Cold Smoking

Many of you spend countless hours smoking ribs, chicken, sausages, and Boston Butts. Have you ever considered purchasing a cold smoker?

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Cold smoking doesn't cook the food-it is the process of adding a smoke flavor at low temperatures (usually from 40-100 degrees F, but no more than 120 degrees F). Cooler temperatures allow the meat to retain more moisture, have a better smoked appearance and remain protected against bacteria.

Since cold smoking doesn't substantially cure or cook the food, most foods are usually brined or salted before they are cold smoked.  This ensures that bacteria  doesn't grow on the food during the process. These foods, such as bacon, should be fully cooked before they are eaten. It is not always necessary to brine or cure- some foods can be cold smoked to enhance the flavor before grilling-examples would be chicken, pork chops or steaks.

Meats are not the only foods that can be cold smoked-cheeses are a very popular choice, including cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, and provolone.  Other popular choices include nuts, chipotles, plums, and many other fruits and vegetables.

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At Bass Pro Shops you can find the Masterbuilt Cold Smoker Kit. This kit:

  • Fits all Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smokers
  • Attaches to the wood chip loading port of the smoker
  • Provides continuous smoke for up to 6 hours at temperatures as low as 100-120 degrees F.
  • Uses regular wood chips
  • $59.99

So, on your next shopping excursion, stop by your Leeds Bass Pro Shop, or visit  www.basspro.com , and see our great selection of smokers and accessories.

Until next time, stay safe and GO CAMPING!!!! c

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A Root Awakening

I like to garden - veggies, perennial flowers, shrubs and trees, annuals, etc. Tropical plants stay outside in the summer and then move inside to escape winter's wrath, just like us. Hanging plants are nurtured inside throughout the long winter months, as I await the first sign of new growth. One day their roots awaken and begin the regrowth process once again.

However, plants aren't the only living things that can have a "root awakening."

I recently followed a group of middle-aged customers, as I left work one day, headed toward the Bass Pro Shops Altoona exit doors. Suddenly, just inside the automatic exit doors, I overheard one of them exclaim, "There it is...there's the picture!"

As I trailed them out the automatic exit door, they stopped in front of a large, aged photo in our exit area. 

Historical hunting picture

They huddled together. A woman in the group pointed and said, "There he is."

I had to stop. 

"Do you know these people?" I asked.

They explained that the gentleman on the right was their neighbor now and in his 80s. They guessed he was about 17 in the photo. We visited about how he had been a life-long hunter and how hunting and fishing have played such an important role in the lives of so many Iowans.

As I headed to my car, the reality of the photos hit me. Despite the many times I've looked at them, I had not listened to them. These are the people who created our state. Hunting and fishing were not simply a sport. It was a way of life and a means of survival. Living off the land was not the latest fad - it put food on the table, especially during harsh economic times. The rivers, lakes, ponds, timber, and fields were nature's grocery store. 

Later that night, my husband and I settled in to begin watching The National Parks: America's Best Idea, being rebroadcast on public television. We had watched part of it last year, and knew it was worth watching again.

Iowa HuntersOver the course of the week, during the series and in special programming in conjunction with it, we soaked up the history of the national parks and the passion of park pioneers like John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt. What did I learn? That important aspects of conservation and wildlife management came from fellow Iowans. Aldo Leopold, environmentalist and instrumental in land ethics, and John Lacey, a Republican Congressman, and author of the first federal conservation legislation (Lacey Act of 1900) and supporter of a national park service, were both from Iowa. These are the leaders who helped put giant trees, granite cliffs, winding canyons, and more, into the forefront of U.S. citizens' minds. They used artists, writings, newspapers, and photographs to show Americans that our country's natural treasures were far more important than any man-made castle in Europe, that we should be proud to have such wonders to enjoy, and that they needed to be managed with care. Then I thought about Iowan Ding Darling, long-time newspaper cartoonist and well-known conservationist (J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge), who continued that fight.

The folks in the photos on our store walls were affected by Leopold, Lacey, and others, even as we are today. Legal limits, wildlife refuges, hunting regulations, a deep love for the outdoors, and the determination that true harmony comes from a balance between man and nature, prey and predator, have allowed white-tailed deer, elk, antelope, wild turkey, and many other species to recover after decades of uncontrolled and exploited hunting.

So, thank you, guys cleaning your guns by the pot-bellied stove...

Thank you, women pheasant hunters having a good time...

Thank you, dashing looking young man with a giant cat...

Thank you, duck hunters out in the field, smiling and celebrating your successful hunt.

Because of you, I had my root awakening that week. A regrowth of pride in my natural heritage as an Iowan, combined with a revitalized passion for our country's land and natural treasures, and a reaffirmed disdain for those who abuse it through littering, vandalism, or total disregard for laws and etiquette. Knowledge that my roots are shared by the people who grace our store walls and with Iowans, like Leopold and Lacey and Darling, who led the charge to help protect our wilderness and natural beauty for years to come.

"We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ― Aldo Leopold

"I do not believe that any man can adequately appreciate the world of today unless he has some knowledge of -- a little more than a slight knowledge, some feeling for and of -- the history of the world of the past."  - Teddy Roosevelt

Female Hunters

Lost Island LakeGuy with Fish

 

 

 

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Do I Need a Safe?

People often think only of guns when you mention buying a safe, but remember: more things than just guns may be stored in them. Valuable documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, social security cards, and those old and irreplaceable family photographs can be stored there, too. Bottom line: if you have anything valuable that needs to be kept safe and out of unauthorized hands, a safe is what you need.  If you have guns that need to be kept out of untrained hands not under your immediate supervision, then a safe is the only guaranteed way to ensure it. Do you need to secure them from your kids? What about from the friends of your kids? You may not always be able to be home when they are there. The corner of the closet may not be enough to keep them hidden or out of reach.

 But, how big a safe do I need to buy and just how big does it have to be?  From our easily concealable biometric single handgun safe to our massive 44-inch wide 56 gun capacity vault Bass Pro has just the safe to fit your needs. The associates in the hunting department will be glad to show you all that are available and help you to find one to fit your specific needs.  Some of the larger ones have enough capacity to hold your present gun collection and even give you a bit of room to grow. Some also have on-door rifle and document storage as well as zippered pouches,  which work great for holding and securing jewelry and other small but valuable items.

Do I really need a safe with fire protection? Most of us have more to worry about in the way of home break-ins and home invasions, which currently are on the rise, however, fires in the home are a huge source of concern. A safe will keep your guns and documents secure no matter the emergency, but it is not much help to return home to find your guns and documents still in the safe but now nothing but charred embers. Even though the contents are out of the direct  fire, the temperature inside can rise to almost as high, and for as long as it takes to get the fire put out. Meanwhile, everything inside the safe suffers the full effect of the heat. It is a bit like the difference between having sun shades in your vehicle windows on a hot summer day and not having them: it may still be warm inside after using them, but it is only for a short period of time. So yes: get the fire protection. It is worth the extra cost.

Also, take this piece of advice that I hear over and over from customers coming in to buy a second safe: don’t buy one that is just big enough for your needs now because, like most gun owners, you will fill it up surprisingly quickly and find yourself in need of another one. Buy one big enough to allow a bit of growth. You will also soon be surprised at what you may find yourself choosing to put in it. What with a hurricane currently looming on the horizon of our Gulf, a safe may be just the bit of peace of mind that you may need. While they are not waterproof, many are sealed and so offer just that much more assurance that the things most precious to you will still be there when you return to your home, and in the same condition as when you left them.

A safe is always a good idea for the homeowner, and a safe with fire protection an even better idea. No matter what you choose to put into them, safes guarantee that what you put there will still be there when you return … and the family may be the safer for it, too.

 Written by Paul H. Alburl, Hunting Associate

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Keys To Locating Productive Brush Piles

Across the country fish use many different types of structure or cover to live and feed in. Weather it's rocks, docks, lay down logs, or brush piles, as the year goes on and the seasons change you will notice certain ones being more productive then others. And trust no matter how random it can sometimes seem, there is a rhyme and a reason to why they are using cover in a specific area or more importantly depth range. It is based on factors such as time of year, weather conditions, water color, water temperature, and last but not least the amount of baitfish in the area. Most species of fish are predators and if there is no food there then obviously the fish will go elsewhere if they have the option. In this article I really want to focus on brush piles. Whether they are man made or natural from trees and debris falling in the water the simple fact is that most times of the year there are fish holding on some sort of brush.

Brush piles are a perfect place for baitfish such as bluegill, and shad to live around and hide in. With the presence of the bait fish the predators such as bass are going to be close by. Now throughout the year like I said some brush piles will be more productive then others. As the water temperature changes the fish move, and this is related to the thermocline level. This is the level where the water temperature is the most comfortable to the fish and where the water is the most oxygen rich. The hotter the water temperature the deeper the thermocline will be. In lakes that have clear water the thermocline will also be deeper so don't be surprised to find fish in extremely deep water in the summer on a clear lake or reservoir. To find the this productive healthy water depth having good quality electronics such as the Lowrance HDS Gen2 Fishfinder is important. Just idle around your local lake or reservoir and pay attention to what depth you see the majority of the baitfish. Next check suspecting areas where brush piles might be placed that are close to that same depth range and there is a good chance that baitfish and bass will be near by.

So now that you have the proper depth figured out the next step is actually physically locating the brush. People will sink man made brush piles in a variety of different places such as points, creek channels, river channels, or probably the most common, docks. In my opinion the easiest to find brush piles are near docks. They are easy to find because of a few keys that are normally a dead giveaway that a fisherman lives there and has possibly sunk brush around his dock. Two things I really like to look for are lights, and rod holders. These are definitely things that should be paid attention too when looking for brush. The next step to this simple method of finding brush is physically stopping and casting a weighted soft plastic and feeling around the bottom with the bait. This is a no electronics fool proof way to find brush. Now if you have side imaging technology then this process is much easier. All you have to do is idle by the front of a row of docks and your graph will show you which docks have brush around them within 200 ft of either side of your boat. In order to find brush on the points and dropoffs having electronics is critical and will really make your search easier and more effective.

Once I have brush located no matter where it is there are a couple really important things I like to do. The first is marking the piles physically before I start to fish them which is very important for brush that is way out on points or sometimes in the middle of the river on a ledge. To do this I use a Bass Pro Shops Marker Buoy. There are a couple ways to do it, you can drop the buoy right next to the brush or one of my favorite methods dropping it where you want the boat to be positioned, and then using a reference point on the shore to line up and cast at. Normally when I'm fishing brush for bass I will use slow moving baits such as Jigs, Carolina Rigs, Texas Rigs, and Shakey Heads. Fishing these slow on the bottom I will crawl and work my bait through the cover letting it lift and then fall in the limbs. I always try and do this on a semi tight line, if you have to much slack in your line the fish will often pull you deep into the brush which makes them almost impossible to get out. So be ready to set the hook quick and get the fish moving up and out towards the boat. I like to use pretty heavy tackle when fishing my jigs, texas rigs, and carolina rigs for that reason exactly. I like to use Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line from 17lb to 25lb test, on a heavy action rod and a high speed reel. The only exception is when I'm using a shakey head set up and in that case I will use either 8lb flouro, or a 20lb braid mainline with a fluorocarbon leader. At certain times of the year baits such as Spro Little John DD crankbaits and heavy 1oz spinnerbaits can be very effective when bumped into the brush. I would suggest going to Bass Pro Shops and picking up a weighted lure retriever or retrieving pole for getting your baits free from deep brush.

So go out on your local body of water and look for the key ingredients. First find the depth the baitfish are using whether it is 2 feet or 30 feet, next locate and mark the brush, and finally present your lure properly to the waiting fish. Always be patient and if you are getting frustrated and having limited success just keep searching because you never know when you might run into the right brush pile that is holding the mother load of big fish. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania

 

 

 

 

 

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Bass Pro Shops' Fall Fishing Event

fallAs the weather changes, so should your fishing habits.  Your local Bass Pro Shops willl take a look at some of the changes you will need to undertake as the weather becomes cooler and days become shorter during our Fall Fishing Event.

The event runs four days:  September 21st and 22nd, then the follow weekend, September 28 and 29th, from noon - 4:00 p.m. Throughout the event, we will present a number of educational seminars to assist you with making changes in your fishing patterns and bait selections.

 

Saturdays, September 21 & 28

1:00 p.m.    Fish Hatcheries: From Hatcheries to Lake

2:00 p.m.    What You Should Know About Fishing Using Electronics (free giveaway)

3:00 p.m.    Best Baits:  Baits That Work for Successful Fall Fishing

Sundays, September 22 & 29

1:00 p.m.    Area Fishing:  What You Should Know

2:00 p.m.    Expert Best Fall Fishing Practices (free giveaway)

3:00 p.m.    Changing Water Conditions:  How It Affects Fishingfall

We will also have a number of activities for our Next Generation anglers.  We'll offer Catch 'n' Release fishing in County Line Creek (the water feature at our store entrance); free downloadable photos; kids workshops; and free crafts. 

Make sure you join us for the Fall Fishing Event, the last two weekends in September.  It will educational and fun! 

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Dehydrated Foods

Dehydrated meals

Whether you are camping, hiking, hunting, or just preparing for weather or an emergency, dehydrated foods can be just the thing you need. They are light weight, compact and easily prepared. There are many companies that provide these items but here are a few of the top contenders.

MOUNTAIN HOUSE

Pouches

Mountain House, a division of Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc, has been a backpacking, camping favorite since the 1960's. The Mountain House product line consists of over 58 selections, including single-serve, double-serve and four-serve entrees. The most popular sellers are our double-serve entrees, which includes over 25 flavors to choose from including:Beef Stew $7.39, Chicken Alfredo $8.69, Scrambled Eggs with Bacon $5.39, Raspberry Crumble $7.19 and Garden Green Peas $3.49. Plus many more in pouches. They also offer varieties in #10 Cans and Buckets.

 

BACKPACKERS PANTRY

Backpacker's Pantry is another brand that manufactures gourmet backpacking food.The company was founded in 1951 by Ann Benedict to supply the Girl Scouts with lightweight, nutritious food for the trail.  The Smith family purchased the company in 1971, and still owns and operates the company to this day out of Boulder, CO. They offer: One, Two and Four person. One person organic, Emergency preparedness such as 3 day meal kits and #10 cans, Gluten free and low sodium options, vegan, and snacks, spreads and oils.

 

 

WISE

Wise Favorites

You can't prevent certain events in life, but you can prepare for them.

Real Food . . . Prepared in minutes by just adding water. Wise Company takes an innovative approach, providing dependable, simple and affordable ready-made freeze dried and dehydrated entrees for emergency preparedness and outdoor use. Whether you are preparing your family for the future or planning your next outdoor adventure, Wise Company provides great tasting, high quality foods that are quick and easy to prepare. Finally a dependable, simple, and affordable choice for both your emergency food supply and outdoor needs.Wise Makes it easy to prepare!

 

All products range from just a few dollars for sides and desserts to and average of $6-8 for entrees and other desserts for 2 serving pouches. The #10 cans have a 25 year shelf life and range in price of about $20-$30 and about 20+ servings per can. The buckets are 120 servings and range in price from about $120-$150 depending on content. So in general you calculate under $2.00 per serving in most cases.

 

The following products are available at Bass Pro Stores or on their website http://www.basspro.com/Wise-Company-Favorites-Gourmet-FreezeDried/Dehydrated-Meals-7-Pack/product/1303070556359/ also see links  such as:  Emergency Food Supply Options. and A Bucket of Food

 

 

 

 

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Local Fisihing Report 9/8 to 9/14/2013

The River was at 3.9ft at the beginnig of the week and at the end of the week we had 3.9ft with 13,600CF of flow and 72 degrees

Trip #1 was a half day trip and we caught 21 bass.   The largest was 18" and we caught them on Salty Spider Jigs and Zell Pops.  We had 3.8Ft-12,200CF-falling-clear and 80 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure and steady.

Trip #2 was on Wednesday andn we had a 12 boat outing and we fished from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM and we caught 18 bass per boat and we also had 2 channel cats.  The largest bass was 19.5" and the largest channel cat was 26".  We caught them on jigs, top water, crank baits, rattle baits, Spinnerbaits and soft jerkbaits.  We had 3.5ft-steady-8,800CF-clear and 81 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.00 and falling.

Trip #3 was on Saturday evening and we had 2 boats out for a full day trip.  We caught 11 channel cats and 24 flatheads.  The largest channel cat was 20" and we caught them all on Sudden Impact.  The largest flathead that was29-10lbs., this was an Angler Award fish and we caught them all on live bait.  We also had another Angler Award Fish and it was 29-3lbs.  We had 3.5ft-rising-8,400CF-clear and 72 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.20 and falling.

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"A Harvest of Memories"

By: Stephanie Crede

There is something about fall that changes the attitudes of those around us. Is it the changing weather? The chill in the air? The beautiful leaves turning into gorgeous shades of warm oranges, reds, and yellows? Maybe it's the pumpkin farms, trick or treating, or simply just enjoying the switch of seasons. Whatever it is, fall seems to be one of the more popular seasons around the midwest.

For me, October has always been my all time favorite month. I love the cooler weather. A hoodie and jeans are all that I need to feel comfortable. I love seeing the leaves fall and the warm colors that surround my town. The crunching leaves beneath my feet are a sound that I will never get tired of. Hay rides, pumpkin patches, and hot apple cider are all part of the experience. Besides all of this, it's football season, and who doesn't like football season?!

When we think of fall, Halloween is usually the first thing that pops into our head. Trick or Treating, costume contests, and haunted houses are all on the list for things to do. Bass Pro Shops wants to help make your Halloween an experience you will never forget! From October 19th-31st Bass Pro in Gurnee is holding a SPOOKY Halloween event for you and the family! "It's The Great Pumpkin" is this years theme with the Charlie Brown characters! If you visit Bass Pro Shops during these dates, you can participate in trick-or-treating around the store, get your photo taken with the Charlie Brown Characters, make a spider lollipop craft, do a scavenger hunt around the store, earn cool pins and kids can even enter into the costume parade! Think you have the best costume? Show us! ALL FOR FREE!

So stop in to Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee for the "It's The Great Pumpkin" Halloween event, and see what all the talk is about! It's going to be a SPOOKTACULAR time!

 

 

 

 

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Gearing Up For Archery Season

Deer Target

Deer season is getting close and that means everyone is getting their bows out to start practicing. Most hunters take this opportunity to get the bow out of the closet, knock the rust off it and start slinging arrows. No one wants to get out in the woods unprepared. This warm up time will make sure that your bow is still shooting like it was last year.

But before you shoot you should always check your bow out to make sure it still looks safe to shoot. Check the limbs to be sure they are not cracking, check the string to make sure it is not fraying, check your release D-loop to be sure it is not fraying and check all of your accessories. Also be sure to look over each of your arrows very carefully. Every component of your bow can be very dangerous if it is not in perfect shape.

If you want to have your bow worked on you can bring it by our Archery department and one of our associates will help you out. They will look over the bow, fix anything that is wrong and give you some tips and pointers. Everyone in the archery department is highly qualified and very knowledgeable.

 

 

Red Head Blackout Bow Package

 Everything that I have talked about so far is irrelevant if you do not have a bow. Pictured here on the left is our Redhead Blackout bow package. It is the top of the line bow of our RedHead series and it is a serious shooter and for a price of $599.99 you get all the performance of a $800+ bow.

Here are the specs on the RedHead Blackout bow package:

  • Throttle Cam Tech
  • Rotating draw length modules
  • Adjust draw length between 26.5'' and 30.5''
  • Limb-mounted bearing assembly
  • Highest-tolerance fully machined riser
  • IBO Speed: 333+ fps
  • 80% let-off Single Cam
  • 3-pin sight
  • Hostage™ arrow rest
  • One-piece 5-arrow quiver
  • 5" stabilizer
  • Installed string suppressor
  • Installed peep sight and sling

 This package bow would be a great contribution to the rest of your hunting gear. Come by the Archery department here at Bass Pro and Audie, Ben, Kraig, David or Rick will get you fixed up with a bow and let you test fire all the bows that you like.

Bow season starts October 15th so be sure to start getting ready!

 

Happy shooting,

Grayson

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Charlie the Ranch Dog

charlieRee Drummond, better known as the popular author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks and host of "The Pioneer Woman" on the Food Network, has now begun a line of children's books. 

The books feature her ranch dog, Charlie.  According to Drummond, "Charlie has floppy ears, droopy lips and legs that are a little on the short side."  He also loves bacon and napping, but who doesn't?

In the introductory book, Charlie the Ranch Dog, we get to spend a day on the ranch with the basset hound and experience his adventures. First, we meet Charlie's best friend, Suzie, who is a Jack Russell terrier. Throughout the day, Charlie and Suzie go on a number of adventures including keeping Daisy the cow out of the garden, assisting in the garden, and even taking a nap.

The book is fun and easy to read and is sure to be enjoyed by the younger set.  The book is beautifully illustrated as well, making it as fun to look at as it is to read. Head over to the Gifts Department, at your local Bass Pro Shops, for your copy of Charlie the Ranch Dog.

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Game Changers: Boone & Crockett Club

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

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

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

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

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

Along with establishing fair chase they were also:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not bad. Not bad at all.

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

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

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Rabbit Cacciatore

My husband and I love rabbit, wild or commercial. Lean, mild, and extremely healthy, rabbit is showing up on more and more restaurant menus around the country.  It's also very versatile and can be used just like you might use chicken, for example. Fry it up or, my favorite, throw it whole in the slow cooker for three hours or so, with your favorite seasonings. In researching recipes, I came across this recipe from the Missouri Department of Conservation...and it sounded very similar to what we do. 

Here's what we do - Slow cook the rabbit. In a sauce pan, mix up a tomato sauce using our homegrown frozen tomatoes, tomato paste, fresh parm, mushrooms, and onions.

From Missouri Department of Conservation

Remove the rabbit bones from the slow cooker.  Warning: It will be falling off the bones, and there are many little bones with rabbit, so you have to be very careful.  Add the sauce to the slow cooker rabbit, then serve over noodles of choice.

It makes a hearty and healthy belly-warming dish!  Leftovers? Well, we've made rabbit enchiladas, rabbit paninis, and rabbit salad (like chicken salad)!

So, try something new and use rabbit instead of chicken. You won't be disappointed!

Rabbit Cacciatore

  • 1 whole rabbit, cut into pieces
  • 1 package sliced button mushrooms
  • 14oz. can diced Italian-seasoned tomatoes (drained)
  • 12 oz cooked pasta (rotini or fettuccini)
  • 3 T. flour
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped onion

Dust rabbit with flour enough to coat, season with salt and pepper.

In skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add rabbit and cook for approximately 3 minutes per side, remove rabbit and set aside.

Add onions, mushrooms, and garlic to the skillet reducing the heat to medium, cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add drained tomatoes, wine, and tomato paste, bring to a boil.

Add rabbit, and tuck into the sauce.

Cook mixture on medium-low heat partially covered for approximately 8 minutes, until the meat is tender.

Serve over cooked pasta of choice.

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Change It Up: Sharpening

So last time I challenged you to change it up, it was about skillets. This time I am going to challenge you about the practice of sharpening knives. Anybody who uses them knows how important a good edge on a blade is and how dangerous a dull one can be. So what is the latest and greatest way for sharpening? Well, there are actually two!

One, don’t. That’s right, don’t. Just replace the blade! Or at least that is the theory behind Havalon knives. Brendan, who is kind of one of my besties here at Bass Pro, showed me these slicing sweethearts. We carry two different knives. The Baracuta is the larger and the Piranta is its little brother.

They both come in blaze orange which is really nice for keeping an eye out for them. They are specifically for skinning and deboning. They both come with belt loop holsters and replacement blades as well.

To change the blades, instead of sharpening, just pull the back tab of the blade and it will slide right off. The Baracuta comes with a total of 6 blades and the Piranta comes with 13!

Now be careful as you change the blades as they are wicked sharp! How sharp? Well Brendan decided to demonstrate how sharp on the notes I was taking.

Not very nice. So to make up for it Brendan decided to show me a new fangled sharpening device. The Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener is great for anyone! Plug it in and you are good to go! It comes with three different belts. There is the coarse (P80), the medium (P220) and the fine (6000). The changing of the belts takes all of ten seconds.

The actual sharpening of the blade will be determined by how dull it is. In the effort of an olive branch, Brendan sharpened my beloved knife. Including the serrated part!

That’s right! These can sharpen a multitude of blade edges. That would include: scissors, hunting blades, gut hooks, kitchen knives, serrated blades, machetes, straight razors, axes and arrowheads. Brendan did say that it could handle claymores but also called me a doof for asking. The use of the angle guide, included, makes sharpening all of these different types of blades easy. It took roughly two minutes to get my knife factory fresh. How factory fresh?

That factory fresh! Straight through our "David & Brendan - Best Friends" sign. (Should have left my notes alone, Pop Tart!)

So there you have it. Two new ways to sharpen your knives. Either don’t and just pop in a new blade or use probably the best and most versatile electronic sharpener ever.  Coots in Cahoots! Get ya some!

 

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Saltwater Drop Shot Rig Fishing

The drop shot rig has roots in the eastern U.S., dating back to the mid-70's and was first seen in "Fishing Facts" magazine.  In the 1990's, Japanese anglers resurrected the method for use on their highly pressured waters.  The Japanese refined the technique and it soon returned to the States.  In 1997, the drop shot rig was relatively unknown except to a few Southern California fishermen who had ties to Japanese manufacturers and pros.  The system worked extremely well, and those that knew about it did their best to keep it a secret.  Then, in winter 1999, two major tournaments were won using the drop shot rig - the B.A.S.S. Invitational at Lake Oroville, and the WON Bass Classic on Lake Cachuma.  The proverbial cat was out of the bag - way out!

While largely viewed as a fresh water tactic for finessing finicky bass or fishing in highly pressured waters, the drop shot rig is readily adaptable for presenting soft baits such as Berkeley Gulp or DOA's in our bays for redfish and speckled trout.  The presentation is different from using a jig or a popping cork in that the bait can be rigged to be held just above the weeds.  This will put the bait in full view of the fish we want to catch.  In addition, the weight being below the bait allows for anglers to feel the soft bites more easily.  But this is more of a rig to use when we have a good idea of where the fish are, rather than when we are searching water using a lure.

The basic rig resembles a standard dropper used in the ocean and for freshwater catfish, with one difference - there is no line (dropper) between the hook and the main line.  Tie a standard Polomar knot - start by going through the "hook-point" side of the eye, and leaving at least two extra feet of line on the tag end.  The extra line will be used to attach the sinker.  Once the Polomar is tied, take the tag end and thread it back through the "hook-point" side of the eye, again.  This last step forces the hook shaft to lie against the line, which aids hook setting.  Another option is the VMC Spinshot wide gap hook, which has a swivel through the eye of the hook, allowing the bait to move without twisting the line. 

Once the hook is in place, attach the weight.  Drop shot leads have an eyelet on the top that pinches the line, allowing the lead to pull off if snagged.  Choose one that is heavy enough to stay in contact with the bottom, but not too heavy.  In most situations, use a 1/8 to 5/16 ounce, but a 3/8 to 1/2 ounce can be used in extremely deep water or during windy situations.  I use 1/4 ounce normally or 3/8 ounce when the wind is up a little.  Experiment with the weight, as this rig will cast well, and increasing the weight slightly will let you cast further.  The "drop" (distance from hook to weight) can range from six inches to four feet, or more, depending upon how high the grass is relative to the bottom.  Remember, we want our bait just over the top of the grass we are fishing.  Another thing to consider is bottom composition.  Use a cylinder weight over grass, and save the round sinker for a rocky bottom as the round is more likely to snag.

I am just starting to experiment with this rig.  My first trip using the drop shot rig resulted in five specks in about half an hour.  After casting, take the slack out of the line and hold the rod at a 10 o'clock position.  After raising the rod tip slowly 2 or 3 times, reel up the slack to get a tight line again.  Fish this rig slowly.  This rig has a lot of versatility and I cannot wait to try variations of the drop shot rig.  I can see a lot of different ways to use this and to target different species.

Jim Martino

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Let the Power Pros Winterize your Boat!

New Z9!It’s that time of year again, the days are getting shorter the nights are getting cooler and our Saturdays are filled with college football.  So it’s time to start thinking about getting the boat ready for its winter hibernation.  Every year there are people who say it’s not going to get cold enough to do any damage to my boat this year and a few lucky souls are right and then a few unlucky souls are wrong and this can be a costly mistake.  Winterizations start at 199.60 plus parts, so for a small investment you can have your boat winterized and  be assured that your boat will make it through winter without any problems and give you a summer full of fun and relaxation and not cost you thousands to repair come spring. 

 

At the Tracker Marine Boat Center @ Bass Pro shops in Prattville Alabama we can take care of winterizing your boat for you and eliminate any worries that you will have during those cold winter days and  nights. While you’re in, you may want to go ahead and have your engine fully serviced so come spring you are ready to go have fun.  Every time you bring your boat into our service department we do a FREE 34 point inspection of your boat, motor and trailer to spot any items that need immediate attention as well as those that will need attention in the near future.  Some of the items we check during the 34 point inspection are lights, gauges, batteries, all fluids, switches, tire condition, wheel bearings, pumps and registrations for boat and trailer. We want to make sure that you have a great time on the water with as little interruption as possible!

 

For all of your parts and service needs please contact us by phone @ 334-290-6372 for service or 334-290-6371 for parts, or you can go to our 24 hour showroom  and contact us there.

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Fall Fishing Festival!

fish

 

Come one, Come all to the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Fall Fishing Festival.....We will have seminars, crafts, and activities for the entire family!

When: Saturday, September 21, 2013 and Sunday, September 22, 2013 and Saturday, Septemeber 28, 2013 and Sunday, September 29, 2013 From Noon until 4:00 P.M.

Crafts: From 1:00-3:00 P.M. Kids will be able to color their own tackle box

Seminars:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

12:00 P.M: Beginning Fishing Workshop.  Kids are able to complete a fun informative workshop and will receive a cool pair of sunglasses and a "Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team Certificate"

1:00 P.M: Fish Hatcheries; From Hatcheries To Lakes

2:00 P.M: What you should know about fishing using electronics ***The first 50 customers will recieve a FREE fishing towel***

3:00 P.M: Best Baits; Baits that work for successful fall fishing

Sunday, September 22, 2013

12:00 P.M: Beginning Fishing Workshop. Kids are able to complete a fun informative workshop and will receive a cool pair of sunglasses and a "Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team Certificate"

1:00 P.M: Area Fishing; What you should know to make the best possible fishing trip

2:00 P.M: Expert Tips; Best Fall Fishing Practices ***The first 50 customers will recieve a FREE fishing towel***

3:00 P.M: Changing Water Condition; How It Affects Fishing

Saturday, September 28, 2013

12:00 P.M: Beginning Fishing Workshop. Kids are able to complete a fun informative workshop and will receive a cool pair of sunglasses and a "Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team Certificate"

1:00 P.M: Fish Hatcheries; From Hatcheries To Lakes

2:00 P.M: What you should know about fishing using electronics ***The first 50 customers will recieve a FREE fishing towel***

3:00 P.M: Best Baits; Baits that work for successful fall fishing

Sunday, September 29, 201312:00 P.M: Beginning Fishing Workshop. Kids are able to complete a fun informative workshop and will receive a cool pair of sunglasses and a "Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team Certificate"

1:00 P.M: Area Fishing; What you should know to make the best possible fishing trip

2:00 P.M: Expert Tips; Best Fall Fishing Practices ***The first 50 customers will recieve a FREE fishing towel***

3:00 P.M: Changing Water Condition; How It Affects Fishing

 

 

 

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Magpul PMAGS are in stock!

PMAG 30Now in stock at Bass Pro Shops is your magazines for your .223rem/5.56mm AR-15! These aren't just any regular magazines either, they PMAGs by Magpul. These magazines set the standard for reliability and durability. You will not find another magazine that is stronger than a Magpul PMAG.  Used by Military, Law Enforcement and civilians, PMAGs have been put to the test since their release in 2007 and have performed flawlessly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PMAG 20

There are different variations of the PMAG and here at Bass Pro Shop we have the following in stock:

PMAG 30 Gen M2

  • The PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M2 MOE is a 30-round 5.56x45 NATO (.223 Remington) AR15/M4 compatible magazine. No dust cover. $17.99

 

PMAG 30 Gen M3

  • The next-generation PMAG 30 GEN M3 is a 30-round 5.56x45 NATO (.223 Remington) polymer magazine for AR15/M4 compatible firearms.
  • Stainless Steel spring, dust cover. $19.99

 

PMAG 20 Gen M3

  • The next-generation PMAG 20 GEN M3 is a 20-round 5.56x45 NATO (.223 Remington) polymer magazine for AR15/M4 compatible firearms.
  • Stainless Steel spring, dust cover. $19.99

 

 

 

 

 

Not only are these magazine the best in the industry the most impressive thing about them is that they are MADE IN THE U.S.A!!  Magpul Industries is based out of Boulder, Colorado and their products are made in Colorado.

 

Come by hunting department in Bass Pro Shop and check out all of our Magpul accessories for your AR-15. Also be sure to check out Magpul's website for their full line. Their products and the quality of them are very impressive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"How Far That Little Candle Throws Its Beams.."

Okay, it may be a little early in the morning for Shakespeare, but it is never too early to fill your home with fragrant, flickering candles!  Next time you visit your local Bass Pro Shops, head on over to the Gifts Department and take a look at the wide variety of candles that are available.

candle1First up, take a look at the McCall's Country Canning Jar candles. These decorative candles hearken back to an earlier time, with their old-fashioned glass jars, rustic metal lids and wire handles.  This candle line features a variety of nostalgic fragrances such as Cabin Scent, Hot Buttered Rum, Fresh Apple, Butter Cream Frosting, Country Store, Grandma's Kitchen, S'mores and more. 

The Swan Creek Candle Company features candles made from 100% candle2American soy wax. Candles made from soy wax burn cleaner, burn longer and are made from a renewable resource. The Swan Creek candles are highly fragrant and come in a variety of containers, including vintage bowls and pots, enamelware canisters and mugs, and even cast iron skillets.  Some of the available fragrances include Pumpkin Vanilla, Gingerbread, Dutch Apple Pie, Roasted Espresso, Citrus & Sage, Mulberry & Mandarin, Hazelnut and Olive Verbena.

candle3A new product from Swan Creek is the Melting Wax line. These blocks of wax are triple-scented and will fill your home with fragrance as they gently melt. They have their own cast candle4iron wax melter, when paired with a tea light, will give any room in your home charming appeal. Available fragrances include Vanilla Pound Cake, Spiced Orange & Cinnamon, Banana Walnut Spice, Apples & Spice and more.  There are four new, licensed scents as well:  Hershey's Syrup, Hershey's Milk Chocolate, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and York Peppermint Patty.

candle5Other available options include Candles By The Hour and Whispering Wood candles. Candles By The Hour are made of 100% beeswax and candle6burn at a measured rate of one inch every minutes. Invented in the 1600s, they were called "courting candles" and were used to monitor the amount of time gentlemen callers spent with young girls.  The Whispering Wood candles have a natural wooden wick that crackles and pops as it burns, providing the sound of a real campfire.

Check out these and other home fragrance options next time you are in the store.  Bass Pro Shops - your home fragrance headquarters!

www.facebook.com/bpsmacon

 

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Late Summer Watersports Action- Starring YOU!!

My name is Eric Weber.  I am from the Tracker/Marine department at Bass Pro Shops.  I have at least 13 years experience on the lake. I am also good friends with Mike Warner, a fellow associate of the Tracker/Marine department.  We enjoy being on the lake for fishing and especially water sports.  I would like to share a short video clip of some enjoyable times on the lake this summer. 

I started riding wakeboards in 2001. I currently ride Ronix wakeboards but my first year riding I obtained a Hydroslide wakeboard and used it for a couple years.  I then moved to Hyperlite wakeboards after that.  Bass Pro Shops carries both of these brands of wakeboards perfect for beginners all the way to intermediate riders. Check out the selection at http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Navigation?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&searchTerm=wakeboards

The entire video was shot with Bass Pro Shop’s GoPro Hero 3 camera.  This camera is a relatively new camera on the market for action sports.  It is very unique due to its wide angle lens and 1080p HD video recording.  This lens captures you in the moment plus everything that goes on around you.  It is also very fun because it can be mounted virtually anywhere.  I decided to mount it on the wakeboard, the wakeboard rope, and a pole I used to extend the camera.  Come in to the Marine department to learn more about this camera, and check out our website to see the entire Go Pro Lineup: http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Navigation?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&searchTerm=GoPro

Lifejackets are a key piece of wakeboarding.  You need a Coast Guard Approved jacket that will float you in case of injury on a wakeboard.  I started out with recreational lifejackets and moved up to neoprene.  Neoprene jackets have a lot more comfort in the jacket which allows me to do more tricks.  Bass Pro Shops sells both styles available in the Marine department. http://www.basspro.com/Outdoor-Recreation-Water-Sports-Life-Vests/Type-Recreational-Ski-Vests/_/N-1z0usqaZ1z0x2q7

There are many different options for tow ropes in wakeboarding.  You can use the ski rope, wakeboard rope, or ultra spectra mainline rope.  The ski rope and wakeboard rope will work perfect for beginners.  If you are at all trying to do tricks, I recommend buying the ultra spectra mainline wakeboard rope.  This rope has no spring back in it, allowing the rider to have full control in the air.  Bass Pro Shops have these three ropes available in the Marine department for sale. http://www.basspro.com/Water-Sports-Accessories/_/S-12850004004

I put a short clip of tubing at the end to show you the awesome perspective the GoPro Hero3 camera records.  Bass Pro Shops sell all different kinds of tubes. There are tubes that have spots for the rider to sit in or lay in.  My favorite tubes are the flat tubes, which allow the rider to lay flat and jump the wake.

http://www.basspro.com/Towable-Tubes/_/S-12850004002

This is just a short video clip of my summer fun.  If you have any questions on the products or want to get tips on how to wakeboard come in and talk to Mike Warner or me.  We would love to share our knowledge with you!

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Bear Hunting Tips Part 2

In Bear Hunting Tips (Part 1), bowhunter Don Mealey shared some tips including the importance of practicing in realistic scenarios before the hunt. Mealey also talked about the importance of bait, especially when hunting in heavy undergrowth, such as the area of Canada in which he was hunting. It's harder to "spot and stalk" in those dense areas.

"Hunting over bait is not a given situation and you still have to make the shot," says Mealey.

You have to compete with Mother Nature's bait when bear hunting.  If there is a bountiful blueberry crop then you have some tough competition!

"The bears already know where the natural baits are...they can sit here and eat blueberries all day long and the berries are high in the nutrients they need this time of year. The better the blueberry crop, the harder the bait is," says Mealey.

In this video clip, Don shows you his bait and stand set-up and explains the importance of manipulating your bait site.

More very important advice - Know the rules and regulations for the state or country in which you are hunting. You don't want to have your trip ruined by lack of research,  planning or ignorance of the law.

To see more of Don's bear hunt, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXa_RGAhDuQ.

 

Like us @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @ pinterest.com/bpsaltoona

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