Prois Pro Joni Qualm says: “350 pound boar…What Miss Rodeo Nebraska does on her time off before the American Rodeo in Dallas, Texas…HOG HUNTING(horseback of course!) Thanks @proishunting for always making sure I’m dressed for the part! The cool weather allowed the dogs to go all day and we caught 15 hogs!! This boar was the biggest one my guide has ever caught, weighing 350 pounds!!! Yes, we are in mesquite trees, horseback, chasing 12 dogs! #prois kept me from getting punctured by thorns. My partner on the other hand…. Not so lucky!” #proiswasthere
By Azura Dee Gaige
The Archtach Down Jacket from Prois is the most amazing down jacket I have ever owned. I
have owned many other down jackets but know of them could keep up with my incredible
I’m going to list the reasons why it’s the most amazing down jacket. In less than a month, I have
already tested it out on Ducking hunting, Shed Hunting, Predator Hunting (-10 degree) and
Steal-head fishing on the Umatilla River.
1.) It’s filled with 800 Gray Goose Down. “It will keep you warm in -10 degree winter winds, with
snow surrounding your body, while keeping still for the first predator to come into your scope.
2.) While hiking most of the day looking for shed’s, it will keep your body and arm pits dry
because of the “Lycra Vented Arm Pits” which are designed not to leave the moisture, but allow
air to naturally flow under your arm pits.
3.) Made of 100% Microfiber Ripstop fabric it will help you deal with the outdoor environment
from snagging on branches and bare limbs throughout the timber hunts.
4.) The coating on the jacket keeps the down jacket dry and protects the goose down from
getting wet and losing the insulating properties that protects the individual in extreme weather
5.). With the extended back length it keeps the irritating back draft that causes cold air to chill
your back bone, while sitting still in a duck-blind waiting for a flock of mallards.
6.) Happily to add, while fishing the Umatilla River the less puffy layer fit was amazing for
casting multiple times throughout the day.
This versatile down jacket from Prois is an all round Great Jacket for multiple outdoor adventures. Even for the finicky sportswoman out there, there are four different color choices that are sure to please. It comes in three camo patterns (Realtree Advantage Max-1, Realtree APX, and Mothwing Mountain Mimicry) an black. I highly recommend the Archtach Down Jacket for the avid huntress or outdoors woman.
By Prois Staffer Andrea Haas
So you think you would like to get into hunting but don’t know where to start? Whether hunting is completely new to you or you grew up in a family of hunters, knowing how to begin can seem a little overwhelming at first. The good news is there are plenty of people and resources out there that can help you if you are willing to do a little research and put in some work.
Getting Started – Hunter’s Safety Course
Getting the right introduction to hunting is important. A good way to start is by finding your state’s wildlife agency and finding a hunter’s safety course. Here is a great online resource from The National Shooting Sports Foundation with hunting information for each state. You can find your state, get direct links to your state’s Conservation Department, hunting regulations and more. You can also take the test online through Hunter-Ed.
Next Step – Apprentice Hunter Program
Even if you do pass your hunter’s safety course, become certified and buy your hunting license, it’s still a good idea to go hunting with someone else first. If you choose not to go through a hunter-ed course until you are positive that hunting is for you, most states offer an “Apprentice Hunter Program”. This means you can purchase a hunting permit and legally harvest an animal in the presence of someone who is hunter-ed certified. For example, I live in Missouri. Missouri allows you to do this for 2 years. After 2 years you must become hunter-ed certified in order to continue hunting & harvesting animals.
Most people begin by hunting with a firearm. While I encourage everyone to take up bow hunting, it’s not something that I recommend doing the first year you hunt. Before you handle a gun, make sure you are familiar with the NRA gun safety rules. Even if you’ve been hunting for years, it’s still a good idea to review these rules from time to time. Another great resource for all things women hunters/shooters is the NRA Women’s Network! They have weekly episodes that are fun & informative:
Practice With Purpose
To me, this is one of the most important steps to take in becoming a hunter. You must take into consideration that you are shooting a live animal. Strive to make the best, most ethical shot possible so the animal does not suffer long and so you can save as much of the meat as possible. With that being said, find a place where you can shoot, get out there and start practicing! We have about 200 acres of private land outside of the city limits where we can practice shooting. Private land is not available to everyone though, so if not try finding a gun range near you. Here is another great resource from the National Shooting Sports Foundation to help you find shooting ranges in your area.
Choosing Your Gun & Ammo
It’s not necessary at first to rush out & buy your own gun. When I first started hunting, I borrowed a family member’s rifle, practiced and hunted with that. Making sure you select the right gun is more important. Make sure you are comfortable with the gun and select the right type of gun & ammo for the game that you wish to hunt. The “Love at First Shot” episodes at NRA Women’s Network are an excellent resource on how to choose a rifle & the proper ammo:
Study Up – Learn About the Animals
Learn as much as you can about the animals you want to hunt. Study about their feeding habits, their senses (sight, smell, etc), and breeding seasons so you can be as prepared as possible for your first hunt. There are multiple organizations out there that have endless information about game animals and their behaviors such as the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Deer and Deer Hunting, Mule Deer Foundation and many many more.
Learn The Area / Pattern the Animals
If you’re able to, get out and scout the area you plan to be hunting before season starts. Start by becoming familiar with the land and your surroundings. Always tell someone where you will be and take your cell phone with you if possible. Check for signs of the animal you’ll be hunting and scout out good areas to put a tree stand or ground blind to hunt out of. Set up some game cameras near known trails and food & water sources so you know more about the animal’s activity & patterns. Here is a great blog from Dale Evans at EvoOutdoors about scouting new land.
Gear & Apparel
While it may not be necessary to purchase your own rifle at first, I do recommend investing in some of your own hunting gear, equipment & apparel.
Some basic items you’ll probably want to purchase:
-A good quality, sharp knife
-Hunting fanny pack or backpack
-Scent Control Products, (depending on the type of game you are hunting)
-For women, I recommend Her Non Scents scent free shampoo, conditioner & body wash
-A good moisture wicking pair, try FirstLite & Minus33 brands at www.EvoOutdoors.com
-The type of clothing you pick depends on where you will be hunting, what season it is & the
type of animal you’ll be hunting.
-Prois has a line of women’s hunting apparel that meets the needs for any type of hunt you
will be going on, whitetail, turkey, upland, etc. They even have a new safari line for 2015!
-If you need help picking the right apparel for your hunt, EvoOutdoors Camo Concierge is a great option!
Make sure you do your part to learn as much as you can before you go hunting. I began by going on a whitetail hunt with my husband one year & watching him harvest a buck. I practiced a lot and asked him as many questions as I could until the following deer season. I went out by myself one afternoon and shot my very first deer, a nice 8 point. I observed him hunting first, practiced and asked questions. By taking what I learned from that and applying it to my own hunt, I was able to successfully harvest an animal on my own. Not everyone has a family member or a friend to learn from though. Here are a lot of great websites, blogs and other resources to help you out!
Most important, second to safety of course, is to enjoy yourself! Hunting is a great way to get outdoors, enjoy the peace & quiet of nature, and just relax. Observe wild animals in their natural habitats. You will learn something new each time you go out! Not only that, you will gain a deeper appreciation for wildlife and for the food that you eat, knowing that you are providing yourself & your family with healthier, organic meat, free from steroids & preservatives. Get out there & do some grocery shopping!
By Joni Kiser Prois Staffer and Prois dealer at Full Curl Archer in Anchorage AK
“Joni. Seriously. What the hell are we doing out here?” Jayme whispered to me. There we were, kneeling down in tall grass in the edge of the swamp. Our guide, Glen, had left us there to go and set up an electronic alligator call off the the right of us, up the bank about 50 yards away. In the grass all around us were spiders. BIG spiders. Now to many, the fact that spiders creeped us out sounds silly, we were after all, tough Alaskan chicks. We were bear hunters. In fact in 2012, I took a Pope and Young Brown Bear with my bow, so if I could do that, then how in the world could a bunch of spiders freak me out? I guess it just depends what you are used to! We don’t have many spiders, let alone big poisonous ones in Alaska. We don’t have snakes or anything of that sort either. The things that can hurt you in the woods in Alaska are big, huge actually, and you can see them coming! They don’t crawl up on you without you knowing like these spiders that were as big as my fist were trying to do! Jayme was looking all around her in the weeds, trying to flip the spiders back away from crawling up on her. Glen started the baby alligator distress call and came back and we hunched down to wait.
Usually an alligator bowhunt is done out of a boat. It is a much safer alternative, its alot easier to get close and you have a far better opportunity for shot placement. But in my mind, a spot and stalk alligator hunt with a bow sounded alot more exciting! Over the course of the first 3 days of the hunt we tried calling them in from various locations, spotting them from afar sunning themselves on the bank and stalking in on them and were were having trouble getting within a good bow range. I knew I had the boat option as an alternative but I REALLY wanted to stick it out and get it on land. The alligators eye sight and hearing is great, so getting close enough for a good shot was tough; especially with the 850 grain arrow that is needed to punch through their thick hide. I needed to be 15 yards or less! The guide warned me that out of over 720 hunts that he had guided, he had only done 5 of the hunts as spot and stalk, and of those 5 – one got too freaked out and called it off. And these were all men, he had not ever had a woman do spot and stalk before. This just fueled me more. I was taking this beast on land up close and personal!
Day 4 we hiked out to a little peninsula that stuck out into a huge lake. We had seen several gators swimming in the lake and were going to try to call some in. We were walking single file down the bank and through the marshy grass. I looked down to my right and saw a snake sunning itself on the bank. I pointed down to my right and said “snake” softly over my shoulder to Jayme so she wouldn’t step on it. We walked another 10-15 ft and crouched down in the weeds. I whispered to the guide, “theres a snake right there in the weeds” and described its markings. He said, “oh its probably harmless,” but I could see the wheels turning in his head. A minute or 2 later he crawled over to the waters edge to take a look and came back and whispered, “Uh, guys, thats a Water Moccasin and their deadly, just don’t go over there, and keep an eye out.” Hmm… not too comforting for someone who had never seen a snake in the wild before! Jayme’s eyes were huge and she whispered to me, “couldn’t it just sneak over here in the weeds?” I shrugged, I really wanted a gator so I was just trying to not worry about it. The guide started calling and immediately the gators responded. We joked that he was the “Alligator Whisperer” because when he called vocally rather than using the electronic call – they would make a bee line for him! Right away we could see 5 different gators that were swimming towards us from all different directions. Now you have to imagine: you are on a thin peninsula sticking out with water on 3 sides of you, crouched down in tall grass you can barely see over with Big Old spiders crawling all around you, a deadly snake laying in the grass about 10 feet away and 5 different alligators are headed toward you – responding to a baby alligator call because they think he is in distress and they want to EAT him. I am not gonna lie, our hearts were pounding! One gator was now about 10 yards away out in the water, but everything was under except its eyes. Glen whispered, “thats a female, she’s real close, keep an eye on her she’s watching us.” Jayme’s nerves were getting the best of her and she said, “Oh hell no!” when she realized how close it was and started to slowly raise up and back up. I grabbed the back of her belt and pulled her back down in the weeds. “It can jump from there to here very quickly if it thinks you are food, stay down!” She looked white as a ghost. She kept looking back over her shoulder and I figured she was checking for the snake. Then she whispered, “there is one right behind us” and Glen says, “no I don’t think so.” He and I are focused on the one in front of us which was now moving forward to shore. Glen got a better look and said “she’s about 9 foot, I think you can do better.” About that time Jayme was frantically tapping on Glens shoulder looking behind her, “Glen! It is RIGHT there, I see its CLAW!” and her voice raised a little louder. Suddenly there wa a huge Splash! A gator spun and dove into the water. Not the one in front of us, but a huge one behind us, which Glen later estimated was close to 12 feet long. It had snuck up on land behind us! We were now all shaking, it had been less than 5 yards away, ovbiously watching us, and we hadn’t even known it was there! But there was no time to worry about that because we needed to deal with the one in front of us which now had its head up on shore and was only about 4 yards away. She would easily be able to jump from where she was to where we were in a moment. Glen whispered, “just shoot her right in the forehead.” “What?” I said, I was so confused. “Right in the head, you don’t have a good shot on her anyhow, but she isn’t backing off so that will scare her and she will just swim off.” He’s the gator whisperer so I didn’t argue, I drew and shot her right in the head. My 250 grain, razor sharp broadhead bounced off her like a rubber ball, not even breaking the skin. She spun around with a huge splash and swam off. Jayme and I looked at each other in disbelief, we were both shaking from the last 10 minutes of excitement and finally stood up and walked back up the hill. Jayme said, “my nerves are shot. I am just about over this, its really intense!”
At this point I knew she was wondering how in the world I talked her into coming with my on this hunt – for only her 2nd hunt ever, and I was feeling a little guilty for putting her in situations where she was afraid for her life! Meanwhile, my mind was racing. I’ve never bounced an arrow off anything in my life. Everything I have ever shot has been a full pass through. Glen explained that I did exactly what he wanted me to do and that he knew it was going to bounce off. He said “that isn’t where you would ever shoot to kill one and even a bullet will bounce off that dense area of the head”. We regrouped and set out for a different area but still in the back of my mind I was thinking, CAN I actually penetrate an alligators hide with my arrow? Maybe I am not pulling enough weight?” We spotted a gator quite a ways off across a lake sunning itself on shore. We hiked out around the end of the lake which took about 20 minutes, careful not to get winded, we came down from above it. This time Jayme stayed back up on the hill, her nerves were shot from 3 days of continuous close calls with gators and I wanted to be sure she was having fun on the hunt! She videoed my stalk down the hill. Glen and I snuck in to about 20 yards and the gator must have heard us in the grass because he spooked and dove into the water. My heart sank; but then he suddenly turned around! I crouched down in the weeds, which were over my head. He was just sitting out about 15 yards away in the water, facing me. Glen was about 5 yards behind me up the bank also crouched down. The gator was looking my direction and seemed to size me up huddled in the grass and decided that I looked like a pretty tasty little snack and he decided to come in for some lunch. I was thrilled that he was coming back to give me another chance. I slowly started to stalk in through the weeks towards the water. Later, Glen told me that he was really impressed with how my instincts took over without him being near me or saying anything, I just started stalking down the bank alone, staying low. He said as he watched me he imagined that I had inherited alot of my fathers natural knack for hunting. My father is a very experienced hunter but is now too ill to hunt anymore, so this comment really gave me a sense of pride. There is no greater compliment than to be compared to him.
The gator continued to come straight at me, but I felt really calm, everything seemed like it was happening in slow motion to me. As he climbed up on the bank and started to slither out toward me, I could see the look in his eyes so well. He was angry and aggressive and there was no doubt that he was planning to make a meal of me. This was the break that I needed to get close to a gator! When he closed the gap and got to 6 yards in front of me I raised up and drew and shot, no bounce off this time! The broadhead went all the way through. The gator broadheads are barbed so they won’t come back out and he spun and dove back into the water where he felt safe, as they do when shot on land. My arrow was stuck all the way through him and was attached with a cord to the reel on my bow. The line deployed from the reel as it should, but the buoy was supposed to pop off the end to float behind the gator so we could go find him but it jammed. Now I had a cord attached to my bow from a fleeing gator and my hand got caught in my wrist sling – due to the heavy tension on the attached line. As the gator swam away, it drug me down to the waters edge at a rapid pace. I could not get my hand out. I was stumbling along thinking, “oh my god I’m going in the water with a wounded alligator!” I yelled out, “Im stuck!” and Glen ran after me, grabbed the bow and pulled to relieve enough tension to get my hand out and then it pulled him out into the water up to his knees before he finally just broke the reel off the bow and tossed it into the water. The buoy floated out to the middle of the lake. Glen walked back up to where I was and we looked at each other and started to laugh, that nervous happy laugh that you do after you have just avoided a disaster. Jayme came down from the hill above us and videoed us as we hugged and I jumped around so thrilled that I had just taken my bucket list animal with a bow at 6 yards! We went and got the airboat on the trailer and went out to retrieve my gator from the middle of the lake. He measured an amazing 10.5 foot Much bigger than I had ever hoped for! I couldn’t be more thrilled with the whole experience. I feel proud that I wanted to do it the “hard” way, that I stuck to my goals and that I harvested an incredible Alligator, spot and stalk.
By Meghan Simpson
Fingers and toes tend to freeze easily during deer season in Alberta. There’s usually a foot of snow by mid November and temperatures are around -20 Celsius. This year was a bit different. I have been hunting whitetails by Edmonton Alberta in mostly tree stands, and I have a trail camera set up and have seen some small bucks and lots of does. This tends to be a good sign, because where there are does there will be bucks close behind! We have only a few inches of snow on the ground and it has been pleasantly warm for sitting in the stand until the sun goes down. This kind of weather makes it hard to get a good stalk on crunchy leaves so my stand is pretty handy.
Besides the whitetail hunting I’m extremely excited because this year I drew a Mule deer tag in southern Alberta! I have put in a specific zone for over five years now and it’s finally my turn to kill a big buck! I designated my dad to be my super guide, which is usually my first choice. We have been on many hunts together and have been very successful as a team. The drive to my hunting zone is four hours from where I live, and we stayed at a bed and breakfast where the cook made homemade meals hot and ready when you want them. This is a bonus, because I was able to get an extra bit of shut eye! It was the end of November and the forecast for the weekend was -30 and close to 30 inches of snow. I decided I had one good day of hunting and since the hunting days are Wednesday to Saturday so I better make it worth while! We left camp around 7am on Wednesday morning , the sun was coming up later and later, so that was the perfect time to head out. After seeing around twenty bucks and over fifty does in eight hours I set my eyes on one specific old boy. He seemed to be quite the stud, since he had four does bedded around him. He was laying on a rock pile like a sheep. After making a game plan we decided to sneak up a coulee and make a stalk. One chest shot later I had my big mule deer! I was lucky enough to get a shot at this great buck the first day, because that night it started to snow and didn’t quit for three days! Lots of hunters were out hunting and hadn’t shot their bucks before the storm, I guess they just didn’t know what a good stalk was!
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 Angie Adams Kokes
As a lifelong hunter and fisherman there is little I love more than to be outside doing what I love. That is unless I get the opportunity to introduce another person to one of my many passions! This past week I was blessed once again to be able to open our home and host Tina Kaine, owner of Deaux Girls for a few days of fun in Nebraska.Tina is an avid bow hunter and stopped through on her way north to hunt whitetails. She expressed she had never hunted with a gun so we made a plan to get her on some ducks. Knowing we were probably a little early for some really great duck hunting we made the best of the situation, which as a hunter is exactly what we have to do. I contacted a friend who was gracious enough to take us to one of his locations to hunt. Trying to “get on” some ducks when they aren’t flying proved a bit of a challenge and left us hunting from layout blinds. When a hunt is challenging for a first timer I always get a bit nervous that they will get discouraged. As we tromped through bogs, swamp, and were continually smacked in the face with willows carrying layout blinds, guns and 70 pounds of decoys my nerves were on high alert that Tina may be discouraged already. While setting the blinds up and getting the decoys out Tina commented, “wow, duck hunting is a lot of work”.
Thankfully though with a smile on her face. While being nervous about discouraging someone I also feel it is very important that they are part of the entire experience.With everything ready to go, “magic hour” hit! I was pleasantly shocked at the number of ducks flying. While the ducks were not terribly willing to decoy Tina got to experience the fly overs, turn arounds, come backs and the pitter patter of wings that make a duck hunters heart flutter! We were able to take a Blue Wing Teal, Gadwall and Wood Duck. Nothing close to our limit but the memories made exceeded their limit for the day I’m sure, when as we finished Tina called her husband and informed him they would need to go shopping for duck hunting gear. Gear that for starters will include the Prois Pro-Edition Pants, Vest and Jacket I was sporting that kept me toasty warm and dry and the Real Tree Max Camo was perfect for blending in with my blind along the river bank.
As a hunter it’s hard to imagine getting anymore excited than when you make the shot. But I encourage everyone to take a “new” hunter out and I promise you will get that rush times a billion when they make a great shot and their face lights up with pride and excitement. That my friends is true joy, passing it on! #ProisWasThere
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
Great times with great friends and family this weekend!
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 !
What does a huntress do when summer hits and the hunting season has come to an end?
Well, we dream about hunting, hope and pray for great tags, train to hunt, study new
hunting areas, buy new hunting gear, target shoot, and…we FISH!!!!
My husband, Joe and I have a favorite adventure we do in the off season. I call it “Fishin’
to Hunt!” During the summer months, we take a few weekend backcountry fishing
trips. We backpack into various high alpine lakes to help train for the upcoming hunting
season. Joe and I do a lot of backcountry hunting trips for 7-10 days at a time, so these
“mini” trips are perfect practice and training for the hunting season. This particular
weekend trip we invited Joe’s parents along for fun. Joe’s dad, Ray is one of our hunting
partners, so it’s great training for him too.
With backpacks fully loaded, hiking sticks in hand, and fishing gear at the ready, we
trek into the mountains. We usually hike about 6-8 miles roundtrip with 2-3,000 foot
elevation gains. These hikes help us strengthen our lungs, legs, backs, and stabilizers,
while we work on our balance rock hopping around the fishing holes. It’s a perfect
backcountry gym to help us stay fit and strong enough to pack out a deer or elk during the
One of the greatest benefits to these backcountry fishing trips is to try out any new gear
we have purchased. Each year we evaluate our gear and check to see what items need
to be replaced. The first items I check are in my first aid/emergency kit. It’s very rare
that you will need any of these supplies, but they should always be up to date. I replace
any expired medications such as Benadryl, Aspirin, Imodium, etc. I make sure all of my
Band-Aids and blister treatments are fresh. It’s also a good time to replace batteries in
headlamps, flashlights, and GPS. I also thoroughly check my fire making kit, emergency
bag, and raingear, along with any other essentials. One item I never leave home without
is a small roll of the always essential… Duct Tape! I couple years ago on a late Nevada
elk hunt I had a boot start to separate from the sole. I noticed it half way up a 2,000
foot climb to try and cut off my quarry. Snow was packed into the opening and my foot
was starting to freeze. We cleaned the seam, dried it with the heat from a Jet Boil, and
applied the duct tape while the boot was still hot. This gave a great bond that held while I
continued to hunt for the week.
On this fishing trip some of the gear we tried out was a new gravity water filtration
system, Joe had a new bedroll, and I had a new pair of boots. Each of these items
performed flawlessly, so this trip gave us complete confidence in these items going into
the hunting season. It’s always a good idea to do a practice run at home on your big ticket
items. Check all components on new gear, like tents, stoves, and water purifiers as well.
You will want to know how to use them before you venture into the backcountry. How
terrible would it be to pack in 5 miles and try to set up your new tent with only 1 pole,
when there should be 2! Being prepared is essential!
Food is always a big decision on backpack trips. We use these short trips to try out
different dehydrated backpack meals. There is nothing worse than being completely
exhausted after a long day of hunting, to come back to camp and have to choke down a
meal that you “thought” you might like. Trying new flavors helps us add variety to our
menu, so we can stay fueled up for the hunt. It’s also a good time to estimate your daily
food consumption. Figure out your game plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
You want just enough food to last your trip, so you can come out food light and game heavy.
Now of course the best part of these training trips is the fishing! We have a few different
stunning alpine lakes that we love to camp and fish at. The fishing is always amazing.
After a peaceful night sleep on the mountain, we wake up to the sound of nature’s alarm
clock and we’re embraced by the beauty of the backcountry at first light. We brew some
fresh coffee/cocoa (just add water), eat breakfast, and decide which lake to hike to next.
Each year we always seem to end up with the same wonderful experience. As we near
our destination, we climb through the last pine trees and glimpse the first rays of morning
light dancing across the water. We are mesmerized by the awe inspiring view that
unfolds! We reach the waters edge and quickly set up our rigs and throw out our lines. As
I wait to see a tug on my line, I soak up the surroundings. This year the brilliant blue lake
we are at is still mostly covered in thick ice. The sun illuminates the rocky cliff spires,
and the sound of water trickling from melting snow and ice cracking across the lake fills
the morning air. As I lay back on the rocks, I know life doesn’t get much better than this.
And then it does. I see the distinct tug on my line and I yell, “Fish On!”
After an awesome day of fishing, including a double hook up with Joe, we head back
to camp with dinner. Our five star meals consisted of fresh brook trout cooked over the
campfire and dehydrated pasta primavera on the side. Simply perfect!
The next day, we topped off our training trip with fishing a creek on our way back down
the mountain. We ended up doing a little catch and release with Brook, Brown, Golden,
and Rainbow trout! These fish are small, but oh so colorful! Remember these trips are
not just about training. They are about being in nature, recharging your batteries, and
enjoying the great outdoors. Besides you get to yell “Fish On”, even if it’s a shaker!
These training trips are always some of my fondest memories of the “hunting” season, so
get on out there and enjoy!