Bowfishing Association of America’s (BAA) World Championship

By Prois Staffer Gretchen Steele

Hundreds of bowfishers, and a total of 72 boats descended on Aurora, Kentucky for a record setting Bowfishing Association of America’s (BAA) World Championship tournament, and Prois was there!

A summer spent bowfishing almost daily, participating in other smaller tournaments, culminated in a great weekend in Aurora, Kentucky at “The Worlds” .

Team Back-N-Black at the BAA World Championships

Team Back-N-Black at the BAA World Championships

Said BAA Points/Sanctioning Chairman Amanda Nichols, “Kentucky always has the biggest turnout for the World’s, but this year was the record year so far for turnout for any of the World’s tourneys. This is the biggest World’s to date and we would like to thank everyone for their support and participation in the 2014 BAA World Championship. Without all of the bowfishermen and the supporters we couldn’t have done it. Big thanks to Marshall County for all the support and donations towards this event. ”

 

Teammate Amy Pease checking her bow pre tournament

Teammate Amy Pease checking her bow pre tournament

The BAA’s World championship Tournament brings the best of the best bowfishers from across the country to compete for 14,000 dollars in prize money. The first place winning teams in the Big 20 Division and Numbers Division both went home 3,000 dollars richer and payouts were also made to those in the top five slots.

 

But “The World’s” as it is referred to by bowfishers is much more than just another tournament, and just another purse. It’s a full blown weekend event that gives bowfishers from across the country a weekend together filled with friendship, fellowship and fun. For many it is the one event of the year where all of their bowfishing buddies are in one place.

 

 So thrilled to receive my flopper stopper from "The Shot"

So thrilled to receive my flopper stopper from “The Shot”

As it was close to my birthday, several bowfishing pals brought good luck/ birthday gifts, including a most special gift from bowfishing icon “The Shot” Willett. Shot, as he is known on the tournament circuit and in the bowfishing community, presented me with my own “Wild Woman Flopper Stopper” Receiving a flopper stopper from shot is true sign that one has arrived so to speak in the bowfishing world. My team mate and fellow badass Amy made sure that I had my traditional “ducky” pre tournament good luck present and few things to celebrate our participation in the prestigious worlds. Seriously, doesn’t everyone bowfish in a camo feather boa????

 

Photo Courtesy of Amy Pease

Photo Courtesy of Amy Pease

For the communities that that host the World’s it’s a huge influx to the local economy. “It’s hard dispute what we bring in, when that guy with the truck and airboat walks into to your gas station and slaps 4 hundred dollar bills down just for fuel. “ Said Mark Lee, President of BAA. Lee further pointed out the economic benefits to the community in dollars spent on lodging, meals, and trips to local shops for last minute items. Additionally local civic groups can help fill their organizations coffers by providing food, drinks, etc. at the tournament site.

At this year’s Worlds the Aurora Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary were kept hopping serving up food both before and after the tournament. “We are just thrilled to have the bowfishers in Aurora – we had the Kentucky State Shoot here earlier this year and we loved every minute of it. We couldn’t wait for the Worlds to get here. Our small community is suffering, just like so many, and the bowfishers bring us so much! “Said a representative from the ladies auxiliary.

Weigh in went smoothly by utilizing three stations

Weigh in went smoothly by utilizing three stations

That sentiment was echoed by Tammy Nanney from nearby KenLake State Park Resort where “all those big bowfishing boats” were the talk of the resort guests and staff. Nanney pointed out that bowfishing at Kentucky Lakes is excellent, sporting some of the largest big head carp in the Midwest, and the myriad of available Kentucky Parks lodging options from camping to cottages to resort level are always welcoming to those who plan a bowfishing vacation at Kentucky Lakes.

The tournament was truly a community affair, with many from Kentucky Lakes area coming out to talk with bowfishers, ogle the boats and equipment on display and to watch well-orchestrated take off of 72 boats.

Chatting with one of bowfishing’s young stars, Kenzie Taylor and complimenting her on the way she represents bowfishing and sets such a great example for young women bowfishers.

Chatting with one of bowfishing’s young stars, Kenzie Taylor and complimenting her on the way she represents bowfishing and sets such a great example for young women bowfishers.

Companies and industries affiliated with the bowfishing community also recognize the importance of the World’s as a premier bowfishing event and provided excellent in kind and monetary support. For instance, PowerTran donated a full system as a prize in a side competition sponsored by their company.

This year’s successful BAA World Championship proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that bowfishing has arrived as a legitimate outdoor sport and is no longer considered fringe, redneck, or a bunch of goofballs with bows chasing fish in the dead of night. It requires specialized equipment, specialized skills, and is a great conservation tool for the removal of injurious and invasive species.

Prois Field Staffer, Gretchen Steele Teaches Us to Search for Strutters!

By:  Gretchen Steele-  Prois Field Staff
For all the Prois gals out searching for strutters Gotta love the Eliminator jacket and it’s duck tail for sitting in the wet spring turkey woods. No more soggy fannies!

The southern Illinois boys are lighting up the woods this week…let’s hope they stay this cooperative when season opens!

READ MORE!

Photo Courtesy of Gretchen Steele

Gathering with Gretchen

By Gretchen Steele

There’s no question that the women of Prois are hunters, and hard core ones at that, But what about the other  part of that  age old tradition – gathering? I must admit that I’m far more proficient at gathering, and may even be a bit more passionate about gathering and foraging than hunting.

It’s no secret that I’d far rather spend a day roaming the forests and the fields, in the woods and on the water than an  hour in any supermarket.  Foraging for me has been a lifelong thing- it’s just part of who I am. I think my mother sealed my fate when she carted my 6 week old fanny out to the muggy, mosquito ridden, creek bottoms and woods papoose style while she dug ginseng and golden seal roots.

The same features that make Prois products such wonderful hunting attire also insure that I have the best foraging and gathering clothes as well. Pocket placement and closures, gusseted knees for all that bending and kneeling, easy care, ability to layer up and down as the temps change, durability.  All these factors are just as needed when gathering groceries as they are when arrowing groceries!

The Summer Solstice is fast approaching and along with this time of year comes some of the best foraging and wild eating around.

Gathering Assistant Willie

Today my ever present sidekick and equipment carrier Willie and I went on a grocery getting mission –  Pro edition pants and an Ultra t shirt made just the right combination of clothing for our outing. It’s warm – bordering on hot, but the pro edition pants weren’t heavy or hot. The zipper pocket insured that I didn’t kick my cell phone out in the thickest part of the berry briar patch, and the adjustable belt tabs made the perfect place to hang my knife and clippers.  The Ultra t kept me cool and wicked away the perspiration as the temps climbed along with the sun.

Fence rows aren’t just great wildlife habitat,  they are a full of treats for foragers. Today we cut day lily buds to stir fry, picked the first ripe berries of the season, trimmed bundles of elder flowers, yarrow and mullien, to make medicines for the upcoming winter. We plucked wild rose petals and red clover blossoms for tea, honey and cooking.  Willie and I worked our way down the fencerow and water way to the stand of cattails at the ponds edge, in order to harvest the last few young seed heads for “cat on the cob” and gathered  pollen from those too old  for cat on the cob. The pollen will make delicious, cheerful yellow pancakes, prettied up with a hand full of dark purple fat blackberries and drizzled with red clover honey.

 

Lily Buds

Now this red clover honey isn’t taken from any beehive but is in truth more of a syrup.  Amazingly it does taste like good wild clover honey, and is a snap to make.  Making red clover honey is favorite summertime activity for the wee ones. Red clover is easy to find, easy to pick, and makes a great first time plant for budding foragers.

Why not try this fun activity with your wee ones? It doesn’t take much in the way of equipment, and you can incorporate several lessons in your gathering adventure.  Equipment needed? A container for the red clover blossoms, some sunscreen and bug spray and you should be set. Pick only the brightest freshest pink blossoms. Just pinch them off at the base of the bloom. Avoid those that are starting to brown. Brown equals bitterness and the more brown – the more bitter.  Clover always attracts lots of bees, and other insects, help your little one learn  what each of them is called while you are picking. Talk about all the different creatures that love to feast on red clover.  (You’ll know the deer have been snacking when you see blossomless stems that look as if they have been neatly cut with a knife or scissors) . Explain what a valuable plant red clover is, and that it’s not just a roadside weed!

Once home give them a good shake in colander to remove any debris or little eight legged creatures, remove any remaining leaves and set them aside.

Nature's Bounty

Here’s the recipe for Red Clover “Honey” – make some today! Then enjoy your creation drizzled over lemon cake, pancakes, stirred into tea or lemonade as a sweetener. Use it anyway you’d use regular honey and I’m willing to bet my Prois you’ll be quickly calling this a new favorite thing!

  • 10 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 5-60 red clover blossoms
  • ¼ cup pink wild rose petals
  • ½ cup fresh blackberries or dew berries
  • 1 teaspoon alum

Directions:

In a medium pot, bring sugar and water to a boil for 6-7 minutes.

Stir in alum.

Remove from heat and add blossoms.

Stir well, smash  plant material and berries with the back of a spoon

Let stand for 20 minutes.

Strain through a fine strainer or doubled cheesecloth and bottle or jar.

Red Clover “Honey”

 

Eating wild! It’s what Prois women do!