Goin’ Rural: Mason Jars

There is a lot that can be appreciated from a rural lifestyle. Fresher air, the great outdoors, being more self-reliant and much more. People are always worried about where their food is coming from, and how processed it is. Living in rural areas, you may need to know how to grow, raise, hunt or catch your own food. With all of the reality TV shows that depict rural lifestyles, it has gained in popularity. And there is nothing wrong with that! But for many of us we can’t buy some acreage and live the farm-house dream. But we can learn skills or traits and do things more common in rural lifestyles to get the feel for that kind of life. This first blog will be about an object, once only common for canners or moon-shiners but is now found on just about every craft table or social-media outlet: Mason Jars.

Mason jars come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Originally designed for canning and storing of foods, there seems to be no limit to their versatility. They were first designed and patented in 1858 by John Landis Mason (see below), for which they get their name. The two most common names of Mason jar manufacturers are Ball and Kerr, which are now owned by the same company.

Without that guy, Pintrest would be pretty much be just about Paleo-diets and inspirational quotes.

Along with variations of sizes and styles, they also come in a variety of colors. Clear, blue and green are the most common. There are tutorials on how to make your own specifically colored jars online. So maybe you cannot find an “antique blue” wide mouth tall size jar, but now you can make one!

Mason jars are now sometimes even bigger stars at weddings than anything else (except the bride). They are used as decorations, name holders, souvenirs and much more. Lord knows we had them at my wedding! Only mine had spent ammo casings and green army men glued to them with flower peddles that had beer-bottle centers. (You’re welcome, future husbands for the ideas.)

Mason jars are an economical way to get a dozen new drinking cups. You can also use them to store any number of items. For gifts, you can fill them with homemade hot chocolate mixes or baking goods. There are websites dedicated to these kinds of things!

You can even make homemade jams or jellies, like what they were originally made for! I like the wall-mount bathroom holder project. And the best part is all of the resources on how to do-it-yourself!

Like that cute little pet-fishing-lure thing below? Yeah, I came up with that! Follow this link to learn how to make them. (Holiday gift idea, I think so!)

Companies have been making specialty products for all of us Mason-jar lovers! Here at our store we have several different kinds of mason-jar drink ware. I love the Beer Mug but our home is not complete without the Wine Glasses we got!  

Mason jars were once a symbol of rural life and rustic flare, but are putting the lid on other mainstream drinking products. The almost limitless uses for them and the creativity that once can express with them is awesome.

Until next month! But keep an eye out for other mason-jar projects that may be coming along. If you’re thinking about sharing this blog with others just remember it can be like FarmersOnly.com where “city people just don’t get it!”

-Giddy-Up!!

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A Simple Guide to safe firearms class

Straight Shooters - So a few weeks ago I received an invite from Mike Duffy to try out an SGI - Defensive Pistol Craft I course. Mike is the founder and Chief Operations Officer of Solutions Group International (SGI).

Here's an excerpt taken from their website to help give an idea of who they are..."Solutions Group International (SGI) was created to provide Specialized Security Services, Law Enforcement & Military Tactical Training, Threat Matrix & Vulnerability Assessments, Leading-edge Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Applications, and Investigations to the Law Enforcement, Military, Entertainment & Film Industry, Security, Government, and Corporate Sectors worldwide."

Their website also gives you a list of their instructors and their qualifications. Reading through their bios, it's quick to see that they are simply the best-of-the-best. I was personally sold knowing that they primarily train Military and Law Enforcement agencies. The eight hour course was held at Prado Shooting Park in Chino on a private portion of the range known as Condor 2. The day started with introductions from the three man training team and an overview of what we were in store for. The instructor cadre consisted of George Holt (SGI President), Grant Reynolds, and Marty Higuera. Being an introductory class into Defensive Pistol shooting, we started with the basics. Even after all the shooting I've done, there's still something to learn and get refreshed on after all my time on the range. We started by reviewing the 4 rules of firearms safety, core marksmanship skills and techniques, proper reloading, stance, and a few other topics to ensure even a true beginner was up to speed with the basic knowledge needed for the day.

Now you may be thinking that you are an above average pistol shooter and this introductory class is below you; well think again. The SGI crew did a great job of tailoring their instruction to each student as the day progressed. They moved down the line during live fire drills giving each student tips based on their individual needs and skills. At no point did I feel like I was being held back by the other students who may have had a slower learning curve. I was being pushed to draw quicker and shoot faster. Grant said something like, "Push yourself to the breaking point where you fail to produce the results you're looking for." He's basically saying that if you only do what you're comfortable with, you will never get any better. Because of this, we constantly tried to shoot quicker and faster.

The live-fire portion of the day had many different drills incorporated into it. This included shooting from 3 yards from the hip when you don't have time for proper sight alignment, drawing and placing two center mass, failure to stop drills consisting of two center mass and one to the head, target transition drills, shooting from farther distances, shooting on the move and proper foot placement while moving, and multiple engagement drills. There was always something to keep you on your toes. The intensity the instructors brought kept a high level of motivation to the line and a feeling of not wanting to let them down. I had a great time and am looking forward to their next class in the series of the 6 Defensive Crafts courses they offer.

Mike and his crew run a top-of-the-line company and offer some amazing courses. I will definitely be coming back for a future pistol course and probably take some of their others as well. I encourage you to pull up their website and take a look at their list of courses and instructors.

http://www.solutionsgroupinternational.com/

The $225 course includes 300 rounds of ammo and a $25 Bass Pro Shops gift card. This is a really good price for the 8-hour course that includes 300 rounds of whatever ammo you want to shoot.

 

 

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Product Spotlight - RangeMaxx Tactical Gear

Awesome Christmas gift alert!

Jarrod in our Hunting Department recommends this gear! Practical for tactical, Jarrod says they are essential for any AR owner. Here are his two favorites!

RangeMaxx R2G CCW Tactical Range Bag

Plenty of zippered compartments - the large zippered main compartment has room for ammo, shooting glasses, hearing protection, your cleaning kit and more. Two large zippered side pockets feature magazine pouches - one for AR-15 and the other for pistol mags. The pistol mag pocket even folds down to give you a safe surface for gun cleaning and work. There's two zippered end pockets for even more storage options.

RangeMaxx Tactical R2G CCW Tactical Range Pack

Someone on Jarrod's Christmas list is getting this! The tactical pack/range bag has pouches for SIX AR-15 mags and three handgun mags. Like the range bag, the large main compartment is suitable for ammo, gun cleaning kit, hearing and eye protection, electronics or general storage. The pack also features a dual-zipper rear access panel to a pocket for handgun storage - the universal holster keeps your handgun exactly where you need it for quick and smooth draw.

All of the RangeMaxx gear is made of 1000D polyester and has exterior MOLLE webbing so you can add the extras you need and have your gear organized and ready to go!

Jarrod says he's got the range bag thrown in his truck and always prepared.

Don't you want to be?

Check out the complete line of RangeMaxx gear at Bass Pro Shops Altoona or online.

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Santa Arrives!

Yes, we know Santa and he' arriving on Saturday! This is the weekend when the holiday celebration starts at Bass Pro Shops Altoona! Santa arrives and opens up Santa's Wonderland!

When you join us, why not bring along some new hats, gloves or boots for our Warm Kids Campaign to support the Southeast Polk School District?!

Saturday, November 15 - Santa Arrives

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive promptly at 5 p.m. by Tracker Boat, escorted this year by the Altoona Police Department!

Join us starting at 4:30 p.m., or so, for photos with  Rudolph and Frosty, hot chocolate and cookies, and caroling from the Southeast Polk HS Choir! Dress warmly, it's going to be perfect Santa weather!

After Santa arrives, he chats briefly with the crowd and we give away a gift card, then it's into the lobby for one more carol and to light the lobby Christmas tree!

Last stop is Santa's Wonderland, where one lucky child gets to help Santa cut the ribbon and kick off Santa's Wonderland!

6- 8 p.m. - Free 4x6 photos with Santa. We will use the Bass Pass system and will start handing out Bass Passes around 3:30 for photos that are from 6-8 p.m. The first 125 kids to visit should receive a backpack clip

6-8 p.m. - Free craft! A Gingerbread Stocking/Bag craft

For a complete Santa's Wonderland schedule and details for the season, visit www.basspro.com/santa! Remember to share your photos with us on Facebook and Twitter with the tag #santaswonderland!

Also on Saturday, November 15

Free Hunting Seminars

Of course, it's also hunting season, so we have some free seminars on Saturday to help you hone your skills! Perfect for the beginner or the hunter who needs a review!

1. p.m - Become a Better Bowhunter - Want to improve your bow hunting? Learn how to select releases, arrows, and broadheads that work for you.

2 p.m. - How to Choose the Right Guns and Ammo - Whatever hunting you plan to do, our experts will answer your question and make it easy to pick the gun and ammo.

3 p.m. - What You Should Know Before Buying Optics - Take an inside look at the features you should consider when shopping for scopes, rangefinders, or binoculars.

Pella Wildlife Company

Pella Wildlife Company will be here on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Come check out what exciting creature they'll have with them this time!

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How to Hunt....

 

          

 

 

Do you want to start hunting? Or maybe you have questions on how to be more successful... come to your Bass Pro Shops for all your answers!

This weekend is for you!!!

On November 1, 2014 one of our own RedHead Field Staff, JR Adkins will be with us in the Hunting Department. JR is an outstanding hunter and fisherman. He is from the Rogersville area and knows the woods like the back of his hand.

 

  • 1 pm  Become a Better Bowhunter

Take the mystery out of gearing up for bowhunting. Learn how to select releases, arrows and broadheads that work for you.

  • 2 pm  How to Select the Right Guns and Ammo

Whatever hunting you plan to do, our experts will answer your questions and make it easy to pick the perfect rifle, shotgun or handgun.

  • 3 pm  What You Should Know Before Buying Optics

A Bass Pro Shops expert will give you an inside look at the features you should consider when shopping for scopes, rangefinders or binoculars.

 

 

Attend any of the seminars and register for a chance to win a FREE pair of NIKON Prostaff 7S 10x42 Binoculars!!

You must be 18 yrs or older to enter. Drawing held at the completion of the last seminar at 4 pm. You must be present to win.

 

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Holiday or Training Day?

So I’ve been thinking about it. Halloween is like a mini-training day for the zombie apocalypse.

Seriously!

The streets are filled with thousands of people running amok, there is blood (fake) everywhere and you had to prepare yourself for this onslaught of hungry creatures. Sure, the prepping was really just stocking up on candy and maybe putting out a lawn ornament or two but that still is prepping!

So riddle me this scenario:

Its Halloween night. Kids running around. Sweet! That old lady down the street is handing out king-sized bars! Hey, don’t bother at that house because all they have are those weird orange peanuts. Aww! They even dressed up their little pug! How cute!!

BOOM. ZOMBIE OUTBREAK! It spreads quickly as the majority of the population is outside. Sure enough people get bit because they think that guy “in a zombie costume” is just really good at pretending to be one! All of the sudden those creatures at your door are now desiring brains and flesh over Twizzlers and Laffy Taffy! They don’t want Reese’s Pieces, they want Reese in pieces!!!

Keeps me up at night.

So what steps could you take to actually be prepared for a zombie outbreak? Here are my suggestions.

First you need to think about either staying or leaving.

 If you’re leaving, just git! You probably already have your bug-out bags ready and a plan in place. You know what vehicle you are taking to what location. Just go and good luck!

Staying? Time to hold down the fort! Make sure your place is secure and well prepped for such a circumstance.

Start collecting as much water as possible. Fill up sinks, tubs and anything that can hold water. Have yourself a water-filtration system to ensure you are getting good water. (A Life-Straw is a great addition to a bug-out bag or other kit.) Maybe even get some large containers that you can fill up as well.

You’re going to have to eat, so have canned goods or freeze-dried foods on hand. If you have to cook it to eat it, have something in mind and plenty of fuel for it. Be sure to have back-up systems just in case. Know how you are going to ration everything as well. There is incredible information out there to figure out what exactly your body will need to survive.

Protection/Defense. Know what you want to have for that. Every situation is different, but have something that is reliable and you can be comfortable with. Also be sure to practice with whatever you choose so you know what to do in certain circumstances. (Get yourself some Zombie ammo while ya can!)

But according to scientists this should not happen (this year) and the Cardinals look solid. (Just sayin’.)

So have fun this Halloween and remember, don’t be the house with those orange peanuts… or candy corn.

-Giddy-Up!!

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Dream Hunter

“Boom!” The retort was sharp in my ear even through my muffs, the kickback jarred my shoulder. It was cold even though I had enough layers on to make me look like a small bear. I didn’t dare look down at my feet, but instead looked out across to see what I had just done. I’d shot a deer. This big beautiful buck lay dead.

The tree stand I was sitting in was high enough to turn my stomach if I looked down. Which I avoided doing. My tree stand was still securely attached to the tree I was in and the ladder below it felt like it was still well attached when I grasped it to climb to the ground. I could feel my harness pulling tension between where it was attached to my body and its attachment point on the tree; it was still secure as well. As I reminded myself to breathe, I slipped and my boot lost its grip on the ladder. For a moment I thought I was going to fall but then that tension jerked to a halt as the harness gripped me and I gripped its straps and the ladder rungs. Vertigo threatened but I put my boot back on the ladder and finished descending. 

With my boots firmly on the ground, I started towards my quarry. I was as quiet as I possibly could be, but as the tension eased animals started moving. Crows set flight turning the mid-morning sky to a midnight expanse in the flap of wings. A rabbit rustled around disappearing out of and back into the brush.  A skink slithered across a fallen tree thin with hunger but racing to avoid the flap of wings. 

For a moment or so the area had been quiet and still with death, but now it showed that life went on for everyone and everything other than the buck I’d killed. He lay on the ground, his belly still round enough to show he, at least, had been eating as well as he could while there was still some foliage. Bronze, copper, and gold flecked his pelt. As the sun revealed itself from behind its crow woven curtain his coat gleamed as the warm colors reflected the suns light. White collared his throat and muzzle giving him the appearance of wearing a halter made of new fallen snow. His antlers gleamed as the sun glinted across them making them shine as though polished.

As I reached for the buck I blinked – and the world shifted. I was back under my tree stand, but this time I held a bow. The warm “thwang” of the bow string reverberated up my arms as fast as the sound reached my ears. The scene replayed again – the only difference was my weapon of use. Again when I blinked upon reaching for the buck I was transported back to the tree and this time holding a crossbow.

The third time it happened I realized I was dreaming. I must need to go to Bass Pro Shops down the street in Katy for something. ‘Tis the season to go a hunting and I’d need ammo, a license, and fresh tips for my arrows and bolts depending on what I ended up using. “Time to get up and go,” I thought as I got up to get dressed and go to my favorite store in town - Bass Pro Shops.

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Come join our Hunting Seminars!

 

Have you attended one of our seminars before? If you haven't, you have missed out! Great demos, tips and pointers that have really help out customers. Either from the purchases that they need to make or advice on what's best to use while out gaming. 

Here is your chance to attend one taught by our Local Pros!

1 PM- Become a Better Bow hunter

Take the mystery out of gearing up for bow hunting. Learn how to select releases, arrows, and broad heads that work for you.3

2 PM - How to Select the Right Guns & Ammo

Whatever hunting you plan to do, our experts will answer your questions and make it easy to pick the perfect rifle, shotgun, or handheld gun.

3 PM - What You Should Know Before Buying Optics

A Bass Pro Shops expert will give you an inside look at the feature you should consider when shopping for scopes, rangefinders, or binoculars. 

 

As well get a chance of winning a FREE pair of Nikon Prostaff 7S 10x42 Binoculars! Just attend any of these seminars and register a chance to win. That is a retail value of $200!!

So mark in your calendars -October 18th - FREE seminars from the Local Pros themselves!

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=46

https://www.facebook.com/bpssanantonio

 

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Scent Elimination

 

You have your gun, ammo, camo, and tree stand.  Have you thought about making sure that deer cannot smell you?  The best defense against having that deer realize you are watching him is your scent.  Odors that we find nice are very offensive to a deer.  That is why it is important not to have any smell that might alert them.

We do not realize how odors may affect hunting.  Aftershave, soap, cooking odors and many more scents attach themselves to clothing and us. Bass Pro Shops has a wide variety of scent elimination products that will appeal to you.  Here are just a few items you may want to consider.

If you want a soap that can be used on your hair as well as your body, consider Hunter's Specialties Scent A Way Liquid Antibacterial Soap.  This soap will deordorize and neutralize human odor.  It has been around for years. Just look on our website to see all the positive reviews.

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Don't forget that you need protection from scent in your clothing, boots and gear.  The Dead Down Wind Scent Prevent Evolve Field Spray works well and can be applied upside, down to make sure you get it everywhere.

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Make sure you wash your hunting clothes in a scent eliminating laundry detergent soap.  The Hunter's Specialties Scent A Way Laundry Detergent has a rinse and stain guard that prevents the re-depositing of dirt.  This detergent is very concentrated so a little goes a long way.

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Once that laundry is done consider the Hunter's Specialties Scent A Way Odor Control Dryer Sheets.  This will work on all fabrics and helps prevent static cling.  These sheets will also leave no residue in your dryer.  Another good idea is when you put your clothes away for the season put a few of these inside your box or large zip bags.

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Something as simple as brewing coffee or making breakfast in the morning leaves a scent on your hands.  The Hunter's Specialties Scent A Way Antibacterial & Deordorizing Bar Soap  will eliminate odors and  is fragrance free

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Last but not least protect your lips from the UV rays with a SPF15 lip Balm.  The Hunter's Specialties Scent A Way Lip Balm will do all that without giving you a scent.

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So there it is, scent elimination at its best.  Stop on down and check out all the products we have to help you get closer to that buck.

 

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi-Ho A Camping We Will Go

Camping is something people from all walks of life can do. It can be a really cheap vacation, or it can be an expensive getaway. The experience all depends on how we do it; the real prize to be won is the memories made. If we’re ready to make some memories then let’s get ready to go!

The first thing we want to think about is what we want to do. Do we want to spend as little as possible and still have a good time or do we want to go glamping (this an excessively comfortable form of camping that we will discuss in a later article)? If money is no obstacle and we want to take the house with us then we want to go glamping. If we want to relax and deal with minimal extra and /or unnecessary stuff then we want to go a more traditional route. There’s nothing right or wrong about either of these choices, which can be intermingled at will, and we should always pick what we can afford both money wise and time/effort/ability wise. The point of this is always to make good, positive memories that we can share with others either in the moment or later on.

After we choose how we want to camp we can pick a location. The location will determine what gear we need. The other thing that determines what gear we need is weather. We should always check the weather as we plan for an outing because it can determine not only what gear we need but how long we want to stay. So we have picked a location, checked the weather, and decided how long we’re going to be gone. Let’s start thinking about what all to pack.

Packing can be easy or packing can be difficult. We’ve decided how and where we want to go camp, we’ve checked the weather, and hopefully in doing all that we’ve decided how long we want to go camping. All these things need to be decided first because they influence what all we need to take with us which in turn can decide how difficult a trip or easy our trip will be barring unforeseen experiences. 

Let’s create a scenario together. We’re going to go camping at Kelly’s Pond Campground for 3 days and it is supposed to be sunny all weekend. Now we all know that the weather can change on a dime and almost no one wants to go camping in the rain. To those who do: best of luck and fun in the rain! So, 3 days at Kelly’s Pond can be a relatively small trip or it can be a super busy weekend. Kelly’s Pond offers lots of stuff to do including: tent camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, if we want to we can ride our ATV if we have one or want to buy one, they even offer  picnic tables and fire rings so we can cook s’mores safely!

Now it’s time to plan what we’re going to take and where to get it if we don’t have it already. Suppose we want to go and have a fun filled week packed with adventure. Here’s what we want to do:

To do all that we need to run by our local Bass Pro Shops and get what we need. Now we’re being hypothetical so we’ll say we’re in Houston near the Katy, Tx Bass Pro Shops. Bass Pro Shops in Katy is great: it’ll have everything we need to go camping.

When we first walk in we can go to Customer Service to get our hunting and fishing licenses. Then we can go to the back right of the store from the entrance to get fishing gear and on our way back there we can get that ATV we’ve been wanting. After we get all the fishing gear we need we can head back towards the entrance to get any clothes we may not have and then we can head to the back of the store for a potty break since we’re human and we may or may not have little ones with us. After that we’ll already be standing in camping so we can get all the camping gear we’ll need: tent, cooking store, survival gear, and even a backpack to put it all in! Next to camping is camo so we can get camouflage for hunting and speaking of hunting the hunting department is right next to that on the way to the register so we can get guns, knives and ammo along with decoys and anything else we need to get that prize shot. We’re finally heading to the registers up front to check out and we’ll pass by the boot wall, what’s more important than proper footwear?Now, we should have everything we need besides food to make a memorable camping trip!!!

We can get to packing! Now we have all of our gear and licensing so we can go hunting and fishing. We got an Arctic Cat so we can use the ATV trails. We got clothes appropriate for the temperature and weather predicted. We want to pack everything as conservatively as possible so we don’t have a lot of extra to carry. We need to print a map of the grounds and a map of how to get to the grounds before we head out as well as food and any other supplies we may need.

By now everything should be researched, bought, packed, and printed. The vehicle should be loaded and everything is ready to go.

Let’s go have a great time!

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Teal Season Necessities

It's finally here, teal season! We asked hunting team lead Landon for some tips for this season.

-This is going to be a great teal season, the population is up compared to the long-term average. It'll be a 6 day season starting Sept. 6 running until Sept. 21st.

-Hopefully you've been doing this already, but make sure to scout before you go hunt so you know where the birds are going and where their food sources are. That'll help you when it's time to go out.

-A couple great places to go teal hunting around here include Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area or Grand Pass Conservation Area about 45 minutes away from Columbia near Marshall.

- Make sure to match your camo to the terrain you'll be in. You're probably going to want wear green camo because the leaves are still on the trees.

-Use a 12 or 20 gauge gun with steel shot ammo. Anywhere from 4 to 6 shot is sufficient.

-Make sure you have a teal call, which sounds a little different than a duck call. We have a variety of options, just stop by the hunting counter if you need assistance choosing a call.

-Because it's still so hot out and there are a lot of mosquitoes, get a ThermaCELL to repel the bugs while you hunt. It repels mosquitoes mosquitoes for up to 12 hours by creating an invisible, orderless protection by heating a chemically treated repellent mat that covers up to a 15' diameter. It's powered by a butane cartridge that's included, repelling more powerfully than mosquito coils. It's also cordless and portable.

-Best time to go teal hunting is first thing in the morning or in the evening (check with MDC and the landowner, some don't allow hunting in the evening.)

-Ducks land into the wind, so make sure to place your decoys accordingly.

If you have any other questions feel free to comment below or visit our hunting department. Good luck this season!

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Who Else Wants Awesome Dove Vest?

Dove hunting season is fast approaching and the best gear you can have is a lightweight, breathable vest.

The Redhead Dove Hunting Vest is made of a durable material that also features a mesh backing to allow for maximum ventilation. During the hot summer weather this vest is a lifesaver, you can pack ammo, calls, and any other thing you might need in its deep pockets.

The zipper is durable and will stand up to rough tugging on it and will not easily break. Its lightweight material makes it perfect for throwing in your pack until you are ready to use it. The Redhead Dove Hunting Vest has oversized front shell pockets, an accessory pocket on the left chest, padded neoprene panels on both shoulders, and two individual shell quick access loops.

The back of the vest also features a built in bag that you can easily stow your game in. With a quick rinse the back bag is easily cleaned. The entire material is made out of 100% polyester and machine washable. This vest comes in the Realtree Xtra pattern and can easily be carried across the seasons to carry any additional accessories you may need on other hunts. These popular vests are going fast at only $19.99! Pick yours up in store or online to start getting ready for Dove Season.

 

 

 

 

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Hunting Story Told Right: Mike’s Safari

So what is cool about this story is that it combines a lot of things I have talked about before and rolls it into one big awesome adventure. This is the story of our very own Mike’s hunting trip to Africa. And he knows how to tell it right!

Mike has been with us for a while now and it seems like he has been talking about this trip ever since he joined us. I’ve had the pleasure to talk with him about where he is going, what he is taking and so on. Well he took that trip, not too long ago, and came back with some awesome trophies!

So let’s go over the basics of his gear. Mike only wanted to take one rifle with him, so the caliber he chose needed to be able to cover all of his bases. And his choices of animals ranged from kudu to warthog and a bunch in between! He went with the .300 Win Mag! (Hey didn’t I write a blog about that caliber? Or two?!) Mike picked out the Winchester Model 70 (a classic) and it served him well! It was the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation anniversary edition. On top of that bad boy, he threw on a Vortex scope. I have spoken before about how awesome these products are and Mike backed that up. His scope only needed three clicks to be dialed back in after all that travel. His Professional Hunter (PH) also said how impressed he is with their scopes are… and that he personally owns four.

Also, get the luck of this guy! He entered in for a chance to receive a case of ammo (your choice of caliber) and WON!!! Seriously!? My best friend and his dad took a trip to Africa and a huge expense was the rounds they needed to practice with before their hunt! Mike used Barnes Triple Shock in 180 grain and they worked like magic. They dropped every animal taken, except one, in one shot where they stood. This is great for the animals because it is humane and it is good for the PH so they don’t have to chase after a wounded animal.

It was a two week trip, four days of which were lost to travel. After landing in South Africa, they spent days at Kruger Park. Here they went over spotting and stalking basics. The PH wanted Mike to know what he was going to be looking for and how to get close to it. This is a simple concept but is something everyone should do! The things you learn at that time can make a huge difference later. Mike also insisted on doing all the hunting in a stalk. There was the option to shoot from the vehicle, but Mike abstained from this. Good for him! Mike also was able to see a lot of the wildlife he was not there to hunt and got a lot of awesome pictures. This is great so he can have something to show people who do not condone hunting. You always want to be mindful and respectful of people’s mindsets. Don’t go showing bloody pictures to anti-hunters because it only makes us more enemies!

From Kruger, Mike hunted in an area west of Kimberly. He took seven animals while there. Most of them were taken at least two hundred yards away. This speaks highly of Mike and his skill and the caliber, firearm and scope he had with him. Below will be pictures of Mike with his animals, the kind of animal, range it was taken (if he could remember) and what it would have scored. Over there, they have their own form of scoring. The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa  (PHASA) has guidelines for each different animal and what it would rank as. Hunting there is extremely different than here as Mike was able to take three animals in one day!

Mike noted that there was a lot of walking involved, and that they found a poacher. This individual was “looking for firewood” but just happened to be carrying around a bow and arrow… and didn’t have any wood… kind of illegal.

Anyways, enough words. Let’s bring on the pictures! Enjoy!

Red Hartebeest (200 yards) Bronze

Black Wildebeest (297 yards) Silver

Springbok (X) Silver

Warthog (500 yards, rested position) Not scored

Gemsbok (200 yards) Didn’t score

Blesbok (240 yards) Bronze

Kudu (200 yards) Didn’t score. It was missing three inches from one horn but would have been a Silver. This is Mike’s favorite trophy because just look how thick its horns are and how cool it looks.

Awesome job, Mike!

-Giddy-Up!!

Enjoy these other pictures too!

 

 

 

 

 

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Product Spotlight - Last Minute Dove Gear!

Dove season starts Monday, September 1, in Iowa. Here are a couple of last minute dove hunting items our Hunting Manager Shaun Bequeaith recommends:

RedHead Dove StoolRedHead Dove Stool

The RedHead Dove Stool in RealTree Xtra gives you the best seat in the sunflower field! Easy to carry and has a built-in, zippered compartment under the seat. Perfect for ammo and other important gear...like jerky, sun protection, and water...while you rest your legs and wait for the doves to come in! Made of heavy duty, water resistance polyester fabric, and has a built in carrying strap for easy transport. Folds up nicely too for storage!

 

CamoFX Face PaintCamoFX Face Paint System

Doves have extremely good eye sight. Put on your best game face, so they don't spot you! Easy to apply, this three-color system was designed by hunters and has been field tested in a variety of hunting situations. It allows you to put the high-def paint on evenly, quickly, and it doesn't crack, dry up, run or smear.

 

RedHead Rubber Dove Decoy 4-packMake sure to check your decoys...if you need new ones, the MOJO Outdoors VooDoo Dove Decoy runs on batteries, so the wings are always moving...NOT just when there is a breeze. Plus, the new RedHead Rubber Dove Decoy 4-pack provides a realistic option for perched doves. The spring clips on the bottom allow you to clip them to tree branches and fences, providing a realistic atmosphere for your hunt.

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Girl Power

Although many believe that women and the sport of shooting is a new trend, it is quite old. Before WWII women and young girls were not only involved in shooting sports but other sports as well. This was due to many state laws that required girls to complete all 4 years of high school and boys were only required to finish 2 and had a choice to go to work or go to technical school. Since many high schools had rifle clubs and girls made up the majority of the junior and senior classes, they had seniority of such clubs. The few boys that remained in high school belonged to clubs that had to do with military service.

During WWII, these clubs were converted into Victory Corps. It was a seamless transition.

Below Rifle Club and Victory Corps- Roosevelt High School Los Angeles. Library of Congress- Office of War Information

 

 

From recreation to actual competition, women have been involved starting before the turn of the 20th Century.  For example, Marie Grant from 1928-1941 earned 9 Grand American Trophies- including the lady’s Title in 1928 and the 1941 Clay Target Championship.

The Bass Pro Shop’s hunting department has a vast array of products for the women shooter at any age. Moreover, older shotgun gauges like the 28 are making a comeback. Popular in the 40’s and 50’s, this gauge is small, light, but its ballistics are superior to the .410 and close to an equal to the 20 gauge. Ammo availability has not been an issue. The 28 is a perfect gauge for young girls and women of any age, size or skill.

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Turkey Season is Upon Us!

turkey

We are quickly approaching Spring Turkey Season, Are you ready? Do you have your turkey vest, decoys, calls, ammo, bug repellant, the perfect  camo, a tick key, and any other minor detail to make your next hunt perfect? Never fear, swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and let our great Team of associates help you find everything you will need to make your first hunt of Spring Turkey season 2014 a blast!

Try the All New RedHead Striker Turkey Vest, http://www.basspro.com/RedHead-Striker-Turkey-Vests-for-Men/product/13082106113916/.  This vest has been redesigned with some awesome feature to make your hunt comfortable and safe; shell loops, maganetic flip seat, memory foam seat, hydration pack compatable, detacable blaze orange flag, padded back, adjustable game bag, accessory pockets, mesh mouth call pocket, box call and striker pocket, and double slate call pocket.  It can be yours for the price of $59.99.

One thing you do not want to over look is the pesky bugs. Try Sawyer Permethrin,http://www.basspro.com/Sawyer-Permethrin-Insect-Repellent-for-Clothing/product/10223263/,  to keep all those pesky insects away from mosquitos to black flies to gnats to chiggers and so many more. This is made in the U.S.A, lasts up to six washings, and is super easy to use; you simply go to a well ventilated area and spray one side of your clothing, let it dry, flip it over, spray the other side, let it dry, and you will be bug free.

As you get ready for the kick off of this Spring Turkey Season, swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and let our knowledgable team help you get ready!

 

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Product Spotlight - Benjamin Trail NP XL 725 Air Rifle

New at Bass Pro Shops Altoona - this is not your Daisy BB gun. This is the .25 caliber version of the Crosman Benjamin Trail NP XL 725 Air Rifle, which also comes in .177 and .22 caliber.

But, as our air rifle expert and Hunting Lead Wes Gudenkauf explains this is not a toy, but an ADULT air rifle that can easily take care of those varmints for you!

One big advantage for this air rifle is it's fairly quiet. The advantage to a Nitrogen Piston gun over a spring-operated is that the NP guns are about 20% quieter.

Wes explains more about the Benjamin in this YouTube video clip:

For more information on air rifles, check out this blog post that Wes wrote. It has some great basic information and explains the differences and how it could be a viable alternative to hunting down .22 ammo!

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Matching the Gear Bag to the Event

One of the best feelings in the world is being able to go to the shooting range and just plink away for a couple hours. The problem is that many times people are not aware of how heavy their equipment is until they are at the range and lugging it from the car. The right equipment is needed for each type of shooting a person could be doing in a day, whether that be testing out the new shotgun or plinking with the old .22 there is always a bag for the job. The right range bag can make all the difference when the activity is shooting.

A day out shooting pistols is definitely a favorite of many shooters. A gear bag that has many compartments for those extra magazines is a must. Also a good gear bag for the day out shooting pistols is going to need a large main compartment where ammo boxes can be stored easily. The last thing a day at the pistol range bag needs is a good storage area for the pistols themselves. A great range bag for the day out at the pistol range is the RangeMaxx® Pistol Range Bag. With its extra pockets and large central compartment this bag has everything a shooter could need for a day at the pistol range, and the bag has a convenient shoulder sling to keep the weight manageable.

bag

When the air starts to warm many people start their routine of taking the shotgun out to the range for a day shooting clays. This day at the range is a little easier to prepare for because there are fewer needed components for the shotgun. So what is really needed in a good shotgun range bag is a large compartment where different boxes of shells can be kept separate from each other, and the spent shells can be carried. A good example of a shotgun range bag is the RangeMaxx® Deluxe 4-Box Carrier. This carrier has the extra pockets needed for those pesky choke tubes and the large central compartment for a few boxes of shells and room enough for the empty shells when the shooter is finished.

bag

After a day of work and running around town isn’t it nice to just grab a few guns and head out to the range. There are gear bags specially designed for these days, where multiple firearms will be used of all different calibers. When the day calls for pistols, shotguns and rifles a gear bag needs a lot of space. The pistols need safe storage as do their magazines. The ammo needs a large area for the different boxes to be stored and there needs to be some extra space for the spent casings after the trip is over. A great bag for this all around shooting day is the RedHead® 1856 Range Bag. This bag has the space needed for the storage of multiple boxes of ammunition as well as side pockets large enough to hold pistols and their magazines, as well as room enough for the spent casings after the day is out.

bag

A day at the range is a great joy for many people. Finding the range bag of choice should not be the hassle that keeps someone from going. Here are some great choices for different kinds of days at the range. As always happy hunting and good luck! 

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Why Air Guns?

by Wes Gudenkauf, Hunting Lead, Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Over the past year or so, as we all know, rimfire ammunition has been in short supply. With spring fast approaching, everyone is ready to get outside to do some shooting. An air rifle makes a great alternative to the never-ending search for .22 Long Rifle.

An air gun can come in just about any configuration that a person could want. From the beginner's Daisy Red Ryder to Gamo Whisper Fusion and even on to Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) rifles capable of extreme accuracy, better than their rimfire relatives, at only a fraction of the cost to shoot. Calibers include .177, .20, .22, and .25, just to name the most common. 

  • Multi-pump rifles. These are common just about anywhere that sells air guns, ranging from around $50 to $100. They generally shoot dual ammo, meaning pellets or BBs, in .177 caliber. These are a great option for backyard can plinking or the occasional pigeon hunt at close range. However, the Benjamin 392 is a .22 caliber that I think stands out in this category.  It fires a .22 caliber Rabbit in the crosshairspellet at 950 fps (feet per second) with eight pumps and is extremely accurate at ranges of 20-30 yards. At a price of $189.99, it is at the top of its class. 
  • The next step up will be the single-stroke, spring gun. These are the guns like the Gamo Silent Cat all the way up to their Varmint Hunter. These guns are also usually in .177 or .22 caliber, but do not shoot BBs. They can fire anywhere from 900 all the way up to 1450 fps. Yes, that's faster than a .22 Long Rifle. These are popular for pest control under 40 yards, and can be extremely accurate with the right pellet. 
  • Most manufacturers are developing Nitrogen Piston (NP) guns as well. Contrary to popular belief, some of the spring guns I talked about above are actually quite loud, with decibel readings up over 100 decibels. A .22 Long Rifle operates at 134 decibels with standard 1200 fps ammo. With that being said, even the loudest air gun is still considerably quieter than a .22. Just don't be deceived when an air rifle is advertised to be "quiet." The advantage to a Nitrogen Piston gun over a spring-operated is that the NP guns are about 20% quieter. With a .22 caliber pellet, the Benjamin Trail NP can operate at 950 feet per second -- more than enough energy to dispatch squirrels and other varmints!
  • The final category are the PCP or Pre-Charged Pneumatic. They have an internal reservoir that is filled with either CO2 or High Pressure Air (HPA) from a paintball tank, scuba tank, or high-pressure pump. Once these guns are filled, they provide anywhere from 20 shots in a .25 caliber capable of taking down coyotes less than 50 yards, to 70 shots in .177 caliber, making it easy to fill the rifle up with air for an afternoon of hunting or an hour at the range honing your shooting skills. Prices range anywhere from $120-$500 for commercially available rifles, like the Crosman RepeatAir 1077 with a 12 round rotary mag, and, just like regular firearms, the sky is the limit. Pre-Charged rifles often come with a shrouded barrel, which acts to muffle the report of the rifle. These guns can be so quiet you may wonder if they even went off until you see the target fall. 

Pellets for these rifles usually run about $12-$15 for 500, with more or less expensive varieties available. With that being said, it's about half the cost of .22 long rifle and they're always available. 

One last thing about the air gun - they might be neighbor friendly. Many cities allow the use of air guns within city limits. Please check with your local law enforcement before air gunning in city limits. 

Happy Shooting!

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Wes has been shooting and hunting since he was seven and, like most other hunters, his first rifle was a pellet rifle. He always enjoyed airgun hunting and recently became involved with the sport again. Wes is a competitive shooter in trap and skeet, USPSA (United States Pistol Shooters Association) open class, and IDPA (International Defense Pistol Association).

 

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Spring Turkey Season

It is that time of year again to get ready for the spring turkey hunting season. Preparation is key to an enjoyable and successful harvest of a wily gobbler. Usually this means gathering up all the gear you will need for a successful hunt. Such as decoys, calls, turkey vest, turkey ammunition, camouflage clothing and boots, bug repellant, hunting license, etc.  Making sure that everything is in great working condition before we head off into the woods helps increase our success in bringing home a big tom. Before you start to load up, these are questions you should ask yourself before your hunt, “Are all your calls and decoys in good shape? Have you patterned your shotgun with the new ammo or choke you bought? Are there any tears or holes in your boots?” Making a checklist a few weeks before your big hunt pays off immensely when you are out away from home and deep in the woods.

 

Speaking of preparation, be prepared to calm yourself from the excitement when that old gobbler shows up out of nowhere from behind you. Being still and not spooking turkeys is one of the hardest parts of turkey hunting except for calling. When it comes to calling turkeys, practice makes a big difference in how they respond. They have excellent hearing and know exactly where the calling is coming from. A naturally sounding call makes for gobblers responding and coming in for your decoys and bad calling will make them go quiet and spook them.

 

Planning out your hunt will make a difference on how successful your hunt will be. Doing a little preseason scouting and getting knowledge of where the turkey’s location will likely to be, helps in deciding what area to hunt. Also it is a good idea to have a second and maybe third choice of areas scouted out. Weather can also play a major factor in how much the turkeys are moving and responding to your calling. Calling can change from hour to hour or day to day. Sometimes soft purrs or clucks may work, sometimes loud excited calling does better and sometimes you can use a mixture of the two.

 

So in your preparation for spring turkey, make a list of all the equipment you will need for a successful hunt. From your gear, to practicing calling, to scouting your hunting areas, doing a proper preparation is a must to having not only a successful hunt, but a fun one.

 

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