Healthy Hunter: Limits

There is a subject that is rarely talked about in a proper manner when looking at the fitness/health industry. Limits. Usually the only thing the grand-advertisers have to say about them is “Break Through!” or “Push!” Which are great motivators and slogans, but one must really consider their limits when it comes to any health/fitness goal. For the majority of us we are looking to lose weight and maybe gain some muscle. And on all sides of those two things are tons of different limits to consider. So for this month’s Healthy Hunter we are going to look at some limits.

Ever been at a grocery store and notice one of those health or fitness magazines with “Ten New Fat Burning Foods” or “Six Ways to Sculpt Your Abs Tonight!”? So you buy it and read it and learn something new. Then maybe you pick up the next issue and realize you need a subscription to this awe-inspiring magazine-Mecca of information. Until after a couple more issues and you realize it is the same material that is being recycled. And its material you could have learned online for free. Whammy! One must understand there is a limit to “new” techniques or research that comes out. Really the best method for weight-loss is simply eating better and getting in some exercise.

Lifting weights provides one with dozens of limits as to what they can do. And in this case it is possible to break through previous limits with certain exercises. But you just don’t go from leg-pressing 100 pounds to 450 pounds in two workouts. It takes time to build up that kind of strength, otherwise you could injure yourself. This is a huge thing to think about. Lifting weights is a great passion of mine, but I must constantly keep from going past my limits with exercises that could have life-long effects on my body if done improperly. Being able to squat 600 pounds once is not worth being in a wheelchair for life.

There are a lot of limits to one’s diet or eating habits. How many calories can you intake in a day? What percentage of that can be in carbohydrates? Is soda allowed? Is it a cheat day or a cheat meal? One of the biggest things over the past couple of years has been the organic scene. While it is good to buy things not commercially-processed beyond having any actual nutritional value, have you seen the prices for organic goods?! There has to be a certain limit to changing your eating habits. You can bet that if you don’t lose twelve pounds in one week after spending a significantly higher amount on groceries you might be quite upset.

So when it comes to health, knowing your limit can be a huge advantage for several reasons. It might save you money, injury or even a headache trying to wrap your brain around what the fitness industry is trying to sell you on. Kind of like how you need to limit how much of the news you watch nowadays.

Giddy-Up!!

Proper Motivation

Personal Push

Habits

Track It

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Tracker Time: 1860 CC Sportsman

Ever seen something so cool and different that you just had to know more about it? That is exactly how I felt when the 1860 CC Sportsman showed up at our store a few months ago. Things have been busy here so my curiosity was put on hold, until now. I got a few moments to talk to one of the several rock stars in our Tracker Department to get the lowdown on this beast. And a beast it is! Which can be expected with the name Grizzly attached to it!

This boat is all-welded and built to be tough. The guys at Tracker know what you will put their boats through, because they do the same. A new passion that is taking our company and the nation lately has been bow fishing. The 1860 CC is built specifically for that purpose.

For those who do not know about bow fishing it is exactly what it sounds like. You are fishing with a bow. But while that explanation is simple, the sport itself is not. There is a complexity that is engaging while still getting back to one of the most basic forms of catching fish. Our ancestors had to become experts at fishing with a bow or spear. Just like modern archery gives new life to that sport, so does bow fishing. You can expect a blog in the future that gets more into the sport, but back to the boat.

The 1860 CC (along with the other Grizzly models) have an awesome powder-coat finish that will stand up to the wear and tear of the outdoors and for years to come. It also replaces the liquid paint of old, that has been proven to harm the environment. The hull is all aluminum and has added bracing in all the important areas. The awesome VersaTrack system allows one to add, remove and move accessories with ease. This will let you get whatever you need on your boat to exactly wherever you need it.

The first thing you will notice on the 1860 CC is the raised platform up front. You can comfortably fit two archers up here at a time. Of course you will want to stay off of here when the main engine is on for safety reasons. Being higher up gives a direct advantage for bow fishing. There are even holders to keep your bows while up there. There is also a hatch that allows one to access the trolling motor quickly.

 It also comes with seven Seelite spotlights. Bow fishing is commonly done at night and having all of these lights is a huge help, especially since each light gives off 5000 lumens.

Not that big into bow fishing? This platform will lend itself to regular fishing and other outdoor activities well. It is also removable. It takes roughly 3 adults to lift in on or off. This boat comes loaded with storage space as well which is extremely nice. There are rod holders and storage that can hold your bow. So if one kind of fishing isn’t working you can easily switch to the other. It also has a livewell and generator.

So next time you are at our store, make sure to stop by and check this beast out. It surely will impress and intrigue. And like they say, these boats are “Tougher than Necessary”.

Giddy-Up!!

Other BEASTLY Boats

Mako 17 Skiff

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A Fine Nine: Ruger SR9

We have taken a look at some pretty awesome handguns so far with our Fine Nine blog series. All of which have come from big-name companies (like Glock, Berretta, etc.). This month’s handgun comes from another popular gun manufacturer that has built its own following of customers for decades, Ruger.

Now technically the full name of the company is Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. but it is called Ruger for short. They were founded in 1949 and went public twenty years later. The handgun we will be discussing is the SR9. It comes in a couple different models and has been doing quite well with consumers.

Previously Ruger’s line of semi-auto handguns was their P Series. The P series started in 1985 and was produced up until a couple years ago. My first handgun, and gun for that matter, was a Ruger P345 that I love. A few things sold me on this firearm, but there were two important markings on the firearm that did it for me. It said 45ACP and Prescott, AZ on it. I quite enjoy this caliber and loved seeing my home-state as where the firearm came from.

That is a big reason why Ruger has such a strong following, as they are made here in the United States. They are based out of Connecticut, but have other locations that support local economies. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing firearms coming out the international market but it is nice owning something from the U.S.

The SR9 was introduced in 2007. It was intended for the conceal-carry market of the firearm industry. The firearm is slim, lightweight, has a higher capacity magazine and several other desirable features to it. The ambidextrous safeties and magazine releases are a nice touch along with the Picatinny rail. It also has a loaded-chamber indicator for quick reference if there is a round in the chamber.

A couple years after the introduction of the SR9 came the SR9C (the compact version of the firearm). It is smaller than the full-size and holds fewer rounds as such. The standard SR9 magazine holds 17 rounds whereas the SR9C holds 10 rounds. Ruger went ahead though and produced a magazine with grip extender for the SR9C giving it the ability to quickly convert to a higher-capacity magazine grip.

This is a huge selling point for consumers. This way you can carry the firearm with the smaller and easier to conceal magazine but be able to throw in the larger one in a quick-reload. It hasn’t been just consumers noticing the SR9C but in fact it was chosen as the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence's Handgun of the Year in 2010! Straight-shootin’ there, Ruger!

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Nines:

Basics

Glock 19

S&W M&P

Beretta 92

FNX-9

Springfield XD

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Check it Out List: Winter Camping

We as humans have gotten rather good at being prepared for things. After all, we are creatures of habit and rarely like to be caught off guard. Those that live near the coast usually have some sort of hurricane-preparedness kit. Homes that can experience tremendous amounts of snow know to have plenty of canned goods stocked up. If you have that extra milkshake you will need to stay on the elliptical for a few minutes more. One thing that I believe to always be prepared for: the cold. I hate it. I absolutely hate it!

So if I am looking at taking one of my good buddies out for a camping trip for his bachelor party, you can be sure that I will be looking to keep warm. Which brings us to this month’s Check it Out List: Winter Camping

Basics:

Tent

Cold Weather Sleeping Bag

Day Wear

Sleep Wear

Plenty of Matches/Fire Starting Materials

Portable Heaters

Typical Camp Gear

 

But let’s break down that list a little, shall we?

A good tent, with all of its coverings and zippers working is a must. Now is not the time to bust out that old-forgotten tent from the garage with the three foot rip near the floor. Heat is precious and you will want to do everything possible to keep it. Having a large enough tent to put on and take off all that bulky winter gear will also be a big help.

Check the weather, find out the average low and then buy a sleeping bag for the next step down. What is nice is that companies are making sleeping bags that will use your own body heat to keep you warm.

The key though is to keep warm but not sweat. Your sweat can freeze and work against you in your fight to keep warm. Make sure everything you plan to be spending time in has some kind of wicking material. Your “Day Wear” and “Sleep Wear” should have this feature no matter what. Also be sure to include some sunscreen in your pack, because that snow will reflect light and can still damage exposed areas despite the cooler temperatures.

It would be foolish to go out camping in the winter and not have several kinds of fire starting products or materials. Hoping to find some sticks and using your knife is just plain dumb and irresponsible. Take some tinder and easy-to-light materials and yes, buy some firewood. Spending the few extra bucks to make sure you have a fire is well worth it.

Now many might say that portable heaters are for sissies and I would sheepishly agree as I stand next to one. But I don’t care, because I am warm. And let’s say someone’s body temperature starts dropping, having one of these at the campsite could be the difference between life or death.

And then beyond that it is your normal camp gear. Chairs, tables, axe, and so on. Just maybe pack a couple extra of your smaller items in case you lose them in the snow or someone forgets to bring one of their own.

 

-Giddy-Up!!

 

Checked-Lists

Picnics

Gun Cleaning

Game Care

First Aid

Kayaking

Day Pack

Trip Prep

Range Time

Fishing Pack

Boating Day Trip

Camp Cooking

 Dove Hunting

Upland Hunting

Tactical Clothing

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Tie One On: Dropper Loop

In a continuation of our Tie One On blogs, the first for 2015 will be a knot-pattern. This knot is one that I have never tried or even thought to. It is the dropper loop. A dropper loop is a nice way to add an additional piece of tackle to your line. Why might you need to add an additional piece of tackle? Have you ever been fishing?! Fishing is a sport where one must be willing to adapt and change set-ups at a moment’s notice. Maybe you need an extra weight to get down to the fish, or come onto a school of crappie and want to throw on another lure. There are so many different scenarios, which is half the fun, that having the dropper loop in your arsenal is a must.

There are a few steps to tying a dropper loop and you will want to practice this knot several times before busting it out on your next fishing trip. You’ll see that this knot is very hands-on… and even a little teeth-on!

Step One

Figure out where you will want your loop to be on your line. Pass line from one side of loop through and around that side of loop.  Make at least five wraps. A new loop will be formed and you’ll want to keep that one open.

Step Two

Now push the bottom of the original loop up and through the new opening. This is where you get teeth-on: hold onto this part with your teeth. Using saliva or water wet the knot and pull both ends in opposite directions.

Step Three

Continue to pull the ends of the line evenly. Once the coils tighten you are good to go.  At this point you will have a loop that stands out from your line.

As you can see this knot will take a few practice runs/bites to learn. Once you have it down though, you will find it amazingly helpful. Many might say skip all that and just throw on a split-swivel and tie a second line on from there, but that can cause adverse conditions to your bait and presentation. And of course practice on your different kinds of fishing line to see how they will react and handle this knot.

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Patterns

Woolly Bugger

Royal Coachman

Pheasant Tail Nymph

Crawshrimp

Trilene Knot

The Adams

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Store it Right: Browning Rod Cabinet

Earlier this month I did a little diddy on the RedHead 1856 Gun Rack. A fine specimen of some of the great storage products we sell here at Bass Pro Shops. But it got me wondering about other storage products. And as fishing was my first passion for the outdoors I went back to my roots. As any fisherman knows there is the eternal struggle between owning tackle and putting it somewhere. What once was OK to be in the coat closet is now banished to a shed or garage because the little missus doesn’t like it there or that apparently size 18 treble hooks get caught too easily in their favorite parka… pssh, parka-the attitude I say! But because of the eternal bonds of love and the fact that divorces are way too common and expensive, everyone makes sacrifices. But can’t there be some way to store and display your fishing gear in a tasteful manner? Well thanks to those bad-boys at Browning, there is!

The NEW Browning Rod Storage Cabinet will please anyone who is going through such a predicament as described above. This thing has ten rod holders on it, which should be able to fit most fishermen’s arsenals. If you have more than you probably also have a man-cave or aren’t married. Just sayin’.

Of course though, it is such a pain to have your fishing poles in one area and the tackle in another. Luckily this cabinet comes with plenty of storage space, and apparently ten was the number that day for Browning product designers. It has enough space to hold ten tackle trays/utility boxes. There is also a small felt lined storage compartment on top.

-Giddy-Up!!

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Kids Night Kicks Off Again!

Well we survived the holiday season last year and had a great time with our Santa’s Wonderland event again! We literally were able to be a part of tens of thousands of families’ holiday memories and there is no better feeling than that. While of course that event is our largest, we cannot forget about all the other awesome events we hold to get the kids into the outdoors. There is the Spring Fishing Classic, Easter Event, Family Summer Camp, Halloween Event and more!

But back for 2015 is our Outdoor Kids Night! We kicked it off on January 6th, with a New Year’s themed night! We will continue to hold our Kids Night every Tuesday night for the rest of the year, pending any special circumstances.

Now last year I wrote up a little blog on Kids Night and much of that information is still the same. But with so many new faces (literally thousands) coming to our store for Santa’s Wonderland we’re hoping to see them back again for Kids Night.

 

The basics are that it is every Tuesday night from 5:00PM to 8:00PM. The list of FREE activities includes:

Coloring Pages

Crafts or Other Activity

Shootin’ Gallery up by Camping

Fish Feeding at the Main Tank (see below)

Archery Range (see below)

 

We do the Fish Feeding at 6:00PM sharp. If you have never seen it, you need to! It is a lot of fun and sometimes can end up with our very own Splash Zone when the fish really get into it.

After the Fish Feeding the Archery Range is opened up. Anyone under the age of 18 that wants to participate will need a parent or legal guardian to fill out a waiver. This is one of the most popular attractions at Kids Night and it is awesome!

Last year we had dozens of different activities depending on the season, but some of the more memorable ones were during Thanksgiving and then when we went on an animal-spotting adventure with our handmade mono-scopes!

Now please remember that this is a store specific thing we do. And please spread the word! We love being able to get the youth interested in the outdoors and giving families a fun and free thing to do.

-Giddy-Up!!

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Africa’s Big Five: Rhino

This month’s Africa Big Five blog was once one of my favorite animals. Growing up I had numerous “favorites” which was not limited to: cheetahs, buffalo, anteaters, platypus, armadillo, penguins, puffins and rhinos. I loved rhinos. Couldn’t tell you what it was, but they just got my six-year-old blood a boiling! In fact in a ZooBook about rhinos there was a picture of one injured defending its baby from a tiger and I put a Band-Aid on the wound. So let’s get romping into the awesome animal that is the rhino!

There are several species of rhino but the two in particular for the African Big Five are the white rhino and black rhino. Remember the species that make up the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved. (Of course part of the danger of hunting these animals is their size.) Rhinos are easily identifiable due to their size, shape, horn and thick-skin. It is common to see small birds riding on the backs of these animals. These birds pick at the bugs and insects on their rhino’s skin and also serve as a look-out. Rhinos have rather poor eye-sight. They also have what is considered a small brain compared to the size of the animal.

Rhinos are herbivores and eat an assortment of plants. The two African species do not actually have front teeth so they use their lips to pluck food. Much of their days are spent simply grazing and eating. With their heads down most of the time and the poor eye-sight, having those birds on top of their backs is a real advantage. Typically when startled, rhinos will charge the direction of whatever set them off.

Having a charging rhino coming at you is no-fun and many people fell victim to this throughout Africa’s history. True hunters who pursued these animals on foot had a challenge because of the terrain rhinos preferred, the thickness of their skin and the eagerness to trample these animals showed. Stopping a charging rhino is not nearly as easy as it looks like that one scene in the movie 300. Also having a six-pack is also not nearly as easy… that’s why they airbrushed them. Just saying. Back to the rhinos:

The main difference between the two species of African rhino are their lips. The white rhinos have a flat lip whereas the black rhinos have a pointed-lip. The white rhino can weigh over 3 and half tons. No one is too sure where the term “white” came from to differentiate between the two species but some things just stick. The black rhino is significantly smaller weighing only up to 3500 pounds. As stated earlier the black rhino has a pointed lip, which it uses to pluck leaves and twigs to eat. These animals have been known to actually grow a third horn.

There are different sub-species of the two main species of African rhinos, which can get confusing when looking at conservation status. All rhinos numbers are drastically reduced from what they have been previously in history. Hunting, more so poaching and land development has led to this. Also diseases brought to the animals from the introduction of domestic animals and livestock have also helped with this. Some sub-species of these rhinos are extinct or close to it. There are huge efforts being put on to help protect these animals and grow their numbers back.

Above from Left to Right: Historical Range-Black Rhino, Current Range-Black Rhino, Historical Range-White Rhino and Current Range-White Rhino

Hunters who pay for a rhino hunt usually are simply culling an older animal that is no longer supporting the herd or population. Rhinos tend to get nasty when older, and have even been known to kill younger males. This prevents future generations to be born and anyone should be able to see that this animal needs to be removed. The money that goes into a tag for a rhino goes back into the conservation efforts, and people pay big bucks for them. Last year, I talked about this in a blog on Safari Club International.

The animal’s biggest threat is poachers. These people illegally kill these animals and only take a few parts to sell on the black market. Like I have said in other blogs, the only real way to stop this is to re-educate certain cultures on the use of these kinds of goods. But that is another issue on its own.

One thing to be careful about when trying to support these animals or other conservation groups is the legitimacy of the organization you may be donating too. Most of the money that the Humane Society of the United States receives goes straight to their overhead, administrators, advertising campaigns and law-suits. Very little money actually makes it to adoption centers and such. Always do your research.

Tales of famous hunters and explorers in Africa usually have a couple “good” rhino stories in them. I use the term good because usually it is about sheer chaos or possible death. Teddy Roosevelt wrote about these animals in his famous book on his African safari. His writings and those of many others can still ignite a fire in one’s heart to get out there and explore.

Well we’ve got one more animal to go in our African Big Five Blog Series. So until then!

Giddy-Up!!

Other Members of the Big Five

Lion

Cape Buffalo

Elephant

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Y U No In-stores? Wagon Wheel Chandelier

Ever seen something so unbelievably awesome that you wanted it right then and there? So what do you do? Get into your vehicle and rush to the nearest store to pick it up! Darn tootin’! But after your mad dash and violation of several traffic laws (which are not encouraged but understandable) you arrive to find out it is unavailable. Which leads us to ask this question (and a rather meme-savvy question at that).

Well let’s be honest, you can see something online but that does not mean it will be physically at a store’s location. The internet can show a million products yes, but it doesn’t have to store them which unfortunately stores do. So there are a couple things you can do to save gas and a headache. Call ahead to the store or order online. A cool thing about Bass Pro Shops is that we offer Free-Ship-to-Store on thousands of products.

One such product I saw online was the Cast Horn Designs Large Wagon Wheel Chandelier . Man, is this thing sweet! Cast Horn Designs is a company that specializes in rustic home décor. We have several of their products available online , but the wagon wheel chandelier definitely stands out. This model features seven lights and measures 42"W x 12"H. They include 3 feet of chain to hang it from and all necessary mounting equipment as well.

Now many would picture this as the perfect accent to a cabin, deer lease, man cave or no-longer-open brothel. But I’ll tell you what! This thing is the perfect accent for any room! Why? Let me tell you.

Little scenario: Home invasion. Those dastardly bad-men from the Cactus Jack Gang are trying to get the deed to your gold claim. You hear them break in and leap to action. And by leap, I mean leap! Up into the air, grabbing onto your awesome wagon wheel chandelier and swing! And with the knocking power of a billion buffalo you knock them through the way they came. And after tying them up with their own lassos, you get the sheriff and enjoy your coffee that has the added taste of sweet justice.

Now mind you that circumstance is a little farfetched but you never know. Until next time!

-Giddy-Up

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Fishy Facts: Brook Trout

The lovely Mary in Fishing chose this month’s species for our Fishy Facts Blog. Which is ironic, considering she has never caught or even eaten one but it is on her “to-catch” list. This month’s species star is the Brook Trout!

The brook trout is a species of the salmon family that is native to North America. Like many other fish it has several nicknames including: squaretail or speckled trout. The brook trout also finds itself in a peculiar place as it is called a trout but is actually a char. And don’t forget that it’s also part of the salmon family, so things can get quite confusing.

The brook trout is a favorite among many anglers, especially fly-fishermen. Affectionately called “brookies” these fish are both beautiful and delicate. They are so cherished, that eight states have elected the Brook Trout to state fish. Those states being: West Virginia, Virginia, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Michigan.

Due to expansion of the species, brook trout can be found in most states throughout the U.S. They prefer cool and clear streams or ponds to live in. They are also found in lakes, rivers and creeks. Brook trout are not the most tolerant fish as they require water with high purity and only a narrow pH range. These fish are drastically affected by changes in pollution, pH range and oxygenation.

Brook trout are known to feed on a diverse diet. They consume insects, all forms, and more. Their diet can include crustaceans, amphibians, other fish and some small aquatic mammals. As mentioned before, these fish are extremely attractive. They have vivid colors and spots that stand out. A while back I caught my first brook trout and honestly it was tiny. But the deep purple color and vivid yellow dots made it truly the prettiest fish I have ever caught. Different areas though do produce differently colored or patterned fish.

Two somewhat of a subspecies of these fish are coasters and salters. The coasters are a population of brook trout native to Lake Superior. They migrate into rivers to spawn and then return back to the main body of water. They are typically larger than other brook trout but have had their numbers drastically reduced from overfishing and habitat loss. Salters are a sea-run brook trout found on the East Coast. While these fish are in the saltwater, they will lose some of their markings and get a grayer color to them. Once they return though, it only takes a short time for their true coloring to come back.

What is interesting about brook trout is that they are playing two roles in our ecosystems. Much of their native range has been destroyed or developed. Areas that once had thriving brook trout populations now have none. Outdoor organizations like Trout Unlimited have worked hard at restoring and protecting such habitats. In other areas though, the brook trout is considered an invasive species. They can out-compete native fish species and have had adverse effects of other species such as the cutthroat trout. Certain places have an unlimited bag limit or must harvest ruling to try and reduce brook trout numbers.

I wish Mary the best of luck in her goal to catch one. They are fascinating fish that put up a good fight and taste good as well. We tip our rods to you, the majestic Brook Trout! Until next time!

-Giddy-Up!!

Former Finned-Friends:

Grayling

Northern Pike

Rainbow Trout

Largemouth Bass

Peacock Bass

Walleye

Billfish

Dolphinfish

Crappie

Catfish

Bull Shark

Tilapia

Smallmouth Bass

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Look at That! RedHead Gun Rack

There are certain stereotypical items that complete the visual when it comes to rustic living. There is the pair of rocking chairs on the front porch. A bird feeder full of visitors. Either a “Welcome to the Lake House” or lodge themed wooden sign. A stack of fishing poles by the back door. A gun rack on the wall. All of these items can make one forget about the worries of today’s modern world and take a step back to something much simpler.

And would ya look at that?! Thanks to RedHead 1856 4-Gun Rack, now you can own a piece of it!

Now please note that while a gun rack is a method of storing firearms, they should never be kept loaded and better protection/prevention should be used if children/strangers are present.

This tasteful take on an old favorite is a modern-day crowd pleaser. It is constructed out of pine and has a nice brown-cherry finish to it. It can hold four long-guns and has a bonus feature on the bottom. There is a storage area that can be used for ammunition, cleaning supplies, eye and ear protection or whatever. The storage area also locks, which is a nice touch.

Now gun racks are designed to keep firearms where they are easier to access. Many people from more rural parts of the country have them as you never know when dinner might go by or if you need to give a 12-gauge reminder to the local bear population to stay away. That is just the way life is. With how removed people are from nature nowadays it is understandable why some people couldn’t understand the need for this.

Gun safes are very nice. Not only can you safely store firearms and ammunition, but also important papers and other goods. But they are heavy and take up what could be precious room. If you are going to stay at a cabin with a group of trusted friends for a weeklong hunt, a safe could be a little much whereas the gun rack would be just right.

-Giddy-Up!!

Other Nifty Things to Look At!

Propane Fire Ring

Hand Towels

Rainproof Camo

She Outdoor

PETT

BPS Extreme Qualifier Tackle Bag

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Bass Pro Bites: Wait, What? Burgers

If there is any chore I do not mind doing every single time, it is getting more propane. Mostly because that means I have been grilling a lot and will get to keep on grilling. Also you always look cool carrying a propane bottle. Growing up, there was minimal red meat on our table. Then I get the news that I was low in iron and bada-boom red meat makes its way to the table! Hello burgers and steaks!

And like many things, I started off simple. Salt and pepper to add flavor. Then a little garlic salt. Onion powder, why not? And so on. But now a big favorite has got to be stuffing burgers. Everyone has tasted or seen these by now. Common stuffing foods include: cheese, peppers, onions and other veggies. But as a fan for the out-there I tried something that has proven quite delicious, I call it the Wait, What? Burger.

Wait, What? Burger

Ground beef

Bacon Crumbles

Feta Cheese Crumbles

TryMe Tiger Sauce

Garlic Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)

Notice that I don’t give exact measurements. Mostly because it always changes, and experimenting with cooking is half the fun! But shoot for an equal ratio of bacon to feta with enough beef to form solid patties to grill. There are two ways to make them.

One, mix everything together in a bowl and form your own patties.

Two, go pro! Get yourself a burger-press and make some restaurant quality patties. Using a press definitely has its advantages, but get a couple to streamline the process.

I can’t find the TryMe Tiger Sauce online for a hyperlink, but I know we carry it at our store. A picture of it is below. It is sweet, spicy and definitely tasty! Check with your co-eaters to see how much or how little to use as it can have a kick.

Then just grill. I call it the Wait, What? Burger, because at first you may be a little curious if not hesitant to the idea. Especially if you have never heard of TryMe Tiger Sauce, and no there is not bits of tiger in it. But the more you think about it, the better it starts to sound. And believe me, it tastes a hundred times better than it sounds!

-Camp Chef Giddy-Up!!

Other Recipes

Squirrel

Rabbit

Quail

Goose

Grouse

Crappie

Buffalo

Chicken Chile Verde

Venison Stew

Hunter’s Delight

Chicken Fried Bacon

Tipsy Little Birds

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Take Someone: Prospecting

Usually I don’t like to have my reoccurring blogs be going back-to-back, but I feel like having the Take Someone series start the month off as opposed to finish it, will be much better for this year. That way you can hopefully be inspired to share a passion or make a plan and get outside and do it!

This month’s topic is going to be a little “out there” but I am sure many of you made the resolution to try new things! So this might be something that you try out for the first time, with a friend! I am talking about: prospecting.

Prospecting is the search for mineral deposits in a place, especially by means of experimental drilling and excavation. More commonly in slang it is the term used for looking for something. I was prospecting for the best deal on fresh pineapple. I was prospecting my hamper for clean socks. Those new guys that want to ride with our motorcycle clubs are the prospects. And so on.

Prospecting and the lure of “striking it rich” definitely inspired and changed our nation in many ways. From populations appearing in western states to boomtowns, people sought their fortunes and made this country what is. We still see reverence for this time in common culture with sports teams such as the San Francisco 49ers and the Colorado Nuggets.

Shows like Gold Rush have inspired a new generation of go-getters to get out there. While I’m not saying quit your day job, you would be surprised what you can acquire by just recreational prospecting. To which there are mainly two forms of nowadays: panning and detecting.

For panning you will need a good amount of tools. Picks, pans, tweezers and more are kind of the standards. Kits are available, which makes things easier. And you pretty much head out and start searching. Make sure you check with local laws and regulations before prospecting. And you might not find gold, but who knows what treasures you may find?! Heck when I was little, if I found a rock that looked like the Millennium Falcon it was as good as gold to me!

For detecting, your tools are less but much more advanced. You will need a metal detector and then some kind of shovel or spade to dig up whatever you detect. You can commonly see people doing this on a beach or in parks. Once again, check with local laws and regulations. Also be sure to put back any earth you dig up. You don’t want to be the one that ruins it for everyone else!

Not only will you benefit from getting out into fresh air and from the physical activity that can come with prospecting, but you might just turn a little bit of profit as well!

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Trips

Fishing

Shooting

Hiking

Clay Shooting

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Redneck Resolutions

Tis’ the season

 To make reasons

To do things that you find more pleasin’.

Like that? It’s called poetry. It is also the intro to our New Year’s Resolution blog. We have been through a lot this year at our store, and we are sure you have to. The holiday season is coming to a close and now we can all look back and reflect. Reflection then turns to looking forward and seeing what to do differently or better.

For 2015 there is a goal to get back to basics and focus on what really matters. So below will be our Redneck Resolutions! A whole list, full of outdoor items to do and to take others with you on those adventures! Of course the standard get healthy and spend more time with the family should be included, but these resolutions will add to both of those!

2015 Bass Pro Shops Redneck Resolutions

Fishing

Fish More. At least twice a month.

Catch three new species of fish.

Try making your own baits.

Learn two new fishing skills, i.e. fly-fishing, fly-tying, drop-shotting, etc.

Tie a fly and name it after your significant other.

Hunting

Hunt More. If not once a month, practice with shotgun, rifle or bow once a month.

Try a long distance shot at least 50 yards past your comfort zone.

Play a round of HORSE with archery.

Clean out your gear and make organized packs for specific tasks.

Go on an out-of-state hunt with your best friend.

Hiking and Camping

Pick a random National Park and hike at least two different trails.

Camp at least once a month. Half of these trips needs to be to unfamiliar sites.

Hike somewhere with a good book and a PB&J sandwich. Just enjoy the outdoors for a few hours. Try and make it with Huckleberry Jelly cause that stuff is good!

Build your own shelter for a camping trip, instead of just putting up a tent.

Write your own ghost-story to tell around a campfire.

Perfect the smore. Once perfected, I’ll take two.

Boating

Go kayaking.

Go paddle-boarding.

Catch a fish while doing both of the above.

Learn any knot you might need while boating.

Volunteer at a Water Safety Course.

Other

Try home-brewing a beverage, your choice.

Go prospecting.

Learn some lumberjack-game skills.

Learn to can goods. Mason jars, ahoy!

Try growing vegetables.

Look into getting chickens.

These are all just suggestions, but hopefully give ya’ll some good ideas. 2015, get ready – because here we come!

-Giddy-Up!!

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Take Someone: Boating

Is there anything more enjoyable than being out on the open water with the fresh air and a nice breeze in your face? Well duh, it’s called bacon but we won’t be doing a full blog on that! But besides going boating it is always nice to take someone along with you. It is important to do so for a few reasons which we will get into below.

Boating is a great passion and one that can be shared. Mostly you just need the other person to show up and you are good to go. But it is not just that simple. If you are bringing extra people on board there are some things to consider. Do you have enough life jackets? Can they swim? What is the weight limit for your boat? Is there enough water in the cooler for everyone for a number of hours? All of these questions must be answered before casting off.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is safety. While you may need to bring extra life jackets and other items, having someone else out there with you will be a help. They do not have to have previously been in her majesty’s navy to help play vital roles. Almost anyone can help hold the boat close to the dock, grab you a drink or hold up a flag if you have swimmers in the water. If your companion enjoys themselves the first time, bring them again and teach them more each time. Soon you may have someone you can trust to help guide the trailer back or even drive the boat.

Big things to consider too are what does the other person like? Are they fishermen, into extreme sports or not one to be sitting for periods of time? Think about this before choosing a location or timeframe for the trip. It is a lot of work to get out on the water, so be sure that they will enjoy themselves if you go. Maybe this trip it is time for some wakeboards, so the fishermen might want to sit this one out.

Other little things to do are to see what kind of drinks or snacks the other person likes. Stuff like that can make a huge difference in the whole experience. You can have someone not actually enjoy the “whole boating thing” but give them a few Bugles and a Welch’s Grape Soda and they could be in heaven.

One of my families used to go hit the water quite frequently. It was always a fun time. One of the best meals I ever had was on a trip with them. Using a leftover rotisserie chicken, cheap corn tortillas, shredded cheese and a can of salsa we all enjoyed some of the best tacos I have ever eaten. There was absolutely nothing fancy about them at all, in fact it probably cost only $3 a head to feed us all this way. Just being out there on the water, with good people and a beautiful sunset made the whole trip. It doesn’t take much to make people happy, and they will remember those little things for the rest of their lives.

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Trips

Fishing

Shooting

Hiking

Clay Shooting

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Why It Matters: Camping

Every now and then we humans need to hit the reset button on ourselves. Many people have different methods of doing so but one of the longest standing traditional ways to do so is camping. Camping gets us back where we belong; in fresh air and our beautiful wilderness. It is only natural that we feel at piece in nature. Ever since societies have been developing there have always been those that turn towards the wilderness. And while you might not be able to be like those people in that TV show “Live Free or Die” you can still always get away for a weekend and be outside.

To many different people camping can mean several things. Some think of smores, lightning bugs, star-gazing or late night chats that lead into way too early morning wakeups. Others think about getting caught in storms, being eaten alive by mosquitos or possibly bear attacks. While the latter thought-process can be true, don’t be such a negative Nancy! You don’t know what will actually happen until you get out there!

You can always count on fresher air and a change of scenery at least. Not feeling a tent? There are plenty of campsites with permanent structures to go to. And if people want to stay inside a toy-hauler RV, let them. At least they are getting outside.

That really is what camping is about, getting outside and spending some quality time there. Whether that be a week or just a few days, it will always help get life back into perspective.

Speaking about perspective, if you work at a computer for extended periods of time check this out. Every 20 minutes of looking at the computer screen you should look away at an object that is 20 feet from you for at least 20 seconds. This will help you relieve eye-stress and more. And that is just in the office. Imagine you are out on a trail after breakfast and you take the time to look at a beautiful mountain range for half an hour. If that doesn’t put life back into perspective than nothing will.

Camping is also a good way to get the youth into the outdoors. There are so many activities that you can do, depending on your location and season. You can go fishing, hiking, bird-watching and so much more. It doesn’t take much to get the imagination rolling but that nice little “push” of being away from a tablet may be what you need.

And while there is nothing wrong with having cell-service where you are, especially for safety or emergency reasons, do not spend the whole time on an electronic. Unless it is a GPS and you are geocaching or something.

Giddy-Up!!

Previously:

Getting Outdoors

Picking Up

Hunting

Fishing

Hiking

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Look at That! BPS Extreme Qualifier 360 Tackle Bag

Oh my, me! Would you look at that! We, silly-bo-billys at Bass Pro Shops have got just another nifty little gem for you all! It is our Extreme Qualifier 360 Tackle Bag and it is just too cool for school!

When they say extreme, they mean it! Using a heavy-duty and water-repelling denier polyester construction they made a bag that can battle the elements and take a beating. They reinforced the bottom, so no worrying about your tackle boxes falling out and busting open!

There is an integrated ID holder so no one can try and take your beastly bag. The bag has a standard set of handles on it, but also a shoulder strap to help with heavier loads or freeing of a hand. It can hold five of the 360 tackle boxes inside, which means plenty of tackle.

What is really nice is that this product can be purchased with these tackle boxes or without. So if you already have your tackle boxes, you can save a few buckaroos. There are also several storage pockets on the sides of this bag. This is really nice for bringing along other essentials on a fishing trip.

There is plenty of room for towels, first-aid kits, fishing tools and more! I mean just look at it!

-Giddy-Up!!

Other Nifty Things to Look At!

Propane Fire Ring

Hand Towels

Rainproof Camo

She Outdoor

PETT

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Check it Out List: Tactical Clothing

Two words that have infiltrated the shooting world over the past years, tactical and zombie. From those two words, different worlds have been developed. And combining those words is a whole different ball game!

When it comes to the term tactical, there is a whole slew of things it can involve. Tactical shooting, clothing, maneuvering, reloading, pens, holsters, water bottles, knives, flashlights and so on. So much so that many simply mock the whole “tactical” concept.

But like many things that can come under ridicule, tactical apparel does have sound reasoning behind it. So for this month’s Check it Out List we are going to go over Tactical Clothing.

 

Tactical Shirt

Tactical Pants/Shorts

Tactical Belt

Tactical Gloves

Tactical Jacket

Tactical Boots

 

Most often tactical products are concerning self-defense. It goes hand in hand with possible combat and carrying a firearm. You really wouldn’t want to be caught in a gun-fight with pajama pants, flip flops and a lose shirt. You are going to want clothing that is secure, leaving little room for possible issues occurring while drawing and firing a firearm.

Working our way down the list, let us start with the shirt. There is an assortment of shirts: long sleeve, short sleeve, button up, polo and so on. Each different style will provide you with some kind of advantage. Also depending on the weather and possibly your job or plan for the day will help you choose what to wear.

The pants and shorts are well known for having numerous pockets on them. This is for your extra magazines, knife, flashlight, standard everyday items (phone, wallet, etc.) and more. Unlike cargo shorts, these pockets do not bulge out so you are less likely to get caught on something while moving. Also the pockets hold items more securely so you are not fishing around to find the desired item.

The belt may be the simplest yet most important aspect. First thing to notice is how thick it is. The thickness and height of the belt help keep a holster on your person. Try wearing a holster on a normal belt and notice how much wiggle there is. Now when you have to draw your firearm that wiggle space could throw you off and be a huge difference to the outcome. A tactical belt will almost eliminate that “wiggle room” completely.

Two items are more for personal preference. Gloves are great to shoot with, but not always necessary. And you probably won’t go around wearing them all day anyway so it would look a little unnatural. They do allow one to grip a firearm better and can help if dealing with a “hot” firearm. Gloves do not sweat like your hand might in a stressful situation so it helps keep something important from “slipping out”.

A nice tactical jacket will allow you to have numerous pockets (much like the pants/shorts) and may even have special pockets to carry extra magazines or the firearm itself. These jackets tend to be built well so they do a nice job of keeping you warm and providing you with ease of access for items.

You can tell a lot about someone by their shoes. Tactical boots are very nice and many who wear them tend to wear nothing else. These boots are built light, solid and comfortable. Thinking about having to be in a self-defense situation you are not going to want to worry about tripping on your shoelaces or even worse being in flip flops. There has been an increasing trend for use of tactical boots for hunting and hiking because of how well they work.

No matter what your goal is, hopefully this has opened your eyes or opinions to other options.

-Giddy-Up!!

Checked-Lists

Picnics

Gun Cleaning

Game Care

First Aid

Kayaking

Day Pack

Trip Prep

Range Time

Fishing Pack

Boating Day Trip

Camp Cooking

 Dove Hunting

Upland Hunting

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Crockpot Cuisine: Tipsy Little Birds

So I will be honest, this month’s recipe is going to focus on a meat that may know of but have never tasted. Cornish game hens are available at most food markets and I am sure you have passed by them. Besides being the perfect replica of the “Crochet’s Family Turkey” they are delicious! With all of the running-around right now, something tasty waiting at home after cooking for several hours might just be the greatest thing ever. Oh and I call them “Tipsy” because you use wine to cook them in. Be sure to save some or get another bottle though for dinner itself.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cornish Hens – thawed
  • 5 Sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 medium sweet onions
  • 9 cloves of fresh garlic
  • Butter (for rubbing)
  • Salt/Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 bottle white wine, any variety (my wife prefers moscato)
  • 1 ½  cups Chicken broth

Cooking Time: 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low

Directions:

  • Make sure inside cavity is free from ice and giblets, rinse clean and pat dry.
  • Slice onions and place in the bottom of the slow-cooker.  Add 4-6 cloves of garlic and several sprigs of rosemary.
  • Add: 1-2 slices of onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 sprig of rosemary, and a spoonful of butter or margarine to the cavity of each hen.
  • Liberally rub the skins of the birds with butter.  Add salt and pepper to the skin and pat down.  Do it all again on the other side.
  • Place both hens into the slow-cooker. (You will want them with the wings and drumsticks facing upward)
  •  Add wine and chicken broth.  Cover.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours, making sure the internal temperature of each hen reaches at least 165 degrees F.
  • Crack open the other bottle  of wine (or some good eggnog if you are like me) and feast!

Not only are Cornish Game Hens filled with flavor but also nutrition! Half a bird has only 336 calories and 29 grams of protein! And honestly, where else can you truly recreate the Crochet’s family bird from A Christmas Carol so perfectly?

Happy Holidays, Ya’ll!

-Giddy-Up!!

Other Recipes

Squirrel

Rabbit

Quail

Goose

Grouse

Crappie

Buffalo

Chicken Chile Verde

Venison Stew

Hunter’s Delight

Chicken Fried Bacon

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A Fine Nine: Springfield XD

Let me go ahead and say that I have never been a big fan of Springfield XDs. Just something about them never really got my gears going. But a while back they introduced a firearm that I was immediately interested in, their XDS model in 45ACP. I tested the firearm out and was impressed. Then when I was really searching for an EDC (every day carry) pistol in 45ACP, I tested out a number of others. I tried the M&P compact, Glock 30, Glock 36 and a couple small 1911s. With nothing really standing out, I tried the XDS again and was truly impressed and acquired one. I have yet to have an issue with mine and am now a proud supporter of the Springfield XDs.

Now I have said this before as many others will, gun manufacturers and personal preference are like trucks. You have Chevy people, Ford people and Dodge people. Same with firearms, you have Colt people, Glock guys and Ruger fans and so on. People either love the Springfield XDs or don’t. But having been out since 2001, they have created quite the following.

So XD stands for “Extreme Duty” as these are what they were designed for. There are actually three different series of the XD models. The models are XD, XDM and XDS and they can come in a slew of variants beyond just that. Most models will have full-size, compact or subcompact variants. That is except for the XDS which comes in either a 3.3” barrel or a 4” barrel. This model is the specific concealed carry line of XDs but is still loaded with great features (ambi-safety, loaded-chamber indicator, etc.) like its “bigger brothers”.

The XD line has a 3” barrel option and several different ones for 4” and 5” barrels. Like their site says “In 2001, Springfield Armory® redefined what a polymer pistol should be. The XD® series set the new industry standard for ergonomic comfort, ease of operation, features and performance.”

Six years after the introduction of the XD, Springfield gave us the XDM line. The M stands for match as it is a heavier-duty firearm than its predecessor. Just like with the XD line, there are several barrel lengths available, including a 5.25” competition model. And speaking of competitions, more and more Springfields are showing up at shooting events. Last year we had a couple professional shooters that were on the Springfield Team, and they swore by their handguns (and not just because of the sponsorship).

As I said about the XDS having features similar to the other models, lets go over some of those. Springfield is proud to state that “The features available on the XD(M)® will impress even the most demanding shooters. The XD(M)® includes a basic list of safety features shared with its predecessor the XD®. The striker status indicator and loaded chamber indicator give the shooter instant tactile and visual feedback to know if there is a chambered round and if the striker is cocked. Three separate safeties guard against accidental discharges and provide extra peace of mind. The Ultra Safety Assurance (USA) Action Trigger System™ prevents unintentional rearward movement of the trigger. The grip safety keeps the pistol from firing unless the shooter has a firm grasp on it. And an internal firing pin block goes the extra mile to bring you a pistol fully designed with safety in mind.”

What I really like is that their safety features are effective enough to work but not so cumbersome to be a nuisance if having to draw the firearm and fire in a self-defense situation. If there is an external safety that needs to be moved into a position to allow the firearm to shoot, one could easily forget to flip it in a stressful situation. The fact that the external safeties in the XDs are one on the rear grip and the trigger itself means that they help prevent accidents they won’t get in the way of a self-defense scenario. Your hand will naturally grab the rear grip to press in the safety there and your finer will control the trigger safety as well. (I would know, I own one.)

Now this blog is supposed to be about 9MM handguns, and just about every variation of any Springfield XD model comes in 9MM. Whether it is an XD-4” or XDM-3.8”, they tend to come in this quite popular caliber. Several years ago one would tell you that you should skip a 9MM and go to a larger caliber. With all the developments in defense ammunition over the past couple years; this caliber has increased its stopping power. It should not be considered “weak” by any means anymore. The improvements to both ammunition and the firearms have increased their effectiveness and quality all over.

Shortly after releasing the XDS in 45ACP came a version chambered in 9MM. To be honest, as will many other XDS45ACP owners admit, I wish I had picked up the 9MM version. Not only do you get a couple more rounds, but it is easier to control.

So just like any other purchase one might look to, do your research and ask around. People are always happy to give their opinions on anything from trucks to toasters and so on, and of course firearms. Just be sure to think about a Springfield XD model when looking for any kind of 9MM handgun.

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Nines:

Basics

Glock 19

S&W M&P

Beretta 92

FNX-9

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