Bottom Bouncing for Walleye

 Bottom Bouncing is one of the many ways to fish for Walleye. Bottom bouncers come in different colors and shapes. They can be used anytime during the spring thru fall months.  Using a bottom bouncer is a hands on fishing method, if you set the pole down you may miss the bite it is very sensitive, not only do you have the bottom bouncers weight you will also have a Walleye rig

To use a bottom bouncer you will attach a clip or clip and swivel on the end of your fishing line. In the middle of the bottom bouncer there's an area to attach your clip, you will  attach the Walleye rig to the end that does not have the weight on it.  There are a lot of choices of rigs some float and some don't, it is your choice or preference most like floating so the rig is not dragging off the bottom but floating so the Walleye will come up and HIT it!!  Some of the rigs have two hooks and some have three it will depend on what bait you are going to use as to how many hooks you use,  you can use worms, minnow or leech your choice.

Once you have it all attached and baited drop it over the side of the boat until you feel it hit the bottom.  You will fill it bouncing across the bottom them a tug when a Walleye hits it!!  Good luck and enjoy!!     


Sighting In

Every year we have a slow period between hunting seasons and are stuck waiting for the next season. There is one thing we can do to fill our time to help prepare for the up coming hunting season, and have a little fun doing so: sighting in your optics.

With hunting in mind I will be going over some basic tips on how to get the best accuracy and precision out of your set up.

First will be a proper mounting: we want to make sure everything is tight and seated properly; any movement at all will cause a huge issue and prevent an accurate shot. Some people like to use  Loctite on their screws.  Be sure to use removable (Blue) Loctite, as Red Loctite will cause the screws to permanently set, which will cause a great deal of trouble if you decided to change optics. Once the bases and rings are properly set and your optic is mounted we will take the firearm to the range.

If you have the proper tools to bore sight, then that should be your next step. If not your local Bass Pro will bore sight it for you. When bore sighting you want to start at 25 yards and adjust your windage and elevation screws on your scope. A habit I got into was to tap the screws lightly to help set the cross hairs. Now that the optic is bore sighted at 25 yards it should be on paper at 100. With a few more adjustments you should be spot on and ready for the next season. There are tons of products to help with sighting in, like the Pursuit Boresighter Kit. This will make future jobs easier and you would be able to sight in many different firearms. So what ever your hunting make sure your on target with a proper sighting.



Chug Chug Chug!....Water

 Water makes up more than half of your body weight, so keeping yourself well hydrated is essential for survival. You lose water by using the restroom, sweating and even breathing. Vomiting, diarrhea, hot weather and exercise increase your loss of water immensely. You can easily become dehydrated. 

Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, extreme thirstiness, headache, little or no urine, lack of tear production, fatigue (sleepiness), confusion, dizziness and yellow/dark urine. Try to not get to the point of these symptoms before acting. 

The average person needs about 48-64 ounces of water a day or 6-8 8 ounce glasses of water. Make sure to increase you water intake if you are pregnant, nursing, exercising, or ill (sick).

Hydration can come from other things besides water, such as fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and even caffeinated drinks like coffeee and tea. be sure to limit the intake of these caffeinated beverages however because they make you urinate more, hence dehydrating you. Foods can also be a great source of hydration, for instance watermelon, lettuce, tomatoes, and soup broths are all great options for their water content. Sports drinks are also wonderful because not only do they hydrate but also replace electrolytes you lose while sweating.

There are many tools to help you keep hydrated while out having fun in nature. Bass Pro Shops carries a wide variety from filters to bottles, to ensure not only you have water available but it is clean and safe to drink.

CamelBak® Eddy® .75L Bottle                                                                                             Camelbak Eddy .75 L $15.00

Nalgene Everyday Wide Mouth 1 Quart Water Bottle                                                                                Nalgene Bottle $10.99

Ascend® H1250 2L Hydration Pack                                                                                             Ascend 2 L Hydration Pack $54.99

CamelBak® Elixir™ Electrolyte Hydration Beverage - Tropical Punch with Caffeine                                       Elixer to add electrolytes $7.00

Sawyer® Mini Squeeze Water Filter                                                                                           Mini Squeeze Filter $29.99

And the list of products goes on. There are so many options in modern times to always have clean water on you. So drink up and enjoy the outdoors. You can find these products plus many more at Bass Pro Shops locations or by visiting or see Summer Heat; Stay Hydrated and Keep Cool


Fish Cooking You Can Be Proud OF

Do I have an awesome cookbook for you to try or what?

This book will teach you how to Grill & Smoke fish like a chef.  It contains 150 recipes and is loaded with very useful tips!  Here is one of my favorite recipes from the book.

Sunnies Dijon

1/4 cup mayonnaise--2 Tablespoons spicy yellow mustard--1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon--1/4 cup cornmeal--1 Teaspoon finely chopped tarragon--1 Tablespoon cracked black peppercorns--2-3 pounds crappie

Preheat grill--mix the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, cornmeal, tarragon, and peppercorns in a large bowl--dip the fillets in the mixture until they are thoroughly coated--place the fillets on the grill and lower the heat to medium--close the lid and cook for 6 to 8 minutes--turn and cook 4 to 5 minutes longer, until cornmeal is slightly charred--serve immediately. YUM!

You will love this book!  Remember to cook all fish to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F for at least 15 seconds.  If you don't have a thermometer, try this:  Slip a knife into the flesh and pull it aside.  The edges should be opaque and the center slightly translucent, with flakes beginning to separate.  After cooking, always let the fish stand for 3 to minutes.

**Keep fish hot, at least 140 degrees F to serve.  Do not leave cooked fish unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.


What the Deet?

What exactly is Deet? It is a colorless liquid, faint odor, and does not easily dissolve in water. Deet was developed by the U.S Army in 1946 to protect soldiers in insect infested areas. It has been registered in the United States for use by the general public in 1957, and has been commercially marketed as a personal insect repellent since 1965.

Is Deet harmful? If it makes contact with the eyes it can cause irritation or burning. Prolonged contact with skin can result in a rash or redness/swelling. If this product is swallowed it can cause nausea or in rare cases seizures. As far as material items it can  damage certain rubber, plastic, vinyl, or elastic
materials such as contact lenses, eyeglass frames and lenses, watch crystals,combs, painted and varnished surfaces, and certain synthetic or treated fabrics. But does not seem to have a bad effect on natural materials such as cotton, wool or hemp.

How does it work? Scientists have yet to know precisely how it works, but one theory is that insects detect their target by detecting chemicals in our body or through our breath. Through testing, Deet seems to screen these chemicals, making it harder for insects to detect us.

What percent do I use?  Rarely are high concentrations of Deet necessary . Products with 10% to 35% Deet will provide adequate protection under most conditions, although even lower concentrations may be warranted for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents used on children contain no more than 10% deet.


Repel® Sportsmen Max Formula® Aerosol Insect Repellent                                                                  Sprays starting at $6.99

Repel® Sportsmen Max Formula® Lotion                                                                                    Lotions starting at $5.99

There are also many Deet-free options also such as the Bugpatch. At Foxworthy Outdoors The Bugpatch Insect Repellent                                                                                $4.99  it is a natural patch designed for children. Among many other products available. Simply stop by the camping department as Bass Pro Shops and have a friendly associate help you find whats best for your needs, or go to to view products available. Also see Guide to Bug Repellents or It's Bug time......Again for more information on keeping you protected this season. Now get out there and enjoy The Great Outdoors!



The Perfect Picnic Sites

Hiking is a great way to explore the areas around you and find out more about the history of our great nation and states. Most places that have hiking have great over looks of beautiful lakes, prairies, rivers and other neat geological formations. I find there is a lot of beauty to be seen and I always try to make a day of it with friends and family.

Finding a spot can be quite easy. I have a lot of friends that go hiking often, so I just ask them where a neat place is. State and National parks have websites you can visit to find new places as well if you do not have many people to ask. I recently visited to see what parks were near me. Some state  and national parks have facebook pages as well. Nebraska, for example, does and they keep you updated for any free days for families where you can learn archery, if they have fishing days where you can use equipment for free, group hikes, living history acts and other fun activities. 

After finding the place you want to go, you should always plan out your day. Tell someone who is not going with you where you are going and times you are going and coming back in case of inclement weather or in case other emergencies arise. Always check the weather before the days you are planning on going and on the day you are going to make sure you are going to have good weather or are prepared if there is a chance of rain.

I make sure all people in the group have water with them. I carry a few nalgene bottles, which hold one liter(32 Ounces) of water and are darn near indestructible.( where my brother prefers to have his camelbak which already has a hydration system installed into a day pack. 

I make sure I have all the essentials in my personal day pack like a camera to keep my photo journal up to date, a rain poncho, compass and a first aid kit in case of an emergency. When I check into the park I make sure I get a map of the park so I know where the trails are. I usually drive around the park, with who ever is with me, till we find a trail that we both agree upon or one that looks good to both of us. You can also ask the ranger when you check in if there is an easy/medium/hard trail (depending on your level of comfort) that they would recommend for you. Make sure you read the map to see how many mile that particular trail is so that you are fully prepared with enough drinking water and food. Most of the time the trails on the map will have special look outs or features marked on the trail on the map to make it easy to find the best features of the park easily.

  I like it when places have benches to sit and enjoy a snack or lunch. Most scenic outlooks have benches or picnic tables so you can enjoy your view longer. They don't always have grills however, so make sure you have something simple to eat just in case. The maps usually have symbols to tell you if they do, I prefer not to carry too much while hiking though.

I bring along sandwiches that do not need refrigerating so they do not spoil. I also bring along granola bars, chips, jerky, fruit or something else to snack on while walking. You may have to walk several miles to get to some wonderful views. I also keep a cooler in my car with things I can cook over a grill when I get back from the trails. Hiking makes me hungry!

Some parks have grills readily available near parking for trails some do not. I pack a small grill and extra propane with me just in case. It always feels good to to have a full belly on the way home!

I hope you get a lot of good pictures out there!



Last Minute Father's Day Gift Ideas!

Time is running out, and men can be really hard to buy for!  I know I rarely wait for someone to buy me a gift of something I really want, I simply go buy it and it drives my wife crazy!  Gift cards are easy, but they lack imagination.  This year, get your father something he would never think about, but he likely carries with him every day: a good knife.

If you asked every guy you ran across if he carries a knife, I'd bet that almost all of them do, and it's likely that almost all of them could REALLY use a new one!  Obviously, there are A LOT of knives to choose from, but some of my personal favorites come from Case Knives.  

Case makes about every style of pocket knife that a guy could dream of, but they also do a lot of commemorative and special edition knives.  My two favorite sets of knives they have done are the John Deere series and our newest edition, Harley Davidson!  

These are great Father's Day gifts because it is likely that yours hasn't thought to buy one for himself, not to mention that there is a $5 Rebate on all Case Knives through the end of the month!








A Man Named Browning

In today's firearm market we have a lot of different choices in what we purchase, but what makes each manufacturer different from all the rest?  Is it machining?  Quality of metals?  Or perhaps simply how much love they put into their product?  Or is it all a matter of opinion?

With the research I have done one manufacturer caught my attention above the rest: Browning.  There is quite an interesting history behind Browning and how they became what they are today.  Not to mention, they are responsible for producing my favorite shotgun: the A-5. 

In 1855 a boy was born who would change the world of firearms. This boy would eventually design some of the most well known and arguably the best designed guns in modern firearms history.  We credit the design of firearms like the 1911 pistols and .50 caliber machine guns to the boy we all know as John Moses Browning.

Browning started making guns at a vary young age, the first gun he created was when he was 13. He contributed in furthering the design and quality of many different kinds of firearms including lever actions, single shots, and side by side shotguns.  What he is best known for, however, is his auto-loading firearms. He made many different kinds of auto-loading firearms like the .50 Caliber BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) and the 1911 to name a few, and my all time favorite the Auto-5.    

The Auto-5 was created in 1895 and was put into production in 1900.  The Browning Auto-5 is a long-recoil operated semi-automatic shotgun.  Shells are stored in a tubular magazine under the barrel.  When a chambered shell is fired, the barrel and bolt recoil together (for a distance greater than the shell length) and re-cock the hammer.  As the barrel returns forward to its initial position the bolt remains behind and thus the spent shell is ejected through a port on the top of the receiver.  Then the bolt returns forward and feeds another shell from the magazine into the action.  So as Remington Model 11 Shotgunyou are firing the gun, the barrel slides into the receiver, (an action which is still seen in firearms such as the Barrett family of long-range weapons).  The A-5 has a system of friction rings that control the rate of recoil.  Setting these rings correctly is vital to optimal shotgun performance; and also to ensure a long life of the weapon by controlling excessive recoil.  The friction rings are set based on the type of load to be fired through the gun.  If you wanted to shoot a low brass round you can adjust the spring to fire without any hang ups or jams, and when you're ready to hunt with high brass you set the spring back and can have the same feeding reliability.

The Auto-5 came with lots of extras for its time as well.  One of these features is a magazine tube stop which stops any shells from loading in to the receiver when the action is cycled and the chambered round is removed.  This is a very useful feature, and adds safety when crossing fences, as you can safely de-chamber a round without completely unloading the firearm.  It also helps to change different loads with quickly and easily.  This feature is still in use today on the Browning Maxus.

The Auto-5 remained in production for nearly 100 years, stopping in 1998.  Browning has since re-released a very similar firearm, although it is now simply called the A5.  This shotgun has stood the test of time and has influenced the hunting world as we know it.  Although the design of this firearm is old and it may not win any beauty contests, its hump back design makes it very unique (and identifiable) and its reliability is still nearly unmatched.  If you're looking for a great gun with an even more impressive history the Auto-5 is a no-brainer.


SPY Sunglasses - New to Council Bluffs Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops in Council Bluffs is excited to be featuring a new line of sunglasses in our Caseline assortment!

SPY Eyewear features a new pair of sunglasses for everyone.  A great feature of the sunglasses is their "Happy Lens" technology.  SPY's color and contrasting "Happy Lens" is the only lens to maximize the transmission of the sun's good rays.  This will allow you to see better, feel better and perform better!

Bass Pro is featuring a large selection of the Dale Jr. collection.  These come in different frame styles that have the Dale Jr logo on the frame.


At this point we feature 8 different styles of sunglasses with multiple frame colors and lens colors.  We are looking at adding additional styles to our assortments, but for the time being we are able to order anything from SPY's large catalog of sunglasses.

For more information on this new line of Sunglasses, visit our Council Bluffs Bass Pro Shops or visit




Is that Branch in the way? Using your Multi-Pin Bow sight to determine arrow flight.

Last month we talked about arrow speed in regards to trajectory and deer jumping the string at a given distance.  This month we take that data and look how it applies to aiming at your target with obstacles between you and your target.

How many times have you been up in a tree-stand or at a 3D tournament and there was a branch in your way or at least your first impression was that it was going to be struck by your arrow as it traveled towards your target?  I have setup many 3D shoots with these shots being a part of the course.  Many times I have heard that these are impossible to be shot because a tree branch was in the way.   Nope, that shot was designed that way and if you are like me when it comes to golf I will focus on the water and that is where my ball ends up.  It is true with any shooting sport, if you focus your mind on the branch or tree you are most likely going to strike it and take a big fat zero or have a miss on your deer.  But if you know your arrow flight path towards the target and know that you won’t hit that branch, you can focus on the middle of your target and catch that 12 or heart.

Most people NEVER practice or shoot their bow at very close distances.  I have won more hotdogs at three-yard shots that I have lost count and have become fat.  More deer are missed right below the tree stand than at any other distance.  This is due to very few people practice or understand how there arrow trajectory works at very close distances.  My hunting setup shoots at around 280 FPS.  I know that at 3 yards I have to hold my 50-Yard pin about and inch high of where I want my arrow to hit.  WHAT???, Do I have your attention now?  Yes for me to shoot a pinwheel “X” I have to hold my 50-Yard pin 1-inch high.  I have witnessed that most people will either hold there 20-Yard pin ON or even a little low to take that shot and then miss the target either completely or shoot very low.  Funny, most people who take the shot again in disbelief will shoot the same way and miss again.

Why is this?  Think about where your arrow is compared to your 20-Yard pin while in your bow.  It rests somewhere between 4 and 5 inches below the 20-Yard pin.  Think about what has to happen for the arrow to hit where your 20-Yard pin is at 20 yards.  The arrow has to rise, or shoot upward to get to that mark after it is shot.  In fact most arrows will climb to their highest height at about 13 to 14 yards then start to descend again from that point.  With that being said, at very close ranges your arrow has not reached its apex or highest part of its trajectory yet, but rather is climbing through the longer yardage sight pins until its apex at 13 to 14 yards.




Okay now let’s put this information into practical situations. 

Below is a picture of a 3D deer target at 22 yards.  The tree branch is 5 yards in front of me. Would you take this shot?

Knowing that my arrows flight at 5 yards is just below where my 30-Yard pin is, the answer would be “NO”.  I would hit that branch dead center.   

The picture below is the same deer at 22 yards with the branch at 5 yards.  Would you take this shot?

Knowing that my arrow will be well below the branch and somewhere just below where my 30-Yard pin is I would easily take this shot.


The picture below, now let’s say that branch was at 13 yards and deer was still at 22 yards.  Would you take the shot? 

Knowing that my arrow in flight at 13 yards is above my 20-Yard pin, I would NOT take that shot as my arrow would graze the bottom of the branch sending it into the ground in front of the target.  

The picture below, Scenario now is the deer is at 30 yards and the stubby branch is at 10 yards in front of me.  Would you take the shot?  

I know most people will focus on that stubby branch and tag it and state that was an impossible shot.  Knowing that my arrow in flight would be at the top of my 20-Yard pin as it passes over that stubby branch at ten yards and just drop into the middle of the 10 ring at 30 yards, I would take that shot.  I might aim just a hair to the right to make sure I avoid that little twig coming off from the left of my 20-Yard pin though. 

All of these are real world scenarios and if you know your arrow flight and trajectory you will have the confidence take that shot. 

Practice those really close shots and learn where your arrow is compared to your sight pins and your scores will go up.

Next month we will be learning how to use your multi-pin sight as a range finder on the 3D course and during hunting situations. 

Until then, Shoot Straight.                                                                                  


Recreational Trap Shooting

Trap shooting; a hobby that anyone can enjoy, from old to young it's a hobby that has stood the test of time. In its infancy, live pigeons were used, but it was determined glass was more ethical. Glass soon became too expensive and now clay has become the material of choice.

All you need to partake in the hobby is a shotgun, a clay thrower, and a box of clays.

The most difficult part about this sport is choosing the right gun/choke combination.  There are a lot of guns to choose from: single shot, double barrel, pump and semi-auto.  All of which will work as long as you have the right set up. One thing that will help ensure you have the right shotgun for the job is the choke, but how do you know which one is best for your needs?

I have been shooting trap for a while and it seems every person I shoot with seems to have a different preference of choke.  

A choke is simply a device that uses a tapered constriction of a shotgun barrels bore at the muzzle, whether it be the entire barrel that is tapered or a tube that screws in to the muzzle.  Chokes are usually measured in terms of how much constriction they offer in thousandths of an inch difference from the nominal bore diameter.  The most common chokes (in order from least constriction to most) are: Cylinder, Skeet, Improved Cylinder, Modified, Full, and Extra Full. 


.000 (Bore Diameter which vary on manufacturer/model)
Improved Cylinder (IC)
Light Modified (LM)
Modified (MOD)
Improved Modified (IM)
Extra Full (EF)
Turkey (TKY)


The chart below gives an idea of the effective yardage for most loads:




Now which one of the chokes will work the best?  Most of your shots will take place anywhere between 16-25 yards, so you will want one that will be effective at these ranges.  What you are looking for out of the choke is a pattern that is wide enough to easily hit the target but not have so large of a pattern that you have holes in your pattern.

With all that in mind we will look to the charts. With open cylinder and skeet constrictions, the pattern tends to be a little too wide. Improved cylinder seems to be effective enough to have a consistent pattern at the needed ranges, which should make for a good selection.  Modified chokes are also very popular, however adding constriction will begin to narrow the pattern, but it will increase pattern density.

When it comes down to it, personal preference is the key, and as with any type of shooting, practice and patterning are a must.

The only thing left to choose is your shells.  The two prevalent shot sizes are 7 1/2 and 8. The biggest difference between these two shots are how heavy and how many pellets are in each load.  Pellets are rated inversely, so the bigger the number, the smaller the shot.  That means the 7 1/2 is the heavier of the two pellets, which will carry energy further, but the 8 being smaller will allow for more pellets in the pattern.  My personal preference is 7 1/2's, as I seem to have better luck with those on windier days where the higher pellet count of the lighter 8 shot doesn't help out as much.

Trap shooting makes for a great past time as long as you are hitting the clays.  There is a new product on the market called Winchester AA Tracker .  These are a specifically designed shell for the purpose of training new shooters.  The shell contains a wad that tracks right along in the center of the shot string.  This allows for a spotter to stand behind you and see exactly where it is that you are missing.

Making sure you hit the clays makes for a great time but nothing beats practice and patience. With all the hustle and bustle of today's life, make sure you always set aside time to enjoy the little things and take part in a past time that has been entertaining people for over a hundred years: trap shooting.


Choosing the right fishing line for you.

Its getting to be that time of year again. The days are getting longer, warmer, and you're tired of staying in the house, you want to go fishing. By now you've already been through your tackle box about thousand times to determine what you need. Everything from new lures, tools, replacement hooks, weights, soft plastics, and fishing line. So you head down to your local Bass Pro Shops, go to the fishing section, look for the fishing line and find out there's more of a selection than there was last year. Monofilament, flourocarbon, braid, what are all these lines? Which line is best for me?

The type of fishing line you choose needs to be matched with the conditions you're fishing in. When choosing the right fishing line, the following criteria should be considered: Strength, Stretch, Abrasion resistance, Diameter, Stiffness, and Visibility.

Monofilament fishing line is made from a single fiber of plastic. This type of fishing line comes in a wide range of sizes and colors. You can find everything like a 2lb clear ice fishing line to 40lb high visual yellow for going after those big cats on the river. Monofilament fishing line is made by melting the plastic then extruding through tiny holes. These holes control everything from the diameter of the fishing line to the tensile strength or test. The advantage of monofliament fishing line is it can be used in a wide variety of fishing situations. Monofilament however does posses a memory to it causing it to coil over time. This type of line needs to be changed often as it will degrade when exposed to heat and sunlight. For all you monofilament lines visit Bass Pro Shops website to fins the right one for you.

XPS® Signature Series Monofilament Fishing Line - 800-1000 Yards

Flourocarbon fishing line has been around for sometime, being used in saltwater fishing and fly fishing. It is relatively new to bass fishing though. This line is named after the chemical used to make it flourocarbon. There are many advantages to flourocarbon line over traditional monofilament fishing line. Flourocarbon is virtually invisible in water, has a higher density causing it to sink faster, lack of stretch and resistance to abrasion. As with everything there are some draw backs to this fishing line; stiffness, brittleness, density making it hard to fish top water, and knot strength.  It is best to use flourocarbon in times when stealth or finesse in needed. Another great application for flourocarbon is to use as a leader when bass seem to be easily spooked.

Bass Pro Shops® XPS® KVD Signature Series 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

Braided fishing are one of the earliest types of fishing lines. But with advances in technology braided line is now made out of different stuff than it used to be. Braid is known for its high knot strength, low stretch, and its over all power in relation to its size. On average a 20 lb test braided line is the diameter of a 6ob test monofilament. One drawback of braid is that it can be seen by fish in the water. It is best to attach a monofilament leader from your lure to the braid. Anglers have complained about other problems when fishing with braid, such as the line burying itself in the spool, losing fish on the hook set and other issues. The following article should address any issues you've been having along these lines. . If you have any other issues just contact your local Bass Pro Shop with questions. You can read more about uses for braided fishing line by visisting and viewing bother blogs written by the prostaff. Here is an example link.

Bass Pro Shops® XPS® 8 Advanced Braid Fishing Line - 300 Yards

After looking at the three most popular types of fishing line out there on the market today; with their advantages and disadvantages you should be able to make a relatively informed decision on which line to get. If you're still unsure ask a Bass Pro associate  which line would be best for you.


It's Smokin'!

With nice weather this spring the smell of smoke is in the air. You go to pick out a new smoker and realize there is a lot of options, but which one is right for you? In this article I will go over some pros and cons to help you decide...electric or propane?

Economically, electric smokers are more effective in the manner that they only use about 11-13 cents worth of electricity per hour. While propane tanks, which can run $20-$30 to refill, yield about 30-40 hours or 6-8 good smokes. Both, however, are similar in efficiency of using wood chips. Depending on the consumer's preference in the amount of smoke, you can expect to use 1/4-1/2 a bag of wood chips per smoke, 2-4 smoking sessions per bag.

Which leads us to the time old struggle between Bradley and Masterbuilt for electric. Bradley is a very good smoker but throughout time, I have heard people describe that they were having a hard time getting the temperature up and maintaining it. Also the bisquettes run about $21 per box (per flavor) so trying all the flavors they have to offer can be pricey. While Masterbuilt uses wood chips, which run about $6 a bag and also have variety boxes with 4 bags, a dvd, and smoke box all for around $16. This allows people to openly try all the flavors and still not spend much.

Bradley Smoker® Flavor Bisquettes®                                                                                      $20.99WW Wood Smoking Chips                                                                                                           $5.99

Back to the maintaining temperature, propane smokers are thinner and not insulated, which could lead to a hard time smoking in the winter. Digital (not analog) smokers are double-wall insulated and have a rubber gasket like your refrigerator which aids in retaining valuable heat and smoke. The Masterbuilt line of electric smokers also has the side chip feed scoop which allows users to add wood without opening up the unit, unlike propane, where you have to open the unit every time. Your smoker can lose about 50 degrees in just a few moments of opening it.

Tips: when you first get your smoker home it is best to "preseason" it. To do this crank it to max. temp for 2-3 hours and add wood chips for about 30 minutes of it. this will get out the "new car" taste of things and season racks and walls, similar to prepping cast iron. Also with the Masterbuilt electric with the window, it's best to use a food safe cleanser to keep it clear, such as vinegar, so you don't get a chemically taste next time you cook.

Another benefit of using Masterbuilt digital electric is the fact that you can get an addition of cold smoke. If you have ever been though the deli cheeses and smoked dairy products, they can be expensive. This unit allows you to smoke your favorite cheeses for a fraction of the cost of buying it at the store. Cold smoke usually ranges 90-120 degrees, which can be a dangerous temp for food-borne bacteria, but to dairy products and select meats that will be cooked further later, it can be safely done. Warm smokes run about 165-180 degrees.    

Here is some basic information that may help you determine smoke times: 

You can find all of these products on or stop by Bass Pro Shops and an associate will help you find what smoker is best for you. Smokers: a Great Way to Cook is also a great link to see more views and tips on smoking meats. Happy Smoking!


Mushrooms Everywhere!

Its that time of the year! Spring! This is the time to get out, stretch your legs and enjoy nature beginning anew. It is also that time of the year for the food delicacy of the Morel Mushroom!

There are many ways to know if the time is right. My grandmother told me that then the violets pop up and start flowering, other people have told me that it is when the lilacs are beginning to bloom. Really its when we have had at least 2 weeks of non freezing temperatures and have a lot of rain This occurs in late April and early may and lasts only a few weeks. April showers bring May flowers and mushrooms!


I have only been going out for a few years. Before that I had no idea what to look for and how to look. The way my friends explained it to me was that you are looking for a very well camouflaged Mushroom near fallen trees. It is kind of like looking at a magic eye picture, where if you stare long enough, the picture pops out at you. Once you have found one or two you will see them all over the place! As you can see in the pictures above(and this was a close up) you could walk right by it and not see it because the colors of the leaves and mushrooms are so close together.

Since you will be trampling in the woods off the beaten path looking for these delicious morsels you will need a few things since they are not the only plant growing. I personally spray my clothing down with Permethrin because it keeps the ticks and mosquitoes off of me. Permethrin is made out of Chrysanthemums that is made for clothing. This is a great product that lasts 90 days on gear and 6 washings on clothes. So if you are looking for a more natural repellent, this is a good one. Any bug repellent is good though. Wear long pants so you do not have to worry about bushes scratching you since you will be off the beaten path. I wear long sleeved shirts as well and bring a light jacket.

You will need a few things while hunting these tasty morsels. First you will need a mesh bag. This helps the mushrooms drop their spores and drop any insect hitch hiker that tried to come along for the ride. You may see some people who use plastic grocery sacks or canvas bags, this is just not appropriate and some times you may be ticketed or fined from the park depending on their rules. This stops the propagation of the mushrooms and every time someone does this, it makes the mushroom population shrink till it could become non-existent in that area. Always check with the park employees, when you check into the park, about the rules of that area. Even if the parks are in the same state, they all have different rules.


The best way to find Morels is to look off the beaten path. Look for fallen Elm trees, mushrooms love Elm trees. These trees have rough coarse bark who have diagonal lines(possibly intersecting) cut into it, the leaves are oval shaped with saw toothed edges, so if you find a live one, the fallen trees around it are more then likely the same tree, just look at the bark. They will also grow in other dead underbrush and trees but not near as often. I bring a walking stick with me to brush away any leaves while looking in the piles near downed trees.

After you have found your treasure of tasty Morel Mushrooms and get back to your campsite, or home if it was just a day trip, you do have to soak them in a salt water brine for a few hours. I always do it overnight. This gets rid of all the bugs and dirt, which you do not want to eat. 

Now you are ready to prepare and eat. I like mine deep fried so I bring my dutch oven and fry basket, my friends mom does it on the stove in their camper. I have also tried them cut up and used in a mix of hamburger for burgers and meatballs(this was to trick the picky eaters into trying them, but darn tasty). The possibilities are endless! This is a great spring time hobby,a great way to get out doors and fun for the whole family. Enjoy! 




It's A Camping "Potty! (Party)"

Does a bear "go" in the woods? Yes he does! But us humans should pack it up and dispose of waste properly. Here are some tips and tools to make life more "bearable" on your next camping trip.

Go Girl Feminine Urination DeviceFor you ladies that love the outdoors, but still want to feel clean, the "Go Girl" is a nifty little device.$12.99

Solution for female outdoors lovers facing crowded, dirty, distant or non-existent bathrooms. This allows females to urinate while standing up and is neat, discreet, and hygienic. Made of flexible, medical-grade silicone designed with splash guard to eliminate mess or spills. It is reusable and comes with small storage tube.Coghlan's Tissue on the Go

Matched with "Tissue on the go" $1.79, which is 2-ply paper and also in a small convenient container that can fit in your purse or pocket, females can feel confident they are ready for anything.

Bass Pro Shops® Shower and Privy Shelter                                                                                    Showering can also be an issue with, at times, limited resources such as water and privacy. Bass Pro offers non-rinse cleansing productsNo Rinse® Body Bath                                                                                                         . However, if you do have other soaps and such that do require the use of water and some privacy, other options consist of  Privacy Shelter $79.99, Solar Shower $59.99, plus a lot more models and sizes of showers and hot water carry bags available by simply going to At this sight you can also view our selection of potties. Campsites sometimes don't provide restrooms or you are in a decollete area.

Luggable Loo Seat and Cover                                                                                                     Texsport® Portable Folding Toilet or Toilet Bags                                                                            The Luggable Loo is only $13.99 and the seat can be attached to any 5 gallon bucket. A portable folding toilet is another great option. This item and the bags it uses starts at only $6.99! Again there are a lot of options to be viewed by either stopping into your closest Bass Pro Shops or by going to our website.You can also see the link: You Go Girl! 



Archery by the Numbers: Does a Faster Bow = More Deer + 3D Tournament Wins?

Do I need a new bow this year?  Will that faster bow help me get my next deer or win my next 3D tournament?

Often I get a customer that comes stating that they have 1 pin on their sight because their bow shoots flat out to 40 yards.  I bite my lip each time because I know Physics just never lies.  Everything falls to the earth at the same rate, it does not matter if it is a bowling ball, a marble, an arrow or even a bullet shot out of a rifle.  The “Acceleration of Gravity Law” states that an object will fall to the ground at a rate of (32 Feet per Second per Second) or in other words the first second an object will travel 16 feet down and it does not matter if it has forward velocity or not.

Let me break it down for you eggheads and naysayers.  Go get your calculators and follow me…..  Oh and by the way…. This is why the Trophy Ridge React Sight DOES work and works perfectly.  The math doesn’t lie.

D=Distance Traveled
T=Time in Seconds
Acceleration of Gravity is D=.5GT² or Distance Traveled = .5 x 32FPS x Time in Seconds Squared

Example 1: Let’s say I want to see how far an egg will drop in 3 seconds if I were to drop it of off a bridge.
D=.5x32x3² or D=.5*32*9 or D= 144 Feet the egg drop in 3 seconds.

Now lets put this in practical terms for my archery friends who have that flat shooting bow that is so fast that their single pin hits the same mark at 10/20/30/40 yards.

We measure arrow drop in inches so we need to change 32 Feet to Inches which is 32*12=384 inches for the G value in our formula.  Now we need to figure out how much time elapses after we shoot an arrow for 10,20,30,40 and 50 yards.  Since we are having a little fun here let us do it for 400, 350, 325, 300, 280 and 250 Feet per second shooting bows.  Keep in mind we are just doing the simple math here without figuring in deceleration of the arrow due to surface tension applied on the arrow shaft by passing air and the drag that our vanes are causing to slow down the arrow.


So let’s say you have one of the quickest bows on the market shooting 350 FPS.  As you can see in the chart above the arrow shot out of that bow will have dropped a total of 22.57 inches at 40 Yards.  Even if you take in to account that your Apex of arrow flight is somewhere between 10 and 20 yards you are still going to have around 18 inches of drop past 20 yards as seen in chart below.  This is not what I would consider “FLAT” out to 40 yards.

I am asked the question often, “Since this bow shoots so fast I bet the deer never has a chance to jump the string?”  Okay, lets put the math to this question as well.  We know that sound travels at around 767 MPH or about 12.78 miles per minute or about .213 miles per second or around 1125 feet per second, the number we need.  So knowing that sound travels 1125 feet per second we can figure out the time it takes sound to travel 10/20/30/40 and 50 yards.  Now this time I have included data with deceleration on a 19/64”-diameter shaft and 3 Blazer Vanes set 120 degrees apart with 3 degrees helical on the arrows.  Speeds in FPS are listed in each column. We also know that a deer has a reaction time of just shy of a ¼ second, I used .22 seconds of reaction time for the chart below.


All values in RED in the chart above show that the arrow will impact the deer before he hears the sound and can react or jump the string.  In ALL cases the sound will get to the deer’s ears before the arrow will.  In other words, the deer will always hear the shot before the arrow impacts him.  This is different with a rifle as most rounds are far above 1125 feet per second.  As so long as the projectile is above 1125 fps the project will hit target before the sound of the report will.  Not true with a bow and arrow, nor will it ever be.

So what does all this mean to a bow hunter?  First if you want to limit the chance of having a deer jump your string during a shot, keep your shots under 25 Yards.  I know many of you will think, “Well I will just aim a little low at distances beyond 25 yards then.”  Okay, but do you really know what that deer is going to do?  Is it going to drop, turn or simply do nothing?  You don’t know.  So if you keep your shots under 25 yards you will eliminate that variable.

Some of the other things you can take from the data might be, “Does a faster bow really gain me much advantage in judging distance or the amount of arrow drop at longer distances?”  If you are just bow hunting and you keep your shots under 25 yards, then, NO, is the answer.  Save your money and maybe look at purchasing some better scent reduction clothing or tools like the Ozonics machine.  Maybe a better use of that money would be better arrows or sights with smaller, easier to adjust and brighter pins.

Most people are shooting bows at around 280 FPS.  If you are an occasional 3D shooter you know that most of your targets are at 40 Yards.  Look at the data a bow shooting 280 FPS drops 1.33” more at 30 yards than a bow shooting 330 FPS.  A bow shooting 280 FPS drops a total from 20 yards to 40 yards only 3.26” farther than a bow shooting 330 FPS.  Is your money better spent on speed or forgiveness?  The choice is yours.  Keep in mind that the way bow manufactures get speed is making the brace height shorter, which causes a higher chance of arm or jacket slap while hunting.  Another way to gain speed is a harder cam.  These are harder to pull over while sitting for hours or at awkward angles in a tree stand.

I am not saying don’t go out and purchase a new bow.  What I am saying, is look at the data, and decide where your HARD EARNED money is best spent.  If it is a new faster hot-rod bow, that’s great.  If you choose a better sight, rest, stabilizer, clothing, blind, scent elimination items, then that’s great too.  We here at Bass Pro Shops can help you in whatever you choose.

Shoot Straight!



Fish Fry It Up!

Going into Spring, the itch for fishing is kicking in. Be prepared for your first fish fry of the season! This article will walk you through tools you will need as well as time and temperature to cook your fish.

Choosing your fryer: Decide if you want to cook inside or outside. The indoor options consist of Masterbuilt fish fryer

Masterbuilt Electric Fish Fryer                                                                                                 $99.99

or for smaller batches Elite makes a single basket 3.5 Qt

Elite Cuisine by Maxi-Matic® 3.5-Quart Electric Deep Fryer                                                                  $49.99 and Dual Basket

Elite® Dual Basket Stainless Steel Deep Fryer                                                                               $79.99

Outdoor methods are Cast Iron Bass Pro Shops Fish Fryer Bass Pro Shops® Cast Iron Fish Fryer                                                                                        $89.99.

We also carry an Aluminum model for $49.99 and Stainless Steel for $69.99. All our outdoor models come with a pot, burner stand, thermometer, and regulator hose. For large gatherings or frying enthusiasts there is an option. The Cajun Fryer 8.5 gallon propane deep fryer

Cajun Fryer by R & V Works® 8.5 Gallon Propane Cooker Deep Fryer                                                            $629.99

There are two options for cooking oil sold at Bass Pro Shops. Cottonseed oil Turkey Gold Cotton Seed Oil                                                                                                     starting at $12.99 and is available in 1 or 3 gallon jugs and Peanut oil

Cajun Injector® Peanut Blend Frying Oil                                                                                     also available in 1 or 3 gallon jugs and starts at only $14.99. After adding oil to your fryer, heat to 330-350 degrees Fahrenheit. Check using an oil thermometerDeep Fry Thermometers                                                                                                           starting at $9.99 . All though you have a lifting basket with your fryer, it's not a bad idea to have a skimmer handy  Large Fryer Skimmer                                                                                                             sizes are small and large and range $11.99-$16.99. Fish generally takes at least 5 minutes to cook thoroughly, depending on the thickness of the fillet.

Prepare your batter, either an heirloom recipe or one of our delicious batters by Uncle Bucks here at Bass Pro. They are only $3.99 and comes in a waterproof container for convenience on trips. There are many flavors to choose from. Uncle Buck's® Fish Batter Mix - Original                                                                                Original, Mild, Hot n' Spicy, Beer Batter, and many more. To make breading easier, the "Better Breader" is an awesome little contraption   Bass Pro Shops® Better Breader Pan                                                                                          and it's only $14.99.

In addition to your fish, don't forget the chips! A french fry cutter will make things a lot easier French Fry Cutter

ranging from $19.99-$109.99. Also, fun additions are Hush puppies and jalapeno poppers. We carry a large variety of racks, pans, batters, cutters, and frying needs to help make your fish fry the best it can be. So stop by your local Bass Pro Shops camping department and have one our friendly associates help get geared up. Or visit or see Fish Fry Like a Pro

Have fun catching your fish and even more fun sharing with friends and family!


Ascend Kayaks and Accessories

When choosing a kayak there is a lot to think about. What will you be using it for the most? Leisure or fishing? Here are some tips and information to make the process a little less overwhelming.

Understanding model names: FS=Fishing, T=Top-sitting, the numbers indicate the length. So for instance FS128T= Fishing model 12'8" and top-sitting. If the model is does not indicate the FS such as D10, it is a sit-in model 10' long.

Ascend® FS128T Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak - Desert Storm                                                                       This is the FS128T (top-sitting)

Ascend® D10 Sit-In Kayak - Purple                                                                                           This is the D10 (sit-in)

Weight of your kayak can be something to consider if you will be adventuring out alone. So here is a breakdown of wt. on Bass Pro Shops Ascend series. FS128T is 84 lbs. FS12T is 56 lbs. and a great option for a semi sit in/top sitting. D10T is 52 lbs. D12 is 74 lbs. A10 and D10 are both 47 lbs. one of our easiest to carry solo. The FS12 is 79 lbs. and our FS10 model weighs in at only 51 lbs.

When choosing a paddle the width of the kayak and the height of the passenger are the two components to think about. This chart will help assist you.

Kayak Width Under 23" 24" to 28" 29"+
Paddler Height Recommended Paddle Length
Under 5'5" 210-220 cm 230 cm 230-240 cm
5'5" - 5'11" 220 cm 230 cm 230-240 cm
6'+ 220-230 cm 230-240 cm 240 cm

Keep in mind all of our ascend kayaks are minimum 29" wide. So your paddle length will be at least a 230cm.

Now you think about which life jacket is best for you. Standard life vests for boating are designed with ample padding all over up to the armpit area. Due to the motion your arms make while kayaking, the extra padding can cause the issue of rubbing on the sensitive skin on your upper arm. Kayaking vests are designed to be open down the side and padding that sits lower to prevent rubbing and make the motion of paddling more fluent.

PFD or personal floatation devices are required on every boat 16 ft. or longer. They indicate on all vests the pounds of buoyancy, but what does that mean? Example, a 200 lb. person is made up of about 80% water so 200X .20%= 40lbs. Then consider about 15% body fat on average. So 200X .15%-30lbs=10lbs. So a 16 lb. buoyancy should be more than sufficient for a floatation device.

Now that you have most of the essential information you need, feel free to stop by at your local Bass Pro Shops store and have a friendly camping associate get you equipped to hit the water, or simply visit to order online, shipping to store is free shipping! Also see to see for on fishing from your kayak.



The Knockdown and Dirty of Turkey Broadheads.

It won't be long and we will be sitting during a clear crisp morning waiting for a crow to call and then the Thunder Chickens to begin gobbling.  We have carefully chosen the proper location to setup.  We have put out the perfect set of decoys and have practiced hours becoming experts in calling in that weary Tom.  You have shot many arrows and have tuned your bow to hit a mark at forty yards.  Everything has come together and that big Tom is strutting only 15 yards in front of you, but wait........ do you have the proper broadhead at the tip of your arrow to do the job quickly?  Do you?

Turkeys have a relatively small vital to hit.  I have seen many turkeys hit perfectly with a pass-through arrow and yet the turkey flies off decreasing odds of you finding your bird.  So how do you increase your odds?  Simply by changing  your broadhead to a over the top or front deploying mechanical broadhead.  I am normally not an advocate of mechanical broadheads as I feel they are an excuse for archers trying to get their hunting arrows to hit the same as their field tipped arrows instead of super-tuning their hunting setup.  In other-words a quick fix.  Though for turkey hunting a front deploying broadhead not only creates a larger hole increasing your odds of hitting the vitals but also creates much harder hitting arrow transferring kinetic energy to killing the turkey instead of just passing through the bird.  I have literally rolled and taken big Tom's off their feet, killing them in their tracks. 


Below are a few great choices to take your next Tom.


NAP Spitfire Broadhead SKU 536662Rocket Aeroheads Hammerhead Expandable Broadhead SKU 1589345Wasp Jak Hammer SST Broadhead SKU 4499038


Good Luck this Spring and Shoot Straight!


Curing Your End of Season Waterfowl Blues

If you are anything like me, this time of year is a very sad time, as this past weekend marked the close of almost all the duck seasons across the nation.  Some states still have dark goose seasons running until the first week of February, but as the season winds down you don't have to worry about hanging up your lanyard just yet!

Some of the best goose hunting of the year is quickly approaching, and it comes in the form of the Light Goose Conversation Order (LGCO) season, more commonly known as the Spring Snow Goose Season.  For those who are unfamiliar, the Spring Snow Goose season is a nuisance season for light geese (includes Snows, Blues and Ross' geese), and exists for the sole purpose of trying to curb the massive population of these geese, which are literally eating themselves out of their tundra nesting grounds.  The LGCO is a very liberal season, allowing for unplugged shotguns, electronic callers and no bag or possession limits, all in hopes that hunters will take as many of these birds as possible to keep the population in check.

There are many methods hunters will use in attempt to take snow geese; pass-shooting, jumping and even stalking using plywood cow decoys to name a few, but the best way to put big numbers down, like always, is to decoy them.

Decoying snow geese can be a tricky ordeal, as everything you do is multiplied and magnified.  Instead of flocks of 2-300 birds, it is not uncommon to have flocks of 2-3000 (and larger!), which is just that many more eyes to pick apart your spread.  The way to combat such a large number of birds, is with an equally large number of decoys.  If you can afford/store/haul enough full bodies to do the job, more power to you, but by far the most economical way to build a successful (and transportable) spread is with a sock-style decoy, such as the Tanglefree Slammer Socks.  Most sock-style decoys can be purchased in small or large quantities, in Tanglefree's case: dozen or 4 dozen.  The advantage of the sock-style decoys is that they are much cheaper than their full-body brethren (usually $50-75/dozen vs. $300 or more for full body) not to mention they are much easier to store, as you can usually fit about 10 dozen socks in a large storage tote.



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When purchasing your decoys, you should consider what area of the country you will be hunting.  The Midwest (Central and Mississippi Flyways) will see a much larger portion of Blue Geese than either of the Coasts.  If you plan on hunting the Midwest, a good rule of thumb is to have about a 50/50 mixture of Snows and Blues, perhaps leaning a little heavier on the snows.  Those who are hunting the coasts should have a spread of almost entirely Snows, with just a few Blues mixed in.

If you have ever watched a large flock of Snow Geese feeding, you will notice that they are almost never all sitting still, and quite frequently "jump" each other towards the head of the spread (where all the untouched food is).  This means that you should invest in some sort of flyer, such as the Edge Snow Goose Magnet, to simulate geese jumping and trading for new food.  There really is no such thing as too many flyers, as they give the illusion of a very active feed, and will help draw attention away from your hide.

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To fully appreciate all the benefits of the LGCO, one should also consider (although they are not necessary to be successful) a magazine extension (if your gun will accept one) and an electronic caller.  If you were already thinking about purchasing an electronic caller for your winter predator hunting, consider upgrading to one of the more high-output models such as the FoxPro Shockwave or Prairie Blaster, as Snow Geese are very loud birds and you will want to make as much noise as possible to simulate the real thing.  If you already have an electronic predator caller, it will likely work just fine, as most of them have downloadable sounds, you will just likely need more of them, as the lower-output 1 and 2 speaker models simply won't put off as much noise.

This spring and summer saw a record hatch of light geese, so juvenile geese will be plentiful and ripe for the picking. Spring Snow Goose hunting can be a lot of work, but when it pays off, it pays off big, and there really is nothing quite like a tornado of geese circling mere yards above your head.  So don't put your shotgun to the back of the safe just yet, some of the best hunting of the year is just weeks away!

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