How To Clean a Gar

by Gretchen Steele

Gar – that ugly prehistoric dinosaur of a fish – simply do not get the respect they deserve. Not only do they offer one heck of fight on rod and reel, they are a bowfishing staple fish. Sadly, their reputation as a junk trash fish combined with their armor–like hide keeps many from enjoying this abundant and great tasting fish.

I hate the term “trash fish” and the term “rough fish” is almost as bad, but I am still having a hard time getting my head wrapped around the oh-so- politically correct “underutilized native fish”. BUT The truth is that gar are a terribly under utilized native fish in many areas.

I’ve become somewhat of a gar ambassador, and when I see fellow anglers curse, kill and toss these exceptionally good eat fish aside – I just can’t stop my pushy self from interfereing and going so far as to whip out my cleaning tools and show them on the spot that cleaning and using a gar is far more easy than myth and legend would have one believe.

Cleaning a gar may seem like a daunting task, and there are multitudes of myths about the cleaning of gar and the meat – so here’s a quick how to for rendering that scary looking toothy monster ready for the table.

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lots of good meat on this 8lb 14 oz gar that was arrowed by my bowfishing partner in crime Amy Young of Henshaw, KY

First gather the few extra tools you will need:
1.Sharp sturdy skinning type knife
2.Tin snips
3.Thin flexible fillet knife
4. Gloves for those who wish to avoid the small cuts that sometimes result from sharp gar scales.

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Place the gar on you cleaning surface and begin by making a horizontal cut directly behind the head. Given the bone like quality of gar scales, insert your knife tip between the scale lines in order to make the cut much easier.

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Once the horizontal cut is made, grab you tin snips and insert them just below the hide and begin making the long vertical cut down the center of the gar’s back.
When your tin snips reach the dorsal fin, make a second horizontal cut downwards along the scale line. Using a sharp and flexible fillet knife separate the “armor” from the sweet white tenderloin meat.

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Now you are ready to begin the filleting portion of the cleaning.

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Insert the tip of your fillet knife between the meat and the hide and begin to slowly slice the meat away from the hide on each side.
Once you have the hide free of the “loins” and meaty part of the fish, insert the fillet knife along the backbone of the fish, and simply slice the meat away from the ribs. Be aware that a gar’s rib cage is very long and extends nearly all the way to the tail.

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The top loins are the good eating part of the gar. The “belly meat” is next to nothing, and full of bones, so all you are after are the two large loins.
There you have it – now that wasn’t that difficult was it? Since gar can become so very large the amount of good meat even from a single fish makes them well worth keeping and cleaning!

A NOTE OF CAUTION – NEVER EVER CONSUME THE EGGS FROM A GAR – THEY ARE EXTREMELY TOXIC TO ALL MAMMALS – INCLUDING HUMANS! Always dispose of the eggs in manner that no pets, birds, or people can get into them.

We prepare gar in a number of ways – but the all-time favorite at our house is “Poor Man’s Lobster”.
1.Cut the gar meat into bite sized chunks
2.Prepare a pot of crab boil, just as you would if you were going to boil crawfish, shrimp etc. Drop the chunks into the boil
3.Boil five minutes, remove from heat and allow to sit for an additional five minutes before removing the fish chunks.
4.Serve with melted butter, lemon juice or chill for later use.
5.You can substitute the gar cooked this way for most any recipe that calls for cooked crab meat or lobster.

PRÓIS® HUNTING APPAREL PARTNERS WITH goHUNT.COM

Join goHUNT INSIDER and Get $50 in Prois® Gear

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Prois Hunting Apparel recently joined forces with the popular internet-based company, goHUNT.com, which is a digital platform and community built for Western hunters. The two companies have teamed up to offer Prois gear with the purchase of a goHUNT INSIDER membership. As both companies cater in large part to the Western hunter, the partnership was a natural fit.

goHUNT INSIDER is the industry leader for everything Western Hunting. Their tools, like Filtering 2.0, are completely changing how hunts are found. Customizable filters make it easy to instantly find opportunity hunts and trophy hunts. Join goHUNT INSIDER and redeem your $50 Prois Gift Card by going to http://www.goHUNT.com/INSIDER and use promo code “PROIS” at checkout. To learn more about goHUNT INSIDER click here.

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Learn more about this incredible offer by going to: http://www.goHUNT.com/prois.

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

MAKE YOUR MARK THIS SEASON AT THE SHOOTING RANGE

Try Próis® Hunting Apparel For Gear That’s Always on Target

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It’s that time of year again and the shooting range is calling your name. Whether you prefer 3-d archery or the sporting clay course, Próis has got you covered. The women’s only hunting apparel company offers some of the most technologically advanced hunting and shooting garments in the industry. Take a closer look at staff favorites for a day at the range.

The moment you don the Artemis Competitive shooting shirt, you will look and feel like a champion. This shirt is perfectly breathable and great for summer days spent busting clays or drilling bullseyes. Made with moisture wicking poly/spandex fabric, you need not worry about overheating in your gear. With a sleek design, not only will you shoot great, you will look and feel great also. Unlike most in its category, the Artemis comes with a lumbar pocket for stowing extra gear. The Artemis shirt is available in black and white or red and white and comes in sizes XS to XL.

Combine the Artemis shirt with a pair of pants that match its sleek design. Made with 94% nylon and 6% spandex, the Adventure pants are the perfect candidate for any spring or summer activity in the outdoors. Extremely lightweight and breathable fabric makes these pants a must have for range days when temperatures are less than ideal. With ample room through the rear, hips, and thighs, the Adventure pants allow for plenty of movement, making any strenuous activity a breeze. Pant sizes range from XS to XXL and come in colors Stone and Olive.

A functional shooting vest is a necessity on the range. Próis has constructed one of the only women’s specific shooting vests on the market today. The Competitor Shooter’s Vest is made with all of the functions you need and a fit you will love. A feminine cut reduces bulk, ensuring you look good and shoot even better. Bilateral shoulder padding accommodates left and right-handed shooters and internal pockets accommodate gel packs. With two front expandable cargo pockets and a rear mesh pouch, this vest offers plenty of room for shells, hearing protection, and glasses. What’s even more, should you decide you don’t need the entire vest, it unzips at the waist to convert to a shooting apron. The Competitor Shooter’s vest comes in colors Black and Khaki and sizes XS to XL.

Find all of these items on sale now at www.proishunting.com. For additional information or questions about gear, call the Próis office at (970) 641-3355.

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

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.

 

 

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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!

A Word From the CEO- Learning To Hunt Merriam’s In Colorado

By: Kirstie PIke
CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

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You know, they aren’t kidding when they say that Merriams are tough hunting.  Their preference for mountainous terrain, their love for wooded cover and their disdain for dying at my hands makes them difficult at best.  While I am really giving it the college try this year by hunting solo (I have yet to harvest a Merriam) I have learned much…what I fondly call my discourse of humility and rage.  Here are my lessons learned so far…

What I have love most about hunting this bird is the perpetual spot and stalk.  I verge on ADHD and cannot sit still long.  Not to mention, the older I get the more it hurts to, well, sit.  I have found more action by setting up.  Calling a bit.  Waiting it out for some avian communication may take some time, but once you get some noise, be patient.  Don’t over call.  A lesson I am learning the hard way.  If nothing is happening, it doesn’t hurt to move on.

I have also found that spending a fair amount of time just scouting the region if the hunting is cold has been very helpful.  Locating water, roosts and feeding routes can be very helpful.

Be prepared to put on some miles.  Covering more ground gives more opportunity.  Merriams have a wide range and are considered to be turkey nomads.  It is not uncommon to put on four or five miles in a morning.

Use a locator call in the morning.  Crow or owl work well.  I am still working on honing this skill, but I have found it to be helpful.

I am a minimalist by nature.  I don’t like to pack a lot with me.  It is typically unnecessary.  Too much gear is, well, just too much.  Short of a weapon, decoy, call and binoculars I have found that a GPS with ONXMaps HUNT is invaluable.  If you are not familiar, ONXMaps can be purchased for use on your GPS or on your cell phone.  Warning- cellphone app is not helpful if you have no service.  You can purchase a card for the state you hunt and this provide very detailed mapping that allows you to know precisely where public vs private land exists.  The first time I used it I was impressed.  Had I NOT had it, I would have really limited myself on hunting area by not knowing the actual boundaries.  Not to mention, (and this is no lie) I may have had to start making a waypoint for my truck each time I go out as I tend to lose that sucker every time. In fact, I could swear that someone moves it each time I go out.  I mean, it IS possible.

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I have come to rely on my GPS to mark roost trees and areas where I have found more activity.  Given the fact that the Colorado terrain is far from open and flat, it can become a bit disorienting to relocate key areas.  Directionally impaired or not, this feature saves a lot of time and frustration.

As the morning progresses, I have found that finding a high point with decent cover so I can glass the area is very helpful.  In fact, I have found birds when I was about to hang it up for the day.  If you have an entire day and don’t have to rush on to work, hang tight in the late morning and early afternoon near some open areas where you have found sign.

Now…as mentioned, these are my lessons learned to date.  I am certain I will have a million more failures before a success…so stay tuned!

 

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:

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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

Talking Technical With the CEO… Compressed Cuts, A Method For Our Madness.

Byline:  Kirstie Pike- CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

Often, we hear from prospective customers who are disappointed because we do not manufacture a very heavy weight, bulky jacket.

Believe it or not, we do this by design.  We design the entire Prois brand around compressed fabrics and cuts.  Here’s the down and dirty.

  1.  Bulky sleeves interfere with bowstrings.  It’s a fact.  Reduction of this additional fabric reduces the risk of string slap incredibly.
  2. Bulky sleeves interfere when shouldering a gun.  Ever worn a bulky jacket when hunting pheasants?  A very unpleasant experience.  Proper seating of your shotgun is difficult, if not impossible when an oversized, bulky jacket is used.  As we know, this results in poor shots and occasional soft tissue injury if you accidently seat your shotgun into your bicep or shoulder.
  3. Ease of movement.  Compressed fabrics with athletic cuts move with the body more fluidly.  This allows the hunter increased stealth, silence and precision when drawing a bow or shouldering a gun.
  4. Noise reduction.  Sleeker, compressed cuts reduce fabric on fabric noise as well as noise created from slogging through brush and trees.
  5. Layers are more efficient for thermoregulation.  As we discuss continuously, warmth is best earned from layers, not a bulky jacket.  Proper baselayers, insulators and shells create everything a hunter needs to remain warm.  Layers can be removed when perspiration kicks in, layers can be added when the temperatures drop or inclement weather rolls through.

OK!  So that’s compressed hunting gear in a nutshell.  There really is a method to our madness.  Since we are talking jackets…here is a breakdown of  the Prois jackets…

Mid-Weight Windstopping Jackets:  Perfect for warmer weather.  Layering with good baselayers and vests can provide additional warmth.
1.  Pro-Edition Jacket
2.  Generation X Jacket

Core Insulator Jackets:  Mother Nature got it right with goose down.  It’s warm.  It actually functions best when closer to the skin.  We recommend wearing a good baselayer then utilizing the Archtach on top of that.  If additional shell jackets are required for windstopping, waterproofing or additional insulation…you can utilize ANY of our other jackets on top to work with the conditions at hand.
1.  Archtach Down Jacket

Shell Jackets:  Shell jackets are for one of 2 things…rain or additional insulation.  The Gallean is our lightweight rain jacket and can be used as a shell over our other jackets.  Should the weather become cool and damp…we recommend moving on to the Xtreme jacket for water resistance plus additional insulation.
1.  Galleann Rain Jacket
2.  Xtreme Jacket

And there you have it.  Layering, like life, is all about compromise.  Utilize various options for your particular hunt and your particular body type…and you should be set.   And never, never, ever look for just one heavy jacket for your go-to hunting jacket.  Compression and layering are the key to success and comfort!

Pro Edition Jacket

Pro Edition Jacket

Archtach Down Jacket

Archtach Down Jacket

Galleann Rain Jacket

Galleann Rain Jacket

Xtreme Jacket

Xtreme Jacket