Julie Golob is Back in the Saddle Again!

By Julie Golob

I am excited to share that I competed in my first event since having my daughter in April! Last weekend I shot the 2013 USPSA Northern Rockies Sectional in Hamilton, MT. I placed 4th Overall in the Production Division and finished second among the women behind a ladies national champion, Sara Dunivin.

As expected, my guns and gear ran flawlessly. Considering it has been over a year since I last competed in USPSA, I am beyond pleased my performance. Pictured at the top is my match report infographic from the competition with some interesting stats.

In addition to sharing photos and updates throughout the match on social media I also wrote an article for Women’s Outdoor News (http://www.womensoutdoornews.com/2013/08/action-shooting-coverage-2013-uspsa-northern-rockies-sectional/), shared a post on my blog (http://www.juliegolob.com/10-reasons-why-my-first-uspsa-competition-this-year-rocked) and created a video from the footage I was able to capture on You-Tube. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M-V_VMByys&feature=share&list=PL1136DC7197D0B014)

Barb Baird in Kansas City

Here's Barb Baird with a foreign model from Cabela's. She wasn't nearly as friendly as Marsha, the mannequin from Colorado. Photo by Jackie Thompson.

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.

Here's Beth Ann Amico, a dog trainer and outdoor writer, from Oklahoma, who was there with her husband, John. They gave seminars on getting your retrievers ready for the fall hunting seasons. Photo by Jackie Thompson.

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

In fact, the mannequin refused to wear the Prois ball cap one afternoon, and instead, chose a Mad Bomber cap. But then again, her ears were cold. Photo by Jackie Thompson.

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.

We wondered if it was safe in the fitting rooms. Photo by Jackie Thompson.

Barbara Baird is no Loose Cannon!

Cannons to the left! Cannons to the right! Prois Pro Staffer Barb Baird found herself in the middle of a women’s cannon brigade at the North-South Skirmish Association’s annual event on Sat., May 21, at Ft. Shenandoah, Virginia. Baird, who is a correspondent for the National Shooting Sports Association, was drawn to the event because of its association with Civil War era firearms and artillery. When asked to light a cannon, she did not hesitate! Fifteen cannons fired on the line that day. She is now saving her pennies for her very own cannon. Photo by Jason Baird.

Barb Baird … Prois’s .50 Cal Gopher Gal

Badass Barb, Photo by Jason Baird

I am married to a guy they call Dr. Bomb. He does ballistic testing and gets to shoot a .50 cal at armor, steel plates, concrete, etc. Sometimes, he puts down the .50 cal and blows stuff up, because he’s also an explosives engineer. And, oh yeah, he is also a pyro-technician, which means he can put on a great fireworks show if he wants to …

Recently, he ran some tests on various steel plates for a company that is in the design phase for barricades. And, I went along as the gopher girl. That meant I got to drive the tractor to the test range and drop off stuff, help load up plates on the shooting table, install a new shooting bench, carry the camera and hide behind a tree when Dr. B. pulled the trigger (remotely and while he stood behind another tree) at the range. I like my Prois hat and hoodie for days like that … hard work, temperature in the high 50s, perfect spring weather in the Ozarks, standing behind trees waiting to hear BOOM.

Oh, and I shot the .50 for the first time. But, I had an audience of three construction guys, who also got to shoot the gun — for fun.

Dr. Bomb: “Barb, come on over here if you want to shoot this thing.”

Me: “OK!”

Guys: Snicker.

Dr. Bomb hands me a huge cartridge, the length of the palm of my hand … and the gun, which is VERY heavy. A Serbu.

Dr. Bomb: “Here ya go.”

Guys: Snicker

Load, Slam Bolt … Hard sounds … Look through scope … Aim at berm about 125 yards away.

Me: “I think I’ll shoot at that old toilet seat down there.” (Oh Lord, what have I just committed to? All the construction guys shot at dirt and rock piles down there, and I’m trying to pick off a toilet seat? And, they’re all standing behind me. Glad my Prois sweatshirt is long enough to cover most of my butt.)

Guys: Snicker

Me: Position, Grip, Breath control, Sight Alignment, Trigger Squeeeezzeee, Follow through. A bunch of white chunks blow up at the spot of the toilet seat.

Guys: Wow. No snickers.

And then, they wanted to shoot at what was left of the toilet seat.

Me: (Silent prayer: “Thank you, Jesus.”)

Photo by Jason Baird AKA Dr. Bomb

Barbara Baird teaches three generations to shoot!

Prois pro-staffer and NRA pistol instructor Barbara Baird taught her
first all–in-the-family class to six members, three generations, of
the Smith family of Missouri. The family members included grandma and
grandpa Geneva and David Smith, mom and stepdad Michelle and Charlie
Parko and their children, Katelyn and Austin Goodman. Michelle had
never shot a handgun in her life before the class and Geneva had
received a small .38 special for Christmas that she really didn’t
like … until after her session on the range. Then, this grandma was
bulls-eyeing the target with that little pistol. Kudos to the Smith
family and hoorah for “the family plan” at the range. To see Baird’s
shooting website, go to www.sheshoots2.com.

Prois Heads to Bozeman, MT for Ladies Night at the Powderhorn Outfitters/Schnees!

Pike and Baird Head to Bozeman...will it ever be the same?

Pike and Baird Head to Bozeman...will it ever be the same?

It’s Ladies’ Night at the Schnee’s in historic downtown Bozeman, Mont. Kirstie Pike, President of Prois Hunting Apparel will be there, along with pro-staffer Barbara Baird, publisher/editor of The Women’s Outdoor News. So will Mark Matheny, UDAP Bear Spray Representative. Wine and hors d’oeuvres, drawings and prizes, bear spray and camo. Who could ask for more? See you there!

Prois Pro-Staff Spotlight…Barbara Baird and a Snappy Snapper!

Prois Pro-Staffer Barb Baird spent a couple of days fishing off the Gulf Coast of Orange Beach, Ala., and sported her Prois cotton tee that boldly states, “Pursuit is our Passion!” She caught red snapper,
grouper, amberjack and a shark! Barb says the beaches and waters of the Gulf Shores’ coast were clear and filled with healthy fish at that time,  the oil spill remained about 100 miles to the southwest of the area. You may read about her experiences in her blog called “Babbs in the Woods” at womensoutdoornews.com.

Prois Pro-Staffer Barbara Baird Takes Pride in NOT Being One of the Guys!

Próis Hunting Apparel Pro-Staffer Barbara Baird recently spent time on the Norfolk Police Department shooting range alongside several outdoor bloggers, courtesy of BLACKHAWK! and a special trip for media it sponsored in Norfolk, Va., home of BLACKHAWK!’s headquarters. Barb wore her “Take Pride in NOT Being One of the Guys” shirt on the range, and as the only female blogger represented, felt it a fitting motto for the day. In this case, the pictures can say more than words! However, she liked the sleeve length of the shirt and felt it allowed her movement that she needed in order to make hits on the targets. And it made a nice, not-in your face, but ever-so-there statement. And a lot of the guys, including the Director of Business Development, Chuck Buis, inquired as to where he could buy a shirt like that for his wife, because she was that kind of a woman!

Barb at the Norfold Police Department Range

Barb at the Norfolk Police Department Range

Take Pride in NOT Being One of the Guys! Here’s Barb Baird at the
Norfolk Police Department Range among fellow outdoor and shooting
bloggers, learning about the variety of KNOXX stocks for rifles and
shotguns offered by BLACKHAWK!

Barb and Pro-Shooter Todd Jarrett

Pro-shooter Todd Jarrett offered a few pointers and then stood back
to watch Barb blow away a target.

Barb Before the Shot

Barb Before the Shot

Then, Barb had to go all hot-dog at the range and show how she
could shoot a 12-gauge with a BLACKHAWK!KNOXX Breachersgrip recoil
reducing pistol grip all one-handed like …

Barb After the Shot

Barb After the Shot

She pooched out her lower lip and shot three rounds out of that
gun. She won the hot dog award.
That’s our Barb Baird!!!

Pro-Staffer Barbara Baird Bags Great Rios in Oklahoma!

Prois Pro-Staffer Barbara Baird attended an all-women’s turkey hunt in Oklahoma where she tagged out early with two Rio Grandes, thanks to her excellent guide from Hunter’s Specialties, Jimmy Estus.  The hunt was sponsored by Hunter’s Specialties, Benelli and SHE Outdoor Apparel.  Watch for more information about the camaraderie of the hunt and a most favorable review of the Benelli Vinci shotgun in Guns & Patriots online.

Great job, Barbara!

Sit…Stay – The Zen Art of Being Still…

Kirstie Pike, CEO Prois Hunting Apparel for Women

As with all who love to hunt, the greatest thrill is to embark on new adventures chasing new species.  I have long wanted to chase my first longbeard.  Alas, I got that opportunity this spring.  In preparation for this hunt, I studied up on the habits of these great birds, checked patterns on my new Remington 870 and packed up my gear.  I was ready.  I joined Prois Pro-Staffers Barbara Baird and Jennifer Barvitski, along with Amy Brown from Bear Marketing Enthusiasts for this expedition.  We arrived in Gallatin, Missouri to hunt with Buffalo Springs Outfitters.  I was ready to embark on this new adventure and was well prepared.  After years of scaling the rugged Rockies in pursuit of elk and muleys, I looked forward to what I considered a more leisurely hunt.  However, after three days of hunting the elusive Eastern.  I quickly found that I could have best spent my preparation time in an entirely different way.  I discovered this to be one of the toughest hunting experiences I have encountered to date…but not for the reasons you would think.

Stillness, defined by Webster as “a state devoid of motion”, is not at all a state of inactivity despite its simplistic definition.  Rather, stillness is a state of utter mind and body control perfected only by the  Dali Lama or Spock.  The word “still” once evoked images of serenity and calm.  I have, since my turkey hunting experience, found that the word ‘still’ now stirs a primal Pavlovian response that closely resembles the ‘fight or flight’ phenomenon.  

Day1.  I set out at 5:00 am with my guide, Bob Peetum.  A quick truck transport and brief jaunt through thick Missouri fog got us to a great clearing where Bob had recently spotted numerous birds.    We set up to wait.  I knew stillness and concealment were the keys to a successful turkey hunt.  So, I sat still.  For about 10 minutes.  Thoughts were rampant.  Could I permanently lose function of my left leg?  How would I get back to the truck without the motor capability of my lower extremities?  Who would carry me?  What would my husband say upon the discovery that I was permanently maimed from, well, sitting still?  Could I wage a lawsuit for pain and suffering from stillness?  My shifting about earned me a few sideways glances from my dubious guide.  I soon discovered that I could perform some very strenuous toe flexion exercises with no detectible exterior movement.  I then devised some new quad flexion exercises while making a mental note not to carry water bottles in the pack I was using as my seat.  Man, this was going to take some work.  Stillness is tough.  Within an hour, we had a nice Tom working his way in our direction.  His drumming and gobbling were directly behind us.  Now, I realize I should have been discouraged by this but I saw it as my way to become unstill.  Eureka!  The Tom took his time and responded nicely to Bob’s calls, but a shot at this bird was not meant to be.  Despite Bob’s disappointment, I was quickly up on my feet ready to feel all 10 of my toes. 

Day 2.  I now had full awareness of the challenges that lay before me this day.  I mentally prepared with a focus unparalleled.  It was cold and wet…very cold and very wet.  I knew my ‘sitting still’ skills were going to be seriously challenged this day.  A choice spot was given to me beneath a hearty tree.  Perched on my pack, (which was now devoid of any water bottles) I did a quick prayer to the ‘Sit Still Gods’ and set about the exhaustive task of, well, sitting still.  I practiced my invisible maneuvers learned the day prior in efforts to maintain any pulse activity in my feet.  This ploy was working as I felt not a single pin or needle.  Well, at least for the first 20 minutes, at which point something akin to rigor mortis seemed to be setting in to my lower extremities.  My attention was quickly diverted by the fact that I was now sitting in water from the rains that had set in on the area.  In fact, there was quite a rivulet funneling  this unwanted rain directly under my tree.  While attentively monitoring the horizon for birds, I commenced work on building a moat around my body with absolutely no visible foot movement.  The water was initially flowing in faster than my imperceptible movements could manage.  That said, I soon created a moat and ditch system that would make the Army Corps of Engineers proud.  All this without a single sideways glance from my guide.  Problem solved…or was it?

Bob soon relocated us to a ravine that was something of a honey hole for unsuspecting longbeards.  We began to hear some gobblers circling in around us.  The wind and biting cold continued to torment us.   We were settled in and waiting for the birds to close the gap and come within shooting range.  I worked my invisible exercises and scanned the horizon.  Soon, however, the elements caused my nose to run in torrents that rivaled the rivulets of rain under my tree.  Initially grateful for my face mask, I soon realized this would only be a band-aid to a far greater problem.  I began to invent new invisible nose-wiping-while-sitting-still moves.  I mastered the ‘left shoulder-shrug nose rub’ and intermittently worked in the ‘upward gaze head tilt’ in efforts to quell the Hurricane Katrina of post-nasal drips.  Now, if I could only form a moat for my nose.    I began to wonder if anyone has ever drown in these situations before.  Because I was sitting still, would Bob even know if I died?  If I did die, would my face even be recognizable from the intense excoriation resulting from my imperceptible nose-wiping maneuvers?  Once again, I began to realize the multitude of ways one could meet his/her unfortunate end from, well, sitting still. 

Day 3.  I received a glorious gift from the gods.  As we crested a hillside in the early morning darkness, I could not believe what sight beheld my eyes.  A Double Bull Blind was perched at the edge of a clearing of trees with an ethereal light casting down upon it.  Ok, not really, but I truly could not contain my excitement.  As we entered the blind I became giddy with joy when I spotted IT.  IT was a chair.  IT was calling to me.  I instantly realized I would not have tedious hours of invisible exercise and excavation.   I could actually readjust my entire lower body at will.  I moved in, sat on IT and set out to sit still.  Eureka!  This was true bliss.  Was that tingling in my feet?  No worries, I could simply shift my weight .  No problem.  It was not long until a gorgeous Tom  began to make his way toward us.  Quickly, he closed the gap as a result of Bob’s calls.  I began the arduous task of raising a shotgun into shooting position while, you guessed it, not moving.  How could moving while not moving prove such a tedious task?  Eventually, the bird had a change of heart, or actually the will to live.  He began to move away from us in hot pursuit of some hens down a ravine. 

While this hunt was not a success in terms of getting birds down, it was a great experience.  It became a new level of enlightenment, an exercise in control.  I have discovered that sitting still is actually not the absence of movement, but rather a series of precise, kinetic functions.  This is clearly a well-known fact to the experienced turkey hunters proven by the fact that there are not legions of crippled, wet, nose-running men and women parading about the woods in camo.  With strict training and discovering the mind control that can bend spoons, I too will become one of the few, the proud, the still…