The Mystery of Wiley X Sunglasses

     The Wiley X Sunglasses have been around for more than 28 years. Many people are not as familiar with them. The sunglasses are great, affordable, high quality, and much more. They are great for those who love the outdoors. Many Nascar drivers wear them such as Carl Edwardsm Greg Biffle, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Matt kenseth. You kow if the Pros wear them then they are a product that you should investigate them. Why are they so great? What's new with Wiley X in 2014? Let's solve this mystery together!

Facts about Wiley X Sunglasses.

  • Wiley X : A Leader for 28+ Years in Performance Eyewear
  • Heritage: Standard issue for U.S. armed forces, elite military and law enforcement personnel around the world.
  • Premium Safety: The only Premium performance sunglass brand whose entire line meets the stringent ANSI Z87.1 standards for high impact. Optical clarity as well as OSHA-grade for safety.
  • Function: Only Wiley X has patented removable Facial Cavity Seal technology to block eyes from wind, dust, debris and light while amplifying polarization and reducing eye fatigue.
  • Lens Technology: 8-layer shatterproof Selenite polycarbonate polarized lens construction with scratch resistant layers(T-Shell)
  • Hydrophobic coatings and anti-reflective  coatings for 100% Filter 8 Polarization and UB protection.
  • Recognized: The eye wear choice of NASCAR greats and Basspro Edwin Evers and Stephen Browning.
  • U.S. family owned-operated:
  • If you are into active outdoor activities like boating, ATV riding.  come in and pick up a pair for exceptional eye protection.
  • Maybe you need a pair for work. All lens and frames are ANSI marked.
  • Try them on and find a pair especially for you.
  • Prices range from $80.00 to $140.00. Some even comes with changeable lens.
  • Be like the pros: Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth.
  • Protect your eyes and have some fun.
  • Comes in Polarized and Non-polarized.
  • They are available in Ladies & Men’s styles!


     The mystery has been solved & Wiley X will be a purchase that you will not want to miss out on! Stop in and ask for Doris at the Sunglass counter. She is one of our mystery solvers when it comes to fitting you for the right pair of sunglasses!


This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops - Easter 2014!

Easter Egg Hunt @ Bass Pro Shops AltoonaEaster activities continue at Bass Pro Shops Altoona this weekend!

Friday, April 18

  • Free 4x6 Photo with the Easter Bunny - 2-7 p.m.
  • Free craft for kids - 2-7 p.m., while supplies last.

Saturday & Sunday, April 19-20

Free Easter craft @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

  • Free 4x6 photo with the Easter Bunny - 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Easter Egg Hunt - Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20 ONLY. Registration opens at 1:30 p.m. - Egg hunt begins promptly at 2 p.m. and lasts one hour. Ages 2-10 only please.
  • Free craft for kids - 1-4 p.m., while supplies last.

Saturday, April 19

Try Before You Buy!

Our Gifts Department shows you easy it is to use our Uncle Buck's Fruit Cobbler mix by serving up samples of cherry and blueberry cobbler! Noon to 4 p.m. or while supplies last.

Coming up?

April 25-27, 2014 - Set Your Sights Weekend!

  • A weekend of free seminars covering optics and other accessories, conceal carry laws and equipment, target shooting, and gun care and safety. Seminar attendees (first 25) on Friday, April 25, receive a free Bass Pro Shops tumbler. Additionally, a $25 gift card will be given away at each seminar all weekend!
  • If you're 21 or older, you have a chance to win a Savage® rimfire.22 LR rifle or a Caldwell® AR-15 magazine loader.
  • Quadruple Points all weekend on the following brands: Streamlight, EOTech, Beretta, DPMS Panther Arms, Remington, Savage Arms


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One Antler On, One Antler Off

It’s getting to be that time of the year. Shed hunting season.

Depending on what type of animal shed you are looking for, and what part of the country you are in will depend on the best time for you to look. The most ideal time of the year to go shed hunting is in the spring. Most animals will start losing & dropping their antlers in late winter and early spring.

The best time to go hunting for sheds is when the sky is overcast. There are fewer glares from other objects, making it easier to spot the sheds.

The best places to look for sheds:

  • South facing slops/hills where the animals bed
  • Areas where the animals feed
  • The animals travel routes and trails
  • Fence & creek crossings

How to dress:

  • It’s best to dress light & dress comfortably. You may be walking/hiking around for long periods of time, so it’s best to have less weight on you.
  • Wear a good pair of hiking boots or shoes.

What else to bring:

  • Water. Since you will be doing a lot of walking you need to be sure to keep yourself hydrated.
  • A good pair of optics. They will help you to glass the area.
  • GPS. By having your GPS, you can mark the locations that you find your sheds to use in the future. Many times you will find the sheds in the same general areas year after year.
  • A pack or frame. You can use this to attach the sheds you find so you don’t have to carry them around.

Shed hunting is a fun way to get out in the outdoors, and a fun way to exercise. There are also endless possibilities once you have your sheds. You can collect them, paint them, mount the sheds, craft with them, and so much more!


New Shotgun From Benelli, Ethos

Bass Pro Shop, Leeds, Alabama just received its first shipment of the new shotgun from Benelli. This new model is named "Ethos" and it is sure to be a game-changer for the shotgun world.

Ethos' Features:Ethos Stock

  • Progressive Comfort System
  • Wide range of LOP adjustment
  • Easy Loading System (No more ""Nelli numb thumb")
  • Easy Locking System
  • Large Bolt Release
  • Anti-Seize Mag Cap
  • Carbon Fiber Rib
  • Interchangeable Fiber-Optic Sight
  • Crio-treated barrel
  • AA Walnut Stock

Benelli Ethos Configurations:

  • 12ga 2.75"-3". AA-Grade Satin Walnut, Engraved. 28"-6.5lbs. 26"-6.4lbs. MSRP $2199


  • 12ga 2.75"-3". AA-Grade Satin Walnut, Anodized. 28"-6.5lbs. 26"-6.4lbs. MSRP $1999


The new Benelli Ethos is also said to be able to cycle light loads. Benelli advertises that the Ethos will cycle a 7/8 ounce load reliable. This feat is probably the biggest hurdle any semi auto shotgun manufacturer had to overcome.

I have had the shotgun in my hands I can tell you for sure some of the improvements are just that, improvements. The shell carrier does not pinch my thumb, the magazine tube had no restriction while loading, the bolt is amazingly smooth, the AA-Grade walnut is beautiful, the gun is well balanced and swings beautifully. The interchangeable front beads works great for varying weather conditions and shooter personalities.

I think this is a great new gun from Benelli and I can not wait to pull the trigger on one. Be sure to check out to see all the specifications for the Ethos, along with more pictures and videos of this gun in action. Also remember to stop by BassPro for all your outdoor needs!

Safe and Happy Shooting,




Miss Absolutely Nothing

Oculus Optics has arrived and I would like to thank them for their support. Great Binoculars 7.0 10x42 and Spotting scope 15x45x65 are available here at the Bass Pro Shops located in Ashland, VA. As we say, you will "Miss Absolutely Nothing" with this wonderful brand of optics. I have a love for the outdoors and a wonderful way to share it is with Oculus brand optics. I know there are many different makers of fine optics and I have used most of them; we all look for the best deals and here they are. These Oculus products are designed and manufactured with precision and accuracy in mind and they stand behind all of their products with a lifetime warrantee; no receipt is required.


I have been shooting long distance archery for many years and looking at arrows through many different products. The clarity and eye relief that the Oculus Spotting Scope gives me is beyond wonderful. I would like you to check out these fine products the next time you are shopping online or in person here at Bass Pro Shops. Don't just think about it, do it! You will look at things a lot different and as we say “Miss Absolutely Nothing.”  


Till next time your local Bass Pro Staff member wished you happy viewing as you will soon see the outdoors in a different way. 


-Rex Reichert  




Eyes on Rangefinders!

Lets scope out an amazing tool that is often overlooked and rarely talked about...the rangefinder.

In the event you are unfamiliar with them, a rangefinder is a device that measures distance from the observer to a target. Optical range finders work by comparing the height of an object to a scale. Laser range finders work by bouncing a laser beam of an object and determining how long it takes to return and therefore distance. To select a rangefinder you first need to determine the size, maximum distance and type of object that is to be used to determine distance. Small non-reflective objects at long distances need very high quality rangefinders. Large shiny objects can be detected with cheaper rangefinders. Just determine your needs and budget and research your options.

Ballistics and Tactical

Rangefinders may be used by military or law enforcement snipers as a means of finding the distance to the target in order to set up a "perfect shot". If range is not known before the first shot, it may be necessary to walk the rounds in on the target, such as using tracer ammunition or observing splashes. The laser rangefinder is not always the best option though, as it sends out a light source that may give away the rangefinders position. Many Nikon Laser Rangefinders for hunting and golfing are readily available in different ranging distances. These Hunting Rangefinders include laser rangefinders for bow hunters. Leupold Laser Rangefinders include the RX series of premium quality hunting rangefinders and golfing rangefinders also.


Rangefinders are also used for surveying in forestry. Special devices with anti-leaf filters are used. Surveying jobs such as sale boundaries and stem mapping are great examples of what they are used for.

Virtual reality

Since the 1990s, the entertainment industry has been using lasers to scan objects and create 3-D models. These precise measurements are converted into highly detailed representations in virtual reality. Scientists often use laser rangefinders, as well. Long-range lasers can be used to measure the distance to an object in space, such as the moon. The technology continues to be used more and more in space exploration, where there is no atmosphere to deflect beams of laser light.




The Nikon Archer's Choice Laser Rangefinder is specifically designed with the help of the pros at Archer's Choice and combines Nikon's ID technology with all the features serious bowhunter's demand. The Nikon Archer's Choice Laser Rangefinder with LCD Display has a first target priority mode that allows confident ranging of objects and has a 5 to 100 yard range. The Nikon Archer’s Choice Laser Waterproof/Fogproof Rangefinder features a bright, multicoated 6X optics and proprietary anti-reflective coatings offer high-resolution images in most lighting conditions. The rangefinder is ultra-compact in size and fits in your pocket or pack, and can be worn on a belt without interfering with your shot.

Nikon Archers Choice


NAC Display





One of the featured series is the Leupold RX Rangefinders. They range faster, more accurately and to longer ranges than in previous models. The proprietary DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) engine responds instantly with crisp precision within 1/10th yard and TBR (True Ballistic Range) gives you all you need to place your shot perfectly.


Leupold RX

Leupold RX1000i Display

This rangefinder is also equipped with an inclinometer. This is a great addition to the rangefinder to aid in the estimated time to travel up or down a slope as well as where to best put your shot.   



The new Leupold Vendetta bow-mounted rangefinder will revolutionize the way you hunt and dramatically improve your game. Vendetta gives you an instant and precise digital readout of your target range – at full draw – with no excessive movement and less busted game. Simply push the trigger pad and Vendetta continually adjusts distance, angles and elevation as your target moves with a range from 10 -70 yards.

Leupold Vendetta


Leupold Vendetta Bow Mount


Rangefinders are a great addition to the gear list and are proven time after time. If you are unsure if you should use on or what model you should get, come down to Bass Pro and try them out. We have more than enough taxidermy mounts to practice on.

Go scope something out!




Scope it Out: Bushnell

So Americans have always been thinkers, right? We like to see how we can do something the fastest or the biggest or the cheapest or so on. And every now and then a little bit of tinkering can go a long way. That is how actually how Bushnell came to be.

Bushnell got its name from founder, David P Bushnell. He founded the company in 1948 during a stint in Allied-occupied Japan. He began in an import-export company and somehow wound up with 400 pairs of binoculars. When he and his wife returned to the U.S. he was able to sell all of them and kept with optics.

This use of foreign-manufacturers helped set Bushnell apart. They were able to have optics made to their specifications and could sell them at lower prices. These early binoculars made it possible for middle-class Americans to be able to own a pair because of their price point. Slowly Bushnell started including other products in their line, including rifle-scopes.

With more people being able to afford optics, it made it easier for Americans to get into outdoor activities. It was no plausible to equip a family with binoculars to go bird-watching and not break the bank.

The company has changed hands several times over its history. Since being picked up this latest time, Bushnell has acquired other name companies with it. This includes Simmons Outdoors Corporation and Meade Instruments. They currently have lines of products that include: binoculars, rifle scopes, trail cameras, GPS, spotting scopes, laser rangefinders and other outdoor technologies. One specific line of products is in conjunction with none other than survival-superstar Bear Grylls!

They break their products into five major categories: hunting, tactical, golf, wildlife and spectator. Bushnell is not a hunting-specific company but does a good job catering to that crowd.

They also just revamped their warranty. They are offering a 100% Money Back Guarantee! And they know the best way to show it is of course through YouTube.

Bushnell has been taking great efforts to make sure people do not forget about their brand. The company has won numerous awards over the past few years for their products. With acclamation as this and a warranty like the one above, one should be sure to take a look at possibly snagging a pair for themselves.

Some Other Scope-It-Outs:






Scope it Out: Redfield

So hunting season is ending in some parts of the country and in other areas it is still in full swing. But either way I am sure that you have had an experience or two with some form of optics out there. So that is why this month’s Scope it Out blog may pertain directly towards you.

As we all know, you get what you pay for when it comes to optics. Those who usually start at the lower quality end to save a few bucks find themselves investing even more when finally getting to a good optics brand. This pertains directly to the brand being covered this month, Redfield.

The Redfield optics company has been around for over a century. It was founded back in 1909 by John Hill Redfield. The quality of their product built Redfield a name that was trusted by hunters and shooters alike. My best friend’s dad has an older-than-me model of Redfield scope on a Weatherby, and it is one awesome piece of glass.

Slowly but surely they began creating new products and innovations in the industry. But in 1998 they closed the doors in Denver, CO. It was the end of an era. This was not the end though for the Redfield name. Several companies bought the name and began making products. Unfortunately, none of these companies did the name any form of justice and in fact degraded it to an extent.

That was until 2008, when another great name in optics, Leupold bought the name. Since then, the name of Redfield has been building its reputation back. Also it has secured in bringing Redfield back to the United States. The products for Redfield are made next to their “gold-ring” brothers and sisters. Ask anyone about Redfield scopes and they’ll tell you something like “Its Leupold glass and warranty at a smaller price point”. Ask Leupold themselves and they’ll say something like:

Based in Oregon, the original home of founder John C. Redfield, we’ve rededicated ourselves to his vision: no-nonsense optics for everyone. Focused on that goal, we’ve made top-notch optical equipment accessible to every American hunter. With Redfield, outdoorsmen across this great land can fill their tag without breaking the bank.

What I really like is their statement of “non-nonsense optics”. I would not say their products are simple, because that kind of seems degrading but I would say they are easy to operate. Their scopes have a generous eye-relief. They come in the most common and well utilized powers and sizes.

I personally have a Redfield scope on my Remington 700 and use their binoculars. Not too long ago we had a sale on the binoculars. A good guy who happens to shop here asked me about them and I endorsed them to the fullest as long as he understood that they were “heavier”. On his recent elk hunt he found those Redfield binoculars to outperform a pair of Swarovski binoculars he had on the trip. Just sayin’.

Now I remember reading an article in Field and Stream not too long ago about trends in the firearms industry. I am pretty sure it was by Petzal, because the author was saying what he hates about certain trends and that seems to be a classic Petzal writing. The complaint was about how scopes now have these extremes names like “Eliminator” or “Destructor”. This would give Redfield a lower grade in this man’s eyes as they have names like “Revenge” and “Battlezone”, but who cares what it’s called if they work great?! (Also please note that I am not trying to insult Petzal in any way as the man is well informed and provides us readers with facts and thoughts that can put things into perspective.)

Recently Redfield has been adding a new line of products to their team. These have been directed more for the AR-15 market, but this trend has been seen in many of the other big name optic brands. I would feel safe throwing one of these on top of my AR at home.

One reason for that safety-net feeling is that they stand behind their products. Leupold is famous for its warranty and has extended those same privileges to the Redfield name. You can read the full break down of this warranty at the Support section on their website. Also on their website they have a link that will direct you to any current promotions they are running.

So whether you need a scope for an upcoming deer hunt or want a good pair of binoculars for watching birds or neighbors that may be witches, think about taking a look at and through something from Redfield.

Until next time! Giddy-Up!

Previous Sightings:





Ready for the Rut?

Are you ready for deer season??DEER HUNTING

I know bow hunting is already in full swing – with only a few days left before muzzle loader opens up.

If you feel like you need some advice on how to bag that monster buck this season come on out to your favorite outdoor store on November 2-3.

Our Red Head Staff will be on site to help answer your hunting questions and get you geared up for the season.



Our Outdoor Skills Workshops will feature JR Adkins and Larry Self, from our Red Head Field staff. Workshops will be both November 2-3 at times listed:

Game Cameras                                           1 pm

  • Our experts will help you to select, operate and set up the right game camera to fit your needs.

Selecting the Optics for Your Hunt               2 pm

  • Our experts will help you find the perfect scope, rangefinder or pair of binoculars for you next hunt. We’ll match product to fit your specific needs.

Treestand Selection and Placement           3 pm

  • Our experts will walk you through our selection of treestands and help you select the right stand for your hunting needs.

Muzzleloading Basics                                  4 pm

  • Our experts will help you get a jump-start on the season with blackpowder rifle hunting. Learn about the variety of models and accessories available.


Hope you have a great hunting season!!!

Visit us in store or on-line at


Gayle Chesney

Special Events Coordinator

Bass Pro Shops~ Sevierville




New Product Spotlight: Remington 2020

Too close for missiles, I'm switching to guns.

You may recognize that line from the 80's classic Top Gun, but the top gun on the market is the new Remington 2020, and the similarities do not end there.

Earlier this month, Remington announced the release of their new 2020 shooting platform, and it flew almost completely under the radar (pun intended).  The 2020 is offered in 3 configurations (pictured below): a 700 Long Range chambered in .30-06, a 700 SPS Tactical in .308 and an R-15 in .223/5.56.

Model 700 Long Range (LR)

Model 700 SPS Tactical AAC

Bushmaster Varminter


Set alone, these rifles are noteworthy, but not head turning.  No longer.  Remington has built these packages complete with a Digital Optic System from Tracking Point.  The Tracking Point optic system comes complete with a 3-21 variable power scope, laser rangefinder (capable of ranging up to 750 yards), an advanced ballistics calculator and audio/video recording.

The 2020 Digital Optic System features a Heads Up Display (HUD) which provides you with all the information needed to make that critical shot:  target speed, ammunition selection, inclination, rifle cant, compass heading and much, much more.



Each package comes complete with a hand-selected rifle mounted (and zeroed) with the Remington 2020 Digital Optic System, a wheeled SKB hard case with custom foam insert, 300 rounds of matched ammunition (and a pre-loaded ballistic solution for all three paired ammunition types), a sunshade, 4 rechargeable batteries and charging cradle/power supply.  With an MSRP of around $5000, the Remington 2020 isn't for everyone, but for those with a thirst for the most up-to-date technology, look no further, because the Remington 2020 has it in spades.

Visit Remington's site devoted to the 2020:


The Squirrel that Scoped Me Out!

Well, with rifle season just beginning, be sure that your scope for your rifle is A. functional, and B. its sighted in properly! 

     Here's the scenario I recently experienced... I decided to go squirrel hunting last weekend, something I have not done in several years!  So I walked across the road to a small patch of woods right across from my house between the old country road and a cotton field, which is PERFECT squirrel territory!  Just as I entered the patch of woods, I sat down on a log with my Thermocell, I thank God for the inventor of THAT handy little device! Since I wasn't busy swatting mosquitoes away from my hands and face, I was able to sit still and wait for the furry little tree rodents to come out!  It wasn't but about 5 minutes before I saw a big fat squirrel running up and down the tree right behind me!  Now I realize it's only a small furry creature, but I still get all excited and a little bit shaky's not as hyper  as the feeling you get when you see a huge buck, but it's still exciting, nonetheless!  So I calmed myself down, took a deep breath, let it out, focused right on the critter, slowly pulled the trigger, and Mr. Squirrel ran straight up to the top of the tree, turned around and gave me a real dirty look!  I put my sights back on him, centered him, slowly pulled the trigger while all the time I'm thinking to myself, "I'll show you what dirty looks will get you, Mr. Squirrel!  You are about to end up in my crock pot for supper!" Again, NOTHING!  This time Mr. Squirrel glanced behind him, then I'm not sure but I think he threw a pecan at me!  So I ended up shooting AT Mr. Squirrel 8 times and got nothing but a good fussing from him!  Needless to say, I left the woods, head down and my tail tucked between my legs assuming since I have grown older, perhaps my eyesight has failed me!  

     Nikon P-22 AR Riflescope

After walking home I set up a target and realized it was NOT my eyesight, but my scope was damaged, causing it to shoot about a foot to the left!  I decided at that point that Mr. Squirrel wasn't fussing at me, he was laughing at me!  I went to Bass Pro and bought a new Nikon P-22 Rimfire AR Optic scope!  It's a very nice scope, and Eddie even sighted my equipment in for me!  All I can say is, "Mr. Squirrel, your laughing and pecan throwing days are numbered....because as Arnold Schwartzenegger says..."I'LL BE BACK!"

Ashley Walford

Bossier City, La.                                       

Related Articles:

Squirrel Rifle Tune-Up Time to Get Squirrely



Dragonfly by Raymarine - Newest Technology in Fish Finders!

Dragon Fly - all anglers will want to know what this is...stay tuned!!!

Whether you're a professional guide or weekend angler, you'll appreciate the cutting-edge sonar performance of Raymarine's Dragonfly Sonar/GPS with Navionics North America Gold Chart Bundle.  The Sonar/GPS unit boasts a big 5.7" ultra-bright 1500 bit color display that's optically bonded for maximum visibility - even in bright summer sun!  Dragonfly includes a built-in 50 channel GPS and the Navionics North America Gold Chart Bundle, which includes US and Canadian coastal waters, the Great Lakes and 3,000 lakes and rivers.

Unlike conventional sonars that transmit on one frequency with each pulse, Dragonfly's DownVision sonar uses CHIRP technology to transmit across a wide spectrum of frequencies with each pulse, for higher resolution, life-like sonar images.  This is actually two sonars in one because it's built with two discrete CHIRP channels:  an ultra-high resolution DownVision channel and a high resolution fish-targeting sonar channel.  View each channel independently or switch to dual sonar split screen mode for the ultimate in underwater viewing. 

Dragonfly is paired with Raymarine's exclusive CPT-60 dual element CHIRP transducer with an ultra-wide fan-shaped beam and a wide view of DownVision images.  A second element provides a conical-shaped beam for imaging fish targeets.

You can see this incredible new Raymarine technology on display at Bass Pro in Rancho Cucamonga...come on by for a demonstration!

See it in action!



Bow Season is Upon Us

September 28th is opening weekend for bow season this year and it is approaching quickly. This time of the year the archery department is busy seven days a week as people are tuning up bows, honing in their skills and getting prepared for the season. As you hunters look over your gear and evaluate possible upgrades or some adjustments, know that Bass Pro Shops in Garland has well trained bow techs and avid bow hunters working at the counter. We are confident in working on or with any bow you may bring into our shop.  So if you notice that your old arrow rest may look worn or a bit outdated please bring it up to us. Our techs will suggest a rest that is affordable and compatible for your setup. Or perhaps your sight just is not as bright as you may want, we have plenty of sights that are affordable and maintenance free. The convenient features found in these two products allow hunters to make last minute adjustments without having to spend a lot of time setting everything back up. A quick swap of a sight or rest can make the difference in bagging your 2013 trophy.

One rest I would like to mention is the Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit. This whisker biscuit is offered in several sizes and either black or camo. At a $39.99 price point, this arrow rest is affordable and features easy adjustability that puts you the shooter back on target in no time. (Prices will range $39.99-$69.99 depending on features and color)

Arrow Rest

 A fiber optic sight I would suggest looking at would be the Trophy Ridge Outlaw 4 pin sight. This sight is light weight and has four .019” fiber optic pins. Other special features include a sight light and it is ambidextrous so it will mount to either a right or left handed bow. This is a tough sight to beat at the price of $49.99 and it makes for an excellent last minute upgrade to improve your odds this season. Come in and see us here at Bass Pro Shops in Garland and let us help make this year’s bow season one of your best. 

Outlaw Bow Sight


This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Celebrate Fishing!

National Hunting and Fishing Day
Saturday, September 28, is National Hunting and Fishing Day! A great time to teach the little ones about fishing and for adults to plan for fall fishing, remember the importance of conservation, and to "pass it on" to the next generation!

Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29

First - for the Kids!

 Noon - 4 p.m. The Catch and Release Pond is back! Our indoor bluegill pond gives kids the chance to catch a fish with one of our poles...then get their picture taken at our free "You at the Lake" photo download!

 Noon - 1 p.m. - Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshop
Learn the basics of fishing. Hands-on fun for kids - they'll receive a “Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team" certificate and a free pair of sunglasses!

Plus - Seminars for Adults!

Saturday, September 28 - National Hunting and Fishing Day!

1 p.m. - Fish Hatcheries: From Hatcheries To Lakes - Learn about the importance of our fish hatcheries to how our lakes are stocked. Presented by Mike Mason, from the Iowa DNR, Iowa Fish Hatcheries Supervisor.
2 p.m. - What You Should Know About Fishing Using Electronics - Learn how to use your GPS to find the best catch! Free fishing towel for the first 50 customers at the 2 p.m. seminar each day!
3 p.m.- Best Baits: Baits That Work For Successful Fall Fishing

Sunday, Sept. 29

1 p.m. - Area Fishing: What You Should Know
2 p.m. - Expert Tips: Best Fall Fishing Practices - Free fishing towel for the first 50 customers at the 2 p.m. seminar each day

3 p.m. - Changing Water Conditions: How It Affects Fishing

1 -3 p.m. Both Days - Free Craft for Kids!  Color your own tackle box! 1-3 p.m. both days


Pella Wildlife Company joins us again this Saturday, September 28, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.! They'll be set up in the Hunting Department by the optics counter. Come find out more about fur-bearing animals and meet a silver color phase red fox! 


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Scope It Out: Vortex

This will be the third installment of our Scope It Out series. So think of like Return of the Jedi. Just no ewoks (really Spell-check? You don’t know what an ewok is?!) or half complete but still fully functional Death Star. Now I give the Star Wars reference because Return of the Jedi was one of my favorite and so is this optics company: Vortex.

Now compared to Leupold and Nikon these guys could be considered the young bucks in the bunch. But they have proved themselves to be a top contender in the world of optics. Their products and warranty backing them are outstanding. More than likely if you ask one of our hunting associates what brand they like, they will say Vortex.

The company was founded and is still located in Wisconsin. (Being a Green Bay Packers fan and a proud American, I like that they have a set up here in the states.) They seem to be setting themselves apart from the other makers not only by products but by their attitude as a company. On their site you will find an invite to stop by their showroom and check out everything when in Southern Wisconsin. They are also doing a great job utilizing online media. From having a place to submit pictures of trophies taken with their products to amusing videos, they are fully embracing the internet.

Like I said, their warranty is one of the things that really sets them apart. Here it is below, straight from their site:


“Our warranty is about you, not us. It's about taking care of you after the sale. We will repair or replace your Vortex product in the event it becomes damaged or defective—at no charge to you. It doesn't matter how it happened, whose fault it was, or where you purchased it.

  • Unlimited, unconditional lifetime warranty
  • Fully transferable
  • No warranty card to fill out.
  • No receipt needed to hang on to.

If you ever have a problem, no matter the cost, we promise to take care of you. The VIP warranty does not cover loss, theft or deliberate damage to the product...that's it. “ And from every experience I have heard about them, they mean everything they state right there.

Their scopes have been gaining much attention and appreciation. Field and Stream named them Best Rifle Scope of 2013. The clarity and versatility of their products is amazing. And it is not just in their rifle scopes. Their binoculars, spotting scopes, monoculars and rangefinder are all considered top of their class.

Usually in the world of hunting, the old names are the ones people trust the most. Vortex however is changing all of that. So whether you need new binoculars to watch some birds or a new rifle scope to take that dream elk, take a peek at and through some Vortex optics. Your eyes will be happy at what they look at and your mind will be at ease with that amazing guarantee attached to every single one of their products.

Knocked into a Cocked Hat by a Kitchen Safe!! Giddy-Up!


Elk Hunting Basics-Preparation is Key

Elk photo from RMEF

So, you're considering going elk hunting out west as a new adventure?

We asked Jeff Swan, Volunteer State Chair of the Iowa Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Chapters, to share some knowledge on the considerations hunters need to factor in when planning their first elk hunt. 

Allen says, "Hunting elk in the Rocky Mountain west is not your typical weekend outing to the woods to hang in a stand waiting on a whitetail." 

He says there are many factors to consider, however early planning is #1, starting in winter.

Do Your Homework

"The first factor to consider is where. Most western states, with elk hunting opportunities, distribute permits to non-resident hunters through a drawing system.  When planning a western hunt, you must think well ahead of time in order to get your application in on time. For example, in Wyoming, applications for the elk drawing are due by the end of January. If you fail to draw, most states have some form of preference point system so that in subsequent years you have better odds of drawing if you continue to apply and accrue points every year. You don't necessarily have to rely on drawing a tag in the states that use a lottery-like drawing system for the permits. There are still some over-the-counter states, such as areas of Colorado and Idaho.
"Once you have your tag in hand, the planning really begins. Most states issue permits for certain areas of the state, rather than the state as a whole; after obtaining the permit, it's time to begin your research. When going into uncharted water, the Internet is a valuable resource. There you can access aerial photos and topographical maps through websites such as Google Maps or the various state wildlife agency hunt planning website. Various hunting websites such as can be used to find others who have hunted the same area and are willing to help out.  Wildlife biologists in the area you intend to hunt are a good source of information about elk numbers, locations, etc.  

With basic information obtained through these resources, you can access Google Maps or other such sites to take advantage of the aerial photos and topo maps.  With these maps you can look for timbered north facing bedding slopes, open meadows you might find elk feeding in, and other likely looking areas in which to find elk."

Prepare Yourself for the Hunt

Next, Allen says, after you've prepared the location of the hunt, and where the elk might be in that area, it's now time to prepare yourself.

"Elk country is tough, non-forgiving country. Not only are you at a higher elevation with lower oxygen concentration, but the terrain itself is difficult to negotiate. If you are to be an effective elk hunter you must prepare yourself physically and mentally. 

Physical preparation can't begin a few weeks before your hunt, it must begin months prior. Elk country is big country and there are not elk behind every tree. It may take several miles and several days of up and down hiking to find the elk in order to begin hunting them. It is also important to give yourself plenty of time on an elk hunt. On a do-it-yourself type hunt, I try for a minimum of 7-8 days because you want to give yourself ample time to locate and then hunt the elk."  

Allan says you also want to obtain the highest quality gear you can for hunting in the mountains.

"First, quality optics, in the form of a good pair of binoculars, is important. You'll spend a lot of time behind the glasses looking over lots of country to find the elk, and the better your binoculars the more success you'll have. You get what you pay for with high quality optics; it's in your best interest to spend as much as you can afford to get the best optics you can. They'll last a lifetime and you'll be able to spend more time glassing with them, without giving yourself a headache and eye fatigue. 

You also want to obtain high quality clothing for your hunt. In addition to the physical demands elk country provides, the weather can be a game changer for the unprepared. Weather in the mountains can range from sunny and 80 to snowing and below freezing in less than 24 hours. Obviously, the later in the season you choose to hunt, the greater the chance of running into severe cold and snow, so prepare accordingly.  Despite that, I have hunted in blizzard conditions in mid-September. You must be prepared for anything the weather can throw at you while in the mountains. Don't skimp on quality clothing or rain gear - it can make or break your hunt."  

Prepare for Wide Open Spaces - Get a Rangefinder

Allen reminds East Coast and Midwestern hunters that another thing they need to prepare for is a different hunting style for a different terrain. He says for those used to hunting and shooting in the East or Midwest in small wood lots or large expanses of timber, going out west with the wide open spaces can provide a challenge, especially for bowhunters. 

"First, the wide open spaces where you might find elk can make it difficult to judge distances. Add to that the overall size of an elk in comparison to a deer, and range estimation errors are common.  A laser range finder with angle compensation can be a lifesaver when hunting out west. Knowing the exact distance to your target will give you added confidence when the moment of truth rolls around."

Do-it-Yourself or Hire Out?

There are lots of advantages to using a quality outfitter, with the only drawback being the price tag. Outfitters generally have the gear and means of access to your hunt area. They know the game and their travel patterns, they often have leased up quality private grounds for your hunt, and they are in the area year round to scout. It's difficult to scout your hunt area in person from a thousand miles away. But, you want to be careful in choosing an outfitter. You want to make sure you choose a reputable outfitter who will do his or her best to put you on your quarry. 

"Remember, it's still a fair chase hunt and there are no such things as guarantees. Be wary of outfitters who offer you a guaranteed hunt opportunity. Again, do your research. Most outfitters will provide you with a list of previous clients. Call them!  Not just the successful ones, but those who failed to score as well. Call the local wildlife biologist or game warden and ask them questions. They will know about the outfitter and the land/wildlife in that area. Utilize the Internet and sites such as to gather information about an outfitter.  Make an educated decision based upon information from all these resources - it's your money you're spending."

Regardless of whether you hunt DIY or with an outfitter, Allen restates that the better prepared you are ahead of time, the more enjoyable and successful your trip will be.

  • Do your homework and research your hunt area
  • Prepare yourself physically and mentally
  • Obtain high quality optics, clothing, and a good laser rangefinder for your hunt.


For more information, you may also visit Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's web site at


The Colorful Side of Women's Archery Products

Stroll through the Bass Pro Shops Altoona Hunting Department and you're likely to find loads of blaze orange, camo green, black, Pink? Yes, pink...and red, blue, green. The archery aisles, in particular, are beginning to bloom with color.

From arrow parts to archery accessories, Gun Vault Specialist Alicia Bricker says the women's archery products are growing in leaps and bounds with variations of pink to appeal to the increasing number of women who are bow hunting.

"We have several different arrows to choose from and now even a few different ones in pink, such as the Mayhem Hot Pursuit arrow by Carbon Express. We also have pink fletchings that can be used to accent an arrow, as well."

Ladies' Archery Products from Bass Pro Shops

From pink lighted arrow nocks, to pink arrow wraps, fletchings, and pink broadheads, such as the Queen Wasp (100 grain, 3-blade fixed blade, 1" cutting diameter), there are plenty of ways for women to dress up their bow. Lighted nocks are also available in blue, red, green, and orange. Wraps and fletchings are available in a wide assortment of colors and styles, as well. Bricker uses the pink Montec G5 85 grain fixed broadheads because she uses a smaller bow, with a smaller draw length and draw weight.

"The 85 grain is lighter than a higher grain and the fixed broadhead gives better penetration than an expandable broadhead for shooting a lighter draw weight combined with my shorter draw length. My draw weight is 50 lbs and length is 22.5”. My draw weight is actually pretty good now, but when I started with the broadheads I was only pulling back 40 lbs. My draw length is really short compared to most people. With my draw weight and length being small the lighter grained broadhead allows me to make up some speed and then the fixed blade allows for an ensured penetration since I don’t have enough “UMPH,” let’s just say, behind mine."

Ladies' Archery Products
For accessories, Bricker points out the Cobra Bushwacker Sight  in pink camo, with light, four fiber optic pins, and a level for holding your bow steady and at the same angle each shot. She'll be using it this season. For wrist straps, she uses the Outdoor ProStaff black with pink deer prints. With the wrist straps, a hunter won't have to grip the bow after the shot to keep it from falling. It will still drop forward, but you won’t drop it to the ground. It allows your shot to follow through. The strap will catch and slow down some of the fall.  
Other pink bow and shooting accessories include:
  • G5 Meta peep - Multiple colors are available.
  • Pink String Chubs - helps with string vibration making one less sound to spook the deer! Multiple colors available.
  • Pink Ultramax and String Leech -  Limbsaver by SVL - Another noise/vibration energy dampening system. Multiple colors available.
  • Pink cable slides - Multiple colors also available
  • Releases - single caliper and dual caliper. Bricker prefers a spring-loaded release since it only needs one motion Ladies' Archery Products from Bass Pro Shops Altoonato open and close the release rather than having to push the trigger back up. She also prefers a stiff shaft on a release, instead of the cloth strap, so that the release stays up in her  hand and is easier to get into her hand when she's ready to shoot.  Some people prefer the cloth strap, so that they are more hands free when they are wearing the release. Fox brand also has a blue one and they all have camo or black, of course.
  • Treestand Harnesses - Gorilla G-Tac Air safety harness and the HSS (Hunter Safety System) Lady Pro Series. Specifically designed with women in mind, they are contoured for a women which provides a more comfortable fit than a regular harness.

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Ladies' Archery ProductsBows? Bricker shoots a Diamond Razor Edge, which is a youth bow instead of a women’s, mainly because her draw length is smaller than most people. The bow gives her the range she needs with weight and length, so she is able to go down to 30 lbs and up to 60 lbs. Since most bows don't have under a 24 inch draw length, this one fits her perfectly.

Come see for yourself what's pretty in pink...and other Bass Pro Shops Altoona or check out what's online at


Like us @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
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Seeing a whole new world with Maui!

Bass Pro sells the Maui Jim Collection of sunglassware. We invite you to come take a look at our display and try some on. The Maui PolarizedPlus2 Technology with Enhanced color offers better color technology.  They blues are truer, greens are brighter, and the reds are more vibrant. Maui wipes out 99.9% of glare and blocks 100% of UV rays.  They are waterproof and oleophobic coating, anti-reflective treatment , scratch-resistant treatment , and have color enhancing lens. Maui has bi-gradient protection against overhead and reflected glare via a protective mirror at the top and bottom of the lens that “squints” for you. Maui also has a Mauigradient  that is a darker application at the top that gradually gets lighter moving down the lens so the appropriate amount of light is allowed to filter through certain areas, while less filters through in places where protection is most important.

Maui has several lens types. MauiPure, the perfect lens for everyday, scratch resistant and impact-resistant and injection molded for the crispest optics next to glass. MauiEvolution combines the best attributes of Super Thin glass and Polycarbonate for a scratch-impact-resistant lens with high performance optics and Polycarbonate with durability and protection against shattering and will stand up to the most intense activities and is lightweight.

If you’ve ever owned a pair, you will agree with me by saying that they are truly what they claim to be.  You will feel as if you are looking at a whole new world through your new Maui’s.  You will have brighter days and no more squinting. Nothing could be better. Enjoy your outdoors with a pair of Maui’s. Make sure you stop by to get fitted for your new pair!


If you have any questions, call us and we would be happy to help you make that perfect selection!



Maui Jim Collection:





Arizona Animals: Coues Deer

I’ll never forget my freshman year at Arizona State University. It was a great experience and was the first time I really got to spend time with people from elsewhere in the country. I still remember what my one friend Tom (pronounced Tam, he was from Chicago) said while we were walking. He said, “You people from Arizona are really proud of it.” My friend and I looked at him and simply said, “Yup”.

Arizona is really quite awesome. We have a little bit of something for everyone. Our climates range from low desert to high pines and everything in between. Drive south and you’re in Mexico. Drive west and you’re on your way to Disneyland. Northward to higher elevations, cooler temperatures and snow in the winter! We even have one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!

Just as impressive as our landscapes are the critters that inhabit them. We are the only state in the nation that has more than 10 big-game species of animals in it. Last month I started my Big Game Basics reoccurring blog and my love for my home state drove me start a similar blog series all about Arizona’s animals. The first one will be about the specific subspecies of white-tailed deer we have here, the Coues deer.

Now as I said in the first BGB blog it is pronounced “cows” after the man who originally discovered the animal. Disclaimer though, everyone I talk to pronounces it “coos” even hunting guides. So don’t go correcting anyone, just inform them. Like I just did for you.

They are most common in the mountains of Southeastern Arizona but can be found north as well. Their numbers are strongest where summer precipitation is most predictable.

Their antlers mirror those of their white-tailed cousins, where there are a number of tines arising from a main beam. Just smaller. Antlers are dependent on genetics, age and nutrition. It can be kind of a hard life out here in the desert, so nutrition can be hard to come by. Also, they are just smaller bodied animals. (Bucks are rarely over 100 pounds.)

They have been given the nickname “Gray Ghosts” as they seem to blend in perfectly with the landscapes. To spot one you are going to need some high-quality optics in a heavy power as you will be scanning vast differences. Sometimes the only thing you will see is the tip of one tine so you need to know what to look for.

There are several ways to tell the difference between a Coues and mule deer (the other kind of deer we have out here). This would include antler-style, size, color, ear-size and rump. Haha, rump. Coues deer will have that white-tail whereas the mule deer have a full white rump. Haha I said it again.

Their range is roughly four miles. Within their range they will eat grasses, shrubs, weeds, mistletoe, masts and cacti fruits. Their natural predators are coyotes, mountain lions, bobcat and even eagles. They breed in January and have a gestation process of about eight months.

Side story time: When I was in the airport headed for Tennessee for white-tailed deer I bumped into a hunter leaving Arizona from a Coues deer hunt. He wasn’t able to harvest one on this trip but hopes to make it back soon. It didn’t help though when I told him how my niece got a nice sized Coues a couple years back. (The fact that she was fourteen and a cheerleader really made him drop his head.)

Keep an eye out on the next installment of Big Game Basics later this month and you’ll just have to hold your horses until next month for the next Arizona Animals blog. Until then, you can always read more at and stay social with us at . Jell-O-slurping Javelina!


Hunter Appreciation Weekend


August 9-11

Friday, August 9
6:30pm Tips for Bow Hunting
7:30pm Tactics for Hunting Deer

Saturday, August 10
1:30pm Shed Hunting: How to Successfully Hunt for Sheds
2:30pm From the Field to the Table: How to Fry Turkey
3:30pm Join Local Pro Staff for Hunting Tips & Techniques
4:30pm Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and 3-Gun Shooting
5:30pm Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Choosing Correct Camouflage Clothing

Sunday, August 11
1:30pm Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and 3-Gun Shooting
2:30pm Tactics for Hunting Deer
3:30pm Join Local Pro Staff for Hunting Tips & Techniques
4:30pm What’s New in Scent Control
5:30pm Choosing the Right Optics


First 25 customers to attend a seminar each day will receive a FREE Bass Pro Shops Gift Bag and Lanyard License Holder!!!
***Must be 18 years old or older***

Hunter Appreiciation Weekend