About The Author

Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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« How Women's Gear Gets Made | Main | What's Your Weirdest Hunting Story? »

July 09, 2007

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fshuntress

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The FSHuntress at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fshuntress.

The Best Shotguns, Rifles, And Bows For Women?


I hesitate to post this, but in the spirit of sparking discussion….

I recently asked our on-staff firearm and bow experts what they thought the best gear in their respective areas was for women. Yes, they’re men, but they really know their stuff, and I was interested in their opinions. This was for a story that ended up not running in the magazine, but since I still had their responses on my hard drive, I figured I’d post them now. What do you think? Are they great suggestions? Just acceptable? Or way off?

Can only women recommend gear for other women? Or does it not matter as long as the person making the suggestion loves to hunt and has the experience to back up their opinion?

By Philip Bourjaily
1. Winchester Super X3 Field
A lightened version of the Super X2, the X3 weighs a shade under 7 pounds and makes an excellent choice for all-around wingshooting. The X3 is ultra-reliable and very easy to maintain. The gas operation and a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad take most of the kick out of 12-gauge loads. Stock spacers included with the gun allow you to adjust length of pull from 13 3 /4 inches to 14 3/8. $979; 800-333-3288; winchesterguns.com

2. Remington 870 Express Youth Synthetic Combo
If deer and turkeys are your main interest, this 20-gauge pump the only shotgun you’ll ever need. The combo comes with a 21-inch vent rib barrel for birds and a 20-inch rifled barrel for slug shooting. Shooters of all sizes find the shortened synthetic stock handles easily in the woods. You’ll want to add a RemChoke turkey tube. If you’re recoil sensitive, pair the rifled deer barrel with Remington’s Managed-Recoil Buckhammer slugs. $543; 800-243-9700; www.Remington.com

By David E. Petzal
1. Remington Model Seven Youth Rifle in 7mm/08 or .260
If you are small—say, 5’2” or less—this rifle will fit you much better than a full-sized gun. The stock is an inch shorter than standard, and the barrel is only 20 inches long. It’s a synthetic-stocked gun with dull-finished steel, and while it isn’t pretty, it is very, very effective. $684; 800-243-9700; www.Remington.com.

2. Tikka T3 Hunter in 6.5x55
Tikkas come from Finland, and are some of the most advanced firearms available. They are noted for their remarkable quality, extreme accuracy, and fine triggers. The 6.5x55 is an old Swedish military cartridge that has been popular in Europe for many years, but is only now getting the recognition it deserves in the U.S. It’s a light kicker that will take almost any game with dispatch. About $625; 800-636-3420; berettausa.com.

By Scott Bestul
1. Hoyt Selena
The Selena pitches arrows at 287 feet per second, making it a veritable flamethrower. But Hoyt also included Alpha-Shox technology in the riser and limbs, so this is a seriously quiet hunting tool. Even better, the generous 7-inch brace height makes the Selena forgiving, and the Pro-Fit Custom Grip insures comfort and control. Weight: 3.1 pounds, Draw weights: 30-60 pounds, Axel to axel: 31 1/2 inches. 801-363-2990, hoyt.com.

2. Mathews Mustang
Mathews packed the Mustang with many of the features of their top-end bows, including their Performance Cam and vibration-dampening technology. Available in draw lengths from 19-25 inches, this hot shooter reaches arrow speeds of 280 feet per second and features 70 percent let-off. There’s little doubt why many top women hunters love the Mustang. Weight: 3.2 pounds; Draw weights: 20-50 pounds; Axel to axel: 31 3/4 inches. $550; 608-269-2728; mathewsinc.com.


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Meegan Turnbeaugh

I shoot a Bowtech Equilizer..... I love this bow and have gotten a pass through on several animals including a bear, deer and european boar.... I have tried several bows and this one has been by far the best choice I have made so far.... This bow is light... it is harder to pull back ( I pull 50 lbs in it), but it is a lot faster than bows I have used shooting 56 pounds...


Almost the same as my "One-Shot, Down-for-the-Count, Turkey-Killing Shotgun"!! I LOVE my Remington 870 Express Youth shotgun. It's not the synthetic you listed, but I have both barrels for turkey/deer. My shotgun got it's name about 1 minute after I shot my first turkey, right after the high pitched excited shriek came out of my mouth. Then a year later it became the "One-Shot, Down-for-the-Count, Deer-Killing Shotgun" when I shot my first buck!!

Dana - The Wild Woodswoman

If you're wondering what happened to this blog, and why there's no posts after July 9th, I've got the scoop at my outdoors site for women -
I offered to blog for Field & Stream, but haven't heard anything back yet!

Deborah L. Wardlaw

I have to disagree with the guys on selecting a pump shotgun for beginners and women. I would suggest the Remington 1100 or 1187 or the Beretta AL391 or 3091. Pumps have more recoil and when the action is closed the for-end position is so far forward, the shooter has to really reach to hold the for-end. The semi-autos have less recoil and the for-end is closer to the action so the shooter can swing the gun better and will not get as fatigued.