Maybe it’s the camouflage. Or, maybe it’s just the lack of products. Finding the perfect women’s hunting clothing has become almost as much of a challenge as hunting deer, duck or turkey. “There’s not really a lot when it comes to women (hunting clothing),” hunter Felicia Helms said. “The things I’ve hunted in 20-30 years ago, it was crazy. A lot of times, I remember just trying to layer up as much stuff as I could and not even worrying about the camo pattern. You would just have jeans on or plain shirts and stuff.”
Women just about have to “hunt” to find hunting apparel that will fit their forms and the weather conditions they will be hunting in.
• Branching out their brand to BassPro Shops in 2013, SHE Outdoor Apparel products such as boots, pants and coats keep female hunters comfortable and toasty on those cold fall and winter mornings.
“I like the SHE because there are a lot of variety. They don’t have just for the winter. They do have some lightweight stuff. And of course with all the women clothing, it fits our body,” Helms said.
Its products include insulated pants and matching coat, which do ring up approximately $130 each at the register, but are well worth the price tag. Plushy, insulated and waterproof, the SHE Outdoor insulated waterproof coat and pants can be used both during modern gun season and duck season for
warmth. With a removable hood and zipped up insulated turtle neck, gaiters can be securely tucked into the coat, but are not a necessity.
Multiple zipper pockets throughout allows items such as hunting license to stay dry during a drizzling hunt or a downpour. Due to extra insulation, it is recommended to go up on size. Layering with thermals, can make these items a little tight to move in, especially the pants. If they fit perfectly to form in the dressing room, go up one size to be able to layer later. Knee-length zippers on the pants allows boots to be slipped on with ease.
Women don’t have to look into the men’s section for boots anymore, either. Waterproof, insulated and about midcalf, SHE Outdoor has created a boot that hunter Melody Root says she would buy over and over after purchasing her first set of last year. No more wide men’s shoes and trying to convert female shoe sizes over to men’s shoe sizes. Root’s boots cost her approximately $70 to $80, and she feels the price was well worth it.
“There isn’t much out there for women at all. So when I went to purchase me some boots we went looking expecting to get a pair of men’s boots. When I found these, I was very excited. For one, they are made just for women because a lot of men’s shoes are made wider. These were for women and I love them. No complaints at all,” Root said.
Though wearing insulated socks typically is bulky and make shoes tighter, Root said her boots are right on point and they don’t feel uncomfortable when wearing thicker socks.
• Wading into the cattails or riding in a flat-bottom boat to a blind, women’s duck clothing is almost harder to find than deer hunting apparel. In recent years, companies sought to appeal to the female duck hunter with waders made for them, but the options are still slim. However, Drake Waterfowl has helped women stay warm and dry through their Lady Drake line.
“Everything I’ve worn of the Drake brand I’ve liked. I like the pullover a lot. It’s easy on; it’s easy off. It’s waterproof. Its super warm,” Helms said.
The Ladies’ MST Eqwader Plus quarter zip pullover costs approximately $100 at Mack’s Prairie Wings, Stuttgart. This lightweight pullover can transition from early season to late season when temperatures start dropping into the low ’20s. Helms does like to layer underneath the jacket and only during extreme low temperatures will she apply a thicker coat over top of the pullover.
“It cuts the wind completely off when you are in the boat and it’s real windy. It keeps you really warm,” Helms said.
The jacket is sold as a quarter zip or a full zip jacket in three different camouflage patterns: Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades, Realtree Max-5 and Mossy Oak Bottomland. Below the bustline, the pattern switches to a solid brown fleece material for extra warmth and comfort while the top and arms remain a waterproof and windproof camouflage material. There is also a drawstring inside the jacket below the bustline to assist in reducing bulkiness while wearing waders.