This Weekend @ BPS Altoona - "How-To's" for Family Fun!

Cooking, camping, hiking...it's time for the FAMILY to have some fun! It's the second weekend of our Go Outdoors Event - Join us for free seminars on how YOU can get started enjoying the great outdoors!

The grill shack will be open both days, too, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.!
 

Saturday, May 23

11 a.m. - Capable Kayaking - The basics of family kayaking fun
2 p.m. - Local Trails & Treasures - Where to go for Family Outings - Parks, water trails, hiking trails, and more with Melissa Schmeling, Polk County Conservation!

 

Sunday, May 24

11 a.m. - Conquering Campfire Cooking - Best practices, procedures, and cookware
2 p.m. - Kids and Camping - Make camping fun, comfortable, and exciting for kids.

Plus, find out how easy it is to have some cooking with these demos and sampling:

Saturday: Flossie's Funnel Cake Samples - 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Fish samples with Uncle Buck's Fish Batter, 2-5 p.m.
Sunday: Dutch Oven Cooking, 1-4 p.m.
- Find out how easy it is!

Also on Saturday, May 23

ARL Adoption Day! 10-4 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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Product Spotlight - Fold-Up Utility Wagon

Tis the season! Farmers' markets, soccer, baseball and softball games, flea markets, beach time, garage sales, and just good old being outside and needing to tote stuff!

Here is the little red wagon that's going to make your life easier!

Mac Sports™ Fold-Up Utility Wagon

This handy-dandy, collapsible wagon will make your life easier by allowing to load all those treasures up at the flea market, farmers' market, or to haul everything to the beach or to your seat at the soccer game.

It has a strong, steel fold-up frame, is easy to set up and can hold up to 150 pounds...that's a LOT of treasures!

Recently we were at the What Cheer Flea Market in What Cheer, Iowa. This massive flea market is held three times per year and there were more vendors than ever before. My poor husband made multiple trips out to the car to tote items we had purchased...they weren't big items, but we could only carry so much between the two of us and a backpack. I noticed many people pulling similar little wagons, any maybe some were actually this exact style, with their items. I was wishing I had one.

Now, I'm thinking...my garden! Yard work! What a great way to tote leaves, sticks, and veggies!

How can YOU use the Mac Sports Fold-Up Utility Wagon? I bet you can come up with something. I have!

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Community Conservation Series - Don't Just Landscape...Rainscape!

Community Conservation Seminar Series

A series of seminars featuring Iowa partners in conservation featuring topics on conservation, wildlife, and habitat.

Don’t Just Landscape...Rainscape!

John Swanson
Watershed Outreach Coordinator

Polk County Soil and Conservation District

Wednesday, May 27
6:00 PM
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Rainscaping creates beautiful landscapes that manage water sustainably. Rain gardens, native landscaping, rainwater harvesting, permeable paving, and native turf are a few features  you can incorporate on your own property to improve water quality and pollinator habitat. Do it yourself or hire a certified rainscaper trained in the design and installation of rainscaping practices. Either way, this seminar will give you the knowledge you need to not just landscape, but rainscape!

No reservations required. Simply join us!

_______________________

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Paddling Iowa - Meandering vs. Non-Meandering

Did you know Iowa is #3 in the country for total number of river miles, behind Pennsylvania and Oregon? Because of this, we have visitors from all over the country coming to Iowa to canoe, kayak, and stand up paddle their way through over 1,000 miles of river. Because of this, it's important for everyone to know the rules and regulations.

Todd Robertson is the River Programs Outreach Coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and a certified paddling instructor. Recently, Todd shared his vast knowledge about Iowa's water trails and the sport of stand up paddling in a seminar. Along with the always important safety, knowing the proper techniques, and being aware of the weather, he stressed the importance of knowing the waters you are on and our state's rules and regulations. One of the topics he addressed was meandered rivers versus non-meandered rivers. It's important to know what you're on, especially if you want to get out of your paddle craft and enjoy a rest! Here's more in this YouTube clip:

For more information on meandered versus non-meandered, including maps of meandered rivers and legal boundaries, visit www.iowadnr.gov/Recreation/CanoeingKayaking/PaddlerResources/InstructionSafety.aspx

Iowa Water Trails Map

Paddler Resources for Iowa

Low Head Dams - Their danger and their mitigation. Changing the profile of Iowa's waterways.

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Roasted Radishes

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Becoming an Outdoors-Women weekend in Iowa at the beautiful Honey Creek State Park Resort in southern Iowa. One of the sessions I attended was Preparing Your Harvest, with Executive Chef Bob Newell. During the four hour workshop, we stood in the kitchen with Chef Bob as he prepared a variety of wild game in easy to follow steps that we could all apply at home. Additionally, he prepared some side dishes.

The first dish Chef Bob made was extremely easy and included an ingredient we don't have cook with...the lowly radish. I grew up with radishes always on our table in the summer and what relish tray DOESN'T include radishes. However, Chef Bob notes that the radish is the most under-used and misunderstood vegetable and it needs to be given a chance. So, he made roasted radishes...and here's the catch - you use the greens, too! Chef Bob You can jut as easily do these in a foil pouch on the grill, too. We decided to make them recently and they were great!

Roasted Radishes

Wash the radishes and the greens.

Cut the root tips and greens off the radishes. (Chef Bob suggests throwing the root tips in the garden, so you can grow radishes all year - do this with green onions, too!)

Chunk cut the radishes (quarters) and put them, and the greens, on a cookie sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil, scatter about a tablespoon of minced garlic, season with salt and pepper, and, using tongs, toss it all on the sheet.

Chef Bob roasted his about 15 minutes at 350 however, that was a commercial, and probably gas, oven. I ended up roasting ours for at 350 for 15 minutes but then cranked the oven up to 450 for another 10 or so, until the greens were crispy and radishes browning and carmelizing. Next time I will probably do 450 for 15-20 minutes.

 

I was skeptical but these are so good and the crispy green were the consistency of onion straws (without the onion taste) and if you don’t tend to like radishes because of the “after effect” (i.e. they make you burp!) then try this recipe. It mellows them out.

I'll be sharing all of Chef Bob's recipes, (already have his permission!) and encourage you to come visit Honey Creek Resort and experience their incredible restaurant first-hand!

___________________________________

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This Weekend @ BPS Altoona - Go Outdoors!

It's our Go Outdoors Event and this weekend is our Free Kid's Weekend Activities May 16 & 17, including the Catch and Release pond!

May 16 & 17 - Free Kids' Activities Weekend!

Free fun for kids on this special weekend! All events BOTH days!

11 a.m.- 4 p.m. - The free indoor Catch and Release Pond returns! We supply everything the kids need to try to catch a fish in our indoor pond!

11 a.m.-5 p.m. - Free photo download! Kids can choose to capture the moment with the fish they catch in our pond or be photobombed by a raccoon!

11 a.m.- 5 p.m. - Free kids' crafts!
1:30 - Boy Scout demonstrations
4 p.m. - Adventure Scavenger Hunt.

Free giveaway for the first 150 kids to complete a punch card each day - Kids' Outdoors Collection Bucket with magnifying glass - while supplies last!

Also on May 16:

10:00 a.m. - Community Conservation Series - Landscaping for Wildlife!

Stephanie Shepherd, Wildlife Diversity Biologist, Iowa DNR! Ever wish your yard could be the setting for an episode of Wild Kingdom? Or perhaps you'd just like more butterflies and other pollinators? This presentation will give you some tips on how you can transform your yard into a sanctuary for wildlife of all kinds. Not only will you be conserving and being a steward of Iowa's wildlife, you'll be creating an oasis for yourself that you can feel good about!

May 16

  • VFW post 738 Distributing Poppies for Memorial Day - come support our veterans!
  • Maui Jim Rep Ben Goforth is here - come learn more about Maui Jim sunglasses!

May 16 & 17

  • Catfish Seminars - May 16, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. and May 17, 2 and 4 p.m.!

Coming Up

May 23-24 - Free Family Activities and How-To's for Family Outdoor Fun!

Saturday, May 23 - FREE seminars
11 a.m. - Capable Kayaking - The basics of family kayaking fun
2 p.m. - Local Trails & Treasures - Where to go for Family Outings - Parks, water trails, hiking trails, and more! With Melissa Schmeling, Polk County Conservation!

Sunday, May 24 - FREE seminars
11 a.m. - Conquering Campfire Cooking - Best practices, procedures, and cookware
2 p.m. - Kids and Camping - Make camping fun, comfortable, and exciting for kids.

Free cooking demos and sampling:
Saturday: Flossie's Funnel Cake Samples - 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Fish samples with Uncle Buck's Fish Batter, 2-5 p.m.
Sunday: Dutch Oven Cooking, 1-4 p.m.

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Go Outdoors Event 2015!

It's the BIGGEST Outdoors Family Event of the Year with sales starting May 11!  Free Kid's Weekend Activities on May 16 & 17, including the Catch and Release pond! Free Family Outdoor Activities on May 23 and 24, including seminars and food demos and outdoor cooking! Here are the details and you can also find them at www.basspro.com/altoona!

May 16 & 17 - Free Kids' Activities Weekend!

Free fun for kids on this special weekend! All events BOTH days!

11 a.m.- 4 p.m. - The free indoor Catch and Release Pond returns! We supply everything the kids need to try to catch a fish in our indoor pond!

11 a.m.-5 p.m. - Free photo download! Kids can choose to capture the moment with the fish they catch in our pond or be photobombed by a raccoon!

11 a.m.- 5 p.m. - Free kids crafts!
1:30 - Boy Scout demonstrations
4 p.m. - Adventure Scavenger Hunt.

Free giveaway for the first 150 kids to complete a punch card each day - Kids' Outdoors Collection Bucket with magnifying glass!

May 23-24 - Free Family Activities and How-To's for Family Outdoor Fun!

Saturday, May 23 - FREE seminars
11 a.m. - Capable Kayaking - The basics of family kayaking fun
2 p.m. - Local Trails & Treasures - Where to go for Family Outings - Parks, water trails, hiking trails, and more! With Melissa Schmeling, Polk County Conservation!

Sunday, May 24 - FREE seminars
11 a.m. - Conquering Campfire Cooking - Best practices, procedures, and cookware
2 p.m. - Kids and Camping - Make camping fun, comfortable, and exciting for kids.

Free cooking demos and sampling:
Saturday: Flossie's Funnel Cake Samples - 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Fish samples with Uncle Buck's Fish Batter, 2-5 p.m.
Sunday: Dutch Oven Cooking, 1-4 p.m.

___________________________

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The Day that Changes Lives

By Rod Slings
Central Iowa Long Spurs Member
Hunting safety expert and retired Iowa DNR law enforcement supervisor,
 

“This day changed lives!” 

A quote heard over and over, from our hunters and our volunteers, at the 2015 Wheel’n Sportsmen Turkey Hunt. The weather was not what we had ordered. Conditions were strong winds and heavy rain beginning at sunrise and that came in waves.   However, that did not dampen the spirits of our hunters in the turkey woods.  At the end of the hunt, 11-year-old Quinton was the one hunter that harvested a turkey.

As the hunters and volunteers began to arrive at 3:00 a.m. (yes, that’s in the morning), the excitement began to build. The camouflaged clad silhouettes came in, one at a time, armed with big smiles and filled with anticipation of what the day had in store. Without hesitation, handshakes, hugs, the reestablishment of old friendships and establishing of new ones began. Those in wheelchairs, power chairs and those that needed just a little guidance were welcomed and made comfortable to find a place at the breakfast table.   

Welcoming everyone was first on the agenda, followed by introductions, a prayer for safety and thanks for the resource about to be enjoyed. A hot breakfast was served, along with the Pledge of Allegiance and a safety briefing was all part of the plan. 

Then, Team Todd, Team Cole, Team Angie, Team Quinton, Team Matthew, and more, began to load up and head for the turkey woods with guides and helpers ready to begin their hunt. Blinds had been set, those that needed to be lifted into Utility Terrain Vehicles were lifted, those that need to be driven to the door of the blind were carefully guided in the dark. 

This event is about people helping people, kindness, respect and love of the outdoors all rolled into one event. It changes people in just a few hours; it creates life long bonds between those that do not have the luxury of easy mobility and those that before this event took it for granted.

It’s about sitting beside an American hero and hearing their stories of war in a dark hunting blind.
It’s about sitting next to someone whose life changed in a moment in time, then reflecting on one's own life.
The harvest of a turkey is just a small part of being part of this spring morning in Iowa.
It’s about life.
It’s about empathy, courage and watching the world wake up in a place where everyone is equal in creation.
Listening closely, watching for someone who cannot see.
It’s about being their eyes, being their helper, or just being their friend.

Some think this event is about harvesting turkeys, but it is so much more than that.

It’s about life; it is about improving the quality of lives.
It’s about a new adventure for a person that is now a hunter that just happens to be mobility challenged.
It’s also about a helper who is now surrounded by a new environment, which even brings rejuvenation to their soul.
It’s about the guide that is helping share the gift of the hunt in this wild outdoor place.
Finally, for everyone involved, it’s the excitement of the sound of a gobble or songbirds singing the praises of a new day.
For these hunters, it’s not like their yesterday, it’s about making memories today, for their tomorrow.   

The results of this event cannot be measured. It can only be shared, enjoyed and become part of our individual life stories.  It’s not certain whose lives are most improved or impacted by this experience. We can only hope it improves those lives that this event is intended for, only if for a few hours, or reflecting on their memories made and the photographs taken.

A very special thanks to the American heroes at Camp Dodge, whose passion for helping disabled veterans participating in our hunt is always beyond the call of duty! The Rangers and Staff at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at Saylorville Lake and their never-ending hospitality with meeting space, for planning, site preparation and scouting for success. The Staff at Polk County’s Jester Park and hosting our base camp for the event and providing hunting blind locations. Thanks to our volunteers for giving of their time and skills to serve as guides and helpers those who make this event possible. Also, to our cooks who serve a wonderful breakfast and celebration lunch to all of those who attend. Most importantly, thanks to our extraordinary hunters and their families.

We want to thank each of them for allowing us to honor them with an experience we hope they will treasure as much as we do.

 

 

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Venison Wedges

Venison is our red meat. I've made that statement many times. Burgers, loins, shanks, backstraps, the usual...and the heart.

Needless to say, I was a little leery, when my husband hunter introduced me to my first boiled up heart. But, I was easily hooked. Boiled, trimmed of the valves and gristly parts, sliced thin, thrown on your favorite ciabatta (or just good old sandwich bread, for sure!), with cheese, and lettuce, and you've got yourself a perfect sandwich. Grainy, but not too grainy, and very healthy.

So, recently, we had a couple of hearts that it was time to get out of the fridge. So we made these "venison wedges," for a lack of anything better to call them!

Venison Wedges

Venison heart(s)
2 eggs, beaten
Flour
Black pepper (fresh ground, mixed peppercorn, pepper blend seasoning, take your pick) to taste.
Cajun seasoning to taste
Oil

Rinse the hearts off as well as possible. Boil the hearts for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. This helps to tenderize them and gets any remaining blood out of them. Skim the blood off the top of the water as they cook. It will foam on top of the water, somewhat like chicken juices and fat foam on top of water, if you boil chicken pieces.

After they've boiled, let them cool. Trim the heart valves off and out, along with other gristly parts.

Heat oil in a large skillet, saucepan or electric skillet to medium/medium-high. The oil should be about a 1/2" deep.

Cut the hearts into wedge shapes, like a nice-sized steak fry.

Season your flour with the pepper or pepper blend of your choice and the Cajun seasoning.

Dip each wedge into the egg wash, then dredge in the flour, and place gently into the hot oil in a single layer until the pan is full. (Note: Next time we will probably double dip - egg, flour, then egg again.)

Fry until golden brown and a bit more tender.

Serve up with some sweet corn (vacuum-sealed from last year) mixed with grill-roasted red peppers, and you've got a light, very tasty and healthy meal!

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Set Your Sights and Paddling!

It's a Set Your Sights Weekend! We have free need-to-know seminars for the new gun owners and those wanting to know the latest and greatest! Drawing for a $25 gift card at each seminar. Enter to win either a Savage 64 F Black .22 L.R. or a Caldwell Steady Rest NXT Shooting Rest

Friday, May 1
6:30 PM Long Range Shooting: Guns and Optics for the 1,000 Yard Shot -
Sgt. Shivers and Sgt. Kerchee, Altoona PD
7:30PM - The Basics of Handgun Concealed Carry and Home Defense - Presented by Lori Ahearn, Firearms Education for Women and Men

Saturday, May 2
1:30 PM - Optics and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle - Brandon Minton, Hunting Associate
2:30 PM - Long Range Shooting: Guns and Optics for the 1,000 Yard Shot -
Dirk Ringgenberg, retired Army sniper instructor
3:30 PM - The Basics of Handgun Concealed Carry and Home Defense - Presented by the Altoona Police Department
4:30 PM - Optics and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle
- Brandon Minton

 

Stand Up and Paddle!

Saturday, May 2, 10:30 with Todd Robertson from the Iowa DNR!

What is SUP or Stand Up Paddling? We have paddleboards now...how do you use them? Todd Robertson, Iowa DNR, gives you a basic overview on SUP history, positions to paddle, strokes, safety, locations, transporting on vehicles...everything you need to know before even attempting the water! Todd is a well-known, certified ACA SUP instructor, Level 3 and the River Programs Outreach Coordinator for the DNR.

 

 

 

 

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Venison Mexican Lasagna

Easy to make and a nice variation from regular lasagna! As usual, I researched and explored various recipes for Mexican Lasagna and came up with my own concoction! Be ready for a hearty, FILLING, dish!

Note, we used two pounds of ground venison because we LOVE meaty dishes. Also, we grind and vacuum seal fresh, chopped jalapenos right in with most of our meat, so we have ready access to flavorful meat for burgers, chili, and dishes like these! Last, I used white corn flour tortillas, instead of yellow. Consistence and taste preference. Next time, I'll probably use multi-grain burrito wraps for larger, denser consistency.
 

Venison Mexican Lasagna

1-2 lbs ground venison
1 package of frozen southwestern blend vegetables (the blend I used had red pepper, corn, onion, poblanos, and black beans) with jalapenos (or add jalapenos to your liking...or don't)
1 can medium heat enchilada sauce
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 package of corn tortillas (white or yellow, whichever you prefer)

2 packages (about 4 cups) shredded Mexican blend cheese. Use your favorites!

Brown the venison and jalapenos in a skillet. Drain. Add frozen veggie mix. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the enchilada sauce, cream of celery soup, and diced tomatoes and green chiles. Add this mixture to the browned venison and make your sauce.

Drizzle around 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Then, cover the bottom of the pan with about eight flour tortillas, overlapping as you go. Next, cover with a layer of sauce, then comes the cheese. Keep repeating layers, with the top layer as meat. Then cover that with your final layer of cheese. I put a trail of picante sauce down the middle, too, just for good measure!

Cover with foil - make sure to tent the foil to help keep the cheese from sticking...or spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, which allows enough time to enjoy a frosty beverage and appetizers. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Serve with sour cream, more picante...and more frosty beverage.

Enjoy!

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Product Spotlight - Uncle Buck's Syrups

Another "Try Before You Buy" moment with our Gifts Department recently could be an easy way to impress mom for Mother's Day! Uncle Buck's Whole Blueberry and Whole Raspberry Syrups. However, it wasn't just about the syrup, it was how you can USE the syrup!

Uncle Buck's Whole Blueberry & Whole Raspberry Syrups

These syrups have the pure, rich taste of fresh berries. They are cooked by hand using old fashioned recipes, are fat-free, artificial flavoring free, and preservative free...PLUS, they're Made in the U.S.A.

But, what I really like best? They're not just for pancakes and waffles any more. The Gifts team was serving up cheesecake samples with syrup drizzled. Well, of course, that leads to thinking, "What else?"  If you eat ice cream in your house, like we do, then this is a perfect fit. Use them in smoothies, warm compotes with a nice venison loin, a glaze, or even in your own barbeque sauce or marinade. The opportunities are endless. In fact, I think I just talked myself into buying some.

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Air Rifles - Spring vs. Piston

Hunting Lead Wes Gudenkauf is a shooting expert and our resident air rifle guru. In this brief YouTube video, he explains the difference between spring versus piston air guns.

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Product Spotlight - Swamp People Mudda Fricka Horseradish Sauce

The Bass Pro Shops Altoona Gifts Department does product demos and sampling just about every weekend at the store! We call it Try Before You Buy and it's a great way to explore some of the flavors about which you may be curious. This weekend it was two of the Swamp People brand sauces, so today we sneaked over a sampled a taste of:

Swamp People's Mudda Fricka Horseradish BBQ Sauce!

Woo-hoo! Talk about a great sauce! I am a BBQ and smoked rib nut. I can just picture myself dipping some big chunks of baby racks, or maybe some burnt ends, in this sauce. Okay, actually, I can picture myself dipping just about anything in this - poultry, pork, or venison!

Don't let the name fool you. If you're not a big straight horseradish fan, this sauce doesn't have a strong horseradish flavor. But it does pack the immediate, but not long lasting rush, of a flavorful, semi-sweat heat.

The Gifts team cooked up a pork loin in the slow cooker and then shredded it. Throw on some Mudda Fricka and you have a zesty, spicy, but flavorful, shredded pork sandwich.

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - It's a PBR Workender Weekend!

There is SO much going on here this weekend! Take time to plan the next outing and adventure with your group of friends! Bring the family in to meet the PBR Riders in town for the PBR Event at Wells Fargo Arena! Here's the lineup!

Meet the Riders of the PBR!

The PBR is in town at Wells Fargo Arena and, once again, we'll have a special day set aside to welcome them and FLINT to the store!
 

  • 11:30-Noon - It's the Outside the Barrel Show with Flint and his guests!
  • Noon-1 p.m. - Autograph session with PBR riders/bullfighters! The following riders/bull fighters have been confirmed: riders and bullfighters we have confirmed are Jesse Byrne, Tanner Byrne, Sean Willingham, Douglas Duncan, and Bonner Bolton!
  • 1:00-1:30 p.m. - Free Fishing Seminar from the top of the tank with PBR Announcer Clint Adkins!
  • 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Ride the mechanical bull!


Don't forget - You can register to bowl with the riders at Uncle Buck's Fishbowl and Grill that afternoon. Only $30 and it supports the Rider Relief Fund! Check out the information at www.basspro.com/altoona! Register online or at the store that day!

Workender Event!

Friday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, Noon-5 p.m.

20/20 Social Hour 6-7 p.m. (Outside, weather permitting)

Find out firsthand experience from our Camping experts about products and best practices. Find out from local experts during our 20/20 Social Hour about where you can use that knowledge around Iowa and beyond! Learn about hiking and river trails, Boundary Waters, and more from the people who know!

On land or water, figure out your weekend escape at our Workender Event! Learn about products to take, how to pack and stay comfortable, getting the right gear! Free give-aways, how-tos, and 20/20 social hour to kick off the 20/20 Challenge! The social hour features Coca-Cola Life, fun snacks, and a chance to visit with experts from our area!

Friday, April 24

Friday seminars will be inside in The Fly shop.

• 6pm - Cooking Down and Dirty: Learn about the Jetboil systems and more! Free samples of Mountain House Freeze Dried food while supplies last.
• 7pm - Beat the Bugs: Bug time is here - learn how to stay comfortable in the outdoors and backcountry.
• 8pm - Pick Out and Get Out: Picking out the right kayak.

 

Saturday April 25

• 12 noon - Slumber by Number: Sleeping bag basics and Therm-A-Rest pads.
• 1pm - Pack Right: Proper backpack loading.
• 2pm - Beat the Bugs: Bug time is here - learn how to stay comfortable in the outdoors and back country.
• 3pm - Cooking Down and Dirty: Learn about the Jetboil systems and more! Free samples of Mountain House Freeze Dried food while supplies last.
• 4pm - Pick Out and Get Out - Picking out the right kayak for you.
• 5pm - Streamline Your Kayak: Rig and pack your kayak the right way!
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Take the 20/20 Challenge - May 1-July 26, 2015: Pledge to log 20 hours or 20 miles of outdoor activities! Sign up in store to take the 20/20 challenge and be entered for a chance to win the Workender Prize package.

Check out all the details on the prize package at www.basspro.com/workender

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Also, this weekend: Try Before You Buy!

Our Gifts Department is serving up more yummy samples with their products! Whether for family or entertaining friends, come give a taste and check them out!

1-4 p.m., While supplies last, by the Sunglass Counter.

Saturday, April 25 - Cocktail weiners with the Budweiser Gift Pack variety sauces.

Sunday, April 26 - Cherith Valley Mixed Vegetables and Garlic!

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Product Spotlight - Bone-Dry

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Greeter Ted Witthoft has hunted for years. Recently he went to South Dakota on a goose hunting trip and has nothing but wonderful things to say about his BONE-DRY hunting gear.

Bone-Dry Hunting Clothing

"I am an avid hunter of everything - waterfowl, pheasant, quail, deer, turkey, etc.
I purchased my Bone-Dry coat and pants a year ago.

I hunt in all kinds of weather conditions and this coat is an awesome piece of equipment! The removable lining is really toasty with the outside 100% dry in rain or snow. It sheds water like a duck and it's also a tremendous windbreaker.

This past week, while snow goose hunting in South Dakota this set of clothing proved its worth! I belly-crawled approximately 1000 yards toward feeding snow geese. It was raining, which turned to mud and then it started snowing. There were also rocks to crawl over.

The pants and coat still look like brand new. I stayed completely dry. I have not washed the coat or pants and they show no mud or dirt!

I am completely impressed with all of RedHead's Bone-Dry clothing. Rugged, fits well, and lives up to its accolades. It is reassuring to know that I have warm, sturdy, waterproof clothing to wear hunting.

Go RedHead!"

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New - The Workender Event!

The Millenial Generation - born between 1980 and 2000. You are technology driven, rely on product information, reviews, and comparisons to find reliable, convenient, great quality products that are cost-effective. Committed to healthy lifestyles through exercise and activity, the outdoors is just second nature to you.

According to Outdoor Industry, "With Millennials having grown up an urban, indoor, hyper-connected lifestyle, their view of outdoors is more likely to be places near their home where they can interact socially with friends and family."

You want to know where to go, how to do it, and what kind of adventure you can have to build lasting memories.

Well, we're here to help.

Friday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, Noon-5 p.m.
20/20 Social Hour 6-7 p.m. (Outside, weather permitting)


Find out firsthand experience from our Camping Experts about products and best practices. Find out from local experts during our 20/20 Social Hour about where you can use that knowledge around Iowa and beyond!

On land or water, figure out your weekend escape at our Workender Event! Learn about products to take, how to pack and stay comfortable, getting the right gear! Free give-aways, how-tos, and 20/20 social hour to kick off the 20/20 Challenge! The social hour features Coca-Cola Life, fun snacks, and a chance to visit with experts from our area!

Friday, April 24

Friday seminars will be inside in The Fly shop.

• 6pm - Cooking Down and Dirty: Learn about the Jetboil systems and more! Free samples of Mountain House Freeze Dried food while supplies last.
• 7pm - Beat the Bugs: Bug time is here - learn how to stay comfortable in the outdoors and backcountry.
• 8pm - Pick Out and Get Out: Picking out the right kayak.

 

Saturday April 25

• 12 noon - Slumber by Number: Sleeping bag basics and Therm-A-Rest pads.
• 1pm - Pack Right: Proper backpack loading.
• 2pm - Beat the Bugs: Bug time is here - learn how to stay comfortable in the outdoors and back country.
• 3pm - Cooking Down and Dirty: Learn about the Jetboil systems and more! Free samples of Mountain House Freeze Dried food while supplies last.
• 4pm - Pick Out and Get Out - Picking out the right kayak for you.
• 5pm - Streamline Your Kayak: Rig and pack your kayak the right way!
_______________________

Take the 20/20 Challenge - May 1-July 26, 2015: Pledge to log 20 hours or 20 miles of outdoor activities! Sign up in store to take the 20/20 challenge and be entered for a chance to win the Workender Prize package.

Check out all the details on the prize package at www.basspro.com/workender

_____________________

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Visit us @ www.basspro.com/altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
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Rainy Day Success!

By Dan Stephany
Bass Pro Shops Altoona Receiving Manager

Earlier, I posted a blog article talking about the joy of taking a young person with you in the turkey woods. I’d like to follow up with an update about a special afternoon I shared with my son, Micah, earlier this week during the Iowa Youth Turkey Season.

We weren’t able to hunt the opening weekend of the youth season, because we were visiting family in Wisconsin for Easter. Monday afternoon after work would be the first chance we would have to go out after a spring gobbler. The forecast called for rain on and off, with the chance for it to be heavy at times. Recognizing Micah is only 11, and wanting to respect his appreciation for the hunt, I decided to double check with Micah at lunch to see if he still wanted to go and sit in the rain. I was excited when he said he didn’t care if it was raining and still wanted to go. The rest of the afternoon I had that restless feeling we all get when we know we will be in the woods for the first sit of the year. I finished at work, went home to pick up Micah, and we headed out. We got set up in our ground blind about two hours before sunset. I had my jake decoy, with real tail fan, along with my AvianX feeding hen and another relaxed hen decoy out in front of us about 15 yards.

We enjoyed the evening talking about his day of school and watching some deer work their way past the blind. The rain started coming down, and a yearling deer came down the ridge toward our blind. The deer obviously had never seen a turkey decoy because it wandered around, circling the decoys for 10 minutes, not sure about these motionless new intruders in his woods. Suddenly, the deer looked up the hill behind our blind, and went on full alert. I peeked out the side of the blind only to see a very large tom walking just 5 yards away from the blind coming right into our decoys. I motioned to Micah to get the gun ready and get on the decoys. Micah’s eyes got as big as saucers when he saw the tom working in to challenge my jake decoy. We watched the big tom smack the decoy and go into full strut about 15 yards away from us. Micah took the safety off and the tight pattern of his 20 gauge dropped the tom immediately. The celebration was on! We took a bunch of photos, sent text messages and pictures to all our family and friends and made sure to capture those memories to share with others.

I took away several valuable lessons from this hunt.

  • First, don’t let a little rain scare you off. The phrase, "You can’t kill ‘em if you don’t go" applies. Having the right gear does make the difference, especially when you are taking a young person. We sat dry and comfortable in our ground blind and were never affected by the rain.  
  • Second, let your child be part of the decision when they want to hunt and when they don’t. Short, positive experiences will always leave them wanting more. Remember, the hunt is for them, not you. Make it comfortable and keep it light. Forcing them to sit for long periods of time, or in poor weather, may have the opposite effect and you may lose a lifelong hunting partner.
  • Last, expect the unexpected. This bird never gobbled, never made a sound, came in from the wrong direction, and came down a hill toward our decoys instead of the typical pattern of working up a slope. We were in the right place at the right time and Micah was rewarded for his decision to go hunting.

I can’t wait to head back to the woods for my own chess match with spring gobblers, but my season is already complete thanks to Micah’s rainy day success!

Good luck and God bless!

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Community Conservation Seminar Series - Landscaping for Wildlife

 

 

The Community Conservation Seminar Series

Bass Pro Shops Altoona presents this series of  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.

Ever wished your yard could be the setting for an episode of Wild Kingdom? Or perhaps you'd just like more butterflies and birds? This seminar will give you some tips on how you can transform your yard into a sanctuary for wildlife of all kinds. Not only will you be conserving and being a steward of Iowa's wildlife, you'll be creating an oasis for yourself that you can feel good about!

Landscaping for Wildlife

with Stephanie Shepherd
Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Saturday, May 16

10:00 AM

Bass Pro Shops Altoona


Stephanie is a Wildlife Diversity Biologist with the Iowa DNR Wildlife Research Station. She is a the program coordinator for the Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program.

No reservations required. Simply join us!

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From the Pro - Springtime Lures of Choice

by Kary Ray
Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff
Three-time FLW/BFL Regional Qualifier

 


 

Spring can be a difficult, or sometimes very easy, time of year to catch great numbers of bass, but also the bass of your lifetime. Cold water temps, along with repeated cold fronts, can hamper the activity and migration of the bass this time of year, but if you get an extended warm period, the fishing can be amazing!!

1.  My first choice of lures is the jerkbait. There are many jerkbaits on the market that have all different kinds of qualities, but if I had to pick one it would be a SPRO McStick. I like to use a 7’ medium action Bass Pro Shops Carbonlite rod with a moderate tip along with a Johnny Morris Carbonlite reel with a 6.3:1 gear ratio.

I start looking for the bass at the base of the creek arms and points, then work my way back through the arms until I find where the fish are starting to stage. This type of bait is a great search bait to find the fish that are on the move and suspended. Fishing this type of lure is best, in my opinion, when the water temps range from 38 to 52 degrees.

2.  My second choice is a rattle type crankbait (rattletrap). This time of year I tend to go with some kind of crawdad color.

This lure type is a power fisherman’s dream lure. The great thing about it is you throw it out and reel it back in. It works best around new weed growth this time of year. You want to just tick the top of the weeds and every now and then let the lure drop and “yank” it out of the weeds. Nine times out of ten that’s when your bite will occur.

3.  My third choice this time of year is the JIG! You can’t beat this lure for big bass when the water is cold. Now, you might not catch a LOT of bass, but the ones you do catch are going to be on the upper scale side of big. My favorite jigs I make myself, but there are many on the market that work perfectly fine. Bass Pro Shops makes one of the finest jigs I have ever used - The Enticer. I prefer to add a plastic chunk on the back, depending on water temp, that doesn’t have a lot of action.

I dissect the water with this bad dude. Whether I’m casting it to 45 degree banks and dragging it, or swimming it through last year’s pad stems, I hit everything I can find that might hold a bass.

Presentation is everything this time of year. These three lures will not only help you catch more bass, they’ll show where the bass are hiding, whether suspended over points, moving up on the weed flats or hiding behind a stump. Give them a try - you might have been missing some of the most exciting fish of the year!
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