It's a Labor Day Hometown Festival!

Hometown Festival

Saturday and Sunday, September 3 & 4
Labor Day Weekend

Noon-5 p.m.

A Hometown Festival means fun and food...

and we'll have both!

Even if it's hot, we'll be inside where it's cool!

Here's the lineup of events:

Free Hot Dogs and Funnel Cake Samples - Both days!
Hot Dogs 1-4 p.m.
Funnel Cake 2-5 p.m.
Hometown Festival

  • Pick a Duck! - Kids pick a rubber duck from the duck pond for a cool prize!
  • Metal detector treasure hunt
  • Casting buckets
  • Face painting
  • Free Craft - Canvas Wall Art!
  • Free photo download - with the Bat Bass Arctic Cat!

patriotic drawstring bagKids completing the photo download, casting buckets, and metal detector activity receive a patriotic drawstring bag (while supplies last)!

Pick a Duck Duck Pond

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Hourly Drawings - Saturday, September 3 only!
Beginning at 2 p.m.

2pm – One (1) 25.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card
3pm – One pair of VEX sunglasses
 4pm - One two-night stay from a selection of BlueGreen Resorts
5pm – One (1) 50.00 Bass Pro Shops gift Card

Outdoor Cooking Seminars Both Days
1:30 p.m. - Stoked to Smoke: How to Smoke Meat Right
3:30 p.m. - Going Dutch: Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Next Generation Weekend!

Fall Hunting Classic

The Fall Hunting Classic comes to a close with the favorite weekend, just for kids!

Next Generation Weekend

August 27 & 28Free hunting vest

It all happens from 11am - 4pm each day!

  • BB Shooting range & Archery Challenge - the first 50 kids receive a free blaze orange vest and patch!
  • Free photo download
  • Crafts - Wall Art craft! Color a canvas that's attached to a wood frame then hang it in your room!
  • Giveaways - First 100 kids who complete the punch card each day and get a free turkey drawstring Free Wall Art Craftbag!

Free turkey drawstring bag

 

 

 

 

 

Don't forget - While you're here, you can also trade-in those old, wearable hunting and rubber boots to receive a discount toward the purchase of a new pair! All trade-ins will be donated to Soles for Souls.

You can also trade-in that old working game camera for a discount toward the purchase of a new game camera. Our trade-in cameras will be donated to Polk County Conservation!

 

Coming up?  It's our annual Labor Day Hometown Festival, Sept. 3 and 4!

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Compass for Life - Boy Scouts

Boy Scout Month

For over a century, Boy Scouts of America has developed our future leaders. Once again, Bass Pro Shops is saluting Boy Scouts with a month devoted to helping educate them, raise money, which will benefit our local council, and assist in providing a Compass for Life!

In September, round up your purchases at Bass Pro Shops Altoona during Boy Scouts of America Donation Month. Half of the donations collected will go to the Mid-Iowa Council. The Mid-Iowa Council was formed in 1914 as the Des Moines Council. Several other councils formed and, as scouting and the local area grew, the councils merged, gradually becoming the Mid-Iowa Council in the 1970s.

Thousands of boys have had adventures at Camp Mitigwa and learned the ideas and ideals of scouting - a dedication to youth, community, and a better future.

Show your support for scouting by stopping in and rounding up!

Additionally, we are once again offering classes to help Boy Scouts work towards earning their Fishing and Rifle Shooting Merit Badges. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept 1-29. Limit of 10 per class. PRE-REGISTRATION is REQUIRED! Call 515-957-5500 or stop at the Customer Service counter. Schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Sept. 1    Fishing
Tuesday, Sept. 6     Rifle Shooting
Thursday, Sept. 8    Rifle Shooting
Tuesday, Sept. 13    Fishing
Thursday, Sept. 15   Fishing
Tuesday, Sept. 20    Rifle Shooting
Thursday, Sept. 22   Rifle Shooting
Tuesday, Sept. 27    Fishing
Thursday, Sept. 29   Fishing

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This Weekend @ BPS Altoona - Local Pros & Digs for Dogs Ends!

Digs for Dogs Ends 8/21!

Last chance to place your silent auction bid in our Digs for Dogs Doghouse Silent Auction to benefit the Digs for Dogs 2016Puppy Jake Foundation!

The Digs for Dogs silent auction is an opportunity for organizations to reach out and help others. Most are non-profit organizations donating their time and resources to make these houses. Because of that, this year any non-profit group donating a house has the option to receive back half of the money that is raised on their donated house or houses. Participants include:

Studio 17 & Mitchellville Police Department
Pleasant Hill Lions Club (donated two houses)
Des Moines Firefighters Association
Veterans from the Cedar Rapids Chapter of Community of Artists and HERO (donated three houses)
Country Landscapes
Sons of the American Legion, Post 96
Des Moines County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation

This year’s doghouses range from big to small, and fancy to functional...there is a theme for every discerning doggy. The public may view the houses and place silent bids through 8/21 at the store. Winners will be notified on August 22.

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Fall Hunting Classic Continues!

Our Hunting Local Pros team up for an afternoon of learning and fun! Mom, Wife, Entrepreneur & Huntress Maria Young and Chance Patrick, Iowa's Great Outdoors, get you ready for hunting season!

Saturday, August 20Local Pro Weekend at BPS Altoona
Free giveaways at each session!

11am  - Archery Tune-Up:  Prepare Your Gear For The Hunt -  Chance Patrick provides tips on getting your gear ready for the season.

2pm  - Get Close: Scent Control and Scent Products That Give You The Edge - Maria and Chance team up to talk Scent Control basics.

3pm - Women's Hunting Workshop - Join Maria to find out more about hunting from a female perspective - and the best way to balance family, work, and life in general, while enjoying the hunt! First 25 receive a BPS mug. Photo opps and other giveaways, too!

4pm - Archery Skills: Perfecting Your Shot and How To Play The Wind - Learn from Maria and Chance how to use the elements, and not fight them, for your shot.

Sunday, August 21

Our top notch hunting team brings you these two sessions - First 20 at each session receive a free Bass Pro tumbler!

11am  Boots 101: Choosing The Right Footwear For Your Outing Experience

3pm   Knives and Tools Guide: Your Hunt From Field to Freezer

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Product Spotlight - Uncle Buck's Cheddar Mix

Just when you think you've overcome your attachment to one snack food, along comes another to hook you. Uncle Buck's Cheddar Mix

With our household's recent change in food routine, focusing on low sodium, we have reduced our salty snacks. We have them, in a limited quantity, as an accompaniment to our one frosty beverage on the patio each evening. I loved the Uncle Buck's Cabin mix, but had successfully weaned myself off that crunchy delight.

Then, just the other day, I spotted the Uncle Buck's Cheddar Mix, glowing at me from the front end display, with its blaze orange lid, fresh off the truck on the day it was delivered.

I knew I had to try it and it did NOT disappointment. Including such delights as cheddar cheese crackers, crunchy nacho bagel chips, cheddar cheese pretzel pieces and twists, this mix delivers a multitude of cheesy flavored goodness.

Redeeming health qualities? Not so much. But, if you're on a restricted diet and KNOW how to measure, take control, and have control of what you eat, then you understand that you are able to have your favorites in small measures...like Uncle Buck's Cheddar Mix.

Right now, it's only available in store...check with your local Bass Pro for availability. Just in time for tailgating, campfires, hunt camp, and holidays. Try it.

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Hunting Classic & Digs for Dogs!

Fall Hunting Classic 2016

The greatest hunting event and sale of the year starts Friday, along with our Third Annual Digs for Dogs Silent Auction!

The Fall Hunting Classic brings you sales, trade-ins, and seminars with our local pros, plus the ever-popular Next Generation weekend for kids!

Trade-ins that start Friday, Aug. 12 aer:

Bow and Crossbow Trade-In - Aug. 12-21 - For every bow or crossbow you bring in (long bows and recurves excluded), receive a coupon for a discount based on the cost of the new bow. Bows will be donated to local non-profit organizations. No limit on the number you can trade in.

Optics Trade-In - Aug. 12-21 - For every working optic you bring in, receive a coupon for a discount based on the cost of new optics. One coupon per new purchase. No limit to number you can trade in.

Local pro seminars are Aug 20 & 21, and Next Generation weekend is Aug. 27 & 28. For complete details on the Fall Hunting Classic visit www.basspro.com/classic!


During the Classic, starting this weekend, we'll have the 2nd Amendment Instant Savings on Guns and Safes - all three weekends - Aug. 12-14, 19-21, 26-28!

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Our Third Annual Digs for Dogs Silent Auction starts Friday! Come check out the FABULOUS houses that have been crafted and donated to help raise money for the Puppy Jake Foundation. Puppy Jake assists two of our most cherished groups at the store - Veterans and dogs! They train service dogs which are then matched up with veterans.

This year's doghouses run the spectrum of big and small, fancy and streamlined! But you have to see them to believe them and appreciate them!

Digs for Dogs 2016

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Product Spotlight: Hawk Treestands

Hawk TreestandsHawk Treestands have arrived,just in time for gear prep for the hunting season!

First up? The Big Denali!

  • This ladder stand has the MeshComfort™ Seat, which gives hunters 30-40% more room than standard seats on other treestands. Other features include:
  • "Stacking Ladder System" with a stable, wide-stance base.
  • Easy carrying when disassembled becuase the ladder's sections stack together compactly.
  • Heavy-duty tubing construction
  • Hawk's proprietary tension system - creating a solid and stable hunting perch 20' off the ground
  • The platform measures 14"x26," weight is 65 lbs., maximum weight capacity is 300 lbs.

    Hawk Treestands

Then we have the Hawk Destination:

This is Hawks' tallest stand, measuring 21' at the padded, flip-back shooting rail. Destination, also, has the exclusive crossing strap tension, giving you stability as you hunt from the heights.

  • The 19x26 over-sized Grip-Mesh platform is welded at all points, providing a one piece, quiet hunting platform.
  • The stand also comes with a full body harness - safety first! Always wear a harness when in any stand!
  • 20.5" x 16" seat with a 20.5" x 20.5" backrest, maximum weight capacity is 300 lbs.

 

Last, but not least, there's the Hawk Mega Combat Fixed  Position Treestand:

  • The adjustable, flip-up seat features an ultra-comfortable 4-layer Hawkdesign with a weather-resistant top layer over pressure-point-relieving memory foam. T
  • he angle of the adjustable seat allows you to set the sit exactly as YOU like for personal comfort and stability.
  • Once again, the platform is welded at all point for a "noise-free" hunting platform.
  • Seat: 16" x 10". Seat height: 20". Platform: 24"x30". Weight: 17 lbs. Maximum weight capacity: 300 lbs.

 

You, too, can "HUNT FROM ABOVE®" with Hawk!

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Fall Hunting Classic 2016!

Fall Hunting Classic

The Fall Hunting Classic Returns!

August 12-28

The world's biggest hunting sale and event is back with great sales, new products, trade-in opportunities, Local Pro seminars, and the family favorite - Next Generation Weekend!

Trade-Ins

Trade in your old gear to save money on new!

Bow and Crossbow Trade-In - Aug. 12-21 - For every bow or crossbow you bring in (long bows and recurves excluded), receive a coupon for a discount based on the cost of the new bow. Bows will be donated to local non-profit organizations. No limit on the number you can trade in.

Optics Trade-In - Aug. 12-21 - For every working optic you bring in, receive a coupon for a discount based on the cost of new optics. One coupon per new purchase. No limit to number you can trade in.

Game Camera Trade-In - Aug. 20-28 - For every working game camera you bring in, receive a coupon for a discount based on the cost of the new game camera. No limit on the number of game cameras traded in - one coupon per new camera. Trade-ins will be donated to Polk County Conservation for use in catching vandalism and dumping of trash.

Hunting Boots - Aug. 20-28 - For every hunting or rubber boot traded in, receive a coupon for a discount on a new pair of hunting boots. One coupon per new pair. Traded-in boots will be donated to Soles4SouChance Patrickls.

Local Pro SeminarsMaria Young

Join our Hunting Local Pros Maria Young and Chance Patrick on Saturday, Aug. 20 for an afternoon of learning and fun at these seminars.

Saturday, August 20

Free giveaways at each session!

11am  - Archery Tune-Up:Prepare Your Gear For The Hunt - First 20 at the session receive a free Bass Pro tumbler!

2pm  - Get Close: Scent Control And Scent Products That Give You The Edge - First 20 at the session receive a free Bass Pro tumbler!

3pm - Women's Hunting Workshop - Join Maria to find out more about hunting from a female perspective - and the best way to balance family, work, and life in general, while enjoying the hunt! First 25 receive a BPS mug, plus Maria usually brings some fun giveaways!

4pm - Archery Skills: Perfecting Your Shot and How To Play The Wind - First 20 at the session receive a free Bass Pro tumbler!

Sunday, August 21

Our top notch hunting team brings you these two sessions - First 20 at each session receive a free Bass Pro tumbler!

11am  Boots 101: Choosing The Right Footwear For Your Outing Experience

3pm   Knives and Tools Guide: Your Hunt From Field to Freezer

 

Next Generation Weekend

Another special weekend JUST for the kids!Fall Hunting Classic

August 27 & 28
11am - 4pm each day

  • BB Shooting range  wall art craft
  • Archery Challenge
  • Free photo download
  • Crafts - Wall Art craft! Color a canvas that's attached to a wood frame then hang it in your room!
  • Giveaways - First 100 kids who complete the punch card each day and get a free turkey drawstring bag!

 

Also going on during the Fall Hunting Classic:

  • 2nd Amendment Instant Savings on Guns and Safes - all three weekends - Aug. 12-14, 19-21, 26-28
  • NRA Membership Drive - Aug. 20-21 - Sign up for an NRA membership in-store and receive a $10 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card!

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Planning Your Western Hunt

With any hunt you need to plan your hunt and hunt your plan. If you're thinking of heading out West to hunt, then that planning calls for unique prep work, both physically and mentally.

Hunting Lead Clint Grenier has hunted in 12 5 Tips for Planning a Western Huntstates, plus Canada, and has been Western hunting for the last 10 years. All of his hunts are unguided and on public land. The success of his hunts rely on how well he has prepared. Here are his top tips for planning your Western hunt.

 

Tags/Licenses

Most Western tags are limited and are acquired by a drawing conducted in the previous winter through spring, so you have to think ahead. Some of these limited hunts can be drawn with 0 preference points to well over 20+ points for others. You gain preference points after you are unsuccessful in applying for a limited hunt.

Some over the counter tags are also available. However, these hunts and areas usually get hunted the hardest and will have the most competition from other hunters. Another good opportunity is to purchase leftover tags. Leftover tags are any surplus of tags that remain after the regular draw quotas are filled. State wildlife agencies will usually post these on their websites shortly after the draw has concluded, along with a date when they go on sale. If you have any questions, most western state wildlife agencies have “hunt planners” - customer service reps that are ready and willing to help you. They are extremely helpful and I encourage you to use this resource that's so readily available to you. 

Equipment

A Western hunt is a completely different experience than most hunts in the Midwest or East. A typical hunt in the Midwest usually starts with waking up in your own bed, followed by a short drive to your hunting area, and then a short walk from there until you're hunting. Western hunting is more of a combination between hunting, camping, survival, and a marathon. Not only will you need proper hunting gear, you will also need specialized gear for all of these activities. From tents and sleeping bags to fire starters and water filters, there are a number of tools that are not even involved with the actual hunting part of the trip, but are essentials. Your pack, GPS, compass, and a good pair of boots are some other things that should be on your list.

Physical Preparation

Just like you need to be prepared with specialized equipment, you also need to be prepared for a different style of hunting, which can be very physically challenging. First of all, most hunting done in the West is conducted at much higher elevations then in the East. Being in good physical shape at 1,000 feet above seaRedHead RH5000 level is much different than being in shape at 10,000 feet above sea level. Many hunters have been humbled when they get in those elevations and then try to navigate through some of the roughest country anywhere. In addition to the rough country and elevation, a hunter in the West will have to carry much of that specialized gear, water, and food with them on their back. With densities of game animals lower than in many other parts of the country, you may be carrying everything for miles to find the game you're looking for. Also, remember that, once you are successful, even more work and physical exertion will be required to get the meat out. The short story here is to try to get in the best shape you can long before the hunt arises. The better shape you are in the more you will enjoy it and the better chance you give yourself to be successful.

Scouting

After you have figured out where and when you are going, the next step is to learn as much as possible to help your chances of being successful. If at all possible, try to plan a summer trip/vacation to the area. It’s hard to beat first-hand experience and knowledge of an area. Try to cover as much ground as possible searching for new or even old signs. One thing to remember in the West is that animals can migrate to different areas or elevations at different times of the year. Just because animals or signs aren't present or fresh, it doesn’t mean they won’t be there when hunting seasons come around.

With most people having to travel for a Western hunt, planning a scouting trip may be hard or impossible to do. This is where scouting from your computer or picking up the phone can be beneficial. You can find tons of information from state wildlife agency websites or by talking to their hunt planners on the phone. Examples of some of the information available there are:

  • Migration routes
  • Hunter success rates
  • Unit maps and borders
  • Draw odds
  • Populations and density maps

Other good places for information are State and Federal forest offices, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices, and also by viewing maps on Google Earth or Google Maps.

 

Field Care

Field care of meat and trophies is similar anywhere you go, but can be different in the West because of the circumstances. For example, when someone harvests a deer in the Midwest, a common practice is to field dress it where it expires, take it home whole in your vehicle, then hang it up until you are ready to process or take to the processor. On a Western hunt, more often than not, you will not be able to drive a vehicle to the spot where an animal expires. The animal will have to be quartered and packed out on a pack designed to carry meat. The meat is usually placed in game bags that allow it to cool, but also keep it clean. Be sure to Game Bagsread up on the techniques of quartering and sometimes even deboning to reduce weight. Many Western hunters will not even field dress their animal, but instead use a “gutless” method when quartering their animals. It would also be beneficial to know the proper technique of caping out your animal, if it is something that you intend to take to your taxidermist.

 

Remember, a Western hunt takes the term "planning your hunt" to a whole new level. From tags, to gear, to studying and physically preparing, with proper planning you can go West and hunt successfully.

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Freedom & Family

The NRA Freedom Days Event is here! Join us for workshops and special sales!

On Saturday & Sunday, July 23 & 24 - Sign up in the store to be an NRA member and receive a $25 Bass Pro Shops Gift card!

Free Seminars - Bass Pro Shops logo mug to first 20 seminar attendees each day

Saturday, July 23
Altoona Police Dept.
11AM Gun Safety
2PM Dress Your MSR
3PM Conceal Carry Basics - Hosted by our own Altoona Police Department! Come learn from our officers the right way and the wrong way of how to carry, act, and react...and give them a big thank you, while you're here!

Sunday, July 24

2PM Conceal Carry Basics - Hosted by our own Altoona Police Department! Come learn from our officers the right way and the wrong way of how to carry, act and react...and give them a big thank you, while you're here!
3PM Shooting Range Accessories

2nd Amendment Instant Savings on Guns | July 15-31 - Up to $150 - Equal to the value of your sales tax!

Last Chance for Family Summer Camp!

It's the last weekend for Family Summer Camp. Don't let your kids (and YOU!) miss out on this fun, yet educational, free family opportunity! Beat the heat with our free workshops and indoor activities, like the casting buckets, archery range and Daisy BB gun range.

Family Summer Camp Workshops

All workshops are approximately 20-30 minutes in length. Kids will receive a free lanyard (while supplies last) at their first workshop and earn a pin for every workshop they complete.

Saturday - July 23

Noon - Fishing
1pm - Water Safety
2pm - Hunting
3pm - Hiking & Backpacking
4pm - Bird Watching

Sunday, July 24Wooden Camp Photo Frame

Noon - Hunting
1pm - Outdoor Gardening
2pm - Archery
3pm - Camping
4pm - Backyard Adventure

 

Free Craft - Wooden Camp Photo Frame!
July 23 & 23 - Noon-2 p.m.

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Don't Let Your Kids Miss Family Summer Camp!

There are only TWO weekends left for Family Summer Camp! Don't let your kids (and YOU!) miss out on this fun, yet educational, free family opportunity! Beat the heat with our free workshops and indoor activities, like the casting buckets, archery range and Daisy BB gun range.

Family Summer Camp Workshops

All workshops are approximately 20-30 minutes in length. Kids will receive a free lanyard (while supplies last) Family Summer Camp Fun!at their first workshop and earn a pin for every workshop they complete.

Saturday - July 16

Noon - Fishing
1pm - Water Safety
2pm - Hunting
3pm - Hiking & Backpacking
4pm - Bird Watching

Sunday, July 17

Noon - Hunting
1pm - Outdoor Gardening
2pm - Archery
3pm - Camping
4pm - Backyard Adventure

Tuesday, July 19

Noon - Bird Watching
1pm - Fishing
2pm - Archery
3pm - Hiking & Backpacking
4pm - Backyard Adventure

Thursday, July 21owl

Noon - Archery
1pm - Outdoor Gardening
2pm - Hunting
3pm - Water Safety
4pm - Camping

Free Craft
Noon-2 p.m., on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday!Photo frame

July 16, 17 - A HOOT of an Owl Door Hanger!

July 19, 21 - A very Cool Camp Frame!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Grilled Crappie

After much debate on how to do it, we finally grilled crappie. Yes, grilled.

We are always on a quest for new ways to eat crappie and this was one we had debated. Plank or no pGrilled Crappielank. On the grates or off.

We didn't plank it and we didn't put it on the grates. We simply put the fillets on coated grill grids on our good old Weber. This allowed the heat to get to the bottom and crisp it up. As you can see there were seven nice fillets, an uneven number because the batch had been split up when freezing.

The seasoning was very simple. Some smoked paprika on each and, with our low sodium regimen, soGrilled Crappie and Beet Greensme shakes of a chipotle salt-free seasoning and they were ready to grill. A little shredded Italian cheese at the end was our only sodium downfall. Bass Pro Shops does carry Rub Some Fish Seafood Seasoning, which is a fairly low-sodium seasoning, so we will have to try that sometime!

After getting the grill to medium heat with all three burners, the back two burners were turned off and the front left on medium. This allowed the fish to cook over indirect heat, and still get nicely browned. We sprayed the fish with butter spray when they were almost done, then sprinkled the l cheese on to allow it to melt.

Next time, we will leave the fish on just a bit longer to see how crispy we can get it without drying out the fillets.

Our side was sauteed beet greens - another new cooking adventure! Extremely healthy, spicy - just the way we like it!

Enjoy!

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Product Spotlight - New Dog Items!

We are receiving a large number of new dog items for our shelves, including a new dog life vest! From items to use at home or in the field, more items continue to come in each day. Here's a look at highlights:

  • The DoggyPaddle life jackets for dogs! Even dogs should wear personal flotation dDog life vestevices or life jackets. The Playhound brand vest has reflective strips and a heavy-duty rubber grip on the back for easy lifting of your dog, if needed. They come in sizes extra-small for those tiny pups to the XL for the big boys and girls. Instructions on the hanger explain the length, girth, and neck sizes so you get the proper fitting PFD. Snug, adjustable nylon strap buckles keep it on securely.
  • Water dishes - From the Petmate Mason Jar water system to the favorite stainless steel or new RoadTrip Collapsible Bowlrubber collapsible water/food bowl, there is a size for all needs and all sizes of dogs. Whether at home or on the road, any of these should help Rover quench his or her thirst and fill their tummy.
  • Toys abound - soft toys perfect for puppies to big rubber bouncing balls for that big dog or tiny tiger in your house! For example, the Tug-and-Toss Jolly Ball is new here - it floats and bounces and has a handle for easy retrieval - plus it's made in the USA.
  • Need to work on some training, too? The HexaBumper Pro-Pack is here from Avery Sporting Dog. The six flat sides make it easier for your dog to pick up and hold the bumper for retrieval. Plus, we have a bumper bag for carrying everything!

We have a large assortment of collars and leashes, including collars with reflective strips.

Last, but not least, when you're a store that allows dogs, like us, being a responsible pet owner is something we like to see and we don't like to hear "Clean up in the aisle!" So you can buy Clean-Up sacks in a cute little dog bone shaped holder to bring along with you to the store...plus replacement sacks, too!

Stop in to your local Bass Pro Shop to see what's new in the dog aisle!

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This Weekend @Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Family Summer Camp Continues

Beat the heat with inside with our free workshops and indoor activities, like the casting buckets, archery range and Daisy BB gun range.

Family Summer Camp Workshops

All workshops are approximately 20-30 minutes in length. Kids will receive a free lanyard (while supplies last) Famiy Summer Campat their first workshop and earn a pin for every workshop they complete.

Saturday - July 9

Noon -  Fishing
1pm - Water Safety
2pm - Hunting
3pm - Hiking & Backpacking
4pm - Bird Watching

Sunday, July 10

Noon - Hunting
1pm - Outdoor Gardening
2pm - Archery
3pm - Camping
4pm - Backyard Adventure

Tuesday, July 12

Noon - Bird Watching
1pm - Fishing
2pm - Archery
3pm - Hiking & Backpacking
4pm - Backyard Adventure

Thursday, July 14

Noon - Archery
1pm - Outdoor Gardening
2pm - Hunting
3pm - Water Safety
4pm - CampingBear Track Magnet

Free Craft
Noon-2 p.m., on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday!owl

July 9 & 10 - It's a Bear Track Magnet!

July 12, 14 - Owl Door Hanger!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Heart Healthier Sloppy Joes

With our new heart-healthyHeart Healthy Sloppy Joe's way of eating, this recipe seemed like a perfect fit. When your husband, who is not a "loose meat" or Sloppy Joe fan, says, "Wow, this is the best I've ever had," then you know it's a success.

I received this recipe through our Bass Pro Shops wellness program newsletter. However, here are the changes I made:

  • Instead of ground sirloin, we used ground turkey. It would also be excellent with ground venison!
  • I did not use salt. There is no need for salt. Use other spices and no-salt seasonings. I added smoked paprika, pepper blend, and my homemade seasoning mixture a la' Emeril.
  • Instead of using regular buns, we had some homemade sourdough bread. Using a small bowl, I "cut" the top and bottom pieces out of two slices of bread. I spread a light coating of vegetable oil spread on each, sprinkled with dill weed, and toasted them in a skillet - our own little version of a butter bun!
  • We did this on the spur of the moment, but I'm sure you could do it in a slow cooker, too, especially for bigger crowds.

Lighter Sloppy Joe's - Kicked Up & Heart Healthier

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 pound ground turkey or ground venison
1 Tbsp homemade Emeril's Essence (made without salt)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp pepper blend seasoning
1 - 8 ounce can no salt added tomato sauce
1/4 water
Whole wheat buns
1 - 15 oz can no salt added chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (drained)
Bread and butter pickles

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Throw in chopped onion and saute until tender.

Add the ground turkey (or venison), browning and stirring to crumble. Add the essence, sugar, smoked paprika, and pepper blend. Cook another minute, stirring to mix well.

Add the water and tomato sauce, reduce heat, simmer and let thicken, about 2 minutes.

Put the garbanzo beans in a bowl and mash them with a fork or potato masher...MUCH easier said than done. Don't worry about them being totally smashed. Stir those into the meat mixture.

Scoop the meat onto your whole wheat bun or whatever you're using. A multigrain ciabatta would work, too. Top with about three of the pickles after shaking the pickles to get as much juice off as possible. The garbanzos, seasonings, and pickles create a flavorful, crunchy combo! You really will be surprised.

Low in salt, low in fat, high in fiber and exceptionally high in taste!

Enjoy!

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This Weekend @Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Family Summer Camp Fourth

It's a Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fourth of July, Family Summer Camp style- and it all happens indoors

Along with our free workshops and indoor activities, like the casting buckets, archery range and Daisy BB gun range, we also have the free indoor Catch and Release Pond back on July 2 & 3!Catch and Release pond

July 2 & 3

Catch and Release pond - Noon-5 p.m. We supply the poles and the kids try to catch a fish!

Then kids can choose a butterfly or turtle to magically appear in their photo at the free photo download, noon-5 p.m.

Family Summer Camp Workshops

All workshops are approximately 20-30 minutes in length. Kids will receive a free lanyard (while supplies last) Famiy Summer Campat their first workshop and earn a pin for every workshop they complete.

Saturday - July 2

Noon -  Fishing
1pm - Water Safety
2pm - Hunting
3pm - Hiking & Backpacking
4pm - Bird Watching

Sunday, July 3

Noon - Hunting
1pm - Outdoor Gardening
2pm - Archery
3pm - Camping
4pm - Backyard Adventure

Tuesday, July 5

Noon - Bird Watching
1pm - Fishing
2pm - Archery
3pm - Hiking & Backpacking
4pm - Backyard Adventure

Thursday, July 7

Noon - ArcheryPatriotic Bandana
1pm - Outdoor Gardening
2pm - Hunting
3pm - Water Safety
4pm - Camping

Free Craft
Noon-2 p.m., on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday!

Bear Track MagnetJune July 2 & 3 - it's a Patriotic Bandana!

July 5, 7, 9, & 10 - It's a Bear Track Magnet!

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Safe Hiking Tips

During the summer, many people head to the trails. From national park mountains to cityscapes to state parks, the idea of backpacking and hiking can take on different meanings to those who enjoy the activities. No matter where you are backpacking or hiking, there area safety tips to remember.

Longtime Scout instructor and Trainer, Dann Flaherty, says safe hiking/backpacking includes using the buddy system and being visible.

Flaherty's third safety factor is to make a plan for your hike and make sure others are aware of it...then hike that plan. That way if you're not home within a reasonable amount of time for the plan, others will know that something may be wrong.

Safe hiking!

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An Appalachian Fly Fishing Adventure

Rod WotenBy Rod Woten
Local Pro Staff
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

I’m very fortunate that the company I work for has a facility in Luray, Virginia, that I get to travel to a couple of times every year.  Luray sits in the Shenandoah Valley nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not long after I started traveling to Luray, I learned of the tiny brook trout that live in the mountain streams around Luray. For a fly angler, to catch a truly wild trout is one of the ultimate goals, even if it is something the size of these small brook trout that come from the small streams up in the mountains. Ever since I first heard about these fish, I’ve been doing research and putting together a plan for that trip where I might have some free time to fish up in the mountains. Finally, I had the opportunity. I was able to time my trip, so that I arrived in the area early on Sunday afternoon, which would leave me plenty of time to fish before checking into my hotel that evening and heading to work at the Luray facility first thing Monday morning. After extensive research, I finally decided that Jeremy’s Run would be the stream I would target. 

Jeremy’s Run appealed to me for several reasons:

  • It was in relatively close proximity to Luray, which would minimize my drive time. 
  • It seemed that fishing Jeremy’s Run was pretty decent year-round, as long as water levels stayed up. 
  • Of all the streams I researched, Jeremy’s Run had some of the best access.  Since time was a premium for me, the less time spent hiking meant the more time I could spend fishing.  Also because I was flying, I was very limited in what I could bring along for gear.  My packable wading boots made the trip, but there just wasn’t room for waders or much other additional gear.

I arrived at the Elk Wallow Picnic wayside along Skyline Drive later that afternoon.  After getting my rod rigged and slipping on my wading boots, I began the trek down the mountain to find Jeremy’s Run. To get to Jeremy’s Run, I actually had to follow the Appalachian Trail, until the intersection with Jeremy’s Run Trail, which was an adventure in itself.  I’ve always wanted to hike the AT, and now I can say that I have. 

It seemed like forever before I finally reached the concrete pillar that designates the intersection of the AT and Jeremy’s Run Trail. I was actually starting to wonder if I had missed it or taken the wrong trail altogether. TheAppalachian Trail marker directions said it was a short hike to the intersection, but apparently the author’s idea of a short hike and mine are two very different things.  From that point on, I added distance to every mention of distance in the directions I was following. Even once I was on Jeremy’s Trail, I still had thoughts that I had taken a wrong turn or maybe Jeremy’s Run had gone dry, because it took what seemed like an eternity before I could even hear the sound of running water. Somewhere in the deep heavily forested ravine that was now on my right was Jeremy’s Run. I wondered how I would even get down to the stream to fish it, and how brook trout could live in the little trickle I was hearing. I continued on, losing altitude as I went, which also brought me to the startling realization that it would take me a lot longer to hike out than it did for me to hike in. The entire time I was awestruck by my surroundings…millipedes as big as a Sharpie everywhere, mushrooms and fungus the likes of which I had never seen, a thick mossy carpet on every rock and massive hardwood trees that were probably as old as our nation. 

I, also, constantly had the thought of bears in the back of my mind. I had noticed two road kill bears on the highway on my way into Front Royal, so I knew that they were on the move and a bear encounter was a real possibility. On one hand, I thought it would be cool to see my first black bear in the wild, but on the other it was situation that I’m not sure I really wanted to have to deal with…especially if it was a sow with cubs.  Regardless, I soldiered on and eventually the trail flattened out, the forest opened up a bit, and Jeremy’s Run had grown much larger. Suddenly the trail ended abruptly at the side of the stream only to resume on the opposite side. I had arrived. 

Immediately to my right was a small pool with a small waterfall above it consisting of rocks and years’ worth of accumulated logs. As I looked further upstream, the entire stream appeared to be made up of this endless series of pools with a drop and small riffle into the next pool. The gradient must have been very steep, because the pool about 100 yards upstream of me was at my line of sight or slightly higher. It was truly a weird feeling looking at that pool of water that was over my head only a short distance away. 

The pool I was on appeared to be about mid-calf deep at its deepest point near the face of the log jam. I roll-casted my hopper-dropper rig into that general area of the pool and, before I could blink, a flash erupted from under the log jam and attempted to inhale my foam grasshopper from the surface of the water. I was so surprised that I totally whiffed on the hookset!  Undaunted, I rolled the hopper back into the same spot. Once again the flash came out, but this time I was ready. I flexed the rod backwards and employed my best strip-set, only to come up empty again. I got a better look at the brookie this time, however, and ascertained that my hopper was too big for him to get in his mouth. I quickly snipped the hopper-dropper from my tippet and threaded on my old reliable elk hair caddis. I roll-casted into that same spot in the pool several more times but the brookie was onto me now and refused to come out again. I crawled my way overWild Brook Trout that log jam and proceeded upstream to the next pool.

It was similar to the previous pool only not quite as deep and with more rocks lining its bottom. I flipped the EH Caddis towards the head of the pool and it was immediately met by an olive green flash. I set the hook and immediately felt weight on my line. I could tell just by the feel that this brookie was larger than the one that outwitted me on the previous pool. I stripped line to bring the brookie to hand and eventually landed a nice 6” wild mountain brook trout!  There is a 9” minimum for keepers on Jeremy’s Run, so, after a quick photo, I slid the fish back into the edge of the pool and he quickly darted from my hand and disappeared back in to the stones littering the bottom. I worked my way upstream repeating this process, catching one or two in every pool before moving along.  Unfortunately, none were as big as the six-incher I landed right off the bat.

This was absolutely some of the most physically demanding fishing I had ever done. This was due not only to the strenuous hike in (and OUT!), but due to all the crawling over, under, or through log jams to get from pool to pool, scaling boulders and tripping over smaller rocks as I waded. The pools are much different than what I was used to at home as well. The deepest ones were only about knee deep and some only as big around as a laundry baskets. It was amazing that these fish can thrive in such small waters. It also made me realize how nice of a fish my 6” brook trout was. The brookies didn’t hesitate to rise to a dry fly, often doing so with fury. If you missed one though, they usually don’t give you a second chance. If you let too much line fall on the pool, or even cast your shadow over the pool, you could forget about getting a rise from that pool as well. 

Twilight began to creep down the mountain, so, with reluctance, I stopped casting, stowed my fly rod and began the hike back up the mountain to my rental car. The hike out was even more strenuous than I had feared. My leg muscles were already sore from all the acrobatics required to fish the stream, as well as working them to control my speed on the hike down, so they began to burn in earnest on the way out.  Somewhere along the way, the barred owls began hooting, which caused me to quicken my step as much as I could. I began to look for my boot tracks from the hike down in the muddy spots of the trial. This not only occupied my mind, but also assured me that I was on the right path.  I actually began to piece this write up together in my head as I walked. I also began to make a game of noting things along the trail…deer track…another millipede…a cairn left by some previous angler…colorful mushrooms…another of my boot prints…bear track… 

Wait…WHAT?!?!?!  BEAR TRACK!! My heart began to race, and I felt the hair stand up on the back of my Bear trackneck. To make matters worse, the perfectly shaped bear track overlapped my boot track from the hike in, so I KNEW that bear had been through there within the past few hours. The single track was SO perfect that I actually thought to myself for a second that someone else was playing a trick on me. Then I realized that I had not seen or heard another soul since I left my car on Skyline Drive. Needless to say, I picked up the pace even more. I as moving as fast as my muscles, heart, and lungs would carry me, but it still didn’t seem to be enough. I was deep in thought trying to determine how much longer I could keep up this pace, when I saw a black streak going up a tree about 100 yards ahead of me. I stopped in my track to see a black bear cub perched at the top of an old dead pine. Within a few seconds, a second cub popped its head out from the other side of the topless tree. Drat! The exact scenario I didn’t want to have happen was playing out before my very eyes. I noticed motion at the base of the tree and then heard the grunting between the cubs and the movement on the ground. The momma bear! My head raced….was she blocking the trail? If so, how do I get back to my car? The forest is way too thick for me to bushwhack and I’d probably just get lost. I slowly eased my way around the corner of the trail to get a better assessment of the situation and spotted the large black mass shuffling around the bottom of the tree. Luckily they were all about 30 yards off the left side of the trail so I didn’t have to worry about coming between her and her cubs. Based on that information, I quickly decided to put my head down and try to scoot past the trio as quickly as I could, attempting to project that I hadn’t even seen them. I was hoping that once they realized I was not a threat, I could just breeze on by. With determination, I stepped out to the middle of the trail and began to move forward with purpose. Within about three steps, the mother bear caught sight of me and bolted into the underbrush the opposite direction of the trail. I let out a slight sigh of relief, but kept right on truckin’ until I got back to the asphalt below the parking lot where I left the car.

It took me a good half day to recover, but, by Monday afternoon, I had already decideWild Brook Troutd to fish Jeremy’s Run from the other direction, starting at the bottom and working my way up. My theory was that I could squeeze that in after work, since it wouldn’t take me nearly as long to drive or hike to the stream. I found good fishing almost immediately and started catching brookies within sight of the bridge over Jeremy’s Run at the start of the trail. The hiking was much easier on the way in and the stream was much wider, flatter and generally easier to fish. I even found a nice pool with an old root ball in the middle of it, where I caught several brookies in a row, including at least a couple that were as big as my big brookie from the day before. I continued to hike upward and fish, wherever the trail was close to the stream. One particular stretch that wandered quite a ways from the stream felt very much like prime bear territory to me. Eventually, I reached a spot where the stream became very narrow and rugged…much more like what I had fished the day before. By that time the sun was starting to set and my legs were in no shape for more log jam wrestling or boulder hopping, so I turned around and headed back to the car. When I reached the spot that felt very bear-like to me on the way in, I spotted the tail end of a smaller, single bear as it crashed into the underbrush headed away from me.  In just two days I went from never having seen a black bear in the wild to having seen four! I arrived back at my car a short time later and brought my Appalachian adventure to an end.

I feel very blessed to have been able to fish in the mountains on this trip. Jeremy’s Run is definitely a stream I will visit again. There are lots of other sections of it I’d like to fish yet. I chuckle now thinking about all the reports that said Jeremy’s Run is one of the most accessible streams in the Blue Ridge Mountains. If that’s the case, I have to wonder what the less accessible streams are like! While the 6” brookies I caught are decent fish by small mountain stream standards, I know there are larger brookies up there, so I’m bound and determined to catch a 9-inch one some trip yet to be planned.

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Third Annual Digs for Dogs!

Digs for Dogs

Our Digs for Dogs event returns with a twist!

Since dogs AND veterans are both dear to our hearts, this year's Digs for Dogs special doghouse silent auction will benefit the Puppy Jake Foundation!

  • Any business or company that builds and donates a house, will have all money raised in the silent auction from that house going to Puppy Jake Foundation.
  • Any non-profit organization that builds and donates a house will receive back half the money that their house raises in the silent auction! It's a win-win!
 

Build a fun & functional doghouse –all sizes, be creative!
Entries displayed at the store Aug. 12-21 for silent auction bidding by the public.

  • Winning bids announced Aug. 22.
  • All dog houses must be wide enough to fit in our aisles for display. Bass Pro Shops Digs for Dogshas the right to refuse any entry they deem unsafe to animals.
  • Money received by Bass Pro Shops Altoona from silent auction winners goes to the Puppy Jake Foundation and, in the case of a non-profit group, half will go to the donating group.
  • Team prizes for creative contest are per group, not individual.
  • Winners must pick up the house they win.

Most creative doghouse contest, too!
1st Place - $150 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card
2nd Place - $100 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card

 

Deliver your doghouse to the store on Aug. 10 or 11.
For more information on how to enter a house, or questions,

Digs for Dogscontact Gail McMahon at glmcmahon@basspro.com.

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This Week @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Family Summer Camp Returns!

Beat the heat and bring your kids to our annual favorite - Family Summer Camp 2016!Family Summer Camp

An opportunity for you and your kids to have fun learning about the outdoors INDOORS with free crafts, free fun workshops, the Daisy BB Gun Shooting Range and the Archery Range.Family Summer Camp

We've moved everything indoors because we want everyone to have a cool time! From the old favorites of archery, hunting/shooting, fishing, backyard adventures (bugs, bees, and trees!), water safety, camping, hiking,and bird watching to the new workshop Outdoor Gardening, we have something for child's interests! Kids receive a lanyard at the first workshop and then a pin for each workshop afterwards!

Here is the schedule for June 25-June 30. The complete Family Summer Camp schedule can be found at http://bit.ly/28JkSq9.

A different craft activity each summer camp day, noon- 2 p.m., while supplies last. Our craft for this week is:

Family Summer Camp crafts

 

 

 

 

Free Workshops start at Noon!

Saturday - June 25

Noon -  Fishing

1pm - Water Safety

2pm - Hunting

3pm - Hiking & Backpacking

4pm - Bird Watching

 

Sunday, June 26

Noon - Hunting

1pm - Outdoor Gardening

2pm - Archery

3pm - Camping

4pm - Backyard Adventure

 

Tuesday, June 28

Noon - Bird Watching

1pm - Fishing

2pm - Archery

3pm - Hiking & Backpacking

4pm - Backyard Adventure

 

Thursday, June 30

Noon - Archery

1pm - Outdoor Gardening

2pm - Hunting

3pm - Water Safety

4pm - Camping

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