Hot Item Alert!

In the last year, you have probably seen a Browning Heart at least once, whether it be airbrushed on someone's t-shirt or hoodie or a sticker on a car window.  While before, they were hard to find, either having to find an airbrush shop to have the shirt done or article of clothing done, order an item online, or a graphics shop for a sticker now its as easy as heading to your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and heading into the gifts section.  Whether you would like a sticker for your vehicle or a tervis tumbler to take with you everywhere we have the perfect gift for you. 

A Tervis Tumbler is the perfect gift for anyone but especially her.  She can take her coffee, water with lemon, sweet tea, hot tea, ice cold Summertime Beverage, or whatever she her favorite drink may be anywhere she would like. Now we can make it even better with a Browning heart in Camo.  These cups have a manufactur's lifetime guarantee, are extremely durable, keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, are great for travel, super cute, microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe.  http://www.basspro.com/Tervis-Tumbler-Browning-Insulated-Wrap-with-Lid-Heart/product/1308161035/

tervis

Not looking for a cup but more for something she can display on her car so everyone can know just how much she loves her Browning, well check out our selection of Browning heart vehicle decals.  We offer hot pink, half pink camo and half Realtree Camo, and Zebra.

So swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and let one of our great gifts associates help you find the a heart just for her!

 

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Taking time with our Next Generation

We sent a message to our Hunting Pro Staffer, Shane Easterling earlier and asked him to tell us his views about introducing the Next Generation Youth to the outdoors.  He is an avid local hunter, and shares the same passion as we do when it comes to getting the young'uns outdoors.  His reply back has some very interesting tips and techniques for your next adventure with your beginner hunter - 

 

Training Young Guns


I have two boys who are 9 and 5.  Much of my time in the outdoors has been shared with them lately teaching them about hunting.  So far they both love it as much as I do.  With so many other things in this world that they have to choose from for entertainment, I hope that they always enjoy spending time outdoors.  I am sure that there are a lot of Dad's out there just like me who hope to pass on the tradition of hunting and fishing to the next generation.  I have seen some good examples and bad examples over the years.  I don't know everything and I am not claiming to be the perfect Dad, but below is some of the things that I have learned while teaching my boys.

  The first thing is keep it fun.  Make it all about them and don't force them into it.  My Uncle told me a while back when taking his son, he said, "I don't take my gun when he goes, when he is hunting it is all about him".  That was great advice and something I have done with Riley, my 9 year old.

When teaching them to shoot.  Make sure that you start out with a small caliber like a 22 or mini 17 and make sure that you don't get them a gun that is too big before they are ready.  That can ruin it for a long time for them.  One of the most important things is make sure that they ALWAYS wear hearing protection.  Many do not realize how sensitive younger kids hearing is.  Even small guns like 22's can hurt their ears.  One of the best things I did was bought Riley a pair of the Redhead electronic ear muffs.  They work great because I can talk to hear and he can hear me whisper but then when he shoots it totally cancels out the sound.  I think that is what has made him such a good shot.  He does not flinch when he pulls the trigger because he does not hear the boom.  He shoots a 243 which I think is a great caliber for kids deer hunting.  He has shot at 15 deer and we have recovered every single one.  Not many adults can say that, I know I can't.

   Usually those with younger kids like mine end up hunting in ground blinds or shooting houses because it helps conceal their movements and sound.  But be sure and teach them as much as you can about hunting.  Teach them about different tracks, why deer make scapes and rubs, where trails are, why we care about what direction the wind blows, where deer like to bed up, what their favorite foods are, what are all the different sounds, etc.... all the things that we take for granted that they don't know yet.

  Be patient......  This is my biggest problem, I must admit.  Remember they are young and learning.  They can't walk as fast as you, so slow down.  They can't step over limbs and logs like you because their legs are shorter so make sure and help them.  They don't know how to walk quiet yet so don't get to mad when they step on every stick and leaf.  Remember to just have fun and make it enjoyable for them.

  Last, be sure and keep them warm.  Don't take them if it is too cold.  If you go and they get cold, don't force them to stay and be miserable.  Be sure to visit your local Bass Pro Shops to buy them some good warm clothes, some good boots and some warm socks. 

  These are a few things I have learned and I hope it helps.  I know these last 3 years of hunting with Riley have been the most enjoyable and exciting years I have ever spent in the woods!

 

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Accomplishing Your New Year's Resolution

Hi, My name is Bill Teresco and I have been an associate in the White River Fly Shop of Bass Pro Shops Las Vegas for over 7 years. Before retiring and moving to Las Vegas from Long Island, New York, I was a math/computer education teacher and administrator for 37 years and had been fly fishing for over 35 years. I have fished many of the premier rivers of the East and have been fortunate to fish in Montana, Utah and many other Western States. Since starting at Bass Pro, I've initiated, along with Steve White, a FFF Cerified Fly Casting Instructor, weekly fly fishing seminars and continued the weekly fly tying classes. I hope you enjoy this blog and find information that can be helpful in learning and enjoying fly fishing.

Now let's see how Bass Pro Shops can help you achieve some of your New Year's Resolutions!

With the new year comes New Year’s Resolutions and we at Bass Pro Shops have the items that can help you keep those resolutions. Whether you are looking to “Learn something new,” “Manage stress, or “Lose weight and get fit,” you can accomplish that resolution by taking up the sport of fly fishing. With over 200 years of fly fishing experience, anyone of the associates in the White River Fly Shop can help you with any question that you have about this great sport. If you are new to the sport, then avail yourself to the FREE fly fishing seminars every Wednesday evening in front of the large fish tank on the main isle at 7 PM. If you already enjoy this sport, then expand that enjoyment by learning to tie your own flies. The White River Fly Shop offers fly tying lessons every Thursday evening in the Fly Shop starting at 6 PM. Either way we have what you need to keep this year’s resolutions and not let them fall be the wayside as in previous years. 

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PBR is coming!

One of our favorite events is coming back to the Independence Bass Pro Shops

The 2014 Professional Bull Riders will make their way into our store on Saturday, February 22 from 10am - 3pm.

We will have lots of fun and free activities for families to join!  The newest addition to the line up will be the "Outside the Barrel Show" featuring none other than Flint the Entertainer!  This show will be presented from 11am - 11:45am

If you are a member of the Fan Club, we will have an exclusive autograph signing from 11:30am - Noon with the PBR Riders.  Non-fan members will get to have their items signed from Noon - 1pm.

From 1 - 1:30, Clint Adkins - PBR Announcer and Experienced Angler will take to the tanks and provide us with a fun seminar! 

From 10am - 3pm, we will have a free mechanical bull.  We will ask that you sign a waiver before riding.

We will also have some fun kids activities including:

Bull Roping & Stick Bull Riding from 10am - 3pm

 

All activities will be held indoors and downstairs near our Fish Aquarium.  For more information regarding this event or other events held at the Independence Bass Pro Shops, please call 816-795-4307.

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Table Rock & Bull Shoals Fishing Report - February, 2014

       The suspended jerk bait bite is on! This bait will work for the next couple of months! Suspended black bass, positioned in the water column at a depth that offers both the comfortable temperature and oxygen level, will attack a dying shad, if it looks real, and it stays around long enough to attract attention. Present the shad imitation above the suspended bass, and employ a jerk and wait retrieve. The longer the wait, between jerk retrieves, the better, as this allow the fish to react and attack.

        The Alabama rig is working now! This is an exciting bait to fish, and many anglers have caught more than one fish on a single cast!!! Ask a fishing associate about this rig, how to fish it, and how to rig it. Take a rig home, and try it out on the lake.

       Spinner baits are working – early, late, and in the wind or rain. Try a 1/2oz. double willow blade spinner bait. Natural shad colors are working well.

       There is a jig bite now. Crawfish spend most of their time on the bottom. A crawfish imitation needs to move slowly, from behind one rock, to the next rock. It is hard to fish this bait too slowly. Right now, bass are at all levels, looking for the most comfortable mix of oxygen and temperature they can find. from 4-35ft. Look for them, especially off or next to, main lake and secondary points. Try a 1/4 to 5/8oz. round or football head jig, brown, peanut butter and jelly, or green pumpkin in color, and add a trailer, green pumpkin, watermelon candy, or cinnamon purple. Add scent to your jigs.

       Try fishing a drop shot rig, vertically. Ask a fishing associate how to rig for this drop shot bite, and ask what the current best bait is. This technique works well, on suspended fish! You can also fish this drop shot rig like a finesse Carolina rig, by casting it out and retrieving it the same way you would a Carolina rig.

       Cold weather increases the need for home heating, which increases power consumption. Dam generation creates power. Generation from the dams causes current off main lake points, attracting the shad. Therefore, do not pass up any main lake point that looks good to you, during this time of the year, since fish congregate on and around these points, looking for shad and crawfish.

       Black bass can be harder to find during the winter months. Keep looking, though, and you can find a group of hungry fish, waiting for you!!! They are out there!!!

Good Luck and Good Fishing!

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The Chapel of Love!

Are you and your sweetheart looking to tie the knot? Looking to do something none has done before? Maybe a budget efficient way? Maybe a way that is so different than everyone else? Maybe a fun way? Maybe even a true redneck way? Well here at Bass Pro Shops in Hampton, Virginia we have the PERFECT solution; Bass Pro Shops Chapel of Love. 

Love is in the air here at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World! This Valentine's Day, February 14, 2014, we are having our very own Chapel of love for the couples who are wishing to get married beginning a beautiful and happy life together or to continue their happy life together by renewing their vows. 

HEARTS

The Chapel of Love will be available at the Hampton, Virginia Location Only, 1972 Powerplant Parkway Hampton, Virginia 23666, FREE of charge, from 12:00 P.M. thru 6:00 P.M.  Time slots are available in 30 minute increments, with limited spaces available. In order to participate, all couples MUST register.  Registration is on a  first come, first serve basis.  Wedding parties are limited to 10 people including the Bride and Groom.  Couples ARE responsible for bringing their own officiate.  Plus, show off your camo pride; the best dressed camo Bride and Groom will receive a prize! For more details or to register for this event, please call our store at (757) 262-5200 and ask to speak to Alley Czap, our Promotions Director. We hope to see you all here! 

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Fishing: Crappie in the Spring and Summer

Crappie

Fishing for crappie in the spring and summer has the potential to be one of the most relaxing activities of the season. The crappie are relatively easy to catch and the meat off the fish is one of the best for those fish fries throughout the summer. The trick is finding where the crappie are located on any given day.

Once winter breaks and the water begins to warm crappie begin their annual movement to shallower water to spawn. The crappie will begin in the late winter and the early spring to suspend themselves in the mouth of creeks in the channel. As the water warms they will begin to move further and further back off of the creek channel, often times hanging around structures just off the main channel of the creeks. Once the water begins to reach 60 degrees crappie will move to shallow water to spawn. During this time creeks and large coves are good places to look. Crappie tend to spawn around shallow structures so finding a shallow stump or dock inside a cove is often a good bet for finding crappie. The spawn will last about 2 weeks or until the water reaches about 70 degrees. In the spring crappie are affected by cold fronts, and a strong cold front can push the crappie out of shallow water back towards the creek channel for a few days. During the spawn throwing a 1/32nd -1/16th jig is very effective during the spawn as is suspending a jig or minnow under a float. During the spring color of the jig is not as important as finding where the crappie are spawning, while at the same time finding the right color for the day is a good idea. During a very clear day using natural colors is a safe bet, while a day where the water is murky and full of silt using bright colors is the way to go.

Once the water gets hot and the spawn is over crappie move back out to the creek mouths and main lake areas of the waterways. Crappie will often hold to standing timber or brush piles, where they will remain throughout the summer. Crappie will hold around structures typically from 10-20 feet of water, depending on the lake. During this time of year the color selection used for bait will vary wildly depending on the day. The best way to find the color scheme that works on a certain day is to experiment throughout the year. A great general way to fish for crappie during the summer is to use a vertical presentation of a 1/32nd – 1/8th oz jig. This combined with the right colors and the knowledge of where the fish are concentrated is a recipe for some great fishing. Check out Bass Pro Shops HUGE selection for all your fishing needs: http://www.basspro.com/Fishing/_/T-12100000000 As always have fun and happy fishing!

Do you want more information on Crappie fishing? Bass Pro Shops will be holding their first ever Crappie Madness event on February 7-8 and 14-15!

Crappie Madness

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100 Years of Scouting on the Gulf Coast

BSA logoOn January 29, 1914, the first National Charter was granted to Boy Scouting here in what is now the Gulf Coast Council.  Scouting on the Gulf Coast started in a small office in the Pensacola YMCA.  The Council's first official service territory consisted of just the Pensacola area that at the time had a total population of 23,000.  The first Council President was Judge W. B. Sheppard.  The Council started with a $200 budget and 5 registered Troops.

While Scouting first started in the United States 104 years ago, Scouting on the Gulf Coast was not far behind.  Today, the Gulf Coast Council serves Scout Districts from Pensacola, southern Alabama, to Port Saint Joe, with hundreds and hundreds of Boy Scout Troops and Cub Scout Packs.

The Destin Bass Pro Shops congratulates the Gulf Coast Council for its 100 years of Scouting service and wishes continued excellence for many, many years to come.

Gary Feduccia

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The Stock Show and Rodeo is here! Do you have your outfit ready?

 

Are you excited about the rodeo as much as I am? Getting to see the beautiful Live Stock, eat some delicious food, and see an awesome show! Well of course you would need some new clothes to go with it! Shinny new boots, elegant/cute shirt, then a nice belt buckle to pull it all together. We are here to help you make that easy decision to finding that perfect outfit and get your excitement up!

Let’s start off with the one item that is most important. The boots of course!

Ariat® Heritage Roughstock 14'' Square Toe Western Boots for Men-

mens boots

 

These are one of Ariat’s most popular Western styles. This style in particular is new for us at Bass Pro Shops. There are long lasting, extremely stable base, and stylish for going around the town or working out in the ranch. With the ATS technology in the footbed supports and cushions your feet, promoting good posture and reducing fatigue so that you can work or play all day. Sturdy, long-lasting Duratread rubber compound outsole. Leather lining. Square toe. 2" Riding heel http://www.basspro.com/Ariat-Heritage-Roughstock-14-Square-Toe-Western-Boots-for-Men/product/1310230701257/?cmCat=CROSSSELL_PRODUCT

 

 

 

Ariat® Legend 13'' Western Boots for Ladies-

 

 

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Ladies! Tell me these aren’t gorgeous! The Ariat® Legend 13'' Western Boots for Ladies are a hard-working boot combines a durable full grain leather foot and a shaft with a sporty square toe. Double-stitched Goodyear leather welt construction delivers superior durability and stability, while the Advanced Torque Stability technology in the footbed supports and cushions your feet. Also is a great look for a good night out for example, the Rodeo!http://www.basspro.com/Ariat-Legend-13-Western-Boots-for-Ladies/product/13103107114119/?cmCat=CROSSSELL_PRODUCT

 

 

 

 

 

Now to the belt buckles! What about if i tell you we have both Men and Women's Browning Belt Buckles! To show the love of Browning outdoor sports, while matching with your hubby.

Browning® Buckmark Deer Belt Buckle

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What a great way to show the passion you have for the outdoor sport. This fits most belts adaptable for belt buckle. http://www.basspro.com/Browning-Buckmark-Deer-Belt-Buckle/product/10215007/

 

 

 

 

 

Browning® Scroll Belt Buckle

 

 

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The silver-plated buckle is accented with filigree design and the Browning Buckmark. This is a perfect way to show that you can be a girly girl that loves to get dressed up. But still is not afraid to get dirty and shot some game! http://www.basspro.com/Browning-Scroll-Belt-Buckle/product/10214125/

 

 

 

 

On to the tops now,what would be the Rodeo without your plaid shirts of course!

RedHead® Western Plaid Shirt for Men - Long Sleeve

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What else says cowboy other than a plaid shirt! The RedHead Western Plaid Shirt for Men is 100% cotton. An universal comfort no matter the weather (and you know how weather changes here!). Pearlized snaps accent the cuffs, placket, and 2 chest pockets; a Western yoke finishes things off in style. http://www.basspro.com/RedHead-Western-Plaid-Shirt-for-Men-Long-Sleeve/product/13092006162831/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Reflections® Plaid Roll-Up Sleeve Shirt for Ladies -

bfz

Long SleeveThis long sleeve button up is lightweight, breezy fabric combines with roll-up sleeves for comfortable, versatile style. Nothing but a nice plaid button up to be at the Rodeo with! http://www.basspro.com/Natural-Reflections-Plaid-RollUp-Sleeve-Shirt-for-Ladies-Long-Sleeve/product/13070206062044/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now last step is coming in and putting it all together. Our associates will be more than delighted to help you out on any questions you may have. You all will be some stylish cowboy and cowgirls out there! We hope this was some help to make shopping much easier on you.

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The Backyard Bird Buffet

Birds live on a variety of plant life - berries, buds, fruits and seeds. The more variety provided, the greater number of species you will attract. Food should be available all year long.


With winter upon us, food becomes more difficult for our feathered friends to find.


Suet is a great food to offer birds in the winter when they need greater numbers of calories to maintain their body heat and energy levels. While there are many commercial suet blocks available, making your own bird suet is easy and affordable. Not to mention a fun activity for a family to do together.


Many different versions of making suet can be found online or you can try the on supplied here.
Suet is raw beef fat from around the kidneys and loins. Suet is one of the best foods to attract nuthatches, woodpeckers, wrens, titmice, creepers, kinglets, chickadees, thrashers, cardinals and even bluebirds. The fat is available in any meat department or butcher store. You can ask your butcher to package suet for your project. Or you can trim excess beef cuts and store in the freezer until enough fat is saved.


Grind the beef fat with a meat grinder or finely chop the fat. The, heat the fat over a low to medium flame until it’s liquefied. Strain by pouring melted suet through a fine cheesecloth. Let cool to harden. Repeat steps 2-3. If the fat is not rendered twice, the suet will not cake properly. Let cool to harden and store in a covered container in the freezer.
While a simple bird suet recipe is useful, adding different ingredients to the mixture before it cools can make it more attractive to birds. Popular ingredients to ad include:

Chopped, unsalted nuts, Dried fruit bits, birdseed and honey. These are the easiest items to add to simple suet to make it even more tempting for your birds. Be creative and experiment with adding other ingredients to discover what your birds find appealing. Soon you will have a great gathering at your Backyard Bird Buffet.

You can utilize household items to pour suet in:

  • When suet cools, roll in balls
  • Small bread loaf pans lined with plastic wrap or foil for easy removal.
  • Margarine containers Any size baking/pie pans (when suet cools, cut into squares)
  • Pine Cones

When you purchase a suet cake, reuse the container that it came in


Try this Suet recipe or create your own.
1 Pound Suet cut in small pieces
1 cup each of Yellow Cornmeal, Rolled Oats, Chunky Peanut Butter and Mixed Wild Bird Seed.
Melt suet over low flame. Stir in all ingredients. Be careful, suet will be hot. Pour into molds and refrigerate or freeze.

Side Note:
Visit the Portage Bass Pro Shops Gift Department for a plethora of Birdhouses, Bird Feeders, Suet Cakes, Wild Bird Seed, Books and Many Unique Products for your Backyard Buddies or visit our website at http://www.basspro.com/

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More Fish $500 Gift Card Giveaway!

For the month of February, Bass Pro Shop will be accepting $2.00 donations for a chance to win a $500 gift card!  The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation was created  in 1984 to protect and restore fish and wildlife and their habitats.  NFWF provides grants on a competitive basis to protect imperiled species, promote healthy oceans and waterways, improve wildlife habitat, advance sustainable fisheries and conserve water for wildlife and people. Birds, freshwater fish, marine and coastal ecosystems, wildlife and habitat are focal areas.

NFWF’s Congressional mandate is to connect government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations and individuals to combine federal funds with private donations for effective, results-oriented conservation projects. Since its establishment in 1984 through 2011, NFWF has awarded over 11,600 grants leveraging $576 million in federal funds into more than $2 billion for conservation.

NFWF supports conservation efforts in all 50 states, U.S. territories and abroad. Grants are made through a competitive process and awarded to some of the nation’s largest environmental organizations, as well as some of the smallest. More Fish!

This is a excellent foundation and with the help of Bass Pro Shop you can win a $500 Gift Card!

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Bucks and Barn Cats - Lessons at Season's End

By Christie Moe, Apparel Associate
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

As someone who loves to write and tell stories, the hardest part for me has always been where to begin. Many experiences and influences in my life led to my decision to hunt this past fall. My family has always been an active, outdoor- loving family. I was six when I first went camping and canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota. I grew up doing a lot of camping, hiking, canoeing, and fishing. For me, that was just what you did in the summer. 

I never really got interested in hunting, even after my mom married my step-father, who is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. I started archery when I was a senior in high school, but never even considered going out hunting with my step-dad. At the time, my mom likely wouldn't have allowed it, since I’m her baby girl. She had a difficult enough time with it this season, even though I’m 23 years old and have been married for over a year. However, between my step-father’s excitement to finally have a hunting buddy (neither of my step-brothers have ever taken an interest), and my own determination to go, my mom reluctantly held back her objections.

I spent weeks preparing for the start of bow season. I practiced as often as I could, focusing on improving my ability to hold my bow drawn for an extended period and keep it steady, and spent countless hours completing the online hunter’s safety course. I bought and borrowed all the accessories I thought I would need (my being hired at Bass Pro Shops in late October was no coincidence!). My mom would say I enjoyed the shopping as much as the hunt and that wouldn't be untrue...I love to shop. I enjoy looking good, even if there’s no one but the squirrels and the birds to see me. My husband, a U.S. Navy sailor deployed in the Atlantic, emailed me more than once about what all I could possibly have spent so much on at Bass Pro. I easily won him over with the promise of deer jerky and by saving extra money the next month. 

View from a blindWhen I decided I wanted to go hunting, I daydreamed a lot about the deer I would get; my heart was set on getting a buck. After all, I needed a trophy to mount on my wall and a pair of antlers seemed like a perfect crown for my achievement. A nice little six-point buck didn't seem like it could be too hard to get, and I was hunting with my step-father who gets at least one deer every bow season. Well, deer season has come and gone, and I don’t even have ground venison to show for all my efforts (sorry hubby, no jerky). The most important lesson I learned about hunting is that you can’t shoot what you don’t see and, after passing up more than one shot early on in the season, I didn't see much at all. I had never realized that just being in the right place at the right time is such a huge part of hunting. You can do all the recon you want with your trail cameras and looking for scrapes and prints; it doesn't guarantee that the deer will be there when you are. 

One of the first things I learned was that I am not a quiet person. People who know me might scoff at that, since I’m more inclined to listen than to do most of the talking in a conversation. However, I fidget, stomp, squeak my chair, rustle around in my pack, sneeze, blow my nose, cough, and occasionally snore. These normally inconsequential and unnoticeable habits seem very loud when you are trying to be as quiet as possible and lie in wait for an animal with incredible hearing. I often wonder if the times that we didn't see any deer were because I wasn't quiet enough. Support Pole grazed by Arrow

On one of my first times out I had a beautiful eight-point buck come walking across my sights.  We were in my step-dad’s ground blind and conditions that day were fairly close to perfect. The sun was shining, it was cool, and the wind was blowing elsewhere, but not in the field's edge where we were crouched. The buck stopped about 25 yards away from us, quartering away from me. I drew my bow and took aim, barely able to keep from shaking with excitement. I kept him in my sights, as he took a few steps more, and gently pulled the trigger on my release. One of the difficulties I had with the release was my tendency to punch the trigger, but this time, my pull was smooth as silk.  Everything about the shot felt perfect and right...for about a half of a heartbeat. Then my broadhead grazed one of the support poles on the blind, and my arrow went flying off into the weeds to the left. As I gazed in shocked dismay, my beautiful buck, that should have been ready to keel over, pranced away after a doe. Three hours later, after nothing else came by, my step-dad and I began our search for my arrow. After about a half an hour, we gave up and I was back to Bass Pro to have new arrows cut. The lesson I learned that trip was to be more aware of my surroundings. I should have realized that the support pole was in my way, but I had tunnel vision and only saw the deer.

During another trip, my step-dad and I had nestled our ground blind in amid some tall grass and a deadfall. We knew the area well and spotted tracks that were fairly fresh; we felt confident we would see something that evening. We saw nothing, but I hung in there even though it was a mere fourteen degrees out. Finally, in the last minutes of shooting time, we heard something. I prepared to draw my bow. Suddenly, we heard a buck behind us. Somehow, the buck managed to sneak around us and came upon our blind from behind. We managed to startle each other and the buck took off. We had placed our blind strategically, so that the deer would take the path in front of us. Lesson learned: Deer don’t always stick to the path. Sometimes, they are unpredictable.

I did the majority of my hunting from my step-dad’s ground blind, but there were a couple of occasions when we went out and did some stalking. Later on in the season, we were hunting down by the river. Being goose season, as well as bow season for deer, the spot we picked was not ideal. As the goose hunters got closer to us, we realized that we wouldn't see anything. The noise from the shotguns had likely scared off all the deer off. So we decided to leave the blind and stalk. I got to know the woods pretty well at that time. Thus, when hunting on my own one day, I thought little of going off and seeing if I could find some deer somewhere other than where I was at. I did just fine for the most part, but then, on my way back, I somehow got turned around. I was lost. The big mistake I had made, though, was that I had left my pack at the blind, including my emergency kit, hunter’s license, and ID.  While nothing happened, and I managed to find my way back (slightly worse for wear and a little dehydrated), I did get a bit of a scare and learned a crucial lesson about not being stupid: never ever leave your emergency supplies.

My step-dad and I made a few hunting trips down to my uncle’s place near Indianola. My uncle has a decent amount of land to hunt on, and he and my cousin both managed to get large bucks early in the season. On our first trip down, I drank a decent amount of coffee, as traveling down there meant we had to get up an hour earlier than normal. Suffice it to say, the lesson I learned here was that a hunter never wants to drink too much coffee before going hunting, especially as it gets colder out.Hunting Cat

The cold is one of the things I do not like about hunting. I might get bored while waiting, but I don’t mind being bored. I hate the cold though. During bow season, I easily went through two large packs of hand warmers and three large packs of toe warmers, not to mention a ton of the large 18-hour body warmers. I like things that keep me warm. My uncle, like most people who live out in the country, has a few outdoor cats. On one particular trip, one of the kittens followed us down to the food plot. My step-dad positioned himself at one end of the field with me at the opposite end.  The little kitten was not inclined to leave us, and we weren't inclined to try and bring her all the way back up to the house, when she would likely just follow us back down again. To make a long story short, the kitten ended up in my coat. To keep her out of the way, I just quickly stuffed her inside and zipped it up. She ended up sitting right on top of my body warmers, and only poked her head out on occasion. She was more than content to stay in my coat and out of the way (for those wondering, no her incredibly loud purring didn't keep the deer away). I learned that sometimes sharing the experience with a friend makes the trip a lot more pleasant. Especially when you don’t get anything.

While I never did get a deer this season, I truly enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. I am continuing my outdoor adventures currently by hunting squirrel and rabbit with pellet gun. I haven’t got anything yet, but hopefully my next hunt will be more successful than my last. The thing I've enjoyed most about hunting is having some bonding time with my step-dad. The whole experience has made me appreciate the outdoors and his knowledge of it even more.  

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Spring Fishing Classic 2014 - BassMaster University

Spring Fishing Classic Bass Pro Shops AltoonaBassmaster University

Bassmaster University is back for the 2014 Spring Fishing Classic! This year we welcome three national pros who will share their tips, techniques and all-around expertise on electronics, walleyes, and jig fishing!

March 1, 2014

1 p.m. - Win Stevens - Missouri B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Angler - Using Your Humminbird Electronics

2. p.m. - Chase Parsons - Host "the Next Bite" TV show and Walleye Tournament Champion - Walleyes 2014

3 p.m. - Casey Scanlon - Bassmaster Elite Series Pro - Jig Fishing

Spring Fishing Classic Bassmaster University - Altoona, Iowa

Also happening during the Spring Fishing Classic:

Second Weekend - Local Pro Seminars - March 8 & 9

Third Weekend - Next Generation Weekend! - March 15 and 16 - Featuring the always popular indoor Catch and Release Pond for kids! 

New this year - March 15, 3 p.m. - Women's Fishing Workshop! Free giveaway for the first 50 women to attend. Must be 18 years or older. 

 

While you're here for the seminars, make sure you register to Win a NITRO Z-7 and Fish with Elite Angler Edwin Evers! The drawing includes: Includes:

  • Guided fishing trip on Table Rock Lake with B.A.S.S.® Elite Series Professional Angler Edwin Evers
  • 3-day/3-night stay at Big Cedar® Lodge
  • Up to $3,000 for travel and accommodations to Big Cedar
  • NITRO® Z-7, 150 hp Mercury® motor and trailer included ($29,000 Value)

Make sure to watch our blog for complete details on weekend activities and specials!

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Crappie Champions at Bass Pro Shops - Macon

williamsThe father-son crappie fishing team of Scott & Billy Williams won the Crappie Masters tournament again last week. The team was named the 2014 Florida State Champions on February 1.  This is the second year in a row they have won this tournament; they were also the 2013 Florida State Champions.

The Williams, were spider rigging with double minnow rigs in 21-foot waters, catching fish near the bottom at 20 feet. They will share their crappie fishing knowledge this weekend at Bass Pro Shops - Macon, during our "Crappie Madness!" event.

Their crappie fishing workshops take place on Friday, February 7 at 7 p.m.; then again on Saturday, February 8 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at our aquarium.  In addition to workshops from champion anglers, on Saturday we will also have kids catch 'n' release fishing, free photos, fried fish sampling and giveaways for our seminar participants.

Come on out this weekend and pick up some tips on crappie fishing!

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Pro Tips - Selecting the Right Hook

Kary Ray, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro TeamThe Spring Fishing Classic is just around the corner and it's time to turn our thoughts to warm weather and open water fishing. Our local pros will be on hand to conduct seminars during the Classic, but Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff Fisherman Kary Ray has some tips to share right now:

"This time of year is when you're cleaning out tackle boxes and evaluating, or re-evaluating, gear. Something as simple as the hook you use can change the number of fish that land in your boat!

Whether you’re flipping and pitching into heavy cover, throwing under docks or fishing sparse areas, there are certain hooks for certain situations. He says often people will put a lure on with a hook and, if they’re not catching anything, they’ll just change the lure and not think about the hook."  

As he explains in this video, the correct hook can make all the difference.

Remember, if you're fishing heavy cover, use the heavy hook. For a lighter cover, longer cast, use a light wire hook…and then watch for more fish in your boat!

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Cookies and Pickles!

It's "Attack of the Girl Scout Cookies!" Girl Scouts

Starting this weekend, and running through March 9, scout troops will be in the store selling Girl Scout Cookies!

Troops will be selling from about 10 a.m. to approximately 2-4 p.m., depending on the group. This weekend we host:

February 8 - Troop # 1033 from Bondurant

February 9 - Troop # 767

 

Also, this weekend:

Try Before You Buy! 

Our Gifts Department will be serving up tasty bites featuring our products!

February 8 - Fried dill pickles made with Uncle Buck’s Light and Krispy batter. We'll have Bob Timberlake Creamy Cucumber Dressing for dipping!

 

Coming Up:

The 2014 Spring Fishing Classic!  Three weekends of activities for all ages!  National pros, local pro seminars, and the always popular Next Generation Weekend, including a Beginning Fishing Workshop just for women!

Watch this blog for details on each specific weekend.

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Head Down to the Beach!

BaysideOkay, it is still snowing in portions of the country, but it is never too early to head to the beach and squish the sand between your toes (or at least dress like you are at the beach)!  Natural Reflections "Bayside Living" collection is perfect transition clothing from the heavy coats of winter to lighter spring fabrics and patterns.

The collection features a nautical theme, both obvious and understated. Prints include a Nautical Graphic Tee with an anchor boldly emblazoned on the front and stripes on both tee shirts and sweatshirts. A variety of plaids are available in a Plaid Roll Up Shirt. Being a transition collection, "Bayside Living" includes a Hoodie Sweater and a Drawstring Jacket, as well as Knit Waist Capris and Elastic Waist  Shorts.bayside2

There are plenty of accessories available as well, from a selection of colorful jute beach totes and military-style caps. There's even an assortment of marine-themed jewelry to give your outfit that finishing touch.

Head over to the Apparel Department at your local Bass Pro Shops to take a look at all the ladies apparel we have available.

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2014 Spring Fishing Classic at Cincinnati Bass Pro Shops

2014 Spring Fishing Classic

The 2014 Spring Fishing Classic is full of great FREE activities for the whole family, and it will kick off this year on Friday February 28th with our reel trade-in. Bring in a used reel and trade it in for a discount on a new reel from the 28th until March 5th. We will, in turn, donate these trade-ins to local organizations in need of fishing equipment. From March 7th to 11th we will have the same offer for your used rods.

We will also have a sweepstakes that will start on Friday that will give you the chance to win a 2104 Nitro Z7 and a chance to fish with Elite Series Angler Edwin Evers, and this sweepstakes will run from the 28th through March 16th.

We will also have our National Pro Staff members in on Friday night giving FREE seminars and meeting and greeting our customers. At 7pm, Mark Brumbaugh, National Walleye Tour Angler/9-Time Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) Champion will be here to talk about Lake Erie Walleye Fishing. At 8pm, we will welcome Dave Mercer, Host of “Facts of Fishing” TY Show, and Bassmaster Elite Series Emcee who will be giving you the “Facts of Fishing”

The weekend of March 7-9 will bring members of our Pro Staff and local professionals and experts to give a host of FREE workshops. The first 25 people to attend each seminar Saturday and Sunday will receive a Free Fishing Classic Mug (must be 18 or older). Here is the weekend schedule:

Friday March 7

7pm – Flipping and Pitching For Bass

Saturday March 8

11am – Locating Bass In New Waters

1pm – Topwater Techniques for Bass

2pm – Spinning Reel Tactics For Bass

3pm – Does the Color of Your Bass Lure Matter?

4pm – Become a Smallmouth Specialist

5pm – Choosing the Right Soft Plastics for Bass

Sunday March 9

11am – Locating Bass In New Waters

1pm – Topwater Techniques for Bass

2pm – Spinning Reel Tactics for Bass

3pm – Does the Color of Your Bass Lure Matter?

4pm – Become a Smallmouth Specialist

5pm – Choosing the Right Soft Plastics for Bass

The last weekend March 15/16 will be our Next Generation Weekend for the kids, with an added twist of a Women’s Fishing Workshop as well. Here are the Next Generation events we have on tap:

Noon to 5pm: Catch and Release Pond and Free Photo Opportunity – Both Saturday and Sunday

1pm to 4:30pm – Free Wood Fish Craft Magnet – Both Saturday and Sunday

2:30 & 4:30 pm – “Thinking Like a Fish” Kids Workshops – both Saturday and Sunday

3pm – Women’s Beginning Fishing Workshop – Saturday only 

The first 150 kids each day to participate in our activities will receive a free Bass Pro Shops Tackle Box. The first 50 women to attend our Women’s Workshop will receive a FREE Bass Pro Shops Mug

 

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2014 Iowa Fishing Licenses/Regulations

February is Beat the Heat Month. Easy to do in Iowa in February. So, instead of beating the heat, let's think warm thoughts of balmy spring/summer days in short sleeves, fishing away the afternoon...and how you need to get your license for Iowa fishing now!

According to the Iowa DNR, about 400,000 resident and non-residents anglers by fishing licenses to enjoy Iowa's waters. The money from those licenses can only be used for the management , protection, and enhJamie Renshaw Bass Pro Shops Altoonaancement of Iowa's fish and wildlife.

Don't forget, you can also get an Adventure Ready combo license! In 2013, over 39,000 outdoor combination hunting/fishing/habitat licenses were sold. 

*  The Bonus Line License – Residents and nonresidents can fish with one additional line (with the purchase of the annual fishing license, which allows two lines) for $12.

*  The Outdoor Combo License – an annual resident hunting/fishing/habitat combo license for $47.

*  Angler’s Special – a three-year fishing license for $53.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, in 2013, Iowans also purchased:

Fishing
241,332 annual fishing licenses
*16,470 three year fishing licenses
*6,399 bonus line third fishing line
6,469 lifetime fishing license
1,183 seven day fishing license
2,899 one day fishing license
37,493 trout stamps

 

A reminder that it's now the law to clean the outside of your boat and drain all water before leaving the water access, along with dumping all unwanted bait into the trash (NOT the water!). This will help in the prevention of aquatic invasive species that destroy our lakes and rivers.

You can stop in at Bass Pro Shops Altoona and purchase your licenses or buy them online. While you'e in the store you can pick up a copy of the 2014 regulations or find bookmark them here

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The 2014 Spring Fishing Classic is coming February 28! Watch for details!

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The 2014 Duck Calls to Listen For

As we come into the New Year and the end of another successful duck season. RNT has released 3 new duck calls available at Bass Pro Shops that are killer calls. These calls would be great additions to the Redhead lanyard for next season.

Duck CallThe RNT Daisy Cutter is your new price point call for 2014. It is similar to the old Daisy Cutter but has increased the back pressure of the call and slimmed down the mouth piece. This call is a single reed call and made with a natural wood.

The next call on the list is the RNT Microhen which is going to change your whole duck season. The long body on this call is going to be able to produce the loud pitched, squeaky sounds a young hen would make headed to feed. The call is a single reed call with a sturdy acrylic body. 

The famous call for this year is the RNT Mondo Duck. The name of this call describes it all as it will be calling in a mondo amount of ducks. The Mondo Duck is going to be that famous deep raspy mallard call that can swing them down. It’s going to have a short insert for low pressure and an acrylic body with a stainless steel band wrapped around the middle.

All of these duck calls are going to make a great addition to the collection. They sell for $79.99 and up. So even though the seasons over, it’s never too early to start getting ready for next season!

 

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