Hunting Alone?

Anna M

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Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
1
Location
Moscow ID
Hello there!

"If you can't beat them, join them" the saying goes. I started hunting with my husband about 9 years ago right after our first child was born. I love the outdoors and I had always wanted to hunt but didn't grow up with a hunting family. My husband didn't grow up in a hunting family so we have had to learn a lot on our own. (We are so appreciative of all the great hunting shows like Randy's!) I have caught the hunting bug and I am addicted. I started hunting to spend time with my husband but his life is really busy. Over the past 6 years he has taken a ton of guys, young and old, out hunting deer for their first time and they have all harvested their first whitetail deer with him. I love that he can pass on his passion to others as he recruits more hunting conservationists! He has a more flexible schedule and can hunt more often than I can. When I can go, we have to try and find child care which can be difficult with early mornings or late evenings.

Here is my problem... He is in graduate school now and his time is even more limited. Last year I was hunting alone and shot my first BIG buck. Even though I was on my own, he was hunting in the area so I could radio him for help. Then during my late cow elk season last year, I was alone and I was charged by a bull moose. That kinda did it for me and I really don't want to hunt alone anymore...

Well, it just comes down to if I want to spend time hunting this November, I will have to go more at it alone. It feels weird to ask another man to go with me and my girl friends don't hunt. I feel stuck! Are there any chick hunters out there that hunt alone and if so, how did you overcome your fear of being in the woods, spot and stalk hunting alone?

Thanks for any help!
 

406LIFE

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Aug 18, 2016
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2,160
Location
Bitterroot Valley, MT
Being in Moscow, I can't help you much. You might try looking for an outdoors-relevant church. in Stevensville we have Montana Life Ministries and there are a ton of ladies in there that are just as much outdoors obsessed as we are. There is also a program that the MT FWP puts on called Becoming an Outdoorswoman. They put on classes just for ladies and there might be something like it in ID that you could connect with, or just start your own.
 

wolfpup

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Jul 14, 2015
Messages
155
I am from CO, and I hunt solo all the time, so instead of needing a co-hunter, I would suggest facing the fear. For example, I did not like to wander off trails, so I got a GPS for when I got lost. I was worried about staying warm, so I carry fire starting materials, etc. The list goes on and on. If it is simply a fear of something, I would suggest learning more about the animal or substance of the scare. In this case, maybe more moose understanding and how to defend from the moose? I find it much easier to face or learn to deal with fears than it is to find a compatible hunting mate. Not exactly the question at hand but its my .02. My wife hunts and after I have taught her how to cope with the fears of the woods, she always says that's not so bad!
 

rideold

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Oct 28, 2015
Messages
382
Location
Front Range of Colorado
I hear you. I hunt alone. Not out of choice but out of not having anyone to hunt with. I was able to hunt with my brother-in-law before he passed away but now I'm on my own. I use a gps and an inReach to assuage some of my concerns. I plan my days so I'm not over extended in terms of miles from the truck. I commit to myself to a limit on when I will take a shot. If it is too close to sunset I heat out for the day knowing that the combination of where I tend to hunt and my fitness makes getting an elk at last light isn't going to work for me. In the end it's all a question of personal comfort level. You might consider hiring a guide if you really just don't want to hunt alone.
 

nidahunter

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Sep 16, 2010
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804
Location
North Idaho
There are a lot of classes aimed toward women at the Cabelas in Post Falls throughout the year. Might be a place to make some good contacts. I think they list a schedule on their website.
 

Hunting Wife

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Nov 18, 2014
Messages
1,089
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
I didn't start hunting until my husband got me hooked about 13 years ago. I also don't have any girl friends that hunt. However, I've worked in the wildlife field for 20 years. It's just been a fact of life for so long that I'm alone in remote places a lot, so it feels normal to me. The biggest hang-up for me going hunting by myself was the feeling that my hunting skills weren't good enough, but when I started bringing animals home that went away! ;)

The only advice I guess I can give is to just stick with it. It felt super weird the first few times I went alone, and I felt like I didn't really know what I was doing. I think that's true for any hunter at some point in their hunting life. Start with short outings in less remote places. Start by telling yourself you are just taking your rifle (or weapon of choice) for a hike. If you kill something, its a bonus. You'll get experience, learn to rely on your skills and gain confidence. You will probably run into some challenges - unexpected weather, bears, bull moose - so be prepared for what you might encounter in the area you are hunting, but don't be deterred. Make sure you have the equipment you need to be safe and make sure someone knows where and how long you are going. But after a while you'll feel more comfortable being gone longer, going farther, and relying on your skills to get done what you need to.

I really like hunting with my husband because its something fun that we get to do together. But I'm not going to lie...there are times that its nice to be out there by myself. I can go at my own speed and hunt the way I want to hunt. If I see something, there is no discussion or debate about strategy - I just go. It's kind of liberating really. And then there's all the self discovery when you are faced with how the hell you're going to get this %$#@*& thing in the truck by yourself? You'll surprise yourself with your resourcefulness, and how much you actually remember from physics.

Good luck, and don't give up. And welcome to the forum by the way.
 

elkmagnet

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Jul 14, 2011
Messages
3,027
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Hodale, Idaho
Some good response's. I'll second the suggestion of the in reach or similar device
I see no reason why women would not be able to hunt alone. To me it comes down to desire and motivation. While men seem to be natural outdoorsman women seem to need to ease into the scariest stuff. It seems to take a lot of motivation and desire to push women past it. I personally pushed through all of the scariest things when I was a young/dumb and invincible teen. Mother nature's way I guess.
The one caution I would leave you with is to be sure of your ability to properly care for a harvested animal before pulling the trigger.

Good luck.
 

Gr8bawana

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Jul 14, 2013
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3,278
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Nevada
I personally don't enjoy hunting alone, some people do. I like to have someone to exchange banter with, compare notes with, see things from a different perspective and an extra set of eyes.
 

bobbydean

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Apr 5, 2001
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New Mexico
Hunting alone has never bothered me. The camp at night by myself has always been bad. I like the company at night. Just a woosh!
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
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Somewhere in the basalt rocks
Being a guy, I am speculating. However, I wonder to the OPs question, do women worry more about other humans, or the normal fears we all face when we first hunt alone?

I remember listening to a Gritty Bowmen podcast where a woman hunter was recounting an archery bull she killed, and the creepiness that another male hunter exuded when she talked to him in the field. That's sad, but it's also reality.

In general terms, I'd say to just go out by yourself and embrace your fears and worries. Equip yourself with knowledge, and stay within your physical limitations. Over time we tend to realize that our physical limitations are not nearly as grand as we thought they were.

Best of luck!
 

tim629

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Jul 16, 2016
Messages
110
Location
upstate NY
I would say you probably won't feel as weird as you may think if you asked one of your guy friends that hunts "hey I'm going hunting over in ____ area, wana come, you work one ridge while I work the other"

my wife got me into riding horses, every 6 weeks she has to work a weekend then the following weekend she had a 3 day weekend. it just so happens that the week before my wife works one of her coworkers that we ride with works so her 3 day is my wife's working weekend. Her coworker and I only got in one ride together without others but previous years we made it out most of her 3-days made other people raise their eyebrows (then ask if I had any brothers or a single father... yes I have a single father and a single mother, not some test tube creation :-D ) but moral of the story don't be afraid to ask a friend to go hunting with you regardless of gender do whatever it takes to get out in the woods and enjoy yourself some more
 

243 AI

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Sep 21, 2012
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Honestly, there are lots of guy hunters who are nervous about hunting alone also, but just don't admit it.

Arranging a schedule to hunt with another person can be a pain in these busy times so keep going on your own and you will feel more and more comfortable all the time. I actually enjoy the freedom of hunting alone where I don't have to follow a pre-set plan or be at a meeting place at a certain time to meet a partner.

As far as getting hurt while hunting, charged by a moose, attacked by some critter, etc.. yes a person should always be prepared, but you probably stand a bigger chance of getting in a car wreck driving around town.

Keep going. Make short trips close to home if that makes you feel more comfortable. My guess is that as your self-confidence grows from being out there more you will feel less and less alone.

Good luck, you have done well so keep after it. Grad school will end someday, and your husband will be back at it and you can't let valuable time slip by without being out and doing it.
 

Southwind

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May 30, 2007
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Augusta, KS
If you want to hunt with other women another resource may be the Game & Fish dept. Most sponsor women in the outdoor events and may have a network to put you in touch with.

I love hunting with others but I also hunt alone and have quite a bit over the years. There is a a fear and loneliness associated with it but there is also a great intimacy with the outdoor world you gain by going it alone as well as tremendous satisfaction. I think being aware of the dangers and being prepared and equipped as best as possible is a must.

I wish you all the best, let us know how it works out for you.
 

MTGomer

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Sep 25, 2015
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MT —> AZ
I'm not sure if this is relevant, but if I'm going solo for more than about three nights I bring a little radio and listen to it a little at night. It helps pass the time and it is another human's voice. Sounds weird, I know.
I also have a SPOT which is a confidence booster. If something bad happens, help is coming. That's a nice reassurance.

Disclaimer: I'm not a female.
 

handymom

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Jan 4, 2015
Messages
29
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Fountain Hills, AZ
I hunt solo - my husband doesn't hunt much at all. I have been mentoring my friend's daughter this year. She and I were out elk hunting together and had close contact with three moose! Some guys asked us if we were hunting alone, we looked at each other and said NO! Finally, the real question came out - where is your husband? Dummies. I run into a few ignorant folks, but mostly nice guys. A few fellas have insisted on giving me their phone numbers just in case I get an elk down and need help. The female game warden in the area I hunt found me this season. She had heard of "that white haired lady in the FJ" and was happy to meet me and congratulate me on solo hunting and on teaching young women. After six years of big game hunting, I have taught my oldest daughter (21) and another 18yo girl to hunt. This year, I have also met two other women: one single and one married with a non hunting husband. My goal is to have an all girl's elk camp. I have started a FB page for Colorado women who hunt, and am trying my best to network and meet other women hunters. It is very difficult. I am afraid most women are happy to tag along with hubbies and shoot when they are told to shoot. Very frustrating. I just try to hunt smart. I use the InReach and regularly contact my husband so he knows where I am. I won't hunt far from my vehicle late in the afternoon as I do not relish packing out after dark. Once I shot a deer at dusk, and I practically ran dragging that thing for a mile as I did not want to be in the woods after dark in an area with lots of coyotes. I usually do gutless method, but that time, I field dressed it and somehow loaded it into my cooler and then into the back of the jeep. When I got home all my husband could say was, How did you get that loaded into the jeep??? Adrenaline, I said! I try really hard to always have plans for worst scenarios. Carry my 9mm, enough survival gear to stay alive if I get stranded. I too, love sharing my hunts with likeminded females. Guys hunt different than I hunt. I hunt slower and cover less ground. That's okay. Try hunting in familiar areas until you get your confidence up. I always carry a compass, map, and gps. Always track your route and mark a waypoint for your car/camp! Double check your waypoint to make sure you got it before you disappear into the woods...don't ask me why! And if you want to go on a girls elk hunt, we should try to get one together!!!
Best to you!
 

handymom

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
29
Location
Fountain Hills, AZ
I hunt solo - my husband doesn't hunt much at all. I have been mentoring my friend's daughter this year. She and I were out elk hunting together and had close contact with three moose! Some guys asked us if we were hunting alone, we looked at each other and said NO! Finally, the real question came out - where is your husband? Dummies. I run into a few ignorant folks, but mostly nice guys. A few fellas have insisted on giving me their phone numbers just in case I get an elk down and need help. The female game warden in the area I hunt found me this season. She had heard of "that white haired lady in the FJ" and was happy to meet me and congratulate me on solo hunting and on teaching young women. After six years of big game hunting, I have taught my oldest daughter (21) and another 18yo girl to hunt. This year, I have also met two other women: one single and one married with a non hunting husband. My goal is to have an all girl's elk camp. I have started a FB page for Colorado women who hunt, and am trying my best to network and meet other women hunters. It is very difficult. I am afraid most women are happy to tag along with hubbies and shoot when they are told to shoot. Very frustrating. I just try to hunt smart. I use the InReach and regularly contact my husband so he knows where I am. I won't hunt far from my vehicle late in the afternoon as I do not relish packing out after dark. Once I shot a deer at dusk, and I practically ran dragging that thing for a mile as I did not want to be in the woods after dark in an area with lots of coyotes. I usually do gutless method, but that time, I field dressed it and somehow loaded it into my cooler and then into the back of the jeep. When I got home all my husband could say was, How did you get that loaded into the jeep??? Adrenaline, I said! I try really hard to always have plans for worst scenarios. Carry my 9mm, enough survival gear to stay alive if I get stranded. I too, love sharing my hunts with likeminded females. Guys hunt different than I hunt. I hunt slower and cover less ground. That's okay. Try hunting in familiar areas until you get your confidence up. I always carry a compass, map, and gps. Always track your route and mark a waypoint for your car/camp! Double check your waypoint to make sure you got it before you disappear into the woods...don't ask me why! And if you want to go on a girls elk hunt, we should try to get one together!!!
Best to you!
Donna
 

bobbydean

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Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Messages
1,893
Location
New Mexico
You have some worthy goals. Very impressive. I honestly believe that women are the future and will save hunting.

Thank you.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
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Location
MN
Right here I see the greatest opportunity for an hour long Fresh Tracks/Meateater bonus episode. Maybe a little male narration, but only women hunters on the screen. Let them steal the show and open our world to more hunters.
 
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