Meet Susan Garrard (and her new friend) as she takes Prois around the globe. Susan is embarking on some incredible hunting excursions rarely attempted by females! She will be accompanying outfitter Chris Nash and Rob Holt of Kaweka Outfitting. Stay tuned as Susan chronicles her adventures to parts unknown. Currently, Susan is in Australia on the hunt of a lifetime.
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By: Kirstie Pike, CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women
Itâ€™s true, ladiesâ€¦the NRA is no longer just a manâ€™s lair. It is not simply a testosterone-rich world of guns, ammunition and tactical gear. The NRA is, by all accounts, now made for a woman.
I recently attended the 2010 NRA National Convention in Charlotte, NC. Being my virgin voyage to this particular venue, I found my mind riddled with preconceived notions. Despite the fact that I was very well aware of all of the efforts put forth by the NRA to promote the inclusion of women in the organization, it was not until I arrived in Charlotte that I began to understand the depth of these efforts.
Itâ€™s true. I expected to descend into a thick testosterone cloud. I expected to hear snippets of conversation revolving around Glocks, ARâ€™s and concealed weapons. What I found was quite the contrary. Roughly 30% of the crowd (a very unscientific estimate, to be sure) was, well, female. This was surprising to me, although I have long been a member of the NRA and I am quite aware of the vast efforts the organization puts forth to draw women to the industry, the shooting sports and the world of firearms. I found myself a bit embarrassed about my ignorance. I decided to treat this as a scientific experiment of sorts. What was the draw (no pun intended) for the women of the NRA?
It became quite clear to me on the first day that the inclusion of Sarah Palin as one of the keynote speakers for the conventions was a draw. While I personally did not get to attend her engagement as I was chained to my exhibitorâ€™s booth like a bad dog that chases cars, I spoke at length with many attendees who were both moved and inspired by Sarahâ€™s speech. Sarah represents the working woman, the mother, the wife and the spirit of our country. It seems that the snippets of conversation I was now overhearing on this day centered on the impact of one womanâ€™s inspirational speech. Her inclusion in the NRA line up was brilliant.
Interestingly, there were many products throughout the marketplace designed and manufactured expressly for women. Now, I am personally not a fan of all things pink, but I have to say that there was a veritable smorgasbord of pink hand guns, rifles, knives, air guns and more to appeal to the ladies. Fret not if you too oppose all things pink, there were numerous firearms and accessories designed to fit a female that were still no-nonsense black and gunmetal. It seems the many firearm manufacturers (much like the bow manufacturers) are hearing the battle cry from women for high-performance gear that is made just for women. The result is nothing short of amazing as women are purchasing firearms at an eye-popping rate. Concealed carry clothing, holsters and handbags are also being manufactured for the female and were hot items on the floor of the show.
Manufacturers are not the only entities seeing the need to appeal to the ever-increasing numbers of women in the hunting and shooting sports. Outfitters are beginning to market to female friendly camps and services. I noted in more than one outfitter booth photos of female clients with their harvested animals. Often, the outfitters and guides are females themselves which adds a new dimension to the predominately male profession.
I found it inspiring that the women I encountered throughout the show were extremely knowledgeable and often considered professional shooters and hunters. I appreciated the venue where a womanâ€™s passion for the shooting industry was accepted and promoted. With that said, I admit I was wrong. While there was certainly ample testosterone in this convention, it was met with a rivaling amount of estrogen.
I get it nowâ€¦NRA IS strong enough for a man but it is now made for a woman. I recommend any woman who is passionate about hunting and shooting give the convention a whirl for 2011. I am willing to bet that you too will be amazed and perhaps inspired.
It is official…the hard work has paid off! Prois Hunting Apparel for Women was recently named Best Women’s Apparel for Outdoor Canada’s Best New Gear Awards for 2010. “We have worked very hard to continue to provide the highest quality and performance gear for women who love to hunt and hunt hard “, states Kirstie Pike, CEO of Prois Hunting Apparel. “This award means a lot to our organization as it reaffirms the basic vision of our company, which is to provide only the best for the female hunters out there.”
So what is on the horizon for the rest of 2010? “A lot of hard work! We are underway with some great programs such as the Camp Wild Girls Home Parties and new dealer programs. We are knee deep in production and have some amazing gear in the pipeline for late 2010 and 2011!”, Kirstie reports. “You will be seeing a lot of us!”.
For more information about Prois Hunting Apparel for women, log onto www.proishunting.com!
After much anticipation, Prois Hunting & Field Apparel and Camp Wild Girls announce the launch of the Camp Wild Girls Home Hunting Party- featuring Prois Hunting Apparel. Camp Wild Girls CEO, Terri Lee Pocernich and Prois Hunting & Field Apparel CEO, Kirstie Pike have burned the midnight oil bringing this program to fruition. “This was an idea that quickly snowballed into a fantastic sales and marketing possibility.” states Terri Lee Pocernich,
The Camp Wild Girls Hunting Party is a home-based party plan with rewards for the hostess. Home Hunting Parties are scheduled through approved Hunting Party Representatives in the homes of interested hostesses. Friends, family, neighbors and any other hunting and outdoor enthusiasts are invited to an afternoon or evening of fun. All Prois Hunting Apparel and Camp Wild Girls gear are available to discuss, view and try on. Hostesses are eligible for great discounts on gear. Hunting Party Representatives receive party commission incentives and income which is a great bonus in this hurting economy. Best of all, women with similar interests are able to gather with comfort and comraderie to discuss what they love best…hunting and the outdoors! “We are very excited to work together to bring these great products right into the homes of our customers while working hard within the hunting community to spark signs of life in the economy.” explains Pike. The idea is catching on fast. “We already have a large number of Hunting Party Representative applications, and we are just going live with the program,” mentions Pocernich, “We are thrilled about the response!”.
For more information about the Camp Wild Girls Hunting Party- featuring Prois Hunting & Field Apparel, email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. As well, you may log onto www.campwildgirls.com and click on “Hunting Party”.
CHECK IT OUT BEFORE YOUR LUCK RUNS OUT…www.proishunting.com
CEO- Prois Hunting Apparel
What can we say…. following a month of scouting, topo-mapping and hiking to God-knows-where, our daughter, Hanna, harvested her Colorado mountain goat! I guess that means we can put away the maps, the zebra-skin glasses and hiking boots. For now…
As fate would have it, I was unable to go on the hunt the day of the kill. Steve and Hanna set out alone the night before and set up camp at 12,500ft elevation. Bunking in a forest service cabin saved them from the harsh elements, but not from the bumper crop of mice that apparently ate the popcorn that they coveted. (Unfortunately, no one happened to inform our youngest daughter of this until AFTER she ate some of the popcorn when they got home…sisters.) Where is D-Con when you need it? Apparently, the bold rodents kept busy all night scurrying about…Hanna experienced some heinous flashbacks from a childhood experience involving escaped pet mice, pillows and disbelieving parents. I think that’s a story for her shrink.
Early morning brought about numerous goats and the chase was on. Now, for anyone who has never hunted goats in the extreme altitudes and barren mountainsides cannot even imagine the strenuous nature of this hunt. Elevation gains go above 13,000 feet at times and there is no trail network there. Nothing exists but boulders, rocks and loose scree fields that shift and slide. The work is tough and I personally give chops to anyone who attempts these extreme hunts…especially when the hunter is a kid. They encountered a couple of goats but neither were shooters. They continued their trek through avalanche chutes that I had seen on previous scouting trip. Now, had I known that my first-born was going to be trekking through these chutes I probably would have pitched a wild fit…retrospectively, I think that is why the went without me. Hmmm.
After a late morning of rain and snow, they had been climbing this terrain for over 3 hours. Following a traverse of a particularly dangerous and loose chute- they spotted a nice billy. After some discussion, Hanna decided not to take the shot as they could not determine the nature of the terrain they would have to cross to find the animal should she have shot it. Apparently, this was a wise decision as the ridge abruptly ended and dropped into an uncrossable chute. They scaled their way back up, basically on all fours to navigate the rocks and shifting scree.
Within the hour they spotted another beautiful goat. Gingerly working their way out onto a ridge, Hanna took the animal with one shot. In case I haven’t made it clear- the terrain is incredible. They went to work on the animal, both packing over 50lbs on their backs. Here is a photo Hanna took to give an idea of what they had to scale with their packs. Several hours later, they were off the peaks and on their way home. Thoroughly exhausted but exhilarated!
Any parent who has passed the hunting torch on to their children understands the indescribable pride when their child attempts the seemingly impossible. Having spent the past month on that terrain in that elevation with sketchy elements- I cannot express how proud I am that my 16 year old daughter did what she did. Oh yeah..in my book, the kid is a rock star. Now, I do have to say that she is not really itching to do this hunt again any time soon, but dang…does she have some bragging rights!
So, as we move forward with the seasons, it is time to try to bag the bruin for Haydyn, our youngest daughter. Remember, in Colorado bears cannot be baited, so the spot-and-stalk is on! Keep your fingers crossed
CEO- Prois Hunting Apparel
How much scouting can you possibly do!? Holy cow… We have hit the peaks every weekend (with a slight reprieve to slay some gators), and Labor Day weekend was no exception! For those who have never had the good fortune of drawing a mountain goat tag, the sheer magnitude of finding these wiley critters is jaw-dropping.
We hit the high peaks (roughly 12,500 feet) at daybreak to glass the far reaches of the permit unit for goats. To our astonishment, we immediately came into about a dozen goats…glorious, glorious goats! We perched ourselves to watch and learn. The terrain is nothing short of treacherous and can lend itself as fuel for any family fight! Ohhh, but that is a story for another time! I must say, I was astonished to watch how quickly these animals can mobilize and disappear. The vanishing act itself is not what is surprising…it is actually the routes they use to disappear that makes one slack-jawed. These animals have fluid movements that lead them up impossible cliffs, ledges and scree fields. They are incredible.
We are looking forward to the pursuit…but there is no way this will be an easy hunt. Hanna, our 16 year old daughter who is the poor goat hunter that has been subjected to my blogging, knows this will probably be the toughest hunt she can imagine. That said, she is definitely encouraged to know that there are definitely some fine animals within her reach. We’ll see if she is still speaking to us when the hunt is over!
CEO- Prois Hunting Apparel
You might be wondering what on earth could interrupt the billy quest. While the billy quest has been nothing short of an epic endeavor in our household, we interrupt this billy quest for an amazing gator hunt in the swamps of Louisiana. I will be heading out today with Prois Pro-Staffer Jennifer Barvitski to join forces with fellow Pro-Staffer Dana Wall and her husband Chad to embark on our first gator hunt. Jennifer and I are thrilled by the invitation for such a crazy hunt…of COURSE we had to go! (despite jealous mumblings from my VP of Sales repeating the words ‘death roll’…)
We head out of the cool Colorado climate to the swamplands of Louisiana…I am certain bugs and humidity won’t be a problem…yeah right. I will be pursuing my first gator with my new CVA 50cal muzzleloader and Jennifer will be packing her bow should the opportunity arise! So…with that… stay tuned, pray to the airline Gods that we don’t lose our luggage (or at least our weapons) and check out the Prois Gator Hunt!
CEO Prois Hunting Apparel
CEO-Prois Hunting Apparel
Another scouting weekend for the elusive Billy. As always, this was a family affair. Steve has officially logged another 1/2 hour with his topo-map-stare-down. Not sure who is winning yet, but I can tell you that there is not a single nook or cranny in the San Isabel that will not be heartily scrutinized! I hope that this obsessive-compulsive disorder will fade in the days and weeks following hunting season. While I am awestruck that he can simultaneously study a map while playing a lively round of Yahtzee, I am fearful that he will remain monosyllabic for the rest of his life. Indeed- conversation has been replaced with single words, grunts and an occaisional “Uh-Huh”. Although we miss him…it has been peaceful.
I am amazed at the amount of effort a single family can make to ensure one of their own gets the hunt of a lifetime. It isn’t the fact that our family can work together to make it happen…no, we stick together and that is not what is amazing. It is more of an emotional sticking point… I have to admit that I am jealous. I am not just a little jealous, I am certifiably, insanely jealous. I am that kind of jealous that makes a mom gaze upon her 16 year old daughter and consider such thoughts as, “We look enough alike…maybe we can send her to Grandma’s during hunting season…Could I pass as a 16 year old? Would the jail time be worth it?”. Yeah…that is the crazy kind of jealousy that drove Glenn Close to simmer a rabbit in the stew pot. (I sense that when my 14 year old reads this, she will keep closer tabs on her pet rabbit, Bun-Bun) Is it wrong that I find myself singing Aretha Franklin’s song, ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ in my own version called, ‘J-E-A-L-O-U-S’? Is it wrong that I throw sideways glances at my daughter and think, “It should be mine.”? Right or wrong, I have been told that this is an illness and it really isn’t my fault, therefore at least I don’t have to feel guilty about it!
I am certain our daughters are wondering what has happened to their seemingly normal parents. A father with zebraskin glasses who grunts at a topo-map and a crazy mother who clicks the light off and on while sitting in the dark listening to Aretha Franklin are not your typical PTA parents. (Maybe that is why we have never been asked to come to a PTA meeting…) I believe we are not alone out there…I believe all parents who pass the sport and art of hunting on to their children fully identify with our apparent instability. I have assured our kids that until we are running around the house with tinfoil on our heads and our boots duck-taped on, that we are still sane and competent.
That said, my daughter just informed me that she didn’t need me to feed Bun-Bun anymore…