Archery Shooting Tips by Megan DeHaan

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-5-00-42-pmLess than 2 weeks before archery antelope opens. Holy cow that went fast! If your like me your ran ragged all summer long with haying season you rarely have time to practice your shooting. That still doesn’t give you a single excuse to not get it done if you want a successful and ethical archery season. A few simple steps you must take can be the difference between a terrible shot and a successful harvest! I never actually “put away” my bow for the season. I constantly find excuses to use it throughout the year. It has a space in my garage that’s easily accessible. With that said, there are still a few things I inspect this time of year. First, is everything tight? I’ve had my rest actually come loose before, this is a MUST before you go out and shoot. Secondly, inspect your strings. Are they frayed? Do they need wax? Third, my quiver is always full but make sure you know what your shooting! Sounds silly but it’s pretty easy to assume you have all field tips on only to find out there is one random broadhead. I also inspect my arrows before I ever shoot them. Clink them against your hand or something hard to make sure you don’t hear any broken ones, or if your tips aren’t properly screwed on tight. I never shoot old arrows in actual hunting situations. Make sure you are all setup and ready to go before the first day of season. Your local stores may sell out of your favorite broad head you sighted in with all month. Lastly, HAVE FUN! Hunting is supposed to be a wonderful and challenging experience. If you are well prepared, it can make all the difference in the world!

Megan DeHaan

 

Talking Technical! High Plains Brush Pants!

Kirstie Pike- Prois CEO

Kirstie Pike- Prois CEO

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

 

 

 
The birding seasons are quickly approaching and it is definitely time to talk technical about our High Plains Brush Pants!

What makes them the perfect pants for your birding adventures?

Prois High Plains Brush Pants

Prois High Plains Brush Pants

  1.  Feminine fit.  We designed these pants to provide room through the hips, rear and thighs.  Additionally, we kept the rise high enough to avoid the downward creep in the back.
  2. Elastacized sides in the waistband to accommodate varying body types.
  3. Cam Straps at the waistline to tighten or loosen the pants.  Should this feature not be desirable, simply remove the straps and use a belt- belt loops are also included in the design of these pants.
  4. Cordura facings.  We brought the facings higher and decided to make the facings match the fabric to create a visually appealing field pants option.
  5. Cordura Scuff Pads.  Wear and tear at the interior cuffline of field pants is common.  We reinforced this area with additional cordura to eliminate wear and tear.
  6. Boot Zips.  We added 9 inch boot zips to reduce any difficulty donning and doffing field boots.  A great feature!

This product remains one of my favorite products we design.  They are functional and visually appealing.  They are available in khaki and Olive…sizes range from XS-XL.  Check them out!

 

Prois Staffer Cindi Baudhuin

Prois Staffer Cindi Baudhuin

How to Capture Quality Pictures from Your Hunt

Well it’s that time of year when the Ladies of the Prois Posse are getting it done in the field. Here are a few tips and reminders about how to capture the best pictures from your hunt so that you will have a memory and keepsake to last a lifetime.

– Take the time to move your animal into a good position for pictures. You want to move it out of the area that it bled out and into an area where you can set up for some different angled field pictures.
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– Set it up in a natural bedded down position; this is a much more photogenic pose than having the legs sticking straight out.
– Take your pictures before you gut; an open carcass is more gore than most people want to see or frame up on their walls. If you forget to take a picture before, or need to get the guts out fast, make sure that the open cavity is hidden in pictures and there is no visible gut pile.
– Clean up blood on the face and make sure that the tongue is not hanging out; an easy fix is to simply cut the tongue out. Snow, baby wipes, or even some water from your pack and mitts will go a long way.
– Don’t ride the animal, don’t even half straddle it. Show that animal respect and make sure you are sitting right behind it. Also, don’t play with the angle and sit 27 feet behind it so that it looks bigger than it is.
– Take multiple pictures from multiple angles; you can’t retake these so it’s easier to delete too many than wish that you took a few more.
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– Try to avoid major shadows on the animal and the hunters face by using the angle of the sun to highlight the picture evenly.
– Don’t only take pictures from the back of your truck or hanging from a tree; make sure you capture the animal in the environment that the hunt took place.
– Skyline antlers if possible; this help to highlight those racks.
– Be aware of where your rifle is pointed when propped. We all love to show off what helped us get our animals, but gun safety and perception is imperative and takes two seconds to make sure that it isn’t pointed at anyone even when unloaded.
– Most importantly, be proud! Smile for the opportunity to be one with nature, for the chance to put your own food on the table, the fact that you know where your food came from and smile for the amazing memory you have created.
Good luck this season ladies!!!

Getting Started: How to take the next step from archer to bowhunter

I often have women tell me that they feel like they are ready to start bowhunting but they don’t know where to begin.  They have a bow, they’ve taken some lessons, maybe have shot in an archery league or practiced on their own and consider themselves target archers, and are ready to move forward. This can be a really intimidating step for many women, especially if they don’t have a social circle of other bowhunters around them.

One of my first suggestions would be to look inBOW8to the Department of Fish and Game’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program in your state. I have been a volunteer instructor for BOW for the past 6 years and cannot say enough about it. The classes they offer, the quality of information that they provide and the skilled instructors that volunteer their time to help others to find their passion in the outdoors is second to none.  BOW was started where I live in Alaska in 1995 and has grown rapidly due to a wonderful community response to the great classes they provide. There are BOW programs all over the Lower 48 as well! There are several options for BOW classes: the first is 3 day weekend courses (workshops) which cover a small sample of many subjects. A total of 100+ participants (ages 18+) can sign up for this amazing outdoor inspired weekend and can pick subjects from a variety of 4 hours courses such as archery, bowhunting, moose hunting, field dressing, cold weather camping, outdoor cooking, hunting small game and much more!   This is not only the perfect place to start to build up confidence by educating yourself on hunting, but its also a great place to meet other women who are interested in the same things that you are! Classes like the field dressing course are completely hands on. For our Alaska class, they bring in an Elk or Moose etc… from the Wildlife Conservation Center or other donated sources and you actually get hands on experience in field dressing the entire animal with skilled and experienced instructors leading the way. The BOW weekend offers classes in an encouraging and supportive environment to beginners. Classes are presented in a way where the participants do not feel intimidated no matter their skill level or outdoors/hunting knowledge.

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In addition to these big weekend workshops; BOW also offers intensive courses on specific subjects called Beyond BOW.  I teach beginning archery at the big weekend event and I teach a more advanced bowhunting class in the 1 day intensive courses. There are other intensives on subjects like butchering wild game, big game hunting, field dressing, spin and fly fishing,  survival, map and compass and outdoor cooking just to name a few.  Beyond BOW events provide the next step in practicing the skills that a participant started to develop at the weekend workshop or they build on knowledge that a woman might already have in order to increase her confidence in using those skills in the field.  Beyond BOWs teach more advanced skills, and may be conducted almost entirely in an outdoors setting to help to build that confidence that you will need to go out on your own!

Many states BOW programs also offer some women’s group hunts. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to go out and hunt with other women, led by Fish and Game staff and volunteers.  If you don’t have friends to start hunting with, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to set up a hunt with other women who are also beginners in a safe and supportive environment. For more information on how to sign up for BOW classes visit theTurkeyCoverGrrrls Fish and Game website for your state. Another option to get connected is to check with your local archery Pro Shops for women’s organized hunts or there are several businesses like mine, Rockstarlette Bowhunting, that organize women’s group hunts. I have organized quite a few ladies hunts in the past few years and I have to say, there is nothing more rewarding than the bonding and life long friendships built when your hunting with “just the girls!”  In 2010 I organized a week long, ladies tree stand black bear archery hunt.  I think this is one of the easiest hunts for a beginner to start bowhunting with.  A tree stand or bear bait situation makes for fixed yardage that you can range before the animal comes in to prepare, plus you have the safety and security of being above the game you are hunting. The women that came on this black bear hunt were all first time bowhunters and all had great success with their bows. They have become hooked on hunting and have gone on several hunts since!  Follow Rockstarlette Bowhunting on Facebook or Instagram to get more information on upcoming women’s organized hunts!

Jonishoot3DHow do you build up the confidence in your shooting skills; to move from shooting at paper targets to live game? At many archery stores, they offer private lessons and can focus the lesson on the skills that you need to develop. So if you are looking to get ready to pass your bowhunter certification class, or are prepping for a specific type of hunt in the field – ask them to structure a private lesson to meet your needs.  Many Pro Shops also offer time in the Techno Hunt booth (a virtual hunting booth) so that you can practice shooting at live video scenes of animals in a controlled environment. You use your own bow and arrows, blunt tips that we provide and can choose from over 700 different animal scenarios to practice on.  3D archery tournaments outdoors are also a great place to hone your skills. Going through an unmarked 3D archery course and practicing either using your range finder, or judging yardages can be a great tool for honing your hunting skills and confidence in the field!

Last, but most importantly; find out if you need to get your Bowhunter Certification from your states Department of Fish and Game.  Some states require this before you can bowhunt (we do in Alaska!) For us, this is a two part test; a written Bowhunter Education section and a field shooting proficiency portion. These bowhunting classes certify more than 800 Alaskan hunters each year. The certificate is also required in Alaska to put in for archery drawing permits. The Bowhunter Education written test covers many of the same topics as Basic Hunter Education courses but with some specific questions on bowhunting.  The written portion can be done online or in a classroom setting; while you must get signed up for a test date with Fish and Game for the shooting portion.  The shooting portion of the test requires you to hit the vitals area of several big game targets at distances from 10-30 yards from both a sBird13JJtanding and kneeling position. If you are nervous about taking the shooting portion of this test, taking an archery lesson that specifically focuses on the skills needed for the test is a great confidence booster! Contact your local Pro Shop to set something up!

The main thing is to not be afraid to get started and to know that there are lots of great resources out there to help you!  I hope to encourage other women to not be intimidated and to take advantage of the resources available to get out and find their passion for the hunt! The motto of my company is “Encourage. Inspire. Empower.” if you have any questions on getting started; please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will help you get started in any way I can! I love to help other women find their passion for bowhunting!

Joni Kiser is a former Archery Pro Shop owner and the Founder of Rockstarlette Bowhunting

She has harvested a wide variety of big game animals with her bow and is a National Factory Pro Staff for Xpedition Archery and HHA and Field Staff for Prois.

Until We Meet Again

by Nancy Rodriguez

What is it that draws us to venture into the backcountry? Is it the burning muscles and strained lungs that help get us to the top of the mountain? Is it the sweat soaked clothes that will never be the same after the journey? Is it the desire to sleep on dirt, tuck into a claustrophobic mummy bag, and surround ourselves with a paper thin home away from home? Maybe it’s the exciting (OK…maybe frightening) sudden lightning storms that roll through the high country on warm summer days. Perhaps it’s the hummingbird size mosquitoes that latch on to every inch of exposed skin, trying to drain us like a juice box. NancyRodriguez2

It’s clear spending time in the backcountry is a paradox. It’s a balance between discomfort and the pleasure of feeling completely at ease and at “home”.

Summer is the time that my husband Joe and I love some backcountry therapy, so we are venturing into the Eastern Sierra’s of California on a hiking and fishing excursion. Our hike will take us to several high mountain lakes around 10,000 feet in elevation. This will be a great way to get our legs and lungs ready for the hunting season ahead.

As the miles pass under our boots, Mother Nature’s beauty encompasses us and I know there is nowhere else I would rather be. Huge rocky spires still covered in snow tower above. Spring rains have brought vibrant lush green foliage and Skittle colored wildflowers to the surrounding hills. Yellow, orange, and purple butterflies dance about while they guide us up the mountain. Birds sing, play, and bathe in the trailside snow runoff. A fluffy marmot scurries across a granite boulder in front of us. Nature’s beauty acts as a mild anesthetic, numbing the pain on our bodies but only for a little while. As we crest the final ridge we begin to feel energized. There before us lies an electric blue high mountain lake with sun lit diamonds dancing across the surface. Avalanche chutes are carved in the remaining snow as waterfalls pour from them into the lake below. I’m not sure why, but colors always seem more brilliant in the backcountry. The view nearly takes my breath away. Before long I see a ripple break the surface of the water and I feel an overwhelming urge to wet a line, but the fish will have to wait… for now. With dark clouds building on the ridges above, we should find a camp site first.NancyRodriguez4

Two tired and happy backpackers weave in and out of the dense pine forest and climb across large granite boulders until we find a camp site. A perfect flat spot amongst the short green grass and wildflowers is calling to our tent. The spot has a 360 degree unobstructed view of pure beauty and will make a perfect home for the next four days. We quickly set up our camp like we have done a hundred times before. The tent is set, water purifier hung, bear containers packed with food, and our essentials tucked away in their temporary homes. Looking out across the lake we embrace the peace and solitude.

The scramble down to the water’s edge is full of excitement and childhood wonder. Our lines are tossed in unison as we try to decide what the fish will hit. Our spoons and jigs dance through the water until one of us feels the unmistakable tug on the line and a beautiful trout breaks the surface. “Fish On” echoes in the silenNancyRodriguez3ce as I look down the shore and watch my husband smile and reel in the first fish. Many more follow.

As the sky starts it’s nightly sunset ritual, we sit crossed legged on the dirt enjoying the show. We dine on a gourmet meal of fresh trout as twinkling stars start to appear in the night sky and moonlight reflects across the lake. We snuggle together listening to the distant waterfall and taking in this perfect summer night.

After a blissful night sleep, the morning birds start to sing and gently stir us from our mountain slumber. The cool air fills my lungs; I wipe the sleep from my eyes and heat water for my morning coffee. Joe and I perch ourselves on a rock and cradle warm mugs as we watch the mountains wake up. I swear my coffee has never tasted so good. After breakfast, we lace up our boots, throw on our packs, and grab our fishing poles.NancyRodriguez1

Our boots burn through miles of dirt over the next few days as we search out different high mountain lakes. The fishing is out of this world and we feel our batteries recharge.

It’s hard to say goodbye to this beautiful place. With our backpacks loaded and hiking sticks in hand, Joe and I gaze out at the gorgeous beauty of the backcountry. We give our thanks for all that Mother Nature gives to us…a beautiful journey through life. We head down the trail and I glance back one last time…Until we meet again.

Talking Technical… Sojourn Safari Hoodie

MiaEnstromIn honor of all things SAFARI at Prois this month, we’d like to go a little more in depth about one of our favorite shirts, the Sojourn Safari Hoodie. Not only is it the perfect addition to your duffel when heading to the Dark Continent, this hoodie is also fantastic for activities such as hiking or preseason scouting trips. Let’s touch base on the properties that make the Sojourn so heavenly:

1. Polyester/spandex fabric. Known for being extremely durable, quick to dry, and moisture wicking. These fabrics are very pliable and resilient, making them perfectly capable of withstanding the strenuous activity of a hunter’s lifestyle.

2. Antimicrobial properties. These help to destroy and inhibit the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. Bacteria and fungi cause odor, and odor is down right bad for hunting… What more can we say? Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 1.14.13 PM

3. UV Protection. A tighter weave makes it more difficult for sun to pass through the fabric, which makes the Sojourn hoodie the perfect garment for spending an extended amount of time in the outdoors.

4. The power of the hood. Let’s face it, a hood makes anyone feel more powerful. It also offers protection from sun and wind.

5. SALE SALE SALE!!! The Sojourn hoodie is… wait for it… on sale for $65.00 through the month of June, so you better strike while the iron’s hot!

Click here to view all our current sale items!

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.

GretchenGar
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

PROIS_Shooting banners vest (copy)

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