Now I don’t have a lot of hunting gear. I don’t think of hunting as some sort of fashion show. So I am bringing a mish mash of gear, mostly borrowed and a few things from the Army surplus store.
Did I mention this is early October? In Wyoming? This comes into play.
After a good night of sleep in Cheyenne, I am up early and ready to drive the rest of the way to the ranch. I watch dark clouds roll in from the west. I listen to the weather forecast on the radio: rain turning to snow overnight. A Winter Storm Warning is issued. Six to twelve inches of snow on the plains, more in higher elevations, are predicted.
I take a mental note of what I had packed. Knowing the unpredictable nature of, well, nature, I have great wool socks, a Merino wool base layer, BDU pants, and a borrowed (read: bulky and way too big) jacket in some pattern of camo. Temps are dropping and blizzard conditions are expected. Somewhere between Douglas and Casper, it starts to drizzle.
I’m beginning to think I really need something more. Something warmer and something that will keep me drier. I’m in Wyoming and my options are slim when it comes to shopping. Casper is my one and only chance, so I pull off the interstate and find an outdoor store in a strip mall.
Finding women’s hunting gear is not all that easy in the best of situations, especially in smaller sizes. And while I am not at all opposed to wearing men’s gear, because of my smaller stature, even a men’s small (if I can find any) tends to swallow me up. Thankfully, I find the women’s hunting section tucked away in the corner of the store and start grabbing jackets.
I try them on, one by one, and think, “One of these will have to do.” Then I find one little rack holding a small selection of Prois gear. Now I know of Prois, hunting and field apparel for women. Pretty much top notch when it comes to quality and fit. Top notch when it comes to price as well. But necessity never made a good bargain, as Benjamin Franklin once penned, and I was getting desperate. I walk out with the Prois Pro-Edition jacket, size small, in Max-1 camo.
Well, the blizzard arrives as predicted. The morning brings white out conditions and closed roads. We wait as long as we can, but we are dressed and ready to go!! So I don my Prois Pro-Edition jacket, pull on the hood and snap it up just as far as it will go, and head into the blizzard as I haul my gear to the truck. Off we go.
Now to the Prois Pro-Edition jacket itself. Not only did it keep me warm and dry, it just felt good on me. Studies have shown that what you wear and the way you look affects the way you think, the way you feel, and the way you act. The Prois Pro-Edition certainly had an affect on me in these ways.
- The look: Hunters don’t have time to think about their appearance. We are too busy concentrating on important issues, such as safety and the hunt itself. But truth be told – and I know this might be hard for some to admit, but I’ll take the risk – wearing the appropriate gear for the occasion (and weather) affects the way I feel about myself and my situation. It doesn’t hurt that the Prois Pro-Edition jacket looks the part. I fit in.
- The feel: There is no room for self-consciousness and self-doubt on a hunt. Feeling uncomfortable, for whatever reason, is not productive! And I am telling you, this jacket makes me FEEL good! It hugs my body in the best ways. It allows free range of motion and is never constricting. The sleeves include a thumbhole and covered a good portion of my hand, which keeps me warmer. All this, in turn, makes me feel confident and capable.
- The act: Plain and simple, when you appear authentic and appropriate for the occasion, you act more secure and more at ease and you are naturally able to do your best.
- 3 ply-bonded fabric with wind-stopping laminate provides protection without bulk
- Form fitting with room for movement and layering
- Soft shell for quiet movement
- Arm pockets with magnetic closure snaps to enhance silence
- Deep set, zippered hand pockets with snap-down sliders
- Back pockets/compartments for heat packs and/or lightweight items
- Tapered sleeve cuffing with thumbholes
The Final Thoughts
Prois touts the Pro-Edition Jacket as “the ultimate hunting jacket for the serious hunter.” I couldn’t have said it better. It was exactly what I needed on my antelope hunt, exactly what was needed in blizzard conditions, and has been exactly what I’ve turned to on subsequent ventures into the outdoors. And ultimately, beyond all the bells and whistles, beyond the weather and the hunt, I just feel good in the Pro-Edition jacket.
Available in Realtree AP, Max-1, and Mothwing Mountain Mimicry
Size XS, S, M, L, LX