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NRA Convention 2010- Now Made for a Woman!


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

 

It’s true, ladies…the NRA is no longer just a man’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. 

It’s true.  I expected to descend into a thick testosterone cloud.  I expected to hear snippets of conversation revolving around Glocks, AR’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 exhibitor’s booth like a bad dog that chases cars, I spoke at length with many attendees who were both moved and inspired by Sarah’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 woman’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 woman’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 now…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’s All Rather Unconventional…”Muthah’s Day”, Burning Stuff & Dirty Danes

Kirstie Pike
CEO Prois Hunting Apparel

Yep…about everything in our lives is rather unconventional.  To say that our family marches to the beat of a different drum is simply an understatement.  From all outward appearances, we appear to be the regular family next door.  However,  I am certain that more than one person has observed our family with a quizical look and a whisper of, “What in the world?”.  We are simply rather unconventional. 

Mother’s Day 2010.  Mother’s Day conjures up images of scripted cards, floral arrangements and never-ending brunches.  Perhaps a family gathering at church followed by a delightful dinner.  This is undeniably NOT the vision of Muthah’s Day at the Pike household. 

The day commenced with a long anticipated weed burning episode that produced enough smoke to blot the sun from the sky and cause my daughter and I to stop, drop and roll into a combat crawl to get away from the smoke chokehold.  We maintained this method of transportation to the front of the house as we met the local Park Service Rangers who were responding to what appeared to be a gargantuan brush fire.  It seems they would like for us to notify dispatch before the next weed burn.  Who would have thought that a leachfield burn could be seen for miles?  Note to self.

What could be more interesting than a springtime brush fire?  You guessed it, branding cattle!  I know, you see these images on so many Mother’s Day cards, right?  My husband and I, with our two teenage daughters commenced to the task.  Steve would rope the calves, the girls and I would stretch and hold them until branding, banding and vaccinations were through.  I am certain that Steve gazed out over the scene before him and quietly wished for male assistance to arrive.  With each task, the poor man was met with a barrage of female-fueled input sounding much like clucking hens in a hen house.  His masculine help never arrived.  Not until we were done.  It’s all a bit unconventional, but did you know it is probably more comfortable to brand in jeans rather than shorts and running shoes? 

Yardwork.  Who doesn’t love yard work!?  In the Gunnison basin, the winds blow incessantly until the snow melts from the high peaks.  This would occur somewhere in late June.  I am not talking winds that are akin to a breeze…I am talking gale force winds that could rival Hurricane Katrina.  This little trick from Mother Nature makes yardwork a matter of physics.  All I can say is that after hours of toiling in the flower beds, tending the lawn and filling the many bird feeders, the only result was a large cache of mulch, birdseed and clean laundry in a windblown jumble 300 yards from our house.  Luckily I planted the new perinneals my daughters gave me for Muthah’s Day.  The great news is that I did not find them in the pile with the laundry and birdseed.  The bad news is that I can’t find them anywhere.   

My husband and I are still trying to remember why we thought it was a great idea to have not one, but two Great Danes.  While they really have extremely sweet temperments…they are just, well, BIG.  And needy.  Big

Can anyone find my clean laundry and dirty danes in here?

and needy.  Living on a ranch, our dogs are constantly filthy and thus spend relatively little time in the house.  (Part of that reason is that daughter #1 dislikes them.  Thus, when the dogs enter the house, she quickly diverts them right back out the living room doors before they can get comfortable.  No one truly fights this either.)  It was my plan to give these lunks a bath for Mutha’s Day.  Did you know Danes hate water?  Daughter #2 and I wrestled the 130 lb dogs through 30 minutes of cold water, foam and wind.  We finished the job and high-fived our way back to the house only to find the dogs rolling in the windswept debris pile where our mulch, yard art and clean laundry land.   There may, in fact, be a small bonus in the fact that danes have a shorter life expectancy than most other breeds.  I think I know why. 

So when people ask me about Muthah’s Day…I simply tell them it was just another day in the life.  And it was…it’s all just a bit unconventional.

Prois Pro-Staffer Barbara Baird Takes Pride in NOT Being One of the Guys!

Próis Hunting Apparel Pro-Staffer Barbara Baird recently spent time on the Norfolk Police Department shooting range alongside several outdoor bloggers, courtesy of BLACKHAWK! and a special trip for media it sponsored in Norfolk, Va., home of BLACKHAWK!’s headquarters. Barb wore her “Take Pride in NOT Being One of the Guys” shirt on the range, and as the only female blogger represented, felt it a fitting motto for the day. In this case, the pictures can say more than words! However, she liked the sleeve length of the shirt and felt it allowed her movement that she needed in order to make hits on the targets. And it made a nice, not-in your face, but ever-so-there statement. And a lot of the guys, including the Director of Business Development, Chuck Buis, inquired as to where he could buy a shirt like that for his wife, because she was that kind of a woman!

Barb at the Norfold Police Department Range

Barb at the Norfolk Police Department Range

Take Pride in NOT Being One of the Guys! Here’s Barb Baird at the
Norfolk Police Department Range among fellow outdoor and shooting
bloggers, learning about the variety of KNOXX stocks for rifles and
shotguns offered by BLACKHAWK!

Barb and Pro-Shooter Todd Jarrett

Pro-shooter Todd Jarrett offered a few pointers and then stood back
to watch Barb blow away a target.

Barb Before the Shot

Barb Before the Shot

Then, Barb had to go all hot-dog at the range and show how she
could shoot a 12-gauge with a BLACKHAWK!KNOXX Breachersgrip recoil
reducing pistol grip all one-handed like …

Barb After the Shot

Barb After the Shot

She pooched out her lower lip and shot three rounds out of that
gun. She won the hot dog award.
That’s our Barb Baird!!!

Prois Named Best Women’s Apparel in Outdoor Canada Best New Gear 2010!

 

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!

Prois Field-Staffer Jana Waller Bags a Great Wisconsin Gobbler!

Jana Waller, a Prois Field-Staffer since 2009,  bagged this great Tom at 4:00pm on day two of her Wisconsin turkey hunt.  After two full days of hunting and five close encounters with Toms that she just couldn’t get to come in, frustration levels were starting to rise.  Then, to Jana’s delight, her luck changed. “This bad boy made the mistake of walking by my ground blind at 45 yards. Thank God for heavy shot!”, declared Waller. 

It is amazing that Jana has any time left to hunt at all.  Being a Prois Field-Staff member is only a small piece of Jana’s involvement in the hunting industry.  She is a freelance writer, with bylines appearing in numerous hunting websites and magazines.  As well, she has combined her degree in Public Relations and her love for freelance writing to work extensively with hunting-related companies.  She is frequently spotted in a variety of hunting shows.  And, if that isn’t enough, Jana turned her hobby of shed hunting into a career by creating www.paintingskulls.com , where she creates custom skull designs for hunter’s European mounts.   Whether it is with a rifle, bow, pen or brush in hand, Jana lives for the great outdoors!

Prois’ Transatlantic Correspondent Takes to the Snow With the Defender!

We are always most excited to receive an update from Julie Caddick (Joolz)!  To those of you who know her, Joolz resideds in the UK and has kept us updated on the happenings in the outdoors overseas.  After an especially long winter, Joolz has the following message!

“H”i to everyone over in the USA.   I hope that you are all enjoying the new year.  We continue to hear that this winter has been the “Worst on record in the UK for the past thirty years”.   This, however, all depends on your point of view. Hardship to most people in the UK means not being able to walk out of their house to their car without a coat.  Therefore, the slightest covering of snow brings everything to a stop. We don’t get anything like the amounts of snow that you get in places out there but still it’s enough to cause real hardship for some of our wildlife. Our deer in particular have found it difficult as most of the food that would normally be available at this time of year has been frozen or under snow for the last three months.  Still, they seem to be coping much better than we would if put into the same situation.

 

I am determined this year to get out as often as I can and enjoy myself with this in mind we have just purchased a Land Rover Defender 4×4 and have just put it to the test this morning.  We set off down to our wood in a blizzard. There were hardly any vehicles on the road and the M1, which is our major motorway (freeway I think you call them), was deserted. It’s amazing what confidence it gives you having the correct equipment to do the job. I am sure that in our old van we would have had to turn round and come home. The countryside was like a winter wonderland with snow falling heavier as we drove along we took our time and eventually arrived at the gate to the field that leads to our wood. There was no sign of anybody being through the gate this morning so we opened it and drove through. The track drops away to our woodland getting steeper as it goes.  We drove about three quarters of the way down and then turned onto the field .

 

We gave the Defender a bit of a try off road which it handled easily then parked up and walked into the woods. The snow had stopped falling and the temperature began to rise we spent about three hours shooting while the weather kept improving.   Nobody else came down the wood while we were there… their loss not ours!   I was almost disappointed that the roads were clearing as we drove home but at least we now have the confidence in the vehicle that we won’t miss any shoots this year.

Wishing you all the best for the seasons to come.

                                                                     Joolz   

Prois Pro-Staffer Stephanie Mallory Chases Mississippi Gobblers

Prois Pro-Staffer, Stephanie Mallory, recently attended a Lifetime Hunt in Macon, Mississippi.  Sponsored by the State of Mississippi, this outdoor writer’s hunt was attended by fellow journalists Karen Lee, Tes Jolly and Mike Lambeth. 

Mallory reports, “The plantation in Macon is a beautiful place with a lot of history.  The “Treaty of Dancing Rabit Creek” was signed in 1830 on the plantation.  This was the largest of the great Coctaw cessions and provided land for what is now one-third of the state of Mississippi.”  In terms of hunting, the plantation was full of birds, but most were in transition and not coming to the calls.  “They would gobble a couple times off the roost, then they’d shut up.”, Stephanie notes.  Her guide is hopeful that there should be great hunting in the next week as the hens will be nesting and the gobblers will grow desperate! 

Stephanie is a freelance writer and owner of Mallory Communications, Inc., a public relations firm. Stephanie has pursued a career in freelance writing, editing and photography. Her byline has appeared in more than 100 magazine articles for national and regional publications. She lives in Birmingham, Ala. Married to Brett Mallory, Stephanie is the proud mother of four (yes, four!) beautiful children.

Pro-Staffer Barbara Baird Bags Great Rios in Oklahoma!

Prois Pro-Staffer Barbara Baird attended an all-women’s turkey hunt in Oklahoma where she tagged out early with two Rio Grandes, thanks to her excellent guide from Hunter’s Specialties, Jimmy Estus.  The hunt was sponsored by Hunter’s Specialties, Benelli and SHE Outdoor Apparel.  Watch for more information about the camaraderie of the hunt and a most favorable review of the Benelli Vinci shotgun in Guns & Patriots online.

Great job, Barbara!

Camp Wild Girls and Prois Hunting Apparel Partner to Launch the Camp Wild Girls Home Hunting Party!

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 party@campwildgirls.com.  As well, you may log onto www.campwildgirls.com and click on “Hunting Party”.