This Weekend @ BPS Altoona - Local Pros & Digs for Dogs Ends!

Digs for Dogs Ends 8/21!

Last chance to place your silent auction bid in our Digs for Dogs Doghouse Silent Auction to benefit the Digs for Dogs 2016Puppy Jake Foundation!

The Digs for Dogs silent auction is an opportunity for organizations to reach out and help others. Most are non-profit organizations donating their time and resources to make these houses. Because of that, this year any non-profit group donating a house has the option to receive back half of the money that is raised on their donated house or houses. Participants include:

Studio 17 & Mitchellville Police Department
Pleasant Hill Lions Club (donated two houses)
Des Moines Firefighters Association
Veterans from the Cedar Rapids Chapter of Community of Artists and HERO (donated three houses)
Country Landscapes
Sons of the American Legion, Post 96
Des Moines County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation

This year’s doghouses range from big to small, and fancy to functional...there is a theme for every discerning doggy. The public may view the houses and place silent bids through 8/21 at the store. Winners will be notified on August 22.


Fall Hunting Classic Continues!

Our Hunting Local Pros team up for an afternoon of learning and fun! Mom, Wife, Entrepreneur & Huntress Maria Young and Chance Patrick, Iowa's Great Outdoors, get you ready for hunting season!

Saturday, August 20Local Pro Weekend at BPS Altoona
Free giveaways at each session!

11am  - Archery Tune-Up:  Prepare Your Gear For The Hunt -  Chance Patrick provides tips on getting your gear ready for the season.

2pm  - Get Close: Scent Control and Scent Products That Give You The Edge - Maria and Chance team up to talk Scent Control basics.

3pm - Women's Hunting Workshop - Join Maria to find out more about hunting from a female perspective - and the best way to balance family, work, and life in general, while enjoying the hunt! First 25 receive a BPS mug. Photo opps and other giveaways, too!

4pm - Archery Skills: Perfecting Your Shot and How To Play The Wind - Learn from Maria and Chance how to use the elements, and not fight them, for your shot.

Sunday, August 21

Our top notch hunting team brings you these two sessions - First 20 at each session receive a free Bass Pro tumbler!

11am  Boots 101: Choosing The Right Footwear For Your Outing Experience

3pm   Knives and Tools Guide: Your Hunt From Field to Freezer


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2016 Fall Hunting Classic!



It’s August! You know what that means – 2016 Fall Hunting Classic is right around the corner.



Visit your local Bass Pro Shops for The World’s Greatest Hunting Show and Sale of the year, 2016 Fall Hunting Classic, August 12-28!





Do you need NEW gear? Trade in your old gear and save some $$$   !

What are you in the market for?

  • Bow and Crossbow Trade-In        August 12-21
  • Optics Trade-In                                August 12-21
  • Game Camera Trade-In                August 20-28
  • Hunting Boot Trade- In                   August 20-28

*Applies to prices marked. Limit 1 coupon per new item. Donate all working bows, crossbows, riflescopes, binoculars, laser rangefinders, game cameras and gently worn hunting or rubber boots during the trade-in dates and receive a discount coupon to be used toward the purchase of a new bow, crossbow, riflescope, binoculars, laser rangefinder, game camera, or hunting or rubber boots. All trade-ins will be inspected to ensure good working order and then donated to local organizations to help with their outdoor education programs.


2nd Amendment Instant Savings are back all 3 weekends! August 12-14, 19-21, 26-28

Instant Savings on guns and safes! Save up to $100, purchase a gun or safe using our Bass Pro Shops credit card and receive an instant rebate up to $100!

Offer valid in-store on in-stock guns and gun safes only.


FREE Local Pro Hunting Tips and Seminars


August 20

  • 11 am    Archery Tune-Up; Prepare Your Gear For The Hunt
  • 2 pm      Get Close; Scent Control and Scent Products That Give You The Edge
  • 4 pm      Archery Skills; Perfecting Your Shot and How To Play The Wind



  • 1 pm      Boots 101; Choosing The Right Footwear For Your Outing Experience
  • 3 pm      Knives and Tools Guide; Your Hunt From Field to Freezer


*FREE Tumbler Giveaway – to the first 20 seminar attendees each day. Must be 18 years old or older.


August 20

  • 3 pm      FREE Women’s Hunting Workshop!

*FREE Mug Giveaway- to the first 25 women to attend this workshop. Must be 18 years old or older


NRA Membership Drive August 20-21

Sign up to be an NRA Member in-store and receive a $10 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card.


Next Generation Weekend

August 27-28      11am-4 pm

  • FREE BB Gun Shooting Range- Try out our BPS/Daisy BB Shooting Range and challenge your friends!
  • FREE Kids Archery Challenge- take aim and hit the target
  • FREE Giveaway! The first 50 kids to complete both BB Shooting and Archery Challenge (each day) will receive an orange vest and a Next Generation Patch!
  • FREE Photo Download- you on a cover or get photo bombed!
  • FREE  Craft
  • FREE Giveaway! Drawstring backpacks to the first 100 kids each day




Upcoming Store Events! Did someone say hunting??

Hey everyone!  We’ve been having tons of fun over here at Bass Pro Shops in Mesa, AZ.  For the past 3 weeks we’ve been enjoying Family Summer Camp and also teaching kids how to fish at the AZGFD/KTAR Get Outdoors Expo.  It’s been a blast! What I wanted to share with you today is information about some of the other events that will be coming up over the next couple months.  Let's get started!



NRA Freedom Days

Event Dates: July 23rd & 24th

NRA Member Drive:

Sign up to be an NRA member in-store and receive a $25.00 Bass Pro Shops Gift card

Free Plano Gun Case with any handgun purchase of $300.00 or more (while supplies last)

2nd Amendment Instant Savings: instant savings when customer purchases a gun that is equal to the value of their sales tax up to $150.



Free Bass Pro Shops logo mug to first 20 seminar attendees each day


Saturday July 23

·         11AM Gun Safety

·         2PM  Dress Your MSR

·         3PM Conceal Carry Basics



Sunday July 24

·         2PM Conceal Carry Basics                

·         3PM Shooting Range Accessories


NRA Sweepstakes: July 24-August 28

1 Winner Nationally

Grand Prize: Trip for winner and up to 3 guest to the 2017 Bass Pro Shops NRA America's Night Race in Bristol 


1 Winner per store location

First place prize: Lifetime Membership to the NRA



2016 Fall Hunting Classic

This annual event is back!  We will be bringing you some of the best deals on hunting gear to get you set up for the upcoming season!

Sale Dates August 12th-28th

Trade-In Program:

Trade in your old gear for a coupon towards news gear!


August 12-21: Bow and Optics

August 20-28: Game Camera and Hunting Boots


Hunting Workshops and Seminars:

Saturday August 20:

  • 11am- Archery Tune-Up: Prepare Your Gear For the Hunt
  • 2pm- Get Close: Scent Control And Scent Products That Give You The Edge
  • 3pm- Women’s Hunting Workshop (*special giveaway for the first 25 attendees)
  • 4pm- Archery Skills: Perfecting Your Shot And How To Play The Wind

Sunday August 21:

  • 11am- Boots 101: Choosing The Right Footwear For Your Outing Experience
  • 3pm- Knives And Tools Guide: Your Hunt From Field to Freezer


Come on in to enter for a chance to win a trip for 4 to the 2017 Bass Pro Shops NRA America’s Night Race in Bristol!

Dates: July 23-August 28

Next Generation Weekend:

Dates: August 27th & 28th

Times: 11am-4pm each day


  • Daisy BB Gun Shooting Range
  • Archery Challenge
  • Free Photo Download
  • Free Crafts
  • Free Drawstring Backpack To The FIRST 100 Kids Who Complete Their Punch Card Each Day 

For any questions please call 602-606-5600.  You can find us on the web at


Fall Hunting Classic 2015- Mesa, AZ

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. It means that another successful and egg-frying-on-the-sidewalk summer has come to a close. It also means that the holiday season is coming around the corner, which is always a great time. But for those of us who like to pursue game, get mud on our boots, take pride in filling our freezer with our own meat and have just cause for not showering know that Fall means hunting season! And we at Bass Pro Shops always kick this season off with what is one of our best sales and greatest events of the year: The Fall Hunting Classic!

Many of the hunting and outdoor enthusiasts come to our store as part of their hunting preparation. And who can blame them? We get inspired by the taxidermy around the store, can share stories with each other, learn new tips and tricks and find great deals on many essential items. Last year we had a great Fall Hunting Classic, but to be honest this year’s looks even better!


Our bow and crossbow trade in will end on the 16th, but we have a few more going on for our Fall Hunting Classic. We are going to have a Riflescope and (for the first time ever) Game Camera trade-in running from August 21st to the 30th. Bring in any working riflescope or game camera and receive a coupon to save on your purchase of a new one! For each one you bring in you will receive a coupon, but you can only use one coupon per item purchased. See below for a breakdown of the savings!

We will also be having a Hunting Boot trade-in as well! This will also run from August 21st to the 30th, and works basically just like the Riflescope and Game Camera trade-ins. Bring in some old hunting boots and receive a coupon to save on a new pair! The boots that we receive will be donated to Soles4Souls which is an awesome organization! See below for a breakdown of these savings.


Customers who are 21 years or older can enter in for a chance to win a hunting trip in Argentina with Doug Koenig! That is our grand prize, and let me already say how jealous I am of whoever wins that! And at each store there will also be a winner for a Prize Package that includes: 1 Plano Pro-Max Pillar Lock, 1 Leupold 10X25 Rogue Binoculars and 2 Boxes of Hornady American Whitetail Ammo in .308 Winchester!


On August 21st we will have a seminar on year-round Game Camera strategies at 7PM.

On August 22nd we will have four separate seminars:

1PM- Archery Tune-Up

2PM- Scent Control and Scent Products

3PM- Boots 101

4PM- Knives and Tools for Hunting

For the Family:

We will have our Next Generation weekend going on the weekend of August 29th and 30th. It is going to run from 11AM to 4PM both days. There will be youth seminars at 2PM and 4PM, crafts, an archery challenge, BB Gun Shooting Range*, free photo download and giveaways. *All participants under the age of 18 must have a parent/legal guardian sign a waiver.

We will also have an awesome Women’s Hunting Workshop at 3PM on August 29th! This should not be missed by any ladies, looking to get some great tips and tricks!

Overall I am super excited about this and hope you all make visiting the Fall Hunting Classic part of your traditions!



2015 Fall Hunting Classic




Fall will be here before you know it and with fall comes hunting season. Where do you go for the newest gear? The best sales? The most knowledgeable associates? Well, Bass Pro Shops Fall Hunting Classic, of course!!

This year our Fall Hunting Classic will be August 21-30. We have savings on guns and safes, trade in days- the best way to upgrade your old gear, hunting tips from our local pros and Next Generation Weekend -just for the kiddos.

2nd Amendment Instant Savings August 21-30 on guns and safes!

  • Purchase a gun or safe using our Bass Pro Shops Credit card and receive an instant rebate up to $100!



Trade in your old gear and save $$$$!                           

  • We have three different trade-in days this year: Game Camera, Hunting Boots, and Rifle Scopes.

Limit 1 coupon per new item. Donate all working game cameras, hunting or rubber boots and riflescopes August 21-30 , and receive a discount coupon toward the purchase of a new game camera, hunting boots or rifle scope (Aug 21-30 only). All trade-ins will be inspected to ensure good working order, and then donated to local organizations to help with their outdoor education programs.







FREE Local Pro Workshops

August 21

  • 7 pm  Advanced Game Camera Strategies for Year-Round Scouting

August 22 & 23

  • 1 pm  Archery Tune-Up: Prepare Your Gear for the Hunt
  • 2 pm  Get Close: Scent Control and Scent Products That Give You the Edge
  • 3 pm  Boots 101: Choosing the Right Footwear for Your Outing Experience
  • 4 pm  Knives and Tools to Guide Your Hunt From Field to Freezer

August 29

  • 3 pm  Women’s Hunting Workshop

Next Generation Weekend

August 29-30

             FREE Kids’ Archery Challenge- Hit the target for a chance to win a prize

                         FREE BB Shooting Range

                         FREE Photo Download

 FREE Craft

 FREE Giveaway- to the first 100 kids to complete all activities each day

 2 and 4 pm  FREE Kids’ Archery Workshop  


Blade Steel 101

Most of us carry some sort of knife, especially those who find ourselves outdoors for our hobbies. Even if you don't consider yourself to be an outdoor enthusiast, some still carry a knife to take care of simple daily tasks such as opening boxes or mail. From hunting blades to pocket knives and even kitchen knives, not all blades are created equal.

There are many things to consider when buying a knife, but one of the most important is the blade. Of course, blades come in many shapes and sizes for different tasks but they also come in different materials to accomplish those tasks.  There are a lot of steels to choose from, especially considering almost every knife maker makes their own special steel, but today I will only be talking a little about the most common blade steels that you will find.

D-2 Steel

D-2 Steel, also known as tool steel, is not that common and is more of a higher end steel and is difficult to produce. It is also one of the only non-stainless steels frequently offered for pocket knives.  This steel is not the easiest to sharpen, so don't expect to easily put back on a factory fresh edge. What D-2 lacks in ease to make and sharpen it makes up for with being extremely durable and makes a good blade to pry and other tasks where softer knives might bend or chip. 

There aren't many companies producing blades with D-2 steel, but the ones that do are very high quality, such as the Benchmade Adamas shown below.



420HC steel is one of the most common stainless steels and has been around for a long time. On the toughness scale 420HC is on the lower side, so for holding an edge it is not the best. Being a softer steel however makes this steel fantastically easy to sharpen making it popular for hunting and filet knives because you can get it back to a razor sharp edge very easily, especially while in the field.

Almost all knife manufacturers use 420HC, and it can be found in many mid-range knives.  One of the most iconic knives of all time, the Buck 110, uses this steel.




154CM is one of the best all around stainless steels that you can find in pocket knives. It offers a fantastic ability to hold an edge and yet is not incredibly difficult to sharpen. It is also a very durable steel and isn't as easy to break or crack. The downside of this steel is that it is not easy to make and is a bit more on the pricey side, but for someone who needs a high quality tool that holds an edge very well this steel is more than worth the money.

This steel can be found in many mid to high end knives, such as the Benchmade Griptilian series.





S30V is considered to be a super steel because it utilizes newer technology to produce the steel. This makes it pricey and a little more rare. The durability and edge retention on this steel is some of the best available, but once again that makes it difficult to sharpen.

S30V is usually reserved for higher end knives, but there are a few budget friendly options, such as the Buck Paradigm Avid.




Again, these are just a few of the many knife steels available, but they are some of the most prevalent in your every day carry and hunting knives.  Obviously, there are going to be other features to consider when purchasing a knife such as a opening mechanisms and locking designs, but when it all comes down to it, the blade is still the business end.

There is a wealth of information available on the internet to guide you in your purchasing decisions, these are just a few of the great resources to consider:

Hunting Knife Buyer's Guide

Fillet Knife Buyer's Guide

Knife Buying 101 - A Numbers Game




Check it Out List: Camp Cooking

Ah yes, camp cooking. One of my absolute favorite things. Over a year ago I wrote a blog about all the different camp cooking choices. And now with the possibility of escaping out into the woods, it is time to start taking stock of my own camp cooking setup. So in order to be fully prepared let me go ahead and bust out another Check-it-Out-List!

Camp Cooking

Camp Grill / Stove / Combo / Cooking Surface

Cooking Fuel Source (usually those Coleman green propane bottles but maybe firewood or charcoal)

Pots/ Pans

Cooking Utensils

Lighter/ Matches

Aluminum Foil

Spices / Seasonings

Cleaning Supplies

Back-up Food

So depending on what kind of cooking you are into can really determine what you need to cook. If Dutch Ovens are your thing, you won’t really need one of those portable grills. Or if you prefer cooking over a direct flame, something like the Adjust-a-Grill would be perfect for you. I personally prefer having both a camp grill and stove with me. And plenty of fuel! That way I can almost certainly cook up some grub no matter what is going on. Also, I like to do it right when I’m outdoors so I usually have a couple sides on the stove and need the extra cook space.

Personally I would suggest picking up your camp pots and pans from a second-hand store or garage sale. You don’t really need anything too fancy, just something that will work and you won’t be too sad when nature takes its toll on them.

For cooking utensils, check out stores that supply restaurants. You can get some heavy duty utensils on the cheap there, not limited to cutting boards and knives.

Like with survival kits, it’s usually smart to have a couple forms of fire. So matches for when the lighter is out of fuel and vice versa with a lighter for when the matches are wet!

Aluminum foil is handy for many reasons. You can wrap all your ingredients together and toss it over some heat. And there is something extremely satisfying about opening up the foil with your trout that you caught earlier.

Seasonings and spices should be in plastic containers so it is less breakable than when in glass. Salt and pepper should always be included but don’t be afraid to pack some garlic powder, cumin and other seasonings to help “spice up” your camp grub.

Cleaning supplies are mandatory for health and safety reasons. You should always take care in cleaning up your cooking area so you do not attract unwanted visitors.

And last but not least, back up food. You should have some freeze dried food just to be safe. Other good back up items are canned goods. One thing that I love taking out into the woods is stove-top stuffing. All you really need is water to cook it and it’s a nice little touch on the side next to that steak you grabbed in town before heading out.

So there you have it. Something to think about before you head out! And maybe try out that nifty propane fire ring! Just look at it!




Gun Cleaning

Game Care

First Aid


Day Pack

Trip Prep

Range Time

Fishing Pack

Boating Day Trip


Honey...Where's the First Aid Kit?

Mangrove SnapperFlorida is full of things looking to bite, sting, stick, or otherwise hurt you and it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit available and well stocked with supplies to handle a variety of situations that start out simple, but if left unattended, could cause bigger problems later on down the road.  I’m not talking about trauma-level surgery here, just minor cuts, scrapes, and the like.  You just never know what critter is going to clamp down on your finger and be unwilling to let go no matter how much “persuasion” you use.

Snapper, bluefish, mackerel, gar, sharks, and barracuda are a few of the fish you should watch out for because of their teeth and the resultant cuts or punctures.  Bream and catfish have piercing spines that will cause a great deal of pain, bleeding, and potential infection if left untreated while stingrays are a real hazard and would likely need more than “first aid” but having gauze and tape can suffice until real help is reached. Even the bait can be dangerous if you're using live blue crabs and one gets hold of your finger while trying to fish him out of the livelwell.

Jellyfish season is coming and meat tenderizer should be added to everyone’s kit, and I speak from experience when I say that their sting is HIGHLY painful and any relief would be welcome.  Dramamine, Benadryl, Aspirin, and maybe even epi-pens for people with serious allergies should all be added to your kit and travel with you every time on the water, on a hike, while camping, or hunting.  Sea urchins inhabit much of the southern inshore rock structure and their sting can be a traumatic experience for an inquisitive youngster (or playful adult man for that matter) so be prepared to take action.Backpackers First Aid Kit

Fire ants are one of the most common pests in Florida and their attack can be extremely vicious, leaving the victim with burning welts that will eventually itch like crazy, then burn again if unprepared so keep some after-bite treatment available to fight the itch.  Being prepared for plant related injuries is a good idea as well so don’t become complacent by thinking that everything that’s going to hurt you walks, swims, or slithers.

I almost forgot what's probably the most dangerous creature out there...OURSELVES!  We're using sharp instruments like hooks, gaffs, knives and broadheads while climbing trees, scrabling over rocks, and pitching around on boat decks, so do you think accidents are bound to happen at the worst possible time?  You betcha!  Who can we rely on to give immediate care when needed?  Only ourselves and we all need to be prepared.

There are plenty of reasons to be prepared for minor medical emergencies and very few good excuses for not having some simple items on hand when needed.  Most folks will admit they think help is always available and don’t feel the need to be even moderately self reliant, but imagine the piece of mind a simple thing like a first aid kit can provide in an emergency.  Pick one up, stock it up, and carry it on your outings.  You’ll be thankful you did.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


Geocaching 101

What is Geocaching?  Why, it is a outdoor treasure hunt using GPS devices.  People move to a specific set of coordinates and then try to find the geocache container hidden in that location.  Great for one person or families this is a true hit!  Here are a few simple steps:

1.  Register for a membership on a geocaching site.

2.  Enter your postal code and search.

3.  Choose any geocache from a list provided and click on the name.

4.  Enter the coordinates of the geocache in your GPS

5.  Use the GPS to assist you in finding the geocache which is hidden.

6.  Sign the log book and return the geocache to its original location.

7.  Remember if you take the treasure replace it with a treasure you have brought for the next person.

It really is just that easy.  Geocaches can be found all over the world.  It is amazing just how many we have in this area alone. Geocaches vary greatly in size and appearance.  You may see plastic containers to fake rocks with a compartment. Do not put explosives, ammo, knives alcohol, food or scented items. Ideas range from unique rocks, coins, to key chains.

Bass Pro has a few GPS ideas for geocaching that might interest you.  

Perfect for kids and adults the Geomate Jr. is very user friendly.  Pre-loaded with over 250,000 caches all around the US.  All you have to do is turn it on and follow the arrow.  Great family fun especially with young kids.  You can even buy a update kit to cover outside the US. 










































A idea for the first timer is a Geomate Geocaching Starter Kit.  This inexpensive kit has everything you need to get started.  Guidebook, pencil, pad, lock box and many prizes to hide.  















The Magellan Explorist GC GPS is another preloaded easy to navigate unit.  Great price and rich graphics make this one to think about.






















You are never to old to geocache this is easy and a wonderful way to spend time outside.

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator













Check it Out List: Fishing Pack

Fishing is what originally got me into the outdoors. And ever since not catching anything on my first trip I have been hooked ever since. Over the years I have tried countless different techniques, baits and tackle. Things worked and a lot more didn’t. For me it seems to always be that the simpler the setup, the better the experience.

Now as any fisherman knows, there are so many different kinds of fishing. Usually a gear list is either to general or not specific enough for a trip. Just think about the difference in gear you would need to take with you when going from say… slamming some sunfish to hooking up with a monster peacock bass! So for this month’s Check it out List I will be covering something that I think every fisherman could benefit from. A checklist for a fishing pack. This will not be specific for any particular fish species or style of fishing, but something that every fisherman should take with them.

Fishing Pack


Needle Nose Pliers/ Forceps



Hand Towels

Trash Bag


Bug Repellent

Resalable Plastic Bags


Note Pad and Writing Utensil

Lets break this down shall we. Like I discussed with the Range Time bag last month, picking out a proper pack is essential. A lot of people will over-pack and I am one of them. I prefer a backpack style pack as it frees my hands up for carrying other things. Now a backpack does sound like overkill for the minimal items that I listed above, but it leaves me room for all the tackle and such I would need to take to actually fish with. So my suggestion is getting a small-medium zippered pack that can be tossed inside a bigger pack with ease.

The needle-nose pliers are nice for de-hooking fish, crimping barbs and just overall fixing of small things that happen on fishing trips. I like forceps though for their precision of hook removal. Scissors are great for cutting through line. Many would substitute nail-clippers to save space and weight, but I like scissors. (My mother did not like though that I felt my fishing pack deserved the best scissors in the house.) Scissors can also be used to cut through other bigger items when necessary.

Knife. I don’t really know a single list in life that one could not use a good knife in. There is no specific knife I suggest, just make sure it is one that you like and can work with. You’ll need for all the millions of uses knives get put through… and of course gutting your catch!

We all have been with people that don’t like getting “icky from fishing” and I can’t blame em. As much as I respect Powerbait Trout Bait it does tend to ruin any sandwich I eat if I have some left on my hands. So bring a towel. Seriously.

Every pack used for outdoor activities should have a few trash bags. You know it, I know it, the animals know it and the Forest Service knows it… people are slobs. Somebody has to help out when it comes to the litter issues so many places suffer.

Sunscreen and bug repellent are good to carry, for obvious reasons. I suggest putting these in the resalable plastic bags to keep them from spilling/leaking on other items. Also have a few more plastic bags because you never know what you might need to bag up.

By ruler I mean a retractable kind. Get one of those little three-foot ones that take up no space. Use it to measure your fish. The note pad and writing utensil will let you keep track of your successes, failures and just thoughts while out fishing. Humans as a species are slowly losing the ability to hand-write (I’m pretty sure it started with doctors…) so why not get back to basics when reconnecting with the wilderness.

Well there you have it. Another checklist to check off.

Could track bees in a blizzard! Giddy-Up!!



Gun Cleaning

Game Care

First Aid

Day Pack

Trip Prep

Range Time


Check-it-Out List: Day Pack

Welcome to the second installment of Check-It-Out Lists.  Last time we went over first aid kits. This time we are going to go over a crucial aspect for all outdoor lovers, the day pack. Anybody who has planned a little trip of any kind usually finds themselves making one, and if they don't know where to start it can be quite the nightmare.

The tricky thing concerning day packs is weight. While you want to make sure you have everything that you may need, you do not want to overload yourself. This is something I learned firsthand on my hunt last year.

So below is a list of common and useful items, most pack with them.

Day Pack

  • Water
  • First–aid kit
  • Metal, waterproof carrying case that can double as a cooking pot
  • Candle
  • Knives
  • Small can of lighter fluid
  • Fire starters–waterproof matches, butane lighter, etc.
  • Iodide tablets for water purification
  • Base plate compass with signal mirror
  • Map
  • Nylon rope
  • Flashlight with spare batteries and bulbs
  • Whistle (plastic)
  • Extra pair of glasses
  • Extra two–day supply of prescription medicine
  • Emergency high–energy food
  • Thermal foil blanket
  • Poncho
  • Folding saw
  • Snare wire or twine
  • One–sided razor blade
  • Fishing line and hooks
  • Plastic sheet or large garbage bag
  • Extra boot laces
  • Tissues

Additional Equipment

  • Sleeping bag appropriate for temperature
  • Hatchet or ax
  • Pencil and paper pad
  • Duct tape
  • Biodegradable trail markers
  • Shovel
  • Binoculars or spotting scope

As you can see, there clearly is a lot going into the pack. This means you will need a solid pack to carry it in.  Also depending on the terrain you will be in will help choose the size and style of pack. (A while back I talked about a great pack that I personally use and love.)

I can already tell you that after a week of hauling my pack around on my deer hunt, I lessened my load. By the end I was only taking the bare minimums, but I could afford that on those daily trips. If you are leaving base camp every day and not coming back until dark though, you’ll be glad to have those few extra items.

Now like I had said with my introduction to the Check-It-Out List blogs, this information comes from a bunch of different sources. Here is a suggestion straight from myself. For a hunting pack, be careful how you pack if using a “bladder pack” for water. Maybe somebody who writes all these blogs, might have put a knife too close to the “bladder pack” and it may have punctured a hole… Yeah…

Now I can already hear a lot of you grumbling about how that is way too much stuff, and I’m glad! I would love to hear back from ya’ll in the comment section about what you would add or subtract from the lists above. Pole Vaultin' with Pole Cats!


Zombie Nation 2013

Zombie Nation MagazineOnce again, Guns and Ammo has brought to the news stands one of the most important publications of its kind in the world.  We all know what's coming and I for one want to be the first to get my hands on the state of the art weapons, ammunition, prepping information.  The first issue of Zombie Nation gave us just enough to wet our whistles so to speak and this issue takes it even further.

The second issue of Zombie Nation hit the street about a week ago and I snatched up two of the ten copies on the rack before anyone else could get the drop on them because I don't want to be the only one left standing around while my neighbors are bugging out.

There are a couple things that caught my attention with the first one being a gorgeous Modern Sporting Rifle from Spike's Tactical in Apopka.  Their SL 15 Zombie looks like it would lay down some precision lead while defending your homefront from the biters.  Magpul equipment and a plethora of Spike's custom touches, make this zombie slayer a welcome addition to the gun safe.  "Don't Forget To Double Tap" is milled into the upper unit rail system as a constant reminder of the need to put walkers down for the count.  Spike's custom ST-T2 heavy buffer is machined from solid billet then filled with High Density Tungsten Powder (HDTP) to tame recoil for repeated accuracy.  The features keep stacking up so my advice would be to get your hands on one before Z-Day arrives.

My second favorite new toy (if I could afford it) is the Standard Issue 1911A1 .45 cal rail gun from Iver Johnson.  This zombie-themed pistol is so beautifully appointed with you guessed it, "ZOMBIES" that you may not want to carry it.  Stunning is the only word I can find to describe the graphics on the slide and the zombie-green grips.  A fully adjustable rear sight and a pickatinny rail-equiped frame ensure that you can mount a light, lazer, or keep it naked while still putting rounds where they count.  Get yours before I get mine.....  Or should I say before my wife gets hers?

There's way more to this mag than just things that go boom, including knives, blunt instruments, comm gear, rations, and even navigation equipment so you can find the only safe haven for miles.  I especially appreciate the effort the writers went through to bring us some of the most up-to-date tactics with a zombie twist.  These practices might be necessary in the event of any national or local emergency including; hurricanes, floods, fires, mass power outages, or even a Sharknado......  Well maybe not Sharknado, that would just be silly.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


Have You Checked Your Knives?

Hunting season and field dressing may still be a few weeks away, but now is the time to check your knives and make sure you are ready for that trophy buck. Don't wait until you harvest a deer to find out (the hard way) your knives are broken, rusted, dull or missing.  I'll wait while you go check.....

knivesAh, you're back - that didn't take long.  And, as I suspected, you need to replace some or all of your knives.  Well, your local Bass Pro Shops can help you with that. First, head over to the Hunting Department and check out the knife sets from Outdoor Edge. The first set we're going to take a look at is the Butcher-Lite Kit. This lightweight, 8-piece set includes: caping knife, gut-hook skinner, boning/fillet knife, and wood/bone saw. It also includes a tungsten-carbide V-sharpener, gloves, nylon roll pack that converts to belt scabbard and a ribcage spreader. These are all the essential knives you need to quarter and debone big game, weighing in at less than 2.5 lbs.knives

Ah, you're an experienced outdoorsman and need more than just the basics? No problem - you need the Game Processor Kit. This is a 12-piece portable butchering kit.  You will have everything you need to process big game, turkey, waterfowl, small game and fish. Contents include: caping knife, gut-hook skinner, boning/fillet knife, Bowie-style butcher knife, game shears, wood/bone saw and tungsten-carbide V-sharpener. The kit also includes a ribcage spreader, carving fork, cutting board, gloves and hard side carrying case. The Game Processor kit has a lifetime guarantee against defects in materials and workmanship.

Stop by Bass Pro Shops and check out the assortment of knives we have available.  You are sure to find the right ones for your game processing needs.



Go Outdoors with Bear Grylls

bearThe Gerber/Bear Grylls “Priorities of Survival” seminars are one of the highlighted activities during our Go Outdoors Event & Sale. The seminars take place at 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday of the event and highlight the information found in the “Bear Grylls Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide,” available with most of the Gerber/Bear Grylls knife collection.

Bear Grylls is one of the most recognizable faces of survival and outdoor adventure. A trained martial artist, he spent three years in the British Special Forces and is one of the youngest climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Bear went on to star in Discovery Channel’s Emmy nominated Man Vs Wild and Born Survivor TV series, reaching an estimated audience of 1.2 billion people.

The Gerber/ Bear Grylls Ultimate Fixed Blade Knife can be found at your local Bass Pro Shops. The knife has a stainless steel pommel for hammering, and comes with emergency whistle, fire starter and nylon sheath. The handle features a textured rubber grip to reduce slippage. The knife also comes with a sharpener built into the sheath and is packaged with the “Gerber/ Bear Grylls Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide.”         knife      

A variety of Gerber and Bear Grylls-licensed knives are available for in-store and online purchases. See in-store schedules for more Go Outdoors activities.




Outdoor Essentials - Sharpening Fish Fillet Knives

We figure you're going to need to know how to sharpen your fillet knife for all those fish you're catching! So, we asked Bass Pro Shops Altoona "Knife Guy" Mike Sibley, our resident knife expert, for a few tips!

Knife Sharpening 101

Fillet knives are flexible by design because the blade needs to be flat on the cutting surface to remove the skin.

Using a Work Sharp Electric Sharpener with the 20 degree bevel attachment is very quick and produces a great edge.

Using a flat diamond stone can take more practice and instruction:

  • Since it is flexible you must keep the blade under pressure the length of the stroke.
  • This means, on a 7" blade, only a small portion of the blade is making contact with the stone at any one time (see pictures).
  • A 20 degree bevel on each side of the filet knife is about right.


  • Diamond stones require water.
  • Natural stones require honing oil.


Questions?  Join Mike for a Knife Sharpening 101 seminar on Saturday, May 18, at 1 p.m. at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!


This Weekend at Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Go Outdoors and More!

There's a ton to do this weekend at Bass Pro Shops Altoona - let's get started with the lineup!

Go Outdoors




First, and foremost, it's the first weekend of FREE Go Oudoors event - seminars, activities and more, including a chance to win an Oakley/GoPro prize package!

May 18-19 - Summer Fun Seminars!

Wear it Right - 11:30 and 3:30 p.m. - Learn the five important steps of choosing and fitting a life jacket. Attend the seminar and be entered into a drawing a life jacket afterwards!

Geocaching 101 - 1:30 and 4 p.m. - Our experts show you the basics of Geocaching for fun with friends and family.
Attend the seminar and be entered for a chance to win a Geomate.jr GPS unit! GPS units only available at

“Priorities of Survival” - 12:30, 2:30, and 4:30 p.m. Seminars in cooperation with Bear Grylls Gerber Survival (Both Weekends). (NOT a personal appearance by Bear Grylls)

Cooking Demos - Saturday and Sunday, Noon-5 p.m.

ATV Obstacle Course - 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday



Representatives from Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo will be on hand with some of their favorite little friends! Plus they'll have information on membership and activities like Campout at the Zoo!


Knife Sharpening 101

KNIFE SHARPENING 101 - 1:00 p.m.

Join Mike "The Knife Guy" Sibley, our knife guru, to learn about the basics of maintaining your knives. Come to the Optics Counter.




MORELFEST 2013 - 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Bass Pro Shops Altoona is the host location for MorelFest 2013! The parking lot will be the setting for vendors and morels - celebrate Iowa's favorite springtime delicacy! 

•Activities For All
•Vendor Attractions
•Morel Mushroom Seminars

For more information on meal cost, etc., visit


Off Season of Hunting

The “Off Season” of Hunting


   Here we are at low point of hunting season. Here in Florida we have turkey season winding down unless you head to northern parts of the state. Also hog hunting gets slower as warm weather approaches. So this is a great time to look over your hunting equipment and start to give a tune-up for all upcoming seasons.

   Today I will talk about the ways to get a sharp edge on your knife or knife sets. As we all will agree, a good knife is an essential part of our hunting gear and having it sharp is necessary. In addition we may have a game meat processing knife kit such as the Game Processing kit from Outdoor Edge. As any good butcher will tell you a sharp knife is key to making the job easier. I will show 2 products here that are both old and new.

    First the new- a sharpener by Work which uses a belt and is electric. This company created a product years ago that still is an industry standard and this product is the Drill Doctor, drill bit sharpener. Now they have built a knife sharpener that excels like their other products. This sharpener uses an angle guide to keep the knife blade at the proper angle to receive a razor sharp edge. It comes with 3 different grit belts to fix very dull blades to just a touch-up of a near sharp knife. This can be done in just a few minutes time.

    Next is an old favorite of mine, the Lansky knife sharpener. This is a hand sharpening system that uses oil stones and an angle guide to keep the edge true while honing the edge. I like this for my better hunting knives as I can really control the edge and feel have its being worked. The standard set will come with oil and stones and a knife holder that has the angle guide in it. You can add stones that will do serrated edge knives and also diamond stones for the harder steel blades. It takes only a short amount of practice to see this sharpener perform well. My own knife sharpener is around 24 years old and still doing fine, so it is a very inexpensive purchase over the many years of service. One of the benefits of using an oil stone is you have your blade oiled when finished, not allowing any corrosion to start.



  I hope this is of some help in the preparing your knife collection for your next great adventure in the outdoors.


~Bill Mellentine-Hunting Team Lead


Outdoor Essentials - Sharpening Serrated Knives

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Hunting Associate Mike "the knife guy" Sibley says the questions customers ask most are regarding serrated knives. So, in this third Knife Basics post, he answers the why and how of serrated knives.

Why Serrated Knives?

Knife serration offers some advantages over a smooth blade:

  1. Cuts rope and twine easier.
  2. Cuts seatbelt webbing and non-metallic strapping.
  3. Cuts frozen meat and bread easier.
  4. Seems to stay sharper longer.

Most electric fillet and bread knives are serrated. Most serrated knives are only partially serrated and this is usually next to the hilt or handle, where leverage helps complete tough jobs more easily.

However, Sibley says serration may scare people from trying to sharpen their serrated knives. So, he offers the following instructions and video to help guide you.

How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife

Shiny tips mean dull blade!Keep in mind that most serrated sections of a blade are beveled on only one side. (This is why a serrated knife cuts cardboard in a curved line.) It's usually only the tips of the serration that dull the quickest, just like the tip of your knife. Turn the blade, so you are looking at the sharpened edge. If the light reflects and shows shiny serrated tips, it's time to sharpen. The back side of the serrated area will be flat. This is where you start the sharpening.

Lay the flat side of the knife on the sharpening stone, lift up the back or spine of the blade, and make a soft stroke along the serration.


Repeat lightly until you can feel a burr on the beveled side of the blade.

Sharpening Stone



If you feel the burr, it's time for a steel or ceramic rod. (If you don't feel a burr, then repeat step 1 above.) 




Ceramic Rod

Run the rod on the beveled side. This won't get down in the deep areas of serration, but those areas don't become dull unless
they have been used to cut wire. (Yes, it happens!)

Electric fillet knives need to be sharpened only on the beveled side. All other serrated knives, continue below.

Use the rod on the backside of the serrated section

Repeat this operation until the shiny tips are gone when viewed from the edge of the blade.


Happy cutting and watch that wire!






Product Highlight!

Here at the Denham Springs Bass Pro Shops we have a large assortment of products to meet all of your needs.  We gave employees in each department an opportunity to highlight some of their favorite products that they thought customers would find new, exciting, or just downright useful! Be sure to click on the item's pitcure or name to view the product online, or stop by the store to check them out in person!  As always, if you have any questions or need some advice feel free to come on in!

Fishing: That’s Incredi-Craw!

The new Culprit Incredi-Craw provides the perfect combination of a large profile body to grab the attention of big bass in the dirtiest of water while being able to glide through the thickest cover. Exceptionally versatile, the bait is designed to be fished with the long antennas in place.   On the drop, the Culprit crawIncredi-Craw's antennae grab the attention of nearby predators. Upon impact with the bottom, the lure's realistic legs and claws flair out to emulate a live crawdad in full defensive mode. Lively and versatile, the Incredi-Craw has a thick ringed body that helps it punch through vegetation to get the job done.  Use this as a punch bait, as well as Texas or Carolina rig.  Either way, there is plenty of action to trigger that impulse strike.  And when you get back to the dock with that big stringer and your buddies say “That’s incredible”, you just answer back “Nah, it’s just Incredi-Craw”. 

Knives: Think Outside the Shell

The Quarrow® Turtle™ 8 Pocket-Tool is portable and ready to work.   Eight tools that fold down into a compact design resembling a turtle.  This little wonder has pliers, wire cutters, wire stripper, file, knife, flathead screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, and a split ring for attaching to a belt loop or key ring.  TheTurtle Quarrow® Turtle™ 8 Pocket-Tool is the perfect compact tool that fits in your pocket and gives you eight functions for things like fishing, hunting, and emergencies.  This would make a great gift or stocking stuffer for everyone on your Holiday list.  But don’t act like a turtle, get down to Bass Pro Shops quickly and get them while they’re still available.

Home & Gifts: Wind Chimeswind chimes

Enjoy a nice breeze with the sound of Asli Arts wooden wind chimes. Individually carved and painted by craftsmen from Bali and Vietnam. They are varnished for outdoor protection and are made from non endangered wood. Each chime is hand tuned by musicians to create a unique melody of tunes. Bass Pro Shops offers a range of sizes and prices.

 Camo: True Fit Camo T-Shirt

 The True Fit camo T-shirt is truly the last T-shirt youll ever need or want. They are 100% cotton with the lowest shrink rate available on the market and come in short sleeve as well as long sleeve.  They are offered with the choice of 6 different patterns in Realtree AP, Realtree APG, Mossy Oak Breakup, Mossy Oak Breakup Infinity, Max-4 and Max-1. These shirts are tagless and feature a single chest pocket and a clear, realistic camo pattern that is perfect for concealment or just lounging at the camp.

Come by and grab your new favorite T-shirt soon, because they are on sale for a limited time!

Sarah Bernard

Apparel Team Lead

Footwear: Foolproof Waterproofwaterproof

Looking to waterproof your hunting and camping equipment?  Then Redhead Waterproofer is the way to go.  At just $4.99 a can you can’t beat the price.  You can waterproof shoes, coats, hats, backpacks, tents and anything else you need to keep dry.  It is safe for Gortex lined items also.

So the next time you have a hunting or camping trip planned don’t let the rain stop you.  Bring out your Redhead Waterproofer and Spray!

Cathy Buras

Footwear Team Lead

Apparel: RedHead Union Suit

This year just like prior years before one of our big hit sellers has been the RedHead UnionUnion Suit. It’s always a great gift idea for any occasion. Get it embroidered with the names of family or loved ones or even try tossing on a well earned nickname.  This 100% cotton reinforced stitched full body union suit offers strength and comfort all the way from your head to your  toes. They are full button front with a classic flap in the back. Perfect for throwing under your favorite pair of jeans in colder weather or just lounging back in your recliner with a hot cup of coffee watching the morning news.  So just like every winter time think about staying toasty and cozy with a RedHead Union Suit.

Robert Kamerman

Apparel Lead

Denham Springs

Marine: Ahoy There From The Marine Department!lowrance

Here’s your heads-up on all that is new at Bass Pro Shops Denham Springs Marine Department.  The boys and girls over at Lowrance have topped themselves again with the new Lowrance ELITE-7 HDl (sku 1957347).  Everthing that you loved about the old Lowrance ELITE-5 DSI models has been improved.  These babies have a 7” color screen, standard 83/200 fishfinder, high-frequency 455/800 downscan imaging, and Lowrance’s already great GPS system, now with a more advanced basemap.

The ELITE-7 HDl sells for $699.99, and can be found at our Marine Center.

Lee Miller

Marine Dept

Denham Springs




Outdoor Essentials - Maintaining your Knives

The cold, bitter winds of Iowa winters "cut like a knife."
Sharp words or tone of voice are said to "cut like a knife."
But does your KNIFE cut like a knife?

Knives need to be maintained, just like any other tool, for successful operation and usage. In the words of our Bass Pro Shops Altoona knife expert Mike Sibley:

"Keep it Sharp, Keep it Clean, Keep it Close"

Keep it Sharp - Sharpen your knife regularly. Use your judgment as to how won't offer a clean cut and may drag a bit. Steel the blade between professional sharpening to "tune up" the edge. Kitchen chef knives should be touched up with each use.

If you happen to cut or nick yourself with a dull knife it may be that more force than necessary had to be used. A sharp blade will complete the task easier, faster, and more safely than one with a dull edge. Additionally, an injury inflicted by a sharp knife will heal quicker, and leave less of a scar, than a rip from a dull blade.

Keep it Clean - Keep your knife blade clean. Clean it after each use with a soft rag. Keep it dry. A thin coat of oil on a blade made from non-stainless steel will help that blade from rusting or discoloring. A light dab of oil in the friction points of a folding knife will keep it functioning properly.

Keep it Close - Heading out on a hunt or fishing? Make sure a knife has a permanent home in your hunting pack or tackle box. You can't use it if you don't have it with you. While enjoying hiking, camping, kayaking and other outdoor sports, you may need an everyday carry (EDC) knife to use for emergencies or self-protection.

When you are not using your knives, whether outdoor use or kitchen, store them properly. If you keep knives in a vertical knife block, make sure to put the knives in so the blades are up. That way the knife isn't laying with the blade against the wood. Sheathes are okay for short periods of time, but not for long periods of time. A sheath may hold in moisture which can damage the knife.

 You can give your knives and scissors a fresh start - bring them to the Bass Pro Shops Altoona Optics and Cutlery Counter in the Hunting Department. Mike or one of the other trained associates will make your cutting tools actually "cut like a knife" once again! As so many of our customers have commented, if it has an edge and a point, Mike can get it sharp.

How sharp is sharp?  Check out this video: