This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Workender AND PBR!

WOW! What a busy, fun weekend we have planned for April 22-23! Check it out!

The Workender!Workender

Plan that next solo, group or family adventure! One day, one weekend, one week or longer - come find out where to go and what to do in Iowa and beyond!

How-tos, drawings, free samples, and the Workender Social Gathering Meetup all give you the resources you need to get out and enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and more!

First up - Friday night!

Friday, April 22 - 6-8 p.m. - How-tos with giveaways after each!

Presented by Kent Petersen, longtime outdoorsman and kayak fisherman!Kent Petersen

6 p.m. - Pack Right for Day Hikes & More - How to load a backpack and get the right fit
7 p.m. - Pick Out and Get Out - a "how-to" on picking out the right kayak.

Free Photo Download April 22, 6-8 p.m. - get your photo taken and have the chance to win a Toyota Rav4 Hybrid or one of 13 Ascend prizes!

Then join us Saturday, April 23, for more Workender how-tos, plus our Workender Meetup from 3-6 p.m.!

Saturday, April 23 Workender How-tos and Meetup!

1 p.m. - Slumber by Number - How to pick out the right sleeping bag, pads, etc.- with Matt Vorhies
2 p.m. - Beat the Bugs - Protect yourself! - with Matt Vorhies
3 p.m. - Rig it Right - how to rig your kayak for fishing - with Kent Peterson, avid kayak fisherman!
4 p.m. - Cooking Down and Dirty - How to use a Jetboil - with Kent Peterson

Workender Meetup! April 23, 3-6 p.m.

YOUR chance to visit informally with outdoors enthusiasts and specialists about where to go and what to do! We have groups with ideas and activities for all levels and abilities, including physically challenged and veterans!

...and more being scheduled each day!

Drawings at 4, 5, and 6 p.m. - $50 gift card, and North Face backpacks! Plus free samples, while they last, of tasty treats for hiking and sample Mountain House freeze-dried foods!

Free Photo Download April 22, 6-8 p.m. and April 23, 1-6 p.m. - get your photo taken and have the chance to win a Toyota Rav4 Hybrid or one of 13 Ascend prizes!

Also on Saturday, April 23PBR

The PBR is back in town!

The Professional Bull Riders are back in Des Moines and we'll have PBR fun here, too!
Noon-1 p.m.- PBR Riders autograph hour - at the time of this writing we don't know what riders yet, but will update on our Facebook page.
1-1:30 - Fishing Seminar at the tank with PBR announcer, and experienced angler, Clint Adkins.

Plus, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m :

  • Ride the mechanical bull!
  • Bull roping for kids
  • Stick Bull Riding

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The Workender - Plan Your Weekend NOW!

WorkenderWorkender

Plan your next adventure! Join us for How-to's and advice for your next solo, group or family adventure - one day, a weekend, or longer. Pull up a comfy chair and learn all there is to do in our area and beyond!

How-tos and photos on Friday night 6-8 p.m., then more How-tos and a Meetup on Saturday!

Friday, April 22 - 6-8 p.m.

How-Tos - giveaways after each

6 p.m. - Pack Right for Day Hikes & More - How to load a backpack and get the right fit - withTodd Robertson, Iowa DNR Kent Petersen

7 p.m. - Pick Out and Get Out - a "how-to" on picking out the right kayak with Todd Robertson, Iowa
Department of Natural Resources River Programs Outreach Coordinator/Paddling Instructor.

Free Photo Download April 22, 6-8 p.m. - get your photo taken and have the chance to win a Toyota Rav4 Hybrid or one of 13 Ascend prizes!

Then join us Saturday, April 23, for more Workender how-tos, plus our Workender Meetup from 3-6 p.m.!

 

Saturday, April 23 - 1-6 p.m.

How-Tos - giveaways after each!

1 p.m. - Slumber by Number - How to pick out the right sleeping bag, pads, etc. - Camping Lead Matt Vorheis
2 p.m. - Beat the Bugs - Camping Lead Matt Vorheis
Jetboil
3 p.m. - Rig it Right - How to streamline your kayak for fishing - avid kayak fisherman Kent Petersen
4 p.m. - Cooking Down and Dirty - How to use a Jetboil - Kent Petersen

 

April 23, 3-6 p.m. - It's a Workender Meetup!

Talk trails, waterways, camping and more with folks from:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Polk County Conservation
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Iowa's Great Outdoors w/Chance Patrick
ColdWater Guide Service w/Rod Woten

Central Iowa Outdoors Without Boundaries
Greater Des Moines Volkssport Assoc.
English River Outfitters Resort "Designed by Veterans for Veterans"

Central Iowa Paddlers
Jasper County Conservation,  and more being added each day! Borealis

Drawings at 4, 5, and 6 p.m. - $50 gift card, and The North Face Borealis backpacks! Plus free samples, while they last, of tasty treats for hiking and sample Mountain House freeze-dried foods!

Free Photo Download April 22, 6-8 p.m. and April 23, 1-6 p.m. - get your photo taken and have the chance to win a Toyota Rav4 Hybrid or one of 13 Ascend prizes!

_____________________________________

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Meet the Stars of the PBR!

Meet the Stars of the PBR!Meet the Riders of the PBR!

Saturday, April 23

The PBR is in town at Wells Fargo Arena and, once again, we'll have a special day set aside to celebrate their return!
 

  • Noon-1 p.m. - Autograph session with PBR riders/bullfighters! Riders names will be announced on our Facebook page as we are notified.
  • 1:00-1:30 p.m. - Free Fishing Seminar Meet the Riders of the PBR!from the top of the tank with PBR Announcer Clint Adkins!
  • 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Ride the mechanical bull!
  • 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Stick riding and roping for the kids!

PBR Day

 

 

PBR!

 

 

 

 

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

I just heard a loud "Ew!" from the people reading this title. However, I promise you it is excellent and my husband would agree - and he was one of those who questioned it's taste when hearing about it.Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Being an "you only eat chili when it's cold" purist, I know there are very few chili consumption days left. So, in researching heart healthy venison recipes, I found this on the This Mama Cooks web site and gave it a whirl. If you don't have venison you can us ground turkey, chicken or lean beef. Since we have to watch our salt, I removed the salt. Use enough spices and you won't need salt. I also left out the chili powder because the only one I had contained salt.

Healthy Slow Cooker Pumpkin and Bean Chili

    1 medium  yellow onion, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    1 lb ground venison
    3 cloves garlic, minced
   1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tsp oregano
    1 1/2 tsp cumin
    2 1/2 C no salt or low sodium beef stock - you can also use no salt beef bullion packets and make broth.
    1 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed (calls for 2, but only used 1 because - you guessed it -  that's all I had in the cupboard!)
    1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
    1 quart bag of frozen tomatoes (it calls for a 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice - use no salt added)
 

Directions

    Cook the ground meat until cooked through. Put in the slow cooker and then add all the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

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The original recipe actually called for cooking the veggies with the venison before putting in the slow cooker. I just threw it all together and it was fine. Very tasty and almost creamy - make it now while there is still "cool" time, then save it for next fall!

Enjoy!

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Made in the USA for your Feet

What do you have that's Made in the USA? We get that question a lot. While we carry many items that are made in the USA, here are some you may not realize - socks.

Many folks are familiar with our Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose RedHead socks. If they wear out, you can return them any time, without a receipt and at any Bass Pro Shops location (or online), and receive a free pair.

Did you also know they are made in the USA? All of our RedHead socks for men, the Natural Reflections Lifetime Guarantee sock for ladies, and Ascend brand socks are made in the USA. That includes RedHead cotton crews to Mountain Bear to Treestand to Extreme Cold to the RedHead CoolMax liner socks, plus more! Here are a few favorites starting with the king - the RedHead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose socks for men.

RedHead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose SocksLifetime Guarantee Socks

I left off the "for men" on the heading, because I wear these and I'm not a guy. However, I wear them as slipper socks in the house. They are heavy-duty, warm, and are reinforced at the heel, toe, and in the arch - those stress zones. I love my RedHead socks, especially in the winter or a cold spring like we're having so far!

My husband does wear these socks for hunting and likes the warmth they provide along with a good pair of boots.

They are a best seller and for good reasons - Made in the USA, you buy one pair and you never have to buy another, and they provide durable warmth.

natural reflections socksLifetime Ladies Natural Reflections Sock

Not wanting something as thick as the sock for men? Then try the Lifetime Ladies Natural Reflections socks. All the same great features and benefits of the men's version, but simply a little less bulky.

Lifetime Guarantee Lightweight Quarter Socks

This is my go-to sock in the winter - in quarter or calf sizes - for work here at the store. Not too heavy, extra cushioning on the heels and, of course, a lifetime guarantee!

Last, but not least, the Ascend Hiker Quarter SockAscend Socks

My very favorite. Although I'm not hiking mountains and trails, I am hiking around the store a LOT! The Merino wool, nylon, and elastic yarn blend make them comfortable, flexible and durable. Plus they are what Bass Pro calls FARM TO FEET - the merino wool is 100% American grown, coupled with all-American nylon and elastic yarns, and produced in the Carolinas.

Doesn't get much more Made in the USA than that.

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Get Ready for Feathered Friends!

As I write this, there's a winter storm warning in the north half of our state and tornado watches in the south half. In Iowa, we know the weather can change within minutes. However, we also know spring is officially here, so we just have to "weather" through the craziness sometimes.

If it's not snowing or raining, then many of us are outside doing spring clean up and getting ready for gardens Finch Feederand the birds who "flew the coop" for the winter.

Here are some things you can be doing now to get ready:

  • Take down all of your bird feeders, dump out all the remaining seed, and thoroughly clean them with water.

We took our finch feeders down over the winter, but already have them back out. Check the finch feeders for cracks and missing pegs. If it leaks too much thistle, then it's probably time to get a new feeder. One of the easiest and most popular finch feeders we use is the simple thistle sock. For some reason, the finches really prefer to eat off of it. But you have to make sure it doesn't get too nasty from rain.

  • Wherever your feeders were this winter, you need to remove all that seed that's on the ground. Our feeders are in one of our flower gardens near a tree. I found I could actually just use a rake and pull it back like a rug. Not only is it messy and nasty, but it can also attribute to mold problems, allergies to you, and diseases to birds.
  • Figure out where you're going to put your feeders for the summer. Remember birds, likeHummingbird humans, need food, shelter, and water. Place your feeders away from trees where predators can hide. Add a birdbath and they'll probably stick around for a while! Change the water in the birdbath every 2-3 days.

Hummingbird feeders traditionally are put out by May 1. Our feeder is in a different flower garden surrounded by red potted flowers and mandevilla, which they adore. We also have loads of zinnias which we plant in both gardens for the bees and the butterflies.Wren with bug

  • If you want some real entertainment, put out a wren house. Wrens are small, but mighty and will chew you out every chance they get. However, we have watched, from our patio, two wren broods grow and thrive every summer. Small wren houses are necessary to keep the starlings and other predators out.

We now have a hawk who hangs around our backyard, so we will see what this year brings. Hopefully, more wrens, hummingbirds, and butterflies!wren house

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Passing on the Hunt

By Guest Blogger Rod SlingsRod Slings and grandson with grandson's first turkey.
Rod Slings is a retired Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Supervisor.  He is the CEO/Founder of Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants LLC and the Co-Author of BLOOD ON THE LEAVES – Real Hunting Accident Investigations – And Lessons In Hunter Safety

 

Spring turkey season is upon us.

“Passing on the hunt” seems to be what generation after generation does in hunting families. We create great memories when we introduce a young family member, or young friend, to the outdoors as a SAFE, responsible, and ethical new hunter. Being a mentor or role model is one of the most rewarding and important things a veteran hunter can do.

I will never forget the early morning of the first turkey hunt with my grandson Cooper. Dressed in his new matching camo, we climbed out of the truck and walked together into the darkness. He reached out to hold my hand, which is etched in my mind forever. Having the blind set up day’s prior, we walked slowly, as quiet as possible, him occasionally stumbling over the rough ground with his short legs. Once we reached the blind we settled in, lighting the heater, breaking out the cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate (which has become a tradition). Shortly before the break of daylight, the first “GOBBLE” broke the morning silence. Cooper immediately began to laugh out loud, which made me laugh at him, understanding that this un-natural sound to him was what we were here for - all part of this amazing outdoors experience. After a short discussion about noise, I must have sounded much like Elmer Fudd, as I whispered to Cooper, “We must be very, very quiet!”

This particular hunt would not produce the success of a harvested turkey. It was, however, a successful hunt simply for the experience we shared, and each time since then has been a treasure. As a mentor, there are several things for you to consider as you pass on the hunt:

Safety is always the first rule when mentoring a young hunter

  • Make sure you have practiced and your hunter is familiar with the firearm.
  • Set up the blind and practice how the shot will be made with an empty firearm.
  • Explain where the focus of the shot must be made for a SAFE, clean, quick harvest.
  • Remember, firearm safety must be the total focus of the mentor and young hunter.
  • Position yourself so you can take control of the firearm, if necessary.
  • It is best to use a hunting blind, to hide movement and for concealment.
  • Place decoys 15 to 20 yards away from the blind with good visibility.
  • Do not stalk turkeys or leave the young hunter alone at anytime.
  • "Under direct supervision" means you are always within arms reach.
  • Safety on, muzzle of the firearm always pointed in a SAFE direction.
  • Never prop a firearm up against an un-safe rest, such as against the blind.
  • Only load the firearm once you are settled and the hunt is ready to begin, unload before you leave the blind.
  • Finger is outside the trigger guard, safety is always on until the shot is ready to be made.
  • You, as the mentor, will whisper when to make the shot.

Comfort considerations for a young hunter are imperative.

  • Warm camouflage clothing - never wear: red, white, blue or black colors.
  • Stay warm on a chilly spring morning by the use of a portable heater, placed in a SAFE location, following all manufacture guidelines.
  • Chairs stay elevated to help see out the blind windows and for comfort.
  • Food, snacks, even a thermos of hot chocolate are all important.
  • I hate to admit it, however, limited use of electronics, on low light and on silent, may help fight their boredom when activity is a little slow.
  • Never overstay the patience of the young hunter. If they become bored, time to pack it in until next time.
  • Take a Hunter Education Course with your young hunter.
  • Remember who you are hunting with, keep in mind…it's about them!
  • Back to the first rule, hunt SAFELY!

“Passing it on” creates memories that last a lifetime, which then pass on to the next generation. Remember the camera! It may just be a camera from your phone or a GoPro to capture each moment to share with others.

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

Our canine customer celebration continues during our second weekend of Bass Pro Dog Days!

Friday, March 11

FREE SEMINAR & GIVEAWAYAHeinz Pet Rescue and Transport

  • 6pm: Man’s Best Friend – History, Selecting the Right Breed, and Fun Facts Presented by Amy Heinz, AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport AeinAFREE
    Free Nite Ize® S-Biner® Clip for your dog to the first 20 customers at the seminar!

     
  • Saturday, March 12Mick McAuliffe

FREE SEMINARS

  • 11am:  Dog Basics – Safety, Care, Hearing and Smelling
    Presented by Mick McAuliffe, Animal Services Manager, ARL of Iowa.
  • 2pm: Fun with Dogs in the Outdoors – Working Dogs, chance patrickCamping and Hiking with your Dog Presented by Chance Patrick, Iowa’s Great Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops Hunting Pro Staff, and his 3 ½ month old Silver Lab Gertie.

 

 Other Dog Days Activities on March 12free photo

  • Free 4x6 photo with your dog & paw print certificate!
  • Dog Costume Contest! – Noon - $25 Bass Pro Shops gift card to the winner

Guest judges: Lou Sipolt, Great Day KCWI23, Chance Patrick, and Mick McAuliffe, ARL

  • ARL Adoption day 10am-3pm
  • Exhibitors – 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Pampered Pooch Bakery and Salon   Dog Costume Contest
    • Iowa Weimaraner Rescue
    • Great Plains Pointer Rescue
    • PETSAKES
    • AHeinz 57 Pet Rescue and Transport
    • Puppy Jake Foundation
    • Barks and Wags- Grooming Demonstrations
    • The Pet Project Midwest
    • Rover’s Ranch
    • Taysia Blue Siberian Husky and Malamute Rescue

microchipping clinic

  • Microchipping Clinic – 1-4 p.m. - Anderson Animal Hospital
    • Cost will be $20 which includes microchip registration-cash or major debit/credit card will be accepted

 

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Hearty Venison Vegetable Soup

You'll find barley in many heart healthy recipes. It's a high-fiber, high-protein grain and adds nice texture and bulk to soups. Here's one of the first soups with barley that I made and we couldn't get over how good it was, especially on a cold winter or cool spring night! Aside from the chopping, it's "soup"-er easy!

Hearty Venison Vegetable Soup

1 lb ground venisonVenison Vegetable Soup
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
7 cups water
1 quart jar home-canned tomatoes (without salt) or 1 can unsalted whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped.
1/2 cup medium barley, uncooked
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced carrots
2 no-salt beef bouillon packets
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 Bay leaf
1 9 oz package frozen mixed vegetables (or 1/2 of a large package)

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, brown the venison. Add onion and garlic, cooking until the onion is tender. Drain and stir in everything EXCEPT the frozen vegetables. Cover and bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the frozen veggies and let cook another 10 minutes or until they are tender. This soup will be HOT so serve and let sit a little. Don't forget to remove the bay leaf!

Enjoy!

______________________
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This Weekend at Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Dog Days!

Grab your four-legged, furry kids and come on out! Don't have any but thinking about getting a dog? This weekend is also great for that! Here is the lineup for our first weekend of Dog Days!

Bass Pro Shops Dog Days Family Event!

Friday, March 4Amy Heinz, AHeinz Pet Transport and Rescue

FREE SEMINAR & GIVEAWAY

  • 6pm: Man’s Best Friend – History, Selecting the Right Breed, and Fun Facts Presented by Amy Heinz, AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport Free Nite Ize® S-Biner® Clip for your dog to the first 20 customers at the seminar!

Saturday, March 5Donna Flattery, Certified Professional Dog Trainer

FREE SEMINARS

  • 11am:  Dog Basics – Safety, Care, Hearing and Smelling
    Presented by Donna Flattery, Certified Veterinary Technician, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knoxville Veterinary Clinic

Doug Sheeley

  • 2pm:  Fun with Dogs in the Outdoors - Safety, proper gear and tips for outside fun with your dog. Presented by Doug Sheeley, Natural Resources Supervisor, Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, Polk County Conservation, and his 8 ½ month old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Belle

 

Other Dog Days Activities on March 5

  • Free 4x6 photo with your dog & paw print certificate!
  • Silly Dog Trick Contest! – Noon - $25 Bass Pro Shops gift card to the winner! Guest judges: Lou Sipolt, Great Day KCWI23, Mitchellville Police Chief Kary Kinmonth.
  • ARL Adoption Day - 10am-3pm
  • Representatives from various dog-related organizations and businesses - 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Pampered Pooch Bakery and Salondog
    • Jay Greene
    • Great Plains Pointer Rescue
    • PETSAKES
    • AAHeeinz AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport
    • Puppy Jake Foundation
    • The Pet Project Midwest
    • Barks and Wags – Grooming Demonstrations
    • Fetch! Pet Care
    • Rover’s Ranch
    • Taysia Blue Siberian Husky and Malamute Rescue
  • Microchipping Clinic – 1-4 p.m. - Anderson Animal Hospital
    • Cost will be $20 which includes microchip registration-cash or major debit/credit card will be accepted

Dog Food Drive – FRIDAY/SATURDAY, MARCH 4 & 5Drop off cans, or bags, of dog food to our collection point by the greeter. Donations will be given to The Pet Project Midwest, dedicated to keeping pets with the people who love them, through programs such as The Pet Pantry, and Animeals (food for pets of Meals on Wheels recipients).

Coming up next weekend?  More of the same! but with a Dog Costume contest, instead!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Turkey Barley Vegetable Soup

Another belly warming soup and heart healthy, too! Turkey Barley Vegetable Soup

 

Turkey Barley Vegetable Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
2-4 cups cooked turkey breast (Great recipe for leftover slow cooker wild turkey!)
1 1/2 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups no sodium chicken broth (if you don't have no sodium broth at your grocer, you can use 2 no-sodium chicken bullion with 6 cups water)
1 can whole, unsalted tomatoes (I used one gallon bag of our frozen garden tomatoes)
3/4 cup pearl barley
fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 package frozen kale

 

Heat the olive oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven, and cook the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the turkey, broth, tomatoes, barley. Season with the pepper, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves. Simmer covered for 30 minutes, until barley is tender. Stir in the kale and let simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

_________________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Friday, February 26, 6 p.m.

Shed Dog Training SeminarShed Dog Training Seminar!

Join us to welcome back the DogBone pack to Altoona, Iowa!
Jeremy Moore and his dogs will be here to show you how any dog can become a shed hunter! Come meet the newest addition to his pack - 5 month old Ellie! Jeremy always gives an informative, entertaining, and lively seminar!Jeremy Moore, founder of DogBone Shed Retrieval Training Systems

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

The following troops will be selling cookies in the store:

Friday, Feb. 26
5-8 p.m. - Girl Scout Troop 755
Saturday, Feb. 27
12-3 p.m.: Daisy Troop 2220
3:30-7:30 p.m.: Troop 654
Sunday, Feb. 28
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Troop 624
4-7 p.m.: Troop 1031
 

Jay Green and his dog obedience demonstration - Saturday, Feb. 27, 3:15 following the fish feeding.

Coming Up?

Get ready for Dog Days!  March 4,5,11,12!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - All-American Chili (Heart Healthy)

Recently, my husband, the avid outdoorsman, went from having a routine stress test to being admitted to theHeart Healthy Chili hospital, all within 12 hours. He had a quadruple bypass five days later. He is in good shape...blame the heart on genetics...takes care of himself and is very active. That will make his recovery much easier.

So, our cooking is taking a much more vigorous "heart healthy" twist, with very low sodium and low sugar. We both consider it a fun challenge and, since we all know venison is so lean, the challenge will be how we use it and what we pair it. Fortunately, we use a lot of spices anyway, and can/freeze many of our own veggies in the summer, which helps. So expect to see more heart healthy recipes included in the Outdoor Cooking Primer from now on. However, that DOESN'T mean it won't taste good! This chili was so good, I didn't even get a picture!

 

All-American Chili

1.5 lbs ground venison with jalapenos
2 cups chopped onion
8 garlic cloves, minced (I use jarred minced garlic)
3/4 cup chopped Anaheim and Sweet Banana peppers (Optional - we had these frozen from the summer garden)
2 Tbsp chili poweder
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh group black pepper or pepper seasoning
2 Bay leaves
1 cup Merlot or other dark red wine
2 - 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, no salt added, undrained and coarsely chopped (we used 1 gallon bag of frozen tomatoes from the summer garden)
2 - 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (optional)

 

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the venison, then drain. Add all of the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves before serving. If desired, top each bowl of chili with 1 Tbsp of cheddar cheese.

Like most chili, it is really good the next day!

Enjoy!

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Dog Days are Back!

Dog Day Event at Bass Pro Shops AltoonaDog Days at Bass Pro Shops
March 4-5, & March 11-12

Free Seminars, Giveaways, Drawings and FUN!

March 4-5, 11-12

Big, small, we love them all, and this event is all about THEM! Free seminars, giveaways, free photo with your dog and a paw print certificate, plus more!  The ARL will be here both Saturdays with adoptable dogs and small animals!

Here's our seminar lineup:

Fridays, March  4 & 11

6pm: Man’s Best Friend – History, Selecting the Right Breed, and Fun Facts
Presented by Amy Heinz, AHeinz Pet Rescue and Transport
FREE Nite Ize® S-Biner® Clip for your dog to the first 20 customers attending this seminar


Saturdays, March 5 & 12

Saturday, Mar. 5

11am – Dog Basics: Safety, Care, Hearing and Smelling - Presented by Donna Flattery, CVT, Certified Dog Obedience Trainer, Knoxville Veterinary Clinic.

2pm - Fun with Dogs in the Outdoors - Safety, proper gear and tips for outside fun with your dog. Presented by Doug Sheeley, Polk County Conservation, and his 8 ½ month old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Belle.


Saturday, Mar. 12

11am - Dog Basics: Safety, Care, Hearing and Smelling
Presented by Mick McAuliffe, Animal Services Manager, ARL of Iowa

2pm - Fun with Dogs in the Outdoors: Working Dogs, Camping, and Hiking with your Dog - Presented by Chance Patrick, Iowa's Great Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops Hunting Pro Staffdog trick

Special Store Activities BOTH Saturdays

Along with the free seminars, we'll have:

Silly Dog Trick Contest! - Saturday, March 5, Noon - $25 BPS Gift Card to the winner!  Guest judges - Lou Sipolt from Great Day KCWI23

Dog Costume Contest! - Saturday, March 12, Noon - $25 BPS Gift Card to the winner! dog costume

  • Free 4x6 photo and download with you and your dog, plus a dog print certificate!
  • Dog-related businesses and organizations to visit
  • Grooming demos by Barks and Wags Salon
  • The first 100 customers on both Saturdays receive a doggy gift bag!
  • Both Saturdays, 1-4 p.m.: Reduced price Microchipping and chip registration - Only $20! Provided by Anderson Animal Hospital. Cash and major credit/debit cards accepted.
  • K9 Advantix II Samples - Distributed based on dog's weight - sizes limited, while supplies last.
  • A free treat for your pup with any purchase Friday or Saturday! (While supplies last)

Dog Food Donation Drive - Bring cans and bags of dog food to our donation drop off spot by the greeter. Donations will be given to The Pet Project Midwest, dedicated to keeping pets with the people who love them, through programs such as The Pet Pantry, Iowa Pet Alert, and Animeals (food for pets of Meals on Wheels recipients).

All days, enter for a chance to win one of 3 prizes!GoPro Fetch Dog Harness Mount

  1. GoPro Hero4 Silver Camera, plus a GoPro Fetch (Dog Harness) Mount
  2. PetSafe Drinkwell Fountain
  3. PetMate Dog Bowl, adjustable Collar, & Funky Flier

It's a BONE-a-fide great event!

_____________________

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Spring Fishing Classic - Local Free Seminars/Next Generation Weekend

2016 Spring Fishing Classic - Altoona, IA

Old, young, men, women, and children - the second weekend of the Spring Fishing Classic has something for EVERYONE!

Free Local Pro Seminars

Friday, February 19

7:00pm - Bladed Jigs: Learn How and Where to Fish Bladed Jigs for your Next Big Catch
Presented by Fishing Associate Jakob Glas

Lance Baker

Saturday, February 20

11:00am - New To Fishing? Learn All You Need to Know to Get Started
Presented by Lance Baker, Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff

1:30pm - Women’s Fishing Workshop - Presented by Becoming an Outdoors Woman (they'll have information on the BOW Spring Weekend, too!)

Kary Ray2:00pm - Understanding Baitfish and Their Seasonal Movements
Kary Ray - Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff

4:00pm - The Strategy of Successful Kayak Fishing
Kent Petersen, Camping Associate/Kayak Fisherman

4:30pm - Kids’ Fishing Workshop
Taylor Howard, Leader of the Mitchellville Elementary Fishing Club - All kids get a special certificate!

 

Sunday, February 21

11:00am - New To Fishing? Learn All You Need to Know to Get Started
Lance Baker, Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff

2:00pm - Understanding Baitfish and Their Seasonal Movements
Kary Ray - Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff

4:00pm - The Strategy of Successful Kayak Fishing
Kent Petersen, Camping Associate/Kayak Fisherman

4:30pm - Kids’ Fishing Workshop
Joel VanRoekel, Des Moines Parks and Recreation - All kids get a special certificate!

Next Generation Weekend!

It's all about the kids! Our activities start at noon! Free Photo Download

  • Free Photo Download - like you're on the cover of Next Generation magazine!
  • Free Kids' Craft
  • Free Kids' Fishing workshop at 4:30 Saturday and Sunday - See the schedule above for details!
  • Free Casting Buckets Challenge!

Free kids' drawstring bag for the first 100 kids to complete a punch card each day!


Don't miss the fun!

______________________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Spring Fishing Classic!

Spring Fishing Classic!

The world's greatest fishing show and sale kicks off Friday, February 12!

The Rod and Reel Trade-In lasts the duration of the classic. Trade in your old rod or reel and save on a new one.

Last year, almost 500 rods and reels were traded in, and they were donated to local organizations, including the Boy Scouts, Lake View Camp, and Polk County Conservation.

Also this weekend:

 

Saturday, February 13

Keep the Beat with the American Heart Association!

Noon-2:30

February is American Heart Month!

You can't enjoy life in the great outdoors if you don't keep your heart healthy! Plus, you may need to SAVE someone's life in the great outdoors. The American Heart Association Iowa will be here with information and to show you how to do HANDS-ONLY CPR! No age restrictions - anyone can learn! #lifeiswhy #heartmonth

 

Girl Scout Cookie Month!

We'll have Girls Scout troops 324, 256, and 1031 here over the course of both Saturday and Sunday, selling their cookies. Concerned about keeping that heart healthy but still enjoying your Girl Scout cookies? They have healthy choices...and use moderation.

_________________

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Go Take a Leap!

2016 is a Leap Year, so we are blessed with one extra day in the year. How will you use your extra dayhunting? Here are some ideas:

Idea #1 - Learn a new outdoor skill. Of course this will be our first choice. Never fished? Have someone who fishes take you. Warm weather or cold, there are plenty of fish and plenty of places to catch them. Never hunted? Do the same. Find someone who hunts and have them take you on one day. Don't be scared to ask...sometimes you have to ask more than one person. If that happens...contact us. We'll put you in touch with one of our hunting or fishing pros. They love to introduce people to fishing and hunting!Fishing

Idea #2 - Visit a new place. This is my favorite. As a born and raised Iowan, I am continuously amazed at how many fellow Iowans don't know all of the cool places there are to visit in this state. They may have traveled across the country, or outside it even, but they couldn't name three of Iowa's state parks or have never been to Lake Red Rock or any of our other beautiful lakes and parks.

Idea #3 - Learn to read a map. Forget about the phone GPS or Google Maps or whatever. Start with a free road map at your area rest stop and look at it. Learn your state. Then decide where you're going to go for Idea #2 above and figure out your route. Then, if you hit a detour, you won't be led 1.5 hours out of your way by your electronic friend. You can read the blue and gray lines and get there on your own...quicker. From there you can move on to hiking maps, etc., for those hikes you'll take in #5!

Idea #4 - Try a new taste. Are you one of those people who say "Ew!" at the mention of venison or other game? Yet, you've never tried it. Find someone to give you a small amount of ground venison, like a pound, and cook it up for spaghetti or some baked pasta.

Idea #5 - Take a hike...or at least a walk around the block. If you're not an outdoors person, try it. Start by walking around the block and see where it takes you. Fresh air, exercise...you've heard it all before.

Idea #6 - Plant a garden. Start small so you're not overwhelmed. Plant for yourself and plant to share. You can start the seeds indoors.

February is American Heart Month. It's a perfect time to take that extra day to start on a journey of enjoying the outdoors, being healthier, and learning new things.

Take a leap into something new. You can start any day, not just on THE Leap Day (February 29), but that will be a memorable starting point.

It will do your heart and mind good.

_____________________

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2016 Spring Fishing Classic!

The world's greatest fishing show and sale is back, and there's something for everyone! Awesome activities, and hot deals all 10 days! Check out complete details and specials at www.basspro.com/classic!

Rod and Reel Trade-In

The Rod and Reel Trade-In is back...and it's 10 days long! 
Trade in your old reel and save even more on a new one! Trade in your old rod and save on a new one of those, too! It lasts for the whole Classic and includes fly rods and reels!

Rods and reels must not be broken. Lat year our amazing Bass Pro Shops Altoona customers donated over 500 rods and reels, all of which were donated to Scouts, the DNR, Lake View Camp for kids, and a veteran's program.

Local Seminars - February 19-21!

Join us for these great seminars all weekend! the First 25 people to attend each seminar will receive a free SFC logo cooler bag!

Friday, Feb. 19

7 p.m. - Bladed Jigs: Learn How and Where to Fish Bladed Jigs for your Next Big Catch

Saturday & Sunday, February 20 & 21

11 a.m. - New To Fishing? Learn All You Need to Know to Get Started - Presented by Lance Baker, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff

2 p.m. - Understanding Baitfish and Their Seasonal Movements - Presented by Kary Ray, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff

4 p.m. - The Strategy of Successful Kayak Fishing - Presented by Associate Kent Petersen, avid kayak fisherman.

 

Next Generation Weekend - February 20 & 21!

Bring the kids out to celebrate the coming of warmer weather and learn more about fishing!

  • Noon-5 p.m.: Casting Challenge - Kids receive a fish-shaped water bottle when they complete the challenge!
  • Free 4x6 photo download
  • Free Craft - Decorate a fish magnet! (While supplies last)

Kids' Workshop - 4:30 both days  - "Think Like a Fish!" Kids receive a certificate and the first 25 at the seminar receive a blow-up bobber ball!

Saturday, Feb, 20, the kids' workshop is presented by Taylor Howard, Coordinator of the Mitchellville Elementary Fishing Club for kids!

Sunday, Feb. 21, the kids' workshop is presented by Joel VanRoekel from the Iowa DNR!

 

Women's Fishing Workshop - February 20 - 1:30

Fishing basics for women - fishing can be fun! First 25 women to attend receive a free tumbler!

 

Fried Fish Sampling - Feb. 20 - 2-4 p.m.

_________________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Southwestern Wild Turkey Stew

In the middle of winter, nothing is better than stew. Of course, having it cook all day in the slow cooker is even better! This kicked-up, healthy wild turkey stew, created by my husband and I, will warm you up from tip to toes! You'll notice there's not many exact measurements...that's the way we cook! Plus, we were able to use up some things that were in the fridge - like the salsa, spicy vegetable juice, and some adobo sauce. Use your own measurements to your own liking - that's the fun of creating!

Southwestern Wild Turkey Stew

2 turkey thighs - cubed and boned
two stalks celery - diced
potatoes - chunked
baby carrots - halved
1 can black beans
2 cups of corn
1 red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 bottle spicy vegetable juice
1 1/2 C chicken stock
cumin
coriander
cilantro
garlic powder
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp adobo sauce
1 cup of salsa

Put the meat, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn, black beans, red pepper, and onion in the slow cooker. In a bowl, stir together the vegetable juice, chicken stock, seasonings, adobo sauce, and salsa until it's all well-mixed. Our over the ingredients in the slow cooker and stir all together. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until turkey is done and tender. We actually went more toward the six hours. Pull out the bay leaves before serving...serve it up with some Uncle Buck's Biscuits and you've got it made!

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Meet the Hunting Pro Staff - Chance Patrick

Our second new Hunting Pro Staff Team member is Chance Patrick!  Chance got interested in hunting as a boy and is now an avid hunter and outdoorsman, in general. He shares that love of the outdoors through his Iowa's Great Outdoors program, helping kids and adults experience Iowa's natural resources. 

How did you get started hunting?

I found an interest in hunting about 20 years ago, at the age of 12, and it quickly became a true passion. As a kid, I was taught all of the amazing things that the outdoors, and nature, have to offer. I’m not very singular when it comes to the type of game that I like to hunt, however, the hunting I enjoy most is for deer.  Not only do I love the hunt itself, but I'm very thankful for the food my hunting provides for my family all year.

What’s your favorite hunting method and why?

Archery is, by far, my favorite method of hunting.  As an adolescent, I competed in indoor and outdoor archery and, through that, met some amazing guys who got me into bow hunting. I do a bit of shotgun hunting from time to time, however, the up-close-and-personal experience of archery hunting, and the dedication it takes to prepare and hunt that way, makes it my favorite.

Three tips or techniques everyone should practice:

The number one tip for hunting is safety, safety and safety! Safety in learning about your equipment, and how it functions, and knowledge of the land/area you are hunting. Second, know the game you are hunting and regulations for that game (i.e., the legal regulations for harvesting that specific game, best legal times of the day to hunt that specific game, and the best places to find that game). Third, ALWAYS enjoy Iowa’s outdoors, but also respect all the great things it has to offer you.

Three items you never leave home without when you go hunting?

I always check, and double check, all of my safety equipment, like a working lighter for a safe fire should the need arise, all lifeline equipment, and a compass (especially if you are unfamiliar with the land/area you are hunting). Second, more clothing than I'll actually need. You should always prepare for the worst possible conditions for the season you are hunting. Third, communication and a plan with family or friends. I can't stress enough how important it is that someone be aware of where you will be and when you should be expected back.

Who has been the biggest influence on you when it comes to the outdoors?

Unfortunately, I lost my grandfather five years ago and he was the biggest influence in my life, in general, and definitely when it comes to my love of Iowa’s outdoors. Though he was mainly a fisherman of catfish and bullhead, (which I absolutely love as well!),  some of the best times I’ve had in Iowa’s outdoors were with him at a lake or good ole’ farm pond just spending time together.

 

Chance's passion and mission as a pro staff member for Bass Pro Shops Altoona is to educate people of all ages, especially the next generation, about what Iowa’s outdoors has to offer. Like hunting, fishing, camping, and more, and all of the places there are, and equipment available, to do these activities. Outdoor activities are being replaced by electronics and people get so wrapped up in all of the day-to-day things that need to be done, that they forget all of the beautiful and educational things nature and the outdoors have to offer.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” If I even reach one family that decides to try something new outdoors and go down that "dirt path," then my job is being done.

_________________________

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