish peering into the lights and you get goosebumps -- you get excited -- and when you stick the fish, it's hoot and hollering, high-fives. You get that fish in the boat, pictures taken, lots of laughing -- boom -- back on the deck ready to shoot some more fish," said Schillinger.

One particular summer night is reserved for the ladies.

"I'm new to it all. I started bowhunting last fall. This is my first time out bowfishing and hopefully I enjoy it because I have a setup at home -- so fingers crossed,” said Kelly Carstensen, Muskego.

Whale-Tales Archery hosted their third “Stiletto Archery Bowfishing Night” in an effort to introduce the sport to women and bring women, who already bowfish, together.

“Everyone gets hooked and we've heard a lot of awesome things where girls go back and buy their own equipment -- as much as one girl buying a boat -- just because it’s so exciting and so addicting,” said Kyle Krischan, Whale-Tales Archery owner.

“It’s a blast. It’s not like fishing or hunting in my opinion because you're shooting constantly, you're not always getting everything but its still so much fun," said Allison Rauscher, Lake Mills.

And while fun is one part of it, competition is another.

"It won't take long and pretty soon, they'll be on the decks shooting just like us and it doesn't take very long and they're going to get just as aggressive and hardcore as we do, and that's the cool part about bowfishing because it won't be long and they're going to want to be putting a lot of fish in the boat,” said Schillinger.

No matter how many fish end up in the boat, it’s the shot that counts.

"You know, it’s always one of those cool things to take a group of people that wouldn't necessarily be involved in something and give it to them and see what their take is on it and most of them get addicted and have a new hobby and have a new activity that they can do in the summer in the past times,” said Krischan.

"I think there's a lot to learn. Like I said, I think it’s just a matter of teaching people and getting them to understand why we do the things that we do and why we're shooting at fish,” said Rauscher.

Whale-Tales Archery teamed up with the Wisconsin Bowfishing Association for the boats and had 44 women participate in the event.