Daughters of Prois Hunting Apparel CEO, Kirstie Pike, have a successful elk hunting season in Colorado. Both girls harvested their animals on DIY hunts in the Gunnison Basin. Great Job!
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Trapping has bee an incredible experience so far this year but I still donâ€™t have a bird in hand and I am ready to start training and quit trapping all the time. Between elk season and trying to trap a goshawk I have had many early mornings and late nights. This is the first time I have ever attempted to trap a goshawk and they are a lot more difficult to trap than kestrels and red-tails, the two types of birds I have flown in the past. I finally received my General Falconry license this year which permits me to trap a wider variety of species and fly two birds at once if I choose. Unfortunately my license came too late to be able to trap earlier in the year and the season inexplicably is closed for the last two weeks of October, prime time for trapping a goshawk.
The season started out with a bang when I trapped a great horned owl. It is illegal to keep a great horned owl for falconry in Colorado and they are impossible to train unless you trap them as a chick so I released this one immediately after taking this picture. Despite this it was incredibly exciting to be so close to such a gorgeous and majestic bird. Since then I have trapped a couple other birds but no goshawks and I have lost several pigeons to predators. I lost 5 pigeons the day I made the mistake of leaving the traps and pigeons in the back of my truck and some brave neighborhood foxes made a feast of my mistake. Many lessons I have learned in life Iâ€™ve learned the hard way and this was no exception. My goshawk traps are designed to leave out during the day unattended and I have been driving out to set them around first light and picking them up at last light almost every day since November 1st when trapping reopened. The last few big snow storms we have had really slowed down trapping and I am concerned that my window of opportunity may be closing for goshawks in this area. I have been seeing many fewer birds, and fewer prey animals in the areas I have been trapping. I am still going to try to trap towards Montrose for a couple more weeks but I plan on trapping a red-tail soon if I am still not successful. The rabbit population looks to have increased this last year and red-tails are amazing on rabbits and hares so I would be very happy with a nice hen red-tail this winter.
If a goshawk doesnâ€™t work out this year I will get out even earlier next year and I am planning to build some more traps so I will have even more opportunities. Trapping birds of prey gets me more excited than just about anything and it even rivals catching monster trout. This weekend I fished a floated in an area very near my favorite red-tail trapping spot so I brought some traps with me and had a gorgeous adult dark morph female red-tail on the trap first thing Sunday morning. It was a close call whether she was an adult or a juvenile and after sending picture messages too and consulting with three of my most trusted falconer friends the consensus was that she was an adult. I was heart broken because she was one of the most beautiful and unusual red-tails I have ever had my hands on.
Later that day we had a juvenile red-tail on our trap but the noose slipped off his foot as I approached and he landed nearby in a tree. We decided to wait and see if heâ€™d give the trap another try because he was still very interested even though he had been spooked. He flew to a fence right above the trap, to the ground next to the trap, to the tree and then back to the ground. It was incredibly exciting but it was driving me nuts to watch him. Finally he took off and flew away after watching him from down the road with binoculars for almost an hour. After that we saw a few more red-tails but none of them went for the trap. We also spotted many many kestrels but I have my heart set on bigger game this year. The rest of the day it was stormy on and off and we didnâ€™t have any more luck trapping birds. The winds were high and red tails donâ€™t fly well on very windy days, though the falcons were loving it. I plan on getting back out to trap red-tails and goshawks this weekend and I would love to come home with a juvenile gos or a red-tail. Wish me luck and stay tuned for more trapping adventures!
By: Kirstie Pike
CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women
Am I alone here? Could I quite possibly be one of the only hunters in North America who has not yet hunted whitetail? When I mention this little confession in hunting circles I encounter reactions something akin to what lepers must have felt in the 1700â€™s. Itâ€™s true, I have hunted muleys, elk, bear, turkey and even gatorâ€¦but not the proverbial mainstay of our hunting cultureâ€¦whitetail.
I am embarking on this journey in early November and heading up to Saskatchewan with Tracey Splechter of Outdoor Connections. I am thrilled to be able to attempt my first whitetail hunt in such an amazing area with a good friend. The adventure will undoubtedly result in some great stories. I am armed with every sort of scent elimination, hand warmers, cold weather gear and my trusty Remington. I am ready.
But as the hunt approaches, I realize I have some very serious concernsâ€¦
I cannot sit still. At all. I have fidgetiness that rivals that of a 9 year old with undiagnosed ADHD. In fact, when I was a kid, my mom used to get very exasperated at the fact that I was always moving, picking and fidgeting. (Luckily I got past the picking part) â€œYou ooze nervous energyâ€, she would lament. Now, as I start to ponder how I will maintain a sedate posture for five days, I start to sweat a little. I am realizing that I am going to have to steel myself with the mental fortitude of the Dali Lama. Seriously. This is going to be an issue for me. I have already had visions of my guide looking at me and wondering out loud why I am flopping about like I am having a seizure and politely requesting me to sit still. My response is always this, â€œI AM sitting stillâ€. Am I cut out for tree stand hunting? I am quite certain that spot and stalk methods were created for stillness-impaired people like me. Am I going to be that one client that the outfitter jokes about for years to come?
OK, while I am apparently in the â€˜whitetail confessionalsâ€™, is it too late to also mention that I have a small fear of heights? Yeah. I do. As I scanned the photos from the outfitters website, I noticed the true height of some of these stands. I noted a slight wave of nausea when I took in all of this information. Those suckers are HIGH! Of course, safety harnesses are a must as they will certainly save one from the horrible fate of hitting the ground. I am wondering if psychologically I could survive a fall, even with a safety harness. Would I scream like a four year old? Would I wet my pants? Would I turn catatonic? How would the outfitter explain all of this to my poor family? I envision it going something like this, â€œI am not sure exactly what happened, Mr. Pike, but we found her hanging there drooling and babbling incoherently. Do you want us to send her back to you?â€ Mr. Pike then considers his options, mulls it over and finally relents.
I have been counseled by many ardent whitetail hunters who inform me that I need to bring a book and my cell phone to play games. This is also a first. While I am utterly relieved to know that I will have a bit of mental diversion, I have to admit that I have never had to bring my Augusten Burroughs collection into the woods with me. I am now worried I will get too engrossed in my book to notice that trophy buck under my stand. I am beginning to think I need therapy.
I must admit that after obsessively rolling these scenarios over in my brain for the past two weeks, I have come to one conclusion. Perhaps my paralyzing fear of heights will indeed keep me still. Hey! Problem solved.
Nowâ€¦what if I drop my bookâ€¦
Weâ€™ve chosen this monthâ€™s photo in the spirit of Thanksgiving! 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 â€œcommentâ€ section listed below.
Why should you participate? Well, for startersâ€¦itâ€™s fun! BUT- the winner that is chosen by the Prois staff will become the proud new owner of a Turas Shortsleeve shirt in Black/Pink, White/Black, or Navy/White.
What are you waiting for!? Give us YOUR caption!
Kirstie Pike, CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women
The first annual Womenâ€™s Outdoor Media Association (WOMA) retreat, which was held in Gunnison, CO- started out with a bang. Quite literally.
The WOMA crew descended on the local shooting range for a lively session of trap shooting. A special thanks goes out to the Gunnison Sportsmanâ€™s Association and their helpful crew- Scott Rennick, Rick Odom and Jim Woodford. I am still uncertain if they had any idea what they had gotten themselves into with the WOMA crew as they all had wide-eyed expressions of fear when we arrived. After a few volleys of jokes â€“ we were certain this group of guys was a good match for us! They were unflappable. Even when Barb Baird arrived sporting her world famous coonskin cap. I understand it is all the rage in Missouri.
A quick safety talk from Scott and Rick, and the WOMA crew was ready to roll. Scott and Rick lead the crew through the various shooting stations and provided great tips, teaching points and humorous interjections.
Chris Quam proved to be the top shot of the day, as she was busting clays from all directions. Chrisâ€™ husband Patrick, Gary and Deb Ferns, Barbara and Jason Baird, Hank and Mia Anstine, and Olympic Biathletes Tracy and Lanny Barnes all proved to be exceptional markspersons. (is that really a word?) Great volleys of rounds, busting clays and Deb Fernsâ€™ stories could be heard all about the range. And the best partâ€¦Katherine Browne and I caught it ALL on film. We accept bribes. Food works.
This event, being the first event of the retreat weekend, was an excellent ice breakerâ€¦although I am not sure how much ice needs to be broken when you are in the company of Barb Baird and Deb Ferns. We quickly learned that we had an amazing level of camaraderie and that the many adventures we had planned for the weekend would be great fun. As well, there is nothing like the smell of gunpowder to bring a group together! Well, except maybe a hot breakfast before heading out for an amazing day of falconry! But that is a story for another day!
The second annual Prois and Primal Adventures TV Extreme Huntress Contest is going full tilt! With many, many amazing women entered, the celebrity panel of judges, which include Guy Eastman, Diana Rupp, Larry Weishuhn, Rebecca Francis and Kirstie Pike, have narrowed the field to the top 10 finalists! The winner of this unrivaled contest receives a New Zealand hunting trip from Frazier Safaris and an amazing gear package from Prois Hunting Apparel for Women, Aimpoint, Swarovski, Bowtech, BOG Gear, Brownells, Schnees and Badlands Packs. Winner will also be flown to the 2011 Archery Trade Association Show and 2011 SHOT Show for press conferences formally announcing the winner to the industry!
So now what?
Jump online to the Tahoe Films website (link below) and check out each of these amazing ladies. Submit your vote and stay tuned…the winner will be determined on January 1, 2011!
Voting will commence at 12:01AM Monday, November 1st and end at 11:59PM January 1, 2011.
Link to Vote:
Only one vote per IP address and email address is allowed. Voters must provide a valid email address to vote. Email addresses are run through a data base which determines validity. If an office is on a network, then the office is all on one IP address- to avoid any conflicts, we encourage folks to vote from home if their office system is on a network!
So…get on out and vote…after all, it IS an election year!
The past month has been intense! Just one week after coming home from a winning performance at the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) Nationals, I was on a plane headed to Australia to compete for Team USA at the World Action Pistol Championships. The World Action Pistol Championships feature 4 courses of fire – Plates, Barricade, Practical and Mover. There are 48 shots per stage for a grand total of 192 shots. I competed in the Open Division and Ladies Category with my Team USA teammate, Vera Koo.
The Open Division features highly specialized firearms with compensators, shrouds and red dot optics. In fact these guns almost look like something you would see in a sci-fi movie. Because there are so many modifications from stock firearms it also means that it can be challenging to get them to run 100%. In action shooting there are no alibis if you experience malfunctions. Unfortunately both my primary and back up guns had issues but even with that Vera and I were able to claim the Ladies Team World Title for Team USA.
With only one full day at home after 24+ hours in the air, I was back on the road to the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) National Championships in Las Vegas, NV. I made a last minute decision to shoot in the Production Division with my Smith & Wesson M&P Pro Series 9mm. It’s one of my favorite guns to shoot and I love that the Production Division features the guns that you can purchase at your local dealer. Despite battling jet lag, I was proud to finish with 8 stage wins and 2nd Place in the Womenâ€™s Category among a very talented field of ladies.
Itâ€™s been a great season. Out of 11 events this year I posted over 50 stage wins in the womenâ€™s category and won 3 state, 1 Regional, 2 National and 4 World Titles. Most top shooters compete in one or two sports and divisions. This year I competed in Open (1911), Limited, Production, Sporting Clays, Open Revolver, Iron Sight Revolver, Single Stack 1911, Enhanced Service Pistol, and Olympic Sport Pistol throughout a number of different shooting sports and organizations. The experience has been amazing and will also help me when I put pen to paper this winter when writing my upcoming book with the working title, “Shoot! A Guide to Shooting and Competition.”
I have one more match planned before the end of the year. I look forward to competing at the 2010 Phoenix Handgunner Championships, a revival of the old American Handgunner World Shoot Off Championships. In each stage competitors shoot against one other competitor to knock down all their steel targets before their competition. The winner moves on to challenge another shooter until a champion is crowned in each division. Itâ€™s an exciting event to both shoot and watch.
With a bit of time off before the Handgunner, I have been enjoying the hunting season. It’s my favorite time of year! Because we have a toddler, getting out in the field has been a challenge for me and my husband but we enjoy every minute we can. Of course it goes without saying that I wear my Prois gear every chance I get!
Pro-staff member Barbara Baird works as a professional writer and editor in the outdoor industry. She now contributes a monthly column to the recently launched online publication, GunUp, found at www.gunup.com. Bairdâ€™s blog, â€œBabbs in the Woodsâ€ and its updates regarding guns will also be picked up by this new publication, billed as the authoritative online destination for firearm enthusiasts. This year, she also came onboard at Kenn Blanchardâ€™s Urban Shooter Podcast, where she contributes news, reviews and stories about women and guns in the popular podcast.
When not hunting or fishing or working on the next food plot at her ranch in the Ozarks, Baird might be found teaching NRA handgun courses at her home range, near Rolla, Mo., or teaching women-only handgun courses at the local community college, including Concealed Carry Courses. Baird is president of the Womenâ€™s Outdoor Media Association and a member of Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. See www.sheshoots2.com, for information about Bairdâ€™s next shooting class.