It’s not much of a secret that lady hunters are the fastest-growing demographic in the hunting community. Part of that is due to families starting their daughters, nieces, neighbor girls, and granddaughters early, and making it fun for them with no pressure. My daughter is not an avid hunter, but she has hunted and has a javelina under her belt. As a matter of fact, she got her first javelina before I did! My friend Chris McCotter is well-known in Arizona hunting circles for not only his hunting prowess, but his support of wildlife organizations. He is also well-known for getting his entire family into hunting, including his wife and his daughter, Cidney. Recently, someone asked Chris for some tips on raising lady hunters. His advice was as thorough and well-presented as I have seen. With his permission, I have reprinted it here.
I’ll go on record that I have not pushed Cid to do any of this, but instead asked if she wanted to and let her make the call. I probably learned more from her while taking her hunting over the past few months than she did from me.
A few I have learned along the way, and in no particular order:
- Relax. If you’re overexcited and losing it, then chances are she will be too—or worse yet, she won’t want to be in that situation as she won’t want to see you like that again. Just “let it happen”—don’t try and make it happen. And if it doesn’t? So what, laugh it off.
- Don’t get frustrated when you’re sneaking around the hill putting on a stalk and you look back and she’s lagging behind picking flowers along the way. Expect a frustrated look from her when you tell her to throw them down and get ready to shoot a javelina.
- Invest in one of these portable toilets. Store it in your hunting rig and never forget it and you will be the greatest dad in the world.
- Never let a question she has go unanswered ,and no question is stupid.
- Being a great shot at the range bench doesn’t mean jack when you’re in the field on live game (this is true for most adults). But if you can provide lifelike targets of the animal she’s hunting, use them after the gun is dialed-in and she have the basics down.
- Surf the internet and download or print off live photos of the animals she’s hunting—in all different positions. You’re looking for “shoot” and “no shoot” scenarios. In the weeks leading up to the hunt, review “yes” and “no” shots. The night before going out hunting, review those pics again.