Learning How to "Gear Up" for Hunting

by Tarra Stoddard

So you've decided you'd like to try out hunting. There are a few things you'll need to do before you "gear up" and get out in the woods. Your journey should begin prior to hunting season. 

Most states require that you take a hunter education course. This will not only familiarize you with the gun aspect, but the game in your area. Another great outlet for women who would like to learn to hunt is Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW)  This is a program found in every state offering workshops for women to help them learn more about the outdoors, which they say "means becoming more competent, more confident, and more aware." BOW has been around since 1991 and specializes in helping female beginners learn outdoor skills. All equipment needed is provided; a woman needs only the desire to learn and she can have fun doing it!

The basic items needed to hunt are a hunting license, animal tags, camo, a rifle with a scope, ammunition and land. Check your local regulations to make sure your firearms selection is legal for the game you've selected.

If you're new to hunting, purchasing your gear can be confusing and costly. Once you decide what game you'll be hunting there is only place I will recommend for women's hunting apparel. Hunting apparel is something you don't want to cut corners on. Prois Hunting & Field Apparel is the best on the market for women, in my humble opinion. If you like to stay warm and dry, and actually have apparel that fits, it's the place to purchase from. My favorite mid-weight pants- "The Generation X Series"- are made with a windstopping and waterproof fabric. pantsThey sit at your natural waist and have ample room through hips and thighs. The pants are made with boot zips for convenience and elastic drawstring with cord stop to draw pants close to boot. This reduces infiltration of debris and dampness into the boot. (You will be writing "Thank You" letters to Prois after donning these on a hunt.) Wearing these feel like putting on a warm micro-fleece lined pillow pant. Can you say, Ahhhh? The back pockets have pillowtop closures to keep contents in place. Their deep cargo pockets (with magnetic closures for ease of access) ensure enhanced silence. You have plenty of room to bring along all your essentials.   

My favorite versatile shirt- "Prois's Ultra Backcountry Shirt"-wicks moisture away from proisthe skin, keeping you cool when it is
hot and warm when it is cool. Its neck zipper is added to allow venting in warm weather. The convenient three-compartment lumbar pocket system is perfect for holding calls, gloves, hand warmers, and other hunting necessitites. There's room to bring along plenty of quiet snacks or handheld devices to play for downtime.

Before you run out and purchase a rifle and scope, there are few things to consider. You want a rifle that fits you properly and a scope that will perform. If you come to love hunting, you are sure to expand your hunting to other game. Purchasing a rifle and scope that you can use for any game in your area is ideal. I personally hunt with a Savage 7mm 08. With my rifle, I can hunt any game in my area. Your rifle is something that will have to fit your body type and chosen game. Ranges often have rifles you can shoot to try out.

tarraOnce you purchased your rifle, you'll need a scope. Finding the best quality scope for the best price is essential. I use a Vortex Diamondback HP 3-12 × 42 Scope. (I highly recommend Vortex Optics scopes!) Not only are they affordable, they have a VIP warranty. It's a Lifetime, Unlimited, Fully Transferable, Unconditional warranty. Vortex will repair or replace the product (at no charge) in the event it becomes damaged or defective. The Diamondback HP (High Performance) riflescope offers a full-on array of features that you as a hunter will love. The Diamondback has a Dead-Hold BDC reticle that helps eliminate guesswork on hold-over and windage corrections. XD extra-low dispersion glass increases resolution and color fidelity while XR fully multi-coated lenses maximize every minute of shooting light. When you learn about the golden hour, being able to see through your scope in this last light is mandatory. The image is bright and crisp even at extended ranges with this scope. The scope's fog-proof performance with it being waterproof will have you thanking Vortex. Once you purchase your scope, you'll need to sight-in your scope to your rifle. Once sighted-in, I recommend practicing with your rifle on 25yd., 50yd., & 100yd. ranges. This way you can get familiar with your distances. 
Most importantly, don't get overwhelmed. Be sure to set aside time to scout your game prior to opening season. Finding those snipes isn't easy!
Hunting is a learning process. It teachs you patience, ethics, sustainability, disipline and appreciation for hard work! If you enjoy nature, hunting will open your eyes to things you've never dreamed of seeing. Most importantly, get out there and have fun.tarra-1

Happy Hunting!
Tarra Stoddard is a
ReelCamoGirl Team Member & Brand Champion
Prois Hunting & Field Apparel Rep. &
Estrilla Hunting Representive