Christmas at Bass Pro

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and at Bass Pro it is just as wonderful! Our Santa’s Wonderland kicked off November 10 with Santa’s Grand Arrival and will continue until Christmas Eve.

All of the kids have had a wonderful time at Santa’s workshop. When children first arrive to the workshop they are greeted by warm, welcoming Santa’s elves. The elves help the children participate in all of the activities there are. Children can ride the carousel, make crafts, write letters to the North Pole and much more! Of course, Santa is available for the children to tell him their Christmas list and guests receive a free photo with Santa Clause, himself!

As you can imagine, Santa’s workshop is very busy and the lines for Santa can become very long. To make sure you see Santa you will need to stop by the Ticket Depot in our main entrance to receive a Bass Pass. On the Bass Pass is your special time to see Santa. Tickets are handed out in order, on a first come basis. Many guest have found it helpful to come in to get their ticket in the morning and then bring the family back later in the day around the time of their visit.

Christmas is a fun time to give and receive gifts, eat great food, and see Santa. With all of the holiday excitement, it easy to forget that this is a time of the year to be joyful, kind, and somehow maintain your sanity, despite all of the stress. We hope that you are able to do just that and can enjoy the rest of the season. From everyone at Bass Pro, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas this year!

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Buy Local—Firewood That Is!

With the days getting shorter and nights getting colder, having a roaring fire to gather around at night can bring extra warmth into your home.  Picking what firewood to use goes beyond finding a couple of dry logs. You want to be careful to not bring wood into your home that contains foreign insects and diseases that can kill local trees.

There are several diseases and pests that have damaged The Ozark’s trees in the past. A disease that has affected Missouri’s black walnut trees in the past is thousand cankers disease (TCD). Although it has not been detected since November 2011, when it was prevalent it killed many trees and hurt the black walnut industry.

One of Missouri’s trees pests is Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a Asian beetle introduced to North America in the early 2000s. Its larvae feed on ash trees, killing them.  To date, EABs have killed more than 25 million ash trees in 7 states.  These pests were reported in southeast Missouri in July 2008.

The best way to prevent the return of TCD and to control the spread of other diseases and pests is to not move untreated wood such as firewood. When you move a seemingly harmless piece of wood, you could be transferring these deadly diseases and pests. So when you are trying to stay warm over the winter make sure to either use wood off your property or wood from areas close to your home. If you do see signs of any deadly diseases or spot a foreign insect, make sure to contact the Missouri Departments of Conservation or Agriculture to keep the problem contained.

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Share The Harvest

SHARE THE HARVEST

The Share the Harvest program in Missouri is a great way for local deer hunters to help out the needy during this year’s deer season. This program is run by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation.  Best of all donating the deer meat is simple and requires little to no extra time.

There are a lot of families and individuals in the Ozarks who don’t have enough protein in their diet due to a lack of access or resources to buy it. Venison is a great source of protein and is low in fat. To benefit from the Share the Harvest Diet, families or individuals just have contact one of the distributing agencies. The agency will provide venison to the families and individuals based on its supply. This program is a great way for hunters to help those in need!

Hunters who want to participate and donate venison take their deer to an approved meat processor. Once there, let the processor know how much venison to donate. The processor will package the meat that will then be picked up by a local sponsoring organization and taken to a participating charitable agency that will distribute the meat.

It is important to know that the cost of processing the deer is the responsibility of the hunter. However, if a whole deer is donated, there are funds available to help with processing cost.  The entire processing cost is paid by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and local sponsors during the urban zones portion of the firearms season for whole deer donations. For list of participating processors, call your regional Department office. During all other portions and seasons, the Conservation Federation of Missouri administers a statewide program that directly reimburses the processor a predetermined amount for each whole deer donated. That allows the processor to reduce the processing fee to the hunter at the time of donation. In addition, many processors have local money available that allows the deer to be donated free or at greatly reduced cost. Be sure to contact individual processors to determine what funds are available at that particular location.

Share the Harvest Guidelines

  1. Requests to participate in Share the Harvest should be submitted to the director of the Conservation Department through a local conservation agent. Requests must include names of participating meat processors and the distributing agency.
  2. Meat processors must be licensed by the Conservation Department to process deer and be subject to government health inspection, or be approved by the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Meat Inspection Program.
  3. State and local health regulations must be followed.
  4. A conservation agent must initially approve the coordinator, processors and distributing agency.
  5. Only venison from white-tailed deer legally taken in Missouri will be accepted.
  6. Donated venison must be processed at approved meat processing facilities.
  7. Records detailing number of donors, pounds of donated venison, and charitable recipient group must be kept by the coordinator, and submitted to the local conservation agent no later than Feb. 1.
  8. Donated venison must be stored and transported in department-provided plastic bags that display the Share the Harvest logo, or in approved containers clearly marked with Share the Harvest labels.
  9. Venison may not be served cooked by the distributing agency, and must be frozen at some time prior to being eaten.
  10. All donated venison must be distributed by May 1.
  11. Approval for participation is required annually.

Statewide sponsors of the cost-reduction program include the Conservation Department, Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, Missouri Chapter Whitetails Unlimited, Missouri Chapter Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Drury Hotels, Enterprise Holdings Inc., Midway USA Inc., Missouri Deer Hunters Assoc., Pyramid Home Health Services and Wells Fargo Bank.

For more information contact the Conservation Department at 573-522-4115 or the Conservation Federation of Missouri at 573-634-2322.

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Find MOre Fish

The Missouri Department of Conservation has  developed a new app that can help take your fishing to new level. Better still—It’s free!

The free app displays a map of Missouri with all the locations of public boat ramps in the major lakes, rivers and streams. Using the map, you can also see the location of underwater fish structures developed by the Missouri Department of Conservation . These fish attracting structures act as habitat for fish.

The app also has a geo-location feature. This allows you to steer your boat right up to a fish attractor and start fishing. Plus, you get driving directions from/to boat ramps and fish attractors in the app.

Android and iPhone users have given the app very high reviews; saying that is a great tool and easy to use. The app for these devices has been receiving 4 to 5 stars per review.  However, the app does not seem to work as well for Blackberry users who have said there are disappointed and have only given the app 1 star.

To download the app follow the link for your phone listed below.

For iPhones:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/find-mo-fish-2/id528045380?ls=1&mt=8

For Android:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Missouri+Department+of+Conservation#?t=W251bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLDIxMiwiY29tLnBob25lZ2FwLm1kY21vYmlsZSJd

For Blackberry:

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/67482/?lang=en

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Dutch Oven 101

 

Dutch Oven 101

Dutch oven cooking and demos are always popular at our store events! So we have some Dutch Oven cooking tips that you can always reference plus a recipe to enjoy,

NUMBER 1: PICK THE RIGHT FUEL

Charcoal briquettes create a more uniform heat than your average campfire coals, plus they last longer. You want the brand of briquettes you used to be consistent in quality and have uniform size. This will produce a predictable heat. 

 NUMBER 2: KNOW YOUR COOKING TEMPERATURE

You want to know the heat of the oven. That can be hard to gauge when you’re outside with no thermometer; here’s how to heat your oven to within a few degrees of 325 every single time. Take the diameter of your oven and then double it. That number is how many charcoal briquettes you need to heat your oven.

 For Example: If you have a 12-inch oven you need 24 briquettes.

 If the recipe calls for a temperature other the 325, simply add or subtract two briquettes to raise or lower the temperature by 25 degrees.

 If the recipe calls for biscuits to be baked at 375 degrees, add four briquettes to the original amount.

NUMBER 3: HEAT EVENLY

 It is essential to heat your oven equ

 

 

 

 

ally so that you don’t burn the contents. To do this the briquettes should be spread evenly below the oven, then place one briquette on either side of the ovens central handle, the rest of the briquettes should be spread evenly around the perimeter.

 With dutch oven cooking there will always be hot spots to compensate for this lift and turn the oven 90 degrees every 15 minutes.

 NUMBER 4: REPLENISH THE BRIQUETTES

 Briquettes last around 30 minutes. If you have a recipe that requires a longer cook time, add more briquettes about every 30 minutes to keep the temperature where it needs to be.

 NUMBER 5: DON’T OVER COOK THE BOTTOM

 Baked goods in a dutch oven tend to cook faster on the bottom. To keep the bottom of your dish from becoming over cooked you need to remove the oven from the bottom charcoal after two-thirds of the baking time has passed.. The bottom will retain enough heat to finish cooking while giving the top time to catch up.

 

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Size oven: 12 inches Briquettes needed: 24; 16 on top, 8 on bottom

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter1/2 cup brown sugar
1 can sliced pineapples pecan halves 
Maraschino cherries
1 full-sized yellow cake mix

  1. Melt butter and sugar in oven.
  2. Arrange pineapple slices on top of sugar and butter. Arrange pecan halves around pineapple and put a cherry in the center of each ring.
  3. In a separate container, prepare cake mix according to package instructions.
  4. Pour batter over pineapple slices and bake according to cake mix directions.
  5. When cake is done, remove oven from heat, remove lid and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Put a cutting board or a circle of cardboard covered with aluminum foil over the top of the oven. Say a little prayer, hope for the best and flip it!

 

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Summertime Bowfishing

Summertime is a great time to be out bowfishing in the rivers or lakes. One upgrade to make for this season if you already haven’t is the AMS Retriever and Retriever Pro. These are the best bowfishing reels out there. They hardly ever tangle or bind up, and are extremely safe. They have a hand held drag that allows you to control the drag with your finger which is great for sticking the bigger fish. This system works the best when teamed up with the AMS safety slides. The slides have the string attached to them and they free float on the arrow from the tip to the stop on the back of your arrow. This will allow you to put the slide to the front of your arrow when you shoot and will prevent your line getting tangled up anywhere on your bow. Grab these items and you will have a better outing on your next bowfishing trip.  

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Gearing up for Rifle Season

The Fall Hunting Classic at Bass Pro Shops is just around the corner. The big seller is rifles. Everyone is out to get a great deal on a new rifle for the upcoming deer season. There are some things you should keep in mind when looking for a great buy on a rifle.

First of all, cheap is great! For first time hunters, young ones that will eventually  grow out of the gun, or if you just aren't going to be hunting much, then cheap is definitely the way to go. There are many options on the cheaper end of the spectrum. The newest for this year that is expected to be a great seller is the Ruger American. For the price point of this gun, you are going to have a hard time finding a comparable gun in this price range with the same amount of quality. One of the tops sellers is also the Remington 770. Averaging around $350 with a scope is a bargain on the gun. This gun is perfect for those who are not going to be doing a whole lot of hunting.

If you are wanting a great quality gun that is going to last you a long time, you are going to need to spend a little more money. Some guns can range all the way up to $2,000, but lets keep it as easy on the wallets as possible. The Winchester Model 70 Ultimate Shadow, Tikka T3, Remington 700 SPS, and Savage Model 111's are just a few to mention. The Weatherby Vanguard is another great gun to keep in mind!

When you are shopping for your new rifle, be sure to know what you are willing to spend, and how well you want the gun to last. A gun that is worth a lot of money now, can almost be guaranteed to be worth even more later on down he road! Good luck and happy hunting!

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Columbia Backcast II Water Trunk

It’s summer time and the sun is shining brighter than ever. The grass is dying, all the plants are welting, and the heat is out of control! So what are you going to do?? It’s time to hit the lake, jump in the pool, or head on down to the creek. It’s time to grab a beach towel, grab your sunscreen, throw on a pair of trunks and head towards the water! And speaking of swimming trunks, Bass Pro has your back with the Columbia Backcast II Water Trunk! The Backcast II is the perfect trunk for whatever you water activity is. It has a sun protection rating of UPF 50, it’s light weight with a solid draw string, and with its six inch inseam they’re easy to wear! Coming in five vibrant colors and a price tag of $30.00, it will be easy to select a pair. And since it’s made by Columbia, you know it’s built to last! So before you take your boat out, drive down towards the creek, or dive into the pool, come by Bass Pro and pick up your pair of the Backcast II Water Trunk!

 

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World Wide Sportsman Copper River II Water Shoes for Men and Women

This shoe is fantastic! No matter what the task this summer, this shoe gets the job done! It’s highly comfortable, light weight, and looks great. Designed with fishing in mind, water is no hindrance when you're wearing this non-marking water shoe featuring a mesh and leather upper for breathable comfort and quick draining. The Copper River II has a bungee strap lacing system that tightens with just a pull, so it’s always easy to put on and slide off. And with its cleated rubber non-slip tread, you will always have a firm footing. So whether you’re wearing it on the boat or around the house, this is a great shoe to have!

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Lighted Nocks = More Success In Deer Woods

Lighted Nocks have become an important tool in the deer woods today. These little buggers help see the location that you hit the animal that you are shooting at as well as finding the arrows that you spend some good money on. Being able to know where you hit the deer at is a great tracking tool. You will be able to know whether you need to back out and give some time that way you can successfully recover the animal. This will help your recovery rate significantly. My favorite lighted nock is the Nocktournal. These nocks are very reliable and extremely bright so that you can see them even in the bright light of the day. They are activated by a button in the valley of the nock where the string hits the back of the knock and can be turned off by a switch at the base of the nock. They will pay for themselves by recovering arrows that you would usually loose without them. Good luck Archers!!!!

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Welcome to a world of Zombies

First there was a vampire and werewolf craze, thanks to the Twilight series of books. Vampire books and TV shows started exploding all over the world. Now, we have moved on to bigger and better things, Zombies. Yes, I said Zombies! Hornady Ammunition has started a huge trend in the outdoors industry, and that is Zombie Max ammunition. Hornady makes a huge line of Z-Max ammunition that completely intrigued, confused, and enticed the public. Just the other day, a customer held up a box of Z-Max ammo in front of my face and said, "This has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen." He then proceeded to put four boxes in his cart as he chuckled and waved goodbye. Their products were selling so well that is has expanded to other things.

Birchwood Casey now makes Darkotic Zombie Splattering targets. You can't help wanting to unload your gone on these gruesome targets. Kids are especially obsessed with these targets. They are incapable of seeing them without begging mom and dad to get them one, even if they don't have a gun. However it doesn't matter, because now there are Zombie edition air soft guns, with Zombie airsoft targets. Zombies are everywhere!

If that isn't enough for you, Ruger is now making a Zombie Slayer edition LCP .380. So now, you can get the gun, the ammo, the targets, and even ammo cans! Don't like guns? Don't worry, because there is a Zombie Pepper Spray made by  Sabre Red.

We all know Zombies are not real, but I'm stocking up. Just in case!

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Bow Hunting Camo Clothing

Early bow hunting season requires a lightweight base layer that controls human scent. RedHead EnduraSkin performance base layers does just that. It is quick drying, moisture wicking,breathable, silver based technology. Silver won't wash out and reactivation is not required. 4 way stretch with ease of motion. Shirts in long sleeve and short sleeve, pants, beanie and balaclava in black or camo are available . Hunt with confidence and be comfortable.

 

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Columbia’s Meeker Peak Short Sleeve Crew

Whether you are an avid outdoors man or just the average joe barbecuing in the backyard, the Meeker Peak Short Sleeve T-shirt has a lot to offer you. Columbia has packed this shirt full of technology making this the perfect summer shirt! This light weight shirt is moisture wicking with Columbia’s Omni-Wick technology, and it also has a sun block rating of UPF 15. And starting at just under twenty dollars with six colors to choose from, this shirt is an excellent buy. So no matter what the job, from working in the garden to floating in a canoe, the Meeker Peak Short Sleeve Crew by Columbia is the shirt to have!

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Choosing the Right Flash for Your Next Game Camera

There are three flashes to choose from when choosing a game camera and they are white flash, infrared, and black or no flash. The regular white flash game cameras are the oldest technology out and work just like the flash on a regular camera. They will provide color pictures night and day. They will be the less expensive of the three cameras. The Infrared cameras, often called no flash cameras, still light up to take night pictures but do so with a faint red glow from infrared bulbs. They will take color by day and black and white pictures at night. The benefits to upgrading to this camera are, longer battery life, farther flash range, and they will spook game less. They are the most common game cameras out on the market today. The next flash would be the black flash or no flash. They will also take color pictures by day and black and white pictures at night. These have the same features as a Infrared camera but with a completely invisible flash to game as well as humans. These are great for security purposes around the house of farm, and are great for having for not spooking any game. Game cameras are very addicting and very fun.

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Bass Fishing

The hot days of summer are here and that means it’s time to throw big worms.  If you haven’t thrown big worms, you are missing out.  In the world of bass fishing, big baits yield big fish and throwing a worm is no different.  Now when I say big worms, I’m referring to those worms that are 10 inches or larger.  There are a lot of different shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from.  Some of my favorites are the Bass Pro Shops Squirmin’ worm in 10” or 12”, Zoom Ol’ Monster, and Berkley’s 10” Powerworm.  I choose colors depending on water clarity.  For clear water plum, watermelon candy, and green pumpkin violet are some of my go to colors.  For dingy water red shad, black and blue flake, and blue fleck work really well. 

You can rig these worms in a variety of ways.  My top two choices are either a Texas rig or a big shaky head.  For the texas rig, I prefer a 5/0 round bend hook and a worm weight no smaller than a ¼ ounce.  When fishing deeper, you may want to jump up to a heavier weight such as a ½ ounce.  I prefer tungsten because it is much more sensitive than lead and offers a much smaller profile, but lead weights will definitely get the job done.  The big shaky head such as Chompers Ledge Shakey Head or the Luck-E-Strike football power head stands the worm up more on the bottom than a Texas rig and sometimes that extra action makes all the difference.  So go out and throw a big worm.  You might just catch the biggest bass of the season.

Worms:  

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Squirmin-Super-Worm/product/15663/203340

http://www.basspro.com/Zoomreg;-Soft-Plastic-Baits--Old-Monsterreg;-Worms/product/7510/114727?cmCat=CROSSSELL_THUMBNAIL

http://www.basspro.com/Berkley-PowerBait-Original-Power-Worm-10/product/73982/63358

Rigging:

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-XPS-Offset-Round-Bend-Hook/product/27234/74928

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-XPS-Tungsten-Worm-Weights/product/10210181/78310

http://www.basspro.com/Chompers-Ledge-Hopper-Shaky-Head-Jigheads/product/10230712/230663

http://www.basspro.com/Luck-E-Strike-Football-Power-Jigheads/product/10200387/61762

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Looking for a quick, easy, and cheap fishing destination this summer?

Looking for a quick, easy, and cheap fishing destination this summer?  The answer maybe a lot closer than you think, head to the river.  Here in the Ozarks, we are blessed with many streams and rivers that are home to a wide variety of fish and other fascinating creatures.  Hitting the stream for a float trip or even a quick wade is often times much closer and can be much less crowded, especially during the week.  Go to http://mdc.mo.gov/ to find the nearest public access in your area.

 A light to medium action rod and a reel spooled with either 6 or 8 lb line works great.  As far as rod length is concerned, I recommend keeping it 6’ or under.  Lure selection is pretty straight forward.  If your bait has some flash, wobble, and/or rubber legs, more than likely you’ll catch a few fish.  Rooster Tails, Beetle Spins, 2” Grubs, and Rebel Crawfish Crankbaits are all excellent choices.  I find that the best colors are browns or greens, but blacks and oranges work well too.  For the grubs, you’ll need to rig them up with a 1/16th oz jig head.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun.  Bringing plenty of water and applying sunscreen are a couple simple things that will make your fun last a lot longer.  So head to your local stream the next time you a get a chance.  You just might be surprised how much fun you’ll be having.  For more information or tips, please drop by and see us in the fishing department, we’ll be more than happy to get you set up.

Combos:

 http://www.basspro.com/Zebco-Bill-Dance-Select-Triggerspin-Rod-and-Reel-Spincast-Combo/product/10205067/41704

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Stampede-Spinning-Combo/product/1204201101336/463650

Lures: 

http://www.basspro.com/Johnson-Original-Beetle-Spin/product/15602/64944

http://www.basspro.com/Rebel-Crawfish/product/2952/127557

http://www.basspro.com/Wordens-Original-Rooster-Tail-1/16-oz-/product/46136/62782

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Squirmin-Grubs/product/15633/134766

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Unpainted-Jigheads/product/1984/43819  

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High Performance Cotton Camo

Welcome to Bass Pro Shops world of Camo clothing! As the 2012 hunting season is closing in fast , we would like to introduce products in the next few weeks to keep you in the woods longer and be comfortable. This week would like to talk about the "NEW" HPC cotton t-shirt. HPC is short for  HIGH PERFORMANCE COTTON. A blend of 15% cotton and 85% polyester. Soft to the touch, quick drying and moisture wicking. Available in short or long sleeve. With size range from  Small to 2X. In Realtree All Purpose camo pattern. These are so comfortable you will never go back to regular cotton. Come out and try one on and see for yourself!

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Waterfowl for Beginners

In the early stages of ones ambitions to become a waterfowl hunter, you soon realize that starting from scratch is going to be expensive. Decoys, waders, blind material, calls, ammo, guns, and even boats will quickly drain your bank account. So what if you are just wanting to give it a whirl? What if you are not sure you are going to enjoy it? I haven't met anyone who has begun waterfowl hunting that has not soon after become obsessed with it. You are not waiting for that one moment to get your shot. You are shooting, a lot! However, I am here to suggest ways to get started in the most cost efficient manner.

Most important on the list is learning to speak duck. If you have walked into a Bass Pro Shops, or any sporting goods store for that matter, you will find the glass case calls. This is where you will eventually be dropping your money. Zink, RNT, Echo, and many more companies make high end acrylics and all wood calls that are well worth the money, but not for someone who isn't sure they are going to stick with hunting. Fortunately, I have a couple recommendations. First of all, stick with a double reed. They are much easier to learn on. I have tried out a bunch of the cheaper calls here at Bass Pro and found that Rich-N-Tone Double J duck call sounds about as close to a "glass case" duck call for the low price. It is very "ducky" sounding, and super easy to work with. Another one I would recommend is Echo Calls Polycarbonate Open Water Duck Call Double Reed. This is another double reed call that sounds great for the money, and is perfect for learning how to call on. Once you have your call, I would suggest Youtube.com for tips on how to actually use your call.

Decoys will eventually start taking over your home. Our "guest bedroom" quickly turned into a room full of hundreds of plastic ducks and geese. The more you waterfowl hunt, the more you will learn you can never have enough decoys. Lets talk money. Hardcore Decoys which are carried in lots of our stores, are about as realistic as you can possibly get. The color and detail on these decoys is outstanding! Majority of the decoys in my "guest bedroom" are HardCore brand. They might be a little out of price range for the dabbler. A good way to start off with a few decoys would be getting a half dozen floaters that are the RedHead Brand. These decoys are extremely vibrant, and will fool any duck I have ever met. They are easy on your wallet as well! The Final Approach Gunners HD Floating Mallards are also some of the best decoys you can get for a pretty good price. Either way you go, you will be able to draw the ducks in your spread.

I could go on for pages on ways to begin your new waterfowl hobby. If you need more help on getting started, and which product to use, drop by Bass Pro Shops and ask any hunting associate. We would be more than happy to get you started and on the right track!

 

 

Chelsea Cribb

Hunting Team Lead

Springfield, MO

 

 

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New RedHead Deer Target

RedHead Deer Target

It is time to start getting the bow ready for all the big time bowhunters out there. Nothing is better than shooting at a deer target to get yourself ready for Mossy Horns to walk by. The new RedHead Deer Target is a great target for long life and a great realistic look. It has some of the best foam on the market in the insert, it is self healing for added life of the target. For added benefits of realism try shooting this target from an elevated position or out of a treestand, this will help you bag your next trophy buck.

 

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A Simple Guide to Locating and Catching Bluegill

Tips on Catching Bluegills

Bluegill can be caught with just about any tackle, from a simple cane pole to a sophisticated fly rod. For a child just learning, they are one of the easiest to catch. They fight very well for their size, are extremely fine eating, and are plentiful in many ponds and lakes. Lastly, bluegills are just plain fun to catch.

Locating a Fishing Spot

It is important to locate ponds and lakes that contain bigger fish. You can find water with keeper bluegills by asking other anglers, conservation officers, or anyone that is familiar with the body of water in question.

Bluegills are not randomly distributed in a lake, but rather they concentrate into specific habitats, depending on the seasons. It would be surprising to find bluegill in the same location during two different seasons.

Spring and Early Summer Fishing

Spring and summer are by far the best period to catch bluegills because they congregate in the shallows to spawn. The best method of determining this period of bluegill spawning activity is water temperature. Spawning activity peaks with the temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Bluegill nests are often easy to spot because the build their nests in shallow water very close to shore. The nests are saucer shaped depressions. Male bluegills guarding nests are woefully easy to catch.  

Although there are some factors that govern the spawning habits of bluegill, there may be great differences depending on their habitat. For example, in large rivers like the Mississippi the fish prefer to spawn among stumps. Other places they may spawn would be in backwaters and sloughs. They try to find habitats where the constant current will not disturb the nest. Current is not a major factor in natural lakes and ponds where males build their nest in shallow bays or along protected shorelines.


Fishing for bluegill that are guarding the nest is exciting. One of the best techniques is to wade off boat within easy casting distance of the nest. Use a small lure or bait just below a small bobber.

A bed of spawning bluegills can be a fly rod fisherman’s dream. If the water is shallow enough they will usually rise to hit poppers, especially in the evening.


            Of the fish caught from nests, 95 percent will be males. The male fish are more vulnerable to catching because he builds the nest within a well-defined territory and aggressively protects the eggs against all intruders. Females are more often caught on casts into the adjacent, deep water. Many times they hang just off the spawning beds prior to inshore movement.
 

            Hopefully these tips will be helpful to you in locating and catching bluegill. Good luck and happy fishing!
 

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