September ushers in the long-awaited hunt season! Ladies across the country are gleefully headed to cut crop fields for doves and geese. This month, we take an in-depth look at the shotgun every lady should have in her hands, while readily glancing up for gray ghosts or sky carp.
Why the Syren Waterfowler? We take a closer look at a market that is grossly underserved, women in waterfowl, and pull apart what makes a Syren the superior choice.
Whenever I pen an article, I always look for all sides of the conversation. Unfortunately, in waterfowling, the conversation is EXTREMELY one-sided, and women are all but left out. Yes, there are female duck/goose hunters out there. Fortunately, clothing companies seem to be keeping pace with the demand from women that love chasing cans, greenheads and those crazy little swamp rockets. There are tons of options in patterns, sizes and warmth ratings. However, a Google search turns up dismal results on actual firearms for women for waterfowling.
Except for one: Syren. When Syren says, “No More Compromises,” they mean it! No longer do women need to “make” a gun work for them. No longer do women have to settle for something in the hopes that it works “good enough.”
There are obvious differences between men and women and those differences must be taken into consideration in gun fit. A few of the more common issues plaguing women trying to use an ill-fitting shotgun include stock length, overall weight of the shotgun and eye alignment down the barrel. Unfortunately, the common answer to a woman requiring a better fitting shotgun is that most manufacturers will simply “chop-and-color” a man’s gun and call it good enough. This greatly (and negatively) affects the weight and balance of the gun and the felt recoil. Plus, the kick in the pants is that it STILL doesn’t fit correctly!
The Nuts & Bolts of the Syren Waterfowler
The Syren Waterfowler, like all shotguns in the Syren line, is specifically produced to fit a woman’s physique and allow her to truly enjoy the shooting sports. Let’s break down this multi-purpose packing firearm and sort out why it’s superior to the old “chop-and-color” options.
One of the more noticeable attributes of the Waterfowler is its Monte Carlo stock, which might be considered a bit of an odd thing on a gun that just might have to pull double duty as a boat oar. A woman’s shoulders physically sit lower than a man’s. Women also tend to have higher cheek bones. A Monte Carlo stock allows a shooter to stay fairly upright to “get into” her gun and makes the insertion on a bird (clay or feathered) faster. Obviously, this is a really good thing! It also keeps the buttstock of the gun properly positioned on the shoulder, preventing a shooter from raising the butt too high, which can cause the toe to “dig” into a shoulder. Eye alignment is paramount for a shotgun shooter. If you can’t see it, you can’t kill it. Ideally, the bottom of the iris will sit flat and centered on the rib of the shotgun. The Monte Carlo stock assists a shooter in achieving this fit.
The average man’s shotgun is meant to fit the average-sized man. Well, I know several female waterfowlers and they are certainly anything but average! As a matter of fact, they’re pretty amazing. The average LOP (Length of Pull-the measurement from the center of the trigger straight back to the center of the buttstock) is between 14.25 inches and 14.5 inches, but for women, it should typically be around 13.5 inches. If the gun is too long, the felt recoil is more intense and the shooter sees too much gun out in front of them. If the gun is too short, it’s almost impossible to quickly and smoothly mount the gun correctly and ascertain the necessary sight picture.
This is why the Syren Waterfowler has a standard LOP of 13.5 inches, so that the majority of women will be able to easily use this gun and have it fit well. That single inch or so on the LOP may not seem like a big difference. At least, not until you are desperately craning your neck to try and make the gun work for you.
Also, to note, there is 7 degrees of pitch in the gun, which slightly turns the toe outward. By doing this, Syren makes it so the buttstock will fit more comfortable into the pocket of a woman’s shoulder and not jam against the mammary gland or other portions of her anatomy.
Adding into the “comfort” of the Waterfowler is the amazing Soft Touch coating that is applied. This not only feels great in between your hands, but also makes gripping the gun in even the most adverse weather conditions a breeze.
Finally, the gun weighs slightly more than 7 pounds. This is huge in an autoloader, as most are pushing 8 pounds. That extra pound will catch up quick and, in a hurry, and you’ll fatigue before you ever get started. It should also be mentioned that if you can’t swing the gun smoothly and confidently with the correct sight picture, you will not only miss, but also, you won’t understand how to correct and connect with your next bird.
All of these components make the Waterfowler the number one pic for women serious about chasing feathers plus, it is just as deadly for upland and clays!
How to Put It All to Use
Now that you have a great gun, it’s time to put it to use. Let’s dive into some great tips and tricks to help you drop more doves, ducks and geese.
- One of the most common mistakes wing shooters will make is assuming that since they are chasing feathers that they are not obligated to follow the fundamentals we normally implore on the clay course. As my elementary school math teacher would constantly remind us, there is math in everything we do. The dynamics of shooting involves a plethora of geometry with a heavy smattering of physics. What this means to you is that you must move your gun in agreeance with these terms versus against them.
- Wild birds have a pretty strong self-preservation mechanism and will flare at the slightest movement or glint off a shiny barrel. Patience and efficiency in motion is mandatory for success. As you see birds coming in, be ready. Have your muzzle in your line of sight and allow the birds to get within range. Since your muzzle is in line with your eyes (producing a hold point) you only need to push forward mounting your gun and inserting onto the bird as appropriate. Being able to track the muzzle (not looking at it!) along with the bird as soon as you see the bird coming sets the “computer” to work immediately, making thousands of split-second calculations. Having the muzzle low at the beginning puts the dog at risk and puts the muzzle out of control.
- Practice like you play. My students are always encouraged to bring their gear to the lesson right before the hunt. They shoot from dove stools/buckets, benches to simulate being down in a pit and I have been known to bring a beach towel or blanket for a layout simulation!
- Don’t be caught off guard walking into your hunt. Know how your birds fly and where they prefer to fly. A dove group will also prefer to enter the field through a pinch point off a hedgerow so if they are spooked, they can quickly change course and fly over the hedgerow as a shield.
No matter what you hunt, where you go or how often you get to hunt, always make sure that you have the best gear possible. The Syren Waterfowler is hands-down that gear.
Need a new shotgun? Check out the fine line of Syren shotguns for women.
Enjoying this post? Read more just like it on our Syren Savvy Blog HERE.
*This article was originally posted in our column on WomensOutdoorNews.com written by Kate Ahnstrom and edited by WON Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird.