From the Ladies Room- Talking Turkey In Texas…Say That 3 Times Fast.

Prois CEO Kirstie Pike with Greg Badgett of Double B Outfitters.  Greg is pretending to have fun...but he is not.

Prois CEO Kirstie Pike with Greg Badgett of Double B Outfitters. Greg is pretending to have fun…but he is not.

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

Hunting Rios in Texas.  Who doesn’t want to do that?
Yeah, that’s what I thought…

I look forward to hunting Rios each spring with my friend and outfitter, Greg Badgett of Double B Outfitters near Ozona, Texas.  I’m not so sure he considers me a friend, but he’s not here as I write this so he can’t complain.  Sue me, Greg.

You might be asking yourself what makes hunting at the Double B so extraordinary.  You might not.  You may be asking yourself what you will make for dinner.  You might be asking yourself where you put your keys.  You might be asking yourself why anyone voted for Obama.  You might not.  But given the fact that you are still reading, I am assuming you are hanging on my every word.  Thank you.

The first time I hunted with Greg at the Double B I had only hunted turkeys a handful of times.  While I view sitting quietly for any amount of time longer than 10 minutes akin to being water boarded I do love hunting turkeys.  I had mentally prepared myself for my ritualistic turkey hunting maneuvers which include but are not limited to the following; mouth breathing, head bobbing, finding new ways to rejuvenate the blood flow to my lower extremities without any visible sign of movement and creative face paint application.  I charged my iPhone, packed a book and prepared to face the agonizing task of sitting quietly.  AKA- water boarding.

I was completely surprised when we spent the entire day on foot in hot pursuit.  We put on miles and got into turkeys left and right.  I was not relegated to a blind for hours at a time.  I didn’t have to contemplate the long term side effects of having my butt fall asleep.  I didn’t have to take boring selfies and put them on Facebook.  I didn’t read.  Not. One. Word.  That first hunt at the Double B resulted in my first Rio, a gorgeous tom, and I vowed to come back each spring.  Not that Greg really wanted me to but he is just polite that way.

This spring was no different .We logged a whopping 8 miles that first day and I couldn’t have been happier.  Well, except that I had no turkey, but that was only because Greg doesn’t know how to call.  Ok, that’s not true at all but I just wanted to see if you were still with me. He is a turkey calling Super Genius. On the next day of the hunt I had the good fortune to hit the canyons for a beautiful Spanish Goat that Greg unfortunately had to carry out of the canyons.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the goat made him stink.  Sorry, Greg.  But you did smell like dead goat.

Our last day of hunting was fantastic.  In the lulls of passing time, I was able to take two javelinas that had the misfortune of ambling past.   We later called in a group of toms that all came through strutting and strumming.  It was singularly the most beautiful sight.  I had never been set up in front of that many turkeys before.  I took a beautiful double bearded tom but not before we had to artfully switch places due to the fact I insisted on NOT sitting where Greg had suggested I sit.  I suppose this is sort of a confession.

On the serious side, I truly enjoy the experiences at Double B.  Greg and all of the guides have great senses of humor, patience and all are willing to teach.  They have to be patient to deal with eight certifiably crazy women at one time.  I’m not saying they enjoy it, but I pretend they do. Additionally, the lodging and food is remarkable!  Linda and Kendra man the kitchen and if you leave there hungry or skinnier than when you left you must have had your jaw wired shut.  We book women’s only spring turkey hunts and fall whitetail hunts  annually and pack the joint each time.  For more information about Double B Outfitters www.doubleb-outfitters.com and for more information about the Prois Women’s Only Hunt contact Kirstie@proishunting.com.

 

It Is Safari Season! And Prois Has You Covered! Read What Gear the Experts Suggest!

By: Kirstie Pike- CEO and Founder of Prois

It’s safari season again!  We shout a resounding “hooray” for all of you gearing up for your African journey! What to wear…what to wear?

The Prois staff put their collective heads together to come up with what THEY think is the best line up for your upcoming hunt!

1.  Prois Adventure Pants.  These are a must-have for your hunt.  They are lightweight and comfortable.  Not only do they pack well, they wash well and dry quickly.  We suggest the olive for hunting in Africa.

2.  Ultra Long Sleeve Shirt and Ultra Short Sleeve Shirt.  Both are perfect for safari but make sure you are hunting in a region that allows camouflage.  The Ultra shirts wick moisture in the hotter temperatures and breathe nicely as the day heats up.  They are lightweight and very packable.  Both are available in Realtree AP, Max1 and black.  Personally, I used the black options on my recent hunt in Namibia.

3.  Pro-Edition Vest.  Africa can be cold in the mornings and evenings.  Our Pro-Edition vest is perfect for additional core warming.  It can be worn alone over shirts or layered beneath a jacket for the exceptionally cool mornings.  Again, check to ensure you can wear camouflage in your hunting region.

4.  Pro-Edition Jacket.  Did we mention it gets cold there?  The Pro-Edition Jacket offers a great shell as it is constructed with 3-ply fabric that includes microfleece, windstopper and a soft brushed tricot on the outside.  The hood is removable if you are trying to reduce the bulk in your luggage.  I personally loved this option on my recent trek to Namibia.

5.  Prois Leather Belt and Cartridge Holder.  Yes.  Although it may not seem like a necessity, I found these products to be life savers.  Not only are they extremely functional, they offer that traditional safari look and feel.  It felt like a slice of elegance!

Now…go on and get yourself all set for your upcoming adventure!  If you utilize our suggested layering system you can minimize the amount of gear you have to tote across the globe!  And remember, Prois loves photos of your hunts!  Send them our way!

 

grants

 

 

Prois Africa Travel Tips- Vaccinations and Travel Health and Safety Risks

International travel can pose various risks to health Travelers may encounter any number of illnesses. In addition, serious health risks may arise in areas where accommodation is of poor quality, hygiene and sanitation are inadequate, medical services are not well developed and clean water is unavailable.  Additionally it is important to determine if there are any travel safety warnings for your destination location. Thorough preparation is key to healthy African travel.

We recommend hunters take a few precautions prior to leaving for the dark continent.

1.  Visit the Centers for Disease Control website. The following link will connect you with an interactive page that will detail necessary immunizations and/or prophylactic medications for the country which you will be visiting. Allow 4-6 weeks BEFORE departure!    This site will also identify if there are any current travel health alerts.     http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/

2.  Consult with you primary care physician for medications (both prescription and over the counter) he/she may deem necessary for safe and healthy travel.  Ask about medications for diarrhea, vomiting and possible antibiotics for treatment of common illness and exposure you could encounter.

3.  Prepare yourself to avoid common foodborne illness.  As a rule, following the recommendations below can help significantly reduce the chance you will contract undesirable bacteria and parasites.  Unless of course you LIKE vomiting and diarrhea.

Eat…

  • Food that is cooked and served hot
  • Hard-cooked eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables you have washed in clean water or peeled yourself
  • Pasteurized dairy products
Don’t Eat…
  • Food served at room temperature
  • Food from street vendors
  • Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs
  • Raw or undercooked (rare) meat or fish
  • Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables
  • Unpasteurized dairy products
  • ”Bushmeat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game)
Drink…
  • Bottled water that is sealed
  • Water that has been disinfected
  • Ice made with bottled or disinfected water
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Hot coffee or tea
  • Pasteurized milk
Don’t Drink…
  • Tap or well water
  • Ice made with tap or well water
  • Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
  • Unpasteurized milk

4.  In addition to health risks when traveling abroad, there is significant risk for personal safety.  We highly recommend hunters visit the Department of State website http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html to identify if there are any travel alerts and warnings.

5.  Before you go abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas.  If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, REMEMBER to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance and a claim form.  Although many health insurance companies will pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States.  Medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000 and up, depending on your location and medical condition.

With a bit of preparation, your dream safari will be safe and uneventful.

africa

 

Prois Tips on Taking Great Safari Photos

Most people are really impressed when they see a great photo of an animal you shot. The photo can make the animal look really good or really bad. It’s well worth a little extra effort to take the time to set up a shot to make it really worthy of a place in your home rather than under the visor of your truck. For many of us that can’t afford taxidermy, this is a very cheap way to preserve the memory ot your hunt.Here’s a few tips to take a quality photo.  We have borrowed these great tips from Africahunting.com!

1. Clean up the animal
A shot of animal with blood all over its face or a bloody tongue hanging out is disrespectful to the animal and will put off many folks that you share it with. Also showing huge bullet/broadhead holes with guts hanging out of them may seem cool if you’re 15 and want to start a hate thread, but would you frame a picture of guts and hang it in your house? Take the time to clean up your animal. Always have some paper towels, water etc. handy for the shot.

2. Pick a location for the shot
Animals don’t always die in a picturesque spot. Move the animal to a nice looking setting with something interesting in it (Rocks, cool trees, old tractor, broke down old fence etc.) to make the shot more interesting and capture the outdoor setting where you hunted. Interesting backgrounds make interesting photos. Don’t make the background the star of the shot but have it featured in the shot. Use your imagination.

3. Pose the animal
Set the animal up like you would with people in a portrait. Prop your buck up on its belly with feet supporting it and stretch his neck out so you can turn it, facing the head different ways for different angled shots.

4. Compose the shot
Composition is probably the most important thing that you have to LEARN to take good pictures. After you choose a good location, clean the animal up, stretch the animal out and pose it, and sit the hunter behind it, you have to frame the shot correctly.

Shoot at the hunter and animal from their level or below them. Get down on the ground or even lay down in front of them. If you can pick a spot where you can put some SKY behind the horns to really showcase them. Antlers/horns with tree branches and weeds behind them get lost in the shot. Have the hunter sit on the ground behind the animal leaning on it or holding up the head from behind, but not sitting directly behind the horns. Sit off to the side of the antlers so you can see them separately.

Have the sun light the shot for you. Face the hunter into the sun in the daylight and tip your hat back if the sun shadows your face so you can identify the hunter rather than seeing a black shadow for a face. Use your flash if you have to to light the hunters face, even in the daytime. One cool effect is for a low light shot (Sunrise or sunset) shoot the sun in the background so you see the colored sky and use your flash to light the hunter and animal.

FILL THE FRAME! when you take the shot. Shoot the hunter and animal right up to the edges of the frame. If you stand 50 feet away to take a shot and feel like the cool old tree way over there should be in the picture too, move the animal over to the tree and sit in front of it but fill the entire shot with the interesting subject matter at hand. Lots of people see a picture and say that would be a killer shot “if you cropped all of this junk out of it” Crop the shot in your view finder before you push the button.

Don’t sit ten feet away from your trophy to make it look BIGGER! Be proud of what you shot and get in the picture with it. You will probably have to show them the antlers at some point anyway and they are invariably disappointed when they see the real thing after seeing your photo.

5. Take LOTS of shots!
Especially with digital photography, it doesn’t cost more to shoot too many pictures anymore. Keep shooting, shoot from several different angles and even different backgrounds. Shoot the animal by itself. Shoot it with the hunter behind it, holding it up, standing in the background, shaking hands with your buddy, with your kids being happy with you etc. etc. Just get lots of shots.

It pays to have too many rather than not enough. You can always cull through them and get rid of most of them when you’re done  and the odds that you’ll get that perfect shot that is an absolute home run are better if you have a pile of them to sort through.

grants

Global Rescue- It Could Be a Matter of Life and Death

With safari season approaching it is a great opportunity to discuss the services offered by Global Rescue.

For over a decade, Global Rescue has provided individuals, families, enterprises and governments with the critical medical, security, information and intelligence needed to avoid and respond to crises. Since  founding in 2004 in partnership with Johns Hopkins Medicine, Global Rescue has grown to become the recognized leader in travel risk, crisis management and response services. They are the only fully integrated provider of medical, security, intelligence and communication.

Global Rescue has performed operations all over the world for individuals, multinational corporations and governments. They’ve distinguished themselves by accomplishing things other companies either won’t or can’t. By providing critical information and boots-on-the-ground capabilities, they dramatically improve the likelihood of good outcomes for their clients and members, regardless of the challenges they face.

In fact, they are the only company we know of that does not outsource critical intelligence, medical and security services. Their “one team” in-house approach is unique in the industry and a key differentiator during emergencies. Their operations personnel are the finest available and many have military special operations backgrounds, combat experience and the ability to perform missions in difficult environments. They have played a role in responding to every major crisis of the last decade and have completed rescue, evacuation, medical and security operations in war zones in the Middle East, on the highest peaks of the Himalaya, and in the deserts and jungles of South America and Africa.

Global Rescue is also the only company to have a partnership with an institution like Johns Hopkins Medicine, ranked #1 in the U.S. twenty two times since 1990. This special relationship provides  members with unparalleled consultative resources and an international network of the world’s finest hospitals that offer local care when needed.

What does this mean for you?

It means that when called upon, Global Rescue focuses  extensive resources with the utmost intensity to solve your problems and do not stop until they are resolved. Their commitment to you is to provide the world’s finest travel risk management and crisis response services.

For more information… https://www.globalrescue.com/homepage_Sliders_martinkosich

 

 

Prois Turkey Tips- Learn 4 Old Fashioned Tips from Jim Casada at NWTF!

A great deal can be said for relying on traditional approaches when dealing with gobblers. Minimalism is the essence of old-fashioned hunting. Hunters walked into the woods with only a few items, a snack, and passion. Nothing techy lined their pockets and despite their gear, what truly defines the traditionalist is not equipment but how he or she hunts.

Here are some key aspects of traditional turkey lore, which deserve to be part of every modern hunter’s approach to the sport.

READ ON!

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#prois #hunting #NWTF #JimCasada #turkeyhunting

Successful Measures, Get Fit to Hunt the Prois Way!

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By Prois Staffer April Mack

No, I’m not talking about the past elections.
How do you measure a successful hunt? Is it a monster buck or bull? Is it a successful harvest? Or is it time out hunting, with your family, friends or by yourself? Do you measure your success of a hunt by the equipment you use and the gear you have? Or simply time spent in nature soaking up God’s great creations? Me? I measure success of a hunt by my experiences…. Time with family, time with God and simply the God given ability to get out and do what I love. Oh, and then there is the success of being able to hunt without desperately gasping for air and bending to cling to my knees after climbing a hill. I’m talking about being in shape. Both mentally and physically, they go hand in hand. There is nothing more rewarding to me then to gracefully, quietly and easily make my way to the top of a mountain without feeling like I just went through military boot camp. Sure, it’s an ego boost as well when I look around and see all the guys sweating and huffing like draft horses pulling a 3000 pound sled.

All too often hunters get prepared for the upcoming hunting season by making sure they have their bow sighted in, have enough arrows and new broad heads along with checking equipment to make sure all gear is up to par. However, rarely do hunters take into consideration the physical preparation needed for the hunt. Being physically fit can be the difference of having an enjoyable hunt or a hunt that kicks your butt. We all know getting up early is part of the hunt. That alone is a hard task for some. But when you wake up the next day and your body is screaming for more rest because you are sore from the previous days hunt… What’s the fun in that? When you are in shape physically, the mental portion follows suit. It has been proven time over that physical activity (working out) improves mental clarity and relieves stress. You have enough on your mind when hunting such as spotting and stalking, calling, and concentrating on making that once in a life time shot. You shouldn’t be thinking about whether or not you can make it up the mountain without needing CPR!
So, with that being said I would like to offer some tips.

1) Set goals; start off small and work your way up. You will need to set both cardio and strength goals. A good goal to start for cardio is walking 2-3 times per week, walk up and down your driveway to get started. Slowly increase the distance by a couple miles at a time, pickup your pace and change terrain. In addition to walking, add biking to the mix. Make your routines fun, go for a hike in new territory, discover new places, or take up mountain biking. Whatever you decide to do, make it fun, make it your own, make it challenging (repelling anyone?)

2) You will need to be physically strong to not only carry all your gear around, but also to carry out your harvest. Hit the weights at least 3 times per week. Remember the smaller the starting goal, the longer the time needed to increase so don’t wait a month before the season to start getting active. You don’t have to be a gym rat to accomplish these goals; there are a lot of things around the house that you can use as weights. Get creative; fill a bucket up with sand! If you are up for the challenge, hire a personal trainer with specific needs in mind (hunting with a bow is exercise specific). Exercises to focus on for bow hunting specifically include: shoulders (front to side arm raises, arm circles, shrugs and lateral raises) upper and lower back (back extensions, seated lat row, reverse fly’s and reverse grip lat pull down) biceps (curls and pull ups) and core (oblique twists, reverse curls and good ‘ol fashion crunches). You of course want to balance out your muscles so don’t forget to throw in some chest presses and triceps pushups just for fun! In relation to the actual hunt and climbing mountains, your lower body needs to be just as strong if not more. Your tail end is one of the biggest muscles you got… work it! Lunges, squats (they don’t have to be in deep range of motion) and hamstring curls will all target the gluteus maximus, aka your tail end. Once you get started in your exercise regimen, you will need (and want!) to maintain your progress. It’s much easier to consistently exercise throughout the year then to be a one-month warrior. Schedule time in your day to workout. You may even have to book an appointment with yourself. Most importantly, be forgiving. If you miss a day or two or even a week, don’t be hard on yourself or ride the guilt train. Just pick up where you left off. Being strong enough to draw your bow back is an essential part to hunting, not only does it make it more enjoyable for you, but it isn’t fair to the game we have the privilege to hunt if the shot we make isn’t steady.

3) Of course getting physically fit involves proper nutrition (sorry, facts of life!) During the hunt (pack in/out intensity) you of course need higher caloric foods to sustain you. However, with day to day eating, your choices should be a little more carefully planned out. There is nothing new here and no magic pill. Fruits and veggies, balance your proteins and fats and include carbs into your foods. Now, when I say fats and carbs, I am not talking about ice cream, cookies, pizza, fast food joints and Ho Ho’s (although in moderation *gasp* it’s okay). Our bodies need fats and carbs to function, but it is the good kind. (Real butter, avocado, legumes, nuts, occasional red meats, cheeses etc). And of course water. Food has an amazing ability to heal the body; we just have to give it a chance. I challenge you to try it… even if it’s not hunting season for you. Make a commitment for at least one month. Cut out boxed, prepackaged and canned meals. Try to eat what grows naturally. When was the last time you saw a box of Hamburger Helper® growing off a tree? You don’t have to get crazy and go all organic, but I would suggest you stop eating foods that are processed and full of preservatives. Our bodies were not built to digest the chemicals in these foods. You give this challenge a try and you will be amazed at the changes your body makes.
On a side note to physical fitness and proper nutrition, I want to mention the importance of having mental strength and clarity. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities, now that you have exercised and gotten fit, you can do anything… right? Confidence comes with knowing you can tackle the hunt, climb the hill and haul out your kill. Be patient, positive and prepared (do I hear a triple “P” cheer?). Patients, well… you’re a bow hunter it’s a given that is an essential tool. Positivity will get you a long way my friends, whether you are by yourself or with a hunting party. Have you ever been around “that” person that see’s the down side to everything or is constantly putting themselves down? I have and it’s not fun… Keep your attitude up; after all there are worse things you could be doing instead of getting out to do what you love. And finally, prepared. Being prepared is such an important mental factor. Having the right clothes for the weather, terrain and clothes that fit you properly (ladies – stop buying men’s camo clothes!) makes you feel, well, good. Being prepared to gut, wrap and pack your harvest with all the necessary tools leaves you without worry of how to get the job done. Being prepared with extra food and water helps with the long process involved after taking that fatal shot. To achieve all this, you have to be mentally strong. To be mentally strong you have to be healthy. To be healthy you have to be physically fit. Yes it’s tough to get started, but all things worth working for have great rewards.

Here’s to measured success!

Sample Workout:
Just because we are bow hunters doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have big guns!
You don’t have to be able to lift a car to draw back a bow… but you should be prepared!
Building up your strength for bow season doesn’t have to be hard. Lifting weights 2-3 times a week, with a day of rest in between should do the trick. You will want to do 3 or 4 sets of 16 reps and choose a weight that will allow you to have good form, but will challenge you to get out the last 5-6 reps. Lift the weights in slow controlled motions and avoid swinging your body for momentum to lift the weight. You will want to make sure you work both sides equally rather than focusing just on your draw arm… imbalances will cause compensation issues leading to muscle injury. No pain no gain is not always the case, listen to your body and learn the difference between muscle fatigue and muscle injury. Muscle soreness is normal when you get started on a lifting routine. Drink lots of water, stretch after your workouts and if the soreness is extreme, take the recommended dosage of Tylenol®. However do not let a little bit of soreness keep you from working out it will get easier as you get stronger. Then it will be time to increase your weights. To avoid plateaus, change up the types of exercises you do about every 4-5 weeks. If you can, find a workout partner, not only will they motivate you but they can keep you safe and spot you as you start to increase the amount of weight you lift.
So, here’s to big gun bow hunters everywhere!

Prois Turkey Tips! Signs, Signs…Everywhere There’s Signs!

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Sign Language Scouting as Described by Steve Hickhoff from the NWTF

Hunters use the term “sign” to speak of evidence left behind by the quarry they’re hunting.

Tracks – Track size can indicate the sex and age of an autumn and winter flock’s turkeys. Mixed sets of new and old tracks say flocks regularly use the area. Note them on field edges, muddy access roads, and wherever groups favor a food source.

Droppings – Damp droppings say wild turkeys were there recently. Typically we assign j-shaped leavings to gobblers, and bloblike ones to hens, but sometimes that can vary. Dry, decomposing sign says turkeys were once there, but may have moved on, likely to another food source.

Feathers – Concentrated feathers can reveal a roost site when slightly dispersed in likely cover below big-branched trees, or a predator kill when tightly compacted in a single small area. Biology tells us turkeys molt according to age and sex. Poults lose and replace feathers as they grow toward fall. Juvenile turkeys stop molting come winter, then start again in spring. Adult turkeys shed feathers into summer when molting peaks. Breeding gobblers do so after their mating activity passes, and hens molt after broods are hatched, or nesting is unsuccessful.

Scratchings – Raked areas in the woods, along field edges, or in food plots, often indicate autumn and winter turkey feeding zones. These scratchings can show the number of birds in a flock. Tracks, droppings, and feathers may also be found among this feeding sign. Old sign of any kind may indicate turkeys have left the area for other food sources.

Dusting Areas – Early autumn, pre-freeze dusting bowls are fresh if the soil is loose, and other sign in them or nearby is new. Seasonally, wild turkeys around the country dust spring, summer, and fall.

More or Less – Abundant sign indicates bigger flocks, while spare evidence reflects fewer numbers.

— Steve Hickoff
NWTF

http://www.nwtf.org/tips_adventures/tips.php?id=14021?utm_source=home-page&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=hunt