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How To Clean a Gar

by Gretchen Steele

Gar – that ugly prehistoric dinosaur of a fish – simply do not get the respect they deserve. Not only do they offer one heck of fight on rod and reel, they are a bowfishing staple fish. Sadly, their reputation as a junk trash fish combined with their armor–like hide keeps many from enjoying this abundant and great tasting fish.

I hate the term “trash fish” and the term “rough fish” is almost as bad, but I am still having a hard time getting my head wrapped around the oh-so- politically correct “underutilized native fish”. BUT The truth is that gar are a terribly under utilized native fish in many areas.

I’ve become somewhat of a gar ambassador, and when I see fellow anglers curse, kill and toss these exceptionally good eat fish aside – I just can’t stop my pushy self from interfereing and going so far as to whip out my cleaning tools and show them on the spot that cleaning and using a gar is far more easy than myth and legend would have one believe.

Cleaning a gar may seem like a daunting task, and there are multitudes of myths about the cleaning of gar and the meat – so here’s a quick how to for rendering that scary looking toothy monster ready for the table.

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lots of good meat on this 8lb 14 oz gar that was arrowed by my bowfishing partner in crime Amy Young of Henshaw, KY

First gather the few extra tools you will need:
1.Sharp sturdy skinning type knife
2.Tin snips
3.Thin flexible fillet knife
4. Gloves for those who wish to avoid the small cuts that sometimes result from sharp gar scales.

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Place the gar on you cleaning surface and begin by making a horizontal cut directly behind the head. Given the bone like quality of gar scales, insert your knife tip between the scale lines in order to make the cut much easier.

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Once the horizontal cut is made, grab you tin snips and insert them just below the hide and begin making the long vertical cut down the center of the gar’s back.
When your tin snips reach the dorsal fin, make a second horizontal cut downwards along the scale line. Using a sharp and flexible fillet knife separate the “armor” from the sweet white tenderloin meat.

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Now you are ready to begin the filleting portion of the cleaning.

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Insert the tip of your fillet knife between the meat and the hide and begin to slowly slice the meat away from the hide on each side.
Once you have the hide free of the “loins” and meaty part of the fish, insert the fillet knife along the backbone of the fish, and simply slice the meat away from the ribs. Be aware that a gar’s rib cage is very long and extends nearly all the way to the tail.

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The top loins are the good eating part of the gar. The “belly meat” is next to nothing, and full of bones, so all you are after are the two large loins.
There you have it – now that wasn’t that difficult was it? Since gar can become so very large the amount of good meat even from a single fish makes them well worth keeping and cleaning!

A NOTE OF CAUTION – NEVER EVER CONSUME THE EGGS FROM A GAR – THEY ARE EXTREMELY TOXIC TO ALL MAMMALS – INCLUDING HUMANS! Always dispose of the eggs in manner that no pets, birds, or people can get into them.

We prepare gar in a number of ways – but the all-time favorite at our house is “Poor Man’s Lobster”.
1.Cut the gar meat into bite sized chunks
2.Prepare a pot of crab boil, just as you would if you were going to boil crawfish, shrimp etc. Drop the chunks into the boil
3.Boil five minutes, remove from heat and allow to sit for an additional five minutes before removing the fish chunks.
4.Serve with melted butter, lemon juice or chill for later use.
5.You can substitute the gar cooked this way for most any recipe that calls for cooked crab meat or lobster.

PRÓIS® HUNTING APPAREL PARTNERS WITH goHUNT.COM

Join goHUNT INSIDER and Get $50 in Prois® Gear

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Prois Hunting Apparel recently joined forces with the popular internet-based company, goHUNT.com, which is a digital platform and community built for Western hunters. The two companies have teamed up to offer Prois gear with the purchase of a goHUNT INSIDER membership. As both companies cater in large part to the Western hunter, the partnership was a natural fit.

goHUNT INSIDER is the industry leader for everything Western Hunting. Their tools, like Filtering 2.0, are completely changing how hunts are found. Customizable filters make it easy to instantly find opportunity hunts and trophy hunts. Join goHUNT INSIDER and redeem your $50 Prois Gift Card by going to http://www.goHUNT.com/INSIDER and use promo code “PROIS” at checkout. To learn more about goHUNT INSIDER click here.

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Learn more about this incredible offer by going to: http://www.goHUNT.com/prois.

Próis was created for women, by women who refuse to settle for downsized men’s gear or upsized children’s gear. Each garment is created with the most technologically advanced fabrics available and a host of advanced features to provide comfort, silence and durability. The company’s out-of-the-box thinking has resulted in amazing designs for serious hunters that have taken the industry by storm and raised the bar for women’s outdoor apparel.

To learn more about the company’s innovative line of serious, high-performance huntwear for real women, contact: Próis Hunting and Field Apparel, 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 · (970) 641-3355 · Or visit: www.proishunting.com

Talking Technical…Why the Shoulder-EEZ Recoil Pads Are The Choice of Prois

By Kirstie Pike, CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

It is all things shooting at Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women for the month of May.  In light of that, we figured it was time to talk technical!

Prois not only carries products of our own, we sell products that we find tried and true.  We love the Shoulder EEZ recoil pads.  Here’s why…

  1.  The product comes in a rectangular sheet that can be cut to adapt to any vest or jacket pocketing system.  We find it to be the perfect match for our Competitor Shooting Vest as the Shoulder EEZ can be cut to fit one or both of the internal recoil pockets designed in the vest.
  2. It is made with Sorbothane®.   Sorbothane® is a proprietary, visco-elastic polymer. Visco-elastic means that a material exhibits properties of both liquids (viscous solutions) and solids (elastic materials). Sorbothane combines shock absorption, good memory, vibration damping characteristics and vibration isolation. In addition, Sorbothane is a very effective acoustic damper and absorber. While many materials exhibit one of these characteristics, Sorbothane combines all of them in a stable material with long fatigue life.
  3. KickEEZ are proundly manufactured in the U.S.A- which we love.

While we have tried many recoil pads, we come back to the Shoulder EEZ product as it wears well and holds up to the abuse it takes at the range.  The supreme product combined with its ease of use makes it the best in our opinion.

You can purchase Shoulder EEZ pads at  http://www.proishunting.com/shop/accessories-hats/shoulder-eez-recoil-pad/!  And did we mention they are on sale for $25 for the month of May?

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MAKE YOUR MARK THIS SEASON AT THE SHOOTING RANGE

Try Próis® Hunting Apparel For Gear That’s Always on Target

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It’s that time of year again and the shooting range is calling your name. Whether you prefer 3-d archery or the sporting clay course, Próis has got you covered. The women’s only hunting apparel company offers some of the most technologically advanced hunting and shooting garments in the industry. Take a closer look at staff favorites for a day at the range.

The moment you don the Artemis Competitive shooting shirt, you will look and feel like a champion. This shirt is perfectly breathable and great for summer days spent busting clays or drilling bullseyes. Made with moisture wicking poly/spandex fabric, you need not worry about overheating in your gear. With a sleek design, not only will you shoot great, you will look and feel great also. Unlike most in its category, the Artemis comes with a lumbar pocket for stowing extra gear. The Artemis shirt is available in black and white or red and white and comes in sizes XS to XL.

Combine the Artemis shirt with a pair of pants that match its sleek design. Made with 94% nylon and 6% spandex, the Adventure pants are the perfect candidate for any spring or summer activity in the outdoors. Extremely lightweight and breathable fabric makes these pants a must have for range days when temperatures are less than ideal. With ample room through the rear, hips, and thighs, the Adventure pants allow for plenty of movement, making any strenuous activity a breeze. Pant sizes range from XS to XXL and come in colors Stone and Olive.

A functional shooting vest is a necessity on the range. Próis has constructed one of the only women’s specific shooting vests on the market today. The Competitor Shooter’s Vest is made with all of the functions you need and a fit you will love. A feminine cut reduces bulk, ensuring you look good and shoot even better. Bilateral shoulder padding accommodates left and right-handed shooters and internal pockets accommodate gel packs. With two front expandable cargo pockets and a rear mesh pouch, this vest offers plenty of room for shells, hearing protection, and glasses. What’s even more, should you decide you don’t need the entire vest, it unzips at the waist to convert to a shooting apron. The Competitor Shooter’s vest comes in colors Black and Khaki and sizes XS to XL.

Find all of these items on sale now at www.proishunting.com. For additional information or questions about gear, call the Próis office at (970) 641-3355.

Próis was created for women, by women who refuse to settle for downsized men’s gear or upsized children’s gear. Each garment is created with the most technologically advanced fabrics available and a host of advanced features to provide comfort, silence and durability. The company’s out-of-the-box thinking has resulted in amazing designs for serious hunters that have taken the industry by storm and raised the bar for women’s outdoor apparel.

To learn more about the company’s innovative line of serious, high-performance huntwear for real women, contact: Próis Hunting and Field Apparel, 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 · (970) 641-3355 · Or visit: www.proishunting.com

Turkey Hunting Gear List

It’s no secret hunters have lot’s of gadgets. It’s often very overwhelming preparing for a hunt and trying to decide what to bring. Each hunt, whether it be for turkey, deer, elk, or ducks, requires a slightly different set of gear. With that said, we put together a turkey hunting gear list, which will hopefully make organizing a bit easier when you prepare for your turkey hunt.

Decoy(s)

TarraStoddardDecoy (1)This is a rather large item, therefore it shouldn’t be a tough one to remember. Although, there have been plenty of instances where an obvious item like a decoy gets overlooked at the house before heading out. Unless you are planning a spot and stalk mission, this is a very important piece of equipment when going turkey hunting. If you don’t prefer to load your truck the night before, set all your equipment by the front door. This will ensure you don’t forget it.

Range Finders

DSC_0024Especially if you prefer to hunt with a bow, range finders are something you really can’t do without. A good pair of rangefinding binoculars, such as the Swarovski EL Rangefinding Binoculars, will cut down on the weight of your pack and take up less room than having to carry both optics.

 

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A reliable Multitool should make the list no matter what type of hunt you are going on. You never know when you might need it! My personal favorite is the SOG Power Assist Multi-Tool, which can be found here.

Jacket

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Mother Nature can be very unpredictable in the springtime. Don’t overlook the importance of a quality jacket in case the weather turns on you. The Prois Pro-Edition Jacket is made with compressed fabric and is the perfect addition to your day pack.

 

 

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No matter what type of call you prefer, don’t leave home without it. Unless you’re a seasoned mouth caller, you’ll be in a serious bind if you get to the woods and realize you have no way of calling birds to your decoy!

 

 

 

Survival/First Aid Kit

A survival kit is commonly overlooked by hunters, but when done right, it won’t add a ton of weight to your pack. A Ziplock bag with essential survival and first aid gear will do just fine. Some items to include are:

Braided nylon rope
Matches
Fire Starter
Toilet paper
Whistle
Garbage Bags
Bright orange surveyor’s tape
Sterile pads
Sterile Gauze
Neosporin
Bandaids
Aspirin
First Aid Tape

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 5.00.19 PMGPS

This can be a lifesaver if you have a long walk to and from your truck. If you are in an area with reliable cell service, a smartphone will do just fine. For an affordable GPS, try the Garmin eTrex 10.

 

Day Pack

You will have a much Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 2.37.06 PMeasier time keeping your gear organized if you have a reliable day pack. We recommend the Badlands Kali Day Pack, which is made specifically for women.

 

 

 

 

 

We hope this list helps you prepare for your upcoming turkey hunting endeavors. Good luck and happy hunting from all of us at Prois Hunting Apparel!

A Word From the CEO- Learning To Hunt Merriam’s In Colorado

By: Kirstie PIke
CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

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You know, they aren’t kidding when they say that Merriams are tough hunting.  Their preference for mountainous terrain, their love for wooded cover and their disdain for dying at my hands makes them difficult at best.  While I am really giving it the college try this year by hunting solo (I have yet to harvest a Merriam) I have learned much…what I fondly call my discourse of humility and rage.  Here are my lessons learned so far…

What I have love most about hunting this bird is the perpetual spot and stalk.  I verge on ADHD and cannot sit still long.  Not to mention, the older I get the more it hurts to, well, sit.  I have found more action by setting up.  Calling a bit.  Waiting it out for some avian communication may take some time, but once you get some noise, be patient.  Don’t over call.  A lesson I am learning the hard way.  If nothing is happening, it doesn’t hurt to move on.

I have also found that spending a fair amount of time just scouting the region if the hunting is cold has been very helpful.  Locating water, roosts and feeding routes can be very helpful.

Be prepared to put on some miles.  Covering more ground gives more opportunity.  Merriams have a wide range and are considered to be turkey nomads.  It is not uncommon to put on four or five miles in a morning.

Use a locator call in the morning.  Crow or owl work well.  I am still working on honing this skill, but I have found it to be helpful.

I am a minimalist by nature.  I don’t like to pack a lot with me.  It is typically unnecessary.  Too much gear is, well, just too much.  Short of a weapon, decoy, call and binoculars I have found that a GPS with ONXMaps HUNT is invaluable.  If you are not familiar, ONXMaps can be purchased for use on your GPS or on your cell phone.  Warning- cellphone app is not helpful if you have no service.  You can purchase a card for the state you hunt and this provide very detailed mapping that allows you to know precisely where public vs private land exists.  The first time I used it I was impressed.  Had I NOT had it, I would have really limited myself on hunting area by not knowing the actual boundaries.  Not to mention, (and this is no lie) I may have had to start making a waypoint for my truck each time I go out as I tend to lose that sucker every time. In fact, I could swear that someone moves it each time I go out.  I mean, it IS possible.

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I have come to rely on my GPS to mark roost trees and areas where I have found more activity.  Given the fact that the Colorado terrain is far from open and flat, it can become a bit disorienting to relocate key areas.  Directionally impaired or not, this feature saves a lot of time and frustration.

As the morning progresses, I have found that finding a high point with decent cover so I can glass the area is very helpful.  In fact, I have found birds when I was about to hang it up for the day.  If you have an entire day and don’t have to rush on to work, hang tight in the late morning and early afternoon near some open areas where you have found sign.

Now…as mentioned, these are my lessons learned to date.  I am certain I will have a million more failures before a success…so stay tuned!

 

A Word from the CEO- Travel Tips For Bringing Meat Home When Flying

By:  Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women
Disclaimer…I have indeed learned ALL of this the hard way.  Just sayin’.

As you may know (or may not!) I throw some tidbit of information out to the masses weekly.  These proverbial tidbits may be industry related, business related, random thoughts or great tips I have learned along the way.  For those of you who follow…thank you for your patience.  For those of you who don’t follow…thank you for at least pretending to over social media!  I am shallow enough to accept that!

Tip of the month…packing  considerations when transporting meat home from your hunting destination.

I realize, this may seem simple.  But anyone who flies frequently to hunt realizes there are many hurdles to traveling by air.  I have found the logistics of getting meat home is one of the more difficult to navigate.  Here are some insights I have learned from much trial and error.  (More error than anything else, actually)

  1. When flying TO your destination, pack your clothing and an empty duffle bag in your cooler and check that as a bag.  What this does is ensures you do not have to run around looking for another cooler prior to flying out of your destination.  Often, there is little time to do this.  And occasionally there may not be a place to purchase a cooler.  Once at camp, you can offload your gear into your duffle.
  2. I pack duck tape and a sharpie for each and every hunt.  This allows you to secure your cooler and ensure you have a return address (if not already on your cooler) on your cooler.  Also…everyone else in camp benefits!
  3. Check your airline regulations for shipping meat.  Typically, a well sealed cooler is adequate.  However, some airlines like Air Canada require your meat container be wrapped in cellophane.  This is good to know in advance so you can readily check your cooler.
  4. I check online to see what availability there is to purchase dry ice.  Nothing is worse than getting home and finding your meat is room temperature.  Finding dry ice is not always easy, so a little investigation prior to your trip allows you to know where to get dry ice without a lot of unnecessary effort spent in hot pursuit of said dry ice.
  5. If possible, weigh your cooler at camp or wherever you may get the opportunity.  Airlines charge more for coolers above 50lbs…and many will not accept them if they are 75 lb or more.
  6. A cooler with wheels and a handle is a must for navigating the airports.

Again, there is nothing more disheartening to have ruined meat or to have spent a lot of extra money transporting your meat home after a dream hunt.  A little pre-planning can really help reduce the stress and expense of flying your meat back home.  Hopefully…

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Talking Technical… The Ultra Backcountry Shirt

As with all Prois products, the Ultra Backcountry shirt is constructed of the most functional and breathable components to be sure that you get the most from your gear. It is made to be versatile, for all seasons and all weather conditions. It is silent and soft, yet sturdy enough to take a beating as you trek through the woods. Let’s discuss some of the key features:

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1. 100% Polyester Birdseye Fabric… All of our Ultra shirts wick moisture away from the skin, keeping you cool when it is hot and warm when it is cool. This fabric is also extremely silent and soft, which makes it possible for the hunter to move freely as she pleases without making any unwanted noise.

 

 

 

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2. Neck zipper… Added to allow venting in warm weather. A zipper may seem like a minor detail, but we assure you it is not. Spring weather is unpredictable. Often times, it will be chilly in the morning and warm up by the end of the hunt. A zipper gives this shirt the extra versatility you need when the weatherman is wrong.

 

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3. 3 compartment lumbar pocket system… You can never have too many pockets. Our signature lumbar pockets along the backside of the Ultra Backcountry shirt make it easy to drop everything and make a quick stalk. When the birds won’t come to you, you may have to go to them. Our lumbar pockets are perfect for stowing small gadgets such as calls, range finders, wind detectors, extra shotgun shells… You name it.

Want an Ultra Backcountry shirt of your own? Get it here! http://www.proishunting.com/shop/clearance/ultra-backcountry-shirt/