Monday, August 17, 2009

Great news for chicks who dig hunting

It must be the Year of the Woman Hunter, because there's a lot of cool stuff going on for us these days in terms of hunt opportunities and clothing options.

Check it out (even if you're a guy - there may be something in here for a woman you know):

The 2009 Cabela's Waterfowl catalog has finally hit our mailboxes and if you look on page 209, you'll see me and my friend Sarah and the story about how we helped Cabela's develop their new Cazadora Women's Waders from the ground up.

If you for some reason can't get the catalog, you can click on the image to the left and it might be printable, or just go here.

The waders retail for $199.99, and even if you don't need waders this year, I hope you'll tell your female hunter friends about this - I was really impressed with Cabela's commitment to serve us, and I'd like to see them rewarded for their efforts. (And no, they have not paid me a dime to say any of this - but I have been allowed to keep all the prototype waders they've sent me.)

If you'd like to see more options, the good news is the guys from Cabela's are working with us on their next project - yay!

If you know a woman who's interested in learning to hunt and you live in California, boy do I have a great opportunity for you: California Waterfowl is doing a two-day event Sept. 26-27 in which participants will do their hunter education courses, get shooting instruction, get their 2009-10 hunting license (with upland stamp) and go on a pheasant hunt, all for $150.

What makes this a great event is not just the price, but the fact that a woman can get done in one weekend what took me a couple months when I decided to start hunting back in 2006. Even better, because Cal Waterfowl will have guns on hand, it's a very low-risk way to check out hunting. If a woman decides she's not into it, she's out $150 and two days of her life - she doesn't need to have a gun because Cal Waterfowl will have some on hand. That's huge, because buying a gun is a commitment to go all the way before you even know what it's like to hunt.

Click here to see the flier.

The Fall 2009 Filson catalog also has some new treats for women: a sweet-looking upland jacket ($250) and a women's upland vest ($145).

I haven't tried out either of these because my closet overfloweth with hunting clothes (like seriously, I have more hunting clothes than work clothes). But I can tell you that Filson clothes are really well-made - I'm still totally in love with the Filson shooting shirt I bought earlier this summer.

Based on photo alone, I'd still say SHE Outdoors (SHE Safari) still has the most feminine upland vest, which is a great trick in a vest that has a built-in game-bag. I've been wearing my vest on my rabbit hunts and it's served me well. But the Filson upland jacket looks to have a nice feminine curve in it. I know, I know - you don't need to look sexy out in the field. But I do like looking like a woman. Since, you know, I am one.

There will be a special women's hunt at the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath national wildlife refuges Saturday Oct. 24.

Yes, that's opening day for California's Balance of the State zone, where I do most of my hunting, but this is kind of a sweet deal: You don't need reservations, you don't need to pay any extra fee. Just head out to hunt that day, and if you're a woman, you can keep shooting from 1 p.m. to sundown, even though shoot time for everyone else ends at 1 p.m. (Actually, it's also a youth hunt, so the same rules apply for kids.)

If you've ever hunted these refuges, you know that by the third weekend of the season, all the ducks already know it's "safe" to return to the refuge at 1. You know what that means: There should be some good shooting!

This event was organized by Hunt Program Coordinator Stacy Freitas, whom I spent some time with last week when I was up at Lower Klamath (that'll be another story). This is the first time she's been able to do this, so I'm pretty excited about it. Click here to see the flier.

Speaking of Klamath, when I was up there last week, one of my friends told me about a shop in Klamath Falls, Oregon, called the Tackle Shack, whose owner is committed to carry as much women's hunting gear as he can find. That's pretty sweet for a small shop - the local store I patronize carries no women's clothes because our numbers don't justify it.

When I stopped by the Tackle Shack on Saturday, they didn't have much hunting stuff yet - that'll come in a little closer to waterfowl season. And I don't think they'll have waders because I'm pretty sure Cabela's is the only one making women's waterfowl waders. But I was still impressed by the commitment to serve women. If you live in that area, check out the store when it gets closer to hunting season - let's reward the folks who want to help us out.

One last thing! I was literally just about to hit "publish" on this post when I got an email from Susan Herrgesell, president of Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, California, asking if I could link to the BOW-CA site to let women know about all the opportunities for learning that they offer.

Susan: Done!

Finally, a reminder: Don't forget about that Team Huntress Women's Outdoor Adventure Clinic coming up this weekend in South Dakota!

I blogged about it last month here, and you can check out the Team Huntress website here.

© Holly A. Heyser 2009


Jon Roth said...

Some pretty exciting 'chick' stuff there Holly! I received my Cabela's catalog last week and saw the advertisement - pretty cool. I held up the catelog and asked my wife with raised eyebrows, "Honey, if I buy you some of these will you wear them for me"? I'm still recovering from the daggers that flew from her eyes. :) Nice job.

sportingdays said...

So many wonderful hunting opportunities for women and young people today.

It's also a very exciting time to be a parent of a young hunter, boy or girl. The key is plugging into all of the many opportunities that now exist. Heck, my kids are only 1 and 3, but I'm already saving articles and clipping information for future reference.

Suzee said...

The waders look fantastic! I have struggled with insulated coveralls for years... the only ones that the ranch stores sell are men and boy sizes. I've always gripped to Gary that someone should come out with ranch chore clothes that fit women... I tried getting the smallest mens size and the crotch hangs down around the knees... then I tried the largest boys size and I'm walking on tip toes!Hooray for you and Sarah for putting an end to this dilema in the hunting clothes!Maybe you and Sarah could talk to Carharts!

Barbara Baird said...

Kudos to Cazadora! Thanks for all you do for women in the outdoors. Proud to know you!

Blessed said...

Lots of great news here Holly! Now... if only next hunting season will hurry up and get here :)

Marian Ann Love said...

Can't wait to get my Cabela book and check you and Sarah out. I'm so proud of you! Great publicity! Congrats! :)

Hil said...

Suzee, Bass Pro makes a pair of camo women's insulated coveralls that are super-comfy.

Walls also has some ranch/workwear in women's sizes; no coveralls though that I know of.

Unknown said...

I'll definately be getting a pair of those waders next year. My baby belly won't allow me to get into them this year I think. lol.

As for Filson, I have and LOVE their women's tin cloth field jacket and I'm sure it will only get better as it gets broken in. It starts out a bit stiff. It's kept thorns out while rabbit hunting, the mist out while duck hunting, and it does an amazing job of cutting out the wind.

Suzee, check out Carhartt's website. They actually have women's bibs on the site. I'm guessing that it's a similar situation to women's hunting clothes, and it's hard stores that carry them.

suzee said...

Thanks Shannon & Hil for the info! I'll definately check those places out... I've never thought of going to Carhartts web site...I need to get a pair before winter sets in!

Ms. May said...

My husband just pointed out the women's waders in the Cabela's catalog to me last night -- congrats, they look great! Any chance that there is a breathable version in the pipeline for us warmer-weather hunters? That would really be sweet...

Kirk Mantay said...

Saw the catalog last night! Very impressed!

Holly Heyser said...

Thanks everyone!

Ms. May, all I can say is that Sarah and I are still working with Cabela's on new projects :-).

Blessed, I'm with you. Getting birdier by the day!

Hil, thanks for including that link. For those of you who haven't checked it out yet, I recommend you go here first - that's the intro to the comprehensive women's hunting clothing review that Hil did. There's a brief article, then you can click on the "start" button over the picture to go through the items. Hil did a really thorough job on this. In fact, I think I need to add this piece to my women's hunting clothing list link on the sidebar here.

The Hunter's Wife said...

Holly, Congratulations! Not sure if we get the catalog or not but will see if they are in our local store. I might just have to try on a pair. :)

You can get off the floor now.

Holly Heyser said...

Jody, what are you drinking tonight?

Hil said...

Feel free to add the article to your Women's Clothing list or wherever you'd like. It was quite a labor of love and I'd be thrilled for as many women as possible to read it!

Downeast Duck Hunter said...

I was reading Field and Stream and all of a sudden I'm hollering to my wife to come see... There they were, the NorCal Cazadora waders... It took me a few seconds to explain to her the reasoning for my interest, on any account I'm very happy to see your great fortunes through the effective channels of communication. Awesome!!!