Tag Archives: WOMA

The Hunt is On Baby! ….(for Women’s Hunting Apparel!!!)

My daughter and two other hunters maybe...all rolled into one!

I just put down a deposit on my first guided elk hunt for this fall!  I am so excited.  Bison, black bear, and now my third hunt EVER…bull elk in Colorado.  Bit by bit I’ve been acquiring hunting gear, as I was starting from scratch not long ago.  Must haves first, my Remington 700, 30-06 rifle and Luepold scope.  Nice rifle sling, range finder, and some Primos Trigger sticks, www.primos.com.

The first hunt I was fortunate enough to be at the Prois, www.proishunting.com,  shop in Gunnison during a WOMA Retreat, www.thewoma.com, nearby and picked up some fantastic women’s RealTree camo pants and jacket.  Great fit and feel.  They did it right!

The second trip for bear, as it was being filmed by TNT Outdoor Explosion, www.tntoutdoorexplosion.com, and their other sponsor was Mossy Oak, I was now scrambling to find some Mossy Oak pattern clothing to wear.  This entailed a little more searching on the internet as just about every major outdoor retailer carries Mossy Oak patterns, not as many carry women’s sizes.  I thought maybe I can settle for a men’s small.  Well, the smallest they carried was a men’s medium!  I finally found some at Russell Outdoors that still carried Women’s Mossy Oak …and one of those items was now discontinued.  I did find pants and jacket in my size, but it wasn’t my first choice at the time.

Now as I am preparing for my fall elk hunt, I need the blaze orange vest and hat.  Hat no problem…vest is another story.  I know I don’t need to be fashionable out there, but the first couple outdoor retailers I visited had 3XL and 2XL.  Really?  I finally found a men’s medium…again the smallest they had out.  Took it home and it was huge even over my heavy camo jacket.  Three retailer visits later, I ended up returning the vest.  This running all over shopping is making me tired…I’m thinking I’m going to have to train hard this summer if I’m ever going to keep up on an elk hunt now!   In my searching I came across one lone ladies vest.  Nice but $160 was not getting me too excited here.  Now my physical ailments have just been compounded with a headache!   This vest hunt will continue at a later date I’m afraid.

Last week I returned from the NBS show in Fort Worth.  While there I came across another vendor, Kenetrek Boots, www.kenetrek.com.  They had some fantastic insulated women’s hunting boots.  I had boots already, but not good quality insulated boots.  I know if I’m going to enjoy my hunt, warmth is a big plus in my world!  I spent a little time in their booth.  He measured my foot and let me try on a pair.   I’m sold!  I was able to purchase my boots the following week and have had them out twice so far. Very comfortable.  He suggested I put about 30 miles on them before the actual hunt to break them in.  Plenty of bike trails close to the house and as the temps warm up a bit, I can hit the trails in the foothills by Fort Collins.  I’m determined to be in shape and have comfortable boots!

Gloves:  I have some “youth” hunting mitten/gloves that aren’t too warm.  I found plenty of men’s huge  gloves….which is ok if I don’t have to actually handle a rifle or use the reins on the horse I’ll be riding in on for the hunt….gee two things that may be slightly critical.  I did come across another vendor, Manzella www.manzella.com.  At the end of the show when I had a little time to look around, I stopped in his booth and noticed he had only men’s large sizes in his booth.  I spoke with him a few moments and shared my plans for this fall.  He remembered and at the next trade show he brought over 2 pair of women’s gloves for me to try!   Outstanding!  My fingers actually fill in the gloves!  I can be functional with these.  Such a little thing, but it means a lot to have fit and functionality for hunting.

While I am piecing together my clothing, the outfitter sent a checklist: minimum 0 degree sleeping bag.  I thinking if he is suggesting 0 degree bag for his usual big burly hunters, -30 degree bag is going to be my minimum to stay warm at night!  I found one online at MidwayUSA, www.midwayusa.com.  It delivered this past week and my gosh, am I glad horses are packing us in!  This is huge!  Definitely not your backpacking size bag; very toasty though!  Along with this, I am taking an insulated foam pad to put beneath the bag on the cot.  This will keep the cold air from permeating through.

I have one more item to get, a good hunting pack.  I have my eye on a Badlands pack model 2200.  It has the hydration pack available and the gun pouch for the butt of your rifle when strapping it to your pack.

I’m more fortunate than the average person. Working the trade shows in the industry, I am able to at least see what is available for women. Granted it is still somewhat limited, but the women’s market is definitely growing.  Don’t give up and settle for the men’s clothing that doesn’t fit!  A little time researching and you will find what works best for you.  Really, it has to be better than the men’s 2XL and 3XL’s adorning all the local retailers racks!

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My Inaugural Hunt…. Nothing Like Getting a Huge Target to Build Your Self Confidence!

Buffalo near Durango, Colorado

  In 2010 I met up with some very high energy women at the Women’s Outdoor Media Association (WOMA), www.thewoma.com, and ended up joining the organization as an Industry member.  In October of that year WOMA held their annual retreat near Gunnison, Colorado where we went fly-fishing, falconry hunting, skeet shooting, and some grouse hunting.  A very exciting and educational experience with a great group of women! 

  One of the ladies there, Deb Ferns, was talking about coming back to Colorado in December to harvest a buffalo on a ranch and asked if I was interested.  The rancher had three bulls he wanted harvested.  Now I had done plenty of target shooting up to this point but have never hunted.  I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch of the definition, but an entire buffalo was more meat than my household would ever consume in a year’s time!  So even though it sounded exciting I declined.  Deb made a few calls and came back informing me another lady from the Babes with Bullets Camps would take the second bull.  The third the rancher wanted to keep the meat but I could just come down and take the shot if I wanted.  Hmmmm…. perfect, I was game!
  December rolls around.  I borrowed a 30-06 rifle and sighted it in at 200 yards.  We arrive on the ranch and they have “back-up” shooters for each of us women.  The told us later they had never had women shooters on the ranch before and were quite concerned imagining all kinds of fiascos about to unfold I’m sure! 
 

Mia Anstine, Deb Ferns and myself

The three of us set up on a huge old dead fall on the ranch.  The bulls were a bit nervous seeing more people out there than usual and were running back and forth along the tree line about 80 – 100 yards away.  We were instructed to take the largest bull first and the other two had to be taken quickly afterwards so they wouldn’t take off.  Before hand as we watched them, each of us had chosen which one we would be taking so as not to have two shooting at one and so on.

  The bulls are headed back towards us and the guides are telling us to get prepared.  The first lady takes aim on the largest bull.  Crack, one shot and he drops!  Deb fires quickly, one shot and her’s drops!  Pressure is on me now!  I aim for what I know is the “kill zone” and fire.  He did what Deb called a little crow hop, turned and looked at me…all I’m thinking is “Oh S—!”  I racked another bullet in and fired in the same spot.  Another little crow hop and he takes another step and looks at me again.   Oh my gosh, what am I doing here!?  What am I doing wrong!?.  I find out later they term this a “standing dead” animal.  I had a kill shot through the heart and lung…just takes them awhile to realize the fat lady has sung.  I quickly rack one more in and have my finger on the trigger when “crack”….Deb takes him in the spine and dropped him.  She meant business and did not want to chase this thing the whole way to Albuquerque!  
  This all seemed like minutes, but all three bulls dropped within seconds.  The guides, our backup shooters, were impressed!  They had never seen three bulls downed so quickly.  
  What an experience for my first animal!   When I tell people a buffalo was my first hunt…they remark, “You started with something that size!?”  I was a target shooter, seemed perfectly reasonable to me to start with a bigger target, easier to hit and build your confidence for the next hunt!  I tell them I’m working my way down the chain to squirrels!
 

Life on the Corporate Side of the Outdoor World

2011 NRA Show, Paul Pluff and Tony Miele from S&W and myself

I truly can’t complain!  I’ve worked in the shooting industry for the past twelve years with HIVIZ Shooting Systems www.hivizsights.com and what a journey it’s been!   Where else can you come to work and over the course of time go from having limited contact with guns growing up to reuglarly competing in shotgun and handgun events….and most recently first of two big game hunts:   one with an industry media gal, Deb Ferns www.thewoma.com, and the other with TNT Outdoor Explosion TV Host www.tntoutdoorexplosion.com and ProStaffer Marty Fischer.

The best of all of this are the contacts and friendships cultivated over the years.  The industry is like an extended family…and the many of the trade shows and competition shoots attended every year are like a huge reunion.  I meet all kinds of truly amazing people in this industry.  Each contact and friendship grows and shapes your existence. 

Is it all fun and glitz?  No, not really, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for any other!  There is a lot of hard work put in behind the scenes and I subscribe to the philosphy that you get out of life what you put into it.   Countless hours behind the desk, sifting through accounts and sales data, trying to make heads and tails out of advertising, coordinating the trade show exhibits and travel arrangements, packing and unpacking crates, waiting in airports when airline schedules don’t go as planned…. I could go on, but you get the idea.  Do I wish I had done something different, heck no!  Would I ever like to try something else?  I love trying new things…cycling, scuba diving, flyfishing, big game hunting…. ahhh, but stories for another time.