It used to be that many lady hunters borrowed hunting clothes from their spouses, or bought their own in sporting goods stores that targeted just the men. But today, the wearing of men’s hunting gear is a thing of the past. Instead, lady hunters want hunting clothes that fit. They also want something warm, stylish and not bulky.
Recently, I stopped at Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods Shop in Gunnison, Colo., where I came across a clothing line that is designed by a local Gunnison woman for women hunters. Kristie Pike, a hunter herself, was also tired of wearing men’s hunting attire, so she took to designing garments to fit herself and developed a line of hunting clothes for the woman hunter’s needs.
Prois Hunting Apparel officially launched in Las Vegas in February. Future plans include a quiet, waterproof, wind-resistance line, an “extreme line,” and plus sizes. It went over so well, they are now advertising and promoting Krisitie’s designs in major hunting companies. Be sure to ask your local hunting retailer about them.
For myself, I like the garments because they are wide where I need that extra width and narrow in the right places. I feel and look good, without all the bulk in hunting camp. Or, I can wear it on my next trip to the grocery store. Prois’ slogan is “Serious Huntwear for Real Women.”
I checked out several Web sites and they all report good things on her clothes. The line can be viewed and ordered at www.proishunting.com or by calling (970) 641-3355. Some items that are offered include: Reversible vests, shirts, pants, sharpa jackets, accessories and women’s mountain boots.
They are found in camo, Real-Tree, and advantage max patterns. Prices are very compatible with other manufacturers’.
Other retailers are now carrying hunting lines for women hunters, as well. For example, Cabela’s Women’s Outdoor Catalog has many clothing items that can be found by the woman for her outdoor experience. And, they are both functional and stylish.
Carhartt also has developed a line for the outdoor working woman, producing coats, bibs, pants and shirts in many colors. There’s another line by Walls that includes pastel-colored coats and bibs. This is all good and fun because I can tell you from experience that we, as ladies, did not want to wear the frumpy, baggy, loose-fitting clothes of men.
Always before, it seemed like ladies shirts all came with sleeves too short and shirttails that wouldn’t stay tucked in my jeans, unless I bought men’s shirts, which then reached to my knees. I’ve ordered long underwear, only to be disappointed in that their guarantee to keep you warm without the bulk didn’t hold up. Not only that, they became capri short underwear after a couple washings, forcing me to add a pair of tall socks to keep them from becoming even shorter with activity.
Yet, if I borrowed my husband’s underwear, I didn’t need the extra material in certain areas, and they were uncomfortable. Union suits were something else — Mother Nature would call and we would have to quit hunting or totally undress in all the elements.
Thanks to some innovative tailoring toward the female sex, shirt-sleeves rolled-up, shirt-tails reaching our knees, men’s hunting boots with three pairs of socks and coats bulky enough for two are now a thing of the past — now they have a “double-fly” pant and a zipper all the way around the crouch, so women don’t have to pull down their pants when you gotta “go”.
For your feet, I used to have a hard time finding boots to fit my very narrow size 8 foot. So, I would wear a medium size and put on three pairs of insulated socks to fill the boots, hoping afterwards, I could still move my toes. If you can imagine it, this is how I looked: A 5-foot-5 woman, not a Barbie doll model, wearing boots that resemble snowmobile boots with three pairs of insulated socks, a pair of Carhartt bibs layered over jeans and long underwear, a long underwear top, a chamois shirt, orange sweatshirt, a Carhartt coat with an orange vest pulled on over the coat.
Add an orange ball cap pulled low and tight on my head and heavy leather gloves — only to be told I’m going to the hunting area by horseback, meaning I had to rethink my attire, because the boots wouldn’t fit the stirrups. Besides, the horse would turn it’s head, looking at me, as if to say, “ you got to be kidding.” That doesn’t even include the gun, shells, binoculars and camera.
But now, manufactures are designing boots to fit women, giving us narrower width and some arch support, and I say, “Hurrah” to the progress.