Please join us in congratulating Britney Starr on her promotion from a Field Staff position to our highest honor of a Pro-Staff position Britney has been a staff member for years and has done a fantastic job of supporting and promoting Prois as well as becoming a well know figure in the hunting industry and incredible mentor and promoter of female hunters.
Owner of Starr & Bodill African Safaris, Britney Starr is a native of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Western Michigan University, and when she’s not helping her clients achieve their dream of hunting in Africa, she enjoys freelance writing about her time in the woods. A member of numerous outdoor based organizations, and founder of the Women’s Outdoor & Shooting Industry Dinner, Britney truly has an affinity for all things hunting, and strives to connect with and empower other women who share her passion, or are interested in becoming more involved in the outdoors and shooting sports.
By Prois Hunt Staffer Megan DeHaan
Who woulda thunk….. A few days after I send in my Prois Award entry with a story about this buck I haven’t arrowed yet…..I GOT HIM!!
I had pictures of this buck in our game camera several times before season. I had him patterned, everything was good to go. My husband even saw him opening day and passed knowing that I really wanted to shoot him. The next day I saw him but he never gave me an opportunity to shoot. There was either a tree in front of his vitals or he was quartering too me. I kept trying and after that day he vanished and I thought he would never show up. I went out several times and never found him again, until last night! I can thank my son, who as I left gave me a sticker to wear and said it was good luck. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had a nice four point come in and I was going to set up to shoot and out of the corner of my eye MY BUCK!!!! My adrenaline was already pumping, I knew the deer were kinda jumpy that night so I didn’t hesitate, I drew back, he walked away a bit, stood behind some trees, it seemed to take forever but finally about a minute after I drew back, he stopped broadside. THWAP!! He jumped, ran to the middle of the field, started getting top-heavy, and stood there. I knew it was a good shot. I waited and waited to make sure to give him time and it ended up getting too dark to see so I pulled out of there for safe measure. I went back about 30 minutes later and he went about 20 more yards and had died. I GOT HIM!!!!! I’m so elated. As you can see he has an extra split sort of main beam. He sticks out like a sore thumb, so unique I couldn’t pass him up! Thank you PROIS for such Badass camouflage!!!!!! He couldn’t see a thing!!!
This past weekend concluded our three gun competitions for the summer with 4 weeks of competitions in a row. We have learned a lot about the sport of 3 gun in the past month (mostly through trial & error during matches) that will help us to improve in the future. We started out at the JP Rocky Mountain 3 gun in New Mexico (4th & 5th Tactical Lady, 43rd & 52nd Overal Tactical), then traveled to Bend, Oregon for the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 gun, then it was on to the Brownells Rockcastle 3 gun ProAm in Kentucky (6th & 8th Lady, 126 & 131 Overal) and finally the Noveske Area 2 Championships in Byers, CO (4th & 5th Tac Lady, 32nd & 39th Tactical Overal). These were our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th major 3 gun matches and we saw huge gains with each match. At each match we improved our best stages ranking higher and higher towards the top of the pack and had more consistent stages as well as having fewer bad stages. We now have a week to train for the Trijocon World Shooting Championships that will be held in West Virginia. This fall we’ll head to the 3 Gun Nation Southwest Regional Championships in Texas in October followed by the Lady 3 gun match in Georgia at the end of October. We are confident that with some more training this fall we can continue to make huge gains in 3 gun.
We also have a packed schedule of courses for the T.O.P Shooting Institute this fall and into the winter. We just finished 2 classes for competitive shooters in Colorado & Kentucky that were a huge success. This fall we have a slew of competitive shooting courses around Colorado, Utah, & New Mexico. We’ll also be starting to work with a bunch of military units out of Fort Carson, CO as well as FBI from California and special forces units from Georgia who will be coming to work with us in Durango.
By Christy Turner
Stacy, Jon, and Maison Sissney from His & Hers Outdoors came down to Texas for a weekend visit. Callie and Cassie’s Cousin Sienna, is down visiting also from Colorado. I took them all to our favorite “Honey Hole” fishing spot where Sienna caught her very first fish!!! A great Bass she reeled in too! We had some tough luck on our hog hunting this weekend but I was able to lay one down last night finally! #Proiswasthere
By Christy Turner
wWhat an amazing weekend I had with Becky Lou Lacock two weekends ago at the Priefert Ranch in Mount Pleasant Texas. Our days were relaxing hanging out at the ranch watching Chloe ride the 4 wheeler and watching her ride the mare named Buttercup.
We got to meet the world’s largest horse named Radar who is over 19 hands, he was an amazing sight. We also got to meet world famous Australian, Guy McLean. He is an International Horseman, Entertainer and Poet. In between the laughing and cutting up we got serious in the mornings and evenings to try and get eleven year old Chloe from Tennessee her first Texas Hog. We had some pictures on a game camera, stumbled upon some Hog hair on the trail and had a real close encounter on the ground with them Friday evening.
The Hogs were right there, I could even smell them and Becky Lou almost got ate but I was watching her back. Our time ran out before Chloe could bag her first Hog but we made a lot of good memories and hope to try again someday soon. Our gracious host was Travis Priefert, the Grandson of Marvin Priefert who was the founder of the family owned and operated Priefert Manufacturing. You need to check out their web site at www.priefert.com and read, about the family. This hardworking family lives the American dream because they refused to give up even when times were tough they said. I admire each and every one ofthem and respect how humble and honest they all are. Also watch for their new reality-based hunting tv show called “The Prieferts” on the Sportsman Channel. The premiere will air July 3rd 9:30C. This is going to be a must see, I can’t wait!
Fear not Christy Turner bagged herself a hog last weekend while hunting and fishing with fellow Prois gal Stacy Sissney and family !
By Candy Yow
As we near the lake we can see light in the horizon knowing it will be daybreak soon we hustled to get in the boat and in the water before we lost the precious prime time for catching the bass we are after. Minutes later we were gliding across what looked like a sheet of glass with mist rising into early daylight seeping around the towering pines. Breathtaking would be an understatement, the morning was brisk but it was promising to be a nice warm day.
The weight of the worldly problems had grown to where I could hardly think about anything but work 24-7, the Good Lord must have known and this was the perfect fix for it. Peace & quiet, breathtaking beauty, tranquil and serene was so soothing to my heart and soul; I drank it up like a thirsty soul after water. With each breath of the chilly moist air I breathed it was like God was slowly taking my troubles away and putting them on His shoulders and the tenseness slowly disappeared.
The snow packed mountains loomed in the distant, towering over the lake like a giant guardian, glistening white against the pastels colors of the sunrise and reflecting back on the lake like a mirror. The mist rising around the edges of the lake made it look almost eerie other than the total peaceful tranquil feeling, without a sound except the loons in the rushes added to the total peaceful picture in front of me. Taking a deep breath I tried to capture it on film but the pictures couldn’t begin to do it justice. We tried our luck at fishing but I gave up soon as I just wanted to absorb this whole picture and save it to my soul, refuel myself and enjoy everyone else, besides it’s a bit hard to fly fish 3 in a drift boat!!!! We floated and visited and fished for 3-4 hours until we knew for sure the fish were done for a while before we headed back to work, pressure, stress but now I had a fresh take on life, a quick fix for the worldly problems that we allow to take us over. With 6 big beautiful bass on our string we trudged reluctantly towards the truck and reality. Until next time that we are able to get back to Gods beautiful outdoors for my next fix of wholesomeness and fun to fill our hearts and souls.
By Nancy Rodriguez
Opening day of the spring turkey season was very different than my usual turkey hunt. Instead of sitting patiently waiting for a turkey to strut by, I was in the middle of an amazing elk capture/relocation. My husband, Joe and I were honored to be invited to participate at a Tule Elk capture in central California, by our friend Joe Hobbs. Joe Hobbs is a senior environmental scientist that works for California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He also happens to be the California elk coordinator.
California is home to three subspecies of elk: Roosevelt elk, Rocky Mountain Elk, and the very special Tule Elk. Tule Elk are only found in my home state of California. The Tule Elk in California were once close to extinction. In the mid 1870’s there were reports that fewer than 30 elk remained in a single herd near Bakersfield, Ca. A cattle rancher named Henry Miller preserved this last group of elk that he discovered on his ranch in 1874. Experts believe the elk were pushed to the brink of extinction from loss of habitat, market hunting, and displacement from cattle. Thanks to Henry Miller and others that followed suit by 1970’s the Tule Elk population had grown to around 500 animals. Over the years with improved management, the help of wildlife organizations and conservation agencies like RMEF, Tule Elk numbers have steadily increased. Today California has over 4000 Tule Elk in 22 distinct herds!
Joe and I arrived on Friday afternoon at the San Luis Wildlife Refuge for our mandatory safety meeting. We met with approximately 70 employees from California Department of Fish and Wildlife and US Fish & Wildlife services, along with veterinarians, andnthe helicopter capture crew. Joe Hobbs conducted the orientation meeting, assigning everyone a specific job. We all broke into groups to become familiar with our upcoming rolls. Joe and I were assigned to the trailer chutes. We rotated with another team manning the chute gates as the elk were herded into the trailers for transport. 6:30 am Saturday morning couldn’t come soon enough. We arrived at base camp full of adrenaline and excitement. The teams quickly dispersed into their designated areas. The teams consisted of: The helicopter crew, the ground transportation teams, the processing teams, the wranglers, and the relocation team. Each group showed amazing team work.
The first team up was the helicopter crew, Leading Edge Aviation. They are a team of four dedicated wildlife capturers. The pilot’s job is to bring the chopper down over an elk to net gun level. Then one of the gunners hangs out of the chopper, aims the net gun over an elk and fires the net for capture.
Once the elk is in the net, the chopper drops to a low hover, a team member jumps out and immediately blindfolds and hobbles the elk for transport. The pilot radios the closest ground team for pick up. These guys are fast! On arrival the ground teams quickly lift the netted elk onto litters. They safely transport the elk on the back of Gators or trailers to the processing station.
The elk are strapped to the litters for safe travel. The next team is the processing team. There were 5 tents set up to process the elk as quickly as possible. They consisted of Ca. Fish & Wildlife employees, US Fish & Wildlife, and veterinarians to collect samples and data on the elk. First the elk are weighed and then carried to a tent station.
There the team would draw blood, check general health, place ear tags, and radio collars for future research.
The entire time the elk’s temperature was monitored closely and cool water and ice packs were applied to maintain the animals temperature if necessary.
Once the research teams finished their jobs, the elk were carried to the corral to be persuaded into the trailers. The corral is what I called the “elk wrangling station”. This station consisted of a metal pipe corral about the size of a small garage with two chutes that led into the trailers. The pipe fencing was covered in black burlap, so the elk would stay calm.
The ground crew would carry the elk on the litter into the corral. They would safely tip the litter to lay the elk on the ground. The elk wranglers would then remove the hobbles and blindfolds as quickly as possible. Next they would use bucking boards to persuade the elk up the trailer chutes. Joe and I would nudge the elk up the chutes and close the gates behind them as fast as we could, as they entered the trailers.
On the second day, Joe and I we’re invited into the corral to help with “wrangling”. Joe removed the blindfolds and I helped out with the bucking boards. The final stage and the most amazing part of the capture was yet to come. Joe and I were able to go to the grand finale… the release! We had two trucks and blacked out trailers full of elk, followed by a safety vehicle.
After a 2 ½ hours drive, we arrived at the elk’s new home. We pulled into the wildlife area full of hope. As we opened the trailer doors and stepped back, each elk curiously stepped out of the trailer and safely trotted off into their new home. Watching them run off, I was completely speechless! We had just been a part of one amazing adventure.
We had helped with the California Tule Elk re-population, conservation, and management process. All in all, the teams safely captured and relocated 36 Tule Elk to three different locations in California. California is lucky to have Joe Hobbs as the elk coordinator. He ran a safe, seamless, and upbeat elk capture. With people like him, Fish and Wildlife agencies, and conservation groups like RMEF, we can keep supporting our once nearly extinct Tule Elk.
This experience was one we will never forget. Not only did we have a great time comingface to face with Tule Elk, but we met some amazing people!
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 too 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 TOO 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 too Proud to Beg” gets them every time!!!
The Olympics officially start just 4 days from now and I am on the ground in Sochi training at the Laura Biathlon venue that we will compete on in the Olympics. This venue is the largest biathlon venue in the world and is supposed to hold over 80,000 people in the stadium and on course. We had our first training on the venue and our race course yesterday and I have to honestly say I love it!!
We concluded our final training camp in Antholz, Italy and headed to Munich, Germany which would be the staging point for our team processing and our charter flight to Sochi. Our team processing consisted of checking in with the US Olympic Committee, getting our visa’s, our phones for Russia, all our team clothing such as opening and closing ceremonies and medals ceremonies clothing, doing interviews, and taking team and individual photos. A lot of Olympian describe the team processing as shopping without a credit card. You usually leave with more bags and gear than you can cary.
The next morning early, we boarded our charter flight to Sochi. Our flight consisted of the entire Biathlon team, as well as some members of the Luge, cross country, figure skating and Freeskiing teams. It was a fun flight that made it into Sochi only 3 hours after we took off. As soon as we landed we grabbed our mountain of gear (minus our rifles that went straight to the venue) and headed through several security and accreditation checks before taking the 1 hr bus ride to the base of the mountains. There was a definite security presence everywhere that made us all feel really safe. Sochi is a tropical city, so there was no snow and plenty of palm trees. Once we hit the base of the mountains, we took a gondola up the mountain and hoped on another bus that brought us to our athletes village. After running around organizing gear and checking into our cabins and few meetings later we hit the sack after a really long day of travel.
The next day we woke up to the most beautiful 360 degree view of the Caucasus mountains. It definitely one of the coolest athletes villages and venues I’ve ever been too. All of our races are in the evening, so most of our main trainings are in the afternoon or evening. So we took the morning to check in our rifles which were locked in a secure facility at the venue and will remain that way until we leave, we will have access to them for training, cleaning, and dryfiring. This is normal for all Olympic games.
Our training on the venue couldn’t have been any better. We trained mid after noon and had blue bird skies and rock hard ski tracks. The course was a lot of fun too with some slalom type downhills and steep uphills on the 3km loop. The shooting range sits in front of a gigantic stadium that is boasted to hold over 80,000 spectators both in the stands and out on course. With the stands sitting less than 100 meters behind the range, there will definitely be some intense cheering during the shooting.
The Olympics officially kick off on Friday and the women’s first race is Sunday. We won’t find out what races we do until later in the week, so once I hear, I will send you the schedule of events I’m in. Please check out our facebook page Twin Biathletes as well as our website for updates and pictures. Thanks for all your support and help in making this dream possible. Can’t wait for the races to start!! Have a great week.