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.

Talking Technical… Sojourn Safari Hoodie

MiaEnstromIn honor of all things SAFARI at Prois this month, we’d like to go a little more in depth about one of our favorite shirts, the Sojourn Safari Hoodie. Not only is it the perfect addition to your duffel when heading to the Dark Continent, this hoodie is also fantastic for activities such as hiking or preseason scouting trips. Let’s touch base on the properties that make the Sojourn so heavenly:

1. Polyester/spandex fabric. Known for being extremely durable, quick to dry, and moisture wicking. These fabrics are very pliable and resilient, making them perfectly capable of withstanding the strenuous activity of a hunter’s lifestyle.

2. Antimicrobial properties. These help to destroy and inhibit the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. Bacteria and fungi cause odor, and odor is down right bad for hunting… What more can we say? Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 1.14.13 PM

3. UV Protection. A tighter weave makes it more difficult for sun to pass through the fabric, which makes the Sojourn hoodie the perfect garment for spending an extended amount of time in the outdoors.

4. The power of the hood. Let’s face it, a hood makes anyone feel more powerful. It also offers protection from sun and wind.

5. SALE SALE SALE!!! The Sojourn hoodie is… wait for it… on sale for $65.00 through the month of June, so you better strike while the iron’s hot!

Click here to view all our current sale items!

Turkey Hunting Gear List

It’s no secret hunters have lot’s of gadgets. It’s often very overwhelming preparing for a hunt and trying to decide what to bring. Each hunt, whether it be for turkey, deer, elk, or ducks, requires a slightly different set of gear. With that said, we put together a turkey hunting gear list, which will hopefully make organizing a bit easier when you prepare for your turkey hunt.

Decoy(s)

TarraStoddardDecoy (1)This is a rather large item, therefore it shouldn’t be a tough one to remember. Although, there have been plenty of instances where an obvious item like a decoy gets overlooked at the house before heading out. Unless you are planning a spot and stalk mission, this is a very important piece of equipment when going turkey hunting. If you don’t prefer to load your truck the night before, set all your equipment by the front door. This will ensure you don’t forget it.

Range Finders

DSC_0024Especially if you prefer to hunt with a bow, range finders are something you really can’t do without. A good pair of rangefinding binoculars, such as the Swarovski EL Rangefinding Binoculars, will cut down on the weight of your pack and take up less room than having to carry both optics.

 

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A reliable Multitool should make the list no matter what type of hunt you are going on. You never know when you might need it! My personal favorite is the SOG Power Assist Multi-Tool, which can be found here.

Jacket

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Mother Nature can be very unpredictable in the springtime. Don’t overlook the importance of a quality jacket in case the weather turns on you. The Prois Pro-Edition Jacket is made with compressed fabric and is the perfect addition to your day pack.

 

 

NancyProisCardTurkey Call

No matter what type of call you prefer, don’t leave home without it. Unless you’re a seasoned mouth caller, you’ll be in a serious bind if you get to the woods and realize you have no way of calling birds to your decoy!

 

 

 

Survival/First Aid Kit

A survival kit is commonly overlooked by hunters, but when done right, it won’t add a ton of weight to your pack. A Ziplock bag with essential survival and first aid gear will do just fine. Some items to include are:

Braided nylon rope
Matches
Fire Starter
Toilet paper
Whistle
Garbage Bags
Bright orange surveyor’s tape
Sterile pads
Sterile Gauze
Neosporin
Bandaids
Aspirin
First Aid Tape

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 5.00.19 PMGPS

This can be a lifesaver if you have a long walk to and from your truck. If you are in an area with reliable cell service, a smartphone will do just fine. For an affordable GPS, try the Garmin eTrex 10.

 

Day Pack

You will have a much Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 2.37.06 PMeasier time keeping your gear organized if you have a reliable day pack. We recommend the Badlands Kali Day Pack, which is made specifically for women.

 

 

 

 

 

We hope this list helps you prepare for your upcoming turkey hunting endeavors. Good luck and happy hunting from all of us at Prois Hunting Apparel!

Talking Technical… The Ultra Backcountry Shirt

As with all Prois products, the Ultra Backcountry shirt is constructed of the most functional and breathable components to be sure that you get the most from your gear. It is made to be versatile, for all seasons and all weather conditions. It is silent and soft, yet sturdy enough to take a beating as you trek through the woods. Let’s discuss some of the key features:

Prois Tech Post

 

1. 100% Polyester Birdseye Fabric… All of our Ultra shirts wick moisture away from the skin, keeping you cool when it is hot and warm when it is cool. This fabric is also extremely silent and soft, which makes it possible for the hunter to move freely as she pleases without making any unwanted noise.

 

 

 

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2. Neck zipper… Added to allow venting in warm weather. A zipper may seem like a minor detail, but we assure you it is not. Spring weather is unpredictable. Often times, it will be chilly in the morning and warm up by the end of the hunt. A zipper gives this shirt the extra versatility you need when the weatherman is wrong.

 

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3. 3 compartment lumbar pocket system… You can never have too many pockets. Our signature lumbar pockets along the backside of the Ultra Backcountry shirt make it easy to drop everything and make a quick stalk. When the birds won’t come to you, you may have to go to them. Our lumbar pockets are perfect for stowing small gadgets such as calls, range finders, wind detectors, extra shotgun shells… You name it.

Want an Ultra Backcountry shirt of your own? Get it here! http://www.proishunting.com/shop/clearance/ultra-backcountry-shirt/

JONI KISER BAGS HER SHEEP IN HAWAII

After many stalks on Sheep in Hawaii last week; I just wasn’t getting close enough. Shortly before my hunt I had dislocated my shoulder and also had a partial tear of my Rotator Cuff. I skipped the surgery option and opted for a steroid injection which took the pain level down and made it so I could shoot my bow. Even so, I had to drop the draw weight way lower than usual. I’m short, with a 25 inch draw and now with my low poundage – I felt that my “ethical” shooting range was 40 yards. We closed the gap on sheep multiple times. Did some really fun stalks belly crawling 60 yards in one instance, or crawling on our hands and knees (this is quite painful on lava rocks) and got 80, 70 and finally 57 yards on the last one. The fog and rain was coming in rapidly and heavy. We knew we only had about 5 minutes to make a decision. There was no cover for me to get behind between me and a very nice ram. He had several females around him and they were skittish. It broke my heart to tell the guide that it was just too far. If I was shooting 70# then of course, If I was even shooting 60# it would have been fine. But I was turned down to 42# and at 57 yards, I knew that it just didn’t have the Kinetic Energy to punch though that thick wool and it would have been slow enough that there would be too much reaction time for him or the females around him to move or spook from my shot. If I wounded him and he ran into the fog which was now very close – we’d lose him. Ethical bow hunting is super important to me. So I said no. The guide looked really, really bummed. He kept saying, “but its a such a nice ram”. LOL. Here’s the shocking part! Most people start off big game huJoniSHeepnting with a gun and then eventually move to a bow. Not me, I started many years ago with a bow and never looked back. Ive taken all kinds of game with my bow, but never, not one single animal, ever with a rifle! The guide had a 30.06 and I whispered; “Ill take it with that gun”. He looked so shocked!! Now mind you, I hadn’t shot a rifle in over 20 years; so I was nervous! I laid down, he said breathe in, breathe out and slow squeeze the trigger. One shot and he dropped. The guide was ecstatic and so was I! I could hardly believe I took my first animal with a rifle! He kept saying, I can’t believe you dropped him in one shot! The fog came in fast and you can see in the background of the photo – there was a mountain there – but all you see is fog. By the time we started to clean it – the fog and rain were upon us. I finished out the hunt week taking a goat, turkey, pheasant and hog with my bow. Will I make gun hunting a part of my plans? Not sure about that because I’m quite addicted to bow hunting – but it was a really cool experience and I’m proud of how hard we worked for this absolutely incredible Sheep! 

-Joni Kiser

BLUE by Meghan Simpson

As I pulled back the bolt of my Winchester 270 and slid a 130-grain Federal bullet into the chamber all I could think about was how I could not wait to call this ram my own.

I was nervous and excited because this wasn’t just a ram I just happened to stumble upon; this was a ram I had watched for five years. I knew where he lived, where he slept, where he spent each summer and fall. This was also an extraordinary ram because he was a Fannin. “Fannin” shemeghansheep5ep “ are a color phase of Dall’s Sheep with white faces and rumps and grey or beige-tan colored backs and sides like a saddle or blanket has been draped over them.” They can be classified as either a Dall sheep or a Stone Sheep. Hence the reason why I named this ram “Blue”. Organizations such as “Grand Slam”, and “Ovis” recognize Fannins as part of the “Grand Slam”.

My guide of choice has always been my dad, so what better person to hunt this ram with than him. He has guided me on ten out of my fifteen hunts, and being able to hunt with family is very special. The North West Territories is a lot similar to New Zealand, where is it legal to use helicopters in association with hunting. So we were able to fly our MeghanSheep1gear and camping equipment to our spike camp. The main difference between using helicopters in the North West Territories and New Zealand is that we have to wait twelve hours before hunting an animal. So we camped the night beside a lake and set up our tents making a plan of attack on Blue. We ate a less than desired mountain house dreaming of sheep meat. At first light we would hike up the opposite side of the valley above the brush to get a good look at him and make sure he was in the area.

The night went by extremely slow in anticipation but daylight came soon and after a breakfast of hot oatmeal and earl grey tea, we repacked our gear and set a plan in stone. Hiking on the opposite side of the valley from Blue, we spotted him just above the snow line all by himself. He was feeding and content which meant we weren’t worried about him going to far. The hike up to where we could finally get in shooting range was notMeghanSheep4 a walk in the park. There were extremely thick willows and it was so steep I was repeatedly hitting my rifle barrel on the rocks above me. One thing to remember when sheep hunting….. it doesn’t hurt to get into “Sheep Shape’ before you set out to climb a mountain! The fact that I was only a two-hour hike from Blue was all I needed to think about to push me that extra bit. When we reached the tree line where we had seen Blue, we took off our packs and crouched down to discuss how the last hundred yards would go. My dad has guided hunters to well over 50 ram’s so this was not his first stalk. Getting into 80 yards was a bit easier with all the tall grass and willows but the fact that this ram was bedded down facing us when we spotted him made it extremely nerve racking. I hadMeghanSheep6 a window between three spruce trees and using my knee as a rest, I made a shot with that trusty 270. Blue was staring right at me, so when I pulled the trigger I aimed at his chest. My dad was whispering to me, “aim at that crease right between his front legs”. Blue never left his bed and I had my very own Fannin ram!

I have the utmost respect for every animal I have taken over the past 11 years. Experiences that I have shared with family and friends while hunting will never be forgotten.

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg

by Nancy Rodriguez

The first day of spring turkey season is always magical. As I climb under the low tree branches in the dark, I know today will be a great day in the field. I am hunting after all! My decoys are set 20 yards out, ready for some action. I take my stand in the twilight. I quietly adjust myself in the tall, damp grass and slowly place twigs and branches around me for extra concealment. I lean against a mighty oak tree with my backpack next to me and shotgun across my lap. I have my arsenal of turkey calls ready to start their love songs.

As the curtain of darkness starts to rise, I am greeted with the beauty of spring. The new leaves on the trees are fluorescent green and dew sparkles across the blades of grass all around. Birds are singing back and forth, as a butterfly feeds on a lupine flower at my feet. Suspended from “my” oak tree hangs a shiny thread with an oak worm attached to it. It is gently swinging in the morning breeze. Is there anything better than this?

I start with the first song on my playlist…”Love Me Tender.” My slate call sounds great. I hope a gobbler recognizes this song and gobbles. Hmmm…Nothin! Again…Nothin!!! OK, I change the song. Mouth call in for the next song…”I’m Too Sexy”… Nothin!!! I switch between these two songs for a couple of hours and no action. Damn Birds!!!

As I quiet back down, my right bum cheek starts to go numb. My nose is running to who knows where, and I have a flock of not turkeys around me, but mosquitoes! Only my eyes are showing a small amount of flesh and of course a mosquito finds it. As I realize I’m getting nailed right on my eyebrow, my left bum cheek goes numb. I have an oak worm inching across my knee, and a spider crawling across the rim of my hat. I slowly flick off my buddies just as a gnat flies right into my eyeball. Direct hit! I rub most of him out except for what feels like his left wing. Serves him right! Where’s my turkey? Damn birds!!

Okay, time to bust out my go to song. I use this only when all else fails. As I break out my box call, I am really ready for some action! I shift on my now completely numb bum and try not to think about my itchy eyebrow. I sniff my runaway bogey nose, blink my eye with a floating gnat appendage in it, and notice there are oak worms dropping down on me like paratroopers! Time to get this show on the road!

Next song up…”Ain’t to Proud to Beg.” As I hit the chorus-GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE! Yeah baby!! I turn up the sound and hit it again…“I AIN”T TO PROUD TO BEG”. GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE! This time he’s closer. I aim my barrel in the direction of the gobble and with my adrenaline pumping, I wait. I watch the tall grass for any sign of movement, and pray I will see a glowing red head appear. He moves closer and closer, gobbling as he tries to find the hen singing a song no mother would approve of. I line up my fluorescent orange bead on the beautiful red head that magically appears and pull the trigger. Poor thing, he didn’t stand a chance.

A Prois chick playing “Ain’t to Proud to Beg” gets them every time!!!

NancyTurkeyN Turkey

Venison Curry Stew

Baby it’s cold outside!
And you need soup.
Check out this awesome recipe for Venison Curry Stew!!!

VenisonCurryStew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

4 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 venison haunch, cubed (about 5 pounds)
Salt and pepper
2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon dried chili flakes
4 tablespoons curry
2 cans coconut milk
6 cups chicken stock
1 large butternut squash, cut into cubes
Cilantro, for garnish
Instructions

In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil. Season the venison cubes with salt and pepper and add them to the oil, browning them on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Add the lemongrass, garlic, onion and ginger and stir until it exudes its aroma, about 5 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, chili flakes, and curry and stir well.

Pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock, and stir. Cover and let simmer for about 2 hours, until the venison becomes tender.
After 2 hours, add the squash and cover. Let cook until the squash is tender and the venison cubes fall apart easily.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

PACK YOUR BAGS… PROIS IS HEADED TO THE 2016 DSC CONVENTION!

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Come see us next week at Dallas Safari Club‘s annual convention in Dallas, Texas! We will be doing a drawing that extends throughout show season, so be sure to stop by our booth to enter. Winner wins an Archtach Jacket and will be announced on our Facebook page on March 1st. Stay tuned!

#DSCSHOW2016

PROIS WITHDRAWS FROM SHOT AND ATA, MAKES PLAN TO ATTEND MORE CONSUMER SHOWS

The Apparel Company Shifts Focus to Accommodate Growing Customer Base

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The New Year is fast approaching and 2016 is full of exciting things to come for Próis®. In addition to a fresh new look and great new gear, the apparel company is taking its show schedule directly to consumers. A rapidly growing female hunting market brings increased sales and more demand for the women’s hunting gear we all know and love so much.

In order to accommodate new and existing customers, Próis plans on shifting their focus to consumer shows rather than trade shows. You can find them at the following events: RMEF Hunter and Outdoor Christmas Expo, Dallas Safari Club, Wild Sheep Foundation Convention, Safari Club International, Western Hunting and Conservation Expo, and the NRA National Convention. In addition, Próis will be present at most of the ladies functions connected to each event. They have opted to forego the ATA Trade Show and the SHOT Show in order to attend this new variety of consumer-based shows.

“Do not be misled, Próis is better than ever,” said Kirstie Pike, President/CEO of Próis Hunting and Field Apparel. “We look forward to doing what we do best: connecting with female hunters and shooters across the country. It is, after all, what sets us apart from all the rest!”

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: www.proishunting.com