Rewinding it back to big game seasons with an incredible harvest! Congratulations to Prois Fan, Tanisha Pourier on notching her tag on a great South Dakota muley!
Scheels OutdoorsVeil Camo
Prois Staffer, Cherri Teutsch & Prois Fan, Kathy Kittler get together for some duck hunting in Arkansas! Well done, ladies!
Oh, hey now….this is great!
Pineapple, ginger hoisin duck with roasted pinapple over brown and wild rice. Another FANTASTIC culinary delight from the Wyld Gourmet…
aka: Margie Nelson, Prois Staffer and Prois Montana State Coordinator!
By: Kirstie Pike
I’ve long been asked by those who do not hunt why I like hunting. Often, they misunderstand that hunting isn’t simply about harvesting an animal or bird. It is not a blood sport. It is not inhumane. Every hunter has their own “why”, but most hunters I know find a common thread about what resonates in their lives.
- Delicious, organic meat for the freezer. Above all, hunters take great pride in filling their freezers with all sorts of wild game. I for one have a stacks of pheasant, grouse, goose, duck, crane, deer, elk and antelope. Not to mention…gobs of perch and trout. I haven’t purchased meat in years. The fact that wild game and wild game birds are absolutely organic and low in fat and cholesterol only makes it better. Let us also not forget the nationwide panic when stores couldn’t stock enough meat products during the early days of the pandemic. Hunters never had a worry! Now, toilet paper shortages may have posed different problems.
- Camaraderie. There is nothing better than hanging with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors and watching the birds fly or celebrating that great buck.
- Photographic Memories. I for one take tons of photos when I’m hunting. I love to take in the scenery, the animals and any other memories that present themselves. What’s even better than taking those photos is looking back on them.
- Waking with the world. Hunters above all people understand the thrill of waking with the natural world. The breaking of dawn. The moment the birds awaken. The emergence of the little critters like squirrels, chipmunks or field mice is comical and deafening at the same time. Watching the shadows change, the light pick up and the movement of your pursued game is so intensely beautiful.
- Physical Challenge. Not all hunts are physically challenging, but the ones that are bring up another sense of accomplishment on top of the actual hunt and kill. Pushing oneself to the extremes to go over that next ridge, hike for miles or push through inclement weather only make the success of a hunt that much sweeter. Nothing in life comes easy and hunters tend to find
At the end of the day, hunters have such a great respect for the outdoors and wildlife. It’s almost a reverence that those who do not hunt experience. Let us know what some of your favorite aspects of hunting are!
The Wyld Gourmet…(aka…Prois Montana State Coordinator, Margie Nelson) Got on board with the fold up wrap. She used a leftover crane breast steak from her dinner the other night. Some brie, lingnonberry mostarda, spinach and microgreens and a delicious sliced pear. Folded it up so the greens stayed in the middle and the meat and cheese were in perfect position for grilling. Really nice luncheon treat.
This past November, Prois teamed up with Freedom Hunters to bring a female veteran on a Prois Womens Only Whitetail Hunt. Eligible veterans applied for the hunt sponsored by Freedom Hunters President, Anthony Pace. Jessica Reyes, a veteran of the U.S. Army was selected for this hunt and was subsequently sent to the north woods of Wisconsin to hunt whitetail on The Wilderness Reserve with five other women.
As all of us women converged on the immaculate hunting lodge managed by Forrest and Lisa Pike, it became clear that all of us immediately had a tight bond forged by our love of hunting and the outdoors. This was Jessica’s first foray into a women’s only hunt and we were all immediately taken with her humor, passion and past service to our country. Our bonds definitely run deep! And with that, I wanted to introduce the world to Jessica and her story of service, connection with Freedom Hunters and love for hunting. Jessica agreed to my interview, which I believe was way more tedious than she had ever imagined! In true Jessica style, she willingly helped me out. Enjoy!
- Tell me a bit about your military career…when did you enlist…what led you to a career in the military…what did you do while in service…are you currently still active…etc:
I enlisted into the Army in 2006 after I graduated from high school. To be quite honest, my decision to enlist was centered around wanting to venture off on my own, to experience a new lifestyle, and everything else that came with that choice.
My first 3 years I spent as a Unit Supply Clerk. The last 3 years of my active enlistment, I spent as an Information Technology Specialist. Two totally different fields, but both rewarding in skills and knowledge. I was stationed in Fort Knox, KY, Camp Casey, South Korea, and Fort Carson, CO. I exited the service from Fort Carson in 2012 where I began taking classes towards a technical degree in Avionics Electronics.
- Tell me how you got into hunting. Who introduced you to hunting…what was your first hunt and how did you feel when it was over?
The way I got into hunting is rather interesting, when I think about it at least. Where I currently work, I am surrounded by co-workers who hunt. Initially, I was rather annoyed with always having to listen to anything and everything that had to do with hunting. It didn’t help that most of these people weren’t the most pleasant or polite, so I kind of always associated that characteristic with the sport. However, there were a couple of hunters who were approachable and open-minded and who were willing to talk to me about their experiences. So, I decided to learn more for myself and signed up for the Hunter’s Ed class.
My first hunt was for a Mule deer doe. My method of take was with my bow. Long story short, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I should have been when I had my bow at full draw. I took my shot at about 20 yards and grazed her heart and pierced a lung. We waited some time for her to expire and once we retrieved her, is when all the emotions began to settle in. Gutting her was an experience in its own, but I just could not get over how grateful and fortunate I was for having been able to harvest my first animal. I immediately knew that I wanted to experience it again.
- What makes you love hunting and want to keep pursuing it?
As a person new to this sport, what I’ve come to love about it is getting outside, seeing new places, and learning about the wildlife that’s being harvested. Learning about the different skills in tracking and scouting, the gear that assist in making the hunts more successful, and meeting people who are kind and passionate about the lifestyle has been so rewarding. The rush of having a successful hunt and being able to bring meat home definitely makes me want to keep pursuing it, even though I know that I won’t be successful every time.
- How did you get introduced to Freedom Hunters? Tell me a bit about that journey!
At the Hunter’s Ed class, I met and spoke with one of the instructors who happened to be a Marine veteran. He was a volunteer with Freedom Hunters and, upon learning that I am also a veteran, he shared with me information about the organization and encouraged me to apply for a hunt. That’s how I was able to participate in my Mule deer hunt as well as a Pheasant hunt in Utah, and most recently, the Whitetail hunt in Wisconsin with Prois!
- What was your initial reaction when Anthony got you placed on our Whitetail hunt? Honestly…were you worried, nervous, excited, anxious…?
My initial reaction was disbelief! Immediately followed by excitement filled with gratitude. I was so pumped throughout the days leading up to Wisconsin. However, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Also, I was super excited to have heard about Prois! I had no idea that company existed and was blown away when I learned that I would be receiving some apparel. The quality and choice of camo are outstanding!
- What was your feeling when we all first met? There are no right answers here! I know how it is…when you don’t know any or everyone…it is fun, intimidating, exciting…all of it!
I will honestly say that I was more curious than nervous about who all I was going to meet. I genuinely wanted to know why this particular group of women had been fortunate enough to come together for this hunt. There may have been a hint of nervousness after learning about everyone’s background and realizing I was surrounded by a bunch of badass women, but I soaked it in.
- You harvested that beautiful buck your first night. Tell me about the hunt and what you were experiencing!
Holy cow, I cannot begin to describe how excited I was about how everything went down!
My guide, Gary, and I set out to a lonely little stand overlooking a long, open clover field. While getting to know each other a little better, we began to take bets on what time I would take a shot at a deer. 6:07pm was my bet.
As if someone blew a dinner horn, around 6pm, a bunch of game started to work their way into the open field towards the feeders. We had already been watching some doe and a smaller buck but a pair of bull elk came strutting through to our right, and about a half dozen more across the field in front of us. To the left of us, a few more doe and bucks made an appearance. There were two smaller bucks that had begun to compete, but then a bigger guy popped out of nowhere and started going for one of the other bucks. Gary excitedly yet quietly exclaimed, “that’s your guy! Get your rifle set!”
Everything happened so fast. I sighted him in my scope, and as soon as I felt I had a clear shot, I just took it. The buck kicked, stood there and then just toppled over. My heart was beating so fast throughout the entire ordeal.
- We had so many fantastic conversations as a group…so many things shared and experienced. What are some things that stuck with you the most?
We had some great conversations at the dinner table. I immediately think about the conversation about what hunting means to us, or what we enjoy about the sport the most…I can’t quite remember how it was phrased, but just hearing everyone’s take, hearing about how we all felt about our experience at the reserve, especially as women, just touched me. How often does one get to sit at a table full of other women who hunt?? It was a table full of badasses with such different backgrounds yet with a shared love and appreciation.
- Anything else you’d like to add?
I just wanted to add that I am very new to this sport, but I know that my life hasn’t been the same since I’ve opened myself up to this activity. I’ve felt so fortunate to have crossed paths with some incredible people. I’m so grateful for the hunts that I’ve been apart of and I am so excited for the people and experiences in my future because of hunting.
And, Kirstie! You are an amazing woman!! I am not saying this for brownie points. As an entrepreneur, hunter, mother…. You have made a lasting impression on me. I hope that at some point in my life-story, I can achieve the same type of impact. A most sincere thank you for creating a company that represents us in the field. As well as for partnering with Freedom Hunters in support of exposing Veterans to hunting and the outdoors.