The Off Season

By Megan DeHaan

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For some, we live by seasons, as a rancher I feel like my life revolves around this idea. There’s calving season, haying season, hunting season, feeding season, repeat. Everything else depends on the weather, the cows, the kids, the old man…. So, for my sanity I have a few “musts” to fill in the blanks. Trail running is one of them. In one way it’s my alone time. The time I get during hunting season that I dearly love, to be at one with nature and my thoughts. So in the “off season” I go out. The other reason is simply because if I don’t, then all winter I just mope around feeling sorry for myself wishing it was fall and I was hunting. Yes I run in the winter, yes it gets cold, no, it doesn’t bother me, yes, I know, I’m that weird person who runs in the snow and rain and thoroughly enjoys it! The alternative would be letting old man winter control you and waste all that time you took to get into shape for hunting season and avoid your skinny jeans because you know they wont fit.

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Some people really just don’t enjoy running I’ve been told. Well I didn’t either at one time. I decided one day I was going to. So I went running. And I hated it. So I tried again, still hated it. Until one day I realized, maybe I should try out actual running attire? So I went out and bought new running shoes from an actual running store. Holy moly did that make a difference! It’s the same thing as trying to just wear your husbands hunting clothing. You could, but have fun with that….most likely they won’t fit, and it will be just like trying to trail run in jeans and boots. So naturally I started seeking out running clothes. Let me be clear, not all running clothes are created equal. Just because they say “running shorts” does not mean they aren’t going to hike up your butt crack and expose your underside. Also “technical” doesn’t even really mean its going to work as well as you think. Some times it means “technically we call these shorts technical, but really there just technically/kinda running shorts”. You have to pick and choose. I found that my hunting clothing was working better than some of my running gear. Mainly because almost all my hunting gear is Prois, and it’s all made specifically for us women who demand performance. So eventually I became “that gal who’s always in camo at races”. Prois carries an “ultra hoodie” and it’s ultra wonderful. I wear it all winter, and for warm-up and for early races. They also have the ultra short sleeve that works great as well for any mid temperature days. I almost always run with a visor and it just so happens, Prois carries my favorite. Last but not least they carry the turas sleeveless shirt that works great for hot days. This helps me out a lot because my hunting wardrobe and gear gets its own room in our house, so my running gear could save some room by being multi purpose, and what husband doesn’t like saving money on his wife’s habits?

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Turns out road running can get pretty boring after awhile and is why I turned to trail running among many other reasons. My first race was the Bridger Ridge Run in Bozeman, MT. It’s rated one of the top ten bucket list races by Trail Runners Magazine and its also rated one of the hardest races in the country. Once I realized I was capable of completing such a race without dying, my motivation went from simply staying in shape for hunting season, to an obsession with the sport. I’ve completed several trail races in the past years and my list keeps getting longer of new ones I’d like to try. If you have the right gear, the will, and shear determination, anything is possible. If your stuck and need some motivation, or a new direction with your fitness, or simply need to get your butt in gear because you drew a great tag this hunting season and it requires a LOT of physically demanding terrain. Then start trail running! Heck, even look me up and I can help you get started. Call the Prois gals, they will hook you up with some great gear for running and hunting. Most importantly, find something that you enjoy in the off season to keep you busy, and in shape! That way when hunting season comes around and that trigger finger gets unbearable, you know your in shape and ready at any moment!

 

Prois Was There!

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!

Lake Cow Hunting

By Deb Ferns My first elk hunt and it was hosted by Bear Mt. Ranch with Anne Draper as our outstanding hostess!  The weather up at 9,200 foot elevation was pretty chilly and oxygen was scare; the first morning of the hunt we spotted several large elk herds across the valley.  We headed that way and parked the ATV a distance off and started to hike in.  After about an hour we carefully care over a rise and there was a large herd grazing with one big cow elk off by herself at the front of the pack.  My guide, Jon, knew I hadn’t used shooting sticks before so I was careful to get into a comfortable position and prepare for a good shot at 200 yards.   I used a Steyr ProAlaskan 30/.06 (which I call my “Magic Wand”) with 180 grain game bullet and I took the shot right where I was supposed to; or at least I thought I did.  It made a solid “WHAP” and the cow took off running with a huge amount of blood trail for us to follow. We ended up tracking her for over six hours and when I finally had another shot at her it was at 410 yards and to say I was a little freaked out is an understatement! My guide was very patient, explained how I should setup for this long shot, what kind of drop I’d have on the bullet.  This time the shot was an exact placement for a heart/lung (turns out my first shot had nicked the heart but did not take the lung) and the 600 pound cow elk dropped instantly. Unfortunately she dropped off the edge of small bluff into the lake below and by the time we reached her the current had pushed her onto a sandbar in the middle of the reservoir where the water was about 40 degrees aka “not” swimmable.  Back to Bear Mt. Ranch we went to retrieve a canoe and a paddle, then another hour back out to the lake. I think we made Colorado history as the only elk to be towed into shore and based on the water experience I nicknamed this elk after Ester Williams (old time Hollywood swimming star.)   So I started the day at 4:00 am and ended up at dinner at 8:00 pm.  I survived the adventure though windburn, sore feet, and a new respect for how tough elk can be will be.  As a novice hunting experience it wasn’t easy but it was definitely worth it and I learned a great deal about elk and about myself as well.

Girl’s Bear Hunt!!

By Megan DeHaan

I feel like few times in life you come across such an opportunity like the one I just had. I met a couple gals through a pro-staff we all used to be on a while back and after chatting it up for months and months we decided it would be fun to try and get together and go hunting. After months of planning and figuring out a way to get our schedules in line we finally set a date. We were going to take off into the Idaho wilderness on a “do it yourself, all girls, public land” bear hunt. I tell you what, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t sleep. All I was thinking about was getting to finally come face to face with these gals and having the opportunity to hunt together during our first meeting! When do you EVER get to do something like that? Well I sure as heck don’t have that many opportunities. Well I got to Idaho on a Tuesday evening and we picked up the other gal on Wednesday night and drove into camp. We were already having way too much fun. We talked about each others camo, shared hunting stories, talked about who should shoot first, laughed at ourselves, at each other. We finally got settled in a tried to sleep but I was wide awake the entire night. 5 am rolls around and we get up and head out on hike to the ridge line to start glassing. I tell you what, my new Generation-X system was phenomenal. It was incredibly windy and cold once we reached the top and it cut the wind and kept me warm. I never had to worry about the weather being to difficult because I new my camo was going to hold up. When the wind was howling I could pull up my hood and I loved how it zipped up around my face. I’m hooked.

We saw a medium sized black bear about 1270 yards across a pretty big canyon and after hiking around to the other side I realized that Northern Idaho was nothing like I expected. I’ve never seen more dense country in my life. You don’t realize it until your in it that its almost impossible to get around when what you thought was just “brush” turns out to be a thick dense jungle that constantly looks like a perfect house for a grizzly bear. Not that it was in the back of our mind the whole time, especially when your walking along a see huge piles of grizzly poop!! Turns out I was the only one with bear spray and ever since the designated leader for breaking trail. I’m still not sure if that was just a reflection of my value to the group! But I made sure the person behind me was ready and willing to shoot if necessary. Anyhow, we never did see that black bear again but on the way back down the mountain we saw a nice chocolate bear that never did give our first shooter a good vital shot. But I’d say it was still a successful day. Day two we got skunked. We did however shoot two grouse on day three while hiking around and one more the last day hunting. I knew these gals were going to leave a mark in my heart. We never did find another bear. However we saw plenty of wolf tracks, moose, elk ,deer, and bobcat tracks and we grew a friendship that will last a lifetime. My drive home was depressing and were already planning our next trip. And to top it off, they all want some Prois! Thanks again for making such a great line of camouflage gear, I will never leave the house without it!

Don’t worry, Megan bagged her 2013 Montana bear a week earlier and one heck of a buck this year too! -Prois

Megan's 2013 bear!