Free Halloween Fun is BACK
October is Halloween Safety month, since we'll have lots of ghosts and goblins running around at the end of the month. While you're getting the costumes for the kiddos ready, here's a new little gadget that we think will come in particularly handy when making those evening trick-or-treating rounds.
The LED Glow Stick from Dorcy comes in four colors and is PERFECT for keeping your little trick-or-treaters visible on a dark October night! Orange for a festive Halloween look, and green, blue or purple to complement any princess, super hero or ninja turtle costume!
With 200 hours of run time and a lanyard, this LED provides a fun, but safe way to light up the walk this Halloween! Find it in our Camping Department!
Our Parmesan-Crusted Crappie, Crappie Cakes, and Crappie Chowder recipes have been HUGE hits on our Pinterest page and from previous blogs. So, it was time to find a new recipe to share with you all. My husband came home with a fresh mess and we had all the ingredients for a recipe I had kept my eye on for a while, so it was time to make it! This recipe was in the May 2012 issue of Crappie Now magazine and I made some minor changes to it, which are noted.
This was designed for an 8x8 baking dish, but we're eaters, so I used a 13x9 glass dish. Since we had fresh fish and they were slabbers, I used good-sized fillets and two smaller pieces to fill in between.
4 fresh crappie fillets (I used 6 big and 2 small)
2 T. butter or margarine
2 T. plain flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken STOCK...more flavor)
½ cup Half & Half cream (I used heavy whipping cream)
1 large sweet red pepper
½ large mild onion, diced
½ of a 13-oz. box of thin spaghetti (I used about 3/4 of a 16 oz box of spaghetti)
½ cup Parmesan cheese (I used Italian Blend shredded cheese - more flavors)
Wash, drain, and pat dry the fish fillets; then salt on both sides. Lightly coat baking dish with non-stick spray. (I used butter).
Cut 4 strips from the sweet red pepper and reserve for garnish; then dice the remaining sweet red pepper.
In a large skillet on medium heat, melt the butter and slowly stir in the flour; then slowly stir in the chicken stock until mixture is smooth. Continue to stir and cook the sauce until it has thickened. Add the cream and blend. Add the sweet red pepper and onion and cook for about 1 minute. Set aside.
Break the dry pasta into thirds and cook by package directions until just tender or
al dente. (I did 7 minutes)
Drain immediately and stir the hot pasta into the sauce.
Pour ½ of the sauce-coated pasta into the prepared baking dish. Place the fish fillets on top of the pasta.
Pour the remaining sauce-coated pasta on top of the fish fillets. Sprinkle with the Italian Blend shredded cheese. I also sprinkled some pepper blend seasoning, a bit of garlic powder, and some oregano on the fillets. Garnish with the four sweet red pepper strips.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Flannel - the mere word brings warmth to your soul. Flannel lives on and we felt it was time to celebrate the good feeling it brings, and has brought, for centuries.
Bass Pro Shops celebrates the warmth of the season with Flannel Fest! Flannel keeps you warm on that outside job, during a cold winter's night, at those frosty football games, and while lounging around the house.
Flannel sheets, flannel-lined slippers, flannel-lined sleeping bags, flannel-lined jeans, flannel-lined work pants...flannel dates back to the 17th century in the Scottish Highlands. Often people confuse any plaid or tartan shirts as being flannel, but flannel refers to the material, not the pattern. Originally made from carded or worsted wool, flannel is now typically made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fibers.
Flannel is functional, but also comfortable and durable. It is the symbol of lumberjacks and other fine, hardworking people who brave the outdoor elements to earn a living, and has been a staple of sportsmen and women for years. While the Grunge look of the 80s still lives in the minds of some, flannel actually can look very nice and clean. Flannel was used to dress the military in the Civil War, WWI and WWII. In the 1950s, flannel became a staple of business wear in gray flannel slacks and wool flannel suits of many colors for women. Some of my favorite business attire in past positions has been gray wool flannel pants or the wool flannel business jackets and suits. Nothing classier or more professional looking.
Fashion fads come and go. Flannel has never left.
Show us your favorite flannel @ #flannelfest!
Join us on Friday, October 24, for Flannel Friday! Starting at 11 a.m., the first 100 customers through our doors receive a Fall Flannel Fest car coaster!
It's a good weekend for thinking about staying warm and we can help you out! For one thing, we have RedHead lifetime socks on sale through Sunday!
Our Gifts Department will be serving up some samples to warm your tummy!
Saturday, October 18
It's National Chili Month so sample our Uncle Buck's brand Two-Step Black Bean Chili! Noon-4 p.m. or while supplies last.
Sunday, October 19
Try some a sample of Bob Timberlake BBQ sauces over beef chuck roast! Noon-4 p.m. or while supplies last!
Saturday - It's Pack 237
- It's Troop 222 from Martensdale
The scouts are usually here from about 10 a.m. - mid afternoon.
Then, hold on to your plaids, it's FLANNEL FEST! October 20-November 9, Bass Pro Shops celebrates all things flannel! You know we're the BEST place to buy flannel, whether RedHead, Ascend, Bob Timberlake, Columbia, Carhartt, or others! #FlannelFest
Friday, October 24 - Flannel Friday! The first 100 customers receive a FREE Fall Flannel Fest Car Coaster! These very cool coasters go in your car's cup holder and soak up minor spills and condensation.
Halloween arrives October 24-31! Stay tuned!
Bass Pro Shops Altoona has a connection to country music singer, and Rising Star contestant, Sarah Darling - her mom works here! One day she brought in the recipe for her mother's (Sarah's grandmothers) pumpkin bars. Since it's October, pumpkin time AND National essert Month, we thought Sarah Darling's Grandma Alice's Pumpkin Bars would be a great way to celebrate!
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 C sugar
1 C vegetable oil
2 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
1 C chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12 x 18" baking or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil ( could you use parchment paper, too?). Grease lightly and set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and oil in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and the next five ingredients. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture, stirring well. Stir pumpkin into the batter, fold in nuts (optional), and pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Lift bars from pan by grabbing edges of foil and transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely and top with Cream Cheese frosting (see recipe below).
Makes three dozen bars, but you can cut them smaller for more, if needed.
Cream Cheese Frosting
3 oz cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
2 C powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp milk
Combine cream cheese, butter and beat on medium with an electric mixer until creamy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and milk, and beat until spreading it's spreadable.
Those who hunt to fill the freezer know the extensive amount of foodie goodness that can come from processing a deer. Backstraps and loins, roasts, burger, Italian sausage, summer sausage, brats, hot dogs, jerky, deer sticks, and more! Canned, frozen, dried, smoked...you name it. If you can make it with pork or beef, you can make it with venison!
Darrel Goering from the Milo Locker Service says the key to having good meat for your family table is to get it cleaned and cooled immediately, always handling it properly. He says you also need to consider what kind of deer you have harvested. He explains in this brief YouTube video:
Goering says one or two days is typically plenty of time for hanging your deer. Since it's perishable food, the temperature needs to be 40 degrees or below, and you need to get the hide off, meat cleaned and cooled down as quickly as possible. He says hanging your deer meat for two weeks is not a good plan.
At the store we're focusing on cold weather items in our aisles, and, based on the forecast, it's not too soon!
Time to prepare for frosty days and nights! My top warm weather picks for 2014 are:
There are two debates my husband and I are always guaranteed to have...when to put flannel sheets on and when to take them off! We have some new flannels this year, including the woodsy and adorable Northern Exposure theme...bear, moose, and fish marching and floating among pine trees!
The flannels also come in the hot-colored Realtree APC Fuschia, Mossy Oak Break-up Flannel, and a classy and subdued Browning Buckmark Plaid.
In our five years here, I have witnessed the enormous popularity of the blankets we sell this time of year. From the higher end Bob Timberlake faux fur throws, to the raschel throw blanket, to the 2-1- wraps and the smaller fleece throws (which are also great for dog blankets, too, by the way!), there is a size and style for everyone. People start asking for these in August and we sell out of them quickly. New styles this year include the Pink Buckmark Throw...I bet this one will be gone quickly!
Last, but certainly not least, are RedHead Lifetime socks. My feet don't get cold..it's that simple. I wear mine as slippers around the house. My husband wears them when hunting and he appreciates their warmth and moisture wicking ability. It's not a lifetime guarantee because they won't wear out...it's a lifetime replacement guarantee. As soon as they get a hole or wear down, bring them to ANY Bass Pro and exchange them for a new pair. No questions asked. No receipt needed. Not a joke. Buy one pair and have socks for a lifetime!
The best part? The $9.99 RedHead Men's All-Purpose socks are on sale for $5 a pair starting October 6 through October 19, while supplies last. THE FIRST TIME EVER at this price! Limit four per person and they're MADE IN THE USA. The sale is in-store only, so come on in, get 'em while we've got 'em and make your feet very happy.
Practice with your hunting gear, so you can make sure you have a good, clean kill. Next, handle the deer properly, get it eviscerated and clean out the cavity right away. Then have a good plan for hanging the meat.
In this brief YouTube clip, Goering answers the question he hears most often - "How long do I hang my meat?" The answer, he says, depends on your facilities and ambient temperatures.
Georing stresses the rinsing and cleaning out the cavity and getting the meat chilled down as fast as possible is of the utmost importance. If the temperature isn't below 40 degrees, pack the cavity with ice to help cool it down.
October is National Popcorn Poppin' Month! Carmel corn is a favorite for many.
To me, it's okay, but it always seems like more work than I want to do. However, a friend of mine told me about Microwave Carmel Corn. It's not outdoors, I know, but how easy it is to make it and EAT IT outdoors! A camping or fire pit treat! We found this recipe in a recent issue of Iowa Farmer Today. It' pretty similar to others out there. Enjoy!
Microwave Carmel Corn
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1/4 C corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3-5 qts (approximately 12-20 cups) popped corn
In a 2 qt casserole, combine sugar, butter, syrup an salt. Microwave on high 2 minutes, then stir and cook another 2 minutes.
Remove from microwave and mix in the baking soda.
Pour syrup mixture in a large bowl, mixing well.
Cook popcorn in the microwave for one minute, take out and stir, repeat for 3 more minutes.
Pour the popcorn onto a greased baking baking sheet and break up as needed. Store in an air-tight container.
We asked some of our Bass Pro Shops Altoona team members for some hunting tips. No matter what, no matter where, here are some never-fail tips they'd like to share. Maybe it's something YOU'VE never thought of - here we go:
9. While getting ready for the season, try and practice shooting your bow/gun in the same gear in which you'll be hunting. The more realistic the practice the more confident you'll be in your shots.
8. Aim small, miss small. Aim big, miss big. In other words, pick a small aiming point. You may miss the small point, but more than likely still make a very accurate shot. If you aim at a big target, such as the entire deer, you may miss the entire deer!
7. Keep it in perspective. In the grand scheme of life, hunting is a great activity, but does not need to consume you.
6. Washing clothing in scent free detergents.
4. Dress in the field to ensure you don’t pick up any odors on the way to your spot. Sometimes hunters are tempted to stop at the gas station to get a coffee early in the morning. Likewise, remember this may mean that you are getting dressed in freezing temps!
3. Safety first. Remember those whom you love who are expecting you to come home after the hunt!
2. Safety is #1 for me and anyone that hunts with us. We always wear our safety harness' (especially while hanging stands) and during gun season blaze orange is a must! Coming home safely to my family is my #1 priority.
1. HAVE FUN! Take someone with you and enjoy God’s great outdoors together!
We have butternut squash from our garden, so I was looking for different ways to use it besides soup. I jumped on this recipe from Martha Stewart because it had all my favorites: Chicken, squash, dried cranberries, and red onion. Strange sounding combination, but it works. It's pretty easy to make; the hardest part is peeling the squash, which you simply do with a vegetable peeler. Plus, it's National Chicken Month, so what a great way to celebrate!
Change-ups: I used a whole butternut squash instead of half. Next time, I'll follow instructions and just use half. (Or maybe I'll use acorn!) I think it did make a difference in the consistency. I also didn't split the leg quarters, which didn't matter, and, of course, I threw in a dash of my favorite smoked paprika.
1/2 large butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved, and seeded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken leg quarters (2 1/2 pounds total), split into drumsticks and thighs
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Cut the squash into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and, in two batches, cook, skin side down, until skin is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to a plate; pour off fat from pot.
Add 1 tablespoon oil, reserved squash, and onion to pot and cook until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add sage, flour, coriander, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add broth and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, 1 minute.
Nestle chicken, skin side up, in squash mixture, add cranberries, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
When my husband harvested his first turkey, it was a big deal. Although he has hunted for MANY years for all types of game, he had never called in a turkey. The occasion merited a photograph and when he arrived home we posed him with the bird nicely displayed. However, this was only after I took a photo of his friend with his turkey and completely cut off the turkey's head and most of the body. Lesson learned.
We've all viewed photos of outdoorsmen and women with their wild game and fish. Maybe YOU'VE been the lucky person who got that buck or caught that big bass. It's a proud moment for any hunter or angler at any age and deserves to be remembered.
We're going to share some basics with you for taking good photos in the field. Our General Manager Jason Truman and I both enjoy photography, and have these tips to remember when you want to capture the moment.
1. As the photographer, pay attention to your background. It’s always disappointing to have that tree “growing" out of your subject's head and getting more attention than the animal! Let your background set the scene. Having your blind or stand in the picture helps tell the story. Wooded backgrounds, fences, fields, and other natural formations make for great photo ambiance. Move away from the dirty pickup and bring nature into the photo. Remember, you can always move around to avoid something you don’t want in your picture. As far as photos go, anything outside the frame just doesn’t exist.
2. Use your light source correctly. If the sun is still up in your picture, try to get it behind the camera, not behind the subject. The sun behind the subject creates dark, and sometimes unrecognizable, faces and tough shadows. Avoid shooting into the sun. That being said, pay attention to the photographer casting a shadow on the subject or simply anywhere in the photo. This may mean stepping farther away.
3. Whether you are using your phone or a regular camera, turn your flash ON! If it’s already sunny, it will take away some harsh shadows and, if it’s dark, well, this is called a “fill flash” and some cameras have a setting for it. If yours doesn’t, just turn it from auto to ON. Do this while you are setting up for the hunt, otherwise you may just forget in all the excitement.
4. Use a low angle. Squat or kneel down and get eye level with the subject. This makes a better photo, and also allows your flash to get under the brim of the hat that so many hunters wear, so you can better see the face. In fact, if they can take their hat off, without too much bad hair or if it's not too cold, then have them do so.
5. Get some depth in your picture. Everyone knows that when you take a picture of a fish you caught, you hold it just a bit further toward the camera than maybe you should, because it makes it look bigger. The same goes with big game or birds. Position the trophy so that the head, rack, fan, etc., is flowing toward the camera. Your whitetail doesn’t have to be at a 90 degree angle to the camera. Put a bit of an angle to it with the head forward. When you kneel down behind it, the rack will look that much larger because it’s closer to the camera. Be careful though. Don't make the angle so exaggerated that the beauty of the animal is lost in a glaring "that's photoshopped" look.
6. If you want to include your gun in the photo, make sure it’s properly placed and represented in a safe manner. In fact, UNLOAD YOUR GUN after you take your prize. All guns should always be treated like they’re loaded and that includes in pictures. Lay the gun across the front on the ground pointing away from the camera or across the body, pointing away from the subjects and camera.
We'll stay out of the whole "to smile or not to smile" debate. Do what YOU want to do, be proud, and relish the moment as you see fit.
Just don't cut off the turkey's head.
Night time shots can be tricky!
That first big bass is a great photo opp, and on the water makes a great backdrop!
Get on eye level and keep the game as the focus.
The weather is changing and so is the fishing! Are you ready? Join us for our Fall Fishing Event!
Plus celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day all weekend with a Beginning Fishing for Kids workshop and crafts!
Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshop Noon – 1pm
Kids learn the basics to get started fishing, including hands-on casting instruction! Kids who complete the class will receive a fishing certificate along with a folding fishing hat!
Free Craft - Color Your Own Mini Tackle Box 1-3pm
Then we have these great seminars for the big fishermen and women!
1pm- Where did the Fish Go? Expert advice on following fall fish movements.
2pm- Which Fishing Rod and Reel? Our fishing experts help you select the rod and reel that work best for various fishing situations.
3pm- Local Fishing Areas Learn the hot spots for area fishing opportunities.
1pm- Fall Fishing Tackle Box Learn the key baits and presentations for fall fishing.
2pm- Fall Weather Transition & How it Affects Fishing Learn how the fall weather changes affect water and fishing conditions.
3pm- Preparing Your Boat Our experts show you ways to be more productive on the water by setting up your boat correctly.
A free collapsible water bottle for the first 25 customers to attend the 2 p.m. seminars each day!
These Boy Scouts will be at the store selling popcorn!
Saturday, Sept. 27 - Pack 62 from Johnston
Sunday, Sept. 28 - Troop 182 from Ankeny
Legal Heat Concealed Carry Classes - Sunday, Sept. 28, 1 - 5 p.m. This one class qualifies you to obtain the Iowa, Utah and Arizona concealed firearm permits.This powerful combo of permits will allow you to carry in 36 different states. The course will emphasize state and federal laws. Students can expect to learn more about firearm laws and self-defense laws during this short 3.5 hour class than most will learn in a lifetime. Register online at www.mylegalheat.com.
by Alicia Bricker
Gun Vault Specialist
Bass Pro Shops Altoona
You have the bow and you know the stance. Now, let's look at those accessories mentioned in Part 2, that will assist you in shooting your bow:
An arm guard slips onto the forearm of the arm that is holding the bow. You will have the straps on the top of your arm with the solid part on the inside. This helps protect you from the string slapping your arm. Believe me, it hurts and can leave a nice bruise or welt if it gets you just right! An arm guard can also be used to hold heavier weight clothing out of the way of your string. It is an item some shooters find useful, but not a necessary one. They are also available in different styles and sizes.
Finger tabs are a useful tool for an archer to use to pull their string back with their fingers instead of a release. After a while, your fingers will start to hurt and may even blister or callous. Finger tabs can be used to protect them. This photo shows one type of finger tab that Bass Pro Shops has available; there are other styles and material available as well. This particular one straps around your wrist and over your three middle fingers that you use for shooting. For finger shooting, you can either hold one finger above the nock of your arrow on the string and two below or two fingers below the nock and none above. When you are shooting this way, you need to make sure to release all of your fingers at the same time to keep accurate.
Most archers use releases for shooting. They help improve accuracy, since there is only one point holding the string. It releases when you pull the trigger, so there is no inconsistency from your fingers snagging or not all letting go at the same time. If you are hunting with your bow, I definitely recommend using a release for shooting. There are many different styles and colors. A release straps around your wrist and extends out to attach to the string or the D-loop that you may have added. There are some releases that you hold in your grip, instead of strapping around your wrist, but I prefer the type that strap around the wrist. Try several out before making a decision on which feels the most comfortable for you. Many of them are adjustable as well. You want the rod of it to extend out, so your index finger can easily press the trigger when you have your bow drawn. You don’t want to have to overextend to make it reach. Some things to look for, when selecting a release, are:
There's still plenty of time to get started with bow hunting! Hopefully, this three-part Beginning Archery for Ladies series has give you the encouragement and spark to get out and try it!
It's fall! Cool weather, football, fall camping, fire pits...you need slow cooker dips for munching! Here is one to warm up your taste buds.
2 lb ground venison
16 oz package of cream cheese, cubed
4 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 - 10 oz cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles - DO NOT DRAIN!
2- 6 oz packages of real bacon bits, divided...or fry up a package and use the REAL real thing!
Brown the venison. Place in a slow cooker. Add the cheese, tomatoes, and bacon bits (leave a few bacon bits for garnish when serving.) Stir together as best possible. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally as it melts. Sprinkle with remaining bacon bits before serving with your favorite scoops and dippers!
Cooler weather is here and that means looking for ways to provide warmth, power, and light for those fall outdoor activities, like football games, fall fishing, hunting, hiking, or just walking the dog on those frosty mornings! Here is a new, three-in-one product that we are already selling quickly!
The Celestron FireCel is three tools in one - Power Pack/Flashlight/Hand Warmer.
1. Hand warmer - An aluminum heating element is compact and would be perfect in the front pocket of a hoodie during football games! The dual temperature warmer provides scent-free heat, so it's good for the field, too.
2. Power Pack - The USB rechargeable Power Pack includes a USB port and cable for charging iPhones, iPads, Smartphones, and most other USB-charged devices.
3. Flashlight - The high intensity red and white LEDs have five modes. They provide just the right amount of light for camp or for heading into your hunting spot without spooking the game.
So, if you're looking for something that's reusable, compact, and fits easily in your pocket or pack, stop in the Camo Department and check them out or find them online!
Are you ready for the changing fishing conditions? Join Bass Pro Shops Altoona for our 2014 Fall Fishing Event free seminars from our local experts, plus share the love of fishing with your kids as we celebrate National Fishing and Hunting Day!
Noon - 4 p.m.
Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshop Noon – 1pm
Kids learn the basics to get started fishing. This class will include hands-on casting instructions. Kids who complete the class will receive a fishing certificate along with a folding fishing hat!
Free Craft - Color Your Own Mini Tackle Box 1-3pm
A free collapsible water bottle for the first 25 customers to attend the 2 p.m. seminars each day!
Saturday, Sept 27
1pm- Where did the fish go? Expert advice on following fall fish movements
2pm- Which fishing rod and reel? Experts will help you select the rod and reel that works best for various fishing situations.
3pm- Local Fishing Areas - Local fishing experts will explain area fishing opportunities
Sunday, Sept 28
1pm- Fall Fishing Tackle Box - Learn the key baits and presentations for fall fishing
2pm- Fall Weather Transition & How it Affects Fishing - Learn how the fall weather changes affect water and fishing conditions
3pm- Preparing Your Boat - Our experts will show you ways to be more productive on the water by setting up your boat correctly.
By Chris Grocholski
Bass Pro Shops Altoona
With deer hunting season fast approaching, I thought I'd share a story about the one that got away. Almost every deer hunter probably has a story of that one deer that they have either spent way too much time thinking about, preparing an entire hunting season/seasons around, spent countless hours in a stand or blind waiting for, and, most likely, lost a lot of sleep over. I am definitely not the exception to this situation and am, in fact, guilty of all of the above!
My story starts in Clayton County in northeast Iowa six years ago. I had recently been told about a farm of approximately 180 acres. It was a unique section of ground that presented a challenge to hunt that instantly drew me in with the challenge - the challenge was, believe it or not, trying to find enough trees to put tree stands in! The ground had been in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and when it was taken out of CRP the land owner began planting trees. After about three months of scouting for locations for treestands and blinds, a friend and I started laying down mineral stations and trail cameras to get some set our sights on a couple. One in particular we named "Little Split," because of the split G2s that he had. He seemed to be a younger deer, but he had all the characteristics and potential to become a stud. Late that summer and early fall, before bow season, I was only able to get two more pictures of Little Split.
Fast forward not one season, but two. I had a successful season the year after I started hunting that particular piece of ground and harvested a deer, but still had my heart set on an opportunity with Little Split. I began to think he may have been harvested by another hunter on some neighboring property or maybe just died from natural causes, because I never saw him on any of my trail cameras, or on the hoof, for almost two years.
Then August of 2010 came and I went out to change out all six of my trail camera SD cards. Looking through the photos - BAM there he was! But, now the name Little Split didn't quite fit anymore! He had done some serious growing and had also added a split to his other G2 as well. I was instantly obsessed with this deer and knew right away it was going to be almost impossible to let him walk, if given the opportunity at harvesting this animal. The rest of the summer and early fall I was able to get several pictures and a few short night videos, as well.
As the season went on, and I spent more and more time hunting this deer, I was starting to think that I wasn't going to get a chance at him, because I had not seen him again in any pictures or during any of my sits. I had set up a blind on a corn field edge before the corn had been picked, because there was a ton of deer moving in and out of this corn field. Well, the farmer finally told me that the corn was out, so I instantly knew where I was going to set on my next hunt. However, the morning did not go as well as I had planned, and I wasn't able to get out to the blind until almost 8 a.m. Considering it was that time of year when deer can be moving at any time of the day, I felt it was still worth an all day sit, so off I went.
I was about 60 yards from the blind, when I saw four does in the field picking up corn. I sat down and watched the does because I didn't want to spook them out of the field, just in case there were some bucks around checking them out. As I sat there for about 10 minutes watching, guess who shows up? Little Split!
I quickly came up with a game plan to see if I could get a stalk on him, an decided to use a small depression that could get me to about 50 yards away from where he stood. I started my stalk. Aided by a perfect wind, I was able to get where I wanted to be without being noticed. I nocked an arrow and got set up behind some brush, then gave two very light grunts on my grunt tube. He yanked his head up and stared right in my direction. After about 15 minutes of looking my way, he went back to eating corn in the field and milling around with the does. This time I gave him a snort wheeze and it was ON! He gave me all the posturing of a full mature deer that was ready for a fight and I knew this was my chance.
Sitting behind the bush, I was thinking, "I can't believe this is going to happen!"
I closed my eyes and collected myself, as he walked straight towards me. I opened my eyes and drew my bow - here was the deer I had been hunting for almost three years and he was within 20 yards of me. As he walked through the brush, I followed him with my bow. Then suddenly he stopped behind a bush, and I thought, "Oh no, something is wrong."
My fear was reality. He somehow picked me off, stopped dead in his tracks, turned around, and trotted away. I guess deer don't become trophies by being dumb.
The most important thing I learned? Find a bigger bush to hide behind!
Our big Meat Snack Madness event continues through October 4! All you Iowa State Cyclone fans have the weekend off, so come on in and visit and pick up some Uncle Buck's Jerky for the next tailgating session. Hawkeye fans, unless you're traveling to Pennsylvania, you might as well stop in, too!
Here's what's happening at the store this weekend!
The Gifts Department is handing out samples of Uncle Buck's Jerky, noon- 4 p.m. at the Jerky Shack! Try the flavors and decide which is your favorite...then maybe make some Jerky Tomato Sauce or Jerky Potato Soup!
Jay Green and his K-9/hospital therapy-trained dog Zeus will be doing a dog obedience demonstration at 1:00 p.m. in front of the main aquarium.
The Gifts Department is, once again, handing out samples of Uncle Buck's Jerky, noon- 4 p.m. at the Jerky Shack!
Fall Fishing Event - September 27 & 28. featuring a Beginning Fishing Workshop for kids, craft, and various fall fishing seminars.
Outdoor Rewards Night, Sunday, October 5, 6 – 9 p.m.
Halloween Event! Friday, October 24 – Friday, October 31 - Free photos as well as other fun activities!