Latest Blog Posts

Megan DeHaan’s Gorgeous Non-Typical Archery Buck!!

By Prois Hunt Staffer Megan DeHaan

 

Who woulda thunk….. A few days after I send in my Prois Award entry with a story about this buck I haven’t arrowed yet…..I GOT HIM!!

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I had pictures of this buck in our game camera several times before season. I had him patterned, everything was good to go. My husband even saw him opening day and passed knowing that I really wanted to shoot him. The next day I saw him but he never gave me an opportunity to shoot. There was either a tree in front of his vitals or he was quartering too me. I kept trying and after that day he vanished and I thought he would never show up. I went out several times and never found him again, until last night! I can thank my son, who as I left gave me a sticker to wear and said it was good luck. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had a nice four point come in and I was going to set up to shoot and out of the corner of my eye MY BUCK!!!! My adrenaline was already pumping, I knew the deer were kinda jumpy that night so I didn’t hesitate, I drew back, he walked away a bit, stood behind some trees, it seemed to take forever but finally about a minute after I drew back, he stopped broadside. THWAP!! He jumped, ran to the middle of the field, started getting top-heavy, and stood there. I knew it was a good shot.  I waited and waited to make sure to give him time and it ended up getting too dark to see so I pulled out of there for safe measure. I went back about 30 minutes later and he went about 20 more yards and had died. I GOT HIM!!!!! I’m so elated. As you can see he has an extra split sort of main beam. He sticks out like a sore thumb, so unique I couldn’t pass him up! Thank you PROIS for such Badass camouflage!!!!!! He couldn’t see a thing!!!

A Day in the Life of a Huntress – Prois Hunt Staffer Nancy Rodriguez

As I wait for my husband Joe, and friend Jon, to shoulder their backpacks at the trailhead, I glance at my watch and read 6:05 pm. I realize we won’t reach our destination on the mountain until well after midnight. The temperature is hot, 85 degrees and the heat is relentless. I sling my backpack over my shoulders and suddenly feel compressed.  While adjusting my backpack, I try to mentally prepare for the 8 mile trek ahead.

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And so it begins…one foot in front of the other with the synchronous movement of hiking sticks. Joe, Jon, and I, chat and laugh as we kick up dust and close the distance to our camp. The miles pass and the chattering quiets, sweat pours, hearts pound, and legs burn. We make it across the stream crossing and continue on. As the day turns to dusk and the sun starts to wake up the other side of the earth, I take a moment to embrace the grand landscape. My body aches, but the high country scenery keeps me going. The long stretches of trail become longer and the switchbacks become steeper. With each deep breath taken and each boot track laid, I remind myself of why we are doing this.

With my Prois camos covered in salty sweat and dirt layered from miles of trail, I wonder if I will ever be able to wash the stink out of them. My toes have turned into flaming hot chee-toes and my belt/pack combo has sanded a patch of skin off my lower back. That will surely have to be changed before the season! As the sun vanishes into the valley below, I make sure my hiking position is in between Joe and Jon. I’m certain any predator we surprise in the dark, will surely grow tired of chewing on their salty hides, and move on before it gets to me!

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Under the starry sky, we break off trail and now the real work starts. We navigate our way by light of headlamps through waist high sage brush and mule’s ear. Climbing up and down old lava fields and sinking in patches of mud pooled from snow runoff, we slowly make our way to the head of the drainage.

At midnight we have finally arrived at the spring where we will get our camp water supply. We figure we each need an additional 1 ½ gallons to make it through the next 2 1/2 days of our scouting trip. We will definitely be rationing water. We peel off our backpacks and pull out our Platypus water bottles. With our clothes soaked from sweat, the cool mountain air starts to chill us, and my teeth begin to chatter. We quickly fill our bottles with fresh mountain spring water, straight from the source. Loaded down with the extra water, we slowly make the final climb to camp.

It’s now after 1 am and we have finally made it to our camp spot. Like 3 zombies, we set up our tents, throw in our sleeping bags, and hang our food in a nearby tree. After chipping off our funky clothes, we crawl into our home away from home. Before Joe can finish setting his watch alarm to wake us in 3 hours, I am in a deep slumber. Whhhyyy?

The answer becomes perfectly clear at sunrise. With the Jetboil by my side, heating up my morning coffee, I take in the view from the mountain top. The electric purple lupine cover the rim of the basin, the twinkle of dew drops dance across pine needles, and the mountain birds start their morning songs. Chipmunks start to scurry about, as a butterfly lands on our spotting scope. It is surely enjoying the mineral remnants left by our sweaty hands.

Sitting for a moment, I take in a deep tranquil breath. I slowly put my eye to the spotting scope and start to scan the large aspen filled basin below. I work in a grid pattern, searching every contour, rocky crag, and shadow. Then they appear …the unmistakable brown fuzzy velvet covered antlers of a mule deer buck!

I am home at last.

 

 

The Best Handgun Shooting Advice EVER!

And that’s it!!  This down and dirty diagram will help with your right and left wandering.  Finger tip placement is key.  Once you identify if you have shot wander, check your finger placement and adjust.  This should solve your problems!

 

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Bowfishing Association of America’s (BAA) World Championship

By Prois Staffer Gretchen Steele

Hundreds of bowfishers, and a total of 72 boats descended on Aurora, Kentucky for a record setting Bowfishing Association of America’s (BAA) World Championship tournament, and Prois was there!

A summer spent bowfishing almost daily, participating in other smaller tournaments, culminated in a great weekend in Aurora, Kentucky at “The Worlds” .

Team Back-N-Black at the BAA World Championships

Team Back-N-Black at the BAA World Championships

Said BAA Points/Sanctioning Chairman Amanda Nichols, “Kentucky always has the biggest turnout for the World’s, but this year was the record year so far for turnout for any of the World’s tourneys. This is the biggest World’s to date and we would like to thank everyone for their support and participation in the 2014 BAA World Championship. Without all of the bowfishermen and the supporters we couldn’t have done it. Big thanks to Marshall County for all the support and donations towards this event. ”

 

Teammate Amy Pease checking her bow pre tournament

Teammate Amy Pease checking her bow pre tournament

The BAA’s World championship Tournament brings the best of the best bowfishers from across the country to compete for 14,000 dollars in prize money. The first place winning teams in the Big 20 Division and Numbers Division both went home 3,000 dollars richer and payouts were also made to those in the top five slots.

 

But “The World’s” as it is referred to by bowfishers is much more than just another tournament, and just another purse. It’s a full blown weekend event that gives bowfishers from across the country a weekend together filled with friendship, fellowship and fun. For many it is the one event of the year where all of their bowfishing buddies are in one place.

 

 So thrilled to receive my flopper stopper from "The Shot"

So thrilled to receive my flopper stopper from “The Shot”

As it was close to my birthday, several bowfishing pals brought good luck/ birthday gifts, including a most special gift from bowfishing icon “The Shot” Willett. Shot, as he is known on the tournament circuit and in the bowfishing community, presented me with my own “Wild Woman Flopper Stopper” Receiving a flopper stopper from shot is true sign that one has arrived so to speak in the bowfishing world. My team mate and fellow badass Amy made sure that I had my traditional “ducky” pre tournament good luck present and few things to celebrate our participation in the prestigious worlds. Seriously, doesn’t everyone bowfish in a camo feather boa????

 

Photo Courtesy of Amy Pease

Photo Courtesy of Amy Pease

For the communities that that host the World’s it’s a huge influx to the local economy. “It’s hard dispute what we bring in, when that guy with the truck and airboat walks into to your gas station and slaps 4 hundred dollar bills down just for fuel. “ Said Mark Lee, President of BAA. Lee further pointed out the economic benefits to the community in dollars spent on lodging, meals, and trips to local shops for last minute items. Additionally local civic groups can help fill their organizations coffers by providing food, drinks, etc. at the tournament site.

At this year’s Worlds the Aurora Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary were kept hopping serving up food both before and after the tournament. “We are just thrilled to have the bowfishers in Aurora – we had the Kentucky State Shoot here earlier this year and we loved every minute of it. We couldn’t wait for the Worlds to get here. Our small community is suffering, just like so many, and the bowfishers bring us so much! “Said a representative from the ladies auxiliary.

Weigh in went smoothly by utilizing three stations

Weigh in went smoothly by utilizing three stations

That sentiment was echoed by Tammy Nanney from nearby KenLake State Park Resort where “all those big bowfishing boats” were the talk of the resort guests and staff. Nanney pointed out that bowfishing at Kentucky Lakes is excellent, sporting some of the largest big head carp in the Midwest, and the myriad of available Kentucky Parks lodging options from camping to cottages to resort level are always welcoming to those who plan a bowfishing vacation at Kentucky Lakes.

The tournament was truly a community affair, with many from Kentucky Lakes area coming out to talk with bowfishers, ogle the boats and equipment on display and to watch well-orchestrated take off of 72 boats.

Chatting with one of bowfishing’s young stars, Kenzie Taylor and complimenting her on the way she represents bowfishing and sets such a great example for young women bowfishers.

Chatting with one of bowfishing’s young stars, Kenzie Taylor and complimenting her on the way she represents bowfishing and sets such a great example for young women bowfishers.

Companies and industries affiliated with the bowfishing community also recognize the importance of the World’s as a premier bowfishing event and provided excellent in kind and monetary support. For instance, PowerTran donated a full system as a prize in a side competition sponsored by their company.

This year’s successful BAA World Championship proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that bowfishing has arrived as a legitimate outdoor sport and is no longer considered fringe, redneck, or a bunch of goofballs with bows chasing fish in the dead of night. It requires specialized equipment, specialized skills, and is a great conservation tool for the removal of injurious and invasive species.

Barnes Twins 3-Gunning it up!

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This past weekend concluded our three gun competitions for the summer with 4 weeks of competitions in a row. We have learned a lot about the sport of 3 gun in the past month (mostly through trial & error during matches) that will help us to improve in the future. We started out at the JP Rocky Mountain 3 gun in New Mexico (4th & 5th Tactical Lady, 43rd & 52nd Overal Tactical), then traveled to Bend, Oregon for the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 gun, then it was on to the Brownells Rockcastle 3 gun ProAm in Kentucky (6th & 8th Lady, 126 & 131 Overal) and finally the Noveske Area 2 Championships in Byers, CO (4th & 5th Tac Lady, 32nd & 39th Tactical Overal). These were our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th major 3 gun matches and we saw huge gains with each match. At each match we improved our best stages ranking higher and higher towards the top of the pack and had more consistent stages as well as having fewer bad stages. We now have a week to train for the Trijocon World Shooting Championships that will be held in West Virginia. This fall we’ll head to the 3 Gun Nation Southwest Regional Championships in Texas in October followed by the Lady 3 gun match in Georgia at the end of October. We are confident that with some more training this fall we can continue to make huge gains in 3 gun.

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We also have a packed schedule of courses for the T.O.P Shooting Institute this fall and into the winter. We just finished 2 classes for competitive shooters in Colorado & Kentucky that were a huge success. This fall we have a slew of competitive shooting courses around Colorado, Utah, & New Mexico. We’ll also be starting to work with a bunch of military units out of Fort Carson, CO as well as FBI from California and special forces units from Georgia who will be coming to work with us in Durango.

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PRÓIS® HUNTING & FIELD APPAREL OFFERS DIFFERENCE-MAKING MARKETING TOOLS

Company Employs Home Hunting Party and Personal Shopping Assistant Programs to Deliver Customized Services and Products to Female Hunters

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Newsflash! Female hunters are here to stay, our numbers are growing and we’re tired of wearing oversized and ill-fitting men’s gear. Here to save the day, Próis® Hunting & Field Apparel has developed a complete line of superior hunting clothes to give female hunters what they want, and need – high performance gear made for their bodies so they can focus on hitting targets and taking down game, big and small.  To go hand-and-hand with its high-performance product, Próis promises paramount service.  As part of this pledge, the company has built a number of programs to deliver tailored service to female hunters including its Home Hunting Party and Personal Shopping Assistant Programs.

There’s no party like a Próis Hunting Party!  No boring Tupperware here, Próis invites its best customers and what we expect are some of the country’s brightest female hunters to embrace what they love to earn free Próis gear and bring home the bacon.  It’s as simple as signing up, setting a party date and then, well, throwing a party.  Hosts can earn cash, free product and on top of it all, both the hosts and guests will see significant savings on all purchases. There is no commitment, contract or financial commitment other than the cost of a small box being shipped to your house with samples.  The 2014 party theme is “The Bear Necessities” – yes — hpl– but it’s a party, so go with it!

Próis aims to be where female hunters need us and the Personal Shopping Assistant Program was designed to do exactly this.  The concierge program, for outfitters and lodge owners, allows our experts to be your experts, giving your clientele customized attention.  Everyone loves to be “hooked up” by an expert.  Let our knowledgeable professionals choose exactly what your guests need for their excursion based on what they will be hunting, where they will be, for how long and all the rest of the details.  All your clients will receive a discount, plus you’ll get a percentage of the sales either in cash or merchandise.  Those signed up for the program – guides, lodge owners, personal outfitters – will also receive a discount on all merchandise purchased for themselves.  Program participants receive marketing support in the way of catalogs, signage and other advertising materials.  The program is a no-brainer with no minimums, no contract and no commitment.

A number of recent studies show retailers can benefit by catering to an increasing number of women hunters.  Current research shows not only is the average hunter spending more money a year, that hunter is becoming more and more likely to be a woman, a trend retailers across the nation should pay attention to according to experts.  The most recent U.S. Census Bureau found there are 13.7 million hunters in the nation – 11 percent of them are women.  A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a national survey that indicated 13.7 million hunters spent 38.3 billion dollars on hunting.  That translates to 4.2 billion dollars spent by women alone.

Próis was created for women, by women and they are proud to serve as the premier manufacturer of hardcore women’s hunting 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.

For more information, contact: Próis Hunting and Field Apparel, 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 · (970) 641-3355 ·

Or visit: www.proishunting.com.  Próis has garnered a great following of men and women throughout the industry through their wacky shenanigans and humor.  Fondly called the Próis Posse, the Próis followers ramp up the craziness each day. Keep up with our lovably wacky team through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  Warning:  Próis social media is not for the faint of heart….and “your mom” is not really your mom…it’s a metaphorical mom.  You can also check out the latest updates on Próis field and pro staff and company news via the Próis blog.

How Road Kill Rabbit Stew Led to My Western Elk Hunt Honeymoon…by 2013 Prois Award Finalist Sheri Coker

How Road Kill Rabbit Stew Led to My Western Elk Hunt Honeymoon…

Weddin' Worthy Rabbit Stew

My first, but certainly not my last Western hunting adventure had humble beginnings. I grew up hunting and fishing the hills of Arkansas.  As a child my dad stuck me on deer stands and put fishing rods in my hands until the outdoor passion became engrained in my weird, multifaceted personality.  I was told that every Southern woman worth her salt should be able to accurately shoot any weapon she was handed, skin any animal without a flinch, and back a boat on a dime.  I’m worth my salt. My undergraduate degree was in biology, but my master’s in dance, yes DANCE, so even today, I continue to priss through the woods, daintily leaping over logs and gingerly performing dance steps over the slippery rocks of rushing creeks to commandeer my game.

My 90 year old Grandma Hill would have target practice with a paper plate stuck in the top of an old cedar tree so that “When I want rabbit stew, I can just go out and get one!”  My boyfriend accidentally ran over a swamp rabbit one rainy night.  If you aren’t familiar with swamp rabbits, then let me tell you those rascals are like a cottontail on steroids!  The poor thing was expired but intact, so I suggested he pitch it in the back of his truck.  Once home, I proceeded to make the best road kill stew out of that rabbit that he had ever put in his sweet little mouth! After dating for over two years, THIS was the push over the top for the immediate marriage proposal.  Really?  If I’d known that was all it took, I might have frequented the back roads in search of those hippity hoppity creatures myself, screeching through the darkness, weaving to and fro at speeds not unlike Dale Earnheardt!  At any rate, in two months we were wed and bear hunting and halibut fishing on Prince William Sound, Alaska.  But that is a story for another day!

The second portion of our honeymoon, we decided, would be that elk hunt we had both dreamed of for years.  We planned.  We schemed.  We trained.  We contacted a good friend from Alaska who is wise in the “Elkin Way.”  He flew to Utah, where we drove 22 hours to meet him, continuing on to a section of public land in the backcountry of Idaho.  Folks, Idaho is a long way from Arkansas!  We loaded our supplies and headed up, up, and up to our chosen base camp location, from which we would hike twice daily for eleven days of hard, concentrated hunting.  We climbed about 2000 vertical feet per day, and at 5′ 2″ and about 115, I still lost 12 pounds.  Ladies, I discovered that elk hunting is a great way for a woman to stay in those “skinny jeans!”

On our first hunt, we excitedly hiked down to a canyon that cornered up to a section of private land.  Pointed out to us was the approximate whereabouts of an elusive fence line, beyond which we were not allowed to shoot an elk.  That very first crisp, cold morning, a group of handsome bulls came bounding out of the golden glow of aspens at the bottom of that canyon, and I thought my rifle would shake right out of my hands!  They put on a tremendous show, unlike anything I’d ever witnessed. However, they were at a distance and quite obviously on private land, so I raised up to get a better look.  When I did, I happened to see movement below, catching 13 cows waltzing down a trail right under me.  Not legal!  Oh well.  But what a first hunt!

Later that morning, out from the trees on the ridge across from us, 400 yards away, meandered a little spike bull.  I watched him.  I wondered.  I realized I had forgotten to discuss the efficacy of shooting a spike.  In whitetail hunting, where I come from, you get in trouble back at camp for shooting a spike and I did NOT want to be the one on the hot seat!  I’m a goody two shoes girl who implicitly follows the unspoken rules of the hunt!  So, I crunched on potato chips and crispy apples and made enough racket that I’m surprised it didn’t echo across the canyon and send that little spike into a run for his life.  I decided then and there that I was really gonna like elk hunting if I could consume enormous amounts of loud food while doing so.  I like to eat.  A lot.  At home, I would have sat motionless and starving, for fear the smell, noise or movement would’ve scared away my prey.  In the end, I chose not to take the spike, for fear of retribution back at the base camp.  Turns out I was wrong and they would’ve been thrilled for me to have harvested the meat.  Well, darn the luck.

My husband and I would be the first to leave camp and the last to return each day, but still no elk to haul back.  We continued to see elk, but all cows or bulls on private land.  Or were they?  Exactly where WAS that fence line?  I was looking pretty rough by the 10th day without washing my hair and my fourth day wearing the same ratty tee shirt.  It didn’t help my femininity that our host’s girlfriend was driven up to camp wearing her perfectly matching hi tech outdoor garb with her perfectly styled hair blowing in the wind, flashing her blindingly white teeth, while batting her doe-like false eyelashes and exclaiming, “Oh Baby, isn’t this fun?  It’s like we are really camping or something!”  I thought, “Oooooh, yes, “Baby,” it is SOMETHING alright.”  Grrrr.  It made me even more determined to get my elk!

We were now on the next to last day with my chances of getting an elk slipping away. I was crouched stiffly in my spot, freezing my butt off at the crack of a nippy dawn and finally decided to warm up with a little jig across the ridge to check out that fence line position once and for all.  I eventually figured out that elk are not like whitetails, but are nomadic, and I could investigate the fence line without being too awfully concerned about never seeing an elk there again.  I know.  “Duh!” all you Western hunters are saying.

As I crept down the fence line from the top of the ridge, I heard a cow call, and as I watched in amazement, I saw a magnificent bull step out from behind a tall spruce in the distance.  My heart was POUNDING.  I put my crosshairs on him but I couldn’t pull the trigger.  I didn’t know where he was in relation to that fence line marking private ground.  I frantically scoured the hillside with my binoculars, looking for that tiny strand of barbed wire.  Hurriedly, I would glance back to my elk.  He was just leisurely nibbling at leaves, giving me one broadside shot opportunity after another.  Having this beautiful creature in my crosshairs again and again for 10-15 seconds at a time and not being able to pull the trigger for fear of violating private ground was killing me.  I watched, tears rolling down my face as he disappeared over the next ridge.  I followed that lone barbed wire strand to find he had been on my side of the fence for a long while.  I kneeled down and sobbed.

He was the last elk I saw on my first Western hunt.  Next year, the first day, I’m marking that fence with bright, neon ribbon tied in great big bows that will glow in the light and flap in the wind!  I’m considering battery powered blinking lights.  The first legal elk that is dumb enough to step into my sites will be headed for my freezer.  I will even pack an extra clean hat in case “Baby” comes up from civilization to spend day 10 with us.  Oooooh yes.  I am now addicted to the Western hunt.

The Off Season

By Megan DeHaan

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For some, we live by seasons, as a rancher I feel like my life revolves around this idea. There’s calving season, haying season, hunting season, feeding season, repeat. Everything else depends on the weather, the cows, the kids, the old man…. So, for my sanity I have a few “musts” to fill in the blanks. Trail running is one of them. In one way it’s my alone time. The time I get during hunting season that I dearly love, to be at one with nature and my thoughts. So in the “off season” I go out. The other reason is simply because if I don’t, then all winter I just mope around feeling sorry for myself wishing it was fall and I was hunting. Yes I run in the winter, yes it gets cold, no, it doesn’t bother me, yes, I know, I’m that weird person who runs in the snow and rain and thoroughly enjoys it! The alternative would be letting old man winter control you and waste all that time you took to get into shape for hunting season and avoid your skinny jeans because you know they wont fit.

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Some people really just don’t enjoy running I’ve been told. Well I didn’t either at one time. I decided one day I was going to. So I went running. And I hated it. So I tried again, still hated it. Until one day I realized, maybe I should try out actual running attire? So I went out and bought new running shoes from an actual running store. Holy moly did that make a difference! It’s the same thing as trying to just wear your husbands hunting clothing. You could, but have fun with that….most likely they won’t fit, and it will be just like trying to trail run in jeans and boots. So naturally I started seeking out running clothes. Let me be clear, not all running clothes are created equal. Just because they say “running shorts” does not mean they aren’t going to hike up your butt crack and expose your underside. Also “technical” doesn’t even really mean its going to work as well as you think. Some times it means “technically we call these shorts technical, but really there just technically/kinda running shorts”. You have to pick and choose. I found that my hunting clothing was working better than some of my running gear. Mainly because almost all my hunting gear is Prois, and it’s all made specifically for us women who demand performance. So eventually I became “that gal who’s always in camo at races”. Prois carries an “ultra hoodie” and it’s ultra wonderful. I wear it all winter, and for warm-up and for early races. They also have the ultra short sleeve that works great as well for any mid temperature days. I almost always run with a visor and it just so happens, Prois carries my favorite. Last but not least they carry the turas sleeveless shirt that works great for hot days. This helps me out a lot because my hunting wardrobe and gear gets its own room in our house, so my running gear could save some room by being multi purpose, and what husband doesn’t like saving money on his wife’s habits?

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Turns out road running can get pretty boring after awhile and is why I turned to trail running among many other reasons. My first race was the Bridger Ridge Run in Bozeman, MT. It’s rated one of the top ten bucket list races by Trail Runners Magazine and its also rated one of the hardest races in the country. Once I realized I was capable of completing such a race without dying, my motivation went from simply staying in shape for hunting season, to an obsession with the sport. I’ve completed several trail races in the past years and my list keeps getting longer of new ones I’d like to try. If you have the right gear, the will, and shear determination, anything is possible. If your stuck and need some motivation, or a new direction with your fitness, or simply need to get your butt in gear because you drew a great tag this hunting season and it requires a LOT of physically demanding terrain. Then start trail running! Heck, even look me up and I can help you get started. Call the Prois gals, they will hook you up with some great gear for running and hunting. Most importantly, find something that you enjoy in the off season to keep you busy, and in shape! That way when hunting season comes around and that trigger finger gets unbearable, you know your in shape and ready at any moment!