Outdoor Fireplaces & Firepits

Not ready to give up those nights in the great outdoors, even though there is a chill in the air?  You may want to consider purchasing an outdoor fire place or fire pit.  Warm and inviting, a fireplace or fire pit makes a backyard or patio a focal point. The smokey smell and crackling sounds are relaxing, and the warmth of the flames makes it possible to extend your outdoor entertaining well into the fall months.

Here at Bass Pro Shops, we carry a variety of outdoor  fireplaces and pits, including the Landmann Haywood Fireplace with Wildlife Cutouts. This fireplace is lightweight and easy to transport to any outdoor gathering.   



  • Wildlife cutouts
  • Sturdy                                                                                                                                                        h
  • Tall spark screen to keep embers contained
  • Large hinged door on spark screen for easy access to fire
  • Built in wood grate
  • Four sturdy legs for stability
  • Includes poker
  • $89.99


You can also find the Landmann Patio Lights Deer and Tracks Fire Pit. Featuring an sturdy cold-rolled steel construction and heat resistant paint finish, this durable outdoor fire pit will last for years to come.The full diameter one inch thick safety ring can be used as a footrest or convenient handle for easy transport. The full size enamel cooking grate transforms your fire pit into a portable grill. Weighing less than 35 pounds, the lightweight design makes it easy to take to the beach, lake, campsite or cabin. 



  • Large pivoting door 
  • Decorative cutouts that cast wildlife shadows while you enjoy the warmth of the fire
  • Spark screen with handle and poker included
  • Measures 29.5x23.5-inches
  • $139.99



How about a fireball that floats in mid-air? Check out this unique Ball of Fire Outdoor Fireplace. This fireplace offers a 360-degree view of the fire, providing plenty of warmth on decks, patios, or just in your backyard.



  • Large pivoting door with and extra large handle for easy access
  • All-steel construction
  • Measures 30.25 by 32.75 by 34.75 inches
  • $219.99

Come on by your local Leeds Bass Pro Shops or visit  us at   www.basspro.com and don't miss out on those great fall nights outdoors. 

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







Power Fishing in the Fall

Fall is upon us and its time to start changing techniques to catch those fish of a lifetime. Power fishing is a good way to do that. Some of you must be wondering what is power fishing? Well my fellow anglers power fishing is very simple, it is using a variety of baits that cover a lot of water in a short amount of time. A few of these baits I will be talking about are the spinnerbait and crankbait.

Now the Spinnerbait is a great lure to use anywhere there is bass. I feel like a spinnerbait is a necessity in the tackle box. Spinnerbaits come in a large variety of colors,weights and blade types. You can also retrieve these baits at many different speeds for different techniques to find bass. You can slow roll them over rocks, work them high or retrieve them steady for those suspending bass. When slow rolling over rock piles and running spinnerbaits through open water i recommend using a Colorado blade because these blades tend to make more noise and this helps attract the fish, But when working a spinnerbait through areas with more grass i would use a willow blades because they will run better. Some great colors to use during your more clear days would be blue/black,red/black and whites. For those more overcast days I recommend chartreuse. If you are looking for some suggestions on what brands to use I like the Bass Pro Shops Lazer Eye Pro Series and the Strike King KVD Spinnerbaits. These baits come in a large variety of colors and blade types.

Chrome Sexy Shad

  Crankbaits are another essential lure to have in your tackle box. Just like spinnerbaits, crankbaits also come in a variety of colors and sizes, but instead of different blades they come with different bills. The different kinds of cranks I will be talking about are lipless,square bill and round bill. Lipless crankbaits are great above grass beds. A great lipless crank to use is the Strike King Red Eye Shad. Square bill cranks are more for heavily rocky areas. Square bills do not dive very deep but bounce off of structure well. The square bill that I prefer is the Strike King KVD Rattling Square Bill. Round bill cranks, especially deep diving cranks, are great for fishing transition points. A general rule with round bill crankbaits is that the larger the bill the deeper the lure will dive. The round bill that I like to use is the Bomber Fat Free Shad. Some great colors to use at the moment would be your summer craw deep reds and oranges but in a few weeks I would switch it to any shad color.

Orange Belly Craw    Natural Red Craw       Foxy Shad


Good Luck and Good Fishing

Travis Gonsalves

Fishing Dept.

Store 49 Manteca








Local Fishing Report 9/22 to 9/28/2013

The River was at 3.9ft at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 3.5ft with 8,500CF of flow and 68 degrees. 

Trip #1 was a full day trip on Tuesday and we caught 40+ bass, 1 channel cat, and 1 walleye.  The largest bass was 20.25" and we caught them on top water, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics on jigs.  We had 3.4ft-7,100CF-rising-clear and 66 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.90 and falling.

Trip #2 was on Tuesday and we fished from 5:15PM to 7:15PM and we caught 3 smallmouth, 1 largemouth, and 40+ sunfish.  We caught them all on jig/worm combo.

Trip #3 was a full day trip on Wednesday and we caught 35 bass and the largest was 20.25".  We caught them on top water and soft plastics on jigs.  We had 3.5ft-steady-8,600CF-clear and 67 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.00 and steady.

Trip #4 was on Thursday and we fished from 5:30PM to 7:00PM and we caught 10 bass and 1 fallfish.  The largest bass was 16" and the fallfish was 20".  We had 3.5ft-steady-8,000CF-clear and 69 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.00 and steady.

Trip #5 was on Friday and was a 6 hour combo trip and we caught 35+ sunfish, 1 walleye, 4 channel cats, and 2 flatheads.  The largest channel cat was 22", the walleye was 16.5", and the flathead was 26.4lbs.  We caught them on Sudden Impact, jig/worm combo and live bait.  We had 3.5ft-8,500CF-steady-clear and 70 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.10 and rising.

Trip #6 was a half day trip on Saturday morning and we caught 14 bass.  We caught them on top water, crankbaits, soft jerkbaits, and swimbaits.  We had 3.5ft-8,500CF-steady-clear and 68 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.25 and steady.

Trip #7 was a full day trip for flatheads and we caught 12 and the largest was 28.2lbs.  We caught them all on live bait.  We had 3.5ft-8,500CF-steady-clear and 68 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.25 and steady.



This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Thank You to Our Heroes!

Local Heroes


It's Local Hero Month

We thank those who risk their lives to protect us! October is our Local Hero Discount month! Members of law enforcement, fire, and emergency response receive a 10% discount on regular priced merchandise purchased in the store. Some exclusions apply. Must show ID to receive discount!




Ducks Unlimited

It's Ducks Unlimited Month at Bass Pro Shops, as we celebrate our partners in conservation. DU is the leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation. According to their web site, DU actually started during the Dust Bowl when waterfowl numbers were depleted so drastically.

"Wetlands improve the overall health of our environment by recharging and purifying groundwater, moderating floods and reducing soil erosion. Wetlands are North America’s most productive ecosystems, providing critical habitat to more than 900 wildlife species and invaluable recreation opportunities for people to enjoy."

Iowa is included in DU's Living Lakes Initiative. This initiative works to preserve our waterfowl heritage and "establish stepping stones of perpetually protected and managed shallow lake complexes from southern Iowa through northern Minnesota to provide quality wetland food and habitat resources for waterfowl."

For more information on Iowa DU projects, visit www.ducks.org/related/iowa-projects.

You can donate $2 to Ducks Unlimited when you visit Bass Pro Shops Altoona this month. Your $2 donation will also enter you in a drawing for one of 10 $500 gift cards!  Donate at any cash register when you check out or at the Customer Service counter.

The Iowa State University Ducks Unlimited Chapter will be at the store Saturday, October 5, selling tickets for their 30th Annual Banquet! 


Jerky Madness - Try Before you Buy!

We're CRAZY about our Uncle Buck's Jerky! We will be handing out samples on Saturday, October 5.  Come give it a try!


Other Happenings

The Ankeny High School Trap Team will be here selling tickets to their annual banquet. Their trap shooting team is growing like crazy! Come show your support. 

Boy Scout Pack #85 will be at the store selling popcorn to help send scouts to camp next year.


Halloween EventCOMING UP

It's the Great Pumpkin Halloween Event - October 19-31...watch for details!


Extra Rewards! Awesome SAVINGS!

Are you a Bass Pro Outdoor Rewards Member? If you are make sure you come in to the Memphis Store October 6, 2013 between 6-9 for our Exclusive Members' Night! Earn Double the Rewards Points on whatever you buy that night! Also, purchase anything Columbia, Leupold, or Redfield and earn 6x the points. WOW That is A LOT of POINTS!  Here is another awesome deal, for the first 100 customers will receive our Outdoor Rewards Rifle Sleeve!!!

Wait!!!! Don't go ANYWHERE! We have one more AWESOME DEAL going on during this Amazing Rewards Night!

For all NEW and CURRENT Outdoor Rewards MasterCard will receive 10% off their purchase up to $1500!!!

So Come Join Us for a HUGE NIGHT of Earning A LOT of POINTS and 10% off your Purchase!Outdoor Rewards MasterCard


Product Spotlight - LEM Apple and Potato Peeler

LEM Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer

The orchards are bursting with apples! Apple trees are loaded with fruit around much of the country. Here in Iowa, Iowa orchards are reporting early bumper crops of apples and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging everyone to head out to do some picking at our local orchards.

At our house, we were thrilled to be given two 5-gallon buckets of apples.

Oh, the pies!

Oh, the applesauce!

Oh, the peeling!

With hands that just aren't made for peeling and coring that many apples any more, we invested in an LEM Apple and Potato Peeler from Bass Pro Shops.

This product is slick! Peels, cores, and slices into rings...take the apple off and cut down the middle and you're done!

It attaches to any surface, too!

Important note:  There is one thing to "assemble" on the peeler...attaching the wooden handle knob to the handle. However, the screw has reverse threads. Instead of turning the screw to the right, turn it to the left. 

My husband did the peeling and graciously let me record how easy it is...check it out in this quick video:


Find the LEM Apple and Potato Peeler at Bass Pro Shops Altoona or online at www.basspro.com!


More Duck Dynasty Merchandise Flies In

As the popularity of the hit television show "Duck Dynasty" continues to grow, so does the variety of licensed merchandise.  Two of the newest products include a new book and a unique beverage glass.

book"Si-Cology 1:  Tales and Wisdom From Duck Dynasty's Favorite Uncle" is the brand-new book from "Duck Dynasty" star Si Robertson. The book is filled with humorous anecdotes, one-liners, and personal stories. He even discusses his time in Vietnam and favorite hunting stories. The hardcover book is 240 pages and is filled with family photos and details about their lives off-camera.glass

Okay - get ready.....this next item is pure genius.  The Original DuckShot Glass comes with a built-in shot glass!  Capitalizing on the Mason-jars-as-drinking-glasses fad, this 16 ounce pint jar comes complete with handle and lid. Flip it over and you have a shot glass!  Why didn't we think of this sooner??

Finally, the Duck Commander Plug and Play Video Game will provide hours of entertainment for the entire family.  No video game console is needed....simply plug in and play on any television. You can become an honorary member of the Robertson family, as you shoot your way through multiple levels of waterfowl, beavers and frogs!

gameNext time you are at your local Bass Pro Shops, check out the wide variety of Duck Commander merchandise that's available.  You are sure to find something to to please any fan to please any fan of the "Duck Dynasty" show!



Catch More Fall Bass


To consistently catch bass no matter what the season you must have an understanding of what type of baitfish the bass are feeding on and what the water temperature does to that specific species behaviors. This changes as the weather changes and one important rule to remember is, if you find the bait you will find the bass. In the fall of the year the baitfish of choice for the majority of bass around the country is the abundant populations of shad. The reason for that is simple, every fall the majority of the shad make there annual movement into shallow water creeks and pockets. The bass will be close behind and will really key in on this opportunity to corner the bait in shallow water situations. When looking for shad I like to check the backs of major creeks as well as pockets, I like to idle into the area and visibly look for balls of shad disturbing the waters surface which in calm conditions are easy to see. Now if the wind is blowing and the water is choppy then this visual searching is not possible, and in that case a good Lawrance HDS 8 Graph can allow you to find the bait no matter what the conditions.

Once you've found the shad there are a few baits that you need to have in your boat when targeting fall shad eating bass. The first and probably one of the best fish catching baits ever invented is the spinnerbait. The type of spinnerbait I like to use varies from season to season. In the fall when I'm trying to imitate the shad I like to use a small to medium size bait in some sort of natural white or shad looking color. Which blades you choose is also very important, and to imitate the shad I always use silver blades. Which size blades depend on what size of shad I see while fishing. I always like to pay attention to the size of the bait I see while fishing. If the majority of the shad are small then I use small blades, if I see large shad then I will use large blades. If you notice that the shad are small then a 1/8oz Stanley Wedge Plus in a firecracker or white color is a great choice. If the shad are big then use a larger 3/8 or 1/2 ounce bait. One very important thing to always remember when deciding to use a spinnerbait is whether or not the wind is blowing. When the wind is blowing a spinnerbait is hard to beat. Look for pockets with shad and fish the windiest corners of the pocket and have a blast catching some very aggressive bass.

Another rig that possibly is even more effective then the spinnerbait is the Umbrella Rig. The original model of this style of rig is called the Alabama Rig made by Manns bait company. The rig hit the market two years ago and has quickly become one of the very most effective fish catchers on the market today. This past year the Yumbrella Rig as well as my favorite the Bass Pro Shops Deadly 5 Flashy Times. I like to fish my rig with 5 of the Bass Pro Shops Boss Shads. These swimbaits come pre rigged with the jighead and hook built into the plastic, and are a very effective affordable way to set up your rig. All you have to do is figure out which depth the bass are feeding at and reel you rig through the school. These rigs draw explosive strikes with the bass crashing through the ball of shad. Don't be surprised to catch multiple fish on a single cast when using the deadly 5. I have personally caught three spotted bass on one cast as well as catching a 15lb striper a 1 1/2lb spot, and a 1 1/2lb largemouth all on one cast. I promise you this is a fun way to fish.

Some other great shad imitators are crankbaits, jerkbaits, topwater baits, and these all will catch fish in the fall of the year. The size and style of bait I use again relates to the size of the baitfish. One of my favorite fall crankbaits is the Spro Little John MD. This is a small bait that will still dive to depths around 8 feet which is perfect for catching bass that are targeting shad in shallow water. I generally will go with a Spro McStick, and for my topwater I like a Spro Dawg that with a twitch of the wrist will effortlessly walk across the surface of the water. All the baits I have talked about are reaction baits. They are designed to be moved fast and induce a quick reaction strike which is very effective on aggressive bass. Always remember that these reaction baits don't always work and you need to keep and open mind and understand when to switch it up to a slower moving technique. My hope is that this information will put more fish in your boat. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania


DU Donation Month

October is Ducks Unlimited Donation Month! Be sure to stop by Olathe Bass Pro today and donate $2 and be entered for a chance to win one of 10 $500 Bass Pro Gift Cards!

DU is a conservation partner with BPS. It is one of five such non-profit conservation organizations that BPS supports with a variety of initiatives. During this in-store conservation month, we highlight the organization and allow them access to our customers for both memberships into their organization as well as donations at the registers. We are promoting  Ducks Unlimited and positive influence in environmental and habitat restoration programs throughout the United States and Canada.

Ducks Unlimited is the world's leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation. DU got its start in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows. Determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined together to form an organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited. Their mission: Habitat Conservation.






A Month for a Cause!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, making it a whole month to wear pink everyday and show your support, and here at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World we have a couple great products that give back and help the fight against Breast Cancer and allow you to work pink into your everyday life. 


For starters lets get some A-W-E-S-O-M-E socks from Under Armour Heat Gear Power Pink Socks II, which is one of many Under Armour products that helps Under Armour donate a minimium of $500,000 to various Breast Cancer Charities.  These socks are probably my favorite socks.  They have a contoured "Y" for a perfect heel fit, armourblock technology which blocks odors for that early morning workout, heatgear moisture transport system to keep feet cool and dry, and embedded arch support to prevent foot fatigue. They are offered in pink and black or pink and white. http://www.basspro.com/Under-Armour-HeatGear-Power-In-Pink-II-Socks-2Pair-Pack/product/13030307014845/  


                      Next its time to grab your Sabre Red Pepper Spray, http://www.basspro.com/Sabre-Red-NBCF-PINK-Quick-Release-Key-Ring-Pepper-Spray/product/104884/, for each unit sold Sabre will make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.  So lets fight crime and help fight like a girl.  Sabre Pepper Spray is  a maximun strength defense spray, combining CS tear gas, pepper spray, and UV dying ink.  This unit shoots a powerful string 8 to 10 feet and is a quick release design, so all you have to do is aim, flip the tab, press the tab down, and spray the individual making you feel threatened.  Its designed as a detachable keychain, making it convenient for anyone. 

pepper spray

Finally , show off your pink with a Power in Pink 3/4 sleeve Under Armour Shirt, http://www.basspro.com/Under-Armour-Power-in-Pink-UA-Touch-TShirt-for-Ladies-3/4-Sleeve/product/12121506055733/.  This shirt is super comfy and semi-fitted making for a great workout shirt or errand running shirt and you will still look cute. Like most Under Armour it is a moisture wicking, lightweight, and stay fresh fabric. 


So swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and let one of our GREAT team of associates help you get your pink on and give back to an AMAZING cause, lets FIGHT LIKE A GIRL together and find a cure!!!!! 


Sighting in Your Rifle

When it comes to sighting in a rifle many people have a misconception that every rifle is the same and every scope functions exactly like every other scope. This is simply not true. There is a great difference between two different rifles, even if they are in a similar production model by the same company. Take the Remington 700 Series. A Remington 700 will act differently, when firing a 30 caliber 173 grain round at 100 yards, than its counterpart the Remington 770. Both are bolt action rifles produced by Remington but both will fire very differently.

The first trick to sighting in your rifle is finding the right rings and mounts for your rifle and scope. This can sometimes be tricky because each rifle might have a specific set of mounts that are sometimes non-compatible with other rifles. So first thing you need to do is look at the mount packaging, usually written on the packaging is either the rifle model numbers that this mount fits or a code that can be checked against a the companies database online. So now that you have found the right mounts finding the rings for your scope is essential. You don’t want your rings to be too tight or you risk warping the scope while you also don’t want the rings to loose or you will never get the scope sighted in correctly. Again scopes and rings come with information on the specifics of the scope. These specifics concern the diameter of the scope and where the rings should be mounted so matching up the rings to the scope is fairly easy. After the scope and rings are matched the scope must be mounted. This is essential to how the scope functions and needs to be precise. While tightening the screws on the mount and the scope, be sure not to over tighten the screws or strip the screws. The mounts and scope rings should be tight but no tighter than 25 pounds of torque.

Now that you have the rings and mounts all attached and your scope mounted the sighting in can begin. The most essential thing in sighting in your rifle while on the range is to bore sight the rifle. If you own many rifles that need to be sighted in regularly buying a bore sighting kit might be a good option. One of the best kits for bore sighting is the Pursuit Boresighting Kit. These bore sights are placed in the end of the rifle and pushed snugly into the barrel then the bore sight is turned on. Once the bore sight is on, you must look through the scope and line up the dot from the bore sight with the crosshairs on the rifle. Doing this at 25 yards is usually the easiest. Now that you have the rifle bore sighted you can take your first shot with the scope, after removing the bore sight. After each shot find how far off the hit on the paper was from the point which you were aiming and slowly move the cross hairs to the point you were shooting at with the directional movement tabs on the scope. After the rifle is sighted in at 25 yards take the rifle to the distance you wish to hunt or competition shoot. Then repeat all steps after the bore sighting.

Now that your rifle is sighted in you can hunt and shoot at a greater distance with ease. The great thing about sighting in your rifle is that there are infinite amounts of ways in which a person can customize their set up on their rifle. There are also so many companies to choose from when it comes to sighting in supplies from Pursuit, Red Head, Burris and Black Hawk to the most technically advanced of Armasight Night Vision. This ability to choose makes sighting in your rifle one of the most fun experiences you can have on a day at the range. Follow this link to see what shooting accessories Bass Pro Shops offer!http://www.basspro.com/Shooting/_/T-12400000000  Happy Hunting.Sighting in Rifle


NEW North Face Collection here at Bass Pro Shops for the Ladies!

NEW North Face Collection here at Bass Pro Shops!!

The Morningside Full Zip Jacket will make a great gift for any lady this season. Whether you're standing on the sidelines cheering on the game or taking a brisk walk down a city avenue, the Morningside Full-Zip Jacket for ladies from The North Face is the answer for cold weather conditions. Luxurious with the added appeal of cozy warmth, this jacket was designed with fashion in mind yet provides lush protection from the elements. Ergonomic seaming provides a streamlined fit, while zip pockets secure your necessities such as your phone, so you have them right at hand. The North Face jackets are always popular and the ladies always LOVE them! Stop in today to check out this fabulous collection.


  • 100% polyester plush fleece with silken fleece backer
  • Full frontal zip
  • Zippered hand pockets
  • Tone-on-tone embroidered logo
  • Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50
  • Sizes are XS-XL


  • High Rise Grey
  • TNF Black/TNF Black


North Face has two new colors to their Oso Hooded Jacket in the Ladies collection. The new colors this year are Coy Pink/Greystone Blue and Brilliant Blue/Prussian Blue. They are comfortable, durable, and very soft to the touch. They are 100% Polyester silken fleece body with poly taffeta shoulder patches. They are located in our ladies apparel department. Stop in today before they are all gone! These are always popular!!


  • Full-zip jacket
  • Attached, elastic-bound hood
  • Hem cinch cord
  • Elastic-bound cuffs
  • Two hand pockets
  • Machine Washable





Yes, I Hunt Like a Girl!

By: Katie Cook

Hello everyone! My name is Katie and I work the hunting department at Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee. One of the first questions I am asked when a customer approaches the gun counter is “Do you shoot?” or “Do you hunt?” My answer to them is “Yes! I don’t just work at a gun counter because it’s fun” and then I tell people that I have been shooting for 20 years.

I started hunting around the age of 12. I took hunters safety and was ready to go! I hunted a few years before things got busy with high school and my part time job. When I was hired at Bass Pro Shops in 2005, I started as a cashier. I had originally applied for the hunting department but I was too young to work with handguns. The week of my 21st birthday I filled out my paperwork to transfer to hunting. A week later I was training in the department. Working around hunting and firearms really got me into buck fever! I was working two jobs and going to school so a hunting trip was out of the question. In 2011 I couldn’t stand it anymore and I took the time off for the Wisconsin gun season. I took hunter’s safety again and was glad I did because there were a lot of things I had forgotten about. Under the care of my uncles and my grandpa, they set me up in my dad’s treestand. First light on opening day it sounded like the 4th of July all around me in the woods. I couldn’t have been happier. I didn’t see a single deer all day. My uncles joked that I feel asleep in my stand because I was too excited for hunting that I didn’t sleep the night before. I saw a few deer over the next few days but none that were in safe shooting distance. Sad but determined to shoot my first deer I started to plan for 2012 deer season. Sitting in my same treestand as the year before, I hear shots at first light. Saw a few but nothing with a clear shot. It was really warm for November in Wisconsin last year and it seemed like the deer were more active. About 10:15 I saw 2 deer grazing on the property line. One was farther off and wasn’t on our property. The closer one was bigger and I watched her for about 10 or 15 min before I had a clean shot. My whole body started to shake and my heart was racing. I slowly squeezed the trigger and I just instantly calmed. She was down in one shot! My grandpa comes over the radio asking who shot. I said “I got her!” and my uncles and grandpa told me good job. My dad said he was on his way to my stand and to just stay there until he got there. On closer examination, I didn’t shoot a large doe, I shot a button buck. I got a lot of grief from my uncles about not letting him get a big rack before I shot him. My grandpa said it was alright because they had all done that once or twice or five times in their lives. Needless to say I have had buck fever even worse now than before.

Me with my trophy (I’m trying to tell my dad how to use an iPhone.)





Scholastic Shooting Sports Programs in Iowa

Youth shooting sports programs and teams are becoming more popular in Iowa. This past June over 1,000 students took part in the High School State Championships in Cedar Falls.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Shooting Sports Program  encompasses Archery in the Schools and the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP). The SCTP allows youth from grade school up to high school to learn team-based clay target shooting in an organized manner. Of course, they also learn lifelong skills, such as firearm safety, leadership and focus. There were 89 high school and other program teams registered in 2013 and they're projecting 105 teams in 2014, with an estimated 2,640 participants expected.
Uriah Hansen has seen the increase in growth, too. Hansen is on the board of the North Polk Pheasants Forever Chapter, which works closely to support the Ankeny, Iowa, trap team. He says the Ankeny team is bursting at the seams with kids wanting to be a part of the team.
"I think we are seeing a huge growth in programs like this as people begin to get more curious about the shooting sports...as time goes on and more people begin to get involved, I think we are going to see this continued growth in scholastic teams and interest in them."
Iowa Scholastic Clay Target Program, Inc. is a non-profit organization that assists in providing financial support to the teams and their coaches. Hansen says that is also their Pheasant Forever Chapter's main support for the Ankeny team, which is where they feel it will benefit them the most. 
"Our main support is monetary support for the club and the kids. As you know, shooting is not a cheap sport, and it gets more expensive the better you get. It may cost a shooter $25 a week in just shells to get five rounds of trap in, plus an equal cost for clay targets. That doesn't take into account the cost of a gun, often times which may come close to $1,000 or more to shoot, the vests, and other safety protection required just to step on the range. You take those kind of numbers and spread them across 100+ kids and you're talking $2500 in just shells, if they practice one night a week."

SWCC Shooting Spartans

Shooting sports teams are popping up on the collegiate level, too. Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa, is new to the shooting sports program arena, and they actually have a school-supported team. The SWCC Spartans came in strong in their first competition on September 21, landing fourth in a field of nine teams, which included the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.  They  have 25 team members, including three female and travel with 15 members to away shoots. Head Coach Charlie Mundy says the idea of having a team picked up a little steam about a year ago.
"The college was looking for a niche to help keep our current students engaged or attract new students. We had done a little research and realized that there were not many places for a shooting athlete to continue after 4-H and high school. SWCC recognizes our shooting athletes the same as our other sport athletes, whether baseball, basketball, track, etc. Most of the college and university teams around here are considered club sports, which basically means that the athletes are funding their own way. SWCC is supporting our shooting team in the same manner as any other sport here at SWCC."
There are typically challenges in organizing any new student group. However, Mundy says the shooting sports team offers a unique set of challenges, including public perception.
"The political environment is one of the toughest things that we deal with. Most people try to say that we carry weapons. We consider our guns SWCCto be a piece of athletic equipment that is no different than a basketball or a baseball bat...we consider our athletes to be exactly that, athletes. A shooter has to be in good shape and extremely mentally able to focus. Shooting sports are very mental. We also had to find a gun club that was willing to partner with us. We are very lucky to have the High Lakes Outdoor Alliance in Afton (Iowa) as our partners. We have to have a place to store our ammo, guns, etc., and they have been very accommodating. None of these items are allowed on campus. They help to facilitate our practices and home shoots."
Mundy is positive about the future of shooting sports at the collegiate level, much like the high school level. 
"Iowa high school shooting sports have seen their numbers grow by the hundreds in the past couple of years and even since the beginning of our team I have heard some rumblings of other colleges following us in the pursuit of a shooting team."
For more information:
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Brew Your Own!

There are few things as refreshing as a frosty cold mug of root beer. Alas, the soda fountains of yesterday are long gone and the supermarket variety just isn't the same. What options do you have? Well, head over to your local Bass Pro Shops and we will show you!

root beerHead to the Camping Department and check out the Mr. Root Beer home brewing kits. Each kit comes with everything you need to make two gallons of smooth and creamy root beer in as little as three days.  Kits include FDA-approved, reusable bottles, labels, caps, yeast, root beer mix, flavor crystals and cleanser. The Root Beer Fun Guide is also included.  This booklet contains the directions for mixing up your foamy goodness, as well as providing the history of root beer and explanations for the science involved in the process. This kit is great fun for the entire family. beer

If you prefer a foamy libation of a more adult nature, then the Mr. Beer kit is for you! Like the root beer kit, the Mr. Beer kit contains everything you need to brew up two gallons of beer (in 14 days). The kit comes with the fermenter, hopped malt extract, reusable bottles, caps, labels and directions. The Gold Edition kits come with the brew packs and booster packs for Aztec Mexican Cerveza and Czech Pilsner beers as well. The beer lover or first-time brewer will enjoy this kit.

The next time you are in the mood for something cool and frosty, go to the fridge and grab a bottle of your own custom-brewed beer or root beer.  Additional refills, recipes and flavor packets are available to help you come up with your own signature drink. 




Columbia Omni-Tech Apparel - the Cold and Wet Don't Stand a Chance!!

Columbia Brand apparel Omni-Tech is a multi-layer weather protection system that keeps outside elements from getting in such as rain, sleet and snow.  This multi-layer protection system lets the body's perspiration escape while keeping out the elements.  Columbia's Omni-tech is made from 100% microporous nylone and is completely seam sealed.  This guarantees that the elements will not penetrate the jacket making it 100% waterproof!  Not only does this technology make jackets waterproof, it also is breathable.  The microporous nylone lets the jacket breath during heavy activity.


Columbia productsd that have the Omni-tech technology are great for hiking, running, fishing and camping in cold climates.  The Omni-tech can also be paired with Omni-heat Reflective.  This technology is focused on reflecting the body heat back to your body to keep it warm in colder temperatures.  Jackets that include these technologies are your best bet for whatever temperatures occur in all your adventures!


Bass Pro Shops offers a variety of jackets and pants that have Columbia's Omni-tech built in.  Come check them out and see all of our other Columbia apparel while you're here!





Boat Covers - Protect Your Investment

October is almost here.  Time to think about winterizing and protecting that boat from the Upstate winters.  At Bass Pro Shops we have a variety of boat covers to pick from.  You want to feel comfortable during those cold blustery frigid days ahead.


The Bass Pro Shop Weather Safe Storage Tite boat cover is mildew resistant with a urethane coating to protect against UV damage.  Take a look on line to see all the positive reviews.

weather safe






The Bass Pro Shops Exact Fit boat cover is lightweight and reinforced at critical points.  The fabric is 100% sharkskin plus polyester.  With a 7 year manufacturers warranty with 3 year FREE replacement you cannot go wrong.  This exact fit cover fits the following boats:  Nitro NX750-Nitro 640LX-Nitro 288 Sport-Tracker TX- Nitro 185 Sport-Tracker/Super Guide-Tahoe 228 - Nityro 188 Sport - Tahoe 204 - Tracker Panfish - Nitro NX 929 - Tahoe 254 - Nitro NX 896 - Tracker-Crappie

exact fit





Bass Pro Shops has a Semi Custom Boat Cover that will cover the Tracker Targa V18 - Panfish - 175TF - and the Pro Guide V16 Walk Thru.  This cover has OEM marine grade fabric, reinforced stress points, easy to use trailer strap system, and urethane coatings to provide water repellency with minimal weight.







Looking to cover your pontoon boat?  Take a look at the Classic Accessories Storm Pro Extra Heavy Duty Pontoon Boat.  This cover has a universal fit, and resists mildew.  Made durable this is one cover you should take a look at.















You can also take a look at the Stearns Hurricane Polyester Canvas Boat CoverThis cover will not shrink or stretch.  Universal fit for all season with a 4 year manufacturer's warranty.







So stop on by to Bass Pro Shops and take a look.  I think you will find something to fit your need.



Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator











Fishing and Fitness

I feel the level of fitness required for the sport of fishing depends on the type of fishing you will be doing. It is obvious that if you plan to sit on a bucket and cast out a bobber with a worm on the end of your line, the level of fitness needed will be very minimal. The challenging part of the trip will be lugging your equipment from the car to the bank of the lake or stream. Even if you break a sweat on the way to your secret spot on the lake, a cold one can be pulled out of the bucket to bring your comfort level back to normal. By all means, there is nothing wrong with this style of fishing. If nothing else it will get you out of the house for the day. I don't know of a more effective way to catch a catfish than to sink a bait to the bottom of your favorite fishing hole, and wait for a bite (Catfish Basics). This is one of my favorite ways to unwind after a tough day working at Bass Pro Shops. I wade out and cast a treble hook full of Sudden Impact into the river. It's never long until a nice sized channel catfish finds the end of my line, and all the frustrations from the day have vanished.

On the other hand, it can be a lot of work to catch a fish. Let me start with trout fishing. It is common for me to travel one or two miles of water during my quest to land a trout. Include walking while wearing a pair of White River waders (Buying Fly-Fishing Waders), and you will have earned yourself quite a workout. Don't forget, as you work your way upstream, it will be the same distance back to where you have parked your vehicle. Often I will hike a the beginning of my trip when I am feeling fresh. Since most of my trout angling is done in the evening hours, a difficult stroll in the dark is avoided by fishing my way back to the truck. If this is your method of fishing I recommend that you at least maintain an active lifestyle. There is no need to train to the point of finishing the Boston Marathon, but you should be able to hoof it a few miles at a comfortable pace. There is however one thing you should keep in mind. At an increased level of fitness, more enjoyment will be received from this type of fishing.

Donegal Creek

Donegal Creek always provides me with a beautiful, but challenging hike.

In my observations, wading for bass requires a bit more fitness for several reasons. You expend more energy during the fishing process. Burn a spinnerbait for a couple hours and you add a new element to your angling experience. When targeting trout, unless I am out with my sons, you will find me fly fishing. Although it looks tiring, it's really very easy if you allow the rod to do most of the work for you. Conventional trout fishing gear is small and light weight requiring little effort in casting and retrieving a lure. Throw some musky lures and you will earn a new respect for large tackle. Second, as you navigate a large river, the water is deeper and the current is much faster than your typical trout stream. More strength is needed to keep your footing. Our Susquehanna River is a mile at its widest point. It is easy to lose track of how far you have traveled and the time it took you to get there. Your trek back to shore can be a workout in itself. If night has arrived, it could also be very dangerous. One advantage is that there is no need for wearing those awkward waders. It is a great way to cool off during the hot summer months. Lastly, there is a need to cover more water when trying to locate fish resulting in the use of more energy. It is a huge factor while fly fishing for bass. Long casts with heavy streamers equals lots of work. Consider the stripping motion needed to retrieve your fly and you can count on a good nights sleep and sore muscles in the morning.

Conestoga River smallmouth from a kayak.Fishing a lake or river from a boat does not require the effort that it takes to wade. In this case endurance is the key to being successfull. Consecutive casts have to be maintained over a long period of time. While participating in a tournament you also have to keep up a high level of intensity and concentration that can become mentally exhausting. It is common to fish eight hours during an event so you may want to consider some light workouts to strengthen your abilities. The amount of your training should match the goals set for your fishing. In other words, you get out of it what you put into it. One thing that is often underestimated is getting the boat in and out of the water. Again, you don't have to be a world class athlete, but the more agile you are the easier this task will be. My favorite bass fishing comes from one of my three Ascend kayaks. They can be difficult to load and unload onto the vehicle, especially if you are alone. Most of your exercise will come from navigating a lake. I prefer to fish rivers but they consist of mostly floating and very little paddling. One negative to kayaking moving water is you need a drop off and a pick up automobile. If I get the urge to float a river by myself I head for the larger water. I'll look for a long stretch without rapids enabling me to get up river and drift my way back to my put-in spot. Rowing at the beginning is always my chosen method. There is nothing worse than having to load a kayak onto my truck after a long paddle

The fitness app I use tells me if you fish four hours while wearing waders, 2,368 calories will be burned. Standing on a boat four hours will take off 1,381. Even sitting on a bucket casting a worm and a bobber a total of four hours will get rid of 987. Running a mile at a ten minute pace will burn 164. I'm sure there is no need to mention my preferred method of burning calories. Know your body's limits. No one knows them better than you. If there is any doubt how much you can handle, see your physician for his or her approval. Ask yourself what level of fishing you want to achieve, then make strides to get there. If exercise is your method of choice, pick a program that you enjoy. If you like what you are doing there will be a greater chance of sticking with it. I am no tournament angler but I love to fish. Whether I am here working at Bass Pro Shops or playing catch in the backyard with my two sons, I try and live an active lifestyle. That is enough activity to meet my fishing needs. The most important advice I can give you is to go fishing. The best way to get into fishing shape is to fish.

Go Fish!

Troy Caslow

Troy Caslow



Outdoor Cooking Primer - Smoked Chicken Potpie with Cheddar Crust

Smoked chicken Potpie with Cheddar Crust

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of eating at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain in Manhattan. Being a smoked foods and sweet potato nut, I ordered his Smoked Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Crust.  Oh my, oh my...

So later, in Food Network Magazine I spotted this recipe for Chicken Potpie with Cheddar Crust. My only change to the recipe was to smoke a chicken first and use it instead of the rotisserie chicken. Oh, and I'm sure I threw in some Smoked Paprika, too. 

I made this while my husband was ice fishing one day...a great way to warm up after a cold day...and the cold days ARE coming!




Chicken Potpie with Cheddar CrustSmoked Chicken Potpie with Cheddar Crust


For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening

For the filling:

1 3 1/2-to-4-pound roasted or rotisserie chicken
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
5 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
6 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
Kosher salt
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper


Make the crust: Pulse the flour, fine salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor. Add the cheese, butter and shortening; pulse until the butter is in pea-size bits. Add 1/2 cup ice water and pulse until the dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Discard the chicken skin and shred the meat; set aside. Put the bones in a pot and add the chicken broth. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the broth and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Melt the butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, thyme, celery, carrots and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt; cook, stirring, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook until soft, about 6 more minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the wine; cook until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the broth, cream and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until thick, about 3 minutes. Add the parsley, shredded chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a 3-to-4-quart baking dish.

Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until slightly larger than the baking dish. Drape the dough over the filling, press it against the inside of the dish and trim. Brush with cream, then cut a few slits in the top. Put on a baking sheet; bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


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This Weekend At Bass Pro!


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, 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 - See more at: http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops/page/2?month=09&year=2013#sthash.32o5OCvM.dpuf