A Fine Nine: Ruger SR9

We have taken a look at some pretty awesome handguns so far with our Fine Nine blog series. All of which have come from big-name companies (like Glock, Berretta, etc.). This month’s handgun comes from another popular gun manufacturer that has built its own following of customers for decades, Ruger.

Now technically the full name of the company is Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. but it is called Ruger for short. They were founded in 1949 and went public twenty years later. The handgun we will be discussing is the SR9. It comes in a couple different models and has been doing quite well with consumers.

Previously Ruger’s line of semi-auto handguns was their P Series. The P series started in 1985 and was produced up until a couple years ago. My first handgun, and gun for that matter, was a Ruger P345 that I love. A few things sold me on this firearm, but there were two important markings on the firearm that did it for me. It said 45ACP and Prescott, AZ on it. I quite enjoy this caliber and loved seeing my home-state as where the firearm came from.

That is a big reason why Ruger has such a strong following, as they are made here in the United States. They are based out of Connecticut, but have other locations that support local economies. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing firearms coming out the international market but it is nice owning something from the U.S.

The SR9 was introduced in 2007. It was intended for the conceal-carry market of the firearm industry. The firearm is slim, lightweight, has a higher capacity magazine and several other desirable features to it. The ambidextrous safeties and magazine releases are a nice touch along with the Picatinny rail. It also has a loaded-chamber indicator for quick reference if there is a round in the chamber.

A couple years after the introduction of the SR9 came the SR9C (the compact version of the firearm). It is smaller than the full-size and holds fewer rounds as such. The standard SR9 magazine holds 17 rounds whereas the SR9C holds 10 rounds. Ruger went ahead though and produced a magazine with grip extender for the SR9C giving it the ability to quickly convert to a higher-capacity magazine grip.

This is a huge selling point for consumers. This way you can carry the firearm with the smaller and easier to conceal magazine but be able to throw in the larger one in a quick-reload. It hasn’t been just consumers noticing the SR9C but in fact it was chosen as the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence's Handgun of the Year in 2010! Straight-shootin’ there, Ruger!

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Nines:

Basics

Glock 19

S&W M&P

Beretta 92

FNX-9

Springfield XD

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Look at That! RedHead Gun Rack

There are certain stereotypical items that complete the visual when it comes to rustic living. There is the pair of rocking chairs on the front porch. A bird feeder full of visitors. Either a “Welcome to the Lake House” or lodge themed wooden sign. A stack of fishing poles by the back door. A gun rack on the wall. All of these items can make one forget about the worries of today’s modern world and take a step back to something much simpler.

And would ya look at that?! Thanks to RedHead 1856 4-Gun Rack, now you can own a piece of it!

Now please note that while a gun rack is a method of storing firearms, they should never be kept loaded and better protection/prevention should be used if children/strangers are present.

This tasteful take on an old favorite is a modern-day crowd pleaser. It is constructed out of pine and has a nice brown-cherry finish to it. It can hold four long-guns and has a bonus feature on the bottom. There is a storage area that can be used for ammunition, cleaning supplies, eye and ear protection or whatever. The storage area also locks, which is a nice touch.

Now gun racks are designed to keep firearms where they are easier to access. Many people from more rural parts of the country have them as you never know when dinner might go by or if you need to give a 12-gauge reminder to the local bear population to stay away. That is just the way life is. With how removed people are from nature nowadays it is understandable why some people couldn’t understand the need for this.

Gun safes are very nice. Not only can you safely store firearms and ammunition, but also important papers and other goods. But they are heavy and take up what could be precious room. If you are going to stay at a cabin with a group of trusted friends for a weeklong hunt, a safe could be a little much whereas the gun rack would be just right.

-Giddy-Up!!

Other Nifty Things to Look At!

Propane Fire Ring

Hand Towels

Rainproof Camo

She Outdoor

PETT

BPS Extreme Qualifier Tackle Bag

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Check it Out List: Tactical Clothing

Two words that have infiltrated the shooting world over the past years, tactical and zombie. From those two words, different worlds have been developed. And combining those words is a whole different ball game!

When it comes to the term tactical, there is a whole slew of things it can involve. Tactical shooting, clothing, maneuvering, reloading, pens, holsters, water bottles, knives, flashlights and so on. So much so that many simply mock the whole “tactical” concept.

But like many things that can come under ridicule, tactical apparel does have sound reasoning behind it. So for this month’s Check it Out List we are going to go over Tactical Clothing.

 

Tactical Shirt

Tactical Pants/Shorts

Tactical Belt

Tactical Gloves

Tactical Jacket

Tactical Boots

 

Most often tactical products are concerning self-defense. It goes hand in hand with possible combat and carrying a firearm. You really wouldn’t want to be caught in a gun-fight with pajama pants, flip flops and a lose shirt. You are going to want clothing that is secure, leaving little room for possible issues occurring while drawing and firing a firearm.

Working our way down the list, let us start with the shirt. There is an assortment of shirts: long sleeve, short sleeve, button up, polo and so on. Each different style will provide you with some kind of advantage. Also depending on the weather and possibly your job or plan for the day will help you choose what to wear.

The pants and shorts are well known for having numerous pockets on them. This is for your extra magazines, knife, flashlight, standard everyday items (phone, wallet, etc.) and more. Unlike cargo shorts, these pockets do not bulge out so you are less likely to get caught on something while moving. Also the pockets hold items more securely so you are not fishing around to find the desired item.

The belt may be the simplest yet most important aspect. First thing to notice is how thick it is. The thickness and height of the belt help keep a holster on your person. Try wearing a holster on a normal belt and notice how much wiggle there is. Now when you have to draw your firearm that wiggle space could throw you off and be a huge difference to the outcome. A tactical belt will almost eliminate that “wiggle room” completely.

Two items are more for personal preference. Gloves are great to shoot with, but not always necessary. And you probably won’t go around wearing them all day anyway so it would look a little unnatural. They do allow one to grip a firearm better and can help if dealing with a “hot” firearm. Gloves do not sweat like your hand might in a stressful situation so it helps keep something important from “slipping out”.

A nice tactical jacket will allow you to have numerous pockets (much like the pants/shorts) and may even have special pockets to carry extra magazines or the firearm itself. These jackets tend to be built well so they do a nice job of keeping you warm and providing you with ease of access for items.

You can tell a lot about someone by their shoes. Tactical boots are very nice and many who wear them tend to wear nothing else. These boots are built light, solid and comfortable. Thinking about having to be in a self-defense situation you are not going to want to worry about tripping on your shoelaces or even worse being in flip flops. There has been an increasing trend for use of tactical boots for hunting and hiking because of how well they work.

No matter what your goal is, hopefully this has opened your eyes or opinions to other options.

-Giddy-Up!!

Checked-Lists

Picnics

Gun Cleaning

Game Care

First Aid

Kayaking

Day Pack

Trip Prep

Range Time

Fishing Pack

Boating Day Trip

Camp Cooking

 Dove Hunting

Upland Hunting

0 Comments »

A Fine Nine: Springfield XD

Let me go ahead and say that I have never been a big fan of Springfield XDs. Just something about them never really got my gears going. But a while back they introduced a firearm that I was immediately interested in, their XDS model in 45ACP. I tested the firearm out and was impressed. Then when I was really searching for an EDC (every day carry) pistol in 45ACP, I tested out a number of others. I tried the M&P compact, Glock 30, Glock 36 and a couple small 1911s. With nothing really standing out, I tried the XDS again and was truly impressed and acquired one. I have yet to have an issue with mine and am now a proud supporter of the Springfield XDs.

Now I have said this before as many others will, gun manufacturers and personal preference are like trucks. You have Chevy people, Ford people and Dodge people. Same with firearms, you have Colt people, Glock guys and Ruger fans and so on. People either love the Springfield XDs or don’t. But having been out since 2001, they have created quite the following.

So XD stands for “Extreme Duty” as these are what they were designed for. There are actually three different series of the XD models. The models are XD, XDM and XDS and they can come in a slew of variants beyond just that. Most models will have full-size, compact or subcompact variants. That is except for the XDS which comes in either a 3.3” barrel or a 4” barrel. This model is the specific concealed carry line of XDs but is still loaded with great features (ambi-safety, loaded-chamber indicator, etc.) like its “bigger brothers”.

The XD line has a 3” barrel option and several different ones for 4” and 5” barrels. Like their site says “In 2001, Springfield Armory® redefined what a polymer pistol should be. The XD® series set the new industry standard for ergonomic comfort, ease of operation, features and performance.”

Six years after the introduction of the XD, Springfield gave us the XDM line. The M stands for match as it is a heavier-duty firearm than its predecessor. Just like with the XD line, there are several barrel lengths available, including a 5.25” competition model. And speaking of competitions, more and more Springfields are showing up at shooting events. Last year we had a couple professional shooters that were on the Springfield Team, and they swore by their handguns (and not just because of the sponsorship).

As I said about the XDS having features similar to the other models, lets go over some of those. Springfield is proud to state that “The features available on the XD(M)® will impress even the most demanding shooters. The XD(M)® includes a basic list of safety features shared with its predecessor the XD®. The striker status indicator and loaded chamber indicator give the shooter instant tactile and visual feedback to know if there is a chambered round and if the striker is cocked. Three separate safeties guard against accidental discharges and provide extra peace of mind. The Ultra Safety Assurance (USA) Action Trigger System™ prevents unintentional rearward movement of the trigger. The grip safety keeps the pistol from firing unless the shooter has a firm grasp on it. And an internal firing pin block goes the extra mile to bring you a pistol fully designed with safety in mind.”

What I really like is that their safety features are effective enough to work but not so cumbersome to be a nuisance if having to draw the firearm and fire in a self-defense situation. If there is an external safety that needs to be moved into a position to allow the firearm to shoot, one could easily forget to flip it in a stressful situation. The fact that the external safeties in the XDs are one on the rear grip and the trigger itself means that they help prevent accidents they won’t get in the way of a self-defense scenario. Your hand will naturally grab the rear grip to press in the safety there and your finer will control the trigger safety as well. (I would know, I own one.)

Now this blog is supposed to be about 9MM handguns, and just about every variation of any Springfield XD model comes in 9MM. Whether it is an XD-4” or XDM-3.8”, they tend to come in this quite popular caliber. Several years ago one would tell you that you should skip a 9MM and go to a larger caliber. With all the developments in defense ammunition over the past couple years; this caliber has increased its stopping power. It should not be considered “weak” by any means anymore. The improvements to both ammunition and the firearms have increased their effectiveness and quality all over.

Shortly after releasing the XDS in 45ACP came a version chambered in 9MM. To be honest, as will many other XDS45ACP owners admit, I wish I had picked up the 9MM version. Not only do you get a couple more rounds, but it is easier to control.

So just like any other purchase one might look to, do your research and ask around. People are always happy to give their opinions on anything from trucks to toasters and so on, and of course firearms. Just be sure to think about a Springfield XD model when looking for any kind of 9MM handgun.

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Nines:

Basics

Glock 19

S&W M&P

Beretta 92

FNX-9

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A Simple Guide to safe firearms class

Straight Shooters - So a few weeks ago I received an invite from Mike Duffy to try out an SGI - Defensive Pistol Craft I course. Mike is the founder and Chief Operations Officer of Solutions Group International (SGI).

Here's an excerpt taken from their website to help give an idea of who they are..."Solutions Group International (SGI) was created to provide Specialized Security Services, Law Enforcement & Military Tactical Training, Threat Matrix & Vulnerability Assessments, Leading-edge Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Applications, and Investigations to the Law Enforcement, Military, Entertainment & Film Industry, Security, Government, and Corporate Sectors worldwide."

Their website also gives you a list of their instructors and their qualifications. Reading through their bios, it's quick to see that they are simply the best-of-the-best. I was personally sold knowing that they primarily train Military and Law Enforcement agencies. The eight hour course was held at Prado Shooting Park in Chino on a private portion of the range known as Condor 2. The day started with introductions from the three man training team and an overview of what we were in store for. The instructor cadre consisted of George Holt (SGI President), Grant Reynolds, and Marty Higuera. Being an introductory class into Defensive Pistol shooting, we started with the basics. Even after all the shooting I've done, there's still something to learn and get refreshed on after all my time on the range. We started by reviewing the 4 rules of firearms safety, core marksmanship skills and techniques, proper reloading, stance, and a few other topics to ensure even a true beginner was up to speed with the basic knowledge needed for the day.

Now you may be thinking that you are an above average pistol shooter and this introductory class is below you; well think again. The SGI crew did a great job of tailoring their instruction to each student as the day progressed. They moved down the line during live fire drills giving each student tips based on their individual needs and skills. At no point did I feel like I was being held back by the other students who may have had a slower learning curve. I was being pushed to draw quicker and shoot faster. Grant said something like, "Push yourself to the breaking point where you fail to produce the results you're looking for." He's basically saying that if you only do what you're comfortable with, you will never get any better. Because of this, we constantly tried to shoot quicker and faster.

The live-fire portion of the day had many different drills incorporated into it. This included shooting from 3 yards from the hip when you don't have time for proper sight alignment, drawing and placing two center mass, failure to stop drills consisting of two center mass and one to the head, target transition drills, shooting from farther distances, shooting on the move and proper foot placement while moving, and multiple engagement drills. There was always something to keep you on your toes. The intensity the instructors brought kept a high level of motivation to the line and a feeling of not wanting to let them down. I had a great time and am looking forward to their next class in the series of the 6 Defensive Crafts courses they offer.

Mike and his crew run a top-of-the-line company and offer some amazing courses. I will definitely be coming back for a future pistol course and probably take some of their others as well. I encourage you to pull up their website and take a look at their list of courses and instructors.

http://www.solutionsgroupinternational.com/

The $225 course includes 300 rounds of ammo and a $25 Bass Pro Shops gift card. This is a really good price for the 8-hour course that includes 300 rounds of whatever ammo you want to shoot.

 

 

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BOSL and Other Gun Deer Season Reminders

Rod Slings, is Founder/CEO of Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants LLC and retired Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Supervisor. As a hunting incident investigator, interviewing the victims, their families and evaluating the scenes, he has seen firsthand the sometimes tragic results of carelessness in the field. So, as we get ready to open Iowa Gun Deer Season, take a moment to review his reminders before heading out and lessen the chance of injury to yourself, others, and wildlife.

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The annual trek to the Iowa woods is about to begin. Yes, it’s gun deer season!  This is a time when family and friends, year after year, gather to help manage Iowa’s deer population and fill their freezers.  Due to a greater number of tags being issued the last few year's hunters, may find the population down somewhat. In fact the January antlerless season has been eliminated and antlerless tags reduced. (Please check the Iowa DNR website for all the details.)

No matter what, don’t let emotion or peer pressure cause you to enter the zone of, “I must harvest a deer,” to have a good hunt.  Remember, hunting is NOT a competition!  You need to plan your hunt and hunt your plan. What that means is whether you're hunting alone or in a large group, you need to have a plan and stick to it. Safety is number one! 

Did you know shooting at running deer is the number one risk of causing a firearm-related incident?

Here are a few additional things to think about before opening day:

  • When hunting deer from a blind during the regular shotgun deer season, the blind must exhibit a solid blaze orange marking with a minimum of 144 square inches visible in all directions. A blind is defined as a place of concealment constructed, either wholly or partially, from man made materials, which is used for the purpose of hiding a person who is hunting from sight. A blind is not a naturally occurring landscape feature or an arrangement of natural or agricultural plant material that a hunter uses for concealment. In addition to the requirements above, hunters using blinds must also satisfy the requirements of wearing blaze orange.
     
  • If you're going to hunt from a treestand, always wear your Fall Arrest System to make sure you remain secured from the time you leave the ground to your safe descent. There are a number of different types of safety harnesses available that will save you from severe injury or even death. It’s important to stay connected! Always use a haul line to pull up and lower your unloaded firearm. Falling from a treestand is the number one way hunters are injured. So many times we have heard, “I didn’t think it would ever happen to me!”  Don’t let this happen to you! 
  • Hunting on private land requires permission. Know where the property boundaries and buildings are, and where livestock may be located.
  • Report any observed violations to a conservation officer or local sheriff as soon as possible. The Iowa DNR Turn In Poachers (TIP) telephone number is 1-800-532-2020. Program it into your cell phone for access to an officer; help protect Iowa’s Wildlife.
  • Always respect both public and private property, the non-hunting public and wildlife. Be sensitive to everyone when displaying harvested game. You represent all of us when you’re a hunter! 

Remember:

  • Follow all firearms safety rules.
  • Be sure of your target and what’s beyond.
  • Blaze Orange Saves Lives!
  • If you hunt from a treestand, make sure you wear a fall arrest system.
  • Know and obey all hunting regulations; they are there to protect you, others and wildlife.

Hunt SAFE and have a GREAT Iowa Hunting Season!

______________________

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Visit us @ www.basspro.com/altoona
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Protection for your Gun

It's Hunting season and your gun takes a beating.  Always take the time to clean and keep your gun protected.  We have a large variety of gun cases at many different price ranges.  Here are a few that handle extreme conditions.

The Boyt Tactical H Series Double Handgun Case is tough and durable.  This case is designed to meet or exceed law enforcement, military and airline standards.  The case is waterproof and dustproof.  Boyt considers this case so durable it has a lifetime warranty.  High density foam will keep your handguns in place and protected.

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Plano makes gun cases at all different prices.  The Plano All Weather Tactical Gun Case is built for extreme conditions.  With a dri -loc seal for weathertight protection and thick wall construction, this is the ultimate protection for your gun.  The case has heavy duty dual stage lockable latches that hold tight then it has padlock tabs for reinforced security.  The pluckfoam allows you to shape the padding in the case to match your gun.

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The Redhead 2-Rifle Aluminum Gun Case is durable and fortified with heavy duty corner protectors.  There is a full length hidden hinge and heavy duty key latches for security.  Wheels on the bottom allows you to roll with ease.

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How about something that is watertight, crushproof and dustproof?  Check out the Redhead Double Rifle CaseThis case has a o- ring seal, automatic pressure equalization valve and wheels for easy transport.

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Anyone who owns a gun knows how important it is to keep your gun clean.  The Remington Squeeg-E Universal Gun Cleaning System, can be used on multiple firearms.  This has everthing you need to keep your guns in tip top shape.  Check out the reviews on line.

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Once your guns are cleaned, your are ready to put them away.  Gun socks are a great item to pick up and very inexpensive.  The Allen Company Tactical Gun Sock,  protects firearms from humidity and fits most tactical guns with or without scopes.  There is a drawstring closure, and it is 47 inches long.  The Allen Company Knit Gun Sock - 3 Pack, has drawstring closures. They will fit most guns with or without scopes, and the silicone treated knit fabric does not promote corrosion.

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Last but not least, when the guns are ready for the safe, a dehumidifier system is perfect to remove moisture.  The Stack-On Rechargeable Cordless Dehumidifier absorbs excess moisture with no holes, cords or batteries.  There is a moisture gauge that tells when it needs to be recharged.  This can be used in a standard electrical outlet, charge it overnight and put it back in your safe.  This will last for years.

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Another idea to remove humidity is the Browning Ever-Dry Dehumidifier.    This system is easy to install and will protect your items against rust.  Use on a safe 30"W or larger.

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So protect your gun investment.  Stop on in and take a look at the large variety of gun cases we have in stock.

 

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

 

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Good Broadheads Equal Short Blood Trails

During the first week of November I was thankful to tag a buck with my reliable BlackOut Bow. I was hunting in northern Missouri, and I chose to hang my stand in an area that the deer moved through like clockwork. As shooting light faded, a yearling doe appeared in the dried soybean plot in front of me. She spent many long minutes feeding in solitude, and shooting light was fading quickly. When I had just about decided to hang my bow up and call it a night, I heard the unmistakable sound of a deer approaching me from behind. I froze, and my eyes couldn’t begin tracking the eight-pointer until he was 10 yards to my right. He was headed straight to the soybeans.

When he passed behind some trees, I drew. Even in the low light, the site pins on my Redhead Kryptik Bow Sight glowed perfectly as I moved my 25-yard pin behind the animal’s shoulder. He was quickly putting distance between my arrow and his vitals, but he stopped for a moment before entering the edge of the food plot. I gently squeezed my release and sent my BlackOut X1 Pro Carbon Arrow toward my prey. I heard the satisfying “thwack” as the arrow entered and exited the deer. After an exaggerated donkey kick, the buck busted his way through the soybeans before coming to a stop only 20 yards from where the arrow met him. After pausing a few seconds, he tried to run again. But he ended up on the ground.

As I climbed down from the tree and moved toward the buck, I stopped and picked up my blood-stained arrow. It was tipped with a 100-grain BlackOut Fixed Blade Broadhead that had done its job, and done it well. After spending more than four hours in the tree that afternoon, the hunt ended suddenly and dramatically. It was an experience I’ll always be thankful for. As we move from the early archery season and into firearms season, I hope that you have the chance to harvest some venison as well. Good luck!

Todd Pridemore, Local Hunting Pro

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Take Someone: Skeet Shooting

Raise your hand if you have ever asked someone if they have shot guns before and they answer no but have shot shotguns. Now put your hand down, because the people  around you are puzzled at your actions. This brings a couple things up to ponder. One, why does shooting shotguns not constitute shooting guns? And that shooting shotguns seems to be the most common way to introduce someone to shooting.

Back in July of 2013 I wrote about shotguns. It was inspired because I took a poll on our Facebook of the favorite firearms for one to shoot. Shotguns did not make the list, but they took center stage in my blog.

Now mind you, this blog is about taking someone skeet shooting, but I am just using that as an overall term. I am including shooting trap and skeet, blasting clays on your own and shooting action targets with this. Shooting shotguns in this way still covers all the essentials for safety when handling firearms. It also throws in a bit of more fun as the targets are typically moving.

As Wikipedia would explain, shooting skeet is where the shooter “attempt(s) to break clay disks mechanically flung into the air from two fixed stations at high speed from a variety of angles.” This means there are two places for the clay birds to fly from and is usually going across from the shooter. Trap shooting is a little simpler as it utilizes only one station that throws the targets. These targets also are typically flung so they fly away from the shooter. Action targets (also known as sporting clays) come in a variety of different patterns. They typically mimic the natural patterns that game would travel in. So that could range from how dove, quail, duck, geese or even rabbits would enter and exit a hunter’s zone of fire. These are my favorite.

Shooting clays is also more exciting as it can be a group event and tallied up for scoring (and bragging rights). Also when you hit your target you can see a reaction, whereas paper targets tend to just stay there. It is always impressive to watch someone “dust” a clay, where the whole thing pretty much just dissolves right there in the air. Being able to smoke two targets in one shot always puts a certain kind of grin on one’s face.

Skeet is also a recognized Olympic sport. Currently the greatest nation in the world (us… the U.S.) holds the record for number of medals won at the sport.

But so to take someone you will want to cover the basics. Have eye and ear protection, a proper firearm and plenty of ammunition. Luckily shells are a little bit more economical than shooting other kinds of firearms. Once a new shooter gets the hang of things, you will be impressed with how many shells they will go through. Always emphasize safety and proper shooting though. If you do not hold the shotgun in the proper posture it can have quite painful consequences. The worst thing you can do to a new shooter is let them hurt themselves and be turned away from it forever. Using a 20 gauge can be a great starting place for new shooters. Personally I love shooting 20 gauge. It makes one take better aim and can damage less meat on game taken. Of course there is always something to be said about the effectiveness of a good 12 gauge.

Make sure you go over cleaning the shotgun at the end of the trip. This will instill a good mentality into new shooters that they need to care for their firearms. Plus usually all you need to do is run a pull-through down the barrels and pay a little attention to the mechanical parts.

Oh and did you know that there are scholarships available for skeet shooting and other shooting sports? Look into it!

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Trips

Fishing

Shooting

Hiking

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A Fine Nine: FNX 9

So here is a throwback! Who remembers the Fine Nine blogs? Anyone? Well the last one was from back in March of this year, so let’s get this series off again with a bang! That shouldn’t be too hard, considering we are talking about handguns that shoot 9MM. And to kick off the revamp of this series is a gun that is just awesome, the FNX-9.

This firearm is produced by gun manufacturing legend, FN Herstal. This company was founded in 1889 and is still based out of its homeland of Belgium. The FN stands for Fabrique Nationale and Herstal comes from the town in Belgium they hail from. It is a subsidiary of the same company that also owns Browning and Winchester. Currently FN Herstal is the largest exporter of small military arms in Europe.

This company may be a European classic, but it is gaining a following here in America along with a presence. They have two entities here in the U.S.A., FNH USA and FN Manufacturing. The latter company is based out of South Carolina, where they produce many of our military’s most prolific firearms. (The M16, M249 and M240 to name a few.) The firearms of FN are used by over a hundred countries’ military.

One could go on and on about all the different models of firearms this company makes, but we are going to focus on their FNX-9. The FNX-9 is an updated version of their FNP line of handguns. It is a semi-automatic, polymer framed, hammer fired pistol. (This is opposed to their FNS line that is striker-fired.)

What is very nice about the FNX is its versatility. Both in the roles it can play as a firearm and its ambidextrous features. They have magazine releases, safety/decocking levers and slide release levers on both sides of the firearm. As this company usually seeks military contracts, these features lend itself very well for right and left handed users.

Beyond those features, the FNX-9 does have a Picatinny rail (for accessories), fixed three-dot combat sites, and a loaded chamber indicator. I like the little features of a loaded chamber indicator, but also know not to completely rely on it (along with external safeties) as they can malfunction. These firearms also come with three magazines, a hard plastic case and interchangeable back straps.

Compared to the FNS models, the FNX has a much larger external safety. This is nice, as one can easily flip the safety off while drawing the firearm. It also can be shot in both single action and double action. This gun is a full size as it was designed to be a military sidearm. This means it would be more difficult to carry concealed, but because of its size the recoil is minimal. Also to help with the recoil, the barrel and slide travel up to twice the distance of some other semiautomatic pistols, before separating. The spring absorbs more momentum from both the barrel and the slide.

Two issues that one could encounter are the grip and the aftermarket item supply for this firearm. The grip has a rather “aggressive” checkering to it. It is made so to have a more secure grip no matter what conditions you may be in. (The firearm could be dusty, your hands could be cold and so on.) So while those who understand the purpose of the grip can appreciate, others might be left with their hands hurting. An easy way to get around that is to shoot with tactical gloves. There also is not a lot of aftermarket items for the firearm itself as well. It will be a little bit more work finding holsters and other accessories/add-ons. Not necessarily a deal breaker by any means, but still something to be considered.

Also last but not least, field stripping this firearm is quite easy. As having just taught my wife about field stripping handguns, those that are broken up into just several main pieces is something to be appreciated and considered.

So next time you are looking at a full-size 9mm handgun, be sure to check out an FNX-9 as it might just become a member of the household!

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Nines:

Basics

Glock 19

S&W M&P

Beretta 92

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Five Quick Tips For Your Next New Hampshire Hunting Adventure

Hunting is in full swing in New Hampshire! There are some quick tips that will help you succeed on your next hunting trip.

 

1. Scent elimination is key! Make sure to remove as much human scent as possible before heading out into the field.

 

Consider buying product specifically for scent control. There is a wide selection of soaps, antiperspirant, laundry detergent, and tooth paste to help you stay unnoticed in the field.

 

2. Remain quiet and listen carefully

 

 Walk softly by taking short, balanced steps to reduce noise while walking in the woods. If using a tree stand, practice setting up and getting into to. Using a tree stand with minimal sound requires practice. 

 

3. Concealment: Blind, tree stand, camouflage.

Not sure what is the best type of camouflage to use? Come down to our store. We have experienced staff that will help you make the perfect purchase for your needs.

 

However.....

 

4. Wear hunter orange during firearm season.

 

Remember safety first, day or night! In New Hampshire it is not required by law to wear but it is highly recommended.

 

5. Make memories and share your passion with our next generation of hunters.

Mark your calendar! Youth deer hunt weekend in New Hampshire is October 25th & 26th.

 

Happy Hunting!

 

Monica - Events & Promotions Coordinator

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Newest RedHead BlackOut Blinds

Over the past couple of years, hunting has reached a new peak in our society. The origins of such a movement can be argued, be it a case of eating organic/healthily, a particular nationally famous family known for their facial hair, or just a new trend taking on a different form. Regardless of the cause, hunting is the new in thing. From little kids to adults who have never owned, much less touched a firearm in their lives, the hunting bug is being spread around like a new epidemic. There are those in the hunting community that do not appreciate this, and enjoy the exclusiveness of it. However, most of us are either neutral or excited at the prospect of having another set of ears to talk off, and swap stories with.

          I, for one, am excited at the new allure hunting has taken on to those who have not been exposed to it. It’s one thing to experience buck fever, but just like a knee ache or an old itch, you get used to it. It’s invigorating to see someone new being introduced into the community we call the outdoors as they encounter new feelings and experiences at every corner and turn. That feeling is amplified when you’re the direct cause of it! Any father who has taken his son or daughter hunting can relate to this. At the risk of sounding pompous, I enjoy taking on that pseudo-fatherly role when introducing someone to the outdoor life. I feel responsible for their experience as I guide them along their new chosen path. So when I take someone new to the outdoors on one of these little excursions I try to make things as comfortable as possible for them.

          Anyone who has tried to squeeze two butts into a one butt ground blind knows that it isn’t easy. It’s often cramped, uncomfortable, and difficult to maneuver when you finally get a good shot in. Some hunters who have their own land have circumnavigated this problem by building their own custom blinds, but the rest who hunt on leases and/or public land, that isn’t exactly an option. RedHead answered that call with their new line up of BlackOut blinds for the 2014-2015 hunting season, and boy did they answer.

          The X72, X83, and X300, the first two being respective to their HUB to HUB interior dimensions are the new pop up blinds BlackOut has introduced. Seventy-two inches of roomie space is more than enough for two adult hunters and a Mr. Buddy space heater. The X83 stands a whopping 73 inches tall, and has ample space for one hunter to set up a small camping cot, a space heater, and hunt comfortably. Or, if you aren’t into that yuppie style of hunting, and prefer to share the misery with your buddies, three grown men can fit into the spacious ground blind, and mumble and grumble like old times. And the “Big Kahuna” of them all is the X300. With enough room for three grown men to hunt comfortably (4 semi-comfortably) and a 300 degree view of your surroundings, it is by far the most bang for your buck.

 All BlackOut blinds are made of a durasheen material to prevent that new-out-of-box glare from giving away your position, and come with an external mat extending seven inches from all sides to help keep out critters, any environmental factors in the immediate vicinity, and retain your scent. All windows are made of shoot-thru mesh, and come with handy cargo pouches on the inside to store all your knick knacks. The entrances to all blinds also have been made larger to accommodate those handicapped or physically disabled hunters. They also come with the brush straps, to add any vegetation or foliage and better blend in with your surroundings. All they need are elevators and blind attendants to hand you your weapon and replace the propane canisters in your Mr. Buddy.

          The best feature, which RedHead carried over from their blind model two years ago, is the HUB style set up. This ingenious bit of technology has brought the break-down and set-up time of pop up blinds in half. What used to take two people ten minutes to take down, now only takes one person half that time (5 minutes on average) to set-up and break down. With nifty folding rods, that when locked into place make the install a dream to those hunters who like to move spots, there isn’t much to complain about if you follow the instructions correctly (What are instructions?).

          All in all, RedHead has out done themselves this year. Their new BlackOut lineup is full of all new gadgets and toys for reasonable prices, from blinds to broadheads, bows and arrows. Shoot, even their chairs and stools are comfortable (I made one my home office chair.) One could easily argue that their products will be up there with Primos and Ameristep, but I don’t think either of those brands have breadth of variety that BlackOut has stamped their name on this year. And it’s all exclusively sold at Bass Pro Shops! I don’t always buy Blackout stuff from Bass Pro Shops, but when I do, it’s because that’s the only place I can get it .Head to your local (or closest) Bass Pro, or check out their ads in the mail and online. See for yourself all the cool new toys and gadgets. You’re going to like them. I guarantee it.

 

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Look at That! SHE Outdoor

So most of the time when a couple goes around Bass Pro Shops together, it’s usually the husband who will just stop and look at something. I mean, just look at it! Sometimes I feel bad for our ladies but then again I’ve done my time in Macy’s. But lately women have been getting into the outdoors in a big way, and there is a product line that can stop a women dead in her tracks and just look at it!

SHE Outdoor has brought an amazing number of products to the market just for ladies. Hunting has been a “man’s game” for a long time so women’s products have been slow to come about. Now however, it’s time for the ladies to shine!

As their page says

“SHE Outdoor offers a full line of hunting clothing specifically tailored for the female body. In times past all women had to choose from was square and bulky men's clothing in smaller sizes that greatly impeded their movement when shouldering firearms, drawing bows, stalking game, climbing treestands, or while doing what hunters do most—walking. Wearing proper fitting clothing allows women to now concentrate solely on the hunt.

SHE Outdoor offers a complete line of hunting clothing ranging from noninsulated shirts and pants for safaris and early season hunts in North America, to insulated and waterproof outerwear for hunting waterfowl, or going after big game in Alaska. No matter where your adventure takes you, SHE Outdoor has you covered. “

Part of the fun of hunting is picking up new gear. We men salivate over reviews from Field & Stream and Outdoor Life and now women can do the same. It really opens it up for husbands to share with their wives, fathers with their daughters and women hunters to their friends a chance to share a passion.

SHE Outdoor also has its own line of professional women hunters that help give insight and a face to connect to for other female hunters. Just like how young athletes have their superstar idols that they aspire to be like, women hunters now have the same. Some of the biggest inspirations for women getting into the outdoors, especially archery, were the female characters from Brave and The Hunger Games.

SHE Outdoor comes in all the standard patterns that any hunter would need. What is nice is that they also didn’t go extremely effeminate with it. I mean there is nothing wrong with some pink and camo, but SHE Outdoor did not go overboard on it. They make good quality gear.

I mean would ya just look at it!

-Giddy-Up!!

Other Nifty Things to Look At!

Propane Fire Ring

Hand Towels

Rainproof Camo

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Concealed in Camo: Carry Options

Camouflage is one of the greatest inventions in the world to me. It started off as a basic concept, use colors and fabrics to help hide a hunter and has evolved into a multi-million dollar industry. Companies have created a pattern for just about every circumstance one could find themselves in. One of my co-associates, Katie-Kins, wrote a great blog about a bunch of different patterns.

I found myself strolling my old stomping grounds, Gifts, and found some rather cool items that I have had a personal interest in. They were an assortment of concealed-carry bags, made by Emperia. These are purses, satchels or bags that are specifically designed for women who carry concealed firearms. They have a side pouch where the firearm is contained. All one must do is unzip the side pocket, reach in and are good to go.

Now one thing to understand about carry concealed purses is that you are intended to shoot straight through the bag. It takes precious seconds for one to remove the firearm and then utilize it. In dangerous situations, seconds are extremely important. There are incredible amounts of statistics that prove this but this one sticks out the most to me. It takes roughly an average of 3 seconds for someone to cover 21 feet while running. So if a threat is realized about 25 feet away, one only has a few seconds to be ready to respond with a firearm. The extra time one would spend removing the firearm from the bag could result in tragedy.

So you shoot through your purse and have to buy a new one? I am OK with that every and any day of the week as compared to what else could happen.

I have been working with my wife to get her to carry for a while now. A common question women have is “where am I going to put it?!” The carry-concealed bag is great because it allows one to carry something most do every day. Most of these bags have a built in holster, with Velcro attached inside the compartment, to hold the firearm. It is your basic holster so a wide variety of firearms can be utilized in it, or one can use their own.

Now as I mentioned way above, there is some camouflage involved. Many of these bags we sell come in a variety of patterns.

We also have a couple for the more Western-style inclined.

These options leave plenty of room in the main compartment for ladies to pack their usual daily necessities. There is also plenty of room for a spare magazine or speed-loader if needed/desired.

Now while we are talking about concealed-carry, let us discuss possible options as well. Please note, none of this is to be “sexist” or derogatory. These are generalizations and stuff I have personally experienced.

There is the phrase “the best caliber firearm to carry is the largest one you can comfortably shoot”. I agree mostly with this, but when it comes to concealed-carry one usually ends up with a smaller handgun. Typically the best firearms are those in the .380 Auto, .38 Special and 9mm Luger calibers. These work well enough in smaller frame handguns and can be quite effective. Now if one is comfortable shooting a .40S&W or .45ACP, then go for it. Just remember you may love shooting them in a full-size but not a compact or sub-compact.

I personally bought my wife the Smith & Wesson 642 in .38Special+P. It is a snub-nosed revolver that holds 5 rounds. The +P means it can hold more powder than regular, but she can still shoot the regular while practicing. And believe me; you can feel the difference between the two. It turns out that this handgun is a common choice for women. I chose it because it is something she could handle, easy to conceal and easy to operate.

Having to use a firearm can be a high-stress situation. And during it, one could forget a part of the process to getting the firearm to fire. This revolver is pretty much “point and pull”. There are no external safeties, and when my wife would pull the trigger it will go off. (Please don’t get on me about using the term “pull” when it comes to shooting etiquette.)

Now other good options are the compact or sub-compact semi-auto handguns. These firearms can hold more rounds than a snub-nosed revolver and reloading with a magazine can be easier than using a speed-loader for your revolver. They also tend to have external safeties which can help new carriers deal with having a firearm on their person. The personal protection handgun industry has flooded the market with all sorts of new options. Personally, the M&P Shield is not a bad option… If one wants to as well they could pick up the M&P Compact, which can utilize the full sized clips whereas the Shield cannot. (Can you tell I’m a fan of the M&P yet?)

Now if one is seriously looking at getting into carrying-concealed, do not take it lightly. Get a permit (especially where mandatory), do some research and take classes. Everything will help you in the long run. If possible, find a shooting range where one can hopefully rent and test possible choices first before buying. Or join a discussion board or group in your area. Others will usually be more than likely to help out when it comes to this.

-Giddy-Up!!

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Fall weather means it's time to head outdoors!

It’s the time of the year again to “Head to the Outdoors” and what better way to do that than hunting. Deer hunting in the South East is at its prime in Georgia and South Carolina. Make sure you are equipped with the best and correct merchandise for a great outdoor experience. For camouflage clothing we carry various brands including our own RedHead brand. To keep warm and dry we also carry a variety of under garments. If you are a deer hunter we carry a variety of Firearms and Bows. We also carry a large assortment of treestands , tree climbers and ground blinds. Don’t forget deer attractant. One of our best sellers is the Wildgame “Acorn Rage”.

Acorn Rage

Along with this you need to get cover sent. Our cover sent smell ranges from pine scent to earth scent. We also carry a variety of deer feeders, some of our top brands are Moultrie and American Hunter. If you want to see what deer are roaming on your property look at the various manufacturers we have for game cameras; Moultrie, Primos, Bushnell, just to name a few. After you bag your game, we have a variety of cleaning supplies.  Last but not least, if you have a number predators on your property, we have electronic and decoy predator calls.

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Check it Out List: Dove Hunting

I love bird hunting. Especially dove. Some of the best times I have had outdoors with a shotgun in hand, has been while dove hunting. Typically dove hunting is done in one spot. You know where the birds are going to be flying from and when. Some farmers even encourage hunters to come to their land to help reduce the number of birds affecting their operation.

Some areas though allow one to walk and hunt the birds. This method is quite enjoyable as well because its lets one be more active. But as always, safety should be the top concern so always be in eyesight and conscious of shooting areas.

Arizona has been doing a good job at improving dove hunting over the past couple of years. Our Game and Fish Department has opened up areas to dove hunting that have been closed for years now. They are trying to bring back dove hunting like it was in “the good old days”. This year they even opened up the bag limit to 15 birds a day! This means that Game and Fish is getting extra generous or we have a serious dove issue… or both. These steps along with the improved license structures are going to work wonders for Arizona’s outdoor enthusiasts.

But in order to have a successful hunt, one must have their trip planned out. And so here is this month’s check-list. Please note it will be for a stationary dove-hunter.

Dove Hunting

-Proper permission to hunt in a desired spot.

-Shotgun

-Plenty of Shells

-Seat of some kind

-Licenses

-Knife/Multi-tool

-Proper Clothing

-Sun Protection

-Game Bag

-Water

-Bag for spent shells and trash

 

No matter where or what you are hunting, make sure it is OK to do so. If hunting on someone’s property, always be respectful of the land and anything on it. One farm we used to hunt had to close it off to hunters because they were being careless and leaving trash and spent shells.

The shotgun will depend on the hunter. Typically a semi-automatic is preferred as these birds fly fast and erratic. It’s usually not a question of if you will miss but how many times. Which is also why you want to bring plenty of shells.

Seats can be a variety of options and just depend on personal preference. 5 Gallon Buckets are a standard and great tool. This one in particular comes with a padded seat. You can throw in a few boxes of shells and your spent ones as well. This stool gives one a little extra back support, but is not too obstructive to stop one from rotating for a shot. It also has a small storage area below… to store stuff in.

But please always be safe when hunting or handling firearms for any reason. And don’t forget some Blaze Orange!!

-Giddy-Up!!

Checked-Lists

Picnics

Gun Cleaning

Game Care

First Aid

Kayaking

Day Pack

Trip Prep

Range Time

Fishing Pack

Boating Day Trip

Camp Cooking

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Local Hero Discount Days Coming this October!

 

 

October in East Tennessee is one of my favorite times- Fall Fishing, hunting, camp fires, football- and the leaves change.

It is a busy time of the year gearing up for the upcoming holiday season but Bass Pro Shops doesn’t want to forget all of those who make it possible, the ones who protect us every day!

The entire month of October we would like to say THANK YOU to our Local Heroes!!!

Members of law enforcement, fire, and emergency response receive a 10% discount on regular priced merchandise purchased in the store. Some exclusions do apply. Must show ID to receive discount.

 

Terms & conditions: Offer valid October 1-31 on regular priced merchandise only. Must show valid ID to receive discount. Good for purchases at Bass Pro Shops retail store locations. Not valid with any other offer. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law. Discount not available on gift cards, all firearms and ammunition, safes, fishing and hunting licenses, golf clubs, ATVs taxidermy, optics, electronics, boats, motors, Mercury motors, any TRACKER boat product/services, store restaurant food or drinks, and vendor outlets within the store. Applicable taxes must be paid by bearer. Discount not available at basspro.com or catalog call center. See store for details.

 

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Fall Fishing Event

The weather is changing and so is the fishing! Are you ready?  Join us for our Fall Fishing Event!

Fall Fishing Event

Plus celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day all weekend with a Beginning Fishing for Kids workshop and crafts!

National Hunting and Fishing Day

 

Saturday and Sunday, September 27 and 28:

Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshop Noon – 1pm

Kids learn the basics to get started fishing, including hands-on casting instruction! Kids who complete the class will receive a fishing certificate along with a folding fishing hat!

Free Craft - Color Your Own Mini Tackle Box 1-3pm


Then we have these great seminars for the big fishermen and women!


Saturday, Sept. 27

1pm- Where did the Fish Go? Expert advice on following fall fish movements.

2pm- Which Fishing Rod and Reel? Our fishing experts help you select the rod and reel that work best for various fishing situations.

3pm- Local Fishing Areas  Learn the hot spots for area fishing opportunities.

 

Sunday, Sept. 28

1pm- Fall Fishing Tackle Box  Learn the key baits and presentations for fall fishing.

2pm- Fall Weather Transition & How it Affects Fishing  Learn how the fall weather changes affect water and fishing conditions.

3pm- Preparing Your Boat  Our experts show you ways to be more productive on the water by setting up your boat correctly.

A free collapsible water bottle for the first 25 customers to attend the 2 p.m. seminars each day!

 

Also, in the store this weekend:

These Boy Scouts will be at the store selling popcorn!

Saturday, Sept. 27 - Pack 62 from Johnston
Sunday, Sept. 28 - Troop 182 from Ankeny

Legal Heat Concealed Carry Classes - Sunday, Sept. 28, 1 - 5 p.m. This one class qualifies you to obtain the Iowa, Utah and Arizona concealed firearm permits.This powerful combo of permits will allow you to carry in 36 different states. The course will emphasize state and federal laws. Students can expect to learn more about firearm laws and self-defense laws during this short 3.5 hour class than most will learn in a lifetime. Register online at www.mylegalheat.com.

_____________________

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DEC Crossbow Hunting Regulations

Crossbows are flying off the shelf here at Bass Pro.  Make sure that you are aware of the regulations, so you can hunt safely and correctly. Straight from the NYS DEC regulation guide here is something you should read:

GENERAL CROSSBOW REGULATIONS

Age Requirement:  Crossbows may be used only by licensees who are 14 years of age or older.

Without landowner permission, crossbows may not be discharged within 250 feet of any home, school building or playground, public structure, farm structure in use, or occupied factory or church.

A crossbow may not be possessed in or on a motor vehicle unless it is un-cocked.

While on lands inhabited by deer or bear, and in or on a motor vehicle using artificial lights, a crossbow may not be possessed unless it is unstrung or taken down or securely fastened in a case or locked in the trunk of the vehicle.

Crossbows may not be used for hunting in Suffolk, Nassau, or Westchester counties.

REQUIRED CROSSBOW HUNTING QUALIFICATION & SAFETY TRAINING

There are 3 options to choose from in order to complete the required crossbow qualification & safety training.  All must accompany a NYS hunting license and in some cases a muzzleloading privilege.

Option 1:  Review the DEC online crossbow qualification training and complete the Crossbow Certificate of Qualification.*

Option 2:  Review the DEC crossbow qualification training and complete the Crossbow Certificate of Qualification* found in the 2014-2015 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide.

Option 3:  Complete a Hunter Education or Combination Education course to receive a Hunter Education Certificate of Qualification. * Certificates must be dated on or after April 1, 2014 to meet crossbow qualification and safety training.

*NOTE:  The Crossbow Certificate of Qualification from 2012-2013 is no longer valid.

CROSSBOW SPECIFICATIONSBarnett Quad 400 Crossbow Package

A legal crossbow consists of a bow and string, either compound or recurve, that launches a minimum 14 inch bolt or arrow, not including point, mounted upon a stock with a trigger that holds the string and limbs under tension until released.

The trigger unit of such crossbow must have a working safety.

Minimum limb width:  17 inches (outer tip of limbs, excluding wheels and cams, uncocked)

Minimum peak draw weight:  100 pounds

Maximum peak draw weight:  200 pounds

Minimum overall length:  24 inches from butt-stock to front of limbs

CROSSBOW REGULATIONS PER HUNTING SEASON

Big Game

License requirement:

The new law essentially treats crossbows as a muzzleloader. Hunters must possess a muzzleloader hunting privilege to legally hunt with a crossbow during any muzzleloader season OR during open portions of the early bowhunting seasons.  Muzzleloader privilege is not required when hunting with a crossbow during the early bear season or the regular firearms seasons.

Bowhunting privilege is not required for use of a crossbow at any time.

Crossbows may be used during the following seasons:

Crossbows may be used to take bear during the early bear season, early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone, regular firearms seasons in the Northern and Southern Zones, and the late muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone.

Cross bows may be used to take deer during:

Early and late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone and late muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone using       Bow/Muzz tags, DMPs, DMAP tags, or an unfilled Regular Big Game tag (late season only);

Regular firearms seasons using a Regular Big Game tag, DMPs, or DMAP tags.

Crossbows may also be used to take deer or bear during limited portions of bowhunting seasons as follows, provided that the hunter possesses the muzzleloading privilege:

During the last 14 days of the early bowhunting season in the Southern Zone (i.e., November 1-November 14, 2014);

During the last 10 days of the early bowhunting season in the Northern Zone (i.e.,October 15-October 24; this includes the 7-day early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone);

Only Bow/Muzz tags, DMP's or DMAPs may be used during these times.

Crossbows may not be used under the following conditions:

To take deer or bear in the following areas of the state:

Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 4J in Albany County

WMU 8C in Monroe County

In the counties of Suffolk, Nassau or Westchester

Junior big game hunters (age 14-15) may not use a crossbow to take a deer during the Youth Deer Hunt weekend (October 11-13, 2014). Adult mentors who accompany a junior big game hunter on the Youth Deer Hunt weekend may not possess a crossbow (or firearm) while afield on those days.

SMALL GAME

License Requirements: A hunting license is needed to use a crossbow to hunt small game species.  A turkey permit is also required to hunt turkeys.  All crossbow specifications remain in effect.

Crossbows may be used to take the following small game species during their respective open seasons.

Wild Turkey

Any other small game or upland game birds.

Unprotected wildlife (e.g.red squirrels and woodchucks) at anytime.

Crossbows may not be used under the following conditions.

To take waterfowl or other migratory game birds.

While hunting with a dog for any small game (except for coyotes in the Northern Zone).

FISH

Crossbows may not be used to take carp or any other fish species.

We hope this helps you plan your hunting in a safe correct matter.

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

 

 

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Why it Matters: Hunting

So this month we are running our huge Fall Hunting Classic event/sale at Bass Pro. It’s a great time to stock up on gear and information. It’s awesome having people come in to get outfitted for their big hunt this year. Out here in Arizona we have some of the best big game available and work on a lottery system for most tags. Getting drawn is a huge thing, and somehow a good number of our associates got tags. So now I get to watch my coworkers and customers get hooked up for their hunts.

There is always a certain sparkle to someone who is going on a hunt. Lord knows I had it a couple years back for my first big game hunt. Every lunch break was spent asking hundreds of questions to my buddies in the Hunting Department. And now I can even pass on my limited knowledge to people.

And you know what, that is something that matters. Hunting is an important tradition for many reasons. And for that I am making it the focus of this month’s Why It Matters blog.

Hunting has always been an important aspect of human life. Our ancestors needed to hunt in order to survive. Nowadays we have been able to ranch or raise livestock to fill dinner plates worldwide.  But still, every year people continue to go outside to harvest animals for food. Some would ask why? There are many ways to answer that.

One, because it’s in our nature. We would not have survived this world without hunting for previous generations. Just like they say there is a wolf inside all domestic dogs, there is a hunter in every human. No matter how far we are removed from the outdoors by cell phones or whatever, it is still instinctual. Just like we fear what is lurking in the dark.

 Two, because unlike buying meat in a grocery store that came from some commercial farm somewhere you are getting your meat from nature. Deer are not being pumped full of hormones to speed up their development. Elk are not on a conveyor belt never seeing the outdoors. Pheasants’ feet are allowed to touch the ground and roam freely. The health reasons for eating grass fed or cage free meats are even more indicators for why we should be eating game meats.

Three, it helps keep the balance of things. This is for nature itself and us humans. We can get back to our roots and take a break from the over-stimulation of everyday life when out in the field. We can actually focus on something that matters, like getting meat on the table for winter as opposed to “shooting off that really important email”! Humans have had a huge impact on nature, both good and bad, and our role in it is still being figured out. In areas where we have removed the natural apex predator we must hunt animals to prevent over population and diseases that are possible. In places where the predators outnumber the prey, we need to reestablish the healthy balance between the two. Arizona’s antelope population gets hit hard by coyotes and in these areas there is a concentration of predator hunting to help the antelope.

Four, it pays. Not only does a hunting trip pay off in a memory, a great time and hopefully food to consume but it helps fund outdoor conservation. It’s the money paid in fees, tags, licenses, firearms, ammunition and other hunting equipment that funds the federal and state agencies that handle our outdoors. If you think PETA is out there helping clean up the outdoors or watch over populations of animals, you are wrong. It is the kinds of people like volunteers of local hunting clubs that put forth the efforts that matter. And whether you are a meat hunter or are just looking for a trophy to hang, it’s the license they buy and the trips that they take that do the most for animal conservation. Without hunters, a huge income of the monetary needs that is required would be lost.

Now one could keep on going with this list, but that’s enough for one blog. I’ll let it all simmer for you, and maybe share it with someone. If you have a strong opinion on why it matters, comment below! We’d love to hear from ya. Remember, United We Stand!

-Giddy-Up!!

Previously:

Getting Outdoors

Picking Up
 

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