Check it Out List: Bow Fishing

OK! I promise this will be the last bow fishing blog for a while! Sheesh! I know it was bad enough doing this month’s Fishy Fact blog about bowfin, but you can’t blame me. Bow fishing is really awesome. It is one of the few sports that combine two distinctly different outdoor passions into one (archery and fishing). It is also one of the few things that have gone from survival technique to big-league sport. I haven’t seen the International Fire Starters Championship, but there definitely is a U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship!

 

Bowfishing

Bow

Reel

Line

Arrows/Points

Accessories

 

Your bow can either be a recurve style or a compound style. (I believe Burt Reynolds had a recurve in Deliverance.) Both have their advantages. The recurve is very easy to learn and pretty simple. The compound has more features and gadgets. Crossbow options are available as well. It all depends on you. You won’t have to take 70 yard shots or anything like that, so really just figure out what works for you. Most people go with a compound though.

Hey, ever wonder what happens to all those bows we get from trade-in specials? Well we donate ours to a non-profit group that turns them into bowfishing rigs. So if you can get your hands onto an older bow for cheap, this might be a good option too!

The reel attaches to your bow and holds the line. The line is attached to your arrow. So hypothetically you would spot a fish, fire your arrow and (hopefully) hit the fish. You would then reel your line in, bringing the arrow and fish right back to you. This is nice, because if you miss you can simply reel it back in. Anybody who shoots archery will tell you what a pain it is losing arrows. Now the reel itself can be your standard set up, or one that closer resembles a spin-casting reel used for fishing.

Lines are pretty standard so it is whatever works best for you and your bow. Archery gear can be like anything else where it seems to prefer certain products. Just like your rifle might prefer certain manufacturer’s ammo.

The arrows don’t have any fletching, mostly because they don’t need them. The shots taken while bowfishing really are not that far. Once again, you’ll figure out what your bow likes as far as arrows go. Once you start looking at the different points, you’ll see a wide variety of options. It all kind of depends on what fish you will be going after and what you like shooting. But basically you will hit the fish and the blades will keep the fish from getting off as you reel in.

A big thing lately has been bowfishing for gators. Please note that you will need some heavy duty stuff for that, and it is best done with a guide. Seriously.

Accessories for bowfishing include gloves, scales, sunglasses, hats and all of your standard fishing accessories. Whether it be tools or apparel these are things you can pick up over time or use what you already have.

-Giddy-Up!!

Checked-Lists

Picnics Gun Cleaning Game Care First Aid Kayaking Day Pack Trip Prep Range Time

Fishing Pack Boating Day Trip Camp Cooking  Dove Hunting Upland Hunting Tactical Clothing

Winter Camping Reloading

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Broadheads and Turkey Hunting

.

Turkey season is rapidly approaching! Missouri will open for youth season on April 11th and 12th. The primary Spring Turkey season will open April 20th and go through May 10th. For you Kansas hunters out there, the archery only season opens up on the 6th of April and runs through the 14th. Archery/firearm will run April 15th through May 31st. Time to get your bow tuned up, check your arrows, broadheads and camo gear!!  A little preparation now will go a long way towards success and gives you that extra confidence in your equipment!

Now granted, there are more than a few that prefer to hunt turkeys with a shotgun…I get that, but there are those completely hardheaded individuals such as myself that will inevitably find themselves gravitating towards pursuing these challenging birds with a bow. With that undertaking, the difficulty greatly intensifies. The subtle movements and smooth swing of that shotgun barrel are exchanged for the motions of panning and/or drawing your bow to anchor at the same time. Oftentimes having to adjust your height or body position to clear limbs and surrounding brush. It’s a trial in patience. But the reward is worth the frustrations!  I’m going to run through a few broadheads, old and new, that will ensure clean, quick kills when that opportunity arises.

There is an increasing market for broadheads akin to the now famous Arrowdynamic Guillotine™ broadhead (SKU#’s 1346231, 1346213). These include the Tom Bomb™  from  Flying Arrow Archery, the Turkey D-Cap™ from Solid Broadheads , Turkey Tearror™ from American Broadhead and Rage Turkey™(SKU# 1875509)to name a few. Each offer insane cutting diameters and/or massive wound channels.  These are fantastic broadheads for that neck or headshot.

Not all will fly and perform the same though. Many of the drastic blade designs will require the extra stabilization of a Flu Flu arrow such as the Carbon Express(SKU# 1690454) or Gold Tip’s Twister (SKU#’s 2006844, 2013190, 2006842). Shooting a standard blazer will greatly decrease the accuracy you will want to make such a precise shot with large surface area broadheads. Blades such as the Turkey Tearror and Rage broadheads have lower bearing surface area’s and will do fine  with standard fletchings.

Regardless of the broadhead you choose, whether it be some new monstrosity or an old single edged 2 blade, there’s no substitute for good shot placement. Take your time and make some awesome memories!

Check out these other great articles!

Bow Hunting Gobblers

Spring Turkey Techniques


A. Herzog

ARCHERY TEAM LEAD

Independence, Missouri

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Redneck Resolutions

Tis’ the season

 To make reasons

To do things that you find more pleasin’.

Like that? It’s called poetry. It is also the intro to our New Year’s Resolution blog. We have been through a lot this year at our store, and we are sure you have to. The holiday season is coming to a close and now we can all look back and reflect. Reflection then turns to looking forward and seeing what to do differently or better.

For 2015 there is a goal to get back to basics and focus on what really matters. So below will be our Redneck Resolutions! A whole list, full of outdoor items to do and to take others with you on those adventures! Of course the standard get healthy and spend more time with the family should be included, but these resolutions will add to both of those!

2015 Bass Pro Shops Redneck Resolutions

Fishing

Fish More. At least twice a month.

Catch three new species of fish.

Try making your own baits.

Learn two new fishing skills, i.e. fly-fishing, fly-tying, drop-shotting, etc.

Tie a fly and name it after your significant other.

Hunting

Hunt More. If not once a month, practice with shotgun, rifle or bow once a month.

Try a long distance shot at least 50 yards past your comfort zone.

Play a round of HORSE with archery.

Clean out your gear and make organized packs for specific tasks.

Go on an out-of-state hunt with your best friend.

Hiking and Camping

Pick a random National Park and hike at least two different trails.

Camp at least once a month. Half of these trips needs to be to unfamiliar sites.

Hike somewhere with a good book and a PB&J sandwich. Just enjoy the outdoors for a few hours. Try and make it with Huckleberry Jelly cause that stuff is good!

Build your own shelter for a camping trip, instead of just putting up a tent.

Write your own ghost-story to tell around a campfire.

Perfect the smore. Once perfected, I’ll take two.

Boating

Go kayaking.

Go paddle-boarding.

Catch a fish while doing both of the above.

Learn any knot you might need while boating.

Volunteer at a Water Safety Course.

Other

Try home-brewing a beverage, your choice.

Go prospecting.

Learn some lumberjack-game skills.

Learn to can goods. Mason jars, ahoy!

Try growing vegetables.

Look into getting chickens.

These are all just suggestions, but hopefully give ya’ll some good ideas. 2015, get ready – because here we come!

-Giddy-Up!!

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Blind Hunting

When hunting being on the ground in the middle of the action is what many hunters are looking for from the hunt. The best way to do this is to be on the ground in the blind near where the deer will be out and about. But hunting from a blind and finding the right blind can be a challenge especially for those new hunters just getting in on the action. Here are some tips and tricks on how to pick the right blind for the area and get the blind ready for this hunting season.

The first step in blind hunting is finding the right blind for the type of hunting that is going to be taking place. For this a hunter needs to look at where the hunting is going to be taking place, what the brush around the blind will be and how many people will be in the blind come opening day. Since blinds come in all shapes and sizes knowing where the hunt will take place is the first step for finding the right blind. For blinds that will be on the periphery of a field a blind that is lightweight and easy to set up a while before the hunting season opens is a good idea. For this a good blind is the RedHead® Enigma™ 5 Ground Blind, this blind is lightweight with straps for brush to be directly attached to the blind without having to add extra weight with extra equipment to tie on brush.

Enigma 5

A different path that can be taken for this area on the tree line of a field would be a more permanent structure. A great blind for this would be the Shadow Hunter Octagon Archery Blind, since this blind has a door and windows that can be locked and sealed, this box blind is perfect for a permanent blind on the tree line. This blind is also great because the size makes it a good fit for not only archery hunters but rifle hunters also.

Shadow Hunter

While having a blind is all well and good, many times these blinds stick out on the ground like a sore thumb. So having a little netting or other camouflage to help break up the outline of the blind is never a bad thing. A great way to do this is to drape a piece of camouflage burlap over top of the blind, this being done bunch up pieces of the burlap randomly and attach them to the blind. These random bulges and flat places in the material will help break up the blind for the curious game that are looking for immediate threats. The next step is to cut the windows of the blind out of the material, since the material is easily movable it is preferred to cut three sides of the material and let the window be covered but still have the ability to be shot out of unhindered. Doing this gives the maximum concealment while still being usable. A good material for doing this is the Hunter's Specialties H.S. Camo Blind Material – Burlap, this material is easy to manipulate and cut while retaining the camouflage very well in all types of weather. For this type of extra concealment to work effectively the blind should be covered and brushed in a couple of weeks prior to the start of the hunting season in which it will be used.

Camo Burlap

Another type of blind hunting will take place in the middle of a field with stubble and hay bales. A new way to use a blind is to mimic a hay bale close to a game trail where an identified group has been seen. Since a hay bale is so innocuous to many animals, and are seen to move so often many times deer and other game species will not notice a new hay bale in a field. So using something like the Redneck Blinds Sportsman Bale Hunting Blind, keeps a hunter concealed and a game animal in the dark as to the fact that they are being hunted. This little extra advantage can be the difference in a successful hunt and a slow day in the blind.

Bale Blind

Finally there is one last thing to look at when hunting in a ground blind. That is gear storage while in the blind. While being on the ground and near the action is fun and exciting, it can be hard on gear if not done properly. This is where gear holders and blind shelves come in handy. Having something like the HME Products Ground Blind Accessory Shelf, hung in a blind helps keep things like game calls and binoculars off the ground and away from moisture in the mornings. Also having something like the HME Products Ground Blind Gun Holder or the HME Ground Blind Bow Holder, will keep everything else in the blind off the ground that could possibly be damaged by dew in the morning, while keeping the gear close at hand for a quick shot.

gunbowshelf

Now that the blind is picked and brushed in, the gear is stowed off the ground and the game is moving it is time for some blind hunting. Remember to brush in the blind before season so the game animals get used to the new object in their area. Then get to the blind very early before the animals start moving for the best concealment. As always happy hunting and good luck!

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Look at That! SHE Outdoor

So most of the time when a couple goes around Bass Pro Shops together, it’s usually the husband who will just stop and look at something. I mean, just look at it! Sometimes I feel bad for our ladies but then again I’ve done my time in Macy’s. But lately women have been getting into the outdoors in a big way, and there is a product line that can stop a women dead in her tracks and just look at it!

SHE Outdoor has brought an amazing number of products to the market just for ladies. Hunting has been a “man’s game” for a long time so women’s products have been slow to come about. Now however, it’s time for the ladies to shine!

As their page says

“SHE Outdoor offers a full line of hunting clothing specifically tailored for the female body. In times past all women had to choose from was square and bulky men's clothing in smaller sizes that greatly impeded their movement when shouldering firearms, drawing bows, stalking game, climbing treestands, or while doing what hunters do most—walking. Wearing proper fitting clothing allows women to now concentrate solely on the hunt.

SHE Outdoor offers a complete line of hunting clothing ranging from noninsulated shirts and pants for safaris and early season hunts in North America, to insulated and waterproof outerwear for hunting waterfowl, or going after big game in Alaska. No matter where your adventure takes you, SHE Outdoor has you covered. “

Part of the fun of hunting is picking up new gear. We men salivate over reviews from Field & Stream and Outdoor Life and now women can do the same. It really opens it up for husbands to share with their wives, fathers with their daughters and women hunters to their friends a chance to share a passion.

SHE Outdoor also has its own line of professional women hunters that help give insight and a face to connect to for other female hunters. Just like how young athletes have their superstar idols that they aspire to be like, women hunters now have the same. Some of the biggest inspirations for women getting into the outdoors, especially archery, were the female characters from Brave and The Hunger Games.

SHE Outdoor comes in all the standard patterns that any hunter would need. What is nice is that they also didn’t go extremely effeminate with it. I mean there is nothing wrong with some pink and camo, but SHE Outdoor did not go overboard on it. They make good quality gear.

I mean would ya just look at it!

-Giddy-Up!!

Other Nifty Things to Look At!

Propane Fire Ring

Hand Towels

Rainproof Camo

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Preparing For the Hunt!

Preparing For the Hunt!

By: Mike Reynolds

With hunting season here and the days getting a little shorter, now would be a good time to switch gears in your life and think deer hunting.   Once archery opens, its full tilt for the rest of the season.   Time, even more than normal, will be at a premium.  Now would be a good time to go through your gear.  Its way better to find out you need to replace something while you are in your driveway rather than as a deer of a lifetime walks in you shooting lane. 

I like to go over each type of gear separately.   I have boxes for each species I hunt so all I have to do is grab a box and go.  By keeping everything separate, I know everything I need for that hunt is right where I need it to be. Plano Molding makes a great box for this.  The Sportsman’s Trunk is ideal for getting everything in a handy portable box.  The folks at Plano even put wheels on it for easy maneuvering.   I like to take everything out and spread it out either on the floor or on a table.  I almost always find something broken that I tossed in the box last season and forgot about.  By getting everything out you will be able to make sure it’s all in working order and ready to go. 

Make sure clothes are in good repair, not ripped or faded.  I have found that sometimes over the summer clothes shrink while they are sitting in the box.  I’m not sure how that happens but it does.  I like to get those shirts and pants replaced.  Now is the time to wash your deer clothes in scent-free laundry soap.  Once I get them washed I like to put them in a giant Zip-Lock bag.  The camping dept. has a great selection.   This will keep them as scent free as possible.  Once you have your clothes taken care of, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure your favorite boots are in good shape.  Nothing can ruin a hunt faster than cold wet feet. 

Last year’s boots can be fine so long as they still fit and haven’t sprung a leak.  Everyone hates breaking in new boots but there’s good news-most boots now have a very short break in period if any at all.  I love the RedHead brand of boots with Gore-Tex.  This makes them not only waterproof but also helps keep your feet as dry as possible by allowing moisture to escape.  As anyone who spends any itme in the outdoors knows dry is warm.

The last things that need your attention will be the stuff you carry in your pack.  We all carry different things so you should make sure all are in working order.   I like to take the calls apart and clean any dirt or weed seeds that may have gotten into the reeds.  A light rinse in warm water doesn’t hurt either.  I also clean out any garbage that I have put in there.  It never ceases to amaze me how much trash I accumulate, then again one of the most common items in my pack is food.   I always put the wrappers in my pack.  I usually find trash that I take out as well.

If you can find the time before season starts to do basic maintenance on your gear, you will have more time to do what we all live for come fall.  Every minute spent prepping now will give you that much more time in the stand waiting for Mr. Tender and Juicy.

 

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Must Have Footwear For Your Hunting Adventures

With summer on its way out that can only mean one thing…. Yep, you guessed it hunting season is just around the corner! With Archery and Rifle season coming up so fast it is safe to say that it is time to get geared up, and what better way to do that than with a new pair of hunting boots. Here at Bass Pro Shops of Independence we have many choices to cater to all of our Hunters and Huntresses.  We carry many different brand options all the way from Danner to RedHead to suit anyone’s needs. One example is the Danner Pronghorn. We carry this boot in a non-insulated, 400 gr, and 800gr. Danner is well known for quality as well as comfort and is sure to make your hunting season warm, comfortable, and dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also carry our RedHead line of hunting boots we have many styles that range in height and insulation, I could talk about them all day but for now I’ll just have to choose two great options that any hunter would love. The first is our Redhead 7” RCT, this boot is non-insulated and GORE-TEX making it both Waterproof and breathable, what a perfect match! Some other features include a non-slip outsole, reinforced toe, and a lug outsole.

 

The next RedHead boot I would like to tell you about is the Bighorn. The RedHead Bighorn has Bone-Dry waterproof technology along with 800 grams of Thinsulate providing you with a warm dry boot that is sure to keep you comfortable into the colder months of the season. This boot is made out of tough abrasion resistant cordura so, those pesky twigs and corn stalks that try to snag you won’t stand a chance!

 

And now for all our Huntresses out there let’s talk about our Line of SHE boots exclusively made for woman, we have several styles here at your local BassPro Shops but for now I’ll just tell you about two. The first is my personal favorite, the SHE Cami 9” insulated hunting/hiker. As the name states this boot is a cross between a Hunter and a hiker making it perfect for your tracking needs as well. This boot features a 100% waterproof/moisture wicking membrane and 600 gram thinsulate that is sure to keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable so you can keep your mind on bagging that Prize winning Buck or Doe.

 

 

We also carry the SHE Expedition. This boot sports 1000 grams of thinsulate to comfortably carry you through the later months of the season. It is also 100% Bone-Dry waterproof with an aggressive non-slip outsole.

 

And last but not least, I have to mention our lifetime socks. They will pair perfectly with any of our hunting boots. They come in men’s and woman’s and feature 100% itch free wool that is sure to keep you warm and comfortable all the way through the season as well as for everyday use and did I mention they have a LIFETIME warranty? It doesn’t get much better than that.

As you can see, we have many choices to suit any hunter or huntresses needs. Come visit your Independence Bass Pro Shops to see our full selection as well as the before mentioned styles. Happy Hunting everyone and as the famous Ted Nugent says, “Whack em’ Stack em’, and Pack em’!”

-Chelsea McDaniel Team Lead Footwear

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Red Head Blackout SS bow

 

            This time of year, very little is going on in the hunting community. It’s either too hot to get out in all that gear, or people are out enjoying themselves fishing, and partying on the lake. However, this time of year is also when a variety of new products come out for the upcoming hunting season. Hunters start getting that pre-season itch, and along with air conditioning, it’s a great excuse to find your way to your local Bass Pro Shops and check out what new toys are going to be available.

            This year, one of our new toys is the Red Head Blackout SS bow, made by Diamond/Bowtech. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t they already come out with one of those?” And you’re right. Back at the tail end of 2010/beginning to 2011, Diamond Archery came out with the original Red Head Black Out bow, and it did fairly well. With a 7 inch brace height, 26.5-30.5 draw length range, as well as 50-60 and 60-70 limb availability, it easily matched up with some of the bows in its market. It has the ability to shoot 333 fps, which is up there in the bow speeds and darn right impressive for a single cam bow. Not to mention the remarkable let off that has you feeling (in my opinion) little to no weight past that back wall. It’s light weight (a whopping 3.8 pounds!), 32 inch brace axle-to-axle and even comes in a fancy Real Tree camo pattern.

            Any experienced bow shooter knows these specs are about average in bows nowadays. From Mathews to Hoyt pro line, they’ve come out with bows some may argue are bigger and better. However, if you look back, that was AFTER Diamond archery produced the Black Out. Hoyt produced the Spyder 30 in 2011 with a 30 inch axle-to-axle, 330 fps, and a 6 ¾ brace height. But, the Spyder 30 is also a dual cam bow. Dual cams have the ability to store more energy upon a complete revolution by both top and bottom cams while pulling the same amount of weight, while single cams only have the one on bottom to do the same. Single cams also have a reputation for being smoother and quieter, while Dual cams are bit more noisy with the string slap. A good example of this is the Mathews Chill, and the Mathews Creed, both of which were released in 2013.

I shoot the Creed, while my younger brother shoots the Chill, and we wouldn’t have it any other way, or rather, that’s what we thought. The Creed is a 30 inch ATA, 318 fps with a 400 grain arrow (68lbs), 7 inch brace height, and 3.8 pounds bare bow. It’s not the fastest, but it’s smooth, and quiet. The Chill is 31 inches ATA, 324 fps with a 400 grain arrow (70lbs), 3.8 lbs bare bow, and a 6 ¾ brace height. Both are impressive, and have their perks. And again, these were produced 2 years AFTER the Red Head Black Out.

            When I shot the Black Out, I had my reservations, but they were quickly put to bed after a few arrows flung down range. As I mention before, the let off is virtually unfelt at 70 lbs, and the output was 325 fps with a 400 grain arrow. Not much faster than the Chill, but it’s a SINGLE cam, versus the DUAL cam Chill. If that doesn’t give you goose bumps, I don’t know what does. Now the new Black Out SS is essentially the same bow spec wise, but it’s got a few tweaks here and there. With custom dampeners found only on the BowTech destroyer (but being made by Diamond/Bowtech, it makes it an exclusive accessory) and a milled riser that brings it down to a light 3.5 pounds, it manages to bring notable results to the range. From 20 yards and at 70 lbs, when I shot a group of 4 arrows, all of them managed an average of 14 inch penetration with a 400 grain arrow and a field tip. Still a single cam, other than a quick, solid thunk it is screaming fast, powerful, and quiet. The back wall is a bit stiff, but I also shot it right out of the box. After about 20 or so arrows, it loosened up and the back wall wasn’t even noticeable.

            To top off all of these remarkable statistics that follow this bow, it also comes in a stealthy looking black, and an “extra green” real tree pattern. Like I mentioned before, my brother and I shoot the Mathews bows, but after both of us shot the new Black Out SS, we are reconsidering our preferences and starting a pre-season piggy bank, with the Black Out SS being the first thing for both of us on our list to buy.

            Oh! And if you’re still having second thoughts, compared to a Mathews or Hoyt bow that typically runs for around $1000 MSRP bare bow, the Black Out SS comes Ready to Hunt package for only $599. How ‘bout them apples?

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Camp and Kayaks!

There are only three weekends and two weeks of Family Summer Camp activities left at Bass Pro Shops Altoona! Our Family Summer Camp is a perfect way to spend a hot, weekend afternoon with the kids - outdoor activities, plus our inside workshops.

Even better, it's a GREAT way to beat the heat on a weekday afternoon - kids can have fun and learn at the same time!

Schedule - June 28, 29, July 1 & 3

Free outdoor activities from noon until 5 p.m. including the Daisy BB gun range, casting, and archery.

Free crafts - Noon - 2 p.m. - Crafts change each week! This week's craft is a personal camp journal!

Homemade ice cream sampling - 5-6 p.m. on Saturday evening only

Last, but not least, our popular workshops - Each child receives a lanyard at their first workshop and a pin for each workshop they attend throughout the summer. Collect all nine pins! [Catch and Release Pond]

Workshops Schedule

Saturday, June 28
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sunday, June 29
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Tuesday, July 1
12 p.m. - Birdwatching
1 p.m. - Fishing
2 p.m. - Archery
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Thursday, July 3
12 p.m. - Archery
1 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
2 p.m. - Travel safety
3 p.m. - Water Safety
4 p.m. - Camping and Conservation

Also going on this weekend:

Kayak Pool at Bass Pro Shops AltoonaKayak Pool!

Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29, Noon-5 p.m. - Our kayak pool was delayed earlier this month...now it really is back! Come try out one of our kayaks in this safe, non-threatening environment. We have the kayaks and all the gear - you bring the desire to learn about kayaking!

Saturday, June 28 - Legal Heat Concealed Carry Class - 9:30-1:30 (Uncle Buck's Private Dining Room) - Register ahead of time at www.mylegalheat.com.

__________________________

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @ pinterest.com/bpsaltoona
View us @ 
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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Family Summer Camp 2014 @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

This weekend our very popular Family Summer Camp is back! Kids' workshops and activities every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from June 7 to July 13! All activities begin at noon - we will have the casting buckets, archery range and Daisy BB Shooting Range, plus the additional fun events listed below!

Our first two weekends feature two special events:

Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8 ONLY

  • Catch and Release Pond

Noon-5 p.m. - Kids can experience FREE fishing at our big indoor catch and release pond! We supply the gear, you bring in the kids! Big thanks to the Northern Polk Pheasants Forever for assisting us June 7 with the pond!

  • Free Photo Download

Noon - 5 p.m. - Free photo download for kids - like they're on the cover of Outdoor Kids magazine!

Workshops

Free workshops for kids are held every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday through July 13! This weekend's workshop schedule is:

Saturdays
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/family-summer-camp-2014#sthash.JE2iiTVb.dpuf

Saturday:
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sunday:
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

For Tuesday and Thursday's schedules, visit our Facebook page.

CraftsFamily Summer Camp 2014 Craft Week one

A different craft each week! The craft for June 7 & 8, 10 &12 craft is:
Color a Wooden Ring Toss (while supplies last)

 

Don't forget - Every Saturday evening from 5-6 p.m. (or while supplies last) we'll be serving up samples of homemade ice cream!

 

Coming Up! 

June 14-15 - Family Summer

Camp features the KAYAK POOL!  Young and old can try kayaking in our 20x50 ft pool!

Kayak Pool @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Kayak Pool - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaKayak Pool @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

 

 

 

 

__________

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @ pinterest.com/bpsaltoona
View us @ 
youtube.com/bassproshopsaltoona 
Saturdays
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sundays
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/family-summer-camp-2014#sthash.JE2iiTVb.dpuf
Saturdays
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sundays
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/family-summer-camp-2014#sthash.JE2iiTVb.dpuf
Saturdays
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sundays
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/family-summer-camp-2014#sthash.JE2iiTVb.dpuf
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It's Almost Gobble Time!

With Deer Season over and Waterfowl season all but over and with old man winter's grasp keeping us from doing to many outdoor activities. Its time for all of us outdoorsmen and woman to start thinking towards springtime adventures. My favorite spring time tradition has to be chasing those big ole long beard turkeys. Now is a great time to staring digging out all of your turkey gear and see what you need to replace. If you are like me then your can bet that you lost a few call strikers or a few shells out of your turkey vest last spring. Seems I can never get through a season without miss placing something. Or maybe you have everything but you just need to upgrade those old decoys that the paint is coming off of or replace that old call that doesn't quite sound as good as it used to. Whatever it may be, I would rather find it now with time to shop instead of the night before and every place is sold out. Plus. shopping now with smaller crowds gives you the time to study all the new products that have come out for 2014. From guns to decoys, the list is long. A couple that I'm real exited about are: Zink's new look hen decoys ($79.99). Have brand new postures and paint for 2014. They by far the most realistic decoys out there with out it being a real bird. A must have for all you die hard hunters. If you are looking for a new turkey load  this year. You have to check out Winchesters new long beard XR.  ($23.99)

Its a lead load with there new Shot-Lok Technology is sure to have your favorite gun shooting Tighter patterns in no time. And another item to go with it is Redheads new Blackout turkey tubes.($39.99)

We have a tube to fit just about any gun you may have in your safe. It is sure to help your turkey gun get all of its BB'S on target your next time out. Redhead also has come out with 2 new calls: A Reality series walnut/glass slate style and Box call.

 

Your choice ($39.99).

 

They are special edition NWTF calls that sound as good as they look. With the Reality series turkey logo and the NWTF logo. You wont know if you want to hunt with it or just display it. Also, when your purchase one you will find a card inside for a free 1 year membership to the NWTF. A $35 value. What a deal. Great call and a membership to a great organization. A must have for any serious turkey hunter. 

The NWTF is also helping with an event here at your Independence Bass Pro Shops on  April 5th. The store with the help from the local Jacomo Strutters NWTF chapter with be holding its first ever Turkey calling competition - open to all ages. There will be 2 divisions: Youth Division will be 17 and under and a Open Division for adults. There will be trophies and prizes for the top 3 in each division. Mark your calendars. Its going to be a fun day for all. For info and registration, please check us out on Facebook or feel free to contact April in the promotions dept. here at the store - amvertako@basspro.com. 

Also, here are a couple more dates to put on your calendars. On March 29th at the lake Lotawana Sportsman club, the Jacomo Strutters are having their 13th annual Jakes Event for kids 6 thru 17. It is an all day event that will have every youngster wanting more. They will get to do everything from Trap to archery and even get some calling pointers from someone who hunts for a living. They serve breakfast and lunch to all.  Also, if your are lucky enough, you may get chosen for a giveaway: A fully guided hunt this spring. There is also a fun night for mom and dad. On May 9th, they will hold there 16th annual Heritage Supper Banquet which includes a great catered dinner and live and silent auctions and tons of raffles. It will be a great night of fun and relaxation. It will also be at the Sportsman's club. We Hope to see you at all of the events. For info for the events, you can locate the NWTF Jacomo Strutters Chapter on there Facebook Page. Or stop by the store and pickup a flyer at are gun counter or see them here on the weekends. They will have a table near are hunting dept. Make sure you sign up early as seating will be Limited. As always, from Your local Bass Pro Shops, have a safe and fun hunting season!

 

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1926 - Scouting Spreads Along the Florida Panhandle

In 1926, the Scouts in the Panama City and Marianna areas were organized into the Choctawhatchee Council with headquarters in Dothan, Alabama, which was already serving a number of other counties in southeast Alabama.  The annual report of the National Council for 1926 listed 39 Scout Troops with 766 Scouts in the Choctawhatchee Council.  An interesting note shown in the cost per Scout reported $9.24 each, which would have made the Council's budget for that year, $7,077.

Mr. W. L. Sprouse was named as the first Scout Executive of the Choctawhatchee Council with offices in Dothan.  Mr. Sprouse wrote with admiration of the early days in that area, telling of Camp Cheerful in the Bear Creek section of Bay County, which at that time was the BSA Camp directed for 15 counties in Alabama and Florida.  It was a "real wilderness camp".  Today's maps show no trace of Camp Cheerful, however Bear Creek runs northeast of Saint Andrews Bay towards the Youngstown, Florida area.

Mr. Sprouse also said, "we used to ramble over Walton, Holmes, Jackson, Bay, Calhoun, and Washington counties on the Scouting Trail.  The pioneer days passed all too soon.  Even now I can see and hear the old gang gathered around the campfire at Camp Cheerful on beautiful Bear Creek where we held our summer camps".

Beginning in 1961, the Spanish Trail Scout Reservation was founded just west of Defuniak Springs.  It offers full camping facilities at two main camps; Camp Euchee and Camp Jambo.  Featuring a 40 acre lake for swimming, canoeing, and fishing, there is also a large dining hall, shooting and archery ranges, and outdoor ampitheatre.

Part of the Choctawhatchee Council was incorporated into the present day Gulf Coast Council headquartered in Pensacola and currently serves over 15,000 youth in 11 counties.  The Council encompasses four Districts:  Pensacola Bay (Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida), Long Leaf Pine (Conecuh, Escambia, and Monroe counties in southwest Alabama), Choctawhatchee (Okaloosa and Walton counties in Florida), and Lake Sands (Bay, Gulf, Holmes, and Washington counties in Florida).

Camping has certainly come a long way from primitive camping, surplus canvas tents, cooking over open campfires, and dim flashlights of the 1920's.  Today's camper has a wide variety of lightweight and watertight tents, warm sleeping bags, long lasting and very bright led lanterns and flashlights, and propane or liquid fueled stoves.  Let Bass Pro Shops outfit your Scout or Troop with the very best in camping gear.

Destin Bass Pro Shops continues to support Scouting and wishes them another 100 years of success on the Gulf Coast.

Gary Feduccia

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The Traveling Bowhunter. Pack Smart and Light.

The other day a guy came into the archery department and showed me a very disturbing photograph.  He had been on a 10 day hunting trip to North Dakota and on his return flight the airline ran over his bow case with the bow in it.  The bow case was destroyed and his bow took a little damage.  Imagine if this would have been on the arriving flight and not the returning home flight?

We hear time and time again about misfortunes that hunter’s experience when traveling to hunt a new area or state.  These hunters sometimes have put in for tags for several years to get the chance for a “Once in a lifetime” hunt.  On their way to the hunting adventure, the airline looses their baggage or bow.  Sometimes the gear shows up destroyed and unusable.  What do you do now?

Plan ahead!  Plan for the worst.

Many of us have driven to hunting locations and load our pickup to the gills with everything we “Might” need.  This unfortunately doesn’t work well when dealing with the airlines or even more so, a fly in trip to Alaska or Canada where you are limited to maybe 50 or so pounds of gear plus yourself and what you are wearing.

Pack Smart!  Determine what you “Need” not what you “Want” on the trip.

Use a scale to weigh what you think you need.  Find out from the airline and the bush pilot what your max weights can be and how many bags you are allowed.  Pack and weigh.

Clothing:

Layering is by far the best way to achieve all of your goals here.  Comfort, and weight reducing.  Today there are many choices of high performance gear.  Start with moisture wicking under clothes.  The are very light, compact and effective in keeping you dry.

Next layer should be a Cold Gear type of clothing.  Clothing that allows moisture to pass from you out away from your body and yet retains heat during those chilly sits.

A wind proof jacket with plenty of pockets.

Full set of high performance pants and jacket, rain gear.  Many of these will fold and stow within their own pockets.  These pieces of gear are light, compact and very effective in keeping out the rain.  Tip… Cut a ¼ sheet of chamois and place in your rain jacket pocket.  This can be used to wipe off your lenses on your binoculars and rangefinders.

Socks are often a shortcut that many hunters take or don’t think much about.  Even if the rest of your body is dry and comfortable, if your feet are damp, you will be miserable.  Purchase yourself moisture wicking liners and wool socks.  Just like you layer your body to stay comfortable, layer your feet too.  They need to breathe and release moisture to be comfortable.  In the event your feet do get wet the wool will keep your feet warm so the rest of you warm too.  Wool also dries very quickly so will be ready the following day or twos days at the most.

Boots should be very comfortable and broke in before the trip.  If you hiking many miles a day, consider a lower gram weight of insulation like Thinsulate.  This will keep your feet from overheating.  I prefer a nice arch support or cork bed to keep my feet comfortable.  Boots with replaceable liners are a good choice as you can dry out one set one day and wear the other the same day.

Gloves and hats now come lightweight and with very effective wicking and warm materials.  Your head is the primary heat loss part of your body.  Keep it warm and dry and most likely the rest of your will be warm too.

Equipment:

Purchase a SKB bow case.  They are extremely tough and take much abuse.  These cases may cost a little more but they also come with a $1500 gear insurance policy, and worth the few extra dollars in the long run.

Pack a dozen arrows with broadheads removed and store in an arrow tube.  Broadheads will pack easier removed from arrows and are less susceptible of damaging your bowstrings or gear in transport.  An extra bowstring and cables are very light and might come in handy if you or your buddy dry fires your bow or you accidentally damage the strings.  With so many different bows on the market now and each having different sizes of strings and cables, you most likely won’t find the proper set at a bow shop in any part of the country.  Carry an extra set of “shot in” strings and you will be good.

With my bow I will mark my cams with a permanent marker so that I can make sure my cams are in time at all times and if I have to change strings and or cables I can get it back in time quickly not wasting valuable hunting time.  I also measure key parts of my bow such as Nock Height, Peep Height, Brace Height, Tiller, Draw Weight and Rest locations.  I write them on a tape on my limbs so not to loose or forget them.

Binoculars, rangefinders, GPS units, SPOT units and cameras should be packed in your carry on.  You will ensure they will make it there and safely.  GPS units are a place you can save a little weight.  Garmin produces units that have GPS and cameras built in one unit.  The Rhino unit even has radio capabilities, check local laws though to see if a radio is allowed when hunting.

Now to pack it all up:

Your carry-on you should use your backpack.  Place all of your heavy items like cameras, binoculars, GPS units and rangefinders.  Pack your rain gear, gloves and caps in the pack as well.

In your bow case pack your bow, arrows and extra set of strings and cables, broadheads, a change of clothes including some socks and a change of camo.  If your other luggage becomes lost at least you still have some clothes to wear for the first few days of the hunt until your bags arrive and it helps protect your gear in the bow case.  Print on- a piece of paper, your name, destination, flight number and your contact number, as well as the hunting location’s address.   Print one of these for both the outbound and return flight and lay it on top of everything before you close your bag. This makes it really easy for airlines to know where the bag needs to go should they get misplaced.

Once you have everything packed up label your bags.  Put hard labels on the outside of your bags identifying who you are and where you live.  Before you leave on your trip print out on full sheets of paper your name, flight numbers, contact numbers and final destination.  This is true for your trip home too.  Just before you leave place the sheets that have your destination info in the bag so that if it gets lost the airline can open it and see where it needs to go.  Then do the same thing on your flight home.

The best practice is to plan for the worse.  Once you find a system that works for you record it down so that the next trip will be easier to pack.

Good luck and Shoot Straight.
 

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Friday Featured Fan Spotlight

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Facebook fans are among the most LOYAL fans in the world. They come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Between pursuing a college degree and part-time employment, time can fly. Enjoying outdoor activities become even more appreciated. Uriah Hanson, a management student at Drake University and labor relations specialist at MidAmerican Energy, is a fan who appreciates all his moments spent outdoors.

FEATURED FAN - URIAH

How Long have You Enjoyed the Great Outdoors? Forever!

Uriah and dogs

Uriah, like many sportsmen and women, got started at a young age...and like many others, he learned from a family member. It was that experience that gave him the bug for the birds.

"I first remember going fishing with my dad and family when I was four or five years old. It wasn’t until I turned 11, and we started pheasant hunting together, that I really got hooked on the sport. It was my first hunting experience and the game that kick-started my love for the outdoors. There is nothing more exciting than the flush of a rooster right under your toes and seeing good dogs in the field. Training my own dogs and being able to see them work and learn right before my eyes, as we’re hunting, is another reason I love hunting upland birds. Being able to see all my hard work and effort pay off for the dogs and for me is one of the best feelings there is."

Uriah is very involved with the North Polk Pheasants Forever Chapter, which has seen tremendous growth. As a public lands hunter, he Uriah Hansonrelishes being involved with an organization that can do so much good to extend the life of those hunting grounds.

"I really enjoy being a part of the chapter, not only for the great board members that I work with and have become friends with, but also to see all the good that the chapter is able to do. Just in the past year we have spent over $15,000 on local habitat restoration at public hunting areas such as Paul Errington Marsh and Big Creek State Park. I hunt and spend my time almost completely on public grounds, so it's a pleasure to be a part of an organization putting so much time, effort, and money into making those grounds the best they can possibly be. The other aspect I love is being a part of our youth involvement, youth events, and contributions to youth shooting initiatives. Whether it's donating money or supplies to the Ankeny trap team, or sponsoring a mentored youth hunt/education day that we do annually, seeing those kids light up, when they shoot their first clay pigeon or pheasant, is a feeling that you can’t help but be proud of."

What's Your Favorite Outdoor Activity? Hunting

"I try to get outside and do something as often as possible between work and school!  One of my favorite things to do is get outside with Uriah and friends at Drake University stadium!my girlfriend and our dogs. We enjoy taking them for walks and runs on many of the public areas throughout the metro in the evenings. I also enjoy being able to get the dogs out in the fields in the fall and actually hunt with them...it's great being able to watch them grow and learn right before your eyes.

"I am an avid hunter and go after numerous species but my main targets are pheasants, ducks/geese, deer (both gun and archery), and turkeys. Normally, if there is a hunting season going on, I am going to be out after something!  In the off season I fish occasionally, but not a ton. Instead, I normally spend my time outdoors during the summer at the lake or working with the dogs."

Go-To Gear? Knife

"I always have a good knife handy...when I don’t I usually wish that I did. There are tons of times where you’re in the middle of a hunt or climbing into your stand and realize there is a loose cord or string that needs cut, and that’s when you hope that the knife is still in the pack where you last saw it. On top of that, when it comes time to clean the animals after the hunt, it tends to be hard to do without the knife.

Words of Wisdom?  It's not the kill of the hunt, it's the experience.

"Take advantage of every opportunity you have to get outdoors. Whether it’s a walk on a trail or hunting elk out west, it’s not about the kill or achieving something that matters in the end. It’s just the ability to get out, take in the fresh air, and enjoy the surroundings. 

"I think all too often we get so busy in everyday life that we forget to take a step back and enjoy the simple things like a timber in the fall, or a fresh snowfall in the middle of January.  The simple things are sometimes the things that can make life the happiest.

"In September, I had the opportunity to go on a DIY elk hunt in Colorado with a good friend. We spent a week in the mountains, sleeping in a tent and eating granola bars and soup, only to come out a week later with no elk. The trip was still a success. For me to have the ability to see parts of the country and wilderness like that were priceless. It’s trips like that where you really get to see the beauty of the outdoors and understand that hunting isn’t about the killing or harvesting, but rather spending time with good friends and family and seeing nature at its purest form."

__________________________________

the North Polk Pheasants Forever hosts its 25th Annual Banquet in February 2014! 

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @ pinterest.com/bpsaltoona

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Gearing Up For Archery Season

Deer Target

Deer season is getting close and that means everyone is getting their bows out to start practicing. Most hunters take this opportunity to get the bow out of the closet, knock the rust off it and start slinging arrows. No one wants to get out in the woods unprepared. This warm up time will make sure that your bow is still shooting like it was last year.

But before you shoot you should always check your bow out to make sure it still looks safe to shoot. Check the limbs to be sure they are not cracking, check the string to make sure it is not fraying, check your release D-loop to be sure it is not fraying and check all of your accessories. Also be sure to look over each of your arrows very carefully. Every component of your bow can be very dangerous if it is not in perfect shape.

If you want to have your bow worked on you can bring it by our Archery department and one of our associates will help you out. They will look over the bow, fix anything that is wrong and give you some tips and pointers. Everyone in the archery department is highly qualified and very knowledgeable.

 

 

Red Head Blackout Bow Package

 Everything that I have talked about so far is irrelevant if you do not have a bow. Pictured here on the left is our Redhead Blackout bow package. It is the top of the line bow of our RedHead series and it is a serious shooter and for a price of $599.99 you get all the performance of a $800+ bow.

Here are the specs on the RedHead Blackout bow package:

  • Throttle Cam Tech
  • Rotating draw length modules
  • Adjust draw length between 26.5'' and 30.5''
  • Limb-mounted bearing assembly
  • Highest-tolerance fully machined riser
  • IBO Speed: 333+ fps
  • 80% let-off Single Cam
  • 3-pin sight
  • Hostage™ arrow rest
  • One-piece 5-arrow quiver
  • 5" stabilizer
  • Installed string suppressor
  • Installed peep sight and sling

 This package bow would be a great contribution to the rest of your hunting gear. Come by the Archery department here at Bass Pro and Audie, Ben, Kraig, David or Rick will get you fixed up with a bow and let you test fire all the bows that you like.

Bow season starts October 15th so be sure to start getting ready!

 

Happy shooting,

Grayson

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Bow Season is Upon Us

September 28th is opening weekend for bow season this year and it is approaching quickly. This time of the year the archery department is busy seven days a week as people are tuning up bows, honing in their skills and getting prepared for the season. As you hunters look over your gear and evaluate possible upgrades or some adjustments, know that Bass Pro Shops in Garland has well trained bow techs and avid bow hunters working at the counter. We are confident in working on or with any bow you may bring into our shop.  So if you notice that your old arrow rest may look worn or a bit outdated please bring it up to us. Our techs will suggest a rest that is affordable and compatible for your setup. Or perhaps your sight just is not as bright as you may want, we have plenty of sights that are affordable and maintenance free. The convenient features found in these two products allow hunters to make last minute adjustments without having to spend a lot of time setting everything back up. A quick swap of a sight or rest can make the difference in bagging your 2013 trophy.

One rest I would like to mention is the Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit. This whisker biscuit is offered in several sizes and either black or camo. At a $39.99 price point, this arrow rest is affordable and features easy adjustability that puts you the shooter back on target in no time. (Prices will range $39.99-$69.99 depending on features and color)

Arrow Rest

 A fiber optic sight I would suggest looking at would be the Trophy Ridge Outlaw 4 pin sight. This sight is light weight and has four .019” fiber optic pins. Other special features include a sight light and it is ambidextrous so it will mount to either a right or left handed bow. This is a tough sight to beat at the price of $49.99 and it makes for an excellent last minute upgrade to improve your odds this season. Come in and see us here at Bass Pro Shops in Garland and let us help make this year’s bow season one of your best. 

Outlaw Bow Sight

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On Point with RedHead Arrow Tips

So one of the first blogs I ever did was about getting into archery. In it I discussed the basics that you would need to start this life-long passion that more and more people are showing interest in. (I also showed how to get these basics for under $650, before tax.)

 Since then I have realized I should have included a few other items to snag at the initial purchase, such as a case. Just like a firearm, you want to protect your gear. But the blog was about just simply getting into it for fun. What usually happens though is that the simple fun factor is replaced by a passion for more.

I have heard more times that I can count how hunters who switch to archery rarely go back to firearms. Here in Arizona, we work off a lottery system for our big game hunts. Some people never get drawn and others seem to get to go every year! Archery provides Arizona hunters with the ability to harvest an animal each year with over-the-counter tags. So if one is not too lucky at drawing a number maybe it’s time to switch to drawing back a bow!

If you picked up the basics I listed out you are almost all ready to go for gear. Of course you are going to need proper clothing, scent control and the knowledge of hunting regulations and such but there is one obvious addition that you are going to need to make. You need some tips.

Tips in two ways actually! (Learning from others is an essential practice for having successful hunts but I’m talking about arrow tips.) So I strolled over to the Archery Department and looked for some tips on tips. They pointed me straight to the RedHead selection.

Now when it comes to tips for hunting there are the typical two that people go to. There are broadheads and mechanicals. Both styles come in multiple forms but the gist is that broadheads are fixed blades and mechanicals use folding/working blades. Now just like everything else in archery, this is all personal choice.

Some insist that broadheads are the way to go since you know those blades are good to go whereas the mechanicals need to deploy for full effectiveness. You hear that and then three yards to your left someone lets you know that failures with mechanicals deploying has pretty much been eliminated.

So I decided to do a little more research before spending some dough. I popped online to check out the tips. We have two broadheads: Blackout Fixed Blade and Blackout FXD Cut-On-Contact. We also have two mechanicals: Blackout Expandable and Blackout Gator Expandable. Fun Fact #248: All four of these had an average of at least 4 out of 5 stars.

Now I was told that mechanicals fly closer to what your bow does when using practice tips, so you have a better idea where your arrow is going to end up. So I was kind of leaning towards mechanical. Then when I saw the word Gator I knew I was in.

(Favorite football game was when the Florida Gators smoked the Ohio State Buckeyes for the BCS Championship and I love Swamp People. May have played Swamp People in a hotel room once and pretended a body pillow was an alligator.)

When I checked out the reviews on the Gator Expandable tips I saw that there was over 110! A number of reviews even included pictures of how well they functioned! (You can see them for yourself online; I don’t want to upset anyone with graphic images.)

I’m hoping to see just how well these will work on a nice 4X4 mule deer I have spotted a few times this year. I’ll keep ya posted.

So no matter what flavor of tip you like it looks like you won’t be disappointed with any of the choices RedHead has for you. Just remember to practice, practice and practice. Armadillo Archers! Giddy-Up!

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Preparing For Hunting Season

With hunting season right around the corner and the days getting a little shorter, now would be a good time to switch gears in your life and think fall.  While the calendar says it’s still summer, it won’t be long before its archery season.  Once archery opens its full tilt for the rest of the season.   Time, even more than normal, will be at a premium.  Now would be a good time to go through your gear.  Its way better to find out you need to replace something while you are in your driveway rather than as a deer of a lifetime walks in you shooting lane. 

I like to go over each type of gear separately.  I have boxes for each species I hunt so all I have to do is grab a box and go.  By keeping everything separate, I know everything I need for that hunt is right where I need it to be. Plano Molding makes a great box for this.  The Sportsman’s Trunk is ideal for getting everything in a handy portable box.  The folks at Plano even put wheels on it for easy maneuvering. I like to take everything out and spread it out either on the floor or on a table.  I almost always find something broken that I tossed in the box last season and forgot about. By getting everything out you will be able to make sure it’s all in working order and ready to go.

Make sure clothes are in good repair, not ripped or faded. I have found that sometimes over the summer clothes shrink while they are sitting in the box.  I’m not sure how that happens but it does.  I like to get those shirts and pants replaced.  Now is the time to wash your deer clothes in scent-free laundry soap.  Once I get them washed I like to put them in a giant Zip-Lock bag.  The camping department has a great selection.  This will keep them as scent free as possible.  Once you have your clothes taken care of, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure your favorite boots are in good shape.  Nothing can ruin a hunt faster than cold wet feet. 

Last year’s boots can be fine so long as they still fit and haven’t sprung a leak.  Everyone hates breaking in new boots but there’s good news-most boots now have a very short break in period if any at all.  I love the RedHead brand of boots with Gore-Tex.  This makes them not only waterproof but also helps keep your feet as dry as possible by allowing moisture to escape.  As anyone who spends any time in the outdoors knows dry is warm.

The last things that need your attention will be the stuff you carry in your pack.  We all carry different things so you should make sure all are in working order.   I like to take the calls apart and clean any dirt or weed seeds that may have gotten into the reeds.  A light rinse in warm water doesn’t hurt either.  I also clean out any garbage that I have put in there.  It never ceases to amaze me how much trash I accumulate, then again one of the most common items in my pack is food.   I always put the wrappers in my pack.  I usually find trash that I take out as well.

If you can find the time before season starts to do basic maintenance on your gear, you will have more time to do what we all live for come fall.  Every minute spent prepping now will give you that much more time in the stand waiting for Mr. Tender and Juicy.

By: Mike Reynolds 8/22/13

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Ladies, Take a Walk on the Wild Side

I love the outdoors...camping, gardening, hiking, cooking wild game, and enjoying wildlife photography and wildlife in general. I don't hunt, nor do I fish very often...my super outdoorsman husband does plenty of that. This may be the fall that I actually go out in the blind with him...we'll see. I don't know if I can sit still that long!

But, does being an outdoors woman simply mean that you know how to hunt and fish? Although that might be a big part of it, to me being an outdoors woman means being semi-knowledgeable, at the very least, about a variety of outdoors skills, their challenges, nature's challenges and respecting it, and respecting the equipment. To me, you don't have to be an expert...just have a basic working knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment. It means taking the time and effort to learn...and having someone to teach you.

Sometimes it's nice to learn with other women who are in the same boat...and two great opportunities for women to do that exist right here in Iowa and other locations around the world.  

So, grab your girlfriends, daughters, moms, or just come by yourself, explore the outdoors, learn new skills, do some networking of a different kind, and become a wild outdoor woman!

Becoming an Outdoors Woman Iowa logo - courtesy Iowa DNR

Becoming an Outdoors Woman

Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) is an international program. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources sponsors a BOW weekend in September. Anyone 18 years or older (it's geared towards women) can take advantage of this great chance to learn outdoor skills and activities, whether they've tried them before or are completely new to the experience, and they learn with people who are in the same mind set..."what is this, how do I do it,  will I make a fool of myself?" (Okay, that last one is what would be going through MY mind.)

Photo courtesy of Iowa DNRThis year's Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop is September 20-22 at Springbrook State Park. Lodging is available in dormitories with eight-person rooms...it's not required, but that's part of the fun and camaraderie!  The line-up of workshops over the course of the weekend includes Introduction to Firearms, Basic Shooting, Wild Edibles, Wild Game Cooking, Dutch Oven Cooking, Basic Motor Boat, Fly Fishing, Bow 5k - courtesy of Iowa DNRRiver Fishing, Archery, Survival Skills, Geocaching, Bird Watching, Stand Up Paddling, and so much more.  Of course, you HAVE to have a campfire at night, too! The first night includes an optional, relaxing 5k run/walk through the woods and around the lake...a great way to meet other participants and the instructors.

For more information on registration costs and deadlines for the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program in Iowa,  visit www.iowadnr.gov/bow/index.html. There are BOW programs around the world and you can get more information on other locations at www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/bow/Pages/default.aspx.


Wild Women of the WoodsWild Women of the Woods

New this year is the Wild Women of the Woods program sponsored by the Story County Conservation Office. Story County Conservation Naturalist Emily Herring says this year's event is October 4-5 at Hickory Grove Park . While it's the first year for Story County, she's confident from past experiences it will be a hit.

"As a naturalist, I have coordinated other several events in different counties. It is always a good time and women come back year after year.  It truly is a comfortable learning atmosphere and a great place to meet new friends."

She says there will be free camping for the event, with bathrooms nearby and showers available at the campground. She says if you want to bring a camper or have electricity, that's okay...you'll camp in the main campground, but WILL have to pay for the campsite. You can also just do the Saturday event, if you're not able to stay Friday night.

Herring says they plan on having different session each year and if a session is really popular and fills fast this year, they will try to offer it again the following year. A diverse program will be offered for women of all different interests - this year's offerings include: Wild Edibles, Kayaking, Silk Painting, Fly Fishing, Archery, Nature Photography, "Leave no Trace", Tree Identification and Ecology Hike, Rock Climbing, Bike Maintenance, Nature Drawing, Fire Building, Yoga, and Fossil Hunting.

Since the sessions fill up on a first come, first serve basis, Herring encourages those interested to sign up as early as possible!

For more information and to register for Wild Women of the Woods, visit www.storycountyiowa.gov/index.aspx?NID=1040!

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Set Your Sights for the Fall Hunting Classic

You read that title correctly; it is time once again for Bass Pro Shops to hold its Fall Hunting Classic. This is the best time to come in before heading out this upcoming hunting season. Whether you got drawn for an elk hunt (which several of my friends did, so looks like I get to be camp wife… bust out the Coleman stoves!) or are about to get into hunting in general, there is something for everyone.

It will run from August 2nd to the 18th. This event will be filled with what I call S’s. There will be sales, seminars, sweepstakes, swaps, savings and the Second Amendment!  (Like I said: something for everyone.)

The sales are awesome. Everything from firearms to camouflage will be on sale so now is the time to stock up or refill your gear. There will be a number of one-day only sales, which include some pretty nice items. Just be sure to be here the day of that specific sale, as it really is one-day only. Along with these sales, we are looking to save you even more. When you pay using your Bass Pro Shops credit card we will engage the “2nd Amendment Instant Savings”. This means the savings are equal to the value of your sales tax! It is valid on in-stock guns and gun safes only. (Fellas, this is a great way to justify a new .270Win or safe to store it in!) This will run from August 2nd to the 11th.

Now what exactly did I mean by swaps? I’m talking trade-ins! From August 2nd to the 7th, we have our Bow and Crossbow Trade-In. August 8th to the 13th will be the Scope Trade-In. Last but not least will be our Binocular and Rangefinder Trade-In from August 14th to the 18th. Pretty much bring in your old bow, scope or binoculars during those times and save some dough on a new one. (Example, I want a new Leopold scope so on August 10th I will bring in my old Redfield and trade it in to save some cash… Which hopefully I can sneak by the fiancé without her noticing.)

On August 4th the seminars will be held in-store by a number of local pros. It is part of our Bass Pro Shops Hunting University. Topics will range from 3-Gun competition to filming your hunts. The following weekend (August 9th to the 11th) will have even more seminars with a wider array of topics being touched upon. Our very own Christian will be hands on in helping ya’ll get ready or get into hunting. That’s him below with a nice Coues buck.

Now then, the sweepstakes. Get ya some! We are offering the chance to enter for a once-in-a-lifetime hunting trip to a private club for you and seven guests! It will be hosted at Broadfield, an exclusive 5,800 acre property carved from one of the South’s earliest hunting clubs. It has an array of hunting, fishing and shooting activities. The trip will include 2-night accommodations for winner and guests, farm-to-table meals, 5-stand and pistol range shooting, morning quail hunt, afternoon falconry  hunt (YES PLEASE!), fishing and more. See our website for full rules and regulations and check out Broadfield’s site to start drooling over the place.

On the final weekend we are going to set our sights a little shorter. August 17th and 18th will be our Next Generation Weekend. From Noon until 5:00PM we will have a number of free activities for kids. It will include free: craft, archery, BB gun range, photo download and seminars. First 100 kids to complete both archery and BB gun range will earn a free collapsible water bottle each day.

I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m excited! This is a great chance to learn some useful information and snag some awesome gear at great prices. (Gas aint gettin’ any cheaper, ya hear?) Grab a buddy or snag the whole family, just make sure you are ready to have some fun when coming down to see us. Head ‘Em Up, Rawhide!

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