This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - It's a PBR Workender Weekend!

There is SO much going on here this weekend! Take time to plan the next outing and adventure with your group of friends! Bring the family in to meet the PBR Riders in town for the PBR Event at Wells Fargo Arena! Here's the lineup!

Meet the Riders of the PBR!

The PBR is in town at Wells Fargo Arena and, once again, we'll have a special day set aside to welcome them and FLINT to the store!
 

  • 11:30-Noon - It's the Outside the Barrel Show with Flint and his guests!
  • Noon-1 p.m. - Autograph session with PBR riders/bullfighters! The following riders/bull fighters have been confirmed: riders and bullfighters we have confirmed are Jesse Byrne, Tanner Byrne, Sean Willingham, Douglas Duncan, and Bonner Bolton!
  • 1:00-1:30 p.m. - Free Fishing Seminar from the top of the tank with PBR Announcer Clint Adkins!
  • 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Ride the mechanical bull!


Don't forget - You can register to bowl with the riders at Uncle Buck's Fishbowl and Grill that afternoon. Only $30 and it supports the Rider Relief Fund! Check out the information at www.basspro.com/altoona! Register online or at the store that day!

Workender Event!

Friday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, Noon-5 p.m.

20/20 Social Hour 6-7 p.m. (Outside, weather permitting)

Find out firsthand experience from our Camping experts about products and best practices. Find out from local experts during our 20/20 Social Hour about where you can use that knowledge around Iowa and beyond! Learn about hiking and river trails, Boundary Waters, and more from the people who know!

On land or water, figure out your weekend escape at our Workender Event! Learn about products to take, how to pack and stay comfortable, getting the right gear! Free give-aways, how-tos, and 20/20 social hour to kick off the 20/20 Challenge! The social hour features Coca-Cola Life, fun snacks, and a chance to visit with experts from our area!

Friday, April 24

Friday seminars will be inside in The Fly shop.

• 6pm - Cooking Down and Dirty: Learn about the Jetboil systems and more! Free samples of Mountain House Freeze Dried food while supplies last.
• 7pm - Beat the Bugs: Bug time is here - learn how to stay comfortable in the outdoors and backcountry.
• 8pm - Pick Out and Get Out: Picking out the right kayak.

 

Saturday April 25

• 12 noon - Slumber by Number: Sleeping bag basics and Therm-A-Rest pads.
• 1pm - Pack Right: Proper backpack loading.
• 2pm - Beat the Bugs: Bug time is here - learn how to stay comfortable in the outdoors and back country.
• 3pm - Cooking Down and Dirty: Learn about the Jetboil systems and more! Free samples of Mountain House Freeze Dried food while supplies last.
• 4pm - Pick Out and Get Out - Picking out the right kayak for you.
• 5pm - Streamline Your Kayak: Rig and pack your kayak the right way!
_______________________

Take the 20/20 Challenge - May 1-July 26, 2015: Pledge to log 20 hours or 20 miles of outdoor activities! Sign up in store to take the 20/20 challenge and be entered for a chance to win the Workender Prize package.

Check out all the details on the prize package at www.basspro.com/workender

______________________

Also, this weekend: Try Before You Buy!

Our Gifts Department is serving up more yummy samples with their products! Whether for family or entertaining friends, come give a taste and check them out!

1-4 p.m., While supplies last, by the Sunglass Counter.

Saturday, April 25 - Cocktail weiners with the Budweiser Gift Pack variety sauces.

Sunday, April 26 - Cherith Valley Mixed Vegetables and Garlic!

_____________________

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Product Spotlight - Bone-Dry

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Greeter Ted Witthoft has hunted for years. Recently he went to South Dakota on a goose hunting trip and has nothing but wonderful things to say about his BONE-DRY hunting gear.

Bone-Dry Hunting Clothing

"I am an avid hunter of everything - waterfowl, pheasant, quail, deer, turkey, etc.
I purchased my Bone-Dry coat and pants a year ago.

I hunt in all kinds of weather conditions and this coat is an awesome piece of equipment! The removable lining is really toasty with the outside 100% dry in rain or snow. It sheds water like a duck and it's also a tremendous windbreaker.

This past week, while snow goose hunting in South Dakota this set of clothing proved its worth! I belly-crawled approximately 1000 yards toward feeding snow geese. It was raining, which turned to mud and then it started snowing. There were also rocks to crawl over.

The pants and coat still look like brand new. I stayed completely dry. I have not washed the coat or pants and they show no mud or dirt!

I am completely impressed with all of RedHead's Bone-Dry clothing. Rugged, fits well, and lives up to its accolades. It is reassuring to know that I have warm, sturdy, waterproof clothing to wear hunting.

Go RedHead!"

___________________

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New - The Workender Event!

The Millenial Generation - born between 1980 and 2000. You are technology driven, rely on product information, reviews, and comparisons to find reliable, convenient, great quality products that are cost-effective. Committed to healthy lifestyles through exercise and activity, the outdoors is just second nature to you.

According to Outdoor Industry, "With Millennials having grown up an urban, indoor, hyper-connected lifestyle, their view of outdoors is more likely to be places near their home where they can interact socially with friends and family."

You want to know where to go, how to do it, and what kind of adventure you can have to build lasting memories.

Well, we're here to help.

Friday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, Noon-5 p.m.
20/20 Social Hour 6-7 p.m. (Outside, weather permitting)


Find out firsthand experience from our Camping Experts about products and best practices. Find out from local experts during our 20/20 Social Hour about where you can use that knowledge around Iowa and beyond!

On land or water, figure out your weekend escape at our Workender Event! Learn about products to take, how to pack and stay comfortable, getting the right gear! Free give-aways, how-tos, and 20/20 social hour to kick off the 20/20 Challenge! The social hour features Coca-Cola Life, fun snacks, and a chance to visit with experts from our area!

Friday, April 24

Friday seminars will be inside in The Fly shop.

• 6pm - Cooking Down and Dirty: Learn about the Jetboil systems and more! Free samples of Mountain House Freeze Dried food while supplies last.
• 7pm - Beat the Bugs: Bug time is here - learn how to stay comfortable in the outdoors and backcountry.
• 8pm - Pick Out and Get Out: Picking out the right kayak.

 

Saturday April 25

• 12 noon - Slumber by Number: Sleeping bag basics and Therm-A-Rest pads.
• 1pm - Pack Right: Proper backpack loading.
• 2pm - Beat the Bugs: Bug time is here - learn how to stay comfortable in the outdoors and back country.
• 3pm - Cooking Down and Dirty: Learn about the Jetboil systems and more! Free samples of Mountain House Freeze Dried food while supplies last.
• 4pm - Pick Out and Get Out - Picking out the right kayak for you.
• 5pm - Streamline Your Kayak: Rig and pack your kayak the right way!
_______________________

Take the 20/20 Challenge - May 1-July 26, 2015: Pledge to log 20 hours or 20 miles of outdoor activities! Sign up in store to take the 20/20 challenge and be entered for a chance to win the Workender Prize package.

Check out all the details on the prize package at www.basspro.com/workender

_____________________

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Rainy Day Success!

By Dan Stephany
Bass Pro Shops Altoona Receiving Manager

Earlier, I posted a blog article talking about the joy of taking a young person with you in the turkey woods. I’d like to follow up with an update about a special afternoon I shared with my son, Micah, earlier this week during the Iowa Youth Turkey Season.

We weren’t able to hunt the opening weekend of the youth season, because we were visiting family in Wisconsin for Easter. Monday afternoon after work would be the first chance we would have to go out after a spring gobbler. The forecast called for rain on and off, with the chance for it to be heavy at times. Recognizing Micah is only 11, and wanting to respect his appreciation for the hunt, I decided to double check with Micah at lunch to see if he still wanted to go and sit in the rain. I was excited when he said he didn’t care if it was raining and still wanted to go. The rest of the afternoon I had that restless feeling we all get when we know we will be in the woods for the first sit of the year. I finished at work, went home to pick up Micah, and we headed out. We got set up in our ground blind about two hours before sunset. I had my jake decoy, with real tail fan, along with my AvianX feeding hen and another relaxed hen decoy out in front of us about 15 yards.

We enjoyed the evening talking about his day of school and watching some deer work their way past the blind. The rain started coming down, and a yearling deer came down the ridge toward our blind. The deer obviously had never seen a turkey decoy because it wandered around, circling the decoys for 10 minutes, not sure about these motionless new intruders in his woods. Suddenly, the deer looked up the hill behind our blind, and went on full alert. I peeked out the side of the blind only to see a very large tom walking just 5 yards away from the blind coming right into our decoys. I motioned to Micah to get the gun ready and get on the decoys. Micah’s eyes got as big as saucers when he saw the tom working in to challenge my jake decoy. We watched the big tom smack the decoy and go into full strut about 15 yards away from us. Micah took the safety off and the tight pattern of his 20 gauge dropped the tom immediately. The celebration was on! We took a bunch of photos, sent text messages and pictures to all our family and friends and made sure to capture those memories to share with others.

I took away several valuable lessons from this hunt.

  • First, don’t let a little rain scare you off. The phrase, "You can’t kill ‘em if you don’t go" applies. Having the right gear does make the difference, especially when you are taking a young person. We sat dry and comfortable in our ground blind and were never affected by the rain.  
  • Second, let your child be part of the decision when they want to hunt and when they don’t. Short, positive experiences will always leave them wanting more. Remember, the hunt is for them, not you. Make it comfortable and keep it light. Forcing them to sit for long periods of time, or in poor weather, may have the opposite effect and you may lose a lifelong hunting partner.
  • Last, expect the unexpected. This bird never gobbled, never made a sound, came in from the wrong direction, and came down a hill toward our decoys instead of the typical pattern of working up a slope. We were in the right place at the right time and Micah was rewarded for his decision to go hunting.

I can’t wait to head back to the woods for my own chess match with spring gobblers, but my season is already complete thanks to Micah’s rainy day success!

Good luck and God bless!

___________

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Community Conservation Seminar Series - Landscaping for Wildlife

 

 

The Community Conservation Seminar Series

Bass Pro Shops Altoona presents this series of  featuring many of our Iowa partners in conservation. We’ll be inviting various conservation and wildlife organizations to speak about topics focused on conservation, wildlife, and habitat.

Ever wished your yard could be the setting for an episode of Wild Kingdom? Or perhaps you'd just like more butterflies and birds? This seminar will give you some tips on how you can transform your yard into a sanctuary for wildlife of all kinds. Not only will you be conserving and being a steward of Iowa's wildlife, you'll be creating an oasis for yourself that you can feel good about!

Landscaping for Wildlife

with Stephanie Shepherd
Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Saturday, May 16

10:00 AM

Bass Pro Shops Altoona


Stephanie is a Wildlife Diversity Biologist with the Iowa DNR Wildlife Research Station. She is a the program coordinator for the Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program.

No reservations required. Simply join us!

_________________________

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From the Pro - Springtime Lures of Choice

by Kary Ray
Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff
Three-time FLW/BFL Regional Qualifier

 


 

Spring can be a difficult, or sometimes very easy, time of year to catch great numbers of bass, but also the bass of your lifetime. Cold water temps, along with repeated cold fronts, can hamper the activity and migration of the bass this time of year, but if you get an extended warm period, the fishing can be amazing!!

1.  My first choice of lures is the jerkbait. There are many jerkbaits on the market that have all different kinds of qualities, but if I had to pick one it would be a SPRO McStick. I like to use a 7’ medium action Bass Pro Shops Carbonlite rod with a moderate tip along with a Johnny Morris Carbonlite reel with a 6.3:1 gear ratio.

I start looking for the bass at the base of the creek arms and points, then work my way back through the arms until I find where the fish are starting to stage. This type of bait is a great search bait to find the fish that are on the move and suspended. Fishing this type of lure is best, in my opinion, when the water temps range from 38 to 52 degrees.

2.  My second choice is a rattle type crankbait (rattletrap). This time of year I tend to go with some kind of crawdad color.

This lure type is a power fisherman’s dream lure. The great thing about it is you throw it out and reel it back in. It works best around new weed growth this time of year. You want to just tick the top of the weeds and every now and then let the lure drop and “yank” it out of the weeds. Nine times out of ten that’s when your bite will occur.

3.  My third choice this time of year is the JIG! You can’t beat this lure for big bass when the water is cold. Now, you might not catch a LOT of bass, but the ones you do catch are going to be on the upper scale side of big. My favorite jigs I make myself, but there are many on the market that work perfectly fine. Bass Pro Shops makes one of the finest jigs I have ever used - The Enticer. I prefer to add a plastic chunk on the back, depending on water temp, that doesn’t have a lot of action.

I dissect the water with this bad dude. Whether I’m casting it to 45 degree banks and dragging it, or swimming it through last year’s pad stems, I hit everything I can find that might hold a bass.

Presentation is everything this time of year. These three lures will not only help you catch more bass, they’ll show where the bass are hiding, whether suspended over points, moving up on the weed flats or hiding behind a stump. Give them a try - you might have been missing some of the most exciting fish of the year!
_________________________

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Do You Have the Talk and the Strut?

By Dan Stephany
Bass Pro Shops Altoona Receiving Manager

Anybody who has ever sat in pre-dawn darkness around mid-April and heard the unforgettable sound of a gobbler firing off understands the excitement of spring turkey season. When that experience includes taking a young person, the level of excitement increases exponentially. I have had the privilege of taking my 11-year-old son, Micah, turkey hunting each of the past three springs. Seeing the look on his face when he hears a tom off in the distance is my favorite part. The challenge for me is to consistently put us in a position where we not only hear the birds, but call them in to our set of decoys for a potential shot.

I have found over the past few seasons that allowing Micah to participate in the calling makes the hunt more enjoyable for him, and builds in him the skills necessary for the day in the future when he will be hunting on his own. I would like to tell you about some of the products that I have used that have worked great for us, and been easy enough for someone new to turkey hunting to buy off the shelf and have success as well.

The first call I like to use is a box call. My favorite is the RedHead Jerry Martin Signature Series in Walnut/Sassafras. RedHead makes an entire line of easy to use box calls in different woods for different tones. These calls are fun for kids to use because they are very easy to operate. The other side benefit of a box call is with the addition of a simple rubber band around the handle, shaking the box call can be used to mimic a gobble as well. While this may not always work to get a gobbler fired up, I have found it to be easiest for us to get a bird to respond. Combined with other friction calls and diaphragm calls, we have had success getting birds to talk back to us.

You have heard the phrase, “talk is cheap.” This also applies to calling turkeys. Simply calling to them may not always work. Putting a lifelike decoy in front of you to catch their outstanding eyesight definitely helps close the deal. My personal favorite decoy to use is the feeding hen by AvianX. This decoy is an inflatable rubber shell with some of the most lifelike colors on the market. It is easy to set up and comes with its own carrying bag. When you combine this decoy with a semi-strutting jake, it drives those spring gobblers nuts. We have seen toms come running in across an open field to challenge the ‘intruder’. This was exactly the situation on Micah’s first turkey, which came from over 400 yards all the way in to 10 yards before Micah’s shot rang out.

Taking a youngster out to the spring woods with you is one of the most enjoyable experiences you will ever have in the outdoors. Having the right equipment for them to use and participate in the hunt with makes all the difference and ensures our tradition of turkey hunting is passed down to the next generation. I look forward to sharing how Micah’s season goes this spring in some future blogs.

Until then, good luck and shoot straight!
_______________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Talkin' Turkeys and PBR Fun!

PBR Family Fun Event - April 11 & 12

Two days of rootin' tootin' fun!

Noon - 4 p.m.

  • Stick Bull Riding
  • Free Craft - Color a Wooden Bull Puzzle
  • Flint the Entertainer Face Painting
  • Cowboy and Cowgirl Costume Contest - $50 gift card to the winner - SUNDAY ONLY
  • Free giveaway to the first 100 guests!

PLUS, enter for your chance to win a trip to Brazil (you may enter online, too!),
in conjunction with The Longest Ride movie release!

It's the Spring Hunt Event!

Rick Adams from Primos joins us on Saturday, April 11 AND Sunday, April 12 to deliver his educational and fun seminars!

He will give the following seminars both days:

1pm - Spring Turkey Calling Tips for Success
There are a variety of calls - Rick will talk about the differences, and the right calls to use for a successful hunt.

2pm - Selecting the Right Turkey Decoys
Rick will help you make the right choice in turkey decoys and placement tips to help you bag that trophy
turkey.

Saturday's Drawing - A chance to win one of three prizes -Avian-X Turkey Decoy, Power Hen Thunder Ridge Slate Call, Triple Pak Diaphragm Turkey Call! Must be present to win - drawings at end of 2 p.m. seminar.

Sunday's Drawing - A chance to win an Avian-X Turkey Decoy. Must be present to win - drawings at end of 2 p.m. seminar.

Also, While You're Here:

Try Before You Buy! Our Gifts Department is handing out samples of the following, from noon-4 p.m., while supplies last. Stop by in front of the Sunglass Counter and give these products a try:

Saturday, April 11      Plain Cheesecake w/Uncle Buck’s Raspberry and Blueberry Syrups
Sunday, April 12        Bass Pro Outdoor World Chocolate and Crispy candy bars

____________________

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Wha' SUP with Paddleboards?

What is an SUP or Stand Up Paddleboard? We have paddleboards now and customers are thrilled. But, are you one of those who are still up in the air about standing up in the air?

Todd Robertson, is a well-known, certified ACA SUP instructor, Level 3 and the River Programs Outreach Coordinator for the Iowa DNR. He gave us some helpful information that might help you take the plunge!

What are the top three things for novice paddleboarders to remember? Todd says:

  • Stay off rivers until you can read a river properly and have the skills needed for paddling and self-rescues. Stick to small lakes while learning.
  • You WILL fall off…everyone does! But it’s easy to climb back on. An SUP will not “swamp” and sink below the water like a canoe or kayak.
  • Until you have skills and experience, never paddle alone.

What are some keys for paddleboard safety, other than wearing a life vest, of course.

  • Wear an SUP leash that attaches to your ankle. If it is windy and you are blown off your board, or if you simply fall off, you can become separated from your board very easily. The leash will help keep you attached.
  • Don’t paddle alone. If you DO paddle alone, let someone know where you are going and when you are expected back.
  • Stay off of large lakes (like Lakes Red Rock and Saylorville in our area) until you have the skills. Large lakes are very windy and, since you are standing, you can easily get blown off over and over again.
  • Rivers can be dangerous if you do not have the skills to avoid deadly hazards. Remember, a river's current can be very powerful.
  • YES, always wear a life jacket. There are laws and regulations that MUST be followed and you can find them on the DNR page.

Robertson notes there are many places in Iowa to paddleboard.

"To start out, if you live in the metro area, Gray’s Lake in Des Moines and Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines are popular SUP areas and you can meet other SUP’ers. Once you move up to river boarding, stay on larger, wider rivers like the Des Moines, Cedar and even the Iowa River. Private ponds or any small lakes are great!

Whitewater surfing is becoming very popular at our Iowa whitewater parks like Charles City. BUT, surfing is for the experienced only and it requires a certain type of SUP surf board."

Robertson says SUPs shouldn't be compared to kayaks, whether regular or sit-on-tops:

"SUPs are much more stable than standing on a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak. SOT’s are not designed for standing. Plus, a SOT would be very slow, and harder to keep going straight, than a SUP.

The SUP is very much like a surf board. There are many styles of SUPs, depending on what kind of paddling you want to do! There are inflatables and hard boards. There are long narrow boards for speed and racing and touring. There are 9’ boards for surfing and whitewater. There are boards specifically for fishing. Roto-molded plastic SUPs can take abuse, but they are heavy to carry.

Paddling an SUP is a lot like paddling a canoe. One blade and basically the same maneuvers. Kayak paddles are NOT made for SUPs. They are not the proper way to paddle an SUP."

From leisurely paddling to even yoga, an SUP provides an AWESOME core workout, if you proper torso rotation for exercise and efficiency.

For more information on all paddle recreation, visit www.iowadnr.gov/Recreation/CanoeingKayaking/PaddlerResources/InstructionSafety.aspx

Join us at the store May 2, at 10:30 a.m. for a special seminar with Todd!

________________________

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Walleye Weekend at Lake Okoboji!

Up for a road trip? Head up to the Iowa Great Lakes region for the 33rd annual Walleye Weekend at Lake Okoboji, May 2-3! If you're not a fisherman/woman and aren't familiar with Iowa's Great Lakes region, then you haven't fished!

This annual fundraiser for Easter Seals of Iowa attracts an average of 2,000 anglers trying to capture the grand prize. This year's prize features double the number of specially-tagged walleye. This year the Iowa DNR will be tagging 12 walleye to give contestants the opportunity to snag the $33,000 grand prize in honor of the 33 year for this awesome fundraiser!

In addition to the tagged walleye, there are also amazing prizes for the heaviest stringer of three walleye, heaviest northern pike, heaviest stringer of five panfish and heaviest stringer of ten bullhead.

Walleye Weekend 2015 begins at 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 2 and concludes at noon on Sunday, May 3. Cost of the tournament is $25 for entrants 16 and older, $15 for those 15 and younger.

An added bonus for those Okoboji regulars - another $15 puts you in the summer long "Extended Contest" to try your luck at catching those walleye that avoided anglers May 2 and 3. The first walleye caught during the extended contest heads home with 20% of the proceeds generated from the tournament, the second 15% and the third 10%.

Not only does this tournament benefit a great cause, but it brings you to one of the premier fishing and vacation areas in the Midwest. The Iowa Great Lakes region - natural glacial lakes in Northwest Iowa comprised of three primary lakes - West Okoboji, East Okoboji, and Spirit Lake. Sportsmen and families, all over the country, have been attracted to visiting the lakes since the late 1800s/early 1900s to test their fishing prowess and for family vacation fun.

Fishing, boating, camping, trails, all abound in the area. To register for the Walleye weekend or to find out more about the Okoboji region in general for your next family vacation, visit www.okobojichamber.com.

________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Easter Fun!

Your special Easter weekend can be even MORE special with the Easter Bunny at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!

Free 4x6 photos, free crafts, and the very popular indoor Easter Egg hunt! Here's the complete lineup for this weekend, including extended photo hours for Good Friday:

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny!

  • Good Friday, April 3:  2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 4 and Easter Sunday, April 5:  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Monday-Thursday, March 30 through April 2:  6 p.m. – 8 p.m.


Free Easter Egg Hunt!

For kids ages 2-10!

Saturday, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 5 - 2-3 p.m.

  • Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. at main entrance.  
  • Hunt starts promptly at 2 p.m.
  • Kids find five eggs and exchange them for candy!


Free Crafts!

Friday, April 3, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden bunny

Saturday and Sunday, April 4 & 5, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden chick (while supplies last/crafts may vary) 

#bassproeaster

______________

Also happening this weekend:

Try Before You Buy!
Chicken bites fixed up in Uncle Buck's Original Chicken Fry Mix and Rub Your Chicken Buffalo Sauce. 12pm-4pm by the Sunglass Counter, while supplies last!

_______________________

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Turkey Hunting - Safety, Decoys, and Ethics

By Rod Slings
Founder/CEO of Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants LLC
Former Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Supervisor


We have learned, over many years, what keeps turkey hunters safe. As a hunter, you become responsible for your safety and those that you may, or may NOT know, are hunting around you.

Identify Your Target

Turkey hunting-related shooting incidents typically occur when a person does not completely identify his or her target. Before pulling the trigger, you must totally identify the bird by confirming that it is, in fact, a real turkey - with a beard, spurs and all the color configurations of a tom turkey. Never shoot at just the fan of a turkey; make sure you process all the confirming characteristics of a wild turkey before you shoot. Remember, you can never call that shot back. You must also know what is beyond your target.

Know Your Colors

By concealing yourself in camouflage, you blend into your surroundings. Never wear patriotic colors while turkey hunting.  Red, white, blue and black are the fundamental colors that only look good on a tom turkey, not on turkey hunters.

Watch the Walk

Be very careful transporting your decoys and your harvested bird in the woods. Concealing your harvest will help keep you safe when your hunt is over and you are on the way out of the woods headed home. Hunters have been injured while carrying or setting their turkey down to rest. Also, don’t think that you are alone just because you are on private property or you are the only one that has permission to be there. Always hunt defensively - there is no guarantee someone will not walk in or stalk your calls.

Plan a Safe Set Up

Ideally, you should set up your decoys facing you 15 to 20 yards away from your set up. Place your decoy or decoys in clear view. The decoy will help draw in a bird, but will also cause a distraction away from you. That distance allows you to see and enjoy the strutting and display as your calling efforts are rewarded.

Pick a tree to sit against that is wider than your shoulders and provides you a clear view of four to five times that distance.
If you are hunting from a blind, place it so you also have good visibility of your surroundings. This also allows you a safe zone in case another hunter, or even a trespasser, encroaches upon the land you are hunting. Stalking a turkey increases the chance of interrupting another hunter, or worse. If you see someone is stalking the sounds of your calls, your decoy or just walking near you, make sure you do not make any sudden movements. You do need to say, “HELLO, HUNTER!  I am here!”

Evaluate Your Own Actions Before Others Do

The manufacturers of today’s turkey decoys are making them more realistic than ever. Therefore the placement, use, and your safety are all very real issues to consider. There are looming debates over what constitutes the safe use of certain decoys, when it comes to ethically harvesting a bird. As a safety conscious and ethical hunter, you should do everything possible to keep yourself and others safe. Evaluate your actions - not only as a safe hunter, but also as an ethical hunter that practices fair chase with the animals you hunt. There are all types of ways to simply kill wildlife; a true, ethical, hunter makes sure he or she does everything possible to keep a level playing field -not to mention, to keep from giving themselves or other hunters a bad name. Please consider all of this as a hunter in today’s world, when cameras and social media allow all hunters, non-hunters, and anti-hunters to judge your actions that can affect all of us.

By following these fundamental rules of safety, we have been able to greatly reduce the number of turkey hunting incidents nationwide. These proven rules of safety have been based on good investigations of past hunting incidents. Turkey hunting is very popular and has become very safe and an exciting activity, thanks to these simple rules.

Turkey hunting can create amazing POSITIVE memories in the Great Outdoors!

Hunt SAFE!

_______________________

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The 2015 dates for the Iowa Turkey Seasons:

2015 Spring Turkey, Resident only

 

Comb. Shotgun-or-Archery

April 4 - 12,   2015 Youth Season

April 13 - 16, 2015 Season 1

April 17 - 21, 2015 Season 2

April 22 - 28, 2015 Season 3

April 29 - May 17, 2015 Season 4

Archery only

April 13 - May 17, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

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Bowl for the PBR Rider Relief

The Professional Bull Riders are in Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena, April 25 and 26, and we'll be hosting riders at the store for an autograph session!

Plus, once again, if you're a PBR fan, you won't want to miss Bowling with the Riders in support of the Rider Relief Fund!

The mission of the Rider Relief fund is to supply financial assistance to athletes, bull riders, and bullfighters, injured in the competitive sport of bull riding.  Bass Pro Shops, Uncle Buck's and the PBR are joining forces to help raise funds AND give you a chance to bowl right alongside the riders!

The event takes place Saturday, April 25, from 1-3 p.m., right after the autograph session at noon.

For details on how to register to bowl with the riders, visit www.riderrelief.org/events/bowl-at-bass-pros-uncle-bucks-fish-bowl-and-grill-with-the-pbr-bull-riders/!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Product Spotlight - Traeger Pellet Grill

About seven years ago, my husband came home with a unique smoker that was only being sold in a little mom and pop hardware store in a rural community. It was a Traeger wood-pellet grill. Many ribs, veggies, venison legs, chickens and turkeys later, our Traeger smoker is still helping us enjoy many smoked delights.

Traeger Texas Pro Pellet Grill

Bass Pro Shops has been selling the Traeger now for a few months. The beauty of the Traeger is it can be used as a grill, a smoker, a barbecue, or a wood-fueled oven. We use ours solely for smoking. We own an earlier model of Traeger, but the basics are the same. You load your pellets into the hopper on the side, turn it on and let the smoker work for you from there. The pellets are auger-fed into the burner.

Depending on what you are cooking, you may need to replenish the pellet supply. It is recommended that you use Traeger pellets, which come in a variety of species and are 100% hardwood. They are also approved by the National Cancer Institute because they produce less benzopyrene than other popular grilling systems.

The smoker has an EZ-Drain system, so grease drips out the side into a bucket, which is very easy to clean up. Important note: If you have a dog, you'll want to block off access to that bucket or they will have their nose in it!

We don't have the shelf in ours, but the new versions do have a removable grill shelf for more food!

There is no open flame, so you won't have grease flare-ups, nor do you have to worry about burning things from flames. There is a heat shield that diffuses the heat making it like a similar to how a convection oven works, then a steel drip tray above the diffuser...line that tray with foil for easy clean up.

The adjustable chimney cover allows you to control the smoke, too. Put the dial on smoke for 5 minutes until the smoke gets rolling, then bump the temp up to your desired cooking temp...use it as an oven or leave it low and slow. We love our Traeger...and look forward to many more smoked ribs, shoulders, and more on it!  In fact, it's time to get the turkey ready for tomorrow!

PS: Don't forget the cover!

________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Easter Bunny Arrives!

Make your special Easter memories this year with the Easter Bunny at Bass Pro Shops Altoona...and, as always, it all FREE!

Free 4x6 photos, free crafts, and the very popular indoor Easter Egg hunt!

Here's the complete lineup for this weekend and next:

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny!

  • Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 5:  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Monday-Thursday, March 30 through April 2: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Good Friday, April 3 - 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Free Easter Egg Hunt!

For kids ages 2-10!

Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4 and Easter Sunday, April 5 - 2-3 p.m.

  • Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. at main entrance.
  • Hunt starts promptly at 2 p.m.
  • Kids find five eggs and exchange them for candy!

 

Free Crafts!

Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.:

  • Color an Easter basket magnet (while supplies last/crafts may vary)

Friday, April 3, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden bunny

Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden chick (while supplies last/crafts may vary) 

     ________________________

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Community Conservation Seminar - The Monarch Challenge

The Community Conservation Seminar Series

Bass Pro Shops Altoona is starting  series of seminars featuring many of our Iowa partners in conservation. We’ll be inviting various conservation and wildlife organizations to speak about topics focused on conservation, wildlife, and habitat.

Our first seminar focuses on the pollinator crisis. Most everyone appreciates the beauty of a Monarch, Swallowtail or other butterflies. However, our butterfly and bee population has decreased drastically due to several reasons, including loss of habitat and food resources. Iowa is an integral part of the Monarch migration and all pollinators need specific types of plants that help them feed and reproduce.

The Monarch Challenge

Plant Grow Fly with Us!

with Jessie Lowry, Blank Park Zoo

Wednesday, April 8

10:30 AM

Bass Pro Shops Altoona


Jessie Lowry is a wildlife conservationist and leader of the Blank Park Zoo's pollinator conservation initiative: Plant.Grow.Fly., a project aimed at increasing habitat for butterflies and bees. Learn about pollinator issues, why they are a concern to all of us, and how you can make a difference simply in your back yard!

No reservations required. Simply join us!

_________________________

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Easter Event 2015

Once again, families are invited to visit the Easter Bunny when he HOPS in to Bass Pro Shops on March 28! Make your special Easter memories this year with free 4x6 photos, free crafts, and the very popular indoor Easter Egg hunt! You can even come see us after Easter services on Sunday morning and we have extended photo hours for Good Friday.

Here's the complete lineup:

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny!

  • Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 5:  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Monday-Thursday, March 30 through April 2: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Good Friday, April 3 - 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Free Easter Egg Hunt!

For kids ages 2-10!

Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4 and Easter Sunday, April 5 - 2-3 p.m.

  • Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. at main entrance.
  • Hunt starts promptly at 2 p.m.
  • Kids find five eggs and exchange them for candy!

 

Free Crafts!

Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.:

  • Color an Easter basket magnet (while supplies last/crafts may vary)

Friday, April 3, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden bunny

Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden chick (while supplies last/crafts may vary) 

      

________________________

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From the Pro - Top 3 Baits for Spring

by Lance Baker, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff
2014 FLW/BFL Champion and Regional Qualifier

 

 

 

When the ice breaks and the water is in the 37-50 degree range, my number one choice is a Lucky Craft Pointer 100SP or a 78SP in Bluegill style colors. I try to target fish that are around their wintering areas, suspended and making the seasonal move to spawning areas. You can get right quick when you find a good group and have a blast catching multiple fish at one time!  I have learned a few fine tuning techniques over the past couple of years that can improve success with this presentation. When the bite drops off, switching up with subtle changes can increase your fish catches.

  • The cleaner the water the more the translucent baits will produce. The light penetration of the sun will shine through these baits making them almost ghost-like in the water. It truly helps with lethargic or shy fish. They will swing on the bait without getting a really good look at it. You have to remember at this time of year the fish will be looking up to feed and the bright sun will penetrate right through the bait and make more of a shadow triggering the bite.
  • You can get most jerk baits from different companies in a “ghost" or translucent pattern, but sometimes you need to adjust on the water. Carry a simple piece of sandpaper - you can take a high definition jerk bait and sand off the finish coat to dull down the image. It truly makes a difference, at times, and will improve your odds.

Once the water is starting to warm a little and get into the low 50s my GO-TO bait is a Picasso Shock Blade bladed jig with a Bass Pro Shops Speed Shad swim bait trailer. I will start to target areas with as much rock as possible, looking for the crawfish starting to appear. Fifty degrees is a magical time when the crawfish start to emerge from their winter haunts and expose themselves around rocky shores and it is a blast here in Iowa!  All species of fish move up to feed on these crustaceans and my goal is to cover as much water as possible. I like to use a Bluegill or Green Pumpkin/Tiger color in a 3/8 to ½ oz., depending on the depth and speed I am trying to cover. I match this up with a BPS Speed Shad in Bluegill Flash color in the 3.8 version. This color matches well with both bladed jigs and is an absolute staple in my spring arsenal.

Last is one of the most crucial fish-catching baits that is always on the deck of my boat at all times - The Picasso Shakedown shaky head in a 3/16 Green Pumpkin/Tiger paired with a Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper Jr. 4.75” in Green Pumpkin. I like to use the Bass Pro Shops KVD XPS 100% Fluorocarbon in 8lb test on spinning gear for this presentation. I cannot express the success this little duo can bring on the water. Whether it's a flat out on-fire bite or when it gets completely tough, the key to this little rig is to let the fish tell you how they want it. It can be worked very erratic by shaking the rod tip all the way down to simply dragging it along the bottom. Use this as a one-two punch with your Shock Blade presentation and it will catch the fish that missed or the ones that are a little less aggressive. The bite is extremely fun on light gear and no matter where you are at IT WILL FLAT OUT CATCH THEM!

I hope this helps each and every one of you for the upcoming season and wish you the best of luck!

Lance Baker

___________

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Product Spotlight - RedHead Boot Tray

Snow melt is here and warmer, rainy weather (hopefully) is coming! Keep your house and dog in order!

RedHead Boot Tray

This inexpensive boot tray is another great example of repurposing for a product. Not only will it help keep order in your house during the muddy rain months to come, it is perfect for keep order if you own a DOG!

Simply place your dog water and food dishes on the rubber tray. Then the run-away kibble and sloppy drinkers can keep most of their mess to one spot! The raised edges keep food and water from running all over the place and, obviously, it's going to be really easy to clean.

(Pet food dispenser not included. Only for display.)

Perfect for boots and shoes in the entryway or dog food in the laundry or pet room...or wherever they get fed. Keep the area clean and orderly with this lightweight, convenient tray.

____________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - More Dog Days!

It's our second weekend of the Dog Days Family Event!  This Saturday we have the ARL here AND a Microchip Clinic, from 1-3 p.m.!

First, and foremost, ALL DOGS must be kept close at side and under control. No matter how small or even if they're carried or in a cart. The leash MUST be in the owner's hand at all times. Owners are responsible for their dog's behavior!

When you're here, take a photo of your dog and share it on social media with #bassprodogdays!

Friday, March 13

FREE SEMINAR

6 p.m.Socializing & Crate Training Your Dog - Presented by Anna Childs, K9 Trainer and Adelhorst Kennels. Giveaway for the first 20 seminar attendees!

Doggie Gift Basket Silent Auction to Benefit the Animal Rescue League- Thursday through Sunday. Items donated by Pampered Pooch and Bass Pro Shops Altoona. The winning bid money collected goes to the ARL. Value of the basket is OVER $250 and includes a $75 Pampered Pooch gift certificate, RedHead Deluxe dog bed, lots of toys, healthy treats, and doggie care items!

Saturday, March 14

ARL Adoption Day - 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Saturday, March 14, Microchip Clinic – 1-3 p.m. - Dr. Anderson, from Anderson Animal Hospital, is an ARL partner vet. Major debit/credit card or cash accepted, no checks.

FREE SEMINARS/DEMOS

11 a.m. - Teaching Your Puppy to Sit and Heel - Presented by Pampered Pooch

2 p.m. - Keeping Your Puppy Safe in the Outdoors – Presented by Patrice Peterson-Keys, Polk County Conservation

Noon- 1p.m. - Linda Farr and her Canine Freestyle “dancing” Golden Retrievers, Tango and Rumba, will perform. An entertaining and educational show! Linda and her dogs have appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Animal Planet, and more! Her passion is performing with her dogs at nursing homes, schools, hospitals, etc.

3:30 p.m. - Jay Green and Zeus will do their obedience demo by the aquarium.

11 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • Free photos with your dog, a certificate, and a paw print!
  • Free giveaways!
  • Special drawing to win one of three prizes, including a GoPro Fetch Dog Harness with camera mount!
  • Various local vendors will be on hand with information about training, grooming, etc., including Des Moines Obedience and Training Club and grooming demonstrations by Barks and Wags!

 

Doggie Gift Basket Silent Auction to Benefit the Animal Rescue League - Thursday through Sunday. Items donated by Pampered Pooch and Bass Pro Shops Altoona. The winning bid money collected goes to the ARL. Value of the basket is OVER $250 and includes a $75 Pampered Pooch gift certificate, RedHead Deluxe dog bed, lots of toys, healthy treats, and doggie care items!

 

Coming Up?

 

The Easter Bunny hops in to Bass Pro Shops Altoona on March 28!


Watch www.basspro.com/altoona and our Facebook page for details and times!

___________________

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