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Falconry Files – WOMA Retreat

By Katherine Browne

There is nothing that gets me excited about trapping a bird like going out with two of my best falconry buddies and two fantastic birds that are on their game.  This past weekend I invited Deanna Curtis and Roger Tucker out for the first annual WOMA, Women’s Outdoor Media Association, (visit  http://thewoma.com/ for more info) retreat.  For the retreat I planned a long weekend of falconry, grouse hunting, and fly fishing.  I based our activities on my favorite things to do and for this group that worked perfectly.  Saturday morning we started out at the Gunnison Sportsmen’s Association (http://www.gunnisonsportsmens.com/) doing some skeet shooting after which we headed to breakfast then out with the birds.  While eating breakfast with Roger, Deanna, and all the retreat participants I was vibrating with excitement about the coming hunt.  I had hunted with Deanna and Roger in the past and knew we were in for a fantastic hunt.   After breakfast we drove out to the hunting spot and Rodger treated us to a falconry talk while Deanna prepared her hen Red-Tail Karma for the hunt.  Deanna fitted Karma with telemetry, removed her hood, then we were ready to go!  We were all beating a sage brush before we kicked up our first cottontail but when we did Karma was on it immediately and we had our first bunny in the bag.  The excitement was palpable after everyone saw this first flight and we had our first taste of success. 

 

Karma with her first cottontail of the day

I don’t care how many times I see a red-tail hawk after a rabbit, my excitement never decreases.  It always feels like the first time my male red-tail took a bunny.  This was Karma’s first hunt of the year and it was stellar.  We had another cottontail slip where the bunny darted right into a undercut rock.  I was standing right next to the rock and saw Karma rocket under the rock after the rabbit.  It was one of the coolest flights I have ever seen.  Being first on the scene I watched Karma hop back out from under the rock.  I love the way birds of prey walk, they do a kind of hop gallop that is very comical.  I shimmied under the rock to see if I could see the bunny and I saw it pressed tight in the back of the cave.  I told Deanna that I saw the rabbit and she got in position.  I prodded it out with my brush stick (an old ski pole) and we were treated to another awesome flight.  As we were headed back to the trucks we flushed another rabbit.  This was a longer flight and Karma flew hard after the rabbit.  The rabbit took cover in the brush and Deanna’s Brittney spaniel moved in for the re-flush.    Wilson is one hell of a falconry dog and re-flushed the rabbit almost immediately and Karma got it on her second flight.  It was an incredible flight and a great way to end her first hunt of the season.  Deanna is the executive director of Wild Wings Environmental Education, a non-profit educational organization located in centennial, Colorado The organization’s primary goal is to foster a greater public awareness of the important roles that Colorado’s native birds and bats play in the environment. To learn more about Wild WIngs or to make a donation visit http://www.wildwingseducation.org/

 

Karma waiting for a re-flush on her cave bunny

 

After Deanna put Karma away it was Roger’s turn to hunt with his passage hen Goshawk Nova.  Roger described the difference between the two birds and their hunting styles and answered questions.  After that we were off again beating brush for bunnies.  Within 30 yards of the truck we had our first rabbit.  Nova took off like a shoot as we yelled the universal falconry call “HO HO HO” and rabbit ran for it’s life.  Nova was on the bunny like a shot, and as is typical with Goshawks if you had blinked you would have missed it.  Nova had 3 more great flights and slips (what falconers call an oportunity on a game animal or a flush) before the hunt was over. 

 

 

Nova on her cottontail

The terrain we were hunting had a lot of rock outcropping and historically I have had shorter slips there but it’s a great place to see some incredible flights.  Everyone really enjoyed seeing the different styles of the two birds.  Both Nova and Karma flew wonderfully, followed well, and flew hard on any game that presented itself.  Both birds are on their forth seasons and are prime examples of great falconry birds.  I think I can safely say that this falconry demonstration was the highlight of the WOMA retreat.  Everyone was so excited to see two amazing birds doing what they do best in such beautiful terrain.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather, better falconers, better birds, or a better group of people to share it with.  I hope the bird I trap in the coming weeks will become as great a bird as Nova or Karma.  Thank you again Roger and Deanna coming out and sharing your sport with us.  Stay tuned for my next edition of falconry files where I will write about my trapping adventures!

 

Nova primed and ready to take another bunny

BOGgear LLC., makers of the very popular BOG-PODâ„¢ shooting sticks, proudly announces their continued support of the Extreme Huntress Contest for 2011!

A sponsor of the contest from the very beginning, owner Kim Hicks commented ….. “BOGgear and BOG-PODâ„¢ are very happy to continue supporting this unique contest because it brings to light not only the growing number of women hunters in the field these days, but the fact that many of them are moving to a new level in the sport.  It wasn’t really that long ago when very few women hunted at all.  But over the last 20 years that number has exploded – with many of the ladies taking on hunts that are some of the most physically demanding anywhere in the world.  To me, this is what the EHC really highlights”.  

Kim adds, “If you are physically fit, know your firearm, ammo, and optics – have the correct clothing and associated other essential gear, and have done your homework in regard to the species and country you’ll be hunting, there is no challenge in sport hunting that is too large for an experienced lady hunter.  And in regard to our company and it’s products … there could be no better fit!”
 
“We feel our shooting sticks, and all the associated quick change Switcheroo® shooting accesories are the finest and most valuable shooting system on the market today.  Lady hunters of all ages have found that a good set of BOG-PODâ„¢ shooting sticks is not only mandatory equipment for them, but can easily make the difference in taking a trophy home or not.  No one, not the highly experienced grandfather – nor the 15 year old beginning hunter wants to do all the planning, spend all the money, and expend all the the effort necessary on a serious hunt, and not have the single largest advantage available to them when the moment of truth arrives – a that’s a good set of BOG-PODâ„¢ shooting sticks!   I think it’s really that simple”, states Hicks.
The Extreme Huntress Contest really appreciates BOGgear’s continued support, and their donation of a complete quick change shooting system to the eventual winner and the host of the hunt.  We know the equipment provided by BOGgear will certainly be a tremendously valuable addition for the thrilling adventure that our 2011 winner will be awarded with.
For more information about BOGgear LLC., or any of the BOG-PODâ„¢ shooting sticks and Switcheroo® Shooting System accesories, log on to:  http://www.boggear.com

PRÓIS HUNTING AND FIELD APPAREL PARTNERS WITH FULL-THROTTLE COMMUNICATIONS FOR NEWLY DESIGNED WEBSITE

 

Próis® Hunting and Field Apparel of Gunnison, CO is proud to announce it has expanded its current Public Relations partnership with Full-Throttle Communications to include the design, development and launch of its newly enhanced website that will showcase its high-performance, hardcore hunting apparel for women.  Not only will the new Próis site be flawlessly organized and packed with helpful images and information, it will take everything fans have come to expect from Próis and put it online including easy-to-operate efficiency, an active community blog and social media communiqués, all while incorporating a dynamic and creative visual appeal.

 

“We’re thrilled to work with Full-Throttle Communications in this new capacity and look forward to designing a website that will truly resonate with the female hunting community, and provide the latest technologies that will help pave the way Próis’ future growth.” said Kirstie Pike, president and CEO of Próis Hunting and Field Apparel. 

 

Próis 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.  Their 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.

 

 

The crew at Full-Throttle Communications are masters at igniting passion and new brand energy by providing powerful marcom insights, hot creative solutions and impactful media outreach that moves brands and grows companies-  a literal one-stop shop for all communications resources.  For more information about Full-Throttle Communications and their marketing services, visit them online at www.fullthottlecommunications.com

 

Prois Hunting Apparel Caption Contest – October 2010

We’ve chosen this month’s photo in the spirit of Haloween!  Jump in and take part in the fun!  Prois Hunting Apparel for Women is sponsoring a monthly photo caption contest which will be posted here, on the Prois Community Blog. 

How do you participate?  Simply supply a unique caption to go with our posted photo in the “comment” section listed below. 

Why should you participate?  Well, for starters…it’s fun!  BUT- the winner that is chosen by the Prois staff will become the proud new owner of a Sherpa Beanie in Max-1 or Realtree AP

What are you waiting for!?  Give us YOUR caption!

Sistahs are doing it for themselves

Taken from Pro-Staffer Holly Heyser’s Blog

http://norcalcazadora.blogspot.com/2010/09/women-hunting-beautiful-sight.html#0

Women hunting: A beautiful sight

Of the 742 photos I took this weekend at California Waterfowl‘s 2010 Women’s Hunting Camp, I think this one is my favorite. Not because it has any particular technical or artistic merit, but because – more than any other – it captures the mood of the day.

These women are exhilarated and filled with a confidence borne of achieving something that society doesn’t expect of them. And these are just the first of many emotions they’ll get to savor as they become more and more deeply involved in the pursuit that is more ancient than civilization itself: hunting to put food on their tables.

It fills me with both a maternal sense of pride in them and a sisterly desire to offer a welcoming embrace.

But enough with the sappy stuff. Let’s talk about what happened here: Hide


Ten women attended the weekend camp at Birds Landing Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clays. Two of them already had hunting licenses, but eight were there to complete their hunter education, learn to shoot shotguns, get their licenses and go on their first hunt.
I was on hand all weekend to assist, educate and generally butt in a lot, which everyone tolerated generously. But lest you think this was all about philanthropy, let me set you straight: I was hungry to watch the transformation that would take place in them, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Everyone arrived Saturday morning looking a little quiet and unsure as we handed out their hunter ed manual and blaze orange caps, courtesy of Prois. During the hunter education sessions, they listened to instructor George Oberstadt intensely, stopping him occasionally to grill him on the finer points of ammunition, or safety, or ethics. It was very, very serious.

After lunch, we had some hands-on sessions. I manned the “weapon familiarization” table, where I illustrated the differences between three types of shotguns and two rifles. I loved explaining the autoloaders to them: “Check out how hard you have to press this button to chamber the shell,” I said, handing them my own personal shotgun, Sarah Connor. “See? They’re made for man hands. They’re not delicate.”

Then there was testing. Again, the mood was very serious.

After that, while George graded the tests to see who would pass and become a licensed hunter, a bunch of us volunteers took the women out to the sporting clays course to take what was, for most of them, their first shots with a shotgun.

Some struggled. Some got it fairly quickly. Carole, though, was a total beast – I think she hit her first three shots in a row, which had all of us hollering like teenage boys at a strip club.

God, how I always wanted to be like Carole – a prodigy! Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately in this case, I wasn’t, so I had authentic words of advice for the rest: Don’t worry if you’re not amazing now. With practice, all of you can become good – way better than average.

One of my favorite moments after that was watching Monique, who really struggled at first. She’s cross-dominant – left-handed, right-eye dominant. She tried shooting right handed, but hated it. She switched to left and felt more comfortable, but still wasn’t hitting targets. Our instructor, another George, had her do an exercise that involved pointing her right index finger as if it were the barrel of the gun. Like magic, something clicked, and after that she started slamming clays.

Relief! And joy. We were all smiles.

After shooting practice, we retreated to the blessed shade of our patio classroom, where George handed out prizes for the women with the two best test scores – Girls with Guns gun cases (uh, yeah, use that link – if you just Google them, you’ll get some weird, kinky stuff), courtesy of the Tackle Box, a hook-n-bullet store in Chico (which, by the way, is gearing up to stock some women’s hunting clothing from Prois).

Can I get three cheers for Rachel (right) and Sarah (left – the wife of the Darren I hunted with on closing day of duck season in January)?


Notice the smiles? Good Lord, every single one of them was sporting a huge grin as she first got her hunter ed certificate (yes, everyone passed), and then got her license. I mean, teeth, gums, everything – they were happy as hell! And I remember how it felt – you study hard, but you’re filled with uncertainty, and passing that test is a big deal.

Then we sent everyone home to get a good night’s rest – or at least to try – before the morning’s hunt.

We started trickling into the Birds Landing parking lot at 7 a.m. Sunday, and I watched their faces, remembering vividly my fist hunt – also a planted-bird pheasant hunt, way back in 2006. You’ve read the materials, you’ve listened to your mentors, you’ve pulled the trigger a few times, but you have no clue what it’s going to be like when a pheasant lifts up in front of you.

We split into three groups, and in my first group was Lori, with whom I’d been emailing with back and forth for a little more than a year. The dog got on birds right away, and the first flush happened right in front of Lori.

Bam!


One shot, bird down!

Lori was one of the women who was already licensed, but this was her first pheasant and she was ecstatic. And seriously, I get a little teary, being so proud of her in that moment.

As the morning went on, I toggled between groups, watching as the women faced one of those challenges peculiar to planted bird hunts: These birds did not want to get up – they just ran and ran and ran.






And all of them wanted so much to be good sportswomen that they waited – often in vain – for the birds to take flight. Personally, for the price of admission, I would’ve sluiced the buggers. At least one of them.

When the sun got too high and the parched dogs began to wear out, we finally had to call it quits. Some got birds, others didn’t, but whether they realize it or not, all of them learned something – I could see it as the morning wore on, the attentive way they monitored the dogs, guns at the ready.

Whether they realized it or not, their instincts were kicking in. Watching it was like learning it all over again – delicious.







For Renee Viehmann – the second woman from the left in the bottom row of the last photo above – these moments must have been especially sweet. Renee was a graduate of last year’s CWA women’s hunting camp, and she subsequently helped start the Bad Ass Girls Club. She volunteered with her Weimaraner Roxie this weekend to help introduce the next batch of women to hunting.

When the hunt was over, there was lunch. George grilled duck and goose and burgers, which we all devoured gratefully. We all talked about what it was like, about the surprises everyone encountered. We talked about what they needed to do next to pursue the kinds of hunting that interested them.

I dumped about 90 percent of my women’s hunting clothing collection on a table and let everyone plow through it to see what they liked, and to try on some pieces to get a feel for fit. And can I just say that regardless of the type of clothing, chicks still dig going through another girl’s closet? Totally fun.

We all stood there chatting about what we wanted to do next, then, one by one, drifted away.

But it’s not over. It looks like Monique might accompany me on a deer/bear hunt in a couple weeks. Carole said she’s really into trying duck hunting now. I know Sarah is going to join her husband Darren out at the waterfowl refuges, and learn what it is that got him completely obsessed last year.

Kirsten, who works for the Department of Fish and Game, is going to dive into the pursuit that her agency regulates. Raquel, who is a reporter, may write a story about this weekend, and we’re going to try to hook her up for a pig hunt, which is what captivates her most. Lori is putting in her season-long application for reservations for waterfowl hunts. Angela plans to hunt turkeys with her husband.

And those are just the plans I know about. But no worries, we’ve all got each other’s email addresses. I’m pretty sure we’ll all be seeing each other again.

© Holly A. Heyser 2010

 

 

Julie Goloski-Golob wins another title and will author a book for shooters

Photo by Yamil Sued

Photo by Yamil Sued

It’s been a wonderful season for Julie Golob so far and we wanted to share more exciting news.  Last week Julie competed at the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) National Championships in Tulsa, OK.  “It was a very challenging match with an exceptional turnout” says Julie.  Julie placed 9th in Enhanced Service Pistol Master Class and earned her fourth IDPA Ladies National Title.

We are also thrilled to report that Julie will be writing her first book! She has a contract with Skyhorse Publishing of New York, NY to write a how-to book for aspiring shooters-and current shooting enthusiasts who want to hone their skills.  Skyhorse was ranked second on the 2010 Publisher’s Weekly list of the fastest-growing independent publishers in the United States. They publish books on many different subjects in areas including sports and outdoors, military history, how-to, self-help, true crime, antiques and collectibles, transportation and aviation, current events, and more. Read more on the WON at

 

 

http://womensoutdoornews.com/2010/09/julie-goloski-golob-to-author-book/

Julie has just two more matches on her schedule for the season.  Next she will be competing at the World Action Pistol Championships in Australia at the for the Ladies World Individual and Team Titles.  Just 2 days after she returns Julie will heading to Las Vegas for the USPSA Handgun National Championships where she will be shooting in the Revolver Division.

PROIS HUNTING & FIELD APPAREL FOR WOMEN PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH SPORTSMAN’S WAREHOUSE CHAIN!

Prois Hunting & Field Apparel has recently partnered with Sportsman’s Warehouse to provide their customer base with the high-performance, technical women’s hunting gear that can only be found with the Prois brand!  This is terrific news for our customers who are fans of the Sportsmans Warehouse chain and look to this retail avenue to find their hunting necessities.  Prois Hunting Apparel can now be found at the following twelve Sporstman’s Warehouse Stores:

ALASKA:   Wasilla and Anchorage
CALIFORNIA:  Rocklin
COLORADO:  Grand Junction
IDAHO:  Idaho Falls
NEVADA:  Reno
NEW MEXICO:  Albuquerque
OREGON:  Medford
SOUTH CAROLINA:  Columbia
TENNESSEE:  Chattanooga
UTAH:  Midvale and Riverdale

We look forward to working closely with Sportsmans Warehouse to provide female hunters the gear they need to face the extremes.  What sets Prois apart? It is our belief that women require performance outdoor gear for their hunting and field pursuits. We select only the top rated performance fabrics to provide windstopping, wicking, waterproofing, silence and thermoregulation. We create each item to maximize efficiency and functionality in the field utilizing signature features such as scapular pockets, magnetic snaps, lumbar compartments, ducktail features and more. We take great pride in the fact that our gear is made with an overall commitment to the female hunter.

Stop by your local Sportsman’s Warehouse, you will not be disappointed!

Julie Golob takes two more world titles!

We were dying to post this before we had announced our Pro-Staff selections.  We are so proud to have Julie on our Pro-Staff team!   With these two titles under her belt Julie has won 6 world titles this year alone!
Photo by Yamil Sued

PIRU, Calif. – Helping to set the tone for the rest of her team, Smith & Wesson’s shooting team captain Julie Golob knocked off defending champion Jessie Abbate to claim the Women’s Limited division title during Friday’s competition then outgunned Glock’s Randi Rogers on Saturday to take the Women’s Production title at the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships in Piru, California.

Golob accounted for two of the nine titles that Team Smith & Wesson picked up during the three day speed shooting competition.

“The Steel Challenge is one of the most intense matches on the circuit. The women competing here are incredibly talented and going into the event I knew I would have to be at the top of my game to win,” said Golob.

“The Steel Challenge is all about control for me and not shooting outside of my ability. It’s easy to get lured into shooting someone else’s pace but I was able to stay focused. I used a Smith & Wesson M&P Pro Series 9mm and Safariland production rig in both divisions. I love this set up and to be undefeated at this year’s Steel Challenge was an absolute thrill,” said Julie Golob.

In Friday’s Limited division match Golob won just three stages to Abbate’s five but finished with a final time of 113.72 seconds, outpacing Abbate’s 116.41 by 2.69 seconds.

On Saturday, again shooting the Smith & Wesson M&P, Golob went head-to-head with Rogers with each winning four of the eight stages. However, it was Golob’s performance on the stage called Outer Limits, where she picked up 5.01 seconds on Rogers, that gave her the advantage and ultimately the win.       Photo by P. Erhardt

Golob finished the Production event in a time of 121.20 seconds to Rogers’ 125.98, an difference of 4.78 seconds.

Earlier in the match Golob finished ninth overall with a time of 106.85 seconds in the Iron Sight Rimfire event where she was the only woman competing. Her fellow teammates, Phil Strader and John Bagakis, finished first and third respectively in the same event.

The Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships were held August 19-21 in Piru, Calif. For more information on the Steel Challenge and the Steel Challenge Shooting Association, visitwww.SteelChallenge.com, find us on Facebook or follow @SteelChallenge on Twitter.

Contact:
Dave Thomas
dave@steelchallenge.com
(360) 855-2245

Christina Holden, Woman of the World

Prois Hunting Apparel Pro-staffer Christina Holden traveled to Africa assisting wounded military heroes on a plains game safari hunt.  She and the hunting party visited the country of South Africa in the Limpopo Province.
 
Christina is proud to take part in Safari Club International humanitarian efforts and serve as an ambassador, representing the generosity of the human spirit. She reached out to family, friends and colleagues, and collected 150 pounds of clothing and supplies to fill SafariCare Blue Bags for less fortunate children of all ages. Bush Africa Safaris, where they spent 10 days hunting the African bush, helped arrange the visit to a local boarding school. (www.bushafricasafaris.co.za
 
Christina said she was honored to have the opportunity to assist on this safari for our military veterans and enjoyed spending time with the children and delivering much needed supplies to the Shongoane Village of South Africa.
 
The two military heroes took six fine trophies and Christina colllected a handsome impala ram which will soon be on her wall to provide memories of a wonderful Bush Africa hunt.