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Question for Steph & Husbands of Hunters

17 Oct 2018
@ 04:32 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

My wife and I have interests that do not overlap and we try to allow one another time to pursue those things and we see the value in them. But there are some things that we'd like to learn to enjoy together. Shooting and hunting have come up recently as activities that she would like to learn, particularly as the kids get older and become a bit less dependent. Any counsel for a husband who would love for his wife to enjoy shooting and hunting with him? Where to start, what pitfalls to avoid, situations not to put her in? I'm not presuming that your interest, Steph, didn't exist apart from Nathan. It's just obvious now that this is something you share and help one another in. I'd love to get your thoughts.

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17 Oct 2018
@ 07:32 am (GMT)

John D. Hays - New Mexico

Re: Question for Steph & Husbands of Hunters
Actually, I would like to hear a woman’s perspective as well.
18 Oct 2018
@ 12:12 pm (GMT)

Steph Foster

Re: Question for Steph & Husbands of Hunters
Hi Joshua, I have been hunting and shooting for a long time now. I have to cast my mind back to when Nathan first introduced me to a rifle - you have to bear in mind that we were very young.

Nath and I met and started dating when we were 16. 16 year old Steph and I are very different people but I think I would still be happy to be introduced to shooting today the same way I was introduced back then.

First off I have to state that I had never shot a rifle in my life before I met Nath, no one in my family hunted or had any interest in firearms in any way so guns were not on my radar. I knew back then that there was no way I could have any kind of relationship with Nath if I didn't at least have a go with his rifle - I would never have heard the end of it for a start!

The first rifle I ever shot was Naths No.1 Mk 3 Lee-Enfield and I have to admit I was pretty terrified. The way Nathan introduced me to shooting was by ensuring that the fun factor was the only real consideration. To this end we took the rifle to a paddock with lots of hillocks and natural back stops which had been recently grazed by a big herd of dairy cows. There were cow pats in abundance. The first thing I ever shot in my life was a big pile of cow crap at a range of about 20-25 yards with a standing shot. Seeing the cow pat explode like a geyser was so entertaining that it cancelled out any fear of noise or recoil. I think Nathan was shocked at the amount of ammo I ended up burning through.

Having a large reactive target really got me hooked because of course the natural questions became if I can hit a 12" target at 25 yards then can I hit a smaller target and at what ranges can I do so? And because the pay off of immediate and dramatic success (nothing screams success like 15 feet of cow shit smeared across a paddock) was so big for me - recoil never even became a factor.

So my first shooting experience was with fairly sharp recoiling rifle for an absolute beginner but because I initially only shot the old Enfield standing and at large easy targets recoil was cancelled out by fun and success.

The first time I shot a goat was actually terrifying. Even though I am now a long time hunter and have shot more animals than I care to count I am still an inveterate animal lover. I actually think that a lot of Naths pursuit of extreme accuracy, geared towards the end goal of a clean kill, is directly as a result of hunting with me. I can not stand wounding animals - if I accidentally wound an animal there is no length that I wont go to to ensure that animal is dispatched as quickly as possible. I always use enough gun!

Woman get impacted on an emotional level by the sound of a wounded animal (well I do anyway). An animal screaming in pain is very distressing to me therefore I use enough gun to ensure that this occurs very rarely. I will happily take as much recoil as necessary to cleanly kill an animal. If you want to ruin your wife's hunting experience then give her a light cartridge watch her wound an animal with it and then watch the disintegration of her shooting technique as she panics, desperately trying to end the animals suffering.

Don't underestimate how important a clean kill is to a woman - especially a woman who has had children. If you are interested in getting your wife into hunting the most important consideration is going to be clean kills - put all your energy into the question how can I ensure my wife gets consistently clean, emphatic kills. Do not get bogged down with my wife is smaller than me therefore she should have a little plastic barbie gun.

Sorry guys but the fact is; yes your wife is smaller than you but she is designed by nature to bear weight and endure more physical discomfit than you are. At least give her the chance to use big guns - she may surprise you!
18 Oct 2018
@ 12:30 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Question for Steph & Husbands of Hunters
Well said Steph.... Thank God genetics have immuned women from the dreaded Man FLUE !!! Ha ha

All the best
Bob[b]
18 Oct 2018
@ 05:02 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Question for Steph & Husbands of Hunters
You are one lucky man, Nathan Foster.
19 Oct 2018
@ 07:51 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Question for Steph & Husbands of Hunters
Thanks so much, Steph. Your points about the importance of a clean kill are spot on. My wife also is an animal lover, a mom, and I think a really messy kill could be the end of her interest in hunting. But she's tough as nails so your point about getting enough gun and not worrying excessively about recoil is very helpful.
19 Oct 2018
@ 08:08 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Question for Steph & Husbands of Hunters
She's telling you all my dating secrets.

I set up my range near the boundary of the farm I worked on (Stephs family lived on the neighboring farm). After milking I would take a handful of ammo to the range (really not much of a range, just prone over a pack shooting to 100 paces) and hone my skills all the while knowing the noise would reach Steph. It gave me a chance to practice but was also a long distance hello (there was no text messaging back then). Sure enough she would hear the shots and come over to say hello Other times she would saddle up her two horses and we would take an evening ride.

Some guys bring flowers, I was more of a bandolier of arranged ammo type of guy. Rather than the smell of a rose, I offered the scent of cordite and Youngs oil or a gift of saddle soap. And you know what, it bloody well worked.
19 Oct 2018
@ 08:58 am (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Question for Steph & Husbands of Hunters
Cheers Steph!

This is great advice. I am sure this will help with my daughters too when they are big enough to get behind a gun.
22 Oct 2018
@ 01:01 pm (GMT)

Chris Murphy

Re: Question for Steph & Husbands of Hunters
The other big thing is where you take them. I made the mistake of taking the wife to a new spot I hadn’t been we ended up having to do a bit of rock climbing which resulted in a panic attack the only saving grace was there was a couple of deer over the other side so she soon forgot about the shear cliff we had to climb round
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