A Women’s Guide to Bowfishing

The exhilaration of bowfishing is unforgettable: hearing the snap of your string, the whirl and splash of the arrow, and your involuntary cheers when reeling in your fish. If you’re looking to start regularly bowfishing, here’s some useful tips:

Watch a few videos

You’ve probably seen bowfishing videos, or even seen people bowfish in person. However, when you decide to learn a skill, you start to notice things you hadn’t before. Rewatch the videos and pay attention to the kind of bow that is used, the reel and what kind of fish they’re after. That said, this isn’t super critical and you certainly shouldn’t stop here.



Get the right gear

You can turn pretty much any old bow into a bowfishing bow. Muzzy Bowfishing sells a complete kit with everything you need to transform your old bow into a bowfishing rig. But if you’re looking to get really serious, they also sell a complete ready to go recurve bow. You’ll notice the arrows are specialized for shooting fish. Regardless of how you get your hands on the gear, be sure to practice regularly.

Muzzy Bowfishing Kit - Hen Outdoors

A few other things: Polarized glasses are a MUST as well as sunscreen, bug spray, a towel to wipe your hands, a fish gaff, and back up arrows and tips. You’ll also want a large drum bucket for the fish that you stick

here fishy fishy

Read the Regs

Make sure you know your state’s regulations, especially the species of fish. Many states will let you fish for carp, gar, and bowfin anywhere and anytime of the year. Some carp are an invasive species so clearing them out of the water is essential to the survival of native fish and they CAN be good eatin’ if cooked right despite what people say off hear-say. (Here’s a video of how to fillet carp)

Hit the water

Read up online about good spots in your area. Even with a boat, you want to be in shallow waters for the best fishing. If you’re shooting from the shore, stalk quietly! Carp love warm weather and often come to the surface to sunbathe but they are very sensitive to footsteps and will scare easily. You can also hunt them at night from a boat with lights (see below).

And remember to AIM LOW

This is one of the hardest parts of bowfishing. You’ll need to adjust to the refraction of the water by aiming below your target. After some practice, you’ll get a feel for how low you’ll need to go after a few shots. Starting out, try to aim about 6 inches below the fish.

You can also bowfish from a boat

If you live somewhere with murky or muddy waters, in addition to all of the above, you’ll need more than just arrows, a bow, and reel to make it happen. You’ll want a boat that allows you to stand. Usually, this means a flat-bottom boat with a platform on the front. The boat will also have a generator to power bright lights mounted on the front. There are also guide services available, a quick google search should bring some up in your area.

In conclusion

Some of this may sound complicated, but the best way to get started with anything is to just go. If you have a bowfishing rig, a fishing license, and you know how to ID rough fish – get out there and practice. It is recommend that for your first few times, you go with someone experienced. A guide or a women’s workshop is an excellent way to get your feet wet…or in this case, your bowfishing line!


A Women’s Guide to Shotguns

Shotguns can be used for a large variety of purposes. They make excellent home defense weapons, are frequently used in police and military applications, and are great for competition and hunting.


A shotgun is a lovely tool that can serve it’s purpose well. It can be used for home defense as well as hunting and competition shooting.  A shotgun fires a type of cartridge called a shell. Inside the shell are projectile(s) (aka shot or a single slug), the wad, and a shot cup that holds the projectile(s) until they reach the end of the barrel. Inside the cartridge is also gunpowder and primer. The primer ignites the gunpowder and the energy expels the pellets from the barrel.

Hen Outdoors Shotgun

The energy is divided amongst the individual pellets, which means each pellet is relatively low in energy. This makes it ideal for hunting small game. Also, this makes it great for defense – lower the energy means a wider spread of the pellets. So when an intruder is breaking into your home and is posing a threat against you and your family – the wider area of spread can be very helpful when your adrenaline is high and your hands are shaky.  (But even then – aim small, miss small!)

When the trigger is pulled, the firing pin hits the primer. This causes a very controlled explosion. This explosion ignites the powder inside the shell. The gases released fill up the chamber at thousands of pounds per square inch. This pushes out the shot cup, wad and pellet(s) out the barrel.

Buckshot is a type of shotgun ammunition that even a great many non-hunters have heard of. But let me tell you, it ain’t for everything. There are a wide variety of ammunition calibers and then numerous subcategories. But we will just stick with the basics.

Shotguns ammunition typically comes in a measurement called a gauge. A gauge is the diameter of the bore, or inside of the barrel. The smaller the number – the larger the diameter, which is opposite of pistol ammunition where the larger the caliber the larger the ammunition. A 12 gauge shotgun has a barrel that is 0.727 inches in diameter. If you got lead balls that diameter, it would take 12 of them to equal a pound of led. With a 20 gauge shotgun, 20 led balls that are 0.617 can fit.

Shell length is also a very important number with shotgun ammunition. Not all guns can feed each length. Please make sure you know what ammo your gun is designed for – some guns can HOLD come ammunition but it would be unsafe to attempt to fire it due to the pressure differences within each casing. Common lengths are 2-34”, 3”, and 3-12”. The longer the shell the more shot pellets it contains.

Ammunition can also vary in Dram Equivalent – which used to be all black powder, but now many companies make ammunition with a smokeless powder. The higher the dram number, the more powder, which means the more energy each shot will have – more energy means more travel distance for the pellets.

Shotgun ammo typically comes in birdshot, buckshot, or slug. There are specialty shots that you can get, but we won’t delve into those. Birdshot has tiny pellets, buckshot has large pellets, and a single projectile is a slug. Buckshot is ideal for self-defense and for deer hunting – two occasions that you want the pellets to penetrate deeply. Slugs look different than an actual bullet, in that they are front heavy.


Pump action, Semi-auto, and break open are the three basic Action Types. A pump-action requires the hand rest on the slide to be pumped in order to eject a spent shell and this action also chambers a new round. A semi-auto releases the spent casing and reloads the next round simply by firing off the first round – the energy from the fired round does all of that action automatically. A break open does exactly that – it has to open up in a way to which it appears broken and a shell (or two) are inserted.


We have all seen the YouTube videos of the poor girl who gets thrown to the ground by the force of shooting a shotgun – it doesn’t take much examination to see that she is not holding her shotgun properly. A proper mount is critical not only for accuracy but for proper dispersion of the felt recoil as well.  Where your gun is placed in relation to your shoulder and dominant eye determines where the projectile goes.

The gun needs to fit properly if you are to lift, aim, then fire it quickly. The best option for ensuring a gun fits is to see a professional, but sometimes that isn’t an option. Because fit is such a detailed endeavor to discuss, we will not go into a lot of details here.


One quick way to ascertain whether or not the length of pull is too long or too short is to hold the gun by the grip and to bend the elbow. If the butt of the gun doesn’t touch your bicep, it’s a little too short. If you can’t bend your elbow to a 90% angle because the butt of the gun is in the way, then it is too long. The butt of the gun should rest on your bicep.

This is just a rough guide but it is a very helpful tool. It is much easier to mount a gun that is slightly too short than it is to mount a gun that is too long. You should be able to keep your eyes closed and mount the gun then open your eyes and your dominant eye should be squarely looking down the rib (top raised portion traveling the length of the barrel. A raised rib alleviates the heatwaves from distorting the sight picture).


When you are holding a shotgun correctly, your eye becomes the rear sight. Don’t focus on the front sight. You want to be looking at your target. Keep your eye straight and always on that target. Practice watching your target, finger pointed along your gaze with your arm extended. Move your body, not your eyes. Keeping your sight picture in focus is vital.

Cheek first, then shoulder is the correct method. It sounds a bit backward. If you go to the range you will see many people placing their shotgun to their shoulder first and then bringing their cheek to the stock. This causes you to “chase” your target too much, always a step behind, and you don’t have the control you need. Keep your head straight. If you cock your head over to the side to get your eye into position it will distort your depth perception and sight picture.

You should stand straight and balanced with your weight slightly more on your forward foot. Your front knee slightly bent.  Your feet need to be about six to nine inches apart at least.

So to properly mount a shotgun your standing at the Ready. This means your trigger hand is on the grip, your other hand is on the forearm grip and the stock is in your underarm. Ready to pull it up to your cheek and shoulder. Your feet are in their proper position and you get your target in sight. Lock your eyes on it. As you have your eyes on it push the muzzle forward towards the target. You are moving with the target, keeping your head verticle. Any turning with to follow the target comes from the waist and not your arms.


While keeping your sight picture, pushing the muzzle towards the target you are also pulling your rear hand forward with the stock. As it comes forward the comb comes up to rest in the dip of the cheekbone. By placing it in exactly the same position it ensures accuracy with every shot. Your shoulder comes forward to meet the gun. Your body and gun move as one unit with the target. You lead the target a bit (this will vary from gun to gun on how much), meaning you are pointed just in front of the target as it is moving. Then you pull the trigger – careful to continue flowing with the target. If you stop abruptly or slow down as you pull the trigger you will miss, this is called follow through.

Practice, practice, practice! And have fun!! All of this will become fluid and can become very natural. Even expert shots will have accuracy issues if they don’t practice for months at a time. A great way to practice when you can’t get to the range is to practice with this indoor technique. First, ensure the gun is unloaded. Then get a flashlight that fits into the barrel and have it turned on. Holding the gun at the ready, keep the flashlight beam aiming at the corner of the ceiling. Practice mounting the gun all the while keeping the flashlight beam aimed at that corner. Once you do this a while, then practice making the beam travel along the line between the ceiling and the wall first one way and then the other. Practice until this all becomes one fluid motion.


11 Great Hunting Quotes

A good quote resonates in your soul. It sticks with you. Some of these quotes are from people you have heard of, and some will be from names new to you. A few of the names are repeated, as they are from individuals who had a plethora of knowledge about the outdoors that is worth remembering. I have gathered a list of great hunting quotes that every outdoors woman should know. They speak to the art of hunting, the deep commitment to conservation, the love for proper land management, and the respect for the animals harvested that non-hunters will never fully understand.

Henry David Thoreau – “When some of my friends have asked me anxiously about their boys, whether they should let them hunt, I have answered yes – remembering that it was one of the best parts of my education – make them hunters.”

Aldo Leopold – “A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact.”

Donald Trump, Jr. – “Hunting forces a person to endure, to master themselves, even to truly get to know the wild environment. Actually, along the way, hunting and fishing make you fall in love with the natural world. This is why hunters so often give back by contributing to conservation.”

Saxton Pope – “The real archer when he goes afield enters a land of subtle delight. The dew glistens on the leaves, the thrush sings in the bush, the soft wind blows, and all nature welcomes him as she has the hunter since the world began. With the bow in his hand, his arrows softly rustling in the quiver, a horn at his back, and a hound at his heels, what more can a man want in life?”

Archibald Rutledge – “It has always seemed to me that any man is a better man for being a hunter. This sport confers a certain constant alertness and develops a certain ruggedness of character… Moreover, it allies us to the pioneer past. In a deep sense, this great land of our was won for us by hunters.”

Henry David Thoreau – “You must not only aim right but draw the bow with all your might.”

Theodore Roosevelt – “The great body of our citizens shoot less as time goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes…”

Pete Dunne – “When I was young, I was a hunter, walking wooded hillsides with confident steps and a gun in my hand. I knew the blur of wings, the rocketing form, and the Great Moment that only hunters know when all existence draws down to two points and a single line. And the universe holds its breath. And what may be and what will be meet and become one – before the echo returns to its source.”

John James Audobon – “Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment. Cares I know not, and cared naught about them.”

Henry David Thoreau– “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Fred Bear – “Nothing clears a troubled mind like shooting a bow.”


5 Ways to Improve Your Shooting

Practice Clay Shooting

There are very few sports that are more enjoyable and beneficial than shooting clay pigeons, be it in Trap or Skeet. Many of the top marksmen say that shooting is 90% mental. Mathematics, logic and creative thinking are heavily utilized during a match.

Clay shooting also is good for you physically – skeet shooting requires tremendous balance and coordination. It builds strength in the body’s core and arm muscles. Clay shooting is also great exercise for the muscles around the eyes – because you are learning to quickly focus back and forth between objects at different distances.

Dr. Robert DuVall, director of SportsMedicine of Atlanta (SMA), has been quoted in the Hibbing Daily Tribune, saying that the “shooting sports represent the essence of fine motor control in sports … few other sports require the refined motor skill and precision of shooting. Likewise, few other sports necessitate the combined physical and emotional aptitudes that are required for sport shooting success.”

The first time I ever saw a clay pigeon, I was terribly disappointed that it didn’t resemble more of a pigeon than a tiny frisbee. That disappointment faded quickly as I became hooked on this exciting sport! Here are some tips that have helped me a lot.


Knowing how to properly shoulder your shotgun is one of the most vital aspects of being an accurate shot. Shotguns don’t have a rear sight – your dominant eye will function as the rear sight. So if your eye is sitting higher on the gun than it needs to be, you’ll shoot over your target by a long way.

Pull your gun up to your cheek and then into your shoulder. If you raise it to your shoulder first, you will have a much harder time getting your target in your field of vision. Have the butt of the shotgun right in the little dip in your shoulder – and pull it in tight. Lean forward into your gun, don’t lean back.

You want your eyes to be staring straight down the barrel. Don’t stare at the front bead – look through it and focus on your target. Remember, shotguns are pointed, not aimed.  Aiming a gun takes a time, and if you take the time to aim it like you would a rifle, then the clay will begin its descent and will fall out of your range.

This mounting technique needs to be very fluid. You are bringing the gun up to your eyes that are locked onto the target. Practice this motion with your shotgun is empty to get it seamless.


It may sound silly – but don’t forget to breathe! Erratic breathing can cause you to feel jittery and fumble around with finding the target.

Breathe deep slow breaths from your belly as you mount the gun to keep yourself steady and calm. Pull the trigger at the natural pause between inhaling and exhaling. Just make sure you keep it at a moments pause – and not a hold. A hold will increase your heart rate and will affect your accuracy too.

There is a rhythm to shooting accurately. You get into the rhythm of your breathing, heart rate and the tempo that the flight of the clay pigeon. It is all a steady, fluid, consistent rhythm.


It is really easy to get overly excited – or frustrated! – and shoot knowing that it won’t be your best shot.  While it is great to be determined to hit all the clays you can, knowing when you do have the shot and when you don’t can make a lot of difference in how well you shoot.

This requires you to be very aware of your body – your stance, focus, mount, grip, etc. If you are not tuned in to your body, you won’t have the awareness to tell you that you couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

Take the shot when you are confident that you are giving it your absolute best attempt.


Or anticipating the clay pigeons path is another way of phrasing it. Having a proper lead takes a lot of practice. You have to be far enough ahead so that your lead and the clay pigeon collide along their paths of trajectory.  Too far ahead, and your lead will be gone before the bird approaches. Not far enough ahead and your pigeon will sail on over.

Imagine the clay pigeon is the body of an actual bird. Shoot just in front of where you imagine its beak would be. If it is flying over your head, shoot where its feet would be.

The two most common methods for this are the Pull Away Method and the Maintained Lead Method. Pull away is when you have your muzzle pointed at the clay as you are mounting and then pull the muzzle forward ahead enough before shooting. This method is most often taught to beginners. The Maintained Lead Method is when your muzzle is pointing ahead of your clay as you mount and is maintaining that distance as you pull the trigger.

Often times, beginners will lose their target when learning to lead the bird. This happens when they get the muzzle in front, but the width of the gun covers their target. In an instant, your eyes are no longer focused on the target but now automatically focus on the shotgun barrel – and you will miss. To prevent this – lead the bird in front and slightly under.


To follow through correctly means that as you are pulling the trigger your gun is still moving. Even as the trigger is completely depressed, you are still honed in on that target and are following it with your muzzle. If you stop momentarily as you pull the trigger – you will miss your target.

You will maintain far more control if you maintain a fluid motion. Don’t rush in front of your target, then stop and shoot – the goal is to “brush” the clays out of the sky with the fluid movement of a paintbrush. There is no need to rush.

Women’s Sea Duck Hunt

Join us as we head to Maryland for a ladies only sea duck hunt!

  • December 5th – 7th, 2019
    (Arrive the 5th, hunt the 6th and 7th, depart the 7th or 8th)
  • Only $600.00 per lady
  • A special gift from Women of Fowl
  • Nearest Airport: Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI)

To reserve your spot call or text Kari: (559) 709-1879

*Hunt is FULL*