Women in the outdoors

SamPall.ILHunt

New member
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Champaign, IL
As a new hunter that does not have crazy amount of expendable income (I am a grad student).. do you have advice for what's essential equip/what is not? What do you wish you would have had or known about while you were learning?

Also, do you find hunting solo more beneficial as a learning experience than having a mentor? I'm finding solo hunting is more and more popular these days (compared to my growing up), curious as to why.
 
Joined
May 10, 2021
Messages
34
Hi Sam: I'm in the same boat as you: not a lot of expendable income. Once I found the right rifle, I found that clothing & equipment I already have will serve well to take me through my beginning stages of learning. I do wish I could learn to use a bow, but I'm not strong enough. The cost of special "hunting" clothing is ridiculous (especially for women). I don't know if head-to-toe camo is absolutely necessary (unless bow hunting); getting the good advice folks give here and taking it into the field is more important IMHO. I really appreciate the advice received here about learning to read the wind. I have almost always hiked & camped alone and all the lessons I have learned that way stick with me. Mistakes teach! But if you find that special teacher with whom you are comfortable, who doesn't hold you back or go too fast, then you are lucky. Either way is fine.
 

MNElkNut

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
1,236
Location
Minnesota
Nothing beats going solo once you have a the confidence to go it alone. And it doesn’t have to be big game either. Just get yourself out in the field and learn. I would put your limited budget towards tags and gas before equipment. With the caveat that you need to be somewhat comfortable. Not entirely comfortable but somewhat! Then as you gain experience you can prioritize your equipment purchases that work for you!

Keep us in the loop on your learning curve.
 

dirtclod Az.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
2,746
Hi Sam: I'm in the same boat as you: not a lot of expendable income. Once I found the right rifle, I found that clothing & equipment I already have will serve well to take me through my beginning stages of learning. I do wish I could learn to use a bow, but I'm not strong enough. The cost of special "hunting" clothing is ridiculous (especially for women). I don't know if head-to-toe camo is absolutely necessary (unless bow hunting); getting the good advice folks give here and taking it into the field is more important IMHO. I really appreciate the advice received here about learning to read the wind. I have almost always hiked & camped alone and all the lessons I have learned that way stick with me. Mistakes teach! But if you find that special teacher with whom you are comfortable, who doesn't hold you back or go too fast, then you are lucky. Either way is fine.
Hit the thrift stores for clothing, packs, and such.
Starting with a mentor is a great advantage, they can answer
your questions as you learn.
No question is a stupid question, keep them coming. 💥
 

SamPall.ILHunt

New member
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Champaign, IL
As I get ready for my first turkey hunting season... A little nervous about early morning jitters walking alone in the dark those first few hours. Does this go away after a few times out or do you guys find yourself uneasy about walking alone in the dark / eventually get used to it? Any tips for feeling more relaxed?

Love the comments from mostly guys saying "just go for it." Ha. Growing up (as a girl), walking alone in the woods in the dark was a big NO, and sometimes its hard not to let those years of mental/emotional conditioning get to you. Even being alone in woods during the day sometimes.

I guess following up on that, do you have extra safety precautions as women going out solo? Has anyone even had a bad experience in this regard (i.e. encountering other hunters or people in the woods that were hostile) - or is this super rare and all in my head?

Thanks yall.
 
Joined
May 10, 2021
Messages
34
After many years of walking & camping alone, I found that the original jitters went away. Nothing bad ever happened. What did happen was a greater ability to sense what was around me through sound, smell, & sign. So when danger truly was near, I was able to cope. There have been and continue to be a whole lot of amazing experiences that I'll always cherish. Like camping at the base of a cirque, and looking up in the evening light to see two elk playing on the ridge above me, swiping at one another up on their hind legs and silhouetted in the sunset. I did/do not walk around much at night though, and that does bring a whole other set of dangers. I don't know about where you live, but here I'm wary of bears, moose, and other large critters that also like to walk around at night.

I have never encountered a hostile person (except when I drove a green truck), in fact most folks that I run into are really nice. There have been rare moments when I decided to walk hastily onward and away from an overly attentive male, but that happens everywhere.

So. Good luck in your hunt! Do not be afraid. Unless there are bears. Then you can be afraid. 🙂
 

MNElkNut

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
1,236
Location
Minnesota
I think any danger in the woods from 2 legged varmints would be exceedingly rare. Much more dangerous in a Walmart parking lot. If you were a human predator, you would never pick a woods to stalk your prey....you would pick a dark parking lot!

The jitters from walking in the dark in the early morning go away fairly quickly. I remember that looking down at your feet seems to help. I was scared silly to walk to my deer stand when I was 12.

The biggest fear you face right now is fear of the unknown. The people that are saying, "just go for it" are just trying to get you over the hump and outdoors!

Beware of squirrels though. Those little beasts sound exactly like a serial killer sneaking up on you!

One other trick I heard of is to just go outside on your own lawn and sit in the dark. Listen. Get used to it. You know what happens? Nothing. You get bored. Which is exactly what will happen in the woods too.

Great questions!
 

dirtclod Az.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
2,746
Go in as a predator, not the prey.
If you have the upper hand they need to be afraid. lol! ;) 💥
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
3,537
In this community the number of girls/women in hunters ed is very high. My daughter's class had more girls than boys and I hear that is not unusual. But Canada was way ahead of US equalizing sports for both genders. We also have quite a few schools with very active women's wrestling programs. My son-in-law's sister was third in the nation collegiate. The women's component at local gun and outdoors shows is always quite high.

It doesn't appear that women or girls are in any greater need of mentoring than males. In my opinion, it is rather patronizing (and therefore sexist) to think so. I generally prefer to hunt alone but will readily assist anyone who asks for help. I certainly would not go hunting for mentoring "students" based on gender. Most gals I would want to hang with would find that offensive.
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
3,537
As a new hunter that does not have crazy amount of expendable income (I am a grad student).. do you have advice for what's essential equip/what is not? What do you wish you would have had or known about while you were learning?

Also, do you find hunting solo more beneficial as a learning experience than having a mentor? I'm finding solo hunting is more and more popular these days (compared to my growing up), curious as to why.
Those are very good questions! 👍

For essential equipment on a liveable budget I suggest buying a used rifle in a versatile caliber ... like this WWII 30-06. 20211213_130101.jpg Other good all round calibers = .270 and .300 Win. You'll never have trouble finding ammo for those (present freaky context excluded). Though I could easily afford a new truck for every day of the week, I drive a 1999 GMC Jimmy with 300K miles. That soccer mom outfit cost me four grand used thirteen years ago and it's maybe the best investment in outdoor gear I've made to date. Economical and tough. I have spent a lot of money on my hunting dogs. If you get into bird hunting you'll see why. Also no better investment for your mental health (Labs are a great chick magnet!). Check the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores for hunting clothing. Last year I found a brand new Remington 4-in-1 RealTree camo pattern hunting jacket, tags still on it, for $35! Someone's Christmas gift that didn't fit. Those stores always have a good selection of used binocs and digital cameras dirt cheap. Your money goes to charity too. I see good GPS units in pawn shops going for almost nothing these days (from people upgrading to smart phone apps instead). Best advice I can give to someone starting out, especially on a budget, is don't get hung up on the "stuff." Use your money for experiences.

Speaking of experiences ... I am a lifetime loner. Hunting alone is not without its drawbacks (nearly fatal on a number of occasions) but I find it much more rewarding. It's just me against/with the elements. No other artificial interference. I love the outdoors to pieces and am happiest when I am closest to Nature. The school of hard knocks is not the easiest way to go but when you get there, the satisfaction of knowing you've done it on your own is satisfying beyond words. Be a problem solver not a timid sheep following a herd or herder. Good luck!
 

DouglasR

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
1,870
Location
East central, Il
As I get ready for my first turkey hunting season... A little nervous about early morning jitters walking alone in the dark those first few hours. Does this go away after a few times out or do you guys find yourself uneasy about walking alone in the dark / eventually get used to it? Any tips for feeling more relaxed?

Love the comments from mostly guys saying "just go for it." Ha. Growing up (as a girl), walking alone in the woods in the dark was a big NO, and sometimes its hard not to let those years of mental/emotional conditioning get to you. Even being alone in woods during the day sometimes.

I guess following up on that, do you have extra safety precautions as women going out solo? Has anyone even had a bad experience in this regard (i.e. encountering other hunters or people in the woods that were hostile) - or is this super rare and all in my head?

Thanks yall.
The jitters go away.
I’d get a good headlamp and a backup.
Didn’t you say you spent some time in Colorado?
Assuming you’re hunting Illinois, I would imagine it should be much less frightening and intimidating than hiking out there.
If you don’t have one already I’d definitely get an inreach.
You can also condition yourself through other activities such as night riding that god forsaken mountain bike racetrack.
 

Panda Bear

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
845
I think any danger in the woods from 2 legged varmints would be exceedingly rare. Much more dangerous in a Walmart parking lot. If you were a human predator, you would never pick a woods to stalk your prey....you would pick a dark parking lot!

I have hunted alone in extreme conditions for years and I agree with the above, on both of his points
 
Last edited:

Hunting Wife

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
3,058
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
I think jitters are very individual. Some people get over it, some people never really do but learn to manage them. After a lot of years working and playing outdoors alone, being solo doesn’t bother me, night or day. I honestly feel much more on edge at night in town than I do in the woods, I guess because my personal experiences have been that more creepers have given me problems in town than in the woods.

If you want to just get more exposure to being out at night, start when there’s a big full moon. Once your eyes adjust, it’s seriously like daytime out there. Then you can work up to darker nights. I love hiking and snowshoeing at night with a moon.

I try to avoid extra lights if I can when I’m night calling or hiking at night, because I feel like I can see better when my eyes aren’t having to adjust between light and dark. If it’s pitch black or rough terrain, sure and if I must, I’ll use a dim red headlamp but otherwise I do without whenever possible.

If the jitters are getting to you, try spinning the situation and focus on how cool it is to see the world from a new angle. There are a bunch of sights, sounds and smells that you really only notice and experience in the dark. It’s a neat time to be out.
 
Joined
May 10, 2021
Messages
34
Those are very good questions! 👍

For essential equipment on a liveable budget I suggest buying a used rifle in a versatile caliber ... like this WWII 30-06. View attachment 216341 Other good all round calibers = .270 and .300 Win. You'll never have trouble finding ammo for those (present freaky context excluded). Though I could easily afford a new truck for every day of the week, I drive a 1999 GMC Jimmy with 300K miles. That soccer mom outfit cost me four grand used thirteen years ago and it's maybe the best investment in outdoor gear I've made to date. Economical and tough. I have spent a lot of money on my hunting dogs. If you get into bird hunting you'll see why. Also no better investment for your mental health (Labs are a great chick magnet!). Check the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores for hunting clothing. Last year I found a brand new Remington 4-in-1 RealTree camo pattern hunting jacket, tags still on it, for $35! Someone's Christmas gift that didn't fit. Those stores always have a good selection of used binocs and digital cameras dirt cheap. Your money goes to charity too. I see good GPS units in pawn shops going for almost nothing these days (from people upgrading to smart phone apps instead). Best advice I can give to someone starting out, especially on a budget, is don't get hung up on the "stuff." Use your money for experiences.

Speaking of experiences ... I am a lifetime loner. Hunting alone is not without its drawbacks (nearly fatal on a number of occasions) but I find it much more rewarding. It's just me against/with the elements. No other artificial interference. I love the outdoors to pieces and am happiest when I am closest to Nature. The school of hard knocks is not the easiest way to go but when you get there, the satisfaction of knowing you've done it on your own is satisfying beyond words. Be a problem solver not a timid sheep following a herd or herder. Good luck!
Um, "labs are a great chick magnet?" Lifetime loner, do tell us more.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
100,399
Messages
1,587,194
Members
31,512
Latest member
fadilale
Top