Simple Steps With Wes....First Aid Kits


I get a lot of questions about making a first aid kit and specifically about aspirin and ibuprofen so here you go.



also known as acetylsalicylic acid, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is used to treat minor body aches and pains, headaches, and reduce fevers. Aspirin has two major side effects. The first is that it can be stomach irritant. It also thins out platelets, the cells responsible for blood clots which can be dangerous. On an upside, the same blood thinning side effect can assist with altitude sickness.

Ibuprofen (commonly branded as Advil or Motrin)

can be better to treat pain from soft tissue injuries and dental pain. Unlike aspirin, it has a very mild blood-thinning effect, so if you have conditions where loss of platelets would be a concern, ibuprofen is a better choice. There have been some concerns that ibuprofen can contribute to kidney damage, so those with kidney concerns you should consult with a health care provider before taking it.

I will say this, prepackaged first aid kits can be a good starting point. You should always customize them with specific items to support you and your group's needs. Add an old pair of your eyeglasses to your kit. Even if it is not the exact prescription it's better than nothing if yours are broken or lost. Also add a couple of days worth of medication that is taken regularly by you or persons in your group especially for those with heart problems or diabetes. Lastly inspect and change items regularly. Bandages dry out, medication expires. Be at your best when things are at their worst


Time to Circle the Wagons Again!

All right all you little buckaroos! It’s about that to put on your western best and head on down to Bass Pro Shops for our PBR Weekend! If you know what I’m talking about (I’m just as excited!) and if you don’t you better be ready to hold onto them horses!

Every year we do a Professional Bull Riders themed event in our store. Earlier this year our store was picked to hold a special one, that hopefully ya’ll were able to make it to. If you missed it, now is your chance to right that wrong!

It is going to be Saturday, July 26th and Sunday, July 27th! This FREE family event will be held both days from High Noon! (12PM) until 4PM. We will have such rootin’-tootin’ events as: stick-bull riding, roping practice, face painting and the coolest craft this side of the Mississip’!

Apart from that on Saturday from 1PM-2PM we will have a Bull Riding Expert in-store for a meet & greet and some autographing.

And on Sunday we will have a Best Cowboy or Cowgirl Contest! Now is the time to let any young ones live out their fantasy of being a cowboy or cowgirl and let them dress the part! Starting at 2:30PM kids can meet at our Main Fish Tank for the judging to begin! The winner will be selected at 3PM so don’t be late! And besides the honor of being this year’s Bass Pro Best Cowboy or Cowgirl, the winner will go home with a $50 Bass Pro Shops gift card!

Last but not least, the first 100 customers to attend the event both days will receive a cowboy hat key chain with light!

So this aint no time to get a hitch in your giddy-up, make sure you make it down for our PBR Weekend this year! Oh, and catch up on some of your western jargon beforehand!


Simple Steps With Wes.....Epi-Pen

A life‑threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) is a severe reaction to a specific allergen, or allergic trigger. Common allergic triggers can include but are not limited to food, biting or stinging insects, medications and Exercise‑induced anaphylaxis is also possible, and sometimes anaphylaxis has no apparent cause at all (this is known as idiopathic anaphylaxis).

Food allergies are on the rise, especially in children. As many as 8 million Americans, or 2.5% of the US population, have food allergies. The foods that most commonly cause anaphylaxis include:

Peanuts (the main cause of allergies in children)


Tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and cashews)









Shellfish (such as shrimp and lobster—the main cause of anaphylaxis in adults)
Fish, Cow’s milk, Eggs, Wheat, and


People with insect allergies can be treated with standardized insect injections (immunotherapy), which may provide long‑term protection against insect stings. However, not everyone treated this way remains tolerant to insect stings or bites for life. You may still need to carry an EpiPen 2‑Pak®.

In case of anaphylaxis triggered by insect bites or stings, administer the EpiPen or EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) Auto‑Injector immediately and seek emergency medical care.


Simple Steps With Wes....Scorpions

So I have received a rise in calls and messages about scorpions, and specifically treatment of stings. Scorpions are nocturnal, and start to come out once the nighttime temps stay above 70 degrees. (Laugh but Arizona day temps are already ...hitting triple digits regularly now) To start, scorpions don't bite, they sting you with their tail. Although they have claws, most are of little harm and are used for grasping insects. The most poisonous and most commonly found scorpions in homes here in Arizona is the Bark Scorpion (pictured below).


Although it's sting can be deadly most health adults will experience discomfort related to a harsh bee sting. The most effective way to prevent scorpions in your home is to remove their food source and treat your home for standard insects. Cleaning your yard and patio of debris and if you have fruit trees, remove fruit that falls to the ground in a timely manner. If a child or elderly person is stung it is best to seek immediate medical attention. If possible bring the scorpion with you to the hospital (dead or alive) as identification of the scorpion type will aid in treatment. In most cases though If a scorpion stings you or your child, follow these steps:

1. Clean the wound with soap and water.
2. Apply cold compresses to the affected area to ease the pain and slow the venom's spread. This is most effective in the first two hours after a sting occurs.
3. Keep the affected limb raised to the level of your heart.
4. Try to stay calm and quiet so that the poison spreads more slowly.
5. Don't consume food or liquids if you're having difficulty swallowing.
6. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Chlidren's Motrin, others), can help ease discomfort. But avoid using narcotic pain medications, which can suppress breathing.
7. Check your or your child's immunization records to be sure a tetanus vaccine is up to date.

If needed contact poison control at 1-800-222-1222.


Can You Say "Amurica!" ?

July 4th is around the corner..... SO LETS CELEBRATE WHAT MAKES US GREAT!!!!!











Who doesn't enjoy our amazing FIREWORKS. If you haven't spent time in your life looking at these in AWE on this wonderous day, add it to your schedule.


APPLE PIE!!! Enough said.


Who doesn't love CRAFTS from their kids. Lets one up it and add patriotism! Go online or to a kindergarden class and see what they are whipping up for creative crafts.

Even more BAKING!!! Cupcakes, cookies, pies, cobblers and anything else that floats your boat. Make sure you bake good treats with the kids and start them off early with life-long traditions.


BASEBALL!!! Whether you hate it or love it, its an AMURICAN sport with great history. Add this to your list of things to do before you die.... at least ONE game.


BARBEQUE!!! Who doesn't love a fun all day celebration with great food from a grill, cold drinks from a cooler and fun with friends. Even if you don't have a grill....get creative. Go to a park and have a picnic. Anything to enjoy the treasure of a barbeque.




ENJOY......KatieKins :)


Shoppin' on the river!

Here in Arizona we have a few summer time traditions. Besides using the phrase “It’s a dry heat” and having to pull out cactus thorns, many hit up the Salt River. There is a service that can hook you up with tube rentals, drop off and pick up from designated spots. It’s pretty legit. Just enjoy the day and float down the river with a hundred of your now closest friends.

But while that service takes care of the basics, you need to take care of the rest. Our very own Kate frequents the Salt and finds all the goodies left behind. She takes care of those. Kate believes strongly in preserving our outdoors, as do we all here at Bass Pro Shops. So take heed to Kate’s notes to save yourself any problems and help keep the land clean at the same time.

Here is what she picks up most:

1.       Sunglasses: You start out with them and take a tumble. Bazinga, they are gone! I bet there are some pretty stylish looking fish in that river.

2.       Driver’s license: Putting it in a plastic bag does not work, she finds them all over. Look into something a little heavier duty, like an electronics pouch. Kate also noted that “You must take it with you in case you drown so they know who you are.”

3.       Shoes: She will find flip flops, sandals and very high priced sneakers, by the hundreds. Why she only finds one of each is something she cannot figure out. Make sure you have proper footwear.

4.       Keys: Yeah, sure. Put them in a pocket of your swim suit or jeans, that’ll work! Oops. Whammy. They gone! Good luck fighting the current and other tubers to get back upstream to find them.

5.       Cell phones:  Why? Do you really need one while tubing? Kate finds them all the time. Twitter can wait! Side note, cell phone service will not improve with river slime… Gross.

6.       Towels:  Ah, you brought a towel to keep your skin from melting onto the tube, very clever. Oh, it got caught on a rock and snagged away. Lame. Make sure you have that thing firmly set as a big old beach towel can really muck up the ecosystem.

7.       Money: Just like your ID, a plastic baggie will not work.  But then again, Kate doesn’t mind finding this as long as it isn’t completely ruined.

8.       Jewelry: Rings are lost due to the fact that the water is cold and they slip off your fingers. Anybody with a metal detector should head down to the river.

As Kate says, “figure out what you really need and what you really don’t.”  Invest in a nice floating eye retainer for your glasses and water proof pouch for your ID and money. It’ll make everyone happier! See-sawing on sidewinders! Yee Haw!


The magic of the Saiga Antelope


If you've ever been in our conference room located in the hunting department, you've seen the Saiga antelope and wondered what in the world it is. All of the animals in that room and outside the perimeter are from Africa, save the Saiga, which is the only animal in the store native to Asia.



Saiga generally stand about 2- 2 3/4 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh in between 80-140 pounds. The males are larger and grow clear, waxy horns. Their horns have been used in Chinese traditional medicine, which is why they are now endangered due to poaching. Their most distinguishing feature is their large flexible nose. It has a very complex internal structure and is used in the summer to filter dust and in the winter to warm up cold, icy air. Spindly legs support a thick body. During the summer their coat is a cinnamon buff color which turns white in the winter and becomes longer and up to 70% thicker.

Saiga face


Saiga like to live on semi desert steppes, but avoid rugged or steep areas. They can swim across rivers and run very fast. While their numbers used to be great, the Saiga now live in little pockets located across the Ural Mountains in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia.

bodies with feet


They live in very large herds until mating season begins in November. Males fight for dominance (somtimes suffering a 90% casualty rate) and the winner leads a herd of 5-50 females. The females give birth to 1-2 foals, while males migrate north. Their diet consists of grasses, herbs, and shrubs, some that are poisonous to other animals.



Because they are listed as critically endangered, a ban on hunting Saiga was issued in 2010. This will last until 2021. In 2010, 12,000 Saiga out of Kazakhstan's population of 26,000 died from pasteurellosis (an infectious disease that attacks the lungs and intestines). Then a year later, 442 died of unknown reasons. Many conservation groups have taken up the Saiga's cause, working for their removal from the endangered list.


MAKE IT: Homemade pop-tarts

Pop- tarts

I'm not a breakfast person. I never have been. I know it's supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but everything I tried was too sweet or too greasy or made me feel sluggish and not ready for the day ahead of me.

That is, until I discovered the wide world of toaster pastries. Seriously, it's practically all I ate for a few months. I think I've tried most, if not all of the flavors. The strawberry is my favorite, but the cinnamon roll is noteworthy, as is the brown sugar cinnamon. I've been told they used to do a concord grape that I believe they should bring back.

So here is our cast of characters for our own version of toaster pastries.


For this, I used a jar of Uncle Buck's Strawberry Preserves. We also carry peach, cherry, and blueberry.


Keeping the butter cold, you need to incorporate all the flour until it forms a meal. Then you add the ice water to make it more dough like. There's not a picture of this, because I'm a spaz and completely forgot to photograph half of this recipe. However, they were so tasty that I had to publish it.

dough balls

The dough gets separated into 2 balls, which you flatten into discs and then freeze. They then get rolled out, cut into rectangles, filled with preserves (or preserves and fresh fruit if you're feeling adventurous), and baked.

pop tart

Once they've cooled for a bit, you can add icing or powdered sugar as a topping. I used a cream cheese frosting and it was super tasty. It should yield 8 pastries. I only got 6, I think because I didn't roll out my dough thin enough.



2 cups + 2 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold
4 tbsp ice water
strawberry preserves- I ended up using about 1/2 jar, but it's up to you how full you want to stuff them
1 egg
Optional- you can mix the preserves with fresh chopped strawberries at about a 1:1 ratio


1. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Add butter and mix with fingers until it resembles a coarse meal.
3. Add ice water and mix lightly and form into a ball.
4. OR, shred the cold stick of butter with a food processor and place in freezer for 10 minutes. Combine butter and dry ingredients with a mixer (or in the food processor if you have a dough blade). Add water 1 tbsp at a time until dough mostly forms a ball.
5. Divide in half; shape each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
6. Roll first disk out to about 13"x11" on a floured surface. Trim down to a 12"x10" rectangle and then cut into 8 5"x3" rectangles.
7. Repeat with second disk.
8. Lay 4 rectangles out on a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper to line my baking sheet, but you can grease them if you don't have any handy) Spoon about 2 heaping tbsp onto the center.
9. Cover with another dough rectangle and gently press the edges to seal, then crimp the edges with a fork and poke a few holes in the top.
10. Repeat with second disc.
11. Whisk egg and brush over top of the tarts.
12. Bake at 375 for 20-24 minutes, or until golden brown.
13. Sift powdered sugar over tarts, or frost with icing (I used a warm cream cheese frosting) and sprinkles if you wish.


Have some fun at Family Summer Camp!!


Does your family need something to do this summer?  If so, then head over to your local Bass Pro Shops for Family Summer Camp!

Family Summer Camp runs now through Sunday, July 13.  Activities and workshops take place each Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday during those dates.  We have nine Kids Workshops to participate in including Archery, Camping & Conservation Awareness, Travel Safety, Bird Watching, Kayaking, Shooting & Hunting, Fishing, Backyard Adventure and Water Safety.  Go to for daily workshop schedules.

We also have an activity area where kids can shoot a Daisy BB gun, use a soft bow and arrow, try out a fishing rod or make a free craft project. We even make homemade ice cream on Saturday afternoons (5 - 6 p.m.)

Join us this summer at Family Summer Camp!


Simple Steps with Wes: Edible Fruit

As Part of the Twelve Steps process I suggested that one of the skills to develop are identifying wild edibles. There are many out there and learning the ones in your region or a region you may be traveling to are a great skill to have.  There are many books and websites to help you with this task. 

However, not every plant will look like it does in the book and will also look different whether in our out of season and have some variations by region.  Here is a great one to get you started.  Easy to identify and harvest is the prickly pear cactus.

The prickly pear plant has three different edible sections: the pad of the cactus, which can be treated like a vegetable, the petals of the flowers, which ...can be added to salads, and the pear or tuna, which can be treated like a fruit. They grow wild throughout the American southwest, down to South America and up to Canada. The pads are best earlier in the season when they are thin and can be grilled or boiled. The pear is best in late summer and early fall when they are bright red, purple, or yellow. The skin can be removed and eaten raw or can be cut open and the seeds scooped out. It makes great jam as well. Be cautious as they are not called prickly for nothing. If you do get cactus needles in your skin don't try to pick them out one at a time, instead use duct tape.

Thanks Wes for all of your time, effort and knowledge!!!

Get more information on Wes' Facebook page.....

Cairns Outdoor Survival Gear


Simple Steps with Wes: Daylight Estimation

 Yup, it’s that time again! Time for Wes to bless (rhyming rocks) us with another simple step that could really come in handy. And get this, this one involves our handy! Aint that dandy? (Had to.)

Last time Wes let us know how best to handle possible flooding situations. With the seasons changing many of us are heading outdoors on more excursions (hunting seasons are coming up and there is cooler weather during the day) and might run into unforeseen issues. This Simple Step directly relates to seeing as well!

Daylight is precious when outdoors, and knowing when you are close to running out of it is an essential skill to have. Many people will get caught up in their enjoyment of the fresh air and fail to realize how quickly the sun will be set. And if you are miles away from camp or others, this can be quite an issue.

So why not carry a watch? A watch can tell you what time it is, but not when the sun is going to set. These are two different things and as the seasons change so do the sun’s patterns. To easiest way to estimate how much light is left is as simple as lifting ones hand and doing a little math.

Stick your hand out straight in front of you and have the finger on the bottom at the top of the horizon. Then count how many fingers there are between the horizon and the sun. Each width of a finger is roughly fifteen minutes. So if there are four fingers between the horizon and sun, you can factor about an hour’s worth of light being left in the day.

Now what is so great about this method is that it works around the world. It does not matter what the elevation, temperature or any other such thing is. Now these are rough estimates but would help one plan accordingly. This trick could be the deciding factor from getting home on time or spending the night out in the woods. Where you might meet a bear. But that’s no problem for Wes.

 Until next time all you little survivors! Compass Roses and Garden Hoses! Giddy-Up!

Besides commenting below, Wes is always available for your questions at .


Get the Boone & Crockett!

As continuation of my appreciation for those who have helped preserve our country’s amazing outdoors, I bring you the second installment of Game Changers. This is where I bring attention to those that deserve it due to the lasting impact they have made on our natural heritage. I started off with Theodore Roosevelt and his achievements, and will continue with that with the Boone & Crockett Club.

The club was founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and George Grinnell. This organization has been operating for over 125 years. They are the oldest conservationist group in North America. How have they been able to keep going for so long? Their mission statement answers that question:

“It is the mission of the Boone and Crockett Club to promote the conservation and management of wildlife, especially big game, and its habitat, to preserve and encourage hunting and to maintain the highest ethical standards of fair chase and sportsmanship in North America.”

So not only do they care about the fact that we should be able to enjoy our resources but they also care about how we do so. They conduct their operation in a business-like and common sense way.

They are huge advocates of fair chase. What is fair chase? It is “the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the game animals.”

Along with establishing fair chase they were also:

Initiator and champion of the first National Parks, including Yellowstone, Glacier, Denali, and Grand Canyon.

Initiator and champion of the first legislation for wildlife, including the Timberland Reserve Bill, Yellowstone Protection Act, Lacey Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Alaskan Game Laws.

Champion of the earliest science-based wildlife management efforts and legislation, including the National Wildlife Refuge System Act, and the creation of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units

Champion of the first legislations funding wildlife conservation, including the Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson), and the Federal Duck Stamp Act.

Created the first big game scoring and data collection system to objectively measure and evaluate species and population health and habitat quality to improve state and federal wildlife polices and management

Initiator and champion of all of the principle federal land management agencies, including the US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Many now only think of the scoring process they pioneered and forget about the conservation efforts. It is extremely important to remember that these two things go hand in hand. They also know that educating the public is the best way to protect the land and animals. They put a lot of effort into reaching out to youth groups and more to bring matters to people’s attention. They have even started an essay contest for the youth to get them more engaged. This is what we strive for here at Bass Pro Shops as well.

So next time you see someone wearing a Boone & Crockett Club piece of apparel, thank them. When it comes to conserving our outdoors, every little bit helps. Maybe even reach out to the club to see what you can do to help. Thanks Boone & Crockett Club! Keep doing what you do best!


Must Know: Ducks Unlimited Greenwings

Ducks Unlimited is the world's leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation. DU got its start in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows. Determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined together to form an organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited.

Its mission: habitat conservation.


Getting its name from the smallest species of North American waterfowl, the green-winged teal, this sends out a message that even the smallest duck has a huge imact on waterfowl and wetland conservation. This is the mentality of the Greenwing Program. The Greenwing program, under its parent organization, DU, focuses on the little guys who will eventually follow in the footsteps and hopefully lead the next generation in continued conservation.

  Your part

As a Ducks Unlimited Greenwing, you are going to do something for wetlands and wildlife today and tomorrow. Today, your youthful outlook and energy will be part of the largest wetlands conservation organization in the world. Tomorrow, you will be an involved adult who cares, helping us conserve North American wetlands habitat for all the tomorrows to come. You can be proud to know that you are one of more than 60,000 young people who care about protecting wetlands across North America and love the outdoors.

Gain knowledge and experience

 One unique aspect of the Greenwing program is the ability to have hands-on experience with masters in the waterfowl hunting world.

Aside from lessons on waterfowl conservation, the campers from Youth Waterfowl Days were given the opportunity to hone their wingshooting skills on a skeet range with Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) shotgun guru John Satterwhite. And at the end of the event, the young hunters were invited to participate in a mentored youth duck hunt, where they could put their newly learned waterfowl identification and shotgunning skills to the test. “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s conservation leaders,” says Ed Penny, waterfowl program coordinator for MDWFP. “Our goal with this camp is to educate these kids about the importance of wetlands conservation and to introduce them to the joy of waterfowl hunting. Even if they aren’t waterfowl hunters forever, they will always have an understanding of its value, and we all protect what we value.”

Read up

Richard Louv made it a point to showcase the increased disconnect between children and nature in his book Last Child in the Woods.

The article Passing on the Tradition by Dr, Scott Yaich in the July/August 2010 DU Magazine focuses on all aspects of how the decline of waterfowl hunters and hunters in general for the matter, have declined for over a decade. The article stresses the importance of youth involvement in hunting and education of the sport. It comes down to the mere facts that if a child is exposed and taught the skills, he or she is more likely to make it a life-long activity than the children that have not been given an opportunity to experience what hunting has to offer. The Greenwing program allows children to be involved in the waterfowl and wetlands conservation world at a young age. Becoming a part of the program provides education and opportunities to be involved in youth hunts as explained earlier.

DU Recognition for excellence

This article is in the current issue of the DU magazine. Ducks Unlimited and Johnny Morris have a strong bond and love for conservation. Johnny Morris states "DU is one of the foremost conservation organizations, and they continue to deliver on their mission to conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and other important habitats for North America's Waterfowl."

Being a proud DU member myself, my love for waterfowl and wetlands oozes from my pores and propels me to share and educate anyone and everyone I can in the importance of their conservation.

Time for me to "duck" outta here.....





Get ready for chili on May 17th and 18th!

Whether it's your family's generational recipe or a can from the store, chili has its grips on us. Camping is a great time to make chili and here at Bass Pro, we have an outstanding selection of cookware to help in making this delicious meal.

The CHeRiTH VaLLeY gardens Tito's Classic Chili Mix is a Bass Pro favorite. We will be using this in January for our Chili Event (more info on that will be posted soon). If you are wanting a quick and easy way to prepare a great meal by the fire or at home, this mix is the way to go. All you have to do is add water and any additional ingredients you wish. It serves eight so if you only have two to serve....LEFTOVERS! We all know chili tastes better the second day as all of the flavors have been infused. You can also add a personal spin by adding your latest game catch. Venison is a great meat to add to chili, but is best used in homemade chili. Nevertheless, it is still good in this mix.

CHeRiTH Chili Mix


Featured is the 7-Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. As great on the stove as it is over a campfire, a Dutch Oven from Lodge Logic delivers smooth heat distribution, retention, and cooking versatility that can't be matched by other cookware. Attested by users, this is a great way to cook your chili or any meal at that!

Cast Iron Dutch Oven


Now who can have chili without cornbread!?! Bass Pro also has Uncle Buck's Smoky Jalapeno Corncakes mix to have right with your delicious meal. Cornbread is great at any time but there is something about having it with chili that makes it exceptional. Use this mix as a base for your own or just as it is. Add more jalapenos if you like the heat or maybe fresh corn for added texture.

Uncle Bucks Cornbread

One would automatically cook their cornbread in a cupcake tray or in a small loaf. Not here at Bass Pro. We have high standards for this addition to chili in the form of perch cornbread (or any other baked goods) mold!!! Fun and easy, this mold is sure to please. Already seasoned and ready to go, all you have to do is pour in the mix, bake and enjoy.

Perch Cast Iron

We are having our GO OUTDOORS cooking demos on Saturday and Sunday May 17th and 18th here at Bass Pro Shops Mesa. We will aslo be smoking meat, making popcorn and pie. it will be a great weekend of good food, so come on down and enjoy!



Hunting Maps for Your Garmin

Come get it while its hot!


GPS HUNT Maps SD Chip are on the rise for their ability to tell you specific and in depth information about the areas you are hunting. The chip also works on your computer with the free software available. You are able to store maps and track your hunting areas online and plan out your next trip.







Specific features that the HUNT map offers are:

  • Land owner names with property boundaries*
    HUNT Premium products only
  • Color-coded public and private lands
  • Up to 24K topographical functionality (for digital maps only)
  • Roads (hwy, city, back-roads, trails)
  • Water data (lakes, rivers, creeks, springs)
  • Game Management or Hunting Units





This app for your phone allows you to take a photo and save it with the waypoint. is an essential feature for today's hunter!! Some newer (and more expensive) offer the ability to do the same thing but this is a great app to have if you don't have those GPS units.

You can also add the HUNT app. This uses the GPS on your mobile device to display land ownership information in a state, providing confidence for all of your outdoor adventures. All apps are available as a free download containing base features. Additional features are available with the purchase of a subscription. All of this information can be found at the company's website at

iPhone Topo

Personally having a GPS unit that does not offer these features, this is a definite future purchase (along with a fancy new touch screen unit). If you are wanting more assistance for your trips, this HUNT SD Card is the answer to your questions and is a great investment.

Give us a holler if you use this product!!

Happy trails!!



Women's Basic Handgun Class: A MUST!

So last year Bass Pro Shops partnered with Solutions Group International to start offering classes at certain locations. Our store here in Arizona was one such store. (I did a little blog on this last year.) Solutions Group International (SGI) are experts when it comes to training both civilians and professionals in a multitude of tactical and practical skill sets. One that we will be holding again in our store is the Women’s Basic Handgun Familiarization Course.

For 2014 we are looking at holding a class at our store every over month. We are looking at the following dates:

Feb. 19 - April 20 - June 8 - Aug. 10 - Oct. 19 - Dec. 7

 Here is a little breakdown of the class as well:


This is a beginner program designed specifically to empower women who have had little or no exposure to firearms. The course starts in the classroom with a general discussion on the familiarization of firearms, safety, and the fundamentals of marksmanship. We gradually develop the new shooter to a level where they are able to safely and confidently handle and fire their handgun in a controlled environment.

Course Topics: Firearm Familiarization, Safe Handling of Firearms, Fundamentals of Marksmanship, Weapon Presentation, Loading / Reloading, Malfunction Drills, Range Safety Rules and Range – live fire exercises.

Gear List:

Handgun (if you have your own bring it – if not, they will provide one for you along with the necessary equipment at no additional charge), holster, stiff pistol belt, three magazines, speed loaders, moon clips or speed strips for revolvers, magazine holders, wraparound eye protection, ear protection, water bottle.

Handgun, Ammunition, Eye and Ear Protection, and Range Fees are included for all women shooters. SGI has some of the best male and female firearm instructors in the country.

I would strongly encourage any woman or anyone who knows a woman interested in firearms to take this class. I intend for my fiancé to attend one of them.

To schedule a class contact Solutions Group International at: 877-844-8744 Or at:


Save Recreational Shooting with "TreadLightly!"

The future of recreational shooting in Arizona looks a little brighter after a successful fundraising event at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix on Saturday, April 12. The Arizona Game and Fish Department teamed up with TreadLightly! to sponsor the combination fun shoot and dinner party attended by nearly 200 people.

Recreational shooting in Arizona came under increased scrutiny when the Sonoran Desert National Monument, one of the last parcels of public land open to recreational shooting within a 30 mile radius of Phoenix, was ready to ban recreational target shooting. As an alternative to closure, Game and Fish, TreadLightly!, the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service were asked to develop a model public/private partnership to keep Arizona’s public lands open to recreational shooting. This partnership is considered a pilot project that can, when proven successful, be replicated across the nation.


(Above) At the dinner banquet in the new skeet shooting pavillion.

(Above) Ben Avery shooting after the summit.

We were fortunate to shoot .308, .22, .223, .343




If you want to get involved, or even become a sponsor, contact Arizona Game and Fish or TreadLightly!. Please help keep our Sonoran Desert clean and pristine so we can keep our recreational shooting.



Beautiful Arizona: Cicada

Beautiful Arizona: Cicada

Listen up Arizona!!!  Literally, you’re not going to have much choice in the matter because….IT’s CICADA SEASON!  Now, you may be asking yourself, “What’s a Cicada?” and “How does that affect me?”  Well, technically it doesn’t really, unless you have ears. So what IS a Cicada? Well, have you ever noticed that around the end of April, usually through September, right around the rainy/humid season, that there is always a constant “buzzing” floating through the air?  Almost like an electrical wire shorting out?  Well, that is the hum of the Cicada.

The Cicada is a type of beetle, and some can have life spans upwards of 17 years.  They begin their lives as larvae that burrow underground to feed off the moisture in plant roots, only to emerge years later as adults with only one thing on their minds: mating.  That’s where the humming comes in.  The males use the loud buzzing sounds to attract a mate.  The females emit a low level clicking sound, which is usually over looked by humans too deafened by the males.  

In Arizona, we have a species of Cicada known as the “Dog Day Cicada,” which is an annual re-emergent species.  They come out of hibernation every year around summer seeking mates.  Cicada’s like the humidity and heat, so when the Cicada’s start chirping, you know summer in the desert has arrived, and the Monsoon is not far behind.

Like many things in Arizona, the Cicada’s song is just one of the often, sadly, over looked beauties of the Desert.  So, this summer, when it’s hot and sticky, just sit back, relax, and let the desert sing its song.  (Just beware of kamikaze Cicadas!   They love to dive bomb out of tree tops at unsuspecting passer byes)

(To hear the sound of a Cicada, click the link below)

Here’s To Great Adventures!


Simple Steps with Wes - Search and Rescue:

Most of us will go out on a grand adventure and fantasize about the experience.  We will select a location, dream of all the sights and make sure our camera is charged.  Rightfully so, and no one wants to think of a negative event happening on our trip.  Unfortunately this is when exposure to potential danger is at its peak.

I guess my years in the wilderness has made me complacent with this or it is just second nature so I don’t give it much thought, but planning to get out of a bad situation is high up on my trip prep list.  I worked as a Search and Rescue K9 handler in New Mexico for four years and as a first responder for over 12 years. Understanding how a search and rescue operation works will make you more effective in being rescued.

 First, most search and rescue teams in the U.S. are a voluntary force.  This means that like volunteer fire departments they meet regularly for training and usually get funding for equipment or gear through grants, some state or county funding, and local fund raisers or donation.  This also has a negative in that the response time to have boots on the ground and actively searching for a lost person may be 2-4 hours once the activation made. Depending on the team and terrain they will be broken into different type of search teams.  I served in southern New Mexico.  Similarly to the Phoenix and Tucson area it was dry, scrub brush littered landscape.  There were different mountain ranges in the area but overall much more remote and less dense population.

We were trained to look for patterns and things that are out of place such as broken branches on trees in a linear path, or dropped clothing or litter.  We relied on instincts and the “what would I do” mentality getting into the mindset of the lost hiker.  I can say as a K9 handler I located more people because of a basic whistle than any other means of signaling.  A close second would be a campfire (not necessarily a signal fire).

Preplanning by you is the key to changing a potentially fatal event into just an inconvenience.  Follow these simple steps to be at your best when things are at their worst.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the area by map, and research.  Pay attention to key terrain features such as a mountain peak or waterway. Also know where there are open areas to signal from or be seen by aircraft.
  2. Once you have decided the location let someone not going on the trip know your plans.  An email with an itinerary and map you are following is a good start.  Mark where you parked and route through the are you will be taking with campsites listed along the way.
  3. Take a few small items with you that can help if you are in need of rescue.  A whistle, Signal mirror, and flashlight, can all help signal long distances with minimal effort and can be operated if injured.
  4. Orange trail marker tape can be used in small sections to tie onto tree branches to mark paths of travel.
  5. Solar blankets are light weight and can also be used for trail marking, signaling, and help keep you warm through the night.

All of these items can fit into a sandwich size bag and add little weight to your daypack but will be worth its weight in gold if you ever need it.  Check out or other simple steps article for great tips and ideas before your next trip off the beaten path.


Dogs on Duty: Plott Hounds

Dogs on Duty!

There are few relationships more meaningful in the life of a hunter than the one between man and dog. Though there are many reasons to own a dog: companionship, exercise, protection, etc, it is a truly special bond that is formed when man and dog work together to achieve a common goal.  Welcome the Plott Hound!

The Plott hound has a well earned reputation for being a big game hunter, focusing primarily on Bears and Boars, though they have also successfully been trained to hunt Mountain Lions and the occasional raccoon.  The Plott Hound breed should weigh in between 45-75 lbs, stand between 20 and 27 inches tall at the shoulder, and can have a short to medium length coat in either black and brown, or brindle.


The Plott hound is the only coonhound not directly descended from the fox hound.  In fact, it is an all American breed with its ancient ancestry traced back to the German Bloodhound.  It was named after Georg Plott almost 200 years ago.  Georg Plott wanted a strong pack hunter, with high stamina, intelligence, and adaptability to go hunting in the swamps and marshes of N. Carolina.

The Plott Hound is an extremely intelligent dog, very eager to please, friendly and protective. However, the Plott Hound can also be very possessive and aggressive (over-bearing) if not properly socialized and trained.  It is important to be assertive and dominate over the Plott Hound, or they do have a tendency to walk all over a more timid owner.  Grooming is a snap, but plenty of exercise is a must, as this breed can be very energetic.

So, whether you’re a seasoned hunter looking to add a new member to your pack, or just a dog lover looking for your next best friend, the Plott Hound makes a great family pet, and would be an asset to any great outdoors experience.

Here’s to Great Adventures!