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We are very proud to announce our 2012 Staff selections. New to Pro-Staff this year is Sara Ahrens. Sara Ahrens has been a law enforcement officer for 15 years and served 11 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves as a Russian and Spanish Interpreter. She is currently assigned to the Patrol Bureau and is an adjunct Firearm’s Instructor and Taser Instructor for her department. Sara is certified as a master handgun firearm’s instructor, rifle instructor and armorer. Sara was the first female to make her department’s SWAT team, where she served for four years as a supervisor. During this same time, she ran her agency’s training unit serving as the Range Master for the firearms program and overseeing the armament section. Sara is an avid shooter and deer and turkey hunter. Sara is married to Michael Ahrens, who is also a Sergeant within her agency. They have two children and as a family they enjoy spending time in the outdoors together. Sara is an NRA handgun and personal protection inside the home instructor. She was recently cast on Season 3 of the History Channel’s Top Shot. Thanks to Top Shot, Sara has had several opportunities to participate more actively in youth shooting events within her surrounding community, which she enjoys.
Also new to Pro-Staff this year is Beth Ann Amico. Beth is a dynamo in the industry. She is a professional dog trainer and breeder, an outdoor writer, a professional outdoor speaker, an avid huntress, and a conservationist. Beth Ann and her husband John own Deep Fork Retrievers in Choctaw, Oklahoma. Their reputation for producing quality hunting retrievers has led avid hunters such as Fox News host Governor Mike Huckabee and former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating to their kennel, along with sportsmen and professional hunting guides from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Her accomplishments are too many to list in one short paragraph and she has won numerous awards in the industry including a John Madson Fellowship from the Outdoor Writers Association a Maxwell Medallion Award, The Dog Writers Association of America’s version of the Oscar. Beth is heavily involved with promoting women in the outdoors and in hunting and shooting sports. She is an instructor for the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program in Oklahoma and Arkansas, where she teaches classes about waterfowling, gun dog training, and outdoor clothing for women. She is also the Event Coordinator of the Central Oklahoma Women in the Outdoors Skills Workshop, an outreach program of the National Wild Turkey Federation (2008 and 2009). Beth has 15 years’ experience hunting upland game, waterfowl and big game. Beth Ann Amico has appeared on several TV shows and has been interviewed numerous times on the radio and in print. She is already a Pro-Staff member of many notable companies including but not limited to Cabela’s and Limbsaver.
New to Field Staff this year are Mia Anstine, Kendra Petska, Amy Hanneman, Kelly Heard, Tracey Splechter, and Captain Leslie N. Smith. Mia Anstine has been a longtime supporter and friend of Prois Hunting Apparel. Mia is co-owner of Wolf Creek Outfitters, LLC in Colorado, she writes reviews for the Outdoors Channel and writes a blog, “Adventures with Little Gal,” at the Women’s Outdoor News. She is also on TenPoint Crossbows pro-staff. Mia spends more than 150 days a year in the outdoors hunting, scouting, shooting and fishing. She has hunted elk, mule deer, black bear, turkey, game birds, predators, varmints, hogs, and has many more hunts on her bucket list. Mia mentors women and children hunters and has definitely earned her placed on Prois’ elite Field Staff team.
Kendra Petska is a very accomplished huntress having hunted a wide range of wild game including deer, turkey, and waterfowl. She comes from a family of hunters and trappers and at an early age she could be found out with her family chasing whitetails, waterfowl and fishing. She has recently developed a love for Mule deer and took her first buck in 2010. Kendra has written stories for Muley Crazy and Sportsmans News. She will be hunting in Africa this October and she is working to put together a guide service for young girls to go hunting.
Amy Hanneman is talented huntress and has been hunting for the last 8 yeas. She is a member of the Wild Energy Crew of Green Energy Solutions and has appeared on Nosler’s Magnum TV, Eye of the Hunter, and Joe Rossi’s Wildside Adventure. She writes a blog for Bow Hunting Road and has had articles printed in many other publications. She has a very busy hunting season ahead of her and we are very excited to see what she bags! Amy is not only a talented huntress, she is also a RN in the intensive care unit at Saint Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center in Missoula.
Kelly Heard is also a member of the Wild Energy Crew of Green Energy Solutions. She is a wife, mother and grandmother of three and had been an avid hunter nearly her entire life. She lives and hunts in the beautiful and diverse state of Oregon, which gives me the opportunity to hunt elk (Roosevelt as well as Rocky Mountain), deer (Blacktail, Columbia white tail and mule deer), antelope, black bear, turkey, cougars and coyotes as well as smaller game and upland birds. In addition to these species Kelly has also hunted red stag in New Zealand and British Columbia to hunt moose. She has many more hunts on her bucket list including hunting in Africa. She has also written several articles in bowhunting.net as well as Western Wander.
Tracey Splechter has been involved in the outdoor industry since 1999 with Outdoor Connection, a hunting and fishing travel service. Outdoor Connection has given her the opportunity to travel all over North America and meet many great people. Tracey Splechter is part owner of Outdoor Connection, the outdoor booking agency that we have teamed up with to create proishuntingtrips.com. She is an accomplished huntress and a longtime friend of Prois Hunting Apparel. Tracey enjoys fishing, sporting clays and pursuing big game animals. She was hooked on hunting after her first Kansas turkey hunt. Since then she has hog hunted in Oklahoma multiple times and harvested her first whitetail deer in Saskatchewan. She enjoys whitetail deer hunting in her home state of Kansas with her husband. Tracey’s passion is to get more women involved in the great outdoors. Tracey has two daughters, Alyssa and Alexa, who along with her husband, Adam, reside in southeast Kansas.
Captain Leslie N. Smith is relatively new to hunting but has already had several successes despite the challenges she has faced. While serving in Bosnia Leslie became ill two weeks before completing the deployment and was sent back to the United States. From there, Leslie was admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and doctors diagnosed her with a rare blood disorder. Complications from this disorder led to the amputation of Leslie’s left leg just below the knee and major tissue loss over both legs. She also lost vision in her left eye and later much of her vision in her right eye. She spent seven long months at Walter Reed, undergoing more than 20 operations, in intensive care, recovery and rehabilitation.
In 2010 she had her first hunting experience when she was invited on an elk hunt for injured female military veterans hosted by Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund and the Paralyzed Veterans of America in Pagosa Springs Colorado. The Elk hunt was filmed for the TV show American Outdoorsman which airs on The Outdoor Channel. Leslie harvested a beautiful bull elk with one shot which was an experience she will never forget. This experience led to a turkey hunt for female injured veterans in Mississippi which was filmed by Mississippi Outdoors. Even though she was coping with recent additional vision loss in her right eye when she was already blind in her left eye she was able to shoot a beautiful Tom. Leslie’s background is in public speaking, public relations, and writing. Leslie has been an unstoppable advocate for injured female veterans and is a very talented public speaker. She serves as soldier spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial that is being built in Washington DC. She has tirelessly worked to raise awareness for wounded veterans and this much needed memorial. Since her injury she worked on President Bush’s Wounded Warrior Commission in 2007 and spoke at the Republican National Convention for Senator McCain’s campaign in 2008. Through all of these experiences her service dog Issac has been by her side. She is a well-educated, motivated, and an extremely inspirational person. We are incredibly proud to have Leslie as a member of our Field-Staff Team.
We couldn’t have asked for a more worthy group of women to join us on our staff team at Prois this year. Our only regret is that we didn’t have more spaces to fill given the incredible group of applicants. We are so honored to be a part of such an amazing group of women. Prois is not just about clothing. It’s about women having the gear they need to pursue their passions. It’s about the amazing fellowship of women who hunt and enjoy the outdoors. It’s about helping women feel confident and capable in the outdoors. Most of all it’s about taking pride in not being one of the guys!
By Kim McCormick, Prois Event Staff
Nestled in the heart of Ennis Montana, not only will you find a spectacular view of the Madison Mountain Range you’ll also find a store run by three generations of hunters, Shedhorn Sports. Recently, I was invited to attend and represent Prois Women’s Hunting Apparel at the 17th Annual Hunters Rendezvous and what a great time I had. Along with 25+ other vendors we started the day off with a group meeting at 8:30 while a big line of folks patiently waited outside for the 9am opening. The store was packed non-stop with customers all day. My first customers of the day were a young couple who had just drawn a Montana moose tag. He was telling anyone in the store who would listen about his tag and she was super excited to be going along with him to watch the hunt. We got her all set up with some Max1 Prois and away they went.
It was a very good turn out and I met lots of accomplished women hunters as well as some who were just starting out. They all said the same thing “Women’s camo, finally! No more shopping for little boys camo clothes.” Many folks just stopped by to take a look and ask where our products are made, I proudly said “Made in the USA”. The hardest part of the whole day was trying to catch the men before they made it to the dressing room to try on the Prois clothing. They sure were disappointed to find out Prois is for us gals!!
At Prois, we have always been amazed, humored and touched by the stories of the women we have met through our journeys. As well, we have always felt that it is the sisterhood of like-minded women out there that make this company what it is. It is our pleasure and honor to introduce Gina McLeod- an amazing young lady with an incredible story of grit and triumph. Gina will be hosting her own blogspot with Prois Hunting Apparel…Grabbing Life by the Horns.
Grabbing Life by the Horns…
By: Gina McLeod
Every since I was a little girl, I was an outdoors girl. I had holes in my jeans, dirt on my face, and twigs in my hair. Ok, so maybe I was considered a hellion. While growing up I always had my love for horses and four-wheeling. As a teenager, my boyfriend introduced me to the world of hunting. Because my boyfriend, who is now my husband, was an outfitter I quickly got acquainted with the hunting lifestyle and grew to love it. I would go hiking and scouting with him and then eventually started carrying my own rifle. Eventually, this led to me going out to get a kill of my own.
Well, with hunting also came my love for dirt biking which gave me a great adrenaline rush. This is where this story really begins…. On September 21st, 2008 I was out with my best friend having a great day riding our dirt bikes when tragedy struck and I had a life changing accident. I shattered my T-4 and T-5 vertebrae in my back. I was 24 yrs old and paralyzed from my chest down. The doctor informed me I would never be able to walk again. Well okay, he gave me a 1% chance. I was hospitalized for 3 months and fought with many of the doctors because they were so pessimistic. They continued to tell me I was in denial because I had it in my head I was going to walk again no matter what any of them told me.
I have fought from the beginning and I am still fighting. I can gladly say much of my feeling has returned and I do have some movement in my legs. I work out every day and every month I can see small improvements. The year after my accident I finally went back out hunting with my husband and killed my first buck! As I grabbed onto those antlers I thought “now this is a rush I haven’t felt in a long time”.
Just to be back doing something outdoors again and feeling that adrenaline rush, it was amazing. I am not satisfied where I am at, which is in a wheelchair, and won’t be satisfied until I’m out of my chair. However, I have found that keeping a little bit of my old hobbies in my life has helped tremendously. I definetly do not take my life for granted now and can see things in a whole new perspective. I am grabbing life by the horns….
Gina and Levi McLeod continue to live in the Colorado mountains. Levi owns and operates the Homestead Ranch and Black Mesa Lodge in Crawford, Colorado. http://www.homesteadranch.com
By Barbara Baird, Prois Pro-Staff
As a member of Próis Hunting Apparel’s Pro-Staff, one of my favorite tasks is to meet other huntresses and discuss not only the importance of choosing performance-based clothing, but also why they hunt. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet many women at Cabela’s Fall Great Outdoor Days in Kansas City, Kansas.
“Outfitting the Female Hunter” was the seminar topic. Prois offers the complete line of functional, performance-based apparel. Layered properly, it works with the huntress. It is a tool, just like the firearm or bow that she chooses for the hunt.
Mostly, I met women that came to buy camo for upcoming whitetail, mule deer and elk hunts this fall. They looked for warmth and function from their investments. And camo is an investment.
They hunt because they want organic meat and because they understand that hunters are conservationists. They also mentioned, again and again, the solitude and spirituality that being outdoors offers them. They like the connection between themselves and Mother Nature.
And, it was heartening to see all the fathers bringing their daughters by, either to shop, or for the girls to tell me that they were going hunting with their dads. A lot of them were too young to fit into the clothes yet, but still, it was great to witness the relationships out there between dads and their daughters, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives – all who have an extra bond because of the outdoors.
The Marsha factor
But, one thing … I missed Marsha. For some reason, Marsha returned to the sender early. According to CEO Kirstie Pike, they sent the oldest, most reliable mannequin (named Marsha) out and she promptly came back – a UPS reject. So, since I was Marsha-less, I had to “make-do” with a Cabela’s mannequin, that was quite cold and heartless. She wasn’t as easy as Marsha (who is headless and only a torso chica) to take out for a drink, and don’t even get me started about what we had to do to dress her. Think “Arm Removal 101.”
So, next time, I’m going to write in my contract that unless Marsha shows up for the party, well, I’ll need to rethink the whole idea.
Jasmine Johnson is a member of Prois’ elite Event Staff. She is a student, athlete, artist, and a talented huntress. In addition to her many talents she is fluent in American Sign Language.
By Jasmine Johnson
Cabela’s Great Outdoor Days in Grand Junction Colorado was a blast. I really enjoyed speaking with a wide variety of women and men who were very impressed with the quality, fit, and innovative features that Prois Hunting Apparel has to offer. They commented on how comfortable and soft the material was and loved the features such as thumb holes, lumbar heat pack pocket, and the signature snap-down ducktail feature found on our Eliminator and Xtreme jackets. As I answered questions and showed them the line many men still were not aware that this was a women’s hunting apparel line until they flipped through the catalog. Even after their discovery many men still wanted to buy some.
The highlight of my day occurred when I observed two ladies trying to speak with a Cabela’s clerk. When I saw that they were signing to each other I realized that I could help. I approached them and introduced myself in sign language. We had an amazing hour long conversation during which I learned that Staci and her friend/interpreter Deena are from Craig, Colorado. Staci is a huntress and outdoors women with a great sense of humor and she had not let being deaf limit her in any of her pursuits. We really hit it off and I made new friend and hunting companion in the process. I truly believe that Staci and I met for a reason and none of this would have been possible without Prois.
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 comments 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 PROIS Cap in brown, black, khaki, Max-1, AP, or pumpkin ! What are you waiting for!? Give us YOUR caption!
By Stacey Huston, Prois Field Staff and Wildlife Photographer
Prois Hunting apparel for women; top notch form fitted women’s hunting clothing. I wear them in the field daily and even to town. I keep my Sherpa jacket in my truck every day, because life in the outdoors you never know when the weather will change unexpectedly. I love these cloths and for me, that is huge because I am not a cloths and shopping kind of girl.
Last weekend at Cabela’s Fall Great Outdoor Days in the Boise Idaho I was able to spend a few days representing Prois and meeting other women who love the outdoors. I was able to help out a few special women that are headed out into the “wilds” on their first adventures. One individual that came by my booth had drawn her first Idaho elk tag, and was searching for hunting cloths that fit, would keep her comfortable, and that would last. Her husband’s comment to me while she was trying on the Pro-Edition Pants was.. “I have the best in outdoor clothing to wear when I go out hunting, I think she should to.”
I had a dozen or so men stop by my both who would check out the silent fabrics, open and close the quiet pockets and zippers, pull on the taped seams, smile, and then they would proceed to grab a coat off of the hangars commenting about how well made they are and what a great new brand. But upon donning the items they would realize that something just wasn’t right, and that these cloths, though they ARE made for use, durability and comfort, are just not cut to fit a man. Some found it funny, and I will admit a few were slightly annoyed when I would point out to them that Prois is a woman’s clothing line. I couldn’t help but get a little satisfaction as I thought about how many women felt the same way for decades, making due with men’s camo that never quite seemed to fit right.
Another woman that I met over the weekend was going out after deer and elk this season. She had just come in the store from attending a body building competition. She was very excited about the possibilities of the upcoming season but apprehensive. I showed her what Prois had to offer, and as she walked away I heard her telling her husband that she just might go goose hunting with him this winter after all especially if she had a cloths that she could stay warm in.?I visited with a couple men, who were taking the small steps necessary to get their wives and daughters into the outdoors with them. Baby steps I told them and a fantastic looking camo jacket as a gift might not hurt. We had a great time, and I sure hope that someday soon I will get to hear from some of the people I met this weekend. And I would love to see photos of their adventures with Prois.
Brand names have never meant anything to me. I couldn’t tell you what brand of shoe is popular and in style. I don’t understand what it is about specific names of clothing you see kids wearing today but when women ask me how I stay warm and comfortable in the outdoors, I will happily tell them Prois, not only because I admire the wonderful group of ladies involved, but because I have tried them, put them to the test and quite simply, they work. From the early archery season to duck hunting over an ice flow in the dead of winter Prois is my choice in outdoor apparel, comfortable, functional, and fashionable.
By: Kirstie Pike, CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women
I was recently approached to pen an article about the journey (or what we fondly refer to as the ‘Death March’) that resulted in the birth of Prois. I quickly realized that placing this into 800 words would be tricky given my rather verbose tendencies. (See what I mean?) As Prois has grown into a nationally branded company, the lessons and stories we have learned could fill volumes. As well, many of my quips and musings rank among the “Things We Shouldn’t Share With the Outside World Without Legal Counsel Present” category. Other quips and musings rank among the “Things That May Make Your Friends Question Your Sanity” category. Well, with those limitations… it looks like I should be able hit that 800 word limit after all.
The ‘Death March’ has been an incredible journey. When I look at where we started, I am still amazed that we were able to grow this business. Given the fact that there were no “Idiots Guide to Starting a Manufacturing Business During an Epic Recession” references, nor was there a “100 Imperative Lessons for the Idiots Starting a Manufacturing Business During an Epic Recession” audio series…we learned pretty early that we were on our own as we developed this fledgling idea into an international manufacturing corporation.
I do believe that I would now be qualified to author either one of these potentially best-selling references. (Not that I believe I am a pundit on entrepreneurialism. I simply believe in learning through mistakes. Needless to say, I have learned a lot.) I believe the Table of Contents could look something like the following…
• Chapter 1: Look Before You Leap. On Second Thought…Don’t. (Really, you would chicken-out if you knew what was about to happen . Let’s be honest)
• Chapter 2: Global Sourcing- Where in the WORLD do I find THAT? Literally. (Did you know you must order each component in a zipper? Ordering those suckers from China is more challenging than it might appear.)
• Chapter 3: The Fabric of our Lives- the Guide to Chic Fabric Buzzwords. (Apparently, it IS easy to confuse 100% polyester with, well, 100%polyester. Yes, it is different. Who knew?)
• Chapter 4: What’s in a Name- the Reality of Trademark Rejection. ( Much worse than a bad break-up. At least a break-up cannot potentially result in a cease and desist order. Well, not usually.)
• Chapter 5: Minimums. Don’t be Fooled by the Name. (I am still wondering what to do with my 20,000 plastic cap snaps that didn’t work. Thankfully 20,000 was the MINIMUM.)
• Chapter 6: NAFTA- the Guide to Navigating the North American Free Trade Agreement Without Gouging Your Eyes Out with an Ice Pick. (This was a traumatic experience that causes an acute outbreak of hives when I discuss it)
• Chapter 7: Label Libel- (Check out the inside of your clothes. Did you know that the 15 various labels sewn into the uncomfortable seams of you shirt are actually required by law?! This must have been instituted by the same people who deem the removal of mattress tags a crime punishable by death.)
• Chapter 8: Bar Codes Have Nothing to do with Tequilla. (As a true testament to the fact that nothing is free…did you know you must BUY each bar code you use? Each and every one. What a racket. I think I need a drink)
• Chapter 9: Sales- Where’s Waldo? (So, you have a great product and you want to sell it to major big box sporting good chains. Easy, right? WRONG. Finding the buyer for your particular product is a process that rivals the search for the Holy Grail. I am no longer surprised when I find the buyer in an underground cave muttering the words “my precious”)
• Chapter 10: Marketing- Everyone is Your Best Friend…Until You do NOT Sponsor Their TV Show. (I originally thought everyone just plain liked us and wanted to be our friend. Silly girl. Don’t you know that apparently manufacturers can only have friends if they give out free gear AND pay someone to wear it. Who knew?)
So there it is. A brief discourse (and possible best-seller to be sure) on the journey that has brought Prois to the outdoor industry. All we can say is that each day is an adventure…sometimes a journey, sometimes a death march. Either way, TUMS and Ibuprofen are in constant demand.
Check it out…758 words!
PRÓIS HUNTING & FIELD APPAREL KICKS OFF 2011 PRÓIS AWARDS CONTEST
Enter Today For The Chance To Win A Hunt Prize Package Worth More Than $25,000
Próis Hunting & Field Apparel, the leading manufacturer of performance-driven hunting clothing for women, continues to celebrate females who dominate in the field with its annual Próis Awards. As of today, August 16th, the company has officially given the ‘green light’ for all huntresses who are hardcore at heart to enter the prestigious contest.
And the competition will be stiff, as there is only one winner who will take home the coveted prize: a hunt of
a lifetime for Elk, Mule Deer, Whitetail and Wolf in the pristine Canadian Rocky Mountains with Savage Encounters. Plus, she’ll be fully outfitted with the latest hunting gear from top equipment manufacturers and Próis Awards sponsors — a killer package that rings in at more than $25,000 in value.
“Próis and its contest partners are passionate about recognizing strong, successful female hunters who consider hunting a lifestyle, and are involved in conservation, management and the hunting community,” says Kirstie Pike,
CEO for Próis Hunting & Field Apparel. “We’re excited to kick off the start of the 2011 Próis Awards, and receive some amazing stories about fearless women who live to hunt – and hunt to live.”
The ‘No guts, No glory’ statement holds true with the Próis Awards, the winner must have passion, determination and an unbelievable story to tell that will inspire female hunters around the globe. If this sounds like you, visit www.Próishunting.com/Próisaward for details on how to enter. Submissions will be accepted until midnight September 31, 2011.
Essays and photos are reviewed by a panel of industry expert judges, and the top 12 chosen will then be posted onto the Próis Awards website on October 15, 2011. Here the hunting community has until December 15, 2011 to cast their vote on which candidate they believe should be crowned the 2011 Próis Award Winner. The finalist with the most votes will officially be announced as the winner to the industry at both the 2012 Archery Trade Association Show in Columbus, OH and the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV.
2011 Próis Awards sponsors include: Próis Hunting and Field Apparel, Savage Encounters, Outdoor Connection, Blacks Creek, Hunter Hills Journal, Ripcord Arrow Rest, Bowtech, Swarovski Optik, Bog-Pod, Acli-Mate and Zamberlan.
The Próis Awards panel of industry expert judges includes Diana Rupp, Editor in Chief of Sports Afield Magazine, Kirstie Pike, CEO of Próis Hunting & Field Apparel; Craig Boddington, Outdoor Writer; Guy Eastman, Publisher of Eastman’s Hunting Journals; Ron Shmeits, Presdent of the NRA; Ron Spomer, Writer, Wildlife Photographer & TV Host and Brenda Valentine, NWTF Spokesperson & TV Host.
For complete contest rules and regulations, visit www.proishunting.com/proisaward. For more information about Próis’ innovative line of serious, high performance hunting apparel for women, contact the
company at 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 • (970) 641-3355 • www.Próishunting.com.
To check out the latest updates on Próis field and pro staff and company news, visit the Próis blog at www.proishunting.com/community Find Próis on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/172754768618/.
Follow Próis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Próishunting