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  • Hunting Wife Question

    Alright guys, (and ladies if any read this)

    I am curious about your experiences on taking your wife hunting as your partner. Or for the ladies, your husband introducing you to hunting in Alaska. My wife has expressed interest in hunting with me to spend more time together and maybe actually shoot something.

    I am approaching it like most men by obsessing about the gear she should have and trying to introduce her to it by sharing the sport as I have experienced it in Alaska the past five years. She grew up hunting and fishing in the lower 48, but hasn't hunted much since we were married 17 years ago. So she has quite a bit of experience, and a decent background.

    There's a lot of room for error here on my part. Being obsessive is just my nature and could be the biggest problem. I plan to ask her to check out the Outdoors Women program at ADF&G. I've also been sending hunting stories to her and discussing them with her to help her build her knowlege base as well as learn a few things from her.

    Anyway, if you have any ideas or sage advice / warnings please help a fellow hunter out.

    Joe

  • #2
    My wife is my greatest hunting partner. I take her out and show her things but she makes the calls on when to shoot. Last year she was proxied a bou tag for the nelchina herd. she found out real fast on shooting at an animal vs paper. shes never shot anything before so it was all new to her. she found out real fast that when her heart is beating real fast, offhand is not the best way to go. I just watched and knew what the outcome would be but she had to learn, and she did. patience, patience, patience. She ended up getting a real nice bull. Your wife has some expieriance, so it should be easier. Be hard when it comes to survival, otherwise I would suggest letting her have her own reign and let her learn from expieriance.

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    • #3
      My wife expressed the same thoughts. I decided to take her and with neither of us ever going up Bird Ridge she thought she was going to die. What I found out is that just because I am in somewhat good shape doesnt mean she is. So take your time on taking her on the bigger trails. I will get my wife back out again but going to start on easier trails with her.

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      • #4
        I grew up hunting and fishing in Alaska and my Mom didn't ever really get into it. It was something that my dad, brother, and I did together. When I married a girl who also grew up doing those things with her dad, it was a revelation realizing that I could enjoy that stuff with her too. We fish and hunt together on a regular basis and it's great. However, when the hunt is "a guy trip" and no other guys are bringing their wives, be careful because they might get offended that you would bring a wife to a guys trip. Most of the time it's fine but be careful.

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        • #5
          Start slow with short hunts and fun sessions at the range, then build up. Carry extra gear you think she might need, but don't put it in her pack till she decides she does need it. And RELAX! She'll have a lot more fun if you aren't making her uptight.
          "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
          Merle Haggard

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          • #6
            Wives and hunting

            My wife was hunting when I met her, so I didn't have much choice on whether she would hunt or not, just whether we did it together. It is a great way to share in the outdoors and spend quality time together. There is a major difference in physical ability. I just do my best to go slower on the hill climbs and let her catch her breath and not push too hard. Because on the downhill hike she will leave me in the dust being much better at sidehilling than I am. Esp. with a quirky knee. My wife is an excellent shot, so I don't worry too much about misses. She probably shoots better than I do at the range.

            I guess the best advise I can give is just have fun, don't worry too much about the success of the hunt. Success comes from hard work and even though it may take longer to get there it is well worth the effort. Go slow and enjoy the scenery.

            It is still nice to hunt without the wife once in a while though.....

            Happy Hunting

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            • #7
              Unless she is the exception rather than the rule, she could care less what caliber rifle she hunts with. As long as it fits her, isn't to heavy and doesn't hurt her when she shoots it she will most likely be happy with the rifle. That's the experience I had with my wife. She shot a BAR 30-06 for several years until neck surgery and resulting chronic neck pain caused her to give up hunting.

              We guys tend to obsess about the right caliber, and gun. If she is not familiar with all the different calibers and the intricacies of ballistics, don't confuse her with a lot of unnecessary information. If she has an interest in that great, but if she is like my wife her interest will be in hunting and spending time with her husband, not obsessing about whether a 30-06 is enough gun (it is) or should she have a 325WSM, a 338 or a 375 Ultra Mag.

              Spend the time and money to get the gun fitted to her properly. An ill fitting gun is no fun to shoot especially if she is small in stature. Spend the money for good quality gear (womens boots, not smaller sizes of men's, good breathable water repellent clothing, a pack appropriately sized and fitted for her). If her first outing is miserable due to poor gear, especially if you have good gear for yourself and are comfortable, she is likely to lose interest.

              Get in plenty of practice at the range. She is probably going to appreciate the structured setting of an actual range where she can see improvement as opposed to three shots over the hood of the pickup at a rock of undetermined distance. Don't exhaust her at the range though. Better to do several shorter sessions than to over do with marathon range times. Remember she hasn't shot in a while so will need to get back into the swing of things.

              I wish my wife was able to still hunt with me. I would rather have her hunt with me than most of the people I have hunted with. We made a great team. I do have a few close buddies that I like to hunt with and can count on but really miss the time in the field with my wife.

              Mart

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              • #8
                Wife

                I used to take my wife ducking hunting, but ...
















                she kept complaining about the feathers in her mouth.

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                • #9
                  I'm newly married (two and a half years), so I've still got a fresh perspective on taking the wife hunting. I agree with all of the above advice, and will add a few other points as well.

                  First of all, get her a gun that fits her. I was tempted to let my wife use my old rifle until I was sure she liked it, but was convinced to get her a rifle of her own instead. That was the best decision possible. If your wife is tall, it may not be too much of an issue...my wife, however, is 5'0". I got her a youth model rifle that doesn't have much of a kick. As a result, time spent at the range is a joy and she has developed good shooting skills instead of fearing the recoil.

                  Secondly, choose her first few hunts wisely. Besides a couple of day hunts, my wife's first real hunt was an opening season sheep hunt. Now, this might have been too much hiking/climbing for most women, but that is where my wife's passion lies. (Heck, she kicks my butt climbing up the mountains - rarely a need to slow down for her!) The reason I chose this hunt, though, was because the forecast was great and I knew we wouldn't face cold temps. My wife can climb like a goat, but she doesn't love cold and wet conditions. I planned accordingly in order to ensure her first experience was a good one. It will take multiple enjoyable hunts to really get your wife to have the bug, but it only takes one miserable one to ruin it for a long time. Plan wisely and be willing to bag the hunt if conditions turn for the worse.

                  Really, that last sentence sums up what you need to do if you want your wife to become a great hunting partner. Until she is fully comfortable, you need to be willing to set aside your usual drive and determination regardless of the conditions. My wife and I have turned back a few times when I would have kept going if I were alone, but the result is that I now have a woman who gets excited about putting in for drawing permits and loves cutting up meat after a successful excursion. I may have missed an opportunity or two in the process while keeping her warm and comfortable, but the result is worth it. As others have said, my wife is now my best hunting partner!

                  Here are a few shots from her first few experiences:





                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Brian,
                    Thats a nice ram that mrs. Brian got. I'd be real proud also. On the note of guns, everything that was said is so true. One year I picked up a mark X in 30-06 that I was gonna customize into a whelen. my wife looked at it and said that she liked it. I didnt think anything of it, the next day I came home and she already went to WWG's and had the stock shortened to fit her. she loves that rifle. I tried buying it off her and she wont sell.

                    as for ending the hunt early, I totally agree also if circumstances prevail. One year we were going after a blackie on the kenai. we had to cross 6 mile. we found a way across and went after the bear. didnt work out, no big deal. were still gonna hunt for the next couple of days. on the way back to the camp, while crossing 6mile, I hit a hole and went under (dang holes), I stood up and told my wife not to follow and to head upstream. she didnt listen and followed. guess who went under next? now the 6 mile is cold. I pretty much carried her to the truck, stripped her and re-dressed her. she probably woulda kept on hunting but I decided to call it quits. By the time we got back, she couldnt even talk and barely coherant, she was so cold.

                    To me its not worth it, I want her to enjoy it. besides, shes much better sleeping next to in a tent than a guy...lol

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Blink View Post
                      Brian,
                      Thats a nice ram that mrs. Brian got. I'd be real proud also.
                      Well, she didn't take that ram...but I'm still awfully proud!

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                      • #12
                        Hunting wives

                        Only the luckiest of us have wives that hunt....living and hunting in Alaska with a wife that enjoys the experiences; it just doesn't get any better than that!
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          My wife...

                          is my hunting partner, just plain and simple. Some of us are just lucky enough to be married to people who love spending time doing what we love to do.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            I took my wife hunting a number of times. Then one year I took her deer hunting in November in Ohio and she almost froze her butt off. She doesn't go anymore. So make sure she's comfortable. Buy her gear that fits and will keep her warm and dry (as much as possible). Someone already talked about calibers. Go on some day trips, rabbits (hares), grouse, varmits, then progress to longer hunts. I think you will enjoy the trips.

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                            • #15
                              the best partner...

                              My wife is simply the best hunting partner. Shes been on too many trips to count and shes made the experiences far richer than otherwise.

                              Shes the finest camp cook, a dead eye with any rifle and can pack like a mule--even at 5'1''. She can field dress an animal and fillet fish like an expert.
                              Last years bou corridor hunt with 70 lbs on her was just another testament to her toughness. I've seen her do 40 miles in sheep country with little food or sleep and NEVER complain.
                              Shes been on four successful sheep hunts with me, and is always the voice of encouragement when we get impatient or discouraged.
                              The bear stand this Spring was a challenge--she hates skeeters--even then she hung in there and we took two bears after long hunts on stand. My wife wanted "a platform" for bear hunting--I built one! Its worth taking the time to make sure they are happy, and trust me, the rewards will be endless.

                              My advice: be patient with your wife, keep the first hunts simple and less challenging and equip her with the best gear you can. Her toughness will probably amaze you.
                              Frank
                              Last edited by fullkurl; 10-24-2008, 23:13.
                              Proud to be an American!

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