The holiday shopping season is upon us, and gift giving is on everyone’s mind. If you’re shopping for a female hunter or shooter, I can guarantee she’ll love at least one of these sure-to-please gift ideas.
Her Own Clothing
Gone are the days when women were stuck wearing either too-small youth camo or too-big-in-the-wrong-places men’s apparel in the woods. A host of quality, well-thought-out designs are now available in women’s hunting clothing. You can spend as little or as much as you want in this category, as it spans a huge variety of price points.
Toward the top of the list price-wise are the women’s offerings from Sitka Gear and Prois, both are which are engineered for functionality and comfort. You’ll also find performance-minded offerings from Kryptek, SHE (shown in True Timber Strata pattern, available at Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s) and Nomad. If you’re shopping for a plus-sized woman, check out DSG Outerwear, which makes quality women’s hunting apparel in sizes up to 5XL (and that can be hard to find elsewhere).
If your girl is a range junkie, look into clothing options from Girls With Guns. First Spear has come out with a super-functional field pant it calls the Valkyrie (shown), which is ordered by length, hip size and waist size, allowing for a super-customized fit. They aren’t inexpensive, but this might be the ultimate range pant—if you can figure out how to get those measurements without raising suspicion!
Oh, the joy that is a great pair of hunting socks. No cotton, please—merino wool is usually the name of the game here, thanks to its superior warmth and itch-free comfort. My favorite hunting socks are those made by Darn Tough—the over-the-calf model is toasty warm and especially handy under waders—but you’ll find a host of other options made by different companies. The camo-trimmed-in-purple pair from SmartWool might find its way into my stocking this year, even if I have to buy it myself.
Women’s hunting gloves that actually fit and give me enough dexterity have been difficult for me to find over the years, so I made the swap to cheap, thin youth gloves and a fleece hand muff. I strap the muff around my waist and drop in a few handwarmers, and keep my hands in there while I’m on stand or in the blind until the action heats up. A hand muff or quality women’s gloves are great gift ideas. While you’re shopping in the accessories section, fleece neck gaiters and super-warm hats and beanies are always welcome, too.
Never enough, right? Good luck finding it this year, but if you can, a box or a case under the tree will make any shooter smile.
Hunters are particular about the ammo their rifle likes and the brand/shot size they use for wingshooting and turkey hunting, so avoid hunting ammo unless you live in the same house and can sneak a peek at what she already has in stock. If you don’t know specifics other than her preferred caliber/gauge, FMJ practice ammo for handguns and target shotshells such as Winchester AA’s are always a safe bet. Or, of course, the Holy Grail during “Ammogeddon”: a brick of .22LR.
A Gun Fitting
Chances are that any avid hunter or shooter you’re shopping for already owns the right guns for her particular passion, but do they fit her? Handguns are no big deal, but rifles and shotguns—shotguns especially—need to fit a shooter properly for comfort, safety and performance. Guns generally don’t come from the factory made to fit women, so a fitting is a good idea. She’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
No matter how experienced, every shooter can benefit from some shooting classes. Whether you choose a concealed-carry course at your local range or a week away at an instructional school, the female shooter in your life will appreciate the chance to build her skills. Consider if she’s the type to enjoy a women-only class or if she’d rather mix it up with the men, and consider if you should pick the course or let her choose.
In this category, I can personally recommend the famous Gunsite Academy, where she can learn from world-class instructors and take anything from the ever-popular 250 Pistol course to classes on long-range precision rifle, defensive shotgun, hunting prep and team tactics—which is an excellent class for the two of you to take together.
She needs time to go hunting or hit the range, right? How about volunteering to watch her kids or hire a babysitter for the weekend so she can get afield? Or consider the gift of a top-to-bottom house cleaning (done yourself or hired out to a maid service) so she has a stress-free Saturday she can spend shooting or doing whatever she wants. You get the idea.
For that matter, if you have the budget, a guided hunt might be one of the best gifts she’s ever received—especially if you go with her. Make it a mother/daughter trip, a rustic romantic getaway in the field or a girl’s week out hunting with her best friend. The beauty of the gift of time is that it can cost you nothing, and still be priceless.
In need of a stocking stuffer? Say no more. Handwarmers are a girl’s best friend. Buy ’em by the case.
To the gun store. To the local gunsmith or engraver. To a stock fitter. To her favorite range. To one of the brands making women’s hunting apparel named above. It might not be the most personal or sentimental present you’ve ever given, but the great thing about a gift card is that it always fits!