Latest Blog Posts

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:

Prois Tech Post

 

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.

 

ProisBackcountryPockets

 

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/

A Word From the CEO…Flexibility The Key To Business Sustainability

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

Fact…Prois has been around 9 years.  At this point in time, Prois has survived being a start up business.  It has survived global recession.  It has survived the constant fluctuations in the hunting market.

It has survived.  Prois remains the longest standing women’s only hunting and shooting clothing company to date.

It has been an interesting experience for me as I continue to learn this business and the industry.  Since the inception of Prois, I have been told that my approach to business is wrong.  I have been told my approach to marketing is wrong.  I have been told my business model is wrong.

But yet, Prois survives.

How is it that a small company with a niche market can outlast many others who have come and gone?  Here is what I know so far…

Flexibility in a business plan is key.  Where this company started and where it is today are two entirely different animals.  The hunting market has changed dramatically since 2008.  When we entered the fray, all of the talk was about the “vast” numbers of female hunters.  Dealers were buying huge purchases.  TV shows were exploding with female hosts.  Interestingly, while female hunters continue to be the fastest growing demographic, they still only account for 11-13% of overall hunters.  Thus, the numbers did not support the big retail buys.  Not at all.  Adaptation to this was key.  Creating a dealer market that allowed flexibility for store owners was important.  Low minimum orders and gear exchanges definitely kept us competitive. retail-sales_1

Yet the market continued to change.  Big box stores continue to obliterate the small manufacturers such as Prois.  As we know, large retailers demand deeper discounts, co-op fees and chargebacks that can be crippling.  Example…one big box retailer charged us $1,000 for a broken box.  Additionally, we had no say in merchandising in stores and we had no say in size runs ordered.  This basically meant that Prois was displayed on a 4 way rack with camouflage lingerie and children’s clothing and the only sizes available were XL’s as not enough of our top selling sizes were purchased.   We attempted educating sales staff, but this was unsuccessful as well.  The result- bargain cave sales and big box stores selling our gear in affiliate markets despite this being against our policy.  You see, big box stores don’t care about our policies.  We actually found some of our gear being sold on affiliate for LESS than our cost.  Yes…less than cost.  So what did we do?  We bought it back.  And we quit making sales calls to the big box stores despite being told we could not survive by doing so.  The way I see it, we couldn’t survive if we kept working with them.

And just when we thought we had it figured out, we really started to take a deep look at our sales and where our best efforts could be applied.  Interestingly, we learned that a direct sales model would best benefit our customer base.  It was clear that our online sales, Amazon sales and show sales far surpassed our dealer sales.  Additional efforts such as online auctions, Pro Programs, Prostaff Sales, Outfitter programs and Home Hunting Parties definitely augmented our direct efforts.  The best part?  WE control our inventory and WE know the customer base.  With that, you have probably noticed that we are hitting consumer shows with a ferocity.

Marketing is another case altogether.  We have been told too many times to count that we need to pay a “celebrity” to be a spokesperson for Prois.  I have never and will never subscribe to this.  I personally believe that all female hunters are amazing and why pay one person who may or may not believe in my product when I can surround myself with thousands of amazing women who share a passion for hunting, shooting and the outdoors.  Networking the sisterhood has been key to our success.  Being real people with a real story is singularly the most important thing we do.  Yet, this falls out of the scope of “regular business practice”.  Having the ability to relate to women, talk to women and be friends with women is key to running a women’s clothing company.

As we head further into 2017, we will continue to evaluate our new business design and how to flex it to the market.  Stay tuned for tales of woe and tales of success!!  And as always, thank you for your support!

Kirstie Pike CEO and Chief Toilet Cleaner - Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

Kirstie Pike
CEO and Chief Toilet Cleaner – Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

Talking Technical…The Pro-Edition Vest is MADE for Turkey Season!

IMG_5472Byline By:  Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

The Pro-Edition Vest.

This item has been a longtime top seller at Prois and it is created with technical functionality in mind.  So why is it a must have item for spring turkey hunting?  Let me count the ways…

1.  Vests are a quintessential piece of gear for spring weather.  While it can be chilly in the early morning or late evening, chances are the temperatures will climb during the day.  Vests are designed to warm the core while keeping the arms free for movement. Should you experience an unusual cold snap, the Pro-Edition vest is perfect for layering under a jacket.

2.  Windstopper.  Yep..this baby is built with a windstopping laminate which is designed to…wait for it…stop the wind!  And it does.  The very same windstopper laminate also creates water resistance until the garment does indeed get saturated.

3.  Scapular Drop Pockets.  Say what?  The Pro-Edition vest has a pocket in the liner of the vest located between the shoulder blades.  We developed this pocket to house activated handwarmers to be placed between the shoulder blades.  This particular area on the body is highly vascular as vessels run close to the surface.  Warming this region helps warm the body faster.

4.  Lumbar Pocket.  This is my favorite feature during spring turkey hunting.  I tend to not want to carry excessive gear and packs if I can avoid it.  I can put calls, masks, gloves…pretty much any small items in this pocket while I am on foot.  If you prefer carrying a turkey vest…no problem. You can put your sandwich in the pocket.  Just don’t forget about it.  That’s a story for another time.

5.  Let’s face it.  The dang thing looks great!

6.  SALE!  Holy heck…this vest is currently ON SALE now!  I would highly recommend you check this out!  It is available in Realtree APX, Realtree Max1 and Mothwing Mountain Mimicry!  Sizes XS-XXL!  Go on…check it out!  http://www.proishunting.com/shop/clearance/pro-edition-vest/

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JONI KISER BAGS HER SHEEP IN HAWAII

After many stalks on Sheep in Hawaii last week; I just wasn’t getting close enough. Shortly before my hunt I had dislocated my shoulder and also had a partial tear of my Rotator Cuff. I skipped the surgery option and opted for a steroid injection which took the pain level down and made it so I could shoot my bow. Even so, I had to drop the draw weight way lower than usual. I’m short, with a 25 inch draw and now with my low poundage – I felt that my “ethical” shooting range was 40 yards. We closed the gap on sheep multiple times. Did some really fun stalks belly crawling 60 yards in one instance, or crawling on our hands and knees (this is quite painful on lava rocks) and got 80, 70 and finally 57 yards on the last one. The fog and rain was coming in rapidly and heavy. We knew we only had about 5 minutes to make a decision. There was no cover for me to get behind between me and a very nice ram. He had several females around him and they were skittish. It broke my heart to tell the guide that it was just too far. If I was shooting 70# then of course, If I was even shooting 60# it would have been fine. But I was turned down to 42# and at 57 yards, I knew that it just didn’t have the Kinetic Energy to punch though that thick wool and it would have been slow enough that there would be too much reaction time for him or the females around him to move or spook from my shot. If I wounded him and he ran into the fog which was now very close – we’d lose him. Ethical bow hunting is super important to me. So I said no. The guide looked really, really bummed. He kept saying, “but its a such a nice ram”. LOL. Here’s the shocking part! Most people start off big game huJoniSHeepnting with a gun and then eventually move to a bow. Not me, I started many years ago with a bow and never looked back. Ive taken all kinds of game with my bow, but never, not one single animal, ever with a rifle! The guide had a 30.06 and I whispered; “Ill take it with that gun”. He looked so shocked!! Now mind you, I hadn’t shot a rifle in over 20 years; so I was nervous! I laid down, he said breathe in, breathe out and slow squeeze the trigger. One shot and he dropped. The guide was ecstatic and so was I! I could hardly believe I took my first animal with a rifle! He kept saying, I can’t believe you dropped him in one shot! The fog came in fast and you can see in the background of the photo – there was a mountain there – but all you see is fog. By the time we started to clean it – the fog and rain were upon us. I finished out the hunt week taking a goat, turkey, pheasant and hog with my bow. Will I make gun hunting a part of my plans? Not sure about that because I’m quite addicted to bow hunting – but it was a really cool experience and I’m proud of how hard we worked for this absolutely incredible Sheep! 

-Joni Kiser

Talking Technical With the CEO… Compressed Cuts, A Method For Our Madness.

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

Often, we hear from prospective customers who are disappointed because we do not manufacture a very heavy weight, bulky jacket.

Believe it or not, we do this by design.  We design the entire Prois brand around compressed fabrics and cuts.  Here’s the down and dirty.

  1.  Bulky sleeves interfere with bowstrings.  It’s a fact.  Reduction of this additional fabric reduces the risk of string slap incredibly.
  2. Bulky sleeves interfere when shouldering a gun.  Ever worn a bulky jacket when hunting pheasants?  A very unpleasant experience.  Proper seating of your shotgun is difficult, if not impossible when an oversized, bulky jacket is used.  As we know, this results in poor shots and occasional soft tissue injury if you accidently seat your shotgun into your bicep or shoulder.
  3. Ease of movement.  Compressed fabrics with athletic cuts move with the body more fluidly.  This allows the hunter increased stealth, silence and precision when drawing a bow or shouldering a gun.
  4. Noise reduction.  Sleeker, compressed cuts reduce fabric on fabric noise as well as noise created from slogging through brush and trees.
  5. Layers are more efficient for thermoregulation.  As we discuss continuously, warmth is best earned from layers, not a bulky jacket.  Proper baselayers, insulators and shells create everything a hunter needs to remain warm.  Layers can be removed when perspiration kicks in, layers can be added when the temperatures drop or inclement weather rolls through.

OK!  So that’s compressed hunting gear in a nutshell.  There really is a method to our madness.  Since we are talking jackets…here is a breakdown of  the Prois jackets…

Mid-Weight Windstopping Jackets:  Perfect for warmer weather.  Layering with good baselayers and vests can provide additional warmth.
1.  Pro-Edition Jacket
2.  Generation X Jacket

Core Insulator Jackets:  Mother Nature got it right with goose down.  It’s warm.  It actually functions best when closer to the skin.  We recommend wearing a good baselayer then utilizing the Archtach on top of that.  If additional shell jackets are required for windstopping, waterproofing or additional insulation…you can utilize ANY of our other jackets on top to work with the conditions at hand.
1.  Archtach Down Jacket

Shell Jackets:  Shell jackets are for one of 2 things…rain or additional insulation.  The Gallean is our lightweight rain jacket and can be used as a shell over our other jackets.  Should the weather become cool and damp…we recommend moving on to the Xtreme jacket for water resistance plus additional insulation.
1.  Galleann Rain Jacket
2.  Xtreme Jacket

And there you have it.  Layering, like life, is all about compromise.  Utilize various options for your particular hunt and your particular body type…and you should be set.   And never, never, ever look for just one heavy jacket for your go-to hunting jacket.  Compression and layering are the key to success and comfort!

Pro Edition Jacket

Pro Edition Jacket

Archtach Down Jacket

Archtach Down Jacket

Galleann Rain Jacket

Galleann Rain Jacket

Xtreme Jacket

Xtreme Jacket

Talking Technical…Compressed Cuts- A Method To Our Madness

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

small

 

Often, we hear from prospective customers who are disappointed because we do not manufacture a very heavy weight, bulky jacket. Believe it or not, we do this by design.  We design the entire Prois brand around compressed fabrics and cuts.  Here’s the down and dirty.

  1.  Bulky sleeves interfere with bowstrings.  It’s a fact.  Reduction of this additional fabric reduces the risk of string slap incredibly.
  2. Bulky sleeves interfere when shouldering a gun.  Ever worn a bulky jacket when hunting pheasants?  A very unpleasant experience.  Proper seating of your shotgun is difficult, if not impossible when an oversized, bulky jacket is used.  As we know, this results in poor shots and occasional soft tissue injury if you accidently seat your shotgun into your bicep or shoulder.
  3. Ease of movement.  Compressed fabrics with athletic cuts move with the body more fluidly.  This allows the hunter increased stealth, silence and precision when drawing a bow or shouldering a gun.
  4. Noise reduction.  Sleeker, compressed cuts reduce fabric on fabric noise as well as noise created from slogging through brush and trees.
  5. Layers are more efficient for thermoregulation.  As we discuss continuously, warmth is best earned from layers, not a bulky jacket.  Proper baselayers, insulators and shells create everything a hunter needs to remain warm.  Layers can be removed when perspiration kicks in, layers can be added when the temperatures drop or inclement weather rolls through.

OK!  So that’s compressed hunting gear in a nutshell.  There really is a method to our madness.  Since we are talking jackets…here is a breakdown of  the Prois jackets…

Pro Edition Jacket

Pro Edition Jacket

Mid-Weight Windstopping Jackets:  Perfect for warmer weather.  Layering with good baselayers and vests can provide additional warmth.

1.  Pro-Edition Jacket

2.  Generation X Jacket

 

 

Core Insulator Jackets:  Mother Nature got it right with goose down.  It’s warm.  It actually functions best when closer to the skin.  We recommend wearing a good baselayer then utilizing the Archtach on top of that.  If additional shell jackets are required for windstopping, waterproofing or additional insulation…you can utilize ANY of our other jackets on top to work with the conditions at hand.

1.  Archtach Down Jacket

Archtach Down Jacket

Archtach Down Jacket

 

 

 

 

 

Shell Jackets:  Shell jackets are for one of 2 things…rain or additional insulation.  The Gallean is our lightweight rain jacket and can be used as a shell over our other jackets.  Should the weather become cool and damp…we recommend moving on to the Xtreme jacket for water resistance plus additional insulation.

Galleann Rain Jacket

Galleann Rain Jacket

1.  Galleann Rain Jacket

 

 

 

 

Xtreme Jacket

Xtreme Jacket

2.  Xtreme Jacket

 

And there you have it.  Layering, like life, is all about compromise.  Utilize various options for your particular hunt and your particular body type…and you should be set.   And never, never, ever look for just one heavy jacket for your go-to hunting jacket.  Compression and layering are the key to success and comfort!

TURKEY SEASON IS AROUND THE CORNER; GEAR UP WITH PROIS’ ALL-WEATHER PRODUCTS

Prois Offers Products that are Perfect for Spring Turkey Hunting Endeavors

Prois Turkey Ultra Pant

The hunt for the gobbler of your dreams wouldn’t be the same without Prois all-weather products, perfect for spring turkey season. With fluctuating temperatures, it is important to prepare for anything. Prois offers a variety of pieces that are great for layering and warmth, but compact enough to pack away should temperatures rise. What’s even better, the following products are currently on sale for 20% off retail through the end of March. Take a closer look at the company’s innovative line of women’s hunting apparel.

The Pro-Edition jacket, for example, features a water resistant and wind-stopping laminate shell and is made of compressed fabric, making it easy to stuff in your pack as needed. It is made with 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. The Pro-Edition jacket also features a 3-panel removable hood and scapular drop pockets located between the shoulder blades to hold activated heat packs. We promise, this jacket will make you feel like you have an alter ego.

Another piece from the Prois Pro-Edition Line is the Pro-Edition Vest. This vest is constructed the same as the Pro-Edition jacket and is great for maintaining core body warmth. It is rip and snag resistant and fits snug to the body making it easy to shoulder your weapon of choice. Like the jacket, the Pro-Edition vest features deep hand pockets with zip closures for gloves and other gadgets.

You might get a strange look from your hunting buddies if you show up to camp wearing just the vest, so let’s discuss some shirts to pair it with. The Prois Ultra Shirts come in all shapes and sizes, including short and long sleeve. They are constructed of birds-eye polyester wicking fabric and are breathable, making them perfect as a layering piece or by themselves.

Another must have on your dream turkey hunt are the Ultra pants; your hunt wouldn’t be the same without them. Made with 100% polyester brushed tricot, the Ultra pants are soft, sturdy, silent, and snag resistant. They feature large cargo pockets with magnetic snap closures, which are specifically constructed to maximize silence. These all-weather pants also come with elasticized cuffing and cordlock that cinch cuff closer to the boot. They really are the best thing since sliced bread.

Put all these products together and you’ll be out in the woods strutting, just like the big tom you’re after. Heck, you might as well have your own theme song.

Find these products and more on sale through March 31st at www.proishunting.com.

A Word From the CEO… Dog Eat Dog…Hunters Attacking Hunters.

Byline by Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

Let’s face it, we have all seen it.  A post or photo goes up on social media that is hunting related.  Likes and positive comments follow soon after.  We all love to see each others successes and experiences.

Until that one hunter chimes in with unsolicited advice or demeaning comments.

angry-woman-yelling-at-computer

I pen this blog out of disappointment and frustration.  I, as well as many of you, have personally experienced this.  It may be a “fellow” hunter making disparaging comments about weapon choice, choice in game hunted and consumed, choices in gear, etc…  I have seen this similarly occur on blogs and forums.  Each time I see it, I am left thinking how disappointing this is for the entire hunting community.

As hunters, we all have felt the scorn of anti-hunters and non-hunters at one time or another.  We can expect this as surely as we can expect the sun to rise.  We have watched as peoples lives are completely destroyed by international scorn for hunting and hunting tactics.  This is not at all something any of us take lightly nor is it something any of us wish on each other.

So, if this is the case, why is it that hunters attack other hunters?  It can at times be dog eat dog out there. What is it that spurs a hunter to attack another hunter’s choices as long as that hunter is acting in a legal and ethical manner?  What does it matter?  While I agree, as hunters we ALL have ideas about what we want to hunt, when we want to hunt it and how we want to hunt it. We all have a small list of game we would opt out of hunting for any variety of reasons.  But for another hunter to scorn, ridicule and insult another hunter is completely unsportsmanlike. What I find incredulous is that this occurs at all.  As hunters, it is of utmost importance that we unite rather than fragment.  We face enough opposition with anti-hunters, anti-gun legislation and non-hunters vying for use and space in public lands.  Breaking the ranks among the hunting community only serves to disrupt our common messages.

I suppose the question is this- how do we stop hunters from engaging in this behavior?  Has social media and the internet made us all so anonymous that anything goes?  Can the hunting community come together to help minimize this?

I think the answer is yes.

1. When a fellow hunter makes disparaging remarks about you on social media, the best thing to do is not engage.  I tend to delete that persons comments (which is funny because I will NOT delete comments from anti-hunters) as leaving it will invariably result in other hunters creating a bit of a fight.  While it feels great to have the cavalry ride in, the fight just gets worse and no one wins. All of that said, I can neither confirm nor deny that when this happens to me…I have a very strongly worded rant at the computer!

2.  If the fellow hunter is a friend (and I mean a REAL friend, not just a social media friend) I tend to take it extremely personally.  However, the only real way to approach it is to make some sort of educational reference as to why you make the choices you make without fueling the fire.  If this doesn’t work, I may private message that person or remove his/her comments.  Again, this is strange to me because I will not remove anti-hunter comments.

3.  When you see this occur in someone else’s feed, stay away from it.  While our first instinct is to jump in and defend, we all know this typically winds up in a cat fight on social media.  We should save that stuff for the anti-hunters.  I had, in the past, jumped in on the defense of fellow hunters who are coming under scrutiny from other hunters.  I have recently taken to just providing positive comments for the hunter who made the original post…opting to ignore the poor manners and sportsmanship of the offender.

4.  Awareness.  While we ALL should know how to play in the proverbial sandbox together, there are unfortunately those out there with no sense of a larger picture.  Should we all pull together, hopefully those attention hungry souls that need to discourage and insult fellow hunters will drop out of the social media threads, forums and blogs.  Well…maybe a little!

At the end of the day, we are all in this together.  This community takes scrutiny and faces challenges from so many opposing forces and issues, the last thing we should do is bicker among ourselves.  Be a good example, disengage and move on.  Bless their hearts.