Basic Rules for Women Killing Big Game as in…
Women becoming “the Great White (or whatever ethnicity) Hunter”
By Angela Sorenson
Section I Big Game Have to be Killed with “Big Guns”
So you have the urge to kill Bambi’s daddy the “King of the Forest” and feast on his succulent flesh. Believe me ladies not only do you get to kill “the king” but you get to emasculate the hell out of him. (We’ll cover this in “the field dressing section“ but this has to be addressed now before you decide to go after a big buck or elk bull.) When gutting the buck/bull you have to start at his “manhood” or his, okay I’ll say it as it is… his genitals or what the rock band KISS calls “his love gun“. I cried the first time I had to do it and now just shudder. If you’re really smart you will play the “chick card” and if another experienced hunter is around make him do it, but you should force yourself to just in case one of these days you are alone.
What an interesting start to an article one might say, but the “work” as in field dressing advice, has to be given to the beginner hunter because it is disgusting and if a big animal such as a moose or bull elk hours and hours of intensive labor.
Now that we have forewarned you about the bad part of the hunt we go on with… What if you’ve never picked up a gun or you have, but it was a lame hand gun or you played beebee gun wars with the neighborhood boys as a kid. If that is the stint of your experience I have to not only suggest but insist that you take “Hunter Safety Classes”. Yes, you might be the oldest kid in the class since it is geared towards children whose fathers want to fill their “doe tags”. Children under 16 who passed the class can kill a doe wherever and whenever they want and you’d be surprised how enthusiastic these young boys and girls can be. My daughter and niece loved hunter safety classes and loved shooting deer at distances up to 300 to 400 yards.
The reason why one must take hunter safety classes is due to the fact that if you’d never picked up a gun, if you don’t take the class you are going to come off as an idiot, hurt someone or most importantly hurt yourself. There are rules for handling big game rifles and muzzle loaders (a muzzle loader has its own chapter). You learn how to hold a gun, where to point and where not to point the gun, how to clean it, how to load, how to site a gun in, how to shoot, put it simply you’ll learn everything you need to know and more. After years of hunting myself I sometimes wish I would of taken the class.
Remember the cartoons of old? Where Elmer Fud swung his gun around carelessly and everyone ducked? You don’t want to be that sort of hunter. You’ll just die or someone else will of embarrassment or just die when it goes off. To find a hunter safety class is easy most gun ranges offer one and it is a two week course.
So after passing hunter safety, going to the gun range a couple times a week, getting comfortable with a gun you have to now buy one. I suggest for anyone that doesn’t want to buy different guns for different game, a good old 30 ot 6 will kill most everything. You can start off with a 243 but that’s for the little guys like deer, coyotes, cougars etc… If you take a 243 and try to shoot a bear or an elk you’re just going to piss the game off and he might eat you or trample you. No one wants to graze a bear ,who if he catches you will grab your head with his jaws, shake you like a rag doll and crush your skull but that’s quick if you graze an elk you have an 800 pound (yup almost a ton) giant horse gouge you in the guts and then stomp on you till your body deflates in submission.
Am I scaring you? Well, if you don’t kill the thing first shot and you are in close range… Be scared this isn’t a game ladies and there is no one around to save you because most of the time you are alone and by the time your hunting buddy gets to you he’ll just find your remains.
Now you can forgo all of this and just go with some lame, condescending, and very chauvinistic guide in Montana or Colorado where you will spend a fortune for a tag, lodging and the guide. And do you know what happens on these kinds of trips? If you don’t shoot the animal due to “buck fever” where your brain seizes up with nerves, the guide will rip the rifle from your hands, shoot the game and give it back to you telling you “good job and this will be our little secret”.
Is this gratifying? Not… A woman can go with other women and have a great experience but as with fishing she’s going to have to know what is what. And that’s where my advice comes into play. And trust me I learned the hard way and now take men out hunting and fishing. Well, I am a guide for a reason.
Now you’re going to have to spend at least $1200 (you can get one used) for a decent rifle and you are going to buy a bolt action rifle. My favorite brands are the high end rifles like Weatherbys, Rugers and Winchester. You can get a decent cheapie like Savage or Remington brand guns for about $600 but remember you get what you pay for just like with handbags or shoes..
Now I can write about five pages about brands of guns but you can go on the internet like to Cabelas (the leader in outdoor products) and look and see what they have and go to their forums to find out what the experts say on them. There are also television shows on the outdoor channels that talk about the world of guns. Do some research but keep it simple.
Then after you buy a rifle you have to get a scope. You can spend anywhere from $150 to thousands of dollars, but remember your optics are the most important thing on your rifle. You want a scope that will allow you to see things in very low light because most of the time your only shot will be first thing in the morning right as the sun comes up or when the sun is going down. If you can’t put the cross hairs on the animal then there’s no point in shooting it. When I’ve had most of my shots everything was a world of gray hues.
Since I’m not going to get into the millions of types of rifles and scopes I am going to try to emphasize certain features you want on a gun.
Light versus Heavy
I like a medium heavy gun, sure a light one is great when you’re hoofing a couple of miles or back busting brush in the deep woods but they aren’t as steady when you shoot and if you flinch you’ll recoil and jerk. Heavier guns are more stable.
Metal versus Wood
Metal is cool and looks bad ass but it doesn’t blend into the scenery and remember you want to be camouflaged. You can put cammie tape on your gun but you ruin it. You can also buy a cammie gun but remember rifles are passed down for generations and you can have artsy stuff done to the stock. Rifles are like antiques.
I go with an inch but I’m a big tough girl and the recoil of the gun doesn’t bother me if you have wimpy shoulders I’d have one put on or you’ll get some nice bruises going plus it doesn’t help the “flinch factor” when you know it is going to hurt a bit like being socked.
I have scope covers on my scopes, these protect the lenses from getting dirty, foggy or wet. A must in the snow or rain. Nothing like trying to shoot a moving animal with out windshield wipers.
Ammo holder (a stretchy cartridge holder on the stock of the gun) beats having to forage in your pockets to reload and saves you time when shooting long distances and you keep missing a running beast.
Now what do I shoot out of all the rifles I own? A WWII sniper rifle. It is heavy, battered, but reliable and has killed more game than Ted Nugent.
Tips for shooting
One eye open to both eyes open when peering into the scope? Everyone says both eyes but I talked to my Optometrist who did some research and he says if you have a bad stigmatism, tunnel vision, depending on if you are left or right handed CLOSE AN EYE!!!! This is from a doctor not some one that probably has perfect vision.
BREATHE BREATHE BREATHE
When getting ready to shoot breathe out and then breathe in as you fire and pull the stock into your shoulder at the same time. This is how you counter flinching.
Flinching? Everyone does it just breathe and pull the gun in as it fires. See the above.
NEVER EVER SHOOT STANDING UP
NEVER EVER SHOOT STANDING UP
If you must find something to throw the gun on or you will miss even at close range. This isn’t the movies. Sit your ass down and shoot off your knee. You must have something under your rifle barrel so that you don’t recoil and miss. I can’t under-emphasize this. They make stick holders but when you are doing a quick reflex shot because you just happened upon the game who has time to pull it from your back pack?
Well, I think I’ve covered how to get started in Big Game Hunting by getting the right tools and the right skills. If you can find a good teacher that is awesome, but like with most couples with men teaching women men lose patience with you and forget to tell you the specifics. Like shooting standing up, flinching, counter acting flinching, you don’t need to go to Hunter Safety because I‘m the awesome stud teacher and I know everything…
I can’t explain the pain and trauma I have gone through because a man didn’t tell me all the specifics and I learned the hard way. And what is learning the hard way?
Watching the “King of the Forest” give you the white or black tail salute!
DEFINITION OF A REAL MAN:
A male that is self confident enough to listen to a woman.