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

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

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!!!

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PRÓIS® GALLEANN JACKET AND PANTS INVITE MOTHER NATURE TO BRING IT ON

Learn More About the Company’s Formidable Rain System for Women Hunters

For serious hunters who hunt through the seasons, rain is often a factor. Stay dry and warm with the Próis® Galleann Line, a technologically advanced system of gear every huntress should have. Lightweight, hard-wearing, and perhaps most importantly, packable, this rain suit is a must-have, especially when the heavens decide to pour.

Named for the Gaelic word “storm,” the all-new for 2016 Próis Galleann rain jacket and pants are the company’s premium, technical rain suit and have been scientifically designed to be the most functional and durable rain gear in the industry. Constructed from 100 percent polyester 20,000 / 10,000 laminate, Galleann Rain gear is extremely lightweight and completely waterproof – always importanGALLEANN JACKET FRONTt whether it’s drizzling or an all-out storm. Whether sitting, squatting, lying down, or even running, this jacket and pant combo is designed to move seamlessly with you. What’s more, they are built to be silent when performing all these actions. Finally, their breathable fabric allows you to remain as dry as possible.

The Próis Galleann Jacket packs into its own pocket making it simple to store and carry with you in the field, ensuring you’re well prepared should the weather take a turn for the worse. The high performance jacket has fully waterproof zippers, taped seams, and snap-down sliders to help keep you and your gear dry. The hood also has an exterior drawstring, which allows for a more precise fit and better peripheral vision.GALLEANN PANTS FRONT

Pair the Próis Galleann Jacket with the Galleann Pants, which are built from the same state-of-the-art materials and also pack into their own pocket. Notably, the pant leg zippers extend up the entire leg so you can slide them on and off efficiently. The pants also have detachable cordura gaiters to secure your boots and help reduce moisture around the boot and ankle.

The Próis Galleann Jacket and Pants are sold separately and can be purchased here. They are both available in sizes XS through XXL and come in Realtree APX®, Realtree Max-1®, or olive.

For more information about the Próis Galleann Line or 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