A Grand Adventure

Anthony Loos has competed in mixed martial arts and currently studies karate. However, the Altoona Tracker Boat Center Associate says a recent accomplishment was by far the most physically demanding thing he has ever done. Here's his story:

_________________________________________Grand Canyon Hike - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Our karate master instructor decided to sponsor a trip to the Grand Canyon. However, this wasn’t a vacation/pleasure trip…well, at least not most people’s idea of pleasure. It was specifically to hike the Canyon and to give his students something to achieve – both physically and mentally.

Our group of 15, led by our karate master, flew into Phoenix on May 1. I had checked through my Bass Pro Shops tent and other camping gear in a suitcase and had my clothing and personal items in my carry on. I packed light.

In our rented 15-person van, we headed to Flagstaff, stopping for lunch, and then pulled in at Mather Campground on the South Rim. We spent the rest of the evening making camp and preparing for the next day’s journey.

Friday morning, May 2, it was up and at 'em at 5 a.m. for our breakfast of bagels and peanut butter – calories and carbs to get our energy going for the day. Then we headed to the Canyon.

With my Go Pro camera strapped to my chest, we began our descent into the Canyon, entering at the South Kaibab Trail. We had picture-perfect conditions – sunny, very few clouds, and 45-50 degrees when we started at 6:30 a.m. It reached about 95 and stayed in that range for much of the day. That meant dressing in layers with lightweight, sweat wicking clothing. I also packed rain gear for the hike, because one never knows if the weather will change.

It was typical, dry Arizona air – that combined with the few clouds could cause some problems for the unprepared. Research I did before the trip suggested a calorie intake of 300 calories an hour during this type of hike and 20 ounces of water an hour. This would differ from person to person. For example, one member of our group is a marathon runner so her requirements would differ because her body was used to the exercise. So, I had my Ascend Hydration Pack with 70 ouncesGrand Canyon Ascend Hydration Pack  Bass Pro Shops Altoona of water and there were refill stations along the trail. I also packed pretzels, fig bars, energy bars, and honey, for its natural energy boost.

Our plan was to descend into the Grand Canyon and back out in the same day. Despite cautions against that idea, we were determined that we would finish. The grueling hike was close to 19 miles, with a one-mile elevation down and back up. The four-hour trip down turned into twice as long coming back up.

We navigated our way down the South Kaibab Trail to the Colorado River, where we took an extended break and splashed around in the water. We crossed the Colorado on the South Kaibab suspension bridge, made our way over to the Bright Angel Suspension Bridge, and headed back up the Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail.

Of course, a hike back up a trail is typically the toughest part…and this was no exception. Our group of 15 had gradually migrated into three groups based on our speed. We had radios to communicate and provide some good-natured ribbing and encouragement. Our group talked while we walked, taking in all the sights, but the terrain is always changing, so keeping an eye on where we were stepping was very important. 

There were several switchbacks, which were the toughest part, because of their steep grade. Then it would level off for a while. Good hiking shoes or boots are paramount. We were more than simply walking, often stepping over wood or brick erosion control  steps, or hiking on  rocks, gravel, dirt, sand, and rock hopping over natural creeks. My RedHead hiking shoes were great. Oh, and we had to watch for the pack mules carrying riders up and down the trail…they have the right of way…which meant we also had to watch for mule droppings!

Other than the regular exercise I get through karate, I “trained” for the hike by doing five miles a day on a treadmill, for about Grand Canyon Hike - Bass Pro Shops Altoona Blogthree weeks, at the full incline position. Next time, I’ll do ten. The last mile of the trail was tough…it took us about 40 minutes. Our legs and feet felt like lead. The sun was setting and our group decided to sit down and take a quick break. A group of guys going down into the Canyon came by and said, “Good job - you’re just five minutes from the top!”

I guessed their five minutes would actually be 20 minutes for us…it ended up being ten. Our group finished the hike in the middle at just under 13 hours. The first group finished at about 9.5 hours, while the group following us finished at 14.5 hours.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. Even though that last mile was pure torture. Even though I didn’t see any scorpions, tarantulas, or rattlesnakes, as I had hoped.

A group of Iowa karate students accepted a challenge and accomplished their personal goals.

There are signs at the beginning of the trail noting that 250 people a year are rescued by helicopter when they reach the bottom.

I, Anthony Loos, was not one of them.


Anthony had his Go Pro set to take photos every 30 seconds on the hike. Take part in the virtual hike here on our YouTube channel!


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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Grilled Chicken Crunch Casserole

Casseroles - can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Another recipe from the mother's recipe box and this one is a keeper! Easy fix, relatively healthy, and CRUNCHY!

As with most recipes involving cooked chicken, I grill mine or will use a smoked chicken for two or three meals. Really, this is a great quick fix that is a true dump and bake dish!

Grilled Chicken Crunch Casserole

3 oz. crunchy chow mein noodles
1/4 C chicken broth ( I use chicken stock - more flavor!)
2- 10 oz. cans cream of mushroom soup (use the fat free or light and healthy variety if you want)
5 oz can sliced water chestnuts
4 oz can drained mushrooms (or you can use fresh sliced)
2-4 T minced onion (I use 1/2 large fresh diced onion)
1 C diced celery (or more if desired...I use 1 1/2 - 2 cups)
3 C diced cooked chicken (I typically use about 4 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts)

Spray a 9 x13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the chow mein noodles on the bottom of the casserole dish, covering the bottom. Blend together the chicken stock and both mushroom soups in a large bowl. Add to the soup mixture the water chestnuts, mushrooms, onion, celery and chicken. Mix it lightly and then spoon over the the top of the chow mein noodles. I sprinkle a little smoked paprika, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper over the top, or your favorite seasoning combination!Chicken Crunch Casserole

Bake uncovered at 325 for 40 minutes. Sprinkle slivered almonds over the top and bake 5 more minutes.

I have no "after" photo because we were so excited to eat that I forgot to take one!

Leftover chow mein noodles?  Better make some No-Bake Cookies!


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Facebook Q & A -Fly Fishing

It's another LIVE Facebook Q & A with Bass Pro Shops Altoona! Hop on your computer, tablet or smartphone and join us Friday, May 9, at 1 p.m.!

Fly fishing is one of the oldest forms of fishing - artful and often used for its therapeutic effects, too. Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff Fisherman Rod Woten says:

"Fly fishing has a rhythm that’s much slower than almost every other type of fishing.  From the cadence of the cast to achieving the perfect dead drift with your fly, it forces you to slow down and work through each step thoroughly and methodically. To those unaccustomed to fly fishing it seems like slow motion, but for those who practice the art, it’s therapy." 

Join Rod and Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fishing Lead/Fly fisherman Bryce Witt for our LIVE Facebook Q & A and find out what you need to know about fly fishing - how to get started, where to go, tips, and techniques!


Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fly Fishing Facebook Q & A

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Tuesday Savings for Bass Pro Shops MasterCard Holders

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCardDuring the month of May, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCard holders get a special treat plus continue to earn rewards and help conservation efforts!

Every Tuesday in May all current Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCard holders will receive 10% off their entire purchase!

So, on May 6, May 13, May 20 and May 27, just visit our store and use your Bass Pro Shops MasterCard and get even more savings with a maximum discount of $150. Your entire purchase must be placed on the card and it's only available on aforementioned listed dates in May.

Of course, not only will you receive the extra 10% discount on those days, but you will continue to reap the benefits of being a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCard holder by earning rewards points. In fact, with our card you earn points no matter WHERE you shop...not just at Bass Pro. I know. We just used it on a trip to Montana, earning points along the way as we filled up our gas tank!

  • Earn 5% on every purchase you make at Bass Pro Shops with the World MasterCard credit card (or 3% with the Bass Pro Shops Platinum Plus MasterCard credit card).
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases.
  • Receive $5 standard shipping for online and phone purchases if you don't live close enough to a Bass Pro Shop to take advantage of our free ship-to-store option.
  • Take advantage of special savings throughout the year, such as discount coupons sent through the mail.
  • Receive exclusive offers during our Spring Fishing and Fall Hunting Classics.
  • With each card purchase you make, Bass Pro Shops and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will make a contribution to help conservation efforts with a guaranteed yearly contribution of $1 million, at no additional cost to you. Cardholders have contributed a whopping $12 million since 2002.
  • What's also very cool is that you can track your rewards points online at basspro.com/rewards. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation logo

Remember, the 10% Tuesdays are ONLY for CURRENT Bass Pro Shops MasterCard holders.




Graduation Gift Ideas

Graduation is fast approaching for high school seniors and college grads! Of course, money is always the quick and easy way to get a graduation gift crossed off that list of invitations and announcements. However, we asked Associate Terrence Ross, graduating this month from Grand View University, for his tips and thoughts on what a graduate might like OR what a graduate may want to consider buying with all that gift money!

Bass Pro Shops Altoona graduation gift ideas1. Coffee mugs - Whether headed off to college or headed out to the "real world," a mug is important not just for coffee, but for hot chocolate, soup, ramen noodles, and other staples of living on a budget!

2. Water bottles - Whether hiking across campus, across the city to your new job, or up a mountain trail on vacation, a water bottle is a must have.

3. Living Quarters - Bedding, bath, towels, a lamp, and rugs. Terrence knows that a dorm room, or that first apartment, can be pretty "blah" until you put your own touch to it. If you're an outdoorsy person, consider an outdoor touch with Browning or camo bedding, towels, and even a rug. Needing to deck out a new bathroom? We have shower curtains and other bathroom accessories, too.  Terrence reminds everyone that a dorm room or apartment needs to not just look good, but should SMELL good, too...not like dirty socks. Bass Pro Shops has scent warmers to do the trick. Remember, check your college residence hall rooms regarding candle usage...many don't allow, due to fire hazards, but if they do, then we have those, too!Backpacks - graduation gift ideas - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

4.  Towels - From bath to beach, don't forget the towels!

5.  Gear - Let's face it, not all treks across campus are going to be under sunny, blue skies and 70 degrees. Make sure you have good rain gear, like a hooded, waterproof jacket, and an umbrella. Don't forget good shoes, boots, and, of course, some comfy casuals.

You'll need a good quality backpack for your books and electronics, too. While you're at it, invest in a good (or new) laptop or iPad case, and waterproof protection for your smart or iPhone, like the Otterbox line.

6. Emergency supplies - Terrence says a couple of things often overlooked are emergency items, like a good flashlight and batteries. Well, actually, he said the batteries were for the XBox controls, but admitted they would be handy in power Graduation Gift - Slow cookeroutages, too. He had several opportunities to experience power outages during storms and was glad he had the light source! Snacks come in handy during emergencies, too.

7.  Cooking - Terrence likes the slow cooker as a gift idea. Honestly, I think that would be REALLY handy in a residence hall! Beats the little "hot pot" of my college days. Plus, there are many soups and chil fixings that you can get to throw in the slow cooker. Don't forget the snacks! Stock up on jerky and nuts for munching and also for those emergency, non-electric times.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor games7.  Last, but not least, it's not all work and studying. Take time to play and pick up some outdoor games (some would work fine in a dorm hallway, too!) for study breaks and tailgating!

The list can go on and on when it comes to setting up a new apartment or dorm room. Just remember, comfort is key and you never know WHAT you might find at Bass Pro Shops that will fit your needs...just ask Terrence.


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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Wild Turkey Tenders

We had the opportunity to cook wild turkey recently for the first time. My husband hunts, or has hunted, everything, including turkey, however spring turkey hunting may not happen this year. Not enough time...AND it interferes with fishing if the weather is warm!

Fortunately, a friend brought us two turkeys his party shot, since he didn't want the meat and we are gluttons for wild game! My husband boned them out and vacuum sealed the breasts. In doing so, he ended up with about six remnants of the breast...about 3-5 ounces each and long pieces. Not having cooked wild turkey before besides just roasting a breast, and not wanting to waste, we winged it! (We brined them, so allow that for your prep time!)

Wild Turkey TendersWild Turkey Tenders

1/4 C Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 C Worcestershire Sauce
About 1/2-3/4 C Poultry Rub
2 eggs, beaten
1 C Italian Panko
All-Purposed Pepper Blend Seasoning (or make your own with fresh ground black pepper, garlic, onion powder)
Oil (just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet about 1/2 inch.)

For the brine:

Mix the Teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, poultry rub together in a large bowl. Add water about half way up the bowl and mix well. Add the meat and make sure it is all covered by water. If not, add more water. Brine for 8 hours.

Mix together the panko and the pepper blend. Lightly rinse the pieces off in a colander and pat them dry. Dip each piece in the beaten egg, letting the extra drip off. Then roll each piece in the panko/pepper blend and shake off extra.

Place each piece on a paper plate until you get them all done. Then put them all in the hot oil and cook on medium about 15 minutes on each side. Don't turn them until they are golden brown.

I was blown away when I took my first bite. They were SO tender; I could cut it with a fork. No strong game flavor...you could sneak them past any of those "E-e-www, wild game" people!

Of course, there is a pan of crunchy drippings, so you know what that Wild Turkey Tendersmeans. You COULD be forced to make gravy to go with them.



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Turkey Hunting with a Purpose

As we wrap up our National Wild Turkey Federation donation month, it's nice to remind everyone about one of the many great programs the NWTF sponsors. The Wheelin' Sportsmen program gives all people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors at events held nationwide and sponsored by local chapters. Recently, the local NWTF chapter held their spring turkey hunt. The hunt pairs up hunters with disabilities with experienced hunting companions. For those with disabilities, it may be a first time experience or it may be a chance to enjoy past experiences once again. For all involved, it is a meaningful, often life-changing, experience.

The Central Iowa Long Spurs Chapter of the NWTF held its 7th Annual Wheelin' Sportsmen Turkey Hunt on Saturday, April 19. The U.S. Corps of Engineers at Saylorville Lake, Camp Dodge, and Polk County's Jester Park were the host hunt sites. Rangers from Saylorville and Jester, along with military staff from Camp Dodge, provided support and a number of volunteers from the chapter guided.

One of the successful hunters was Todd Sanders. Todd fell from his treestand in October of 2013 and sustained multiple injuries, includingCentral Iowa Long Spurs Chapter Wheelin' Sportsmen a broken back. At the hunt, he harvested a nearly 26 pound turkey with a bow and arrow from his wheelchair. 

Rod Slings, hunting safety expert and retired Iowa DNR law enforcement supervisor, helped Todd with his hunt and said it was a life-changing milestone for Todd, but also for him personally.

"From my standpoint, it was an amazing experience that offered up a lot of thanks for the blessing to be able to help Todd!"

Jim Haroldson and Allen Chillcote also successfully harvested turkeys.

Central Iowa Long Spurs Chapter NWTF










Pictured from left to right, back row - Ranger Scott Rolfus & Rod Slings.
Front row - Dan Gracey, Todd Sanders and Zach King


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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Kids' Challenge Weekend!

***Our first weekend event of 2014 for kids! 

Saturday & Sunday, May 3 & 4, Noon-5 p.m.

Let your kids learn AND have fun by trying out their skills in casting, archery, knot tying, and through a scavenger hunt outdoors on our lawn and in the portable archery range.

Bass Pro Shops Kids Outdoor Skills Challenge

  • Think Like a Fish kids seminars at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 indoors in the Fly Shop
  • Free crafts - Noon-5 p.m. indoors
  • First 50 Kids to complete the scavenger hunt each day receive a Bass Pro Logo water bottle!
  • First 100 kids to get their punch card filled from all activities receive a Bass Pro Shops logo tackle box!


***The FIRST edition in 25 years of the second most printed book in English Language history!

The Compleat AnglerBook Signing - The Compleat Angler - New Edition
Saturday, May 3, 1:30-3 p.m.

The first scholarly edition in more than 25 years of "The Compleat Angler," Izaak Walton's timeless classic. First written in 1653, "The Compleat Angler" is the second most reprinted book in the English language...second only to the King James Bible. It is one of the most influential books of all times, as Walton brought together the conservation, recreational, and philosophical aspects of fishing and our natural resources. It also forged and inspired the beliefs of the Midwestern outdoorsmen who formed the Izaak Walton League of America, one of our leading conservation organizations.

Iowa has one of the strongest IWLA memberships therefore Bass Pro Shops Altoona is the only store in the country to host this special event. Renowned editor Marjorie Swann will be here for the book sale and signing and to visit about her newly added introduction to the work, and 50 pages of explanatory notes that help put the book in today’s context.


***The FIRST concealed carry class taught by Legal Heat!

Legal HeatConcealed Carry Classes
Saturday, May 3, 9:30-1:30 p.m.

Concealed carry classes return to Bass Pro Shops Altoona Iowa! One class qualifies you to apply for permits in Iowa, Utah, and Arizona, expanding the states you can carry in to 36. Taught by nationally known Legal Heat, the class is about four hours long and only $75. Visit www.mylegalheat.com to register.

Try Before You Buy!

Saturday, May 3 - Our Gifts Department is serving up samples of Uncle Buck’s Sweet-N-Hot Relish & Uncle Buck’s Sweet Onion Relish with a bite of hot dog, so you can taste how good the relish is! Noon-4 p.m. or while supplies last!

Sunday, May 4 - Our Gifts Department is serving up samples of our Uncle Buck's Cabin Mix and Uncle Buck's Cheese Curls from noon-4 p.m. or while supplies last.


Product Spotlight - Berkley Fishing Cart

While visiting Michigan this past September, my husband and I were treated to some time on the big Lake. We made ourGrand Harbor, Michigan way eventually to Grand Harbor at the mouth of the Grand River. While fishing the channel, it was pretty obvious that the anglers up on the bridges were well-organized. They were all pulling various types of fishing carts with everything right there at hand, so they could easily move up and down the wall. When we came home, my husband started investigating and found the Berkley fishing cart at Bass Pro Shops. With our open water finally here, he has started to get good use from it!

He went with the Berkley Sportsman's Cart, just the right size for his "stuff." It gives him a place to sit, when he's on a flat surface like a dock or flat lake edge, and simply makes it easier to get all his gear transported in one trip to the spot instead of several, and without risking a fall lugging armloads of gear. From his Bass Pro Shops Crappiemaxx fishing bag to his Pflueger reel and Browning rod, his nets, and his Plano bucket, what he needs is all right there with him...including a chair! His first trip out with it many other fishermen have asked him where he got it.

The cart has:

  • Two removable rod holders
  • An integrated seat and cutting board
  • Handle that extends
  • Storage for up to 8 large utility boxes
  • A 300 lb. capacity of fishing gear...that's a lot of gear!

Purchase now and receive a free Berkley Fishing Tool Kit offer. Shipping and handling fees do apply.

Berkley Fishing CartBerkley Fishing Cart














Graduation Decorations for the Outdoor Lover's Party

May brings high school and college graduations. No graduation speeches in this post, just a reminder to the graduates and the parents that this truly IS your time to move forward and, preferably, on a positive path. Graduates, further your education through books and life. Parents, hope about enjoying your freedom and let your grad learn...sometimes the hard way.

Now, let's get down to brass tacks, here. Graduation parties and graduation gifts. Let's start with parties...and we will assume that your graduate is a hunter, fisherman, or any kind of outdoors lover!Camo gift wrapfishing gift wrapBass gift wrapDeer gift wrap paper

*  Outdoor themed gift wrap...for table coverings! Pink and green camo, vintage fishing theme, bass, deer, etc. Actually, I got this idea last year from a mother who was in the store.

*  Need some streamers? How about toilet paper! We have orange and camo toilet paper perfect for lending to the outdoors theme.

Grass mats for the walls or behind the gift table or to hide stuff in the garage where the party is! Raffia blind grass for down the middle of the table or to tie the camo gift wrap paper tablecloths to the table legs...and don't forget the camo duct tape to bring it all together! You could even get camo netting to lay on tables or camo burlap to use for table cloths, too. Camo burlap RedHead Field Grass

Last, but not least, how about a special glass just for the celebrant.

Redneck Glasses






Most importantly of all, no matter where your path takes you as a new graduate or a new graduate's parent, always remember the path to the outdoors!

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.

Wash your spirit clean.

~John Muir

Watch for an upcoming blog post on gift suggestions, from one of our own graduates here at Bass Pro Shops Altoona. You can also see some great ideas on our Pinterest page!


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Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnmuir393393.html#FjJEpvV55sLkpXx1.99

Outdoor Cooking Primer - Venison with Mustard Sauce Two-fer

Typically, my husband and I are purists when it comes to backstraps and loins. Very little seasoning, maybe just a touch of Western Sizzle Trail Dust, or even simply fresh ground black pepper and salt.

However, recently, we "branched out" and tried coating the venison based on a concoction we saw on a TV cooking show. Here are two meals from a quick and delicious way to cook up those backstraps and loin!

Venison with Mustard Sauce

These are the easiest recipes you will ever read here.

#1 - Take Dijon mustard (stone ground or regular) and rub it all over the meat. My husband actually didn't do that, but I would. Either way is fine.

Then, coat the mustard with a good Canadian-style steak seasoning. Actually, if you don't have some of that laying around, make your own:

  • 3 teaspoons each of fresh ground pepper and onion powder for the base
  • Add in 1 tsp each of garlic powder, red pepper flakes, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and fennel.

Throw on the grill...remember, good venison should be medium rare...a nice pink/red in the middle. Melt in your mouth.

The kicker here is the fennel. Trust me, I have never liked fennel...until now. So, explore your seasoning options.

Backstraps with Mustard Sauce#2 - We had some left over meat, since there is just two of us. So, two nights later, I sliced and quartered thin pieces and made awesome bruschetta. 

  • Slice a loaf of Italian bread into about 1/2" slices.
  • Brush each slice with some olive oil.
  • Top the bread with your leftover venison pieces, some chopped fresh mushroom, dried cranberries, or whatever else you think sounds interesting!
  • Drizzle with a little peppercorn or regular ranch dressing, top with shredded Italian cheese and you have easy dinner again!



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Book Signing: The Compleat Angler-Latest Edition

"Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery elements are made for wise men to contemplate
and for fools to pass by without consideration.
~Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler

Bass Pro Shops in Altoona, Iowa, along with our conservation partners the Izaak Walton League of America, is proud to host this special, momentous event celebrating the latest edition of Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler.

Book Sale and Signing - The Compleat Angler - Latest Edition
May 3, 1:30-3 p.m.
Bass Pro Shops
Altoona, Iowa

Bass Pro Shops - Altoona

As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler.
~Izaak Walton

The Compleat Angler, first printed in 1653, is one of the most influential books of all times as Walton brought together the conservation, recreational, and philosophical aspects of fishing to provide a conservation vision for the future. So powerful and meaningful, the writings forged and inspired the beliefs of the Midwestern outdoorsmen who formed the Izaak Walton League of America, one of our leading conservation organizations.

The Compleat Angler is the second most reprinted book in the English language...second only to the King James Bible.

On May 3, renowned editor Marjorie Swann will join League members at Bass Pro Shops Altoona for a book sale and signing. Swann's newly added introduction to the work, and 50 pages of explanatory notes, highlight the Izaak Walton League and help readers put Walton's vision and passion for fishing, conservation, and the outdoors into today's context.

Please join us to help celebrate this moment in history!

Bass Pro ShopsIzaak Walton League of America







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Ascend to New Heights!

How do you ASCEND? Kayaking
Do you Ascend the mountains with backpacks?
Do you Ascend rivers and lakes in your kayak?
Do you Ascend the Boundary Waters?
Do you Ascend hiking trails?
Do you Ascend into back countries to pitch your tent?
Do you Ascend in warmer climates and sleep under the stars?

Bass Pro Shops wants to see how you ascend to the outdoors using Ascend gear...and it could worth $2,000 in Ascend gear!

  • Create a video of yourself using Ascend gear outdoors, and make sure it's no longer than two minutes.
  • Submit the video to www.basspro.com/poweruser
  • You will receive a FREE Ascend water bottle just for entering!
  • What's really nice is you have most of the summer to nail down that perfect video! Deadline to enter is July 31 and the winner will be selected and announced on August 15.

The winner will receive $2,000 in Ascend gear AND be on the Ascend Pro Staff as a Power User for one year!

Check out this sample video a current Power User:

Grab your video camera and Ascend!


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Basic Turkey Calling Gear

Rick Adams has been hunting for over 35 years and on the Primos Prostaff for over 10 years. Since he lives in Iowa, he is always looking for the next big tom or big buck, but he also enjoys hunting all types of wildlife.

Recently at our Spring Turkey Hunting seminars, Rick took time to visit with us about the different types of turkey calls hunters can choose from when buying their gear. From purrs and clucks to yelps and cutts, you can make all the turkey sounds for calling in the toms with slate, crystal, box, or even push pin calls that can strap to your gun. The season in Iowa isn't over until mid-May, so get out and enjoy!

Locator calls are also essential. Watch for more on that from Rick in an upcoming blog post!


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PBR Returns to Bass Pro Shops Altoona!

Professional Bull Riders EventThe bull riders are back at Bass Pro Shops Altoona on Saturday, April 26! Here's your annual opportunity to get autographs, pictures and have some fun with the Professional Bull Riders when they hit town for the Built Ford Tough Series at Wells Fargo Arena!


PBR Day at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!

April 26, 2014

PBR DayExclusive Fan Club Mandatory Autograph Signing
11:30am - Noon
Fan Club members get a special time to meet the riders 30 minutes prior to our scheduled public event autograph time of 12 p.m.!

Public Autograph time with the PBR Riders
Watch the PBR web site for information on what riders will be here!

The Mechanical Bull is back!
PBR Day10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Show your bull riding skills on the mechanical bull! All riders under the age of 18 must have a signature from a parent/guardian before riding the bull. All riders must be able to pull themselves up onto the bull, no matter their age.

Seminar with Clint Adkins, PBR Announcer and Experienced Angler
1:00-1:30 p.m. at the aquarium!


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National Park Week

National Park WeekNational Park Week is April 19-27, and both April 19 and 20 are "get in free" days! Find a park near you, or plan a trip, by visiting the National Park Service (NPS) online.

The NPS is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and was created by an Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Yellowstone National Park had already been proclaimed a national park as early as 1872. The Antiquities Act signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, was designed to preserve the prehistoric cliff dwellings, pueblo ruins, and missions of the southwest U.S. Approximately 25% of the current "units" in the NPS system came into being, either partially or completely, under the Antiquities Act.

So it became evident by 19Old Faithful 6/5316, with already 14 national parks, 21 national monuments and more, that there needed to be a structured oversight for their operation. Thus the formation of the National Park Service.

Our family, like many, enjoyed the national parks of the west for years each summer in my younger days. Who doesn't enjoy seeing the old black and white photos from travels way back when? Fortunately, with the formation of an organized system, came a stronger focus on encouraging visitors to stay away from the wildlife, stay in cars, and to not feed the wildlife.

Yellowstone June 1953I believe that many people probably don't realize the "A-Team" of parks, like Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, etc., are not the only national parks in our country. There are national parks, national monuments, national preserves, national reserves, national lakeshores, national seashores, national memorials, national rivers, national wild and scenic riverways, and national scenic trails. While we usually think of the big parks when we hear "National Park Service," over half of the areas are designated to "preserve places and commemorate persons, events and activities important in the nation's history" (National Park Service web site), like archeological digs, presidential libraries, and memorial monuments. Learn more about the descriptive nature of these designations on the web site.

The NPS comprises 401 areas covering 84 million acres in the 50 states, D.C., Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The largest? Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve - 13.2 million acres!
The smallest? Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, in Pennsylvania - .02 acres!

In Iowa we are proud to boast two national parks:

  • The Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch - learn how a young orphaned Iowa boy overcame hardship to become President. His birthplace cottage, museum and Presidential Library, and grave are all here.
  • Effigy Mounds National Monument, sacred ground to the 12 affiliated American Indian tribes and many others. You can send a whole day hiking all of the trails to see over 200 ancient American Indian burial mounds built in the shapes of animals and birds. You can also see a handful of mounds and catch the visitor's center if you only have a couple of hours to spare. But, it is all walking trails...no auto tours are available in order to maintain and respect the sacredness of the site.

Iowa also has seven National Natural Landmarks, including the famous Loess Hills on our western border - a geological wind-blown silt formation so unique, the only other known comparable location is in China on the Yellow River. 

Are you familiar with what National Park Service areas are in your state? Check out their web site and enjoy our nation's parks...they're OUR parks to enjoy!


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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops - Easter 2014!

Easter Egg Hunt @ Bass Pro Shops AltoonaEaster activities continue at Bass Pro Shops Altoona this weekend!

Friday, April 18

  • Free 4x6 Photo with the Easter Bunny - 2-7 p.m.
  • Free craft for kids - 2-7 p.m., while supplies last.

Saturday & Sunday, April 19-20

Free Easter craft @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

  • Free 4x6 photo with the Easter Bunny - 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Easter Egg Hunt - Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20 ONLY. Registration opens at 1:30 p.m. - Egg hunt begins promptly at 2 p.m. and lasts one hour. Ages 2-10 only please.
  • Free craft for kids - 1-4 p.m., while supplies last.

Saturday, April 19

Try Before You Buy!

Our Gifts Department shows you easy it is to use our Uncle Buck's Fruit Cobbler mix by serving up samples of cherry and blueberry cobbler! Noon to 4 p.m. or while supplies last.

Coming up?

April 25-27, 2014 - Set Your Sights Weekend!

  • A weekend of free seminars covering optics and other accessories, conceal carry laws and equipment, target shooting, and gun care and safety. Seminar attendees (first 25) on Friday, April 25, receive a free Bass Pro Shops tumbler. Additionally, a $25 gift card will be given away at each seminar all weekend!
  • If you're 21 or older, you have a chance to win a Savage® rimfire.22 LR rifle or a Caldwell® AR-15 magazine loader.
  • Quadruple Points all weekend on the following brands: Streamlight, EOTech, Beretta, DPMS Panther Arms, Remington, Savage Arms


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The Arctic Cat Trail 700

The new Arctic Cats are here! Be one of the first to see the new line of machines Arctic Cat released from the factory in March.  This is the all new Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail 700 - the first side-by-side by Arctic Cat and one of only a few in the industry that is trail capable and legal.

Arctic Cat Trail 700 tricked out with bimini top, new tires and rimsThe Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail 700 has a stance of only 50 inches wide, less than a hundred pounds and is powered by an all new 700cc twin-cylinder engine. It has an output of 60 HP and is ready to tame the wildest trails or just cruise around the farm! They come in two packages - the base Trail and the Trail XT and the accessories are never ending with these. You can have anything from a cloth Bimini to a full cab and stereo system.

One of the best advantages to the Wildcat Trail? It will fit in a standard full-size truck bed!

Come out to Bass Pro Shops Altoona and take a look learn more from one of our certified sales consultants about this amazing side-by-side.


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Ask the Pros - Basic Turkey Calls

There are three basic turkey calling techniques that Primos Prostaff member Rick Adams uses. At our recent Spring Turkey Hunting seminars, Adams says he typically uses the cluck, the yelp, and the purr, and a combination of the three. He says he often combines or makes adjustments for conditions. In this video, Adams demonstrates the different sounds.

Adams adds that if you ever think you've done something wrong and made the birds nervous, the yelp is a good calming call to use. If you see them starting to periscope their heads and doing the high-pitched "alarm putt," try yelping to calm them down. He says it doesn't always work, but sometimes it does.


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Legal Heat Coming to Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Concealed carry permit classes are returning to Bass Pro Shops Altoona!

Concealed firearms permit classes will be offered by Legal Heat starting May 3. According to the company, this one class will qualify you to obtain a permit for Iowa, but also the popular Utah and Arizona permits.

(Not from Iowa? Visit Legal Heat's web site and check out their classes around the country in over 12 states and 50 retail locations, including several Bass Pro Shops in Nebraska, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia!)

Why the Utah or Arizona permit? According to the company brochure, the Utah and Arizona concealed firearm permits are widely recognized in the U.S., and between the two of them are honored by 35 states. As you can see in this map from Legal Heat's web site, the red states do NOT honor Iowa's permit. Four of those states are Utah, Arizona, Minnesota and Washington.

Legal Heat graphic - States that reocgnize Iowa's permit

The Utah permit is recognized in Minnesota and Washington and Arizona is recognized in New Mexico, so acquiring the combination of the three permits allows you to carry in 36 different states.

Legal Heat - States recognized with combo of three permits

The 3 1/2 hour classes, from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., emphasize state and federal laws, including firearm laws and self-defense laws, from one of the largest known providers of concealed carry training in America. Class participants will receive everything they need to obtain a permit, including passport-sized photographs, a CD with several training videos, and pre-addressed envelopes. PLUS, at the Altoona classes, onsite fingerprinting services will be available for a small additional charge.

The classes are only $75. Register for the May 3 class online at www.mylegalheat.com or stop in the store at the Customer Service Desk. Keep an eye on their web site for registration opening for May 31 and June 28 classes!

Concealed Firearm Permit Classes - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
May 3
May 31
June 38