Beginning Archery for Ladies - Part One: The Bow

BrickerBy - Alicia Bricker, Gun Vault Specialist

Ladies, are you interested in archery, but aren’t sure where to get started? Don't have someone who can take you out and show you the ropes? I'll get you started. Archery is a fun and exciting sport and anyone can get involved.

 

The Bow

First off, you'll need a bow that fits you - you need to be comfortable with how it feels when you shoot it. Go out and try several different bows. I suggest a bow that can grow with you as you get stronger. Two aspects that are important are the draw weight and the draw length. They make a variety of bows with different draw weight variations that you can try.

Draw weight - The amount of weight you will have to pull when drawing back your bow.

Draw length - The length you will draw your bow back. This varies with your "wing span" (length of your arms) and you will want to get this calculated before picking out your bow. Your draw length is determined by measuring the distance between your arms and you will need someone to help you measure.

1. Hold your arms straight out to your sides, palms facing forward.

2. Measure from the tip of your middle finger to the other tip of your middle finger then divide by 2.5.

This will give you an estimate of your draw length, but it may need to be adjusted depending on how it feels to you when shooting. Our archery experts can always help you determine what the best draw length is for you.

A couple of good beginner bows, both of which offer quite a bit of growth in draw weight are:

The Quest G5 Radical, which ranges as low as 15 Lbs up to 70 LBS draw weight with a draw length of 17.5” up to 30”

The Diamond Infinite Edge which ranges all the way from 5 LBS up to 70LBS for draw weight and a draw length from 13” up to 30”

As an adult, your draw length will stay the same.  However, kids that are still growing will be able to take advantage of the draw lengths being so versatile in the above listed bows allowing them to get comfortable with a bow and get it adjusted as they continue to grow.

The varying weights are a plus for women. It allows you to start out at a lower draw weight as you begin, then increase poundage as you grow stronger and more used to using those muscles as you continue practicing with your bow. There are many bows to choose from, but one of these could be a good place to start as you are learning the sport.

I suggest buying a bow package. That way everything you need to get started is already with the bow, instead of  buying each individual item that you need. Packages vary with the bow models, but will typically come with a: rest, quiver, sight, peep sight, wrist sling, and possibly a whisker biscuit. Some will come with a stabilizer and string stop as well.

You don't necessarily need these items on your bow and can always add them later on if you decide that you do want them. Let's take a look at what each of these do.

A stabilizer will help balance the bow and even out the weight in the front of the bow. The string stop is just what it sounds like. It stops the string from going forward after you release the arrow reducing some of the string vibration. This, in turn, seems to help reduce some of the excess noise. Neither a stabilizer nor string stop are must-haves, but are more of a personal preference.

String Stop                                 Stabilizer

string stop                         Archery - Stabilizer

 

Trophy Ridge Whisker BiscuitA whisker biscuit is a good idea to use as a rest for beginners. It holds the arrow in place, so there is less chance of the arrow slipping off the rest. You can change this out in the future for a drop away or other type of rest once, you get more comfortable shooting. The whiskers of the rest will eventually wear out as you shoot more arrows through it, so eventually you will need to replace it or buy a different rest.

 

 

The Sight - Before we talk about the sight on your bow, we need to talk about YOUR sight. You need to determine which is your dominant eye. Your dominant eye is the one that is dominant over the other when focusing on something. This will be the eye that you use to sight in your target. There is a simple tick that you can use to determine which eye is dominant.

1. Hold your hands out in front of you in a triangle placing your two index fingers together and your thumbs together.
2. Keep both eyes open and focus on a target or object about 10 yards away.
3. Close one eye then open it and then close the other then open it. The eye for which the object stays in the same place is your dominant eye.

If you have trouble with this exercise, try holding your hands in the same position as you just did and focusing on the object again with both eyes open. This time keep them open and slowly move your hands to your face while you are focusing both eyes on the object. The eye that your hands naturally go to is your dominant eye.

Your dominant eye may be the same as your dominant hand or you may be "cross eye" dominate. These means you are right-handed and left eye dominant or left-handed and right eye dominant. If you are dominant on the same hand and eye then that is the bow you will need. Ex: right eye and right hand = right handed bow. If you are cross eye dominant, you may want to try getting a bow that goes with the eye that you are dominant with, since it is easier to train your hand than your eye. If you try this, but cannot get used to it, then you will have to train your eye if you opt for a bow for your dominant hand and non-dominant eye. To do this you will have to make sure that your dominant eye is either closed when shooting or covered so that your other eye is able to focus.

Beginning Archery for Ladies - Cobra Bushwacker SightA sight has pins in it that you will use when shooting a target at different distances. The top pin will be for the closest distance and the bottom pin for the furthest distance. Different sights offer a different amount of pins. You will set the pins for about 10 yards difference in each. Some people set the first pin at 10 or 20 yards. You can also start at 10 yards and then later adjust it to 20 yards, once you become more accurate. Sight pins are typically fiber optic and some are even lighted, which helps in lower light settings. Some come with a bubble level, so you can judge when you are tilting your bow and when it is level. When you first set up your bow you will need to adjust the pins for the distances that you want, which means you will need to shoot from each distance to set each pin. Our archery experts can help you get this set up and will get the pins set as close as possible, but some tweaking may be necessary once you start shooting more accurately. Then you can tell if you are off target either up and down or right and left, which you learn by the grouping of your arrows. Example: If you are shooting tight groups (the arrows all land in the same generalG5 Meta Peep area close together), but they are always to the right of where you are shooting, then your sight needs adjusted.

A peep sight is set up in your string and is just a small circle with a hole in it. When you have your bow at full draw, it should line up at eye level, so you can look through it and line it up with the pin on your sight. There are different colors and styles to choose from on these.Quiver

 

 

A quiver is what holds your arrows when you are not shooting them. You can get one that stays attached to the bow or one that is detachable. There are also quivers that you can sling over your shoulder or clip onto your hip. Most bow packages include a quiver that mounts to the bow. The amount of arrows that a quiver can hold varies usually around 4 to 6. They just clip in fletching down with the point up in the foam to keep the tip or broadhead from cutting anything.

A wrist sling also usually comes with a package, but is not a necessary accessory. This can help prevent the archer from torquing the bow with their grip when shooting. You want a loose grip when at full draw with your fingers open and the bow resting between your thumb and index finger - resting on your palm, so you don’t flinch the bow with a tight grip. The wrist sling is attached below the grip on the bow and goes loosely around your wrist. You still want to grab your bow before it fully falls, but this allows you to let your arrow leave your bow before you grip onto your bow again (follow through). Grip it while you are pulling it back but relax your hand before you shoot your arrow.

How to grip bow

A kisser button is not a necessary accessory, but is an inexpensive one that you can add in order to help build your consistency when drawing back your bow. It helps you anchor your string in the same place every time when shooting. I recommend it for a beginning archer, since it helps you feel where your string is anchored and will get you used to anchoring in the same place. An anchor point is where you rest your hand or release every time you draw back your bow. Consistency in anchoring is important since that will increase your shooting accuracy. When drawing back the bow, you will want to place the kisser at the corner of your mouth. The person setting up your bow will set this where it needs to be for you. It will be placed above your D-loop on your string. 

                                                            Kisser button

(This picture shows the placement of the kisser button at the corner of the mouth.)

A D-Loop is something that not all archers have put on their strings, but is something that most release shooters use. It is just a small loop added on the string where you will nock your arrow and then use the loop to hook your release onto. The arrow will nock between the two knots holding the D-loop to the string.

Our archery experts can assist you in chosing the right bow for you as well as setting everything up and getting you ready to shoot. All the accessories discussed here come in a variety of styles and colors as well. Do some research on different bows and all of the other items to see what you like first, before making a final purchase. There is a lot of information available to help you make a decision on picking out what is right for you. You can also come in and talk to one of the archery experts and they will help guide you on this first step of your journey.

The example below will help show the different accessories I've discussed and where they are located at on the bow, once it has been set up.

Bear Siren set up

Next up - The Stance

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Camp and Kayaks!

There are only three weekends and two weeks of Family Summer Camp activities left at Bass Pro Shops Altoona! Our Family Summer Camp is a perfect way to spend a hot, weekend afternoon with the kids - outdoor activities, plus our inside workshops.

Even better, it's a GREAT way to beat the heat on a weekday afternoon - kids can have fun and learn at the same time!

Schedule - June 28, 29, July 1 & 3

Free outdoor activities from noon until 5 p.m. including the Daisy BB gun range, casting, and archery.

Free crafts - Noon - 2 p.m. - Crafts change each week! This week's craft is a personal camp journal!

Homemade ice cream sampling - 5-6 p.m. on Saturday evening only

Last, but not least, our popular workshops - Each child receives a lanyard at their first workshop and a pin for each workshop they attend throughout the summer. Collect all nine pins! [Catch and Release Pond]

Workshops Schedule

Saturday, June 28
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sunday, June 29
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Tuesday, July 1
12 p.m. - Birdwatching
1 p.m. - Fishing
2 p.m. - Archery
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Thursday, July 3
12 p.m. - Archery
1 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
2 p.m. - Travel safety
3 p.m. - Water Safety
4 p.m. - Camping and Conservation

Also going on this weekend:

Kayak Pool at Bass Pro Shops AltoonaKayak Pool!

Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29, Noon-5 p.m. - Our kayak pool was delayed earlier this month...now it really is back! Come try out one of our kayaks in this safe, non-threatening environment. We have the kayaks and all the gear - you bring the desire to learn about kayaking!

Saturday, June 28 - Legal Heat Concealed Carry Class - 9:30-1:30 (Uncle Buck's Private Dining Room) - Register ahead of time at www.mylegalheat.com.

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My First Hog Hunt

By Alicia Bricker, Gun Vault Specialist
 

This was my first time to hunt outside of Iowa, my first feral hog hunt, and my first muzzleloader hunt. A little nervous, very excited, and not sure what to expect…but I was ready to get back in a tree stand!  My plan was to use my bow to start, because I enjoy bow hunting over gun 

Alicia Bricker - hog hunt

hunting and I thought that it would be really neat to get a hog with my bow. Bow hunting is more rewarding to me because of the challenge and having to be closer to the game.

The first two nights I opted to hunt with my bow and was in the stand from 5 pm until dark. A few hours went by and it was hot with nothing much moving except birds, squirrels and rabbits. Then, around 8 p.m., a group of 11 hogs appeared 150 yards up the trail and laid down in the path. Eventually, they started to make their way slowly towards my tree stand and the feeder set up about 20 yards away. The feeders are set on timers all over the Chain Ranch and feed is put out once in the morning and then again in the afternoon. My feeder had gone off about an hour before I saw the hogs.

Once the hogs were at the feeder, I had to wait for one to quarter away from me. Having studied up about arrow placement on the hog, I knew that in order to get the best penetration with my bow it would require a quartering away shot. Hogs have a thick layer of something like cartilage or bone in their shoulder that helps protect them from shots. The guide showed us this when we were skinning one. Some people think it is an extra bone, a “shield,” but it is actually not a part of their skeleton at all. It is in their hide. I had drawn my bow once, but the hogs move around quickly and often, so when I lost the shot opportunity before placing the shot I had to bring it down again. A few minutes later the largest hog in the group lined up perfectly to give me a good clean shot. He was quartering away by the feeder that was on the same side as my tree stand, so I took the shot. With a lumenock on my arrow with Montec G5 broadheads, I was able to see the shot placement clearly. But, the hog started to move as I released, so the arrow struck a little further back than I had hoped and the hog took off squealing into the brush. Later, our guide confirmed it was a good shot and one that would hit vitals. After the adrenaline rush had settled a bit, I called the guide and he let me know that he would be on the way. Hogs can be extremely dangerous, especially when wounded, so I was to stay in my stand until he got there. He and my boyfriend, Danny McCain, were tracking a hog that Danny had shot with his bow about an hour previously. A little after dark they both arrived, having backed out until morning from tracking Danny’s hog as it had taken off further into the brush. We took off in search of my hog.

Once we located the blood trail, we could tell that my arrow had penetrated both sides of the hog. However, the arrow had still been in him when he ran, so I knew it hadn’t been a complete pass through. There was a clear blood trail to follow up the hill and into the brush; once the hog crested the hill the blood trail went cold and we could find no more trace. After losing the blood trail, we decided to back out for the night and come back in the morning to look after our morning hunt.

A cool tracking tip that the guide showed us was using ants to help…there are a lot of ants in Oklahoma! If the ants are on the blood, then the blood is not too fresh, meaning that you are not on blood that the hog has just lost. If you come up on blood and the ants haven’t found it yet, then the hog is most likely still alive and you should back out until later, so you don’t spook the hog back up. Our guide always carried a pistol for tracking just in case this happened.  

The next morning, we set out before sunrise, but hadn’t seen any hogs, so we went back to track both hogs from the day before. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to pick up any new blood trails and could not find either hog. Disappointment began to set in, but the guide reassured us that this happens often...the hogs are hard to kill - they get an adrenaline kick when they are shot and just seem to keep going forever.

We set up the next night, in different tree stands this time. Once again, it was about an hour before dark when the first hog appeared, but it was a momma sow with some babies. Hog HuntInstead of shooting with my bow, I shot some pictures instead! Then a second group of around 10 came out, but didn’t come into range. That night I went without a shot. Danny had shot a big hog weighing in at 250 lbs. It was impressive with big tusks and a ridge on its back - a very intimidating looking hog. A shot with his muzzleloader right behind the ear dropped it in its tracks around 7 p.m. Our guide picked us both up and we went back to the lodge where they have a very nice facility available for cleaning the hogs, along with an ice machine and a walk in cooler to store the hogs.

The next morning Danny and I hunted together. We wanted to make our way in to a shooting house close to a water hole, but time ran out, so we set up in a tall wheat field. There were several hogs out in the open field, but I couldn’t get a clear shot. They were either too far away, since my shooting range comfort zone right now is 100 yards, or they were too concealed in the tall wheat. I’m still new to a muzzleloader and don’t feel completely steady with one yet. Hogs move faster than many people probably realize. So, I didn’t get one that morning either, but it was still fun to see all of them moving back into the brush for the day.

That evening was my last chance. This was where my plans changed. It was make or break to get a hog, so I switched to my muzzleloader. Instead of a 20–30 yard range limit with a bow, I could shoot up to 100 yards with a muzzleloader and I wouldn’t have to wait for that quartering away shot. I appreciate the challenge of the muzzleloader, as well, considering that you only have the one shot, compared to a rifle, and they are much more of a struggle to reload quickly. So I brought it along in case I got down to the last minute and still hadn’t harvested one. Well, this was the last minute.

It was extremely hot -  over 100 degrees - with absolutely no breeze. Our guide told us this time of year is tough, since hogs don’t like to move much when it’s hot. He suggested a cooler time of year - the cooler the better for hog hunting. We set up in a shooting house that evening by the water hole where we had watched the hogs pass by that morning. There was a little piglet in the watering hole when we arrived and it stayed there throughout the evening. He became our entertainment because every so often he would get up and push the mud around and then settle back in when he decided it was comfortable enough. I was starting to get worried - at 8:30 p.m. there was still no sign of hogs. This was, by far, the hottest evening yet that we had hunted, and without a breeze to help cool things off the hogs weren’t stirring. It was getting close to 9 p.m. and the sun was getting closer and closer to setting when finally…a hog came running in across the field! He was quite a ways out, so I set my muzzleloader up, propped it on the window’s ledge, and waited and watched as the hog approached. We used the range finder and when he stopped at about 100 yards I lined up my shot. He was facing towards me – he wasn’t going to make this easy, and then finally he turned broadside. As soon as he gave me his shoulder I fired. I was antsy, waiting for the smoke to clear so I could see him. He had let out a crazy sounding squeal and was spinning in circles with his front legs flat beneath him and then, all of a sudden, he took off. I was surprised that he had gotten back up and he was moving fast. I tried to quickly reload my gun but was struggling. I needed to hurry and my adrenaline was still pumping from the first shot! Danny ran out the back of the shooting house with his muzzleloader and took a shot at the running hog and it went down. YAY! I had gotten my hog.

We went to check him out and my shot had gone right behind the shoulder blade through the heart and lungs, so a good clean shot. But, being as stubborn as they are, he still had the power to keep going. Danny’s shot had put him down, hitting him in the hindquarters and knocking them out from under him. It was a good shot considering how fast the hog was moving in the tall grass and that he didn’t have anything to help steady the gun for his shot. I was definitely impressed, but happy that my shot had still been the kill shot. We called the guide and he came to help us load up. He was just as happy as I was - he knew that it was my first hog hunt and was really trying his best to help me get one. My hog was 100 lbs.

It was a great experience. If you’re looking for something new and exciting to try during the hunting off season I would recommend checking out the Chain Ranch if you are looking for a great place to go that is also affordable. We saw several hogs every day and many of them big. They have a great set up, know what they’re doing, take great care of their hunters and there is more to do there than just hog hunts.

It was a hunt of firsts that I will never forget and I look forward to another hog hunt sometime...when it's colder.

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Shot placement tips on hogs:

With a gun, if you are accurate enough, shoot right behind the ear through the spine. It will drop the hog in its tracks. A gun will also go through the “shield” over their shoulder.

With an arrow, the ideal shot is right behind the shoulder blade, low (since the heart sits low), and quartering away from you. Also, a helpful hint from our guide was if you can shoot them again do it. Most of the time they will just keep going even on a great shot.

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Family summer Camp 2014

Family Summer Camp Schedule - June 21, 22, 24, and 26

Free outdoor activities from noon until 5 p.m. including the Daisy BB gun range, casting, and archery.

Free crafts - Noon - 2 p.m. - Crafts change each week! This week's craft is:

Homemade ice cream sampling - 5-6 p.m. on Saturday evening only

Last, but not least, our popular workshops - Each child receives a lanyard at their first workshop and a pin for each workshop they attend throughout the summer. Collect all nine pins! [Catch and Release Pond]

Workshops Schedule

Saturday, June 21
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sunday, June 22
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Tuesday, June 24
12 p.m. - Birdwatching
1 p.m. - Fishing
2 p.m. - Archery
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Thursday, June 26
12 p.m. - Archery
1 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
2 p.m. - Travel safety
3 p.m. - Water Safety
4 p.m. - Camping and Conservation

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Repurposing Product Spotlight - Fun Noodles

We often have customers come in looking for specific products. But it's not always for the way WE think they should be used. So we're going to try to keep tabs on some of the unique uses our customers, and employees, have for some of the products sold at Bass Pro Shops.

The product I'd like to feature is the fun noodle or water noodle. Water noodles, for those unfamiliar, are giant tubular foam floats. Kids and adults can use them for summer fun floating in lakes, pools, or at the beach. There are also probably more than just a few kids (especially old kids) who have conducted water wars and whacked each other in battle with the water noodle.

However, here are three other ideas our customers have shared with us:Photo from rvtip.com

1. One of the most popular is for RV campers. If you have an RV that has a slide-out on it, you can protect the corners of the slide from damage simply by using a water noodle. Plus, it will protect little heads from hitting the corners, if they are running by the camper. Cut the noodle into smaller sections, about a foot or so, then slice down one side of the section. Snap the noodles onto both sides of the corner and you have just used your noodle to protect a noodle!

2. Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers - Not really. More like "Foam Car Garage Bumpers."  Cut a water noodle in half lengthwise and secure half to the garage wall next to where your car door will be opening. Saves on the door dings! 

3. Hurdle Practice - We had a gentleman who came in and purchased about 15 water noodles. We found out that he was purchasing them to help his granddaughter learn how to run hurdles for track. He was going to cut and secure the noodles between PVC pipes and use the noodles as the crossbar for her to jump over. The noodles would be much easier on her knees and shins, easing the pain if she hits the crossbars while training.

So there are your first three repurposing ideas.

What do you repurpose?

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The Name of the Game

We're hearing a lot of news stories these days of increased beef and pork prices. In America's Heartland, where those two reign supreme in the game of "fill your freezer," that can be unsettling news for consumers. Not in our household. Our "fill your freezer game" is wild.

Our freezer is full of wild game during the winter. Now, that's not to say we don't have other items...a few frozen pizzas, some chicken in various cuts, a couple of Iowa chops (the only kind of chops!), salmon, and many vacuum-sealVenison Roast Paninied veggies and fruits also grace our upright and chest freezers. However, rolls of one- and two-pound packages of ground venison burger, venison Italian sausage, venison roasts, backstraps, wild turkey breasts and thighs, rabbit, and frozen crappie and bluegill prevail. A few jars of canned venison and rabbit are in the pantry, along with canned garden produce.

It hasn't always been this way...I married into it. I've always been fairly adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, at which many others go "e-e-wwww" - escargot, tripe, octopus, for example, so he had me at "just try this backstrap." He hunts, and fishes year round, and we both like to cook, always searching for new and interesting ways to prepare wild game.

Don't misunderstand....we are not a subsistence couple. We buy the occasional ribs or pork butt to smoke and eat our fair share of chicken and salmon. We grab take-out or a blue plate special maybe once a month and might do some "fine dining" for a special occasion. Once a year we might throw a ribeye on the grill just to appreciate and remember the taste. But, really, when it comes right down to it, we would rather eat our own cooking and that typically involves wild game. Probably 85% of the meaVenison with Mustard Saucet/fish we eat is hunted or caught by my husband. Why?

We know the cost of my husband's TenPoint Titan HLX crossbow, arrows, and blind were easily paid for within the first two years or less that he got back into bowhunting. When you consider the cost of purchasing that much hamburger, roasts, and steaks, and throw in processing the venison ourselves, there is no comparison. The cost of his fishing gear is easily paid for through a good icy winter and a typical summer of fishing.

We know the health and nutrition benefits, like the extreme leanness. Three ounces of venison has 134 calories and only 3 grams of total fat versus 247 calories and 15 grams of total fat in lean beef. Venison has more vitamins and minerals, too. Crappie CakesPlus, we love the taste. No, we don't call it gamey - we call it rich. Nothing melts in your mouth quite like the backstrap that is grilled correctly and still pink inside! As for crappie, bluegill and walleye, well, to us that's a no brainer. Tasty and healthy...and no, the recipes don't have to always be fried.

We understand the need to control the wildlife population in a legal, ethical, conservative manner. Neighbors and friends who don't hunt and fish often reap the benefits of our freezer.

What it boils down to is that enjoying the "fruits of our labors" is physically, mentally, and financially satisfying. We know where it comes from and how it's processed, and don't mind using nature's grocery store.

According to an article in the May 2014 Outdoor Life magazine, a 2013 Responsive Management poll of hunters found that 35% of us "hunt to fill our freezers." Count us in...but now they're almost empty, so good thing hunting season is coming!

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How to Turn a Scarf into a Vest

Bass Pro Shops Ladies' Apparel offers some great new Quagga brand vintage and patriotic scarves. The scarves are made of 100% viscose with twisted fringe on the ends. Light and airy, the scarves are the perfect addition to your wardrobe to throw over your shoulders for that "not too much and not too little" cover on a cool spring or summer evening.

What's REALLY great about these scarves? They are perfect for turning into a vest - so instead of just having a scarf wrapped around your shoulders, it becomes another article of clothing. Jen from the Bass Pro Shops Altoona Ladies' Apparel team shows you how easy it is to turn your scarf into a vest!

Let your patriotic colors fly this Fourth of July and make a scarf vest as a perfect topper for a cami, cotton tee, or tank top!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Strawberry Brandy BBQ Sauce

Strawberries will be appearing around our area soon and are already out in other parts of the country. You can pick your own for a nice Sunday afternoon outing and then get them ready for eating. Strawberry shortcake is always a favorite, but here's a new one for you to try the next time you're smoking ribs! I have not tried it, but it is now on the list! This complete recipe can be found HERE who actually printed the recipe courtesy of the California Strawberry Commission.

Strawberry Brandy Barbeque Sauce

1 T olive oilStrawberries
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, chopped
2 lbs. strawberries, cleaned and halved
1 C brandy
2 T brown sugar
1 C ketchup
1/3 C strawberry jam
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 C water
salt and pepper to taste

Put the olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and jalapeno pepper and cook until they just start to caramelize. Add the strawberries and brandy. (NOTE:  Stand back when adding alcohol, in case of flare up).

Cook until the alcohol has reduced by half, then add remaining ingredients. Turn the heat down and cook slowly for 30-45 minutes until the strawberries are "broken down" and the flavors have started to combine.

Once combined, remove from heat and an immersion blender or regular blender to make smooth. Use more water to adjust consistency, if needed.

Good for one week in the fridge and can be frozen up to three months.

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Summer Camp Continues

Family Summer Camp Schedule - June 14, 15, 17, and 19

Catch and Release Pond - Free Photo Download

This is the LAST WEEKEND for the Catch and Release Pond and the free photo download, June 14-15, noon-5 p.m.

  • Free outdoor activities from noon until 5 p.m. including the Daisy BB gun range, casting, and archery.
  • Free crafts - Noon - 2 p.m. - Crafts change each week!
  • Homemade ice cream sampling - 5-6 p.m. on Saturday evening only
  • Last, but not least, our popular workshops - Each child receives a lanyard at their first workshop and a pin for each workshop they attend throughout the summer. Collect all nine pins!Catch and Release Pond

Saturday, June 14
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sunday, June 15
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Tuesday, June 17
12 p.m. - Birdwatching
1 p.m. - Fishing
2 p.m. - Archery
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Thursday, June 19
12 p.m. - Archery
1 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
2 p.m. - Travel safety
3 p.m. - Water Safety
4 p.m. - Camping and Conservation

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Digs for Dogs @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Digs for Dogs

 

Bass Pro Shops Altoona

First Annual

 

 

 

Build a Doghouse Contest

Benefitting the

Animal Rescue League of Iowa

 

Animal Rescue Leage of Iowa

 

Two ways to help!

  • Build a fun and functional doghouse and enter it in the contest - enter on your own or as a team!
  • Place a silent bid on a custom-built doghouse and help the ARL!


All entries will be displayed at Bass Pro Shops Altoona August 1-10.
The public is invited to place silent bids during that time.
Bid winners announced August 10.

Teams can be non-profit organizations or a business. Judges will select a winner for the most creative doghouse in each entry bracket -- the winning individual and team will receive a

$150 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card!

For complete details and the registration form, visit the Notes section of our Facebook page (you don't have to be on Facebook to view!) or stop by the Altoona, Iowa, Bass Pro Shops store!

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Reeling in Readers

Reeling in Readers - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaBass Pro Shops Altoona often has the opportunity to assist schools and organizations with their events, especially those that are conservation-related or help children learn about fishing, hunting, or other great outdoor activities. 

Recently, an elementary school in Newton, Iowa, had a unique challenge that created reading fun for students with the hopes of fishing fun when it was all over.  "Reeling in Readers" brought together first-graders with their male role models for education indoors and outdoors. Teacher Jessica Cole explains:

"The purpose of the (Reeling in Readers) derby was to find a way to get males more involved in their children's Reeling in Readers - Bass Pro Shops Altoonaeducation. Typically, it is the females that work with their children at the elementary level. Children that have fathers that are involved in their schooling have a 42 percent better chance of excelling. (Gestwicki, 2010). Reeling in Readers encouraged interactive reading and father involvement.  

"We asked all first grade students at Thomas Jefferson (120 students) to read and record at least 20 books with their father, uncle, grandfathers, or other male role model.  When they turned in their logs they got tickets to the fishing derby!"

Cole worked with Jasper County Conservation officers to find a spot and time to close a park to the public for a few hours. She proposed the event to her administration as part of a graduate program course requirement to "organize a parent involvement initiative."

"The research I found showed that students perform better and make bigger gains when parents are involved in school.  Reeling in Readers - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaAn enormous amount of literature and interest about the positive effects of parental involvement on students’ academic achievement exists (Fan & Chen, 2001)."Reeling in Readers

Cole says one father drove from South Dakota to fish with his daughter, and then back home after the derby. Both first graders and role models were excited to spend time outside the classroom enjoying the great tradition of fishing!

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What's the Best Knot for Tying Two Lines Together?

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staffer Rod Woten fielded this question from a Facebook fan. Here's his answer:

"If you’re talking about two similar-sized lines of similar material I prefer the surgeon’s knot. The blood knot would be my second favorite for this type of application. Examples would be adding tippet to the end of a fly line leader, adding a mono leader to a fluorocarbon mainline, or splicing additional line to a spool of monofilament.

If you’re talking about lines of differing size or material, I prefer the nail knot.  Examples of this use would be attaching fly line to backing and attaching leader to fly line.

The nail knot for the most part is fly fishing exclusive. However, the blood knot and surgeon’s knot have much wider ranging applications. They are ideal for tying mono to mono or mono to flouro.

 

 

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Sun Protection Basics - Are You Sun Smart?

When I was young, I remember going to a day camp during the summer for Brownies. By the next day I had giant blisters on my back from sun burn. There was no such thing as sun protection in 1967. With light brown hair and blue eyes, I was destined to be a sunburn magnet. As I got older, I didn't necessarily get wiser very quickly. But, now I am, especially being an outdoors lover.

Now, it seems like there are new and different sunscreen formulas and types on the market. From oils and lotions to pumps and cremes, there is a plethora of prevention!

Here is a basic rundown of sun protection terminology, the numbers game of sun protection, plus some eye-opening statistics from the Skin Cancer Foundation.

  • Sunscreens vary in how they protect you from the sun's UVA and UVB rays. Both rays cause skin cancer and aging - UVA is the longer wave ray that causes the long lasting skin damage, aging and cancer. UVB rays are the shorter rays that cause burning, and skin damage like blisters.Sunscreen
  • Sunscreens typically offer a Sun Protection Factor or SPF. The SPF is a measurement of the product's ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging your skin. For example, it typically takes me about 15-20 minutes to show redness on my skin when I'm out in the sun. An SPF of 15, in theory, means that product should allow you to stay out 15 times longer.
  • Some products may also say "broad spectrum," which means they protect you from both A and B ultraviolet rays.

Sunscreen Basics - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaYear-round and hot or cold, women AND men need to use sun protection for their skin. Many women's cosmetic products promote SPF and now men can get sunscreen products designed just for them.

Bass Pro Shops sells predominantly Banana Boat products, from SPF 4 up to100+. All of the SPF 15 and higher of our products have the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation. 

Here are some tips, facts, and keys to remember from the Skin Cancer Foundations

  • During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an 8 oz. bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating a great deal.Sunscreen
  • The common belief that we have experienced 80% of our sun exposure as a child is a myth. "A recent multi-center study showed that we get less than 25 percent of our total sun exposure by age 18. In fact, it is men over the age of 40 who spend the most time outdoors, and get the highest annual doses of UV rays. And since adult Americans are living longer and spending more leisure time outdoors, preventing ongoing skin damage will continue to be an important part of a healthy lifestyle."
  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
  • An estimated 43,890 new cases of invasive melanoma in men and 32,210 in women will be diagnosed in the US in 2014.
  • Overall, one in 34 men and one in 53 women will develop melanoma in their lifetimes.
  • The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
  • Adults over age 40, especially men, have the highest annual exposure to UV.
  • Infants under six months of age should NOT be exposed to the sun.

Enjoy the outdoors, but protect your skin while you're at it. With lotions, sprays, clothing, and sunglasses all providing important protection, there is no reason to not be sun smart.

______________________

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Product Spotlight - Jucy Lucy Press

It seems like there are new "bigger and bJucy Lucy Burger Pressetter" burger restaurants opening up all the time...and the stranger the better sometimes! Would you like to create your OWN gourmet, Jucy Lucy burgers at home? Our Associate Tracy did and decided to try out the Charcoal Companion Stuff-a-Burger Press.

"I've tried many times to make stuffed burgers on my own unsuccessfully. But THIS was a dream come true! Bring a big bun and a big appetite for this 3/4 pound monster!"Jucy Lucy Burger Press - Bass Pro Shops Altoona Iowa

Yes, it makes an impressive 3/4 pound burger. Tracy followed the instructions for the durable press and, for her first run, simply used soft cheddar processed cheese for the stuffing.

"What was really wonderful about the burger was that the cheese sort of melted into the burger meat. It didn't ooze out of the sides but just blended in a bit. It melted in my mouth with EVERY bite!"

Tracy topped her burger off with some bacon and enjoyed the whole burger!Jucy Lucy burger

Make burgers more fun this summer with the Jucy Lucy - find it online or at Bass Pro Shops Altoona in the Camping section!

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Family Summer Camp 2014 @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

This weekend our very popular Family Summer Camp is back! Kids' workshops and activities every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from June 7 to July 13! All activities begin at noon - we will have the casting buckets, archery range and Daisy BB Shooting Range, plus the additional fun events listed below!

Our first two weekends feature two special events:

Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8 ONLY

  • Catch and Release Pond

Noon-5 p.m. - Kids can experience FREE fishing at our big indoor catch and release pond! We supply the gear, you bring in the kids! Big thanks to the Northern Polk Pheasants Forever for assisting us June 7 with the pond!

  • Free Photo Download

Noon - 5 p.m. - Free photo download for kids - like they're on the cover of Outdoor Kids magazine!

Workshops

Free workshops for kids are held every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday through July 13! This weekend's workshop schedule is:

Saturdays
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/family-summer-camp-2014#sthash.JE2iiTVb.dpuf

Saturday:
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sunday:
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

For Tuesday and Thursday's schedules, visit our Facebook page.

CraftsFamily Summer Camp 2014 Craft Week one

A different craft each week! The craft for June 7 & 8, 10 &12 craft is:
Color a Wooden Ring Toss (while supplies last)

 

Don't forget - Every Saturday evening from 5-6 p.m. (or while supplies last) we'll be serving up samples of homemade ice cream!

 

Coming Up! 

June 14-15 - Family Summer

Camp features the KAYAK POOL!  Young and old can try kayaking in our 20x50 ft pool!

Kayak Pool @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Kayak Pool - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaKayak Pool @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

 

 

 

 

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Saturdays
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sundays
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/family-summer-camp-2014#sthash.JE2iiTVb.dpuf
Saturdays
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sundays
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/family-summer-camp-2014#sthash.JE2iiTVb.dpuf
Saturdays
12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

Sundays
12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/family-summer-camp-2014#sthash.JE2iiTVb.dpuf
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Free Fishing Weekend

National Fishing and Boating Week is June 1-8 and many states celebrate free fishing days during that time. In Iowa, June 6-8 are a Free Fishing Weekend for Iowa residents. Not a fisherman (or woman)?  The first full weekend in June is set aside by the Iowa DNR as Free Fishing Weekend, so Iowa residents can give fishing a try without paying for a license. All other rules and regulations do apply.

This is also a perfect time to take kids fishing for the first time. the DNR schedules this weekend because it's typically the time when bluegills are closer to shore and a little Family Fishing - Bass Pro Shops Altoonafeistier! Iowa has many great small county and state parks where you can fish from the banks and give kids (and adults) a fun time fishing!

Not sure what basics you need to get started? Come on in to Bass Pro Shops Altoona and we will help you get the right basic gear to start, from hooks and bobbers, to the right fishing line, and a good basic rod and reel combo for you and the kids, plus some small lures or bait advice.

You can find a listing of free fishing days around the country at www.takemefishing.org/nfbw/.

Here is a listing of some of the many family and kids events in Iowa that are free during Free Fishing Weekend on June 7. Of course, if it's raining, bring the kids to Bass Pro Shops Altoona and they can fish inside for free in our Catch and Release pond that weekend!

7:00 a.m. - Blue Lake Kids Day Fishing Clinic/Kids Fishing Derby - Lewis and Clark State Park, Onawa, IA
8:00 a.m. - Bondurant Youth Fishing Derby, ages 15 and under - Lake Petocka, Bondurant, IA
8:00a.m. - Pleasant Hill Youth Fishing Derby, ages 4-13 - Copper Creek, Pleasant Hill, IA
8:00 a.m.  West Lake Park Fishing Clinic for kids - Lake of the Hills, West Lake Park, Davenport, IA
8:00 a.m. - Go FISH - "Fishing Instruction Starts Here" - Hickory Grove Lake - Nevada, IA
8:00 a.m. - Central Park Annual Kids Fishing Derby, ages 16 and under - Central Park Lake, Center Junction, IA
8:00 a.m. - Youth Fishing Tournament/Clinic -  Little Sioux Lake, Correctionville, IA
8:30 a.m. - Fishing Clinic, ages 6-16 -  McIntosh Woods State Park, Ventura, IA
9:00 a.m. - Kid's Fishing Day - Fishing Clinic - Willow Lake, Woodbine, IA
9:00 a.m. - Fishing Clinic - Riverside Park, Stacyville, IA
9:00 a.m. - Annual Kids' Fishing Clinic - Wapsi (Central City to Oxford Junction), Central City, IA
9:00 a.m. - Des Moines County Conservation Free Kids' Fishing Derby -  Big Hollow Lake, Sperry, IA
9:00 a.m. - Fishing Clinic and Derby - Pollmiller Park Lake, West Point, IA
9:00 a.m. - 15th Annual Cops N' Bobbers Fishing Clinic - Youth Fishing Clinic - City Hall, West Des Moines, IA
9:00 a.m. - Hook, Line and Sinker Fishing Derby - 7th Annual Free Family Fishing Derby - Mariposa Lake, Newton, IA
9:00 a.m. - Free Fishing Clinic for all ages - Hurstville Pond, Maquoketa, IA
9:30 a.m. - Youth  Fishing Clinic - Davis County Pond,  Bloomfield, IA
10:00 a.m. - Youth Fishing Derby - Fishing Clinic - Brushy Creek Lake, Duncombe, IA
10:00 a.m. - Lake Anita Kids' Fishing Day, ages 15 and under - Lake Anita State Park, Anita, IA
10:00 a.m. - Free Family Fishing Event - Liberty Centre Pond, North Liberty, IA
10:00 a.m. - Optimist Club/Page County Cons. Fishing Derby/Clinic - ages 5 to 15 - Pioneer Park, Shenandoah, IA
10:00 a.m. - Ankeny Optimist Club Free Fishing Derby/Clinic, ages 5-13 - Hawkeye Park Pond, Ankeny, IA
11:00 a.m. - Scranton's Kids' Fishing Days - Fishing Clinic - Lost Lagoon, Scranton, IA
11:00 a.m. - Seth Thompson Memorial Kids' Fishing Day/Clinic, ages 16 and under - Wilson Park Lake, Lenox, IA
1:00 p.m. - Backbone Lake Kids Fishing Clinic and Derby, ages 15 and under - Backbone State Park, Dundee, IA
2:00 p.m. Iowa DNR/Izaack Walton League Kids' Fishing Day - Mississippi River Pool 13, Bellevue, IA  
3:00 p.m. - Kids Fish Iowa! Adventure Youth Fishing Clinic - Lowe Park, Marion, IA
4:00 p.m. Family Fishing Fun - A late afternoon of fishing fun at this secluded pond -  Glissman Pond, Adel, IAFishing Derby

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Product Spotlight - Three-Person Water Balloon Launcher

Liven up your family reunion, camping party, or just have fun in your own backyard with the Three-Person Water Balloon Launcher by StreamMachine! Perfect for the older kids (16 years of age and older), it comes with 72 biodegradable balloons and a filler nozzle. 

The three-person launcher is not found online. they may not be available at all Bass Pro locations, but we have them here at Bass Pro Shops Altoona, so check at your local Bass Pro Shops store to see if they have them in stock.

We tried one out at a recent morning meeting here at Bass Pro Shops Altoona. It was a real "hit!" Watch this video clip to see how easy it is to use and aim...and to see how difficult it was for our General Manager to catch the balloon! A great way to start the day...by soaking the GM!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf

Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

 

As usual, this was originally a beef recipe, but, as usual, we used venison instead. Very tasty, however I kicked up the seasonings a bit by using salt and pepper blends and adding some smoked paprika and garlic powder. We are already working on what type of stuffing we will use in our next meatloaf...soon!

 


Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf - Bass Pro Shops Altoona1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper blend seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 pounds ground venison

Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsps prepared mustard

In a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onion in butter until tender and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the egg, milk, oats, salt and 1/2 of the pepper blend. Break up the venison over the mixture and mix well (by hand!). On a large piece of foil, pat the meat mixture into an approximately 12"x8" rectangle. Spoon the mushroom/onion mixture onto the rolled out meat to about 1" from the edges. Sprinkle the rest of the black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder over the mixture. Roll the rectangle up jell-roll style, starting with a short edge. Peel the foil away as you roll. Seal the seam and the ends.

Prepare whatever grill you are using Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf - Bass Pro Shops Altoonafor indirect heat. You will want to have some way to catch the drippings and keep the loaf up out of the juices. On a charcoal grill, use a drip pan and a doubled-over piece of heavy duty foil with three slits cut in it. Put the meat loaf on the foil on the grill rack over the drip pan.

We use a gas grill, so I simply used the metal lifting rack from my usual meat loaf pan, and placed it in a heavy duty foil pan on the rack. The loaf stayed up out of the juices.

Grill (lid closed) over indirect medium heat for about 35 minutes. Brush your combined sauce ingredients over the loaf and cook for another 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160. Go by the thermometer, not the time because every grill (especially gas) is different.

Enjoy!

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Gettin' Ready for Camp!

 

Splash Bombs at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!

This weekend we are putting the final touches on our preparations for Family Summer Camp 2014!

In the meantime, if you are in town for the Principal Charity Classic, or maybe camping in the area at one our many great parks and lakes, stop by and say hello!

Heading to Adventureland and Adventure Bay? Then you REALLY need to come by and check out our water toys - like the VERY POPULAR Splash Bombs!  Soak them, splash them, throw them!

Additionally, we have a great assortment of Coast Guard approved life vests for all ages and sizes!

Saturday, May 31

Legal Heat classes at Bass Pro Shops Altoona, IowaLegal Heat - Concealed Carry Class - 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

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. Please register ahead of time at www.mylegalheat.com.

Sunday, June 1

Try Before You Buy

Sunday, June 1 - 12-4 p.m. or while supplies last
Our Gifts Department will be handing out samples of our Uncle Buck's Bacon Jerky - Original and Maple-Glazed!

_________________

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youtube.com/bassproshopsaltoona - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-altoona-ia/turkey-hunting-with-a-purpose#sthash.AqJxj6lK.dpuf
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Have Dog, Will Travel

Traveling with Pets - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaVacation time is fast approaching. In our dog-loving society today, many people take their dogs with them now on trips to go camping, hiking, or just to relatives.

In a 2012 survey by AAA and Best Western, 51% of travelers with pets said they would take their pets along on every vacation if they could. According to a 2012 survey by the American Pet Products Association, almost 11 million dog caregivers had taken their pets on a trip within the previous month, and 23 percent of caregivers said they are willing to travel with their dogs for more than two nights.

Almost every day at Bass Pro Shops Altoona, especially in the summer, we welcome guests who are passing through on I-80 and traveling with a pet. Let's face it, we're talking dogs here...we have had two cats that visited, and I think a hamster once, but mostly we have dogs. Here are some tips for items to remember and some "pet-i-quette" ideas for traveling with your dog, whether on vacation or even on shorter hunting or fishing excursions.

  • Make sure your pet is "road worthy."  Take the dog for a ride or two before you go on a long journey. Start with a short ride, then longer.
  • Determine if your dog needs to be restrained or contained somehow. The AAA says about 30,000 accidents each year are caused by unrestrained pets wandering in the front seat. It may seem cute and cuddly to have your dog in your lap, but it's a distraction and could result in injuries to you, your passengers, other drivers, and the dog. Pet crates, portable pet partitions, and cargo area protectors are a good way to protect everyone, two- or four-legged!
  • Keeping your dog contained means not letting them stick their head out the window, at least not for extended periods of time or at high speeds. It could cause hematomas or other ear damage. Additionally, if you do let them stick their head out for a bit, make sure your window lock is on so they don't accidentally close the window on themselves.
  • Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all shots and vaccines. If you're going on an extended trip to bring along your dog's medical records.
  • Have plenty of water along for the dog to drink during rest stops. The RedHead collapsible dog dish is perfect for traveling, since you can put water in it or food.
  • Make sure your dog is comfortable. Give them their spot or "bed" to lie down while traveling. Bring along a favorite toy for them to have nearby.
  • Always make sure your dog goes to the bathroom before you head out and every time you stop.
  • Don't EVER leave your dog in the car. If they can't go where you're going, then don't take them along. Even if the windows are cracked, it can still get extremely hot in a car or truck.
  • However, here's the reverse: Don't leave your dog alone in a hotel room, no matter how well-behaved you think they are. Recently, on a trip home from out west, we stayed in a pet-friendly hotel in North Dakota. Unfortunately, two rooms down there was a dog that barked almost non-stop, while its owners were gone, probably having dinner and out for the evening. There were some unhappy hotel customers that night on that floor. But it wasn't the dog's fault. If you can't take the dog with you, don't go. Consider your surroundings.
  • We are pet friendly at our particular Bass Pro Shops here in Altoona, Iowa. Each Bass Pro Shops has its own state rules it must follow. While most service animals are allowed inside Bass Pro Shops retail locations, further regulations may differ from store to store. Please contact the store you will be visiting prior to arriving for information as to whether or not your pet will be allowed in the store.
  • Please remember to make sure your dog goes to the bathroom before you go inside any place. Accidents can happen, but making sure they've relieved themselves (both ways, if possible!) lessens the chances.
  • Always be prepared to pick up after your pet. It's the courteous thing to do.

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