Indianapolis Woman Hunts for the Gear. . . So You Can Hunt for the Game!
By Lance Davidson All hunters face challenges. That‟s why hunting can be called a sport instead of a simple pastime or recreational activity. But women hunters face a variety of unique challenges when they take to the field. Just ask Indianapolis resident, Shelly Ray. “Whether she‟s taking up hunting herself or being introduced to the sport by someone else, a woman is not going to be able to fully enjoy the experience unless she‟s properly outfitted”, says Ray, co-owner of the internet-based, Her Camo Shop. To Shelly, being properly outfitted means having the clothes, gear and accessories that keep her warm, dry and comfortable in the field -- the mission and inspiration for Her Camo Shop. Shelly Ray grew up on a farm near Sheridan in rural Hamilton County. Somewhere between tomboy and girlie-girl, Shelly enjoyed archery and worked many years as a beautician before landing in the kitchen design business -- the place where she eventually met her husband, Jeff, an avid outdoorsman and upland bird hunter. Together, Shelly and Jeff have seven kids, the raising of which took its toll on the couple‟s shooting and hunting passions -- but only temporarily. Youngest son, Sean, was bitten by the outdoor bug early, and after returning home from our country‟s service in Iraq, he took up bowhunting -- a combination of both parents‟ passions. And when Sean purchased his bow, Shelly and Jeff took the plunge too. Of course, a hunter needs more than just a bow or firearm, so Shelly began the frustrating job of looking for women‟s hunting clothes and accessories -- a process that would inspire an entirely new chapter in her life. “I learned quickly that I couldn‟t get what I needed from the big box stores”, says Shelly. “And when I did find something that was supposedly just for women, they never had my size”. Then came the revelation. “I think Jeff was getting tired of listening to me vent about my search for women‟s hunting stuff”, says Shelly. “So one day he said, „why don‟t you just start your own online store?‟” And that is exactly what Shelly and Jeff did.. By that time, Shelly had identified the best women‟s hunting clothes and products available -and knew how to get them. She had searched for them tirelessly and tried everything she could in the field. She learned which products felt good and worked well, as well as those that did not. As more and more product lines were introduced in recent years, she took her never-ending product search one step further by attending consumer shows like the Archery Trade Association Show, where she met with product manufacturers like Prois, Manzella, Dead Downwind and others. She hand-picked her favorites. Her Camo Shop doesn‟t carry every hunting product ever made for women -- just the ones that work the best in Shelly‟s experience. And she is constantly searching for more. “We have a contact form on the website”, Shelly says. “One of my favorite things is receiving testimonials from other women hunters who have used great products”, she continues. “It‟s one way we continue to offer our customers more great gear”. In addition to great hunting clothing items from makers such as Prois, Medalist and Scentblocker, Her Camo Shop offers specially designed and manufactured women‟s hunting boots, women‟s hunting gloves, socks, packs, blinds and even game calls. Currently, three of Shelly‟s favorite products are the Magnus Rack Pack Chair, the Rhino Cut and Run Blind and the Squattie Pottie.
The Magnus Rack Pack Chair is a combination hunting pack and seat which weighs a mere six pounds. “Women can load this thing up with gear, attach their bow or firearm -- and the way the straps are designed, the entire kit feels more comfortable than most empty backpacks”, Shelly says. “And it serves double duty as a comfortable chair when you get to your hunting location”. The Cut and Run Blind from Rhino also weighs in at six pounds. “The weight of your gear is a serious consideration for any hunter, but especially for women”, says Shelly, who knows that lugging a heavy load in and out of the field can have serious negative impacts on the overall hunting experience. “I like this blind because it is easy to set up and extremely lightweight”. The Squattie Pottie is a recent addition to the growing line of products available at Her Camo Shop. It is a well-designed, compact and lightweight invention that affords women the same kind of flexibility as men when they are in the field and nature calls. “The Squattie Pottie is a low-cost item that can be used with or without an optional collection system”, says Shelly, “It is truly a must-have item for any female hunter”! In case you haven‟t picked up on it, Shelly is all about products that make going afield easier and more comfortable -- like the line of well-designed products from Heat Factory, which help to ensure that toes, fingers and other body parts stay warm and toasty. “Most women would rather be warm than cool”, she says. “And Heat Factory gives women more options on how to stay comfortable when conditions turn bad”. How about staying scent free? It is a critical factor when hunting deer and most other big game. Of course, Her Camo Shop offers a full line of scent-free personal hygiene products. You guessed it. They‟re made especially for women. “Most guys don‟t think twice about using standard scent free shampoo or simply rubbing some scent elimination spray on their face and hair”, says Ray. “But women think, „Am I going to be able to get a comb through my hair if I use that?‟”. Her Camo Shop offers Dead Downwind scent free hygiene products especially for women including laundry detergent, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair gel -- even lip balm and revitalizing skin lotion. “It doesn‟t make us less of a woman because we hunt”, says Shelly. “We still like to wear makeup and get our nails done. I like these products because they recognize that women are women -- even if they happen to be hunters too”. Shelly and Jeff launched Her Camo Shop this past February, to the rave reviews of women hunters everywhere. “We got a booth at the Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show in February”, Shelly says. “I couldn‟t believe how many women I talked with who were truly appreciative and genuinely excited about what we‟re doing,” she continues. “The discomfort and inconveniences that many male hunters simply put up with are really big deals for women”, she says. “It is very satisfying to talk with women hunters who have battled the same issues afield that I used to. Hunting and spending time in the outdoors is all about the experience,” she says. “And we‟re really hoping our store helps more women get into the field and maximize their enjoyment once they‟re there”. Spring turkey season may be winding down, but deer season will be here before we know it. Women who know they‟ll be taking to the field in October would do well to outfit themselves at Her Camo Shop now. The mission of Her Camo Shop is simple: to provide the best products available -- for women who REALLY hunt. Their company is founded on our commitment to provide outstanding customer service and the assurance of a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of the products they sell. Let Her Camo Shop hunt for the gear. . . so you can hunt for the game! Visit them today at www.HerCamoShop.com. Contact Shelly through the website, or e-mail her at email@example.com.