By Deb Ferns My first elk hunt and it was hosted by Bear Mt. Ranch with Anne Draper as our outstanding hostess! The weather up at 9,200 foot elevation was pretty chilly and oxygen was scare; the first morning of the hunt we spotted several large elk herds across the valley. We headed that way and parked the ATV a distance off and started to hike in. After about an hour we carefully care over a rise and there was a large herd grazing with one big cow elk off by herself at the front of the pack. My guide, Jon, knew I hadn’t used shooting sticks before so I was careful to get into a comfortable position and prepare for a good shot at 200 yards. I used a Steyr ProAlaskan 30/.06 (which I call my “Magic Wand”) with 180 grain game bullet and I took the shot right where I was supposed to; or at least I thought I did. It made a solid “WHAP” and the cow took off running with a huge amount of blood trail for us to follow. We ended up tracking her for over six hours and when I finally had another shot at her it was at 410 yards and to say I was a little freaked out is an understatement! My guide was very patient, explained how I should setup for this long shot, what kind of drop I’d have on the bullet. This time the shot was an exact placement for a heart/lung (turns out my first shot had nicked the heart but did not take the lung) and the 600 pound cow elk dropped instantly. Unfortunately she dropped off the edge of small bluff into the lake below and by the time we reached her the current had pushed her onto a sandbar in the middle of the reservoir where the water was about 40 degrees aka “not” swimmable. Back to Bear Mt. Ranch we went to retrieve a canoe and a paddle, then another hour back out to the lake. I think we made Colorado history as the only elk to be towed into shore and based on the water experience I nicknamed this elk after Ester Williams (old time Hollywood swimming star.) So I started the day at 4:00 am and ended up at dinner at 8:00 pm. I survived the adventure though windburn, sore feet, and a new respect for how tough elk can be will be. As a novice hunting experience it wasn’t easy but it was definitely worth it and I learned a great deal about elk and about myself as well.
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By Candy Yow
As we near the lake we can see light in the horizon knowing it will be daybreak soon we hustled to get in the boat and in the water before we lost the precious prime time for catching the bass we are after. Minutes later we were gliding across what looked like a sheet of glass with mist rising into early daylight seeping around the towering pines. Breathtaking would be an understatement, the morning was brisk but it was promising to be a nice warm day.
The weight of the worldly problems had grown to where I could hardly think about anything but work 24-7, the Good Lord must have known and this was the perfect fix for it. Peace & quiet, breathtaking beauty, tranquil and serene was so soothing to my heart and soul; I drank it up like a thirsty soul after water. With each breath of the chilly moist air I breathed it was like God was slowly taking my troubles away and putting them on His shoulders and the tenseness slowly disappeared.
The snow packed mountains loomed in the distant, towering over the lake like a giant guardian, glistening white against the pastels colors of the sunrise and reflecting back on the lake like a mirror. The mist rising around the edges of the lake made it look almost eerie other than the total peaceful tranquil feeling, without a sound except the loons in the rushes added to the total peaceful picture in front of me. Taking a deep breath I tried to capture it on film but the pictures couldn’t begin to do it justice. We tried our luck at fishing but I gave up soon as I just wanted to absorb this whole picture and save it to my soul, refuel myself and enjoy everyone else, besides it’s a bit hard to fly fish 3 in a drift boat!!!! We floated and visited and fished for 3-4 hours until we knew for sure the fish were done for a while before we headed back to work, pressure, stress but now I had a fresh take on life, a quick fix for the worldly problems that we allow to take us over. With 6 big beautiful bass on our string we trudged reluctantly towards the truck and reality. Until next time that we are able to get back to Gods beautiful outdoors for my next fix of wholesomeness and fun to fill our hearts and souls.
Great video from our Benelli Texas Turkey Adventure! Courtesy of the Womens Outdoor News!
VIEW VIDEO NOW! RIGHT NOW! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3MNvU4AQpE
Posted by: Mia Anstine ,
Did you know that it’s your responsibility to be aware of where you are while you’re hunting? Do it yourself (DIY) hunts are becoming more and more widespread. This means that hunters are responsible for learning and knowing the areas they’re hunting. Some states have fines in the thousands of dollars for hunters who are caught trespassing. Then, there are states that threaten as much as 1 year of jail time if you’re hunting on land for which you don’t have permission. Thankfully, orienteering and the use of GPS hunting maps can help you know where you can go.
We suggest that you do some research of the area before you head out for your hunt. Here are 4 ways to know where you can go while hunting.
Posted by: Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer ,
Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer shares how to protect your hunting rifle while traveling abroad.
If traveling with a rifle brings on a headache — especially as you think of wading through a sea of TSArequirements, airline regulations, foreign VISAs and import rules — fear not.
I am actively planning my next hunting adventure abroad. This July, I will join The WON’s managing editor,Britney Starr, and 4 other amazing women on a 10-day safari with Starr & Bodill African Safaris.
So, I’ve been doing research on how to keep my rifle and other gear from getting damaged or lost without replacement. I’ve also been learning how best to pack it.
Traveling with a firearm can be a hassle, but with the right preparation and right gear, it can be made much easier.
By Katherine Grand
Here at Prois we have somewhat of an obsession with unicorns. I can’t remember exactly when and how this happened but I can assure you we are all quite happy that unicorns usurped and largely quieted all the gnome related posts and gifts. Let’s face it, gnomes are creepy as hell. I like to pretend that this unicorn obsession is largely a joke but if you interviewed a younger Katherine Grand anywhere from the age of 3 until, I don’t know, 5 minutes ago, you’ll find it’s totally genuine. As a little girl I drew unicorns, read about unicorns, had a grey pony I pretended was a unicorn only true believers could see.
Present day I enjoy drawing unicorns, reading about unicorns, and riding unicorns.
I can neither confirm nor deny I purchased a custom made horn from ETSY for my mare and forced my husband to take pictures of me riding her around bareback singing TRALALALALA! Don’t judge me. Now that I think of it, although I have added several things to my list of loves as an adult I have not stop loving anything I truly loved as a child. I still love horses, puppies, bugs, birds, ice cream, climbing trees, fishing, . . . . you get the point. Unleash your inner child! Ride a unicorn.
By: Kirstie Pike
CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women
I confess. I cannot sit still. Not at all. Even if I AM sitting still, I am not. In fact, I had one turkey guide nickname me, “Fidgets”.
This does in fact pose a problem when it comes to turkey hunting. I. Just. Can’t. Sit. Still.
Having spent a good amount of time pursuing turkeys this spring, it has become sport for me to keep on the run. While this technique of run and gun flies in the face of most methods of turkey hunting, it has become one of my favorite endeavors!
Ok, I confess. I can sit quietly early in the morning. Even if I have had 3 cups of coffee. I may be twitchy, but I can sit and wait for the gobblers to come down from their roost, round up their hens and get on the move. I can sit and call and be patient. I can sit and assess the movements of the birds.
Until they move away from me. Then it’s on like Donkey Kong.
All joking aside, this method of hunting can indeed be successful. With a bit of planning and a willingness to take a chance, you can indeed spot and stalk that bird.
- Understand the typical movements of the birds you are hunting: If you are familiar with their roosting patterns, you should also have an idea as to which directions they tend to move. Don’t be afraid to spend a few mornings and evenings just observing. Once the birds are on the move, it is often easy to plan a quick route to cut them off.
- Have a good understanding of the land and cover: Be aware as to where the water sources are. Know where the brush breaks are and where your best routes are located. This enables you to get into a new location quickly, efficiently and quietly. Nothing is more frustrating than being on the move only to be stopped by impassible obstacles. Spend time scouting the areas before the season. Once you know the best routes, it becomes quite easy to run and gun once the birds are on the move.
- Do not over pack. I am perpetually amazed when I see turkey hunters laden down with huge packs and vests. While taking a bit of water is a necessity, taking 3 litres for a 4 hour morning hunt is a bit more than necessary. While it is entirely unconventional, I suggest not wearing a pack. At all. I have found that carrying my calls in my pockets and lumbar compartments is most efficient. I am a minimalist- I carry my calls, my phone, my license and very compact flashlight. All of this fits in my pockets. I carry my shotgun shells in my cargo pockets and I am off. A huge bulky pack or vest is noisy and a hindrance to any sort of quick movements. Just try running with a turkey vest. You’ll see what I mean. Now, when it comes to decoys, I prefer to take one hen decoy that is very sleek and portable and can be carried while on the run.
- Be willing to take a chance: Why not? So you’ve sat and the birds just aren’t coming in despite all of your efforts. Now, moving in or around on birds is not without potential risks. Turkeys can be educated quite easily and moving about recklessly through their grounds can cause them to re-pattern. The key is to know the best routes to move behind or around the birds without being detected.
While this method of turkey hunting is not at all for everyone, I have found it to be fun, entertaining and quite challenging. It works with my caffeine fueled inability to remain still.
For the past five years I have been trying to bag a gobbler. Some people make it look so simple going out on opening morning and fifteen minutes later coming back to camp with a big ole Tom. Sometimes I do feel a little discouraged as I scroll through my facebook and see all my friends posing with their awesome trophy’s . Well, these birds are smart, and it hasn’t been easy for me at all. Not saying I haven’t had a blast these last five years and all of my very close encounters, just not the right opportunity with the perfect shot available.
My husband and friends have made it a mission to help me achieve my goal of shooting my very first gobbler. For Mother’s Day weekend our good friends Brian and Whitney Black with B&B Outdoors in Farlington Kansas invited us up for a Turkey hunting adventure. That first evening hunt I saw something big and black out in a soy bean pasture and asked my husband is that a Cow or a Turkey?! I got my binoculars out and saw that it was a huge Turkey as he gobbled at my husband calling for me. Wow, did my heart start pumping! I even had a Jake fly over my head going to roost. I almost passed out from my excitement. That next morning we set up where we knew they were roosting and even in the silence in the pitch dark at five am they were gobbling. My adrenaline was at full swing and I was even shaking before sunrise. I watched them all fly down and there were several Jakes. The one I shot I watched for a few minutes as he was in full strut and twirling around the hens. It was just amazing. A memory I will have for the rest of my life. Everything I imagined it would be like. I can’t thank my husband and friends enough for helping me achieve a goal I have been chasing after for some time.
It’s now Monday morning and I am sitting in the office with my dress and heels, but my mind is sitting on the edge of that soy bean pasture watching these turkeys with amazement. Brian and Whitney have an amazing place; I was so impressed with their set up and hospitality. My husband deer hunts up there every fall. I now see why he loves it up there so much. Check out their website at www.kansasgiants.com I’m ready to have more adventures of a life time up at their Kansas ranch!
Never ones to shy away from a challenge…Prois has officially accepted the Bedazzle Challenge of the century from Jen Cordaro and Angie Wilson. It’s on like Donkey Kong.
What is at stake? Well, just the esteemed title of Bedazzle Off Champion of the World. Not a big deal you say? Gasp… It is only akin to the Heavy Weight title in boxing. Stanley cup in hockey. Triple Crown in horse racing. Yeah. It’s ALL that and more.
It is THAT important.
So…stay tuned. May 31st is the day to mark on your calendars. We will have the Prois Posse weigh in to determine the Bedazzle Off Champion of the WORLD!
While Angie and Jen may have an inside edge in the Bedazzling world given Jen’s Bedazzling photo shoots and Angie’s desire to have a bedazzled car, Kirstie Pike and Katherine Grand are not ones to be outdone. Their creativity (typically enhanced with coffee and/or wine) is unsurpassed. It’s true…Angie and Jen don’t really even stand a chance but we will humor them anyway.
Mia Anstine shares 6 ways to make sure your little guy or gal has fun turkey hunting at her blog via Beretta USA.
Turkey hunting is a perfect opportunity to get a novice involved in hunting. There is so much they can learn. Plus, hunting is a form of wildlife research and ultimately wildlife management. As a hunter, a child will learn about wildlife identification, animal habitats, animal migrations and so much more. It creates a connection and responsibility between them and their surroundings. Many hunters become stewards to the earth.
Educated hunters ensure the future of the sport. This is why I write a lot about getting the next generation of hunters ready to take over this incredible sport. We introduce our children to shooting and hunting to preserve traditions from long ago. Years ago people hunted out of sheer necessity. It was a matter of survival, and an avenue for putting a meal on the table. In this day and age hunting has evolved into so much more.