I don’t want this post to turn into a discussion on if hunting is “right” or “wrong.” You do you and stick to your “guns,” while I do me and believe that hunting is the circle of life and true conservation.
Here we go…
Yes, I hunt. Yes, I’m a girl. Heaven forbid, right? People are always SHOCKED that I hunt, like only a man can hunt. People see the trophies in our home and always say, “Man! Your husband must be a great hunter!” Because I’m supposed to be the gatherer right? Ummmmm, yes he is, but I actually shot that record-book aoudad and that massive buck hanging right next to his!
So ladies, if you’re like me and hunt, or are thinking about hunting a little more, here are a few tips to get your game on:
1. Get your own gun. Don’t use your husband’s gun or a borrowed one. Research and see what will work best for you. I hate a kick, so I wanted something that was powerful enough to kill a big animal, but not blow me back 20 feet. I personally chose a Tika 25-O6. It shoots flat, hard, and with a minimal kick back.
2. Invest in a few basics. Buy a good fitting pair of camo pants, shirt, fleece, and don’t forget a baseball hat and boots. No, please, no pink camo. You and I both know an animal can see that pink coming from a mile away, so stick to the basics. So shotgun those boots and be comfortable!
3. Be ethical. Only take a clean shot. If you don’t think you have a good kill shot, don’t take it. Be a woman and know when to pass on an animal. Hunting is true conservation of our land. Respect the land. Respect the animal. Eat the meat. It’s the true circle of life and know that you’ve taken a life and all life is to be respected.
4. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You kill it; you clean it. If you are going to kill an animal, you need to take responsibility to clean it, gut it and quarter it. Okay…let’s be honest, my husband does a lot of this because it’s hard work (but he also didn’t help until I proved my ability to do it myself), but you need to know how, help with the process and get a little blood on you!
5. Know your lingo. Listen to other people talking. Ask questions. A blind, trail cam, hunting lease. Here a few things you MUST know:
• You don’t catch a deer; you shoot it. It’s not a fish that you catch; it’s an animal that you shoot.
• White tail deer. Mule deer. Ram. Learn the animal and the difference in each.
• Antlers. Deer, moose and elk shed (antlers fall off and regrow each year) their antlers. Anything with a horn (a ram for example) doesn’t shed each year. Nothing says amateur like not understanding antler vs horn.
• Seasons. Dove season. Deer season. Turkey season. Archery season. When are each? Generally speaking (and every county varies), but turkey season is Spring, dove season is September, deer archery season is October through Fall/Winter, deer rifle season is November through early Winter.
• Glassing. Glassing is looking through your binoculars and eyeing a larger piece on land. You glass the hillside looking for a deer or other animal.
• Shotgun vs rifle. Shotguns are measured by gauge, while rifles are measured by caliber. Shotguns use shells that spray a lot of small pellets while a rifle uses bullets that shoots one powerful shot. You generally shoot birds with shotguns and bigger game animals with a rifle.
These are general basics, maybe another time we can cover lingo like the rut, scrape, grunt, in heat and velvet.
Any other hunting ladies out there? Any tips you’d throw in?