It happens to just about everyone at some point in their life. That is being new to a sport and thinking that one of everything that the retailer offers is required for success. Actually that can be quite misleading for a newbie. Be it golf, skiing, mountain biking, fishing and last but not least hunting. The most expensive golf clubs, mtn. bike, spin or fly rod nor the best firearm will not make you an overnight success. What will make you successful is paying your dues and putting in the time where it matters the most. That is called practice, practice, practice.
In all honesty a beginner will not and does not have the knowledge or ability to tell the difference between the entry level gear and top of the line. Other than looking at the price tag. It's easy to get sucked in to the glossy ads telling you how much better you'll be or do if you use their products. Sounds good and after all that's what your goal is, so why not buy into the hype? Firstly anyone starting a new sport has a lot to learn and the marketing directed at them is very effective at emptying their pockets. What they really need is instruction from a friend or an honest retailer who wants a long term relationship and not a one time exploitation. Marketing does work, just look at all the companies competing for our hard earned money.
Do you really think a set of Tiger Woods golf clubs are going to make a novice hit the ball like Tiger? Not for a second. Nor will a $10,000.00 road bike make you ride like Lance Armstrong.
It takes years and I mean years of practice in all types of conditions to make someone proficient at their sport. It holds equally true for the shooting sports as well.
It's good to remember that there is a learning curve and with each progressive year you will get a little wiser and more savvy about hunting overall. It takes many years to get your gear dialed in just as there are many different types of waterfowl habitat and ways to hunt them. From the Canadian plains to the flooded timber of Arkansas and the prairie potholes to the coastal sea ducks and western rivers and sloughs to flooded grain fields and the list goes on. I think you get my drift. It takes a lot of years to figure it out.
If one chooses they can buy the latest in high tech waders (although there's only so much that can be done with a wader) the wader pants with the stirrup so they don't ride up and various un necessary under garments and outer wear. Plus hats, face masks, gloves etc. etc. etc. That's just barely the tip of the iceberg!
Lets get back to the basics here can we please. We are duck hunters, waterfowlers and we (or at least myself and those I hunt with) relish the fact that we get to play in the muck! OH HAPPY DAY! We get dirty, crawling in the mud through the marsh for a chance at a goose. It may not even be there by the time we get in range. That doesn't matter, what does is the possibility and how we choose to act. We're still kids at heart and I for one really enjoy getting muddy. It's just fun. I hunt with gear that I have used for over 3 decades and it serves me well. If there was something better now I'd buy it, but I haven't seen it yet.
I am a firm believer that the clothes do not make the hunter, golfer, skier or whatever it is you do. Stick to the basics, they have been around a very long time for a reason, plain and simple they work. Get a coat that is waterproof for late season, a pair of waders if needed, rubber boots, some good warm synthetic or new generation wool base layers plus a pair of wool or fingerless gloves and a hat. All camo and then you'll be able to save your hard earned money for steel shot and a hunting vest or duck strap. If all goes well, maybe you'll be thinking about a 4 legged hunting partner, a field blind and even some decoys for the following season.
Try a few different types of shotguns and use the one that feels most comfortable to you. If you need a recoil pad to help absorb the kick, then find a reputable gunsmith to do the work. I wouldn't get crazy buying an expensive shotgun right off the bat. Rather stick to a company that has a long lasting reputation. The next gun you get will be your pride and joy and then your first will be your back up. Good to take 2 guns with you if you have them. Things can and do break occasionally.
Ultimately stick to the basics, keep it simple and you'll be fine. Granted there is a ton more stuff on the market, but how many coats or waders etc. etc. can you wear at a time? Hunting for me and my friends is still about being out there and not about a fashion statement.
Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt