State Sales Tax Holiday

2013 Iowa State Sales Tax HolidayOur Iowa State Sales Tax Holiday on select clothing and footwear is this coming Friday, August 2, and Saturday, August 3!  This is the 14th year for what has turned into a very popular two days of shopping.

Most people wouldn't think of Bass Pro Shops as having some of those select items that qualify for the sales tax holiday. But, there are actually MANY items that fit the bill.

From head to toe there is something for everyone and all ages: Scarves to socks, bibs for babies and bibs for adults, coats, hats, coveralls, bandanas, bathing suits, belts with buckles, hooded shirts and sweatshirts, ponchos and pants, and rainwear and running shoes, flip-flops and hiking boots, and so much more!
The sales tax holiday (including no local option sales tax) applies to sales of an article of clothing or footwear having a selling price less than $100.
From our own well known brands such as RedHead, Natural Reflections, and Bob Timberlake, to Columbia, The North Face, Under Armour, Sperry, Reef, Rocky, Merrell, and other popular brands...make sure to include Bass Pro Shops in your sales tax holiday shopping sprees!
If you don't, you'll never know what you might miss.
For detailed information on the Iowa state sales tax holiday, and a list of other states with similar events, visit



Back to School with Bass Pro Shops


Fall Hunting Classic Bass Pro Shops

It's Hunting University time at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!  

Saturday, August 3

Join us to welcome these three nationally-recognized pros from the hunting world to Bass Pro Shops Altoona!


Dave Reisner Bow Madness1 p.m. - "Whitetail Q & A" with Dave Reisner, Co-Host of the "Bow Madness" TV show and member of Team Drury.









2 p.m. - "Hunting Strategies on Small Tracts" with Kyle Wieter, from the Realtree® Pro Staff and "Adrenaline Junkies" TV show!

Kyle Wieter










John Dudley

3 p.m. - "Perfect Form for a Perfect Shot" with John Dudley, UA® Arsenal Hunter, Professional Archer, and host of Nock On TV.



Grill it Safely - Cooking to the Right Food Temperatures

Nothing like cooking in the great outdoors...grilling, smoking, open fire, you name it. We cook outdoors year round, but especially in the Steak Station Thermometersummer, because:

1. I don't want to heat up the house by using the oven.

2. I LOVE grilled, barbecued, wood-fired, and smoked food!


But one great way to put a damper on a good outdoor meal is to have it overcooked or, even worse, undercooked! Grill it right, avoid the "doneness debate," and use a food thermometer.

Food thermometerWhether it's a basic digital thermometer, or one designed for up to four steaks, or even just a basic non-digital like like mom and grandma had, there is a thermometer out there for every budget and need. But, the thermometer doesn't do you any good, if you don't know what temp you're needing to reach.Food Thermometer

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a great web site with many important food safety tips, including the Grill it Safe pamphlet. Take a look at this handy chart of the safe minimum internal temps you need for cooking. Remember, a couple of years ago they lowered the safe minimum temp for pork to 145 degrees from 160. They pork may not be the good old gray you used to remember growing up, but will be wonderfully juicy with possibly a touch of pink. 

Product Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time
Beef, Pork, Veal & Lamb
Steaks, chops, roasts
145 °F (62.8 °C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Ground meats 160 °F (71.1 °C)
Ham, fresh or smoked (uncooked) 145 °F (60 °C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
Fully Cooked Ham
(to reheat)
Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140 °F (60 °C) and all others to 165 °F (73.9 °C).
Product Minimum Internal Temperature
All Poultry (breasts, whole bird, legs, thighs, and wings, ground poultry, and stuffing) 165 °F (73.9 °C)
Eggs 160 °F (71.1 °C)
Fish & Shellfish 145 °F (62.8 °C)
Leftovers 165 °F (73.9 °C)
Casseroles 165 °F (73.9 °C)
Last Modified Jun 15, 2013

So, give your family and guests GOOD food cooked they'll have a GREAT dining experience.


This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Tent SaleOur Tent Sale continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Look for the big tent in the front parking lot and come check out the savings!






While You're Here...

It's a PBR Family Event this weekend!  Plenty of fun for the kids!PBR

July 27-28

PBR Family Weekend

Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Two days of rootin' tootin' fun!

Noon - 4 p.m.

  • Stick Bull Riding
  • Free Craft - Leather Wristband
  • Flint the Entertainer Face Painting
  • Meet a Professional Bull Riding expert Jason Vos from 1-2 p.m. - SATURDAY ONLY!
  • Cowboy and Cowgirl Costume Contest - $50 gift card to the winner - SUNDAY ONLY!
  • Free cowbell to the first 100 customers each day!


Also, this weekend:

Free Workshop - Selecting the Right Rod - Join our fishing experts at 2 p.m. for this free seminar back in the fishing department.


Savoring the Moment Forever

There is NOTHING like watching a child catch a fish for the first time...and there's nothing quite like bringing in a monster fish for the first time.First Largemouth Lately, we've had a many Facebook fans posting their fishing photos...young and old...and we LOVE it! 

Did you know you can keep that excitement going with a little recognition through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources? The Iowa DNR has two great programs to encourage new young anglers and recognize the fishermen and women who catch the big ones!

First Fish

The First Fish Program lets kids get a big "hooray" from the DNR for their first fish!  They'll receive a certificate with the fish details and a photo on it (photo provided by you). Check out some of the recent First Fish celebrants at

Lance Queck - Master Angler - 27" Freshwater Drum - Spirit Lake, iowa

Master Angler

The DNR also recognizes the big memorable catches in Iowa through the Master Angler Program. The fish can be released and still qualify, but a witness has to verify the size of the fish. If it looks like it might be a state record, then a DNR official has to verify it. There are some length stipulations for the more than 40 species that are available.

For more information on the two programs and how to enter your little one's first...or your older one's monster...visit the DNR's web page at

Lance Queck - Master Angler - 27" Freshwater Drum - Spirit Lake, Iowa


Where can you find them and how big do they need to be? (Provided from the Iowa DNR web site)

Largemouth Bass (20 inches to qualify)

  • Lake Belva Deer, Keokuk County – use top-water baits close to shore or in shallow water. 
  • Lake Geode, Henry County – use top-water baits in the upper arm and back of coves or crankbaits along the dam and weed lines. 
  • Farm Ponds – about any bass bait will work.   A rubber worm with little weight fished slowly along weed lines are especially effective.  Make sure to get landowner permission before entering. 
  • Lake Sugema, Van Buren County – use crankbaits along jetty, dam and shoreline riprap.  Frog imitation baits fished in and among vegetation is effective. 
  • Diamond Lake, Poweshiek County – use crankbaits or top-waters around brush piles, or rubber worms tossed into structure. 
  • Three Mile Lake, Union County – use a weedless spinner, crawler or jig through the flooded trees. 
  • West Lake Osceola, Clarke County - use a weedless spinner, crawler or jig through the flooded trees.

Channel Catfish (30 inches to qualify)

  • Lake Geode, Henry County – fish in shallow water in the morning or evening using chicken liver under a bobber. Structure also holds fish and drainage areas after a significant rain should be targeted.
  • Lake Belva Deer, Keokuk County – fish the jetties, fish habitat sites and upper end of the lake after a heavy rain.  Use a bobber in the timber and jetties. 
  • Lake of the Hills, Scott County – use shad guts under a bobber to keep the bait above the thermocline.
  • Crawford Pond, Washington County – fish the eastern shoreline and the weed line.
  • Mississippi River Pool 19, Burlington to Keokuk – fish the Burlington Island complex of cuts and side channels, Montrose riprap banks and mouths of small creeks. 
  • Pleasant Creek Lake, Linn County – use cut bait throughout the lake. 
  • Three Mile Lake, Union County – use sunfish or cut bait fished near the bottom during twilight or during the dark, in less than eight feet of water during the hottest of July and August.
  • West Lake Osceola, Clarke County - use sunfish or cut bait fished near the bottom during twilight or during the dark, in less than eight feet of water during the hottest of July and August.
  • Silver Lake, Dickinson County – fish in the evening or after dark with cut bait on the bottom near downed trees.

Sunfish (Bluegills, 10 inches to qualify)

  • Lake Belva Deer, Keokuk County – drift fish with typical bluegill baits above the thermocline.  Target the contour of the creek beds.
  • Lake Geode, Henry County – drift fish and vertical jig the drop-offs. Use dark colored baits when the water is clear or bright colored baits if the water is stained.
  • Farm Ponds – use typical bluegill baits and target weedy or woody habitat. Often a worm and a bobber works best.
  • White Oak and Shagbark ponds, Shimek State Forest, Lee County – use any bluegill baits around structure.
  • Lake Sugema, Van Buren County – move often and target timber areas as well as underwater structure, and drift fishing.
  • Briggs Woods Lake, Hamilton County – use a piece of night crawler on a number 8 hook and fish along the weed line.
  • Yellow Smoke Lake, Crawford County – use a 1/32 ounce to 1/64 ounce black hair jig tipped with a wax worm and fish near submerged trees or just above the thermocline.
  • West Okoboji Lake, Dickinson County – vertical jig with a number 8 hook and split shot over deep rock piles with a leech or crayfish.

Sunfish (Redear, 11 inches to qualify)

  • Lake Anita, Cass County – redear are snail eaters so look for submerged vegetation and use a 1/32 ounce or 1/64 ounce black feather jig.
  • Lake Ahquabi, Warren County - fish near the bottom in open pockets of the dense submerged vegetation, using 1/32 ounce or 1/64 ounce black feather jig. 

Sunfish (Warmouth, 7 inches to qualify)

  • Mississippi River – fish the backwaters and around wing dams and closing structures, riprap and other rocky habitat.
  • Conklin Fish Farm, Cass County – make sure to check closely because warmouth look similar to green sunfish.

Sunfish (Pumpkinseed, 9 inches to qualify)

Smallmouth Bass (20 inches to qualify)

  • Wapsipinicon River, Linn and Jones County – use crankbaits, spinners, twister tails or live crawfish below low head dams through the fall.
  • Des Moines River, Polk County – fish eddies, woody debris and deep holes from Birdland Marina to Saylorville, with jigs, crankbaits and spinners.
  • West Okoboji Lake, Dickinson County – fish deep rock piles with a live bait rig with either chubs or crayfish.

White Bass (17 inches to qualify)

  • Mississippi River Pool 19 - in the late summer white bass like open water and Lake Cooper offers excellent fishing.
  • Pleasant Creek Lake, Linn County – use top-water or subsurface lures and look for jumping shad and fishing seagulls.
  • Coralville Reservoir, Johnson County – use shad colored crankbaits trolled or cast along rocky shorelines, from the Mehaffey Bridge to the dam is best.
  • Spirit Lake, Dickinson County – use a top–water lure at inlet areas, like the footbridge, in early morning or at sunset.  Watch the surface for activity.

Hybrid Striped Bass (Palmetto Bass) (24 inches to qualify)

  • Mississippi River Lock and Dam 15 in Sylvan Slough and below Lock and Dam 19 are the top places to catch wipers, but they can be caught below most of the lock and dams.
  • Lake Macbride, Johnson County – use top-water and subsurface baits or troll shad colored crankbaits.
  • Saylorville Reservoir, Polk County – troll large crankbaits under schools of gizzard shad or fish below the Saylorville spillway.
  • Three Mile Lake, Union County – use a small crankbait or medium sized spinner near rocky or gravel areas at twilight. Any shoreline could hold fish, but the dam and east shore near the dam are the most popular.
  • Lake Manawa, Pottawattamie County – fish the east shore around boat docks near inflow tube using twister tails and crankbaits.

Brook Trout (15 inches to qualify)

  • Trout River and Trout Run, Winneshiek County – use a variety of live bait and artificial lures.

Rainbow Trout (18 inches to qualify)

  • All catchable stocked trout streams receive an equal number of brood stock rainbow trout. A variety of live bait and artificial lures will work.

Brown Trout (18 inches to qualify)

  • Spring Branch Creek, Ensign Hollow and the Upper Maquoketa River – fish the bank hides or large downed trees.
  • The Catch and Release areas on French Creek and the downstream portion of Waterloo Creek are restricted to artificial lures only and fish must be released. A photo and witnessed length are necessary for an award. Midsummer has abundant hatches of aquatic and terrestrial insects and water levels tend to be stable.

Flathead Catfish (35 inches to qualify)

  • Coralville Reservoir, Johnson County – fish with live bullheads, green sunfish or chubs on the flats.
  • Mississippi River Pool 16 and 18 – fish in the area where rivers drain into the Mississippi with a variety of live baits.
  • Des Moines River, Central Iowa – use ditty poles with green sunfish, bullheads or large bait.
  • Larger Southwest Iowa Rivers – fish areas just upstream from log jams or fallen trees with live sunfish or bullheads during the evening and after dark.

Black Crappie and White Crappie (14 inches to qualify)

  • Lake Rathbun, Appanoose County – target submerged timber and other woody structure with a jig and minnow combo fished vertically or with a slow retrieve.
  • Lake Macbride, Johnson County – drift fish with a jig, a minnow or a jig and minnow under a bobber.

Walleye (26 inches to qualify)

  • Lake Rathbun, Appanoose County – fish submerged points and humps, troll crankbaits or drift fish live baits.
  • Clear Lake, Cerro Gordo County – troll crankbaits over the artificial weed beds on the north shore.
  • Storm Lake, Buena Vista County – troll crankbaits, Lindy rigs or 1/4 ounce jigs with a twister tail around the dredge cuts or rock piles.
  • North Raccoon River, Sac, Carroll and Green counties – cast 1/4 ounce jigs tipped with a 3-inch fire tiger colored twister in eddies, current seams and scour holes.

Yellow Perch (12 inches to qualify)

  • Mississippi River Pools 9 to 13 – fish the vegetation in backwaters with a minnow under a bobber or switch to a crawler long the lower portions of wing dams.

Muskellunge (45 inches to qualify)

  • Clear Lake, Cerro Gordo County – troll rock reefs or cast docks with muskie sized crankbaits.
  • Brushy Creek Lake, Webster County – cast near any rock piles, weed lines, jetties, dam face with bucktails, crankbaits or top-water lures.
  • Spirit Lake, Dickinson County – cast weed lines with large in-line spinners.

Northern Pike (35 inches to qualify)

  • Mississippi River - target where tributaries enter the Mississippi River where pike will take refuge in the cooler water. Use medium to heavy weight gear and live bait with a steel leader or daredevil spoons. 

Freshwater Drum (25 inches to qualify)

  • Mississippi River – fish the lock and dam tail waters and immediately below wing dams. Drum prefer quiet water and rocky areas.  Use live crayfish. Drum will hit twice – the first strike kills the crayfish, the second they swallow it.
  • Spirit Lake, Dickinson County – drift fish a life bait rig tipped with a crayfish, minnow or nightcrawler in 20 to 22 feet of water.

Yellow Bass (10 inches to qualify)

  • Clear Lake, Cerro Gordo County – vertical jig or drift with a small jig tipped with a piece of night crawler or cut bait near the reefs, artificial weed beds or dredge cuts.
  • Arrowhead Lake, Sac County – drift the length of the lake with a small, brightly colored jig tipped with a small piece of bait.
  • East Okoboji Lake, Dickinson – cast 1/32 ounce hair jigs tipped with a piece of night crawler at any of the bridges.

Rock Bass (8 inches to qualify)

  • Turkey River, Howard and Fayette County – fish deeper water in rocky areas when the water is clear and stable with live bait or minnow imitating lures.
  • Cedar River, Mitchell and Floyd County – fish deeper water in rocky areas when the water is clear and stable with live bait or minnow imitating lures.

Bullheads (15 inches to qualify)

  • Lake Anita, Cass County – use a nightcrawler on the bottom.
  • Twelve Mile Lake, Union County – use night crawlers or a small chunk of liver on the bottom in three to five feet of water. Avoid areas with a lot of rooted vegetation.

Common Carp (32 inches to qualify)

  • Three Mile Lake, Union County – use nightcrawlers or dough balls on the bottom in two to six feet of water at the upper end of the lake. Carp are most active during the evening and twilight hours.
  • Coralville Reservoir, Johnson County – bow fishing and fishing in the upper ends of the reservoir above I-380
  • Pollmiller Lake, Lee County – fish worms or prepared carp baits.

2013 Fall Hunting Classic

Fall Hunting Classic 2013 - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

We're PUMPED to have these three great nationally-renowned pros joining us to kick off the Fall Hnting Classic at Bass Pro Shops Altoona on the first weekend!

Fall Hunting Classic National Pros coming to Altoona, Iowa!

Saturday, August 3 - Free Hunting University with our guest Pros!

1 p.m. - "Whitetail Q & A" with Dave Reisner, Co-Host of the "Bow Madness" TV show. Team Drury and an Iowa guy, too!

2 p.m. - "Hunting Strategies on Small Tracts" with Kyle Wieter, from the Realtree Pro Staff and "Adrenaline Junkies" TV show!

3 p.m. - "Perfect Form for a Perfect Shot" with John Dudley, Under Armour Arsenal Hunter, "Nock On," and former US Archery Team member.

Second Weekend - August 9-11 - FREE LOCAL SEMINARS!

Friday, August 9
6:30 p.m. - Tips for Bow Hunting
7:30 p.m. - Tactics for Hunting Turkey

Saturday, August 10
1:30 p.m. - Shed Hunting: How to Successfully Hunt for Sheds
2:30 p.m. - From the Field to the Table - How to Fry Turkey
3:30 p.m. - Hunting Tips and Techniques
4:30 p.m. - Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and 3-Gun Shooting
5:30 p.m. - Now You See Me, Now You Don't: Choosing Correct Camouflage Clothing

Sunday, August 11
1:30 p.m. - Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and 3-Gun Shooting
2:30 p.m. - Tactics for Hunting Deer
3:30 p.m. - Hunting Tips and Techniques
4:30 p.m. - What's New in Scent Control
5:30 p.m. - Choosing the Right Optics


Third Weekend - NEXT GENERATION WEEKEND - It's For the Kids!

August 17-18 - Noon-5 p.m.

Free Kids' Archery
Free Daisy BB Shooting Range
Free Kids' Craft
Free Photo Download and On-Target Certificate for Complete the BB Shooting Range and archery activities!
Free collapsible water bottle to the first 100 kids to complete activities each day!
1:30, 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. - Free Kids' Seminar - 10 Safety Tips


Grab Your Hat - It's Another PBR Event!

PBR Family Event

Saturday and Sunday

July 27-28

Noon-4 p.m.

PBR Family Weekend
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Two days of rootin' tootin' fun!

Noon - 4 p.m.

  • Stick Bull Riding
  • Free Craft - Leather Wristband
  • Flint the Entertainer Face Painting
  • Meet a Professional Bull Riding expert Jason Vos from 1-2 p.m. - SATURDAY ONLY
  • Cowboy and Cowgirl Costume Contest - $50 gift card to the winner - SUNDAY ONLY
  • Free cowbell to the first 100 customers each day!



Bow Season - Ready or Not, Here it Comes

“You may delay, but time will not.” 
― Benjamin Franklin


Bow season starts October 1 in Iowa and as early as mid-September in surrounding states. Ready or not, opening day will be here before you know it. Are you ready...or have you even THOUGHT about getting ready? It is mid-July...and NOT too early to start preparing. For many bow hunters, the "I've got plenty of time" train of thought quickly turns into the "WHAT? Shoot! Oh man!" crisis response because they wait too long to check their gear and be prepared.

So, once again, our hunting team offers these words of advice - "Do it NOW!"  Don't procrastinate! Here's our annual 

Five Things Bow Hunters Should be Doing Now

to prepare for bow season

1. Check your bow strings - Get your new strings now to make sure you can break them in before season.

2. Using lighted nocks? Check them to make sure they're working. Some are able to have the inserts changed, some not.  Know what you have and need.

3. Arrow overhaul - Check them out and replace broken or missing shafts from last year.

4. Set your tree stands - Check them for parts, safety, and correct working order. Buy new stands and climbing sticks NOW before we sell out! New this year? The Big Game Platinum Collection!

Prodigy Fixed Position TreestandBig Game Prodigy Fixed Position Treestand Available at Bass Pro Shops Altoona

  • Fixed-position stand
  • 21” wide padded seat
  • 24x30” platform
  • Flex-Tek™ Zero-Gravity seat design and Spring-Back lumbar support


Horizon Fixed TreestandBig Game Horizons Fixed Treestand Available at Bass Pro Shops

  • Fixed-position stand
  • Adjustable up to 60 degrees
  • 14x8” padded seat
  • 20x23” platform


Big Game Phoenix Fixed Position Available at Bass Pro Shops

Phoenix Fixed Treestand

  • Fixed-position stand
  • 5-position adjustable
  • 14x8” padded seat
  • 20x27” platform
  • Height to seat: 23”


Diamondback HarnessBig Game Diamondback Harness available at Bass Pro Shops

  • Featherweight design - weighs ONLY 2 lbs.!
  • 30” anti-shock bungee extension
  • 2-way chest strap adjustment


G5 Montec Available at Bass Pro Shops


5 - Broadheads - Buy them now while they're in stock! The new Rage Hypodermics, Muzzy Trocars, and G5 Montec in pink are bound to be leaving the shelves quickly!

It all boils down to preparedness:

If you need to replace or replenish, buy now. There is more product available on the shelf.

If you need something fixed, changed, or tweaked - do it NOW and avoid the wait and lines at the Archery counter.


Start your bow season on the right foot and AHEAD of the game! You can put it off, but the clock keeps ticking.



Outdoor Cooking Primer - Zesty Gameburgers

venison burgersThis recipe was designed for a skillet, but we did it on the grill instead!  It's from The Complete Fish and Game Cookbook by A.D. Livingston.

Zesty Gameburger Steaks

2 lbs ground game meat - (We used venison)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C tomato puree
12/4 C fine Italian bread crumbs
Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


Mix the tomato puree, beaten egg, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to the meat and make your patties.

If using a skillet, heat a little olive oil and brown the patties on both sides. Shake the bottle of salad dressing and pour some over the patties, getting a little on each and a little on the bottom of the skillet. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat, and cook for 10 minutes.

We chose to grill, so after just slightly browning both sides, we basted the patties with the dressing and continued to baste as they cooked. The dressing provided just a little zest to our otherwise always tasty deerburgers!




This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Tent Sale!

Bass Pro Shops Tent SaleOur huge storewide tent sale and clearance event starts this Saturday, July 20!


Great buys - 20-50% off select items from Men's and Ladies' Apparel, Footwear, Archery, Fishing, Marine Accessories, and more!

Just look for the giant tents in the parking lot!

Sale runs through July 28 - Limited quantities, no rain checks!




Sunday, July 21

Jay Green & Scout will be on hand for a dog obedience demonstration at 1:00 p.m. in front of the main aquarium

Coming up:

PBR event - July 27-28

Fall Hunting Classic - Aug. 2 – Aug. 18

Don't foget - Iowa's state sales tax holiday is Aug. 2 and 3!



Outdoor Cooking Primer - Chimichurri Sauce

Have you ever wanted to simply find something "different" to use as a marinade or sauce with grilled food? I do...I am a "I need something NEW" person.

Here is a great recipe for a Chimichurri Sauce, which may be one of those "that's too exotic for me" type items you have considered. It's a South American-based sauce predominantly used with beef, but can be used with fish and chicken, too. I tasted this cilantro-based version the other day at my local Hy-Vee food store, compliments of Chef Dale.

It is a tremendously easy recipe - chop, chop, pour, mix, it's ready! The other nice thing - I actually HAVE all these things or can easily find them...especially cilantro which is a necessity at our house in the summer for fresh pico de gallo.

Try it with your next grilled backstrap, chicken, or steak! Thanks to Chef Dale at Hy-Vee in Newton, Iowa, for sharing!

Chimichurri Sauce 

1/2 C -  Finely chopped cilantro leaves (about 1 C. before chopping)

1/2 C - Finely chopped flat leaf parsely leaves (about 1 C before chopping)

2 T - Minced garlic

3 T - Fresh lemon juice

2 tsp - Red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp - Cayenne pepper

1 tsp  - Ground cumin

1/2 C - Olive oil

Wash cliantro and parsley leaves; dry with paper towel or spin dry in salad spinner.
Finely chop cilantro, parsley, and garlic, either by hand or in a food processor with steel blade.
Put ingredients in a bowl.
Add lemon juice, red wine vinegar, cayenne peper and cumin. Stir to combine.
Stir in olive oil until mixture is well-blended.
Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes before serving.


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The Fudge Factor

I'm not a big sweets person. I'll go for the chips and salsa or crackers and cheese before snatching up fudge. But there is something about interesting fudge flavors that drags me into our Bass Pro Shops General Store/Fudge Shop. As someone who enjoys creative cooking, I'm always interested to see what new flavors they have...and it becomes a near obsession for me to conjure up new flavors that I can convince them to test run.Chelsea

So, when Fudge Shop Associate Chelsea Fousek mentioned that we had Summer Soda Fudge flavors, I had to explore. Dr. Pepper, Sunkist and Mt. Dew beckoned to me!

Whether you call it soda or pop, our Summer Soda fudge flavors definitely hit the tastebud spot! I zeroed in on the Dr. Pepper fudge first, made with Dr. Pepper flavor syrup and topped with Dr. Pepper Jelly Bellies...the DP fudge is SPOT ON! The Sunkist fudge has the "sparkle" of the fun, fizzy flavor of the favorite orange beverage of many.

So, how do they come up with the flavors? With some creative free-form thinking, trial and error, and input from associates and customers. Themes are always popular to cover several flavors.

"We have holiday themes and they'll include Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie fudge in the fall and Peppermint fudge around Christmas. We also do a fair theme around Iowa State Fair time with Cotton Candy and Lemonade flavors," says Chelsea.

Sometimes ideas from customers come from the younger customers.

"Our General Manager's 10-year-old daughter suggested Smarties flavored fudge because she said kids would like it...and they do!"

The most popular flavors include Salted Nut Roll, Chewy Praline, and Turtle, which was created by the Fudge Shop Lead Dawn Godwin. Some creations don't always work out and some do...accidentally. Chelsea says her Accident fudge was just accident, but it turned out to be very popular. Lava fudge was popular in other stores, but not in the Altoona shop.

Customers can always call the store (515) 957-5500 and special order fudge...some customers call before they come to see if their favorite flavor is in stock. Recently, a customer liked the Coconut Creme fudge so much that he bought a whole, called to order more.

They're always looking for new flavor suggestions, so feel free to give us your ideas! Jalapeno, Cinnamon Roll, S'Mores...there are so many choices to make. 

What's Chelsea's choice for a favorite flavor? 

"Cookie and all the four-year-olds!"


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Last Chance for Summer Camp!

This is it - the last weekend for your kids to experience free educational fun during our Family Summer Camp! Make sure your kids don't miss out on this terrific opportunity! 


Activities start at noon, unless otherwise noted.


Family Summer Camp

Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14, Noon-5 p.m.

Daisy BB Gun inflatable shooting range - Outside
FREE wildlife carousel - just inside the front entrance turnstiles.
Casting BucketsDeer Track Craft

Soft Foam Shooting Arcade


12-2 Crafts (while supplies last) - Kids paint their own deer track! 


Saturday, July 13 - our last night for free Homemade Ice Cream samples  -  5-6 p.m. Stop by for some sweets treats up by the carousel!


Kids' Workshops - Designed for children 6-12 years of age. Each child will receive ONE free lanyard (while supplies last) and a FREE pin for each workshop they attend.


Workshops are:


Noon - Fishing
1:00 - Water Safety
2:00 - Hunting & Shooting
3:00 - Outdoor Discovery
4:00 - Bird Watching


Noon - Hunting & Shooting
1:00 - Archery
2:00 - Wildlife Adventure
3:00 - Camping
4:00 - Backyard Adventure


Other Happenings this Weekend!

2 p.m. - Join our Fishing experts at the Main Aquarium for a Deep Cranking demonstration.

Try Before you Buy!

The Gifts Department will be serving up samples of deep-fried catfish using Uncle Buck's Light 'n Krispy Fish Mix and Uncle Buck's Beer Batter - then liven it up with some Uncle Buck's Camo Ammo Hot Sauce!

Coming Up!  

Bass Pro Shops Tent Sale

  • July 20-28 - Storewide TENT SALE & Clearance Event!

20-50% off regular price on select items! 

  • July 27-28 - FREE PBR Family Event

Free games and activites - Noon - 4 p.m.

  • August 2-18 - The 2013 Fall Hunting Classic



The Dog Days of Summer

"Dog Days bright and clear,
indicate a happy year.
But when accompanied by rain, 
for better times our hopes are vain."

(from The Old Farmer's Almanac)

The Old Farmer's Almanac says the official Dog Days of summer are the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11. This coincides with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, at sunrise.


"The rising of Sirius does not actually affect the weather (some of our hottest and most humid days occur after August 11), but for the ancient Egyptians, Sirius appeared just before the season of the Nile's flooding, so they used the star as a "watchdog" for that event. Since its rising also coincided with a time of extreme heat, the connection with hot, sultry weather was made for all time."


Our dogs are much like us, the owners.

  • Marley, a 10-year-old, 86-pound Airedale, loves to be outside, but just can't take the heat and humidity anymore. He needs to come inside and cool his bones more often than not.

Ditto for me - I love to be outside however often reflect on my much younger, foolish years of "laying out" and wonder how in the world I did it. Now, I get things done in the early morning hours before the humidity and heat sucks my breath away. A covered walkout patio, outdoor ceiling fan, and trees, help provide shade and a light breeze when it's really hot. 

  • Marley loves to go on walks, albeit they're a little shorter now that he's older. But his walks are in the morning and not  during the heat of the day...and when he arrives home he tanks up on the water AFTER the walk. Before the walk could cause cramping.

Ditto for us.

  • Marley appreciates a good nap - like eight hours or so.

Ditto for us.  Okay, maybe not eight hours, but I finally convinced my husband that a good nap is highly underrated. Just about 15 minutes for so. It revives and rejuvenates our bodies and brains. Try taking a nap outside in a portable hammock in the shade. I recently discovered that pleasure.

  • Nalla is a 12-year-old Springer who, like us, appreciates the outdoors and a good shade tree. But, she REALLY likes the air conditioning. Our dogs come tell us when it's time to go in. They know their limits.
  • Neither dog feels like eating much when it's hot - ditto for us.

Dogs AND humans need to take care during the Dog Days:

  • Drink plenty of water - Keeps you hydrated and helps reduce leg cramps in really active people and elderly.
  • Know your body limits - Seek coolness from a fan, shade, and ice water. Read your body's reactions: lethargy, inability to cool down, confusion. You may have heat stress.
  • Do your outside activities and heaviest outside work in the morning and not in the heat of the day. This isn't always possible, especially for those who work outside. If you're one of those people, then be prepared with plenty of ice water and cooling towels, like Arctic Ties or Chilly Pads.
  • While you may not feel like eating when it's really hot, keep yourself nourished with healthy foods, like fruit, proteins and healthy carbs. Don't consume a lot of alcohol when it's hot...'nuf said.

But DO have fun - the dog days are a great way to do some low key activities with family, kids, and...well...dogs! Take a dip in Hyper Petwater, take a short walk, throw a toy in the cool a.m. hours like our great Hyper Pet toys, play some family board games or do a jigsaw puzzle in the shade. Don't forget the mosquito coils! 














Staycations Iowa Style - Northeast Iowa

Sorting through the suggestions our Facebook fans have given us for Iowa staycations, a trend appeared for locations along a National Scenic Byway - Iowa's Great River Road. So, let's go the the upper corner of Northeast Iowa and start there!

Andy recommends the Lansing, Iowa, area.Lansing Iowa from

"Amazing camping on the Mighty Miss!!!! Fog, mist, and barge lights in the a.m. are amazingly pretty. Bluffs are where eagles soar!"

This quaint Mississippi River town boasts just over 1000 people. It's located in the very northeast tip of Iowa at the beginning of the Iowa Great River Road National Scenic Byway and in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

From there, head on down the river and enjoy the beautiful scenery!  If you have the time you can pop over to Wisconsin, where Facebook fan Brian recommends House on the Rock, in Spring Green, Wisconsin. From

Motor on down the Great River Road to the Marquette and McGregor area with the Effigy Mounds National Monument. This sacred ground features over 200 American Indian burial mounds and allows visitors the chance to view the unique mounds amid the natural beauty of the Upper Mississippi. 

Jenni and Heather both gave shout out for Dubuque, Iowa.

"Great museum, several wineries, including Stone Cliff Winery, beautiful view of the Mississippi. Historical Bluff Street and Galena (IL) is a 1/2 hr away.

"There is so much to do in Dubuque. The Mississippi Museum and Aquarium, Grand Harbor Hotel and Water Park, lots of parks and lookouts and neat downtown shopping!"

Michael recommended Bellevue Iowa. Bellevue actually means "beautiful view" and that's so true!  The majestic views of the Mississippi up and down the river, and nature in general, helped earn it a top five ranking in the Big River Magazine's list of Best Riverfronts Along the Mississippi.From Iowa DNR

If camping is your pleasure for your overnight stays, visit the DNR's state park guide to explore your camping, hiking, trail, and nature center/educational opportunities in Northeast Iowa, such as Pikes Peak State Park, Bellevue State Park, Yellow River Forest, and Mines of Spain State Recreation Area.
This area of Iowa recently suffered flooding from heavy rainfalls, so be sure to check ahead on any places you might be considering.
Next stop we make - Southern Iowa!





Ready to Ride Across Iowa?

Photo from adventure.nationalgeographic.comIt's almost time for thousands of people to hop on two wheels and ride their bicycles across Iowa. Thousands of brave souls, from literally around the world, will converge on our state from July 21-27 to pedal their way from the Missouri River to the Mississippi over Iowa's highways and byways in RAGBRAI® - The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa™.

If you're one of them, are you ready for the seven-day long haul? Take a look at this list of items we came up with that may help you fight the elements and make it through Iowa's special ride through the no particular order!


  • MSRs Packtowel - this versatile microfiber towel if reusable, wrings out almost completely dry over and over again.
  • Ascend Dry Bags - these heavy duty bags come in different capacities and withstand rough use.  Keep your supplies might actually rain on the ride!
  • PVC Poncho - This inexpensive 100% waterproof poncho will help keep YOU dry, too, during the ride or after.
  • Sunglasses - Make sure they're polarized. 
  • Eyeglass retainer to keep your sunglasses on your head.
  • Ball cap or hat with a brim for added protection...even make sure it has built-in UPF protection!
  • Hat clip to clip your hat to your t-shirt and keep your hat on your head.
  • Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towels or Arctic Ties - Wet one, put it around your neck, stay cool.
  • Technical Apparel with built-in UPF sun protection, like Columbia's Omni-Shade, and Omni-Wick for evaporation.
  • Camelback-style hydration Packs - Sstay hydrated while riding...or even while not riding.
  • Personal first aid kit, including gauze, antiseptic ointment, bandages for blisters, QuikClot Sport.
  • Headlamp - if you're an early morning riser...or if you're navigating by bike around the host town at night.
  • Go Girl Feminine Urination Device or Tissue on the Go - especially handy for those middle of nowhere trips into the cornfield!
  • Heavy duty insect repellent like Sawyer's Permethrin Spray for Clothing.
  • Freeze n' Wrap to keep your beverages frosty during and after the day's ride.
  • GoPro Camera to record your adventures!

Last, but not least - Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen!

Ride safe, ride smart, and have fun. While you're overnight in the Des Moines area stop and see us...and don't forget to have your front team stop to see us if you need supplies!

Watch for features on some of these specific products in upcoming blogs!




Product Spotlight: Thermacell


You know they're out there - the mosquitoes, gnats, black flies...they are just waiting to make their move!  The portable and cordless Thermacell is a great way to stop them in their little tracks!

Using a butane cartridge (included), the unit heats a small mat containing the synthetic repellent allethrin to create an area of invisible, odorless protection.  It protects up to four hours per mat - heats mats up to 12 hours per butane cartridge.

  • Covers up to a 15' diameter
  • Also repels black flies, no-see-ums, and sand flies
  • DEET-free - uses allethrin, the same chemical repellent used in mosquito coils, but 50 times more!
  • U.S. Army tested and approved


Bass Pro Shops Altoona Receiving Manager Dan Stephany is an avid hunter and enjoys the outdoors in general. He says he has won the battle against mosquitoes!

"I have been a bow hunter for 20 years now, and during the early season I have always struggled with mosquitoes and flies. When the Thermacell was first introduced, I was skeptical about the product not because of the mosquito repellency, but because of the smell.  As you know, deer have a fantastic sense of smell, and I was worried that they would smell the unit and I would be busted.  I decided to give it a say I was impressed would be an understatement! 

I have used this product dozens of times during the early season hunting and have yet to be detected from the smell. Granted, I try to hunt with the wind in my favor, but on occasions when deer have gone to the downwind side of my stand, they have not been bothered by it at all."

I have enjoyed using the product while hunting, camping, fishing, and just hanging out in the backyard cooking out.  I have especially enjoyed the holster that you can buy with it, to make it portable and hands free. 


This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Don't Miss Out!

Only TWO weekends are left for Family Summer Camp! Make sure your kids don't miss out on this terrific opportunity to have some summer learning fun! Plus, they can learn to shoot a bow in our outdoor archery range, shoot a BB gun in our awesome Daisy BB gun range, ride our free wildlife carousel, and do free crafts!

Activities start at noon, unless otherwise noted.

Family Summer Camp

Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7, Noon-5 p.m.

Daisy BB Gun inflatable shooting range - Outside
FREE wildlife carousel - just inside the front entrance turnstiles.Family Summer Camp Craft
Casting Buckets
Soft Foam Shooting Arcade

12-2 Crafts (while supplies last) - This week make your own lizard door knob hanger!

Saturdays only through July 13  - Homemade Ice Cream! -  5-6 p.m - Stop by for some sweets treats up by the carousel!

Kids' Workshops - Our workshops are designed for children 6-12 years of age. Each child will receive ONE free lanyard (while supplies last) and then earns a FREE pin at the end of each workshop they attend. Workshops on Saturday and Sunday are:Water Safety Workshop

Noon - Fishing
1:00 - Water Safety
2:00 - Hunting & Shooting
3:00 - Outdoor Discovery
4:00 - Bird Watching

Noon - Hunting & Shooting
1:00 - Archery
2:00 - Wildlife Adventure
3:00 - Camping
4:00 - Backyard Adventure

Remember - Family Summer Camp workshops and activities continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays, too, through Sunday, July 14! For a detailed schedule visit



Product Spotlight - The Pool Saddle

This thing that looks like a jig-saw puzzle piece is...hands of THE hottest selling summer season items at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!

In the lake or in the pool, the Pool Saddle Water Chair gives you a break from the usual lounger. The saddle-shaped floating chair is made of soft, flexible foam. It's great for water aerobics, water therapy, water games, or just to relax and hang out on the water.

The BEST thing is, it's on sale from July 1-14 and Bass Pro Shops Altoona has many in stock, even though we've already sold plenty. Even with our late arriving warm temps, folks have been purchasing them right and left for places like water parks, Adventureland, boating on Saylorville, Red Rock, and Rathbun, or just at the home pool!

They are 25% off for two weeks, starting July 1...only $24.97.  Get 'em while we've got 'em!Pool Saddle Water Chair




Fighting the Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger MosquitoThere's been a lot of talk in the news about the Asian Tiger Mosquito's expanding territory in the United States. It arrived in Texas about 30 years ago in a tire shipment and has made its way into 27 states, as for north as Iowa.

The black and white striped pest is known for having some distinguishing features -some of which make it an even bigger annoyance and threat:

  • Black and white striped legs and body
  • Feeds during the day - Although, according to entomologist Joseph Conlon, with the American Mosquito Control Association, the Asian Tiger has been known to feed at night only when the moon is full!
  • Transmits many diseases, including West Nile
  • Basically, this mosquito likes to hang out around humans - and seems to shoot for the knees and legs when seeking a place to start drawing blood.
  • Their eggs are tough and have no problem surviving in snow and freezing temps.
  • They only have about a 200-yard flying radius, so they lay their eggs in water puddles, etc., usually located close to where people are being bitten.

So, how do you combat them?  In a recent CBS news segment, Conlon suggested the Three Ds:

1.  Drain - Get rid of all water that could be, or has been sitting for a while. Conlon says even something as small as water sitting in a drink bottle lid that's been left on a patio, could be a harbor for their eggs.  Dump out empty flower pots, tires, etc., change water in bird baths frequently, and clean your gutters!

2. Dress - Conlon says where light-colored clothing and pants, since the Asian Tiger mosquito favors ankles and knees.

3. Defend - Conlon recommends repellents with DEET as the most effective against this biter. Some of the DEET products here at Bass Pro Shops Altoona are:

Repel 100
Sawyer Insect Repellent with 30% DEET


More Information:

Watch the CBS segment on the Asian Tiger Mosquito!