Arriving at the woods on a cool dew drenched morning you are greeted by chirping frogs and birds of all types awakening. A faint gobble peaks your interest and expedites your retreat from the truck. Getting closer to the bird you see the perfect spot to ambush your prey. An old log has fallen and is lying right in front of a tree just wide enough to make an excellent backrest. As luck would have it, there is good cover around you as well. With plenty of windows to shoot and a comfortable setup, you take a seat on the log and wait for the bird to come off the roost. Hearing the bird fly down and hit the ground gobbling really gets you stoked and it sounds like he’s heading your way. A yelp from your slate call followed by a reassuring gobble makes you tremble with anticipation. Suddenly, a crawling sensation moves up your leg. The crawling works its way up your leg followed by another, and then another. By the time the turkey gets there and has been harvested, the excitement is nearly gone because you know that you have been infested with ticks!
Ticks are a nightmare for any warm weather woodsman or woman. Deer ticks, wood ticks, and lonestar ticks are all common here in southern Indiana. Deer ticks are very tiny and hard to spot while the others are larger and easier to locate and remove. Many times when you encounter a deer tick, you will have several of them. They seem to manifest in certain areas like the dead log our turkey hunter above employed as a seat. They get on you fast and like to latch on around your waist area. If left untreated, ticks can cause health problems so get them off immediately if you have them and get out of the woods!
I know many a mushroom hunter, fisherman, and turkey hunter who refuse to go into certain areas anymore because of fear of ticks. Trust me I don’t blame them but you don’t have to be way out in the woods to end up with a tick problem. Furthermore, there are things that can be done to prevent ticks from getting on you no matter where you’re at. My number one recommendation is to treat your clothes with Sawyers Permethrin Insect Repellent. I have used this with abundant success for about three or four years now. There are several great features about this product, but the best part is that you don’t get ticks on you if you use it. Additionally, it lasts for up to 6 weeks or 6 washings on your clothes so you aren’t constantly reapplying. Finally, it is completely scent free when dry so deer and coyote hunters can use it too! Apply Permethrin by hanging your clothes on a line and spraying them down everywhere until the clothes are slightly damp. Make sure that you get your socks and the inside of your waistline on your pants. Allow the clothes to dry and they are ready for use. Additionally, you are free to wash your clothes once they dry as well. Remember, Permethrin is for use on your clothes only and should not be used on your skin.
If you would like to have a skin applied repellent as well, try some Sawyers Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin. Its low odor makes it more pleasant than traditional sprays and it is effective against ticks and other insects. MAXI-DEET Low Odor Insect Repellent Spray comes in a convenient tube that easily slips in a pack or pant pocket. It is a great item for a camper, hiker, or hunter who needs to stay lightweight while having protection from insects.
Don’t let pesky little ticks keep you from enjoying the fruits of spring in the Great Outdoors! Treat your clothes and walk with confidence even in areas with terrible tick infestations. You will be surprised by the situations you can put yourself in and still come out tick free. Treating for ticks is likely the best thing that you can do to make your warm weather outdoor activities more enjoyable. If your still skeptical and fearful that you may end up with ticks, check out the reviews for Sawyers Permethrin.
As the southern winds of spring finally sweep across the Midwest fishermen everywhere are developing a fever. Some diagnose it as cabin fever, others call it fishing fever, but whichever it is it needs treated quickly. If you find yourself amongst a group of anglers with fishing fever, what better way to cure it than with a bass tournament? For us here at Bass Pro Shops, that was really the obvious way for us to kick off spring.
We hosted our first employee tournament of the year last week on the Ohio River in Jeffersonville, IN. A chilly morning greeted us but the sometimes mighty river was slick as it gently flowed downstream. Isolated pieces of debris bobbed around as they drifted in the current that pulled on the tail end of rain and snow storms in the prior weeks. Anticipation was high as the 11 boats took off toward their destinations in the opening minutes, but at the end of the day only a few could shine. The top three finishers were:
1st: John Oldham and Todd Harbin 11.90 lbs.
2nd: Don Mullins and Richard Ison 8.89 lbs.
3rd: Wayne Young and Chris Short 7.33 lbs.
Big Bass: John Oldham 4.48 lbs
Bragging rights have been established and the first place team also received the “Title Belt” trophy that travels with the winners of the employee tournaments. The winners get a plaque with their names, winning weight, venue, and date inscribed on it to be fastened to the belt. The traveling trophy is decorated with Bass Pro Shops trinkets, but the ultimate validation is that it has been signed by Kevin VanDam himself.
These tournaments are really fun for all of us who participate in them. I would strongly encourage you to set one up with your co-workers, friends, or other groups that you may be involved with. Camaraderie, fishing tips, and a passion for the outdoors are just a few of the things shared in these outings. Even if you can’t organize a tournament day, find somebody that wants to go fishing and take them or ask someone to take you if you want to go but don’t believe you have the means. Spring has sprung, take advantage of the beautiful weather and spend some meaningful time in the outdoors. There’s no better way to wash winter away!
P.s. For more information on springtime largemouth bass fishing check this link out!
After reading parts one and two of this series, you now know what you need to get started reloading. Additionally, you have brass that is ready to
be loaded. Now it is time to get down to the real business of loading your own ammo. This process is all about repetition, consistency, and efficiency.
While I won't be able to teach you what is going to work best for you, I will be able to present the process and give you some great tips that help me be as
efficient and consistent as possible.
STEP 1: Prime Cases (Pistol and Rifle)
The first step to loading your rounds is seating new primers into the casing. Most single action presses have a primer arm that you can swing out of
the way or use to seat primers. You can also choose a hand primer that allows you to prime cartridges away from your press. If you are using your press, install the proper shell holder for the round that you are loading. Insert the cartridge into the holder and pull your press handle down to raise the cartridge up. Place a primer facing upward into the holder on the swinging primer arm on your press. Lower the arm into the groove of the piston that your shell holder is sitting on and continue an upward stroke with your press handle. You should feel some resistance as the primer seats into the primer pocket of your casing. If the primer does not feel like it is feeding into the case, don't force it. Lower your press arm and check that you have the correct shell holder installed. Raise the press arm and seat the primer. Make sure that you have the press handle all of the way up before lowering it back down. Inspect the cartridge to insure that the primer is flush with the rear of the case. If it seems bulged, crooked, or smashed you will have to deprime it and put a new primer in it. If you find a case or multiple cases that will not accept a primer, check to see if there are crimp marks around the primer pocket. Sometimes you will run into military brass that has crimped primer pockets which need to be reamed before seating a new primer. If you do not pick up range brass or use military brass, this will probably never come up while you are loading. After seating primers, I like to load my cases upright into a loading tray so I can easily transition to the next step.
STEP 2: Charging Cases (Pistol and Rifle)
For this you will need your powder, powder measurer, scale, and primed cases in a loading tray. You can get a traditional scale or digital, but I prefer the latter. Additionally, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a powder trickler and powder funnel handy as well. You do not have to have those, but it will save you some time and help you especially if you are trying to brew up an extremely precise load. The first thing that you should do, if you have not done so already, is open your reloading manual to the caliber you are loading. Find the powder that you selected on the data chart and figure out how many grains of powder is recommended to load. I always start with the low side number and usually find the most accurate load will be in the low to mid velocity range. Do not start with the high number on the right. Once you have a good idea of how many grains of powder you would like to load, fill your powder measurer up with powder. Make sure that you have the proper dispensing tube screwed onto the bottom of your powder measurer for the case you are loading. You will have to unscrew the metering bolt until you are dropping close to the appropriate charge. This is where the consistency factor really comes into play. You are measuring the powder out by volume and not weight so you have to be very consistent at what you're doing. In order to get any manual powder measurer to work properly, you must use the same stroke repeatedly. I like to slowly move the arm up and tap it upwards at the top and then move it down in a smooth motion and tap it again at the bottom. If I tap too hard or too light at either spot, I may have more or less powder in the charges, respectively. My recommendation is to practice this until you can consistently drop within 0.2 grains of your targeted charge. For instance, if I am loading a .223 and I want to drop 25.5 grains of powder, I would be sure that I could consistently drop between 25.3 and 25.7 grains. It is possible to drop an exact charge every time, and with practice, you will. For that kind of accuracy, I would recommend a micrometer upgrade for your powder measurer. A flaky or spherical powder usually meters the most accurate for me. Rod shaped powders shoot well but are hard to meter in your powder measurer. This is also where a trickler will come into play. If you are 0.10 off just trickle the extra little bit in and you are perfect.
To insure that my powder measurer is set up to dispense the correct weight, I weigh out every drop until I hit my target weight 3 times in a row. That will tell you that your powder measurer is set precisely and you are being consistent in your motions. I will then only weigh about every 7-10 loads after that to make sure that they are coming out consistent. If you are loading a competition or hunting load I would recommend weighing every powder charge before funneling it to the casing. If you are loading range or general purpose ammo your audit every 7-10 loads should keep you consistent enough. If anything feels funny or you are unsure if you double charged a load, dump it out and do it again. Double charges are not very common because most powders
have enough volume to overflow a case on a double charge, but it should be considered. It is more likely that this will happen accidently in a pistol rather than a rifle load. As mentioned earlier, I like to keep my loads within 0.2 more or less than my target weight. You will not see much change in accuracy holding those tolerances. Make sure that you keep your brass layed out neatly and add your charged loads to the loading tray. The loading tray will keep them upright and unable to spill the powder you just measured into them. Once you get into a flow with this and gain some confidence in your style and powder measurer, this step will be easy, accurate, and efficient.
Automatic powder measurers are available from most of the major reloading manufacturers. The advantage of using these is every powder charge that you load is measured out to an exact weight. This makes automatic powder measurers useful for competition shooters and hunters who look for an exact charge in each load. Furthermore, they require no extra skill to use. You load your powder into the measurer, set the digital display to dispense the amount you want to use, press a button and it drops your powder into a small dish on a scale displaying the exact weight. You then put a funnel over your brass and pour the powder into the casing. There are a couple of disadvantages to using these. The first and most important to me is time. This process takes
considerably longer to execute than a simple volumetric manual powder measurer. The second is the price of these units are about 3-5 times as much as a manual measurer. If you are specializing in large or small rifle loads for long range shooting, this would be a worthy investment. For short range hunting and target loads, I would consider the manual powder dispenser.
STEP 3: Seating (Rifle)
The first two steps of this process are identical for rifles and pistols. Step 3 is slightly different between the two but most of the same practices are employed for either one. This step is also a spot where you can test around at different C.O.L.'s(Case Overall Lengths) to try to achieve greater accuracy. With that being said, the first thing that I would instruct you to do is open your reloading manual and see what the recommended C.O.L. is for your round. You do not want to vary too much from that setting, seating the bullet too deep will probably over pressure your round and could cause damage. Seating the bullet too shallow could cause numerous problems including an over pressured round and an action not closing completely.
Semi-automatic guns like an AR-15 have another limiting factor in the C.O.L. That is the clip. The maximum C.O.L. for any .223 or 5.56 round to be shot out of
an AR-15 is 2.260." I'm not saying that there is no magazine on the market that won't go out to 2.265" or 2.270," but in most cases you want to shoot for
<2.260" as your maximum case length to shoot out of an AR-15. In order to do this, you must have your seating die set up correctly. An example of a seating
die can be seen at the right. Place an empty cartridge in the shell holder and pull the press handle all of the way down. Your cartridge should now be as high up in the press as it will go. Unscrew the seating bolt on top of your die several turns and begin threading the die into the press. Continue to screw the die in until it stops on your case. Unscrew your die one full turn and tighten the locking ring on the threads of your die. Tighten the die back up to your press and it is now properly set up but you still have to adjust your bullet depth. Place a bullet into the mouth of your casing with the pointed end up. You should be able to get the bullet to just sit on top of the case mouth. Boat tail bullets are generally easier to set since they sit down into the throat of the case a little further. Place the case into the shell holder on your press and slowly pull the press arm down to raise your cartridge. You
should not feel any resistance as the case and bullet enters the seating die. Once the press arm is all of the way down and the case it at its highest point, screw the seating bolt on the die in until you feel it pushing against the bullet. Slightly raise the press arm and screw in the seating bolt another 1/4 turn or so. Lower the press arm slowly again to seat the bullet. Remove the cartridge and measure the length and see how it compares to the C.O.L. you are trying to achieve. The length will more than likely still be too long, so continue to screw in the seating bolt using small increments. Do not screw the entire die in further, just the bolt at the top of your die as shown in the photo. Test often as a small adjustment will make a big change in your C.O.L. This step requires a feel much like dropping powder does. If you lower the press arm all of the way and then nudge it down, chances are your C.O.L.
will be shorter than if you just lower the arm with no nudge at the end. Just like with metering powder, I like to check my work until I get about 3 in a row seated to the correct length without making adjustments. I will then check every 7-10 cartridges for the correct C.O.L. Very slight variations in length can be expected, but if it is more or less than 0.05" from your target length, you may have a problem and should check yourself carefully to see what is going wrong.
**NOTE: Please check your specific die for instructions setting it up in the press as it may vary from what I have demonstrated here depending on the type of crimp it applies to the cartridge.**
STEP 3: Seating (Pistol)
This step is the same as seating for a rifle but you have to modify your brass slightly before you begin. In order for your case to accept the bullet correctly, you must expand the case mouth before you start loading. You will notice when buying dies that pistol dies generally come with three dies
while rifle usually only comes with two. The extra die is the expanding die as seen in the picture. The only thing that this does is slightly open the case mouth so your bullet fits nicely into the case. To set this up, pull the arm of your press so that it is fully engaged and the shell holder is at the
highest point. Screw the expanding die into your press until it touches the top of the shell holder. Tighten down the lock ring on the die and secure the set screw. Lower your shell holder back down and insert a cartridge. Raise the case into the expander die until you feel some resistance. Take the cartridge out to see if your case has expanded enough to comfortably accept a bullet, if not screw the top adjustment screw on the expander die in further and repeat. Do this until you can comfortably place a bullet in the case that sits straight up and doesn't try to lay over in the case. You will then set
up your seating die as instructed above. The seating die will pull the walls of the case back in to the bullet to secure it in the case and set it to the depth that you have adjusted your die to. Case expanding can be done when you are doing case preparations but I would just assume to do it before I load a fresh batch of ammo.
Step 4: Enjoy
Congratulations on successfully completing the reloading process. You should now have uniform consistent rounds that you can shoot with confidence.
The final step is storing your loads that won't be immediately shot. I keep a reference book with a load number for each batch that I reload. The reference
number will include information like the powder, powder weight, primer brand and size, bullet brand and weight, C.O.L., and anything else I deem relevant to
the load. I will then use an old ammo box, coffee can, or hard case slotted ammo boxes to store ammo in. Write the reference number on the storage
container so you can reference the load after you shoot it and leave feedback in your reference book based on its performance. Keeping detailed records will
pay off big time for you whenever you revisit the bench to load more ammo up. It also saves time in the R&D department, because it has already been done,
you just have to execute the loading process at the bench.
Breaking the reloading process into steps is critical to comprehending what is going on without having an information overload. I realize that this
article presents a mass of information that will be hard to process if taken in all at once. I would tell you to start at the top, go one step at a time and
you will have a successful loading experience. After all, you can't put powder into a case with no primer, no better than you can load a bullet into a case
without powder. Within each of these steps you are going to find small things that will make the process go faster and smoother for you. This might include
the layout of your loading bench or having a system in place for keeping the correct amount of ready brass available for your shooting needs. Experience
will teach you a lot of this, and you will find that going off script is normal too. Stuck cases, broken depriming pins, and stripped screws will all happen
to you at some point in time. Being ready for these situations to happen comes from experience as a loader. The security you feel from having your ammo
readily available with the stroke of a press is relieving. Finally, you know you are getting a better hand crafted product for cheaper than something
stuffed together at a factory.
Throughout my last blog I explained the items that you would need to start loading your own ammunition for rifles and pistols. In the next couple of weeks we will take an in depth look at how you get from empty brass to ammunition ready for the range and field. The topic of today’s discussion will be brass preparation. If you plan on starting out with new brass, this information will not come into play until you have shot some ammo and collected some empty casings. If you have ever done any reloading before, then you know that brass preparation is an essential part of the loading process that demands more of your time than any other aspect of loading, especially if you are loading for rifles. However, having brass readily available is one of the biggest cost saving aspects of loading your own ammo.
The first thing that I do when I get back from the range is load my tumbler up with media and throw my empty brass from the day in it. I usually use the Lyman Corncob Case Cleaning Media, but there are plenty of options out there. The great thing about this media is it seems to last forever especially if you use the Lyman® Turbo Charger Media Reactivator periodically. This will add luster back to your brass and it does not take as long to clean. One trick that I always use when tumbling brass is cut up a used dryer sheet into four squares. Drop the squares in with your media and brass and all of the dirt will stick to the dryer sheets instead of your tumbler and media. Tumbling time will be about 2-5 hours depending on how much brass you have and the freshness of your media. The brass should look shiny and clean when you get it out. When you are satisfied with the brass, turn the tumbler off and sift the media into a small bucket or container and make sure that none is left inside of your casings. I usually tumble all like brass together and try to avoid mixing brass because cases become entwined together and do not get fully cleaned when mixed.
Now that you have clean brass, you can begin sizing and decapping. Both of these steps are achieved with one stroke of the press. Refer to the picture on the left to locate your sizing die. Read the instructions included with your die for setting it up into your press and install the appropriate shell holder onto your press.
For rifles, lay your brass out on a lube pad as shown in the picture and spray a light coating of case lube on them. Roll them around a little bit and they are ready to be sized. Also spray just a little bit of lubricant inside of your die. ***DO NOT over lube your casings because bad things can happen. A very light coating is all that you need. Any more and your brass will dimple on the shoulders and could get stuck in your die***. Place the brass into the shell holder and steadily pull the lever down until it reaches the bottom. Steadily raise the arm of your press again. You will feel some resistance as your brass comes out of die when the collate holding the decapping pin exits the neck of the case. Inspect your case to ensure that the spent primer has been punched from the case. If not, screw the decapping pin farther into your die and run the brass through again. Also check your case for dimples or abnormalities. If anything looks split, dimpled or incorrect, dispose the case and go to the next. Shooters that use a bolt action gun may prefer to use a neck sizing die. This type of die will extend the life of your brass but cannot be used in a semi automatic gun or a gun that is clip fed. If you shoot the same cartridge out of multiple guns, you will need to keep that brass specific to each gun if you are neck sizing.
If you read the last article, I recommended buying a carbide die for pistols. If you followed this advice, skip the case lubing for sizing your pistol cases, put them in the press and start punching primers. If you bought a steel die for your pistol, be sure to lube your cases before running them through your die or you could end up with trouble. As far as case lubricant goes, I prefer some type of spray lube. It seems to be less messy and easier to use than the liquid form. In addition, it is easy to control how much is getting onto your cases so you don’t over-lube them.
Now that you have your cases cleaned, sized, and decapped it is time to trim them back to their original factory length. This step is usually not necessary when loading a straight walled cartridge. So for pistols, this step can usually be skipped unless you are shooting a high pressure load. Measure a few until you are comfortable that they will fall under the maximum case length shown in your reloading book. If you are loading rifle ammunition, set your calipers at the maximum case length and lock them into place. Measure each brass case that you have resized to make sure they are under this length. For example, .223 has a maximum case length of 1.760” with a trim to length of 1.750”. Ideally you want your cases to fall in this range, but you definitely do not want them to exceed the maximum case length. Sort them between cases that exceed the maximum case length and cases that are under the maximum case length. Each trimmer will be set up a little different so set yours up as instructed in the manual with the product. Always remember to start out cutting a little long and make fine adjustments until you can consistently reach the length that you are targeting. For example, I will always use a case that is about 1.759” to set my initial trim to length and adjust my trimmer from there. After you trim a case use a deburring tool to deburr and dechamfer the inside and outside of the case mouth. It only takes about a half a turn on each side to properly smooth the case mouth out. After you get your trimmer set to trim to the right length, always check cases periodically to make sure that you’re trimming consistently. Whenever I get through trimming cases I always like to send the brass through the tumbler again to get rid of any brass shavings or case lubricant left on my cases. You do not have to leave them tumble for as long, a half hour or hour should suffice. Once that is finished, sift the media from the cases and inspect the flash hole of each case to make sure that no media got caught in it. If your flash hole is obstructed, use a tack or pin to punch out the object before continuing.
Once you have done these three steps, you have completed all case preparation needed to load your brass. Always inspect your brass carefully for any major dimples, splits, or bulges. Check the rim of your cartridge to make sure that it is intact and don’t take any chances on brass. If it looks bad, pitch it! Brass is usually somewhat easy to come by and a trip to the local range can get you restocked quickly. If you pick up unknown brass or are given brass by someone, always run a magnet over it before putting it in your dies. If it sticks to the magnet, DO NOT attempt to reload it because it is a steel casing that will damage your dies. If you have more brass than you plan on reloading immediately, put them in a cool dry place for storage. I prefer to vacuum seal my brass that will not be loaded promptly. Plastic sealable bags and ammo cans work great too. Add some silica packets to the bags or cans to insure a dry climate for your brass. Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to loading your own ammo. Next time we will add primers, powder, and bullets to your shiny clean brass.
If you are a hunter or shooter then you have probably seen an increase in the cost of keeping your guns loaded. Ammunition prices have basically tripled over the last ten years. There are several reasons for this including high demand throughout the world for metals found in ammunition like brass, copper, and lead. Ammunition is also an item that stays in high demand and, if you've been shopping in the last few weeks, you may be having a hard time finding exactly what you need or like to shoot with your gun. Like with most industries, ammo is produced in batches based on what is forecasted to sell. If more ammo is sold than anticipated and the stock runs out, it may be gone for weeks or months. If you like to hunt or shoot waiting months for ammo to arrive is not an option. Luckily, there is another option that will make your shooting and hunting more rewarding and cost efficient than ever: loading your own ammo.
Reloading is a great process to have knowledge of. Understanding how your ammunition is loaded can be critical in making your gun shoot to its full capabilities. In fact, a skilled loader can load bullets that will shoot much better than standard factory loads. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to learn how to do either just a little attention to detail. The only downfall of loading your own ammo is that there is some start up expense, but this will be offset by what you save in no time. Getting started loading your own ammo is as simple as stopping by your local Bass Pro Shops and speaking with the experts in the Hunting department. I will provide you with a starting point and tell you what works best for me to help get you pointed in the right direction.
There are several basic items that you will need to begin loading ammo: a press, scale, caliper, case trimmer, case tumbler, dies, powder dispenser, and most importantly a reloading manual. You can purchase these items separately or in one of the great kits that we offer in our stores. Generally, I recommend people start out with a kit. You will get most of the basic hardware you need to get started, but you will usually have to buy additional items along the way. For example, if you are loading new brass then a case trimmer and tumbler will not be necessary because you have no case prep work to do. However, you will want to add this to your setup down the line because having the brass is going to save you quite a bit of money as opposed to buying new brass each time. Loading dies, which resize your case and seat bullets, are specific to each cartridge and you need a different one for each caliber you plan to load for. If you decide that you only want to load for .223, that will be the only die that you need. You can purchase additional dies as necessary and the dies are universal to be accepted into any standard press. The last and cheapest component you will need to load is a shell holder which even comes with some dies that you buy. Finally you will need the parts for your round: bullets, brass, powder, and primers.
Before buying a setup for reloading, analyze what you are loading for. Generally you will save the most money on large or uncommon calibers. If you are loading for an AR-15 or a semi automatic pistol that you put a lot of rounds through, you may consider a progressive press. You will be able to load much faster but you may lose that custom accuracy that comes with loading on a single stage press. Personally, I load my .223 and 9mm with a single stage press and I still save quite a bit of money plus I always have ammo available. For loading straight walled pistol calibers, make sure that you buy "carbide" die sets! This is extremely important and will save you time and money because you do not have lubricate your cases before sizing them. I will speak more about that in the next blog, which I will walk you through the loading steps for both rifle and pistols. I will be specifically talking about .223 and 9mm, but you can apply the information I will give you to anything that you need to load.
For a beginner I would check out a couple of different kits and pick the one that suits your needs. The most cost effective way to go is the Lee Breech Lock Challenger kit for $149.99. Another Great choice is the Hornady Lock N' Load Classic Reloading Kit for $319.99. My favorite kit, though, is the RCBS® Rock Chucker™ Supreme Master Reloading Kit sold at Bass Pro Shops for $359.99. It combines a great press with excellent accessories that you will need to start your loading. All of these kits come with a press, scale, hand priming tool, and several other extras. Now go pick you out a kit and get the proper bullets, brass, primers and powder so you will be ready to load when I post my next article showing you how to put everything together. Refer to the all important reloading manual as to what you will need if you have questions about what powder, primer, or bullets you need!
On Thursday December 20th, 2012, The Bass Pro Shops in Clarksville Indiana, in conjunction with the Southern Indiana Rifle Club hosted a turkey shoot for the members of the Borden High School Outdoor Club.
The Borden Outdoor club is an extra-curricular club designed around getting students involved in various outdoor activities. In some of these instances it is the first opportunity some of these kids have to participate in these activities. The club has done all kinds of things, from canoeing trips to quail hunting.
On this day, 30 students gathered at the Southern Indiana Rifle Club to participate in an old fashioned turkey shoot, and compete for one of the 10 turkeys donated by Bass Pro Shops. The weather was outstanding for a December day, and 10 sharp eye students were able to take a turkey home in time for Christmas.
In May 2012, Fishing Associate Ed Snook was invited to do a Career Day at an Elementary School, in Greenville, Indiana. Snook talked to the 2nd grade class about being a touring bass fisherman and sales associate at Bass Pro Shops Clarksville. Merchandising Manager Scott Liebert gathered up some backpacks for Snook to take as handouts, and Special Events Coordinator/Promotions, Tina Tucker provided some items to go into the backpacks for each child at Career Day. Snook brought his boat, talked about the excitement and hard work of being a touring bass fisherman, and how much he enjoyed working at the Clarksville store. Everyone loved the talk and the goodies.
A couple of months after Snook’s visit to the school, Tucker was contacted by Samuel and his mother Alicia. It seems like Samuel did not forget the impression Ed Snook and his expertise had on the class. Samuel had decided he wanted to make a 3D replica of the Bass Pro Shops in Clarksville for a school project! Tucker provided a store brochure, some stickers and tattoos to help him in construction of his replica.
Once he completed his project and to Ed’s pleasant surprise, he received a text message from the teacher at the Elementary School. In that text was a picture of Samuel with his completed 3D replica he had made of the Clarksville Bass Pro. The text stated, “One of our kids made this for his project because of the fishing guy that was here on Career Day”..
Samuel is seven years old and in the 2nd Grade. His teacher is Mrs. Plass. Samuel loves to hunt (and he shot his first deer this season!). He is a member of Super Shooters 4-H Club. He loves to practice target shooting with his .22 and his bow. Samuel will wear a Bass Pro shirt every day of the week if his mom would let him, and she says most of the time they do!
Samuel’s mom emailed Tucker the pictures of the completed project! With this being his favorite store, he wanted it to look as much like it as possible. You be the judge!
This is just some of the rewards we gain from the impressions that we put forward to our youth. These kids are our future. Taking the time to go to a Career Day and putting on the store events is just a couple of the ways to endear the fishing and hunting heritage to today’s youth. Samuel did a fantastic job on his model!
For those of you who ever get an opportunity to visit a school or youth organization, take it! Children and parents alike never forget the good that comes out of these sessions, and neither do the associates or the stores!
Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator/Promotions, Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville
Bass Pro Shops Clarksville will be conducting Canine Complete Workshops in February.
Do you want to know what it takes to train your dog? Here is your chance to gain that knowledge and train your canine!
These workshops will be approximately 2 to 3 hours in length.
Instructor, Ron Knox, has been raising and training working dogs since 1989. He is certified as an expert in K-9 Search and Rescue in Indiana. He also worked as a Search and Rescue (SAR) dog trainer and handler for Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services (now Louisville Metro EMS) in Kentucky for five years. Knox has trained and handled one of the first Level 2 SAR dogs for the Kentucky Search Dog Association. As a Police Officer for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana, he was in charge of developing their first K-9 Division and assigned to SWAT for eight years. Knox has trained over 200 dogs in areas of obedience, agility, SAR, narcotic detection, tracking, cadaver, and underwater detection. He has participated in over 100 missions involving missing, lost, or fleeing persons. As a retired Lieutenant from the Louisville Metro EMS, he now lives on a small farm in Henryville, Indiana, where he raises and trains Sporting Dogs for upland and woodland game bird hunting. He currently works part time in the Hunting Department at the Clarksville Bass Pro Shops Store.
You will be able to pick from one of the dates and times below for the “Canine Complete” workshop of your choice. All topics will be covered in each workshop.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Four Classes: 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm
Sunday February 10, 2013
Two Classes: 11am and 2pm
Understanding the Canine
Selection of a Breed or Puppy
Care and Nutrition
Training the Canine
This seminar and class is catered to the needs of all dog owners as well as perspective dog owners. Topics begin with Knox explaining the different classifications of canines, help you to understand your current canine better, plus give you the tools to assist in selecting your next canine partner. There will also be the Complete Basics on leash obedience class with explanation of off leash and continuation on working with canines. This workshop is designed to give the Trainer’s (you) the knowledge to train your canine partner. Future workshops will be offered for you to return and gain help in trouble areas you may find along the way.
Bring your canine, a crate or human partner to assist you if your canine might have problems sitting through this class. Pre-registration is required. Please call 812-218-5500, to sign up for Canine Complete Class. Please specify the day and time of the class you are registering for: February 9, Saturday 10am, 1pm, 4pm or 7pm; February 10, Sunday 11am and 2pm. Remember to pick the date and time that is convenient for you and your pet!
Shorter days, longer nights, and a little nip i the air assures us that the whitetail rut is approaching swiftly. Many of you guys and gals have probably already been out and spent quite a few hours in a tree or blind waiting for an opportunity to arise. I would venture to guess that many readers have already harvested a deer or two this season. No matter your situation, I'm sure that you are looking forward to the next couple of weeks as the rut peaks throughout the Midwest. November 1-20 is undoubtedly the most exciting time to be in the woods for me. The promise of a action packed rut combined with the anticipation of never knowing exactly what is going to happen, can happen, or might not ever happen is an exhilarating swing of emotions that draw each of us back to the woods every year. Last year I posted a blog titled "Bow Prep Tips for Crunch Time" that illustrated the small things you can do to insure that your bow is ready for the moment of truth. In this blog, I will talk more about how to prepare you for "crunch time."
Most of us have spent the better part of the summer getting our bows sighted in and our form hammered back out to prepare for deer season. Muscle memory when shooting a bow is important. Drawing to the same anchor spot, aligning your sight bracket with your peep correctly, squeezing the trigger; all important actions that will impact how well you shoot. Of course those are not the only things affecting your shot. You have to think about follow through, "feeling" your target as my dad taught me. Weather conditions and steady winds can throw you off too. Try climbing your treestand to your maximum height, pull your bow and arrows up, and then draw and fire about 6-12 shots at various ranges and targets. Your accelerated heart rate from climbing the stand may help emulate what it will be like when buck fever dawns on you. Shooting from an elevated position that you have not practiced from can be detrimental to that ever important first shot. One thing to keep in mind: if you are in a treestand shooting down at a target (or deer) it is critical to bend at the waist to keep your upper body properly aligned. Lowering your arm rather than bending at the waist is a sure way to botch a seemingly easy shot. The same is true for uphill shots which most whitetail hunters encounter far less often.
If you have the form and the mental side of archery down pat, I offer you one last suggestion. Keep shooting actively throughout the season! I have fallen victim to this at least once. You go out and try so hard to perfect everything about your archery shooting ability only to sit on stand for days and weeks without firing a shot. When the magic happens on a cold day in November, you suddenly find yourself watching a bruiser flagging the other way as you sit there with a muddy broadhead and broken ego. I recommend buying a small target like a Rinehart Archery Field Target to get a couple of practice shots in before you leave the truck to head for your stand. This will keep you focused on what needs to occur for you to hit where you are aiming. Whether you are drawing on a big buck, a doe, or a 3-d target at the house, archery is all about concentration and focus. Remember the basics and let the emotions take over after you send one through the boiler room!
Bass Pro Shops
This past week the annual Bassmaster All Star Tournament was held on Lake Shelbyville, and on Lake Decatur in Decatur, IL. Three members of the Bass Pro Shops Clarksville, IN Pro Staff were there to show off our Nito Boat products by way of Demo rides to the public. In the photo below from left to right is: Dan White, Bobby Crane, and Gary Earl awaiting the demo rides to start.
Please follow the links below to view some "On the Water" footage taken from the decks of our demo boats by two of the reporters from WCIA-3 TV in Champain,IL.
The top 8 Elite Series anglers in the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year ponts were there. And the last 4 anglers to round out the field of 12 were voted in by people across the country via the Bassmaster website.
Thursday and Friday all 12 anglers fished against each other trying to make the cut for Saturday's event.
The final four who fished on Saturday were: Edwin Evers, Aaron Martens, Gerald Swindle, and Ott Defoe.
We had 2 of our Nitro Z9 Pros in the final four.
The top 2 from Saturday were Edwin Evers, and Aaron Martens who fished "head to head" on Sunday for the title of 2012All Star Champion.
With the drought conditions this year has provided, fishing was tough all week on these two bodies of water but both Evers, and Martens brought in fish to the final weigh-in on Sunday. Martens took the title of 2012 All Star Champion by only 1 pound, 4oz over Evers.
Did you know our store is one of the most family and fun oriented establishments in the area? We have some upcoming events that are sure to be a big hit with the entire family at the Clarksville Bass Pro Shops!
In October and early November, join us for the following:
Outdoor Rewards Night – Sunday, October 7
For all of our customers, this event will take place from 6pm to 9pm. Not an Outdoor Rewards Member? It’s easy to sign up on your next visit to a Bass Pro Shops. Just stop at the Customer Service Desk, and tell them you want to be an Outdoor Rewards Member! There is no cost and you earn points which that can be used on future purchases!
2012 Waterfowl Migration - October 13 and 14: There will be factory representatives in the store to answer all of your questions as well as give you tips and tricks on products. Vendors such as Zinks , Final Approach, and Haydel, just to mention a few. All you waterfowl fans won’t want to miss this event.
PBR Event for the Kids! October 13 and 14
The Professional Bull Riders has partnered with Bass Pro Shops to develop this event that will be a great family outing!
Activities as part of this event are:
Stick Bull Riding
Crafting a Free Leather Wristband
Best Dressed Cowboy or Cowgirl
Color your Kickers
Free Face Painting
Bandana Giveaway to the first 100 customers to attend the event!
Meet a Professional Bull Rider!
This event will take place from Noon to 4pm on October 13 and 14! Check the Clarksville Store Website for times and additional details!
Visit with use October 19 through the 31 for Halloween!
Once again the Peanuts gang will be joining us for festive Halloween Events beginning October 19 and continuing through October 31!
Activities Scheduled are:
FREE FAMILY PHOTO:
Weekdays October 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 - 5-8pm
Weekends Sat. & Sun. October 20, 21, 27, 28 - Noon-5pm
CRAFTS & Coloring Sheets
Saturdays and Sundays, October 20, 21, 27, 28 – 1pm – 4pm
TRICK OR TREATING
Fridays October 19 & 26, Wednesday October 31 – 5pm – 8pm
GRAB AN APPLE ACTIVITY
Saturdays October 20 and 27 - 1pm – 3pm
Sundays October 21 & 28 - 1pm – 3pm
Fridays October 19 & 26 - 6pm-7pm
2012 Fall Deer Tab
For the avid hunter, beginning October 22, we will be starting our 2012 Fall Deer Tab. Seminars and activities will be going on between October 22 and November 18.
October 22 - 3pm Learn about bow basics, arrow choices, reliable releases and selecting the right broad head.
Selecting the Right Gun & Ammo
October 24 - 3pm Choosing the right gun and caliber can be tricky. Our experts will answer your questions and help you decide which rifle shotgun, or handgun meets your need
Dress for the Hunt
November 10 - 3pm Our experts will show you the latest in camo patterns and technologies. We will cover extreme weather gear, scent and insect control as well as the variety of patterns available.
Optics for Your Hunt
November 11 - 3pm Our experts will help you find the perfect scope, range finder, or pair of binoculars for your next hunt. We’ll match products to fit your specific needs.
FLY TYING WITH DERBY CITY FLY FISHERS – OCTOBER 25
Join us in the theater at 6:30pm and learn all about fly tying with the local experts! You won’t want to miss this exciting and informative hand-on workshop!
October is National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Month.
Throughout the year, Bass Pro Shops partners with different conservation groups to help support the mission and legacy of outdoor conservation. There will be opportunities for you to donate $2.00 for a chance to win hundreds of dollars in gift cards to Bass Pro Shops! Various chapters will be in the store during the month to introduce you to the mission of the NWTF. On October 27 and 28, the NWTF JAKES trailer will be at the Clarksville Store for the Kid’s to try their hand at BB Guns and air soft. You won’t want to miss this educational and informative event!
To check on times, and any other events, please call 812-218-5500. Our friendly staff will be glad to assist you and let you know what is happening at your local Clarksville store.
Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator, Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville, Indiana
Early fall is a significant time of year for anyone that has a passion for the outdoors. Several hunting seasons are coming in and fish are really starting to bite. If you are here in Indiana, dove and squirrel season are in full swing and our archery season for deer is just around the corner. The early season for teal and geese has already come and gone. With the addition of crossbows as a legal hunting method during our archery season, folks are really starting to gain some options. Managing your days off work to fit all of this in can be difficult at times, but it can be done. Combo hunts are some of my favorite. For example, some friends and I spent one Sunday morning hunting geese and when that was done, we re-tooled and shot our limits of doves. Watching football on Sunday afternoon after a morning like that is very satisfying.
Don't limit yourself to just hunting though, fishing is awesome right now, too. Whether you are soaking a wax worm under a bobber to catch a mess of bluegill or gunning after some largemouth, you are bound to find some kind of success. Look for the bass to begin moving shallow and chasing bait around. The Alabama Rig is an excellent selection for bass right now. Mix it up with crankbaits, topwater, and spinnerbaits as well. Focus on looking for bait and fishing near the bait. Try different colors and depths until you find what they want. If you have done all of that and can't figure out a way to catch them, you can always head home and finish the afternoon with a bow shoot.
There are no shortage of options right now when it comes to enjoying yourself outside. The beautiful weather we have been blessed with this month is just an extra incentive to be out doing something. The hardest part will be choosing what to do with your time off. Make sure to plan a trip to Bass Pro Shops on your way out so you can be geared for success. Nothing is as bad as finding out you don't have enough shotgun shells or the kind of baits you need to be successful on these nice days.
You asked for it and now we have it! Our Women’s Department now carries Carhartt for the ladies. We have expanded our store Carhartt merchandise with the latest in this strong and fashionable line of clothing.
Let me tell you a little bit of history about the Carhartt Brand: Hamilton Carhartt was born in 1855 in Macedon Lock, New York. He grew up in Southern Michigan. He modified his last name by adding an extra "t" to ensure he would stand out from other businessmen. The original Carhartt clothing line was an overall garment created specifically for railroad workers. Hamilton Carhartt founded his namesake company in 1889 and began making work wear with a single goal in mind and that was to set a standard of excellence to which all others would aspire. He started with only 4 sewing machines and about 5 employees, the first products manufactured were overalls in duck and denim fabrics. By traveling from town to town and visiting each railroad division, he was able to establish himself in the overall business. Carhartt Master Cloth was designed and woven especially for use in Carhartt garments and was pledged to be the best cloth that could be produced. Hamilton Carhartt passed away in 1937 at the age of 82. Today, just like Bass Pro Shops, his company remains a family owned operation committed to the mission of providing Best-in-Class apparel for the active worker.
Carhartt is used in many occupations and venues! There are numerous movies and television shows that have Carhartt products being worn and used in them. Next time you are watching your favorite TV show or a movie, see if you can spot the items! While you are out with the family, play a game with the kids and see how many people they can identify wearing something of the Carhartt Brand.
So, ladies, make a stop in our Women’s Department and check out this quality and time tested merchandise.
Continue on into the kid’s department and get some Carhartt for them.
And don’t forget, the Men’s Department has a complete line of Carhartt from work wear to casual wear, including belts and gloves!
We have it all!
Carhartt for the whole family! We have the latest merchandise for men, women, and kids! Bass Pro Shops Clarksville, make it your family one stop shop for Carhartt!
Tina Tucker - Special Events Coordinator/Promotions
When you think about great deer and turkey hunting in the Midwest, your mind will paint a picture of the bottomlands of southern Illinois or the meandering woodlots of Missouri or Iowa. You likely picture Ohio or the rolling bluegrass of Kentucky. While up flying with my grandpa earlier this week I saw a different picture, though. I saw what has become one of the best areas for hunting in all the land. Nestled amongst all of these legendary hunting areas is an often overlooked outdoor promise land: Indiana.
It wasn't long ago that I laid my eyes on the first turkey that I'd ever seen on our southern Indiana farm. I believe it was about 14 years ago to be exact. Two or three hens and about nine poults crossed my driveway. I remember watching in awe as seeing those turkeys on the farm was akin to discovering Bigfoot. If you talk to the generation before me, they would tell you the chance of spotting a deer in the 1970's was about the same. Through restoration efforts and the availability of great habitat and farmland, everything is much different now. The bucks keep getting bigger and the long beards more plentiful with every passing year. In fact, Indiana was seventh in the number of entries to Boone and Crockett Club between 2005 and 2010 for whitetail. Saskatchewan, Kansas, Alberta, and Texas are just a few of the fabled big buck destinations that Indiana sits above on that B&C list.
I started turkey hunting four years after spotting those first turkeys. On that very farm, I connected with a nice long beard on my first trip to the turkey woods. Every year since then for the last ten years, I have harvested a spring gobbler on that farm. Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to take others out to those turkey woods chasing the once mythical birds. Sharing their excitement as a bird approaches is as good as being behind the trigger. Indiana continues to have great turkey harvests as the top 5 seasons based on number of birds killed have all come in the last 7 years!
As I touched on earlier, the deer hunting has exploded in Indiana. Not only do we have a lot of deer, we have a very healthy deer population as illustrated by the Boone & Crockett records. Indiana has a wide forage base with white and red oaks, endless crops, and thick undergrowth including green briar making up a lot of our deer population's diet. One of the most important things for growing big bucks is habitat. You could drive a short distance in nearly any rural area in Indiana and find fence rows, native grasses, and great looking woodlots. The exceptional areas in our state are near the river basins of the Ohio, Wabash, White, and Muskatatuck. All along these areas you will usually find a great combination of food and habitat for deer. All of that and I haven't even mentioned the Hoosier National Forest that spans for 202,814 acres across the south-central portion of the state. The big woods areas like the Hoosier National Forest are home to huge stands of oaks and other hardwoods with ridges, saddles, and fingers running all over. Every year these areas cough up braggin' sized bucks for hunters. It has plenty of turkeys and habitat for them too. Forty years ago, wild turkeys were actually reintroduced to Indiana in the Hoosier National Forest.
"Remember...We all live downstream." That is a line that all of us have heard on television concluding Bass Pro Shops commercials before. I used to think of that as having only a short term message to all of us. That is, don't pollute our waterways or landscape with trash and toxins so you don't negatively affect others down the road or river. However, the evolution of our outdoor heritage shows that this slogan is much more long term. We are the one's downstream of the millions of hunters, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts that have come before. They worked hard to help establish an opportunity for us to enjoy record numbers of healthy game animals. Let's make sure that we stay on the right track and make the outdoor life twice as good again in the next 50 years!
Bass Pro Shops
August is an exciting month for anyone who enjoys time in the woods or on the water. The days are just a little shorter and it is actually trying to cool down a bit compared to our record summer temperatures. Many of us can find ourselves in a slump by August because of the hot temperatures, lackluster fishing, and the fact that we have been out of a hunting season since turkey season passed on in May. Fortunately, help is on the way! As a matter of fact, some of the most enjoyable hunting seasons are right around the corner.
Squirrel season is just days away in many areas. In fact it starts Wednesday August 15th here in Indiana. Last year was tough in many areas because our trees had an off year on mast production. White oak acorns were nearly non-existent and I hunted very few areas with any amount of hickory nuts as well. Walnuts, red oaks, and pine trees were the key. This year has an opportunity to be different, though. The white oaks are back and the hickories are producing well despite the drought that has strangled our landscape all summer. Squirrels and hunters alike are happier when these trees are producing. Maple trees seem to be what the squirrels are favoring at the moment, but it will not be long at all until they spread out into some of the better mast trees.
Before going to the woods after some squirrels, I highly recommend treating your clothing in Sawyers Permethrin. Make sure to treat your socks, shoes, pants, shirts, hats and any other article of clothing you may wear. This tick repellent is by far the best that I have ever used and I use it anytime I am in the woods between March and October. Turkey ticks are everywhere and hard to get off you. Avoid stepping on or in rotting wood as this is where they really like to hang out. Another item that I love to carry with me to the woods during this warmer time of year is a hydration pack. The RedHead® Wellspring Hydration Pac is the one that I use but there is a lot of other hydration pack options as well. Not only does this pack keep me hydrated during the long walks, but it also cools me down since it sits right on your back. It adds very little weight to your person and holds up to two liters of water! Don't forget to treat the outside of your pack with permethrin too.
Dove season is less than a month away as well. This is a great time to introduce new people to hunting. It is generally nice outside at the beginning of September. Additionally, you are almost guaranteed some action if you are near a cut field, sunflowers, water, or gravel. Socializing is perfectly acceptable and being stealthy isn't necessarily a requirement. Hitting the doves is the hardest part, but luckily there is a way to make this task more feasible, even for a novice shooter. In one of my past blogs, I explained the importance of movement in your waterfowl decoy spread. It just so happens that this carries over to dove hunting as well. Doves are actually fooled by decoy movement even more than ducks and geese. Mojo has been offering a MOJO Dove for several years now and the results speak for themselves. I have witnessed bird after bird actually try to land on this decoy. They slow down and turn directly for the decoy, many times they will land next to it if they are not shot at. You can use the decoy placement to your advantage by positioning yourself to get a head on shot when they look hard at the decoy. The main factors to consider is which way the doves are coming from, and determine if they can see your decoy from that direction. If they see it, they will usually come. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that this is a low angle shot and you should make very certain there are not hunters sitting beyond your decoy and watch for the dog too if you use one.
If you cannot get the fish to bite, have an itchy trigger finger, or just enjoy spending time afield like I do, get out and try some squirrel and dove hunting. There is nothing like being a part of watching the foggy, dead-still woods come to life before your eyes.
Bass Pro Shops
Purdue Extension and Indiana Department of Natural Resources in Cooperation with the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife Present the Venison Workshop Series at Bass Pro Shops Clarksville, Indiana
The season is almost upon us and many of you hunter’s out there will be harvesting a deer this year! Now is your chance to learn for “FREE”, how to process, prepare, and cook some fantastic dishes with venison at your Clarksville Bass Pro Shops.
The Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Fish & Wildlife is once again sponsoring venison workshops on Friday, September 7, 2012, from 6pm to 9pm, in the theater at Bass Pro Shops, 951 East Lewis & Clark Parkway, Clarksville, Indiana.
During this workshop, a deer will be skinned, butchered, and prepared in a variety of ways for participants to taste. Demonstrations of complete deer processing including skinning, butchering and packaging techniques will be shown. Food safety and handling procedures, as well as an update on deer health issues will be presented.
There will be outdoor cooking with Dutch Ovens. Watch as delicious venison recipes are prepared in Dutch ovens and on the grill outside! You will get to sample all the mouth watering dishes that are prepared!
Join us for an entertaining, exciting and fun evening. Watch and listen as Purdue Extension Educators butcher and prepare the deer for participants to taste. This program has something for everyone…young, old, experienced and novice! You definitely won’t want to miss this exciting seminar!
And don’t forget while you are here, to pick up your supplies and products for your deer processing! We offer a complete line of FoodSaver products to vacuum pack your favorite cuts of meat! Need supplies to make your own deer salami or jerky? We have all the products you will need!
There are additional workshops being offered throughout the state of Indiana for this Venison Series. Bass Pro Shops is one of only two “FREE” sessions being held this year. Check with the Purdue Extension Office 1-888-EXT-INFO for dates, locations, and times for the series.
Register to attend, by calling Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville (812) 218-5500, and ask to be signed up for the “FREE” Venison Workshop Series being held on September 7.
Special Events Coordinator
Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville
With summer in full swing, so are the local festivals. This past Weekend Tracker Marine had an opportunity to help with the Washington County Indiana Teen contest. The participants in the 2012 Miss Washington County Teen Contest were aboard a Party Barge 25, Regency Edition towed by a Toyota Tundra Truck. Also aboard was last years winner, Allie Tayor.
The group had a great time passing out candy supplied by Bass Pro Shops of Clarksville, IN to all of the onlookers along the parade route.
The sun bears down mercilessly as you swing in another keeper bass for the livewell. The bite was hot early and is beginning to slow down now that the sun is getting higher in the sky. You open the livewell and drop the fish in with the others only to discover that your livewell has slowly transformed into a sauna. The aerators are working but your fish aren't doing well and you are still four hours away from weigh-in! A peek at the depth finder reveals 87 degree surface temperature so adding 5 or 10 degrees to that would give you a good guess what it feels like in the livewell. An unprepared angler would be making plans for a largemouth bass dinner at this point instead of the steakhouse he had hoped to visit with his tournament winnings.
The situation above is presented to all of us if you fish in the summer. Professional anglers and weekend tournament fisherman alike all probably have a story of lost fish in the heat. Of course, if you are tournament fishing, you are probably trying your best to keep your catch alive and want every advantage possible in this pursuit. Today's boats have incredible livewell systems that offers the room and technology you need to keep fish alive. Extreme conditions, however, can require action to be taken to keep your fish alive. I will share the methods that I have successfully used to keep the mortality rate down on the few fish that enter my livewell.
The first thing that you want to do, even before leaving for the lake, is make sure that your aerators are functioning properly. If your aerators malfunction in the heat, it will be nearly impossible to save your catch. I like to set the timer on my aerators and make sure that I am listening for them to kick on periodically. Generally, I will put it on a medium time delay which kicks the aerator on about every 15-20 minutes. If you have more or bigger fish, you may need to shorten the delay so they get oxygen more often. In addition to this, I add one of a couple livewell conditioners to give the fish every chance I can. I have successfully used U2 Pro Formula as well as Sure-Life Please Release Me. The former is a liquid additive and the latter is a powder. Each of them helps replace the slime coat on your fish. Additionally, they help remove toxins such as chlorine from the water.
One of the most important things that you can do is keep plenty of ice in the boat. Lowering the water temperature inside of the livewell will make your fish last way longer. They will also be more hardy by the time that you release them. I generally don't like throwing ice directly in with the fish, but you can. Instead, I freeze a liter or half gallon jug full of water and throw it in the cooler when I go fishing. If and when I get a fish or two in the boat, I simply toss the frozen jug into the opposite side of my livewell. This lowers the water temperature substantially and calms the fish. Watch out when you reach in to remove them though because they will be more lively than when you caught them!
Keeping our tournament fish alive not only preserves our resource for the next fishermen that come through, it also helps project a positive image towards tournament fishing. There is nothing worse than seeing a bunch of dead fish next to the dock as thirty boats from a tournament pull out of the ramp area. Conversely, showing off your healthy catch to folks at the dock as you release them back to the water is very rewarding.
Good Luck and Stay Cool!
Bass Pro Shops
During these very hot days of Summer, come cool off in our store and join us for our "free" Family Summer Camp! All activities are geared towards family interaction!
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5pm
Shooting Arcade, Carousel, Casting Targets
Free Archery Range (1:00 pm – 5:00 pm) Soft Nerf Bows, BB/Air Gun (1:00 pm – 5:00 pm)
Free Photo - Weekends only (downloadable on your own computer)
Free S'mores - Saturday's only
Once again we will have our workshops:
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays
Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00-5:00pm
Tuesday seminar schedule –
1:00 Dogs in the Outdoors (sponsored by SportDOG)
2:00 Archery (sponsored by Bear Archery)
3:00 Wildlife Exploration
4:00 Camping (sponsored by Coleman)
5:00 Exploring Hunting & Shooting (sponsored by Daisy)
Thursday seminar schedule –
1:00 Outdoor Discovery & Conservation (sponsored by Banana Boat)
2:00 Bird Watching (sponsored by Bushnell)
3:00 Fishing (sponsored by Shakespeare & Berkeley)
4:00 Backyard Adventure (sponsored by Repel & Cutter)
Saturdays and Sundays 1:00-5:00pm
Saturday Seminar Schedule –
3:00 Wildlife Exploration
4:00 Backyard Adventure
Sunday Seminar Schedule –
1:00 Outdoor Discovery & Conservation
2:00 Bird Watching
4:00 Dogs in the Outdoors
5:00 Exploring Hunting & Shooting
This year there will be lanyards provided (while supplies last) for the Kid’s to put their pins on.
Saturday's Only - S'mores Cookout (sponsored by Kraft)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-4pm
Saturdays, Sundays, 1-4pm
While supplies last!
June 30, July 1, 3, 5 Paint a Bear Track
July 7, 8, July 10, 12 Stamp a Leather Wristband
July 14, 15 Paint a Birdhouse
Crafts are geared for children ages 8-12, but anyone may participate.
Product Sampling & Free Food: You never know what the Bass Pro staff has in mind during this summer event! Come try some of our spectacular snacks & treats!
The presentations are geared for kids ages 8 – 12. At the completion of each seminar, the child will be given an activity sheet to complete. Several questions can be answered from the seminar; the rest are “scavenger hunt” questions that can only be answered by going into the appropriate department to find the sign with the answer. Once completed, the child should bring the activity sheet back to the seminar area to receive the corresponding pin.
Free, Field and Stream booklets!
Free Carousel rides in our childrens department!
Free Ducks Arcade!
Hours of operation are 1:00pm to 5:00pm, Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays!
Don't forget, our products sponsors for Summer Camp that help to make this event a success!
Boy Scout opportunities: Boy Scout Month and Merit Badge Classes:
Classes are taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. according to the following schedule:
Tuesday, July 3 Rifle Shooting
Thursday, July 5 Fishing
Tuesday, July 10 Fishing
Thursday, July 12 Rifle Shooting
Classes are limited to 10 Scouts per session. You must pre-register with the operator in order to attend. The age limit on the Merit Badge Classes are: you must be 11 years old or older, or going into the 6th Grade or above to attend these classes. Pre-registration required by calling 812-218-5500
Join us one and all for a really "cool" place to hang out this summer! Visit us online by clicking Bass Pro!
Looking forward to seeing you this summer! Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator, Clarksville, Indiana.
Reminisce for a moment about when you got hooked on fishing. For me memories of a Zebco 33, an Ugly Stick, and a black spinnerbait shoots through my mind. I had long been hooked on fishing, but reeling in a bass over 5 pounds when you are 7 years old is a good way to become desperately addicted. 20 years later I can still envision that bass shooting out towards the middle of the pond while I desperately held on proclaiming that I had a "big one." The thrill of hooking a big one has not faded and I still feel that same excitement every time I feel a bite on the other end of the line.
On that particular trip, I happened to be fishing within sight of the house with my uncle. Many people, mostly family, enlightened me to fishing and the outdoors. My dad has definitely had the greatest influence, but I also remember many trips with everyone from my great grandpa to my cousins, close and distant.
Many of you reading this may have been as fortunate as me. That is, being born into a culture of outdoors and fishing. Unfortunately, many kids do not have that inherent opportunity. That is why Bass Pro Shops in Clarksville, IN teamed up with our local DNR to host an event for kids at Hardy Lake. Several kids from local schools signed up to have an opportunity to go fishing with us on a Saturday morning. Members of the Nitro Boats State Team and employees at the Bass Pro Shops were paired with one or two kids to take out in a Nitro Boat for a morning of fishing. The kids were all smiles as they walked down to the ramp towards the awaiting bass rigs.
Throttling down and putting the boat up on plane, I realized that the short trip across the glass calm surface would make the whole trip worth it for the kids, fish or no fish. Luckily, there were plenty of fish to be caught as well. We tied on light weight Flick'n Shimmy jigheads and added a 4 3/4" Watermelon Red Flick'n Shimmy worms to let the kids cast around with. After a few casting lessons and some advice on how to get the fish to eat their bait, the fish were coming into the boat. When it was all said and done, the two kids in the boat with us probably caught about 6 fish apiece. Hopefully the lessons they learned from those dozen fish or so will compound into something that one day they can share with others they care about.
The next time you have a chance to take somebody fishing, DO IT! Not only is it a fulfilling experience, but you would be surprised what you can learn from the person you are teaching. Additionally, never take for granted the right we have to access water and go fishing. Many people have fought for this before us, and folks today are also doing a good job of preserving it for the next generation. Take a kid fishing to ensure that generations beyond us will care enough to help preserve this right and experience the outdoors for themselves.
See you in the woods or on the water!
Bass Pro Shops
For more photos and information on the trip to Hardy Lake check out Bobby Crane's blog here.