Isle Royale: The little park with big adventure

Due to the popularity of recent movies and books, grand adventures of long distance hiking, such as the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, have had an increase in appeal.  Getting out and backpacking into the true wilderness, as a way to test one’s physical and mental abilities, is becoming attractive to everyday people who are looking for epic adventures.

For many, the opportunity to become unplugged, self-reliant and to
re-discover the beauty of nature is an irresistible siren’s call.

But what if you don’t have months of time to devote to such a quest? Or you’re a first-timer wanting to try something a little less grand before you venture off into a full-blown trek? Where can you go that will give you a taste of the experience without having to invest huge amounts of time and resources?  

A perfect place to consider might be Isle Royale National Park.

Lake Superior from Isle Royale credit: Zilkowski


  • Located in the waters of Lake Superior, Isle Royale is the smallest of the United States national parks. 
  • About 45 miles in length and only 9 miles across at its widest point, it is accessible only by boat or seaplane. 
  • The park is open from April 15 until October 31 every year. 

Because of this, Isle Royale receives fewer visitors in one year than Yellowstone Park receives in one day!  The closest ferry point to the island is located about 600 miles from East Peoria’s Bass Pro Shops, in Copper Harbor MI.  A three hour ferry ride will then bring you to the island.

  • Isle Royale has been a backpacker paradise since it was established in 1931. 
  • The park has 165 miles of hiking trails and 36 different campgrounds. 
  • There are two major hubs in the park, each located at either end of the island; Windigo on the southwest and Rock Harbor on the northeast. 
    • This is where you acquire your backcountry/camping permit.  Permits are free but are required for everyone who plans to stay overnight at the park (groups of seven or more are required to get a group permit in advance).
    • A user fee of $4.00 per person (for anyone over age 11) per day is also required and should be paid for in advance of your visit.
    • There are campsites located at both Windigo and Rock Harbor (there is even a lodge at Rock Harbor) and both sites have a small stores that sell food, gifts and a few backpacking supplies if you have forgotten or need to replace some essential items.

Your true wilderness adventure begins once you head away from either of the two hubs.  Grab your map, don your backpack and make sure you have everything you’ll need for the number of days you will be on the trail (food, clothing, tent, sleeping bag, etc.…).  Fully equipped hikers at summit credit: Zilkowski


"Isle Royale shipwrecks Lake Superior" by Wikid77 - self-made derived work from map made by U.S. National Park Service.Reference page: accessed as "view map" on NPS webpage: (updated).. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - are many trails that crisscross the island, and campgrounds are never very far from one another.  The famous Greenstone trail runs the length of the island, from Windigo to Rock Harbor, along the high ridgeline that bisects the park.  It offers spectacular scenery and has easy access to campgrounds via side trails. 

Other trails run along the island shoreline next to the cold waters of Lake Superior, connecting one campground with the next.  Still other trails are in the interior and will take you to campgrounds that are located on the edge of the many beautiful inland lakes contained within Isle Royale.  The small size of the island, along with its many well marked and easy to follow trails, make the chances of getting lost for any length of time unlikely. While some trails are flat and smooth; others are rocky and elevated and will require hikers to be in good physical shape.

Hikers stopping at the Lake credit: ZilkowskiWhen moving from campground to campground you can expect to do a minimum of 3 miles per day with 6 – 12 miles per day being more likely.  How much of the island you elect to explore is entirely up to you and will depend on how fast you want to move and how much time you have to spend. A typical week long stay will afford those in decent hiking shape a chance to explore roughly half of the island, or more if you really want to push it. In addition to hiking from campsite to campsite, you can also elect to catch the island ferry boat from various campsites located along the shoreline of Lake Superior.  For a fee the ferry will transport you around the island allowing you to be dropped off at any of the other campsites or ports it visits.


Campgrounds throughout the island are very basic with usually 6 – 8 individual sites.  Some sites also have separate areas for large group camping (these are reserved in advance).  Each campground has tent sites, a water source and outhouses.  Some campgrounds have a number of small shelters available, on a first come first serve basis. The shelters allow you to spend the night without having to pitch your tent.  Picnic tables can be found at some of the campsites and a select few allow campfires (within designated campfire rings only).

Hiking across wood planks credit: ZilkowskiFlora & Fauna:

The island contains lots of pine and birch forest as well as some swampy areas and rock outcroppings.  Many different animals call Isle Royale home but it’s most famous for its moose  and wolf populations.  Moose sighting are fairly common during your visit but it is only the lucky few who get the opportunity to catch a fleeting glimpse of the wolves.  A delicate balance exists between these two species for keeping the populations of one another in check, something you can learn more about during your visit.  There are no bears on the island but many other small animals will require you to make sure you keep your food safely tucked away when not eating it. 

Visitors to the park in August can treat themselves to wild berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and thimbleberries that grow readily along the trail and in the campsites. Water on the island is abundant but does require filtering and at various times of the year insects pests (mosquitos, blackflies) can reach very uncomfortable levels.  Fishing is allowed on Isle Royale and a Michigan fishing license is required for anyone 18 years or older wishing to fish in the waters of Lake Superior.  No license is necessary to fish the island’s interior lakes and ponds.

Group hiking credit: Zilkowski


Now is the time to start:

For the backpacking novice, or for those who have plenty of experience and just want to get away from it all for a brief period of time, Isle Royale National Park can be a perfect choice.  Fabulous scenery, no crowds, well maintained trails and campsites, fascinating wildlife, and an excellent opportunity to test one’s mettle make this little park one that is certain to be a memorable visit.  Now is a great time of year to start planning your trip and getting all the necessary permits, passes and reservations you’ll need and don’t forget to visit the National Park Service Isle Royale website soon to help you learn more about this fascinating island.


Put your best foot forward at Isle Royale by first visiting your local Bass Pro Shop.  We have all the equipment you’ll need to make sure you have a successful adventure.  Whether it’s the putting you into the proper hiking shoes or finding you the best backpack, we have the experts who have been there and done that and can help you make the right choices.  Our camping department carries a full line of backpacking supplies, everything from lightweight tents, backpacker stoves, freeze dried foods, maps, compasses, first aid kits and all the other essentials you need for wherever you want to venture. Stop by soon, we love to talk adventure!

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Bruce Zilkowski, Camping Department

Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL   


Learn about more great outdoor/camping places, visit Bruce's other blogs:



Turkey Run State Park – A great weekend escape!

                Turkey Run State Park, located near Marshall, IN, is the perfect summer time camping getaway.  Just 161 miles from the East Peoria Bass Pro Shops, this destination will place you into some of Indiana’s most scenic countryside.  Hiking, canoeing/tubing and swimming are the true “stars” for this park but other wonderful activities abound within and around this gem.  Turkey Run State Park has 213 campsites, each with electrical hook-ups available (Reservations are strongly recommended, especially for summer weekends). The campground area has modern restrooms with showers.  There is also a camp store onsite where you can purchase firewood, ice, snacks and any forgotten items that you might need.

                This is the place to go to change the mindset of anyone who’s ever thought that “hiking is boring”.  Turkey Run has some of the most fun hiking trails of any location in the entire Midwest.  Most of the trailheads start with a walk across Sugar Creek via the park’s iconic suspension bridge.Suspension Bridge at Turkey Run State Park, Photo courtesy Bruce  Zilkowski

Turkey Run Ladders, Photo Courtesy WikiMedia Commons

                Once on the other side you can explore trails anywhere from 0.5 – 3.0 miles in length or combine trails to make a longer route.  Amazing sandstone ravines and gorges will put you up close and personal with the creative power of nature.  Trail #3 is a particular favorite (especially with kids) for those who want a physical challenge. Described as “very rugged”, trail #3 will take you into canyons that require you to use large wooden ladders to escape and then it’ll take you through narrow passages that just might get your feet wet or have you scrambling over boulders.  It’s a natural playground that can be enjoyed by all those who dare take the challenge and the whole time you’ll be surrounded by beautiful forests and wonderful rock formations.

                After some great hiking take time to relax with a float trip down beautiful Sugar Creek which flows through the middle of Turkey Run State Park.  A number of private companies just outside of the park offer canoe, kayak, or tube rentals and will transport you to and from the “put in” and “take out” spots located on either end of the park boundaries.  A trip on this gently moving stream starts out by taking you under the Narrows Covered Bridge (one of many picturesque covered bridges in the area) and then through the heart of the park itself.  Sit back and relax as the current moves you along at a leisurely pace. You’ll pass under the suspension bridge about halfway through the trip and then finally end at Cox Ford Covered Bridge.  There is no better way to enjoy yourself on a hot summer afternoon.

A scenic view of Bruce  Zilkowski's feet from an intertube.                If you’re still looking for more water fun after your float trip, Turkey Run State Park has an Olympic-size swimming pool on site, complete with bathhouse and wading pool.  In addition, the park has a Nature Center that offers naturalist guided hikes and kids activities.  You can enjoy horseback riding or a hayride by visiting the park’s Saddle Barn. Sugar Creek is also a great place to wet a fishing line if you want to try your luck at landing a “big one”.

So go check it out; Turkey Run = Family Fun!

                Make your trip to Turkey Run State Park a huge success by stopping by your local Bass Pro Shops and talking with one of our camping associates.  Check out our great line-up of camping cookware.  We have a huge assortment of Lodge cast iron cookware and all the hot dog forks and pie irons you could need. We can help you find the right gear, at the right price, to give you a great weekend escape. 

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Bruce Zilkowski, Camping Department @ Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL
We invite you to visit some of Bruce's other "Places to Camp" blogs too!


The many reasons to camp at Peninsula State Park – Door County Wisconsin

“Go West, young man” may have been Horace Greeley’s advice to those seeking success back in the 1850’s, but if he’d a met a family looking for a good place to go for a week long camping trip then he might of said “Go North”.  Let’s face it, summer heat and camping aren’t always a great mix but cooler temperatures can often be found in the northern parts of the U.S.  One fantastic destination that gives you a chance to beat the heat and enjoy awesome family fun is Peninsula State Park located in Door County, Wisconsin.  Located 409 miles from the East Peoria Bass Pro Shops, Peninsula State Park is a huge park on the shores of Green Bay on Lake Michigan.  This northern location and the close proximity to the lake make for naturally cooler summer temperatures, perfect for evening campfires and cozy sleeping bags, but it also makes daytime activities that much more enjoyable as well. Peninsula State Park and Door County definitely have a wide assortment of things to do.        Peninsula State Park - Door Count Wisc, photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Peninsula has five campgrounds totaling 486 camping sites.  While most campsites are reservable, there are also some that are strictly first-come-first-serve.  All the campgrounds offer flush toilet and shower areas and some have electrical hook-ups available.  A vehicle sticker is required to enter the state park area ($35.00 for out-of-Staters staying a week or more). Once you make it into the park and set up your camp, then the real fun can begin.

Peninsula is a park with lots of different activities that will appeal to just about everyone. 

Peninsula State Park, Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

  • Swimming is available at Nicolet Beach, a sandy oasis that has a snack bar and rentals of kayaks and other water amusements. 
  • Bicycle rental is also available within the park and Peninsula has awesome bicycle trails.  You can stop at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse for a tour or bike to Sven’s Bluff or many of the other park’s famed scenic overviews.  Peninsula State Park, Outdoor Theatre Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
  • The park also has 20 miles of hiking trails which will let you explore the diverse habitat of the park, view impressive cliff formations and give you a good opportunity to spot some of the park’s wildlife.
  • Fishing, golf, tennis and volleyball are all available within the park. 
  • The White Cedar Nature Center is another great destination, it offers tours, nature crafts and outdoor activities.
  • You can take in a show at the American Folklore Theater with its magnificent open air, red pine backdrop and its family fun performances. 
  • And of course you’ll want to make sure you take a drive along the scenic Green Bay shoreline for incredible views and to find a great place to watch an awe-inspiring sunset.


Not only are there an amazing amount of activities at Peninsula State Park, there are also a wealth of family fun attractions packed into the entire Door County area.  There are many quaint, picturesque towns scattered around the county that have wonderful shops, restaurants, artist galleries and other fun family activities.  There are historic old lighthouses to see and cherry orchards where you can pick your own.  You can find Museums, Fish Boils, Petting Zoos, and Charter Fishing trips. From mini-golf to high end art studios, Door County has something that will interest everyone in your group.  This is one vacation spot where you won’t run out of things to do during your week-long stay.

Here’s a great camping tip before you escape the heat and head for Peninsula State Park in Door County.  First, stop by Bass Pro Shops and pick up a screen house enclosure.  Easy to set-up and big enough to contain a picnic table, a screen house will provide you a bug-free zone to cook, eat, or just relax if the local insects get a little too pesky.  Check out the Bass Pro and Coleman brands of these handy structures, your whole family will appreciate the comfort they provide.  Bass Pro Shops camping department has all the equipment you need to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors.

Peninsula State Park Visitor's Guide

This is the 3rd in a series of great Places to Camp. Please visit Bruce's other blogs:

Bruce Zilkowski, Camping Department
Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL




Colmara County Park - a County Park with Tremendous Camping Opportunities

We all know about our national park system and stalwarts like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon and most folks are familiar with state parks, as we all seem to have one located within an hour’s drive of our home.  But did you know there are also lots of great county and city parks that offer tremendous camping opportunities?  One such park is Comlara County Park located near Hudson IL in McLean County just 45 miles from the East Peoria Bass Pro Shops.  Comlara is a real gem and a great place to go for a weekend campout.  On the banks of Evergreen Lake, Comlara Park has it all. 

"Do you ever dream of owning lakefront property or wish you could be the people in the commercial with the perfect camping spot on the shores of a beautiful lake?"


Comlara gives you that opportunity even if it’s just for a few days.


Comlara Park has:

  • 144 campsites
  • 94 of which have electrical hook-ups
  • there are 23 non-electrical sites
  • 27 walk-in sites


Many of the walk-in sites will put you just feet from the water’s edge, what a view to wake up to in the morning! 

The campground area has water available as well as a shower house, a playground and a visitor center.  Both Ice and firewood are available for purchase on site.  Camping is available at the park year round and reservations can be made online at: 

In addition to camping, Comlara also offers plenty of other activities.  Evergreen Lake is a great place to fish and Comlara Park has lots of fishable shoreline.  For a modest fee you can launch a boat (there is a 10 hp limit) or rent Canoes, Kayaks, Paddle Boats, and Rowboats. Live bait is available for purchase. The park also contains many hiking/biking trails which are 0.5 – 3.0 miles in length and two of the trails are self-guided nature walks.  One other really unique feature for Comlara Park is their natural swimming area.  Separate from the main lake, the swim area is reminiscent of an old-fashion swimming hole with a sandy beach but lots of modern amenities including concession stand, giant water umbrella, float tubes and playground area. Lifeguards are on duty and there is a fee to use this facility.

So if you’re ready to move your camping experience from the backyard and take it to the next level then Comlara Park could be just the spot for you.  Make sure you stop by Bass Pro Shops camping department to double-check your packing list.  We have everything you could need from bug spray to our top-rated Ascend kayaks. This year could also be the perfect time to upgrade that old cooler.  We can show you all the latest innovated offerings from Igloo, Coleman, and Yeti that can not only give you a durable cooler but one that will also keep ice for days instead of hours. Once you’re ready, then go check-out Comlara Park and have some awesome family fun.


Bruce Zilkowski, Camping Department 
Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL



Springtime Camping at Starved Rock State Park

April is gone, May has begun and if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to start thinking Camping!  Comfortable daytime temperatures, cool nights and less bugs makes this a great time to go camping. So, whether you’re just looking for a little weekend adventure or want to do a shakedown campout before a big summer time trip here is a great destination for early spring; Starved Rock State Park near Utica Illinois. 

 Starved Rock waterfall - courtesy WikimediaLocated about 70 miles north of the East Peoria Bass Pro Shops, the “Rock” is an
awesome park and one of Illinois’ most visited outdoor locations. 

On the banks of the Illinois River, Starved Rock offers some incredible hiking opportunities that will take you through, in and over beautiful sandstone rock formations.  The park has over 13 miles of well-maintained, well-marked trails that let you explore its sandstone canyons; many of which have fabulous waterfall features. In fact, after a winter of heavy snowfall, this “Jewel of the State Park System” boasts up to an amazing eighteen running waterfalls. Early spring provides a once a year opportunity to witness their magnificence. In addition, you can also enjoy some incredible scenic views from on top the high bluff walls that overlook the IL. River valley.  Hike the paved trail to the top of the most famous formation in the park and learn about the Native American history which gives this “rock” its name. All of this right here in central Illinois!  Who knew? 

Actually, a lot of people know and during the summer season Starved Rock’s 120+ camping sites fill up fast and its trails can be downright crowded.  That makes April a perfect time to beat the crowds before the summer season arrives.  So check the weather report and find a nice weekend and make your camping reservation for Starved Rock with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. And remember, while spring rains can dampen some weekends they also bring out the beautiful early season wildflowers and you may even spot a tasty Morel mushroom or two. The early season moisture can also enhance the parks waterfalls making them even more spectacular than you’ll likely see later in the year.

Early spring is also an excellent time to spot lots of wildlife like White-tailed deer and the Bald Eagles that frequent the river banks around the park. It's also a great time to catch some fish from the park’s cement wall just above the river. Sauger, walleye and white bass all migrate upstream this time of year and some real trophies can be landed. If an unexpected spring shower does pop up then go check out the interior of the beautiful Starved Rock Lodge or visit the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center located just across the river from the park.  Here you can watch huge river barges “lock through” the dam and you can learn more about the river system itself. 

If you need help getting started with camping then stop by the camping department at Bass Pro Shops, for less than the cost of a two night hotel stay we can outfit you with a quality tent and sleeping bags from the top names in outdoor gear.  Companies like The North Face, Kelty, Coleman, Eureka, Ascend and many more.  If you’re a seasoned camper then stop by and see all the newest camping gear available, you’re sure to find something that will make your Starved Rock weekend getaway awesome family fun. Download the Starved Rock brochure.

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Bruce Zilkowski, Camping Department

Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL   


Never a Long Line to See Santa !

Santa at Bass Pro Shops East PeoriaDo you know about our Bass Pass System?

We don’t want you to have to wait in line any longer than ½ an hour, so we’ve instituted the Bass Pass system.

Bass Pass at Bass Pro Shops


If you’re planning on seeing Santa, stop by the bass pass station
(near Santa) the first thing when you get into the store. 

We’ll be handing out bass passes for the next
½ hour time slot.


 That way you can feel free to wander through Santa’s Wonderland, play games, sample fudge, shop, bowl or even grab a bite to eat at Uncle Buck’s. If you plan to bowl or eat, you may want to get a specific time slot, say, for an hour or an hour and a half away. That’s just fine too!

Mondays through Thursdays are always lighter in Santa's Wonderland  traffic compared to Fridays and Saturdays.  



Dates FREE Photos FREE Crafts FREE Games & Activities
November 15 -
December 6

Monday – Friday

Monday – Friday
Saturday & Sunday
Noon -5pm
Open – Close
December 7 -
December 23
Monday – Friday
Saturday & Sunday
Noon -5pm
Open – Close
November 28
December 24
10am-5pm 3 -5pm Open – Close
Store closes @6pm

Black Friday
November 29


10am-5pm 3 -5pm Open – Close

















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Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL             _____________________________________________________



Halloween Event @BassProPeoria !

October 24-31, 2014 

Halloween Photo Op @BassProPeoria Fairy Princess and seven dogs

We have crafts, free 4 x 6 photos, weeknight giveaways, weekend scavenger hunts - with prizes and on Halloween, we also have Trick-or-Treating and a Costume Parade!


  • Weeknights 5-8pm
  • Weekends 12-5pm

One free photo will be printed. Additional packages are available for purchase. Packages are printed in the store and delivered to the checkout lanes within about 15 minutes of your photo being taken. 



  • Weeknights 5-8 pm, Decorate a Stuffed Owl
  • Weekends 12-5pm, Decorate a felt Jack-O-Lantern 
  • Halloween Only 4-8pm Decorate a tiny Real-Pumpkin!
    * while supplies last


The 1st 100 kids to have their picture taken each weeknight will receive a a pair of glow-in-the-dark glasses!   


SATURDAY & SUNDAY only! 1-2 pm & 3-4pm


Halloween Night only! 6PM


Halloween Night only! 4-8pm
All 6 trick-or-treat stations are marked with balloons for easier locating.


Bass Pro Shops
East Peoria, IL

Like us on FaceBook!   Follow us @BassProPeoria






Spring Fishing Classic 2014 Next Generation Weekend!

 March 15 & 16 Kid's Weekend at our Spring Fishing Classic 2014 !  


Activities: 12-5pm (see workshops for specific times)Free Photo and Certificate at Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, Spring Fishing Classic

Bass Pro Shops, Spring Fishing Classic, Catch & Release PondBrand New / Larger
Free Craft at Bass Pro Shops East Peoria Spring Fishing ClassicCATCH & RELEASE POND

FREE 4 x 6 PHOTO in certificate

CRAFT: Wood Fish magnet 

Kids giveaway tackle box at the East Peoria Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing ClassicGIVEAWAY: The first 150 kids to complete
the punch card each day, will receive a
little tackle box. Compete card by participating in the catch and release pond and doing the craft.







    Workshops for Kids! March 15 & 16 at 2:30 & 4:30    

Bass Pro Shops, Spring Fishing Classic, Think Like a Fish Kid's Workshop



"Thinking Like a Fish"  We'll be teaching kids what causes a fish to think like a fish, and that alone, will give them insight to become the best fisher people they can be!

We'll cover topics such as where do they live, what do they eat and where
you might best them hanging out.


We'll also cover fishing equipment and safety and handing out Youth Journals to the participants as well!

Women's Beginning Fishing  Workshop!      March 15 at 3pm  Jim Crowely conducting seminar at Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria


Join JIM CROWLEY for our new seminar that designed just for the ladies!

We’ll teach you about spin casters and bait casters, fishing line, knots,  lures and worms. The workshop will be followed by a question and answer time. Your instructor will make sure to hang out in the fishing department so he’ll be available in case you want more help before or after the seminar!

Giveaways: 1st 50 seminar attendees to attend will receive a SFC tumbler.
Drawing: Ladyfish spinning rod/reel combo


Jim will also be delivering tank demonstrations on both days!

Join us on Facebook to stay up to date on this and other events.
Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL



The Spring Fishing Classic 2014 Seminar Schedule!

Please join us for the Spring Fishing Classic 2014!

******     February 28 - March 16  -  It's 3 weeks of fun/education and yes, even sales!     ******


On Friday, Feb 28, we'll have 3 (count them THREE) National Pros with seminars!
Pros will be in the store 5pm -close (9pm) on the 28th.


Captain Dale Stroschein


Just a handful of the covers in which Capt Dale Strochein has been featured.


Prior to chartering full time and maintaining his resort, Dale fished competitively on the Professional Walleye Trail for 12 years-each year qualifying for the national championship. He was the only angler to hold Big Fish records simultaneously for both the PWT and NAWA circuits.


These represent just a handful of the covers that have featured Captain Dale Strochein!








Casey Scanlon

Casey Scanlon Champion Trophy


Competing since  he was a teen - at age 15 he won his first club tournament! Casey Scanlon went on to plave 1st place in the 2012 Bass Pro Shops Central Open #2

Follow this link to Casey's articles on fishing lowland grass resevoirs.


Casey Scanlon B.A.S.S. numbers







Chase Parsons

Chase Parsons with FLW trophy


Chase boasts a number of Pro Walleye Tour (PWT) top-tens, Rookie of the Year honors in 2005 and a tournament win at Lake Oahe, S.D. in 2011.


Chase Parsons at winning check presentation.

Professional walleye fisherman Chase Parsons is presented with the $50,000 cash prize for winning the FLW National Guard walleye tournament on Lake Oahe in South Dakota.

March  1st & 2nd Seminars


Jim Crowley

Jim Crowley conducting fish tank demonstration at East Peoria Bass Pro Shops.

 We've got Jim Crowely of Hook & Hunt for the entire weekend! You don't want to be late for his 3:00 seminar - he's starting out with a short video of out-takes from his show.

 Jim Crowley, Hook & Hunt





The following Seminar and Tank Demonstrations will be held on both Saturday and Sunday:

11:00 Tank Demo: How to use lures to haul in the big ones.

1:00 Bass Class 101 - The Spring Connection

3:00 Tank Demo: How to use lures to haul in the big ones.


Local Pros Weekend      March 7 - 9

Seminars: Friday 7pm
Saturday and Sunday: Seminars will begin at 11am each day

1st 25 seminar attendees to attend a Saturday or Sunday (3/8 & 3/9) Seminar will receive a SFC tumbler!


March 7  

  7pm Flipping and Pitching for Bass
Saturday   March 8 & 9   
& Sunday     11am Locating Bass in New Waters
  1pm Topwater Techniques for Bass
  2pm Spinning Reel Tactics for Bass
  3pm Does the Color of Your Bass Lure Matter?
  4pm Become a Smallmouth Specialist
  5pm Choosing the Right Soft Plastics for Bass


"Thinking Like a Fish"      Workshops for Kids!  March 15 & 16 at 2:30 & 4:30    




We'll be teaching kids what causes a fish to think like a fish, and that alone, will give them insight to become the best fisher people they can be!

We'll cover topics such as where do they live, what do they eat and where you might best them hanging out.


We'll also cover fishing equipment and safety!


Women's Beginning Fishing  Workshop!      March 15 at 3pm  Jim Crowely conducting seminar at Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria


Join JIM CROWLEY for our new seminar that designed just for the ladies!

We’ll teach you about spin casters and bait casters, fishing line, knots,  lures and worms. The workshop will be followed by a question and answer time. Your instructor will make sure to hang out in the fishing department so he’ll be available in case you want more help before or after the seminar!

Giveaways: 1st 50 seminar attendees to attend will receive a SFC tumbler.
Drawing: Ladyfish spinning rod/reel combo


Jim will also be delivering tank demonstrations on both days!

Join us on Facebook to stay up to date on this and other events.
Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL



Crappie Madness 2014

Crappie Madness 2014


In addition to the Crappie Madness sale, we have
the following Special Event going on!


Crappie Seminar times at East Peoria Bass Pro Shops

dividerFirst weekend Pro Seminars:
Greg and Luke Humphreys!divider

Second Weekend: Local Pros  


From Prairie State Outdoors 


May 17, 2013 at 03:32 PM


Humphreys win Springfield Crappie Club tournament

 The team of Greg and Luke Humphrey took first place in the Springfield Crappie Club tournament on Lake Springfield May 11 with the weight was 5.96 pounds.

Luke Humphrey also caught the big fish of the day weighting at 1.56 pounds.


Crappie Madness SweepsFree Travel Mug to the 1st 25 people to each of these advertised seminars!

Bass Pro Shops travel mug giveaway

Styles may vary.



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 Bass Pro Shops Fish Fryer



Fried Fish Samples



February 8 & 15





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Kids Catch and Release Pond at Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria

Just For Kids!

It'sthe Catch and Release Pond!


Kids come and try your hand at fishing right here in the store! We've got the poles and we'll even bait the hook for you!


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FREE Photo Download!

Pose for the picture and we'll give you a locator card so that you can go online, grab your picture and download it to your computer. From there you can email it to the grandparents (or the buddy who would be so envious), share it on facebook, make it your desktop background or even have it professionally printed/mounted or framed! Anything you want, it's copyright free.

Crappie Madness Free Photo Download from Bass Pro Shops

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Bass Pro Shops Crappie Madness Affliliates

We'll see you here! Like us on Facebook 
Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL

For up to date event schedules and more:


It's the 2013 Fall Fishing Event!

Fall Fishing Event signage

Dates & Times: Saturdays, September 21 & 28     &    
Sundays, September 22 & 29   Noon-4pm

Fishing Seminars

Saturdays 9/21 & 9/28, 2013

  • Fish Hatcheries – From Hatcheries to Lakes     1pm
    • Visit with the Jake Wolf Hatcheries staff Mark Sarti (22st) and Tom Hays (29th).
    • Learn more about fish hatcheries and how our lakes are stocked.
  • What You Should Know About Fishing Using Electronics         2pm
    • Learn how to use your GPS to find the best catch.
  • Best Baits; Baits That Work For Successful Fall Fishing       3pm
    • Visit with experts on what’s hot in baits for fall.

Sundays 9/22 & 9/29, 2013Rob Hilsabeck, IDNR Fisheries Biologist

  • Area Fishing; What You Should Know   1pm
    • Visit with the IDNR’s Fisheries Biologists Wayne Herndon (22st) and Rob Hilsabeck (29th).
  • Expert Tips; Best Fall Fishing Practices   2pm
    • Learn about local fishing and selecting the right equipment.
  • Changing Water Conditions; How It Effects Fishing      3pm
    • Water conditions change when weather shifts. Attend this seminar to learn the effects.

Seminar Giveaway:   Fishing Towel Giveaway to first 50 Customers to attend 2pm Seminars each day!

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Kids Activities

Boy & girl at Bass Pro Shops Catch & Release pond.CATCH & RELEASE POND  
Noon-4pm each weekend day of the event


Noon – 1pm each weekend day of the eventMike Rolen conducting kid's seminar

  • Learn the basics of fishing.
  • This class will include hands-on casting instructions.
  • Kids that complete the workshop will receive a Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team certificate and a free pair of sunglasses!


Noon-4pm each weekend day of the event
It's You At the Lake! backdrop. We'll take your photo and you go online for your free download.

1-3pm each weekend  day of the event
Color Your Own Tackle Box!
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To stay up to date on all our events, please like us on Facebook!

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Hometown Festival - 100% FREE Event!

Bass Pro Shops prize wheel3 balloonsYou won’t have to wonder where the Hometown Festival is – we’re marking its location with pennants and balloons!

Lots of great family activities going on – inside! So no matter what the weather gives us that weekend, we’re sure to give you that Hometown Festival fit for the whole family. But our Festival is entirely FREE!

Four PRIZE WHEEL activities
(complete all four & spin the prize wheel!) 
•Bass Pro Shops BB Range
•Metal detector treasure hunt
•Casting buckets
•Duck Pond/pick a duck, win a prize


Pick a duck game pond at Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops / Daisy Shooting Range


yellow balloonSeminars:

•1:30pm Smokin’ – Tips for successful meat smoking
Outdoor Grilling – Choosing the right grill
Dutch Oven Cooking – Tips for outdoor cooking

Photo download image #14 Tony Stewart Car



Product Demos & Bass Pro Shops Food Samples 

Photo Op!

How would you like to be in the driver's seat of the # 14 Tony Stewart car? Well, okay, can't help you there, but we can get you a free photo download that makes it look like you're behind the wheel!


We've Got Festival Food!

          Hot Dogs 1-4pm each day!
Homemade Ice Cream 4-5pm each day!

Color a duck craftGiveaways!

We're giving away THREE 25.00 Gift Cards each day

And even more Family Activities! yellow balloon

Face Painting
Coloring sheets

Hometown Festival Nascar Sprint Sweepstakes

 small balloon floats

Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL



Our Largest Hunting Sale of the Season!!!!

It’s that time already!!!! It’s time for our Fall Hunting Sale and Event. Between the seminars, sales, trade-ins, and special savings too, you’re sure to feed your hunting fever and get yourself primed for the season. This 3 week event begins Friday, August 2 and runs through August 18, 2013!

TRADE IN Days Schedule: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bass Pro Shops Bow & Crossbow Trade-In!

August 2-7    Bow Trade-In

August 8-13   Scope Trade-In

August 14-18  Binocular and
Range Finder Trade-In

Bow Trade in values



Bass Pro Shops Scope Trade In!Bass Pro Shops Binocular & Rangefinder Trade in! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bass Pro Shops 2nd Amendment Instant Savings!~~~~~

Also, during the 2013 Fall Hunting Classic, customers who purchase any in-stock gun or safe using their Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards credit card August 2-11 are eligible to receive an instant discount equal to the tax rate on their gun or safe purchase.


If you don’t yet have a BPS Outdoor Rewards Credit Card, make sure to apply so that you will receive not only this benefit, but also 10% off your entire first purchase (after the tax rebate is applied).



Hunting Pros appearances and seminars
for Sunday August 4, 2013


Deceiving the Wild Turkey

MAD® Gold Staff Member   

Bowhunting Big Whitetails  

Mossy Oak® Pro Staff                   

Competition Shooting 

World's Best All-Around Shooter,
RedHead® Pro Hunting Team Member/2013 Member,
Team Safariland™     

            Bass Pro Shops Hunting Pros Schedule for East Peoria, IL




August 9, 10 & 11 is our Hunter’s Appreciation Weekend!


Friday, August 9
6:30 pm Tips for Bow Hunting
7: 30 pm Tactics for Hunting Deer
Saturday, August 10
1:30 pm Shed Hunting: How to Successfully Hunt for Sheds
2:30 pm From the Field to the Table: How to Cook Tender Deer Meat
3:30 pm Local Hunting Tips and Techniques
4:30 pm Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun and 3-Gun Shooting
 5:30 pm Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Choosing the Correct Camouflage Clothing
Sunday, August 11
1:30 pm   Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun and 3-Gun Shooting
2:30 pm Tactics for Hunting Deer
3:30 pm Local Hunting Tips and Techniques
4:30 pm What’s new in Scent Control
5:30 pm Tips for Game Camera Placement

Bass Pro Shops Daily Specials during our biggest Hunting Sale!


Make sure to attend our Seminars
and take advantage of
the Daily Specials! 

Bass Pro Shops Fall Hunting Classic East Peoria, IL Calendar

Bass Pro Shops Hunting Trip Sweeps



Bass Pro Shops Next Generation Logo
Then August 17 & 18 is our Next Generation Weekend! A weekend set aside for the kids right here at
East Peoria, IL Bass Pro Shops!




Sharing the Sport: Tips for Introducing Kids to Fishing

First fishing tripDads, take time to take your kids fishing.  Don’t put off another fishing trip with your son or daughter.  It can be the most rewarding thing that you have ever done. 

I had the opportunity to take my 2 year old for the first time about a month ago.  I had been waiting for this day for a long time.  We had a VERY successful first trip out! 

Almost every other cast had a fish on the end of the line and my son was screaming with glee;
“Lets get another one Daddy!!”. 
He held his fish up with pride and a sense of accomplishment.  It was one of the best days of my life as a father. 

Watching my son fall in love with this great sport was priceless!  There are some easy steps to make that first fishing trip memorable:


First fish!





1. Make sure that you take your child to a place that you know you can catch fish.  Sometimes this can be difficult, and it may take some advance scouting.  We are fortunate to have friends that have a fully stocked lake.  Make sure that you have easy access to the water also. I haven't been, but I've been told that Banner Marsh has a great fishing pond for kid's. They keep it well stocked and you can't fish there if you don't have a kid with you.



Taking the kids fishing. Looking at those faces let's you know that it was so worth the time.



2. Have Patience.  If the fishing is slow, don’t get frustrated.  Make sure that you keep a positive upbeat attitude or your child may become frustrated.


3. Don’t plan an all day trip.  Especially in young children, their attention span is short.  Make sure that you set aside a couple of hours in the morning or evening when the weather is not so hot.  Let the child dictate how long the trip will last.  When they are ready to go,  take them home,  don’t force them to stay.


4. Keep it simple.  A rod, reel, bobbers, and worms is all that you need.  Along with a pair of pliers and a fish basket if you’re keeping fish.


Take lots of photos.5. Don’t take a rod of your own.  This is probably the hardest step for most fathers.  Leave all of your personal rods at home and put all of the focus on your child.    Bait the hook for them if they can’t and make sure that you help them take the fish off and get used to holding and touching it.


6. Take lots of photos.  It is so important to capture memories with your children.  My sons love to look at pictures that we have taken on our phones.  It also gets them excited for the next trip.


I hope these tips have helped.  As always,  we are always here to help at the East Peoria, IL Bass Pro Shops.  Our team will be more than happy to assist in any fishing trip that you have coming up, big or small.

Josh Catour, Fishing/Camping GSM

I had been waiting for this day for a long time.


Family Summer Camp 2013 !!!

Bass Pro Shops Family Summer Camp logo


It's that time
of year!
It's time for
Family Summer Camp
right here at
Bass Pro Shops!

Every Saturday, Sunday,
Tuesday and Thursday

June 8 - July 14, 2013


12 – 5pm
unless otherwise noted

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Bass Pro Shops Family Summer Camp - Daisy bb gun shotting range

Bass Pro Shops Casting BusketsDaisy BB Gun
shooting range


Casting Buckets

 Bass Pro Shops Shooting Arcade
Soft Foam Shooting Arcade


Ice Cream Sampling

(See Schedule below)


Crafts (different craft each week)


Homemade Ice Cream Saturdays Only! 5-6pm


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 Each family will receive a Field and Stream Summer Sun Guide.Field and Stream Family Summer Guide Bass Pro Shops









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Each child will receive ONE free lanyard and then earn a FREE pin at the completion of every workshop they complete! There are 9 different workshops to attend, each is offered more than once per week to better accommodate everyone’s family schedule.


Tuesday's Schedule
Noon Bird Watching 
1:00 Fishing 
2:00 Archery
3:00 Outdoor Discovery 
4:00 Backyard Adventure 

Thursday’s Schedule
Noon Archery
1:00 Shooting & Hunting
2:00 Wildlife Exploration
3:00 Water Safety
4:00 Camping

Saturday’s Schedule 
Noon Fishing 
1:00 Water Safety 
2:00 Hunting & Shooting 
3:00 Outdoor Discovery 
4:00 Bird Watching 
Sunday’s Schedule
Noon Hunting & Shooting
1:00 Archery
2:00 Wildlife Adventure
3:00 Camping
4:00 Backyard Adventure


enamel pins for workshop attendance

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Crafts !!!
A different craft every week! Craft hours 12-2 each day of camp.

Bass Pro Shops Family Summer Camp Crafts by week

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Additional Activities: Bass Pro Shops Catch and Release fishing pond



Catch and Release Pond
Bass Pro Shops FREE photos

Free Photo with Dad! (Dad is not required to have your photo taken and printed)

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East Peoria, IL


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Thinking Outside the Boat

Fishing manager Josh Catour in Ascend kayakThis past week I finally had the opportunity that I had been waiting for.  Jake,  our Hunting Manager at the store, and I finally had the day off together.  Jake is leaving for the Anchorage,  Alaska store very soon and he wanted to get me out in a kayak to fish.  I am a guy that doesn’t like to sit down when I fish.  I like to stand up and be able to see down into the water and be able to “cross the eyes” of the fish I hook into.  So, I was pretty skeptical when it came to kayak fishing.

After about 20 minutes of being in the kayak I was able to cast and paddle and actually do some fishing.  Two things I learned from the start;  Number 1 is Kayaks are actually very stable,  I was able to cast, paddle, and land fish with no problem.  And 2, sitting on the water brings  a whole different perspective to fishing.  I was a lot more aware of the things around me.  I could enjoy the outdoors a lot more, relaxing in the kayak and fishing, without having to worry about running a motor. 

Needless to say, I can’t wait for my next kayak fishing trip!  There are some HUGE advantages of kayak fishing compared to fishing from a motor driven boat:

Hunting manager Jake Fergesen in Ascend kayak

Affordability:  An Ascend fishing kayak from Bass Pro will cost around $700,  this includes your paddle and paddling vest.  Compared to a jon boat with motor that will cost thousands.  No more spending money on gas for the motor either.

Access to Water:  You need just 6 inches of water to launch a loaded kayak (300 to 400 lbs).  Think of all of those hard to get to places that you could never get to in your boat or those undiscovered creeks where a fish has never seen a lure.  No more waiting in line at the boat ramp either.

Stealth:  Once you learn to paddle,  you can get right on top of the fish.  On those sunny clear water days you won’t have to worry about spooking the fish with the trolling motor or staying way off the bank to cast.  With the quietness of the kayak you become a lot more aware of your surroundings and can really enjoy nature the way God intended.

Maintenance:   Or lack thereof.  The beauty of the fishing kayak is the simplicity of owning one.  There is no oil, no gas, no engine maintenance, no winterization, and most of the time, no trailer to worry about.  Kayaks can be stored in a garage without having to leave a car out.  You can throw a kayak in the back of a pick up or strap it to the roof of a car.  The low maintenance of a kayak also helps you to be able to get on the water more often,  which is always a good thing!

Health Benefits:  Paddling a kayak around all day will help to build back, arm, shoulder,  and chest strength.  Being  in the outdoors and fishing also helps to boost morale.  My soul just feels at ease when I can get outdoors and get on the water.

Come by and see us in the East Peoria, IL Bass Pro Shops Camping department.  Our staff is eager to help with any of your kayaking needs.

Josh Catour
Fishing/Camping GSM
Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria



It's the Kid's Weekend at our Bass Pro Shops Go Outdoors Event!

Bass Pro Shops GO Outdoors Event and Sale logo

For 2 days only!    
~ May 25 & 26 ~      
11am - 5pm



Hey kids! Are you ready to Go Outdoors?! After you attend this event, you’ll be excited to get out there and have an awesome summer!

Seminars:       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Seminars at Go Outdoors Kids Weekend, Bass Pro Shops

11:00am Safe Passage
1:30pm Kid’s Geocaching
2:00pm Safe Passage
2:00pm Fish Feeding
3:30am Safe Passage
4:00pm Kid’s Geocaching


12:30pm, 2:30pm & 4:30pm Priorities of Survival
This is the same workshop as we conducted in the first weekend of grown-up seminars.
The kid’s are most welcome to attend, but this
workshop is not specifically designed for them.   


Bass Pro Shops / Daisy Shooting RangeFree Photo Download at Bass Pro Shops Go Outdoors

     Activities:   11am – 4pm


  • Bass Pro Shops Daisy Shooting Range
  • Metal Detector Treasure Hunt
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Free Downloadable Photo
  • 12pm – 4 pm Craft: Color a BPS logo water bottle
  • & a coloring sheet is available







After completing the activities, kids get a (really cool) Flashing Clip!
(While supplies last.)


We'll see you here!

Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL




The Oakley / GoPro Sweepstakes !

The Oakley / GoPro Sweepstakes !"Oakley/ GoPro SWEEPSTAKES”

So, do you remember the blog from a couple of weeks ago? The one where I wrote about the GoPro HERO3 camera? Well in this sweepstakes (5/17/13- 5/27/13) we're giving one away! No kidding! Read on for more info on the entire prize packages.

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Each store is giving away a
Go Outdoors Prize Package consisting of:

One pair of Oakley®
Flak Jacket® Sunglasses,
and one GoPro HERO3Camera.
The total approximate retail value
of the prize is US$549.

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Then there's also a Grand Prize Package consisting of:  a trip for winner and one guest to attend the U.S. Open Surf event in Huntington Beach, CA, during the dates of July 25-28, 2013. Prize consists of round trip coach air transportation from the major commercial airport closest to winner’s residence and use of a rental car (winner or winner’s guest must be eligible and comply with rental company’s terms and conditions or this portion of the prize will be forfeited); standard double-occupancy hotel accommodations for 3 days/3 nights (Sponsor will cover a maximum of US$7,000 in air travel, rental car and hotel costs); and attendance to select events at the U.S. Open Surf event Total combined approximate retail value of prize is US$7,000.

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Stop on in to the store and enter before it's too late! 

Last day to enter is Monday, May 27, 2013. 

We'll be drawing for our winner on Tuesday May 28, 2013.


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aqua facebook iconThis sweeps in in conjunction with our Go Outdoors Event and Sale!
You can see the complete sales ad here: Go Outdoors!

For the complete seminar, ATV obstacle course information and the Kid's Weekend Schedule,

please visit our Facebook page.


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Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL



1. ELIGIBILITY: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR CLAIM PRIZE. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia (“U.S.”) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry.

Employees of Bass Pro Intellectual Property, L.L.C., a Missouri Limited Liability Company; Bass Pro Shops Canada

(Calgary), Inc., a Canadian corporation; and Bass Pro Shops Canada, Inc., an Ontario corporation (the “Sponsors”), and their respective subsidiaries, agencies, affiliates and members of the immediate families (spouses and parents, siblings, children and their spouses and in-laws) and persons living in the same household of such individuals are not eligible. Void in Quebec and where prohibited.

2. TO ENTER: You may enter two ways:

In-Store: Entry forms are available at participating Bass Pro Shops locations. To enter, complete an official entry form or hand print your name, complete address, daytime phone number, email address and date of birth on a 3”x5” piece of paper and deposit it in an official ballot box at one of the participating Bass Pro Shops locations between the following dates: In the U.S., 5/17/13 through close of business on 5/27/13. In Canada, 5/11/13 through close of business on 5/20/13.

Online: You may also enter by visiting (“Web Site”), beginning at 12:00 am CT on 5/17/13 in the U.S., 5/11/13 in Canada (excluding Quebec). Complete the appropriate entry form and submit as directed. Entries must be received by Web Site’s server by 11:59 pm CT on 5/27/13 for U.S. entries, and 11:59 pm CT on 5/20/13 for Canada entries. Web Site’s server is the official clock for this promotion.

LIMIT ONE ENTRY PER PERSON, PER METHOD OF ENTRY. No mechanical reproductions permitted.



FIRST PRIZES: On or about 5/28/13, a random drawing will be conducted by each participating U.S. Bass Pro Shops location’s management from among all eligible entries received at that particular location. On or about 5/21/13, a random drawing will be conducted by each participating Canada Bass Pro Shops location’s management from among all eligible entries received at that particular location. On or about 5/31/13, a random drawing will also be conducted by Promotion Mechanics, Inc., an independent judging organization, from among all eligible entries received online.

Each drawing will award the following prize: a Go Outdoors Prize Package consisting of one pair of Oakley® Flak Jacket® Sunglasses, and one GoPro HERO3Camera. The total approximate retail value of the prize is US$549. The specific items are to be selected by Sponsor.

GRAND PRIZE: On or about 6/24/13, a random drawing will be conducted by Promotion Mechanics, Inc., an independent judging organization, from among all eligible in-store and online entries combined to award the following prize:

(1) Grand Prize: a trip for winner and one guest to attend the U.S. Open Surf event in Huntington Beach, CA, during the dates of July 25-28, 2013. Prize consists of round trip coach air transportation from the major commercial airport closest to winner’s residence and use of a rental car (winner or winner’s guest must be eligible and comply with rental company’s terms and conditions or this portion of the prize will be forfeited); standard double-occupancy hotel accommodations for 3 days/3 nights (Sponsor will cover a maximum of US$7,000 in air travel, rental car and hotel costs); and attendance to select events at the U.S. Open Surf event Total combined approximate retail value of prize is US$7,000. Actual value will be determined by winner’s residence and seasonal rates. Any difference between the actual value and the stated value will not be awarded. All taxes on the prize and expenses not specified are winner’s sole responsibility. Winner and guest must travel on the same itinerary, and must comply with all security requirements. If winner is a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, he/she must travel with his/her parent/legal guardian. All travel, accommodations and events are subject to availability, change, and certain restrictions. If any portion of prize is cancelled or postponed, the remaining portion of the prize will be awarded as complete and final and no compensation will be offered. Trip must be taken on dates specified by Sponsor, and as otherwise stated in these rules. All travel arrangements must be made through Sponsor’s corporate travel department. If winner cannot accept prize as stated, prize will be forfeited in its entirety and awarded to an alternate winner.

Winners will be notified by telephone and/or mail at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Canadian residents, in order to win, must first correctly answer a mathematical skill testing question. Odds of winning First Prize will be determined by the number of eligible entries received at each store and online. Odds of winning Grand Prize will be determined by the number of eligible entries received overall.

4. GENERAL: Taxes on prizes and expenses not specified, including transportation to and from the departure airport, are the sole responsibility of winners. By participating, entrants agree (a) to these rules and decisions of judges which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release and hold harmless Sponsor, its subsidiaries, affiliates and agencies, and their respective directors, officers, employees, agents and representatives (the “Releasees”) from any and all claims, demands, costs, expenses, liability, losses or damages of any kind resulting from their participation in the promotion or their acceptance, use or misuse of a prize, including liability for personal injury or death; (c) if a winner, to the use by any of the Releasees of name and/or photograph for advertising and publicity purposes without compensation (unless prohibited by law) and to execute specific consent to such use if asked to do so, and to the announcement of their name, city and state; and (d) that Sponsor and its agents have not made any representation, warranty or guaranty, in whole or in part, in law or in fact, relative to the prize. Winners may be required to complete an affidavit or declaration of eligibility and liability release and (where legal) a publicity release, and W9 Form, which must be returned within the time period specified by Sponsor or an alternate winner may be selected. The value of the prize will be taxable to prize winner as income if the winner is a U.S. resident. Return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification of winner and selection of an alternate winner. Grand Prize winner is responsible for all required travel documents and any travel insurance. Once travel documents are issued, travel arrangements may not be changed without the approval of Sponsor, which may be withheld for any reason whatsoever. Releasees are not responsible and shall not be liable for: (a) any telephone, electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet or computer malfunctions, failures, or difficulties of any kind, including without limitation, server malfunction or by any human error which may occur in the processing of entries; (b) failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions; (c) late, lost, illegible, postage-due, incomplete, damaged or misdirected entries or mail; and (d) any condition caused by events that may cause the promotion to be disrupted or corrupted. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel or suspend the sweepstakes or any portion thereof should viruses, bugs, or other causes corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the promotion; in which case prize will be awarded via a random drawing from among all eligible entries received prior to cancellation. In case of dispute, entries will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the email address used to participate at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g. business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email address for the domain associated with the submitted email address. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE PROMOTION MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. In no event will Sponsor, its subsidiaries, affiliates and agencies, and their respective directors, officers, employees, agents and representatives be responsible or liable for any damages or losses of any kind, including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising out of your access to and use of the internet site or other sites promoting the sweepstakes or the downloading from and/or printing material downloaded from said sites. Without limiting the foregoing, everything on this site is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement. Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the Web site. Entries become the property of Sponsor. No prize transfer. No prize substitution except at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

5. ARBITRATION/CHOICE OF LAW: Except where prohibited, entrants agree that (a) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this promotion, or any prize awarded, or the determination of the winners, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by arbitration pursuant to the Rules of the American Arbitration Association, then effective, in Greene County, Missouri, (b) any and all claims, judgements and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this promotion but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will entrant will be permitted to obtain awards for and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages (other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses), and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of entrant and/or Sponsor in connection with the promotion, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Missouri, without regard for conflicts of law doctrine, and all proceedings shall take place in Greene County, Missouri.

6. PRIVACY POLICY: Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the Web Site.

7. WINNERS LIST: For a list of winners, mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope to be received by 7/31/13 to: Bass Pro Shops "U.S. Open Surf" Sweepstakes Winners, PMI Station, P.O. Box 750, Southbury, CT 06488-0750.

Sponsors: Bass Pro Intellectual Property, L.L.C., a Missouri Limited Liability Company, 2500 E. Kearney, Springfield, MO 65898, USA.
Bass Pro Shops Canada (Calgary), Inc., a Canadian corporation, 2500 E. Kearney, Springfield, MO 65898, USA.
Bass Pro Shops Canada, Inc., an Ontario corporation, 2500 E. Kearney, Springfield, MO 65898, USA.
Administrator: Promotion Mechanics, Inc., 87 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470, USA.



The Ultimate Adventure Camera - the Go Pro Hero 3

Go Pro Hero3 video and still cameraWith the rain of the past week, I’ve had the occasion to go through the photos of my yesteryear, very quickly. After having Go Pro Hero3 in housing unitrescued them, I now have them laying all over my house to dry. I came across some blurry, underwater photos that I remember having been “state of the art” in their day.

I was a kid. I had an underwater camera. I was cool.

Looking at those photos now, I’ve decided they aren’t worth the space they’ll take to dry out and it was just time to let them go.

Then, this morning I walked past the Go Pro Hero3 Camera display. I watched the video that was showing there and starting thinking about my tax return… And you should always do a little something nice for yourself when the tax return comes in right? I mean, it is for the family after all. I could go from yesterday’s cool kid to today’s family hero! I found more videos online too.

So doing a little research, I’ve found out that I think I really, really need this camera!

With high quality, professional, high-def videos and 11 MP still photos in a completely waterproof camera?
I thought “Wait. What? Seriously?” I read that it captures video in 1080p at 30 frames per second, 960p at 48 fps or 720p at 60 fps. That’s the Silver Edition, with the Black Edition the capture rates jump exponentially.

Okay so then I figured out that although you can hold this camera if you want to, it’s hands free capabilities Go Pro Hero3 accessoriesare really selling me. The store has all kinds of mounting accessories, depending on the type of outdoor adventure you enjoy. There’s a roll bar strap and a handlebar mount (depending upon the number of wheels you’re sporting); a tripod mount and a suction cup; and, these sound like particular fun- a head strap and a chest strap (I’m thinking kayak, skiing, and I’m wondering what it would be like off a diving board. Hmm.)

It’s a rugged little thing too, housed in polycarbonate. It’s shock and waterproof up to 197’ (a feature I’m quite sure I’ll never test to its fullest.) It looks like it accepts up to 64 GB microSD card but that’s not included, so I’ll be picking up one or maybe two of those as well.Go Pro Hero3 camera front view

This little camera has Wi-fi capabilities and can be controlled remotely. I see where the remote is sold separately from the Silver edition but it’s included in the Black series. But, get this, there’s also a smart phone/tablet ap. You can control the camera’s shutter with your phone!  Ha! Ha ha! (I’m picturing having the camera sitting inconspicuously … so yea well, never mind.  There’s also time lapse settings. You can set it for every 1/2 second to every 60 seconds (gorgeous sunsets across the water are the first thing that comes to mind with that 60 second option – of course trying to get everyone in for a group photo could create an awesome series of funny moments captured forever in time.)


Sunset on the water animationI’d have given anything to have had this camera on one particular canoe trip. It was a bird-singing, gentle breeze in-the-hair, light bit-of-fishing kind of morning that ended up with an all-out-pushing against-the-white-caps, sore-muscle, wiping-the-rain out of your eyes, few-mile-trip back to the shore kind of afternoon. One of the best days of my life.

Bonnie Cannon, Promotions
Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL






Kid's Outdoor Skills Challenge!

For two weekends only! April 20 & 21 and 27 & 28  Noon - 4pm

Bring the family on out for this fun kid's challenge where the kid's will have fun while they show off and/or learn some important outdoor skills!

Except in the event of rain, all activities will be taking place outdoors.

The Challenges -

Bass Pro Shops East PeoriaCasting:  Casting for accuracy is changing this year. This time the target will be a floating hula-hoop in the pond out front!  

Backpack packing: We’ll have backpack worthy and backpack-unworthy items available for the kids will race each other to pack their bag with the appropriate items!Kid's outdoor archery barn at Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL

Archery: Like in the past, we’ll set the outdoor range up in the parking lot.  Kids will take aim at balloons, which is fun no matter what your age!

Knots: Learning to tie a proper knot is essential when camping or enjoying the outdoors. Kids will learn to make knots around a dowel rod. They will be able to take their string and the helpful knot tying card with them!

  Lighted wristband giveaway from Bass Pro Shops


The first 100 kids to complete the challenges each day will receive
a lighted Bass Pro Shops wristband!



The Bass Pro Shops prize wheel!



Then, Spin the Prize Wheel!

After completing the challenges, all kids will get to spin the Prize Wheel!




The Crafts:

dragonfly craft at Bass Pro Shops Kid's Challenge Weekend Foam Creature craft at Bass Pro Shops Kid's Challenge Weekend owl craft
Saturday April 20   
Dragon Fly craft 

Sunday April 21     
Animal Craft 

Saturday & Sunday  
April 27 & 28    
Color an Owl mask

 Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria, IL