Dog Days Event!

 

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

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

Free Friday Seminars

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

Socializing & Crate Training Your Dog - presented by Adelhorst Kennels

Free Saturday Seminars

Saturday, March 7

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

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

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

Saturday, March 14

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

Presented by Pampered Pooch Bakery and Salon!

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

Presented by Patrice Peterson-Keys, Polk County Conservation

 

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

Both Saturdays, 3:15 - Jay and his K-9 therapy dog Zeus!

Come visit with local groomers, trainers, and rescue groups!

Silent Auction - Two doggie gift baskets, donated by Pamper Pooch, one auctioned off each weekend, starting Friday and ending Saturday night. Money raised will go to Retrieving Freedom and the ARL! 

 

  • The first 100 customers at 11 a.m. each Saturday receive a doggie gift bag!
  • Free 4x6 photo and free download with your pooch, PLUS a free certificate with your dog's paw print with each photo!

Free dog treat with purchases on Friday and Saturday (while supplies last).

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

_____________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Dove

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

Slow Cooker Dove

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

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

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

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

Part II

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

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Fish Like a Girl

by Andrea Bailey
Bass Pro Shops Altoona Associate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is cool – I fish like a bowfisherwoman.

________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Easy Crepes

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

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

Crepes

Ingredients

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

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

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

What's GREAT about these for the outdoors?

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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Maui Jim Sunglasses

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

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

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

______________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

Try Before You Buy!

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

Girl Scout Cookie Time!

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

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

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

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

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

Speaking of Dogs...

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

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Chicken Merlot

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

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

Slow Cooker Chicken Merlot

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

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

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

(Original recipe from Taste of Home)

_____________________________________

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

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

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

Local Pros and Tips Seminars

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

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2015

7 P.M. – Proven Bass Patterns

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 & 15, 2015

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

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

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

Next Generation Weekend

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

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

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

Free Kids' Craft - Color a wooden standup fish!


Kids' Fishing Workshops!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kids' Fishing Workshops!

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

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

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

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

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

Kids' Fishing Workshops!

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

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

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

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

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

Kids' Fishing Workshops!

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

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

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

Also, This Weekend:

Try Before You Buy!

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

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

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

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

 

Women's Outdoor Cooking & Fishing Tips

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

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

Women's Outdoor Cooking & Fishing Tips

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

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

Women's Outdoor Cooking & Fishing Tips

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

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

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

Freshwater Fish Conservation Month

Did You Know?

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

____________________________

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Snowshoeing Basics

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

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

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

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

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

________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Moroccan Venison Meatball Stew

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

Moroccan Venison Meatball Stew

For the Meatballs

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

For the Stew

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

Meatballs

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

Stew

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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

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

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Product Spotlight: Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite Baitcast Combo

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

 

 

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - 2015 Spring Fishing Classic!

With all this snow, we're READY to talk spring! The Spring Fishing Classic kicks off this Friday, February 6! Ten days of deals, promotions, seminars and, of course, our Next Generation weekend just for kids!

Here's this weekend's line up!

Friday, February 6

The Spring Fishing Classic begins!

Throughout the Classic (Feb. 6-15) enjoy these promotions!

  • Rod and Reel Trade-In: 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!  Not only does the event now last for the duration of the Classic, it also now includes fly rods and reels!

Rods and reels must not be broken...they are donated to Lake View Camp in Pella, Boy Scouts, the DNR, and Wounded Warriors.

  • Instant Rebate - Use your Bass Pro Shops MasterCard to buy new gear and receive an instant rebate up to $100. Use any other MasterCard and receive an instant rebate up to $50. Details and limitations at www.basspro.com/classic!
     

Uncle Buck's Fish BatterSaturday, February 7

Fried Fish Sampling - 2-5 p.m. We're frying up fish using Uncle Buck's Fish Batter in Original, Mild, and Hot & Spicy (by the aquarium, while supplies last).

Try Before You Buy - Noon-4 p.m. Our Gifts Department will also be serving up samples of Uncle Buck's Summer Sausage with Cherith Valley Mustard (by the Sunglasses Counter, while supplies last).

Pro Staff - Pro Staff Lance Baker, representing Daiwa, and Kary Ray, representing Lowrance products, will be in the store to answer your questions!

Sunday, February 8

BassMaster University - 2 p.m.

We welcome National Pro and Walleye Champion Chase Parsons! Check out the link to hear what Chase will be talking about!
 

Try Before You Buy - Noon-4 p.m. The Gifts Department will handing out samples of our various Uncle Buck's Extra Large Virginia Peanuts (by the Sunglasses Counter, while supplies last)!

Maui Jim Vendor - Find out more about Maui Jim Sunglasses - 11 a.m.-4 p.m. - A vendor rep will be at the sunglasses counter to answer questions!

Legal Heat - Concealed Carry classes will be held Sunday. Visit www.mylegalheat.com to register!

 

Coming up for the second weekend of the Classic?

Next Generation Weekend, Women's Outdoor Cooking and Fishing Tips, and Local Pro Seminars!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Smoked Trout

We spotted some beautiful smoked trout in a Facebook post by Girls in the Outdoors and asked them if they'd like to share their recipe. So, this segment of Outdoor Cooking Primer is brought to you by Girls in the Outdoors, located in Colorado!

Simple Smoked Trout

8 medium size trout
Honey diluted with water
1/4 cup of butter (1/2 stick)
Onion powder
Granulated garlic
Salt
White pepper
Lemon-lime soda
12 oz. water
 

Fillet the trout and remove as many pin bones as possible to make 16 fillets.

Lightly salt 8 of the fillets and brush them with honey diluted with a little water. For the other 8 fillets, melt the butter and brush it on, then lightly season the fillets with onion powder, granulated garlic, salt, and white pepper.

Place all the fillets skin side down on the smoker grates. In the water pan, put 12 oz. of lemon-lime soda (they used Sierra Mist) and 12 oz of water.

Smoke at a low-medium heat with apple wood for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on how much smokey flavor you like.

Enjoy with seasoned rice and a cold beverage of your choice!

Check out the Girls in the Outdoors Facebook page and web site and give them some thumbs up!

Do you have a recipe you'd like to share? Message us on our Facebook page or comment here!

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Pay it Forward: Rod and Reel Trade-In

The 2015 Spring Fishing Classic Rod and Reel Trade-In programs bring a new twist this year - you have TEN DAYS to bring in your trades!

Start looking through your garage and rod holders now 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! 

More good news - fly rods and reels are now included!

Here's the most important part of the rod and reel trade-in...they need to be usable, because we, in turn, donate them. Last year our amazing Bass Pro Shops Altoona customers donated over 360 reels and 210 rods! All were donated to the Mid-Iowa Boy Scouts, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Lake View Camp for kids, and to Wounded Warriors.

Have kids or grandkids? Make it a project for and work as a team to go through your fishing rods and reels, then bring them in and take advantage of this great opportunity.

Pay it forward - and help a child, help a veteran, help a family learn to fish.
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2015 Spring Fishing Classic - Next Generation Weekend

Once again, we focus on educating our future outdoor sportsmen and women with our

2015 Spring Fishing Classic Next Generation Weekend!

...and it's all FREE!

Casting challenge - Your children can test their skills in the casting challenge! Children receive a prize - a collapsible fish-shaped water bottle!

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

Free Kids' Craft - Color a wooden standup fish!


Kids' Fishing Workshops!

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

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

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

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

 

Complete line-up of Spring Fishing Classic events at www.basspro.com/classic.

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2015 Spring Fishing Classic - Local Pros and Tips Seminars!

The second weekend of the 2015 Spring Fishing Classic has something for everyone in the family!  Our seminars delivered by our own Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pros, Lance Baker and Kary Ray, highlight the day. Join our Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff, along with our own local experts, for these great seminars to get ready for open water!

Friday, February 13, 2015

7 p.m. - Proven Bass Patterns – Lance Baker

Saturday & Sunday, February 14 & 15, 2015

11:00 a.m. – Unlock the Secrets of Electronics to Improve Fishing Success - Kary Ray

1:00 p.m. – High-Percentage Baits (Tank Demo) – Baker and Ray
2:00 p.m. – The Baitfish Connection: Understanding Seasonal Movements – Lance Baker

4:00 p.m. - Stealth Fishing: Successful Kayak Strategies - Kent Petersen, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fishing Team

 

It's also Next Generation Weekend with activities for kids, including a kids only workshop - "Think Like a Fish" - at 2:30 and 4:30 on Saturday and Sunday. Kary and Lance will do the 4:30 kids workshop both days!

Last, but not least, folks from the Iowa DNR Becoming an Outdoors-Woman will present our Women's Workshop - Outdoor Cooking and Fishing Tips. Two GREAT topics in one hour! Plus find out more about the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program!  Saturday, February 14, 3 p.m.!

Bring the family and come on out for family fun!

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New Explorations - February

As part of our New Year, New Explorations series, we're going to explore February in Iowa. Let's face it - not too many people want to come to Iowa in February, unless it's for business or family occasions. February in Iowa can be a seemingly endless expanse of days with too much cold and ice...when March, with its hope of springtime, is just...right...there...out...of...reach. So, instead of sitting inside whining about how cold it is...when there's nothing you can do about it...we're going to give you some ideas for getting outside, in fresh air, and enjoying the state you choose to live in. Maybe someone reading this will CHOOSE to visit us in February, too!

 Winter outdoor activity enthusiasts don't mind it and are probably hunkered down in their ice shacks or possible putting good mileage on snowshoes. February in Iowa is a great time to learn more about both through various clinics sponsored by local, county and state organizations.

FEBRUARY in Iowa

Instead of looking at those ice fishermen and women and saying, "That's crazy," give it a try. You know they have heat in those ice shacks, right?  Many locations around the state have Ice Fishing Clinics. Looking at the Travel Iowa events calendar, we find ice fishing clinics as close as our own Thomas Mitchell Park.

The Iowa DNR also has a monthly calendar with fun activities throughout the year. The state has trails galore perfect for winter treks, as do many cities and counties, so youIowa Games - Snowshoeing can put some miles on those new snow shoes.

Another place to check out is the Pottawattamie County Conservation web site. They have Guided Snow Shoe hikes/tours. This is on the western border of Iowa, in the beautiful and historical Loess Hills area near the Missouri River.

Did you know Iowa has an incredible Iowa Winter Games? Snowshoeing is one of the events!

Celebrate winter...it's going to happen every year!

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The Art of Shed Hunting

Shed hunting has quickly become a major outdoor sport/activity in recent years. With antler prices/values becoming higher and higher, it seems to be getting more and more people out and in the woods, before spring hits. People are using the sheds for anything from dog chew toys, to extravagant chandeliers that hang from mansion log cabin ceilings. I don’t sell the sheds that I find and never plan to. I will eventually use them for decorating my man cave and possibly making a few items to accent the room.

Believe it or not, there’s a method and common places to look for these ivory treasures of the forest. It’s not as easy as just hiking through the woods and stumbling upon them. You must have a general knowledge of deer behavior and patterns on the land, to help find areas that will be more productive than others. Deer in the Midwest can lose their antlers as early as December, but most tend to hang on to them later into the next year. I’ve found the best time to start looking is the first weekend of March. This allows plenty of time for deer to drop their antlers, without you pushing them off the property. I also like to run trail cameras during this time of year. This helps me understand what deer have survived the hunting season and are calling the property home. It also lets me know when the deer are really starting to drop. Like I said earlier, a majority of them drop by March, but if a big deer is still holding on my property, I will wait.

The first place I start my search is on south-facing slopes/hills. These hills tend to get the most sunlight and will let the deer stay warm, while they are bedded down. This brings me to my next place of interest - bedding areas. Deer will hold tight, and for longer periods of time, during the cold winter months. Look for anything that might shield them from the elements, like cedars or thick underlying brush. I then move on to heavily traveled paths (trails that go from bedding areas to feeding areas) that force deer to jump fences and creeks. Many times the jarring effect from jumping can break loose an antler that is about ready to fall. Another strategy I’ve decided to use is feeding the deer (check your local laws and regulations regarding this). Simply feeding the deer to keep them on your property will give you a better chance of finding more sheds. I’ve found that in my area, a 1,000 lb. pile of corn will last about a month. Some people even go to the extreme of building “shed traps,” but I’ve come to the conclusion that I find just as many sheds without using traps. I tried it all for a couple of years: chicken wire, fence posts, corn sickles (corn frozen in a bucket of water, so the deer have to use their antlers to break the corn out), five gallon buckets, and rubber bungee cords over feeders…none of them work as well as just putting on more miles. An additional item that can help, but isn’t a necessity, is a cloudy day. A cloudy day will help make those ivory white tips stand out against a camouflaged background.

When you go, be sure to have three things with you.

  1. Good Glass – Binos will help identify items that look like antlers from a long distance. This way you don’t have to walk all the way over to a white branch that’s 100 yards out.
  2. Camera – Take pictures to help inventory of what you find, and were you find it. "As They Lay" (ATL) pictures are the best ones to share with friends.
  3. A good backpack with some cordage – If you ever run into a REALLY good day in the woods, carrying all those antlers can be difficult. Tying them to a backpack will help make for easy walking.

The more you look, the more you will find spots that produce year after year. I have a 200 yard south facing slope that has produced one to four sheds for the last six years in a row.

Good luck finding some bone!

J.J. Pugh
Hunting Associate, Bass Pro Shops Altoona

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J.J. was born and raised in the Midwest and has "spent his life hunting, fishing, camping, and playing in the great outdoors!" You can meet up with J.J. at our Archery Counter and on his Get Wild Outdoors page!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Wild Turkey Mix

Great wild turkey slow cooker concoction by my husband. The great thing about this meat is its versatility. We were able to use it as a meal that night, then for several sandwiches and work lunches, and THEN I threw it in my venison chili!

Easy Wild Turkey Thighs and Breast

Ingredients

Keep in mind, we like to use what we have available. Thus, the white wine which was left from guests...we don't drink white wine. Improvisation! The au jus you end up with has some "spark" to it...almost like a sauerbraten, without the use of vinegars.

Four wild turkey thighs
One wild turkey breast section
Uncle Buck's Poultry Rub
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 small onion, chopped
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
2-3 tsps minced garlic
2-3 shakes of Sriraccha sauce
3/4 bottle of white wine (we sued Chardonnay)
Black pepper blend seasoning to taste
 

Rub the four thighs and breast in Uncle Buck's Poultry Rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

In the meantime, in your slow cooker, mix together the remaining ingredients, using a whisk. Turn your slow cooker on high for one hour, so the sauce heats up. After one half-hour, remove the meat from the fridge and unwrap it, so it can come up to room temperature. After the sauce has heated for an hour, place the meat in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 5 additional hours and low for one hour.

Serve with your favorite sides and get ready to use leftovers in chili, paninis, or even on pizza!

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