Tag Archives: hunting

A Hell’s Of A Rifle


By Dave Workman

Media Day at the Range once again preceded the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas, and it gave outdoor and gun writers – including yours truly – the opportunity to press a lot of triggers.

One experience I won’t soon forget is the all-too-brief time I spent at the Browning display because the centerpiece of that exhibit was a brand-new entry in the X-Bolt family they call the Hell’s Canyon Long Range rifle. It’s a gem.

The author also was able to put a couple rounds through Winchester’s XPC bolt-action tactical rifle. He reports that with a suppressor attached, the .308 Winchester round sounded more like a .22 rimfire. (DAVE WORKMAN)

Keep in mind, this is the 100th anniversary of the famous Browning Automatic Rifle, and the company chose the occasion to introduce a BAR Safari model, a handsome self-loader chambered in .30-06 Sprg. Only 100 of these guns were made to commemorate this centennial anniversary, and they’re likely all gone by now. So, for the people who want a rifle to shoot rather than admire in a display case, the Hell’s Canyon Long Range is just the ticket.

Browning chambers this rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor with a 22-inch barrel, .270 WSM and .300 WSM with a 23-inch barrel, and 26 Nosler, 7mm Rem. Mag., 28 Nosler and 300 Win. Mag. with a 26-inch barrel. MSRP on the Hell’s Canyon ranges from $1,229.99 to $1,299.99.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, for starters, from a sandbag rest at 200 yards, I hit everything I shot at, including a small steel plate. Since an elk, deer, moose, goat, sheep, caribou, black or brown bear are much larger, I’d say that at double the distance, they’re all in big trouble. Translation, this rifle was dead-bang accurate, and it had been fired by at least a few other people before I got my grubby little hands on it.

Winchester’s new 20-gauge Long Beard XR load should be on dealer shelves in plenty of time for spring turkey hunting. General season opens March 25, with youth hunting opportunities beforehand, and this might make a good shell for smaller-framed gobbler gunners. (WINCHESTER)

The sample gun I fired was chambered in .300 Win. Magnum.  Thanks to modern recoil pad technology and materials, this baby is a delight to shoot. I was wearing a lightweight nylon jacket and felt recoil was no different than with my own ’06.

Browning put some eye-catching cosmetics into this model. It’s got a burnt bronze Cerakote finish that is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It wears a fluted heavy sporter contour barrel, and the composite stock is finished in A-TACS AU camo with Dura-Touch armor coating. The grip has a palm swell and gripping surfaces are textured, which is important to anyone who hunts in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, North Idaho or Western Montana, and especially in Southeast Alaska.

While the other cartridges are dandies, especially the 26 and 28 Nosler, I think the .300 Win. Mag and 7mm Rem. Mag are probably the two most popular long-range big game cartridges now in common use in North America. I like that .30-caliber pill for any number of reasons, and being a handloader, if this was my rifle I’d already be tinkering at the loading bench with a good supply of Hodgdon powder and an assortment of 180- to 220-grain bullets from Nosler, Hornady, Barnes, Speer and Sierra.
ANOTHER ENTRY THAT impressed the hell out of me is Ruger’s brand new GP100 in .44 Special. I’ve never owned a .44 Special, or even a .44 Magnum for that matter. I’m a fanatic for the .41 Magnum, and I have a couple of Ruger single-actions in .45 Colt.

That said, when I cut loose with the GP100, which is all stainless steel with a Hogue Monogrip, adjustable rear sight, smooth double action and crisp single-action, I was impressed. The .44 Special can be handloaded to fairly stout levels for defense against bears and other predators. The fiveround GP100 no doubt will handle factory and recommended handloads, and I happily discovered that it is also a comfortable and accurate shooter. You can find several good loads in the various loading manuals.

With any luck I’ll round one of these wheelguns up for a more extensive test and evaluation. With a 2.75-inch full shroud barrel, this will make a terrific trail gun for backpackers – frankly, it’s a revolver that will be right at home in the backcountry. If you’re a fisherman who hits rivers in bear country, this could be a perfect handgun because it’s just about impervious to wet conditions.

I ALSO HAD the chance to shoot Winchester’s new XPC rifle, a hot little bolt-action with a tactical stock, steel receiver wearing a Permacote black finish, button-rifled free-floating barrel and a Cerakote-finished machined alloy chassis frame.

The one I fired was fitted with a suppressor, and chambered in .308 Winchester. It was a kick in the pants to shoot, with a good crisp trigger and was very quiet. For hunting in areas that might have seen human encroachment, or for gun ranges that are now falling victim to suburban sprawl, suppressors might be the answer.

There is legislation before Congress called the Hearing Protection Act that would remove suppressors from the red tape that currently includes registration, background check and payment of a $200 tax under the National Firearms Act of 1934.
LAST BUT CERTAINLY not least, Winchester Ammunition has introduced what it calls a “ground breaking Long Beard XR” load in 20 gauge, just in time for spring turkey season. This new 3-inch magnum comes with either No. 5 or No. 6 shot and it is packaged ten rounds per box.

Author Dave Workman had a chance to shoot Browning’s new Hell’s Canyon Long Range Rifle in .300 Win. Magnum at January’s SHOT Show, and he found it to be deadly accurate. (DAVE WORKMAN)

So, what makes this stuff so hot? This new entry in the Long Beard XR family features Shot-Lok technology. Shot-Lok is injected into the hull with the lead shot and it then hardens, keeping pellets in place until the shot is fired. At that point, the Shot-Lok fractures into what Winchester calls a “micro-buffer” that prevents the shot from deforming, so that when it exits the muzzle, it maintains its shape to create a uniform pattern. The result, provided you do your part, is a tom in the bag.

Over the past few years, I have grown increasingly fond of 20-gauge shotguns, even though I have hunted since my teens with a 12-gauge Beretta S/S double barrel that has put more grouse and pheasants in my cooler than I can remember. CS
Editor’s note: Dave Workman is a longtime gun writer and a columnist for California Sportsman’s big brother magazine, Northwest Sportsman.

3 Reasons why they won’t become good Hunters

Have you ever noticed there are guys/gals out there who are good at hunting? And some just aren’t that good at it, being good is not about being lucky either. So here’s what it boils down to—and why some people won’t ever become good hunters.
lazy_hunter1. They’re Lazy
Being a good hunter takes a lot of hard work. Whether that’s going the extra mile during the season, or putting in work during the off-season, the people who put in more work find more success. The people who don’t work hard and are lazy won’t ever be good hunters.

2. They Don’t Pay Attention to Detail
Detail, detail, detail. You hear it all the time. But do you actually pay attention to detail? It’s the little things, such as how you enter and exit your treestand, whether you practice scent control, paying attention to what exact tree you need your stand in, etc.

Those hunters who consistently pay attention to every little detail are the ones who find success more than those who don’t. If you don’t pay attention to detail, odds are you aren’t going to be a very good hunter.

3. They Think They’re Always Right
It’s their way or the highway. Those people who think they’re always right and never wrong tend to not know much at all. The best hunters are constantly learning from others and applying what they learn to their hunting efforts. The more you learn and evolve over time, the better hunter you will become. On the other hand, if you can’t get over yourself, and think you’re the best hunter in the world, odds are you’re in the category of people who will never become good hunters.

There is no secret to becoming a good hunter. It takes a little work, a little detail, and the ability to learn. Do those three things, and you can become quite the hunter. Don’t do them, and you might not ever become a good hunter.

by Alex Comstock

A History of Hunting Dogs

Dogs and humans have a long history of friendship, and hunting has been one of the main reasons people have bred dogs over the centuries.

There are ancient cave paintings depicting stories of dogs walking alongside man. The story goes back 20,000 years to the time of pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers. As far back as 12,000 years ago, there’s evidence of dogs used for hunting, guarding and hauling weight. In most every culture, dogs have played a longstanding and important role.

The ancient Chinese kept dogs as companions and for hunting. In Egypt, dogs held great cultural significance and were often mummified and buried with their owners. In the tomb of the ancient pharaoh Ramses, there are paintings of him with hunting dogs. The ancient Greeks also valued dogs. Socrates even claimed dogs to be true philosophers. Ancient Romans also kept dogs as hunting animals and guard animals.

The history of selectively breeding dogs for an intended purpose goes back at least 9,000 years. By the 14th century, hunting dogs were common in Europe. However, because of the time and resources needed to develop a dog into a trained hunting animal, this task was only feasible for the nobility.

The first book detailing dogs used in hunting goes back to 16th century Britain with the 1570 publication of Dr. John Caius’ book, Of Englishe Dogges, the Diversities, the Names, the Natures, and the Properties.

Since domestication and specialized breeding began, the tradition of hunting dogs has evolved into what has become a diverse collection of dog breeds, each crafted for a specific purpose. Today, there are a few main categories into which most all hunting dogs can be placed.

Gun Dogs


Labrador Retriever

Gun dogs are great for flushing out hidden game including fowl and small mammals.
Gun dog breeds include spaniels, pointers, retrievers, setters and water dogs.

German Hunting Terrier

German Hunting Terrier

Terriers are great dogs for hunting small game. They can locate dens and flush out or kill burrowing animals.

Terrier breeds include Jack Russell terriers, wire fox terriers, Yorkshire terriers, Boston terriers, bull terriers, Scottish terriers and border terriers.




There are two types of hounds–sight hounds and scent hounds. Scent hounds are great at tracking prey over distance and are known for their endurance in the hunt. Scenthound breeds include foxhounds, beagles, coonhounds, and basset hounds. Sighthounds are known for their keen vision and can spot and track prey across considerable distances. Popular sighthound breeds include the pharaoh hound and the greyhound.

Other Categories
Similar in size and appearance to terriers, Feists are great at hunting small game. They’re especially good at treeing their prey.

Bred to hunt burrowing animals and smaller game, dachshunds can scent, chase, and flush out game.

Contrary to popular belief, a cur is not a worthless dog. Curs are a kind of North American treeing hound. Popular cur breeds include the Catahoula and Black Mouth Cur. Curs typical hunt larger game like boars, raccoons and cougars.

If you’re ready to hunt with your furry friend, make sure you’ve got all the gear you need. If you need quality hunting apparel for you (or your dog) head over to a high-quality outfitter like Carhartt to make sure you’ve got the right gear for the job.

Now you know a little bit more about hunting dogs, where they came from, and what each breed is known for. Here are some useful links for additional research.

Further Reading
List of Hunting Dog Breeds
Dogs in the Ancient World
United Kennel Club
American Kennel Club
North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association

Which Cartridge do you use for Long Range Hunting?

If you are looking to get into long range hunting, these cartridges will suit you fine.

With the latest guns, scopes, and laser rangefinders, well-practiced hunters are able to confidently take game at over 1,000 yards.

If you are looking to break into the long range hunting arena, or are trying to improve your long range accuracy, listen to what the experts at Red Rock Precision Rifles feel are the best cartridges for long range hunting.

There you have it. Shooters sensitive to recoil should choose a 28 Nosler and those looking for more power should choose a .300 Remington Ultra Mag. However, that’s just one man’s opinion.

If it’s deer or deer-sized game you’re chasing, you can’t go wrong with the 6.5 Creedmoor, though tons of long range game animals have fallen to the good old .300 Winchester Magnum, and the new Weatherby 6.5-3000 is quickly making a name for itself.

by Micah Sargent

Source: Epic Outdoors Youtube

The bottom line is that any rifle that is accurate enough and sustains enough energy at long range can be a killer in the right hands. Putting in the range time necessary to get the most out of your gun is where most hunters fall short. Know your effective range before you hit the field, then stick to it.

Gobbler Down!


By Brittany Boddington

After my first turkey fail, I was anxious to get back out and try again.

This time I headed to Kansas and hunted with Dan Bell of Bell Wildlife Specialties (785-589-2321; huntingkansaswhitetails.com). I was a little nervous since my first try for turkey was so unsuccessful in Texas (California Sportsman, June 2016), but Bell assured me we’d get the job done.

I arrived at midday and we immediately went on the computer and got my hunting license and turkey tag printed out. We had to wait for the rest of our group to arrive, but by the time they got there I was in my camo, ready to head out and redeem myself.

The view from Brittany’s blind usually included turkeys, but in many cases they were just hens or small jakes. The author wasn’t sure a mature tom would show up before her hunt wrapped up. (BRITTANY BODDINGTON)

THE FIRST AFTERNOON WAS pretty exciting. Bell thought that we should try sitting in a cool little grassy area with trees and a little creek bed running through it.

Boddington was dressed for turkey success, but she was going to have to work for this bird. (BRITTANY BODDINGTON)

We hid ourselves in a spot with some taller grass and bushes and brushed ourselves in as best we could. We sat as still as possible and Bell tried doing some calling on his slate. The sun was at that magical angle where everything looks golden when Bell made a little sound to let us know there was a turkey creeping in from behind us. I was so excited I struggled to stay still.

After what seemed like forever, a jake finally popped out from the creek bed and stood about 20 yards from me next to a tree. It was dead still while looking around, and I knew instinctively that this was not a big enough bird to shoot. Still, I was excited to see it anyways and wanted to let the guys know that it was around.

They were at a different angle and couldn’t see the young male turkey yet. I moved just a bit to signal to them that the jake was out, but it must have spotted me because it took off and was gone.

The next morning we went out long before daylight and climbed into a blind that overlooked a big field. There was water down below and a tree line that wrapped around us. We set out some decoys, did some calling and waited. It wasn’t long before the first hen arrived. She made her way along the tree line, heading toward the water below, and was followed by a few more hens. We settled in, called a little and waited. A little while later the same hen emerged from the trees closest to us and made her way over to the decoy. The other hens followed and circled around for a bit before they wandered away.

Besides guiding hunts for whitetail, pheasants and turkey in the Harveyville, Kan., area, Brittany’s friend Dan Bell is also a taxidermist there. (BRITTANY BODDINGTON)

As the morning progressed two coyotes crossed the field in front of us, but unfortunately I didn’t have a rifle with me and they never came in shotgun range.

That afternoon we tried another spot, which overlooked an old cornfield that was out of use. Bell had heard that the turkeys were roosting nearby, so we hoped to catch them headed in for the night. This time we didn’t sit long before the first one arrived. It was a jake, so we watched him circle around for a while.

To our right a hen popped out; as we watched her, two big longbeards came walking in right behind her. We all got pretty excited – probably too excited and I ended up rushing my shot and shooting right over the top of them. Things weren’t going as well as I’d hoped.

I ONLY HAD TWO days to hunt and I had ruined my first chance, so I was not very happy with myself. But I didn’t give up either.

The next morning we tried the same spot again and had the same result, except the coyotes didn’t show up. In the afternoon we tried a new spot tucked in a corner of a grassy opening surrounded by trees. We did some calling and heard some rustling in the brush but never got a turkey to come out.
That should have been my last chance. I had to leave for the airport around 8:30 a.m. the next morning, but we decided to squeeze in one last hunt before I left.

Finding a tom to wander into shooting range took patience. Eventually a big enough bird was within range. (BRITTANY BODDINGTON)

Finding a tom to wander into shooting range took patience. Eventually a big enough bird was within range. (BRITTANY BODDINGTON)

We got up and out extra early and drove further than we had before. We settled into a blind on a tree line overlooking two big empty fields. As light started to break through the trees, a hen appeared. She slowly worked her way past us and across the field into the trees on the other side. We could hear more turkeys coming down from a roost nearby, and sure enough, one by one they crossed in front of us as they made their way out for the day.

The clock was ticking and no big toms had appeared. I started to consider shooting a jake just so that we would have a turkey to take home. I didn’t want to, but given my streak, desperation was becoming a factor. I second-guessed myself a few times after passing on a few birds.

Urban Huntress 6I knew we had to pull the plug on the morning hunt in about 30 minutes and was praying something would arrive before that. I looked down and when I looked up there were two big longbeards walking toward me. I got so excited I fumbled trying to get myself in position, but thankfully the toms were looking at a hen and didn’t notice. I waited for a good shot. When the turkey stopped I took it, and thank goodness the bird didn’t fly away this time! I had my very first eastern turkey and it was gorgeous!

Finally, success! Brittany was running out of time and staring at the reality of ending another hunt without filling her gobbler tag, but this nice tom cooperated for her and guide Dan Bell, allowing her to notch her first tag. (BRITTANY BODDINGTON)

Just before I shot it had started to drizzle, and when I pulled the trigger it seemed to open up the skies. By the time I got to the turkey it was pouring rain. We gathered up our gear and got out of there just in time to head to the airport.

Just when I thought all hope was lost, it ended up being a successful hunt, and definitely one that I will not forget. Now it’s time to hit the range and work on my shotgun skills for the next turkey season! CS

Editor’s note: Brittany Boddington is a Los Angeles-based journalist, hunter and adventurer. Like her at facebook.com/brittanyboddington and follow at instagram.com/brittanyboddington

Fathers Know Best

Sharing The Outdoors Is A Generational Thing

By Albert Quackenbush

Living in the land of drought, freeways and smog is not something that lends itself to outdoor adventures.
As a father, raising my daughter to appreciate the outdoors when you live in a world of concrete is also a challenge. Fortunately, my wife and I have figured out a few ways to incorporate the outdoors in many things we do. We don’t let our surroundings completely govern how we enjoy the outdoors. Be it archery, fishing, hiking or getting the binoculars out to view wildlife, we have a great time. Those were also a few of the many things my dad shared with me growing up, so I am encouraged when my daughter wants to be involved. He made sure that if the sun was up, we were outside doing something. I am forever grateful for that. Thanks, Dad.

Father’s Day with my dad was always spent in the outdoors, and most of the time it was fishing. Whether it was on the farm pond, our boss’s pond or out on the lake, we would fish and have a great time. For me, just spending that time with Dad was priceless. He had given us the tools to fish, shared his knowledge, and now it was our time to have fun and make the most of it.

MY FAVORITE FATHER’S Day story will take me back about 25 years. My dad, who we call Skip, loves to fish – I mean really loves to fish – and he’s very good at it. But I remember a time when we just got lucky and had the time of our lives.
We set out one morning to fish near the Seneca Lake Rod & Gun club, just outside of Geneva, N.Y., in the Finger Lakes. My brother and I had been looking forward to the trip all week, but I think Dad was even more excited.

As his father looks on, young Al runs the tiller while trolling on an Upstate New York lake near where they lived before the author moved to Southern California. They made some great memories in the outdoor playground, and Al is passing along the love of all things outside to his daughter. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

As his father looks on, young Al runs the tiller while trolling on an Upstate New York lake near where they lived before the author moved to Southern California. They made some great memories in the outdoor playground, and Al is passing along the love of all things outside to his daughter. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

Once we had our little 12-foot aluminum boat in the water, we motored out just where the dropoff began and anchored. It looked to me that we were far too close to shore, but I trusted Dad. I’ll never forget using live sawbellies as bait and dropping our lines down to just off of the 100-foot bottom. Fishing two poles apiece required some deft maneuvering in that little boat.
The first half-hour or so was slow, but then all broke loose when we got into a school of lake trout.
“Fish on!”
“Me, too! Fish on!” That’s how it went for the next couple hours. We kept catching fish and some we threw back, just because the average size was 7 pounds.
We ran out of bait, so we began using the old, dead sawbellies, and the trout were even hitting them! We caught so many fish that we almost breathed a sigh of relief when one threw the hook, but that rarely happened. To this day, the three of us consider it one of the best days we have ever spent together.
Spending time outdoors was what it was all about when we were with Dad. Between fishing, camping and hunting, we were always outdoors doing something. I have story upon story of great hunts, scary hunts and hilarious antics. I now want to pass that love on to my daughter.

A COUPLE YEARS ago I began to take my daughter Riley out to the local lakes to fish. The times we have ventured out have been very warm and the water levels very low, but we have had great times anyway. I love listening to her tell me about the fish she wants to catch and how big it will be.

We have a traditional breakfast of donuts on the tailgate of my wife’s truck, where we talk and laugh. By the time our lines hit the water, our faces are covered in powdered sugar, and it is wonderful.

I remember the day I bought her a bow with suction-cup-tipped arrows. She was very excited and I, of course, was elated! When I’d shoot with my bow she could shoot hers. It is great to see her emulate me and practice shooting at our pig target. Recently, as she asked me to get her bow out, I realized that she had grown a great deal over the last year and the bow no longer fit her. When I said we would have to go to Bass Pro Shops for a new bow, she actually seemed more excited than me.
Camping in our backyard is a favorite activity. Riley’s little eyes light up every time I ask her if she wants to camp. It reminds me of the days when I used to camp with Dad and the memories that we made. When my dad would ask us if we wanted to go camping, I remember the feeling of excitement knowing we would get to share in something wonderful.

CAMPING WITH DAD was always fun. We always had an adventure to talk about when we got back to school, but the best part were the laughs and good times we shared. The most memorable camping trip I ever shared with my dad and brother was when I was in my early teens. One of the things I love about Dad is that when we went camping, we did everything ourselves. I’ll come back to that thought in a minute (that’s when the story gets interesting).

The author has high hopes Riley will continue to enjoy the outdoors with her pop as she gets older. It’s become a family tradition to get out and have fun. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

Dad drove the 4½ hours to the boat launch. After we launched the boat and loaded our gear, we set off. I forget how long it took us, but we were in that very same 12-foot aluminum boat we spent Father’s Day in, so it wasn’t very fast. We motored to the far reaches of the lake. Two leaning pine trees marked our campsite by the water. We set up camp, ate dinner and prepared for the weeklong fish fest.

Fishing in the acid rain-affected lakes of the Adirondacks was a challenge. Over the course of five days, we caught two fish. No, let me rephrase– I caught two. The bobber zipping around the surface made us go a bit nutty in the boat. When I pulled in the whopping 4-inch perch we did everything we could from not tipping the boat from laughter.

A few hours later I would catch a very nice smallmouth bass, which we planned to eat that evening. We happened to be very tired when we got back, so we left it on the stringer by the boat, and went to sleep. The next morning Dad must have had an epiphany because he beelined for the stringer only to find a head and nothing else. He felt really bad (I mean really bad), but I didn’t fault him. In fact, I found it funny that we hadn’t thought about the raccoons and bears in the area.
Remember when I said we did everything ourselves? Well, it took a turn for the serious toward the end of our trip. Our motor kept conking out and Dad had to do what he could to get it going again. We were 5 miles from the boat launch!

He cleaned the spark plugs and it began to hum better than before, but it was short-lived as it completely died after that. So Dad had to row the boat loaded down with us and our gear the entire 5 miles back to the launch. I tried to help, but at just 14 years old, I wasn’t used to rowing a boat loaded with that amount of weight. My dad was a trooper that week, and we had the best time with him.

ALAS, I DIGRESS! Camping with my daughter, even in the backyard, is a wonderful experience. I absolutely love her sense of adventure and planning. We get to test out new gear, plus she gets to do something fun and gets to spend time with her dad. It’s a win for all!

A young author celebrates a conquest of a New York smallmouth bass. Unfortunately, when the fish was left on a stringer and hungry critter got a free meal out of the catch. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

The best part of every camping “trip” I take with Riley is watching her as she sleeps and knowing how much she loves the outdoors. My second favorite part is when she wakes up and she wants to read me a dozen stories from inside the tent. That tent is a magical place for her and, in turn, it is for me as well.

Once a child, and now a father, I feel as though my childhood disappeared very quickly. I realize as I write this that six years of my daughter’s life have flown by. Time has moved on, but do I hold any regrets? Not a single one! In fact, I plan on more father/daughter dates, fishing trips, camping trips, and archery practice.

Should she choose to drop them all and never want to do them again, I will continue to love her unconditionally as any good father should. But knowing her love of the outdoors, I will continue to nurture it in the hope that one day she will take her old man on an outdoor adventure that she will tell stories about like I tell of trips with Dad.

The author and his daughter, 6-year-old Riley, have become camping and fishing buddies. And Riley is beginning to shoot a bow with suctioncup-tipped arrows. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

Editor’s note: For more on the author, check out socalbowhunter.com.

Would you pull a prank on your buddy?

Okay, seriously, who doesn’t love a good prank every now and then? Even better yet, this one involves deer hunting. In this video, we are introduced to an unsuspecting, rifle-toting, story-telling, novice hunter who is clearly looking to make what appears to be his first ever shot on a massive buck.

He does an excellent job of narrating his excellent hunt adventure, from start to finish. His friend does an excellent job of egging him along.

Well, on second thought, it may be time for this guy to consider hunting with a new set of friends.

You might be able to pull this one on one of your more gullible pals, but first, it might be worth it to you to evaluate the strength of your friendship. At least this guy takes it like a true champ.

by KJ Gonzales

Source: bigcode3 Youtube

12 Mistakes Men Make when Hunting with Women

The guide for every man on exactly how to show a lady a miserable time in the woods

Women are joining the hunting ranks at a faster rate than men. But, we ladies still encounter a few problems when it comes to learning the sport. The No.1 problem for women going afield is trying to find places to hunt.

The No. 2 problem? You guessed it. It’s you guys.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not trying to man-bash. We love that you’re willing to take the ladies in your lives hunting. But, sometimes you guys make mistakes – big ones that may prevent us from wanting to ever hit the woods with you, or anyone else for that matter, ever again. If you truly want us out there with you, then read on to find out how to make our experience more enjoyable. If you don’t, then read on to learn how to ensure that the ladies in your life will never want to go hunting again.

We asked some of our female hunting friends to help us list the top 12 reasons women get turned off while hunting. We also provided solutions, because we care. (Also, remember that dark chocolate is usually the choice of the female hunting masses.)

1. Underestimating the importance of comfort
“I know we have cushy bottoms made for sitting, but not for hours on end in the briars. During one of my first turkey hunts, my guide made me sit on the ground in a briar patch where I couldn’t see anything coming or going — just a small swath directly in front of my feet. The temperatures started dropping – from the high 50s to low 40s – with light, and then toad-strangling, rain. We sat there for six hours. My legs jumped and moved all on their own, just trying to keep some body heat. When I finally stood up, I almost fell back down. I had to stop at a gas station, change in the bathroom and wipe down with paper towels. Now that I know more about turkey hunting, I would never do that to a new hunter.” – Barbara Baird – Realtree.com blogger and publisher of Women’s Outdoor News

The Solution: Remember these words: “This is fun.” If it ain’t, call it a day. How can you tell? Well, look at her face. If you see strained expressions or grimaces, she’s done. Or, she might say something like, “Sure would be nice to take a bath.”

2. Behaving condescendingly, because big girls do cry
“There have been times while hunting alongside men that I have heard the words, ‘You stay in the blind; we will put out the decoys … too cold for you!’ I once made the shot on a bird, but the guy next to me screamed, ‘How did you like my shot?’ I have been told, ‘You shouldn’t shoot a 3 1/2-inch shell – too much for your little arms to take!’ and I have even heard, ‘The only reason you get any attention is because you are a woman hunter and they are so rare you don’t have to be good.’” – Kimberly Snyder – Outdoor pro-staffer for various waterfowling companies and contributor to Lady Hunter Magazine

The Solution: Don’t push. Just be there. Kimberly advises, “It can be very tough. When I take women out with me, I make it about what they are comfortable with. I don’t ever push, but I try to make it a bonding and fun experience that keeps them wanting to get back out there. I try to be positive, supportive and encouraging – all the things I would want from someone. Allow them to push themselves.”


3. Not helping with shooting practice before the hunt
“Practice, practice, practice. Help them make good shots so they don’t have to see an animal suffer. The experience can be frightening and can even make them not want to take the second shot to finish the animal. And, take caution in showing women the guts and gore. If they don’t want to see it, don’t make them. They’ll grow into it in their own time.” — Mia Anstine, outfitter, hunting guide, freelance writer

The Solution: Make sure she is familiar with her gun or bow before she hunts with it. Has she patterned that shotgun or sighted in that rifle? Does she know all the safety rules for handling firearms? Has she practiced with her bow? Education on how gun or bow works and what it will do is paramount to success in the field. Also, think about recoil and noise. You can greatly aid your lady friend by making sure that she has hearing protection and that she wears shoulder padding.

They even make a recoil pad that pins under a shirt on a bra strap, but it’s probably best to let her do that – unless you ask first.

4. Being crude or rude
“I try to be just one of the guys when I’m hunting with men, especially if I’m the only lady in camp. I don’t get offended easily, but that doesn’t mean I want all sense of decorum and class to be tossed out of the window. I once hunted with a guy I’d never met who not only burped inches from my face, but he peed right in front of me as well. Let’s just say that put a bit of a damper on my hunt. I also hunted with a guide who proceeded to show me vulgar photos of women on his cell phone. Only minutes after meeting me, another guide felt the need to tell me about all of his and his friends’ forays with prostitutes. There are some things female hunters don’t want to see or hear about, at least not this female hunter.” — Stephanie Mallory, Realtree blogger, owner of Mallory Communications Inc.

The Solution: Sing it, ladies … R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

“Animal House”-type antics never belong in hunting. Treat the lady hunter how you’d want someone to treat your mom, sister, grandmother or any other female in your family. A good rule of thumb is to let the female hunter set the tone for your hunt. She may be prim and proper, or she may be as crude as a Bob Saget stand-up routine. If you don’t know her that well, play it safe and display good manners. Avoid vulgar language, sexual innuendos and crude behavior. If she’s your buddy, wife or girlfriend, then you should already know how she wants to be treated. If you haven’t figured that out yet, then enjoy what little time you have left with her.


5. Not putting safety first
On another turkey-hunting expedition – this would be about No. 19 without a tag filled – my guides sat me, my hunting partner and a cameraman under a tree. They positioned themselves about 100 feet down from us. A thunderstorm promptly rolled in, but did the guides call it off? Heck, no. We sat there in the rain, watching toms walk past us out of range for hours. Meanwhile, the creek rose, logs rushed down it and our posteriors created magnificent butt puddles. When lightning started striking around the field, I kept thinking that my kids would tell their friends that, “Mom died while sitting under a tree in a thunderstorm, pointing a metal rod into the air.” — Barbara Baird

The Solution: Never put your lady in danger, from the weather or anything else. If she’s the mother of your children, consider whether or not you have enough insurance to raise said children properly with an English nanny? Stephanie and I have four children each, and believe me, our husbands could not afford the quality of care that we dish out to our kids.

6. Showing lack of respect for the lives taken
“I once attended a hunt camp where another female would be hunting for the first time. She was very intimidated by the whole idea and wasn’t sure about taking an animal’s life. When we arrived at the lodge, the first thing the guides did was put a video on TV showing them shooting chickens off a fence post for fun. The new hunter was horrified, of course, and immediately ran to her room and started crying. The guides made all hunters look bad in her eyes and set a poor tone for the rest of the hunt.” — Stephanie Mallory

The Solution: Yes, we ladies understand that killing is part of the deal. But nothing will sour a woman’s taste for the hunt more quickly than when a man acts cruel or indifferent about the animals he’s hunting, or not hunting. If you show respect for the life you are taking, your female hunting companion will in turn have more respect for you and for the sport you love.

7. Pushing the shot
“When I was 12, my dad and I hunted with a group that did deer drives. If you didn’t shoot at everything, you were ridiculed, but if you shot something too small, you were also ridiculed. To me, hunting is a very personal experience, and taking a life is a serious action. The person pulling the trigger should not feel forced into it.” — Trisha Bowen-Steffen, outdoor writer and pro-staffer for various bowhunting companies

The Solution: Assuming that she’s had all the training mentioned earlier, and that the recoil or noise is not the reason she hesitates in the clutch for the shot, she might not be ready. Or, she may not want to shoot that particular animal that day. It is her choice, not yours. You cannot rent the space in her head as to why she let an animal walk, but you might ask her to explain her reasoning to you. Do not judge. Bring chocolate.

In fact, some researchers claim that the average woman speaks 13,000 more words per day than the average man. So talk back.

Encourage questions and answer them thoughtfully. One of the biggest complaints women have about their romantic relationships with men is lack of communication. Lack of communication can be a problem between the male and female hunter as well. You’ll have plenty of time after the hunt to zone out in your lazy chair while recovering from the exhaustive effort of speaking all those extra words.

9. Displaying lack of patience
“I was immediately turned off during one of my first target-practice sessions when my boyfriend just assumed I knew what every button and lever did on the rifle. He lost patience and jumped in to do everything for me, instead of explaining to me how to load it properly. Talk about discouraging. The day ended with me in tears and never wanting to pick up a gun again. He later apologized and realized that guns just aren’t natural to some people. I mustered up the confidence to try again, and now I really enjoy hunting with him. After a lot of practice, I’m beginning to understand how fun it can be to shoot and hunt … once you get the hang of it. – Candace Schaak, avid hunter from Cold Bay, Alaska

The Solution: Let’s face it: Patience isn’t always your strongest virtue. But it’s important, especially when you’re hunting with a new female hunter. The best teachers are patient teachers. Take time to instruct and explain the process throughout the hunt. Remember, this is all new to her. If you become short-tempered, impatient or irritable, you’ll ruin the whole point of the hunt, which is to have fun. And you’ll have an upset woman on your hands, which isn’t fun either.

10. Treating the woman as if she’s frail
“My guides and the other hunters in camp went off and left me at the cabin one morning as I slept because they assumed I wouldn’t want to turkey hunt in the rain. I guess they were just being protective, as I was a few months pregnant at the time. But, it was only sprinkling, and it wasn’t cold, so I would have been fine. Plus, I had really wanted to go!” — Stephanie Mallory

The Solution: Yes, we want to be comfortable and content, but we’re not afraid to get dirty and brave the elements when the situation calls for it. Don’t just assume the female hunter doesn’t want to get wet, muddy or tired. She may be just fine with crawling through that mud hole or sitting in the rain while waiting for a turkey to show up. All you have to do is ask her. She’ll let you know what she’s willing to do or not to do.

11. Focusing only on the kill
“Most experienced hunters I’ve gone with simply do things like pick a stand location, set out decoys, or use a call without explaining how and why. I’d say most women would like to not only go on the hunt, but actually learn how to hunt. I realize the guy wants to just handle everything and make sure the hunt is successful, and I appreciate that, but just being told when to pull the trigger is not enjoyable in itself.” — Brita Lewis, account executive / marketing strategist at Gray Loon Marketing Group

The Solution: For many guys, it’s all about getting the job done. You set a goal of taking an animal, and you want to accomplish that goal. But, education and fun should be part of the goal as well. Use every opportunity to teach and explain what you are doing. In fact, don’t just wait until the day of the hunt to involve the female hunter. Get her involved before season when you are scouting, planting food plots, hanging stands, etc. Involving her throughout the process provides her with more enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment as well.

12. Underestimating the female hunter’s capabilities
“I work for a well-known gun company, and my turkey-hunting guide knew this. Even though I was hunting with one of my company’s’ guns and had a lot of experience shooting it, my guide would not let me load it myself. When we arrived at the hunting spot, he insisted on loading the gun, but he had difficulty loading it and keeping it quiet at the same time. Hmmm. I could have loaded it quietly without any effort.” — Marian Council, creative director at Benelli USA

The Solution: News flash: no one likes to be treated as if they’re incompetent. If you don’t know the woman, don’t just assume she’s incapable of loading her own gun, driving an ATV, calling a turkey or any other skill one might use while hunting. Again, all you have to do is ask. She might surprise you.

Story by Barbara Baird and Stephanie Mallory – Realtree