It's Fall! Time to go Camping!

I went out my back door the other morning to let my little dog do his business and just about froze to death! My mind was already fuzzy because it was so early but when the blast of cold air hit me, I thought I must be about to stroke out or something! How could it be this cold? It was only September. Then I noticed all the leaves that are usually on the trees were mostly on the ground. Wait a minute.....it's Fall already? What happened to the leaves turning the bright red, gold and yellow before they turn brown and plummet to the ground? Oh, that's right....we haven't had a whole lot of rain in the past few months. That MUST be why they lie dead on the ground instead of hanging on and giving us some of natures beauty to look at. Still, the naked trees (or almost naked anyway) give a sort of beauty that only a nature lover can admire.

With Fall already here, that doesn't mean that you have to pack up your camping gear and wait until next Spring to go Camping again. In fact, right now is probably the best time to go Camping. Sure your mornings are going to be quite crisp, but we still have the afternoon to warm up. There are many pluses to going Camping in the Fall. NO MOSQUITO'S is a big one for me! Not a lot of people can understand the joy of pitching a tent and waking up to seeing their breath when the exhale. The sunrises are so much better this time of year. I'm not sure why....maybe it's because you can snuggle down into a blanket and watch it rise and feel all comfy and cozy in knowing that a new day has dawned. The smell of breakfast cooking on an open fire seems to explode when its a bit chilly and that same smell travels so much farther in cold air, so no matter if you're right by it or off into the woods doing your own business, you can still smell the beginning of your day cooking away. If you're a campground camper, you can pretty much enjoy most of the campground all to yourself because a lot of people just don't enjoy the afore mentioned experiences. Last, but certainly not least, you can sleep peacefully and not wake up constantly in a pool of sweat because it's still so hot outside even though it's 1:00am....been there done that!

Here at Bass Pro Shops, I can hook you up with some fall camping gear that will make you wonder why you've never gone camping in this type of weather before. Don't get me wrong. I hate with a passion cold weather! We just DO NOT get along at all. But Fall is different....it's cool, not bitter cold. All of natures critters are readying their little homes for colder weather and that's a sight to behold in itself!

Come see me here at Bass Pro Shops in Kodak,TN. and I promise you won't be sorry you did. You can start experiencing life on a whole new level.

Spread the word....Fall is here.....time to Camp!

 

Enjoy life as it is intended...Camp A LOT!

 

Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead
Bass Pro Shops
Kodak, TN

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Fall Fishing Event

I know its fall and A LOT of people hunt in the fall, but it’s also the perfect time to fish. Cooler air means the fish are bitin’ again.

If you need Fall Fishing tips we have the event for you.

Bass Pro Shops is partnering with Keep America Fishing to bring you two weekends of tips and educational seminars.

 This event is for WHOLE family, on Sept 22,23,29 and 30 we have a beginning fishing for kid’s workshop at 12-1 pm taught by our Pro-Staff team to get your lil’ minnows fishing. After they learn to cast be sure to let them paint a fish sun catcher from 1-3 pm.

 

Have you ever wondered where do the fish in our lakes come from?

Sept 22

2 pm   Fish Hatcheries- Where do these fish go?                                                                                        TWRA will be onsite to tell us how they operate their hatcheries and their importance in keeping our lakes stocked.

 3 pm     Select the Right Baits for the fall season.

 

Sept 23

2 pm    Knowing your Lakes and Streams for Fall Fishing

3 pm    Changing Water Condition and Finding Fish

 

Sept 29

2 pm    Knowing your Lakes and Streams for Fall Fishing

3 pm    Electronics and Finding Fish

 

Sept 30

2 pm   Fish Hatcheries- Where do these fish go?                                                                                        TWRA will be onsite to tell us how they operate their hatcheries and their importance in keeping our lakes stocked.

3 pm   Fall Fishing Tips from the Pros

 

 Fall Fishing Event

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Bass Pro Shops: A Family Business

August 24, 2012.....a day I won't soon forget. Myself, along with 11 other members of my "family" were invited to join the groundbreaking ceremony for the Bristol, TN Bass Pro Shops. I say "family" because these are members of my Bass Pro family. Below is a picture of my "family" and me along with John L. Morris, owner and founder of Bass Pro Shops.

John L. Morris and part of the family from BPS #29

 

 

We all met at our store in Sevierville, TN at 4:30 am to travel the 1 1/2 hours to our destination...exit 74B. I think we were all somewhat nervous but very excited at the same time. Only a very few of my family members had ever been a part of something like this and I surely wasn't one that had!

The usual attendees were expected; John L. Morris, owner and founder of 58 Bass Pro Shops across the country and Canada and legendary fisherman Bill Dance of Bill Dance Outdoors. Jaimie McMurray, driver of the Bass Pro Shops #1 racecar, Richard Childress and Ty Dillion were also on hand for this ceremony.

I was completely blown away by the kindness and generosity of EVERYONE there! Dignitaries that were present talked to us "little people" like they had known us all their lives! The locals too!  People you would think would be a little on the "stuffy" side because of their powerful positions, were as kind and genuine as can be. I have honestly never met a group of nicer people anywhere.

One of my "sisters", Vickie, and I were posted at the media table to hand out hats, posters, raffle tickets and "media stuff". Our first visitor was a older gentleman who walked up to the table, took his cap off and threw it in the trash can nearby. He proceeded to take a Bass Pro cap and place it on his head and proclaimed, "That's better!"

We had catered Catfish, grilled chicken, cole slaw and potato salad with Ice Tea to drink. It was divine!

I wanted to share my day with you because of one reason; the opportunities that have been put before me and my "family" here at Bass Pro. I can honestly say that I have NEVER in my life (and that's a long time!) worked with a company that presented me with more opportunities to learn and experiences to share than right here at Bass Pro Shops Sevierville, TN. I have been with BPS for almost 7 years now and I can't think of any other place that I would rather work. I have learned so much and have met so many people in my time here. It's a never ending thing! Every day I find something new to learn or see and look forward to learning and seeing every day.  I am proud to say that I am a part of the family here at Bass Pro.

My point being; it doesn't matter who you are or where you are, if your an associate at Bass Pro Shops....ANY Bass Pro Shops...you are family! I look forward to meeting my new brothers and sisters coming to the Bass Pro in Bristol next year.

 

See ya soon!
Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead
BPS Sevierville, TN

 

 

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Fun with Fall Fishing Feeding Frenzies

I already know what you're thinking when reading the title of this Bass Pro Shops blog. Fall Fishing? It's August and the forecast calls for highs in the 80s over the next week! I know, I know, but you must admit that these cool nights and brisk mornings do create a sense of excitement in many fishermen anticipating the impending beginning of what can be a tremendous season for fishing! Autumn brings not only picturesque views and overwhelming scenery, but also opportunities for fishermen to land numerous quality bass during a time of schooling fish and buffet style feedings.

Fall Fishing Image

 

During the Fall, nights become longer, days become cooler, and slowly the water temperature follows triggering a time of transition for most species of fish. The key forage during this time of year is generally shad or minnow type eats and treats. The shad generally make their way slowly into the backs of creeks and wherever you can find bait, you generally find the bass nearby. Bass in most areas tend to essentially gorge themselves as the weather and water cools in preparation for the winter which creates an excellent chance to catch large quantities of fish as well as quality fish. Below, I will mention just a few of the most effective baits for the Fall season!

 

An increasingly popular style of bait to use during the Fall is the swimbait. This type of lure definitely mimics a shad visually better than any bait on the market and they are available in hardbaits, softbaits, lipped, slow sinking, fast sinking, prerigged, single hooked, and treble hooked! The options are vast just as the potential for your day on the water with one of these tied on and with the arrival of the Alabama Rig, Deadly 5 Shad Rig, and Yumbrella Rig, you may have many more than that on the end of your line! I have listed a few of my favorites of this bait below!

Berkley PowerBait Swim Shad    Bass Pro Shops Z9R Mini    Lake Fork Live Magic Shad    Bass Pro Shops Swimmer Kit

A second effective approach to targeting bass in the fall is using the tried and true method of cranking! A comforting fact about fall cranking is that the fish are generally much shallower in creeks and along creek channel breaks which allows for much less effort than throwing DD22s and 6XDs in the summer. Crankbaits mimic a wounded shad or minnow very well and can be fished rather quickly which allows a fisherman to cover more water during their day on the water. It is also common for the larger fish to feed below a feeding frenzy created by smaller fish and a crankbait can be ideal for targeting those fish at a specific depth. Lipless crankbaits are also very effective as they can be counted down to a specific depth and fished at various rates of speed. These baits are incredibly popular in the fall with the most commonly fished colors being chrome blue/black, silver, or bone. I have some great fall crankbait options pictured below!

Bass Pro Shops Nitro Crank - Medium    Strike King KVD Redeye Shad    Rapala DT Series Crankbaits    Bass Pro Shops Knocker Shad Kit

The last method of fall fishing that I will mention is definitely the most exciting and addicting way to catch any fish! I am, of course, speaking of the art of fishing topwater baits! This genre of lures continues to grow and although the majority of the topwater options available are hardbaits, softbaits, particularly soft frogs, are an ever growing trend. Topwater baits are fantastic for mimicking an injured baitfish slapping the water's surface and any active fish will surely be unable to resist such an easy meal! The strikes when fishing on top are always intriguing and exhilarating, but don't forget to wait when setting the hook or applying pressure or your bait will almost definitely be yanked out of the predator's jaws! Below are just a few of my favorite fall topwater options available here at Bass Pro Shops.

Bass Pro Shops Slim Dog    Strike King Sexy Dawg    Smithwick Devil's Horse    Bass Pro Shops XPS Topwater Kit

 

These are just a few options that are appropriate for Fall fishing. I advise every angler to take advantage of this beautiful season with the mild temperatures and aggressive fish feeding behaviors!  Each person has an approach that works and gives them confidence and I encourage all of you to find that pattern this Fall!

 

Tight Lines,

Gary G. Garver

Fishing Team Lead

Kodak, TN

Bass Pro Shops

 

 

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Bass Pro Shops Hometown Festival!!!

 EventsEvents

 

We all try to hold on to every last bit of summer; the pool, sun, fireworks, camping, hiking- just being outside. And before we know it school starts back, and vacation and playtime seems to be put on back burner. But we do have one last chance to enjoy our family and make lasting memories….LABOR DAY!!!!

 

This year Bass Pro Shops will be celebrating that last blast of summer with The Hometown Festival!!!

 

The Hometown Festival will be September 1-2, loaded with fun family activities, and the best part it’s FREE.

 

The kids will enjoy our Net-a-Fish Game, Metal Detector Treasure Hunt, Bean Bag Toss, Casting Buckets, Face Painting and oh yeah, crafts. Who am I kidding? I love that stuff too.

 

Just like your hometown fair we will have food samples, product demos and FREE HOT DOGS from 1-3 pm.

 

We will show you all the trends for the fall fashion season in our Fashion Show in front of the aquarium at 2 and 4 pm both Saturday and Sunday.

 

Make sure you sign up for our Gift Card Giveaways.

We will give away three $25 gift cards each day (September 1-2) just for being at the store.

 

Take advantage of our Pro Staff and knowledgeable associates as they bring you the seminars that will help with your own last blast of summer.

 

Saturday

      1 pm        Smokin’ and Grillin’

      3 pm        Power vs. Finesse Fishing

Sunday

      1 pm        Dutch Oven Cooking Techniques

      3 pm        Smokin’ and Grillin’

 

So don’t get out those pumpkins and hay bales just yet. Come on in and enjoy the rest of YOUR summer here with us at The Hometown Festival- Bass Pro Shops, Sevierville, TN.

 

 

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Camo Auto Accessories

 I've got just the right stuff to help you out.

I have steering wheel covers, seat covers, air fresheners, various decals, stainless steel emblems, windshield decals, hitch covers, license plates and frames, windshield sunshades, key chains, rearview mirror hangers, seatbelt covers and lastly floor mats.

Browning, Bone Collector, Redhead, Mossy Oak, Ducks Unlimited and RealTree seat covers are all universal..

Browning  bucket seat covers start at $39.99 for the single bucket seat. The 2 pack bucket seat is $59.99, the bench seat is $44.99 and the single neoprene cover is $59.99. We do carry the pink Browning for the ladies and it is $29.99 for the single bucket seat. In the store we don't carry any of the other styles in the pink color.

Ducks Unlimited seat covers come in single buckey $34.99, 2 pack bucket $59.99, bench $44.99 and neoprene single bucket $59.99

Mossy Oak seat covers come in single bucket $34.99 and bench $44.99

Real Tree seat covers come in bucket single $39.99 and bench $44.99

Bone Collector seat covers come in single bucket $39.99, bench $44.99 and neoprene $59.99

Our Redhead seat covers right now only come in single bucket $39.99

 

We carry matching steering wheel covers in all the above brands. Browning has 4 different styles and Ducks Unlimited has 2 different styles while the others only offer 1 style each. These covers range in price from $12.99 (Pink Browning) to $24.99 (all Leather Browning).

But don't stop there! Your going to need floor mats to match, right? The front floor mats are $34.99 and the back floor mats are $12.99 and each comes in all the above brands. These floor mats are fully sizable with a simple snip of a pair of scissors.

          Air Fresheners   are $2.99             Signature Automotive Browning® Buckmark Automotive Air Fresheners

Bone Collector Air Fresherner $4.99    All of these come in Cinnamon, Vanilla,Pine, Citrus, Leather and Cherry.

You can get your matching key chains at $5.99 and $7.99 and various decals for the back window or your windshield.

Come see me, Deedee, at Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville and I will help you pimp your car or truck.

 

Hope to see you soon!

Deedee

Camping Team Lead
Bass Pro Shops
Sevierville, TN
865-932-5600

 

 

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2012 Fall Hunting Classic

It is almost my favorite time of year- Bass Pro Shops 2012  FALL HUNTING CLASSIC!!!

The Fall Hunting Classic begins August 3, with The Preferred Rewards Night and goes thru August 19. It is 3 weekends full of savings, seminars from leading industry pros, Trade-In events, and more.

BPS Hunting University

On August 4, 2012,Bass Pro Shops Hunting University will begin at 1 pm with Slade Reeves from Team Primos speaking on Mastering the Art of Deer Hunting.At 2 pm Ryan Klesko, Co-Host of Hardcore Hunting TV will be speaking on Bowhunting Techniques and Scent Control.Then at 3 pm, Chris Ashley from Team Primos will be speaking on Mastering the Art of Deer Hunting.

 

 

 

The second weekend will be packed with things to do. We have daily specials starting on Friday and Saturday, Hunter Appreciation Weekend , Vendor Booths and ATV Test Drives.

ATV Test DriveSeminar Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Third and Final Weekend is dedicated to The Next Generation. August 17-19 From 12-5 pm bring out the family to play, learn and enjoy each other and the outdoors all for FREE. We will have Airsoft Target range, Paintball Cage, Crafts, Youth Seminars, and a Free photo download.

Next Genreation Weekend

And how could I forget the Trade In Values???

It is definitely time to update your gear..... we have 3 trade in events just for you. Bring us your old bow,crossbow, scope, binoculars and range finders, and get a coupon toward the purchase of a new one. (See dates listed below for each trade-in event)Trade In Events

Now do you see why I love the Fall Hunting Classic????

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Treasure Hunting

Whether your into "treasure hunting" or just want to see what's in the ground, you need to stop by Bass Pro Shops and check out our selection of metal detectors. We have 6 different styles to choose from. Starting at the childs level and going all the way to the "big time".

Bounty Hunter Junior  $59.99 Extends from 20" to 27". The Junior is ideal for any kid that wants to get into metal detecting.

Bounty Hunter Challenger $129.99 Ideal for beginners. 2 modes of operation. Easy to read analog meter. Detects all metals through dirt, rock, wood and mud.

 Bounty Hunter Lone Star  $209.99 LCD display and 3 modes of operation. Ideal for coin shooting, relic hunting other general items.

 

Teknetics Delta $279.99 2 digit numerical target ID system. 3 modes of operation. Overload alarm system. Backed by Teknetics 5 year warranty.

Bounty Hunter Camo LS  $369.99 Dual mode LCD display and 4 modes of operation. Built for all seasons and all conditions. This is a true professional treasure hunters tool.

Teknetics Gamma $499.99 2 digit target ID system. 3 modes of operation. Raised coil alarm. Backed by Teknetics 5 year warranty.

Come see me and I can get you started in your treasure hunting adventure.

Happy Hunting!

Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead
Sevierville Bass Pro Shops

 

 

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Dutch Oven Apple Crisp

Some people think that just because they are camping, they can't have the same meals as they would if they were at home. That's simply not true. I'm going to share with you a simple but VERY delicious recipe for an dutch oven Apple Crisp. So, go put those S'mores makins back in the container and let's have a REAL dessert!

First, your going to have to get your campfire going good and then let the coals smolder. Be sure to preheat your dutch with about 11 or so coals underneath it.

Now the ingredients for the best Apple Crisp you've ever eaten.

6-8 cups of sliced apples
3 cups of Bisquick
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup milk
!/2 cup water
6 tablespoons of shortening or cooking oil

and of course;
charcoal (30 briquets or so)
dutch oven

If you brought along shortening, put it in a small metal pan or cup near the fire so it can melt.
While your waiting for your coals to burn down and smolder, peel your apples.

When your oven is hot enough, spread the apple slices on the bottom of the oven evenly and pour in your half cup of water. Sprinkle your cinnamon and sugar on top of that and replace the oven lid, adding 19-20 coals on top of the lid.

In a bowl, add the Bisquick, milk, eggs and melted shortening (or cooking oil if that is what your using). Mix thoroughly.

Very quickly (to retain the heat in the dutch oven) drop the batter one spoonful at a time on top of the apples and sugar being careful to NOT spread it out and then sprinkle some cinnamon on top of that.

Replace the lid and the 19-20 coals on top of it.

Check in 5 minutes to see if a crust is already forming on top. If it is, then your oven is too hot and you'll need to remove some of the coals from the top.

Check in 10 minutes and if a crust is forming lightly, then your temperature is just right. If there is no crust, then add more coals to the top.

Check in 20 minutes. If your crust is slightly browning, then your ok. If it is dark brown, remove some coals and if there is no browning, add some coals to the top.

In about 30 minutes, your Apple Crisp should be done. Check it by inserting a toothpick into the center of the crust. If it comes out clean, it's ready to be devoured!

Tips;

After eating your food cooked in your dutch oven, remove  scraps and clean your oven properly.

If there are leftovers, replace the lid on the oven and in the morning you can reheat it over the fire for some breakfast.

You can use any type of fruit for the filling. However, if your using canned or frozen fruit, don't add the water.

You can also make this same recipe in your oven at home.

 

I hope you give this a try while your camping and if you do, come by Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville and let me know how it turned out. I won't mind at all if you bring me a piece of it so I can see first hand how good it is! :)

 

Hope to see you soon!

Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead
Bass Pro Sevierville

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WELCOME ABOARD OR TONIGHTS TOP TEN LIST!

 Tahoe

 

 

So you are ready to purchase that new boat but you are not quite sure what you need or will be the perfect fit for you and your family. Here are a few thoughts and ideas you might consider before making that final decision.

 

 

 

 

 

1. Who is going or how many people will be with you on the boat?

2. What type of boat are you looking for? 

     Fishing?  Pleasure? Skiing/boarding/tubing?

3. What kind of boat have you owned before, or do you own currently?

4. What is your budget, or what can the family afford to pay monthly?

5. Do you have specific wants or needs in your new boat? (Aluminum/Fiberglass/type of construction)

6. What is the monthly or yearly insurance going to cost for the new boat?

7. How high of a performance rating (speed or skiing) do you want or demand?

8. What do you see yourself doing with this boat 90% of the time?

9. What type of fishing do you intend to do with the new boat? (Bass/Crappie/Walleye/Panfish etc)

10. Who else factors in your boat buying decision? What are their needs?

If you consider these points before making your next boat purchase along with what is important to you and your family you will make the right choice, and have many years of family fun and safe boating on the water. We are here to help you make the right purchasing decision and answer any questions you may have and we enjoy helping you too! You can write me at rbbarton@basspro.com and I will be glad to help you get out on the water this season! Sincerely, Rob Barton-Tracker Boats Sales Lead

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Yeti Coolers

If your in the market for a new cooler, then you HAVE to check out the line of Yeti coolers we have here at Sevierville Bass Pro Shops. We have the 45qt Yeti Tundra  and the 65qt Tundra in white or tan, but could probably get you a different size if you needed it.

Let me start out by saying that Yeti backs their products with a 5 year "Don't Worry" warranty. These coolers are the LAST cooler you will ever need to buy. They are certified bear proof, have hinges, latches and handles that will never break. Besides that, they have a Vortex drain system, a non slip bottom, tie down slots and integrated lip grip handles that stay close to the body of the cooler and out of your way. Yeti's also have thick walls for maximum ice retention and is dry ice compatible.

 

What's the worst thing about the cooler you have right now? Is the biggest problem that it doesn't keep your ice for days on end? Let me share a few tips with you on how to solve that problem;

 

First off, you need either a white or light colored cooler. These colors absorb less heat like from the sun. Less heat means more ice for longer periods of time.

You'll want to pre-cool your Yeti cooler. Do this using a sacrificial bag of ice to cool it down. You'll want your starting temperature to be at its coldest in order to retain this for several days. Use sub zero ice. It has a dry feel to it and doesn't melt as quickly and/or easily.

Often times, it's better to freeze or at least prechill the items going into the cooler ahead of time to add even more  coldness in the cooler.

Fill your cooler with as much ice as possible and avoid any air pockets. Air pockets tend to aid in the thawing of the ice. Some professionals even take up air space by adding newspaper wads or even rolled towels to it.

There are 2 different shapes of ice to use in your cooler. There is block ice and cube ice. The best way is to use a mixture of both types. Block ice melts slower and cube ice will cool the cooler temperature quicker but also melts more quickly. 

Try not to drain the water from your cooler until the end of your trip. This water is oftentimes just as cold as the ice and will help in keeping the temperature inside at  it coldest.

Lastly, limit your cooler access. The more times you open it up, then the more times your are allowing cold air to escape and warm air to enter.

Come on by and check out our Yeti coolers.  I promise you it will be an investment you won't regret.

I look forward to seeing you and answering any questions you may have about the Yeti's or any other product we sell here. Just ask for Deedee!

 

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NEW 2013 Model Tracker Boats Arriving Now!!!!

2013 TahoeIt’s official-The Tracker Boats 2013 Models are starting to arrive! So far we haven’t noticed any changes from last year’s models in design or function.

There are 30 different models that were released as of June 1st, 2012 in the complete line of Tracker Boats, Nitro Boats, Sun Tracker Boats and Tahoe Boats. The Tahoe line has a new graphic and color scheme which is outstanding this year, and makes them stand out on the water!

 The Nitro Z-9 sold out so fast in 2012 that they have released the 2013 model year earlier than ever before in the history of the Nitro line. You can custom order yours now with the options and colors that you want to get you in the winner’s circle this year. Don’t forget the Nitro rewards program that pays you to fish in a Nitro boat too!

 The Tracker PRO 165 is the same great bargain TRACKER Boats are known for to get you on the water at a price anyone can afford, and the 2013 model is no exception. It has seating for two, with storage galore and a live well to boot! Equipped with a Mercury 40 HP Four Stroke Fuel Efficient Outboard Motor, it is a great way to get you fishing!

 Please check them out at www.trackerboats.com or www.nitroboats.com, www.tahoeboats.com, www.suntrackerboats.com and www.mako-boats.com for more information. You can contact me for more information or help with any questions at rbbarton@basspro.com or by phone at 865-932-5580. Thank you!

 

 

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A Nawlin's Hillbilly at Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar ViewBig Cedar Lodge

 

 

 

 

Located between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians is a smaller mountain range called the Ozarks. It may not be as extensive as some of the others, but it has amazing limestone outcroppings with beautiful hollows filled with streams, lakes and abundant wildlife.

 

Big Cedar Lodge 02

 

Recently, I was chosen to attend Bass Pro Hunting University at Big Cedar Lodge located close to Branson, Missouri on Table Rock Lake. What a great setting to gain extensive knowledge, not only of the products that I sell at Bass Pro Shop, but also the proper application of the products of my passions, guns and hunting.Landscape

 

The accommodations were incredible. We had two large king sized beds, cable TV, Jacuzzi tub, private balcony and plenty of room. The full housekeeping service included turn down service. There was no store bought mint on your pillow, but instead a gourmet hand baked ginger snap cookie made with real butter. How do I know this? I got the recipe! At Big Cedar Lodge, you are always given more than expected. Admittedly, we did not spend much time in our rooms, but boy were they nice! Each room featured rustic real wood beautifully carved features. The lodge also has private cabins available with coach service only a phone call away. They will bring you anywhere on the property and you don’t need a vehicle.

 Big Cedar Conference Center

All of you who have ever been in a Bass Pro Shop store know about the fantastic dioramas and taxidermy that they display. It is no less amazing at Big Cedar Lodge. Even the metal recycle bins are made to look like tree stumps. The convention center has two levels with tall, long corridors with massive chandeliers, lots of windows, and a gigantic stone fireplace in the lobby. Next to the stair well is a grove of two story tall cedar trees with a turkey roosting in it. Special touches are everywhere possible.Lodge Lobby

 

There are lots of outdoor activities available including biking, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding and photography. There is a fitness center, mini golf, a kids club and massages on the premises. Open air tram tours are available in nearby Dogwood Nature Park. A marina with restaurant and bar stays open late for that special unwinding time that some folks need after a long fun filled day. Again, coach service is available, even at night.

 

Any great occasion needs good food to go along with it. Well, there was no shortage of delicious gourmet food! Every meal had plenty to choose from meats, vegetables, salads, and of course those scrumptious deserts! There were usually two special deserts to choose from at each meal. It is rare to find a place using real wholesome ingredients. While we were there, several other groups had meetings along with ours. There was room enough for all of us, including a future bride doing a taste testing for her wedding cake. Even though Big Cedar Lodge is grand enough for a wedding (and I imagine the pictures would be incredible), it is intimate enough for a romantic getaway with those fantastically decorated rooms, large Jacuzzi tubs, and gourmet food. Big Cedar Lodge is a good fit for any occasion.

This place has it all.

 Big CedarBig Cedar 3

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My Father the Sportsman

 

As Father’s Day fast approaches, my memories of my father come flooding back.  My dad was a great dad and I thought all fathers were that way.  In my adult years I have come to the sad realization that they are not.  This blog is a tribute to the ones who are and the ones who raised their kids to be sportsmen and women.   

I never remember my childhood home without a gun in the house and a fishing rod readily available.  We grew up with dad hunting and fishing and that was life.  Dad kept his guns locked in a wood gun cabinet with the key laying right up on top.  We knew better than to mess with daddy’s guns.  Messing with the guns was just never an option.  I would hear him early in the morning up and stirring around and the next thing you knew the three-wheeler started up and off he went.  We lived out in the country and all dad had to do was drive through the field to the woods.  As a little kid I never really distinguished between the seasons.  I just knew he was hunting and maybe he would bring something home.  My sister’s and my particular favorite was the squirrels.  Not so we could eat the meat, but so we could have a squirrel tail to play with.  You all know what I’m talking about.  That squirrel tail to step on just so you could watch it curl up and squeal like you didn’t know what was going to happen.

Then there were the times that he decided we were big enough to shoot and after a few practice shots off to the woods we went.  My sister and I never killed anything.  Dad always said we made too much noise, but when dad asked us if we wanted to go we suited up and went cause we were getting to go hunting with dad!  I went squirrel hunting with him once.  He spotted a squirrel and showed it to me.  I took aim with that old over & under 410 shotgun, took a step back, and fell over a log and somehow managed to get mud in the gun barrel.  There was no squirrel for me that day.  I don’t think dad spoke to me the whole way home.  I’m pretty sure he was a little mad. 

The fishing stories are pretty much the same with dad spending endless amounts of time baiting hooks, untangling lines, and cutting hooks out of my sister’s and my clothing.  No animals were ever killed and not many fish were caught the times my dad took my sister and me, but memories were made and to me my dad was larger than life. 

My dad passed away when I was 23.  I am 41 now and I miss him as much now as I did then.  Something about a girl losing her dad makes her feel like an orphan no matter how old she is.  I often wonder what he would think about me working in hunting at Bass Pro Shops.  When daddy died, he had never been in a Bass Pro Shops, but I know he would have loved it.  This would’ve been his kind of store.  I can’t help but think that he’s a little proud.  I know that when I come to work around all these hunting guys and watch dads and grandpas with their little hunters, somehow it makes me feel a little bit closer to my dad.  We love dads and grandpas who are raising their kids right and in the sportsman’s traditions.  On this coming Father’s Day I just want to say, I love you Dad and Happy Father’s Day to my dad and every other sportsman dad out there!

 

Thanks for letting me share…

 

Cindy Gose

Hunting Lead

Bass Pro Shops

Sevierville, TN

 

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Are You Being Bugged?

When you walk out your front door, do mosquito's attack you like you are their last meal? I am a mosquito magnet BIG TIME! That is until I finally decided to try the Thermacell Mosquito appliance. I absolutely LOVE this thing! All it takes is a butane cartridge and a repellant mat and away it goes, keeping all kinds of critters away from me.

Back in the spring, I was outside my house replanting my flower beds with some shrubs and grasses. I couldn't get a lot done because all I could seem to do was swat and scratch at the mosquitos and where they had already feasted on me. I remembered that I had purchased my Thermacell unit so I went inside and got it. It took me a minute to get it going because, let's face it, I don't like to have to read directions. Once I finally gave in and read them, I was ready to go back out and try again. Honestly, I didn't have much faith in it. But let me tell you, IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! These units have a 15'x15' coverage area and every time I had to swat at a skeeter, I just pulled my unit a little closer.

Here's how it works; you take your butane cartridge and insert it into the bottom of your unit, twisting it a quarter turn and then replace the cover. Then you unwrap one of your mats and insert it into the front of your unit. Turn it on and give the button a few clicks. You can tell when it is on because if you look down into the top of the unit (there's a little window up there) you can see a teeny tiny flame. Also, there might be a little bit of smoke....this is perfectly fine. You see, the mats are injected with a synthetic form of a chemical found naturally in Chrysanthemum flowers called allethrins. If you've ever smelled a Chrysanthemum, you know how bad they smell and it's no wonder bugs don't mess with them. Even though at first I had my reservations about this Thermacell unit working, I now can say that I highly recommend them.

If you'd rather choose another way to repel mosquitos, ticks, black flies, chiggers, etc, you could try Bass Pro Shops line of Sawyers products. Like the Thermacell, Sawyers insect repellents contain a synthetic compound found naturally in the Chrysanthemum flower. We have a few versions of Sawyers to choose from. You can get the kind that you spray ONLY on your clothes. It lasts for up to 6 washings before you have to reapply it. If you'd rather have something on your skin, then choose Sawyers Premium with 20% Picaridin. Picaridin is just as or even more effective than DEET. Of course we do also carry a form of Sawyers that actually has 30% DEET in it.

Lastly, we have Ultrathon which contains 25% DEET. It was designed for the military and lasts up to 8 hours, resisting perspiration, rain and water splashes.

So, whether your outside doing yard work, camping with your kids, hunting, fishing, hiking or doing ANYTHING outside and your an insects favorite meal, come see me at Bass Pro Shops and I can hook you up with something that they are NOT going to like. Me and my insect repellents with be your new BFF! :)

I look forward to seeing you in the Camping Department. Just ask for Deedee!

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Family Summer Camp

 

 

Summer is near; the kids are getting out school. What was your favorite part of summer vacation?
If it was summer camp you need to check out Bass Pro Shops Family Summer Camp.
Beginning June 9- July 15, every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 pm we will have fun, free family activities.
Learn outdoor skills at our Summer Camp WorkshopsFamily Camp Seminars
Tuesday
 1 pm Dogs in the Outdoors
 2 pm Archery
 3 pm Wildlife Exploration
 4 pm Camping
 5 pm Exploring Hunting and Shooting
Thursday
 1 pm Outdoor Discovery and Conservation
 2 pm Bird Watching
 3 pm Fishing
 4 pm Backyard Adventure
 5 pm Archery
Saturday
 1 pm FishingFamily Camp Seminars
 2 pm Camping
 3 pm Wildlife Exploration
 4 pm Backyard Adventure
 5 pm Archery
Sunday
 1 pm Outdoor Discovery and Conservation
 2 pm Bird Watching
 3 pm Fishing
 4 pm Dogs in the Outdoors
 5 pm Exploring Hunting and Shooting

Activities  1-5 pm   Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
* Free Carousel
* Free Shooting Range
* Free Shooting Arcade
* Free Casting Targets
* Free Photo Download

Craftshttp://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPage?storeId=10151&langID=-1&catalogId=10051&appID=86326&template=store-pages.cfm&storeCode=38
Tuesday and Thursday   2-4 pm
Saturday and Sunday   1-4 pm

* Decorate a Seedling Pot
      June 9, 10, 12 and 14
* Paint a Wiggle Snake
      June 16, 17, 19 and 21
* Create your own Catch-a-Fish game
      June 23, 24, 26 and 28
* Paint a Bear Track
      June 30, July 1, 3 and 5


* Stamp a Leather Wristband
      July 7, 8, 10 and 12

* Paint a Birdhouse
      July 14 and 15

S’mores Cookout
Saturdays  6-7 pm

Enjoy our Catch and Release Pond
June 9 and 10  1-5 pm
June 16 and 17  1-5 pm

 

 

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Predator Huntin' by the N'awlins Hillbilly

morning hunt

 

Guys, the dynamics of my coyote hunting are different now due to marriage. How so? Well, a couple of years ago, early one fall morning, I had the house door open enjoying the cool weather when I spotted two coyotes circling a large briar patch about 110 yards away, obviously after rabbits. The handiest gun was my Browning 30-06. A bit much for coyotes, but oh well. Now in my defense, I did put the muzzle outside the door opening. But, I have to admit that my ears were ringing after the shot. My joy was short-lived by my wife’s protests, not only about the noise, but she was yelling something about a hot shell casing landing on the fabric of the couch. She claims to have told me a couple of times before not to shoot guns out of the house. Maybe she did, but remember, I did put the muzzle out of the door. I’m not 100% redneck!

 

Anyway, coyotes are the scourge of deer hunters. They kill more fawns than anybody really cares to admit. Recently, I attended a lecture by Dr. Grant Woods, a renowned deer management authority. He told one story about how a doe was fitted with a GPS and another device that would activate only when she gave birth. Technology is amazing, isn’t it?? What is equally amazing is that the scientific researchers were on the scene of the birth site within 4 hours after the doe gave birth and all they could find was a pile of blood. The coyotes had feasted on the fawn that fast. Another fact is, if you have coyotes, your property will not hold deer even with feeding and food plots. The deer will not bed down or give birth in areas with coyotes. Solution, kill coyotes. Coyotes not only devastate deer populations, but small mammals as well. The only predator coyotes have is man. We are the only way to control their population.

FOXPRO Fury Digital Call    Primos Double Jack Rabbit Predator   Prioms Female Whimper Predator Call

A tried and true method is electronic calls. I use a Primos electronic caller. But FoxPro also has many calling devices with affordable prices for all budgets. Bass Pro Shops has some displays set up so you can hear their amazing sound quality. A whole science on how to use them exists, but is too extensive to discuss fully here.

 

'yote huntin'

A needed addition is movement. FoxPro, Primos, and others have many offerings in this growing category. They can be used in conjunction with the electronic callers. Remember, camo is a must and that means hat, face covering and gloves. These predators are so observant that they will see a sleeve blowing in the breeze. Also, don’t use the same call too many times in a row. The most successful hunter will use various calls and change locations about every 15 minutes or so. Make sure that you change locations after a kill. 

Killing something that you are not going to eat does go against one of my lifelong rules. But, if you are awakened early one morning by your neighbor’s hysterical screams as she sees a pack of coyotes run off with her 5 lb. terrier in one of its mouths, you will declare war on them also. One week later, her husband opened the front door to find two coyotes eating fallen peaches about 20 ft. away. Within the next two weeks, 9 coyotes were killed on the property. This year, they seem to be making a comeback.

                      GAME ON!!

!'Yotes

 

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Choosing the Right Caliber For You

 

  When choosing your own personal handgun there are many things you should take in to consideration.  First, determine your purpose for purchasing a handgun.  Is it for target shooting, is it for your home, or is it to carry?  There are many different handguns in many different calibers and many different sizes that can be used for different reasons. 

 Ruger 22 LR Rimfire

  A 22 caliber pistol or revolver will have the least amount of recoil and the least amount of stopping power.  However, if target shooting is your goal, some of the 22 semi-autos such as Ruger, Browning, or Beretta with the 4 to 6 inch barrels are the most accurate and most fun to shoot.  They are also the cheapest to shoot because 22 long rifle ammunition is less expensive to buy than any other ammunition out there. 

 

  The next step up would be a 380 semi-auto or 38 revolver.  These are typically carry guns and are made in air weight versions and small so they are easy to carry and conceal.  These guns are typically not comfortable shooting guns, which will discourage target shooting.  Ammo is also more expensive.  However, it is imperative that if you are going to carry a handgun that you shoot that handgun often enough to shoot it accurately and be very familiar with its operation.  Remember that under duress you will only be 20% as fast and accurate with your handgun as you are on your best day at the range.  Also, remember that these guns are very good for serving the purpose they were made for and this is to carry, conceal, and use only when absolutely necessary.

 

S&W M&P .40 Full Size  9mm & 40 caliber handguns come next on the list with a 40 caliber being more powerful than a 9mm.  Companies are now offering these guns in compact and sub-compact lightweight models as well.  Just remember, the lighter the gun the harder the recoil.  There are many 9s & 40s that are quite comfortable to shoot depending on the size of the gun.  The S&W M&P is quite a nice gun to shoot in both calibers and fairly reasonably priced.  Also Springfield Amory makes a very nice gun in these calibers and this company is quite often overlooked in the gun case.  It should not be.  They make an excellent gun with excellent safety features and that are comfortable to shoot.

 

  357 revolvers are excellent guns with a good amount of power.  These are good multi-purpose guns that can be used for different reasons.  They do however pack a punch.  With a 357 heavier is definitely better.  One benefit of a 357 is that you can shoot a 38 round through it.  This means you can buy less expensive less recoil 38 rounds to target practice with and then only use 357 rounds when carrying for other purposes.  This is a great benefit to owning a 357 revolver

 

Judge 410 Public Defender

Moving up to a 45 caliber, you have your most powerful caliber carry gun.  Again more power and lighter weight equals more recoil.  Many companies also offer sub-compact, compact, and full size guns in a 45 caliber.  It is also offered in revolvers.  One of the newest and best selling revolvers is the Taurus Judge that will shoot a 45 long colt or .410 shotgun round.  This gun is usually big and heavy enough to absorb a lot of the recoil and is not as unpleasant to shoot as one might think.  The Taurus Judge is an excellent home defense and snake gun.

 

The above mentioned calibers are the most common caliber smaller handguns that you see in today’s market.  There are other calibers available in semi-autos and revolvers.  The main thing is to determine your primary use for your gun and base your buying decision on that factor.  In some cases, you may need more than one gun.  I can almost guarantee that if you purchase a gun that is not comfortable to shoot, you will want to purchase another one that is.  Owning a gun is making a commitment to the proper care and use of one.  In order to use it properly you will need to practice, practice, practice!  In some cases you can marry up a target gun to a carry gun and use your target gun when you practice.  A good example of this would be a Walther P22 to practice and a Walther PK380 to carry.  They have the same exact body style, function the same way, and are the same size,  The difference is it costs you a lot less money to practice with the 22 than the 380 and there is little to no recoil with the 22.  Another example would be to purchase and air weight 38 for carry and a steel 38 for practice.  You spend the same money on ammo but I promise the steel heavier 38 is much more fun and comfortable to shoot, but maybe not as easy to carry.  You can also, as I mentioned earlier, purchase a 357 and shoot 38 rounds through it for practice and put 357 rounds in it to carry.

 

When it comes to handguns there are lots of options and there is no one better to help you with those options than your friendly Bass Pro hunting staff.  Stop on by the gun counter, see what’s in the cases, and ask us all the questions you want.  We are more than happy to help you and want to see you make the right choice and purchase for you!  We can help with picking out ammo and accessories as well.  Come see me, Cindy Gose, and all the guys in hunting and let us show you your handgun options!

 

 

 

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N'awlins Hillbilly on Turkey Huntin'

When people find out that you are a turkey hunter, one of the first things that they say to you is, “Get one??” I’ve only been turkey hunting for three years now and even though I’ve had some success, I’m still learning. But what I do know is that I want a really old wiley long beard.

 

Leading up to opening day, everything was perfect. I had three blinds set up in great spots. I had all the tools of the trade; calls, camo, a proven shotgun, binoculars, a range finder, and a vest full of all of the other items that I could possibly need (all purchased at my local Bass Pro Shop…of course). I was ready, packed, and hoping for a perfect opening day. Then, the weather channel predicted a change in the weather. Great…I wondered how that would affect my hunt. I would soon find out.

 

Opening Day - March 31, 2012

 

Dawn found me in my best blind overlooking a path that I had seen birds take frequently. My sought after trophy, a large mature gobbler with a very long beard, had used this path also. My heart raced as my calling was returned by a roosting turkey. Was that him? It wasn’t long before I spotted one heading towards my position. It came towards me at a fast walk, crossing 250 yards in a matter of moments. It was a jake.

 

 Red Head breeder hen decoy

 

He passed my first hen decoy and headed for my courting couple set up 20 feet from my blind. I knew that I would pass on this bird. After all, he was only a jake and it was early on opening day. I still had plenty of time to hunt and he wasn’t my target today. He strutted and clucked for quite awhile adding credibility to my decoys. However, at one point, I could have grabbed him by the neck when he passed by my blind window putting us eyeball to eyeball.

 

Later, two more toms appeared at a distance and headed towards the area where the jake had come from earlier that morning. They were following a hen and didn’t respond to my calls.

 

The rest of my season was filled with the normal excuses… the bird was too far away, he wouldn’t cross the fence to my side, rain, he was with hens, family came to visit from out of town, had to work. You know life!? At times, life seems to get in the way of good hunting. Ah, wellFeather Flex Love Triangle

 

Well, on the last day of the season, I spotted the turkey that I had been seeking all season long. He was in a field nearby. I crept up on him and got set within 100 yards. He was moving slowly, strutting and making his way yard-by-yard towards me. Then, at about 60 yards, he spotted me and turned to run the other way. My brain said, Last day. One shot. I hesitated until I heard a familiar voice in my head yelling,”Choot’em! Choot‘em!!! “. My shot rang out. He jumped in the air with his wings spread. The shot had just dusted him and he ran up the hill ending my season.

 

Like some hunters on television, I decided to nickname him. I call him Dusty. So, I’ll see you next season, Dusty. Watch out for coyotes!

 

Turkey

 

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Tahoe Q8SSi Limited Time Special Offer

Tahoe Q 8ssi

 

Tracker Marine has just announced a terrific promotion on the TAHOE Q 8ssi for the 2010, 2011 and the new 2012 model years. There is an instant rebate of $3,000.00 in total savings for the TAHOE Q 8ssi making it the very best buy of its class in the boating industry. Be sure to take advantage of these savings while they are still available. This promotion runs from April 17th, 2012 thru August 31st, 2012. You can check out the TAHOE Q 8ssi at www.TAHOEBOATS.com and compare it to the rest of the TAHOE boat line up from the Q 4 to the deck boats and our fish and ski versions too! Stop by and check them out in person, or if you would like further information you can give me a call at 865-932-5580 or email me at rbbarton@basspro.com . I would be happy to assist you and your family in getting on the water this year! I am your TAHOE boats specialist, and Sales Lead Rob Barton, and look forward to hearing from you!

 

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