Sometimes life gets in the way. While I enjoy posting, sometimes it’s hard to get myself to just sit down and type. Since the last time there was a post on here, my archery league team took second place, my boyfriend bagged a turkey, I secured a new job for myself, and have spent many days on the water fishing, in addition to teaching numerous hunter/trapper ed classes.
Recently, a new rifle was brought to my attention. The Weatherby Vanguard Camilla. It’s a gorgeous women-specific model named after Weatherby founder, Roy Weatherby’s wife. While looking for this gun to shoulder I was thwarted. My local dealer was called and I asked if they had one in stock. Not only did they not have one in stock, but they had no idea what I was talking about. This led to a call directly to Weatherby. There, they said that it would probably be difficult to find one, as the Camilla is flying out the door as quickly as they can make them. They are to put me in contact with their local rep, who will be going to my local gun shop dealer to give them a demo.
My search for the Camilla led me to question what other equipment is available in women-specific models. In hunter safety, we also say that the best gun or bow is the one that fits you. With women being the quickest growing demographic in hunting it only makes sense that times would keep up with this need. The companies that support women hunters are clearly seeing benefits. When I became reintroduced to shooting, as an adult, I was using my boyfriend’s gear. He’s over six feet tall, while I’m a mere 5’2″. The guns I used were enough to get me started. I shot sporting clays with his Ruger Red Label and a deer with his .30-06. It wasn’t until I bought my own firearms that actually fit that I got markedly better at shooting. My boyfriend was quickly outpaced and I’d frequently beat his score at sporting clays.
My sporting clays gun of choice is a Browning Citori that I purchased used. In the summer, without extra gear the length of pull is just fine. The stock has a higher comb than the Red Label that I learned on and fits just about perfectly. At gun shows, I would shoulder numerous shotguns and rifles. After an opening day pheasant hunt where I could’ve used a third shot, I decided to add a semi-automatic shotgun to my collection. That’s where the Browning Maxus came in.
In terms of rifles, I’ve really lucked out. My first deer was taken with my boyfriend’s .30-06 during my first year of deer hunting, a buck. The following year, a doe was taken with the same gun. It was becoming time to get my own deer rifle. I’d been given a .308 from my father, but when sighting it in realized that my scope mounts were stripped out. Luckily, a friend hooked us up with someone who was thinning their collection of rifles, and I was able to pick up the same model rifle as I’d shot my first 2 deer with. It was strange, though. The butt plate had been replaced. We found a Ruger M77 red butt plate and attached it, only to find that it didn’t fit quite right. After taking it to a gunsmith to have it worked down, we were told that the stock had been shortened. This made sense, as the rifle shoulders better than his.
After taking a deer with my crossbow, I’d decided that it was time to be a big girl and get a compound bow. It wasn’t hard for me to decide that I wanted a women specific bow. This led me to the BowTech, Eva Shockey Signature Series. It’s something I will never regret. My boyfriend is amazed every time I let him shoot it.
Fast forward to today. After looking for that rifle, I wondered what other companies made a women-specific model. A websearch led me to a site that has Airguns for women. Pennsylvania just opened up the ability to use air rifles for game, so I figured that I would take a look. Of the 10 items on the page, 7 of them were pink. Really?!?! Searches for women-specific rifles and shotguns came back with very few products, but mostly articles about finding a gun that fits.
The hunt is on for more women-specific gear. It’s time to embrace the largest growing demographic.