This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Easter Bunny Arrives!

Make your special Easter memories this year with the Easter Bunny at Bass Pro Shops Altoona...and, as always, it all FREE!

Free 4x6 photos, free crafts, and the very popular indoor Easter Egg hunt!

Here's the complete lineup for this weekend and next:

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny!

  • Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 5:  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Monday-Thursday, March 30 through April 2: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Good Friday, April 3 - 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Free Easter Egg Hunt!

For kids ages 2-10!

Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4 and Easter Sunday, April 5 - 2-3 p.m.

  • Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. at main entrance.
  • Hunt starts promptly at 2 p.m.
  • Kids find five eggs and exchange them for candy!

 

Free Crafts!

Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.:

  • Color an Easter basket magnet (while supplies last/crafts may vary)

Friday, April 3, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden bunny

Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden chick (while supplies last/crafts may vary) 

     ________________________

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Community Conservation Seminar - The Monarch Challenge

The Community Conservation Seminar Series

Bass Pro Shops Altoona is starting  series of seminars featuring many of our Iowa partners in conservation. We’ll be inviting various conservation and wildlife organizations to speak about topics focused on conservation, wildlife, and habitat.

Our first seminar focuses on the pollinator crisis. Most everyone appreciates the beauty of a Monarch, Swallowtail or other butterflies. However, our butterfly and bee population has decreased drastically due to several reasons, including loss of habitat and food resources. Iowa is an integral part of the Monarch migration and all pollinators need specific types of plants that help them feed and reproduce.

The Monarch Challenge

Plant Grow Fly with Us!

with Jessie Lowry, Blank Park Zoo

Wednesday, April 8

10:30 AM

Bass Pro Shops Altoona


Jessie Lowry is a wildlife conservationist and leader of the Blank Park Zoo's pollinator conservation initiative: Plant.Grow.Fly., a project aimed at increasing habitat for butterflies and bees. Learn about pollinator issues, why they are a concern to all of us, and how you can make a difference simply in your back yard!

No reservations required. Simply join us!

_________________________

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Easter Event 2015

Once again, families are invited to visit the Easter Bunny when he HOPS in to Bass Pro Shops on March 28! Make your special Easter memories this year with free 4x6 photos, free crafts, and the very popular indoor Easter Egg hunt! You can even come see us after Easter services on Sunday morning and we have extended photo hours for Good Friday.

Here's the complete lineup:

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny!

  • Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 5:  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Monday-Thursday, March 30 through April 2: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Good Friday, April 3 - 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Free Easter Egg Hunt!

For kids ages 2-10!

Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4 and Easter Sunday, April 5 - 2-3 p.m.

  • Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. at main entrance.
  • Hunt starts promptly at 2 p.m.
  • Kids find five eggs and exchange them for candy!

 

Free Crafts!

Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.:

  • Color an Easter basket magnet (while supplies last/crafts may vary)

Friday, April 3, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden bunny

Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden chick (while supplies last/crafts may vary) 

      

________________________

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From the Pro - Top 3 Baits for Spring

by Lance Baker, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff
2014 FLW/BFL Champion and Regional Qualifier

 

 

 

When the ice breaks and the water is in the 37-50 degree range, my number one choice is a Lucky Craft Pointer 100SP or a 78SP in Bluegill style colors. I try to target fish that are around their wintering areas, suspended and making the seasonal move to spawning areas. You can get right quick when you find a good group and have a blast catching multiple fish at one time!  I have learned a few fine tuning techniques over the past couple of years that can improve success with this presentation. When the bite drops off, switching up with subtle changes can increase your fish catches.

  • The cleaner the water the more the translucent baits will produce. The light penetration of the sun will shine through these baits making them almost ghost-like in the water. It truly helps with lethargic or shy fish. They will swing on the bait without getting a really good look at it. You have to remember at this time of year the fish will be looking up to feed and the bright sun will penetrate right through the bait and make more of a shadow triggering the bite.
  • You can get most jerk baits from different companies in a “ghost" or translucent pattern, but sometimes you need to adjust on the water. Carry a simple piece of sandpaper - you can take a high definition jerk bait and sand off the finish coat to dull down the image. It truly makes a difference, at times, and will improve your odds.

Once the water is starting to warm a little and get into the low 50s my GO-TO bait is a Picasso Shock Blade bladed jig with a Bass Pro Shops Speed Shad swim bait trailer. I will start to target areas with as much rock as possible, looking for the crawfish starting to appear. Fifty degrees is a magical time when the crawfish start to emerge from their winter haunts and expose themselves around rocky shores and it is a blast here in Iowa!  All species of fish move up to feed on these crustaceans and my goal is to cover as much water as possible. I like to use a Bluegill or Green Pumpkin/Tiger color in a 3/8 to ½ oz., depending on the depth and speed I am trying to cover. I match this up with a BPS Speed Shad in Bluegill Flash color in the 3.8 version. This color matches well with both bladed jigs and is an absolute staple in my spring arsenal.

Last is one of the most crucial fish-catching baits that is always on the deck of my boat at all times - The Picasso Shakedown shaky head in a 3/16 Green Pumpkin/Tiger paired with a Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper Jr. 4.75” in Green Pumpkin. I like to use the Bass Pro Shops KVD XPS 100% Fluorocarbon in 8lb test on spinning gear for this presentation. I cannot express the success this little duo can bring on the water. Whether it's a flat out on-fire bite or when it gets completely tough, the key to this little rig is to let the fish tell you how they want it. It can be worked very erratic by shaking the rod tip all the way down to simply dragging it along the bottom. Use this as a one-two punch with your Shock Blade presentation and it will catch the fish that missed or the ones that are a little less aggressive. The bite is extremely fun on light gear and no matter where you are at IT WILL FLAT OUT CATCH THEM!

I hope this helps each and every one of you for the upcoming season and wish you the best of luck!

Lance Baker

___________

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Product Spotlight - RedHead Boot Tray

Snow melt is here and warmer, rainy weather (hopefully) is coming! Keep your house and dog in order!

RedHead Boot Tray

This inexpensive boot tray is another great example of repurposing for a product. Not only will it help keep order in your house during the muddy rain months to come, it is perfect for keep order if you own a DOG!

Simply place your dog water and food dishes on the rubber tray. Then the run-away kibble and sloppy drinkers can keep most of their mess to one spot! The raised edges keep food and water from running all over the place and, obviously, it's going to be really easy to clean.

(Pet food dispenser not included. Only for display.)

Perfect for boots and shoes in the entryway or dog food in the laundry or pet room...or wherever they get fed. Keep the area clean and orderly with this lightweight, convenient tray.

____________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - More Dog Days!

It's our second weekend of the Dog Days Family Event!  This Saturday we have the ARL here AND a Microchip Clinic, from 1-3 p.m.!

First, and foremost, ALL DOGS must be kept close at side and under control. No matter how small or even if they're carried or in a cart. The leash MUST be in the owner's hand at all times. Owners are responsible for their dog's behavior!

When you're here, take a photo of your dog and share it on social media with #bassprodogdays!

Friday, March 13

FREE SEMINAR

6 p.m.Socializing & Crate Training Your Dog - Presented by Anna Childs, K9 Trainer and Adelhorst Kennels. Giveaway for the first 20 seminar attendees!

Doggie Gift Basket Silent Auction to Benefit the Animal Rescue League- Thursday through Sunday. Items donated by Pampered Pooch and Bass Pro Shops Altoona. The winning bid money collected goes to the ARL. Value of the basket is OVER $250 and includes a $75 Pampered Pooch gift certificate, RedHead Deluxe dog bed, lots of toys, healthy treats, and doggie care items!

Saturday, March 14

ARL Adoption Day - 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Saturday, March 14, Microchip Clinic – 1-3 p.m. - Dr. Anderson, from Anderson Animal Hospital, is an ARL partner vet. Major debit/credit card or cash accepted, no checks.

FREE SEMINARS/DEMOS

11 a.m. - Teaching Your Puppy to Sit and Heel - Presented by Pampered Pooch

2 p.m. - Keeping Your Puppy Safe in the Outdoors – Presented by Patrice Peterson-Keys, Polk County Conservation

Noon- 1p.m. - Linda Farr and her Canine Freestyle “dancing” Golden Retrievers, Tango and Rumba, will perform. An entertaining and educational show! Linda and her dogs have appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Animal Planet, and more! Her passion is performing with her dogs at nursing homes, schools, hospitals, etc.

3:30 p.m. - Jay Green and Zeus will do their obedience demo by the aquarium.

11 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • Free photos with your dog, a certificate, and a paw print!
  • Free giveaways!
  • Special drawing to win one of three prizes, including a GoPro Fetch Dog Harness with camera mount!
  • Various local vendors will be on hand with information about training, grooming, etc., including Des Moines Obedience and Training Club and grooming demonstrations by Barks and Wags!

 

Doggie Gift Basket Silent Auction to Benefit the Animal Rescue League - Thursday through Sunday. Items donated by Pampered Pooch and Bass Pro Shops Altoona. The winning bid money collected goes to the ARL. Value of the basket is OVER $250 and includes a $75 Pampered Pooch gift certificate, RedHead Deluxe dog bed, lots of toys, healthy treats, and doggie care items!

 

Coming Up?

 

The Easter Bunny hops in to Bass Pro Shops Altoona on March 28!


Watch www.basspro.com/altoona and our Facebook page for details and times!

___________________

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Product Spotlight - RedHead Bolster Dog Bed

If Ops Associate Jen Kile spots you looking at dog beds in our dog aisles, the first thing she'll do is tell you that she wouldn't have any other bed for her Tika!

RedHead Bolster Dog Bed

What's so great about this particular bed, according to Jen?

  • The bolster - Dogs like to feel protected and sheltered. That's why you'll often see dogs lying under tables, or at least with their head under a table, or curled up in a bid, comfy chair, or in their kennel. The three-edged bolster on this bed gives your pooch a comforting, encompassing, secure feeling.
  • Maintenance - The bed has a zip-off cover and is machine washable. In fact, each bolster has its own individual zipper, so if you need to fluff some of the filling, it's easy to do. You can remove the cover and wash the bed. Does your canine companion have incontinence? That can happen with elder dogs. Maybe it's recovering from a medical procedure where there may be seepage or draining of a wound?  It's filled with lightweight polyester fiber, instead of foam, so if you do need to replace, it's easy to do so.
  • Comfort - This is a sturdy, comfortable bed, with a soft fleece surface. (In this photo, Jen has an extra blanket for Tika's warmth.) All dogs alike need a comfy place to rest their tired bones and this bed will supply it!

If you're looking for a good dog bed for a small to medium sized dog, this is a good fit at 42"x30".

_______________________________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Dogs & Walleyes!

Dog Days - The first of two weekends of fun for our four-legged friends! PLUS, special Walleye Event seminars with a well-known guide! There's a lot going on, so read carefully!

First, and foremost, ALL DOGS must be kept close at side and under control. No matter how small or even if they're carried or in a cart. The leash MUST be in the owner's hand at all times. Owners are responsible for their dog's behavior!

When you're here, take a photo of your dog and share it on social media with #bassprodogdays!

Friday, March 6

FREE SEMINAR

6 p.m. – Socializing & Crate Training Your Dog - Presented by Anna Childs, K9 Trainer and Adelhorst Kennels. Giveaway for the first 20 seminar attendees!

Doggie Gift Basket Silent Auction to Benefit Retrieving Freedom - Friday through Saturday night. Items donated by Pampered Pooch and Bass Pro Shops Altoona. The winning bid money collected for the first weekend’s basket goes to Retrieving Freedom, Inc. Value of the basket is OVER $300 and includes a $75 Pampered Pooch gift certificate, RedHead Deluxe dog bed, lots of toys, healthy treats, and doggie care items!

Saturday, March 7

ARL Adoption Day - 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

FREE SEMINARS

11 a.m. - Teaching Your Puppy to Sit and Heel - Presented by Retrieving Freedom, Inc.

2 p.m. - Keeping Your Puppy Safe in the Outdoors – Presented by Barks and Wags, Bondurant, Iowa

Noon- 1p.m. - Linda Farr and her Canine Freestyle “dancing” Golden Retrievers, Tango and Rumba, will perform. An entertaining and educational show...Linda and her dogs have appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Animal Planet, and more! Her passion is performing with her dogs at nursing homes, schools, hospitals, etc.

3:30 p.m. - Jay Green and Zeus will do their obedience demo by the aquarium.

11 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • Free photos with your dog, a certificate, and a paw print!
  • Free giveaways!
  • Special drawing to win one of three prizes, including a GoPro Fetch Dog Harness with camera mount!
  • Various local vendors will be on hand with information about training, grooming, etc., including Des Moines Obedience and Training Club and grooming demonstrations by Barks and Wags!

Doggie Gift Basket Silent Auction to Benefit Retrieving Freedom - Friday through Saturday night. Items donated by Pampered Pooch and Bass Pro Shops Altoona. The winning bid money collected for the first weekend’s basket goes to Retrieving Freedom, Inc.

Sunday, March 8 

WALLEYE EVENT!

2 p.m. and 4 p.m. "River Walleyes"
Presented by long-time walleye fisherman Cliff Haugland from Lake Pepin, Wisconsin. He's been catching big walleyes on the Mississippi River and across the upper Midwest for a long time. For more information on Cliff, visit www.eaglescliff-pepin.com/fishing.html

Coming Up?

More Dog Days events next weekend March 13 14, including:

Doggie Gift Basket Silent Auction to Benefit the ARL- Friday through Saturday night. Items donated by Pampered Pooch and Bass Pro Shops Altoona. The winning bid money collected for the second weekend’s basket goes to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

Saturday, March 14 - ARL Adoption Day - 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Saturday, March 14, Microchip Clinic – 1-3 p.m.: Dr. Anderson, from Anderson Animal Hospital, is an ARL partner vet. Major debit/credit card or cash accepted, no checks.


Visit www.basspro.com/dogdays for details and times!

___________________

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Dog Days Event!

 

March 6-7, & March 13-14
Free Seminars, Giveaways, Drawings and the ARL!

All dogs must be up-to-date on vaccinations, kept on a CLOSE leash, and under control. Owners are responsible for their dog's behavior. We will implement The Yellow Dog Project starting Saturday, March 7, supplying a yellow ribbon for those dogs who may need extra space. "The Yellow Dog Project seeks to educate appropriate ways to approach or make contact with a dog with permission of a dog owner only, whether or not a dog is a “yellow dog.” They also seek to promote the use of yellow ribbons to identify yellow dogs needing extra space."

Free Friday Seminars

Fridays, March 6 & 13 - 6 p.m.

Socializing & Crate Training Your Dog - presented by Adelhorst Kennels

Free Saturday Seminars

Saturday, March 7

11 a.m. – Teach Your Puppy to Sit and Heel

Presented by Retrieving Freedom!  Terrific national organization  headquartered in Iowa and Mississippi that trains dogs for veterans, children with Autism, and diabetic alert.

2 p.m. - Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Outdoors - Presented by Barks and Wags, Bondurant, IA

Saturday, March 14

11 a.m. - Teach Your Puppy to Sit and Heel

Presented by Pampered Pooch Bakery and Salon!

2 p.m. - Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Outdoors

Presented by Patrice Peterson-Keys, Polk County Conservation

Both Saturdays

11 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • Free photos with your dog, a certificate, and a paw print!
  • Free giveaways!
  • Special drawing to win one of three prizes, including a GoPro Fetch Dog Harness with camera mount!
  • Various local vendors will be on hand with information about training, grooming, etc.
  • Grooming demonstrations by Barks and Wags!
  • Both Saturdays, 3:15 - Jay and his K-9 therapy dog Zeus!
  • The first 100 customers at 11 a.m. each Saturday receive a doggie gift bag!
  • Free 4x6 photo and free download with your pooch, PLUS a free certificate with your dog's paw print with each photo!
  • Free dog treat with purchases on Friday and Saturday (while supplies last).

ARL of Iowa Adoption Event in the store - 10 a.m.-4 pm. both Saturdays

Microchipping Clinic by Anderson Animal Hospital - Saturday, March 14, 1-3 p.m. - $35, major credit card or cash payments accepted. No checks.

 

Silent Auction - Two doggie gift baskets, each valued over $250 and donated by Bass Pro Shops Altoona and Pampered Pooch, will be auctioned off. One each weekend, starting Friday and ending Saturday night. Money raised will go to Retrieving Freedom and the ARL! 

Dog Days Sweepstakes - Featuring a GoPro Hero4 Silver camera, plus a Fetch (Dog Harness) Mount

_____________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Dove

Typically, our dove breasts are thrown on the grill with a jalapeno sliver and wrapped in bacon. However, this time we went in search of a slow cooker recipe using...yes, as always...what we had on hand! Found this very simple recipe, which actually had a dual purpose. More on that later. The original recipe was from Backwoodsbound.com and we made a couple of adjustments.

Slow Cooker Dove

12 dove breasts
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can diced tomatoes and chilies
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can of mushrooms
Pepper blend seasoning

Stir all items, except the dove breasts, in a medium sized bowl. Then put the mixture in the slow cooker with the dove. Stir everything again. Cover.

Cook on low for about 6 hours. We served it over Spanish rice.

As we ate, the meat was pulled easily off the bones with a fork. This was absolutely delicious.

Part II

When we were done, we mixed all the leftover "stew" and rice together. The next day, after canning some venison, my husband had a few chunks of venison left over...not enough for a full jar. He threw they venison chunks in the crockpot and cooked them on high for a couple of hours and drained off the blood and juices. Then he threw the leftover rice concoction, about a 1/2 bottle of Spicy V8, some cayenne seasoning, and one can each of cream of celery, cream of mushroom, and cream of chicken. Voila'! We ate it like soup and it was wonderful...with some heat!
_____________

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Fish Like a Girl

by Andrea Bailey
Bass Pro Shops Altoona Associate

I’ve been fishing since I was a little girl, when my dad would take me. I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors – camping, fishing, even landscaping in my other job. Fishing is great, but now I’m hooked on bowfishing.

A friend started me in it last year. I tagged along, following him around the shore, learning and trying my hand at it. I immediately fell in love…with bowfishing. I went almost every day during the spring and summer of 2014. In just a few months, I shot a lot of carp. I’m no expert, by any means, but hopefully I can inspire other people, especially young women, to give it a try.

What is it about bow fishing? It’s exciting, it’s competitive, and it combines two great outdoor activities…hunting and fishing. Many people who bowfish use a boat, but I fish from shore. I’d like to try fishing from a boat this year, but I’m pretty sure I’ll like the shore more.

Why the shore? It’s the hunting aspect. Being in the elements, using your senses and ability to “hunt” the carp. Being quiet, stalking along the shore, wading through water, the challenge of trying to get to different places where you know the carp may be hiding. That’s part of the fun and part of the challenge…challenges like crawling out on branches that are half way in the water, then falling in and scaring away all the fish!

The tree branch incident was just one lesson reinforced in my first year – be careful! Other lessons, challenges, and tips?

  • Look for brushy areas, where the carp can hide. But, beware of shooting into those brushy areas under water – I shot an arrow into a tree and couldn’t get it out.
  • Shoot lower than you think. Shoot 6 inches below every foot the fish is under the water.
  • Watch for breaches and look for large rings from the breaches to know where the fish is. This was one of my biggest challenges in learning about bowfishing - trying to decipher which rings were from carp.
  • Be aware and go slowly. Walking on the shore you need to be quiet and keep your shadow off the water. If you’re not aware, the fish won’t be there. You will scare them off with your shadow or sound. I really had to adjust to going slowly along the shore – you have to go into stalk mode.
  • Spring is the best time and after a rain is my favorite - when water is up and there may be some light flooding. But, use common sense and be careful – always be aware of the weather and water conditions. Don’t push it.
  • Invest in some good waterproof boots – keep your feet dry.

It’s not a huge investment to get started. I use an AMS package that included everything. This year, I’ve already invested in an arm guard, wax for my bow strings, a new arrow with four barbs, and some polarized sunglasses. The better to spot those carp!

With my brief bowfishing experience so far, comes that general good feeling of doing something for the environment and encouraging others. Some of my friends will ask, “Why bowfish, when you don’t eat them?” So, I’m able to educate them about the invasive fish taken in bowfishing and the effect they can have on our waters. Likewise, I invited friends along and posted about my bowfishing on my social media pages…quite a few have started, or want to start, this year. I also explain there are some people who choose to eat carp and I often give my harvest to those folks.

This year, I look forward to venturing away from my usual locations and trying new venues. You won’t find me standing at the fence below a dam just pointing and shooting…you’ll find me walking the shores of rivers and creeks, doing my part to rid them of invasive species.

One of the biggest challenges I face? That guy - and there's always one or more -  who says, “I can’t believe you bowfish. That’s really cool.”

It’s a bit annoying…I know they're saying it because I’m female. But, I also take it as a compliment.

It is cool – I fish like a bowfisherwoman.

________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Easy Crepes

Here is the perfect quick, fun bite! Make the batter, put it in the fridge, then head out and enjoy the outdoors. Come back in after an hour and warm up with these for breakfast or a snack.

Super easy and you can use whatever filling you want! My first choice was butter, brown sugar, and dried cranberries. My husband used butter and jelly. The recipe comes from Alton Brown on foodnetwork.com

Crepes

Ingredients

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 Tbsps melted butter

Combine all of the ingredients using a blender. (The recipe said use a blender. I used an immersion blender - you could probably use a hand mixer or mini-processor, too) The batter will be runny. Place it in the refrigerator for at least one hour. (this will make the bubbles go away, so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking.)

Heat a small non-stick pan and coat with butter or cooking spray. Pour 1 ounce of batter in the center of the pa and swirl to spread evenly. If you don't want to measure out one ounce, just realize you are really making super thin pancakes. Cook for 30 second and flip. We cooked until they were browning and starting to get brown on the edges. They really flipped very easily. Then cook about 15 seconds more.

What's GREAT about these for the outdoors?

1. Make the batter ahead of time, go do something outdoors, then come in and make the crepes.

2. Make the crepes ahead of time and freeze them. After they're cooled, stack them and store them in resealable bags or vacuum seal them. Then you always have some!

3. PERFECT for camping! The batter will keep for 48 hours...make them in a cast iron skillet over the open fire or on your camp stove! Make sure you use a cooking spray or butter. Take the batter or take pre-made crepes (like the ones you froze in #2!)

4. Great for any time of day! Breakfast crepes, with scrambled eggs or fruit...snack crepes with light goodies...campfire crepes with chocolate hazelnut spread and other goodies! Hmmm....that sounds really good!

Enjoy!

________________________

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Maui Jim Sunglasses

Whether sunny and 80 degrees or sunny and -10 temps, you need eye protection. The glare off bright, white snow, or icy lakes can be just as damaging as sun in the summer. There can even be glare on cloudy days that can make tasks as simple as driving down the interstate bothersome to the eyes.

We have many different brands of sunglasses at Bass Pro Shops. At the recent Spring Fishing Classic, Ben Goforth from Maui Jim Sunglasses highlighted the benefits of Maui Jims in this brief video clip:

Check out the full line of Maui Jim sunglasses available online at Bass Pro Shops, for the water, action, the road, or the trail!

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This Weekend at Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Welcome Wrestlers and Hunters!

BUSY weekend in Central Iowa with two world-renowned events - The Iowa Boys State Wrestling Tournament and the National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic!

While you're in town for both, stop out to the store and say hello - expect to see many of you here!

While you're downtown at either event, stop by our King of Buck's exhibit and "base camp" at the National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic. This exhibit is like no other - you will get to see the top, majestic, world class, internationally famous mounts up close and personal.

Here's what will be going on at the store when you stop by:

Try Before You Buy!

Saturday - Our Gifts Department is handing out samples of biscuits and gravy made with Uncle Buck's Biscuit and Gravy Mixes.

Girl Scout Cookie Time!

Girl Scouts and Brownies are in the house, selling those famous cookies!

Saturday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Girl Scout Troop 1006

Sunday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Brownie Troop 624

Saturday, Feb. 21 - Dog Demo - 3:30 p.m.

Jay Green and his therapy dog Zeus go through the paces of being a good dog!

Speaking of Dogs...

The Dog Days Event is coming! You and Fido REALLY don't want to miss this! Seminars, giveaways, microchipping, and more...watch our Facebook page and store page for details! #bassprodogdays

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Chicken Merlot

Here is a wonderful slow cooker dish that sounds incredibly fancy but is extremely easy to make. You may choose to omit the Merlot, however, you won't have the beautiful Merlot color of the sauce nor will you have the same flavor. I only had a value pack of regular chicken thighs in the freezer, so just made them skinless. They were still somewhat frozen, so the skin pulled off easily.

I went out on a limb and made this during our recent 14" snow storm - Mother Nature cooperated and the power stayed on, so it would finish!

Slow Cooker Chicken Merlot

3/4 pound sliced mushrooms (I used mini-bella)
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsps minced garlic
4 pounds skinless chicken thighs (It will be too greasy with the skin on!)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Merlot wine OR chicken broth
2 Tbsp instant tapioca
2 tsps sugar
1 1/2 tsps dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese
 

Put the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in the bottom of a slow cooker (minimum 6.5 quart is best). Lay the skinless thighs on top. In a separate bowl, mix together the tomato paste, broth, wine or extra broth, tapioca, sugar, basil, salt, and pepper. Pour over the chicken and cool on low for 5-6 hours.

Serve over a small bed of pasta. I used regular spaghetti and some veggie spaghetti mixed together for a little color variation. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.  Enjoy!

(Original recipe from Taste of Home)

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Something for Everyone!

It's the final weekend of the Spring Fishing Classic and we have something for EVERYONE!  Tips from local pros, free kids activities and a special workshop for the ladies!

Additionally, your last chance to trade-in those rods and reels for savings on new ones. Remember, all traded-in reels and rods are given to youth and veterans programs.

Local Pros and Tips Seminars

Our Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff, Lance Baker and Kary Ray, along with Kent Petersen from our Fishing Department offer up their tips in this lineup of seminars:

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2015

7 P.M. – Proven Bass Patterns

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 & 15, 2015

11:00 A.M. – Unlock the Secrets of Electronics to Improve Fishing Success
1:00 P.M. – High-Percentage Baits (Tank Demo)
2:00 P.M. – The Baitfish Connection: Understanding Seasonal Movement
4:00 P.M. – Stealth Fishing: Successful Kayak Strategies

Outdoor Cooking and Fishing Tips for Women
Saturday, February 14, 3 p.m.

Join us for this seminar full of information on fishing and outdoor cooking tips - two great topics in one seminar! Our guest http://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/a4e707ba-e52c-41ea-b5df-e22be41ea981/b5dc6cd8-b61c-457b-8269-7fbc426408c2/Image/73280b015ac16df418fc308cd6b3cad4/bow_logo_150_150_1_12_2010_16_25_53.JPGworkshop leaders are the folks from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoor Woman program. They'll have tips for fishing, outdoor cooking and also talk more about the Becoming an Outdoor Woman event...the next one is in April!

Next Generation Weekend

Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 14 and 15 - Noon - 5 p.m.

Another two afternoons of FREE events for kids, including crafts, casting bucket challenge, AND the famous Kids Fishing Workshops! Bring the kids out to celebrate the coming of warmer weather and fishing!

Free 4x6 Photo Download - A magazine-cover style photo of the child holding a replica fish.

Free Kids' Craft - Color a wooden standup fish!


Kids' Fishing Workshops!

Saturday and Sunday, at 2:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.

Get your kids thinking about fishing, and LIKE a fish, with our FREE Kids' Fishing Workshops! Guaranteed fun, interactive, and educational!  Kids get a certificate for completing a workshop and the first 25 at each workshop receive a lanyard!

2:30 kids' workshop - Presented by Barb Gigar, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Education Program

4:30 kids' workshop - Presented by our Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff Lance Baker and Kary Ray

- See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-next-generation-weekend#sthash.YywstlSj.dpuf

Casting Challenge - Kids receive a fish-shaped water bottle when they complete the challenge!
Free 4x6 photo download
Free Craft - A wooden fish stand-up! (While supplies last)

Kids' Fishing Workshops!

Saturday and Sunday, at 2:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.

Get your kids thinking about fishing, and LIKE a fish, with our FREE Kids' Fishing Workshops! Guaranteed fun, interactive, and educational!  Kids get a certificate for completing a workshop and the first 25 at each workshop receive a lanyard!

2:30 kids' workshop - Presented by Barb Gigar, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Education Program

4:30 kids' workshop - Presented by our Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff Lance Baker and Kary Ray

- See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia#sthash.oxxe9Y0R.dpuf

Kids' Fishing Workshops!

Saturday and Sunday, at 2:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.

Get your kids thinking about fishing, and LIKE a fish, with our FREE Kids' Fishing Workshops! Guaranteed fun, interactive, and educational!  Kids get a certificate for completing a workshop and the first 25 at each workshop receive a lanyard!

2:30 kids' workshop - Presented by Barb Gigar, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Education Program

4:30 kids' workshop - Presented by our Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff Lance Baker and Kary Ray

- See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-next-generation-weekend#sthash.YywstlSj.dpuf

Kids' Fishing Workshops!

Feb. 14 & 15, 2:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.

Get your kids thinking about fishing, and LIKE a fish, with our FREE Kids' Fishing Workshops! Guaranteed fun, interactive, and educational!  Kids get a certificate for completing a workshop and the first 25 at each workshop receive a lanyard!

2:30 kids' workshop - Presented by Barb Gigar, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Education Program
4:30 kids' workshop - Presented by our Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff Lance Baker and Kary Ray

Also, This Weekend:

Try Before You Buy!

Our Gifts Department is handing out samples of pork loin with our Bob Timberlake Savory Apple Cinnamon BBQ Sauce on Saturday, 2/14, and Zesty Habanero BBQ Sauce on Sunday, 2/15, Noon-4 p.m., while supplies last, by the Sunglass Counter.

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

They're ba-a-ack! Brownies and Girl Scouts will be in our store for a month selling those delectable bites!

Friday, 4-6 p.m., and Saturday, 11a.m.-3 p.m. - Brownie Troop 1006 is in the house.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Girl Scout Troop 256 is here!

 

Women's Outdoor Cooking & Fishing Tips

Two great topics in one seminar! Join our guest workshop leaders from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for fishing and outdoor cooking tips, plus learn more about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekends!

- See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-lineup#sthash.sP6zzDc6.dpuf

Women's Outdoor Cooking & Fishing Tips

Two great topics in one seminar! Join our guest workshop leaders from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for fishing and outdoor cooking tips, plus learn more about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekends!

- See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-lineup#sthash.sP6zzDc6.dpuf

Women's Outdoor Cooking & Fishing Tips

Two great topics in one seminar! Join our guest workshop leaders from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for fishing and outdoor cooking tips, plus learn more about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekends!

- See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-lineup#sthash.sP6zzDc6.dpuf
Two great topics in one seminar! Join our guest workshop leaders from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for fishing and outdoor cooking tips, plus learn more about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekends! - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-lineup#sthash.aT3w2k8n.dpuf
Two great topics in one seminar! Join our guest workshop leaders from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for fishing and outdoor cooking tips, plus learn more about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekends! - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-lineup#sthash.aT3w2k8n.dpuf
Two great topics in one seminar! Join our guest workshop leaders from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for fishing and outdoor cooking tips, plus learn more about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekends! - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-lineup#sthash.aT3w2k8n.dpuf
Two great topics in one seminar! Join our guest workshop leaders from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for fishing and outdoor cooking tips, plus learn more about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekends! - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-lineup#sthash.aT3w2k8n.dpuf
Two great topics in one seminar! Join our guest workshop leaders from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for fishing and outdoor cooking tips, plus learn more about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekends! - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/2015-spring-fishing-classic-lineup#sthash.aT3w2k8n.dpuf
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Freshwater Fish Conservation Month

February means Spring Fishing Classic and the return of our donation month directly related to fishing.

Freshwater Fish Conservation Month

Did You Know?

  • More Americans fish than play basketball (24.0 million) and football (8.9 million) combined.
  • Fishing as a leisure-time activity ranks higher than playing golf, target shooting, hunting with firearms, backpacking and wilderness camping, baseball, mountain biking and skiing.
    (Statistics from the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, 2nd Edition)

A $2 donation helps keep our streams, rivers, and habitat healthy for fish and keeps our next generation fishing! All donations will be matched by the Johnny Morris Conservation Creel of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.


Where Do the Donations Go?
The donations go to The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), which has supported thousands of conservation programs across the U.S. since 1985, including freshwater fish conservation programs designed to:

  • Educate the general public regarding the perils facing our fish populations.
  • Motivate people to support the cause of freshwater fish conservation.
  • Use the donations received to fund various initiatives around the country toward improving fish habitat, species health, etc.

What Does it Mean for Iowa?
Here is a sample of projects that have benefitted in Iowa:

  • Raccoon River Valley Restoration
  • TreeKeepers program
  • Iowa Buffer and Declining Habitat Programs in several Iowa counties
  • Cooperative Conservation for Watershed Health
  • Nutrient Soil and Habitat Management in Upper Cedar Watersheds
  • Upper Iowa River restoration and education
  • Managing Biodiversity in the Iowa and Cedar River Valley
  • Engaging landowners in farm bills affecting the Driftless Region of NE Iowa

For research how the NFWF benefits your state, check out their interactive map!

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Snowshoeing Basics

When you hear the term snowshoes, do you get images of the big wooden show shoes that look like tennis rackets? The Mountain Men movie characters plodding and laboring through drifts in the Rockies?

Snowshoes have changed a bit and are much more user friendly. Snowshoeing is a terrific way to get exercise and enjoy a sunny winter day, especially when there is a lot of snow on the ground, like there is in much of the country right now. In an emergency or survival situation, they can make the seemingly impassable snow drift possible to overcome safely.

Bass Pro Shops Altoona has Yukon Charlie snowshoes in store and Bass Pro Shops has MSR Revo Snowshoes online. The Yukon Charlie snowshoes have heel lifts and two styles of the Revos have their version of the heel lift.

We asked Peter in our Camping Department to give us a little demo on the snowshoes. Check out this video for a closer look at how easy it is to put on the shoes and the benefit of the heel lift.

Oh, and pardon the wind noise...this is the real deal in the "mountains" of Altoona, Iowa!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Moroccan Venison Meatball Stew

Anything made with beef, can be made with venison, too. Here is something that sounds much more difficult than it really is...and exotic! The aromatics
of this dish will astound you. If you don't like onions, you may need to cutback a bit, but hopefully not too much. The original recipe is located at Food.com. As always, I tweaked it to accommodate what we had on hand!

Moroccan Venison Meatball Stew

For the Meatballs

    1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground venison (I used closer to 2 lbs- ended up with about 20 or so meatballs)
    1 onion, chopped
    1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
    1 Tbsp dried cilantro
    1 egg, beaten
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon pepper (fresh ground mixed peppercorns)
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

For the Stew

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 onions, chopped
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    1 32 oz. box beef broth
    1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes, diced
    2 cups carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces cut on the diagonal
    I Tbsp dried cilantro
    1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach leaves

Meatballs

Cover a cookie sheet with plastic wrap. Mix the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Make approximately 1 1/2 inch meatballs and arrange them on the cookie sheet. I made these ahead of time, covered them with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge.

Stew

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium heat. Stir in onions and saute them (about 10-15 minutes.)
  • Stir in garlic, cinnamon, and turmeric and cook stirring for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in broth and tomatoes.
  • Bring stew to a simmer and stir in carrots. Carefully place meatballs into the stew and gently scoop the liquid over them. Sprinkle with the cilantro. Cover pot and place in oven.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Take stew pot out and sprinkle with the frozen spinach, cover and bake another 5 minutes.
  • Stir to mix.

Make sure to serve it with some crusty bread for mopping up...or even some Uncle Buck's Biscuits!

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Product Spotlight: Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite Baitcast Combo

Our Fishing Lead Chris Grocholski gives the low down on the Johnny Morris CarbonLite Baitcast Combo. During a little demo at a recent store meeting, Chris took a minute to tell us more about features and benefits of the CarbonLite combo - the specs for the exact one he his showing are listed below the video clip.

 

 

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