Lend a Hand for those Who've Done so Much

We take great pride in supporting our military. Nothing brings greater pleasure than to meet and greet the veterans who visit our store so often through the Iowa Veteran's Home, or to shake the hand of active duty personnel working or training at the Iowa National Guard's nearby Camp Dodge.

Now we ask your help.Through December 31, 2013, YOU can help US help the veterans and active duty personnel, with a donation to the USO or AmVets.

Customers may make a donation of $1, $3, or $5 at all U.S. location Bass Pro Shops stores to USO, which supports deployed service members, or AMVETS, which supports our veterans. 

AMVETS LogoThe AMVETS organizations first began assisting veterans in the mid 1940s as our World War II veterans began to return home. They helped them obtain the benefits promised them by the federal government.

AMVETS helps veterans and their families in many ways. One of the most visible of which is their network of national service officers accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. With programs like the Warrior Transition Workshops for male and female veterans, and resources for treatment counseling and other assistance, AMVETS provides that hand of support veterans need for when they return.

Bass Pro Shops has partnered with the USO for the past several years for “Operation Care Package.”  This year it's the "USO2GO" program to support deployed service members in remote locations with the comforts of home. The packages include electronic gaming, sports/musical equipment, and personal care items to troops in remote locations.

USO2GoUSO2GO launched in 2008 - Deployed bundles, weighing nearly one ton each, have been delivered to more than 600 remote forward operating bases and it has become the most requested program directly from the field to help our deployed troops relax and recharge. 

 

Check out these YouTube videos for more information on AMVETS and the USO2GO program.

Donate at your local U.S. Bass Pro Shops or online. Lend your hand of support!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Apple Pie Pork Chops

Apple Pie Pork Chops

As any child of 1970s TV knows, according to Peter Brady, you have to eat pork chops with applesauce. This super easy slow cooker recipe! gives you both!

This came from the October 17 issue of Iowa Farmer Today.  I always check the recipes when it arrives in the store mail each week and knew I had to try this one right away! 

Now, here's the kicker. The way the recipe is written, it lists stuffing mix as an ingredient, but never says what to do with it. However, it does says to put everything, except chops, in the a bag and mix up. To me, the idea of adding the stuffing mix in the bag just seemed odd, so I just served it on the side. I thought it wouldn't taste much like apple pie, if it had sage and other seasonings in it, but that's just my way of thinking. So, if you want to be adventurous, you can try it that way. 

I ended up doing about four hours on low and then 1.5 hours on high and could have done it shorter, because they were fall apart done...thicker chops would have help up better. But they were "WOW" good!  

Apple Pie Pork Chops

8 C. apples, peeled and sliced
¾ C. sugar
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground allspice
1½ lbs. pork chops
 
1 6-oz. pkg. boxed stuffing mix
 
Place chops in the bottom of a slow cooker. In a separate 1-gal. zippered bag, place all of the ingredients, except the chops. Mix. Once mixed, dump on top of pork chops in the slow cooker. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours. Note: If you don’t have fresh apples, may substitute a can of apple pie filling.

 

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Product Spotlight - Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer

Butterball Oil-Free Turkey FryerWe've demonstrated the Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer a couple of times here at the store and the reaction is always the same. First, people want to know how it is that you can fry a turkey without oil. Second, they are amazed at the taste. 

As Pete from our Camping department explains, it's a different type of "frying."

"The oil-less fryer uses infrared heat to cook the product. The best analogy is that it's like pan frying from all sides at the same time. The infrared heat wave penetrates all the way through the product, leaving you with a crispy exterior similar to frying and a juicy tender inside."

Here are some other features and benefits of the Butterball Oil-Free Electric Turkey Fryer:

  • It cooks the product in 2/3 of the conventional oven time.
  • It's great for health benefits because you're not using oil.
  • It's great for cost-saving, because you're not buying the oil.
  • If you use a rub, it doesn't fall off in the oil...and marinades make it even that much juicier.

We'll be demonstrating the Oil-free Fryer at Bass Pro Shops Altoona on Saturday, November 23. Stop by around 1 p.m. and check it out!

Oil-Free Turkey Fryer - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

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Ice Fishing 2013 - Rods

We continue to take a look at what's new in ice fishing this year. Our Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fishing Leads, both avid ice fishermen, say there are a number of new reels and combos in the store for the ice angler.

Jason Mitchell Meat Stick

Clam's Jason Mitchell Elite Series Meat Sticks - New in stock at our store, the Jason Mitchell Meat Stick is Jamie Renshaw's rod of choice.

"The sanded tip is soft, making it a very sensitive bite sensor. It bends right into the backbone."

Our other Fishing Lead Chris Grocholski says they are excellent for walleyes, too!

"They have a super sensitive tip, with an extra fast action, but also have a strong backbone to fight larger fish like walleyes or bass.  The rod comes in two models - a 24” great for fishing inside your shack or, my personal choice, the 28”, which I feel gives you better leverage when fighting fish." 

Also new to the mix are the Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Rods. The reliability of the #1 rod in the U.S. now comes made for ice fishing!  The graphite/fiberglass rod , features Ugly Tuff guides, a 1-piece stainless steel hood, and Ugly Stik's famous clear tip.

There are a number of new combos, too, including the Abu Garcia Veritas and the Ugly Stick GX2 Ice Fishing Combo.

“I really like the Frabill quick tip combos - with the combination of a sensitive rod and smooth reel they are a perfect match,”  says Grocholski.

Clam Lady Ice Buster

Ice fishing combos - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaLadies, listen up! More prevalent this year are the items to appeal to you! The Clam Lady Ice Buster Series Spinning Rod and Reel combos feature a pink rod and is pre-spooled with 4 lb. Ice Line. The lower-end Apache combo comes in a multitude of bright colors. 

For beginners, the Panfish Popper is a good starting combo. It comes with line on it, a couple of jigs, and a spin bobber. Renshaw still uses a couple of these, too.

 

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Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center
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Watch for our upcoming Ice Fishing Q and A on Facebook!

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Toys for Tots Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Bass Pro Shops Altoona and Toys for Tots

 

Join forces with us to help Toys for Tots!

Super Saturday/Super Sunday Weekend!

Saturday and Sunday

 

November 30 and December 1, 2013 ONLY


Donate a toy in-store to Toys for Tots and receive a FREE photo package in Santa's Wonderland!

Each customer who donates a toy (or toys) on either Nov. 30 or Dec. 1, will receive a coupon for ONE free special Toy Donation package valued at $20.


ONE COUPON PER FAMILY (no matter how many toys donated). Coupons are redeemable until December 7.

What a super way to get your children involved in helping others less fortunate. Bring the family to see Santa and help bring Christmas to kids who may not have one otherwise. While you're here that weekend you may also win one of the many prizes we will be giving away! Bass Pro Shops gift cards, apparel, sunglasses, and more...we will be giving away one prize every half hour from 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. both days!

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Breakfast with Santa 2013

A Christmas tradition at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!

(Reservations required - seating limited)

Breakfast with Santa - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Breakfast with Santa - Cookie Decorating

Breakfast with Santa at Bass Pro Shops Altoona

 

Saturday, December 14, 8:00am – 9:30am

&

Sunday, December 15, 8:00am – 9:30am


Adults - $10 each

Children 12 and Under - $8 each

 

Join us for a full breakfast buffet in Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill restaurant. 
Children will enjoy storytelling, cookie decorating, table visits from Santa, a take-home gift and much more!

Seating is limited so please reserve your space by emailing KJVoss@basspro.com now!

 

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The Gopher Economy

Every picture tells a story. Sometimes we see products or hear about an outdoor activity and it conjures memories of family tales or traditions. It's Family Stories Month and just about everyone has some kind of family memory they can share. 

The other day I intercepted a Lodge Cast Iron Dinner Bell that an Associate was going to take back to the Camping Department. As I looked at the box, she started telling me how her grandparents had a farm with a dinner bell that her parents would ring when it was time to leave after a visit.

Holidays typically drive the most memories. Each year, in Santa's Wonderland, inevitably there are  children who just aren't really in the mood, shall we say, to see Santa. Fear wins over and tears flow. That's when I launch into the story of how my mom and aunt waited 45 minutes in drizzle for my siblings and me to see Santa and I crumbled. At least five years old, my feet hit the brakes as soon as we were next in line. Wouldn't do it...you couldn't make me. Fortunately, they didn't force it, just shook their heads. I never did sit on Santa's lap.

It's trapping season in Iowa. As calls about supplies and stories of latest trappings circulate, I remember an oft told story from my dad about a special kind of trapping he did during the Great Depression. Even though it was spring gopher hunting, and we're on the cusp of winter, it reiterates the importance of trapping to wildlife and crop management, and to the economic well-being of trappers, even today.  

He was a young boy in the rural Midwest and gopher trapping in the spring brought ten cents for each pair of gopher front feet, a grand amount of money in the early thirties and the throws of the Depression. After two or three weeks of trapping, the boys would walk the eight miles to the county seat to collect their money from the County Auditor's Office. However, to get to that point of reaping their rewards, they first had to do the work.

Pocket Gopher -(Wikipedia - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

"Pocket gophers, with their long, sharp incisors and large-clawed, front feet, were pesky rodents. They dug their burrows and pushed up large mounds of dirt, which smothered the grass and hay and damaged mower sickles. Underground, they fed on the roots of the crops, causing a lot of damage, and some farmers would pay an additional five cents for each gopher caught in their fields. 

"Trappers usually worked in pairs and had their own closely-guarded secrets on how to catch the wily gophers...as soon as the new mounds appeared, we established our trapline and had as many as twenty-five traps set. We would roll out of bed about six a.m., eat breakfast, and hurry to run our traps before going to school. After school we ran our traps and made new sets. 

"Digging out the entrance to the main burrow and getting the one-ought steel trap set properly , in the right location, required a certain amount of skill and savvy. Then covering the burrow again, so no light would seep in, was an absolute necessity; failure to make a good set would tip off the gopher that danger lurked in the burrow. He would then proceed to skillfully pack dirt around the trap without getting caught. The dirt would be packed so tightly we would have a hard tie removing the trap. To be outwitted by a gopher and having a "clogged hole" was not only aggravating, but also a blow to our trapper's pride. 

"There were even hazards in gopher trapping. One fellow got his finger nipped by a gopher as he reached into the burrow to clean out some loose dirt. Bull snakes slithered through the burrows on occasions. The most demoralizing times occurred when a polecat 

(skunk) blundered into one of our traps. This caused MORE problems when we went on to school after killing and removing the polecat. Our entry into the school room would product a chorus of "pee-yews" and the teacher would promptly send us home for de-scenting. Our hands became chapped and might sore from digging in the dirt barehanded and then washing in a nearby stream or at the school pump."

My father would tell of the thrill of having money, of cockily sauntering around the square with the many coins jingling in their pockets, buying a 25-cent baseball, and 15 cents for a much-needed pair of shoes. After catching a movie, they would head out on the long trip home, hoping someone they knew would drive by and pick them up. 

Tough work for what to us seems like pennies, but to them was golden. According to the National Trappers Association, that remains true today both monetarily and for our sustainability.

Bass Pro Shops Altoona

"Millions of North Americans depend on fur harvesting for their livelihood. These people have a vested interest in protecting the natural environment. Natural fur, used in coats and other garments, is a renewable resource.Nothing is wasted in the production of a wild fur garment. Furbearers provide food, organic fertilizer, medicines, and other biodegradable products."

Trapping, hunting, fishing...survival in the here and now, stories for years to come.

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Better Watch Out!

Better not cry! Santa is here so your kids can let him know their wish list, then send him a letter for reinforcement, and YOU can get those holiday photos taken for cards!  

Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17

Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

 

Free Photos with Santa
 

Saturday: 10-8 p.m.
Sunday: Noon-5 p.m.

 

 

 

REMEMBER: We use the Bass Pass system anytime the wait in line is 30 minutes or longer. We will ALWAYS use it on weekends.

IF THE DEMAND TO SEE SANTA WARRANTS IT, WE WILL START HANDING OUT BASS PASSES BEFORE SANTA'S SCHEDULED START TIME.

The Bass Pass provides you a spot in line during a designated time and allows you to walk around the store. You're in a "virtual" line! 

Free Craft

Santa's Wonderland Wooden Ornament

Weekends, Noon-5 p.m.
This weekends craft is a wooden Christmas ornament!

Games, RC trucks, and racetrack are all available to play as soon as the store opens!

 

 

 

 

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On the Trail - Rut Action on Public Land

On the Trail 

Dan Stephany - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaBy Dan Stephany, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Receiving Manager and Outdoorsman

Well, the past ten days I have been on vacation trying to accomplish the goal I had set back in early October – to harvest a mature whitetail on public land in Iowa.  I have had an eventful week with both highs and lows. It started out with a bang. One of my first hunts found me perched in a treestand watching a doe in estrous being harassed by 11 different bucks!  All of the bucks were young and not something that I would consider mature, and as the evening progressed, the doe presented me with a perfect shot at 20 yards. I was able to make a great shot and she didn’t make it 25 yards before expiring.

The next 6 days included several encounters with young deer and plenty of excitement.  I had deer within bow range multiple times, including multiple young bucks looking for love. This past Saturday, I went to a new piece of public land that I had not hunted in hopes of finding a mature buck on his feet.  With only a few days of vacation left, I wanted to make something happen. I took my oldest son, Micah, and did some scouting.  We sat on the ground and had a couple of does come to within 10 yards of us!  When we got home that night, we looked at an aerial map of the land and I found what looked to be a clearing between a bedding ridge and several draws that funneled deer back from the agriculture fields. 

Bass Pro Shops AltoonaI went out Sunday morning extra early in an effort to observe the deer movement through this clearing. It wasn’t long and I knew I was in the right place.  Just after first light, I could hear a deer making its way back up the draw and toward the bedding ridge.  As I struggled to see in the early morning light, I was finally able to make out a deer walking in my direction.  When it stepped out from the brush, I was less than 30 yards away from an Iowa Giant!  He was definitely mature and sported a great set of headgear.  The only problem was that he had already moved too far to my right for me to turn and get a shot off.  Had I not been on the ground I may have tagged my largest whitetail ever.  As it turns out, he walked off into the bedding area and continued his quest to find a girlfriend, no less bothered by my presence.

After watching a second buck, much smaller than the first, repeat the same route, I knew I had found my ticket for success.  I called it a morning and returned a few short hours later to hang my set.  I found a tree right on the edge of the bedding ridge that overlooked the staging area both bucks had cruised through.  It was on the downwind side of the ridge, and the wind would carry over the top of the draws which they funneled out of.

The next morning found me waking up even earlier, and going through every last detail of scent elimination and double checking equipment to make sure I wouldn’t be busted.  I was in my stand an hour before daylight and waiting expectantly.  To my surprise, I did not see a deer in the first 2 hours!  I was just picking up my set of rattling antlers getting ready to begin a rattling sequence when I thought I heard footsteps.  The wind had shifted and was blowing straight away from me, the same direction I thought I heard the noise come from.  I listened intently and heard that definitive sound of a deer crunching through the grass and the branches snapping.  I reached for my bow and peered into the brush. 

On the Trail - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaSure enough, at about 35 yards a buck stepped out and stopped in my first opening facing straight on. On the way in, I had brought in a scent drag of estrous doe urine and had left it about 20 yards away from my stand. As the buck looked around the clearing, he began to lip-curl and trap the scent on his nose.  He was directly down-wind of my treestand, and didn’t once know I was perched 20 feet above him ready for him to turn broadside. He committed to the scent trail and turned into my shooting lane at 35 yards and took a few steps, offering a perfect broadside shot at 33 yards.  Knowing he as already aware of a new scent, and knowing I don’t shoot a super-fast arrow, I settled my 25 yard pin just behind his shoulder and squeezed off the shot. He ducked and turned into the shot as I watched my lighted nock bury into his shoulder and blood immediately exit the wound.  He took a few bounds and began to walk away. I grunted at him, hoping he might stop and fall within eyesight. He did turn around and respond to my grunts, but then continued on into the brush.  Within a matter of seconds, I heard the sound of victory as the buck crashed, and the woods returned to silent.

My quest was successful! I had scouted, hung a set, and killed a mature buck on public land all within about 36 hours!  A sense of great accomplishment and relief came over me as I called my wife to share the news with her and my boys.  I returned home to pick up my son, Micah, to come back with me to recover the buck.  We had no difficulty following the blood trail and walked up upon him with a feeling of satisfaction.  This marks the end of my quest for a month, until I return for the Iowa late muzzleloader season, and a second chance at that Iowa Giant I encountered – all on public land in Iowa!

Thanks for following along! I can’t wait to bring you more action as this season unfolds.

Safe hunting and good luck!   

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Ice Fishing 2013 - Reels

There's a chill in the air this week! For ice fishing fans, weather like this gets the itch going. We asked Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fishing Lead Jamie Renshaw to show us what's new this year in ice fishing gear, while you're waiting for the ice to form.

This post will focus on reels. Future posts will tackle rods, jigs, shacks and augers.

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What's new this year in ice fishing reels is fly-style reels. Many ice fisherman use fly reels anyway, but these reels are specifically designed to use for ice fishing and have gears.  

Two new reels at Bass Pro Shops Altoona come from 13 Fishing - the Teardrop and the Black Betty, which is a fly-style reel. The fly-style reels eliminate line twist as the jig goes down, which is what often happens with a spinning reel. Having gears allows for faster line pickup and better for deeper waters.

Fish 13 TeardropTeardrop:

6.2:1 gear ratio

13 lbs ultra-smooth carbon drag

 

 

Black Betty

Black Betty:

2.7-1 gear ratios

Smooth carbon drag system

Anti-reverse and bait alarm

 

 

Ice Fishing

Also new is the Eagle Claw Inline Reel and the Frabill 261 Ice Reel. 

Don't forget to start going through your gear NOW, instead of an hour before you head out to the ice. There may be residual water in your plastic storage cases and you may have rust. It happens to the best...check your augers, too. 

 

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Smoked Turkey Whole Grain Sliders

Smoked turkey - by far one of the favorites around holiday tables. Of course, over the holidays, it becomes a challenge to use up the leftovers. Here's a great recipe from our friends at Hy-Vee.

 

Smoked Turkey Whole Grain Sliders

4 (four) 100% whole-grain cocktail buns
1/4 c. apple butter, divided
1/4 pound deli-sliced smoked turkey or leftover turkey, divided
2 (1 oz each) slices Havarti cheese, halved and divided
1 medium apple, such as Granny Smith or Braeburn, cored and thinly sliced
4 lettuce leaves


Place buns on cutting board and split open. Spread apple butter evenly on top side of each bun.
On the bottom bun half without apple butter, place 1 ounce turkey, a half slice of Havarti cheese, one-fourth the apple slices and a lettuce leaf. Repeat for other 3 bun halves.

Top each prepared bun bottom with the top half, apple-butter-side down.

Fire up the smoker, slap the bird on, and have a great "day after Thanksgiving" meal, too!

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Product Spotlight - Cherith Valley Garden's Tito's Classic Chili Mix

I am a chili purist. Chili is one of my favorite foods to make and I do it from scatch. It's typically an all day, make-the-house-smell-great type of procedure. However, recently I decided to take the plunge and try a mix. My husband would be home late from hunting, and I had other things to do. So I purchased one of the new Cherith Valley Chili Mixes that Bass Pro Shops sells.

I selected the Tito's Classic Chili Mix for this trial run. It's as simple as adding the mix to the boiling water, throwing in the meat, and letting it simmer for a bit. While the recipe calls for 1/2 meat, we like our chili meaty, so I used one pound hamburger and about 3/4 pound venison burger.  

We were surprised and pleased at how good it was. The mix has corn and a variety of beans. It wasn't spicy...we like a little more heat...but it was VERY flavorful. 

Pair it with some Uncle Buck's Smokey Jalapeno Cornbread and you have a unique Christmas gift for the foodie in your life!

 

Cherith Valley Garden's - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaCherith Valley Gardens Tito's Classic Chili Mix

  • Reduced Sodium
  • No MSG
  • Gluten-Free
  • EASY to fix
  • all natural ingredients
  • No artificial preservatives, flavorings, or coloring

Best of all?  Made in the U.S.A!

 

 

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Santa Arrives!

Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

This weekend we welcome the big guy in red!

Santa's Wonderland returns with the glitter, lights, fun and games, and magic that Christmas should always have!

Saturday, November 9:

Join us for Santa's Wonderland Preview Night, Saturday, November 9, from 5-8 p.m.

Be among the first to get your free 4 x 6 photo with Santa after we welcome Santa and light the tree!

  • Hot chocolate and cookies
  • Carolers from the Ankeny Community Chorus
  • Gift Card giveawaysSanta's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Who will help Santa cut the ribbon this year?

Free crafts from 6-8 p.m. on Preview Night, plus backpack clips for the first 125 kids!

 

Sunday, November 10 - Santa's Wonderland kicks in to full gear!

Free 4 x 6 photos with Santa: Sunday, Noon-5 p.m.
 

We will use our special Bass Pass system for photos again this year, especially during busy times. Please stop to verify if a Bass Pass is necessary as soon as you arrive at the store. The Bass Pass is in place when the wait in line to see Santa is longer than 30 minutes. Parents receive a return time to see Santa, then they can shop in the store and listen for the time to be announced over the intercom.

Bass Passes are given out on a first come, first serve basis. When they're gone, they're gone!

Families can continue to enjoy the free photos, crafts, fun, and games through December 24 in Santa’s Wonderland. Times will vary on weeknights and weekends - hours for photos will be extended starting December 9.

 

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Deer Rice Medley

Combine a love of venison with slow cooking and this is a great meal to come home to! I found this recipe in the Heartland Outdoors magazine from June 2012 and definitely need to try it!

Deer Rice Medley

Small deer Roast
1/2 cup wild rice
1 package long-grain brown rice
2 cans beefy mushroom soup
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
3 ribs of celery, chopped
8 ounces button mushrooms
1 tsp minced garlic
1 TBSP butter
Salt, pepper

How to Prepare:

Rub deer roast with garlic, salt and pepper. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook at medium to high for about five hours. Sautee all vegetables in butter.  cook rice according to directions. Remove roast from cooker and allow to cool. Pull roast into pieces. 

Mix rice, vegetables, and roast together. Add soup and mix. Place back in slow cooker on warm until ready to eat. 

Sounds like a dish that needs to be accompanied by a crusty, warm bread and a nice class of merlot! Enjoy!

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Knife Buying 101 - A Numbers Game

Visit the knife section and you can be quickly overwhelmed! Terminology, numbers, knife names...what to buy? Which is best?

Bass Pro Shops AltoonaWe asked our knife specialist, Mike Sibley, to give us a brief rundown on the numbers game of buying a knife.

"Our RedHead knives' packaging now clearly shows the numbers, making it easier to decide which knife will work best to fit your needs."

Expedition Folding Lockback Bass Pro Shops

First you'll find a 400-series number on the package. This number defines the type of steel and it's durability. 400 series stainless steel is the most popular steel used for making  knives because it's easy to sharpen and more corrosion resistant.

440 is a common stainless steel and corrosion resistant - often found in good all-purpose knives. You can find 440 used in RedHead's The Hunt, the Expedition Folding Lockback, and the Function EFX-T Folding Knife. 

420HC is a higher carbon content steel than the regular 420. It's the steel that Buck Knives uses and is now available on many RedHead knives, including the exclusive RedHead Guide Series Fixed Blade Skinner Knife by Buck...the result of a collaboration between Bass Pro Shops and Buck. It it also used in the RedHead Medium and Large Stockman knives, and the Traditions Series Double and Single Blade, and  Lockback knives.

RedHead Medium Stockman

Another number you will find on the package is a two-digit number called the Rockwell Hardness number (HRC). This is an industry scale used to measure the hardness of the blade steel and, for knives, how long it will stay sharp. For example, the Medium Stockman knife has a 54HRC making it slightly more difficult to resharpen, but better edge retention properties.

 
 
A 57HRC knife is sharpenable, with reasonable retention. 

A 60HRC is very hard and durable.

Sibley says three of RedHead's knives are good examples of durability and long-lasting edge with higher HRCs.

"With an HRC of 56-57 you would need to tune up the knife during the cleaning of a deer. But with the 58-60HRC of  The Hunt and The Expedition you should be able to clean more than one deer with it before resharpening. The EFX-T also has a HRC58-60, which 

makes it a good survival-tactical knife."

Another aspect of a blade's steel that Sibley points out is "deferentially hardened" steel. 

"This means that the back of the blade is different from the edge, so lateral strength is still there. It's stronger for hard use and the edge remains longer."

Take a look at the hundreds of knives Bass Pro Shops offers online or at your local Bass Pro Shops store!

 

 

 

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Santa's Wonderland - The Magic Returns!

 Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Santa's Wonderland returns with the glitter, lights, fun and games, and magic that Christmas should always have!

Join us for Santa's Wonderland Preview Night, this Saturday, November 9. from 5-8 p.m.

Be first to get your free 4 x 6 photo with Santa after we welcome Santa and light the tree!

  • Hot chocolate and cookies
  • Carolers
  • Gift Card giveawaysSanta's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

 

Who will help Santa cut the ribbon this year?

Free crafts from 6-8 p.m. on Preview Night, plus backpack clips for the first 125 kids!

Santa's Wonderland is open through December 24!

Free photos with Santa 

Remote control trucks, slot car racing, and games!

Free crafts and activity tables!

Write a letter to Santa and receive an e-mail back from him!

 

Here is the schedule through December 8 for all Santa's Wonderland Activities!  

Times will change beginning December 9.

We will be using the Bass Pass system again during busy times. The Bass Pass is like a virtual line, allowing you to shop and enjoy the store instead of waiting in line for long hours. It provides a designated time for you to get in line to see Santa. 

Bass Passes are given out on a first come, first serve basis. When they're gone, they're gone!

Santa's Wonderland Schedule - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

 

Keep up-to-date on ALL Christmas events, including Black Friday Sales, Toys for Tots Weekend

and more by liking our Facebook page and watching this blog!

 

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Product Spotlight - Elite 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker

Elite 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker  - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

'Tis the season to get the slow cooker out...I mean REALLY out.  Granted it gets used once in a while during the summer, but not very often. As temperatures cool, the slow cooker usage rises. I

Elite 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker

 

Bass Pro Shops carries this Elite slow cooker. We use this cooker at the store for demos and associate events.  It's large capacity is perfect for large groups. The large removable stoneware pot is easy to clean and the clear tempered lid allows you to check on what's cookin' without removing the lid. 

From stews, soups, and chili to roasts of all kind, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, side dishes like applesauce and sweet potatoes, and desserts like brownies (yes, brownies)...you can make just about anything in a slow cooker. 

Here are a couple of slow cooker tips from the Hy-Vee Seasons magazine:

Test Your Slow Cooker for Accuracy

Fill the cooker half to two-thirds full with water. Put the lid on, turn the cooker to low, and let it heat on low for eight hours. After the eight hours, use a food thermometer and see if the water is 185-200 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's not, then it's time to replace the cooker.

Clean the Stains out of your Cooker

Fill the pot halfway with water and add one cup of white vinegar. Heat on high for two hours, then clean as usual. 

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

It is quiet at Bass Pro Shops this weekend! Our Fall Harvest Sale is underway, so there are some great buys on flannel shirts, fleece blankets and more!

Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops AltoonaMeanwhile, elves are working furiously to get Santa's Wonderland in tip-top shape, because...

 

Santa's Wonderland Opens November 9!

Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Join us for Santa's Wonderland Preview Night from 5-8 p.m. and be first to get your free 4 x 6 photo with Santa!

  • Hot chocolate and cookies
  • Carolers
  • Gift Card giveaways

 

Who will help Santa cut the ribbon this year?Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Keep up-to-date on ALL Christmas events, including Black Friday Sales, Toys for Tots Weekend and More by liking our Facebook page! 

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On the Trail - Now you See Him, Now you DON’T!

Do the Right Thing

Buck -Muzzleloader - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaBy Dan Stephany, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Receiving Manager and Outdoorsman

This week finds us on the brink of the November rut and anticipation is running high.  A few days ago, I went to a friends’ property (private land) that I had a couple of trail cameras on.  We had located a few good bucks that we wanted to chase this November, and I went in with two main objectives. First, to check my camera’s batteries and see if the SD card was getting full and, second, to sit a nearby tree stand in hopes of catching a mature buck on his feet before dark.

Things turned south pretty fast.  As I was approaching my tree stand, I jumped a good buck bedded with 4 does. The good news was that he felt pretty comfortable there and was very close to my stand.  The bad news was that I cleared out the entire bedding area and couldn’t sit there.  As if to add insult to injury, I walked down the ridge a little further to find my trail camera, lock box and steel cable all stolen!  I immediately called the land owner, and he assured me that I had exclusive rights to hunt the property, and that nobody else should be out there.  One other bit of information is that this property is located almost a full mile off the road.  Whoever found the camera and eventually took it must have made multiple trips out.  The steel cable could only be cut with a bolt cutter, something a random wanderer would more than likely not have with them.

If you are reading this, and you consider yourself an ethical sportsman, I am going to ask you a favor…would you please share this article and let our voice be heard!  I am sure I am not the only person who this has happened to.  I have heard countless stories in our store from people, much like myself, who had permission on a property and hung cameras, stands, or planned a hunt, only to have it stolen out from under them by someone who has no conscience, no ethics and does not deserve to be called a sportsman!  Our reputation as conservationists and sportsmen are being ambushed by people who are trespassing and blatantly violating laws all in the name of tagging a “shooter.”  Well, it is time that we voice our frustration and let those around us know that we are fed up with this kind of behavior.  I am not suggesting violence, or even promoting confrontation with those we encounter in the woods. I am, however, hoping that some of you reading this will join me and reclaim our reputation as ethical sportsmen who going to be honest, respecting the laws, and respecting other's property - both land and physical equipment. Let’s begin a movement that focuses on doing the right thing, even if that means you need to return something you may have taken from someone else in the past.  I am even hoping the person who took my equipment will read this and be convinced to put it back. I can, and will, forgive anyone who chooses to do the right thing and simply say they are sorry.

Will you join me?  Let’s give people every reason to associate hunters and sportsmen as the most ethical and honest people they know!  I may have had a frustrating day in the woods this past week, but I refuse to let that keep me from enjoying what I love to do!  I’ll see you in the woods and on the trail again next Tuesday!

Good hunting! 

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Conservation Connections - Wolves in the Midwest

Keona the Gray WolfPella Wildlife Company was on hand again at Bass Pro Shops Altoona. This time they brought along Keona the gray wolf.  Keona is actually an Arctic wolf, which is a subspecies of grays. She came to PWC when she was very young, and was acquired through the genetic bank. She is one of three wolves that PWC has at their facility. 

As PWC Director Ron DeArmond explains in this video clip, they work closely with government and scientific organizations to study wolves and help track their travel routes.  He says the thousands of wolves in the upper Midwest are starting to disperse and change their travels. 

 

Pella Wildlife Company visits Bass Pro Shops Altoona on the last Saturday of each month, with a different animal each time. 

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