Well it’s that time of year when the Ladies of the Prois Posse are getting it done in the field. Here are a few tips and reminders about how to capture the best pictures from your hunt so that you will have a memory and keepsake to last a lifetime.
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I often have women tell me that they feel like they are ready to start bowhunting but they don’t know where to begin. They have a bow, they’ve taken some lessons, maybe have shot in an archery league or practiced on their own and consider themselves target archers, and are ready to move forward. This can be a really intimidating step for many women, especially if they don’t have a social circle of other bowhunters around them.
One of my first suggestions would be to look into the Department of Fish and Game’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program in your state. I have been a volunteer instructor for BOW for the past 6 years and cannot say enough about it. The classes they offer, the quality of information that they provide and the skilled instructors that volunteer their time to help others to find their passion in the outdoors is second to none. BOW was started where I live in Alaska in 1995 and has grown rapidly due to a wonderful community response to the great classes they provide. There are BOW programs all over the Lower 48 as well! There are several options for BOW classes: the first is 3 day weekend courses (workshops) which cover a small sample of many subjects. A total of 100+ participants (ages 18+) can sign up for this amazing outdoor inspired weekend and can pick subjects from a variety of 4 hours courses such as archery, bowhunting, moose hunting, field dressing, cold weather camping, outdoor cooking, hunting small game and much more! This is not only the perfect place to start to build up confidence by educating yourself on hunting, but its also a great place to meet other women who are interested in the same things that you are! Classes like the field dressing course are completely hands on. For our Alaska class, they bring in an Elk or Moose etc… from the Wildlife Conservation Center or other donated sources and you actually get hands on experience in field dressing the entire animal with skilled and experienced instructors leading the way. The BOW weekend offers classes in an encouraging and supportive environment to beginners. Classes are presented in a way where the participants do not feel intimidated no matter their skill level or outdoors/hunting knowledge.
In addition to these big weekend workshops; BOW also offers intensive courses on specific subjects called Beyond BOW. I teach beginning archery at the big weekend event and I teach a more advanced bowhunting class in the 1 day intensive courses. There are other intensives on subjects like butchering wild game, big game hunting, field dressing, spin and fly fishing, survival, map and compass and outdoor cooking just to name a few. Beyond BOW events provide the next step in practicing the skills that a participant started to develop at the weekend workshop or they build on knowledge that a woman might already have in order to increase her confidence in using those skills in the field. Beyond BOWs teach more advanced skills, and may be conducted almost entirely in an outdoors setting to help to build that confidence that you will need to go out on your own!
Many states BOW programs also offer some women’s group hunts. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to go out and hunt with other women, led by Fish and Game staff and volunteers. If you don’t have friends to start hunting with, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to set up a hunt with other women who are also beginners in a safe and supportive environment. For more information on how to sign up for BOW classes visit the Fish and Game website for your state. Another option to get connected is to check with your local archery Pro Shops for women’s organized hunts or there are several businesses like mine, Rockstarlette Bowhunting, that organize women’s group hunts. I have organized quite a few ladies hunts in the past few years and I have to say, there is nothing more rewarding than the bonding and life long friendships built when your hunting with “just the girls!” In 2010 I organized a week long, ladies tree stand black bear archery hunt. I think this is one of the easiest hunts for a beginner to start bowhunting with. A tree stand or bear bait situation makes for fixed yardage that you can range before the animal comes in to prepare, plus you have the safety and security of being above the game you are hunting. The women that came on this black bear hunt were all first time bowhunters and all had great success with their bows. They have become hooked on hunting and have gone on several hunts since! Follow Rockstarlette Bowhunting on Facebook or Instagram to get more information on upcoming women’s organized hunts!
How do you build up the confidence in your shooting skills; to move from shooting at paper targets to live game? At many archery stores, they offer private lessons and can focus the lesson on the skills that you need to develop. So if you are looking to get ready to pass your bowhunter certification class, or are prepping for a specific type of hunt in the field – ask them to structure a private lesson to meet your needs. Many Pro Shops also offer time in the Techno Hunt booth (a virtual hunting booth) so that you can practice shooting at live video scenes of animals in a controlled environment. You use your own bow and arrows, blunt tips that we provide and can choose from over 700 different animal scenarios to practice on. 3D archery tournaments outdoors are also a great place to hone your skills. Going through an unmarked 3D archery course and practicing either using your range finder, or judging yardages can be a great tool for honing your hunting skills and confidence in the field!
Last, but most importantly; find out if you need to get your Bowhunter Certification from your states Department of Fish and Game. Some states require this before you can bowhunt (we do in Alaska!) For us, this is a two part test; a written Bowhunter Education section and a field shooting proficiency portion. These bowhunting classes certify more than 800 Alaskan hunters each year. The certificate is also required in Alaska to put in for archery drawing permits. The Bowhunter Education written test covers many of the same topics as Basic Hunter Education courses but with some specific questions on bowhunting. The written portion can be done online or in a classroom setting; while you must get signed up for a test date with Fish and Game for the shooting portion. The shooting portion of the test requires you to hit the vitals area of several big game targets at distances from 10-30 yards from both a standing and kneeling position. If you are nervous about taking the shooting portion of this test, taking an archery lesson that specifically focuses on the skills needed for the test is a great confidence booster! Contact your local Pro Shop to set something up!
The main thing is to not be afraid to get started and to know that there are lots of great resources out there to help you! I hope to encourage other women to not be intimidated and to take advantage of the resources available to get out and find their passion for the hunt! The motto of my company is “Encourage. Inspire. Empower.” if you have any questions on getting started; please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will help you get started in any way I can! I love to help other women find their passion for bowhunting!
Joni Kiser is a former Archery Pro Shop owner and the Founder of Rockstarlette Bowhunting
She has harvested a wide variety of big game animals with her bow and is a National Factory Pro Staff for Xpedition Archery and HHA and Field Staff for Prois.
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.
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.
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 silence 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.
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.
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
By: Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting Apparel for Women
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.
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:
- Galleann Rain Pants
- Gallean Rain Jacket
- Archtach Down Jacket
- 1 x Ultra Pants
- 1 x Adventure Pants
- 2 x Merino long underwear
- 2 Merino long sleeve shirts
- 2 Merino tank tops
- 2 Merino sports bras/underwear
- Beanie/Neck Gaitor
- 3 x Incredisocks
- Kennetrek gaiters
- 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?
This is perfect for the remaining burger you may still have in your freezer! Check it out!
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!
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!
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
2 cups Spanish rice
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.
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