2012 Prois Staff Selections

Sara Ahrens

We are very proud to announce our 2012 Staff selections. New to Pro-Staff this year is Sara Ahrens. Sara Ahrens has been a law enforcement officer for 15 years and served 11 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves as a Russian and Spanish Interpreter. She is currently assigned to the Patrol Bureau and is an adjunct Firearm’s Instructor and Taser Instructor for her department. Sara is certified as a master handgun firearm’s instructor, rifle instructor and armorer. Sara was the first female to make her department’s SWAT team, where she served for four years as a supervisor. During this same time, she ran her agency’s training unit serving as the Range Master for the firearms program and overseeing the armament section. Sara is an avid shooter and deer and turkey hunter. Sara is married to Michael Ahrens, who is also a Sergeant within her agency. They have two children and as a family they enjoy spending time in the outdoors together. Sara is an NRA handgun and personal protection inside the home instructor. She was recently cast on Season 3 of the History Channel’s Top Shot. Thanks to Top Shot, Sara has had several opportunities to participate more actively in youth shooting events within her surrounding community, which she enjoys.

Beth Ann Amico

Also new to Pro-Staff this year is Beth Ann Amico. Beth is a dynamo in the industry. She is a professional dog trainer and breeder, an outdoor writer, a professional outdoor speaker, an avid huntress, and a conservationist. Beth Ann and her husband John own Deep Fork Retrievers in Choctaw, Oklahoma. Their reputation for producing quality hunting retrievers has led avid hunters such as Fox News host Governor Mike Huckabee and former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating to their kennel, along with sportsmen and professional hunting guides from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Her accomplishments are too many to list in one short paragraph and she has won numerous awards in the industry including a John Madson Fellowship from the Outdoor Writers Association a Maxwell Medallion Award, The Dog Writers Association of America’s version of the Oscar. Beth is heavily involved with promoting women in the outdoors and in hunting and shooting sports. She is an instructor for the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program in Oklahoma and Arkansas, where she teaches classes about waterfowling, gun dog training, and outdoor clothing for women. She is also the Event Coordinator of the Central Oklahoma Women in the Outdoors Skills Workshop, an outreach program of the National Wild Turkey Federation (2008 and 2009). Beth has 15 years’ experience hunting upland game, waterfowl and big game. Beth Ann Amico has appeared on several TV shows and has been interviewed numerous times on the radio and in print. She is already a Pro-Staff member of many notable companies including but not limited to Cabela’s and Limbsaver.

Mia Anstine

New to Field Staff this year are Mia Anstine, Kendra Petska, Amy Hanneman, Kelly Heard, Tracey Splechter, and Captain Leslie N. Smith. Mia Anstine has been a longtime supporter and friend of Prois Hunting Apparel. Mia is co-owner of Wolf Creek Outfitters, LLC in Colorado, she writes reviews for the Outdoors Channel and writes a blog, “Adventures with Little Gal,” at the Women’s Outdoor News. She is also on TenPoint Crossbows pro-staff. Mia spends more than 150 days a year in the outdoors hunting, scouting, shooting and fishing. She has hunted elk, mule deer, black bear, turkey, game birds, predators, varmints, hogs, and has many more hunts on her bucket list. Mia mentors women and children hunters and has definitely earned her placed on Prois’ elite Field Staff team.

Kendra Petska

Kendra Petska is a very accomplished huntress having hunted a wide range of wild game including deer, turkey, and waterfowl. She comes from a family of hunters and trappers and at an early age she could be found out with her family chasing whitetails, waterfowl and fishing. She has recently developed a love for Mule deer and took her first buck in 2010. Kendra has written stories for Muley Crazy and Sportsmans News. She will be hunting in Africa this October and she is working to put together a guide service for young girls to go hunting.

Amy Hanneman

Amy Hanneman is talented huntress and has been hunting for the last 8 yeas. She is a member of the Wild Energy Crew of Green Energy Solutions and has appeared on Nosler’s Magnum TV, Eye of the Hunter, and Joe Rossi’s Wildside Adventure. She writes a blog for Bow Hunting Road and has had articles printed in many other publications. She has a very busy hunting season ahead of her and we are very excited to see what she bags! Amy is not only a talented huntress, she is also a RN in the intensive care unit at Saint Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center in Missoula.

Kelly Heard

Kelly Heard is also a member of the Wild Energy Crew of Green Energy Solutions. She is a wife, mother and grandmother of three and had been an avid hunter nearly her entire life. She lives and hunts in the beautiful and diverse state of Oregon, which gives me the opportunity to hunt elk (Roosevelt as well as Rocky Mountain), deer (Blacktail, Columbia white tail and mule deer), antelope, black bear, turkey, cougars and coyotes as well as smaller game and upland birds. In addition to these species Kelly has also hunted red stag in New Zealand and British Columbia to hunt moose. She has many more hunts on her bucket list including hunting in Africa. She has also written several articles in bowhunting.net as well as Western Wander.

Tracey Splechter

Tracey Splechter has been involved in the outdoor industry since 1999 with Outdoor Connection, a hunting and fishing travel service. Outdoor Connection has given her the opportunity to travel all over North America and meet many great people. Tracey Splechter is part owner of Outdoor Connection, the outdoor booking agency that we have teamed up with to create proishuntingtrips.com. She is an accomplished huntress and a longtime friend of Prois Hunting Apparel. Tracey enjoys fishing, sporting clays and pursuing big game animals. She was hooked on hunting after her first Kansas turkey hunt. Since then she has hog hunted in Oklahoma multiple times and harvested her first whitetail deer in Saskatchewan. She enjoys whitetail deer hunting in her home state of Kansas with her husband. Tracey’s passion is to get more women involved in the great outdoors. Tracey has two daughters, Alyssa and Alexa, who along with her husband, Adam, reside in southeast Kansas.

Captain Leslie Smith and Issac

Captain Leslie N. Smith is relatively new to hunting but has already had several successes despite the challenges she has faced. While serving in Bosnia Leslie became ill two weeks before completing the deployment and was sent back to the United States. From there, Leslie was admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and doctors diagnosed her with a rare blood disorder. Complications from this disorder led to the amputation of Leslie’s left leg just below the knee and major tissue loss over both legs. She also lost vision in her left eye and later much of her vision in her right eye. She spent seven long months at Walter Reed, undergoing more than 20 operations, in intensive care, recovery and rehabilitation.

In 2010 she had her first hunting experience when she was invited on an elk hunt for injured female military veterans hosted by Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund and the Paralyzed Veterans of America in Pagosa Springs Colorado. The Elk hunt was filmed for the TV show American Outdoorsman which airs on The Outdoor Channel. Leslie harvested a beautiful bull elk with one shot which was an experience she will never forget. This experience led to a turkey hunt for female injured veterans in Mississippi which was filmed by Mississippi Outdoors. Even though she was coping with recent additional vision loss in her right eye when she was already blind in her left eye she was able to shoot a beautiful Tom. Leslie’s background is in public speaking, public relations, and writing. Leslie has been an unstoppable advocate for injured female veterans and is a very talented public speaker. She serves as soldier spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial that is being built in Washington DC. She has tirelessly worked to raise awareness for wounded veterans and this much needed memorial. Since her injury she worked on President Bush’s Wounded Warrior Commission in 2007 and spoke at the Republican National Convention for Senator McCain’s campaign in 2008. Through all of these experiences her service dog Issac has been by her side. She is a well-educated, motivated, and an extremely inspirational person. We are incredibly proud to have Leslie as a member of our Field-Staff Team.

We couldn’t have asked for a more worthy group of women to join us on our staff team at Prois this year. Our only regret is that we didn’t have more spaces to fill given the incredible group of applicants. We are so honored to be a part of such an amazing group of women. Prois is not just about clothing. It’s about women having the gear they need to pursue their passions. It’s about the amazing fellowship of women who hunt and enjoy the outdoors. It’s about helping women feel confident and capable in the outdoors. Most of all it’s about taking pride in not being one of the guys!

Blame it on the Boys

Kendra Petska
November 2010

For as long as I can remember I’ve had the “bug”. That bug that caused me to shoot out of bed at 4:00 a.m. opening morning of deer season, strap on my oversized camo, and run upstairs to get dad up and going. I remember driving around with Dad or Grandpa scouting the river bottoms and canyons during rifle season, eyes peeled, sitting on my knees to see out the pickup window, anticipating the infamous “There he is!” as the pickup jerked to a stop.

Luckily I am no longer hunting in oversized camo. My Prois gear is not only quiet during a stalk, but it is comfortable and fits in a way as to not be a hindrance. So many times when hunting gear doesn’t fit you or your hunting situation, you become focused on how uncomfortable you feel or that the clothing is getting in the way, rather than your pursuit. Thankfully, Prois makes a line of women’s hunting apparel that is tailored to fit a woman’s body and her pursuit of various game.

I would like to say that I blame my hunting obsession on the boys in my life. Dad and I would always go out that second weekend of November when the bucks were chasing. And if he had his shot at a big one and I wasn’t quite old enough to tag along, Grandpa would come and pick me up and we would watch from a distance.

I have hunted since I was old enough to buy a license. I’ve always chased whitetails because they were pretty much all I could come across on our land in Central Nebraska. I had seen a few mule deer here and there but they were usually smaller, younger bucks. Not until I began dating Sam was I exposed to the “Muley Magic”.

Sam always talked about how big mule deer get and that they are “just different”. Not until about a year into the relationship did I really comprehend or even grasp the concept of how big they actually do get and what kind of obsession it was that consumed him. The more mule deer filled magazines I was shown and the hours of Muley Crazy DVDs I sat through, the more I began to maybe form my own little “Muley Bug”.

After passing and filming a few nice grower bucks in 2009 with Sam on his family’s horse ranch, The Pitzer Ranch, we decided that we were going to hit the scouting hard in 2010. Since the ranch sits in the Sandhills of North Central Nebraska near the small town of Ericson, it has some great country for mule deer. Throughout the year we watched, filmed and collected pictures of a number of different deer. We had it out for a couple of nice bucks from the year before that didn’t split on a fork or that were just a little young yet. But before Nebraska’s seasoned opened we had to head out to Eastern Colorado for a week.

In October of 2010, I tagged along on Sam’s eastern Colorado mule deer hunt with Wes Atkinson of Atkinson Expeditions. We saw a number of great shooter bucks while we were out there. Not to mention stalking a 187 inch typical to within three yards on day one! After a week solid with a couple of mule deer nuts, I had a new appreciation for the obsession that I had witnessed for months prior.

As opening weekend of rifle season approached in Nebraska, I mentioned to Sam that I thought I wanted to shoot a muley buck this year since I had never taken a one before. Now you have to understand that Sam is super protective of his mule deer. So I reminded him of a deal that we made while we were putting in fence around a food plot on a rather warm August day. He told me if I helped put in this fence that just maybe I would be able to take a buck that was drawn into the area with the plot. So on the second day of rifle season I reminded him of his deal as we glassed through a group of mule deer and I settled my glass on a dark, heavy rack across the river in the late afternoon hours.

We decided to get a closer look at the buck and stalked in to 240 yards along the river bank. After a few minutes I said to Sam “it’s time”. I had actually remained rather calm watching the buck graze for a few minutes, right up until this moment. As I flipped off the safety my heart started going. I settled my gun on the pack and squeezed off a shot. The buck spooked a few yards to the north and continued to graze. I had shot just under him! I kicked in another shell, settled in and squeezed the trigger again. This time the buck humped up, stumbled and went down. I couldn’t see very well in my scope because of the glare of the setting sun, so when Sam told me he was down I was ecstatic! We high fived and re-hashed the stalk for a few minutes and started walking out to put our hands on the rack. As we approached I began to see that he was heavier than I expected, had great fronts, and overall was just an impressive Central Nebraska muley!

After taking this deer, I really appreciate what having some self control can do for your deer herd. We know that we passed this deer last year and it awesome to see what one can grow into if you give them the time to get older.

It is a sweet moment in any woman’s life to prove to society that she can not only hang with the guys, but she can also excel. I take pride in being a woman in a largely male dominated sport, but I must give credit where credit is due. And that is to the boys in my life. They helped grow that little “bug” into my own obsession.