Planning Your Western Hunt

With any hunt you need to plan your hunt and hunt your plan. If you're thinking of heading out West to hunt, then that planning calls for unique prep work, both physically and mentally.

Hunting Lead Clint Grenier has hunted in 12 5 Tips for Planning a Western Huntstates, plus Canada, and has been Western hunting for the last 10 years. All of his hunts are unguided and on public land. The success of his hunts rely on how well he has prepared. Here are his top tips for planning your Western hunt.



Most Western tags are limited and are acquired by a drawing conducted in the previous winter through spring, so you have to think ahead. Some of these limited hunts can be drawn with 0 preference points to well over 20+ points for others. You gain preference points after you are unsuccessful in applying for a limited hunt.

Some over the counter tags are also available. However, these hunts and areas usually get hunted the hardest and will have the most competition from other hunters. Another good opportunity is to purchase leftover tags. Leftover tags are any surplus of tags that remain after the regular draw quotas are filled. State wildlife agencies will usually post these on their websites shortly after the draw has concluded, along with a date when they go on sale. If you have any questions, most western state wildlife agencies have “hunt planners” - customer service reps that are ready and willing to help you. They are extremely helpful and I encourage you to use this resource that's so readily available to you. 


A Western hunt is a completely different experience than most hunts in the Midwest or East. A typical hunt in the Midwest usually starts with waking up in your own bed, followed by a short drive to your hunting area, and then a short walk from there until you're hunting. Western hunting is more of a combination between hunting, camping, survival, and a marathon. Not only will you need proper hunting gear, you will also need specialized gear for all of these activities. From tents and sleeping bags to fire starters and water filters, there are a number of tools that are not even involved with the actual hunting part of the trip, but are essentials. Your pack, GPS, compass, and a good pair of boots are some other things that should be on your list.

Physical Preparation

Just like you need to be prepared with specialized equipment, you also need to be prepared for a different style of hunting, which can be very physically challenging. First of all, most hunting done in the West is conducted at much higher elevations then in the East. Being in good physical shape at 1,000 feet above seaRedHead RH5000 level is much different than being in shape at 10,000 feet above sea level. Many hunters have been humbled when they get in those elevations and then try to navigate through some of the roughest country anywhere. In addition to the rough country and elevation, a hunter in the West will have to carry much of that specialized gear, water, and food with them on their back. With densities of game animals lower than in many other parts of the country, you may be carrying everything for miles to find the game you're looking for. Also, remember that, once you are successful, even more work and physical exertion will be required to get the meat out. The short story here is to try to get in the best shape you can long before the hunt arises. The better shape you are in the more you will enjoy it and the better chance you give yourself to be successful.


After you have figured out where and when you are going, the next step is to learn as much as possible to help your chances of being successful. If at all possible, try to plan a summer trip/vacation to the area. It’s hard to beat first-hand experience and knowledge of an area. Try to cover as much ground as possible searching for new or even old signs. One thing to remember in the West is that animals can migrate to different areas or elevations at different times of the year. Just because animals or signs aren't present or fresh, it doesn’t mean they won’t be there when hunting seasons come around.

With most people having to travel for a Western hunt, planning a scouting trip may be hard or impossible to do. This is where scouting from your computer or picking up the phone can be beneficial. You can find tons of information from state wildlife agency websites or by talking to their hunt planners on the phone. Examples of some of the information available there are:

  • Migration routes
  • Hunter success rates
  • Unit maps and borders
  • Draw odds
  • Populations and density maps

Other good places for information are State and Federal forest offices, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices, and also by viewing maps on Google Earth or Google Maps.


Field Care

Field care of meat and trophies is similar anywhere you go, but can be different in the West because of the circumstances. For example, when someone harvests a deer in the Midwest, a common practice is to field dress it where it expires, take it home whole in your vehicle, then hang it up until you are ready to process or take to the processor. On a Western hunt, more often than not, you will not be able to drive a vehicle to the spot where an animal expires. The animal will have to be quartered and packed out on a pack designed to carry meat. The meat is usually placed in game bags that allow it to cool, but also keep it clean. Be sure to Game Bagsread up on the techniques of quartering and sometimes even deboning to reduce weight. Many Western hunters will not even field dress their animal, but instead use a “gutless” method when quartering their animals. It would also be beneficial to know the proper technique of caping out your animal, if it is something that you intend to take to your taxidermist.


Remember, a Western hunt takes the term "planning your hunt" to a whole new level. From tags, to gear, to studying and physically preparing, with proper planning you can go West and hunt successfully.


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An Appalachian Fly Fishing Adventure

Rod WotenBy Rod Woten
Local Pro Staff
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

I’m very fortunate that the company I work for has a facility in Luray, Virginia, that I get to travel to a couple of times every year.  Luray sits in the Shenandoah Valley nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not long after I started traveling to Luray, I learned of the tiny brook trout that live in the mountain streams around Luray. For a fly angler, to catch a truly wild trout is one of the ultimate goals, even if it is something the size of these small brook trout that come from the small streams up in the mountains. Ever since I first heard about these fish, I’ve been doing research and putting together a plan for that trip where I might have some free time to fish up in the mountains. Finally, I had the opportunity. I was able to time my trip, so that I arrived in the area early on Sunday afternoon, which would leave me plenty of time to fish before checking into my hotel that evening and heading to work at the Luray facility first thing Monday morning. After extensive research, I finally decided that Jeremy’s Run would be the stream I would target. 

Jeremy’s Run appealed to me for several reasons:

  • It was in relatively close proximity to Luray, which would minimize my drive time. 
  • It seemed that fishing Jeremy’s Run was pretty decent year-round, as long as water levels stayed up. 
  • Of all the streams I researched, Jeremy’s Run had some of the best access.  Since time was a premium for me, the less time spent hiking meant the more time I could spend fishing.  Also because I was flying, I was very limited in what I could bring along for gear.  My packable wading boots made the trip, but there just wasn’t room for waders or much other additional gear.

I arrived at the Elk Wallow Picnic wayside along Skyline Drive later that afternoon.  After getting my rod rigged and slipping on my wading boots, I began the trek down the mountain to find Jeremy’s Run. To get to Jeremy’s Run, I actually had to follow the Appalachian Trail, until the intersection with Jeremy’s Run Trail, which was an adventure in itself.  I’ve always wanted to hike the AT, and now I can say that I have. 

It seemed like forever before I finally reached the concrete pillar that designates the intersection of the AT and Jeremy’s Run Trail. I was actually starting to wonder if I had missed it or taken the wrong trail altogether. TheAppalachian Trail marker directions said it was a short hike to the intersection, but apparently the author’s idea of a short hike and mine are two very different things.  From that point on, I added distance to every mention of distance in the directions I was following. Even once I was on Jeremy’s Trail, I still had thoughts that I had taken a wrong turn or maybe Jeremy’s Run had gone dry, because it took what seemed like an eternity before I could even hear the sound of running water. Somewhere in the deep heavily forested ravine that was now on my right was Jeremy’s Run. I wondered how I would even get down to the stream to fish it, and how brook trout could live in the little trickle I was hearing. I continued on, losing altitude as I went, which also brought me to the startling realization that it would take me a lot longer to hike out than it did for me to hike in. The entire time I was awestruck by my surroundings…millipedes as big as a Sharpie everywhere, mushrooms and fungus the likes of which I had never seen, a thick mossy carpet on every rock and massive hardwood trees that were probably as old as our nation. 

I, also, constantly had the thought of bears in the back of my mind. I had noticed two road kill bears on the highway on my way into Front Royal, so I knew that they were on the move and a bear encounter was a real possibility. On one hand, I thought it would be cool to see my first black bear in the wild, but on the other it was situation that I’m not sure I really wanted to have to deal with…especially if it was a sow with cubs.  Regardless, I soldiered on and eventually the trail flattened out, the forest opened up a bit, and Jeremy’s Run had grown much larger. Suddenly the trail ended abruptly at the side of the stream only to resume on the opposite side. I had arrived. 

Immediately to my right was a small pool with a small waterfall above it consisting of rocks and years’ worth of accumulated logs. As I looked further upstream, the entire stream appeared to be made up of this endless series of pools with a drop and small riffle into the next pool. The gradient must have been very steep, because the pool about 100 yards upstream of me was at my line of sight or slightly higher. It was truly a weird feeling looking at that pool of water that was over my head only a short distance away. 

The pool I was on appeared to be about mid-calf deep at its deepest point near the face of the log jam. I roll-casted my hopper-dropper rig into that general area of the pool and, before I could blink, a flash erupted from under the log jam and attempted to inhale my foam grasshopper from the surface of the water. I was so surprised that I totally whiffed on the hookset!  Undaunted, I rolled the hopper back into the same spot. Once again the flash came out, but this time I was ready. I flexed the rod backwards and employed my best strip-set, only to come up empty again. I got a better look at the brookie this time, however, and ascertained that my hopper was too big for him to get in his mouth. I quickly snipped the hopper-dropper from my tippet and threaded on my old reliable elk hair caddis. I roll-casted into that same spot in the pool several more times but the brookie was onto me now and refused to come out again. I crawled my way overWild Brook Trout that log jam and proceeded upstream to the next pool.

It was similar to the previous pool only not quite as deep and with more rocks lining its bottom. I flipped the EH Caddis towards the head of the pool and it was immediately met by an olive green flash. I set the hook and immediately felt weight on my line. I could tell just by the feel that this brookie was larger than the one that outwitted me on the previous pool. I stripped line to bring the brookie to hand and eventually landed a nice 6” wild mountain brook trout!  There is a 9” minimum for keepers on Jeremy’s Run, so, after a quick photo, I slid the fish back into the edge of the pool and he quickly darted from my hand and disappeared back in to the stones littering the bottom. I worked my way upstream repeating this process, catching one or two in every pool before moving along.  Unfortunately, none were as big as the six-incher I landed right off the bat.

This was absolutely some of the most physically demanding fishing I had ever done. This was due not only to the strenuous hike in (and OUT!), but due to all the crawling over, under, or through log jams to get from pool to pool, scaling boulders and tripping over smaller rocks as I waded. The pools are much different than what I was used to at home as well. The deepest ones were only about knee deep and some only as big around as a laundry baskets. It was amazing that these fish can thrive in such small waters. It also made me realize how nice of a fish my 6” brook trout was. The brookies didn’t hesitate to rise to a dry fly, often doing so with fury. If you missed one though, they usually don’t give you a second chance. If you let too much line fall on the pool, or even cast your shadow over the pool, you could forget about getting a rise from that pool as well. 

Twilight began to creep down the mountain, so, with reluctance, I stopped casting, stowed my fly rod and began the hike back up the mountain to my rental car. The hike out was even more strenuous than I had feared. My leg muscles were already sore from all the acrobatics required to fish the stream, as well as working them to control my speed on the hike down, so they began to burn in earnest on the way out.  Somewhere along the way, the barred owls began hooting, which caused me to quicken my step as much as I could. I began to look for my boot tracks from the hike down in the muddy spots of the trial. This not only occupied my mind, but also assured me that I was on the right path.  I actually began to piece this write up together in my head as I walked. I also began to make a game of noting things along the trail…deer track…another millipede…a cairn left by some previous angler…colorful mushrooms…another of my boot prints…bear track… 

Wait…WHAT?!?!?!  BEAR TRACK!! My heart began to race, and I felt the hair stand up on the back of my Bear trackneck. To make matters worse, the perfectly shaped bear track overlapped my boot track from the hike in, so I KNEW that bear had been through there within the past few hours. The single track was SO perfect that I actually thought to myself for a second that someone else was playing a trick on me. Then I realized that I had not seen or heard another soul since I left my car on Skyline Drive. Needless to say, I picked up the pace even more. I as moving as fast as my muscles, heart, and lungs would carry me, but it still didn’t seem to be enough. I was deep in thought trying to determine how much longer I could keep up this pace, when I saw a black streak going up a tree about 100 yards ahead of me. I stopped in my track to see a black bear cub perched at the top of an old dead pine. Within a few seconds, a second cub popped its head out from the other side of the topless tree. Drat! The exact scenario I didn’t want to have happen was playing out before my very eyes. I noticed motion at the base of the tree and then heard the grunting between the cubs and the movement on the ground. The momma bear! My head raced….was she blocking the trail? If so, how do I get back to my car? The forest is way too thick for me to bushwhack and I’d probably just get lost. I slowly eased my way around the corner of the trail to get a better assessment of the situation and spotted the large black mass shuffling around the bottom of the tree. Luckily they were all about 30 yards off the left side of the trail so I didn’t have to worry about coming between her and her cubs. Based on that information, I quickly decided to put my head down and try to scoot past the trio as quickly as I could, attempting to project that I hadn’t even seen them. I was hoping that once they realized I was not a threat, I could just breeze on by. With determination, I stepped out to the middle of the trail and began to move forward with purpose. Within about three steps, the mother bear caught sight of me and bolted into the underbrush the opposite direction of the trail. I let out a slight sigh of relief, but kept right on truckin’ until I got back to the asphalt below the parking lot where I left the car.

It took me a good half day to recover, but, by Monday afternoon, I had already decideWild Brook Troutd to fish Jeremy’s Run from the other direction, starting at the bottom and working my way up. My theory was that I could squeeze that in after work, since it wouldn’t take me nearly as long to drive or hike to the stream. I found good fishing almost immediately and started catching brookies within sight of the bridge over Jeremy’s Run at the start of the trail. The hiking was much easier on the way in and the stream was much wider, flatter and generally easier to fish. I even found a nice pool with an old root ball in the middle of it, where I caught several brookies in a row, including at least a couple that were as big as my big brookie from the day before. I continued to hike upward and fish, wherever the trail was close to the stream. One particular stretch that wandered quite a ways from the stream felt very much like prime bear territory to me. Eventually, I reached a spot where the stream became very narrow and rugged…much more like what I had fished the day before. By that time the sun was starting to set and my legs were in no shape for more log jam wrestling or boulder hopping, so I turned around and headed back to the car. When I reached the spot that felt very bear-like to me on the way in, I spotted the tail end of a smaller, single bear as it crashed into the underbrush headed away from me.  In just two days I went from never having seen a black bear in the wild to having seen four! I arrived back at my car a short time later and brought my Appalachian adventure to an end.

I feel very blessed to have been able to fish in the mountains on this trip. Jeremy’s Run is definitely a stream I will visit again. There are lots of other sections of it I’d like to fish yet. I chuckle now thinking about all the reports that said Jeremy’s Run is one of the most accessible streams in the Blue Ridge Mountains. If that’s the case, I have to wonder what the less accessible streams are like! While the 6” brookies I caught are decent fish by small mountain stream standards, I know there are larger brookies up there, so I’m bound and determined to catch a 9-inch one some trip yet to be planned.


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Summer Time Is Mosquito Time

Mosquito Florida has its fair share of critters as any visitor knows, and there's one in particular we tend to grow in prehistoric sizes and unbelievable numbers.  You’d swear the air around you is buzzing with electricity when you visit swampy or damp locations anytime around dusk or into the night, but it only takes a few moments to realize that buzzing is anything but friendly.

We’ve got some mammoth mosquitos round these parts and this time of year can be especially troublesome for those of us who spend our time outdoors where they live and breed.  Mosquito Lagoon earned its name the hard way and anyone trying to launch a canoe through the bushes at sunup is quickly going to realize we aren’t kidding around with the blood sucking pestilence.

The recent outbreak of the Zika virus has brought new attention to the problem because of its effects on pregnant women and their unborn children.  The CDC has issued a travel alert related to Zika and recommended that pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to any country where active transmission is ongoing.  Most of the cases of infection have occurred in tropical or sub-tropical countries but there have been a number of them in the United States and we need to get a handle on the issue with summer right around the corner.

Ultrathon SprayFlorida Department of Health recommends travelers take the following steps to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535.  Always use as directed.  Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are safe for pregnant and nursing women and children older than 2 months when used according to the product label. Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under 3 years of age.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents).
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.


The Department of Health also recommends taking the following precautions around the house to limit areas where mosquitos can breed unchecked:

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
  • Maintain the water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.


Mosquito borne illnesses aren’t anything to play with especially when unborn children are concerned.  We’ve weathered this type of problem before and researchers are working very hard to come up with solutions, but we should all take steps to protect ourselves.  Follow the steps recommended by the CDC and the Departments of Health so that you and your family will be safer this summer.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

Made in the USA for your Feet

What do you have that's Made in the USA? We get that question a lot. While we carry many items that are made in the USA, here are some you may not realize - socks.

Many folks are familiar with our Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose RedHead socks. If they wear out, you can return them any time, without a receipt and at any Bass Pro Shops location (or online), and receive a free pair.

Did you also know they are made in the USA? All of our RedHead socks for men, the Natural Reflections Lifetime Guarantee sock for ladies, and Ascend brand socks are made in the USA. That includes RedHead cotton crews to Mountain Bear to Treestand to Extreme Cold to the RedHead CoolMax liner socks, plus more! Here are a few favorites starting with the king - the RedHead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose socks for men.

RedHead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose SocksLifetime Guarantee Socks

I left off the "for men" on the heading, because I wear these and I'm not a guy. However, I wear them as slipper socks in the house. They are heavy-duty, warm, and are reinforced at the heel, toe, and in the arch - those stress zones. I love my RedHead socks, especially in the winter or a cold spring like we're having so far!

My husband does wear these socks for hunting and likes the warmth they provide along with a good pair of boots.

They are a best seller and for good reasons - Made in the USA, you buy one pair and you never have to buy another, and they provide durable warmth.

natural reflections socksLifetime Ladies Natural Reflections Sock

Not wanting something as thick as the sock for men? Then try the Lifetime Ladies Natural Reflections socks. All the same great features and benefits of the men's version, but simply a little less bulky.

Lifetime Guarantee Lightweight Quarter Socks

This is my go-to sock in the winter - in quarter or calf sizes - for work here at the store. Not too heavy, extra cushioning on the heels and, of course, a lifetime guarantee!

Last, but not least, the Ascend Hiker Quarter SockAscend Socks

My very favorite. Although I'm not hiking mountains and trails, I am hiking around the store a LOT! The Merino wool, nylon, and elastic yarn blend make them comfortable, flexible and durable. Plus they are what Bass Pro calls FARM TO FEET - the merino wool is 100% American grown, coupled with all-American nylon and elastic yarns, and produced in the Carolinas.

Doesn't get much more Made in the USA than that.


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Cleaning Up After Range Time

                               Gun Takedown

Spending time at the range is part a big part of our family weekend plans, so guess what needs to be done once all the shooting is over and the last piece of brass has hit the floor.  Cleaning up all those weapons generally falls on my shoulders and even though my wife will take care of her own, I get the rest.  An AR, two pistols, and one revolver can take a bit of time and a good amount of cleaning materials but it has to be done if we want the guns to perform every time we pull the trigger. 

Being a little obsessive compulsive can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to cleaning guns but everyone reaches a point during the job when they have to say enough is enough.  My father kept his hunting guns spotless when they were put away in the cabinet and I've tried to live up to his expectations after all these years.  Even today, all of our guns get a thorough cleaning ever time they hit the range or the field and get a complete wipe down after being handled.

Watch any military film that includes scenes from Marine Corps or Army boot camp and you'll surely see drill instructors reinforcing (in not so friendly terms) the need for keeping the recruit's weapon spotless, and it's not just idle talk intended to degrade a young person's family lineage.  It could ultimately be a matter of life and death for that young soldier or Marine during a time of intense battle because dirty weapons are more prone to failure than those that have been faithfully maintained. It's no less important for those of us that carry on a daily basis for personal protection or folks that have firearms for home protection.  Here are a couple more reasons for keeping your favorite firearm clean:

  • Clean and properly lubricated weapons function efficiently and as designed.  Conversely, dirty and/or dry working mechanisms slow down and work harder because of added friction.  Firearm springs and other mechanical parts are designed to work within a certain set of tolerances, sometimes with very little room for error, so excessive dirt or grime may cause malfunctions like failures to extract, eject, go into battery, or even worse.  
  • Well cleaned and preserved weapons endure harsh environmental conditions better.  Extreme cold, heat, or humidity can cause dirty mechanisms to become gummy and sticky which could potentially cause them to lock up.
  • Clean and properly lubricated weapons maintain their appearance better and hold more resale value.  Human finger prints and perspiration can cause unprotected steel to rust with exceptional speed, marring the visual appearance and decreasing the guns value.
  • It's easier to spot broken or damaged parts when the gun and its mechanisms are clean and clear of carbon, lead, brass, or copper deposits.

​So, as you can see, there are multiple reasons why you should include a cleaning kit, solvent, lubricants, and rags to your range bag or bugout bag along with your favorite firearm.  Every gun manufacturer has it's own "Best Practices" and you should follow them to the greatest extent possible but you'll soon find out that they're all about the same.  A clean gun will function properly for many years to come and you shouldn't have to worry about preventable malfunctions.

Get out there and shoot as much as possible and enjoy yourself.  Just be sure to take care of your investment once you get home, and remember that a clean gun is a gun that will perform when you need it whether in a defensive situation or I the field.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando 




Winter Car Kit

When it comes to severe winter storms with SNOW, we've been pretty lucky so far. However, we know the worst could be yet to come. It's easy to put together a winter survival kit for your car and let's hope the opportunity never arises for the need to use it. But, it's always better to BE PREPARED! As I drive Interstate 80 every day back and forth to work, I'm thankful my husband always reminds me to have these supplies in case I ever went in the ditch.

Snowbrush/ice scraper (common sense on this one - no one who lives in a state that has annual snowfall should be without one of these in their car. Absolutely no reason)

Small shovel - to dig yourself out or to clear the snow away from the tailpipe if you go in the ditch.

Tote with the following:

  • LED Flashlight
  • Stocking cap
  • Thick scarf
  • Face mask
  • Two pairs of gloves
  • Hot Hands
  • Toasti-Toes
  • Hot Hand Body Warmers
  • Two blankets
  • Food - Jerky, some sort of granola or protein bars, candy bars (DON'T sneak into the tote and eat them!)
  • Water
  • Candle/matches
  • Toilet Paper - and I have a Go Girl "feminine urination device."

I think I will a small power bank for my phone, like the Realtree Ultra Slim Power Bank. While I try to make sure my phone is fully charged before heading out, you never say never! Another good addition may be the Eton® Self-Powered Weather Alert Radio, which comes with an LED flashlight and USB charger. It would be handy to have for spring and summer severe weather, too!

Take time to throw together even some basic items before the next snow/ice storm hits. You may be thankful you had the one extra blanket and bag of jerky!


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Duck Hunter be prepared for Cold Weather with a Quality Pair of Waders from Redhead...

I just got back from a duck hunting trip to Arkansas and learned quality waders are a must. I was warm for the duration of the hunt, almost to warm at times. A few of my hunting buddies came home and went straight to Bass Pro Shops to purchase a new pair waders. Why you might ask? Because warm and dryness are extremely important when duck hunting.  I would recommend the new RedHead Canvasback Extreme Waders because they are really comfortable and will keep you dry. The breathable material allows for the most freedom of movement of any waders I’ve worn. The upper chest area has a small hand-warmer pocket that is an incredible idea. The shoulder straps are neoprene and were very comfortable.

The facts: Built to last for men with great durability and protection in the blind or marsh. Laminated, ultra-rugged SpanTough outer material and waterproof 5 mm neoprene naturally insulates and offers great resistance to punctures and abrasion from brush and briars. A generous cut and new crotch design delivers a more comfortable fit and greater movement while bending and squatting. The wader's boots feature wool felt midsoles and 1,600 gram 3M Thinsulate Ultra insulation to shield your feet from the cold. These waders also feature a fleece-lined handwarmer pocket, chest pocket with waterproof cell phone pouch, zip utility pocket, and magnetic utility pocket. 3 mm neoprene fully lines boot foot. Molded rubber outsoles provide superior traction. Average weight: 13 lbs.

  • Warm, waterproof, and durable waders for hardcore waterfowler hunters
  • Rugged uppers made of SpanTough laminated to 5 mm neoprene
  • Generous cut for comfortable fit and easier movement
  • Wool felt midsoles and 1,600 gram 3M Thinsulate Ultra insulation in boots for warmth
  • Fleece-lined handwarmer pocket
  • Chest pocket with waterproof cell phone pouch
  • Zip utility pocket
  • Magnetic utility pocket
  • Molded rubber outsoles


Overall, I give these waders an A+ on the Branch scale. The suggested retail is $249.99 at your local Bass Pro Shops or online at


About the Author:

Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer and prostaffer for Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Lawrenceville, GA. He retired as a Lieutenant/Paramedic/Firefighter with Gwinnett County Fire, GA after 29 years of service in 2013. He is currently a contracted employee with NAVICO/Lowrance working as the College Fishing Recruiter. He has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 20 years. He and his beautiful wife, Kim live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab Jake. They volunteer with Operation One Voice (501c3) (


Take a Couple Hours: Quail Hunting

So months ago I wanted to start up a new blog series about getting in some good outdoor activities with only a few hours to do it in. I started it with an urban fishing trip but unfortunately have not been able to follow it up. Until now! Or should I say this past weekend? A group of buddies and I set some time aside to take part in one of my absolute favorite outdoor activities, quail hunting! We all needed a little break and a lot of fresh air, and this trip did just that! Let’s begin…

Well, first things first let us look at the gear. There were five of us going, and this was going to be the first trip for my buddy’s father’s bird-dog. He had to bring all sorts of other gear that, luckily, I didn’t need to hassle with. The rest of us needed: a hunting license, shotgun, ammo, appropriate clothing, snacks and water.

Don’t have an Arizona Hunting License yet? Pick one up at Game and Fish’s website. You do not need a Migratory Bird stamp to hunt quail, but of course read over the rules and regulations before you head out. (Limit is 15 birds a day this year… good luck filling that though!)

When I talk about appropriate gear, you need to consider where you will be hunting and when. What is the weather going to be like? Is it snake season? (It was cold out so we didn’t have to worry so much about those, but I was still looking where I was stepping.) Dress in layers so you can add on or take off clothes accordingly. Make sure to have some sort of blaze on you (hat, shirt, vest, etc.) so you are easier to spot by your own group and others. Bring a bird/shell vest! Only two of us had bird-vests, so we were doomed to be the pack-mules. I picked up the Browning Upland Strap Vest a year or two ago. Just like the new bird-dog, this was her maiden voyage as well. And I absolutely loved it! Fit nice and secure. Everything was able to be adjusted to me. Held plenty of shells and miscellaneous gear, including water bottles and snacks in the back pouch.

And wear good boots! The areas we hunted had a whole mix of landscapes and ground. Soft sand, hard rock and everything in between. And everything up and down! We went over too many hills to count. Having on my good boots made a world of difference that day… and the ones that followed.

We had a few 12 gauges and a couple 20’s between us. We made sure to keep the two kinds of shells separate, as everyone should! Don’t just rely on the concept that “yellow shells = 20 and red shells = 12”, always double-check! Most of us were shooting size 8, but I had a couple random 7.5s to shoot through as well. Good ol’ Dori the Citori will pretty much eat anything I toss down her!

We pulled off to our first location, and after squelching a minor political discussion we were engaged in, my buddy’s father started the hunt off with a safety meeting. Everyone should do this every time. We talked about watching line-of-fire, when to load/unload, who was going to be where and so on.

Also to not shoot his dog. (There is a special level downstairs for those who break this commandment. Somewhere between lawyers and people who leave shopping carts all caddy-wampus in cart corrals.) This meant no aiming at ground birds, no matter the circumstance, so the plot thickened.

And then to make sure we kept our line consistent. You should always be able to see the person to either side of you and them like-wise. This is where wearing blaze comes in handy. Only two of us were in blaze and with all the hills, washes and whatnot it was easy to lose sight of one another.

The hunt began literally with a BANG! Not more than fifteen yards from the truck, I flushed a couple quail and showed the rest of the group how good I am at shooting under flying birds! We kept moving. It is always a delight watching a bird dog work, and she was no different. This was her first time though, so she was rather timid and not used to the terrain. She had been trained by a professional and graduated top of her class, but the real world is different.

As we made our way, we bumped into something quite large that was just as startled by us. It was a small herd of wild horses! They wanted nothing to do with us and quickly scurried up a hill. One hung out long enough for me to get a picture. He probably knew that I worked for Bass Pro and would include him in a blog. We also bumped into an owl a little ways down the area.

We kept on the flurry-sound of a covey of quail that proved to everyone how hard those little guys are to hunt. They led us all the way to the border of state land, where all we could do is watch as they lounged about in the safety of their new home for the next short while.

We worked our way back towards the trucks and kicked up a few more birds, but no one was able to connect. One bird might have a sore rump though! At the trucks, we caught our breath, rested our feet, hydrated, snacked and started the next game plan. The bird-dog had had quite enough and was done for the day (ground birds are good-to-go!) but had well-earned her rest! She, and a few of us, would have some sore feet the next day.  She may not have gotten on point, but the experience from this trip and those to follow was important for her to gain.

Our next destination wasn’t that far up the way, but did give us plenty of time to talk guns and country music. We came to the revelation that the song Parking Lot Party is more or less the sequel to Redneck Yacht Club, because the people who were partying on the lake weren’t ready to go home yet and just moved it to some asphalt. This probably also gave ample time for my buddy and his dad to discuss such important topics like marriage and what arguments they let us think we win, because the one buddy has his wedding in a couple months.

At the new spot we hopped out and loaded up. We chose a hill in the distance and worked our way towards it. Those on the right side of the line took a few steps before bumping into a mule deer doe, which is pretty neat. I bumped into a rock.

Nothing was really moving until we had gotten over a few more hills and then it was a flurry of excitement. I noticed a nice sized covey moving along in front of us and something caught my peripheral. A couple mule deer does gave me the “See ya!” by bounding away, white rumps shown proudly. Watching the wonders of nature always makes me smile, but we were on a mission! With targets in sight, we closed in on them but came just about as close as the last place.

Clouds moved in and rain started trickling down. It was time to start heading back. In one area, I bumped a few and was able to put down a quail and recover. My buddy’s dad got one in the same area, but couldn’t recover it. One of the guys got himself a nice sized jackrabbit as well! He didn’t have a vest, so being the sport he is, the other of us two pack-mules hoofed it out for him. On the final leg of the trip back, my buddy got a bird and recovered it. And he found a nice little deer shed! Not a bad way to end the day.

We cleaned the animals and headed back towards town. After some grub I had to rush home. The missus wanted to take Christmas card photos, and I was definitely not going to be allowed to have bloody jeans in them! But before I took off, we all were able to take a second and breathe while appreciating what an awesome day we had. And make some verbal semi-contracts to get out next weekend!



This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Santa Arrives!

The elves are working hard to prepare Santa's Wonderland for Santa's arrival on November 14.

Thursday and Friday, Nov. 12 and 13 - Poppies!

Members of VFW Post 738 will be on hand to answer questions and distribute Buddy Poppies. The Buddy Poppy is the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Free will donations will be accepted.


Saturday, November 14, 5 p.m. - Santa arrives and we cut the ribbon on Santa's Wonderland 2015!

For the 7th year in a row, we are using the Bass Pass system at Santa's Wonderland. Due to the popularity of Santa at our store, the Bass Pass holds a virtual spot in line for you, so you can avoid long waits in line!



While you're shopping, why not donate to our Warm Kids Campaign!


Warm Kids Campaign!

Bring NEW hats, gloves, and boots for ages 4-12 to Bass Pro Shops Altoona for distribution in the Southeast Polk school district! Our kids need to be warm this winter and the schools need the "extra" warm items to help out the students. We'd like the public to donate, but we've also started the Warm Kids Challenge and are asking some of our community partners to step up to the plate! Join us the fun and help keep our kids warm!



Coming Up?

Super Saturday/Super Sunday Weekend with Toys for Tots!


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A Simple Guide to Ice Fishing Gear

Gearing Up for Ice Fishing

We have collected a list of essential products you’ll need for gearing up for Ice Fishing this winter. We think this may be the last list you'll ever need!

Eagle Claw Retractable Safety Picks

  • Essential safety gear for ice fishing (in case the ice gives way beneath you)
  • Pull yourself to safety over slick, wet ice
  • Retractable heads cover the sharp picks
  • Super-grip EVA handles provides a secure hold
  • Full-length, non-stretch lanyard for instant access
  • Compact, lightweight, and convenient to carry

Eagle Claw Stainless Steel Chain Ice Cleats

  • Easy on, easy off over-the-boot design
  • Provides traction to help prevent slipping and sliding on ice
  • Durable stainless steel cleats will never rust
  • Made tough for extreme conditions
  • Comes in 2 sizes (Large fits 6-10, XLarge fits 10-13)

Plano 725 Bucket Top StowAway Organizer

  • Ideal for ice, shore and pier anglers
  • Fits on top of standard 5-gallon buckets
  • Two levels of storage
  • Top two storage tray with six compartments apiece (great for weights, bobbers & other tackle)
  • Second level can be used for bulk storage space
  • Cut-out detail for interior bucket access
  • Can be used as a live bait bucket
  • 12”x12”x2.75”

Bass Pro Shops® Bucket Caddy

  • Easy-access storage pockets for essential tackle & gear (lures, gloves, tools)
  • Adjustable strap to ensure the caddy fits tightly on a 5 gallon bucket
  • Includes beverage holder

Bass Pro Shops® Ice Hole Skimmer - 18''

  • ·Practical choice for an economy-minded ice fisherman
  • ·Strong, durable & lightweight
  • ·Features a large plastic scoop and a long aluminum handle and hook for ease-of-use.


Bass Pro Shops® Chipper Skimmer Ice Fishing Tool

  • Corrosion-resistant metal
  • Convenient because it combines an ice-chipping chisel and ice skimmer
  • Easy to transport
  • Measures 24”

Bass Pro Shops Ice Rod Holder

  • Sturdy wire construction allows it to stand up to the elements, season after season
  • Puts rod in position
  • Designed to fit most ice rod handles
  • V shaped base to keep everything steady

Bass Pro Shops Excel Ice Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

  • 100% fluorocarbon (it’s pure PVDF line, not just coated, so its abrasion resistance is outstanding)
  • Consistent diameter
  • Invisible to fish
  • Sinks exceptionally fast helping anglers acquire jigging rhythms easily
  • Low stretch provides maximum sensitivity making it easier to detect bites

Shakespeare Glacier Ice Combos

  • Equip ice anglers to fish a variety of situations for a variety of species with lightweight, sensitive rods that are convenient to use, even in the close quarters of an ice shelter.
  • Use a Shakespeare Glacier Ice Combo for Trout & Walleye

Reel features:

  • Long-stem for more convenient fishing with gloves
  • Angled rotor design
  • Ball-bearing drive
  • Aluminum spool
  • Cold gear lube for extreme conditions

Rod features:

  • Solid fiberglass construction
  • Stainless steel guides
  • EVA handle with graphite rings


Frabill Panfish Popper Ice Fishing Spinning Combo

  • These high-performance Panfish Popper Ice Fishing Spinning Combos from

    Frabill® are engineered to deliver increased strike detection and a solid hookset.
  • Comes in Ultra Light, Light & Extra Heavy Actions
  • For smaller trout/whitefish you’d want an ultralight/light action because they are light biters

Reel features:

  • 1 + 1 ball bearings
  • Infinite anti-reverse
  • Multi-disc, front-load drag
  • Chrome-plated, ABS spool
  • Tapered drag knob reduces line catch
  • Sub-Zero lube
  • Ambidextrous handle

Rod features:

  • Solid composite blank
  • Lightweight micro ice guides
  • Ultra-sensitive spring bobber
  • Tapered cork handle with blank-through construction

Ugly Stik® GX2 Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

·Use this combo for  Trout/Walleye & Small Pike

Reel features:

  • 1 ball bearing
  • Lightweight reinforced graphite body for stability in the cold
  • Cold forged aluminum spool for long term durability

Rod features:

  • Ugly Tech Construction
  • Ugly Tuff Guides
  • Graphite/fiberglass hybrid blank
  • 1-piece stainless steel hood
  • Clear tip for strength and sensitivity



Bass Pro Shops Extreme Spinning Reel

  • The EXS10 model can be paired with BPS 3’ Graphite series rod for pike & lake trout

  • Designed for mono or braid
  • Mag Spool Technology which utilizes a 30% wider spool than most standard spinning reels to deliver longer casts, better line lay, smoother drag & less twist.
  • Skeletonized rotor and frame for smooth resistance-free performance
  • 6-bearing system with Powerlock instant anti-reverse
  • Type ABEC 3 stainless steel bearings
  • Ultra-slim body design
  • Sealed aluminum frame and side cover
  • Carbon fiber sealed drag
  • Machined aluminum handle with Soft Touch PVC knob
  • Forged aluminum spool
  • Bass Pro 3’ Graphite Series Rod Benefits:
    • 3’ length makes it an excellent rod for pitching lures under docks, working areas with thick brush, kayak fishing & ice fishing for larger fish.
    • High-performing IM-6 Graphite blanks for strength and sensitivity
    • Complete with aluminum oxide guides & comfortable cork handles

Bass Pro Shops® Ice Arctic Angler Tip-Up

  • Affordable
  • Durable, weather resistant molded base and spool
  • Corrosion resistant stainless steel components
  • Integrated measuring board allows you to size up your catch quickly
  • Super sensitive trip mechanism
  • Highly visible strike indicator
  • Highly-visible and freeze-resistant strike indicator felt flag



Frabill® Pro-Thermal Tip-Up with Lil' Shiner Light

  • Unique shape seals the hole to keep blowing snow and slush out
  • Thick insulation covers the entire hole to prevent freeze-up & blocks unnatural light that could spook shallow water trophies
  • E-Z stow design allows you to stack tip-ups in a 5-6 gallon pail
  • Pre-lubed with Sub-Zero™ low-temp lube for smooth performance in icy temperatures
  • Flag lock keeps flag in an upright position and visible regardless of wind conditions
  • Spinner marker, reel handle, trip bar offers two trip settings-light or heavy
  • Large bait clip holds oversized baits to prevent false trips
  • Patented hook holder keeps hooks and terminal tackle from tangling
  • Removable spool shaft
  • Built-in tackle box

For more information and alternative options visit our website by clicking HERE but note that all prices are in USD.  For shipping within Canada we're more than happy to process orders at the store so make sure you give us a call!


Deer Hunting Tricks

Deer Hunting Tricks That Will Make You A Better Hunter


  1. Keep boots Dry

One of the quickest ways to dry them without heat is to set them on their side and stuff them full of newspaper. Putting them on their side increases their exposure to moving air and the newspaper will soak up the moisture. This method also has the added advantage of not shrinking your shoes like a fire can.


2. Lock up stands and remove climbing sticks

Nobody likes having their stuff stolen, especially not when you put in weeks of scouting and preparation. The easiest way to prevent tree stand theft is to put a cable lock around it and remove the lower portions of your climbing sticks. If you have a ladder, take that away as well. The key is to make it look like stealing your stand is not worth the effort.

3. Quite

How quiet are you when stalking of getting to your stand? One method to test that is to put half-empty containers of Tic Tacs in your pockets and go for a stroll. If you are making too much noise, you should slow down your gait until the jumbling mints are barely audible. If you can hear it so can the deer.

4. Sick? Stay Home

 Many hunters will  crawl their way to the treestand when they’re sick. After all, who wants to miss the season opener? Well, if you can’t stop coughing  you may want to stay at home. The noise you make will also drive away any deer regardless, and could spoil a hunting spot you have worked hard to establish.

5. Change into your hunting clothes after reaching the field

When you put on your hunting clothes at home, you give the fabric more time to pick up your scent, and just about every other scent that doesn’t belong in the woods. This is especially important if you plan on driving long distances to get to your favorite hunting spot. Wait until you get to the field and put on your camo clothes there. Be sure and use a good scent destroying spray. The best are dual powered with enzymes and some sort of nano silver.

6. Wind indicators

If a deer smells you will never see him. Be aware of the wind direction, swirling winds and direction changes due to weather patterns. Wind indicators such as the powder form and feathers seem to work the best and take up very little room in your gear.

7. Patience

Good things come to people who wait. Be prepared to stay out all day. Deer during the rut and pre-rut will move at different times, patterns will be thrown out the window if a hot doe is near by. Packing water and protein snacks will help keep you alert and out in the field.






Finding the right pair of rubber boots

With fall officially here and temperatures dropping that can only mean one thing... Winter is quickly approaching and snow will be on the ground before we know it.  Time to gear up!

What better way to get prepared than with a new pair of rubber boots? Rubber boots have many benefits and are very versatile. They are easy to slip on, easy to clean, completely waterproof.. the list goes on and on. 

We have many choices when it comes to rubber boots: Various brands, colors, heights, and insulation factors. As you can see there are many things to consider when looking for the perfect rubber boot.

First you want to decide on height... height ranges from clog style all the way up to a 16” (knee high) boot. Next you want to consider insulation. Do you want thinsulate which is an insulator or Neoprene that works with your body to keep you warm and cool you as needed.  The third most important is print. Do you want camouflage or a solid color? Once you have decided these 3 main things your search will become easier.


Like before mentioned, Rubber boots are a great winter boot because of there versatility and ease of wear. They can not only be used for a wet snowy day but also for your hunting excursions. They are extremely easy to slip on and off and they also offer the feature of being able to tuck your pants in so they also stay dry.  For more information and help with getting the perfect fit in the perfect new boot stop by your local Bass Pro Shops of Independence where we would be happy to assist you!  AND as always enjoy the great outdoors.

Check out these other great articles on boots!

Warm Boots - Protecting Your Feet

How to Insulate Properly: Hunting Boots

Chelsea McDaniel

Team Lead of Footwear


This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - 2015 Fall Hunting Classic

It's the second and LAST weekend of the Fall Hunting Classic! We welcome all those sportsmen and sportswomen who are ready for hunting season to begin! Be ready for dove, deer, and waterfowl!

This weekend it's all about the kids with another fantastic Next Generation Weekend, PLUS our popular Women in Hunting Seminar!

Next Generation Weekend - Aug. 29-30

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. both days!

  • 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day - Free youth archery workshops: "Let's Try Archery!"
  • Plus the BB Shooting Range and Archery Challenge!
  • Free Photo Download - Kids get a free photo on the cover of Bass Pro Shops Adventure Kids magazine or look like you're being photobombed by a deer! Your choice!
  • Free Crafts and giveaways, too!

While you're here take advantage of these trade-in opportunities and help others!

August 29, 3 p.m. - Women in Hunting

Join us to welcome Maria Young - Dressed to Kill TV, for our Women in Hunting seminar! Wife, huntress, mom of three young huntresses - she does it all and so can YOU! Learn about the fun and the challenges she has encountered being a woman in hunting and how she is getting her girls involved in hunting, too!


Hunting Boot Trade-in: Save up to $40! Donate hunting or rubber boots and receive a discount certificate to use towards the purchase of hunting boots Aug. 21-30. Boots MUST be in good working condition and will be donated to Soles 4 Souls.

Game Camera Trade-in: Donate a working game camera and save up to $100 on a new camera Aug. 21-30. Donated cameras must be in good condition and they will be donated to local organizations.

Scope Trade-in: Donate working riflescopes and receive up to $100 off the purchase of a new one! Donations will be passed along to local organizations.

Complete details on all promotions and events at!

Second Amendment Instant Savings on Guns and Safes!

Purchase a gun or safe with your Bass Pro Shops MasterCard and receive an instant saving up to $100!

Plus, enter for a chance to win a hunting trip to Argentina with Doug Koenig!


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6 Reasons The MUCK BOOT™ Brand Tops Its Competitors

The Original Muck Boot Company™ story began in 1999 with the main purpose of designing the most comfortable, best performance footwear on the market. The demand for a comfortable boot for use in muddy and hard conditions while working for a long time led to the design of The Original Muck Boot Company™ brand footwear. Each boot in the line is expected to give the same 100% waterproof quality and comfort that inspired the original boot design. In just a few years, the Muck Boot line has grown to nearly 40 styles of rubber and leather footwear, all designed to tackle tough conditions in markets including: work, agriculture, lawn and garden, outdoor sporting, equine and pet care. Today, the MUCK BOOT™ brand defines a standard of comfort and quality that is known to exceed the expectations of customers. Quickly establishing a strong and loyal customer base, the brand has become one of the fastest growing lines in the waterproof footwear market.


The MUCK BOOT™ brand is known for their high quality boots. They use the most premium rubber, neoprene (CR-Foam), and Airmesh™ linings in the footwear market. They do not skimp on their materials! Their CR-Foam bootie has a different construction, unique compared to their competitors, that provides the most extreme comfort. This allows the user to have comfort all day long. Unlike most boots, the MUCK BOOT™ brand products keep their original shape unlike other brands that become flimsy and wear down. They are easy on and off because of their shape and construction. Due to their products and shape of the boot, they tend to outlast the competition.


The MUCK BOOT™ products have a variety of features that sets them above other boot brands.

1. They are 100% Waterproof - Thanks to their CR-Foam Bootie Construction they are 100% Waterproof. The products are lightweight, flexible, buoyant and waterproof from top to bottom. It is self-insulating and keeps the user's foot and lower leg warm and protected in cold and wet conditions. Whether you are cutting down trees in the snow or jumping in puddles, your feet will stay dry, warm and protected.


2. They Let Your Feet Breathe - They feature a Breathable Airmesh™ Lining. This lining gives extreme comfort and breathability by wicking away humidity and perspiration. It is made up of thousands of tiny vertical fibers that let the air circulate throughout the interior lining surfaces.


3. They Feature a Durable, Yet Lightweight Shell - The footwear brand features a Natural Rubber Upper Overlay in which the vulcanization bonds the rubber pieces together to form an exceptionally durable shell that also remains lightweight. It acts as the protective skin for the upper bootie and it is made of high abrasion natural rubber so the boot remains flexible for years. No matter how hard you are on your boots, they will hold up for years down the road.


4. They are the Perfect on the Go Boot - They are Hands-Free Easy On and Easy Off. The 10 mm kick rim and pull tab makes it easy to remove. At the same time, the sturdiness and stretch of the boot from the CR-Foam bootie makes it easy to step into the boot without having to pull it on. This is perfect for when you are on the go or have your hands full when heading out. There's no more laces and the boot will slide right on.


5. Easy Cleaning for the Hard-Worker - The boots are easy to clean after a hard, messy days of work. The rubber shell and nylon upper are very durable and can be cleaned simply by a spray of water or gentle scrub of soap and water. Armorall® can be used to protect the upper overlays. They can easily be cleaned even after the messiest of jobs.


6. The Additional Comfort - The Removable 6 mm Nitracel TM EVA Sock Liner is added for additional support and comfort.


The MUCK BOOT™ brand fits standard U.S. sizes for men, women and kids based on unisex sizing. They are only available in whole sizes, but they will stretch to fit half sizes. There is a 15 mm toe allowance built into the sizing and they also fit wide widths. The boots are made to standard widths, but the materials will stretch comfortably to fit up to EE. For narrow feet, it is suggested that wearing a thicker sock or putting in an additional sockliner to take up room for a comfortable fit. The MUCK BOOT™ brand is the perfect footwear brand for those of all different professions and lifestyles.


This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - 2015 Fall Hunting Classic Begins!

The Fall Hunting Classic kicks off this weekend on Friday, Aug. 21! We will welcome all those sportsmen and sportswomen who are ready for hunting season to begin! In town for the last weekend of the Iowa State Fair, stop on by and be ready for the FIRST weekend of hunting season!

Our first weekend features the workshops you need to be ready to hit the field!

Aug. 21-23 - Local Pro Hunting Tips and Seminars

The first 20 to attend each Friday and Saturday seminar will receive a free Fall Hunting Classic tumbler!

Friday, Aug. 21
7 p.m.Advanced Game Camera Strategies for Year-Round Scouting

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. & 23
1pm - Archery Tune-Up:  Prepare Your Gear For The Hunt
2pm - Get Close: Scent Control And Scent Products That Give You The Edge                            Presented by Rick White, Hunter's Specialties Pro Staff
3pm - Boots 101: Choosing The Right Footwear For Your Outing Experience
4pm - Knives And Tools To Guide Your Hunt From Field To Freezer


While you're here take advantage of these trade-in opportunities and help others!


Hunting Boot Trade-in: Save up to $40! Donate hunting or rubber boots and receive a discount certificate to use towards the purchase of hunting boots Aug. 21-30. Boots MUST be in good working condition and will be donated to Soles 4 Souls.

Game Camera Trade-in: Donate a working game camera and save up to $100 on a new camera Aug. 21-30. Donated cameras must be in good condition and they will be donated to local organizations.

Scope Trade-in: Donate working riflescopes and receive up to $100 off the purchase of a new one! Donations will be passed along to local organizations.

Complete details on all promotions and events at!

Second Amendment Instant Savings on Guns and Safes!

Purchase a gun or safe with your Bass Pro Shops MasterCard and receive an instant saving up to $100!

Plus, enter for a chance to win a hunting trip to Argentina with Doug Koenig!

Coming up?  Next Generation weekend and Women in Hunting seminar - Aug. 29-30!


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Tweet us @bassproaltoona
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Simple Steps with Wes: Snake Bites

So back in June I wrote a blog about rattlesnakes! As per my forte, the article was more about education and entertainment. But what would you do, if you really encountered one? And not just a rattlesnake, but any of the venomous snakes we have in North America? Well lucky for us, Wes is covering that specific subject for this month’s Simple Step blog:

“North America has two kinds of venomous snakes:  The pit vipers (rattlesnakes, water moccasins) and Elapids (coral snakes).  One or more of these snakes can be found almost everywhere in the continental U.S

Many snakes are active at night, especially in warm weather. In the wilderness, it’s important to look where you’re putting your hands and feet.  Be especially careful around areas where snakes might like to hide, such as hollow logs, under rocks, or in old shelters. Wearing heavy gloves would be a reasonable precaution. Be sure to wear good solid high-top boots and long pants when hiking in the wilderness. Walking heavy creates ground vibrations and noise, which will often cause snakes move along.

Not every bite from a venomous snake transfers its poison to the victim; 25-30% of these bites will show no ill effects. Snake bites that cause a burning pain immediately are likely to have venom in them.  Swelling at the site may begin as soon as five minutes afterwards, and may travel up the affected area.  Pit viper bites tend to cause bruising and blisters at the site of the wound.  Numbness may be noted in the area bitten, or perhaps on the lips or face.  Some victims describe a metallic or other strange taste in their mouths.

 With pit vipers, bruising is not uncommon and a serious bite might start to cause spontaneous bleeding from the nose or gums.  Coral snake bites, however, will cause mental and nerve issues such as twitching, confusion and slurred speech.  Later, nerve damage may cause difficulty with swallowing and breathing, followed by total paralysis.

Coral snakes appear very similar to their look-alike, the non-venomous king snake.  They both have red, yellow and black bands and are commonly confused with each other.  The old saying goes: ”red touches yellow, kill a fellow; red touches black, venom it lacks”.  This adage only applies to coral snakes in North America, however.

Coral snakes are not as aggressive as pit vipers and will prefer fleeing to attacking.  Once they bite you, however, they tend to hold on; Pit vipers prefer to bite and let go quickly. Unlike coral snakes, pit vipers may not relinquish their territory to you, so prepare to possibly be bitten again.

A snake doesn’t always slither away after it bites you and it’s likely has more venom that it can inject. If bitten move out of its striking range, which can be twice its body length or mitigate the hazard in any way you can. Killing the snake, however, may not render it harmless: it can reflexively bite for a period of time, even if its head has been severed from its body. Removing the head and bury it 10-12” deep.

The treatment for a venomous snake bite is “Anti-venom”, an animal or human serum with antibodies capable of neutralizing a specific biological toxin. This product will probably be unavailable in a long-term survival situation.

The following wilderness treatment strategy will be useful:

 • Keep the victim calm. Stress increases blood flow, thereby endangering the patient by speeding the venom into the system.

 • Stop all movement of the injured extremity. Movement will move the venom into the circulation faster, so do your best to keep the limb still.

 • Clean the wound thoroughly to remove any venom that isn’t deep in the wound

 • Remove rings and bracelets from an affected extremity as swelling may occur.

 • Position the extremity below the level of the heart; this also slows the transport of venom.

 • Wrap with compression bandages snug but do not restrict blood flow. Begin two to four inches above the bite (towards the heart), winding around and moving up, then back down over the bite and past it towards the hand or foot. Do not use tourniquets.

 • Draw a circle, if possible, around the affected area.  As time progresses, you will see improvement or worsening at the site more clearly. This is a useful strategy to follow any local reaction or infection.

The limb should then be rested, and perhaps immobilized with a splint or sling.  The less movement there is, the better. Keep the patient on bed rest, with the bite site lower than the heart for 24-48 hours. This strategy also works for bites from venomous lizards, like Gila monsters.

It is no longer recommended to make an incision and try to suck out the venom with your mouth.  If done more than 3 minutes after the actual bite, it would remove perhaps 1/1000 of the venom and could cause damage or infection to the bitten area.  A Sawyer Extractor (a syringe with a suction cup) is more modern, but is also fairly ineffective in eliminating more than a small amount of the venom. These methods fail, mostly, due to the speed at which the venom is absorbed.“

Thanks, Wes! Remember, you can always request a subject or topic by emailing it to . Get more of Wes at his Facebook and Webpage.


Previous Steps

Floods Dehydration Halloween Edition Survival Kit Daylight Estimation

Determining Direction Eye Protection Nature Calling First Aid Kits

Epi-Pens Scorpions Edible Fruit Search and Rescue Clouds Traps Celestial Navigation

Footwear Communication Trick or Treating Fire 12 Steps (Reboot) Military Lessons


2015 Fall Hunting Classic!

The greatest hunting show and sale is back! The 2015 Fall Hunting Classic features tips and seminars from local pros, great savings, and our always popular Next Generation weekend just for kids.

Plus, this year, join us for our Women in Hunting seminar featuring Iowa's own Maria Young, from Dressed to Kill TV!

Here's the lineup of events!

Aug. 21-23 - Local Pro Hunting Tips and Seminars

The first 20 to attend each Friday and Saturday seminar will receive a free Fall Hunting Classic tumbler!

Friday, Aug. 21
7 p.m.Advanced Game Camera Strategies for Year-Round Scouting

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. & 23
1pm - Archery Tune-Up:  Prepare Your Gear For The Hunt
2pm - Get Close: Scent Control And Scent Products That Give You The Edge                            Presented by Rick White, Hunter's Specialties Pro Staff
3pm - Boots 101: Choosing The Right Footwear For Your Outing Experience
4pm - Knives And Tools To Guide Your Hunt From Field To Freezer


Aug. 29-30 - Next Generation Weekend

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. both days!

  • 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day - Free youth archery workshops: "Let's Try Archery!"
  • Plus the BB Shooting Range and Archery Challenge!
  • Free Photo Download - Kids get a free photo on the cover of Bass Pro Shops Adventure Kids magazine or look like you're being photobombed by a deer! Your choice!
  • Free Crafts and giveaways, too!


Aug. 29 - 3 p.m. - Free Women's Hunting Workshop

Join us to welcome Iowa's own Maria Young from Dressed to Kill TV! Free tumbler to the first 25 people, 18 years or older, at the seminar.





Hunting Boot Trade-in: Save up to $40! Donate hunting or rubber boots and receive a discount certificate to use towards the purchase of hunting boots Aug. 21-30. Boots MUST be in good working condition and will be donated to Soles 4 Souls.

Game Camera Trade-in: Donate a working game camera and save up to $100 on a new camera Aug. 21-30. Donated cameras must be in good condition and they will be donated to local organizations.


Scope Trade-in: Donate working riflescopes and receive up to $100 off the purchase of a new one! Donations will be passed along to local organizations.

Complete details on all promotions and events at!



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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  


Ascend Your Gear: 3 Piece Backpack Cooking Set

I have noticed that outdoor enthusiasts seem to go through trends. And I am not talking about people pursuing the newest or hottest upcoming outdoor activities. I mean like how they like to enjoy the outdoors. Decades ago, you went camping and it was basically you and the tent. You had your base camp and it was into the woods for entertainment. Then toy-trailers and RV’s hit the scene, and this became the “norm” for camping for a while. Your base camp started to include several multi-wheeled items and cable TV. Now though, people tend to be going for a mix of the two.

Another trend I have seen is in gear. First you start with big, bulky and numerous items for a trip. Then you whittle it down to lightweight and multi-purpose gear. Then you work some of the older and proven pieces into the space age. But no matter what part of that trend you are in, quality gear has always been something well appreciated. Which is why I bring you “Ascend Your Gear” where we take a look at awesome equipment that will help you ascend to the next level.

Now one of my favorite things to do outdoors is cook. And I have gone through the trend of starting with several large pieces of equipment to working down to a blender bottle with a scoop of protein. And I knew there had to be a middle-ground. And that is exactly what I found with the Ascend 3-Piece Backpack Cooking Set.

This backpack cooking set comes with two pots and a lid (that will fit both). One pot holds .7 liters and the larger one holds 1.5 liters. They both come with collapsible (or huggable) handles. I use the term huggable, because when the handles are closed around the pot, that’s what they look like they are doing.

Both are also coated with the Quantum 2 system, which resists sticking and abrasion. The total weight for everything is only 12.7 ounces! And it also includes a mesh bag to help you carry it. With space being a big importance for people going outdoors, the fact that these will stack neatly inside each other is a great help. There is even enough room to put an isobutene fuel canister inside as well.

Immediately I think about using this set to prepare a nice cup of soup or maybe some hot cocoa. Also just using it to boil natural water to help kill any hidden bacteria is a nice bonus. Plus the teal accents… who doesn’t love teal accents?


Previous Reviews:

Toxik XT Bow Package Arrow Tips Blackout Ground Blind 8 Tray Dehydrator Propane Fire Ring Hand Towels Rainproof Camo She Outdoor PETT BPS Extreme Qualifier Tackle Bag  RedHead Gun Rack Chicken on a Stick Traeger Smoker/Grills Casio Pathfinder RedHead Wellington Boots  Weather Vanes