Summer Fun In The Sun

Does packing for summer vacations overwhelm you? We all know how easy it is to forget something or not know exactly what to bring on your trip. Bass Pro Shops has everything you need for your summer vacation. Here are a few tips and must have items that are perfect for your vacation plans this summer.  

Sunscreen

Don’t forget your Banana Boat sunscreen to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.  It is important to consider sunscreen (SPF) or Sun Protection Factor. An SPF of 15 will block about 94% of the UVB rays, an SPF of 30 will block about 97% of UVB rays, and an SPF of 45 will block about 98% of rays. It’s best to apply sunscreen to dry skin fifteen minutes prior to going outdoors. It is good to reapply every two hours or follow the directions on the manufacturer’s bottle.  Another good tip to remember when purchasing sunscreen is that broad spectrum sunscreen not only protects from UVB rays, but it also protects from UVA rays.

Chairs

What better way to relax on vacation then to sit down and enjoy the view? We have a variety of chairs in our camping department that are perfect for all occasions.

Sun Shade

Ever feel like you need a break from the sun? Well, we have the perfect solution for that. The Bass Pro Instant Shade Shelter can be used at just about any location and is easy to assemble. It has a water-resistant polyester roof and side panels that offer great shade protection. There are also large mesh panels that offer a nice breeze to come through. A carrying bag and stakes are included. The size of the shelter is 9”L x 5”11”D x 5”2”H and it weighs about 5lbs.

Coolers

We carry a variety of cooler brands including Bass Pro Shops, Coleman, Igloo, and YETI. New for 2015 is Igloo’s Super Tough STX-120 Chest Cooler priced at $154.99.  The STX-120 is made in the USA, comes with a 3-year manufacturer warranty, and is rated at 5-day ice retention at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Towels

Towels are a must have when surrounded by water. We have a large selection of beach towels including Bass Pro, Browning, Red Head, Guy Harvey and Salt Life.

Sunglasses

What better way to protect your eyes from the sun then a nice pair of sunglasses? We offer a variety of brands including Costa Del Mar, Maui Jim, Oakley, Wiley X, Under Armor, Ray Bands, Salt Life, XPS, Spy Optics, Body Glove, Strike King, Ironman Triathlon, Native Eyewear, and Smith Optics.  The Costa Blackfin 580P Polarized Sunglasses are a staple of any fisherman.  The polycarbonate lenses deliver quality eye protection and crisp vision in any conditions. You have to wear them to see and believe the difference! Costa lenses come in many colors for various light conditions.

Costa Lenses:

  • Blue Mirror Encapsulated mirrors deliver superior contrast and color in full sun and eliminate glare (gray base).
  • Amber Excellent all-around lens delivers the brightest field of vision.
  • Gray Maintains color saturation and natural contrast in medium to bright sun conditions.
  • Copper Cuts glare and enhances contrast and color in all conditions.
  • Green Mirror Encapsulated mirrors enhance visual acuity and eliminate glare (copper and amber base).
  • Silver Mirror Encapsulated mirrors enhance visual acuity and eliminate glare (copper and amber base).

Costa Del Mar Sunglasses on basspro.com: http://goo.gl/C9eXQF

Floats

Floats are a perfect way to kick back and relax in the water. Whether you want to lie down or sit up, we have the perfect floats for you. The Intex 18 Pocket Suntanner Pool Lounge is a perfect float for lying down and relaxing around the pool and they come in two different colors. We also have tubes and kids wings available that provide comfort and safety for the summer.

Swim Goggles

Whether you’re swimming laps in the pool or exploring the coastline, we have you covered!  Speedos Vanquisher Mirrored goggles are comfortable to wear and mirrored design helps reduce brightness and glare on the water.  The hypo-allergenic, anti-fog lenses offer UV protection of 95+ and are PVC and latex free. For those looking to explore underwater, check out the Agua Lung Sport Magellan Purge Silicone Swim Mask.  This mask is loaded with great features including a double-window design with tempered glass lenses.  This is a mask you will want to take your next snorkeling adventure.

Swim Wear

The Bass Pro Shops Stripe Swim Shorts for men are 100% polyester allowing them to dry fast and be comfortable on the beach or on the boat! For ladies, we also have Natural Reflections bikini’s and tankini bathing suits.

Water Toys

Water toys are perfect to keep kids busy and entertained. We have a wide variety of water toys that can be for all ages. There are different toys such as Swim Way Toypedo’s, the Stream Machine Water Gun, and the Swim Ways Battle Reef Micros and Shark toys.

Sandals

 

When you head to the water, don’t forget your footwear!  We have a great selection of men’s and women’s sandals!  The women’s Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 are very popular. The footbed is even made from real yoga mat with a rubber outsole! They are available in several colors and patterns.

Spending time outdoors with your family or friends is a great way to relax and visit new destinations! Whatever your plans are this summer, remember to bring along the fun!

Off the Rack Sunglasses Versus Costa Del Mar Protect Yourself

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First Time Gun Buyer's Guide

“What gun should I buy?” 

This question is repeated at gun retailers across the country constantly. Given the plethora of gun options out there, it’s understandably daunting to a first time gun buyer or even an experienced shooter who is new to a specific type of firearm. The following are some tips to help you make the right decision.

 

What Do You Want To Do With The Gun?

While the most basic answer is to shoot, certain guns do certain things better than others. For example, a lot of folks are getting concealed carry permits and want a gun they can carry. Obviously in that case the choice would be a handgun, but which one out of the huge number of models on the market? One thing to keep in mind is the size of the gun and by size I don’t mean the caliber, we’ll cover that in a bit. By size I mean the physical size of the gun. A small gun, like a Smith and Wesson Shield is more portable; however a larger sized gun like a Glock 19 in the same caliber shoots more comfortably. Therefore, the buyer has to decide the size gun that works for them including the thickness of that gun as that may come into play regarding comfort in holding, shooting, and carrying the gun on a day in and day out basis. These same considerations come into play when it comes to shotguns and rifles as well.

Shotguns are kind of like golf clubs in that all clubs will knock a ball along the course, but some do certain things better than others. Sporting clays, hunting, and home defense all find shotguns being a go to choice in firearm. Again the size of the gun is matched to the activity the owner intends to do, but luckily a bread and butter pump shotgun like a Benelli SuperNova will do anything and everything reasonably well.

Rifles are all about downrange accuracy so if you like reaching out and hitting a target you can barely see with your naked eye a bolt action rifle like the Browning X-Bolt is the way to go. Remember, in this application a quality optic is key. The other popular rifle right now is the AR style. This IS NOT short for “assault rifle”, it stands for Armalite Rifle. Armalite was the company that originally designed the platform and put it into production. AR style rifles are really fun to shoot and are great for dealing with predator control such as coyotes. An example of this kind of rifle is the Bushmaster M4-A3 and is ready to shoot right out of the box after a thorough cleaning.

Caliber is something everyone gets hung up on and new shooters worry about recoil a lot. Adding to the confusion is the fact that calibers are measured in both fractions of an inch as well as in metric measurements depending on where the caliber was developed. The simple rule is to shoot as large of a caliber as you can comfortably and more importantly, accurately. Extremely technical people will quote all kinds of ballistic and energy transfer data and confuse the heck out of even seasoned shooters but in short, bigger bullets hit harder and do more damage but a big bullet is no good if you can’t hit what you’re shooting at. The best way to judge the caliber you’re comfortable with is to consider your intended target and to go shoot some guns.

What Do You Want To Spend?

The term I like to use in this regard is that you tend to get what you pay for but the question is how much do you need? Someone that wants to shoot a lot needs a better, more durable firearm than the person that may never shoot the gun more than 100 times. This again is a double edged sword as while it may seem like you’re saving money by going the cheap route, you have to consider the cost of repairing the firearm or replacing it. My usual advice to a new shooter is to look for their given choice of gun somewhere in the middle of the price scale and then be prepared if they find they really get into it that they will want to buy a new gun. We all want more guns once we find we enjoy shooting so this isn’t exactly a problem and a good excuse to get at least one more gun. Also, consider any accessories you may need with the gun you’re buying as that may play a significant role in the overall price.

Can I Get Ammunition For My New Gun?

If you’re getting a popular caliber firearm you shouldn't have a problem getting ammunition for your firearm but the best way is to check the shelves before you settle on a caliber and anyone in our hunting department will be happy to tell you what your best bets are to find ammunition in.

So, Where Do I Start?

Reading this blog article and asking yourself these questions is a good place to start. Then come see us and look at some firearms.  We've got tons of knowledgeable associates in the store ready to help you out.  Or, if you have buddies, go shooting with them.  That’s another great option to get your feet wet in firearms. Ask shooters what they like and don’t like and why. Ironically, as you’re reading this on the internet, I would caution you to take what you read on the internet with caution. A lot of people pass their opinions, prejudices and personal experiences off as facts. There are a few cold and hard facts in firearms that I’ve attempted to cover here admittedly in a basic and simple fashion but there are a lot of things out there that are personal opinion and preference and the only person that can answer those things for you is indeed yourself. And remember with all the information you’re going to have coming at you, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Cory Brown, Hunting Department

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RedHead Select Outfitters: Ducks N Bucks

If you have been reading my blogs over the past couple years you would know that I am a fan of rhyming and alliteration… and puns… and Jurassic Park. If you have been reading my blogs over the past couple of months you would be aware about our RedHead Select Outfitters. These outfitters are those that our professional hunting teams have hunted at and proved themselves to be worthy partners of ours. Besides offering great hunts with amazing memories, signing up with one of these outfitters can also pay off thanks to the points earned on your Outdoor Rewards account. Last month I highlighted one of the outfitters in Texas. This month I will combine my love of rhyming with the focus of this blog and have chosen to highlight Ducks N Bucks.

First off, love the name. Simple and fun. They let you know exactly what they are about. But it’s not all fun and games, as they state they are “a professional hunting guide service dedicated to providing quality hunts for the serious hunter.” They are based out of Burlington, Oklahoma which they call the “friendliest town in Oklahoma”. If you have ever gone to Oklahoma, you know how friendly the people there are already but it is quite something to earn this title.

Because of their location they are a great spot for trophy deer and ducks. In fact some of their deer come from their northern neighbor, Kansas. Kansas has been a pride for prized deer and some of them head down South putting them in the cross hairs of those at Ducks N Bucks.

One of my favorite things with the set-up of these RedHead Select Outfitters is how they have their own checklist for the hunts. This gives hunters an honest idea of what they will need to bring with them. Which we all know, extra items for a hunt can add up quickly.

For Ducks they say to bring:

  • Warm waders
  • Warm and cold weather clothing
  • Face mask or face paint
  • Gloves
  • Stocking hat
  • Gortex coat
  • Waterproof clothing (Be prepared for the elements.)
  • Shells
  • Gun
  • Proper licensing

For Bucks they say you’ll need:

  • Knee boots
  • Warm and cold weather clothing (Be prepared because it can get real cold.)
  • Rangefinder
  • Good optics
  • Scentlock suits if you own any
  • Rifle
  • Bullets
  • Orange, proper tags

I like that for both species they are sure to mention the elements and weather, which can be a huge deciding factor for some hunts. One thing that is on their website that you would probably like to know beforehand is that their deer hunt is that “You DO NOT have to apply for a draw to obtain a license for these hunts. Tags are available over the counter in most sporting goods stores throughout the state.”

So next time you are thinking about that dream trip with some family or friends, maybe the rhyme will be a great time and look no further than Ducks N Bucks!

-Giddy-Up!!

The Basics

Mellon Creek

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Optics Simplified

Shop our extensive selection of Optics at basspro.com

When it comes to gearing up for your hunt this season, there are many things to consider:  weapon of choice, caliber/gauge, decoys, camouflage clothing, calls, etc.  However, one thing always seems to raise the most questions, and coincidentally it can be the most important purchase you make that can directly affect the success of your hunt: optics.

Few things can improve your odds of bagging your trophy of a lifetime like good glass, but not all glass is created equal.  That being said, what separates a $1500 scope from a $100 scope and everything in between? Manufacturers will use certain buzzwords such as: eye relief, fully-multi coated, light transmission, exit pupil and a slew of other words; but what do these terms mean and how do they help you choose what is best for you? Once you understand these buzzwords, you can easily determine what features you need to make your scope work for you.

 

 

 

Magnification/Objective

The first thing you are likely to encounter when looking at scopes is something to the tune of 3-9x40 or 4-16x50. What do these numbers mean?  Read out loud, this would sound like "three to nine by forty" or "four to sixteen by fifty".  

The first part of the equation is what is called the magnification; and on a 3-9x40 scope, the magnification on this scope can be adjusted from 3 power to 9 power, and anywhere in between. Setting the scope to 3 power, means that your target will appear to be 3 times closer to you than it actually is, and at 9 power, it will appear 9 times closer to you.  In raw numbers, something at 100 yards away would appear to be 33.3 yards away at 3 power, and 11.1 yards away at 9 power.

Another important thing to consider is the magnification range, which is calculated by dividing the maximum power of the scope by the minimum power. A 3-9 power scope has a 3x magnification range, whereas a 4-16 scope has a 4x magnification range.  There are now scopes with as high as 8x magnification ranges.  The higher the magnification range, the more versatile the scope can be, but it also comes at a price.

The second part of the equation (40 on a 3-9x40 scope) is the measure of the objective lens (the one you don't look into, at the front of the scope) in millimeters, and all other factors being equal, a larger objective lens will allow more light to enter the scope, which usually results in a brighter picture.

Things to consider:

Average shot - It is very easy to over magnify your gun.  Most whitetail deer are shot under 100 yards, so a scope powered above 9 power is not only unnecessary, it can become a hindrance.

Bigger isn't always better - If 40 is good and 44 is great, it would stand to reason that 50 or more is even better, but that's not always the case.  A larger objective lens forces you to mount the scope higher to allow the bell of the scope to clear the barrel.  This works against you in two-fold, first because the farther away the scope and the bore are, the less accurate your gun will be; two, your cheek weld on your rifle stock will be compromised from having to lift your head to be able to see through your scope.

 

Eye Relief/Exit Pupil

The next thing you are likely to notice when looking through a mounted scope is the eye relief.  Eye relief is simply the distance your eye needs to be from the scope where you can see a full picture.  Most standard rifle scopes will have eye relief up to about 4", which means your eye can be as far as 4 inches away from the scope and still see a full picture.  Any farther, and you will begin to see a black shadow/ring around the outside of your picture inside the scope, conversely if you get to close, you risk hitting yourself in the face with the scope when your gun recoils after firing.  Shotgun/muzzleloader scopes can have eye relief up to 6", which helps accommodate for the extra recoil associated with these firearms, but we will discuss later at what cost this comes.

Exit pupil is a term that the majority of people have almost no clue what it is, but is a very crucial part of purchasing optics.  Exit pupil is quite literally the size of the picture that enters your eye.  A healthy human eye can dilate up to about 7 millimeters (sometimes more), and aged eyes may only be able to open to 4 millimeters or less.  Exit pupil is measured in millimeters, and is calculated by dividing the size of the objective lens in millimeters by the magnification power.  A scope with a 40 mm objective set at 3 power, will produce an exit pupil of about 13.3 mm, which is more than adequate for transmitting as much light/picture as possible to the eye.  Conversely, the same scope, set at 9 power, will produce an exit pupil of about 4.44 mm, which is going to produce a relatively smaller, darker picture.

Things to consider:

Bigger isn't always better (Part II) - If 3" of eye relief is good, and 4" is better, 6" should be great.  Once again, not always the case.  The farther away you get from your scope, the more your field of view suffers.  You want to be far enough away that you don't hit yourself, but not so far that you can't see anything but a pinhole through your lens.  

But sometimes, bigger is better -  It's hard to go wrong with more exit pupil.  No matter how good your glass is, if the picture getting to your eye is tiny, it will appear dark and tough to see.  Overpowering your scope can drastically reduce your exit pupil, and the last thing you want during that golden hour of last light is a dark picture.

 

Light Transmission/Lens Coatings:

Contrary to popular belief, scopes do not "gather" light, rather they transmit it.  The finest (and most expensive) scopes can have light transmission ratings nearing about 98%.  Great scopes will transmit up to 95% light, but the majority of scopes transmit somewhere around 90% of light that hits the objective lens. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers will list their light transmission rating, and there isn't an accepted standardized measuring system, so not all transmission ratings are created equal.

Light transmission is largely a factor of coatings on the lenses.  It seems silly, but these microscopic coatings put on the lenses are what can separate a $500 scope from a $1500 scope.  Coatings can do many things, from reducing glare,  or waterproofing and fogproofing the glass, to phase correction which aligns the different color spectrums as they move through the lenses.  The more coatings added, the more expensive the scope.  You will also hear four terms when describing how the coatings are applied to the lenses: coated, fully coated, multicoated and fully multicoated.  Coated is the lowest grade, and it means that there is at least one coating on one lens surface.  Next is fully coated, which means there is one coating on all air to glass surfaces.  The next two are the most frequent options.  Multicoated means there are multiple layers on at least one lens and as you can probably guess, fully multicoated means there are multiple layers on all air to glass surfaces.

Things to consider:

Go big or go home - In today's market, there is no reason to purchase any optic that is not fully multicoated, even budget friendly scopes are available in fully multicoated options.  

 

Tube Diameter

The majority of scopes on the market in the United States will have a 1" main tube.  In recent years, long range shooting sports have increased the demand for scopes using a 30 mm tube, and in some very specialized cases, tubes up to 34 and 35 mm.  

The importance behind tube diameter comes when you understand how scopes are built.  Inside the main tube of the scope lies another tube, called the erector tube.  The erector tube is an obviously, smaller tube, which houses some lenses and your reticle, and is how elevation/windage adjustments are made.  When the adjustment turrets on the side and top of your scope are turned, they press on this erector tube and move it inside the scope.  When you "run out of adjustment" in your scope, what you have actually done is pushed the erector tube as far as it can go in one direction.  However, if you have a bigger outside tube, you can increase the amount of adjustment available in your scope, which is decided advantage when shooting at longer ranges where "doping your scope" is required.

Things to consider:

Bigger can be better - I would guess that 95% of rifle scopes on the market still carry a 1" main tube, and it has served very well, and will continue to do so, especially in most hunting applications.  However, for those looking to stretch their shooting a little further, depending on manufacturer, a 30 mm tube usually offers about 20 MOA (20 inches at 100 yards) more adjustment than a comparable scope with a 1" tube.

 

Parallax

Next to exit pupil, this is far and away the most misunderstood term in optics, but it happens to be one of the most important ones to grasp.  Simply put, parallax is an optical illusion.  

Consider this: you are driving down the road and look down at your speedometer, and your needle is centered directly over 60 mph.  If a person sitting in your passenger seat looks over, it will likely appear to them that the needle is somewhere around 58 mph, because they are looking at it from a different angle.  The needle didn't move, the numbers behind it didn't move, so what happened?  Parallax.

Parallax in a scope is the same concept, if I were to lock a scope down in a vise and aim it at a point on the wall, any distance away (the further away, the more obvious it becomes).  With my eye centered behind the scope, moving my head side to side would make it appear that the crosshairs moved off of my target.  Once again, the scope didn't move and the target didn't move, but if I was shooting, my point of impact would be off. Quite simply, my scope and my target are not operating on the same plane, and I need to adjust my parallax on my scope to get them working together.

On most scopes, parallax adjustment is fixed at 100 yards, which is usually fine for most hunting purposes.  If your head happens to be slightly off at 100 yards, your point of impact may only shift less than an inch or so. However, for those who frequently shoot longer ranges, there are scopes that offer some sort of parallax adjustment, which is either found on the front of the scope around the objective lens, or a third dial on the left hand side of the scope.  Either of these is usually easily distinguishable because it will have numbers, usually starting at 25 and ending at infinity, which are associated with the range of your target.  To use these, all you have to do is establish the range of your target, dial your parallax to match, and you should reduce and possibly eliminate any perceived crosshair movement due to change in head position behind your scope.

Things to consider:

Average shot - Once again consider your average shot.  Having a parallax adjustment can't hurt, but like any features, you will pay more to get it.  If you aren't going to be shooting over 200 yards anytime soon, a parallax adjustment is probably not necessary.  However, if you plan on routinely shooting over 200 yards, and especially if you plan on doing so from different shooting positions, parallax adjustment is an absolute must.

 

Optics Triangle:

It stands to reason that as a consumer, you would want to have the best of all the features.  However, as we all know, this is usually not possible.  Optics are no exception, and most questions regarding features can be answered by consulting what is called the optics triangle.  The optics triangle references three key features: magnification, eye relief, and field of view.  Every scope has these three features, but they are all in direct correlation with each other.  If you increase the magnification of your scope, you have to decrease the eye relief and the field of view, and so on and so forth.  The closer you get to one feature, the more you rob from the others.  Sometimes, magnification is the most important necessity (long range, prairie dog hunting). Other times, eye relief is more important (shotgun/muzzleloaders).  The important thing to consider is that changing one directly affects the other two.

 

 

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Set Your Sights and Paddling!

It's a Set Your Sights Weekend! We have free need-to-know seminars for the new gun owners and those wanting to know the latest and greatest! Drawing for a $25 gift card at each seminar. Enter to win either a Savage 64 F Black .22 L.R. or a Caldwell Steady Rest NXT Shooting Rest

Friday, May 1
6:30 PM Long Range Shooting: Guns and Optics for the 1,000 Yard Shot -
Sgt. Shivers and Sgt. Kerchee, Altoona PD
7:30PM - The Basics of Handgun Concealed Carry and Home Defense - Presented by Lori Ahearn, Firearms Education for Women and Men

Saturday, May 2
1:30 PM - Optics and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle - Brandon Minton, Hunting Associate
2:30 PM - Long Range Shooting: Guns and Optics for the 1,000 Yard Shot -
Dirk Ringgenberg, retired Army sniper instructor
3:30 PM - The Basics of Handgun Concealed Carry and Home Defense - Presented by the Altoona Police Department
4:30 PM - Optics and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle
- Brandon Minton

 

Stand Up and Paddle!

Saturday, May 2, 10:30 with Todd Robertson from the Iowa DNR!

What is SUP or Stand Up Paddling? We have paddleboards now...how do you use them? Todd Robertson, Iowa DNR, gives you a basic overview on SUP history, positions to paddle, strokes, safety, locations, transporting on vehicles...everything you need to know before even attempting the water! Todd is a well-known, certified ACA SUP instructor, Level 3 and the River Programs Outreach Coordinator for the DNR.

 

 

 

 

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Set your Sights

 

 

Our best gun event of the year is within sight!!! Set Your Sights will be May 1 & 2, 2015- we have free seminars, giveaways and and GREAT prizes for you to win!

 

Friday, May 1, 2015

6:30 pm                Long Range Shooting: Guns and Optics for the 1,000 yd shot

7:30 pm                The Basics of Handgun Concealed-Carry and Home Defense

  • For the first 25 customers to attend each seminar on Friday night only – a FREE Bass Pro Shops Travel Mug

Saturday, May 2, 2105

1:30 pm                Optics and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle

2:30 pm                Long Range Shooting: Guns and Optics for the 1,000 yd shot

3:30 pm                The Basics of Handgun Concealed-Carry and Home Defense

4:30 pm                Optics and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of each seminar register for a chance to win a $25 gift card – must be present to win!

Register for a chance to win one of two prizes!

  1.  Savage 64F Black .22 L.R. Rifle
  2. Caldwell Steady Rest NXT Shooting Rest

Drawing held May 2, 2015 at 5 pm, need not be present to win. Must be 21 yrs old or older.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bass Pro Shops Tacoma Offers Indoor and Outdoor Fun

As the weather begins to turn warmer there’s no shortage of activities to partake in the Tacoma area. Luckily, Bass Pro Shops Tacoma has all the essentials and gear to meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts no matter their skill level or interest.

Anglers of all types will find our selection of rods, reels, lures, lines, jigs and other fishing equipment available to help catch a variety of species. There are also waders, nets and a bevy of other supplies for fishing enthusiasts to choose from.

Our hunting department has a wide-range of merchandise, perfect for aiding hunters in their pursuit of numerous types of game, from deer and elk to fowl. The knowledgeable staff in the hunting department can guide our customers in the selections of calls, decoys, stands, blinds and camouflage clothing.

There is more to Bass Pro Shops than hunting and fishing. The natural beauty of the outdoors in Tacoma and the surrounding areas beckons to be explored and admired. Bird-watchers should be sure to check out the selection of binoculars carried in our optics department.

There’s no shortage of camping and hiking opportunities in the Tacoma area and our selection of backpacks, tents and sleeping bags will ensure that time spent outdoors is dry and warm. Camping doesn’t have to be a completely rustic experience, bring some of the comforts of home to the outdoors with a portable shower. There’s a variety of cooking supplies available in our camping department such as camp grills or cast-iron cookware, perfect for using over an open fire.  Additional items like hydration packs, water filtration systems and first-aid kits are just a few of the items we carry to help keep campers and hikers safe and prepared.

The area boasts plenty of waterways, with the numerous lakes and rivers, plus Puget Sound and the nearby Pacific Ocean, boaters have many places to explore. Bass Pro Shops Tacoma carries kayaks and canoes perfect for setting out on smooth waters. Or maybe the more adventurous long for a white-water kayaking experience on some of the local rivers and falls. Our Tracker Department carries an assortment of boats, from small fishing and bass boats to pontoons and much more.

Outdoor recreation is wonderful, but sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. At Bass Pro Shops Tacoma, there’s lots of opportunity for fun for the whole family right inside our store.  Relax by the fireplace in our lobby and take in the mounted game, fish and water fowl on display. Visit the 12,000-gallon freshwater aquarium, which has a three-dimensional diorama of a waterfall and is filled with a variety of local species of fish.

Hungry? Stop by the restaurant located inside our store for lunch or dinner.  Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill offers casual family dining and serves grill-type fare. There’s also a sixteen lane bowling alley, decorated with an under-the-sea theme, sure to delight the little ones and those who are young at heart.

In addition to all the outdoor equipment, recreational items, restaurant and bowling alley at Bass Pro Shops Tacoma, there’s also a variety of in-store events, such as our Spring Fishing Classic, Fall Hunting Classic and Go Outdoors event. In addition we will have numerous other seasonal and kid-friendly events throughout the year. Be sure to like our page on Facebook or visit the events page on our website to stay informed on everything that is happening at Bass Pro Shops Tacoma.

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Set Your Sights on Bass Pro Shops Tacoma's Hunting and Optics Department

The warmer weather of spring and summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and hone your shooting skills so you’ll be ready for the big game hunting season this fall. Bass Pro Shops Tacoma’s hunting and optics department has you covered now and all year long.

With turkey season in full swing and big game hunting season coming up, now is the time to get all the gear you need for the hunt. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife big game hunting special permit application deadline is fast approaching, so now is the time to get the permit at Bass Pro Shops. The application deadline is Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

In addition to stocking up on supplies and gear, our team is also here to help answer questions so you can increase your skills. We offer free seminars every week. Don’t miss the free need-to-know seminars we’re hosting for the Set Your Sights event, happening Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 at Tacoma Bass Pro Shops

Set Your Sights SeminarsThe schedule for the seminars is as follows:

Friday, May 1 at 6:30PM Long Range Shooting, Guns and Optics for the 1,000-Yard Shot.

Friday, May 1 at 7:30PM The Basics of Handgun Concealed Carry and Home Defense.

Saturday, May 2 at 1:30PM Optics and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle.

Saturday, May 2 at 2:30PM Long Range Shooting, Guns and Optics for the 1,000 Yard Shot.

Saturday, May 2 at 3:30PM The Basics of Handgun Concealed Carry and Home Defense.

Saturday, May 2 at 4:30PM Optics and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle.

Come in to one or all of the seminars and let our experts answer any questions about the challenges and skills needed to stay on target when shooting at long-range (1,000 yards). During the conceal and carry seminar, Bass Pro Shops customers can expect to learn basic know-how of conceal and carry in Washington State, the basic dos and don’ts of conceal and carry, plus the fundamental tactics of home defense.  Also, the optics seminars will address how to utilize optics to their full potential and what features will meet your individual needs.

 

In addition to attending the seminars, be sure to enter for the items and gift cards we’re giving away. Register to win a Savage 64F black .22 L.R. Rifle, a Caldwell Steady Rest NXT Shooting Rest, or enter  to win one of the $25 Bass Pro Shops gift cards that we’ll be giving away at the end of each seminar.

Have questions about the Set Your Sights Event? Contact the store at (253) 671-5700.

 

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Moveable Single Pin Bow Sight Choices That Will Help You Perform Better

Single-Pin Sights

The Tru-Glo Archer’s Choice Range Rover Pro

ARCHER        ARCHER

$199.99 SKU: 2213935

The Tru-Glo Archer’s Choice Range Rover Pro features PWR-Dot Illuminated Center Dot Technology to help improve long-distance accuracy. The ultra-smooth Zero-In Adjustment Dial delivers precise micro-adjust elevation tuning, and more than 40 pre-marked yardage tapes help make setup faster and easier. The Range Rover Pro boasts an adjustable green LED with 11 brightness settings for plenty of customization. The sight also features a large circular field of view and a glow-in-the-dark shooter’s ring. A quiver can be mounted directly to the bracket via the included quiver mount. Adjustable for right- or left-handed shooters and can be fitted with a 1.87" lens.

 

The Axcel AccuTouch HD X41

http://cneagarc.goecart.net/images/archery/main/truball_accutouch.jpg

$279.99 SKU 2209617

The Axcel AccuTouch HD X41  gives you the best of both worlds: a single-pin slider sight that, thanks to its revolutionary Accu-Clicks, acts like a multi-pin sight. The user sets each Accu-Click at a specific distance so that the slider stops at the desired point. The Accu-Clicks, combined with a 45-degree rear-facing sight scale, allow the user to set the sight from an arm’s distance away. The Red Elevation Tension Lever lets the shooter choose how easily the sight slides along the elevation bar. In addition, the AccuTouch offers all-axis leveling capabilities. Other features include a Windage Lock Button that prevents the micro-adjustable windage knob from turning when engaged. Models include the AccuTouch, and the AccuTouch Pro, $329.99 SKU 2209618 a dovetail version with a 6-inch carbon bar. This sight can be fitted with a 1.75" lens.

The Trophy Ridge Clutch

http://www.trophyridge.com/sites/www.trophyridge.com/files/tr-product-images/big/clutch-big.jpg

$199.99  SKU: 2195405

The Trophy Ridge Clutch blurs the line between a target and hunting sight. Double-sided sight tapes allow for both target and hunting precision with the same bow. The fast, smooth friction drive system creates repeatable movement for precise positioning of the ultra-bright pin. Made from machined aluminum with premium stainless-steel hardware, the Clutch offers micro-click windage adjustment, micro-elevation adjustments for customized base yardage, laser-engraved tool-less windage and elevation adjustments and second-axis adjustability. The Clutch comes with 10 custom sight tapes.  The Clutch can be fitted with a 1.75" lens, not included.

 

The Apex Covert Pro

COVERT PROCOVERT PRO

$199.99 SKU: 2214009

The Apex Covert Pro with advanced single-pin sight features new PWR-Dot Illuminated Center Dot Technology, providing the user with an adjustable green LED with 11 brightness settings. The Covert Pro offers incredibly smooth, one-handed adjustments and Gravity-Line rotational adjustment that aligns pin movement with gravity. This sight comes with more than 60 pre-marked yardage tapes and boasts a rear-facing, easy-to-see yardage-tape location. With an adjustable second- and third-axis illuminated level, an adjustable yardage pointer and dampened end-of-travel stops incorporated into the bracket, the Covert Pro delivers quick and easy setup and ease of use .Adjustable for right- or left-handed shooters and can be fitted with a 1.87" lens. 

 

Trophy Ridge React Trio

$249.99 SKU: 2195398

Trophy Ridge React Trio Enjoy the readiness of a fixed 3 pin bow sight with versatility to reach out even further when needed with the Trophy Ridge® React Trio Bow Sight. This unique bow sight uses Trophy Ridge's React Technology to turn your 40-yard pin into a movable pin, allowing you to hunt at extended ranges up to 120 yards. Drive shaft knob on the back of the sight provides fast, quiet, and accurate movement up and down for extended range shots, while the rock solid lock down feature hold sight securely for single distance shooting. Positive stop design at the 40 yard position provides fast 3 pin target acquisition in a hunting situation. Precision installed bubble level and 2nd and 3rd axis leveling help you keep the sight flat and accurate. Tool-free micro windage and elevation adjustments. Contrast Glo Ring helps you effortlessly align the peep to the sight ring, working with the impact-armored ultra-bright, .19" fiber optics for superior low light shooting.

The Spot Hogg® Tommy Hogg

$199.99 SKU: 2116919

The Spot Hogg® Tommy Hogg™ 1-Pin Bow Sight features front control yardage adjustment to give great quiver clearance without sacrificing sight adjustability. The rugged hard mount gives super-stable mounting, and solid 6061 aluminum construction is both ultra-durable and lightweight. HRD technology means no bushings to loosen or rattle.  Micro adjustable 2nd & 3rd axis.  Micro adjustment for windage & elevation are tool-free, and the precision laser engraved sight scale & knobs are very easy to read. Removable rack for traveling. The sight scale is compatible with archery programs. Now includes sight tapes.
 
 

Single-Pin Sights

The Archer’s Choice Range Rover Pro ($233) from TruGlo (888-887-8456; www.truglo.com) features PWR-Dot Illuminated Center Dot Technology to help improve long-distance accuracy. The ultra-smooth Zero-In Adjustment Dial delivers precise micro-adjust elevation tuning, and more than 40 pre-marked yardage tapes help make setup faster and easier. The Range Rover Pro boasts an adjustable green LED with 11 brightness settings for plenty of customization. The sight also features a large circular field of view and a glow-in-the-dark shooter’s ring. A quiver can be mounted directly to the bracket via the included quiver mount.

The AccuTouch ($289 to $349 depending on model) from Axcel Sights (434-929-2800; www.axcelsights.com) gives you the best of both worlds: a single-pin slider sight that, thanks to its revolutionary Accu-Clicks, acts like a multi-pin sight. The user sets each Accu-Click at a specific distance so that the slider stops at the desired point. The Accu-Clicks, combined with a 45-degree rear-facing sight scale, allow the user to set the sight from an arm’s distance away. The Red Elevation Tension Lever lets the shooter choose how easily the sight slides along the elevation bar. In addition, the AccuTouch offers all-axis leveling capabilities. Other features include a Windage Lock Button that prevents the micro-adjustable windage knob from turning when engaged. Models include the AccuTouch, the AccuTouch HD with Mathews Harmonic Dampers and the AccuTouch Pro, a dovetail version with a 6-inch carbon bar.

The Optimizer Lite King Pin ($350) represents the third generation of HHA’s (800-548-7812; www.hhasports.com) wildly popular single-pin mover. This new iteration is more user-friendly than ever thanks to interchangeable wheels that make changing tapes easy and let archers use multiple arrow and draw weights. Once the King Pin is sighted-in at 20 and 60 yards, it’s dialed in to the yard out to 100 yards, and a sight tape magnifier allows for adjustment to the 1/4 yard. A “Blind 20” feature allows you to return to your most common predetermined distance – without looking. The optional Blue Burst light makes for fast and easy adjustment in dark ground blinds. This deadly accurate sight has fully integrated second- and third-axis adjustment.

- See more at: http://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/articles/5745-bowsights-to-look-for-in-2015#sthash.PSdhXXIM.dpuf
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Take Someone: Scouting

An ever important part of a hunt is scouting. You want to be successful so you’ll want to know where the animals will be. Thanks to resources like DU’s Duck Map or Field and Stream Rut Reporters, there is a lot of information to be found online. Trail cameras help us watch areas 24/7 and now can even send images via text to your phone! Looking at weather forecasts will also pay off, but there is something about getting out into the field and scouting on foot that beats all the rest.

When you have someone that is interested in going hunting, one of the best places to get them started is scouting. You can look over maps and pictures all you want, but you really can understand terrain and the animals that live in it by being out there. Anyone who is interested in any kind of hunting should learn this practice. It is also a great way to measure how truly interested they might be in going hunting, and if you want to take them out with you.

Hunting can be hard work. All the extra efforts that you put forward usually helps to pay off in the end. In the West it is common practice to scout your area well in advanced. Since we have miles of open terrain to cover, it is a big help. Hunters in the Midwest or South might not have miles of open terrain but still game trails to watch.

You’ll want to get dressed up somewhat in your gear when you go scouting. Perhaps not head-to-toe camo but at least some. You can teach your accomplice the importance of using scent-elimination products, not smoking in your gear and other things that can tip of your location. Have them wear a pack with some of the gear so they get a feel for what it would be like when it comes to the real thing. Let them pack some food and drinks to take out with you. They will learn quick if they should have had an electrolyte filled drink over a soda or some kind of energy bar over potato chips quickly.

A big part of scouting is of course optics. Our human eyes are quite excellent, but having some form of optic with you will be a big help. Have a couple different optics with you. Bring a pair (or two) of binoculars, a rangefinder and a spotting scope. From what I have seen, newcomers prefer using binoculars because they are probably most familiar with it. Having a rangefinder will be a great tool to help them learn distancing and be able to use it on a hunt. Spotting scopes are an amazing tool and can provide an eagle-eye perspective on things. These can be intimidating though to newcomers. Especially if you have the whole tripod with weight setup. Limit the time spent on spotting scopes if using one. Also don’t give the newcomer some beat-up old junker set of optics. If they can’t see anything they won’t appreciate the usefulness of having a good pair. It might be expensive but it is well worth it. Plus this way you can “gift” your old pair to your friend and get yourself that new pair you have your sights set on. Yup. That was a pun.

Be sure to point out little things and teach them to your newcomer. Stuff like looking for tracks, scat or other markings. Teach them how to step quietly around objects. Definitely point out things to avoid like snakes, bugs or plants. And you don’t have to be 100% technical/scientifically accurate on things. There’s a bush out here that we call the “waitaminute” bush. It has a bunch of little thorns and claws on it that snag onto you and catch you causing you to “wait a minute”. What its proper name is, I couldn’t tell ya. Little stuff like that will be what they take with them and remember.

The goal with all of this is to be safe, have fun and inspire a new hunter into what can become a lifelong hunter. And one day they might just do the same for another newcomer, like you did for them.

Previous Trips

Fishing Shooting Hiking Clay Shooting Boating Prospecting Camping

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Why it Matters: Rangefinders

Because of the technology today we are getting further and further away from our basic beginnings. Once upon a time your day looked like this: get up, find food, get to shelter and go to bed. Then some centuries later it got a little more advanced and you added farming into the mix. Then going to work got added onto it, but other aspects of life had become easier. And as we advanced, so did our technology which went in hand with making living easier but not simpler. The stresses people put on “keeping up to date” has caused some serious physiological issues. And as a society we have gotten farther from our awesome outdoors. And going along with that is the loss of certain skills.

Skills like gardening, fishing, tracking, making fires and others are vanishing completely from people’s ability. A huge thing we have lost track of is distance. Years ago to get the distance to somewhere you would have to bust out a map, nowadays it takes mere seconds on a smart-phone. Global communication has also shrunk our world with international calling being a daily occurrence for some people.

I have also noticed that judging simple distances is getting harder for people. This can be a huge problem, especially when it comes to hunting. Being able to judge and know distances is extremely important because it concerns so many aspects of hunting.

How far away is that next ridge? How many miles will it be back to campsite? When will the sun be setting past those mountains? Where exactly is that deer in relation to me? Will my arrow/bullet be able to reach it? What will happen if my bullet passes through and keeps going? All of these could possibly be a life-changing judgment call.

Luckily GPS has our back when it comes to several of those questions. There is no doubt that this has saved numerous lives. But what happens if the batteries die? Well if you kept track of your direction and landmarks you might just be able to make it back safely and before dark. But what about the second half of questions? Knowing the distance to your trophy/meal is extremely important. If you are out on a big-game hunt you should have taken the time to practice with your weapon. Whether it is bow or firearm you should know the limitations of the tool, the projectile and yourself well. The easiest way to know the distance: a rangefinder.

Many consider this just another gadget to have in the field, but it can be a complete game changer. Let’s say you overestimated your shot and the bullet goes over and carries on for a distance longer. Depending on the caliber and the load that distance can be quite longer. But if you know that the animal is close to 100 yards away you know where to hold to get a good, clean ethical shot.

And that is another reason why a rangefinder matters. The worst thing possible is to have a bad shot. Every hunter knows that the best way to honor the animal you are about to harvest is to take it as humanely as possible. You do not want the animal to suffer, and knowing the distance and therefore how to place your projectile is a must. Archers know this extremely well as distance and angle play a huge part in making a shot. Luckily many rangefinders have built in compensators for when shooting on an angle. Also being able to see just how far away that farmhouse and any possible inhabitants can save you from jail time.

When I went on my first big-game hunt a couple years ago I did not have a rangefinder. Luckily my uncle had an extra one for me to borrow. This made a huge difference. Thanks to it, I was able to humanely harvest an animal. Watching a deer drop right where it stood was one of the greatest visuals of my life. Not only knowing that I wasn’t going to have to track it down but that the animal was not put through pain was something to take pride in. I hope the rest of my hunting trips go like this. I know they probably won’t but you can bet that I will be getting a rangefinder before I go out again.

It may add to the cost of your trip and gear but they are well worth it. Over the past years, rangefinders have become increasingly more accurate, dependable, efficient and cost-friendly. Make sure to check into company-backed warranties on them before purchasing. Many big-name optics companies have some kind of warranty or guarantee on their products.

Giddy-Up!!

Previously:

Getting Outdoors

Picking Up

Hunting

Fishing

Hiking

Camping

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Santa Arrives!

Yes, we know Santa and he' arriving on Saturday! This is the weekend when the holiday celebration starts at Bass Pro Shops Altoona! Santa arrives and opens up Santa's Wonderland!

When you join us, why not bring along some new hats, gloves or boots for our Warm Kids Campaign to support the Southeast Polk School District?!

Saturday, November 15 - Santa Arrives

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive promptly at 5 p.m. by Tracker Boat, escorted this year by the Altoona Police Department!

Join us starting at 4:30 p.m., or so, for photos with  Rudolph and Frosty, hot chocolate and cookies, and caroling from the Southeast Polk HS Choir! Dress warmly, it's going to be perfect Santa weather!

After Santa arrives, he chats briefly with the crowd and we give away a gift card, then it's into the lobby for one more carol and to light the lobby Christmas tree!

Last stop is Santa's Wonderland, where one lucky child gets to help Santa cut the ribbon and kick off Santa's Wonderland!

6- 8 p.m. - Free 4x6 photos with Santa. We will use the Bass Pass system and will start handing out Bass Passes around 3:30 for photos that are from 6-8 p.m. The first 125 kids to visit should receive a backpack clip

6-8 p.m. - Free craft! A Gingerbread Stocking/Bag craft

For a complete Santa's Wonderland schedule and details for the season, visit www.basspro.com/santa! Remember to share your photos with us on Facebook and Twitter with the tag #santaswonderland!

Also on Saturday, November 15

Free Hunting Seminars

Of course, it's also hunting season, so we have some free seminars on Saturday to help you hone your skills! Perfect for the beginner or the hunter who needs a review!

1. p.m - Become a Better Bowhunter - Want to improve your bow hunting? Learn how to select releases, arrows, and broadheads that work for you.

2 p.m. - How to Choose the Right Guns and Ammo - Whatever hunting you plan to do, our experts will answer your question and make it easy to pick the gun and ammo.

3 p.m. - What You Should Know Before Buying Optics - Take an inside look at the features you should consider when shopping for scopes, rangefinders, or binoculars.

Pella Wildlife Company

Pella Wildlife Company will be here on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Come check out what exciting creature they'll have with them this time!

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How to Hunt....

 

          

 

 

Do you want to start hunting? Or maybe you have questions on how to be more successful... come to your Bass Pro Shops for all your answers!

This weekend is for you!!!

On November 1, 2014 one of our own RedHead Field Staff, JR Adkins will be with us in the Hunting Department. JR is an outstanding hunter and fisherman. He is from the Rogersville area and knows the woods like the back of his hand.

 

  • 1 pm  Become a Better Bowhunter

Take the mystery out of gearing up for bowhunting. Learn how to select releases, arrows and broadheads that work for you.

  • 2 pm  How to Select the Right Guns and Ammo

Whatever hunting you plan to do, our experts will answer your questions and make it easy to pick the perfect rifle, shotgun or handgun.

  • 3 pm  What You Should Know Before Buying Optics

A Bass Pro Shops expert will give you an inside look at the features you should consider when shopping for scopes, rangefinders or binoculars.

 

 

Attend any of the seminars and register for a chance to win a FREE pair of NIKON Prostaff 7S 10x42 Binoculars!!

You must be 18 yrs or older to enter. Drawing held at the completion of the last seminar at 4 pm. You must be present to win.

 

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Come join our Hunting Seminars!

 

Have you attended one of our seminars before? If you haven't, you have missed out! Great demos, tips and pointers that have really help out customers. Either from the purchases that they need to make or advice on what's best to use while out gaming. 

Here is your chance to attend one taught by our Local Pros!

1 PM- Become a Better Bow hunter

Take the mystery out of gearing up for bow hunting. Learn how to select releases, arrows, and broad heads that work for you.3

2 PM - How to Select the Right Guns & Ammo

Whatever hunting you plan to do, our experts will answer your questions and make it easy to pick the perfect rifle, shotgun, or handheld gun.

3 PM - What You Should Know Before Buying Optics

A Bass Pro Shops expert will give you an inside look at the feature you should consider when shopping for scopes, rangefinders, or binoculars. 

 

As well get a chance of winning a FREE pair of Nikon Prostaff 7S 10x42 Binoculars! Just attend any of these seminars and register a chance to win. That is a retail value of $200!!

So mark in your calendars -October 18th - FREE seminars from the Local Pros themselves!

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=46

https://www.facebook.com/bpssanantonio

 

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Local Hero Discount Days Coming this October!

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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How to Pick the Perfect Pair of Binoculars

Getting the Best Possible Image

Many shoppers looking for binoculars know next to nothing about them.  They will look through a couple of pairs by different manufacturers and then pick the one that gives them the best image.  This can and has resulted in a buyer thinking that an $80 pair of store brand binoculars is better than a $2500 pair of Swarovskis.  This happens mainly because the shopper does not know how to properly focus the binoculars.

Everyone knows to look through binoculars and to turn the central focusing wheel to get the best image.  However, not all know about the diopter setting that enables them to calibrate the binoculars.  Calibration entails setting up the binoculars for optimal image clarity in both eyes, allowing for the fact that there can be differences between an individual’s right and left eyes.

To demonstrate that difference, look at the picture of the barn owl.   The left side of the picture is in sharp focus while the right is fuzzy.  It represents what the two eyes are seeing.  The result of such a difference in visual acuity is often that the person will make the left side slightly fuzzy and make the right side slightly clearer, thus obtaining the clearest image possible without correcting for the difference between the eyes.  This compromise is not necessary.  It is entirely possible to get a sharp picture with both eyes.  Let’s step through the calibration procedure.

The first thing to determine is whether you will be using the binoculars with or without glasses.  If with, then the eyecups are down.  If without, they are up.  This positions the eyes at the correct distance from the back lens.  You may want to go through the calibration procedure both ways, with and without glasses, to see what works best for you.

    

Next, if the binoculars have front lens covers, leave the right one closed and open the left one.  Otherwise, put your hand in front of the right lens.  Focus on an object in the store using the center focusing wheel (blue arrow).  Remember the object you are looking at, because you will have to look at the same one again to focus the right eye. 

Once you are happy with the left eye’s image, cover the left eye with the lens cover or your hand and then look at the same object through the right lens.  You SHOULD NOT touch the center focus wheel.  Instead you should focus the right lens using the knurled ring (green arrow in the right picture).  Note, the knurled ring is difficult to turn.  The stiffness is deliberate so it will not be accidently knocked off setting. 

Now that both barrels are focused according to your eyesight, it is time to evaluate image quality.  You will want to compare one set of binoculars with another.  You MUST go through the entire setup process with both in order to get a fair comparison.  Otherwise you will not be comparing apples with apples.  You will be comparing apples with peaches, pears, or prune pits. 

Asking the Sales Person “Which are ‘best’?” OR “Which ones would you buy?

These questions can lead you into a mine field, so be careful.  The word “best” is subjective and depends on the individual’s estimation of value.  If the sales person expresses an opinion, it will be based on his values, not your’s.  It is better to.figure out what’s “best” in your own mind based on your own values.

A good question to start off with is “What are the binoculars going to be used for?”  If they will be thrown in a back pack and used to look at scenery in national parks, any decent quality binocular will do.  The same goes for birding and sporting events.  Decide what you like best within your price range.  If the binoculars are going to be used for hunting, things get a bit more involved.

Where and what will you be hunting.  If the game being pursued is to be pronghorns in Wyoming, you should lean toward higher magnification and lighter weight.  Why?  There is very little ground cover in pronghorn country so they are seen at great distances.  200 yards is a relatively short shot.  Evaluating the quality of an animal’s headgear at such distances is easier with more magnification. 

But doesn’t more magnification mean heavier binoculars?  Not necessarily.  All other things being equal, 10X32’s will be lighter than 10X42’s.  The first number is the magnification and the second is the diameter of the front or objective lens.  Weight is important in pronghorn hunting because you have to walk for miles every day and every extra ounce starts feeling like a brick.

If you are going to be stand hunting in the hill country or the brush country of Texas, the equation changes.  100 yards is a relatively long shot in those conditions.  Raw magnification is not so important.  What is more important is the amount of light the binoculars transmit since the critters tend to move in early morning and late evening when the light level is lowest.  Under those conditions, the exit pupil becomes the primary consideration. 

What is the Exit Pupil and Why is it important?

The exit pupil is the diameter of the front or objective lens divided by magnification.  For example, in 10X42 binoculars the exit pupil is 4.2 millimeters.  In 8X42s it is 5.25 millimeters or 25% larger.  That can make a real difference when trying to see a black hog in the shadows at 6 a.m.  Exit pupil can be hard to imagine, so let’s see what it looks like.  

The white discs seen in the lenses are the exit pupil.  The exit pupils on the left in the 10X42s are 25% smaller than those in the 8X42s on the right.  The difference may be hard to see since it is so small.  Let’s look at a more dramatic example.

This is a set of Nikon 10 to 22 power by 50 mm objective lens zoom binoculars.  In the left picture the zoom is set to 10 power magnification, so the exit pupil is 5 mm (50/10) while on the right the exit pupil is only 2.27 mm with the power set at 22.  The difference is obvious, but why is it important?

The Importance of the Exit Pupil

It might seem obvious that the darker the ambient light the more important it is to use as much of that light as possible to get the clearest image.  However, the ability to use the light transmitted by the binoculars is very much dependent on the ENTRY PUPIL (or just pupil) of your eye.  During the day, your eye’s pupil may be only 1 or 2 millimeters in diameter.  In that case, just about any binoculars will transmit more light than your eyes can use.  In the late evening or early morning, your pupil may be as large as 7 mm, or even 9 mm in people with extraordinary low-light vision.  In those conditions, the eyes can use every bit of light the binoculars can transmit.  That’s why lower magnification is often better in south Texas.

What About Coatings?

Optical coatings reduce internal light loss and glare and ensure even light transmission, resulting in greater image sharpness and contrast.  Binoculars may have 10-18 glass surfaces, each one contributing to scattered light, so coatings make a big difference in what you see.  Coated optics will have a less shiny, even dark appearance when looking into the barrel or tube; you may see a greenish, bluish, or brownish tint as well.  Most coatings are magnesium fluoride or calcium fluoride and work by eliminating reflections.  Therefore, more light enters your binoculars and is able to pass through to your eyes.  Almost all modern consumer optics have some kind of coating on most of the optical elements.  However, there are different levels and qualities of coatings.

“Coated optics” means that at least one of the major optical elements has a coating on at least one surface. “Fully-coated” means that all lenses and glass surfaces have a coating layer.  “Multicoated” means that at least one of the major optical elements in a fully-coated binocular has multiple coatings of antireflective compounds on at least one surface.  “Fully-multicoated” means all glass surfaces have multiple coatings and it is the best kind, resulting in light transmission of 90-95% for bright, sharp and contrasty images.

In extreme cases, 10X32 binoculars with superb coatings can transmit MORE LIGHT than 10X42s with inferior coatings. 

What else should the customer look for?

The last really important variable is spherical aberration.  It occurs when the light passing through the edge of a lens is not focused to the same point as that passing through the center.  It is easier to understand looking at an example than a definition. 

Please note that this example was shot using a pair of reading glasses.  None of the binoculars you will encounter in Bass Pro are anywhere near this bad.  You can see the results of spherical aberration in the apparent curvature of the vertical beam.  This becomes of practical importance if a you are going to be glassing for hours on end looking for sheep, moose, or elk.  This kind of image distortion, found most in low cost binoculars, causes headaches. 

 

Bottom Line – THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH

Overall quality in binoculars is determined by the quality of the glass used (some very low end binoculars are made with plastic lenses), the coatings, mechanical precision and ruggedness, and warranty.  Bass Pro strives to give good value for the dollar and thus stocks no bad binoculars.  However, some are better than others.  Based on the determining factors listed above, Swarovski binoculars are arguably the best in the world, followed closely by Zeiss and Leica.  If you are looking for “best value,” or “most bang for the buck,” you are most probably looking for glass in the middle price range.  Vortex binoculars, among others, are good candidates.  Their unlimited lifetime warranty is unbeatable and their optics are excellent for the price.  Swarovskis cost about five times more than Vortex.  Are they five times better?  Some people think so.  Pursuits are about one fifth the cost of Vortex.  Are they poorly made?  No, they are not.  You are well advised to determine your price range and then pick the best binoculars you can within that price range.  Image quality usually defines “best” in a buyer’s mind, though warranty also often contributes to a final decision.

Good luck and enjoy your new binoculars!

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Experience Bass Pro Shops Archery and Hunting department

Are you an experienced bow hunter or maybe a beginner? Have you ever thought about shooting a bow for sport? Maybe shooting a bow hasn't really crossed your mind this year. Well, we would like to change all of that. We would like to invite you to come out to the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Alabama on September 13 from 10am to 5pm, September 14 from 12pm to 5pm, September 27th from 10am to 5pm, or September 28th from 12pm to 5pm. We will be hosting an "Experience Weekend" for our customers to allow them to experience products from various departments. The best part about this experience is that it is absolutely free.

 

bowDuring both experience weekends, you will have the opportunity to shoot the New BlackOut SS Compound Bow. The New BlackOut SS Compound Bow is powered by Throttle Cam Tech, which is the fastest and most efficient single cam system on the market. The draw cycle and energy transfer movement are smooth and precise. To see this bow before you come to experience it, check out http://www.basspro.com/BlackOut-SS-Compound-Bow-Packages/product/1402210955448/

binoculars

On September 13th and September 14th, while you are in the hunting department, make sure you check out the Oculus 7.0 Binoculars. Customers can experience first hand why the Oculus binoculars are such a great value. These binoculars are sheathed in a protective, shock-absorbing rubber armor for hard-hunting, long-term durability, fogproof, and 100% waterproof. Come experience these binoculars on September 13th & 14th. For more information about the Oculus 7.0 binoculars, go to http://www.basspro.com/Oculus-7-0-Binoculars/product/1205040859448/

 

scopeThe weekend of September 27th & 28th, our hunting counter will be happy to allow customers to experience the Oculus rifle scope. See first hand how technology brings nature into sharp focus with Oculus® precision rifle scopes. Come experience the brilliant optical quality that the Oculus Rifle Scope has to offer. For more information about this scope, go to http://www.basspro.com/Oculus-Rifle-Scope/product/12050105124412/

 

Don't let the hunting season sneak up on you with out coming to the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds to experience all that we have to offer. Our "Experience Weekend" is not just limited to the hunting department, see what other products you can experience in the fishing department, camping department, apparel department, camo apparel, and marine.

 

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A Simple Guide to Bows

The familiar "thwang" of a bow string can set many an archer's mind at ease and relieve stress or tension. Archery is a sport practiced around the world. It is so popular that there have been world archery competitions at least five times a year every year since 2006 according to the World Archery Federation's website, which will be referred to as WAF. Countries all over the world including "China, India, Korea, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, France, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, USA, Mexico, [and] Australia" compete to see who has the best archers. (WAF) They have multiple types of archery competitions: Olympic Games, World Cups, World Championships, Ski Archery, Run Archery, Universiades, World Games, World Master Games, Para-Archery, and much more.

Archery started around the time people started walking, and walked its way through the Shang and Zhou dynasties to eventually make its way through Asia to Europe. There it got into Greek, Egyptian, and Norse Mythology and then Roman soon after that. Diana of the Roman Mythology, Athena of the Greek Pantheon, the Huntress, she hunted with a longbow in the traditional style. Many in the Eurasian cultures had at least one deity that carried a bow of similar fashion as the weapon of choice.

Longbows are as many hands high as their archer and without any bells and whistles or additions to help with aim or draw. According to livestrong.com "longbows are much more difficult to aim than other modern bows and do not have nearly the same velocity as compound or recurve bows. " Yew is the traditional wood but other lighter woods are known to be used to make the bow. (“The Longbow”) More modernly used is the compound bow which is like an assisted or easier to use bow.

"The sleek, uncluttered lines of traditional equipment speak volumes on old-school simplicity and tradition. On the other hand, a compound bow -- with its system of cables and wheels and adorned with accessories like a stabilizer, wrist strap, multiposition arrow rest and fiber-optic bow sight -- screams modern-day technology". -www.sportsmanguide.com

The compound bow is set up on a system of pulleys that make the bows stiffer limbs assume the desired shape. The pulley system allows the archer to manipulate potential and kinetic energy for a swifter and more accurately precise shot.

               

The recurve bow is an older style usually used by horsemen that has also been modernized so that it comes apart into three pieces for convenience.  The recurve bow "gets its power from the unique curve at the limb tips, a design first developed by Egyptian archers thousands of years ago" per discoverarchery.org. The recurve bow may be suggested as a beginners bow due to affordability.

Bass Pro Shops is a great place to buy traditional, recurve and compound bows. We have a wide selection and a staff that can help anyone pick the right bow for the archer.

Resources:

"Facts and Figures." World Archery. World Archery Federation, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

"History of Archery." World Archery. World Archery Federation, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

"The Longbow." The Longbow. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Carmichael, Lindsey. "The Recurve Bow – What You Need to Know." Discover Archery. The Easton Foundations, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Robb, Bob. "The Modern Compound Bow." Sportsman's Guide. The Sportman's Guide Inc., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Unger, Kristen. "Four Types of Archery Bows." LIVESTRONG.COM. Demand Media, Inc., 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

WAF http://www.worldarchery.org/

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Product Spotlight - Wiley X

We have Wiley X sunglasses available once again at Bass Pro Shops Altoona...and many customers are happy! What's so great about Wiley X?

  • They've been a producer of standard issue military eye wear for years and their sunglasses are the first choice for many outdoor sportsmen and women - from pro anglers to race car drivers to shooters and motorcyclists.
  • All Wiley X shades are certified to ANSI Z87.1 2003 high impact and optical standards. Lens are made from one of the most impact resistant materials. They are virtually indestructible.
  • Filter 8TM Polarized Lens - Eight layers of technology create one fantastic way to cut glare that can hamper fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities, plus cause eye fatigue.
  • Wiley X technology:
    • Meets or exceeds the military's ballistic standards for eye wear.
    • Meets and exceeds ANSI z87.1 high velocity impact safety and optical standards. This means they qualify as OSHA Occupational Eye Protection.
  • The Climate Control Series of Wiley X sunglasses features:Wiley X Climate Control
    • The patented, removable Facial CavityTMSeal that forms to your face and blocks out peripheral light plus the wind and all those things that come with it, like dust and debris.
  • The Changeable Series of sunglasses feature multiple lens combinations. The swappable lenses are shatterproof, good for any kind of shooting conditions.Wiley X - Changeable
  • The Street Series has nearly indestructible shatterproof lenses and frames and are often sought out by motorcyclists.
  • The Active Series' non-slip nose pads and temple gloves make them a perfect glass for those who enjoy the outdoor activities that involve a lot of motion and, therefore, sweat!wiley X Active

WileyX is the choice of many anglers, shooting sportsmen, race car drivers, and outdoor enthusiasts. You can see and try some of the styles in person at Bass Pro Shops Altoona or, if you know what you're looking for, you can also get them online at www.basspro.com.

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Sighting In

Every year we have a slow period between hunting seasons and are stuck waiting for the next season. There is one thing we can do to fill our time to help prepare for the up coming hunting season, and have a little fun doing so: sighting in your optics.

With hunting in mind I will be going over some basic tips on how to get the best accuracy and precision out of your set up.

First will be a proper mounting: we want to make sure everything is tight and seated properly; any movement at all will cause a huge issue and prevent an accurate shot. Some people like to use  Loctite on their screws.  Be sure to use removable (Blue) Loctite, as Red Loctite will cause the screws to permanently set, which will cause a great deal of trouble if you decided to change optics. Once the bases and rings are properly set and your optic is mounted we will take the firearm to the range.

If you have the proper tools to bore sight, then that should be your next step. If not your local Bass Pro will bore sight it for you. When bore sighting you want to start at 25 yards and adjust your windage and elevation screws on your scope. A habit I got into was to tap the screws lightly to help set the cross hairs. Now that the optic is bore sighted at 25 yards it should be on paper at 100. With a few more adjustments you should be spot on and ready for the next season. There are tons of products to help with sighting in, like the Pursuit Boresighter Kit. This will make future jobs easier and you would be able to sight in many different firearms. So what ever your hunting make sure your on target with a proper sighting.


 

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