Why Does Hunting and FIshing Gear Cost So Much? The Skinny or (Fatty) on FET (Federal Excise Tax)

I constantly hear that the archery industry and Bass Pro must be making huge profits on bows, accessories, arrows and components.  “I could make this part for much less” or “How can you charge so much for something that costs only a few dollars to make”?   

One of the reasons is the high FET (Federal Excise Tax) that is imposed on the hunting and fishing industries.  This tax is not only imposed on imported products but hunting and fishing products produced here in the United States of America. IRS Form 720 is not a form most taxpayers are familiar with. It is the form for FET, and it is only filed by those taxpayers - usually businesses - responsible for collecting the excise taxes. The most important use for Form 720 is for businesses that distribute various kinds of fuel; however, it has a motley array of other miscellanea, including the “Tanning Tax” from Obamacare. For the most part this FET is determined by the MSRP (Manufactures Suggested Retail Price) of an item and not the wholesale price of the product. Because taxpayers don’t see these taxes on their own tax forms, they miss out on these peculiarities. One of the most peculiar of these is a whopping 11% tax on “bows, quivers, broadheads, and points.”

Review the link below to learn more about the RULES as it pertains to archery and sport fishing.


Now you are starting to get the picture.  Below is a chart that reviews collected FET just the archery industry has produced over the past few years.

As you can see $55.7 Million dollars of FET generated in 2014.  Wow!, is right, that is a lot of money, and that is not including the sales tax charged on the products your purchase.

2015 there is a 49 cent FET on each arrow shaft produced, almost $6.00 / dozen arrows.

As with most taxes, it is very complicated for the manufacture to determine what the tax will be.  Take a look at the computation formula listed in the link below.


This sounds strange at first, but it turns out to make more sense in context. The Pittman-Robertson Act is an 80-year-old piece of legislation that helps fund game conservation efforts through these taxes on hunting equipment, including bows, firearms and fishing. The key is that the funds from the tax are to be marked for purposes that benefit those who are paying the tax. This is called the “Benefit Principle."

The Pittman-Robertson taxes are collected at a federal level and only then allocated in block grants to the states in proportion to their land area and the number of hunting license holders. In other words, it is clearly designed to work within the hunting community. Nonetheless, it is not a perfect user fee. For example, an archery enthusiast who does not hunt will still pay the tax, and mostly end up funding the activities of his or hers bowhunting counterparts.

So next time when you start thinking that an item you are about to purchase cost too much.... Keep in mind that you are also paying unseen taxes that are being utilized for the preservation of hunting and fishing.



Now is the Time for Bow Strings

Summer is in full swing, and between grilling, mowing the lawn, and fishing, it's also time for bow hunters to prepare their bows for fall. The proactive hunter plans ahead and inspects their bow now avoiding the onslaught of customers who said, "I'll do it later."

Many customers get new strings for their bows yearly. If you're unsure on what to look for, bring your bow to your local Bass Pro Shops and ask them to inspect your strings. Strings can dry out, stretch, and break over time, especially if the bow is not properly stored. The Altoona Archery Department team advises that a good rule of thumb for determining the need for new strings is:

  • You can't remember how old the strings are.
  • They're more than two years old.
  • They have visible strands fraying.

Unfortunately, many hunters delay repairs and come in the fall to get new strings. However, that is the busy season for string vendors. Right now, it takes 1-2 weeks (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for a string to arrive at our store, from the time someone orders it. As October nears, that time frame will grow.

The Bass Pro Shops Altoona Archery Department can order strings for compound bows, crossbows, and traditional bows -- take a look at all the available colors:

Be proactive and get your bow taken care of now. Then practice, practice, practice!


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Five Steps To Choosing The Right Bow

1. Measure your draw length. Draw your hands as if you were drawing a bow with your fisted hand against a wall. Measure from the wall to the corner of your mouth. This is your draw length.
2. Choose the correct draw weight. Draw weight represents the amount of physical force you need to pull back the bow string. Draw your bow back 10 times wait five minutes. If you are able to easily draw your bow back 11 times without becoming winded and your arms stay stable this draw weight is okay for you.

3. Pick the best bow length based on your draw length. 
Draw length                              Bow length
Less than 26                              64 in. bow
26-28                                         66 in. bow
28-30                                         68 in. bow
30 or more                                 70 in. or larger

4. Determine whether you need a right or left-handed bow. This is based on your dominant eye, not your dominant hand. Use your fingers to create a circular viewing window. Bring your hands to your face and focus through the window you created. Your hands should naturally gravitate towards your dominant eye.

5. Compare directly drawn versus compound bows. Directly drawn bows require users to provide steady force to pull back and hold the string. Compound bows use a series of gears to assist with this task. For archery and target practice, choose a directly drawn bow. Compound bows are typically used by hunters.

Stop buy your local Bass Pro Shops archery counter to get great advice from our experienced archery associates or visit www.basspro.com to browse merchandise and find the store nearest you.


Food Plot 101


         Building a food plot sounds a lot easier than it actually is. You must know what to plant, where to plant, and when to plant. Those three things are very crucial when wanting to have a successful food plot for the deer. If you are having trouble with your food plot or would like to start one, here are a few tips on how to get your food plot looking better than ever.

         First, it all depends on what you want to plant in your food plot. However what you want to plant is not always suitable for your local environment.

        Next, you want to figure out where you’re going to put your food plot. Depending on the deer density, plots should be about 1 to 2 acres in size.

        Lastly, you want to know when it is good to plant your seeds. If they are not planted at the correct time of the year, they may not produce to their best quality.

        Listed below are some examples of crops to plant in your food plot, and how to get them growing perfect for the deer.



        Buckwheat is an easy-to-grow, warm seasoned plant that grows best in sandy soils. It can be planted with cowpeas, grain sorghum, soybeans or it can be planted alone. There is little to no seedbed preparation, but when the seedbed is prepared there is a higher chance of success for the seed. The best time to plant is in the spring, but it can also be planted in July or August. Buckwheat performs well in a cool, moist environment and is best suited for the Northeast or Upper Midwest, but it can be planted in the south. This plant is relatively short-lived, and it will provide some temporary forage benefits for the deer. The best way to plant this seed is by broadcasting or drilling 1 to 2 inches deep. If seeded in a pure stand, broadcast buckwheat at 50 to 60 lbs. /acre or 30 to 40 lbs. /acre when using a grain drill. Test soil to see how much fertilizer to use. This is a fast growing plant, and it is good for early bow season.



         Alyceclover is a warm seasoned, annual legume that is usually used in pastures as livestock forage or it is managed for hay production. This plant does not tolerate wet soil conditions, and its best production occurs in sandy loam to clay soils. This plant is moderately preferred when wanting to attract deer. This plant is very good with drought tolerance and can go days without needed water. When planting this seed it is always important to test the soil, but with this plant it does not need nitrogen fertilizer because it produces its own. When broadcasting, create a smooth and firm planting surface because this promotes optimal germination. When no-till planting, kill the existing vegetation with glyphosate to eliminate weed competition. This should be done a couple of weeks prior to planting. If planting pure stands, broadcast 20 lbs. /acre or drill 10 to 12 lbs. /acre at a maximum depth of 1/4- to 1/2-inch. The best time to plant is April to June in the southern regions, and May to June in the northern regions. In conclusion, this plant is excellent in providing nice summer forage for the local deer.



         Corn is a warm seasoned grass that produces grain on the ears that grow along the stem. This plant is a great source of energy for the deer, especially in the fall and early winter. It also makes good bedding and thermal cover for the deer if left not harvested. Corn does best when planted in very fertile soils, and it prefers well-drained, loamy soils with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Corn does not handle droughts well, and it does better when there is a lot of rainfall. One downside of corn is that it does not compete well with weeds. A good solution to this problem is to use Round Up Ready Corn because it can control the weeds without damaging the corn. The best time to plant corn is mid-March in the south, April in the middle part of the country, and May in more of the northern climates. When planting the seed it is good to make sure that the temperature of the soil is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can plant the seed by using conventional tillage and planting it in rows, or you can use broadcasting in a prepared seedbed. During no-till drilling, the corn is normally planted at a rate of 5 to 10lbs. /acre, but when broadcasting the corn is normally planted at a rate of 10lbs. /acre. The seeds do best when they are about an inch deep and cultipacked after planting.  Corn requires for the soil to be very fertile, and it is a big nitrogen user. Since corn needs to be in very fertile soil it is good to not plant the corn in the same field in two or more consecutive years. Corn is an excellent plant to use when wanting to attract deer.


Black-eyed pea pods on plant in Hong Kong.jpg

           Cowpeas (black-eyed peas) are a warm seasoned legume that originated from Ethiopia, and has widely adapted to soils and climate conditions all throughout the country. They are extremely drought tolerant and good for the south. Cowpeas can produce in excess about 8,000 pounds of quality forage per year. It is good to have the plot size at least 1 acre depending on the deer density. It’s important to remember to test the soil so that you know how much lime and fertilizer to apply. When broadcast seeding, remember to have a smooth and firm planting surface free of any debris. When no-till planting, make sure to get rid of the existing vegetation with glyphosate to eliminate any weed competition. It is good to plant about 70 to 80 lbs. /acre if broadcasting, and cover the seed about an inch by lightly disking. If you are drilling the seed, plant approximately 40 to 50 lbs. /acre. It is good to start planting Cowpeas around mid-April in the south, and in the north they should be planted starting in late May or early June. Cowpeas are an excellent way to change things up in your food plot and attract more deer.

          These are just a few examples of things you can plant in your food plot. A few other crops include Grain Sorghum, Lablab, Soybeans, Sugar Beets and many more. If you would like more information on food plotting, check out the two links below. One link will take you to the QDMA website and the other will take you to the Bass Pro Hunting 365 website. June is QDMA donation month at Bass Pro Shops, so make sure to make your donation at your local Bass Pro Shops to help improve wildlife habitat, and ensure healthy deer populations for future generations!

Resources: Food Plots Planting Spring Food Plots

Check out Bass Pro Shops assortment of Food Plot and Land Management Products! http://goo.gl/AC48FP

QDMA articles http://www.qdma.com/articles/qdmas-guide-to-summer-food-plots

Bass Pro Shops Hunt365 "United We Hunt" http://goo.gl/3aV0VH

Photo Credits:

Wikipedia commons



Fishy Facts: Yellow Perch

To me there are a few quintessential “Americana-esque” images of the outdoors. One being that of those old Chris-Craft boats being rented by lake tourists. Another would be a hunter in the woods wearing a buffalo-patterned shirt, making us wonder if camo really matters. And the last would be a canoe beached on the shore with a hole stringer of yellow perch hanging on it. For some reason yellow perch always just make me think of simpler times, which makes sense because these fish have been a delight for generations to catch. While many focus on the all-mighty largemouth bass or the crazy-fast swordfish, I’d like to slow my roll for this month’s Fishy Facts and take a look at the classic Yellow Perch.

The yellow perch is a freshwater fish native to North America. It does have a cousin across the pond in Europe, but the two are considered separate species. The perch is well known for its distinctive yellow coloring with large dark triangles along their body. Their fins are a touch lighter with orange accents in them. They may not be the “flashiest” fish in the water, but they are quite beautiful to look at.

Yellow perch usually live from nine to ten years of age. Some studies have shown that the northern populations of these fish do grow larger and live longer lives when compared to the southern populations. While they are native in certain parts of North America, they have also been introduced into many more bodies of water. This happened for a few reasons. One being for recreational and commercial fishing purposes and the other to act as food for bass and walleye. Perch patterned baits are common for walleye fisherman, and when on a trip to Canada my stepdad was sure to take some with him.

I do believe it is a rite of passage for kids in the Midwest to catch perch. Scientific studies have not been done, but from what I understand it is so. In fact one of our Front End Leads grew up in the Midwest. I talked a little bit to him about perch and you could see how happy he was recalling catching them growing up. Like I said above, they have been delighting anglers for generations. In fact, the yellow perch is the longest standing record for freshwater fish caught in North America. The fish was caught in New Jersey all the way back in 1865! It weighed 4 pounds 3 ounces and measured 18 inches long. Just think about that, the yellow perch record has not been broken since the Civil War was ending!

Not only have anglers been enjoying yellow perch for decades, but so have diners. They are considered one of the finest flavored of the panfish and are loved for their delicious flavor. This is one of those fish that does not need to be breaded to be enjoyed.

There are many different ways to fish for yellow perch. You can use still bait or action baits, depending on your and the fishes mood for effort that day. Worms, crickets and minnows are extremely common baits and because of this most “perch lures” resemble them. They are a schooling fish and known for their voracious feeding habits, so if you bump into one get ready for a bunch more.

No matter what fish you are really hooked on catching, all fishermen should be able to appreciate and delight in catching the always-in-fashion on line or on a plate, yellow perch.


Former Fishy Facts:

Grayling Northern Pike Rainbow Trout Largemouth Bass Peacock Bass Walleye

Billfish Dolphinfish Crappie Catfish Bull Shark Tilapia Smallmouth Bass

Brook Trout Bow Fishing Bowfin Common Snook World Fish Migration Day



Momentum is the word of the day.  A lot of people seem to mix up KE (kinetic energy) and momentum when it comes to bowhunting (or one could say hunting in general, but today let’s focus on archery).  KE seems to be the big buzz word floating around nowadays which is great for marketing, but not so great when talking about actual application; it’s only HALF of the equation.  Yes speed is wonderful, a lot of compound guys (and gals) love trying to get that max IBO/ATA that their bows swears that they can get to.  But how did we go from shooting recurves (which if you hit 225fps that’s SMOKING FAST!) where we were pushing 500-600 gr arrows, to much faster speeds - the arrows are half the weight? What a lot of hunters, especially new ones, don’t really get exposed to nowadays is that other half of the equation of yes your bow is fast, but because it’s faster, it can push more weight faster too.  Think about it this way, you drive a zippy motorcycle into a side of a vehicle at around 130mph, and then take a large SUV and drive it into the side of a vehicle going 70mph, what’s going to do more damage?  I like to use Fred Bear’s arrow weight calculation, which is pretty easy, take however much draw weight you’re pulling, say 60#, and add a zero to it, now subtract 10%, which would be 540gr. I know what most of you are thinking, “Holy Toledo! That’s a log, no way can my bow shoot that monstrosity without serious drop!”  

Well, I hate to break it to you slick, but you know how most people sight their bows in for going at least out to 60 yards or so? The average distance that has been reported for shooting a deer with a bow, is a whopping 15-25 yards.  Wait, that’s it?  Yeah, that’s it.  Consider that next time you really feel the need to sight your 7 pin sight out to 80 yards, on a rig you plan on taking through east Texas where you’ll most likely never get a clear shot past maybe 35. And say if you are taking shots longer than that, what’s the matter, couldn’t get any closer? But in all seriousness, a closer shot is ideal, and of course there’s always some exception, like flat plains shooting.

Now consider this as well, sure you’re probably getting your 8.0gpi arrows with your rear deploying mechanicals into deer at say 30 yards or so and you’re killing them every time.  Awesome, but is the arrow going through, or is it just stopping inside of them?  You know what’s better than an entrance hole?  An exit hole.  You know what’s better than that?  Pass through.  Yes I understand the benefit of a broadhead swirling around inside, causing mayhem is fantastic, but you still have the shaft blocking a fair deal of potential blood loss, where a clean pass through will guarantee a great deal more blood loss which is definitely more beneficial and integral to a quicker death. Now a term that is thrown around a lot is FOC (front/forward of center), which actually effects arrow flight and impact. FOC is essentially a way of saying that there is more weight towards the front of the arrow rather than the back, or it balances more towards the front. This is important because your fletchings on your arrow are made to stabilize arrow flight due to the flex, which can be affected by anywhere from an improperly tuned bow, finger releasing, torqueing the bow, etc. The less work your fletchings have to do to compensate, the faster it will straighten. They do this by spinning the arrow to straighten out the shaft, which if the front of the arrow has a fair deal of weight or is stiffer; it’ll force the back end to balance quicker. To find your FOC just follow these steps:

1) Measure the length of the shaft from the throat of the nock to the end of the shaft, excluding the insert; this is lengthL”

2) Using a sharp edge, balance the arrow (including the point) and mark the balance point

3) Measure the distance from the throat of the nock to the balance point; this is length B”

4) Input B and L into the following formula:

Description: http://archeryreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/FOCcalculation1.jpg

Typically speaking I’d say keep target arrows around 8-12%, hunting arrows 11-15%, but also bear in mind that it is not uncommon for some of the old school bow hunters (and younger ones such as me) to go on up to 30%! This granted is a lot, but just keep in mind, how far you’re trying to go, your draw weight, draw length, your bow’s speed capabilities, etc.

There are so many other aspects of arrow dynamics, such as smoothness of the shaft, what kind of inserts you’re using, your vein selection, nock weight (lighted nocks are heavier, so keep that in mind when trying to achieve a specific FOC), and of course the outside diameter of the arrow itself.  Generally speaking I do tend to prefer the micro diameter shafts because it’s less surface area to push through an animal, so it makes for easier penetration, but there aren’t too many really heavy micro diameter arrows out there, usually from what I’ve seen those top out at are around 10gpi (grains per inch). Of course you could cheat this by adding weights into your shaft, to offset FOC and increase overall weight but be mindful that you’re aware of exactly how much weight whatever you’re using is, you need to make sure your arrows all weigh the same.  I have used fishing weights, they seem to work okay, but making sure they stay in one place can be tricky if you’ve already put an insert into the arrow, which means you have to go from the back, but using certain kinds of epoxy because it doesn’t bond right way and a long thin device to push it down should typically work as long as you don’t allow the epoxy to seep in through the hole in the bottom of the insert.

Your arrows are an integral part of bow hunting, so just remember there are many things to keep in mind when picking out what kind of arrows you want, and practice and fine tune seeing what works with your particular rig and needs. Like, if you’re only drawing 50# and your bows rated fps is around 300, it’d probably be best not try and launch 700 grain arrows. Tinker around and see what kind of performance you get out of your arrows and remember, practice makes perfect, and most importantly, have fun out there and get yourself a nice rack, and a full freezer.


Submitted by Ty Gardner, our Archery Lead


Staying bug free on your turkey hunt

It seems that turkey season and mosquitoes arrive at about the same time but now there is a way of getting rid of the mosquitoes without spraying messy chemicals on your skin. The Thermacell Mosquito Repellent system creates an odorless and invisible barrier that mosquitoes will not cross, providing a mosquito free area 15’ in diameter.  It uses a butane cartridge to heat up a chemically treated repellent mat that lasts up to six hours (butane cartridges last up to twelve hours). Also great for bow season, dove season, fishing or anytime you want to keep mosquitoes away.

Another great product to use to keep bugs away is Premium Insect Repellent by Sawyer that contains permethrin. According to Sawyer.com, “The active ingredient Permethrin is a synthetic molecule similar to pyrethrum which is taken from the Chrysanthemum flower.” This spray is applied to your clothing, tents and gear before your hunt and when dry will last for up to six washes. This not only repels ticks, mosquitos, chiggers and mites but also kills them. These two products used together will give you hours of bug-free fun in the outdoors.

With spring warming up and making its way towards becoming summer, your kids will start wanting to go outside. Stay ahead of the bugs by buying Bug Repellant at Bass Pro Katy.


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

Single-Pin Sights

The Tru-Glo Archer’s Choice Range Rover Pro


$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


$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


$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


$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

Sizing up a Compound Bow

So you are looking at your first Compound Bow or upgrading the one you have had for 20 years.  Wheels, cams, stabilizers, risers, let-off,  limbs. What does it all mean? Choosing the best bow for compound archery, whether backyard shooting, hunting, tournaments on 3-D targets or paper punching.  Learn how we do it at Bass Pro Shops.

Shop our extensive Archery selection at basspro.com!

Eye Dominance:

The fancy name for this is “ocular dominance,” which basically means that your brain prefers visual input from one eye over the other. Your brain considers that eye’s input more “true.”

You dominant eye is usually the same side as your writing hand. But “cross-dominance,” is not uncommon. Some right-handed archers shoot left-handed because their left eye is dominant. I have found about 15% of our sales are to this type of archer. You can determine your dominant eye in three easy steps:

1. Place your hands at arm’s length, and press your thumbs and forefingers together to form a triangular opening.

2. Keeping both eyes open, look through the triangle and center it on something, like a doorknob.

3. Now close one eye, then the other. If you can’t close one of your eyes by blinking, have someone cover it for you.

Notice how the doorknob stays in place with one eye but “jumps” with the other eye? Your dominant eye keeps the doorknob centered in the triangle. Archers who are right-eye dominant should shoot right-handed. Archers who are left-eye dominant should shoot left-handed.

Another easy way is use the buddy system:

1. Place your hands at arm’s length, and press your thumbs and forefingers together to form a triangular opening.

2. Keeping both eyes open, look through the triangle and center it on top of your buddies nose.  Have your buddy tell you what eye he or she sees and that is your dominate eye.

Determine your Draw Length:

Your local Bass Pro Shops can measure it quickly and precisely.  Here is an easy way to estimate your draw length on your own:

First, measure your wingspan. Stand up straight with both arms and hands extended to your sides, forming a “T.” Have a friend measure from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other middle finger in a straight line. Divide that number by 2.5 to estimate your draw length. An archery pro will need to measure you again for accuracy and precision. You don’t want to buy a bow with a draw length that’s too short or too long. 

Keep in mind a half inch off on your draw length can be all that is keeping you from holding steady.

ATA or Axel to Axel Length:

The axle-to-axle measurement is the length between the bow’s cams– the wheel-like devices that help power the bow – attached to the bow’s limb tips.

Why does this measurement matter? It’s important for the axle-to-axle length of your bow to fit the type of shooting or hunting you’ll be doing. An extremely long bow, for instance, might make hunting in a tight blind or single-seated tree stand difficult. If you’re roaming an open course, scouting turkeys from the ground or hunting deer from a tree stand with open platforms, you can probably get by with a longer bow. It might even be beneficial. Why? Typically, the longer a bow’s axle-to-axle measurement, the more forgiving it will be when taking longer shots. Though with today's technology the shorter ATA bows are very forgiving and easier than ever to shoot.  Try a few before making your final decision.

Draw Weight:

There’s no magic formula for determining draw weights. Start with a low-poundage bow, especially if you’ve never drawn one before. The more you use your bow-shooting muscles, the more weight you’ll be able to draw, and the farther you’ll be able to shoot.

These days it’s easier than ever to find quality bows with larger amounts of adjustable draw weights.  This means you can easily change your draw weight as you develop your shooting skills and archery muscles.

Keep in mind that most of today's bows set at 40 pounds of draw weight can easily produce enough kinetic energy to pass through an animal with the proper broadhead tipped arrow.

Take a lesson:

There are many archery coaches and classes offer around your area.  Take a few hours or a day and take a lesson from your local pro.  He or she can teach you the little things that will help you hold steadier and hit your target more often.


Basic Boat Care!

Nothing wakes up the spirit of a boater than to see the ice disappear from the area lakes and rivers. Hallelujah, this is now happening all around us in the Midwest! But before you hunt a new lunker for your wall or fill up the freezer with fresh fish, proceed with caution and protect your boat.

My boat, a 2014 Nitro Z8, is not only my toy; it is my office for much of the open water season. It is imperative I protect it to insure not only success but also safety. Like other investments, such as a vehicle and home, it is important to safeguard. Think of your home. Chances are it is loaded with safety features taken for granted: airbags, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, locks, alarms, etc., and your boat needs to be fitted for protection too.

Fiberglass damage on a boat can turn into thousands of dollars for repair quickly. Damage can come from anywhere - the shoreline as you launch or while traversing the water from floating debris. The easiest and most effective way to protect against this damage is with a KeelGuard. This product is my top recommendation for all boat owners to have. If the KeelGuard gets damaged, that means you saved potentially thousands of dollars in fiberglass damage. And these suckers are tough. Look at what I put my boat and KeelGuard through this past December: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puJTwTmjkBs (would be effective to embed the video in the blog). This proves the durability and the effectiveness of this product.

Loading a boat is a pain, especially if you are by yourself, and all boat owners know that dreadful thud of boat hitting the trailer too hard. My boat’s bows have always been notorious for having scuff marks on the gel coat. Luckily for me, I discovered a remedy and preventative product: the MegaWare Scuff Buster Bow Guard. It has covered up most of my scuffs (see photos) and protects it from future marks. If I beat it up to the point where it looks poor (very likely!), I can replace it knowing I saved hundreds of dollars from removing scuff marks or even more with fiberglass damage.

While pursuing shallow water fish, my boat comes in contact with all sorts of obstructions just waiting to destroy my investment. Case in point is the skeg on my motor - the image shows the damage a miscalculation cost me. It is not always possible to avoid every obstacle, but avoiding this damage was. Had I installed a Skeg Guard beforehand, there would be no damage. Luckily, installing one now will cover my damage, improve performance, and add value to my motor.

I will admit that my Z8 gets a lot of second looks on the road, and I like it. It is no surprise - she’s beautiful and I keep her that way. My boat receives a scrubbing weekly with Bass Pro Shops Premium Boat & RV Wash.  Do not underestimate how a little TLC goes a long way. Not only does it keep the boat sparkling, but it helps me discover loose screws, minor scuff marks, and other miscellaneous repairs that could lead to larger issues. In addition, scrubbing seats and other hard to reach places prevent mold and mildew from growing.

No doubt you will be heading to the taxidermist several times in 2015, but be sure these moments are not at the sacrifice of your boat and wallet. Before you head out on your favorite body of water, be sure it is ready for the obstructions that await it. A minor investment and a little time can save you from thousands of dollars in damage.

Check out some of our Bass Pro Shops Tracker Boats!


Thanks Andy Buss!



Custom Bow Strings

Make your bow awesome


Need a new string for your bow?  Well come down and ask about custom string orders for bows and crossbows, and yes this includes recurve bows.  We are proud to introduce a string and cable customizer, all with First String a trusted manufacturer of quality bow strings.  We will work with you step by step to get the string or cable or both that you need, and here is a fun deal, in the color you want for most applications.   So if you want a red and yellow string and cable set we can get it.  We have a wide variety of color choices available.  First String will make it as soon as it is ordered and will be shipped back to us and we will install it on your bow.   While here take a look at our vast array of archery accessories, arrows and broad heads.  Another area you need to see  is our archery range.  The range is indoors and we use 3D targets.  Look forward to helping all our archer friends so come see us.

And of course, browse our extensive assortment of Archery at basspro.com:



Female Historical Participation in Archery!

Archery has been part of the American social fabric since the early 19th Century. Moreover, feminine participation is nothing new but rather women are responsible for weaving much of this fabric and can take credit for what it is today.


Figure 1 “New York Times November 12, 1916 from the Library of Congress digitized archives.  Top Left Circle Photo – Basket Ball 17 Year Old Girls.  Photo Below Female Archery Tournament.

(Figure 1)

The school system is the mechanism for which female participation of archery, among other sports began and thrived. Female participation was usually much higher than male participation.  Back in the early 20th century, many states instituted laws in which it was required the girls complete all four years of high school. Boys were only required to go for two years and then would either go to work or go to a trade school.  Since the majority of junior and senior classes were made up of females it created the environment in which girls participated in all sports- archery being one of them.  This high-level participation continued for over half a century until the conformity period after WWII and today it has reemerged once again at a high-level of women participation.


On the world level this participation decreased earlier than in the United States. Archery was admitted in the Olympic Games in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1920. Women competed in the 1900 and 1908 games.  Archery disappeared from the Olympics for 50 years until the Munich games in 1972.

The Great Depression and the social negative attitudes towards women during the suffrage movement also decrease the participation levels. However, because of the mechanism mentioned before at the grassroots high school level, women archery still thrived against this adversity.

What was the conformity period? From the battle field to the home front the war was an emotionally exhausting time for the world that was affected by it.  Conformity period was a way for our society to be “normal”. Moreover, communism was the new enemy and setting our culture apart from theirs- in which women were doing the same tasks as men for the sake of the motherland-was important to the American cultural attitude. Some women went back to homemaking and left the world of sporting. However, unlike many of the other sports Archery was still in large numbers done by women.



Figure 2 Library of Congress Digital Archives. Office of War Information/Farm Services Administration.

(Figure 2)

In the early 20th Century women took the center stage in the world of competition archery. For example Dorothy Smith Commings was a seven time Archery National champion in 1921, 1922, 1924-1926 and in 1931 (Figure 2).  These competitions were huge events in which newspapers across the country would report on the results and the contestants. It must be understood the time period; even simple things like taking photographs shown here was an expensive venture. The quality of these photographs is another indication on how important women Archery was to the American social fabric.  People took the sport very seriously in which many would travel great distances to watch the matches. Moreover, young men were attracted to the participants. Magazines and prints a like would use attractive images of women to attract male counterparts to sporting events. http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/agc.7a01116/


And http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/agc1996009649/PP/

This phenomenon kept moving forward.  Even advertisers jumped on board. The image a female shooting a bow attracted many and was-and still is-appealing. Possibly due to the image that it portrays- beauty and power (Figure 3 & Figure 4).  Also, in this late 40’s Crest Commercial here: https://youtu.be/O8bSN7-ASyg




Figure 3

Figure 4

            Today Female Archery is still going strong. Movies like Hunger Games and Brave are not the cause of females being interested in archery, but merely a continuation of a long standing American tradition.  I invite all women- young and old alike- to stop in Bass Pro Shops and speak to one of our Archery Pros, we have girl pros too!

And of course, check out our extensive online selection of Archery on basspro.com:

For more further reading...... http://thesportjournal.org/article/a-history-of-women-in-sport-prior-to-title-ix/    



Bow Fishing 101

What is Bow Fishing?  Do we have a season for it?  If so what are the dates.  Do you need special equipment?

Bowfishing is a method of fishing that you use special equipment to shoot and then retrieve the fish.

Season:  May 15th thru September 30th

Who can bow fish?  Any person who has a fishing license or a small game hunting license can take carp of any size and in any number by long bow, recurve or compound bow.  This can be done in any water where fishing and discharging a bow is permitted.  Please always check your DEC website to see if the lake you plan to go bow fishing is restricted or not.

On May 2nd at 4pm we are pleased to have Captain Jason Barnes one of our Bass Pro Shop Pro Staffers here to give a Bow Fishing seminar.  Jason has grown up in the area and has been hunting waterfowl since the age of 5 with his dad.  Jason received his Master Captain's license and New York State Guide's license in 2000.  Jason formed Frontenac Fowlers Guide Service and enjoys taking young, old and veterans on guided tours while teaching them the sport.  Now as part of the Pro Staff with Gator Trax, Jason does fishing charters in the summer.  This seminar will talk in detail about the sport and what equipment is needed as well as how to get started.



















Here are a few bows that Jason will touch base on.  The AMS Bowfishing Fish Hawk Compound Bowfishing Package  perfect with all the equipment needed with the exception of arrows.  A smooth draw and it weighs 3.4 pounds.













The PSE Archery Discovery Bowfishing Package includes everything you will need as well as 2 arrows.







So plan on stopping by May 2, 2015 at 4pm for a fun fact filled seminar on bowfishing with Captain Jason Barnes.






Staying bug free on your turkey hunt


It seems that turkey season and mosquitoes arrive at about the same time but now there is a way of getting rid of the mosquitoes without spraying messy chemicals on your skin. The Thermacell Mosquito Repellent system creates an odorless and invisible barrier that mosquitoes will not cross, providing a mosquito free area 15’ in diameter.  It uses a butane cartridge to heat up a chemically treated repellent mat that lasts up to six hours (butane cartridges last up to twelve hours). Also great for bow season, dove season, fishing or anytime you want to keep mosquitoes away.

Bugged While Hunting and Camping?

Another great product to use to keep bugs away is Premium Insect Repellent by Sawyer that contains permethrin. According to Sawyer.com, “The active ingredient Permethrin is a synthetic molecule similar to pyrethrum which is taken from the Chrysanthemum flower.” This spray is applied to your clothing, tents and gear before your hunt and when dry will last for up to six washes. This not only repels ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers and mites but also kills them. These two products used together will give you hours of bug-free fun in the outdoors.

With spring warming up and making its way towards becoming summer, your kids will start wanting to go outside. Stay ahead of the bugs by buying Bug Repellant at Bass Pro Katy.



Gearing Up for Spring Turkeys – Calls and Calling

As a beginning turkey hunter years ago, the one thing that worried me most when I entered the turkey woods was that I would make a mistake when it came time to call. Over the years, I’ve found that if I can simply become COMFORTABLE with the calls I carry with me into the woods, my CONFIDENCE in using them soars.


So as we turn the calendar to April and start counting down the days to the season opener, spend some time getting comfortable with your favorite calls.  If you use any type of friction call, you probably don’t need much practice to feel confident with it before the season begins.  But you do need to make sure that it still produces the sound you want it to make.  For box calls you may need to use some sand paper and a bit of chalk to get ‘em to sound like you want.  If you’re like me and prefer to have a friction call in your hands, don’t neglect to check out your striker tip.  A light sanding of the striker tip and pot surface may be needed.  Or, if you’re looking for a new tone or pitch, consider investing in a new set of strikers to go with your old standby friction call.


The calls that I have to spend the most time getting reacquainted with every pre-season are my mouth calls.  I prefer the Redhead Pro Pack of diaphragm calls.  They all provide good and unique sounds and they aren’t so pricey that they break my hunting budget. If I don’t start yelping, cutting and purring with them weeks before I head into the woods with my shotgun or bow, I know my confidence won’t be high enough to use them when I need to.


So make sure you spend some time getting comfortable and gaining confidence with your calls this spring. That way you’ll be ready to use them when you come across something like this!


Todd Pridemore, Local Hunting Pro


Fishy Facts: Common Snook

In the effort to break up the alliteration of Fishy Fact blogs starting with the letter B (brook trout, bowfishing, billfish, bowfin, bull shark) we are going to the letter that follows it! We are also getting out of the freshwater realm for the first time in a number of months. April is a month for change right? Sure. Any who, let’s take a closer look at the common snook!

First off, you would be surprised at how many times I have used the “Add to Dictionary” feature on “misspelled” words according to Microsoft Word. Maybe they should get some more fishermen and hunters involved for their next platform, because it’s getting ridiculous.

Second any who for this blog, a record, the common snook is a prized saltwater game fish. It is also called robalo and the sergeant fish. There are several species of snook, and this one is one of the largest. They can grow to over four and a half feet but are more commonly found at three feet shorter than that.

I remember hearing that the uglier the fish (or at least the less colorful) the better it tastes. Now I am not calling the common snook ugly, but its coloring is quite drab. It has a grayish-silver color to most of its body, except the long black line that runs lengthwise on its body. During the spawning season though, some of its fins will turn a bright yellow.

If that rumor is to be believed about taste and appearance, it holds true for the common snook. It is a delicious fish but special preparation must be taken. Remove the skin before cooking otherwise an unpleasant taste will occur.

Beyond their desirability for taste, these fish put up a great fight! My best friend’s dad caught some down in Florida and loved every second of it. He loved it so much; he bought car-magnets of the fish and added them to his ride.

These fish tend to spawn from April to October. The common snook will move out of the open-ocean and into near-shore waters with high salinity. After the young are born they mature into juveniles and move towards more brackish water. Slowly but surely they eventually move out into the open ocean and continue the circle of life.

Snook are predators. They will opportunistically take on prey, but what is cool is that their prey changes with them. As snook grow larger they will actually start pursuing larger prey. They simply want to pursue prey that will provide them the most nutrition. Any reports of cannibalism with these fish are few and far between.

These fish are preyed upon by larger fish and other marine predators. Once of their biggest killers though is weather. These fish are very susceptible to changes in temperature. In 2010 there was a large cold snap in the snooks’ native range. In one area of Florida it was estimated that close to 97% of the snook population died because of it. Luckily a ban on commercial snook fishing took place and fishermen began to strictly practice catch-and-release fishing on them. This helped the population grow and has allowed the ban to be lifted. There will be another study done on their population this year.

People love their snook and will do what it takes to keep them around. This should be an example for all sportsmen. Conservation must come first, as without it we won’t have anything left.


Former Fishy Facts:

Grayling Northern Pike Rainbow Trout Largemouth Bass Peacock Bass Walleye

Billfish Dolphinfish Crappie Catfish Bull Shark Tilapia Smallmouth Bass

Brook Trout Bow Fishing Bowfin


Turkey Hunting Spring, 2015

Hello Texas Turkey Hunters. It’s time for the Spring, 2015 Turkey Season to begin. Here is quote from the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website regarding sessions and dates and special limits in certain counties.

“Spring turkey hunting gets under way this weekend, March 14-15, with the special youth-only weekend season for Rio Grandes in the 54-county South Zone. The general season in the South Zone runs March 21-May 3 and culminates with another youth-only weekend May 9-10. In the 101 counties comprising the North Zone, the youth-only weekend seasons are March 28-29 and May 23-24. The North Zone general season opens April 4 and runs through May 17. A special one-gobbler limit season runs April 1-30 in Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee and Milam counties.”

To access TPWD’s full article on the Spring, 2015 season copy the link below and paste it in your browser:



At Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World we have all you need to make your hunt a successful one.

From decoys and turkey loads for your shotgun to camo clothes, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is ready to help you make this year’s season one to remember.

Stop by and check out our Camo Department for all your camo clothing needs and especially for our full body camo suits. We also have special turkey hunting backpacks with attached seats.

Visit out Hunting Department to see our full display of Turkey decoys, including this year’s big hit decoy: Redheads’s new motorized Jake and Strutting Gobbler. Don’t forget our Camping Department where we have a full selection of Yeti coolers, including Yeti’s new soft side coolers, along with lots of other useful outdoor gear.

Our Footwear Department even has a full line of boots and socks to get you through the season.

Before hitting the field, let’s talk about a few things.

First, be sure to check the TPWD website and check the requirements for the county in which you are hunting. Make sure your gun is cleaned and ready to use.

Next, check your shotgun to make sure it’s ready to go. A good cleaning is always a good idea before hitting the field. And be sure to check your choke tube to get the best pattern (Note: be sure to use a good choke tube lubricant before screwing the tube back in). At Bass Pro Shops we have a full selection of choke tubes, cleaning supplies, and we are fully stocked with “Turkey Loads” for your shotgun.

For those trying out bow hunting for this season, visit our Archery Department and check out our selection of arrow heads that can make your hunt a successful hunt.

And if you haven’t picked up that 2014 – 2015 Texas Hunting or Fishing License yet, stop by our Customer Service Department and they will make sure you are ready to hit the field.

At Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Katy Mills Mall we wish you the best for outdoor adventure. And if you have some luck, stop by and tell us all about it, send pictures and stories to our facebook, or email them to bassprokaty@gmail.com, we’d love to hear from you.






Check it Out List: Bow Fishing

OK! I promise this will be the last bow fishing blog for a while! Sheesh! I know it was bad enough doing this month’s Fishy Fact blog about bowfin, but you can’t blame me. Bow fishing is really awesome. It is one of the few sports that combine two distinctly different outdoor passions into one (archery and fishing). It is also one of the few things that have gone from survival technique to big-league sport. I haven’t seen the International Fire Starters Championship, but there definitely is a U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship!









Your bow can either be a recurve style or a compound style. (I believe Burt Reynolds had a recurve in Deliverance.) Both have their advantages. The recurve is very easy to learn and pretty simple. The compound has more features and gadgets. Crossbow options are available as well. It all depends on you. You won’t have to take 70 yard shots or anything like that, so really just figure out what works for you. Most people go with a compound though.

Hey, ever wonder what happens to all those bows we get from trade-in specials? Well we donate ours to a non-profit group that turns them into bowfishing rigs. So if you can get your hands onto an older bow for cheap, this might be a good option too!

The reel attaches to your bow and holds the line. The line is attached to your arrow. So hypothetically you would spot a fish, fire your arrow and (hopefully) hit the fish. You would then reel your line in, bringing the arrow and fish right back to you. This is nice, because if you miss you can simply reel it back in. Anybody who shoots archery will tell you what a pain it is losing arrows. Now the reel itself can be your standard set up, or one that closer resembles a spin-casting reel used for fishing.

Lines are pretty standard so it is whatever works best for you and your bow. Archery gear can be like anything else where it seems to prefer certain products. Just like your rifle might prefer certain manufacturer’s ammo.

The arrows don’t have any fletching, mostly because they don’t need them. The shots taken while bowfishing really are not that far. Once again, you’ll figure out what your bow likes as far as arrows go. Once you start looking at the different points, you’ll see a wide variety of options. It all kind of depends on what fish you will be going after and what you like shooting. But basically you will hit the fish and the blades will keep the fish from getting off as you reel in.

A big thing lately has been bowfishing for gators. Please note that you will need some heavy duty stuff for that, and it is best done with a guide. Seriously.

Accessories for bowfishing include gloves, scales, sunglasses, hats and all of your standard fishing accessories. Whether it be tools or apparel these are things you can pick up over time or use what you already have.



Picnics Gun Cleaning Game Care First Aid Kayaking Day Pack Trip Prep Range Time

Fishing Pack Boating Day Trip Camp Cooking  Dove Hunting Upland Hunting Tactical Clothing

Winter Camping Reloading


Healthy Hunter: Hunt Ready

So last month I talked about why it is important to be physically prepared for a hunt. This goes right along with the Healthy Hunter series of blogs. And one of my absolute favorite things to do is create workouts. I love it. Before I went on my first deer hunt I did a six-week regimen to make sure I was going to be ready for it. Sure I was mostly hunting out of stands and blinds, but still I wanted to be ready for anything! And besides, we have talked a lot about nutrition with these blogs so it’s about time to focus on the other part of health/fitness goals. Exercise!

So a little background before we get into the workout plan. This program involves both weight-lifting and cardio. Both are important to focus upon and can be a big help on a hunt. This workout is designed for inside a gym, but can also be done at home if you have the space/equipment. In one of the earlier blogs I wrote about how it is important to track yourself. Same goes for here. The goal is to increase time of cardio and weight/reps when lifting.

The human body is amazing at recovery. I remember hearing how we can withstand workouts that would kill a race horse. But be sure you know what you can handle before going all out. And if you need to change certain exercises, do so. Just be consistent whatever you chose to do.

Never lift weights on consecutive days. Give yourself a day of rest from lifting. I like to fill the rest-days with cardio. Make sure your exercises work from your largest muscle groups down to the smallest. So it’d be something like: Legs-Back-Chest-Shoulder-Triceps-Biceps-Core. Some will argue that your core is a larger group, but I like to finish focusing on this.

Don’t be afraid to take some of your gear to the gym with you. I did. Part of the workout is doing cardio with your hunting pack on and adding weight to it. This is a great way to see how noisy your zippers may be, or if the pack rubs on you or how to best distribute weight in it. Just be sure to spray your gear down with scent-eliminator.

This workout is for four days, which should anyone should be able to work in. This gives you plenty of time to rest. The workouts shouldn’t last longer than 45 minutes. Any longer than that and you probably aren’t doing your body any good.

Lifting Days

Aim for 3 sets of each exercise with 10-15 reps. Slowly increase the weight each week. Track your numbers. And like I said earlier, change any exercise that you need to. If you don’t want to do barbell rows then maybe dumbbell rows, just be consistent. Machines or body-weight variants are also completely acceptable.

Cardio Days

Use machines that you can adjust both resistance and positioning on. This way you can practice for going uphill and how hard the terrain might be. Wear your hunting pack on your back. (Leave the bow/rifle at home.) Figure out how much the pack will weigh for the majority of your trip. Use weights/rocks for half of that weight and work your way up to the full weight and then some over the six week period. If you would prefer to not do cardio in a gym then go hit the trails. That is a hundred times better than being stuck inside. Plus, you might get to climb over trees or stumble over rocks just like in the real world!

Hunt Ready Workout

Lifting Day One:

Squats – Pullups – Bench Press – Shoulder Flies – Triceps Extensions – Barbell Curls - Crunches

Cardio Day One:

30 minutes minimum. Increase speed, position or resistance every 5 minutes.

Lifting Day Two:

Deadlifts – Rows – Chest Flies – Shoulder Press – Dips – Hammer Curls - Planks

Cardio Day Two:

30 minutes minimum. Increase speed, position or resistance every 5 minutes.


Don’t know what those exercises are? Bodybuilding.com has a great library online full of these and more! Many of the exercises are also known as compound, because they hit a couple of muscle groups at the same time.

Be sure to think about any health concerns and probably talk to your doctor before beginning this program. But the benefits from doing this workout, or any before the hunt, could prove itself one of your most important tools out in the field.


Proper Motivation Personal Push Habits Track It Limits Simple Sides


Bowhunting Gobblers

Setting up a good headshot on a Tom has more to do with preparation than actual archery skill. The four areas to concentrate are; equipment and setup, coverage and presentation.


During the deer season many archers have their bows set up on a high draw weight. This is not necessary beneficial with hunting turkeys- especially headshots. Remember, you will be shooting at a closer range and therefore knowing your angle is more important than power of the bow. Moreover, in order to make a good headshot you will have to be already drawn back for a minute or two before the shot can be made. So therefore, a high-let-off bow would be more beneficial. You can top off your equipment with a good broad head. One that gives you 4inches in diameter coverage is perfect and more forgiving than small coverage types.



No matter what blind you choose, try setting it up the night before your morning hunt. Ensure that the blind is not silhouetted in a field by the morning sun or that you are not silhouetted inside the blind. Turkeys are very observant creatures and they pay attention to the finest details. For safety, make sure you have enough room in the blind to be confortable as well as shoot safely.


One of the most important elements is the decoy spread. You want that Tom to get close enough and sit still long enough to make that great headshot. Setting the Jake behind a submissive hen with 2-3 feeder hens in the spread could be the way to go. Finally, finish off this great spread with some good sound. Now, turkey calls have a lot to do with the user than the actual call. Some people are just not good at using some calls. Make sure you are using a call and practice using it to ensure that you are producing an authentic sound. Just like setting up a good fishing rig- presentation is everything. Wait for the shot! Wait until the Tom approaches the Jake and assumes his dominant position- it will be his last.