DanniMooreCLothesWe all know about washing in scent free detergent, but do you also make sure that it is free of all optical brighteners? You should and here’s why.

The quick a dirty explanation goes a little something like this. Mammals eyes are comprised of cells called rods and cones in order to see, different mammals have different ratios of these. Rods pick up light transmission, but don’t register colour; while cones are what allow us to see colour. Ungulate eyes are composed of mostly rods with some cones. So they do see some colours and are not completely colour blind as previously believed. This is why hunter orange works, they don’t have those cones in their eyes and therefore it is a grey scale colour to them. Laundry detergent, unless stated no optical brighteners, all have uv brighteners in them. It makes clothing ‘pop’ to us, which we interpret as bright and clean. However, to ungulates this gives off a ghostly bright glow in the woods, regardless of colour! So next time you wash your hunting clothes, make sure that it is optical or uv brightener free along with being scent free.

This doesn’t mean that deer won’t see you or that you can trot around in the bush like a magical unicorn unseen by your prey, but it can certainly give you an edge in detection and hopefully get you that advantage to get the job done!!

-Danni Moore, Prois Hunting Apparel Staff

Ready. Set. Hunt.

by April Mack

Just a thought in my mind;

Bird season has come to a close. No hunting for the next 3 months. Now what? After hunting for almost 9 months straight I am almost at a loss! Ah yes… I begin thinking about the upcoming fall elk and deer archery season. So many things to do! Where will I hunt? Will I draw a tag this year? If not, where will my focus for general season be? I need to practice daily and hone in on my archery skills. I must make sure all my gear is still in good condition. Do I have enough supplies? Do I have extra’s of the important things (headlamps, release, arrows)? What do I need to purchase that I don’t already have? Oh yeah, and then there is the physical aspect. You must be in good, strong physical condition to hunt – packing in or just a day trip. Luckily that is a habit I have developed over the years and don’t have to focus too hard on (it seems I have enough to think about!).   Yes, I think I will be busy enough prepping for this fall!


I can vaguely see it in the distance;

No controlled hunt tags… general season will be my focus now. This will be the year that I am finally able to hike in and spike camp. Something I have been dreaming of doing for years, not just my local day hunting trips. Our location is narrowed down, time off has been requested. Time to pull out my packing list and review it. Time to increase my practicing. Time to fine tune my calling. I am starting to become distracted at work, thinking about the possibilities of this fall’s hunt. Yes, I even downloaded an app to count the exact seconds until I can get out there and play ball. I attend elk calling seminars and learned some very valuable information. For instance; an elk rubbing a soft, young tree in a sense is him flirting with the “ladies” vs. a hard, solid dead tree; that my friends is his way of asking for a fight. Or learning just exactly what he is saying; when to determine he is beckoning for a little love and knowing when he is yelling to get out of his house. Good stuff! I attend more seminars on packing in, tips and tricks on food as well as a complete over haul of gear; packs, clothes, boots, bino’s etc. It seems that this year I am more ready for elk season then I have ever been. With my new found information along with developing the skill to call and bugle I feel pretty good about what I am about to embark on.

20 30 40 50BUGLE








What is everyone else doing?

So let me back up for just a minute… while attending all these seminars and watching videos and reading articles, a lot of this information can be overwhelming as well as a bit confusing. One suggests (this is the rule I’ve always followed) once you hit the animal, depending on the shot placement (lung, heart, liver, gut etc), you give it time. 30-minutes to six hours let it lie and expire without getting pushed. Seems to make sense. The flip side to that is no matter what the shot placement is, go after the animal immediately. Here is the reason behind this theory; we all know deer and elk are hardy animals. We have all heard of an animal getting shot, we follow the blood trail only to find less and less blood to end up losing a blood trail altogether. With the idea of pushing the animal right away you keep the wound fresh and the parts that are injured constantly moving and bleeding out while they are trying to get away. This does not allow the blood to thicken up and seal the cut. Eventually they are down for the count. That also seems to make sense. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Face concealment vs. none. Aggressive approach vs. soft and subtle. Sitting vs. stalking. Sneaking into the “bedroom” vs. letting them come out. Good grief, the list goes on. Don’t get me get started on manufactures brands! Basically what it really boils down to it is either someone’s opinion or someone’s personal experience; as with anything else I need to research where I am getting my advice from, what kind of success rate they have had, how long they have been hunting and if possible a little one on one to know if they truly do walk the walk.

I have decided that with all this new found information that it is up to me to see what each scenario and situation holds and move on my gut feeling The last thing I want to do is to second guess myself and lack confidence in any area of my hunt.


It’s just around the corner;

I have all my gear and pack items spread out across the floor, somewhat resembling a small sporting goods store. By the looks of things I may need to lighten the load a bit.


Or get a pack-horse. I have amped up my shooting practice, shooting at least an hour every day and hitting 3-D courses at least once a week. I continue to hit the gym regularly as well as add in some hikes with my pack, throwing in some dumbbells- you know, just for fun. I am even experimenting with making my own version of pre-made dried foods. That is turning out to be a whole different story. And of course, continuing to practice my calls. It can be quite entertaining the looks you get sitting at a stop light on the way to work!

I do a final check of all gear and supplies, go down the list, checking it twice. (Yes, this does resemble Christmas time). Almost with a nervous feeling… I think I am ready!


It is time!

One last work week to go. Last minute honey-do’s around the house. Last minute packing, organizing, repacking and re-organizing. This final week seems to fly by as last minute details continually creep up. We are already into the elk season so I have had the pleasure of seeing other hunter’s post on social media the things they have seen and the animals they have harvested. This only increases my excitement and knowing that time spent out hunting or any animals seen will be a success.

We load up a few days prior to when we leave, double checking and reorganizing yet again. Finally, the day has arrived! Leaving first thing in the morning, only to have it feel like we should have left even hours earlier, my hunting partner and best friend, (who happens to also be my husband) and I…

To be continued???

I am secretly hoping to leave you hanging to maybe follow up with the story of our actual hunt!


I have included a general list of items we pack in:

  •   Tent
  •  Sleeping bags
  •   Sol Escape Bivy®
  •   Light weight pillow
  •   Light weight inflatable pad
  •   Sawyer Squeeze® water purification system/ extra bladders
  •   Pack bladder
  •   Mess kit
  •   Rocket Pocket® cook stove with MSR® fuel canisters
  •  Extra batteries (flashlight, range finder etc.)
  •   Sewing kit
  •   Camera
  •   Wipes and Body Glide Anti Chafe®
  •   Mini-flashlight
  •   Walking sticks
  •   Painters plastic (light weight and helps to keep the animal clean; animal hide only goes so far)
  •   Dry bags (to hold ropes, electrical tape, matches, fire starters, emergency First-aid kit)
  •    Fire starter – Vaseline® & cotton balls
  •    First aid – Super glue, blister & regular band aids, gauze, lip balm, Neosporin®, Ibuprofen®, emergency blanket, tape
  •   Food
  •    All meals are individually bagged and prepped
  •   Clothing
  •    All base layers and liners have merino wool in the material

Not included in the list are things we have readily accessible on our persons as we hike in. (Range finder, knife, wind indicator powder, binoculars, etc).


Hunt proud and God bless.



Waterfowlers Require the Warmth and Dryness of Próis’ Xtreme Clothing Line Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 1.39.44 PM

Whether it’s ducks, geese, or cranes you’re after, choose your hunting gear wisely because let’s face it, it’s going to be a cold, wet, and windy day afield. Waterfowl hunting isn’t for the faint of heart, birds don’t take days off because of weather and you shouldn’t have to either. This season, try Próis’ Xtreme Line to keep you warm in the field or marsh.

You can’t function without your weapon, which extends beyond the shotgun you carry. Hunting apparel can make or break your hunt, especially when you are fighting the elements. Próis’ Xtreme jacket and pants offer a waterproof shell and insulated fabric, which will keep you dry and warm on the most frigid days.

Try the Xtreme jacket on for size and you’ll never want to take it off. Offered in both Realtree AP® and Advantage Max 1®, this jacket has all of Próis’ signature features you know and love. Nylon tricot lining makes for ease of layering and added silence. Deep chest and hand pockets with zippered closures offer plenty of space for calls, gloves, hand warmers, and other tools.

The more wind the better when it comes to hunting waterfowl, but more wind can also mean added discomfort if you aren’t donning the proper attire. This is not a concern with the Xtreme jacket, as it features Velcro closures at the wrist and a ducktail designed to provide additional warmth and dryness to the backside. A built in drawstring along the waist further enhances warmth and keeps cool air out.

Próis’ Xtreme pants are constructed of similar materials, with nylon tricot lining and 150 gram 3MM ultra thinsulate. They are also offered in both Realtree AP® and Advantage Max 1®. Layer these pants over your jeans while goose or crane hunting and you will never be cold again. As the day goes on, quickly remove them by unzipping the 9 inch boot zippers, designed specifically for ease of layering. Deep-set cargo pockets on each side are perfect for stowing flashlights, cell phones, or other important gadgets. An elastic waist and drawstring are perfect for layering and keeping the breeze out. These pants are the ultimate in warmth and perfect for the seasoned waterfowler.

The Xtreme line is offered in sizes XS-XXL. Get these items and more at or call (970) 641-3355 to receive additional advice from the staff on recommended sizing and camo patterns.

Próis 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: Próis Hunting and Field Apparel, 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 · (970) 641-3355 · Or visit:


It’s so quiet that all I can hear is the sound of my heavy breathing as I make my way deep into elk country. No wait, I think to myself, I hear a noise. It’s a low grumbling. It gets a little louder, and a little louder still. Then, all of a sudden I hear a squishy, explosion sound followed by a pungent smell. I look down and see the top of my 6 month old’s head. She’s dangling from a front pack and yep, full diaper. The grumbling noises are followed by a happy squeal and then some random babbling. For a minute there I almost felt as if I was sneaking through the woods.

There’s one month until the start of archery elk season in Colorado and I’m doing some scouting. I have been hunting these woods now for over 20 years and my dad before me and we know these woods like the back of our hands. We also know that there are elk in here. My scouting this year is more focused because I now have a baby who requires much of my time and I’ll likely be taking her with me for some of the hunts as my husband will be working during season and the grandparents are out of town. Plus, it’s what we do. We’ve always hunted as a family and I see no need to stop now that I have a family of my own.

I do realize that my strategy for this coming archery season needs to change this year. I used to be in incredible shape and put in miles from sun up until sun down and I could run from one canyon to the next after a bugling elk. But this year I’ll be packing a 7 month old and she’s not only heavy, but not exactly sneaky, stalking material. My normal strategy of spot and stalk may have to change.

Today I’m putting up some game cams deep in the woods to check for some patterns that may make hunting with a baby easier. As I’m walking a long I can’t help but picture myself sneaking up on a nice bull while he’s raking his horns on a tree, unaware of my presence…. that is until the baby on my back squeals with joy at the site of a large animal and waves her arms in the air. Yep, that’s how I envision it. And I got a reassuring message from Kirstie Pike, CEO of Prois when I told her I’d be hunting with my daughter. “LMAO! Some of my worst hunting experiences were with my kids!!! Way to land on your feet!”. I’m not quite sure I’ve landed on my feet, but more likely my head.

So, my expectations are a little different than years past, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to give it my best effort. I’m an experienced hunter, so I’ll take what I know and try to make the best plan possible, and when that doesn’t work I’ll improvise the best I can.


My plan:

Scout some good locations for some ground blinds, where my daughter and I can sit and wait for an unsuspecting elk to walk by. The ground blind will be equipped with a camouflaged baby tent where Tiegan (my daughter) can move around and play without being seen. It’ll also double as a diaper changing station. Sit, patiently (or not so patiently), in ground blind while the sounds of baby babbling and the smell of dirty diapers fills the air. J


I consider my plan to be flawless. (insert sarcasm) But all it takes is one elk to walk by, right?

Plan B: Spot and Stalk and elk with a babbling, constantly moving baby on my back.

Again, another flawless plan….


Or so we’ll see.


Two weeks later….

Today Tiegan and I checked one of our cameras deep in the woods on this ridge next to an avalanche chute. She babbled and chewed on my finger most of the way there. It was a great day, with no clouds in sight and a crisp feel to the air, which made it feel like fall was on the way. We climbed the long logging road up to the top of the ridge, cut back into the deep woods, across two avalanche chutes and up to a high ridge. I set up her tent and she played a bit while I got the card out of the camera and set it back up. Just after noon, we were still on top of the ridge. I was feeding Tiegan a bottle and looked across to the other side of the avalanche chute and out walks 2 bulls and a couple of cows. Great! I think to myself, this ought to be a good test. We had to walk/sneak back past them to get to the truck, so I would be able to see how sneaky we could be. I pack up the tent and all our gear and get her in the pack and cut across the chute several hundred yards below the elk.

We (I) quietly move across the trees. I keep Tiegan distracted with a chew toy. We make it to within a hundred yards below the feeding elk. Not even remotely close to being within bow range, but I’m not interested in spooking them, or at least I hadn’t planned on it. As we get to the edge of the trees along the chute. Tiegan cuts loose with some babbling. I look up to where the elk are and sure enough they’ve zeroed in on our location. Luckily the wind is good and they just stare, trying to make sense of the moving thing on my back. Before they figure it out I slip into the trees and head back towards the truck.

This will definitely be an adventure, a difficult one.

This year I’ve put up some game cameras in my usual hunting spots way back in the backcountry. I’ve never used game cameras for scouting before. I’ve always just used them to check out the deer, skunks, raccoon, mountain lions and bears that roam through our property outside of town. And I’m horrible at placing the game cameras too as these are the type of pictures I get….

cowelkIsn’t she cute…


Yeah…the horns from this guy block the entire head of the bull in the water. Just my luck…


The only 2 photos I got of these bulls. I never get a look at the far one and the closer one you only see a teasing bit of his nose and brow tines….

I’ve gotten a few other decent pictures too…..


But mostly it’s just nice seeing elk and it gives me an idea as to their patterns and what time of day they are moving. This is important because I’ll likely be spending a lot of time in a ground blind. I’ve never hunted from a ground blind or a tree stand before. I’ve never able to sit still for long enough. So, this will be new experience on many different levels for me. This ground blind won’t be your typical blind as it will be complete with a baby tent and a diaper changing station. The tent’s purpose is so that she can move around and play and not be seen by large animals with great eye sight. I’ll cover it with a camo netting.


I’ve been packing the tent with me on our scouting trips and she loves it. It’s great to keep her out of the rain and bugs and gives my shoulders and back much needed rest every couple of hours. Another thing I’ve been doing is practicing a call around her so that she’s used to the noise. She makes a pretty good cow call/squeal, so there’s an added bonus. I’ve also practiced shooting my bow while she’s in the pack on my back. She get’s super excited at the sound of the arrows hitting the target and squeals with joy every time the arrow flies. Yeah, this is going to be an interesting season for sure.

I’ve also been going through some of the things I’ll be packing this season that I normally wouldn’t. Here’s my list so far…



Air-tight Ziploc bags for dirty diapers (to hopefully keep the smell at bay)

Baby Tent

Bottles of milk & baby food

A small toy or two

Extra clothes/layers for the baby


As far as failures & successes go, there is always an adventure and this one will likely not disappoint. So, here’s to family tradition, and keeping a sense of humor about all things….

-Tracy Barnes

BRIDGER RIDGE RUN by Megan DeHaan and Kelly Altschwager

“Fitness cannot be bought, borrowed, of bestowed. Like honor, it must be earned.” – Winddrinkers motto

This all started when two women, introduced by a great company, befriended each other because of similar interests. What once was a simple message, quickly turned into the start of a lifelong friendship and one badass mountain. The Bridger Ridge Run, 2015. It’s said to be one of the toughest mountain races in the country, and Trail Runner Magazine’s top 10 bucket list races for all runners. Soon, one woman’s passion forged its way into another woman’s dream. They were made for each other. KellyMegan

Prois was once again was the “middle-man” in the creation of this friendship. It’s constantly bringing women together with common interests and common ways of life. These two were no exception. Kelly Altschwager is apart of the Prois Staff, a Certified Personal Trainer and Owner of Western Workouts. She works with countless people helping them improve their lives with healthy lifestyles and fitness. Megan DeHaan is also apart of the Prois Staff, Rancher, and is an avid trail runner among other things. She balances an incredibly busy life with grace & is harder working than most.

One day, Megan asked Kelly if she would want to run the infamous ridge with her in 2015. After a few jokes about Kelly’s lack of running skill, she broke down and decided to throw her hat in the runner’s lottery assuming she would never be chosen. It was a safe move she thought. After all, Megan said she “probably wouldn’t get in her first year”. Not long after, Kelly received the confirmation letter “CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve made it in!”. An immediate call was sent to Megan full of excitement and fear, if she were to be fully honest. Not long after that letter and that call her training began.

Over the next several months they exchanged phone calls, texts and messages on what to do, how to train and nutrition requirements. In all reality, that’s what Kelly does for a living, but never like this! Never on a mountainous trail in a mountain range she’s never been too?! (The youtube video doesn’t make it look any better either. You can check it out at The days of training quickly came to a close. The anxiety was relentless and finally that Thursday in August came and Kelly arrived in Montana at the DeHaan Ranch. It was an instant friendship between both women and their families alike. They wound up talking all night about what was to come, what their game plan was and how excited and nervous they were.

Then, 4:30am came that following Saturday. That dreaded alarm because you didn’t sleep a wink. That holy coffee pot that every runner glorifies. And off they went to the starting line. Several hours of driving, hitchhiking (yes, thats how you get there), and the instant energy you get after that mountain range comes into view behind the trees grew… they had arrived. Wave one starts at 7:00 am, then wave two, and then their wave at 7:10 followed by two more. They were noticed by numerous people right away. Could it btara pice the matching Nathan packs? Or the matching watches? OR, was is that they were the only two women with matching camo Prois shirts and hats? People asked if they were sisters. They laughed and said they might as well be.

Their wave’s starting time neared and they placed themselves in the front of everyone else in that wave. People joked and said they would protect the rest of the runners from wildlife. They were the hunters, they could start first. Then boom, 7:10 on the dot and Megan takes off running and keeps a good pace with Kelly. They soon come to their natural paces as they reach the bowl leading up to Sacajawea and the bag pipes start playing and the spirit of the race takes hold. Sudden addiction strikes, and they haven’t even reached the first summit. Kelly starts thinking, “What have I got myself into? Can I really make this? Sure I can! I got this! Who is that screaming my name? I think thats Megan? YES! It is!”. After a long first climb, they’re on the top of Sacajawea Peak and they about loose themselves in awe of the view. It’s simply breathtaking. You could never fully understand the massive grandeur of it all until you’re standing on the top. Then the epic downhill towards the next saddle and off they go.

Kelly’s husband decided earlier that he would hike several miles up to the halfway point with the kids and take Megan’s oldest along as well. A simple, yet steep (OK, VERY steep) mountain that most kids couldn’t make. But the boys pushed on to watch their momma’s run. They got there 5 minutes before Megan crossed into the halfway point and she lost it. Hugging her son, she told him how proud she was of him for making it all the way up there. It took her about a mile to recover and breathe again. She had been so inspired seeing her handsome boy there cheering her on. Soon after, Kelly came across the same point fresh as can be, hugged her family tight and pushed on. Kelly

The hardest half was over, but the push to the finish had just begun. Megan was going in and out between negative and positive thinking. Could she make her goal time? No way. Wait, she felt better, maybe she could? “Just keep pushing,” she thought. “You can still make it in under your last years pace no problem.” So she pushed on prepared to do just that. She knew her friend was pushing through the hardest race of her life so why couldn’t she do the same? That’s the thing about this mountain, your mind has to overcome what your body is telling you, you can’t do. But you can, and you will, and you will never regret it. It will change you, it always changes you. You can’t go back to the wuss you thought you were, especially after you just overcame that treacherous mountain that most will never attempt.

Megan finally reached Mt. Baldy and knew it was “all downhill from here”. She knew she could bomb down that mountain. She knew it well and knew every last trick in the book. As she reached the aid station she took a sip of gatorade and quickly turned and noticed some downright angel of a person had carried up a keg of locally crafted microbrew…and it was cold. So. Very. Cold. So she drank down a few gulps, took a second to savor the intense moment of happiness, and started down that downhill section. Kelly was making great time and pushing hard and she was feeling more confident than she had expected. And then, in the blink of an eye, the rocks crumbled below her feet and in an uncontrolled instant, went her knee. Her GOOD knee, at that. She knew in that second she had the push of her life ahead of her to finish this thing. Her “I won’t quit” nature kicked in full force. She was ready to conquer. Even if conquering meant limping, which she did, across that finish line. She pushed, she dug deep, she refused to quit and then, she too saw the angel at the top of Mt. Baldy with a cold glass of beer. It was like heavens parted and you could hear “Hallelujah” being shouted from the mountain tops!

It’s at this point though that the work really started. It’s hard enough getting down that torrential downhill slope as it is… and that’s with two good legs. Add a bad knee and a limp and its dang near impossible but it had to be done. Another self pep talk and off the side of the mountain she went. Meanwhile, Megan had crossed the finish line below. She was pushing for another PR this year. She had PR’d every year since she started running this race. This being the 4th attempt, she thought another 30 minute PR would be sufficient. However, she felt like she finally reached that point where 30 minutes was too much to ask. She Bridgerknew she was going to be faster than last year anyhow. And she was, by 19 minutes. Only 11 minutes shy of her goal. Success! (And there’s still next year.)

By 6 hrs and 30 minutes (into the race) within the time Megan knew Kelly should finish, she and Andy (Kelly’s husband) started to get a bit worried. She was pacing well at the halfway point and should have been off the mountain by now. Megan checked with the Hamm radio operators who would know if anyone had gotten hurt and/or couldn’t continue. They said they hadn’t heard anything about her. That was a good sign, but still. Once 7 hours passed they knew something was wrong. Megan asked Andy, “Is she going to hate me when she gets done?” Andy said, “Umm, no. She is going to be pissed at that mountain and she is going to be back next year to prove it wrong!” Sure enough, after the 10th time asking each other “Is that her?”, they saw her. They knew it was her immediately. She was limping, struggling, and fighting the urge to quit. The last few miles are almost quite literally straight down. Megan ran up the end of trail in flip flops with open arms and started yelling up the mountain, “YOU GOT THIS KELLY!!! COME ON GIRL!!!” Kelly soon got down to Megan and being the incredibly friend she is, Megan offered an arm to help her down. Kelly quickly said “NO! I JUST NEED TO FINISH THIS!” Megan laughed loudly, she knew she was going say that. Megan couldn’t have been more inspired or more proud. She let Kelly past and followed her, cheering her the rest of the way down. Kelly collapsed into her family’s arms a handful of gimpy strides later. It was over… Take a deep breath. Let it all sink in.

All the anxiety, all the training, all the mental preparation. Nothing can prepare you for that. Nothing like being up there on that mountain and experiencing the spirit of the ridge. Kelly will be back next year, it’s already been scheduled. Megan has proudly created a monster. This is a story about two women, two states apart, who have the same passion for love and life and beating all the odds. The odds that come fully stacked against you on that ridge. All of this started with Prois, it always does, and it always will. No other company can bring people together in a way quite like this. This is something beyond average or normal. Its exceptional and it’s inspiring.

“You can’t cheat the mountain, it knows how much you’ve invested. It won’t give you anything you haven’t worked for.” – Author Unknown

-Kelly Altschwager and Megan DeHaan


by Kerry Howley, New York Magazine

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 1.34.35 PM PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Shoul


In an age of social-media shaming, a single tweet can launch a crusade. But maybe Ricky Gervais should have picked another woman to mess with.

Note: The July 27 issue of New York Magazine, in which this story originally appeared, went to press on Friday July 24, three days before American dentist Walter Palmer was identified as the killer of a lion in Zimbabwe.

Palmer’s case and that of Rebecca Francis are both stories of social media outrage spurred by the killing of an African animal for sport, though the two hunters came to public consciousness for different reasons. While it is not at all unusual for wealthy American men to travel to Africa, hunt big game for big money, and post pictures of their kills, the lion Palmer shot was known to some as a mascot for Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and star of a widely disseminated video. Additionally, Cecil seems to have been lured off protected land, making Palmer, knowingly or otherwise, not a legal hunter, but a poacher. 

Rebecca Francis drew attention not only because of what she had killed, but for who she was: a woman, subject to the same outrage as several who had come before her, such as Kendall Jones, Melissa Bachman, and Jen Cordaro. There was never any question about the legality of Francis’s hunts. Trophy hunters have a bad habit of conflating the legal and the moral (“I hunt. It’s legal. Get over it,” read T-shirts American college student Kendall Jones printed up after she was criticized for killing an African lion.) But there are important distinctions between legal hunting—which exists within a system of regulatory control, wherein permits can be meted out or held back according to the rise and fall populations, and wherein the financial interests of game ranchers is tied to the furtherance of the species—and poaching. Poachers are free riders and indisputably a threat to the long-term survival of large mammals in Africa. That Francis herself has shot a lion under legal sanction does not morally justify the kill, but it does position her within a system of trade that depends, for its own survival, on the conservation of big game. The story of legal trophy hunting involves the comeback of various species in South Africa, the conservation of rare and expensive-to-maintain animals under attack from poachers, mutant animals designed for the evolving tastes of American and European hunters, and the development of the legal market that led to Cecil’s illegal death. It is a story more complex, and ultimately uncomfortable, than the simple savagery of poaching.

Asked about her opinion of Palmer, Rebecca Francis had this to say: “A true hunter will always abide by the laws of the lands, along with the moral laws that are instilled within. Hunters believe in ethical and fair-chase hunting. We unequivocally do not support poaching or any other illegal acts.” —K.H.




How To Get Started Hunting


By Prois Staffer Andrea Haas

So you think you would like to get into hunting but don’t know where to start? Whether hunting is completely new to you or you grew up in a family of hunters, knowing how to begin can seem a little overwhelming at first. The good news is there are plenty of people and resources out there that can help you if you are willing to do a little research and put in some work.

Getting Started – Hunter’s Safety Course

Getting the right introduction to hunting is important. A good way to start is by finding your state’s wildlife agency and finding a hunter’s safety course. Here is a great online resource from The National Shooting Sports Foundation with hunting information for each state. You can find your state, get direct links to your state’s Conservation Department, hunting regulations and more. You can also take the test online through Hunter-Ed

Next Step – Apprentice Hunter Program

Even if you do pass your hunter’s safety course, become certified and buy your hunting license, it’s still a good idea to go hunting with someone else first. If you choose not to go through a hunter-ed course until you are positive that hunting is for you, most states offer an “Apprentice Hunter Program”. This means you can purchase a hunting permit and legally harvest an animal in the presence of someone who is hunter-ed certified. For example, I live in Missouri. Missouri allows you to do this for 2 years. After 2 years you must become hunter-ed certified in order to continue hunting & harvesting animals. 

Safety First

Most people begin by hunting with a firearm. While I encourage everyone to take up bow hunting, it’s not something that I recommend doing the first year you hunt. Before you handle a gun, make sure you are familiar with the NRA gun safety rules. Even if you’ve been hunting for years, it’s still a good idea to review these rules from time to time. Another great resource for all things women hunters/shooters is the NRA Women’s Network! They have weekly episodes that are fun & informative:


Practice With Purpose

To me, this is one of the most important steps to take in becoming a hunter. You must take into consideration that you are shooting a live animal. Strive to make the best, most ethical shot possible so the animal does not suffer long and so you can save as much of the meat as possible. With that being said, find a place where you can shoot, get out there and start practicing! We have about 200 acres of private land outside of the city limits where we can practice shooting. Private land is not available to everyone though, so if not try finding a gun range near you. Here is another great resource from the National Shooting Sports Foundation to help you find shooting ranges in your area.

Choosing Your Gun & Ammo

It’s not necessary at first to rush out & buy your own gun. When I first started hunting, I borrowed a family member’s rifle, practiced and hunted with that. Making sure you select the right gun is more important. Make sure you are comfortable with the gun and select the right type of gun & ammo for the game that you wish to hunt. The “Love at First Shot” episodes at NRA Women’s Network are an excellent resource on how to choose a rifle & the proper ammo: 

Love at First Shot: Rifles


Love at First Shot: Ammo

Study Up – Learn About the Animals

Learn as much as you can about the animals you want to hunt. Study about their feeding habits, their senses (sight, smell, etc), and breeding seasons so you can be as prepared as possible for your first hunt. There are multiple organizations out there that have endless information about game animals and their behaviors such as the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Deer and Deer Hunting, Mule Deer Foundation and many many more. 

Learn The Area / Pattern the Animals

If you’re able to, get out and scout the area you plan to be hunting before season starts. Start by becoming familiar with the land and your surroundings. Always tell someone where you will be and take your cell phone with you if possible.  Check for signs of the animal you’ll be hunting and scout out good areas to put a tree stand or ground blind to hunt out of. Set up some game cameras near known trails and food & water sources so you know more about the animal’s activity & patterns. Here is a great blog from Dale Evans at EvoOutdoors about scouting new land. 


Gear & Apparel

While it may not be necessary to purchase your own rifle at first, I do recommend investing in some of your own hunting gear, equipment & apparel. 

Some basic items you’ll probably want to purchase:

-A good quality, sharp knife

-Rifle Sling

-Hunting fanny pack or backpack

-Scent Control Products, (depending on the type of game you are hunting)

-For women, I recommend Her Non Scents scent free shampoo, conditioner & body wash

-Hunting Boots

-Hunting Socks

-A good moisture wicking pair, try FirstLite & Minus33 brands at


-Camo clothing

-The type of clothing you pick depends on where you will be hunting, what season it is & the

type of animal you’ll be hunting. 

-Prois has a line of women’s hunting apparel that meets the needs for any type of hunt you

will be going on, whitetail, turkey, upland, etc. They even have a new safari line for 2015!

-If you need help picking the right apparel for your hunt, EvoOutdoors Camo Concierge is a great option!



Make sure you do your part to learn as much as you can before you go hunting. I began by going on a whitetail hunt with my husband one year & watching him harvest a buck. I practiced a lot and asked him as many questions as I could until the following deer season. I went out by myself one afternoon and shot my very first deer, a nice 8 point. I observed him hunting first, practiced and asked questions. By taking what I learned from that and applying it to my own hunt, I was able to successfully harvest an animal on my own. Not everyone has a family member or a friend to learn from though. Here are a lot of great websites, blogs and other resources to help you out!

Women Hunters:

Huntress View



NRA Women

Women’s Outdoor News

Girl’s Guide To Guns

Youth Hunters:

Student Outdoor Experience



Most important, second to safety of course, is to enjoy yourself! Hunting is a great way to get outdoors, enjoy the peace & quiet of nature, and just relax. Observe wild animals in their natural habitats. You will learn something new each time you go out! Not only that, you will gain a deeper appreciation for wildlife and for the food that you eat, knowing that you are providing yourself & your family with healthier, organic meat, free from steroids & preservatives. Get out there & do some grocery shopping!

Brittany Boddington Joins the Prois Pro Staff Team!


Please join us in welcoming the amazing Brittany Boddington to the Prois Pro-Staff Team!! Brittany’s mother Donna Boddington is already on staff and we are so proud to welcome Brittany as well this year. We are all about collecting Boddingtons.

A California native, Brittany is no stranger to Television or big game hunting. Brittany Boddington grew up in Los Angeles. Her father, author and outdoor television personality Craig Boddington, traveled around the world in search of big game animals; instilling in Brittany a sense of adventure. While he was away, Brittany was busy working in the film and modeling industry as well as doing volunteer work at the local animal shelters. Her competitive nature and tenacity enabled her to reach the Junior Olympics in Synchronized swimming at age 16.


Brittany’s hunting career began after high school when, as a graduation gift, she went on her first safari with her father, taking five trophy animals. She now spends most of the year happily living out of a suitcase in pursuit of exotic animals and exciting adventures. She writes for several notable outdoor publications including Peterson’s Hunting Magazine, Sports A’field, Wild Deer Magazine and Gun’s and Ammo. She was honored as the first woman to ever appear on the cover of Petersons Hunting Magazine and she was also featured in the book “The Diana Files” by Fiona Clair Capstick. With her father Craig’s help Brittany has discovered a love for the great outdoors and has become a passionate hunter and conservationist. She aspires to follow in her father’s footsteps while cutting some new trails of her own.

Megan DeHaan’s Gorgeous Non-Typical Archery Buck!!

By Prois Hunt Staffer Megan DeHaan


Who woulda thunk….. A few days after I send in my Prois Award entry with a story about this buck I haven’t arrowed yet…..I GOT HIM!!


I had pictures of this buck in our game camera several times before season. I had him patterned, everything was good to go. My husband even saw him opening day and passed knowing that I really wanted to shoot him. The next day I saw him but he never gave me an opportunity to shoot. There was either a tree in front of his vitals or he was quartering too me. I kept trying and after that day he vanished and I thought he would never show up. I went out several times and never found him again, until last night! I can thank my son, who as I left gave me a sticker to wear and said it was good luck. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had a nice four point come in and I was going to set up to shoot and out of the corner of my eye MY BUCK!!!! My adrenaline was already pumping, I knew the deer were kinda jumpy that night so I didn’t hesitate, I drew back, he walked away a bit, stood behind some trees, it seemed to take forever but finally about a minute after I drew back, he stopped broadside. THWAP!! He jumped, ran to the middle of the field, started getting top-heavy, and stood there. I knew it was a good shot.  I waited and waited to make sure to give him time and it ended up getting too dark to see so I pulled out of there for safe measure. I went back about 30 minutes later and he went about 20 more yards and had died. I GOT HIM!!!!! I’m so elated. As you can see he has an extra split sort of main beam. He sticks out like a sore thumb, so unique I couldn’t pass him up! Thank you PROIS for such Badass camouflage!!!!!! He couldn’t see a thing!!!