Latest Blog Posts

Prois Staffer Emma Sears Gets Her Big Buck Down!

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

We at Prois take great pride in surrounding ourselves with amazing ladies from all over the world!  We love to

Prois Staffer Emma Sears Proves Successful on her Mule Deer Hunt!

Prois Staffer Emma Sears Proves Successful on her Mule Deer Hunt!

share their successes, their stories and their humor!  Without these ladies, Prois would not be what it is today!

Prois Staffer Emma Sears, who is a professional guide in the Northern Territory of Australia recently undertook several North American hunts this fall.  We couldn’t help but post this photo of her 2016 buck!  Here is a recap of Emma’s hunt in her own words!

“After 5 days and 2 unsuccessful stalks on this cunning old buck my luck finally changed. We got to top of a draw where we knew he was hanging pre rut. I pulled up my binos and instantly spotted him with 5 does at 1000 yards. We planned a stalk and got into close range, this was difficult due to all the does that were hanging close by. This time the stalk went to plan, we got into 75 yards and I was able to make the shot with Mike Owens Teapot Creek rifle 6mm/284. I’m absolutely stoked with this beautiful 4×5 Mule Deer buck”

Congratulations, Emma!  The ladies of Prois are getting it done!  See what the ladies of Prois are wearing at www.proishunting.com!

Membership DOES Have It’s Rewards…Check Out the Prois Membership Rewards Program!

Just when you thought Próis® Hunting Apparel had reached an all-time high of awesomeness, they throw their new Membership Rewards Program into the mix. The women’s hunting industry has never seen a deal like this before. Take a closer look at what membership-logoPróis will offer customers with this new and exciting program.

First, you might be asking yourself how one takes advantage of such an offer, and it really is rather simple. Sign up by visiting https://www.proishunting.com/membership/ to fill out an application. Once the application is filled out and submitted to our database, you will receive a Membership Card with your very own membership number on it. This personalized number will be the key to earning dividends and getting discounts.

Speaking of discounts, this program offers members a 20% discount on all online purchases of Próis brand clothing. Simply enter your membership number at checkout and you will be handsomely rewarded for doing so. Items not redeemable are gift cards, clearance items, backpacks, or boots.

The Próis Membership Rewards Program also offers year-end dividends equal to 10% of your total annual purchases. So, the more you buy the more you earn. At the end of each year, Próis will tally your total purchases and a dividend code will be issued for use on future purchases. Dividends apply towards any gear offered on the Próis website.

Find out more by calling the Próis office at (970) 641-3355 or by emailing info@proishunting.com.

Prois 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. The company’s 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.

To learn more about the company’s innovative line of serious, high-performance huntwear for real women, contact: Prois Hunting and Field Apparel, 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 · (970) 641-3355
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Dogs Are A Girl’s Best Friend.

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

October marks waterfowl month at Prois. While we speak often about the gear, decoy spreads, firearms and preferred ammunition we all prefer for this season, we felt it was time to pay tribute to our faithful canine companions. The bonds we share with our dogs are deep and unbreakable. They are not only essential to our hunting endeavors, they are our ultimate, loyal companions. Dogs are indeed a girl’s best friend.

And…my dog is indeed this girl’s best friend.

Over the last several years I have really become passionate about bird hunting. All birds. I love the sport of the hunt. I love that I can hunt for short periods of time or an entire day. I love the solitude of heading out img_7591in the early morning hours with my knuckleheaded lab, Thaddeus. I love his excitement when we load up, when we head out and when we get on birds. I love the way we are learning to work as a team. I just love that wacky dog! While there are many philosophies on dog training, we have always believed that our dogs are pets but that they also have a job. We don’t personally believe in outdoor kennels and sending the dogs away to trainers…and that is just opinion as many people view hunting dogs in a completely different light. Whichever philosophy a dog owner believes is the right philosophy for their needs. I have to admit, Thaddeus is spoiled rotten. He has three different beds. He travels with us. He has specific ridiculous routines that we not only humor, but encourage. He is extremely connected to us and I personally believe that (in some sense) this plays into his desire to perform and please us.

Initially bred for upland hunting, Thaddeus took to pheasant and quail hunting very naturally. Even as a pup. My husband spent countless hours training him to become an exceptional dog. He works a pheasant field like no other. He has a great nose and never tires out. Despite being a smaller lab, he will pull down a pheasant in flight. He will move heaven and earth to perform. He’s fun to watch in the field and just continues to get better year after year.

What has been even more fulfilling is getting Thaddeus out on different bird hunting opportunities. While he is bred for upland hunting, we decided to get him into the field on grouse at an early age. The hunting methods for the dog are somewhat different than those of pheasant hunting. With some work, Thaddeus has become quite efficient working the mountainous terrain here in Colorado for grouse. These are some of my favorite hunts. He has a great nose on him and loves to work for birds. It is really exhilarating when the quiet solitude is broken up by the flush of a bird, a clean shot and a good retrieve.

My husband started working with Thaddeus on ducks when he was just under a year old. As mentioned, he is smaller lab and he initially had some difficulty with the size of the birds. Interestingly, he finally took to it and has even been efficient at retrieving Canadian geese. In our region, jump shooting birds isn’t uncommon. While there are birds here, the numbers are nothing like the water rich mid-west. The terrain can lead a duck hunter to beaver ponds, streams and lake channels. This type of hunting took (and sometimes still takes) some special work with Thaddeus. Keeping him close at heel is essential and that can be confusing for a dog that is bred to flush. It has been fun to watch him begin to transform. When I creep, he creeps. If I need to crawl into the lake channels to get in on top of birds, he creeps in right behind me. If we are waiting quietly in the early dawn against a tree or behind fallen logs, he positions himself behind me so he can see but is hidden and warm. I enjoy watching him as much as I enjoy being out there hunting. I enjoy watching him when we first start hearing birds come in on top of us. I enjoy watching him charge into the water after a bird and successfully bring back his quarry.

He next took to ptarmigan hunting very naturally. In Colorado, finding ptarmigan is the difficult part of the hunt. They are located way above treeline so getting to them takes quite a bit of time and effort. Time and img_7552effort that is often wasted if we cannot locate the birds. We typically ride out early on horseback for several hours to hunt. Thaddeus works the ground much like he does with upland birds and if birds are present he will flush them out. There is nothing like that tell-tale sound of a ptarmigan flushed from hiding. They are beautiful birds and the difficulty in hunting them makes the hunt even more enjoyable.

There is no doubt that Thaddeus has enhanced my desire to hunt and learn. I look forward to a solid season of grouse, duck, goose, pheasant and ptarmigan with this guy. It is indeed true, dogs do not merely exist in our lives…they enhance our lives.

It’s waterfowl month at Prois. Share your dog stories and photos with us! Because where would we be without these faithful companions?

Feeling A Bit Sheepish! Old Colorado Ram Down!

 

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

Talk about the hunt of a lifetime.  This was definitely the most difficult hunt either my husband or I have ever experienced.  That said, it was all totally worth it.  Now.

This Colorado Big Horn tag took 14 years for me to draw.  I consider myself lucky to get it that quickly as I know many people who have put in for the draw for many more years than I.  Not to mention, if I had to wait to img_1741Medicare age to pursue this monster, I’d most likely be doing it with a walker and oxygen.

We scouted and prepared all summer for this hunt.  We had located a decent band of rams and had watched them periodically through the summer months.  All were legal and there were definitely some fine rams in the mix.  Until the week before season, that is.  We made one final scouting trip to do a final locate only to note that the band had moved on.  While we knew the animals would move about the varying basins and ridges in the region, we knew we would need to get into camp a day early to do some reconnaissance.

We packed into camp 8 miles on horseback, dropped gear and had a friend take the horses back out as we wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on them if we were on the peaks all day.  Camp was set and we were ready to get to work.

We spent a day and a half hiking and glassing the basins which reach well into the 12,000+ elevations.  Just a note here…there isn’t a single area in the region that is easy to access.  The elevation climbs were only a small img_1706part of the difficulty.  Some of the ridgelines are completely inaccessible without dropping down into dangerous scree fields and cliffs along the basins.  After a day and a half, we were unable to locate any rams.  Due to recent rains, we assumed the rams had timbered up but luckily we were having a stretch of sunny weather. We decided to save the basins that were a farther (and more dangerous) distance for opening day.

Opening day we were climbing the peaks at 4:30 under the light of headlamps.  While I previously thought the climb was tough in the daylight, it was exponentially more difficult with a loaded pack in the dark.  Reaching to peaks at 6:30, we were able to glass the closer basins.  As with previous days, these basins were devoid of any sheep.  We pushed out to the further three basins to glass but again, no rams were visible.

We decided to set out to the further basins which required a descent into steep scree fields taking us down over the cliffs of the basins.  The terrain was very difficult and at this point I decided to stash my pack as the additional weight made balance and maneuvering difficult.  After quite a bit of navigating we were able to round out the basins and climb back to the ridgelines.   We dipped into surrounding basins and glassed without finding anything but a few ewes.  We decided to start heading back toward camp.

Interestingly, while we were traversing the skree fields, we noted a lone ram feeding his way through the basin.  We determined he was a great old ram and we were going to work our way down on top of him.  While I sat the ridge and watched for further movements from him, Steve crossed the second basin to retrieve my pack.  Yeah, I img_1717agree…that is indeed true love!  Well, true love and the fact that he could maneuver the scree fields much faster than me!  The ram hadn’t moved and looked to have bedded down.

We worked our way down the ridgeline about an hour as the footing became difficult and the ridge had a number of hidden drop outs that we had to work our way around.  As we worked our way up the ridge behind the ram I finally got my first close look at him.  He was stunning.  The wind was in our favor and we had luckily worked ourselves into a 110 yard shot.  I was able to level off a shot to take him down. This old monarch was determined to be 14 years old by the biologist.  His lamb tips had completely broomed off.  He was solo and most likely too old to continue to fight the younger rams.  As is, he was 7/8 curl on one side and 3/4 curl on the other.  He was magnificent!

I was exhilarated and exhausted.  And the big work was only to begin!  We worked our way down and around the ridge for about 30 minutes until we came back upon him.  He was indeed magnificent.  While I had seen Big Horns in my life, I had never had the opportunity to lay my hands on one.  I was completely taken aback by the mass of his head and horns as well as the size of his body.  This is about the time I started computing the weight and the pack out.  Ugh.

We clicked off our pictures and set to work on quartering and caping.  No easy task on a steep hillside.  We calculated that our pack back to camp was going to take about 3 hours or more with weight.  And had I mentioned the terrain?  No?  Steve packed the massive head and I packed the straps and a quarter as well as some of the gear.  We opted to ditch the remaining heavy gear with the three remaining quarters we stashed in a nearby tree.  The weather was cool and would be just fine for the meat.  We planned to head back at first light to pick up the remaining meat and gear.

It did indeed take over three hours to pack back to camp.  By this point we were both exhausted from the weighted climbs, tough terrain which required walking on all fours in some stretches and the fact that we were now getting fairly depleted.  There is no doubt we had some very silent stretches.  We made it back to camp in time to stow the meat and head.  And maybe just enough time to take a dip in the stream and eat some dinner before setting out in the morning.  I can tell you one thing for certain, we slept very well that particular night.

After hydrating and wolfing down a solid breakfast we started out for the remaining meat and stowed gear at 5:00 am.  After a three hour trek we located our gear and went to work on deboning the remaining meat.  Packs loaded we flipped around and trekked back to camp.  Time to break camp!

We had arranged for friends to ride in and meet us around noon to bring us horses so we could pack out.  We literally got camp dropped right before they arrived.  We were exceptionally happy to see them as we weren’t img_1767really looking forward to the prospect of hiking out.  We had a celebratory shot of Jack, loaded the horses and headed out for the three hour ride to the trailhead.

We arrived home after dark but we were so happy to sit down with a fatty, salty porkchop and a glass of wine.  Of course, we were asleep very shortly after.  I am so grateful to my amazing husband Steve who will work tirelessly to help me on such hunts.  His skill and knowledge never cease to amaze me.  This was indeed the hunt of a lifetime and the level of difficulty made the success even sweeter!

Now…have I mentioned that Steve has a mountain goat tag we need to go after?  Stay tuned!

Archery Shooting Tips by Megan DeHaan

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-5-00-42-pmLess than 2 weeks before archery antelope opens. Holy cow that went fast! If your like me your ran ragged all summer long with haying season you rarely have time to practice your shooting. That still doesn’t give you a single excuse to not get it done if you want a successful and ethical archery season. A few simple steps you must take can be the difference between a terrible shot and a successful harvest! I never actually “put away” my bow for the season. I constantly find excuses to use it throughout the year. It has a space in my garage that’s easily accessible. With that said, there are still a few things I inspect this time of year. First, is everything tight? I’ve had my rest actually come loose before, this is a MUST before you go out and shoot. Secondly, inspect your strings. Are they frayed? Do they need wax? Third, my quiver is always full but make sure you know what your shooting! Sounds silly but it’s pretty easy to assume you have all field tips on only to find out there is one random broadhead. I also inspect my arrows before I ever shoot them. Clink them against your hand or something hard to make sure you don’t hear any broken ones, or if your tips aren’t properly screwed on tight. I never shoot old arrows in actual hunting situations. Make sure you are all setup and ready to go before the first day of season. Your local stores may sell out of your favorite broad head you sighted in with all month. Lastly, HAVE FUN! Hunting is supposed to be a wonderful and challenging experience. If you are well prepared, it can make all the difference in the world!

Megan DeHaan

 

BIG GAME SEASON IS HERE: PROPER LAYERING IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS AND COMFORT

ProisElkHighRes

Prois® Hunting Apparel Utilizes Layering Systems to Enhance Thermoregulation

Mother Nature is wildly unpredictable. Hunters are often blindsided by an instantaneous change in weather while afield. This is why a good layering system is the key to success when going hunting. With multiple layers of clothing, each performing a different function, hunters find it easier to properly manage body tempurature and adapt to unexpected weather changes as needed. Prois® specializes in a 3-step layering system- base layer, insulatory, and shell. All of which are durable, functional, and compact, without sacrificing comfort and silence.

A lightweight, breathable base-layer is a good starting point for most big game hunts that require lots of hiking and strenuous activity. The Prois® Ultra line is the perfect all-around base-layer for these hunts. The Ultra shirts are constructed of Prois’ signature polyester birdseye wicking fabric to create an athletic shirt that will easily fit underneath outer shells. They come in a variety of styles for different activities. The Ultra backcountry, Ultra Hoodie, and Ultra Long Sleeve are all available at www.proishunting.com.

The 2nd layer in Prois’ 3-step system is the insulatory layer. When your core, or torso, is warm it readily releases blood to the extremities, which in turn helps to keep hands and feet warm. This is why a vest is such a good choice for hunters. Furthermore, a vest can easily be stored in your pack as temperatures rise. The Pro-Edition Vest is wind and water resistant, with deep set hand pockets for additional storage or a soft place to rest your hands. A zipper garage at the chin reduces chaffing from the zipper mechanism.

Couple the Pro-Edition Vest with either the Pro-Edition or Generation-X Jackets to complete your 3-step layering system with a durable, silent, and fully functional shell. They are each lined with Prois’ signature Nylon Tricot lining system, which makes them easier to don over multiple layers. The Pro-Edition Jacket features a detachable hood, which makes it extremely versatile. Both jackets are soft, silent, and wind/water resistant to ensure your comfort and success in the field. They also include Prois’ signature scapular pockets located between the shoulder blades to further enhance thermoregulation.

All of these items come together in an effort to further add to your hunting experience. They are each featured in the following camo patterns: MothWing Mountain Mimicry, Realtree AP®, and Realtree Max1®.

View the complete line of Prois® Hunting Apparel at www.proishunting.com or call (970) 641-3355 to receive additional advice from the staff on recommended sizing and camo patterns.

Prois 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. The company’s 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.

Talking Technical! High Plains Brush Pants!

Kirstie Pike- Prois CEO

Kirstie Pike- Prois CEO

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

 

 

 
The birding seasons are quickly approaching and it is definitely time to talk technical about our High Plains Brush Pants!

What makes them the perfect pants for your birding adventures?

Prois High Plains Brush Pants

Prois High Plains Brush Pants

  1.  Feminine fit.  We designed these pants to provide room through the hips, rear and thighs.  Additionally, we kept the rise high enough to avoid the downward creep in the back.
  2. Elastacized sides in the waistband to accommodate varying body types.
  3. Cam Straps at the waistline to tighten or loosen the pants.  Should this feature not be desirable, simply remove the straps and use a belt- belt loops are also included in the design of these pants.
  4. Cordura facings.  We brought the facings higher and decided to make the facings match the fabric to create a visually appealing field pants option.
  5. Cordura Scuff Pads.  Wear and tear at the interior cuffline of field pants is common.  We reinforced this area with additional cordura to eliminate wear and tear.
  6. Boot Zips.  We added 9 inch boot zips to reduce any difficulty donning and doffing field boots.  A great feature!

This product remains one of my favorite products we design.  They are functional and visually appealing.  They are available in khaki and Olive…sizes range from XS-XL.  Check them out!

 

Prois Staffer Cindi Baudhuin

Prois Staffer Cindi Baudhuin

How to Capture Quality Pictures from Your Hunt

Well it’s that time of year when the Ladies of the Prois Posse are getting it done in the field. Here are a few tips and reminders about how to capture the best pictures from your hunt so that you will have a memory and keepsake to last a lifetime.

– Take the time to move your animal into a good position for pictures. You want to move it out of the area that it bled out and into an area where you can set up for some different angled field pictures.
JoniQualmZebra
– Set it up in a natural bedded down position; this is a much more photogenic pose than having the legs sticking straight out.
– Take your pictures before you gut; an open carcass is more gore than most people want to see or frame up on their walls. If you forget to take a picture before, or need to get the guts out fast, make sure that the open cavity is hidden in pictures and there is no visible gut pile.
– Clean up blood on the face and make sure that the tongue is not hanging out; an easy fix is to simply cut the tongue out. Snow, baby wipes, or even some water from your pack and mitts will go a long way.
– Don’t ride the animal, don’t even half straddle it. Show that animal respect and make sure you are sitting right behind it. Also, don’t play with the angle and sit 27 feet behind it so that it looks bigger than it is.
– Take multiple pictures from multiple angles; you can’t retake these so it’s easier to delete too many than wish that you took a few more.
EmmaSears
– Try to avoid major shadows on the animal and the hunters face by using the angle of the sun to highlight the picture evenly.
– Don’t only take pictures from the back of your truck or hanging from a tree; make sure you capture the animal in the environment that the hunt took place.
– Skyline antlers if possible; this help to highlight those racks.
– Be aware of where your rifle is pointed when propped. We all love to show off what helped us get our animals, but gun safety and perception is imperative and takes two seconds to make sure that it isn’t pointed at anyone even when unloaded.
– Most importantly, be proud! Smile for the opportunity to be one with nature, for the chance to put your own food on the table, the fact that you know where your food came from and smile for the amazing memory you have created.
Good luck this season ladies!!!

Getting Started: How to take the next step from archer to bowhunter

I often have women tell me that they feel like they are ready to start bowhunting but they don’t know where to begin.  They have a bow, they’ve taken some lessons, maybe have shot in an archery league or practiced on their own and consider themselves target archers, and are ready to move forward. This can be a really intimidating step for many women, especially if they don’t have a social circle of other bowhunters around them.

One of my first suggestions would be to look inBOW8to the Department of Fish and Game’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program in your state. I have been a volunteer instructor for BOW for the past 6 years and cannot say enough about it. The classes they offer, the quality of information that they provide and the skilled instructors that volunteer their time to help others to find their passion in the outdoors is second to none.  BOW was started where I live in Alaska in 1995 and has grown rapidly due to a wonderful community response to the great classes they provide. There are BOW programs all over the Lower 48 as well! There are several options for BOW classes: the first is 3 day weekend courses (workshops) which cover a small sample of many subjects. A total of 100+ participants (ages 18+) can sign up for this amazing outdoor inspired weekend and can pick subjects from a variety of 4 hours courses such as archery, bowhunting, moose hunting, field dressing, cold weather camping, outdoor cooking, hunting small game and much more!   This is not only the perfect place to start to build up confidence by educating yourself on hunting, but its also a great place to meet other women who are interested in the same things that you are! Classes like the field dressing course are completely hands on. For our Alaska class, they bring in an Elk or Moose etc… from the Wildlife Conservation Center or other donated sources and you actually get hands on experience in field dressing the entire animal with skilled and experienced instructors leading the way. The BOW weekend offers classes in an encouraging and supportive environment to beginners. Classes are presented in a way where the participants do not feel intimidated no matter their skill level or outdoors/hunting knowledge.

BOW3

In addition to these big weekend workshops; BOW also offers intensive courses on specific subjects called Beyond BOW.  I teach beginning archery at the big weekend event and I teach a more advanced bowhunting class in the 1 day intensive courses. There are other intensives on subjects like butchering wild game, big game hunting, field dressing, spin and fly fishing,  survival, map and compass and outdoor cooking just to name a few.  Beyond BOW events provide the next step in practicing the skills that a participant started to develop at the weekend workshop or they build on knowledge that a woman might already have in order to increase her confidence in using those skills in the field.  Beyond BOWs teach more advanced skills, and may be conducted almost entirely in an outdoors setting to help to build that confidence that you will need to go out on your own!

Many states BOW programs also offer some women’s group hunts. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to go out and hunt with other women, led by Fish and Game staff and volunteers.  If you don’t have friends to start hunting with, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to set up a hunt with other women who are also beginners in a safe and supportive environment. For more information on how to sign up for BOW classes visit theTurkeyCoverGrrrls Fish and Game website for your state. Another option to get connected is to check with your local archery Pro Shops for women’s organized hunts or there are several businesses like mine, Rockstarlette Bowhunting, that organize women’s group hunts. I have organized quite a few ladies hunts in the past few years and I have to say, there is nothing more rewarding than the bonding and life long friendships built when your hunting with “just the girls!”  In 2010 I organized a week long, ladies tree stand black bear archery hunt.  I think this is one of the easiest hunts for a beginner to start bowhunting with.  A tree stand or bear bait situation makes for fixed yardage that you can range before the animal comes in to prepare, plus you have the safety and security of being above the game you are hunting. The women that came on this black bear hunt were all first time bowhunters and all had great success with their bows. They have become hooked on hunting and have gone on several hunts since!  Follow Rockstarlette Bowhunting on Facebook or Instagram to get more information on upcoming women’s organized hunts!

Jonishoot3DHow do you build up the confidence in your shooting skills; to move from shooting at paper targets to live game? At many archery stores, they offer private lessons and can focus the lesson on the skills that you need to develop. So if you are looking to get ready to pass your bowhunter certification class, or are prepping for a specific type of hunt in the field – ask them to structure a private lesson to meet your needs.  Many Pro Shops also offer time in the Techno Hunt booth (a virtual hunting booth) so that you can practice shooting at live video scenes of animals in a controlled environment. You use your own bow and arrows, blunt tips that we provide and can choose from over 700 different animal scenarios to practice on.  3D archery tournaments outdoors are also a great place to hone your skills. Going through an unmarked 3D archery course and practicing either using your range finder, or judging yardages can be a great tool for honing your hunting skills and confidence in the field!

Last, but most importantly; find out if you need to get your Bowhunter Certification from your states Department of Fish and Game.  Some states require this before you can bowhunt (we do in Alaska!) For us, this is a two part test; a written Bowhunter Education section and a field shooting proficiency portion. These bowhunting classes certify more than 800 Alaskan hunters each year. The certificate is also required in Alaska to put in for archery drawing permits. The Bowhunter Education written test covers many of the same topics as Basic Hunter Education courses but with some specific questions on bowhunting.  The written portion can be done online or in a classroom setting; while you must get signed up for a test date with Fish and Game for the shooting portion.  The shooting portion of the test requires you to hit the vitals area of several big game targets at distances from 10-30 yards from both a sBird13JJtanding and kneeling position. If you are nervous about taking the shooting portion of this test, taking an archery lesson that specifically focuses on the skills needed for the test is a great confidence booster! Contact your local Pro Shop to set something up!

The main thing is to not be afraid to get started and to know that there are lots of great resources out there to help you!  I hope to encourage other women to not be intimidated and to take advantage of the resources available to get out and find their passion for the hunt! The motto of my company is “Encourage. Inspire. Empower.” if you have any questions on getting started; please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will help you get started in any way I can! I love to help other women find their passion for bowhunting!

Joni Kiser is a former Archery Pro Shop owner and the Founder of Rockstarlette Bowhunting

She has harvested a wide variety of big game animals with her bow and is a National Factory Pro Staff for Xpedition Archery and HHA and Field Staff for Prois.

Until We Meet Again

by Nancy Rodriguez

What is it that draws us to venture into the backcountry? Is it the burning muscles and strained lungs that help get us to the top of the mountain? Is it the sweat soaked clothes that will never be the same after the journey? Is it the desire to sleep on dirt, tuck into a claustrophobic mummy bag, and surround ourselves with a paper thin home away from home? Maybe it’s the exciting (OK…maybe frightening) sudden lightning storms that roll through the high country on warm summer days. Perhaps it’s the hummingbird size mosquitoes that latch on to every inch of exposed skin, trying to drain us like a juice box. NancyRodriguez2

It’s clear spending time in the backcountry is a paradox. It’s a balance between discomfort and the pleasure of feeling completely at ease and at “home”.

Summer is the time that my husband Joe and I love some backcountry therapy, so we are venturing into the Eastern Sierra’s of California on a hiking and fishing excursion. Our hike will take us to several high mountain lakes around 10,000 feet in elevation. This will be a great way to get our legs and lungs ready for the hunting season ahead.

As the miles pass under our boots, Mother Nature’s beauty encompasses us and I know there is nowhere else I would rather be. Huge rocky spires still covered in snow tower above. Spring rains have brought vibrant lush green foliage and Skittle colored wildflowers to the surrounding hills. Yellow, orange, and purple butterflies dance about while they guide us up the mountain. Birds sing, play, and bathe in the trailside snow runoff. A fluffy marmot scurries across a granite boulder in front of us. Nature’s beauty acts as a mild anesthetic, numbing the pain on our bodies but only for a little while. As we crest the final ridge we begin to feel energized. There before us lies an electric blue high mountain lake with sun lit diamonds dancing across the surface. Avalanche chutes are carved in the remaining snow as waterfalls pour from them into the lake below. I’m not sure why, but colors always seem more brilliant in the backcountry. The view nearly takes my breath away. Before long I see a ripple break the surface of the water and I feel an overwhelming urge to wet a line, but the fish will have to wait… for now. With dark clouds building on the ridges above, we should find a camp site first.NancyRodriguez4

Two tired and happy backpackers weave in and out of the dense pine forest and climb across large granite boulders until we find a camp site. A perfect flat spot amongst the short green grass and wildflowers is calling to our tent. The spot has a 360 degree unobstructed view of pure beauty and will make a perfect home for the next four days. We quickly set up our camp like we have done a hundred times before. The tent is set, water purifier hung, bear containers packed with food, and our essentials tucked away in their temporary homes. Looking out across the lake we embrace the peace and solitude.

The scramble down to the water’s edge is full of excitement and childhood wonder. Our lines are tossed in unison as we try to decide what the fish will hit. Our spoons and jigs dance through the water until one of us feels the unmistakable tug on the line and a beautiful trout breaks the surface. “Fish On” echoes in the silenNancyRodriguez3ce as I look down the shore and watch my husband smile and reel in the first fish. Many more follow.

As the sky starts it’s nightly sunset ritual, we sit crossed legged on the dirt enjoying the show. We dine on a gourmet meal of fresh trout as twinkling stars start to appear in the night sky and moonlight reflects across the lake. We snuggle together listening to the distant waterfall and taking in this perfect summer night.

After a blissful night sleep, the morning birds start to sing and gently stir us from our mountain slumber. The cool air fills my lungs; I wipe the sleep from my eyes and heat water for my morning coffee. Joe and I perch ourselves on a rock and cradle warm mugs as we watch the mountains wake up. I swear my coffee has never tasted so good. After breakfast, we lace up our boots, throw on our packs, and grab our fishing poles.NancyRodriguez1

Our boots burn through miles of dirt over the next few days as we search out different high mountain lakes. The fishing is out of this world and we feel our batteries recharge.

It’s hard to say goodbye to this beautiful place. With our backpacks loaded and hiking sticks in hand, Joe and I gaze out at the gorgeous beauty of the backcountry. We give our thanks for all that Mother Nature gives to us…a beautiful journey through life. We head down the trail and I glance back one last time…Until we meet again.