Katherine Browne has been a falconer for five years and started her falconry career flying a red-tailed hawk named Artemis in Klamath Falls, Oregon. She still enjoys the friendship and advice of her sponsor Donald Adams and now flies a goshawk. Katherine works as the Dealer Relations and Pro-Staff Coordinator for Prois Hunting Apparel and is a flyfishing guide for WillowFly Anglers. She is also a writer and frequently contributes to Women’s Outdoor News. Katherine spends the moult making jesses or finding just about anything to do outdoors so she doesn’t have to wash the dishes.
1) First up, partial disclosure on how I know you. I actually don’t know you at all except for recently following you on Facebook, where I am enthralled with your adventures and photos. Can you talk about Prois and how you got involved with such a great company and landed such a kickass job?
I am so grateful for my job at Prois. I met Prois CEO Kirstie Pike after a mutual friend insisted that we meet. Kirstie and Prois had been featured in our local paper a week before my women’s fly fishing club had been featured. Neither of us really understood why he insisted until we met. Prois is the finest most technical women’s hunting apparel available on the market. At Prois we really believe in promoting women in the outdoors and in hunting. Before Prois women had to settle for sub-par hunting apparel or for men’s or kids apparel. I am so grateful to be a part of the Prois team and I am so excited about the future of the company.
2) You aren’t just a falconer. You are definitely an outdoor “Jill of all trades”. What is it that falconry brings to your life that is different from other outdoor experiences?
Falconry was my first hunting experience and without falconry I may have never become a hunter. No form of hunting is quite as spiritual for me as falconry. Falconry is the oldest sport known to man and before there were firearms, humans, raptors, and dogs were working together to catch game. The animals we pursue with our birds have had thousands of years to learn how to escape birds of prey and much less time to evolve to the advent of guns and bullets. . Falconry appeals to me in many ways. It is such a fair chase method of hunting, the partnership you cultivate with a wild animal is incredible, and I have always loved training animals. I was amazed that you could trap a wild raptor and train it to accept you as its hunting companion. Falconry is not always romantic. It requires an incredible amount of patience, dedication, and time but if you are passionate about the sport there is nothing like it. For these reasons and many more falconry will always occupy a special place in my heart.
I am always annoyed people who eat meat and are anti-hunting. I myself have given up meat before getting into hunting because I hated how animals are commercially kept. There is nothing more free-range than an animal that has lived its life in the wild then is taken by a hunter. I strive to use as much of each animal I kill as possible which is pretty easy as a falconer. With falconry nothing goes to waste and it is the most fair chase method of hunting that I know of. Every part of an animal can be eaten and is important to the health of a bird of prey including the fur and feather. I also wish people knew that killing is not what hunting is all about. I love the pursuit and I often have cause to cheer the animal that gets away just as much as I celebrate the animals I take. I say a prayer for the animals I kill and thank them for giving their lives to feed me and my birds. I also love seeing the sunrise and set, I love sitting still and watching animals behave naturally, and I love being a part of the drama that unfolds daily in nature. I believe if more people really connected with nature as many hunters do we would treat this world a lot better than we do. Hunting is a great way to connect with nature and hunters are some of the leading conservationists.
4) We’ve really seen an upward trend in the number of women in falconry in the last ten years, which is fantastic. If this trend continues in falconry as well as other forms of hunting, what do you think the future of hunting and outdoor recreation will be?
I have been amazed while working at Prois at the number of women that are getting into hunting and falconry, I think it’s fantastic. I am so impressed by the many women that are talented and successful hunters, falconers, fly fishers, and outdoors women, and I am gratefeul for all they have taught me and continue to teach me. Women are the fastest growing demographic in both fly fishing and hunting. Women really take the time to learn as much as possible and work very hard to perfect their skills in male dominated sports. I believe women are the future of outdoors sports and I know the future of hunting is much more secure than it would be without women. I believe more and more women with continue to learn and enjoy hunting, fishing, and outdoor pursuits and I am so excited to continue to be a part of this growing trend.
5) So when the zombie apocalypse finally arrives I would like to know what you’ll wearing and carrying. (I’m definitely copying your gear.)
I have spent more time thinking about this than is probably healthy. I love living in Gunnison in part because if anything happens I know Eric and I would be able to survive and thrive by heading for the mountains. I will be wearing my Prois Hunting Apparel without question. I have never been more comfortable in the field, hunting and fishing than I have been since owning Prois Apparel. I would bring our fly fishing equipment, a few boxes of flys, and fly tying materials. I would bring my goshawk Hades, our two dogs, camping equipment, and as many firearms and as much ammo as we could carry. I would also bring a book about Colorado’s edible plants so we wouldn’t have to just eat meat and fish all the time. I think we would do quite well. Gunnison has a small population and it’s pretty isolated so the zombie threat would be pretty manageable.
Excellent! Thanks, Katherine I think I’m about set for the apocalypse now! And it was really great getting to know you better. I glad you’re out there getting more women involved in hunting and fishing and sharing the joy you find engaging with the natural world!
Be sure to friend Katherine on Facebook if you want to keep up with over her constant adventures – it’s almost as good as being out there yourself.