Help Your Deer Herd

deer

If you were lucky enough to harvest a deer this past season in Missouri, congratulations. Most hunters I know – myself included – are eating tag soup. There is no way around the fact that in most areas, Missouri’s deer numbers have taken a significant hit. The Conservation Department cites two big reasons for this situation. First, the widespread EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease) outbreak during the summer and fall of 2012 killed a lot of deer throughout the state. Second, hunters were able to tag a very large number of deer in 2012 – despite the EHD outbreak – since a lack of acorns in most areas forced deer to travel more in search of food, which put them in front of hunters more frequently. Those two factors have led to a major decline in the number of deer inhabiting in most parts of Missouri during the past 16 months.


So what can we do to help the deer herd rebound in the areas we hunt? Here are three things to consider:


1. Provide supplemental food during the harsh winter months. By consistently providing a source of nutritional food like this supplement , you will greatly increase the odds that the deer in your area will survive until spring – when a wealth of natural foods become available.


2. Remove as many coyotes as you can, every chance you get. Whether you prefer to trap or predator hunt – or both, harvesting these fawn-eating machines will have a major effect on how many young deer survive their first few weeks of life during the coming spring and summer.  Recent studies have shown that coyotes can significantly impact deer populations in a negative way.


3. Reduce the number of does harvested in your hunting area. This is not a quick fix, as it takes a few years to make an impact. But if you and your hunting buddies intentionally let does walk during the next two or three seasons, they’re offspring will help bump up the deer numbers in your neck of the woods. 


If you have other suggestions for helping our deer population rebound in Missouri, I’d love to hear them. What do you think? Comment below or on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/bpscolumbia

-Todd Pridemore, Local Hunting Pro

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Crappie Madness Event and Sale Info

crappie

 

Bass Pro Shops loves traditions, but this year we're starting something new! Join us for our first ever Crappie Madness event and sale February 7 & 8 and 14 & 15. We'll have pro Crappie seminars, a free photo download, giveaways and sweepstakes. See schedule below.

New items on sale include the Browning Midas Balck Bass Cast Reels, Crappie Maxx Signature Series Combos and many Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series soft plastics. Click here for list of sale items or grab a tab on your way in to our store. 

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Here are some tips from fishing associate David to get you excited about Crappie fishing:

-Use light line- 4-6lb test line especially in clear water.

-When fishing around docks, use a shorter pole, if you're on a boat use a longer rod, and if you're fishing on the shore use a 10ft-16ft pole to reach certain areas.

-Fluorocarbon line disappears in water, use fluorescent green or blue line if you want to see line better.

-In warmer months, use crappie grub/tube.

-Everyone has favorite colors, but the most popular are black chartreuse, all chartreuse, pink and white, blue and white or exotic colors like electric chicken and John Deer green.

-In clear water use clear bait i.e. firecracker, smoke- black glittl, pumpkin or a more natural color i.e. minnow color.

-Fish around submerged brush, dock pilings, submerged tree tops, cedars and hard woods.

-Be versatile because they won't always bite on one color, try new targets.

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Fridays:
5p.m.-8p.m. Free photo download
7p.m. Pro Crappie seminar

Saturdays:
2p.m.-5p.m. fried fish sampling
Noon- 6p.m. Free photo download
11a.m. Pro Crappie seminar
2p.m. Pro Crappie seminar

Saturday, Feb. 8th 1p.m.-5p.m. catch and release pond

*The first 25 people to attend seminars will receive a free Bass Pro Shops travel mug

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The best knife sharpeners for every experience level

sharpener

I usually get bummed at this time of year. Deer season is almost history, and spring turkey season is still three months away. But one of the things I do to pass the time between now and then is focus on maintaining my hunting equipment. In particular, these cold winter days are a great time to hone the knives we use to dress game or fillet fish.

Of course, Bass Pro offers just about every type of knife sharpener you can imagine.  This two-stage sharpener is extremely simple to use and is great for those who don’t have a lot of experience putting a razor edge on a knife. For more seasoned knife enthusiasts, pad-style sharpeners like this and this are solid choices. And for those of you who love your knives so much you sleep with them, you might consider investing in this high-end Smith’s Edge Pro Electric Knife Sharpener.

As we all struggle to make it through these cold winter days, I’m offering you a chance to win a new Redhead 8” Ceramic Sharpening Rod ($19.99 value). To enter the drawing, click on the "blog raffle" tab at the top of our Facebook page and answer the question it asks. A winner will be chosen Feb. 14.

www.facebook.com/bpscolumbia

Good luck, and happy knife sharpening!

Todd Pridemore, Local Hunting Pro

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January and February Sweepstakes

sweep

 

Lone Survivor Sweepstakes

Enter in-store or online from now until Jan. 24 for a chance to win a private screening with up to 249 guests and other great prizes from Under Armour.

The film is based on a true story about four Navy SEALs, including Mark Wahlberg, on a mission to find al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2005.

Limit one entry per person, per method, must be 18 years old or older.

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sweepstakes

 

Monster Fish Sweepstakes

Enter in-store or online now until April 15 for a chance to win a 2014 NITRO Z-6 with 115 ELPT OptiMax and trailer, over a $22,000 value!

Limit one entry per person per calendar month regardless of entry method, max. four entries per person, must be 21 years old or older.

 

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Using an Alabama rig

 

We like to showcase different rigs during our weekly fishing demos. Fishing associate David B. is a fan of the Alabama rig, so that's what we used last week. Let’s “school” you on how it works:

rig

Most 'bama rigs come with five arms for hooks, however in the state of Missouri; you're only allowed to have three hooks. The center wire or two bottom wires will catch the most fish, so attach decoy bait on the other two arms.

If used correctly, it can catch a lot of fish. Its trick? It's designed to appear to be a school of fish. When it's reeled in, the lures are pulled together in one direction. Make sure to pause to let the rig change directions for a bit to give fish a chance to catch up.

The best time to use this rig is from the early spring through the summer, and then again in the early fall. It works best on a 7ft medium-heavy rod with bait casters and 30-60lbs braided line. Use soft plastics like Zoom, paddletail fluke or 4 inch grubs. Lake of the Ozarks is a great place to use them according to David. They are good for catching many different species such as largemouth bass or (if using a smaller rig) crappie.

Because of the amount of arms on the rig, make sure to check with the state conservation regulations before using it. Some states like Tennessee don't allow the rig to be used at all, and most of the time they’re not tournament sanctioned either.

The Deadly 5 War Path is a great Alabama rig to use. It starts at $9.99 and can be found in our fishing department.

 

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How to Make Hunting More Comfortable

chair outside   

 Have you ever been in the woods on a turkey hunt or deer hunt and had trouble finding a comfortable place to sit on the ground? Hard rocks, tree roots and uneven ground can make those hunts extremely uncomfortable and hard to stay focused. If you are one of those hunters, I would like to introduce you to the all-new RedHead Turkey Lounger Folding Chair. This awesome all-terrain chair features a durable, powder coated steel frame along with a rugged, water resistant polyester seat and back. The turkey lounger has wide based feet that keep the chair from sinking into the ground and creating an unstable and uncomfortable position.

chair

This chair comes with solid, foam padded arm rests to give you the best in comfort and allow you to stay out in the woods for an extend period of time. The RedHead turkey lounger comes with a built-in carry strap and compression wrap to make transporting a breeze, allowing you to run and gun when that big bird gets hung up in the holler and you need to make a move. RedHead products ask for the best, which is why we have also covered this chair in the all new Realtree® Xtra pattern to keep you and your chair from being seen by that buck of a lifetime or that ol’ wise long beard. There are no limits to what this chair can do for you and with it as part of your arsenal, I will guarantee that you’ll stay in the woods longer and be more comfortable, which will lead to you bagging that trophy of a lifetime!

You can find it on display right now in our hunting department for $29.99. As always, if you have any questions ask an associate and they’d be happy to help.

-By Landon P., Camo lead

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Late season deer hunting

Hunting lead Blake gives his advice for late season deer hunting. Come on in for all your outdoor needs and make sure you bundle up and stay warm!

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Things You Need to Know About Hunting Honkers

dog

Photo by associate Dakota D.

 

Where can you find them?

Look for Canada geese in corn, wheat or soy bean fields in the winter. This is a good food source for them. You’ll have more success in crop fields rather than a pond, especially when it’s frozen. The key is to be where they want to be. If you spot them feeding in a field at night, they’ll probably be there in the morning. Even if they move, they often go back to the same spot until they completely clean the field.

Many people hunt on private land, but there are public options as well such as Open Waterfowl Conservation Areas that can be found on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s web page. Make sure you have a hunting license, migratory bird permit and a duck stamp to hunt geese. All of those items are sold at our customer service counter.

How do you get them?

-Use a goose call. There are two types- short reed and flutes. You can do a lot more with a short reed, but it’s harder to master while the goose flutes are easier to blow.

-Use RedHead full body and shell decoys and make sure your spread looks realistic taking into account the spacing of your decoys. Also make sure to use flags to mimic moving wings which help catch their attention from far away.

-Using a shotgun is the law, but it’s personal preference what you use.  For hunting geese, the 12 gauge is the most popular and versatile, but you can use a 10 gauge as well. Most people also use B, BB, BBB or T shot. Depending on desired range, use an improved cylinder or modified choke tube. Below is a chart to help you determine what to use.

chart

-Wear camo- either Real Tree Max 4 or Mossy Oak Blades for hunting geese. You’ll also want a good pair of waders.

-Use an A-frame or a layout blind, depending on your preference. If you have two or three people, use an A frame because a layout blind only holds one person. Cover your blinds in corn stalks or grass for added camouflage.

How do you eat them?

There are many ways to prepare goose meat, but here are two ways from our associates. Geese have dark breast meat because they store oxygen in their breast muscles which give them a strong chicken liver taste. Jim says once you breast them out, you have to take the blood vain out. To clean, you want to slice the breast fairly thin and soak in white vinegar and salt water for about 24 hours. After that, bake ‘em how ya like ‘em! Jon’s favorite way to eat what he hunts in the field is to make goose phillys using a crock pot. All you do is slice the meat thin, season and throw in the crock pot. Sauté with some veggies and serve with cheese on top.

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Winter Trout Fishing

Trout fishing is back in Columbia! We asked fishing associates Larry and Steven for their advice about ice fishing at Bethel Park. Here's what they said:

The catch and release dates for trout started Nov. 1 and it goes until Jan. 31. During this time you may only use flies and artificial bait. After Feb. 1st, you may keep the trout you catch and use live bait.

It is encouraged to keep the trout after the first of Febuary because trout need cool water to survive.

If it is really cold, fish will be deep so use mini jigs, ultra light tackle or inline spinners.

*In order to fish for trout, you must have a Missouri fishing license AND a Missouri trout permit, both of which you can get at our store.

 

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Double trapping trouble

skunks
 

Trapping season in Missouri began a few weeks ago. I’m not a professional trapper, but I do everything I can this season to remove as many furbearers from my neighborhood as I possibly can. Predators like coons, ‘possums, skunks, foxes, and coyotes do a lot of damage to more desirable wildlife populations.  In particular, turkey eggs and deer fawns can be devastated when the numbers of furbearers are not kept in check.


When I checked the box trap that sits just a few yards from home two days ago, I smiled and cried at same time when I found a black-and-white bundle of fur inside. My emotions doubled when I quickly realized that I had lucked into capturing not just one striped skunk, but two stinkers that day! It took a little bit of extra care to dispatch and remove those turkey-egg eaters, but I was glad to help increase the odds that I’d have more turkey poults on my property next summer.
 

Bass Pro carries several different types of reliable traps. The most basic, the cage trap is an excellent choice for capturing animals like raccoons, ‘possums, and – you guessed it – skunks.  If you’re in an area where dogs are common, or if you want to focus specifically on catching coons, Duke’s “Dogproof” trap  is the perfect solution. Finally, serious trappers everywhere are still using good ol’ fashioned long spring or coil spring sets to capture furbearers of all sizes.


If you have some land, but don’t trap, give it a try. Good luck!


-Todd Pridemore, Local Hunting Pro Team Member
 

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Trapping season

We asked camo associate Dalton for some tips for the upcoming trapping season, here's what he said:

trap

-Prevent your scent from being around the trap

-Use twigs and branches to make a funnel point

-Make sure you use proper bait and traps depending on what you're looking to catch. For example, marshmallows work for raccoons, while things like otters and beavers take stink bait

-To trap beaver, put the trap around beaver lodges near their mudslide, or where they come in and out of the water. That goes for otters too.

-Always make sure traps are secured to a strong branch or something, and make sure your name and phone number are on it!

-Kona bear traps, or box traps, can be put in water to catch beavers. It snaps shut fast and is almost instant. They can be put in creeks or rivers, or even big bodies of water.

-Use snares and leg traps for bobcats and coyotes.

-Conservation areas have good bodies of water with lots of otter and muskrat activity such as the Missouri River or Lamine River, but you need to get permission from conservation agents.

-People don't really trap coyotes anymore, they are hunted more often.

-To find something to trap, you may want to check your game trail cameras if they have caught any activity, otherwise you should walk the property.

-Raccoons are actually one of the more popular animals to ruin crops; they can go through an acre of corn really fast. To trap them, try setting leg hole traps along a tree line or fence line.

 

 

Badger, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, red fox, mink, opossum, raccoon, rabbit and striped skunk season is November 15- January 31, 2014.

Otter and muskrat season is November 15- February 20, 2014.

Beaver and nutria season is November 15- March 31, 2014.

Check the Conservation Department for bag limits and regulations.

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Archery from a pro

Charlie and BonnieWe have many unique and talented associates here at Bass Pro- Columbia, and one of them is certainly Charlie Langreder.

You may know him as the very knowledgeable associate behind the hunting counter, but what you may not know is just how accomplished he is in archery.

Charlie has been bow hunting for over 60 years.  Archery has been his passion since he was a kid on a farm and he still has his first bow from when he was 12 years old. Now, he has a collection of 57 bows and travels the country bow hunting.

He enjoys going out West the most with his wife, Bonnie, to hunt Pope and Young Antelope. They enjoy each other’s companionship in the deer stand while doing something they both love. Charlie got his wife into bow hunting years ago and now they each have one record book kill. His second favorite animal to hunt is the white tail deer and turkeys are a close third.

Charlie still shoots competitively sometimes, but not as often as he used to. His next competition will be in January or February after hunting season.

He sees archery growing in popularity, especially with women. He thinks it has something to do with recent movies featuring the sport such as Brave and The Hunger Games.bows

“It gives hunters another opportunity to get into the woods and hunt for another season,” he said.

Among his many accomplishments are the titles 2010 Volunteer of the Year award at the Show-Me State Games and 2009 Bass Pro Associate of the Year. Charlie is also now an instructor for National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).  

Charlie's advice

Come to a pro shop because there are three important things you need to think about- eye dominance, draw length and draw weight.

The best bow to start with is the Diamond Infinate Edge 51-70lbs draw length 12-30 inch

You need patience. The distance of shot is close range so it’s a bit of a challenge. Charlie likes the challenge so he rarely shoots firearms anymore unless it’s with the kids.

If you have any questions or are thinking of getting into archery, come in and ask for Charlie!

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What's happenin' in October

Our hunting team lead Blake explains what's going on in October, a frustrating month for hunters.

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North vs. South Missouri Gardening

Recently, my family and I moved from Northern Missouri to south of Jefferson City because we wanted to be closer to our grand kids and family. It’s amazing how much difference a few miles can make. The new house has big, mature trees in the yard and is surrounded by woods. Up North we had no trees or holler, it was all flat. I love the shade and the serenity the trees give you, but with that comes bugs, acorns, leaves, squirrels and all kinds of critters. Up North, we never lost a chicken to predators in three years; we were at the new house two days and lost two chickens the same night to a fox! 

Being a gardener, the biggest change for me moving south is the rocks! Up North I could plow an entire field and never turn over a rock, and I could dig a hole three foot deep with a shovel. Now I can’t dig a hole an inch deep without hitting rocks! I haven’t plowed up the new garden spot yet, but it looks like rocks might be the main thing growing there. I’m from Southern Missouri, so I’m no stranger to rocks, and we’ve always had a good garden even with them in it, just makes it a little more challenging. We did purchase an 8x8 insulated green house for the new house; I’m looking forward to lettuce and onions all winter long, and maybe a few potatoes. Being close to the grand babies and family makes all the challenges worth it. A house doesn’t make a home, family, friends and love does.

By: Jeff Emory- Receiving Manager

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Early season buck rubs

Local hunting pro Todd Pridemore explains buck rubs and how to use them to your advantage:

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Bow Opener Tips: Acorns & Squeaky Seats

Our local hunting pro Todd Pridemore gives tips about acorns and something you may not think about until you're already in the stand.

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Why acorns are key to early season deer

Local hunting pro team member Todd Pridemore shares his tip for early season deer:

 

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Fishing tips and Binder Lake trip recap

Social media director Caitlin Kerfin here! I had the privilege of tagging along on a fishing trip last week with Bass Pro associates Cory and Andy to Binder Lake in Jefferson City. As a new citizen to the world of fishing, I learned a lot just sitting in the boat hearing the fisherman lingo and seeing them work through their initial frustration when they weren't catching anything in the beginning of the trip.

"I don't care about catching keepers, as long as I'm catching something," Andy said. "I turn into a little kid again when I start catching fish."

Andy used to fish professionally, and I thought it was cool that he feels that way about fishing. They went out on the water and just had fun catching as many fish as they could, no matter the size or type.

Andy ended up catching 15 fish and Cory caught 11, making it a pretty successful trip.

How did they catch so many? They used Fluorocarbon and braid like this:

 

Cory swears by his lures, but wanted to learn something new on this fishing trip. Andy taught him how to use a Drop Shot rig:

 

We started out fishing in the sun along the edge of the water amidst a ton of lily pads and didn't have too much luck. Thinking the heat was hampering our success, we moved to the shady side of the lake once the sun started to set.

Toward the end of our trip, I tried my luck and ended up catching a fish pretty fast! Of course, once I reeled in the first one my confidence shot up and I held my own in some trash talking, disregarding beginner's luck. It's part of fishing, right? Regardless of our smack talk, we all had a great time out on the lake learning new things, doing something we love and coming together through the Bass Pro family.

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Gear-Up Sweepstakes

win

Come to our store to enter for a chance to win a hunt with Lee and Tiffany Lakosky at Border Bucks Outfitters. The travel expense and accommodations will be paid for up to $2,000 and comes with an Under Armour apparel package worth $1,000.

Also, a prize will be given at our store of Under Armour gear worth $245, so come in and enter!

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Belly Brothers BBQ Team Smoke Their Competition

bbq

Gary Walkup and John Berkbuegler are Bass Pro Shops-Columbia associates during work days, but on their time off, they call themselves the award winning Belly Brothers Competition BBQ Team.

Lucky for you, they’re bringing their BBQ skills to work Saturday for Hometown Festival, and you can try a sample!  Learn tips for successful meat smoking from one of the best Saturday at 1:30p.m. John will be doing the demo with pork loin, and trust us, you don’t want to miss it.

This fiery duo has been life-long friends. Gary was even the best man in John’s wedding! John had always done backyard competitions, but in 2006 when Gary bought a smoker, they decided to enter into Kansas City Barbeque Society’s contest together as a team. Even though this was their first competition together, they won 2nd place in pork, 3rd in brisket and 11th overall! From then on they were hooked and do about five or six BBQ competitions per year.

Among their proudest moments include winning the 2010 Rock’n Ribs contest in Springfield and achieving first place in the 2009 BBQ contest at our store. Their next competition is at the American Royal October 1 in Kansas City.

Hot Tips: So what is their secret to BBQ success? “Don’t get caught up in trying to cook by time, but by temperature, and let the meat tell you when you’re done,” Gary said. They found their recipes through trial and error, but the team often uses some of the Bass Pro Shops injections such as the honey bacon flavor sauce for their competitions. “If BBQ contests were easy, everyone would be doing it,” he said.  

Stay calm and come see John from the Belly Brothers BBQ Team demonstrate how to smoke pork loin and ask him questions at 1:30p.m. Saturday, August 31 at our store.

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