(Questions/Advice) Wife wants to start hunting

2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
4,783
So I guess I’ll resurrect this thread instead of starting a new one. My girlfriend wants to start hunting this fall, even went so far as to put in for antelope. She hikes a lot, and has good gear for that, especially boots. But she’s never shot a rifle before, and doesn’t have one. About 5’6-7”, lifts daily, and is in far better shape than me- so recoil might not be that big of an issue.

I’m out of town for work for the foreseeable future, and think our best bet is to take her to Scheel’s & Shipton's to try a bunch of different ones for fit the next time I’m in town. Does anyone have a suggestion for things to try out- especially in wood/walnut furniture? She has a thing for that classic look.

For calibers, I was thinking .308, since she wants one rifle to do everything up to elk. Open to suggestions on this, too.
What rifles do you currently have?

I'd recommend whatever small game you can hunt this summer. Jack Rabbits, European Collared doves with a pellet rifle, squirrels, ground or tree. Gives her some time with a knife and if you can quarter and skin a rabbit, then an antelope is just a bigger version.

All my girls came unarmed on a hunt before they ever had tags of their own. They got to know what "running the brush" entailed. They shot their first animals with hand me down guns before they got their own. With 3 generations of hunters on both sides of the family, there were a few rifles to pick from to borrow. I understand not everyone has that resource, but if you do, don't overlook it.
 

R.K.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
840
Location
MT
What rifles do you currently have?.
I currently have a .308, and that’s it for big-game calibers- growing up in Illinois didn’t lend itself to rifle accumulation. That said- letting her borrow it for the summer isn’t currently feasible.

I’m only able to get back about once a month right now, so this is going to be on her to put in the work. I’m not pushing her to do anything- this is all her idea. I’m going to lend advice when asked for, but that’s about it. This is her deal, and I’d like her to move at her own pace. If she isn’t ready this fall, that’s perfectly fine. If she’s never ready, that’s fine too.

She definitely needs range time, and I’m going to strongly push for snap cap/dry fire practice every single day. It helped me tremendously, even with years of hunting and shooting (including Trap & Skeet team). I’ve now shot most of my animals over the last few years freehand, under 100 yards- left them all right where they should be.

For right now, I’m hoping to help her find the right gun. I was afraid the Camilla was going to be too small for her, but sounds like that’s not an issue. Now, it’s just a matter of finding one for her to get her hands on in Billings to verify.
 
Last edited:

2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
4,783
I’d recommend having someone who hasn’t seen her naked as an instructor. I say that from experience introducing kids and girlfriends to archery horse riding and shooting. It will make you accountable for proper gun safety as well.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get the woman you love to do something the way that is second nature to you and you can’t believe that you have to explain it AGAIN!
 

R.K.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
840
Location
MT
I’d recommend having someone who hasn’t seen her naked as an instructor. I say that from experience introducing kids and girlfriends to archery horse riding and shooting. It will make you accountable for proper gun safety as well.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get the woman you love to do something the way that is second nature to you and you can’t believe that you have to explain it AGAIN!
She’s very familiar with shooting safety, just not rifles. Already has a safe, for reference.

And keeping with her “get it done” personality, she went to Scheel’s and bought a Savage Axis II XP in .308 last night. Not what I would’ve picked, but here we go.

So now it’s “Get the accessories, cleaning kit, case, snap cap, and ammo”. Maybe upgrade the glass for Christmas. Appreciate everyone’s advice.
 

44hunter45

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
4,842
Location
North Idaho
The Weatherby Camilla is designed for women and has the classic looks she likes. I would be sure to find one of those to put hands on.

If she hasn’t even shot before, she needs some serious range time this summer. I would have her at least shoot some of your rifles in a variety of calibers just to be sure you get something recoil-wise that she will actually enjoy shooting. .308 and .270 are classics. My friend that prefers less recoil loves her 6.5 Creedmore that her husband loads for. Lots of options.
Choose the Camilla as the "gift" on a recent NGO life membership. It is going to my granddaughter. If it doesn't stick I will re-stock it to fit me.
At <$850 for the base model up to $2500 for the tricked out models, there are lots of options.

Writing this, I think I need to get a base model in .243 Win for her, too! 🤣

Waiting for the email to go pick it up at my FFL( any day!). I'm excited to start working up lower recoil loads for it.
 

enbhunts

Active member
Joined
Sep 15, 2022
Messages
69
Too bad on the .308, I'm sure it's a great gun, but my wife started hunting in 2020 with me and the 6.5 Camilla was perfect for her. She dropped a bull her first hunt.

Hunting with your significant other is a great thing. There's a lot of folks that would say for one reason or another, "you'd have to be crazy to take your wife (or girlfriend) hunting!"

Man...at least for us, it has been completely the opposite. Having your best friend there to enjoy these experiences is awesome.

It takes work and learning, but that's the cool part. Hope the hunt goes well this fall
 

Wind Gypsy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
1,482
I'll offer a dissenting opinion on the camilla - Women might like how the stock design feels when shouldering but it's a terrible design for managing recoil. The camilla stock has a huge drop at the heel which I can only guess makes it feel better to shoulder for some because they dont have to bow their head down as much to get a cheek weld? The further the heel of a stock is below the bore of the rifle, the more it contributes to muzzle rise when recoiling. Think of where that recoil energy goes, if it's not supported straight behind the bore, it's going to go in the opposite direction of where the resistance is. More muzzle rise contributes to more recoil right into a shooter's cheek weld on the stock and nobody enjoys that.

6.5 Creedmoor IMO would be a great choice. Mostly because of recoil level, ammo availability, and ammo cost lends itself to being something that will be more enjoyable to shoot. Also to generalize, women seem more prone to take their time and make good shots and less prone to start spraying like men who may prefer more "forgiveness" from larger rounds. A 6.5 bullet will kill stuff just fine.
 

enbhunts

Active member
Joined
Sep 15, 2022
Messages
69
I'll offer a dissenting opinion on the camilla - Women might like how the stock design feels when shouldering but it's a terrible design for managing recoil. The camilla stock has a huge drop at the heel which I can only guess makes it feel better to shoulder for some because they dont have to bow their head down as much to get a cheek weld? The further the heel of a stock is below the bore of the rifle, the more it contributes to muzzle rise when recoiling. Think of where that recoil energy goes, if it's not supported straight behind the bore, it's going to go in the opposite direction of where the resistance is. More muzzle rise contributes to more recoil right into a shooter's cheek weld on the stock and nobody enjoys that.

6.5 Creedmoor IMO would be a great choice. Mostly because of recoil level, ammo availability, and ammo cost lends itself to being something that will be more enjoyable to shoot. Also to generalize, women seem more prone to take their time and make good shots and less prone to start spraying like men who may prefer more "forgiveness" from larger rounds. A 6.5 bullet will kill stuff just fine.
The Camilla is a Creedmoor, just named after someone in the Weatherby family I think.
 

270.Rose

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Messages
223
So I guess I’ll resurrect this thread instead of starting a new one. My girlfriend wants to start hunting this fall, even went so far as to put in for antelope. She hikes a lot, and has good gear for that, especially boots. But she’s never shot a rifle before, and doesn’t have one. About 5’6-7”, lifts daily, and is in far better shape than me- so recoil might not be that big of an issue.

I’m out of town for work for the foreseeable future, and think our best bet is to take her to Scheel’s & Shipton's to try a bunch of different ones for fit the next time I’m in town. Does anyone have a suggestion for things to try out- especially in wood/walnut furniture? She has a thing for that classic look.

For calibers, I was thinking .308, since she wants one rifle to do everything up to elk. Open to suggestions on this, too.
If you have a .22 with a scope I would highly recommend that she shoot a lot from different positions and different distances. Dry fire exercises are great but practice with the .22 takes it to another level and means that when she gets in the field she will be so much more confident with how to handle a rifle comfortably. Standing, sitting, using a pack to build a position will all go a long way towards making the hunt go smoothly. If she can hit a 4 inch gong in a field position at 100 yards, an antelope sized target with a pack for support on the hunt will be a piece of cake. I wasn't around guns or hunting at all until my husband got me involved, but thanks to him being an awesome teacher and great hunting buddy, and getting me into NRL style .22 competition, I feel a lot more confident about putting in for more challenging hunts.
 

R.K.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
840
Location
MT
If you have a .22 with a scope I would highly recommend that she shoot a lot from different positions and different distances. Dry fire exercises are great but practice with the .22 takes it to another level and means that when she gets in the field she will be so much more confident with how to handle a rifle comfortably. Standing, sitting, using a pack to build a position will all go a long way towards making the hunt go smoothly. If she can hit a 4 inch gong in a field position at 100 yards, an antelope sized target with a pack for support on the hunt will be a piece of cake. I wasn't around guns or hunting at all until my husband got me involved, but thanks to him being an awesome teacher and great hunting buddy, and getting me into NRL style .22 competition, I feel a lot more confident about putting in for more challenging hunts.
I wish I was there- new job has me back only about once a month. So this is all on her to practice up- I can offer advice, and she has solid fundamentals, so success is going to be dependent on her desire to make it successful. I’m trying to not push her, and let her move at her own pace so she doesn’t burn out.

If not, then we’ll go chase birds or fish that week I’m back. Still might- that tag hasn’t been drawn yet. 😂
 

WrongWind

New member
Joined
Aug 15, 2023
Messages
11
My experience has been to start cheap with what you buy her and see if she sticks with it. If she does, then ease her into the best gear possible. My wife loves to hunt and I want to make sure she continues to enjoy it, so she gets top of the line gear just like me .
 

perma

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2022
Messages
1,266
Location
The wild west
This is a good thread.

My wife became my hunting partner after my first pronghorn hunt. I got her some First Lite after that trip. She gets cold very easily and they make great insulation.

She got into shooting after she had ambitions of trying to shoot a gun. She’s a shy one but wanted to do something extreme in her eyes. I have an old Winchester M70 in a .270. She loves the gun. She shot an ought six and hated it. Wouldn’t even touch the Weatherby.

I think the funny part about marriage is that you don’t have to try to find the others’ hobbies fun. For example, she was a good golfer in high school. She got me into it after I found out some coworkers had some golf nights after work. I was into golfing way before she ever would think about hunting. I got fitted clubs and clothing and the whole 9.

But she kept talking about it and that triggered my interest. I keep talking about hunting and it triggered her interest. Now she has a WY cow tag this year.
 

IDFireLass

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
280
Location
Idaho
My first rifle was a Winchester feather weight pre 64 .308, nice rifle but kicks like a mule.
Second rifle I bought is a Weatherby .270 that thing is heavy and really kicks like a mule.
Used a .243 Tikka and love it. But not enough rifle at times.
Bought a Browning Hells Canyon 6.5 creedmore with the muzzle brake. Love that rifle. It's the only thing I can shoot now due to the new shoulder. Anything that will have a lot of recoil could dislocate the shoulder. So I'm stuck with the 6.5. Since the surgery I'm having some trouble getting the butt of the rifle into the shoulder and having enough reach to the trigger. Should have the stock cut down at least the width of the recoil pad. But hate to touch the rifle because it shoots so well.

It's all down to practice and more practice and going out the distance. Never could hit much beyond 300 yards. Shooting out to 500 yards regular and have gone to 700 yards. Won't shoot at anything at 700 yards. But have gotten an elk at 529 yards.
So she needs to practice and learn the rifle and scope and at least get to 300 yards.
 
Last edited:

Don Fischer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
2,886
First time I read this. I think the deal getting her a rifle is she's only 4'11" tall. Not A clue who might make a rifle close to fitting her. And then recoil is going to enter into this with her small size! Someone mentioned a 6.5 Creedmoor and probably a good call. But even then after you cut a foot of wood off the shock recoil is gonna have to go up some. I think the thing to do in a situation like this is look for a used 308 length action rifle and have it cut down to fit her then re-barreled to something like maybe the creedmoor or 260 Rem maybe even 250-3000! Like it or not recoil will probably be a consideration!

Pretty old thread so what did she get?
 
Gastro Gnome - Eat Better Wherever

Forum statistics

Threads
108,235
Messages
1,845,575
Members
33,897
Latest member
Lutherlunker
Top