Dressed to kill: Spring Turkey Hunt Edition


Turkey hunting is a pleasurable and exciting form of hunting.  Confronting turkeys is what hunters live for to have that exhilarating conversations with fellow hunters, family and friends.

Turkey Season is April 22nd thru May 10th with a bag limit of one bearded or male turkey for the spring season. To be able to hunt wild turkey, a valid hunting license and a valid game bird habit stamp privilege are required. But a separate turkey license is required when hunting during each turkey hunting season.

Getting ready for turkey hunting after you have your license, calls, firearms, and anything else you need for your hunt, you need to have proper attire when going out on the field. You want to make sure you are covered head to foot in camouflage to blend in with the environment as best as possible. You don’t need to worry about scent control with the turkeys but you do need to make sure you cover your face, hands and anything else exposed to cover up. Starting from top to bottom you need a hat or a leafy hat with a spandex ¼ face mask to cover your head, face and neck. Next, you need to wear lightweight breathable shirts and pants, like the stalker lite series comes in long sleeve shirts, ¼ zip pullover, pants and shorts for what you prefer. It’s a lightweight, moisture wicking, breathable and rugged material. There is also a Tec-Lite style that comes in a long-sleeve button up shirt and pants. This style is breathable, moisture wicking and durable with the rip-stop material made to stop the tear from spreading. There is also strut zone turkey gloves that are spandex gloves and are lightweight, moisture wicking and breathable that you will need to cover your hands.

There is nothing fun about sitting out there waiting for your turkey and you don’t have the proper attire on and you’re uncomfortable or the turkey sees you. Once you are all covered, have your license and all your necessities you are ready for your turkey hunting season. Just make sure you are all covered so the turkey doesn’t see you.


Bowhunting Gobblers

Setting up a good headshot on a Tom has more to do with preparation than actual archery skill. The four areas to concentrate are; equipment and setup, coverage and presentation.


During the deer season many archers have their bows set up on a high draw weight. This is not necessary beneficial with hunting turkeys- especially headshots. Remember, you will be shooting at a closer range and therefore knowing your angle is more important than power of the bow. Moreover, in order to make a good headshot you will have to be already drawn back for a minute or two before the shot can be made. So therefore, a high-let-off bow would be more beneficial. You can top off your equipment with a good broad head. One that gives you 4inches in diameter coverage is perfect and more forgiving than small coverage types.



No matter what blind you choose, try setting it up the night before your morning hunt. Ensure that the blind is not silhouetted in a field by the morning sun or that you are not silhouetted inside the blind. Turkeys are very observant creatures and they pay attention to the finest details. For safety, make sure you have enough room in the blind to be confortable as well as shoot safely.


One of the most important elements is the decoy spread. You want that Tom to get close enough and sit still long enough to make that great headshot. Setting the Jake behind a submissive hen with 2-3 feeder hens in the spread could be the way to go. Finally, finish off this great spread with some good sound. Now, turkey calls have a lot to do with the user than the actual call. Some people are just not good at using some calls. Make sure you are using a call and practice using it to ensure that you are producing an authentic sound. Just like setting up a good fishing rig- presentation is everything. Wait for the shot! Wait until the Tom approaches the Jake and assumes his dominant position- it will be his last.


Think Camo!


SHE Outdoor is a rugged hunting line for women that is stylish with a feminine cut. The way it fits with the right material makes it functional and durable for that outdoor hunt. Also with SHE Outdoor apparel and it's proper fitting clothing, now women can be more comfortable in it, to have that proper movement. Women will now be able to climb tree stands, bow hunt, use firearms and to be able to even just walk.

    SHE Outdoor is offered in a styles to meet every need of every hunting atmosphere and activity. When it comes down to it women now have a lot more to choose from to be able to be ready and prepared for what's to come out in the field.


    There is now plenty to choose from when getting dressed and ready to hit the road, from light weight, mid-weight and heavy weight clothing options. SHE Outdoor heavyweight has a Insulated Jacket that are waterproof, breathable, lined hand warmer pockets and detached hood with adjustable draw-cords. Insulated waterproof and breathable pants include knee high side-leg zippers with exterior storm flap, hook n' loop closure ankle adjustments and back pockets with magnetic storm flap. A mid-weight option is the insulated bibs or jacket, the bibs have 2 hand warmer pockets, 2 button down rear pockets, reinforced knees and kick plate and 2 upper zipper bellowed chest pockets. The insulated jacket has a hook n loop adjustment cuffs, 2 ykk zippered hand warmer pockets and 3 panel draw cord hood and waste.

SHE also has a fleece full-zippered jacket and a pullover hoodie for the little extra coverage you might need. There is plenty to choose from in the light-weight items, the SHE enduraskin is moisture wicking and compression fit. The SHE tech shirts are odor control, loose fit that's polyester and breathable that comes in short sleeve or long sleeve.


Perfect Fit!

  • When To Replace Your Shoes


A pair of standard running shoes will last about 6 months. However, there are many factors that

influence how often to replace your shoes. If you use running shoes for everyday use they will not

last as long. Running in old or worn out shoes can lead to running injuries. When you run in worn-out shoes it increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints.


  • How to tell when to replace your running shoes


The general rule, most running shoes will last 300-400 miles depending on your height, weight and terrain you run on.  If you run on the trails you'll need to replace them sooner than running on a treadmill. If you take care of

your running shoes you will get alot more miles out of them.

The feel of the shoe will tell you before any other way. If your feet start to hurt or your knees ache it is time to replace your shoes. The soles last longer than the cushioning of the shoes. If the soles are worn down it is

definitely time to replace your shoes.

And Bass Pro Shops has a great selection of running shoes and athletic shoes: http://www.basspro.com/Shoes-Boots-Shoes-Athletic-Shoes/_/N-1z0usu0



  • Making Your Shoes Last Longer


Removing your shoes properly will extend the life of your shoe. For example by unlacing them and using

your hand to remove them instead of kicking them of with the other foot they'll last longer.

Rotating your shoes will also extend the life of your shoe.


Don't forget our Feathered Friends!

Chirp, chirp

Bringing the Flock to your Backyard

Bass Pro Shops Gift Department

Birding connects you with nature in a fun, inexpensive and educational way. With a little knowledge of birding, you will have a fulfilling and rewarding connection with wild birds.

Most birds will come to a backyard that is well equipped, and the right supplies can help you maintain a bird-friendly backyard easily. From basic birding supplies to specialized equipment, having the proper tools will make backyard birding rewarding. Birds may seem to be everywhere, but they'll only visit backyards regularly if their basic needs for food, water, shelter and nesting sites are met. By adding features to meet those needs, you will find more birds willing to join your backyard flock.

Birdfeeders are the easiest way to enjoy watching birds in your yard. Not all feeder styles are appropriate, however, and understanding what feeders and foods will work best for the birds in your backyard can help you offer a scrumptious bird-friendly buffet.

There are numerous styles, designs, sizes and shapes of bird feeders available, so which one is best for your backyard birds?

Large basic feeders, such as hoppers and platforms are best for mixed flocks or larger, ground-feeding birds, while more elaborate feeders are designed for certain birds' feeding preferences. Clinging birds such as goldfinches prefer mesh feeders or feeding socks that allow them to use their natural feeding habits and postures.

 Perching birds such as sparrows, titmice and chickadees enjoy tube feeders with perches placed near feeding ports.

If you are planning on offering a specific type of food, you will need specific feeders. If you decide on suet , use a mesh or cage feeder that has room for suet-loving birds such as woodpeckers and nuthatches to prop themselves while feeding, just as they would prop themselves along a tree trunk. If you are choosing a seed feeder, be sure the feeding ports are the correct size for the seed you are offering.  Tiny seeds will fall through the holes meant for whole sunflower seeds, for example, and poor port size leads to much wasted seeds.

Starting with easier, simpler feeder styles to attract more birds, then specialize with feeders for the birds you enjoy the most.

Try for a variety of feeder styles, sizes and designs to make your feeding stations more attractive to different birds and to reduce competition at one feeder.

Not sure where to start – Your first list should include one simple tube feeder; one bag of black-oil sunflower seeds; one suet cage feeder and a suet cake and sit back and enjoy your new flock.

Now you may be wondering what birds are coming to your backyard.

''The Joy of Birding: A Beginner's Guide'' by Kate Rowinski teaches birders how to identify bird species by body parts, and then attract more to their yard!

 Rowinski uncovers the reasons behind birds' behavior and gives advice on creating a good home for these winged creatures. Written with the home birdwatcher in mind, this birding book also includes information on destination vacations.

 After reading this bird watching guide, you'll be amazed at what you've been missing! ''The Joy of Birding'' features 100 beautiful color photographs and can be found in Bass Pro Shops gift department at the birding tree.

All of your birding needs are available and the Gift Department associates will be happy to assist you in choosing your supplies.


Choose well, and you'll have a feeder you and your birds can enjoy for years.


Wild Turkey

License Requirements

To hunt wild turkey, a valid turkey hunting license and a valid game bird habitat stamp privilege are required.

Those that have a lifetime comprehensive hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing, or resident youth hunt/trap license can hunt turkey and do not need to purchase the game bird habitat stamp because it is included with those license types.

A separate turkey hunting license is required when hunting during each turkey hunting season — one for the spring season and one for the fall season.

Game bird habitat stamp privileges are good for both spring and fall seasons in the same calendar year.

You can assist another hunter by calling only if you are licensed to hunt turkeys, regardless of whether or not you have harvested a turkey yourself.

Season and Bag Limits

Spring 2015 - The spring season is April 22 through May 10, 2015. The bag limit is one bearded or male turkey for the spring season. Spring turkey hunting is allowed statewide.

Fall 2014 - The bag and possession limit for the fall seasons is one bird of either sex, regardless of hunting equipment used or what portion of the season. Fall archery season is statewide. Fall firearm season has specific dates for specific counties (see below).

  • Fall archery (including crossbows):
    Statewide from Oct. 1 – 26, 2014 and Dec. 6, 2014 to Jan. 4, 2015.
  • Fall firearm: Oct. 15 – 19, 2014 in the following counties only:
    • DeKalb, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben.
  • Fall firearm: Oct. 15 – 26, 2014 in the following counties only:
    • Bartholomew, Brown, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Dubois, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Gibson, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Knox, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Ripley, Scott, Spencer, Sullivan, Switzerland, Union, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Warren, Warrick, Washington.

Youth Season

Information about the youth season is on page 13.

Legal Equipment

Turkeys can be hunted only with:

  • A 10-, 12-, 16- or 20-gauge shotgun loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7 or 7½.
  • A muzzleloading shotgun not smaller than 20-gauge and not larger than 10-gauge, loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7 or 7½. Combination loads using shot sizes other than these are illegal.
  • Bow and arrow
  • A crossbow

Hunting Hours

Wild turkeys may be hunted only from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. All DNR-managed Fish and Wildlife Areas, Mississinewa and Salamonie lakes have spring season hunting hours one-half hour before sunrise until noon for properties on CDT and until 1 p.m. for properties on EDT. Call the property for additional information.

Tagging & Checking

Immediately upon killing a turkey, the hunter must complete a temporary transportation tag on paper stating the hunter’s full name, address, sex of the turkey, license number (if applicable), and the date the turkey was taken before transporting the turkey from the field.

The hunter must register the turkey at an official check station or online through the CheckIN Game system (www.CheckINgame.DNR.IN.gov or call 800-419-1326) within 48 hours of the kill.

Go to www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/6271.htm for a searchable list of available check stations in each county.

If the turkey is taken to a check station, a permanent seal will be given and must be fixed to the leg of the turkey. If the turkey is registered online through the CheckIN Game system, a confirmation number will be generated and must be recorded on the temporary transportation tag.

For an online printable version of a temporary transportation tag, see www.wildlife.in.gov/files/turkeytag.pdf

Hunter Orange

Archery hunters must meet fluorescent (hunter) orange requirements while hunting turkeys Dec. 6-21, 2014 and from Dec. 26, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015.

Fair Chase

While hunting wild turkey, it is illegal to use or possess: a dog; another domesticated animal; a live decoy; a recorded call; an electronically powered or controlled decoy; or bait. An area is considered baited for 10 days after the removal of the bait, but an area is not considered to be baited that is attractive to wild turkeys resulting from normal agricultural practices.


Winter Hiking Tips!


Winter can be a dangerous time to hike or camp in the backcountry, but with planning and proper preparation, a winter hike can be a safe and enjoyable experience. Please keep the following in mind when planning an outing:

  • For safety, never hike alone in winter. The potential consequences are simply too high.
  • Daylight hours are short in the winter and the sun goes down quickly. Begin your trip early in the day and be prepared with a headlamp and extra batteries. Lithium batteries are more reliable in cold weather than alkaline ones.
  • Leave a trip itinerary with a friend who knows who to call if you are late in returning.
  • Deep snow may obscure trail blazing or trail markers. Topographical maps, a compass, and knowledge of how to use them is essential. Do not rely on a GPS.
  • Be prepared to keep warm with nothing more than the equipment you can carry. Dress in layers and assess whether it is prudent to bring along extra clothing or an emergency shelter in your pack.
  • Make sure you understand avalanche dynamics and know how to safely travel in avalanche terrain. If you are traveling on snow, be constantly aware of what is happening to the snow around you. If this all sounds foreign, take a class with a local club that offers winter hiking training and offers excursions to practice these skills.
  • Never count on a fire or stove to keep you warm. Learn how to build an emergency shelter.
  • Stay alert for the signs of hypothermia, frostbite or trench foot. Know the signs and symptoms and how to treat them before you set out. Take a Wilderness First Aid class to prepare yourself better.
  • Use skis or snowshoes. Post-holing is tiring and makes the trail unpleasant and dangerous for the next hiker.
  • If you are not an experienced winter hiker, make your initial trips day hikes in areas that you are familiar with. Go on trips with experienced winter hikers who are familiar with the area and local conditions.
  • Dress in layers. While you are hiking add and remove clothes to minimize sweating.
  • Eat and drink frequently. Dehydration hastens the onset of hypothermia. Do not underestimate the amount of food that you’ll need. Snowshoeing for example, burns about 600 calories an hour and winter backpacking requires 4,000-5,000 calories a day.
  • Make sure your feet are nice and dry.

A Winter With Bite!

Call me nuts, but my favorite time to bass fish is not in the spring when the flowers are blooming; nor is it during the summer when I can wear sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt; and it is not late fall when the leaves are displaying incredible beauty. Nope. My favorite time of year to bass fish is when the trees are void of leaves and required clothing includes boots, bibs, parka, and a stocking cap. Am I nuts? You be the judge.

            Before the ice blankets our lakes, bass get amazingly predictable. This normally begins in late November and lasts up until the lake is completely covered with ice. Even when the lake is half froze over, bass are still willing to bite. When the water cools into the 40’s, all game species begin migrating to their winter haunts. Contrary to the idea that these cold blooded creatures rarely eat in the frigid water, I can assure you, these fish eat! Granted, finding them can be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack, but when you find them, it can be one of the best days in your life. In 38 degree water, I have caught over 60 smallmouth bass as well as over 40 largemouths in a single outing. These are good numbers any time of year.

            Finding these fish can be surprisingly simple if you are familiar with popular ice fishing locations. Bass follow bluegill throughout most of the year, but especially during the winter. If you know where the ice is annually carved in to Swiss cheese by ice anglers, you need to look no further. The bass will be there too.

            If you do not know where the ice fishermen congregate on a lake, or perhaps you want to target a river system, the search is more challenging, but feasible. Spend your time on the northern side. The north shoreline protects the water from brisk cold northern winds and is often a degree or two warmer. It also receives more sunlight. Study a map and locate the sharpest breaklines and inside cuts creating a deep pocket. Once on the water look for signs of any green weeds. Bluegill will use these weeds for protection. Finding baitfish on your electronics is confirmation you are in the right area. If this recipe can be located, you are certain to find bass.

            Perhaps the best aspect of fishing this time of year is that the fish will return to the same spots every year and remain there all winter. Unlike other seasons when the fish are constantly moving, they will remain in the same area all winter.

            Arguably the best bait for cold water fish is a blade bait. Wide varieties are available on the market today, but the ½ ounce gold Lazer Blade is always my first choice. It takes no time to reach bottom and produces an awesome vibration with the slightest rise. Working this bait is easy. Simply cast it as far as possible and let it sink to the bottom. You will know when it hits bottom as your line will have slack. Now place your rod in the 9 o’clock position and raise it to 11 o’clock and drop it back down to 9 o’clock. Once the bait settles, repeat all the way to the boat. Rarely will you feel the fish strike. It will suddenly have some resistance as you lift it, which will feel like weeds. Upon feeling this resistance, do not set the hook; just continue pulling the rod as far back as you can, keeping pressure on the fish.

            Swimbaits are growing in popularity in cold water. An endless supply now saturates the market, but not are all created equally. Some are made of a plastic that will not elicit good action in cold water. The cold temperatures actually stiffen them up. I rely on a Speed Shad. I match them up with a ¼ ounce leadhead jig and choose bluegill color schemes.

Retrieving this bait is also easy. Cast as far as possible, let it sink to desired depth, and maintain a slow, constant retrieve all the way back. Keep an eye on your line, a slight bow should be prevalent between your rod tip and the water. Also, be patient when a fish bites. It will feel like a bluegill pecking at your bait and then suddenly you will feel the weight of the fish. Do not set the hook during the pecking, wait until you feel its weight.

            Typically you will hear anglers suggest sleeping in all morning because the bite gets better once the sun has the opportunity to warm up the water, but my experience suggests the complete opposite. This may because most winter articles are written from southern anglers where shad is the primary forage, but in Northwest Indiana, the best bite occurs the first three hours after dawn. Yes, it is cold outside, but you will be amazed at how quickly you warm up when the fish are biting.

            Am I nuts? Perhaps, but I will not be watching fishing programs on the television this winter; I will be experiencing it live with simple tactics and predictable fish. Plus, I will likely have the entire body of water to myself. Not to mention, my rapid heart rate caused by the fish catching will keep me plenty warm.



Traditional Sophistication Has Arrived!

Ladies it is hard to look stylish when you're shivering or wrapped up like a cocoon.  Here at Bass Pro Shops we have just the coat for you.  Our timeless and versatile Bob Timberlake Pea Coat shields you from the chill while letting your sophisticated style shine.

You are going to be sporting a polished, flattering, and classic silhouette while wearing this double breasted jacket.  As with all of the Bob Timberlake collections this jacket is a true work of art.  This item is crafted with impeccable quality and with careful attention to every detail.  Details such as princess seams that provide feminine shaping that falls at hip length, a pleated back vent opening that allows moving room, and a belt for accent above it.  It is fully lined for neatness and is easy on/easy off.  Sleeves are accented with three buttons on the cuff.  All the buttons are crafted to look like wood.  Plenty of pockets, two front slashed pockets on the outside.  In the interior you have one zip pocket and one hook 'n' loop pocket.   Coat comes in three rich colors, traditional Black, Rhubarb Red, and a Tannin Plaid.

This coat is dry clean only because of the warm wool blend.  Sizes are XS to 2X. You can find this coat in stores and at basspro.com website: http://www.basspro.com/Bob-Timberlake-Wool-Peacoat-for-Ladies/product/14060307164935/

This jacket is truly an affordable luxury.  Pea coats have always been a classic; they never go out of style.  Dress it up with the right accessories and let your style shine.


Text in Warmth Ladies!

Do you remember the brutal winter we had last year?  Do you remember how cold your fingers got when you tried to use your smart phone, I-Pad,or tablet?  Then you thought hey maybe I will buy some of those gloves with the fingers cut off. All that got you was cold freezing fingers and warm hands. Well here at Bass Pro Shops we have the solution to all those frozen fingers.

 We are offering four different styles of gloves with the technology built into the fingers of the gloves to connect with your smart phone, I-pad,or tablet.

The North Face has three styles. The first one is the Denali Etip glove which is good for cool weather. It comes in black, white and gray. Sizes are small/medium and large/extra large.


The second one is the Denali Thermal glove which is good for cold weather comes in navy blue and black. Sizes are small/medium and large/extra large.

 The third glove is the Etip stretch fit glove which has reflective detailing for those of you who run.  It only comes in black and strechs to fit your hand.



  All five fingers on all these gloves have touch screen capability.  The fingers have intergrated conductive technology with embedded powered conductors.


Columbia also offers their Trail Summit Running glove with Omni Heat, and reflective piping. This glove offers thumb and fore finger capability only.  Omni Heat reflects your body heat back to your hand with the reflective dots. This is a strech fit glove.                                             

Treat yourself and buy a pair of these gloves. Or even better give them as a Christmas gift. You can find them on line or in our stores.



Holiday Cheer

As a child, the holiday season was always the best part of the year.

One of the biggest thrills was browsing through the many Christmas catalogues that came to the house. Carefully turning each page and bending the corners to mark the ideal gifts to be purchased.

 I realized that decades later, that thrill is still there. The Bass Pro Shops catalogue brought back those holiday memories. And, of course, my Christmas catalogue has plenty of bent corners.

Christmas 2014 offers clothing for children, ladies and men as well as rainwear, footwear, hunting, fishing and marine gift ideas perfect for folks who love the great outdoors.

Oh, did I forget to mention the Gift Department section? I am particularly fond of this section. It is the best part of the catalogue (J). Bass Pro Shops features Adventure Sets ideal for kids 3 and up. A child’s imagination will run wild taking them from the woods to the ranch. The Deluxe off-Road set, RAM and horse trailer and the SUT Deluxe Outdoor Camping set are just a sampling of what is offered. The set that caught my eye was the SUT-Rex Hunting Attack set. Along with the SUT featuring a working winch and trailer hitch is a realistic dinosaur puppet that roars. Stimulate the imagination of both boys and girls. A superb holiday gift idea.

Games bring families together.

There is no better way to enjoy the family away from the television or computer than with a board game. New this year is a culinary twist on the classic Monopoly game. Bacon-opoly is a blast to play as players collect favorite bacon treats, trade them in for Smokehouses and up the rent. Playing pieces include a skillet, bacon, tongs and more.


Perhaps it is time to start making Christmas traditions and memories for your own family. The Elf on the Shelf is quickly becoming a wanted family tradition.   The book tells a Christmas-themed story, written in rhyme, that explains how Santa Claus knows who is naughty and who is nice, and describes elves visiting children between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, after which they return to the North Pole until the next holiday season. The Elf on the Shelf comes in a keepsake box that features a hardbound picture book and a small soft toy in the form of a pixie scout elf. New this year is “The Elf on the Shelf” Claus Couture Collection. Choose from an aviator jacket with patches and goggles, or a satin skirt with a jewel accent.

‘Taste’ful Gifts are always a great idea. For the adventurous hunter Bass Pro Shops in Portage, offers Fender Blend Roadside Summer Sausage - an exotic mix of meats from 7 different animals. The focus is on healthy low-fat meats from wild boar, buffalo, elk, venison, alligator, rabbit and beef. No MSG or nitrites are added. (also available through the catalogue.)

I could go on and on about what this great catalogue has to offer for the holiday. Better yet, I invite you to come see for yourself and experience the excitement.  The Gift Department is set with dazzling Trim-A-Tree ideas, holiday scents and candles, and a wonderland of gifts for anyone and everyone.

Mark your calendar for the opening of Santa’s Wonderland on November 15 thru Christmas Eve. Come and get your free photo with Santa. Tons of fun, Tons of Crafts, Tons of Games and Activities for children of all ages.

Find the perfect gift needed for hunter, fisherman, camper, child or yourself. Bass Pro Shops offers three convenient ways to shop.  Shop online at www.basspro.com; phone in your catalogue order by calling 1-800-BASSPRO (1-800-227-7776) or spend the day at our store  at 6425 Daniel Burnham Drive (located in the Ameriplex Complex) in Portage.


Game Cameras

Game cameras do not just have to be for scouting. With the giant leaps in technology almost every hunter wants to film that great hunt.  A game camera is still a camera with the same capabilities as other cameras and can be your automatic second camera person. Having a multi-camera shoot will allow you to have a very professional looking video to brag about and show your friends.

Before we get into the set up let’s look at the basics. I prefer filming in 1980p, it is what I do professionally.  1980p will allow you to pan and zoom in video editing software without causing distortion through pixilation.  Also it will allow you to snapshot frames within your video editing software for at least 4 x 6 photo prints.

First off, your main camera, whether you use a bow cam, Go Pro, or any other camera, it needs to have continuous record capability (although the Go Pro is limited due to focal point- this can be fixed in post editing).  DSLR cameras like the Canon T2 series, Nikon DSLRs, as well as Sony DSLRs have file limitations. Many of these cameras will stop after a certain amount of record time- my old Canon T2ii (my nonprofessional camera) would stop recording after 12 minutes.  There is really no workaround, although some third party programs like Magic Lantern created by professional filmmakers can work round this issue- it will void your warranty.  The Canon 5D was used to film the movie Iron Man among others that used Magic Lantern firmware.  There are many cameras that are more than capable of shooting high quality HD video continually without breaking your wallet.

Second thing to look at is SD cards. There are many types of SD cards. Many game cameras will recommend a certain class of card. Remember, this recommendation is merely the minimal requirements of class.  The maximum size specified by the game camera is the largest you can use however. To find out the class of the SD card (which is standardized by www.sdcard.org) look on the card itself. The number in the “C” is the class of the card. The distinguishing feature is the most common among cards that we use today.


I always recommend the Class 10 card, especially for HD video and always use them in photo shoots that call for action shots.


Third thing to look at is video editing software. I prefer to use Sony Vegas Pro. Although this version can be expensive it allows you to do multi camera editing which saves time.  However, you can use the standard home version Sony Vegas Platinum which will allow you to have multiple video tracks on the timeline as well as producing DVD and BluRay disc for viewing. Many Sony computer packages come with this program as well as DVD Architect to produce professional videos.  Keep in mind this same affordable software is used by professionals and is very user friendly.


Now to set up the shoot of your big shot! :

1) Take at least one game cam and set it up past the area where you think the deer is coming in from. If you have more than one game camera set them up around the perimeter. I recommend putting one behind you (in your blind spot). Set the cameras on video and auto.

2) Whichever camera you are using for the main camera make sure it is ready to go and in position.  Be prepared to turn it on as soon as you feel your opportunity is approaching to take that trophy buck.


Do not worry about the other cameras, they are doing the job they were designed to do.  You on the other hand need to concentrate on that trophy (after you turn on your camera of course).


Grades are In and the Grade is a Z8!

By: Andrew D. Buss

Every moment on the water, and before every cast, I assess the potential for success in regards to water depth, clarity, structure, lure selection, and countless other factors. On top of being a competitive angler, my day job is to teach middle school students reading and writing. Again, assessment is my job. A theme in the classroom is I do not give grades, rather, students earn grades. Today I have a grade to share with you: the 2014 Nitro Z8 earns an A+.

She arrived Memorial Day weekend with a number of accessories: Mercury Pro XS 250, Humminbird 1199, Humminbird 999, Minn Kota Fortrex 112, a pair of 12 foot Minn Kota Talons, Hot Foot, and a Loc-R-Bar. During these short months, I have put it all to the test by beating the snot out of it. Wear and tear from small Northern Indiana inland lakes is admittedly minimal, but throw in several hundred miles on Lake Michigan, two weeks on Minnesota’s 112,000 acre Leech Lake, and a week on New York’s 254,000 acre Lake Champlain has officially broken her in.


One look at the EL20A color scheme and one must admit she brings sexy to bass boats. It took only a few weeks to lose count on how many comments I received from non-fishermen: thumbs up from passersby, admirers at convenience stores, even people at stop lights rolling down their window to express their admiration. The artists at Nitro earned their paycheck.

My previous boat was a 20 foot Skeeter. Before that, I owned a 19 foot Triton. Admittedly, I was skeptical about the Z8’s performance compared with the Skeeter, but I was wrong. My first time on the water was with fellow angler Steve Prange, who is a long time Ranger owner. He had ample experience in my Skeeter and a 2013 Ranger. As we broke the motor in, he was the first to exclaim the Z8’s ride, hole shot, top speed, and ease of performance surpasses any boat he has ridden. On top of that, his admiration of the sheer size - seating and casting space - was equally as flattering.

The first real test came on southern Lake Michigan in early June. Weather forecasters had predicted five mile per hour winds out of the south. They were wrong. Instead flags were flat as a pancake with winds out of the north. This did not stop me from venturing out, and after a few miles, waves between 6-8 feet high battered the Z8 and I. Spray saturated me and dropping down several feet between waves jolted my body, but the boat was not impressed. She rode through the waves with ease.


During the Lake Michigan Big Bass Bash in late June, fish were hard to come by. As a result I ran nearly 120 miles across the lake in search of cooperating fish. My persistence paid off with a top 5 finish, but the success belongs to the Z8. Never before was running that kind of mileage an option for me. At the end of the day, the 68 gallon tank was only half empty.

Immediately from this tournament I headed to Leech Lake in northern Minnesota for vacation. Out of character for June, we were bombarded with stiff winds for nearly our entire stay. Not a problem. Despite consistent four and five foot waves, we were able to navigate safely across the entire lake. We drifted for walleye amongst the waves and ran 20 miles to protected bays to chase musky and bass.

Finally, participating in the B.A.S.S. Northern Open on Lake Champlain is a daunting and intimidating experience. Champlain is ranked #10 as the roughest body of water in America by Bassmaster Magazine. The sheer size is astonishing, but add persistent strong winds and waves ranging from four to eight feet in height, well, now it’s not just a matter of catching fish, but survival. Thanks to the Z8, neither were ever concerns. The Humminbird electronics and Fortrex trolling motor allowed me to locate schools of smallmouth bass to finish 23 out of a field of 180, while the Mercury was reliable, and the boat kept me in control and safe. During day one of competition, over 20 teams returned late due to the waves, but not me.

If you are serious about your boating or fishing, line yourself up with the best. Line yourself up with Nitro.


Uh-Oh Damaged Propellers!


Prop Damage Can Be Costly If Not Corrected

Even if you haven’t used your boat much this season, you may know that damage to a boat’s propeller is as common as, say, running out of gas while fishing.  It’s not shameful to admit that props get dinged, dented, scraped and damaged beyond repair. While frustrating, it is a fact of boating.

What Damages Boat Propellers?

Any number of unseen hazards can damage the best prop, whether it’s made of sturdy stainless steel or aluminum. The team at Power Pro’s can attest to that. A prop can be damaged by chains, ropes, hidden logs and rocks. Propellers can also be subject to debris, mainly driftwood, plants and trash. Rocks and churning sand can also diminish your prop quality

When does prop damage need repairs or replacement?

A quick checklist may help you decide if you need to replace your prop:

1. Do you notice a drop in performance? If your acceleration, cornering or general overall handling of your boat drops significantly, check your prop it may be time for a replacement or repair.

2. Feel a vibration? That is a bad sign. A vibration can damage other parts of your boat that you don’t want to have to replace, namely your motor!  This can cause uneven wear on the gears which could become a high dollar repair that won’t be covered by your warranty.

3. Are you in the RPM range? Variations can result in poor fuel economy and other damage to your motor.  Gas isn’t cheap these days and the cost of fueling your boat can add up quickly.

4. What’s the thickness of your blade? Know your baseline and watch this detail because it can affect performance.

5. Cracks in the blades? No question, time for a replacement.

6. When in doubt, get a boat mechanic’s advice. He’ll probably err on the side of caution, but who wants to be left stranded when your prop or motor stops working?

Rules of Thumb on Prop Maintenance

If you’ve run into hazards with your prop, it’s best to inspect the propeller as soon as the suspected damage has occurred. If you heard something or felt a jolt, it’s likely that damage has happened. Props can be repaired, so it’s worth considering a repair versus a replacement if the damage is caught in time. The Power Pro’s can advise whether saving the prop is a worthwhile option.  In many cases, it could be just as cost effective to replace a prop rather than pay for piecemeal repair or welding. If you haven’t experienced a bump while boating, then inspecting your prop regularly should be enough to keep it in good, working order.


Which Waders are the Best Choice for Me?

Fishing can be an exciting outdoor activity, especially when the fish are biting! Those who bank fish may be at a disadvantage if the fish that are biting are in deeper water. A simple solution to this problem is fishing waders. Whether you’re fishing for Salmon, Trout or Bass, waders can give you a competitive edge.

It is important to pick the correct wader for the depth of the water you’ll be fishing as well as the weather you’re in. There are several types of waders to choose from. Chest waders are most versatile in their design, allowing fishermen to wade into deep water because they provide maximum coverage.  The suspenders and lightweight baggy material keeps the waders securely on your body while leaving room for your body and layered clothing.

Waist-high waders are mid height wader option. Waist waders don’t provide as much coverage as chest waders. Designed much like a baggy pair of pants, they are meant for water no deeper than mid-thigh and are equipped with belt loops to hold them in place. These waders are nice in that they provide more coverage than a hip wader, but don’t restrict movement as much as a chest wader would. These are a nice warm weather option because of their light weight, medium coverage design.

Hip waders are a minimal coverage option meant for water no higher than the knee. These are a great warm weather option due to their light weight. These are often used for fishing in shallow waters.

There are options for either insulated or uninsulated waders as well. Insulated waders are used for both colder water and colder weather. These often consist of baggy material to allow for layered clothing. Uninsulated waders are a great option for fishing in summer months as they are more breathable.

There are options for boot-foot waders, wading soles, and stocking foot bottomed waders. Boot-foot waders allow you to purchase both boot and wader in one, which make them convenient and affordable. Wading soles come in a variety of materials such as felt, rubber, hiking, and studded soles, for different underwater terrain. Stocking foot waders are meant to be paired with a waterproof wading boot. It is up to the fisherman which option is best suited for their preferred type of fishing.

Waders are meant to enhance your fishing experience while keeping you dry and comfortable, not hinder it. It is important to find the right wader for the conditions in which you’ll be fishing. It is also important to rinse (especially if you fish in salt or brackish water) and hang dry your waders after each use to insure they don’t mildew.  Make sure to store waders that are completely dry, in a cool, dry space free of direct sunlight.


Now is the Time Ladies!

Hooray, the time has finally arrived for our sale and clearance on our spring and summer ladies apparel. Have you had your eye on that Bob Timberlake embellished tank top,or that Natural Reflections striped layered henley that goes so well the seamed bermuda short?

Select items of our brands of Ascend, Bob Timberlake and Natural Reflections are either on sale or clearance along with Columbia and The North Face for 25 to 33% off the regular price.

Shop our stores or shop our website but do it quickly while colors and sizes are at their prime.  While you are shopping don't forget to check out our Fall selections. Our Natural Reflections Zip Fleece Jacket at only $19.99 comes in six rich colors and pairs beautifully our Natural Reflections 3/4 sleeve striped knit shirt.




Firearm Ownership Heritage

During the last few decades the focus of firearm ownership has been surrounded mainly in the social political spectrum. Firearm rights and the right to protect oneself have taken center stage. However, there is an additional attribute that compliments the importance of firearm ownership- heritage. We have had a long history of sporting firearms which has been overshadowed by the modern media. However, it is still alive today and the staff at Bass Pro Shops in Portage, Indiana can help guide and teach you.


The following is a film titled “Making of a Shooter”. You must understand the significance of the film;

  1. the film is from 1946,
  2. it is sponsored by the top firearm and ammunition companies,
  3. it is color which is a big deal from a film from 1946,
  4. it is big on firearms safety,
  5. it is family orientated,
  6. overall for the time period the quality is superb


The video contains shooting sports and bird hunting. There is not any deer hunting due to the fact that in 1946 deer were not plentiful and very scarce.


In the firearms department at Bass Pro in Portage, Indiana, we strive to keep this heritage alive.  Our staff is made up of individuals of different backgrounds and knowledge. Some of our staff is from past generations when skeet and trap shooting was at its peak in popularity. Other members are more from current generations when deer hunting, modern sporting rifles, and duck hunting is the popular choice (thanks to the boys at Duck Commander).


We have a wide selection for firearms for all your sporting needs past and present. Come on in and bring the whole family.  Many are on sale now for the fall classic.



Is Robin Hood a better archer than Bill Jordan?

Were the archers from the Middle Ages better bowman than modern professional hunters like Bill Jordan? Before we answer this question we must look at a brief history of the bow and arrow.

Who invented the bow and arrow? Answering that question is equivalent to answering who invented fire or even the wheel. However, we can look at the history of the bow and find some interesting technologies that we use for hunting and sport today.

A recent discovery in South Africa puts the invention of the bow and arrow about 71,000 years ago.  Arrowheads as well as spear heads were found in Pinnacle Point cave located outside Cape Town, South Africa. This is an important discovery about how sophisticated Homo sapiens (modern humans) early on. The oldest Homo sapiens archeological find dates back a little over 200,000 years ago.



The invention of the bow and arrow can be an important step on why homo sapiens out competed their rival the Neanderthals, who were much more stronger then they. The bow and arrow would allow modern man to attack from a distance instead of battling the Neanderthals up close.

Amazing, we are using the same tool that ancient man had used 71,000 years ago hunt and for warfare. But are we really? How strong were these early bows? How accurate were they?

No one really knows about the earliest bows. All that remains are the broadheads that were made of stone. The bow itself is as long been biodegraded back to dust.



So we need to flash forward to a more modern era to understand the sophistication of early bow and arrow technology. In the England during the middle Ages, the longbow rained supreme - to some historians – is when bow and arrow technology leaped forward.  Warfare in the middle ages long today as more to do with resources than how many soldiers you have. The longbow and its precision and the highly trained archers allowed countries like England to win against countries like France who had an abundance of resources http://www.history.com/topics/british-history/robin-hood/videos/robin-hood-and-the-longbow#

In the middle ages, Archers were able to kill a man from over 200 yards away. They did not have rangefinder nor sight pins. Today modern hunters are lucky to hit a deer from 70 yards.  Longbows from the middle ages had a draw weight of 150lbs or more. Why is there a big difference? What made middle age era archers so much better than modern ones? Are today’s improvements like the compound bow, sights and release inferior to the longbow of the past?


I think the same analogy holds true with firearms like the Kentucky Long Rifle.  American Patriots were able to hit a man size target at 200 and up to 300 yards with open sites. Today a hunter with an inline and a scope can maybe hit consistently that 300 yard mark, and they would never think about going traditional. This same analogy holds true when comparing the archers from today to archers from the middle Ages.


Here is the big difference:

  1. Archers from the middle Ages learned at a very young age.
  2. It was life or death, either in battle or to hunt for food.
  3. It was a way of life. They did it everyday.
  4. They could not afford to miss their target. Arrows were expensive. Although some would argue they are today, but in reality we do not have to make them by scratch. Nor would it cost us two chickens and a goat for the use of the blacksmith.


We may not be as good as they were, but we do not have the time to do it everyday nor do we have the life threatening stimuli to force us to be better.  We do it for FUN! So bring on the advances in technology and the gadgets, we need them.

 Wayman, Erin “Early Bow and Arrows Offer Insight into Origins of Human Intellect.” November 7, 2012 – Online Smithsonian Magazine http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/early-bow-and-arrows-offer-insight-into-origins-of-human-intellect-112922281/?no-ist

Wong, Kate “Oldest Arrowheads Hint at How Modern Humans Overtook Neanderthals” November 7, 2012 -  Online Scientific America  http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/11/07/oldest-arrowheads-hint-at-how-modern-humans-overtook-neandertals/

Military History Monthly , “ The Longbow- Medieval Weaponry” Online http://www.military-history.org/articles/medieval/the-longbow.htm

Americas First Freedom- NRA Publication, Online http://www.nrapublications.org/index.php/15308/gun-banners-believe/



Hunting Safety

Hunting safety during any season is very important. There are extra steps to take during deer season in which many hunters use tree stands. Safety harnesses are a necessity and not and ancillary option. Even OSHA requires the use of a 5-point body harness at work on heights far less than many tree stands.

In November of 2013, Tim Bowers of Indiana fell from a tree stand and was severely paralyzed. The news spread nationwide. This story made the news because, although he was alive, Tim Bowers was only alive because of life support. He decided, himself, to be taken off support and die.

Is your hunting trip and saving less than 150 dollars more important than your own life?

 Out of the 182 accidents the Indiana DNR reported in the past 5 years, 100 involved falls from a tree stand. Hunting is our passion and we want to be able to tell our friends and family our stories. It would be hard to tell from a hospital bed or wheelchair.

Bass Pro Shops as a variety of safety harnesses that will fit any budget and any size person.

Even after you purchase you should know the following safety tips:

  1. Know your equipment; read the directions and understand all points of your Full Body Harness (FBH)
  2. Inspect your FBH every time you use it. It will only take a few minutes and you are a hunter so patience is a virtue.
  3. Practice using your FBH in daylight, because many of us go into our stands under the cover of darkness.
  4. While you are in the tree double check your FBH more than once the entire time you are in your tree stand. It will help you pass the time until that big buck comes your way.

What Tent is Best for My Family?

    Well it’s that time of year and you’re excited to take your family camping for the first time.  There are lots of things that you need to consider bringing on your camping trip and one of the most important will be a tent.  Shopping for a tent can seem a bit overwhelming.  There are so many sizes and shapes, features and benefits.  Here are a few tips to consider when shopping for the perfect tent for you and your family.




Tents are measured in how many people they sleep and this doesn’t mean comfortably.  For instance, if you’re a family of 4 you will actually want to get a tent that’s rated for 6 people.  Also, take into account that if you have extra gear you will be storing in the tent you will need more space.



                         Cabin and dome are the two basic styles of family camping tents.


Dome tents are taller in the center which gives you enough room to stand up but taper down which takes away from livable space.  This style of tent is easier to set up since they normally just have two poles.


Cabin tents offer the most livable space because the walls are vertical.  Usually this style of tent comes with room dividers and can even be rated as large as a 10 person tent.  A down side however is that they are more difficult to set up.



Storage and extra space to put your belongings is important.  Some tents offer gear lofts which hang from the ceiling of the tent or pockets that hang from the walls.  My favorite storage area on a tent is one that has a vestibule.  This area is built onto the rain fly and can be staked into the ground so that the area is enclosed.  You can keep extra gear, muddy shoes or even your dog in there!

Doors:  All tents will have at least one door but some of the larger model cabin tents come with two.  An extra door is nice so you don’t have to step over campers while they are sleeping.

Ventilation:   Make sure your tent is well ventilated.  Especially if you will be doing a lot of your camping in hot weather larger mesh windows will come in handy.   Check out the windows and doors of the tent before you make your purchase.  A nice benefit to have is to not only have screen windows but also the option of being able to close them.

A few helpful hints

  1. Make sure to set your tent up before you take it out on your trip.  If you just purchased it don’t trust that everything is there or that there are no manufacture defects.  This almost never happens but nothing could ruin a camping trip out with the family more than a missing tent pole.  If you’re using a borrowed tent or one that you purchased in previous years a part of your tent could have easily not made its way back in the bag from the last time it was taken down.  This will also give you practice setting it up!  Who wants to waste extra time setting up the tent when you arrive at the camp site anyways?
  2. Waterproof your tent before your trip.  The perfect time to do this is when you set your tent up before your trip to make sure all the pieces are there. Yes it’s true, all tents are fully waterproof but spraying your tent especially along the seams will provide extra rain protection.
  3. Bringing a tarp or ground cloth for underneath your tent is always a good idea.  This will provide extra protection for your tent floor against rocks and rough ground conditions.  It’s important to get a tarp that is the same size or even a little smaller then the tent floor.  If it rains and you have excess material hanging out over your tent the water will collect underneath the floor and possibly leak through.


Hopefully these tips will help you in making your tent purchase for your perfect family camping trip.  Whether you’re camping in your backyard, state park or campground you want these moments to be enjoyable and unforgettable.  Make sure to take your time and do your research on which tent will fit your families needs.