A Women’s Guide to Buying Waders Online

Let’s face it, most stores just don’t stock the same variety of duck hunting waders for women as they do men. (We hope that changes!) If you prefer trying on your waders before you buy them, your choices may be limited to expensive waders, not-properly-sized waders, or something slathered in pink. Sometimes, you just have to hop online and look for a better fit.

Think about layering

You’ll want to be sure that your waders are a little roomy. Although that might be a little annoying if it’s a warmer day, you’ll be happy to have room for thick wool socks, long johns, wool sweaters, and coats under your waders. Also, make sure you have a good waterproof shell to go over everything. You never know when you’ll get a cold rain, snow, or mixture of the two that will challenge your resolve. Having a windproof, waterproof shell can make all the difference.

Listen to other ladies

For any waders you’re considering, read the reviews and determine the sizing from what other women are saying; NOT just from the sizing chart alone. A lot of women will post their measurements. For example: 5’ 6”, 140 lb.s, size 7 feet and often, they’ll note whether they have long legs or a long torso. Pay attention to the feedback that someone gives who is approximately your size. If they say that the boots were too big or the crotch is too low, regardless of the sizing chart, there’s a good chance the lady is telling the truth. Now, don’t forget to return the favor. When you finally do pick a pair to order, be sure to return to the website where you got them and leave some clues for your fellow outdoors women.

Consider buying an extra pair

Cold-weather waders can be a little cost-prohibitive depending on your budget. That said, it’s well worth it to have an extra pair with you on a trip. When you’re wading in cold waders, you want an extra pair of just about anything in case your waders leak – OR – if you fall in and get soaked.

Here’s the other trick – if you get some waders that are guaranteed, if they pop a hole, you can have the other waders to switch into while you’re waiting for the other pair to get fixed or replaced. There are a number of companies that guarantee their waders from 5 years to a lifetime.

Why stop at waders? Need some clothes to show your love of duck hunting? Well, you’re in the right place. Women of Fowl has plenty of t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and leggings to proudly display your fondness for waterfowl!

An Open Letter to the Girl who Wasn’t Raised Hunting

To the Girl who Wasn’t Raised Hunting,

Like you, I didn’t grow up hunting and honestly, I didn’t really understand hunting as a child/teen. But here I am, as an adult, with a few mounts on the wall and venison cooking in my crock pot… And here you are too!

Maybe you chose to hunt because you wanted a better way to eat meat or wanted to provide organic unprocessed meat for your family, maybe you saw a gal on a hunting show that inspired you, or maybe you had an ex-boyfriend (or current) who brought you along in the marsh…Whatever or whoever brought you here, isn’t nearly as important as why you are STILL here all these years later. And that is because you fell in love with hunting!

I know how hard it was to get started, but hopefully you had a good friend or even that old boyfriend to guide you and to learn from.  And since then, hopefully you’ve gained confidence in the woods, you feel comfortable with your gun, and you have even acquired gear that actually fits you. That being said, you may still see where you could improve and that’s okay! That’s why it’s a life-long sport.

Lately, and quite often, I’ve noticed a lot of women are being accused of being “fake” just because they haven’t hunted their entire life. There’s a spectrum of real and fake people in every outdoor pursuit, but just because someone is new doesn’t mean they’re fake or that their experiences are any less valuable. It’s wonderful that there are women out there who have been hunting since diapers but when someone justifies their accusations of fakery with “I was hunting before it was cool…” or “I was born and raised hunting…” that sort of implies that anyone who wasn’t hunting since birth is fake, and that’s just simply not true.

So I just wanted to tell you, that I see you girl! I’m glad you’ve pushed forward and I can say with confidence that many hunters are proud of you for forging ahead and doing what you love. You are real and the confidence you’ve gained through hunting is absolutely valuable. In fact, your experiences are valuable to the hunting community at large. People who have been hunting for a long time need new(er) hunters to help keep the tradition alive (read more here) and provide fresh perspectives on tradition vs. bad assumptions.

Unfortunately, there are not nearly as many women hunters as there should be. But you and I are here, we’re true hunters, and THAT is what matters!

And when it’s your turn to teach someone new and walk her through her first hunting steps, it will only reaffirm this is where you belong. Seeing a woman who’s new to hunting worry and waffle and – ultimately – overcome, will inspire you to be an even better example for all the hunters-to-be. And you will never call her fake just because she’s new!

So keep going and growing and doing what you love, after all, we have a lot of catching up to do!

A REAL Hunter who will raise her daughter hunting



What Are Duck Bands?

One unique treasure for duck hunters is the duck bands. It as much trophy to wear on a lanyard as it is a badge of status. Not only does it show off your harvest, and possibly earned you a monetary reward, but it also shows you played a vital role in waterfowl conservation!

hen outdoors


Duck banding started back in 1899. Hans Mortensen placed aluminum rings around the legs of a few different species of ducks, including Pintails. He carved his name and address on the ring so that the birds would be returned to him. This system of banding is almost identical to how ducks are banded today. In 1909, Jack Miner banded a mallard to see if he could learn how far it flew during migration. All his duck bands were also inscribed with his Canadian wildlife sanctuary address as well as a verse from the Bible. Five months later, this mallard was discovered in South Carolina. This event went down in history as the first ever successful duck banding. Jack banded over 90,000 ducks and geese in his lifetime. His descendants still band birds from the same sanctuary – and the bands are considered collectibles.

hen outdoors

In the United States, the bird banding is primarily the responsibility of the Bird Banding Laboratory of the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, in Laurel, Maryland. It is a joint effort between our Fish and Wildlife Service, the Canadian Wildlife Service, various state wildlife management agencies, and non-government research organizations such as Ducks Unlimited among others. And they don’t just band ducks; many species are banded using a variety of bands, collars, and even GPS trackers.

duck bands

In order to participate in banding, you have to have a federal banding permit since banding laws are controlled by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. However, many organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl and California Waterfowl Associations offer volunteer opportunities for their banding projects. In late summer through early fall, migratory waterfowl are captured and banded. Their species, gender, age, and location of banding are recorded. Each bird is outfitted with an aluminum band that has a unique number assigned to each bird as well as the phone number for the laboratory in Maryland.

duck bands


On rare occasions, a hunter will be lucky enough to harvest a bird with a double band – one regular aluminum band and one colored. This most often signifies that it is a special reward duck. The monetary reward is typically anywhere from $25-100, and in rare cases even higher. These are usually placed on species that are being specially monitored. The hunter will call in and report the band, and he receives a certificate with the bird’s information and occasionally a check too.

The information gathered from hunters has proven to be of tremendous value. Monitoring the migratory bird’s flight patterns and population numbers is a daunting task – especially when you consider how many thousands of miles these birds travel. Biologists analyze the information gathered, such as the timing and distribution of the bands. This shows a more complete picture of the health of each of migratory birds species. The wintering areas and exact migration routes are able to be pinpointed with greater accuracy. These numbers not only help the biologists to know more about how to ensure healthy breeding populations but also helps to determine the bag numbers for each species every year.  This will safely ensure the health of the species year after year.

banded duck female

Some hunters actually refuse to report the band information because of false beliefs that it guarantees the government will put greater restrictions on waterfowl hunting.  But this simply isn’t true. The more information that is collected, the more the biologists are certain of the accuracy of the data and the sustainability of the species, This can actually lead to longer harvesting seasons. So please, report your bands. An easy way to do this is to go to www.reportband.gov

Wild Turkey Trivia

Here are 10 fun facts about wild turkeys that you can share with your friends and family!

1. A group of turkeys

Is actually called a “rafter” although they are commonly referred to as a “flock.”

2. Number 2, literally.

As in, turkey poop. Toms produce spiral-shaped droppings, and hens produce droppings in the shape of the letter “J.”

3. Turkey meat makes you sleepy.

Turkey meat actually has the same amount of tryptophan as most other meats. So if you’re feeling extra exhausted after Thanksgiving, it’s probably the wine!

4. Turkeys can fly!

Yes turkeys can fly and they can even reach up to 55 mph! Talk about fast food!

5. Turkeys are omnivores.

They are opportunistic feeders and will feed on lizards, berries, seeds, and bugs.

6. Talk turkey to me!

Turkeys can make around 20 distinct vocalizations, including the distinctive gobble that can be heard from a mile away!

7. Turkeys were almost extinct.

Turkeys were nearly extinct in the 1930’s. But today, there are more than 7 million wild turkeys.

Thank you NWTF! 🙌

8. Turkeys are ultra feathery.

There are around 5,500 feathers on an adult wild turkey, which typically includes 18 tail feathers that make up the fan.

9. There are 5 different types of turkeys.

There are five subspecies of wild turkeys: Osceola, Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriam’s, and Gould’s.

10. The average life span

Of a turkey is 3-5 years old and the oldest known wild turkey lived to be at least 13 years old.

*Bonus Fact*

The turkey almost beat out the bald eagle!

Because turkeys are native and a prideful bird with a very protective nature, the wild turkey was Benjamin Franklin’s choice for the national bird. The bald eagle seemed less honorable because they can be scavengers and will rob other animals of their food.

Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll!

Have you bagged a wild turkey?

Post your harvest in the comments on our Facebook page!

Girl’s Goose Hunt

I was absolutely honored to be invited by sisters, Kayla Ketchum and Summer Moore for their annual girl’s goose hunt with Dawn To Dusk Outfitters  in Northern California. It was an incredible experience and we had some AMAZING hunts!

Dawn To Dusk Guide ServiceWe even shot a blue goose! (Which is rare in California!)

Dawn To Dusk Guide ServiceFrom left: Kayla, Shelli, Summer, Kari, and Tammy

We had TOO much fun!

Dawn To Dusk Guide Service

Dawn To Dusk Guide Service owner, Kenny, made it a very comfortable and fun experience and he is so knowledgeable and passionate about waterfowl! I can’t thank him enough for putting us under so many geese! Thank you again to Kayla and Summer for inviting me!