Ice Fishing 2013 - Reels

There's a chill in the air this week! For ice fishing fans, weather like this gets the itch going. We asked Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fishing Lead Jamie Renshaw to show us what's new this year in ice fishing gear, while you're waiting for the ice to form.

This post will focus on reels. Future posts will tackle rods, jigs, shacks and augers.


What's new this year in ice fishing reels is fly-style reels. Many ice fisherman use fly reels anyway, but these reels are specifically designed to use for ice fishing and have gears.  

Two new reels at Bass Pro Shops Altoona come from 13 Fishing - the Teardrop and the Black Betty, which is a fly-style reel. The fly-style reels eliminate line twist as the jig goes down, which is what often happens with a spinning reel. Having gears allows for faster line pickup and better for deeper waters.

Fish 13 TeardropTeardrop:

6.2:1 gear ratio

13 lbs ultra-smooth carbon drag



Black Betty

Black Betty:

2.7-1 gear ratios

Smooth carbon drag system

Anti-reverse and bait alarm



Ice Fishing

Also new is the Eagle Claw Inline Reel and the Frabill 261 Ice Reel. 

Don't forget to start going through your gear NOW, instead of an hour before you head out to the ice. There may be residual water in your plastic storage cases and you may have rust. It happens to the best...check your augers, too. 



Elf on the Shelf Returns!

elfThe Elf on the Shelf returns to your local Bass Pro Shops this holiday season!   Elf on a Shelf is a children's book, written in 2005, that explains how Santa Claus knows who is naughty and who is nice.

The "Elf on the Shelf" is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day's adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.

There are two simple rules that every child knows when it comes to having an elf. First, an elf cannot be touched; Christmas magic is very fragile and if an elf is touched it may lose that magic and be unable to fly back to the North Pole. Second, an elf cannot speak or move while anyone in the house is awake! An elf's job is to watch and listen.

A variety of "Elf on the Shelf" merchandise is available in Santa's Wonderland.  The hardcover book and elf combo is the most popular, as are the DVDs and Blue-Rays, with the animated version of the story.  You can also find a number of "Elf on the Shelf" ornaments.  We sell out of these every year, so make sure you visit early and pick up your "Elf on the Shelf" as soon as possible this holiday season. Otherwise, how will Santa know if you have been naughty or nice???


Santa's Wonderland 2013

                                                                          Santa's Wonderland

The most wonderful time of the year is almost here!!! A time to visit Santa’s Wonderland inside Bass Pro Shops. Gather the family and come to experience the joy of a classic Christmas. Stay for FREE games, crafts and activities that celebrate the season.

And don’t miss the FREE photo with Santa!!!

It all begins November 9 at 5 pm!
Santa’s Wonderland will be open daily from November 10- December 24 during regular store hours.

FREE 4x6 Photos with Santa

  •     Monday- Friday     3-8 pm
  •     Saturday        10 am -8 pm
  •     Sunday        12-5 pm

FREE Crafts

  •     Monday-Friday    5-7 pm
  •     Saturday        12-5 pm
  •     Sunday        12-5 pm

FREE Games and Activities

  •     Laser and Soft Gun Arcade
  •     Moving Trains
  •     Slot Car Racing
  •     Remote Control Trucks
  •     Wildlife Carousel (available during Santa photo hours only)

A Bass Pass provides a designated time during the day to return to Santa’s Wonderland for your photo with Santa.
Once you have a Bass Pass, you have the freedom to explore the store while waiting in a virtual line until your designated Bass Pass return time arrives. When it’s time to return, line up and get ready to share your Christmas wished with good ole St. Nick.
This is why your may not see lone lines in Santa’s Wonderland, because our Bass Pass system is in place with several people ahead of you in their own virtual line.
Bass Passes are available on a first come, first served basis each day. Once they are gone they are gone.
For you convenience, Mondays- Thursdays are typically days with shorter wait times to see Santa.


Product Spotlight - Cherith Valley Garden's Tito's Classic Chili Mix

I am a chili purist. Chili is one of my favorite foods to make and I do it from scatch. It's typically an all day, make-the-house-smell-great type of procedure. However, recently I decided to take the plunge and try a mix. My husband would be home late from hunting, and I had other things to do. So I purchased one of the new Cherith Valley Chili Mixes that Bass Pro Shops sells.

I selected the Tito's Classic Chili Mix for this trial run. It's as simple as adding the mix to the boiling water, throwing in the meat, and letting it simmer for a bit. While the recipe calls for 1/2 meat, we like our chili meaty, so I used one pound hamburger and about 3/4 pound venison burger.  

We were surprised and pleased at how good it was. The mix has corn and a variety of beans. It wasn't spicy...we like a little more heat...but it was VERY flavorful. 

Pair it with some Uncle Buck's Smokey Jalapeno Cornbread and you have a unique Christmas gift for the foodie in your life!


Cherith Valley Garden's - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaCherith Valley Gardens Tito's Classic Chili Mix

  • Reduced Sodium
  • No MSG
  • Gluten-Free
  • EASY to fix
  • all natural ingredients
  • No artificial preservatives, flavorings, or coloring

Best of all?  Made in the U.S.A!




Stuff Your Stockings

jbWith the holiday season just days away, this is a great time to lessen some of your gift-giving stress. The next time you are at your local Bass Pro Shops, take a look at the Jelly Belly rack. These are perfect stocking stuffers for every member of your family!

Jelly Bellys are premium jelly beans made here in the United States. Over 37 million pounds of the gourmet beans are made every year.  Jelly Bellys were a favorite treat of President Ronald Reagan, who kept them on his desk. They were the first jelly bean in space, when he sent them into orbit on the space shuttle Challenger in 1983.jb

There are a huge varieties of flavors available, packaged in single-flavor packs and them-flavored packs.  Some of the single flavor available include Very Cherry, Licorice, Dr. Pepper, and Buttered Popcorn.  A variety of themed mixes are also available such as Fruit Bowl (Juicy Pear, Green Apple, Coconut, Blueberry, Sunkist Pink Grapefruit, Peach and more); Citrus Mix (Sunkist Orange, Sunkist Lime, Sunkist Lemon, Sunkist Pink Grapefruit and Sunkist Tangerine); Ice Cream Parlor Mix (featuring flavors from Cold Stone Creamery); and Smoothie Blend (Cherry Passion Fruit, Mandarin Orange Mango, Mixed Berry, Pineapple Pear and Strawberry Banana).

There are also specialty flavors such as Chocolate-Dipped Orange and Chocolate Dipped Cherry. There's even a Camo Bean mix (Chocolate Pudding, Green Apple, Licorice, Juicy Pear, Orange Sherbert, Toasted Marshmallow and Watermelon), perfect the hunter in your family.

Jelly Bellys come in convenient 2.8 oz bags - a perfect size to tuck into any stocking. Find these flavors and more at Bass Pro Shops!ass

p.s.  For the adults in  your family, try our Ass Kickin' Jelly Beans. The six fruit flavors (cherry, orange, lemon, lime, pineapple and licorice) have the added zing of habanero peppers!


Tree Stands - Comfort and Safety

Today's tree stands are pure luxury from days gone by.  With enhancements to maximize comfort and safety, hunters can look forward to sitting in a tree all day!  There are so many  stands to pick from, and the right one can truely be an asset to your hunting arsenal.  Take the time to stop on in and take a good long look at them and ask questions.   Here are a few you might find interesting.


The API Outdoors Hi Point Climbing Tree Stand has padded armrests.  Combine that with a attached back rest, full body harness, and a camo accessory bag.  Quality and great value makes this tree stand something to think about.



















Summit has  The Crush Series Viper SD Ultra Climbing Treestand with great sound reduction technology.  Cushioned armrests, seat bar and a full body harness with quick and easy adjustments.  








Gorilla has the Greyback Climbing Treestand with padded camo climbing bar, stirrups, adjustable back pack straps, and a full body harness.



















The Ameristep Non-Typical Rapid Rail Ladder works on small trees or  crooked trees.  V steps for increased footing,  this treestand is easy to use and performs well.









How about a treestand that fits two?  The Big Game Treestand The Sky Rise  has removeable seat cushions and 2 full body harnesses with a max weight of 500 pounds.  Durable, high quality and a great price.

sky rise








Are you a mobile hunter?  The Muddy Outdoors Climbing Sticks are perfect for mobile hunters.  There are steps on both sides which allow for quick and easy climbing.  Very quiet and high quality make this a must.












So stop on down to Bass Pro Shops and let one of our Archery associates show you the perfect stand that fits you.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator








Thanksgiving turkey made easy

     With the holidays just around the corner, family, friends, and food are a top priority.  Knowing how to impress your guests and host the party can be a rewarding feeling especially if your the cook.  With my family the deep fried turkey is the show piece on the dining table.  Cooked the right way, the turkey you prepare can remain hot, moist, and full of flavor.  Sometimes the turkey is undercooked, cold, and dry.   Knowing how to prepare a turkey can make the difference between guests staying, or guests wanting to leave as quickly as possible.  In this blog, I will cover some simple steps to deep frying a turkey.  Here are some great ways on how to use our Bass Pro Shops 30-Quart Fryer for deep frying turkey, Cajun Marinade Injectors and seasonings.  

Deep frying a turkey

10-12lb turkey

5 Gallons of peanut oil

Preparing your turkey

     -plan out your deep fry the weeks before.  On average it takes three days to defrost a frozen turkey in the fridge.

     -Remove neck and giblets form turkey.

     -Rinse inside and out with cold water.

     -Dry turkey well.

If you use rubs or a marinade injector, now is the time to do so before frying the turkey.  Don't go overboard on flavors.  using a rub and then a injected marinade will be sufficient.   We carry a vast amount of rubs and marinades for Cajun Marinade Injectors.    

    -Fold wings behind birds shoulders and remove hock lock.

     -Place on wire rack.

     -Fill 30-quart pot with peanut oil or vegetable oil.  Heat to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

     -Lower turkey breast first into deep fryer basket.

     -Dip turkey three to four times so your oil will adjust to turkey temperature.

     -Fry the turkey while keeping the oil close to 365 degrees Fahrenheit.

     -Fry turkey for about 3 1/2 minutes per pound of turkey until meat is golden brown and a deep fry thermometer registers 175 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part of the turkey. 

    - Lift out basket and drain the turkey including cavity in a roasting pan.  Save the drippings as these will make a excellent gravy.

     -Carve and serve depending on how you want to time the rest of your dinner.  Ideally, you want to serve hot, moist, flavorful turkey and not a turkey that has been sitting out for three hours getting cold.     

Warnings and tips

     -Oil will splatter when you dip the turkey in the first few times so be prepared. 

     -Cajun Injector marinades can be a nice way of flavoring up the turkey.  Rubs and other spices are something to consider.  

     -If you are preparing a stuffing, cook alongside the same time frame as your turkey so both are cooked at the same time and your not waiting for stuffing to finish being cooked while your turkey is getting cold. 

     -Make sure your propane tanks are full and burner is in good working order, nothing is more embarrassing than running out of propane mid turkey cook. 

     -Keep watch over the turkey at all times.

     -Do not attempt to deep fry a frozen turkey, ever.

     Food Network's Alton Brown shares one of his recipes for deep fried turkey here  Bass Pro Shops Camping department carry's everything you need to get your holiday deep frying off to a great start.  Starting with our 30-Quart Turkey Fryer, to our Cajun marinades and injectors, to the peanut oil you'll need to deep fry your turkey.  You can count on impressing your guests this holiday season by starting at Bass Pro Shops. 


Camping Dept.

Kyle Davis


This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Santa Arrives!

Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

This weekend we welcome the big guy in red!

Santa's Wonderland returns with the glitter, lights, fun and games, and magic that Christmas should always have!

Saturday, November 9:

Join us for Santa's Wonderland Preview Night, Saturday, November 9, from 5-8 p.m.

Be among the first to get your free 4 x 6 photo with Santa after we welcome Santa and light the tree!

  • Hot chocolate and cookies
  • Carolers from the Ankeny Community Chorus
  • Gift Card giveawaysSanta's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Who will help Santa cut the ribbon this year?

Free crafts from 6-8 p.m. on Preview Night, plus backpack clips for the first 125 kids!


Sunday, November 10 - Santa's Wonderland kicks in to full gear!

Free 4 x 6 photos with Santa: Sunday, Noon-5 p.m.

We will use our special Bass Pass system for photos again this year, especially during busy times. Please stop to verify if a Bass Pass is necessary as soon as you arrive at the store. The Bass Pass is in place when the wait in line to see Santa is longer than 30 minutes. Parents receive a return time to see Santa, then they can shop in the store and listen for the time to be announced over the intercom.

Bass Passes are given out on a first come, first serve basis. When they're gone, they're gone!

Families can continue to enjoy the free photos, crafts, fun, and games through December 24 in Santa’s Wonderland. Times will vary on weeknights and weekends - hours for photos will be extended starting December 9.



Here Comes Santa Claus!!

santaThat's right - Santa Claus makes his triumphant return to Bass Pro Shops - Macon on Saturday, November 9!

Activities begin at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon, with Marco LaManno, meteorologist from Channel 41, serving as master of ceremonies.  Live entertainment is being provided by the Mercer University Children's Choir. You can snack on hot chocolate and cookies while we wait for Santa to arrive.  Don't forget to register to win one of six $25 Bass Pro Shops gift cards. These will be given away every half hour from 5 - 7:30 p.m.

Santa will arrive in a Tracker boat at 5:00 p.m. After greeting the crowd, he will make his way to our Grand Lobby, accompanied by his elves.  We will have a brief welcome/invocation from the Methodist Children's Home, then Santa will light our Christmas tree!

Entering Santa's Wonderland will be like returning to Christmas of years gone by. Santa will be seated at his cabin (complete with caribou), as multicolored ornaments hang from the ceiling.  Christmas trees in snowbanks and elves, hard at work, line the perimeter of the area.

Activities include a laser arcade, miniature train, slot car racing, remote control trucks and soft archery arcade.  A variety of free crafts (changing weekly) will be available, as well as coloring sheets and letters to Santa. Games, activities and crafts will be available daily, from open to close.  See posted schedules for Photos with Santa hours. Check our web site or Facebook page for up-to-the-minute updates and schedules.


Let's Have an Adventure!

Take a look at the Adventure play sets we have available for the holiday season - you are bound to find one to suit every child's interests, at your local Bass Pro Shops.

250First up, we have the Deluxe Ford F-250 and Nitro Bass Boat play set. This set features a gleaming Ford F-250 in a custom red finish (exclusive to Bass Pro Shops) and a sparkling white NITRO Bass Boat.  The truck features opening doors, a working tow winch, an opening tailgate and a travel hitch. The NITRO boat includes a storage locker, a depth tracker and moving engines. The set also comes with an action figure, an off-road quad 4-wheeler, a wave runner, a fishing pole, two bass fish and a landing net.bear

If your youngster prefers the open skies, then the Deluxe Boat Plane Bear Adventure Set will fit the bill.  The plane has doors that open to accommodate the the pilot/hunter action figure. This play set also includes an ATV, binoculars, a rifle, a tent, a cooler, a campfire, a cot, one black bear, and one grizzly bear!

We haven't forgotten about your daughters - there is a play set especially for them - the Hummer SUT Deluxe Outdoor Camping Adventure Set. This set features an SUT in a custom white pearl finish, pinkwith opening doors and a working hitch. This set includes a woman action figure, a little girl action figure, an angler raft, two paddles, a pink camo tent, a whitetail deer, a towing trailer, an off-road quad 4-wheeler, a campfire, a stove, an ice cooler, and a dog - 14 pieces in all!

All components are compatible with all Bass Pro Imagination Adventure products.


Big Game Basics: Caribou

So last time I did a Big Game Basic I covered one of my favorite animals. This time I decided that we should all go on a learning experience together and will be going over an animal that I am not too familiar with, the caribou.

Now then, from what I personally know is that they taste good, their coffee is superb and they help Santa deliver presents. How scientifically correct the latter part of my knowledge is, I don’t know. But let us set the facts straight about caribou. After all, setting the facts straight is half the fun.

Now here is a quick fun fact about caribou, there are five different species of caribou that are on North American Big Game lists. That includes the: Barren Ground, Mountain, Quebec-Labrador, Central Canadian Barren Ground and Woodland Caribou. (If one was interested in seeing all of these species together, they could visit the Bass Pro Shops in Grapevine, Texas where the Corley Collection is proudly shown.)

Caribou are a species of deer native to Arctic and Subarctic regions of North America. Both male and female reindeer can grow antlers. Between all the species of caribou, there is a huge variance of color and size of animals. While they have the second largest antlers in the deer family (moose are the first) they do have the largest antlers relative to body size.

Caribou have a four chambered stomach which helps them process and store the food that they eat. This is extremely important as these animals go through some of the harshest conditions on the planet and need any advantage to survive.

Like many in the deer family, the males use their impressive hardware for battle during the mating season. A dominant male will collect a group of females (harem) to reproduce with. This could include close to two dozen females.

Certain populations of caribou make the longest migratory travel of any terrestrial mammal. Caribou will travel anywhere from twelve to thirty-four miles a day when migrating. They can also travel at a speed from thirty-seven to fifty miles per hour. Some say that a day old caribou is actually able to outrun an Olympic sprinter. This is important to their survival.

The caribou will fall prey to several different predators. The young have been known to be picked off by golden eagles from the air and wolverines from the ground. Both the brown and polar bear will make a meal of caribou, but typically attack the weakest animals in a herd. Grey wolves are probably the most significant predator of caribou. Some wolf packs have been documented following the same caribou herd for long distances and extent periods of time.

Humans have had a long history with these animals. From hunting to herding, humans have been involved with caribou for centuries. There are entire populations of people that rely completely upon these animals for their way of life. Not much goes to waste with these animals. Their fur is sold for coats, their meat is consumed and the antlers are even powdered and sold as an aphrodisiac in Asia. Humans history with the caribou is what led to their most notorious fame, pulling Santa’s sleigh. These animals do in fact pull sleighs and were even mobilized by the Russians in World War II.

Currently they are even playing a part in politics and have affected national policies. Some of the lands that they inhabit are oil-rich. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been a stronghold for animal activists and anti-oil company groups. The caribou are the most numerous large animal in this area.

No matter the stance one may have on the issue above, all should be able to appreciate these great animals. They are truly impressive and are another shining example of how awesome nature really is.

Until next time all you Bass-Proers. Giddy-Up!!

Previous Big Game Basics:


White-tail Deer



Knife Buying 101 - A Numbers Game

Visit the knife section and you can be quickly overwhelmed! Terminology, numbers, knife names...what to buy? Which is best?

Bass Pro Shops AltoonaWe asked our knife specialist, Mike Sibley, to give us a brief rundown on the numbers game of buying a knife.

"Our RedHead knives' packaging now clearly shows the numbers, making it easier to decide which knife will work best to fit your needs."

Expedition Folding Lockback Bass Pro Shops

First you'll find a 400-series number on the package. This number defines the type of steel and it's durability. 400 series stainless steel is the most popular steel used for making  knives because it's easy to sharpen and more corrosion resistant.

440 is a common stainless steel and corrosion resistant - often found in good all-purpose knives. You can find 440 used in RedHead's The Hunt, the Expedition Folding Lockback, and the Function EFX-T Folding Knife. 

420HC is a higher carbon content steel than the regular 420. It's the steel that Buck Knives uses and is now available on many RedHead knives, including the exclusive RedHead Guide Series Fixed Blade Skinner Knife by Buck...the result of a collaboration between Bass Pro Shops and Buck. It it also used in the RedHead Medium and Large Stockman knives, and the Traditions Series Double and Single Blade, and  Lockback knives.

RedHead Medium Stockman

Another number you will find on the package is a two-digit number called the Rockwell Hardness number (HRC). This is an industry scale used to measure the hardness of the blade steel and, for knives, how long it will stay sharp. For example, the Medium Stockman knife has a 54HRC making it slightly more difficult to resharpen, but better edge retention properties.

A 57HRC knife is sharpenable, with reasonable retention. 

A 60HRC is very hard and durable.

Sibley says three of RedHead's knives are good examples of durability and long-lasting edge with higher HRCs.

"With an HRC of 56-57 you would need to tune up the knife during the cleaning of a deer. But with the 58-60HRC of  The Hunt and The Expedition you should be able to clean more than one deer with it before resharpening. The EFX-T also has a HRC58-60, which 

makes it a good survival-tactical knife."

Another aspect of a blade's steel that Sibley points out is "deferentially hardened" steel. 

"This means that the back of the blade is different from the edge, so lateral strength is still there. It's stronger for hard use and the edge remains longer."

Take a look at the hundreds of knives Bass Pro Shops offers online or at your local Bass Pro Shops store!





Hunting preparedness

Being properly prepared for your hunting trip is important. It can be the difference between life and death, not to mention just simply the comfort of your trip and peace of mind that you didn't forget anything. Make a checklist! 

-Waterproof bag- for cell phone, I.D., keys, money, license, medication, maps, etc. *Coghlan's starting at $3.59

-Flashlight and batteries * Browning tactical hunter catalyst flashlight $69.99/ Extreme batteries $4.99-$9.99

-Compass *Silva Huntsman 423 $22.99compass

-Water bottle, thermos, lifestraw, or camelback (hygdration bag) *Redhead Camo Teck-Lok bottle/pouch $14.99, Lifestraw $19.99, Redhead thermos $24.99

-Survival Kit, First aid kit, whistle * Adventure Medical kits Ultra light and water tight $17.00

-Hand warmers, gloves *Coghlan's disposable Hand Warmers 4 pack $4.29

-Matches or Fire starter ( magnesium, flint, starter sticks, etc.) *Coghlan's water tight match box $2.39

-Food: Lunch, snacks, Dehydrated meals * Tactical Bacon in a can $17.99, or Dehydrated pouches $4.99-$8.99Food

-Canvas Quarter bags- for field meat breakdown to transport more easily *Hide away 30X50 $9.99

-Knife or axe * Kutmaster Crush High Performance folding field saw $17.99/ Coghlan's camp axe $11.99

-Space heater * Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy Propane  $129.99Heater

Keep in mind these are just some of the items to consider when making your checklist. Everyone has different needs. All the items above can be found in the camping, hunting, and camo section at Bass Pro Shops or online at Prices and products vary, there are several options, these were just some of them to look out for. Have a safe and fun camping trip!

ALSO SEE these other helpful links: Purify Your Drinking Water with LifeStraw!, Are You Ready for Hunting Season? , Deer Camp/Camping Necessities




Santa's Wonderland Preview Night November 9th

Santa arrives for Preview Night

Be sure to join us for Santa’s Wonderland Preview Event Saturday November 9. Santa will arrive at 5pm. Santa will open Santa’s Wonderland for the season. Join us for free crafts, refreshments and a free photo with Santa.

At 5:00pm, Santa will arrive in his bass boat in front of our store and welcome our customers, as well as drawing a lucky winner of a $25 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card, one of six $25 cards we will be drawing for that night. After stopping in our foyer to light our Christmas tree, he will make his way to Santa's Wonderland to cut the ribbon and officially open it for the 2013 season. Free pictures with Santa will be available until 8pm on that Saturday, and we will have a FREE stocking craft for the kids from 6pm to 8pm. Also, the first 125 kids to visit Santa's Wonderland that night will receive a Christmas themed backpack clip.


Santa's Wonderland - The Magic Returns!

 Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Santa's Wonderland returns with the glitter, lights, fun and games, and magic that Christmas should always have!

Join us for Santa's Wonderland Preview Night, this Saturday, November 9. from 5-8 p.m.

Be first to get your free 4 x 6 photo with Santa after we welcome Santa and light the tree!

  • Hot chocolate and cookies
  • Carolers
  • Gift Card giveawaysSanta's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona


Who will help Santa cut the ribbon this year?

Free crafts from 6-8 p.m. on Preview Night, plus backpack clips for the first 125 kids!

Santa's Wonderland is open through December 24!

Free photos with Santa 

Remote control trucks, slot car racing, and games!

Free crafts and activity tables!

Write a letter to Santa and receive an e-mail back from him!


Here is the schedule through December 8 for all Santa's Wonderland Activities!  

Times will change beginning December 9.

We will be using the Bass Pass system again during busy times. The Bass Pass is like a virtual line, allowing you to shop and enjoy the store instead of waiting in line for long hours. It provides a designated time for you to get in line to see Santa. 

Bass Passes are given out on a first come, first serve basis. When they're gone, they're gone!

Santa's Wonderland Schedule - Bass Pro Shops Altoona


Keep up-to-date on ALL Christmas events, including Black Friday Sales, Toys for Tots Weekend

and more by liking our Facebook page and watching this blog!



Santa’s Wonderland

This blog will be brought to you with musical accompaniment for your pleasure. Please open this link in a separate window or tab. Thank you.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen; it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at Bass Pro Shops. It’s a magical time of the year, where our friends from the North Pole stop on by to hang out with ya’ll. Reindeer, elves and jolly Saint Nick (that’s right, SANTA!!!!!) will be at our Santa’s Wonderland.

To get everybody into the festive mood, we will be having a Preview Night on November 9th.  Starting at 5:00PM, we will have several things going on. First, Santa will be pulling up in front of our store in nothing other than a bass boat. He will be greeting people and helping us by using his Christmas magic to light up our store! Then at 6:00PM, we will be taking FREE photos with Santa until 8:00PM. From 5:00PM-7:30PM we will be drawing for a chance to win a $25 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card every half hour. For the first 125 kids, we will be handing out a collectible backpack clip. We will also have crafts*, cookies* and McSteven’s Hot Chocolate* available for our guests.

Santa’s Wonderland will then be open from November 10th until December 24th. During this time we will have several activities going on every day.

  • Free Photo with Santa!

Monday-Friday: 3PM-8PM

Saturday: 10AM-8PM

Sunday: Noon-5PM

  • Free Crafts*!

Monday-Friday: 5PM-7PM

Saturday: Noon-5PM

Sunday: Noon-5PM

  • Free Games and Activities!

Monday-Sunday: Open-Close

There will be photo packages available as well, if you would like to get multiple copies of a great holiday memory. (Actually, my old coworker and his wife pride themselves on their collection of “Baby Crying on Santa’s Lap” pictures. They are actually quite adorable!)

Games and Activities Include: Laser & Soft Gun Arcade, Moving Trains, RC Trucks, Slot Car Racing, Writing a Letter to Santa, Wildlife Carousel** and Snowbrawl**!

Like most of our extended events, we will be changing up what kinds of crafts are available every few days. Now just a heads up, there may be a little thing called style variance (which means we may not have the exact things listed below but should be close).

Free Crafts* Include:

Merry Christmas Wooden Ornament (11/10-11/17)

Felt Penguin Craft (11/18-11/24)

Popsicle Stick Reindeer Ornament (11/25-12/1)

Stuffed Santa Ornament (12/2-12/8)

 Candy Cane Owl Ornament (12/9-12/15)

Reindeer Gift Bag (12/16-12/22)

Cookie Decorating (12/23 & 12/24)

We hope to see ya’ll come on down and have some fun. And don’t be shy to come by a few times and bring friends and family with ya!

Stuffin’ Stockings and Hangin’ Wreaths!! Giddy-Up!


*While Supplies Last

**Open during same times as Photo with Santa


Which Deer Call is Right For You?

Calling deer.  Everyone has their own way of doing it.  How do you know without spending alot of money which call might work for you?  Well word of mouth is still the best way to find out.  Talk with people around your area to find out what they are using.  Watch hunting videos, TV shows, or go on the internet.  Here at Bass Pro Shops we have many calls that might interest you. 

The experts say that during the early season - try rattling.  Not hard but gentle and easy.  This sound is meant  to imitate two bucks sparring.  The Knight & Hale Pack Rack Rattling System Deer Call twists back and forth to create a lifelike sound of two bucks in combat.  Easy to use and not expensive you may just want to give these a try.  The Primos Big Buck Rattle Bag creates the sound of two different size bucks fighting.  Again very easy, durable and a great value. Not to mention they fit in a pack much easier than a set of antlers!















Many people prefer the can which produces the sound of mating bleats of estrus does.  The Primos "Original" Can Mating Bleat Call is simple to use, performs well, and is a great price.












It takes a great deal of patience to get that monster.  Don't be afraid to use your deer call.  Sure you may just spook one or two, but this is how you learn.  In order to be successfull you need to know deer behavior.  Have that arrow nocked or your gun in hand before you start calling.  Dont get frustrated after 10 minutes or even a hour.  How many hunters have relaxed their guard only to have that giant buck appear.

Primos has the Uproar Deer Call that has three proven effective calls in one.  You can switch between two main chambers to produce aggressive grunts or loud estrus.  Also there is a wheeze tube to challenge a large buck.




















 The Primos Hardwood Grunter Deer Calling System is a 6 in one adjustable reed system.  This system produces extra loud calls from deep grunts to doe bleats.












These are just a few calls to consider when deciding what you need.  Talk with your friends then stop on by and talk with our hunting associates to find what call will work best for you.

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator




Product Spotlight - Elite 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker

Elite 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker  - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

'Tis the season to get the slow cooker out...I mean REALLY out.  Granted it gets used once in a while during the summer, but not very often. As temperatures cool, the slow cooker usage rises. I

Elite 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker


Bass Pro Shops carries this Elite slow cooker. We use this cooker at the store for demos and associate events.  It's large capacity is perfect for large groups. The large removable stoneware pot is easy to clean and the clear tempered lid allows you to check on what's cookin' without removing the lid. 

From stews, soups, and chili to roasts of all kind, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, side dishes like applesauce and sweet potatoes, and desserts like brownies (yes, brownies) can make just about anything in a slow cooker. 

Here are a couple of slow cooker tips from the Hy-Vee Seasons magazine:

Test Your Slow Cooker for Accuracy

Fill the cooker half to two-thirds full with water. Put the lid on, turn the cooker to low, and let it heat on low for eight hours. After the eight hours, use a food thermometer and see if the water is 185-200 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's not, then it's time to replace the cooker.

Clean the Stains out of your Cooker

Fill the pot halfway with water and add one cup of white vinegar. Heat on high for two hours, then clean as usual. 


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Tree Stand Safety

While it might not be the most popular topic in the world tree stand safety is extremely important and should not be ignored. All too often we adopt the attitude that falling out of a tree stand only happens to someone else. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Not only is it important to make sure that you are properly secured when you are in your tree stand but it is also important to be properly secured while you are climbing up to your tree stand or climbing down. Last year I had a hang on stand  I was using in connection with a special conservation hunt in the town where I live. I had a couple of climbing stick sections that I used to get me up to where it was easier to use the tree branches to climb the rest of the way up to the stand. One day as I reached the top of the climbing sticks the sticks pulled away from the tree with me falling over backwards hitting the ground flat on my back. I was lucky that other than being stunned from the fall I had no injuries. I was extremely lucky. Two major mistakes on my part, one, I should have been tied to the tree while climbing and two; I should have checked the climbing sticks to make sure they were securely attached to the tree. Someone had undone the straps and made it look like they were still tight to the tree. Unfortunately we do have to be concerned about the anti hunters who will sometimes go to extremes.

Always make sure that your climbing sticks and your stand are secure before you climb up. It is also a good idea to check the condition of your stands each year before you put them up, something we often overlook to do.

Some of the items that are a necessity for staying safe while using a tree stand are as follows:

  1. A safety harness to be worn and used all times when you are in the tree.

Pictured here are some of the more popular safety harnesses all are designed to provide you with a safe connection to a safety rope which is firmly tied to the tree. The first pictured is a Gorilla G Tac Ghost safety harness. Next is the Hunter Safety System HSS Alpha Harness and the last one is another Hunter Safety System model.


  1. A safety rope is also a critical part of your safety gear.

The first safety rope is the Big Game Platinum Collection safe line. The second one is G-20 Gorilla Gear safety harness and the third item is Hunter Safety System Life Climbing line.

  1. A sharp knife should be in an easily accessible place in case you have to cut yourself loose in an emergency. You will eventually black out if hanging unsupported so it is important that you can cut yourself loose if you have to.


  1. You should also have a cell phone where you can reach it to call for help in an emergency.


One final suggestion is that you try out your safety gear under a controlled situation just high enough off the ground so you will be hanging free. Ideally, this should be done with someone there to help if needed. This will give you a chance to prepare for an emergency if one does occur.

Bass Pro Shops is the perfect place to pick up your tree stands and your safety gear and our expert hunting associates are there to answer any questions and offer suggestions and advice on being safe in your tree stands.


Hunt safe,

Don Nelson

Bass Pro Shops




Hunting associate


Time to get the Little Ones Moving!


We all remember those days when we just wanted to drive, we loved our bikes and scooters but big wheels and power wheels were so much cooler.  Well here at Bass Pro Shops, we like to make sure that kids of all ages have the most awesome toys.  There are a few MUST HAVE items this year.

The Bass Pro Shops Fisher Price Power Wheels Dune Racer, , is absolutely amazing.  This vehicle goes on all surfaces; grass, hard surfaces, and rough terrian.  It also holds two passengers, so your little one can take a friend along. It has a monster traction system to take on all surfaces.  It has 2 speeds, 2.5 mph and 5 mph as well as 2.5 mph in reverse, giving the little ones an option to cruise nice and slow or have an adreline rush.  We recommend this for all little ones 3 years of age and up. 

dune buggy

Not quite big enough to drive the dune buggy. never fear.  Check out the Bass Pro Shops Fisher Price Power Wheels Little Quad ATV,, This hunting inspired ATV is perfect for toddlers.  With a maximun weight capacity of 40 pounds, its perfect for the little ones from 1 year of age thru 3 years of age. 

toddler atv

Now its time to bring back the big wheel from when we were little, and give it a little flare.  The Bass Pro Shops Realtree Xtra Camo Big Wheels,, is what all the cool kids will be riding around on this year. It has a large "grow with me" seat, 16" front tire, sturdy plastic construction, easy to assemble,low center of gravity, has a weight limit of 70 pounds, and is recommended for ages 3 thru 8. 

big wheel

So no matter how old the little one may be, we are all kids at heart.   Swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and check out our large selection of items that will move with the family!