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By Angie Adams Kokes
As a lifelong hunter and fisherman there is little I love more than to be outside doing what I love. That is unless I get the opportunity to introduce another person to one of my many passions! This past week I was blessed once again to be able to open our home and host Tina Kaine, owner of Deaux Girls for a few days of fun in Nebraska.Tina is an avid bow hunter and stopped through on her way north to hunt whitetails. She expressed she had never hunted with a gun so we made a plan to get her on some ducks. Knowing we were probably a little early for some really great duck hunting we made the best of the situation, which as a hunter is exactly what we have to do. I contacted a friend who was gracious enough to take us to one of his locations to hunt. Trying to “get on” some ducks when they aren’t flying proved a bit of a challenge and left us hunting from layout blinds. When a hunt is challenging for a first timer I always get a bit nervous that they will get discouraged. As we tromped through bogs, swamp, and were continually smacked in the face with willows carrying layout blinds, guns and 70 pounds of decoys my nerves were on high alert that Tina may be discouraged already. While setting the blinds up and getting the decoys out Tina commented, “wow, duck hunting is a lot of work”.
Thankfully though with a smile on her face. While being nervous about discouraging someone I also feel it is very important that they are part of the entire experience.With everything ready to go, “magic hour” hit! I was pleasantly shocked at the number of ducks flying. While the ducks were not terribly willing to decoy Tina got to experience the fly overs, turn arounds, come backs and the pitter patter of wings that make a duck hunters heart flutter! We were able to take a Blue Wing Teal, Gadwall and Wood Duck. Nothing close to our limit but the memories made exceeded their limit for the day I’m sure, when as we finished Tina called her husband and informed him they would need to go shopping for duck hunting gear. Gear that for starters will include the Prois Pro-Edition Pants, Vest and Jacket I was sporting that kept me toasty warm and dry and the Real Tree Max Camo was perfect for blending in with my blind along the river bank.
As a hunter it’s hard to imagine getting anymore excited than when you make the shot. But I encourage everyone to take a “new” hunter out and I promise you will get that rush times a billion when they make a great shot and their face lights up with pride and excitement. That my friends is true joy, passing it on! #ProisWasThere
It’s what’s inside that counts. We use HyperDry water resistant down technology in our Archtach Jackets. HyperDRY consistently tests significantly better than other WR downs on the market today. HyperDry will stay dry longer and become dry far faster. HyperDRY will keep a higher loft and fill power to retain warmth…even in the most extreme elements.
It’s what’s inside that counts…
See for yourself…. www.proishunting.com
By Prois Staffer Shannon Rasmussen
This past September I had a very exciting moment, in fact, it was one of the biggest moments I’ve had in my hunting career thus far. You see, last year I decided to try my hand at bow hunting. I had been tagging along on my husband, Shane’s, bow hunts for several years but had never felt that I had the heart or patience to do it myself. I had witnessed so many close encounters and hunts that hadn’t worked out that I didn’t think I could emotionally be the hunter behind the bow. But after buying a bow and competing in several 3-D bow shoots, I decided that I wanted to give archery hunting a shot. My first year was an emotional roller coaster to put it mildly. We were getting into elk almost every time we went out hunting, but my nerves got the best of me each time. By the end of the season I had missed three cows, cried a lot, and the confidence in my ability was fading fast. With that said, going into season two, I was excited and very nervous to see just what I could do. With another season of 3-D competitions under my belt, and the lessons learned from last season, I felt like I was going in as a much more knowledgeable hunter this year. Opening day of the season started out spectacularly! My 15 year old son was able to harvest a 2×2 bull within the first 20 minutes of the hunt. We had hiked in and bumped the bull. He trotted off, but my husband cow called and he came back. The bull stopped behind a tree. I had stopped about 20 yards behind the men, so I cow called, which caused the bull to step out from behind the tree, giving my son a perfect shot opportunity. We were all so excited! Two days later my husband and I got up early and headed to a spot where we had seen a few bulls the previous evening. We knew that we were in for a pretty tough hike, so going in to the hunt we agreed that we would only shoot a 5pt+ bull. As we were climbing up the mountain we once again walked right in on a spike bull. Luckily it didn’t see us, so we ducked down behind some bushes. We sat watching the spike for a few minutes when suddenly we realized that the bushes behind him were moving. It turned out there was a 5×5 and a 7×7 bull about 20 yards behind the spike. My husband tried to sneak closer, but the spike bull decided to walk down the hill right beside us, and what did he do next? He laid down about 10 yards behind me! I could not believe what was happening! Now, there we were, stuck with nothing between us and this little bull. After about 15 minutes the bull finally sensed that something wasn’t right, stood up, and proceeded to trot up the hill, running the other two big bulls off. It was such a cool experience that we couldn’t do anything but laugh about it afterwards.
The following weekend we headed back up to archery camp, rested and ready for another chance. Shane and I picked a spot to hunt on Saturday morning and headed out early. We had only been hiking for about 30 minutes when he heard a cow chirping in the distance. We stopped, got set up, and started cow calling back at her. We could tell that she was getting closer, and I started getting nervous. Finally she appeared on the hill just above us. She was about 30 yards away, and moving across the hillside. She walked behind a tree, and I took the opportunity to draw back my bow. My husband cow called, stopping her, but there was a dead tree laying in front of her, obstructing my shooting lane. It felt like an eternity holding my bow back, waiting for her to step out. After about a minute she took two more steps and I shot. The arrow passed right through, double lunging her. She took a couple more steps and then tumbled over. I was absolutely ecstatic!! I cried tears of joy!! After all of the hard work and emotions, I had finally harvested an animal with my bow!! It was everything I had ever imagined it would be!! There is nothing that compares to bow hunting in my opinion!! #Proiswasthere!! My hunt would not have been the same without my very durable, yet incredibly comfortable Prois ProEdition Pants, Elevation Shirt, and cap in Mountain Mimicry.
By Kristen Monroe
I have never entered a fishing tournament before, and never before caught a muskie. I have been fishing since since childhood but only recently fell in love with trying to hook a mighty muskie. The thought of entering a tournament intrigued me, even with my lack of muskie experience. I entered the Mercer Muskie Madness tournament in Wisconsin with my partner, Josh Lantz. Part of the proceeds were donated to the Wounded Warriors, even if we lost at least it was for a good cause. 58 hard core muskie anglers challenged each other Oct. 17th and 18th. What a privilege it was to spend time and compete with so many great anglers.
The first day it rained and the 45-degree temperature and strong winds tested my fishing mettle. The smell of pine trees, the thought of catching a monster fish and proper clothing helped to push my cold feeling aside. We fished hard for two days. The perseverance paid off. We took first place overall and also won the Big Fish award for the 41.25 inch fish. The conditions were tough but certainly worth the every moment.Thank you Mercer friends and Wounded Warriors for putting on a spectacular event.