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SITKA Gear

(Questions/Advice) Wife wants to start hunting

Jape

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Sep 26, 2017
Messages
1,382
Rifle - look at Bergara B14 Hunters. They have the same LOP as my compact Ruger had. The regular off-the-rack rifle fits me perfectly. I bought 2 in the last year...love them. I don’t know what her shooting experience and comfort is, but in Alaska I would keep bears in mind when selecting a caliber.

Clothing - I love the women’s stuff from First Lite. Prois isn’t terrible, not quite First Lite quality but certain pieces are ok. I have not tried the Sitka women’s stuff. I supplement with good gear from non-hunting outdoors companies too as needed. It’s getting better, but the sizes and variety of gear types for women from the hunting specific companies are still fairly limited.

Question 3 is a tough one because we’re all different. I tend to be the independent type that wants to learn to do things myself. I don’t respond well when Hunting Husband tries to do too much for me. Others like having more help with things. You know her best. Communication about expectations before you get out there is probably key to making sure you both have a good experience. She should know what to expect out there and what she’ll have to do (how far? How cold? How heavy will the pack be?). You should know what she’s willing to do, what she’s not, what she wants to learn, what she would prefer you do. Once you both have a feel for that, then pick a hunt that fits within those expectations. After you have one under the belt, you can talk about the experience and adjust from there.

Good luck! My husband taught me and it’s been life changing. I can’t imagine not being a hunter now.

Really good advice here and from @EYJONAS! My wife came on her first hunt last year and I will add that I incorporated lots of things that were not necessarily hunting related that I knew she would enjoy. For example, I brought games to play for midday when I knew we would just be hanging out, lots of treats I wouldn't normally bring, a book to read, etc... I know everyone is different that way, but it was fun for her to do things she enjoys anyway and not focused 24/7 on finding game. I also noticed that when we talked about new experiences, such as her hearing an elk bugle for the first time in the pre-dawn light, she was really excited.

Let us know how it goes this fall!
 

ZBB

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Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
321
Location
Pueblo, Co
I had a similar issue with my ex and her rifle, but I bought a comb raising kit with the various sized foam layers to get it just right for her. It was like magic!!
Those crappy foam knee and elbow pads they used to give with acu’s are perfect for that. Cut them an inch wide and add one at a time with 100mph tape until perfect height. Works like a charm.

Also I should add the first year my wife went hunting, I got WAY to excited and went a little overboard getting her tags and pushing a little to hard. She burnt out pretty quick which made thing a little tense. Read @Mallardsx2 post a couple times, it’ll help.
 
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Bob-WY

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Joined
Feb 24, 2020
Messages
205
Don't push her to take a shot she isn't comfortable with.

Let her lead the stalk, my wife appreciates this, we will spot an antelope, discuss the plan to get there and whomever is shooting, leads

Don't expect her to pack out what you can do. A full antelope is about my wife's long walk limit. (Yes I made her pack her first one!).

We've come to agreements, she leads up hill, I lead down hill. Puts' the slower one in front

Get her binoculars and teach her to glass,
 

bullbugle307

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Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
362
My wifes had the best luck with FirstLite as far as clothing goes. Weve found a few other random odds and ends for clothing from other brands, but it's been tough going trying to find her quality stuff outside of firstlite. Most of the clothing made for women tends towards taller petite women. My wifes short like yours, and while shes not overweight, she's not super skinny either. This makes things very difficult with clothes.

As far as firearms go, she started using my 3006 and my moms old single shot 410. We were broke then, and neither of us had good gear. We made due, it wasn't ideal, but I'd like to think that was a good intro for her. I try to teach her and introduce her like I would any other new hunter. You gotta find that balance between making it fun and generally comfortable at first but also introducing elements of being uncomfortable, being persistent, teaching safety and skills etc. I wanted to get her into it, but also teach her that it's not always going to be easy and fun, and that that's ok.
I've made the mistake of making things a bit too easy for a person I introduced to hunting, and that can really backfire.

My wife settled on a Howa in 6.5 and a Weatherby SA-08 compact 20 gauge. Sounds like your wife may be just an inch shorter than mine. With guns I made a big list of suggestions for her (which were actually just models that I researched that other smaller framed female hunters tended towards and liked that were in our price range) and then she looked at/handled a lot of different guns and picked out what she liked from there. It worked out pretty well that way. I love shooting her 6.5 so much that I killed my bull with it this year after I took a spill with my rifle.

One of the biggest challenges we've had is that my wife is a big planner who likes to plan things a while out and stick to that plan. I like to make loose plans and then finalize what we do once we see what conditions are gonna be like a day or two out. It took a bit, but she eventually realized you can plan a pheasant hunt all you want, if it ends up being warm and the winds blowing 45 mph, youre better off doing something else like jump shooting ducks or doing chores.
 

wllm1313

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Joined
Dec 9, 2015
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8,878
Location
Colorado
Clothing- Camo doesn’t really matter especially not when rifle hunting. First lite and Sitka do make women’s lines but I would look at more mainstream apparel companies and just get earth tone colors.

Some unsolicited advice, you aren’t hunting with a kid, you are hunting with an adult onset hunter who is your spouse. Think about your tone we teaching, don’t do crap like have her shoot then you take the follow up shot. Make sure when she’s up to bat you focus on her hunt, and don’t turn it into yours. Let her make mistakes, you need to make mistakes in order to learn. She needs to blow opportunities, let it happen.
Explain what your thinking and why. “Let’s go up to the top of that hill, I think we will have a good vantage to glass”... “We can’t go that way because if the wind, the moose will smell us”.
- Speaking from my experience learning to hunt as an adult.
 

Salmonchaser

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Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
335
Can’t add much useful information. We were stationed there when I was a kid, pretty wild then. I would ride across the base with my .22 or a fishing rod tied to the handle bars of my bike, no one even paid attention. Good lord I had fun.
good luck, it’s a special place.
 

6mm Remington

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Nov 4, 2014
Messages
1,506
Location
Westen Montana
Lots of great advise given by folks here from people with a lot of experience themselves to include Panda Bear and Hunting Wife. You ladies always provide great advise especially when it comes to helping us out with our better half! :)

1. The Weatherby and Tikka's as listed would be great rifles. Let her pick the one she likes and that feels right for her in that it just fits her. Let your wife handle several different rifles although it looks like she is leaning towards the Tikka. 7mm-08 is a great cartridge especially loaded with a 140 gr. Accubond. I'd suggest taking her out quite a bit with a .22 rifle that shoots well before you let her shoot the Tikka in 7mm-08. Even when shooting the .22 LR have her (and you) wear ear protection. Shooting at paper and shooting at close distances, say 15-25 yards to start with would help build confidence especially when she can see that she's shooting pretty nice groups that are consistent. After she's gotten it down to where she's shooting pretty good, let her start to shoot some reactive targets. You can take a 22 and do it with her at the same time. There are many simple metal swinging plates and such that are just perfect for this. Paper will get boring fast and the reactive targets are a lot more fun. It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. As stated by Panda Bear, a good fixed power scope like a 6x42mm or 6x36mm Leupold is a perfect scope. Great glass, strong, and each and every time she pulls the rifle up it looks the same down the scope. Hard to beat it for a hunting scope by going fixed power.

https://www.cabelas.com/product/hom...194080/do-all-auto-reset/1946683.uts?slotId=4

When she is shooting her hunting rifle I would suggest at least to start by having her use soft plugs underneath a set of ear-muffs. I think it especially helps a new shooter so they don't develop a flinch or reaction to the loud band. Heck I frequently do this myself as it just makes it more pleasant to shoot.

2. Prois has clothing specifically for females as does Sitka. Keep her warm and keep her dry. It's worth it to get quality clothing and boots. If your wife starts getting cold when you are hunting it's nice to just find a place and sit for a while and start a fire to warm up if conditions allow such to take place. If it's wet and miserable or cold and blowing, you know that you will soldier on because it's hunting and we love it and we will tough it out. Don't do that if you are hunting with your wife! There may be times that it's unavoidable, but at first if possible try to pick the nicer days to hunt with her when starting out.

3. Even if you aren't seeing the game you are after just seeing any other game animals or birds makes it a lot more fun. Worth the price of admission is what I call it. Seeing game and at least seeing tracks or other signs of game sure helps to keep spirits up. Some of the scenery and other things along the way make for some great experiences. Sounds like caribou would be a good starter, as are pronghorn antelope depending on where you live and if that's available. You really don't even have to be up and hunting at the crack of dawn when hunting antelope, and they are a kick in the pants to try and sneak on and get close to. I have not hunted caribou, but from my reading stories by others, that sounds like a good first animal if you are in Alaska. A Sitka deer might be a good one too.

Keep it fun and enjoyable if possible. Keep your wife fed, warm, and dry. If after a couple days straight hunting and she isn't really into getting up early the next morning then don't. Enjoy the trip, that's what you are out there for. Yes of course some great tasting meat would be awesome too. I would suggest that on the first animal at least, that unless she really wants to dress her animal out, then you do it and just let her help you and see how it's done. Try and help her get her animal first even if that might mean you have to wait a while, or even quite a while. When my wife was hunting with me it meant way more to me that she got a deer or other animal before I filled my tag. Take lots of pictures at camp, while hunting, and if and when she is successful. Say she shoots a nice nice caribou or maybe an elk. Think about surprising her by taking the antlers and displaying them on a plaque or something for her that makes it just that much more special, and which she can look at and remember the experiences you guys shared together, and she can be proud of her success by honoring it for her. If it was an elk they make some awesome necklaces and earrings out of the elk ivories!! That would be something pretty neat to honor the animal and the hunt for her.

As others have said, let her help drive the hunt too. Some great advise about letting her be a part of the team and deciding where you might want to go in your hunt, how the stalk might play out, and just paying attention to her and what she wants to do and what she thinks might work. Best of luck and I hope you have a new hunting partner for life. It will start all over again when you have children, and take them out as soon as possible to start them on the path of loving the outdoors.

David
 

vanish

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Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
1,604
Location
Colorado
10th season for us both hunting. Before any of these questions, you need to establish her expectation.

I made the mistake of assuming I could buy the gear, make the plans and put her in a position for success. It seemed like the obvious route to me.

I could not have been more wrong. My wife wants me available to consult and carry things, and that is about where it ends. Even then, if she asks my opinion, it can be difficult when my approach does not match hers.

I've seen Youtube videos where its essentially the husband hunting, and the wife pulling the trigger. If I took my wife in the field and said we're hunting here, point the gun there, don't forget to breathe, ok shoot when you're settled, she'd punch me and tell me to go home.
 

diamond hitch

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Feb 9, 2020
Messages
579
Location
Western Montana
I got my wife a Browning Micro medallian 7mm08. Sadly I don't think they make them any more. It's light, accurate and kills just fine. We got her a Browning BPS shotgun for goose hunting. We have hunted together for 43 years. A lot of camps with the kids. Even packed an elk out on thanksgiving. Scrambled eggs and bacon for thanksgiving is perfectly acceptable when you don't get back to the house after a horse wreck until 2am.

My daughter opted to hunt with me rather than go to Hawaii one year. She shoots a 7mag.

Shop carefully for good foot gear. Warm feet and warm boobs are critical components of a female hunter. For my ladies fashion is not as important as function especially if I am only an advisor and they get to choose.
 

Wyohunt

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
73
Bring lots of toilet paper and a shovel.

our anniversary is sept 26 and lope season is the 25th. She finally gave up and is now a great hunter And partner. she Can shoot 4” at 175yds so that is her limit. She is tougher than most men I know and she doesn’t complain. She shoots A 243 which is fine. She guts her own animal.

i think the key is that I never treat her like a kid and boss her around. She gets to call her own shots and it is HER trip.

the tikka is a great choice. Light and accurate.
 

Qubo

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
40
I'll add a quote from the first Jurassic Park, "spare no expense". Don't go cheap just in case she doesn't continue hunting. Buy her the best and except that you'll have to sell it for a loss on Craiglist if she doesn't like it. As and example, about 5 years ago me and a snowboard buddy who just got married both decided to get our wives into snowboarding when neither of them had tried it. They were both just as willing. I bought my wife all new gear, but previous year sale stuff to save some. New women's clothes, new women's board, bindings, and boots all sized to fit her. I also got her lessons and even paid for me to take them with her so she'd have more fun. My friend, who makes more money than me, but is cheap, decided to let his wife use his 10+ year old snowboard that was to long for her. He even borrowed boots from another guy friend with small feet. He didn't get her lessons and thought he could teach her himself. After a day and a half of trying and failing and being sore from falls she cussed him out and quit. Him and I have snowboarded once together since that year and he only gets to go one weekend a year now when his brother visits because she won't go. However, my wife and I buy season passes and go together nearly every week of every season since then.

Last year when I my wife said she wanted to start tagging along on hunts I remembered this experience and bought her Sitka gear and quality boots. But made sure she tried on all the quality brands and picked her favorite. It was expensive but she was comfortable and had a great time hauling out my cow elk with me last year. She doesn't wan't to shoot anything herself but when I told her I was going on 5 different hunts this fall she didn't give me any grief since she'll be tagging along on at least 3 of them. I now get to do my favorite hobbies with my favorite person, and I have one less load on the haul out. ;)
 

MarvB

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Apr 5, 2001
Messages
3,751
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₵tral Oar-e-gun
Not gonna rehash all the great info that you’ve already been given but WILL reiterate PATIENCE! Besides the wife we’ve got three daughters and I was also a girls/woman’s softball and volleyball coach for 15+ years, nothing will be more important to both your successes than PATIENCE!

Another thing that I had to learn to do is be specific; statements like we are only going to hike a little farther, hunt a little longer, it’s not that cold, it’s not that heavy, etc. means very different things to everyone- esp 6’1”/220# vs 5’2”/115# I’ve learned the hard way to state things so that they mean something to her, not just to me!
Good luck and here’s to enjoyable times ahead for you!
 

WanderingWI

New member
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
22
So how did she do?

Is the First Lite really that good for women?

My wife just started hunting with a crossbow during bow season. So far with the beginning of rut she is hooked. First day out we got two bucks fighting. She took a long shot and missed but can't wait to try again.
 

CubSlayer

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
97
Not wife, but my then 15-year old daughter decided out of the blue that she wanted to try bear hunting in 2019. Got nothing that year, but this year she connected.

We bought her camo but like all teens, she is growing rapidly. When something doesn't fit, she'll often just dive into my own pile of cheap Wal-Mart camo and wear that. She is not 4'11" though - more like 5'6". She hates "fashion camo" as much as I do. She wants whatever works - pink not required!

Let your wife choose her own camo, but start cheap. No point spending a lot of money only to find it doesn't work for you.

As far as rifles, she was practiced on a Savage Axis II Youth in .243, so we went with that. I was ok for a bear hunt since I would be with her to back her up, but I told her that next year she'd be alone and I wanted her to have something more powerful.

As sadistic luck would have it, a nearby gun store received a Savage Lightweight Storm rifle chambered in .308. I brought her to the store the next day to have a look. She fell in love, and now she owns the best .308 in the house.

If you're not familiar with the new Savage rifles, many have adjustable length-of-pull. Some also have adjustable cheek height (although this one does not). I set the gun up for her, not me. Put her favorite scope on it. As much as I love new toys, I do not shoot her rifle, and tell her to shoot nothing else.

This is HER rifle. That is important. She is not trying to make due with daddy's .308 (which she loves, BTW. Part of my reasoning in buying her this rifle is to keep her from taking mine).

You can advise on cartridge and other mechanical matters, but let her choose the rifle for fit. Let her OWN her hunt.
 

WanderingWI

New member
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
22
Not wife, but my then 15-year old daughter decided out of the blue that she wanted to try bear hunting in 2019. Got nothing that year, but this year she connected.

We bought her camo but like all teens, she is growing rapidly. When something doesn't fit, she'll often just dive into my own pile of cheap Wal-Mart camo and wear that. She is not 4'11" though - more like 5'6". She hates "fashion camo" as much as I do. She wants whatever works - pink not required!

Let your wife choose her own camo, but start cheap. No point spending a lot of money only to find it doesn't work for you.

As far as rifles, she was practiced on a Savage Axis II Youth in .243, so we went with that. I was ok for a bear hunt since I would be with her to back her up, but I told her that next year she'd be alone and I wanted her to have something more powerful.

As sadistic luck would have it, a nearby gun store received a Savage Lightweight Storm rifle chambered in .308. I brought her to the store the next day to have a look. She fell in love, and now she owns the best .308 in the house.

If you're not familiar with the new Savage rifles, many have adjustable length-of-pull. Some also have adjustable cheek height (although this one does not). I set the gun up for her, not me. Put her favorite scope on it. As much as I love new toys, I do not shoot her rifle, and tell her to shoot nothing else.

This is HER rifle. That is important. She is not trying to make due with daddy's .308 (which she loves, BTW. Part of my reasoning in buying her this rifle is to keep her from taking mine).

You can advise on cartridge and other mechanical matters, but let her choose the rifle for fit. Let her OWN her hunt.
That is solid advice.
 

IDFireLass

Active member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
154
Location
Idaho
WanderingWI, I love my first lite long underwear. I'm built more like a tank so don't/won't wear women's apparel. Most won't fit my shoulders.

I been around hunting since I can remember and have always wanted to hunt. So don't have any way to communicate to other women how to hunt or want to hunt. I've always hunted with men so I'm pretty abrupt and to the point which most people men or women can't handle.

Take her out as much as possible and shoot as much as possible.

By the way I'm 62 and still hunting. Getting very frustrated with the late cow hunt where I live. Can't hike like I want to. Definitely can't pack out an elk any distance. So it needs to be on the up hill side so I can ride it down right into the truck.:ROFLMAO:
 

CubSlayer

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
97
WanderingWI, I love my first lite long underwear. I'm built more like a tank so don't/won't wear women's apparel. Most won't fit my shoulders.

I been around hunting since I can remember and have always wanted to hunt. So don't have any way to communicate to other women how to hunt or want to hunt. I've always hunted with men so I'm pretty abrupt and to the point which most people men or women can't handle.

Take her out as much as possible and shoot as much as possible.

By the way I'm 62 and still hunting. Getting very frustrated with the late cow hunt where I live. Can't hike like I want to. Definitely can't pack out an elk any distance. So it needs to be on the up hill side so I can ride it down right into the truck.:ROFLMAO:
You don't need to be 62 to appreciate that downhill advantage!
 
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