Magpul PMAGS are in stock!

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








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

PMAG 30 Gen M2

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


PMAG 30 Gen M3

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


PMAG 20 Gen M3

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






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


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
















Game Changers: Fred Bear

So the past two Game Changer blogs focused on the conservation efforts of Theodore Roosevelt and The Boone and Crockett Club. This time I am going to step away from strict conservation recognition but acknowledge someone who was a real game changer in the way we go after game: Fred Bear.

Besides running animals off of a cliff, archery has been one of the longest forms of hunting. It was also a common use in warfare. In fact it was because of war that a number of advances were made in the world of bows and arrows. From the English creating their infamous longbows to the Mongol warriors of Genghis Khan needing more power in a shorter bow (first forms of recurve bows) warfare influenced bow technology immensely.

Once the advances of gun powder and firearms really took hold, both hunters and warriors seemed to step away from the bow. By the time Fred Bear was done with his 86 years on this planet, he would change all that. His name has become synonymous with archery, especially when concerning hunting.

Bear did not get into archery right away nor did he master the discipline right away. Most say that he did not pick up bow hunting until he was almost 30. As any bow hunter knows, it takes years of practice to master. He was originally inspired by a documentary about another important figure of bow hunting history, Art Young.

He began working and creating his own bows shortly after. As his skill at crafting grew, so did his skill at archery. He was able to take the Michigan state archery championship three times. Despite all of this, the man was still extremely grounded. He had what many call a “grassroots kindness” and was willing to talk to everyone and anyone about bow hunting.

His hunts and adventures took him all over the world and inspired a whole new generation of hunters. His collection was so extensive that he opened a museum which included many ancient artifacts. When the museum closed in 2003, Bass Pro Shops was more than happy to step in and acquire these timeless treasurers. At our headquarter store in Springfield, MO there is an awesome display of these items and more. (There is a nice little write-up of the area, here.)

Beyond just the trophies, Bear captured a lot more on his adventures. He was extremely successful in using film and television to bring his passion to the world. Videos of Bear taking animals ranged from deer to more exotics. Bear was even successful in taking down an elephant on a trip to Africa.

By the time he was done; Bear was a successful bow hunter, bow manufacturer, author and television host. He was a popular contributor to Outdoor Life and Archery Magazine. His company, Bear Archery is still in full swing and making what are considered by many some of the best bows out there. He was still active into his last days and it is for that reason that his name will always be remembered. When a passion like that is so strong, others can’t help but notice.

So thanks, Fred Bear. You pioneered a way of life that lets many connect to their basic roots and enjoy the outdoors in a completely different way. Your inspiration has kept the sport you love alive and has added countless people to take up a bow and the effort to protect the wilderness and animals they appreciate so much.


Bass Pro Shops is for the Birds!

The South Texas hunting season is fast approaching. Bass Pro Shops is now selling the 2013-2014 hunting and fishing license. Temporary and year round permits are available. It is important to note that the lines for license renewal grow longer as the season grows nearer. Our great customer service associates Elizabeth, Liza, Deana, Ryan and Arnold are ready to assist you in your choice of the available Texas licenses.

The south zone special white-wing season runs September 01, 02, 07, and 08 of 2013. The daily bag limit is 15 white-wing, morning, or white fronted doves in the aggregate to include no more than 2 morning dove and 2 white fronted dove. The regular dove season runs from September 20 – October 23, 2013 and December 20 – January 15, 2014.



 Due to our extended and prolonged drought, the population of birds has decreased. Limits will still be attainable with some great tips in our hunting department. Adrian, Stanley, and Jerry are just some of our hunting buddies to help you out. They can assist you in the right selection of ammo and firearms for the best hunt of your life. Currently Bass Pro Shops is running super pricing on shotgun shells and accessories. We have the largest selection of camouflage clothing, snake boots, hunting vests, and ice chests in the Rio Grande Valley. We even carry the complete line of Yeti coolers.

Our associates at the Bass Pro Shops Harlingen are friendly, knowledgeable, and always ready to assist you the minute you walk in. Make us your first and last stop for all your hunting needs.


Mike Frazier



On Point with RedHead Arrow Tips

So one of the first blogs I ever did was about getting into archery. In it I discussed the basics that you would need to start this life-long passion that more and more people are showing interest in. (I also showed how to get these basics for under $650, before tax.)

 Since then I have realized I should have included a few other items to snag at the initial purchase, such as a case. Just like a firearm, you want to protect your gear. But the blog was about just simply getting into it for fun. What usually happens though is that the simple fun factor is replaced by a passion for more.

I have heard more times that I can count how hunters who switch to archery rarely go back to firearms. Here in Arizona, we work off a lottery system for our big game hunts. Some people never get drawn and others seem to get to go every year! Archery provides Arizona hunters with the ability to harvest an animal each year with over-the-counter tags. So if one is not too lucky at drawing a number maybe it’s time to switch to drawing back a bow!

If you picked up the basics I listed out you are almost all ready to go for gear. Of course you are going to need proper clothing, scent control and the knowledge of hunting regulations and such but there is one obvious addition that you are going to need to make. You need some tips.

Tips in two ways actually! (Learning from others is an essential practice for having successful hunts but I’m talking about arrow tips.) So I strolled over to the Archery Department and looked for some tips on tips. They pointed me straight to the RedHead selection.

Now when it comes to tips for hunting there are the typical two that people go to. There are broadheads and mechanicals. Both styles come in multiple forms but the gist is that broadheads are fixed blades and mechanicals use folding/working blades. Now just like everything else in archery, this is all personal choice.

Some insist that broadheads are the way to go since you know those blades are good to go whereas the mechanicals need to deploy for full effectiveness. You hear that and then three yards to your left someone lets you know that failures with mechanicals deploying has pretty much been eliminated.

So I decided to do a little more research before spending some dough. I popped online to check out the tips. We have two broadheads: Blackout Fixed Blade and Blackout FXD Cut-On-Contact. We also have two mechanicals: Blackout Expandable and Blackout Gator Expandable. Fun Fact #248: All four of these had an average of at least 4 out of 5 stars.

Now I was told that mechanicals fly closer to what your bow does when using practice tips, so you have a better idea where your arrow is going to end up. So I was kind of leaning towards mechanical. Then when I saw the word Gator I knew I was in.

(Favorite football game was when the Florida Gators smoked the Ohio State Buckeyes for the BCS Championship and I love Swamp People. May have played Swamp People in a hotel room once and pretended a body pillow was an alligator.)

When I checked out the reviews on the Gator Expandable tips I saw that there was over 110! A number of reviews even included pictures of how well they functioned! (You can see them for yourself online; I don’t want to upset anyone with graphic images.)

I’m hoping to see just how well these will work on a nice 4X4 mule deer I have spotted a few times this year. I’ll keep ya posted.

So no matter what flavor of tip you like it looks like you won’t be disappointed with any of the choices RedHead has for you. Just remember to practice, practice and practice. Armadillo Archers! Giddy-Up!


Quail and Chukar Hunting Seminars - hunting seasons opening soon!!

Hunting for quail and chukar can be a multi-faceted process...especially if you are just getting started or newer to the sport.  Let Bass Pro and outdoor enthusiast Jim Matthews break it down for you!!

Jim is an accomplished outdoorsman and you know his name from his regular publication Outdoor News Service or from his writings in Western Birds, the Wingshooter's Newsletters.  Jim knows a ton on the topic and is ready to share all at his upcoming seminars at Bass Pro Shops.

Sign up directly with Jim by contacting him via phone (see flyer).  You'll be glad you did...he gives a very comprehensive presentation and you will walk away feeling well informed!

Bass Pro Shops can help with all the gear you need...firearms, ammo, calls, camoflage apparel...with knowledgeable associates to assist that have real experience with bird hunting!!

Call Jim for more details at the same phone number!




Local Dove, Quail & Chukar Hunting Opportunities

Eurasian Collard Doves 

 Dove Hunting in California Sept 1 - Sept 15

September 1 Dove season opener is probably the most attended hunting event in SoCal. Mass migrations of dove hunters pour into the Imperial and Colorado River Valley bringing much needed economy to many farming towns. Generation after generation of dove hunters have hunted this vast area every year and are always welcome by the locals.

Weather is typically smoking Hot with the occasional thunder storm. Mosquito repellent is the standard deodorant of the day. This year is a little bit different. Starting Sept 1st in Imperial county the Eurasian collard dove’s bag limit is now unlimited and year round hunting.  With the season fast approaching you need to get all of your gear together. You can get everything you need from the firearm all the way down to the right boots, right here at The Bass Pro Shops!

We’ve included this webpage link below so all of you hunters can Identify the Eurasian collard doves from the other doves.


  • Eurasian Collared Dove
  • The Eurasian Collared Dove most often simply called the Collared Dove, also sometimes hyphenated as Eurasian Collared-dove is a species of dove native to Asia and Europe, and also recently introduced in North America. Wikipedia
    Scientific name: Streptopelia decaocto
    Rank: Species
    Also be sure to check out our Public Land Quail & Chukar Hunting Seminars! This is a comprehensive seminar by Jim Matthews.




NEXT Generation On-Target Challenge!!!

Don’t miss the last weekend of the Fall Hunting Classic!!

MORE Daily Specials on Friday and Saturday, Binocular and Rangefinder Trade-In Days (August 14-18) and our NEXT Generation Weekend!!!

What is NEXT Generation??? It is the way Bass Pro engages our youth to get involved in the outdoors.

It includes a TV show on The Outdoor Channel that shows our youth the fun and challenges of hunting and fishing. Children are our future and establishing a healthy love for being outdoors is extremely important to us.

Our On-Target Challenge Events this weekend will include; archery, BB guns Range, crafts, downloadable photo, and seminars - all absolutely free!!! All activities will be noon-5 pm both Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18.

Try out our new BB shooting range (12-5 pm) and learn 10 Safety Tips with firearms - presented in cooperation with Daisy. Seminars will be held both Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM, 3 PM and 4:30 PM.

What better way to safely introduce your child to firearms???


next generation

Get ready for the fall hunting season with our turkey or deer ornament craft.

Kids get a FREE 4x6 photo download and On-Target Certificate for completing the BB Shooting Range and Archery activities.

Plus the first 100 kids to complete all activities each day get a FREE collapsible water bottle!!


Next Generation, This Weekend

For those families that missed our Family Summer Camp, be sure to stop by this weekend (August 17th and 18th) for our Next Generation Weekend!

What is Next Generation? It is our way to engage the youth into the great outdoors. It includes a TV show that covers fishing and hunting for youngsters. Children are our future and establishing a healthy love for being outside in any way is extremely important.

These events will run from Noon until 5:00PM both Saturday and Sunday. Activities will include: kids’ archery, craft, BB gun shooting range, photo download and seminars. They are all absolutely free!

Kids will need a parent or legal guardian to sign a waiver to participate in both the archery and BB gun shooting activities. The first 100 kids to complete these two activities will earn a free collapsible water bottle.

The craft will be the choice of either a darling deer or a terrific turkey.

The BB gun range and the seminars are presented in cooperation with Daisy. The seminars will be on 10 Safety Tips with firearms. This is a great way to learn the basics or get refreshed on safe handling. They will be held at 1:30PM, 3:00PM and 4:30PM both days.

Parents, we all know when a child gets into something there is no way to keep them away from it. So if your child has expressed interest in firearms, why not get them a little experience in a fun, free and safety-orientated way?

Go ahead, load the wagons and head down to come spend the day with us! Giddy Up!


Family Firearm Safety Course

Brocks Gap Training Center is hosting a Family Firearms Safety Course to teach the whole family how to handle, use and safely operate a firearm. This will be a two part course that will last about four hours. The two parts consist of classroom training as well as hands on training. This course is designed for beginning shooters and young shooters, but parents are welcome to take the class as well. This course is designed to teach:

  • Proper firearm safety techniques
  • Types of firearms
  • Shooting fundamentals
  • Target shooting
  • How to select, clean and store a firearm
  • Preventing firearm accidents on the range and at home

The course dates are one a Month until the end of the year:

  1. September 12, Thursday. 5:00P.M. - 8:45P.M.
  2. October 10th, Thursday. 5:00P.M. - 8:45P.M.
  3. November 7th, Thursday. 5:00P.M. - 8:45P.M.
  4. December 12th, Thursday. 5:00P.M. - 8:45P.M.

This training course is going to be a fun learning experience for everyone and will promote a happy and safe future of shooting sports. For pricing and registration please contact certified NRA Instructor Jim Reichard. I am going to post his contact information as well as Brocks Gap at the bottom of this blog.

Contact Information:

Certified NRA Instructor Jim Reichard


Brock's Gap Training Center, Inc.

3721 South Shades Crest Road

Birmingham, Al 35244


Thank you and safe shooting,

Grayson Barnes


Leaving A Lasting Legacy

Traditional Archery

A Lifestyle and Camaraderie.Fred Bear Hunting Photo

If you’re a traditionalist, like me, and like to do things “old school,” it doesn’t get any better than traditional archery. The bow and arrow have been around for thousands of years. This tool has served men as a way of providing food, protection, and recreation since its creation. Ishi, Saxon Pope, Art Young, Howard Hill and Fred Bear are just a sample of the great names associated with Traditional Archery. Since these legends have passed on to the happier hunting grounds, there have been many advances in the field of archery: compound bows, sights, rangefinders, etc. These may be more “efficient” ways of using the bow and arrow, but not everyone agrees they are better. Whether you’re at the 3D target range or stalking the woods for game, many prefer archery in its more traditional form. For many, the appeal of “Hunting The Hard Way,” as their ancestors did, is simply too much to resist.

I got my first longbow at age five and have been hooked ever since. I learned early on the “Howard Hill” style of shooting a bow and have passed this style on to many friends and family. My father and I have been making traditional archery equipment for over 20 years and prefer to bow hunt exclusively.

If you’ve ever felt drawn to embrace your inner archer and want to “become the arrow”, here are a few basics on traditional archery that you will need to follow.


Longbow RecurveThe Bow - There are two main types of bows in traditional archery: the longbow and the recurve bow. Both have variations among themselves, but the basics are pretty standard. The longbow is a straighter bow with one curve from end to end, looking like a “D” when strung. The longbow has more of a “cast” to it and is more forgiving than the recurve. The recurve bow has more than one curve, as the name suggests, and this causes added spring-like quality in the bow when it is pulled back, giving additional speed to the bow.

Arrows The Arrow – This is the most important piece of the setup. If you do not have a proper arrow, it matters little what bow it is shot from. If it is not capable of correct flight, the archer will never hit the bull’s eye or the vitals of his prey. The arrow consists of a straight shaft of wood (many archers today use carbon or aluminum shafts for cost and consistency considerations), a nock that allows the arrow to rest on the string of the bow, fletching to stabilize the flight of the arrow (most commonly primary wing feathers, usually from a turkey) and, foremost, the attached broached, blunt or target tip, depending on the intended use of the arrow.

QuiversThe Quiver – Holding extra arrows is the primary function of the quiver. However, if sharp hunting broadheads are being used, the quiver will also function as a guard against the archer injuring himself on an arrow not in use. Quivers come in the form of back quivers worn much like a single-strap backpack, side quivers that hang at the archer’s side, and bow quivers that attach to the bow itself, as well as several other formats.

Arm GaurdThe ArmguardArmguards protect the forearm of the archer from the string of the bow as it is released. Not all archers find this necessary, but may still use them for the purpose of restricting the clothing of the forearm from coming into contact with the string and throwing off the shot of the arrow.

Shooting Golve




The Shooting Glove or Tab – In traditional archery a mechanical release is not used. Instead, to relieve the pressure of the string on the archer’s fingers he will use a shooting glove or a tab. These also help in releasing the string smoothly so as to make the most accurate release of the arrow.


Those are the basic and most common components in traditional archery. There are many variations of each and they come in all levels of quality from basic, functioning items to works of art which leather and wood craftsmen have invested many hours into creating.


Traditional vs. Modern: Knowing and Understanding the Differences

CompoundTraditional Archery

Shooting traditional archery is not better or worse than modern compound shooting, it’s just different. There is nothing wrong with cams, releases, stabilizers, etc. Instead of using those aids in shooting, however, traditional archers prefer to shoot instinctively. The difference is this: When an archer shoots with modern bows he will most always be using sights. He must either have an incredible ability to judge distances accurately or use an electronic range-finder. This is because the sight pins on his modern bow represent different distances in yardage and the proper pin must be aligned with the target to be accurate, and the bow must be held at an angle perpendicular with the ground.

The traditional archer, on the other hand, shoots instinctively; the bow can be held at any angle (called canting), and his brain makes the calculations as to what angle to hold the bow in order for his arrow to reach its mark. This sounds more complicated than it is. The process is much akin to a quarterback throwing a football to a receiver; he doesn’t need to know the exact distance (though in football we know the yardage is in fact there for him to see) because his brain calculates how hard he must throw the ball at a particular angle to get it to his teammate.

Also, compound bows provide what is known as let-off. Once the bow has been drawn it requires very little effort to keep it at “full draw.” Traditional archery bows do not have let-off. The amount of pressure on the string needed to draw it back is the same needed to keep it at full draw. No prolonged period of holding at full draw for the traditional archer. For many this is a much more rewarding method.


If an archer is not a hunter, but shoots solely for competition and recreation, there is plenty for him to participate in. There are many traditional archery clubs across the world that have regular competitions and events to get involved with, and contact information for these clubs can be found in the links provided below.

If an archer is a hunter he also has the opportunity to test his woodsmanship to the extreme. It’s comparatively easy to shoot an animal from tens, if not hundreds, of yards with a scoped rifle, than it is to step into the home of the wild creatures, get within a handful of yards without being detected by them, and release an arrow that will put them down in an ethical and efficient manner. Again, there’s nothing wrong (or inherently easy) with hunting with firearms, it is just different.


“If asked to sketch a mental picture of the typical archer I would be hard put. They seem to come in all shapes, sizes, color and backgrounds. Inwardly, they seem to have in common a love for the outdoors, a reverence for wildlife and a close tie with history. There is nothing they enjoy more than telling tall tales around a campfire and talking about archery to others. It would be difficult to find a more interesting group of people.” –Fred Bear


Traditional Archery – An Extensive CommunityBear Archery

The community that exists for traditional archery is astoundingly extensive. There are literally tens of thousands of traditional archers around the world. Many of them gather at 3D Shoots, rendezvous and club events throughout the year. Any type of folk you can imagine can be found at these gatherings. A budding archer may find himself in the company of the many older men that will share their knowledge and experience with him. Because of the nature of traditional archery many archers are enriched with the wisdom of primitive skills and a plethora of outdoor treats. One never knows what he will learn from a generous soul.

Getting Started

If you are interested in getting involved with traditional archery you should check out the Bass Pro Shops website and the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World in Oklahoma City. Ok.

We look forward to seeing you in our store and as always, thank you for shopping Bass Pro Shops. Happy Hunting!


Ladies, Take a Walk on the Wild Side

I love the outdoors...camping, gardening, hiking, cooking wild game, and enjoying wildlife photography and wildlife in general. I don't hunt, nor do I fish very super outdoorsman husband does plenty of that. This may be the fall that I actually go out in the blind with him...we'll see. I don't know if I can sit still that long!

But, does being an outdoors woman simply mean that you know how to hunt and fish? Although that might be a big part of it, to me being an outdoors woman means being semi-knowledgeable, at the very least, about a variety of outdoors skills, their challenges, nature's challenges and respecting it, and respecting the equipment. To me, you don't have to be an expert...just have a basic working knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment. It means taking the time and effort to learn...and having someone to teach you.

Sometimes it's nice to learn with other women who are in the same boat...and two great opportunities for women to do that exist right here in Iowa and other locations around the world.  

So, grab your girlfriends, daughters, moms, or just come by yourself, explore the outdoors, learn new skills, do some networking of a different kind, and become a wild outdoor woman!

Becoming an Outdoors Woman Iowa logo - courtesy Iowa DNR

Becoming an Outdoors Woman

Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) is an international program. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources sponsors a BOW weekend in September. Anyone 18 years or older (it's geared towards women) can take advantage of this great chance to learn outdoor skills and activities, whether they've tried them before or are completely new to the experience, and they learn with people who are in the same mind set..."what is this, how do I do it,  will I make a fool of myself?" (Okay, that last one is what would be going through MY mind.)

Photo courtesy of Iowa DNRThis year's Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop is September 20-22 at Springbrook State Park. Lodging is available in dormitories with eight-person's not required, but that's part of the fun and camaraderie!  The line-up of workshops over the course of the weekend includes Introduction to Firearms, Basic Shooting, Wild Edibles, Wild Game Cooking, Dutch Oven Cooking, Basic Motor Boat, Fly Fishing, Bow 5k - courtesy of Iowa DNRRiver Fishing, Archery, Survival Skills, Geocaching, Bird Watching, Stand Up Paddling, and so much more.  Of course, you HAVE to have a campfire at night, too! The first night includes an optional, relaxing 5k run/walk through the woods and around the lake...a great way to meet other participants and the instructors.

For more information on registration costs and deadlines for the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program in Iowa,  visit There are BOW programs around the world and you can get more information on other locations at

Wild Women of the WoodsWild Women of the Woods

New this year is the Wild Women of the Woods program sponsored by the Story County Conservation Office. Story County Conservation Naturalist Emily Herring says this year's event is October 4-5 at Hickory Grove Park . While it's the first year for Story County, she's confident from past experiences it will be a hit.

"As a naturalist, I have coordinated other several events in different counties. It is always a good time and women come back year after year.  It truly is a comfortable learning atmosphere and a great place to meet new friends."

She says there will be free camping for the event, with bathrooms nearby and showers available at the campground. She says if you want to bring a camper or have electricity, that's'll camp in the main campground, but WILL have to pay for the campsite. You can also just do the Saturday event, if you're not able to stay Friday night.

Herring says they plan on having different session each year and if a session is really popular and fills fast this year, they will try to offer it again the following year. A diverse program will be offered for women of all different interests - this year's offerings include: Wild Edibles, Kayaking, Silk Painting, Fly Fishing, Archery, Nature Photography, "Leave no Trace", Tree Identification and Ecology Hike, Rock Climbing, Bike Maintenance, Nature Drawing, Fire Building, Yoga, and Fossil Hunting.

Since the sessions fill up on a first come, first serve basis, Herring encourages those interested to sign up as early as possible!

For more information and to register for Wild Women of the Woods, visit!


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Scope it Out: Nikon

Hear ye, hear ye! Gather the townspeople to the village square! It is time for the second scroll of Scope it Out to be unveiled! And this time we will delve into the realm of optics that hails from the land of Nikon!

OK, enough of the olden time nonsense, let’s talk about some optics. And yes, that’s right… Nikon makes a whole line of sporting optics! Just like the first company we went over (Leupold), Nikon offers many different scopes, binoculars, rangefinders and more.

Nikon was founded in 1917 in Tokyo, Japan. They have been operating for close to a century now, and have built up a good reputation. Most people know them for their photography line, which is quite impressive. They even made movie-cameras for a while, which were considered top of the line during the time.

From their experience making cameras and lenses, they were able to apply their skill and quality to sporting optics. Just like the cameras, their sporting optics are considered to be a good value at the price point. Many of the Hunting Department associates have had good success with the Monarch line of rifle scopes.

They may have read my previous blog which included how Leupold had a nice display set up at our store. We just received a similar display for Nikon scopes. This allows you the chance to feel and see how their optics work on actual firearms.

Most of their optics comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. It is essential to consider how a company will stand behind their product when it comes to sporting optics. You never know what might happen in the field and a commitment from the company is nice.

They really have been pioneering specific rifle scopes for specific rifles. They have whole lines of scopes devoted to crossbows, muzzleloaders, handguns, rimfires and shotguns. Where they have been making a huge splash has been with scopes specifically designed for the AR platform firearms. They have scopes that work for specific calibers. This includes: .233Rem, .308Win and .300Blackout. This makes Nikon an easy choice for people purchasing an AR that want to throw an optic up top.

They also excel with their ballistic matching technology. This is a great way to get a good idea of what is going to be going on internally when you squeeze that trigger. Nikon has also down a good job developing mounts for their scopes specifically. Someone once told me that you want a new set of mounts for a scope, so why not kill two birds from the same company?

So next time the significant other is thinking about buying themselves a new camera offer that if they get a new Nikon, so do you! Mountain Goat Glassin’! Giddy-Up!

If you missed the first blog about Leupold, check it out here.


Check It Out List: Gun Cleaning Kit

Welcome to the third installment of Check It Out List. This time we will be going over what many may consider a small set of items, a gun cleaning kit. And while this may be considered something small, they play a big part in operation and longevity of a firearm.

For those who just “want to go buy a gun” they probably do not realize all the things that go with such responsibility. Besides the firearm itself one will need several other items. Ammunition is important, having the correct ammunition is also key. Never be afraid to ask for help when it comes to this as it could be life-ending otherwise. For instance, there is a difference between .270 Winchester and .270 Winchester Short Magnum.

Also touching upon the correct ammunition, just because the box says the round you are looking for that does not mean it is in there. I have found numerous boxes that had wrong ammunition put back in them by some careless person earlier. This sounds ridiculous, but is true. People who are comparing cartridges may not notice which round they put back in which box.

Hmmm... Somebody does not belong...

You’ll also want to have storage for the firearm. Typically this will mean both a soft and hard case for storing and transportation. I’m not saying go out and invest in a 10 gun safe if you are a first time gun buyer, but it may be worth it later in life.

Oh and here is something simple that many people overlook, eye and ear protection. It is astonishing how many people do not or forget to pack this with them. My fiancé was going to go to a cabin with a group of friends from work. One mentioned that they were going to be shooting and I asked “Who is bringing the eyes and ears?” After the long pause I felt a little nervous about letting her go with people who might not have these simple and cheap items. (By the way, these electronic muffs work great!)

Last but not least is the gun cleaning kit itself. A firearm is an investment, just like a vehicle or home. If you don’t take proper preventative maintenance it might not last too long. While some might see this as a chore, I find it relaxing. After a day at the range I love busting everything down and giving it a good scrubbing. But what all do you need to clean a firearm? Below is a suggested list of everything needed.

A Cleaning Kit Should Include:

  • Assorted rod tips—brushes, mop tips, slotted tips, jag tips
  • Bore light
  • Clean cloths
  • Cleaning rods
  • Cotton swabs
  • Dental mirror
  • Gun grease
  • Gun oil
  • Gunsmith screwdrivers
  • Patches appropriate for the caliber or gauge of the firearm
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Solvent
  • Stand to hold the firearm securely in a horizontal position
  • Toothbrush


Now while some of this might seem a little much, keep in mind the suggestion word. My kit is not nearly this extensive, and I have not had a single issue due to lack of cleaning. I can tell you though that you will want for sure a cleaning rod with the appropriate tips for the firearm you are cleaning. Cotton swabs work great for getting that grease and gunk out, especially after the oils and cleaners have worked their magic.

One thing this list does not mention is a pull-through. This is a device that you slide through the barrel and then give a quick tug to. This pulling through motion does a great job for quick cleanings. This however does not replace a full cleaning which may not be needed every time after firing but is important. There are many working parts of firearms that need special attention. I would suggest having a pull-through for all firearms as they are easy to toss into a pack.

Oh and here’s another secret. Most brake-cleaning products for vehicles contains the same stuff as “gun cleaning liquids” do, and they are usually a little cheaper. Just check to be sure before spraying your firearm down.

You can piece together your own cleaning kit or buy a whole set. Either way, just make sure you have one. Take care of your firearm and it can easily be a hand me down. I personally am hoping to one day acquire a firearm from both of my grandfathers. (Especially since I learned about the existence of a Ruger M77 .30-06Sprg that belonged to my mother’s dad.) I think it would be so cool to hand down my grandfather’s deer rifles to my grandkids one day.

Go ahead and let us know what items you would add or subtract from the list and why! Scrub-a-dub Rubbin’ that rust away!! Get ya some!

If you haven’t already check out our other Check It Out Lists on First Aid Kits and Day Packs.


Scope it Out: Leupold

Let’s take a step through the looking glass shall we? You know what? Let’s take several! I would like to start another multi-part series on the wide world of optics. For anyone looking at getting a new rangefinder, spotting scope, set of binoculars or rifle scope there are many choices as far as companies are concerned.

So which one is the best? Depending on where you go or who you talk to, you are going to get several different answers. Some people have an obligation to promote one company and some have distinct preferences due to personal experiences. Just like most things in life, optic choice is completely dependent on the individual.

So this segment will be more focused on the history, products and other important details than just “personal opinions”. I think it is important to know where a company came from and where it is going.

For the first issue of the “Scope it Out” series, I will be going over the iconic optics company: Leupold.

Now those who know the Leupold name may not know its many others. It was originally founded as Leupold and Voelpel in 1907. Seven years later it became Leupold, Voelpel, and Co. Then in 1942 it became Leupold and Stevens, and that name has stuck since. Most people though just simply call it by the surname.

The company has been family owned and operated for five generations. Currently their headquarters are in Oregon. The company originally specialized in repairing survey equipment. They actually invented the first water level recorder. The company did not start making its most famous products (rifle scopes) until after World War II.

Many hold Leupold in high esteem and their record has proved them to be great producers. The gold ring around their scopes has become an iconic image in the optics world. In fact, that is what they reference one of their warranties to. As they state, “If any Leupold Golden Ring® product is found to have defects in materials or workmanship, we will, at our option, repair or replace it. FREE. Even if you are not the original owner. No warranty card is required. No time limit applies.” You never know what might happen out on the range or in the field, and having such a warranty backing you up is quite nice.

Currently Leupold makes optics for three distinct fields: Hunting and Shooting, Tactical and Observation. (They also make golf products, but I’m not going to touch that with a nine-iron.) You can even get a custom made product if you wish. Their products are designed, machined and assembled all here in the United States. In 2008, they acquired another well-established optics company, Redfield.

Here at our store we have a display set up that has Leupold optics on several “dummy-firearms” so one can get a good feel for their products. As stated earlier, there is no cookie-cutter optics company for people so you will want to test out multiple brands, styles and such. As far as my personal experience, I was looking through a Leupold when I took my first deer last year. The clarity was impressive as well as its ability to capture light during low-light conditions. That and how well built their scopes are, Leupold has earned the right to still be standing strong after 100 years of operation.

I hope you learned something new from all this, as I know I have. If you have never looked through a Leupold, make it a consideration when looking for a new optic as you will be as surprised and impressed as I was. Stagecoach Robbin’ and Apple Bobbin! Yee-haw!


Shoot Right AZ

Safety has been a hot topic for me lately. (Between Hunter Education and starting our Simple Steps with West blogs, it has been getting a lot of attention.) I hope I have been able to direct people interested into such things in a good direction, but now I’ll try to do one better for parents who have kids interested in shooting sports.

If you read my hunter education blog you’ll know that my dad was against firearms in the house. So when I started taking interest into it, I made friends with kids that shot firearms. Their fathers took the part of training me on basic safety. My dad did go to a local range and rent a couple handguns to shoot with me as he understood that safety needed to be my top concern. It would have been nice though if I had known of a local organization that could help lead youngsters down a safe path.

Shoot Right is one such program. As their site states, “Shoot Right is a non-profit educational organization that advances marksmanship, responsible and ethical firearm use, and ownership in the youth and adults of our community. We build the skills, attitude, and desire to preserve and honor the use of firearms in sports, hunting, and the role in ensuring freedom.” This would have been a perfect place for me to start and might be for you as well.

They state their purpose as to “Develop safe and skillful use of rifle/pistol air guns, small bore firearms, and bow; and awareness about the history and importance of firearms and airguns, shooting sports, and hunting to America. Organize youth & adult airgun shooting leagues & Tournaments, Summer camps, Hunter education, NSSF "Project ChildSafe" gun lock program, and NRA adult & Jr. First Step rifle, pistol and NSSF First Shots programs. Attract, develop, and certify skilled marksman and firearms instructors and coaches.” They even have received a Gold Member Club status from the NRA.

We all know that once kids take an interest in something, they’ll get their hands on it. We just want to ensure they are doing so safely and smartly.

Shoot Right will be holding several events over the upcoming months. They will be holding two camps later this month. These camps will focus on Archery and Air Rifles. (Go here for more information.) There are also two cool little facts about these camps that parents can appreciate besides all the great training for their kids. One: Campers who attend must bring a toy for a toy drive. Two: These classes count for Boy Scouts Merit Badges.

So whether your child started showing interest in archery from movies like Brave or The Hunger Games or are just interested in firearms, you should encourage them to get into these activities as long as they “shoot right”.


The Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety

The Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety

gunIt’s the middle of July and 110° in the shade here in Louisiana but it is never too early to start talking about Hunting.   Dove hunting is only six weeks away and then there is always squirrel, rabbit, duck, deer, etc.  For all of you old timers, I’m sure you know how important it is to be safe out there in the woods.  You newbies need to take it very seriously.  To get you started here are the Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety as stated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department.


  • Watch that muzzle!  Keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times.
  • Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun.  It might be, even if you think it isn’t.
  • Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it.  Know the identifying features of the game you hunt.  Make sure you have an adequate backstop – don’t shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.  This is the best way to prevent an accidental discharge.
  • Check your barrel and ammunition.  Make sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions; and carry only the proper ammunition for your firearm.
  • Unload firearms when not in use.  Leave action open; carry firearms in cases and unloaded to and from the shooting area.
  • Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot.  Avoid all horseplay with a gun.
  • Don’t run, jump, or climb with a loaded firearm.  Unload a firearm before you climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch. Pull a firearm toward you by the butt, not the muzzle.
  • Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely.  Store each in secured location beyond the reach of children and careless adults.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages before and during shooting.  Also avoid mind- or behavior- altering medicines or drugs.


Be safe and have a fun, exciting hunting season.


Jettie Whittington

Denham Springs


Hunter Education All Around

Sun Tzu once said, “Know thyself, know thy enemy.” While that would become one of many famous quotes from a little book called “The Art of War”, it may have a much broader affect than just understanding warfare. Knowledge and education can sometimes be the strongest weapons in one’s arsenal. In hunting, this is extremely true.

There are magnitudes of things a hunter must know for successful hunting. This can range from knowing one’s physical capabilities to how to identify animals by their droppings. Just take a minute to brainstorm (great word/verb) about all the things a hunter takes with them in the field in their head. Above all else, hunters need to know safety.

In Arizona anyone from age 10 to 13 participating in a big game hunt, has to take a Hunter Education course. This class can be taken at a physical location or online. Students will have to complete a “field day” and test to pass. The field day consists of a simulated hunt and some range time firing actual rifles. I personally just graduated (no student loans necessary) and loved it. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about teaching this course. This class is definitely not just for kids either.

My father was not much of an outdoorsman and in fact would not let a single firearm be in the house. So I never was sure where my passion came from, until I found out his father was an avid deer hunter and fisherman back in Michigan when he wasn’t busy being the town’s butcher. When it came to being interested in shooting and hunting, I went to my friend’s dads. They took me in, and always emphasized safety. Last year when I went on my first big game hunt I had a lot of knowledge from my “fathers” but looked for more, including: books, magazines, web forums and videos. I loved the Field and Stream ''The Total Outdoorsman Manual''  and definitely went over it a couple times. My uncle, whom I was hunting with, also went over everything with me and of course kept safety at the top of the list. Especially since “if something were to happen, your mother would kill me”. Fact.

If you have never taken a Hunter Education course, you definitely should. They do a great job covering any and every thing that comes up with hunting. There is always more to learn. And maybe you have a neighbor down the road who is interested in hunting, but their father is kind of like mine. Get permission and take them out for a Hunter Education course. They’ll never forget it and truly appreciate it. I can’t wait for when I take out little Huey-Lewis and his friends for these classes. (Yes, that will be the name of my first born. Who doesn’t love Huey Lewis and the News?!)

This won’t be the only time I bring up hunting and knowledge. There is so much to cover and I believe it is an important thing to share. According to statistics only 5% of Americans hunt. We are a minority and need to be best armed to defend our heritage, and that truly will be through educating ourselves and others. Bulldozin’ Buffaloes!!


Staying Safe While Hunting

Are you aware that each state has different requirements for the amount of hunter (blaze) orange to wear? Here in Georgia, the requirement reads as follows: 

"All deer, bear and feral hog hunters, and those accompanying them, during firearm deer seasons must wear at least 500 square inches of Hunter Orange on outer garments above the waist."
A standard safety vest will cover 400 square inches of the requirement.  Add an orange cap and you'll be all set! One of many options, at your local Bass Pro Shops is the Redhead Blaze Cap and Vest Combo.
A number of different price points and options are available.  Vest models range from utilitarian to deluxe, with additional features including zippers, pockets, license loops, antimicrobial treatment, hook 'n' loop closures and even lighted caps.
Anytime you decide to hunt out of state, make sure you check the orange requirements before you head out.  You can locate those requirements on the International Hunter Education Association website.
Make sure you take the proper safety precautions before you head to the wood. You've checked your firearms and your camo - don't forget your safety gear!

Set Your Sights for the Fall Hunting Classic

You read that title correctly; it is time once again for Bass Pro Shops to hold its Fall Hunting Classic. This is the best time to come in before heading out this upcoming hunting season. Whether you got drawn for an elk hunt (which several of my friends did, so looks like I get to be camp wife… bust out the Coleman stoves!) or are about to get into hunting in general, there is something for everyone.

It will run from August 2nd to the 18th. This event will be filled with what I call S’s. There will be sales, seminars, sweepstakes, swaps, savings and the Second Amendment!  (Like I said: something for everyone.)

The sales are awesome. Everything from firearms to camouflage will be on sale so now is the time to stock up or refill your gear. There will be a number of one-day only sales, which include some pretty nice items. Just be sure to be here the day of that specific sale, as it really is one-day only. Along with these sales, we are looking to save you even more. When you pay using your Bass Pro Shops credit card we will engage the “2nd Amendment Instant Savings”. This means the savings are equal to the value of your sales tax! It is valid on in-stock guns and gun safes only. (Fellas, this is a great way to justify a new .270Win or safe to store it in!) This will run from August 2nd to the 11th.

Now what exactly did I mean by swaps? I’m talking trade-ins! From August 2nd to the 7th, we have our Bow and Crossbow Trade-In. August 8th to the 13th will be the Scope Trade-In. Last but not least will be our Binocular and Rangefinder Trade-In from August 14th to the 18th. Pretty much bring in your old bow, scope or binoculars during those times and save some dough on a new one. (Example, I want a new Leopold scope so on August 10th I will bring in my old Redfield and trade it in to save some cash… Which hopefully I can sneak by the fiancé without her noticing.)

On August 4th the seminars will be held in-store by a number of local pros. It is part of our Bass Pro Shops Hunting University. Topics will range from 3-Gun competition to filming your hunts. The following weekend (August 9th to the 11th) will have even more seminars with a wider array of topics being touched upon. Our very own Christian will be hands on in helping ya’ll get ready or get into hunting. That’s him below with a nice Coues buck.

Now then, the sweepstakes. Get ya some! We are offering the chance to enter for a once-in-a-lifetime hunting trip to a private club for you and seven guests! It will be hosted at Broadfield, an exclusive 5,800 acre property carved from one of the South’s earliest hunting clubs. It has an array of hunting, fishing and shooting activities. The trip will include 2-night accommodations for winner and guests, farm-to-table meals, 5-stand and pistol range shooting, morning quail hunt, afternoon falconry  hunt (YES PLEASE!), fishing and more. See our website for full rules and regulations and check out Broadfield’s site to start drooling over the place.

On the final weekend we are going to set our sights a little shorter. August 17th and 18th will be our Next Generation Weekend. From Noon until 5:00PM we will have a number of free activities for kids. It will include free: craft, archery, BB gun range, photo download and seminars. First 100 kids to complete both archery and BB gun range will earn a free collapsible water bottle each day.

I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m excited! This is a great chance to learn some useful information and snag some awesome gear at great prices. (Gas aint gettin’ any cheaper, ya hear?) Grab a buddy or snag the whole family, just make sure you are ready to have some fun when coming down to see us. Head ‘Em Up, Rawhide!


What’s Wrong with Riding Shotgun?

It’s no big secret that many of our customers are fans of the Second Amendment. Personally, I am guilty as well. Firearms have played a critical role in our nation’s history and continue to be a subject strongly debated. A couple months ago I asked our Hunting Department a caliber question that sparked an interesting debate within our store. I decided to poll our customer’s through our Facebook to see what their favorite firearm to shoot was.

Now I didn’t specify what caliber or what class of firearm because I wanted to get a full spectrum of answers. This was exactly what I got! I received answers ranging from “.357” to “the ones that go bang.” I even got one answer stating, “Any of them. Why? Because I can, 2nd Amendment” and this answer was finished with a smiley face. Strong work.

To break down the results here is what I received:

~30% - Semi-auto rifles, specifically the AR-15 platform

~40% - Long rifles, mostly bolt action

~20% -  Semi-auto pistols, the 1911 platform was mentioned a few times

~10% - Revolvers, no preference between single-action or double-action

Now I am sure many of you who shoot see a similar pattern out at the range. What really interested me though was the lack of one specific kind of firearm, shotguns. Not a single person mentioned shotguns! This made me extremely curious as to why.

A shotgun was the first kind of firearm I ever shot. When I asked a few other associates about this, they also said their first shooting was done with a shotgun. The shotgun is a very versatile firearm. You can blast some clay pigeons out of the sky in the morning and then load it with buckshot for deer season. A pump-action shotgun is considered the quintessential home-defense gun. (Everyone can recognize the sound of the pump-action being worked.) I also just found out about scholarships that are offered to kids who participate in shotgun sports.

Shotguns have played a pivotal role in our nation’s history. The early settlers used this firearm to harvest game to feed their families and think about how differently the legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral would have been without Doc Holiday sporting a side-by-side.

So while it is one of the most versatile firearms, it might also be the most underappreciated. Maybe it is time to dust the cobwebs off of the hand-me-down shotgun in your safe and have a day of some blasting fun. Feel free to use this site to find a local gun club in your area. Remember eye and ear protection! Lock n Loadin’ with Llamas! Yip YIP!!