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Until We Meet Again

by Nancy Rodriguez

What is it that draws us to venture into the backcountry? Is it the burning muscles and strained lungs that help get us to the top of the mountain? Is it the sweat soaked clothes that will never be the same after the journey? Is it the desire to sleep on dirt, tuck into a claustrophobic mummy bag, and surround ourselves with a paper thin home away from home? Maybe it’s the exciting (OK…maybe frightening) sudden lightning storms that roll through the high country on warm summer days. Perhaps it’s the hummingbird size mosquitoes that latch on to every inch of exposed skin, trying to drain us like a juice box. NancyRodriguez2

It’s clear spending time in the backcountry is a paradox. It’s a balance between discomfort and the pleasure of feeling completely at ease and at “home”.

Summer is the time that my husband Joe and I love some backcountry therapy, so we are venturing into the Eastern Sierra’s of California on a hiking and fishing excursion. Our hike will take us to several high mountain lakes around 10,000 feet in elevation. This will be a great way to get our legs and lungs ready for the hunting season ahead.

As the miles pass under our boots, Mother Nature’s beauty encompasses us and I know there is nowhere else I would rather be. Huge rocky spires still covered in snow tower above. Spring rains have brought vibrant lush green foliage and Skittle colored wildflowers to the surrounding hills. Yellow, orange, and purple butterflies dance about while they guide us up the mountain. Birds sing, play, and bathe in the trailside snow runoff. A fluffy marmot scurries across a granite boulder in front of us. Nature’s beauty acts as a mild anesthetic, numbing the pain on our bodies but only for a little while. As we crest the final ridge we begin to feel energized. There before us lies an electric blue high mountain lake with sun lit diamonds dancing across the surface. Avalanche chutes are carved in the remaining snow as waterfalls pour from them into the lake below. I’m not sure why, but colors always seem more brilliant in the backcountry. The view nearly takes my breath away. Before long I see a ripple break the surface of the water and I feel an overwhelming urge to wet a line, but the fish will have to wait… for now. With dark clouds building on the ridges above, we should find a camp site first.NancyRodriguez4

Two tired and happy backpackers weave in and out of the dense pine forest and climb across large granite boulders until we find a camp site. A perfect flat spot amongst the short green grass and wildflowers is calling to our tent. The spot has a 360 degree unobstructed view of pure beauty and will make a perfect home for the next four days. We quickly set up our camp like we have done a hundred times before. The tent is set, water purifier hung, bear containers packed with food, and our essentials tucked away in their temporary homes. Looking out across the lake we embrace the peace and solitude.

The scramble down to the water’s edge is full of excitement and childhood wonder. Our lines are tossed in unison as we try to decide what the fish will hit. Our spoons and jigs dance through the water until one of us feels the unmistakable tug on the line and a beautiful trout breaks the surface. “Fish On” echoes in the silenNancyRodriguez3ce as I look down the shore and watch my husband smile and reel in the first fish. Many more follow.

As the sky starts it’s nightly sunset ritual, we sit crossed legged on the dirt enjoying the show. We dine on a gourmet meal of fresh trout as twinkling stars start to appear in the night sky and moonlight reflects across the lake. We snuggle together listening to the distant waterfall and taking in this perfect summer night.

After a blissful night sleep, the morning birds start to sing and gently stir us from our mountain slumber. The cool air fills my lungs; I wipe the sleep from my eyes and heat water for my morning coffee. Joe and I perch ourselves on a rock and cradle warm mugs as we watch the mountains wake up. I swear my coffee has never tasted so good. After breakfast, we lace up our boots, throw on our packs, and grab our fishing poles.NancyRodriguez1

Our boots burn through miles of dirt over the next few days as we search out different high mountain lakes. The fishing is out of this world and we feel our batteries recharge.

It’s hard to say goodbye to this beautiful place. With our backpacks loaded and hiking sticks in hand, Joe and I gaze out at the gorgeous beauty of the backcountry. We give our thanks for all that Mother Nature gives to us…a beautiful journey through life. We head down the trail and I glance back one last time…Until we meet again.

SET YOUR SIGHTS ON PROIS HUNTING APPAREL’S ARCHERY PRODUCTS

Capture

Prois Aims to Please with the Most Functional Women’s Hunting Gear on the Market

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for; Archery season is finally within reach and it feels so good. As always, Prois Hunting Apparel has got you covered (literally) with the most functional women’s hunting apparel on the market. Take a peek at the gear Prois suggests for bow season.

A good pair of pants can make or break your hunting experience. Prois Ultra Pants are constructed of durable, 100% polyester brushed tricot fabric, which will ensure a comfortable fit that you’ll love more and more each time you wear them. Large cargo pockets with magnetic snap closures provide plenty of room for storage of extra gear. Cordlock cinches cuff closer to the boot during the hunt. The Ultra Pants are fitted just below the natural waistline and feature knee pleats for ease of movement when sitting, squatting, and stalking. You can find Prois’ Ultra Pants in sizes XS-XL and in Realtree AP or Max1.

Pair the Ultra Pants with Prois’ most popular jacket, the Pro-Edition. The Prois Pro-Edition jacket is a must have as the temperatures begin to plummet. It features a water resistant and wind-stopping laminate shell and is made of compressed fabric, making it easy to store in your pack as needed. It is constructed of a soft exterior, making you the ultimate silent assassin. Deep set hand pockets and a lumbar compartment make extra gear easy to access or stow while on the move. It also features a 3-panel removable hood and scapular drop pockets located between the shoulder blades to hold activated heat packs. The Pro-Edition jacket comes in sizes XS-XXL and in Realtree Max1, Realtree AP, and Mountain Mimicry.

New for 2016, Próis Galleann rain jacket and pants are the company’s premium, technical rain suit and have been scientifically designed to be the most functional and durable rain gear in the industry. Constructed from 100 percent polyester 20,000 / 10,000 laminate, Galleann Rain gear is extremely lightweight and completely waterproof – always important whether it’s drizzling or an all-out storm. Whether sitting, squatting, lying down, or even running, this jacket and pant combo is designed to move seamlessly with you. What’s more, they are built to be silent when performing all these actions. Finally, their breathable fabric allows you to remain as dry as possible.

Get all of these items and more at www.proishunting.com or call (970) 641-3355 to receive additional advice from the staff on recommended sizing and camo patterns.

Prois 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: Prois Hunting and Field Apparel, 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 · (970) 641-3355 · Or visit: www.proishunting.com

Feeling A Bit Sheepish…T Minus 28 days…but who’s counting?

By: Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting Apparel for Women

Kirstie Pike- Prois CEO

Kirstie Pike- Prois CEO

It’s crazy, but time is flying by but is also standing still as I am getting ready for my upcoming sheep hunt!  Is it weird that I stare at the calendar and mouth breathe?

28 days left.   Four weeks to be exact.  40,320 minutes to be more precise.

Preparation for this hunt has by far been the most work yet the most fun.  We have been working hard to prepare and I am really thankful to have this time as we have had great opportunity to evaluate our plans and make changes accordingly prior to the hunt.

Scouting.  We have spent every available weekend scouting the high country.  We are glassing and watching.  Glassing and watching.  Oh…and hiking.  Holy Mother of God are we hiking!  While this is country I have been in many different times, it has been a great experience looking at it from entirely different perspectives.  There really is a much different level of interest and excitement than I experience with elk and even deer hunting.  This is awesome.

Access Points.  Undoubtedly, sheep hunting is strenuous and intense.  The vertical climbs and terrain changes can be difficult and sometimes downright dangerous.  We have spent many hours identifying prospective access points for ascent.  While some vantage points may appear to be good routes, often times they are not as easy as they would seem.  After scouting numerous peaks, we are finally feeling good about our best ascent routes and options.  But then again, at 12,000 feet, nothing feels terrific and guppy breathing is pretty common. IMG_1186

Camp Sites.  We almost always choose to pack into remote camps via horseback for most of our hunting ventures.  We will be doing this again with this hunt as we are packing in eight miles deep.  However, for this particular hunt we have opted to have someone take the horses out for us as soon as we drop the packs.  The horses become a distraction we don’t particularly want to deal with during this hunt.  We will be hitting the ridges at 4:30 in the morning and most likely not returning until after dark.  While it doesn’t particularly excite me not to have a “get away car”, it will be much easier for us to concentrate on hunting.   We have identified a well-protected site with plenty of water that gets us a bit further up the peak.  Interestingly, last weekend we packed in and stayed where we had originally thought to place our camp.  While initially this camp seemed perfect, the access was much, much further and steeper than we had predicted.  Thankfully we spent that time in the camp prior to the hunt so we could really look at our options before we were committed on the hunt.

Gear Preparation.  We keep a very condensed collection of gear we use when we pack into the high country.  It has been very good to get out and spend time using all of it.  Through our camping excursions we have been able to discuss how to make our gear as minimal and efficient as possible.  While I thought we kept it all pretty minimal, we have found some great ways to make it even more so.  I have also had time to really evaluate what clothing I need to take.  I can truly reduce my needs by about half of what I had previously planned.  This is a huge space and weight savings.  By dialing down the optimal clothing systems, I have planned on the following for a week in the high country:

  1. Galleann Rain Pants
  2. Gallean Rain Jacket
  3. Archtach Down Jacket
  4. 1 x Ultra Pants
  5. 1 x Adventure Pants
  6. 2 x Merino long underwear
  7. 2 Merino long sleeve shirts
  8. 2 Merino tank tops
  9. 2 Merino sports bras/underwear
  10. Beanie/Neck Gaitor
  11. 3 x Incredisocks
  12. Kennetrek gaiters
  13. Zamberlan Vioz boots

So…as we get closer you will hear more of my incessant ramblings about counting days and counting sheep!  Have I mentioned it’s only 28 days away?
 

 

Clear Your Freezer Recipes! Bacon Wrapped Mini-Meatloaf

This is perfect for the remaining burger you may still have in your freezer!  Check it out!

Bacon Wrapped Mini Meatloaf

Bacon Wrapped Mini Meatloaf

INGREDIENTS

Feeling A Bit Sheepish…T Minus 40 Days And Counting

By:  Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

I’m elated.  I drew my Big Horn Sheep tag for Colorado after 14 years.  I still can’t believe I actually get to hunt one of these magnificent creatures.

Working on some scouting time...

Working on some scouting time…

Now the work has begun.  It is, however, a labor of love.   In preparation, there have been a number of measures we have been taking to prepare.  Well, constructive measures that extend beyond my constant babble about how excited I am.

  1. Getting into optimal physical fitness for sheep season is paramount.  I’m not saying you need to pack 50 pounds of rocks in your pack and grunt up every mountain within range.  I am saying, however, spending time exerting oneself at altitude is extremely important.  Even though we reside around 8,000 feet here in Gunnison, the peaks we will be hunting extend to 11,000+ feet.  There is indeed a difference in exertion at the higher altitudes that even affect those of us who reside at high altitude.  Personally, I have switched my workout routines from running to higher intensity hiking during the week, then altitude hiking while scouting on the weekends.  Core and arm training are equally important.
  2. We’ve spent every available weekend scouting various vantage points, ascents and access points.  It is key to have a good perspective of the entire region and the best routes to accommodate animal movement and patterns.  This takes accessing the region from different points, identifying possible re-routing and identifying alternative camp positions.  We have several more weekends to get additional  information.
  3. Oh mercy is this ever important.  While I feel I am a good shot to a general distance of 350-400 yards, I need to practice to longer reaches.  I will be using my husband’s 300 ultra mag for this hunt and I want to ensure I have complete confidence in myself and the firearm.  We will be setting up a practice range that affords me the opportunity to practice at longer distances as well as elevation shots.  Stay tuned.

Gearing up.  As this hunt is definitely remote, we are starting to rummage through all of our gear to ensure water filters are working, sleeping pads are intact, JetBoil’s work and tent is in good condition.  We also spend this time stocking up on Mountain House meals, fuel canisters and replaceable items from our packs.  We also start thinking about accumulating ammo for the hunt and target practice.

So this is where we are so far.  Working forward to this amazing hunt!  Stay tuned.

A Word From the CEO- Parties Are Always Fun…So Host A Home Hunting Party With Prois!

In our efforts to get to the grassroots, we created the Prois Home Hunting Party!  I know, life is a party when it comes to Prois…and what better way to embody that philosophy than to host a Prois Home Hunting Party!

So…here is some clarity on this awesome program!

Who is eligible to become a Hunting Party Consultant?

You are!  Prois is in search of women like you who are energetic and outgoing. A love for the outdoors, hunting and shooting is a must, and well……..a love for PROIS!!

How do I become a Hunting Party Consultant?

Contact us here at Prois and we will get you started. You can call if you want (970) 641-3355 OR email our HHP Coordinator at Katherine@proishunting.com.

IMG_8022How do I prepare for my own party?

Once you’ve contacted Prois, our Home Hunting Party Coordinator Paige Murphy will help you identify what gear may be best suited for your geographic region and the wishes of you and your friends.  We will send a small package that includes your samples, postcard invitations, catalogs, promo code, current stock list and ordering instructions. If you choose for items to be on loan the sample package will NOT be charged to you but, the cost of the package will be authorized and held on your credit card until the samples are returned to Prois. We have to package options. The Prois Posse Package ($500 HOLD) or the Prois Pro Package ($1000 HOLD). All you have to pay for up front is the shipping of your sample box. If you choose to purchase your sample package you will be charged MSRP minus 20% plus the cost of shipping.

So…what’s in it for the hostess??

Well, not only do you get to have a party and that is always a good thing…you will earn a whopping 20% of total sales from your party that can be applied toward your own purchase or you can take your 20% in the form of a paycheck!!  Also, the hostess receives a 25% discount on any Prois gear she purchases for herself!!

And…what’s in it for my partygoers??

That’s an important question!! Not only do Partygoers get to attend your awesome party and try on some amazing Prois, they get 20% off their order/purchases placed at the party. Also, they will save big on shipping by only being charged $10.00 for orders over $50.00 and $5.00 for orders under $50.00!!

How do partygoers place orders??

We’re glad you asked.  It’s so easy.  Simply fill out the order forms that have been provided and e-mail, fax, or call in the orders to us!  You may also sell your samples at the party. Partygoers may also place orders online using a promo code that Prois will issue specifically for your party. The best part…we will ship orders out the very next day from Prois, so you do not need to go through the messy hassle of receiving a large order and delivering to your friends.  Again…this is so easy it hurts.

What do I do after all the fun has been had??

That’s pretty simple too…Just box up your sample package, send it back to Prois within two weeks of your party and think about having another party!!! If you have over $300.00 in party sales, Prois will pick up the bill on returning the sample package.

Is there any commitment?

Nope!  The best part about being a Home Hunting Party Consultant is that you can throw one party or one hundred parties.  It’s up to you. Just contact us whenever you want to throw a party and we will get you set to jet. This is fantastic for those who fear commitment.   You can throw a party whenever you want!  Think of the possibilities.  Prois Bridal Shower?  Why not.  Prois Christmas Party?  Absolutely.  Prois Groundhog Day Party?  Of Course!

Could it get any better than all that!?!

This is Prois…of course it could!  The consultant with the highest total sales for the year will earn an amazing prize package!! She will receive an awesome package of some of our most popular accessories that are usually not offered for purchase at parties!  The winner will receive a Badlands backpack, Zamberlan boots, Incredisocks, Prois decal, koozie, and an awesome Prois cap!! We will be providing a theme for parties each year.  Should you choose to use our themes to decorate and you send us photos of your shenanigans, you will be entered for a prize package of unspeakable value!! So…for 2016, our theme is…wait for it…“Badassery Defined!”  We have NO doubt that you can have some fun with this one!

Clear Your Freezer Recipes- Elk Chorizo Jalapenos

Elk Chorizo Jalepenos! Om nom nom...

Elk Chorizo Jalepenos! Om nom nom…

 

Elk Chorizo Jalapenos 

This is a great recipe for clearing out the remnants of your freezer before the next seasons hit.  If you have chorizo…use it!  If you don’t, season up  your elk burger in this recipe…it’s a delicious option especially if you do not prefer spicy meals!

Ingredients
1 lb. elk chorizo
Fresh jalapenos
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
2 cups Spanish rice
Directions:

1.    Prepare you grill with a two-zone fire, setting a hot side and a cooler side.

2.    Wash, stem, and core two dozen fresh jalapenos. Whip together the yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, and zest in a large bowl.

3.    Prepare Spanish rice.

4.    Brown elk chorizo in skillet, and drain on paper towels. Let cool slightly.

5.    Add the chorizo and Spanish rice to the cilantro-lime yogurt and mix thoroughly. Transfer chorizo mix into a zip-top baggie, remove excess air, and seal. Snip off one corner of the baggie, and use this to squeeze chorizo mix into the jalapenos.

6.    Grill over a hot fire for 10 to 15 minutes until lightly charred.

Wild Pork Loin

-11pd. Pork Loin
1 yellow onion
1/4 cup dion mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons of thyme

Salt and pepper your pork loin. Cut your onion in round sections. Line a flat pan with aluminum foil.
Add the onions so they lie under the pork loin. Mix the mustard, sugar and thyme. Add the mixture to the top and sides of the pork loin. Seal the pork loin up tightly so it steam cooks. Add to oven at 350 for 45 minutes.

Serves 3-5 people

Clear Your Freezer Recipes! Shredded Elk Sandwiches

As part of Big Game Preparation month at Prois, we are focusing on some great recipes to help you clear your freezer of your wild game remnants!

This is a great recipe for any roasts not yet used!  Give it a try!

Shredded Elk Sandwiches

Shredded Elk Sandwiches

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups ketchup

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon dry mustard powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons celery salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 drops hot pepper sauce

1 (4 pound) elk roast, cut in half

10 hamburger buns, split

~~ Directions~~

1. Whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard powder, lemon juice, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl. Place the elk roast into a large slow cooker, and pour the sauce over the top.

2. Cover, and cook on High until the meat shreds easily with a fork, about 5 hours. Shred, and serve on the hamburger buns.

A Word From the CEO- Bringing Gear to Life!

By Kirstie Pike- CEO

 I am often asked how it is that we develop a particular item for our gear lineup.  While this can be different from company to company…here is the down and dirty of Prois product development.

  1.  We identify a need.  We may do this based on personal preferences.  We may do this based on customer requests.  We may do this based on holes we have identified in the market.
  2. Research.  Once we determine which product we want to start developing, I spend quite a bit of time checking on the current market offerings.  If it already exists AND it bears any sort of conceptual comparison to what we are considering we will determine if there is a place in the market for the item we are creating.  If so, we move forward!  If not, we go back to the drawing board.

    Planning Chaos

    Organized Chaos

  3. We get the product development team working together on overall fit first.  We use a small development team of three people.  Having a larger team than that makes forward movement pretty much impossible!
  4. Once we have the key fit features determined, we add the technical features that we feel are most important.  This is actually the most fun part of product development.  It is where creativity really comes into our designs.
  5. We submit all of our information on to our manufacturer’s design coordinator.  From here, we determine fabrics, colors, fills, camouflage patterns, zippers, pulls, embroidery, etc…
  6. Prototype samples are completed and sent back for the design team review.  It is at this point we recreate the fit.  Add or eliminate features.  Change colors or fabrics.  Revise embroidery placement and color.  We assimilate the information and send that back to the manufacturer design coordinator.
  7. New prototype samples are issued and the design team takes to the garment again.  At this point, we push the garment into the field to give it a true test of endurance, fit and functionality.  Sometimes we actually pull a product at this stage if we feel it is not to the Prois standard of excellence.

    ...A garment takes form...

    The garment takes form!

  8. We assimilate more information and changes for revisions.  At this time, we are approving color dip samples, tag designs, care instructions, hang tags, folding patterns, bag/boxing details and fine-tuned details down to zipper pulls and snaps.
  9. A final prototype is issued for review.  Once the team all agrees on the garment, we issue the final order for production.

Interestingly, this process takes much longer than one would think.  For example, our Archtach down jackets took over a year to develop.  We have learned over the years to accept nothing short of perfection.  It can be really frustrating for all parties involved when we think we are about to pull the trigger on production- then we determine we need to make a very small change.  However, the end product shows our dedication to the process.

And soon a garment comes to life!

And soon a garment comes to life!

I believe one of the MOST satisfying aspects of this job is when our production lands in the warehouse and we actually get our hands on the finished products.  It is really satisfying to see a concept come to life.  It is even more satisfying when our customers love the product as well.  As crazy as it sounds, it is a very personal experience.

So what is coming next for Prois product development?  Stay tuned!