Hunting Like a Girl

As a woman, I feel that I have specific issues that I need to be concerned with that only another woman could understand. Here are some tips to consider as you go out on each hunt.

Because I am a girl who hunts on my own quite often, my first concern is personal safety. I always tell someone where I am going to be hunting and when I expect to return. Good items to have on you could include; a cell phone, GPS, compass, matches and 2 way radio. Things will look different in the dark when going into a hunting spot, so make sure you know where you are going before you set out. You can use glow in the dark “Tack Trail” tacks to help you find your way in and out. Because at times I feel vulnerable when I am alone, I also always bring a can of mace with me and put it on my belt as well. There are different sized canisters of this, so make sure you purchase an adequate product. Bear Mace is also available on the market at any retail outfitter.

I normally make sure help is available within a phone call away; if I need help getting my deer out of the woods. It would help if I had a deer cart to use, but even with that a 150 lb animal is not easy for a woman to get out by herself. I also have asthma and have found that when I have needed to do this type of thing it is important to have my inhaler with me. Unfortunately, my asthma is also triggered when cold air gets in my lungs, so I have to keep my nose and mouth covered by a scarf to help with this.

I like to have my plan set before I get up in the morning but have an alternate plan in case things do not go the way you expected. For example, if you have packed for a morning hunt but then determine you will have to change to an afternoon hunt, it is likely that you may need to change a few things in your back pack.

Be careful to try not to pack the kitchen sink. As a woman, you may have a tendency to think you need to pack for yourself and 3 other people, but remember you are the only one you need to take care of for the next several hours.

Be prepared for unexpected issues that may require some Advil, a Band-Aid or personal care. I bring a small supply of items in a zip lock bag.

Personal cleanliness is important so make sure you are as odor free as possible. Do not wear hairspray, perfumes or scented deodorants, etc. Make-up is optional; the deer really do not care if you wear it or not. I find that it is just something that slows me down, so I do not concern myself with it. If you want to, you can leave a make-up emergency kit in the truck in case you take a nice deer and want your picture taken with it on. As for hair, a hat usually takes care of that concern. Practical is the best option to take first. Chap Stick is a must. Your skin, face and mouth will dry out very fast in cold weather, so keep some sort of lip balm in your pack to keep your lips from cracking open and becoming painful. I have to bring a repair kit of super glue and lotion in my truck since my fingers get so dry they spit open within a few hours of being outdoors. Bug spray is a must for early fall hunting. There are non-scented brands, but it’s better to be prepared, so don’t leave home without your Deet, and plan to reapply. I cover myself before I even put my camo on, and then I spray my clothes as well. Be careful not to get it on any items made of plastic or it will ruin it. Cover watch crystals, eye glasses, binoculars and range finders so the overspray does not come in contact with them.

Plan for a nature break by taking care of business before you leave the house and/or before you get to your hunting spot. Limit food and liquid intake within 2 hours before hunting, or you will be getting down out of your tree stand or out of your blind prematurely. So skip the bacon, eggs and toast and go for a granola bar. However, do not go several hours without water or you will get dehydrated. Keep light snacks on hand in your pack. Carbohydrates and proteins are the best choice to fuel your body. If you are drinking warm liquids to stay warm, take only small sips to stretch it out. When you get cold you have a greater tendency to feel that you need to relieve yourself, so make sure you are properly dressed in cold weather. In cold weather, make sure you wear good quality socks, gloves and a hat to hold in body heat. Bring hand warmer packs and if need be, put foot warmers in your boots.

Be sure you take a break when you need it. If you got up at 4:30 am and plan to stay out all day to hunt, pack a lunch, go back to the truck, eat and take a nap. It will help recharge your batteries and prevent you from nodding off during critical hunting hours. Bring what you need to in the truck so you can get comfortable enough to doze off.

I hope some of these tips are helpful to you. Best hunting wishes to you.