Rookie Deer Hunter, Lady's Bolt Action!
My Question is, has any guy ever deer hunted with a bolt action that was designed for ladies?
I'm a guy but I saw a Savage Arms "Lady Hunter" bolt action rifle online. I would like to use it mainly because it seems light weight and comfortable to fire. If it shoots just as well and as accurate as a rifle designed for guys, I'd use it. My main concern is not the weapon or how "guy" it is, but is it a smooth shot, easy to manage, the shell and muzzle velocity, and does it take the animal efficiently.
I want to fire one shot, and kill the deer as quickly and efficiently as possible with a clean hit through the lungs and heart. I very much want to hunt, but am very much an animal lover (which surprisingly I've found most hunters are) and would like to take a deer quick and painless. I am a great shot so long as the rifle is comfortable, and especially if I can mount the rifle on a bi-pod, a fence post, or something fixed.
I owned a Marlin short lever action 30-30, and had a hard time firing it efficiently because it seemed it was built a little clumsy. It wasn't until my Dad's hunting partner brought out the exact same rifle with a scope, and showed me how to steady it using a fence post that I was deadly accurate. What I'd like the most is a lightweight bolt action, and my biggest concern is one shot, one kill.
I want the deer to go as painless and quick as possible, and preserve the beauty of the animal so I can admire it while still being able to harvest the animal or the rack as a trophy. But for the most part I'd like to fire at a doe, because I'm more interested in the meat than the "points" on a buck.
Does anyone prefer a "lady" designed rifle, or can you recommend a standard, lightweight bolt action that will do the job quickly and still be fun to shoot?
BTW...I've hunted rabbits and squirrels with a 20 gauge, and deer with a 30-30 lever action. I've yet to kill any of the things I was hunting. So I am very intent that any animal I shoot dies quickly and with dignity. I look at the lady hunter rifles because I think if they are comfortable along the shoulder and arms and lightweight my shooting will be on-point and kill quick.
Also...since I've never killed a deer I've never had to field dress it. If you know the best website or book to describe dressing out the deer without "massacring" I would be interested. I believe very much that if you shoot the deer, you owe it to the animal to clean it in a sacred way without making a huge mess out of it. :)
I ask these questions because I've hunted with guys who seemed more interested in the damage they could do, the killing, and the mess they could make. They got quite a few deer, but the whole hunt was usually a beer-fest. The only joy I got from it was being in the wild and cooking our food over an open fire! I want to hunt alone (or with Dad) and I love the animals...I want to take one but do the best I can to make sure it's not about the violence, but the love for nature and God's creatures. I don't believe shooting an animal is wrong in any way, and you can still love and admire the animal while taking it.
So after much rambling, if anyone can help me be an efficient shooter and killer of a deer while still giving the animal as much dignity as I can, I'd be grateful. The lady's rifle question is more about comfort and ease of shooting, and quick-kill than it is about what type of weapon.
I just read an article titled, "A new rifle engineered for the serious female hunter. by Diana Rupp", it's a really good article and I'm sure the rifle is going to do what it was built to do.
All you have to do is go to your local weapons dealer and handle one, be sure to shoulder it to see how it feels for you and if it's something you like then there's no reason not to get yourself one. Good Luck and keep us posted..
Check out Ruger M77's.I bought one in .243 for my grandsons.It has a 16 and 1/2 inch barrel.I took it hunting and took two doe with it.Very little recoil and it took them down instantly.One was running across a field and was hit in the shoulder,went down instantly.She was 140 lbs live weight.
I would have no problems buying and using any youth or ladies model (unless it was pink) if it fit me better and helped me shoot better. The ends justifies the means....
I checked the "lady" rifle link, and it looks fine to me, however, there are several good rifles already available that are designed for people (men or women) of smaller stature. I own a Remington Model Seven which has such a design. The rifle has a shorter length of pull than most rifles, is a little lighter in weight and balances beautifuuly with a 22 inch barrel. Mine is a 300 WSM which has a two inch longer barrel than the "standard" calibers that have a 20 inch tube. I love this gun, it is exceeding accurate, and I have shot two one inch groups with it - that wouldn't be so great at 100 yards, but these groups were fired from 300 yards! Anyway, point is there are several choices of rifles already available for those who want/need a shorter, lighter fast handling gun. (I would advise staying away from anything shorter than a 20 in. barrel as muzzle blast gets pretty severe at that length and shorter.)
On the subject of clean kills:
1. If you have been hunting with guys who don't care about that, I'd strongly suggest that you run in the opposite direction from these individuals. In fact, I would go so far to say that you should not only stop hunting with them, but also consider dropping them as friends or associates.
2. Although any ethical hunter (which apparently the guys you have mentioned are NOT) tries for a quick clean kill, be advised that in spite of how well prepared and consciencious you might be, things sometimes go wrong. Bad hits do happen for lots of reasons and you must also be prepared for this. I mention this because I wouldn't want to see you or anyone else fall apart in a case like this and not follow up on putting the animal down with the right response to such a situation. In other words, being prepared means prepared for any eventuality. Last year I had to finish an antelope that was very poorly hit by a young hunter who apparently did not know what to do to when the animal didn't drop in its tracks. It was a really sticky situation as the wounded pronghorn walked to spot which was directly between the other hunter and me. Also, it was headed for a fence which, if crossed, would put it off the ranch we had permission to hunt. I had to run out so that I was shooting back at the animal and not in line with my young friend and kill the thing before it got on the other side.
I have had situations myself where, in spite of doing everything correctly, (including hits that should have killed the animal in it's tracks but didn't), had to take a follow-up shot to get the kill. At times like these, you must have a cool head and take comfort in knowing that you had done everything the right way.
Ladies/youth rifles, not just for them....
I have personally had the buttstock shortened on a couple of my Deer rifles. In MN it gets really cold some years during the opener. We then wear a bunch of layers to keep warm, and a rifle that was a perfect fit with just a tee-shirt suddenly is to long opening morning. I am always looking for a rifle that fits, with a scope mounted in the right place, equiped with a clean trigger. Yes that is alot to ask for but I am willing to keep working on a rifle until it meets those requirements. A wealthy person just orders out a custom rifle.
Karl, I know what you are talking about because here, in Montana, just like in MN, a rifle stock can get awfully long on those frigid fall days when a hunter has to wear lots of clothes just to survive.
I would change who I hunted with . . .
I ask these questions because I've hunted with guys who seemed more interested in the damage they could do, the killing, and the mess they could make. They got quite a few deer, but the whole hunt was usually a beer-fest. The only joy I got from it was being in the wild and cooking our food over an open fire!
The moment they had a drop of alcohol and then reached for one of their rifles, I would have headed for the truck and beat feet the heck out of there. You don't combine alcohol and firearms together, period! But when you stated what they did when they shot their game on top of that, the first hunt would have been the LAST hunt I went on with them. "who seemed more interested in the damage they could do" to me means that their elevator doesn't quite reach the top floor, a couple cans short of a six pack, and/or somewhat seriously deranged. With that type of mentality, is anyone quite sure who or what would be hunted next?
I think someone already said this in this thread, but I would definitely try to find a different quality of hunting 'friends'.
My $.02 worth . . . . . . :coffee:
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