DEC Crossbow Hunting Regulations

Crossbows are flying off the shelf here at Bass Pro.  Make sure that you are aware of the regulations, so you can hunt safely and correctly. Straight from the NYS DEC regulation guide here is something you should read:


Age Requirement:  Crossbows may be used only by licensees who are 14 years of age or older.

Without landowner permission, crossbows may not be discharged within 250 feet of any home, school building or playground, public structure, farm structure in use, or occupied factory or church.

A crossbow may not be possessed in or on a motor vehicle unless it is un-cocked.

While on lands inhabited by deer or bear, and in or on a motor vehicle using artificial lights, a crossbow may not be possessed unless it is unstrung or taken down or securely fastened in a case or locked in the trunk of the vehicle.

Crossbows may not be used for hunting in Suffolk, Nassau, or Westchester counties.


There are 3 options to choose from in order to complete the required crossbow qualification & safety training.  All must accompany a NYS hunting license and in some cases a muzzleloading privilege.

Option 1:  Review the DEC online crossbow qualification training and complete the Crossbow Certificate of Qualification.*

Option 2:  Review the DEC crossbow qualification training and complete the Crossbow Certificate of Qualification* found in the 2014-2015 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide.

Option 3:  Complete a Hunter Education or Combination Education course to receive a Hunter Education Certificate of Qualification. * Certificates must be dated on or after April 1, 2014 to meet crossbow qualification and safety training.

*NOTE:  The Crossbow Certificate of Qualification from 2012-2013 is no longer valid.

CROSSBOW SPECIFICATIONSBarnett Quad 400 Crossbow Package

A legal crossbow consists of a bow and string, either compound or recurve, that launches a minimum 14 inch bolt or arrow, not including point, mounted upon a stock with a trigger that holds the string and limbs under tension until released.

The trigger unit of such crossbow must have a working safety.

Minimum limb width:  17 inches (outer tip of limbs, excluding wheels and cams, uncocked)

Minimum peak draw weight:  100 pounds

Maximum peak draw weight:  200 pounds

Minimum overall length:  24 inches from butt-stock to front of limbs


Big Game

License requirement:

The new law essentially treats crossbows as a muzzleloader. Hunters must possess a muzzleloader hunting privilege to legally hunt with a crossbow during any muzzleloader season OR during open portions of the early bowhunting seasons.  Muzzleloader privilege is not required when hunting with a crossbow during the early bear season or the regular firearms seasons.

Bowhunting privilege is not required for use of a crossbow at any time.

Crossbows may be used during the following seasons:

Crossbows may be used to take bear during the early bear season, early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone, regular firearms seasons in the Northern and Southern Zones, and the late muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone.

Cross bows may be used to take deer during:

Early and late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone and late muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone using       Bow/Muzz tags, DMPs, DMAP tags, or an unfilled Regular Big Game tag (late season only);

Regular firearms seasons using a Regular Big Game tag, DMPs, or DMAP tags.

Crossbows may also be used to take deer or bear during limited portions of bowhunting seasons as follows, provided that the hunter possesses the muzzleloading privilege:

During the last 14 days of the early bowhunting season in the Southern Zone (i.e., November 1-November 14, 2014);

During the last 10 days of the early bowhunting season in the Northern Zone (i.e.,October 15-October 24; this includes the 7-day early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone);

Only Bow/Muzz tags, DMP's or DMAPs may be used during these times.

Crossbows may not be used under the following conditions:

To take deer or bear in the following areas of the state:

Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 4J in Albany County

WMU 8C in Monroe County

In the counties of Suffolk, Nassau or Westchester

Junior big game hunters (age 14-15) may not use a crossbow to take a deer during the Youth Deer Hunt weekend (October 11-13, 2014). Adult mentors who accompany a junior big game hunter on the Youth Deer Hunt weekend may not possess a crossbow (or firearm) while afield on those days.


License Requirements: A hunting license is needed to use a crossbow to hunt small game species.  A turkey permit is also required to hunt turkeys.  All crossbow specifications remain in effect.

Crossbows may be used to take the following small game species during their respective open seasons.

Wild Turkey

Any other small game or upland game birds.

Unprotected wildlife ( squirrels and woodchucks) at anytime.

Crossbows may not be used under the following conditions.

To take waterfowl or other migratory game birds.

While hunting with a dog for any small game (except for coyotes in the Northern Zone).


Crossbows may not be used to take carp or any other fish species.

We hope this helps you plan your hunting in a safe correct matter.

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator




Trade-In Your Gear and SAVE!


Are you tired of your old hunting gear? Gear up this August, donate your old gear and you get the savings toward the purchase of this seasons newest hunting accessories…..

Applies to prices marked. Limit 1 coupon per new item. Donate all working bows and crossbows August 1-6, working binoculars & rangefinders – August 7-12, working scopes August 13-17 and receive a discount coupon to be used toward the purchase of a new bow or crossbow (August 1-6 only) , new binoculars or rangefinders (August 7-12 only) and new scopes (August 13-17 only). All trade-ins will be inspected to ensure good working order, and then donated to a local youth organization to help with their outdoor education programs.  Check out this seasons best here at your Bass Pro Shops !




This Weekend at Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Hunting Classic Kicks Off!

Fall Hunting Classic Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Saturday, August 2! Fall Hunting Classic

We welcome these National Pros for our free Hunting University!

1 p.m. - Bric Steward, Drury Outdoors - "Hunting Mature Whitetails"
From Illinois and an avid whitetail and turkey hunter. Bric has been hunting since a young age and started filming his hunts in 1995.

2 p.m. - John Dudley, Host of Nock On® TV and UA® Arsenal Hunter - "Guaranteed Always Lethal"  His archery background has taken him around the world. Host of Nock On TV and the Nock On Podcast, an elite level archery coach, and an all-around ambassador for archery. His seminar last year was on target with great information for beginners and advanced.

3 p.m. - Jeremy Moore, Renowned Trainer and Developer of DogBone Training Products - "Developing Your Deer Dog." Jeremy returns to Bass Pro Shops Altoona! He'll be joined by Timber, the Headhunters dog and Tailer, the Whitetails Unlimited mascot, who will be put through a few paces as Jeremy talks about developing your deer dog for game recovery and shed hunting.

Hutning University Fall Hunting Classic BPS Altoona


August is Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation donation month at Bass Pro Shops Altoona! Members of the Central Iowa chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will be here to visit with you about how RMEF helps not only elk but habitat and wildlife in general.

August 1-6: Bow and Crossbow Trade-in!  Trade in your old crossbow or bow and save up to $100 on a new one. Savings are based on the purchase price. Limit one coupon per new item. All bows and crossbows will be inspected to make sure they are in good working order, so we can donate them to local youth organizations.

August 1 - 10 - Digs for Dogs Silent Auction! Digs for Dogs

Put your bid in for one of these two AWESOME donated, custom-built doghouses! Bidding open until 2 pm., August 10. We have a mini-Bass Pro Shops and a beautiful barn donated by Country Landscapes in Ames, Iowa. Digs for DogsDigs for Dogs - Bass Pro Shops Altoona








Sunday, August 3 - The Fall Hunting Classic continues with great sales, rebates, and special



August 9 & 10 -  Next Generation weekend, with kids activities taking place from Noon – 5pm (BB gun range, craft, workshops, free photo download and giveaways!).

August 9 - Women’s hunting workshop!


2014 Fall Hunting Classic

Fall Hunting Classic 2014 - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

It's the Fall Hunting Classic at Bass Pro Shops Altoona - 17 days of great sales and events to prepare you for the hunting season!  Here's the linup of Hunting Classic Events!

First Weekend - August 2 - Free Hunting Classic UniversityHunting University - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Join us for these great, nationally-recognized speakers!
1 p.m. - Bric Steward, Drury Outdoors Team, Bow Madness - "Hunting Mature Whitetails"
2 p.m. - John Dudley from the Nock On TV Show and Under Armor Arsenal Hunter - "Guaranteed to Always be Lethal"
3. - Jeremy Moore, Renowned Dog Trainer and Developer of the DogBone Training Products - "Developing Your Deer Dog."

Second Weekend - August 9 & 10 - Next Generation Weekend for Kids!

As usual, we've included a weekend JUST FOR KIDS!

Noon- 5 on Saturday and Sunday:

  • Youth Seminars - "Fall in the Outdoors" - a special workshop for just youth
  • BB Shooting range
  • Free photo download- Like you're on the cover of Adventure Kids magazine!

Noon - 5 on Saturday and Sunday Crafts Noon - 4pm - Wood fox and squirrel craft!

Free giveaway to the first 100 kids who get their cards punched each day - a Bass Pro Shops Fox Drawstring bag!


NEW THIS YEAR! August 9 - 3 p.m. - Women's Hunting Workshop!

Seminar attendees can register to win a pair of Oculus Binoculars or a RedHead folding knife!


August 15-17 - Local Pros Weekend - Free Seminars with Local Hunting Experts
Friday, August 15

7:00pm – So You Think You Know How to Bow Hunt?

Saturday, August 16

1:00pm – Autumn Hunt: New Approaches to Fall Success

2:00pm – Tender Venison? It’s Easier Than You Think

3:00pm – Does Camo Pattern Really Matter?

4:00pm – Why You Should be Hunting Coyote

5:00pm – How to Integrate Your Game Camera with Mobile Devices

Sunday, August 17

1:00pm – Autumn Hunt: New Approaches to Fall Success

2:00pm – Tender Venison? It’s Easier Than You Think

3:00pm – Does Camo Pattern Really Matter?

4:00pm – Why You Should be Hunting Coyote

5:00pm – How to Integrate Your Game Camera with Mobile Devices


Rain Gear to Keep You Dry

The worst thing that can happen during a hunt or a hike is to have an unexpected downpour that drenches everything including a hunter or hiker. A good set of rain gear can help keep any event from turning into a sloppy mess. The problem with this is that rain gear comes in so many shapes and sizes it is often times hard to decipher what works well for what event. Here are some helpful hints on what to look for in rain gear for specific activities.

The first activity many people think of that has the tendency to run into problems is hunting of any kind. With long periods of time either sitting down or sneaking through brush looking for the perfect shot, the ability for a little rain to ruin a good day hunting is always present. For this instance what a hunter needs for rain gear is something that is very durable in case the first shot doesn’t immediately drop a target and a little creative maneuvering through brush is needed. While at the same time the gear needs to be flexible so drawing a bow or lining up a shot is not impeded by the rain gear. A great set for this purpose is the RedHead® Squaltex® II BONE-DRY® Rain Jackets and the RedHead® Squaltex® II BONE-DRY® Rain Pants, this set is specifically made for an avid hunter and comes in the two of the best camouflage patterns available. For the ladies there is a better set the SHE® Outdoor Performance Rain Pants and the SHE® Outdoor Performance Rain Jacket, this set of rain gear was specifically made for a lady hunters while providing the best protection from wind and heavy rain.


While hunting in the rain is often times a pain, one for the best times to fish is in the rain. So for those anglers that know the secrets to fishing in the rain there is of course a set of rain gear for them. This set of gear needs to be completely waterproof without restricting the ability for a fisherman to cast and retrieve effectively. So the sleeves need to be looser with an adjustable wrist and waist. The set that has done wonders for those anglers that love fishing whenever is the Bass Pro Shops® 100MPH GORE-TEX® Light Jacket and the Bass Pro Shops® HPR BONE-DRY® Waterproof Rain Pants, this set is great for those days where the wind is blowing and the rain just won’t stop. The set not only works as a wind suit but also keeps the wearer dry all day.


Hunting and fishing in the rain can be soothing or even exciting but having a hike or camping trip in the rain can be a chore. So finding the right rain gear for the trip is always a must. This gear needs to be able to stand up to a couple days of moving without wearing out or developing a hole, while at the same time being able to allow free movement for those times where the campsite needs to be broken down in the rain or set up during a downpour. The best suit for this purpose is the Ascend™ Water Shield 2.0 Jacket and the Ascend® Watershield 2.0 Pants, the great thing is this set comes in both men and women styles as well as youth sizes. The set is great for walking in without getting a base layer wet while allowing the body to breathe naturally. This is perfect for anyone who has problems sweating on hikes, the outer layer allows air flow making chaffing a less likely occurrence. Now that the rain gear has been selected and the plans made, as always happy hunting and good luck!



Hoosier Spring Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting is a pleasurable sport enjoyed by Hoosiers for more than three decades. To hunt wild turkey, a valid turkey hunting license and a valid game bird habitat stamp privilege are required.

Those that have a lifetime comprehensive hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing, or resident youth hunt/trap license can hunt turkey and do not need to purchase the game bird habitat stamp because it is included with those license types.

A separate turkey hunting license is required when hunting during each turkey hunting season — one for the spring season and one for the fall season.

Game bird habitat stamp privileges are good for both spring and fall seasons in the same calendar year.

Turkeys can be hunted only with:

  • A 10-, 12-, 16- or 20-gauge shotgun loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7 or 7½.
  • A muzzleloading shotgun not smaller than 20-gauge and not larger than 10-gauge, loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7 or 7½. Combination loads using shot sizes other than these are illegal.
  • Bow and arrow
  • A crossbow

Wild turkeys may be hunted only one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. All Fish and Wildlife Areas, Mississinewa and Salamonie lakes have spring season hunting hours one-half hour before sunrise until noon for properties on CDT and until 1 p.m. for properties on EDT. Call the property for additional information.

The spring season is April 23 through May 11, 2014. The bag limit is one bearded or male turkey for the spring season. Spring turkey hunting is allowed statewide.

Indiana has never had a fatal turkey hunting accident. However, a few Hoosier turkey hunters are injured in shooting accidents every year.

Surprisingly, national studies show that most turkey season shooting incidents on persons involve experienced hunters who accidentally fire on their own hunting partners. The studies also show most turkey hunting shooting accidents occur on private land.

Having said that, here are a few things that you can do to improve your safety this Spring while you hunt…

  • Select a calling position where you can see for at least 50 yards in all directions and where you are protected from the backside.
  • Whistle or shout to alert approaching hunters of your position. Never wave or stand up.
  • Never sneak in on a turkey or use a gobbler call near other hunters. Never crowd another hunter working a bird.
  • Never shoot at sound or movement.
  • Use a flashlight when walking in the dark.
  • Be aware of turkey "fever" and its prevention. Disregard peer pressure to bag a bird.
  • Be extremely careful using turkey decoys.
  • Do not wear red, white, or blue outer wear or exposed inner clothing.
  • Make sure your head net doesn't obscure your vision.
  • Don't assume you are the only hunter in the area. Be certain of a companion's location.
  • Know and identify your target and what is beyond.
  • Discuss safety techniques with companions.
  • Never assume that other hunters are responsible.
  • Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Always keep your gun unloaded until ready to use.
  • Never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting.
  • Respect property rights and secure permission before hunting.
  • Hunters should unload their guns when crossing fences, climbing into stands, jumping ditches or traversing steep ravines.

With all of this information you should be able to have a great turkey hunting season.


Iowa Youth Turkey Season Around the Corner

by Rod Slings, Retired Iowa DNR Law Enforcement Supervisor
Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants LLC


 Rod SlingsIt’s time to introduce that young hunter to turkey hunting during the Iowa youth spring wild turkey hunting season, which begins April 5, 2014.  The Iowa 2014 youth spring wild turkey hunting license is valid statewide and may be issued to any Iowa resident who is 15 years old or younger on the date the youth purchases the license. The youth license may be paid or may be free to persons eligible for free licenses. If the youth obtains a free landowner/tenant license, it will count as the one free license for which the youth’s family is eligible. 

On March 14, 2014, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed house file 2067, allowing unfilled youth tags to be used during any other wild turkey hunting season until the tag is filled or the seasons end, whichever comes first by the youth hunter. This is in effect for the 2014 spring wild turkey seasons.

An adult who possesses a valid wild turkey spring license must accompany each participating youth hunting license for one of the seasons. The adult must also have a hunting license and have paid the habitat fee (IF the adult is normally required to have a hunting license and to pay the habitat fee to hunt). The accompanying adult must not possess a firearm or bow and must be in the direct company of the youth at all times. A person may obtain only one youth turkey hunting license but may also obtain one archery-only license or one combination shotgun-or-archery license for season 4.

Iowa youth turkey season dates are April 5-13, 2014. The daily and season bag and possession limit is one bearded (or male) wild turkey. The method of take and other regulations allow that wild turkeys may be taken with shotguns, muzzle-loading shotguns with pellets no larger than number 4s or bows.  All other spring wild turkey hunting regulations for residents shall apply.

There had been some brief discussion about the requirement of wearing blaze orange to and from the hunting blind.  This proposed requirement did not become an administrative rule or law. 


Rod Slings is a partner with Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants. He was with the Iowa DNR for 35 years as a supervisor in the DNR's Law Enforcement Bureau. He is an active proponent of hunter safety and education through international leadership, instructional, and speaking opportunities for organizations such as the International Hunter Education Association, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the United Nations.


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Turkey Calling with the Thunder Cut'N® Call

Spring turkey season is still a couple of months away, but now is the time to be practicing with your calls and getting ready for the season!

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Hunting Associate Kip Ireland uses the Thunder Cut'N Turkey call and wants you to know more about it.

"Many people are not familiar with it, because it's not the usual type of call. Turkeys have keen eyesight, and when I tried to cut or use a box call they'd see me. I tried mouth calls, but they weren't for me. So, I bought the flextone Thunder Cut'N® Turkey Call. It has a raspy deep guttural type turkey sound I was wanting." 

 Check out the video for Kip's tips on how to use it and more reasons why it's his favorite turkey call! 

2014 SPRING TURKEY HUNTING - Iowa Season Dates

Combination Gun/Bow Licenses

*Youth Season (Residents Only) April 5 - 13
Season 1 April 14 - 17
Season 2 April 18 - 22
Season 3 April 23 - 29
Season 4 April 30 - May 18

Resident Archery-only Licenses:  April 14 - May 18

Bag Limit:  Daily Bag and Season Possession Limit is one bearded or male wild turkey for each valid license and transportation tag issued to the hunter.

Shooting Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset

*License Valid for Youth Season Only

Visit for details.


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Game Changers: Pope and Young Club

So way back in the day most hunting of animals was through projectile weaponry. This includes slings, spears and bows. Archery has been a part of human culture and society for centuries. Bows changed the battlefield and now have changed how we connect with the outdoors. It is an important heritage and sport that must be kept going. Recent films have spurred even more interest in the sport for the youth, and when parents learn about the possibility of archery-scholarships they see another plus to getting their children involved.

Way back in the day of these Game Changers blogs, I covered the Boone and Crockett Club. This club was established to help protect our natural resources, ensure fair chase practice and create a way to score animals taken. Now while we are all hunters and appreciators of the wonderful wilderness we have in this world, there of course are firearm hunters and archery hunters. From this another similar but archery only club was formed, the Pope and Young Club.

The P&Y Club patterned themselves off of the B&C Club and it can be seen in their practices, fundamentals, goals and even logos. P&Y Club was founded in 1961. “The Club advocates and encourages responsible bowhunting by promoting quality, fair chase hunting, and sound conservation practices. Today it fosters and nourishes bowhunting excellence and acts in the best interest of our bowhunting heritage everywhere. The Club promotes and participates in improving sound wildlife conservation and wise use of our natural resources.”

Now the Boone and Crockett Club can easily be figured out who it was named after. And if not, let me give you a hint: Fess Parker portrayed both of these American legends on television and both of their first names begin with “D”. P&Y Club was named after Dr. Saxton Pope and Arthur Young. These two were avid bowhunters in the early 20th century. Their adventures brought this lost sport back to national attention.

The P&Y Club has their own method of scoring animals taken by bow and arrow. They gather this information and after two years release it in their records book. Every time one of these books is released, avid bowhunters pick one up to see the new record animals taken. Usually when scoring animals you will see either a B&C or Y&C score which helps let you know what method of hunting was used to take that animal. Along with seeing the new records set, archers get new inspiration to go out and try and beat the new records! They do a good job breaking down how to reach these records on their site. They also are sure to have two different systems for measuring as there are typical and non-typical antlered animals out there.

Now the club takes a pretty powerful stance on crossbows when it comes to archery. They are completely anti-crossbow and will not score any animal taken in such manner. They believe that crossbows should be restricted to firearm hunting seasons. This has gotten the club some flak, but also appreciation from their members. Archery is a purity kind of pursuit. They also have an incredible Museum of Bowhunting at their headquarters in Minnesota!

So if you are an archer and are not yet a member, you should really look into joining. And even if you don’t hunt and want to help, the Pope and Young Club is heavily involved with programs to help improve our wilderness.

Oh and fun fact, the husband in our store’s Pro Hunting Team (Corky) has the world record for bison!

Like a Kitten Hoppin’ over a Caterpillar! Giddy-Up!!

Previous Game Changers:

Ansel Adams

Teddy Roosevelt

Fred Bear

Boone and Crockett Club


Henry David Thoreau


Urban Deer Zones

     Urban deer zones give archery hunters opportunities to harvest deer in defined urban deer zones, in addition to statewide bag limits. The urban deer zone season is Sept. 15, 2013 through Jan. 31, 2014. The bag limit for the urban zones is four antlerless deer, or three antlerless and one deer of either sex within an urban zone. Individuals hunting in a designated urban deer zone who are attempting to satisfy the urban deer zone bag limit must harvest an antlerless deer before harvesting an antlered deer (a.k.a. earn-a-buck). The earn-a-buck requirement only applies to the urban deer zone bag limit. The urban deer zone bag limit is in addition to all other bag limits.

     An urban deer zone license has been established to replace previous requirements to possess a regular archery, extra archery or bonus antlerless license. The urban deer zone license allows an individual to harvest one deer per license in a defined urban deer zone. Hunters attempting to satisfy the urban deer zone bag limits must have an urban deer zone, resident youth hunt/trap, lifetime comprehensive hunting, or lifetime comprehensive hunting/fishing license, or meet a license exemption.

     The provision does not override any local ordinances restricting shooting of firearms and bows. Hunters must obtain permission from landowners to hunt on their property. An urban deer zone license is needed for each deer taken. Urban deer zone licenses are already included in the resident youth hunt/trap, lifetime comprehensive hunting, and lifetime comprehensive hunting/fishing licenses. Urban deer zone licenses are not permitted on Division of Fish and Wildlife managed properties.

The urban deer zones are as follows:

  • Indianapolis – all of Marion County, Hendricks County east of State Road 267; southeast portion of Boone County bounded by State Road 267, Interstate 65, State Road 32; and the portion of Hamilton County south of State Road 32.
  • Fort Wayne – the portion of Allen County lying within the bounds of Interstate 69 and Interstate 469.
  • Vanderburgh County.
  • Lafayette – the portion of Tippecanoe County north of State Road 28
  • Lake County.
  • Porter County.
  • Michigan City – the portion of LaPorte County north of Interstate 94.
  • Warsaw – the portion of Kosciusko County within the corporate limits of Warsaw.

            Immediately upon killing a deer, the hunter must complete a temporary tag on paper that states the hunter’s name, address, sex of the deer, and the day and month of the kill. A hunter is not required to place the tag on the deer while dragging it out of the field as long as the hunter has filled out and is carrying the required information. A hunter must maintain immediate custody of and visual contact with the deer carcass unless the completed temporary transportation tag is attached. The tag must be attached to the deer before the hunter leaves the deer or loads the deer in a vehicle.

     The person who takes the deer is responsible for the delivery of the deer to an official deer check station within 48 hours of the kill, or use the CheckIN Game online system to obtain a confirmation number within 48 hours of the kill. The CheckIN Game confirmation number must be written down on the temporary transportation tag and kept with the deer until processing begins.

     The deer head must remain attached to the carcass until the tag is attached and locked at the deer check station. If the deer is taken to a check station, a permanent seal must be attached to the carcass. The permanent seal must remain attached until processing of the deer begins.

     Carcasses of deer and other wild animals that are lawfully taken should not be dumped in streams or other bodies of water or left out in the open for scavengers and others to see. Dumping dead deer and other wild animals in a waterway is considered littering and is a criminal offense punishable by a fine. Rotting carcasses in a waterway can also affect water quality for those downstream.


The Colorful Side of Women's Archery Products

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

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

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

Ladies' Archery Products from Bass Pro Shops

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

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

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

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

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


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Shoot Right AZ

Safety has been a hot topic for me lately. (Between Hunter Education and starting our Simple Steps with West blogs, it has been getting a lot of attention.) I hope I have been able to direct people interested into such things in a good direction, but now I’ll try to do one better for parents who have kids interested in shooting sports.

If you read my hunter education blog you’ll know that my dad was against firearms in the house. So when I started taking interest into it, I made friends with kids that shot firearms. Their fathers took the part of training me on basic safety. My dad did go to a local range and rent a couple handguns to shoot with me as he understood that safety needed to be my top concern. It would have been nice though if I had known of a local organization that could help lead youngsters down a safe path.

Shoot Right is one such program. As their site states, “Shoot Right is a non-profit educational organization that advances marksmanship, responsible and ethical firearm use, and ownership in the youth and adults of our community. We build the skills, attitude, and desire to preserve and honor the use of firearms in sports, hunting, and the role in ensuring freedom.” This would have been a perfect place for me to start and might be for you as well.

They state their purpose as to “Develop safe and skillful use of rifle/pistol air guns, small bore firearms, and bow; and awareness about the history and importance of firearms and airguns, shooting sports, and hunting to America. Organize youth & adult airgun shooting leagues & Tournaments, Summer camps, Hunter education, NSSF "Project ChildSafe" gun lock program, and NRA adult & Jr. First Step rifle, pistol and NSSF First Shots programs. Attract, develop, and certify skilled marksman and firearms instructors and coaches.” They even have received a Gold Member Club status from the NRA.

We all know that once kids take an interest in something, they’ll get their hands on it. We just want to ensure they are doing so safely and smartly.

Shoot Right will be holding several events over the upcoming months. They will be holding two camps later this month. These camps will focus on Archery and Air Rifles. (Go here for more information.) There are also two cool little facts about these camps that parents can appreciate besides all the great training for their kids. One: Campers who attend must bring a toy for a toy drive. Two: These classes count for Boy Scouts Merit Badges.

So whether your child started showing interest in archery from movies like Brave or The Hunger Games or are just interested in firearms, you should encourage them to get into these activities as long as they “shoot right”.


NC VS TN 704 Outdoors/Bass Pro Shops Archery Shootout Series!



With archery season a couple of months away, we have decided to dust off the ol' 3-D targets and set'em up out back for an old fashioned North Carolina vs Tennessee shoot out! We are teaming up with our sister store in Concord Mills and 704 Outdoors for a battle between states.....we need to show them who's #1! BASS PRO SHOPS in Sevierville- of course!

So grab your bow and arrows boys and girls and get ready !!!!

There will be 4 Tournaments in this series- 2 here and 2 at the BPS Concord Store.

The dates are as follows:

Bass Pro Shops Sevierville Location- June 8th & August 3rd

Bass Pro Shops Charlotte Location- June 15th & August 17th

Championship Shootout at Bass Pro Shops Charlotte Location- August 31st


 The Top shooters will be invited to shoot in the Championship Shootout hosted at Bass Pro Shops Charlotte Location!

For Bass Pro Shops Charlotte Location:

* There are 4 classes: Men’s Class, Women’s Class, Traditional Class and Youth Class

* Registration starts at 10am. Cut off for registration is 8pm, however we will shoot until the last shooter has completed their session.

* Registration is $10 per session (You can shoot as many sessions as you want to better your score)

* There are 2 rounds within each session, the first round will consist of five 3D Pop Up targets and the second will have five 3D Pop Up targets with one stationary target. The stationary target must be shot sometime after the first 3D target pops up but before the last 3D target falls.

* It is an indoor range, all shots are within 25yds.


For Bass Pro Shops Sevierville Location:


* There are 4 classes: Men’s Class, Women’s Class, Traditional Class and Youth Class

* Registration starts at 10am. Cut off for registration is 8pm, however we will shoot until the last shooter has completed their session.

* Registration is $10 per session (You can shoot as many sessions as you want to better your score)

* There are 2 rounds within each session, the first timed round will consist of five 3D targets and the second timed round will have five 3D targets, with one motion target. The motion target must be shot sometime within the timed session.

* It is an outdoor range, all shots are within 25yds.


The prizes for each shoot will be announced before each shootout. We are getting different prizes from different sponsors so they will not be the same each shootout! Keep checking in to see what prizes are going to be awarded the Friday before each shootout! As for the Grand Prizes, you MUST attend 2 of the 3 regular Shootout Series before the Championship Shootout in order to be eligible for the Grand Prizes. The Grand Prizes for the 704 Outdoors/Bass Pro Shops 3D Pop Up Archery Shootout Series are:

Option one for Men’s, Women’s & Traditional Class: Georgia Hog Hunt with 704 Outdoor’s Hog Dogs! We will take care of your permits, licenses, food and all! You will get to hunt with us, using our Hog Dogs. We will take care of everything you need for the trip.

Option two for Men’s, Women’s & Traditional Class: 3 Day North Carolina Archery Deer Hunt with 704 Outdoors. We’ll take care of your food and lodging while you get to hunt with us in some of our hot spots here in NC! Dates to be worked out with the winner of the Championship.

Option three for Men’s, Women’s & Traditional Class: 3 Day North Carolina Archery Hog Hunt with 704 Outdoors. We’ll take care of your food and lodging while you get to hunt with us in some of our hog sites here in NC! We will furnish all the lights, bait and gear needed to lower the boom on a nice NC Wild Hog! Dates to be worked out with the winner of the Championship.

Youth Class Grand Prize NC Youth Turkey Hunt with 704 Outdoors. We will take you and your guardian on a youth turkey hunt. We will take care of the food, lodging and transportation to and from the places we will run & gun those thunder chickens!


Bass Pro Shops Sevierville, TN Location Information:BPS SHOOT OUT

3629 Outdoor Sportsman Pl

Kodak, TN 37764

Phone: (865) 932-5600



Bass Pro Shops Charlotte, NC Location Information

8181 Concord Mills Blvd

Concord, NC 28027

Phone: (704)979-2200





April Free Seminar Offerings

We have some exciting Free Outdoor Skills Workshops coming up in the month of April.  Fly tying, Beginners Archery, Turkey Hunting Seminars, and knot tying are just a few of the seminars we will be offering this month.  Please see below for dates, times and descriptions and how you can pre-register for these classes!


Fly Tying: 

Ever wondered how to tie flies? We have informational and hands-on training sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm in our fly shop. Come learn a new hobby! Registration is required. Please call 816-795-4300 and ask for a fly shop associate for more information. Class sizes are limited; classes are free but you will need to bring or purchase your own supplies.


Choosing the Right Camo For Turkey Hunting:

This seminar will take place upstairs near the Optics counter on our bridge at 2pm on Saturday, April 6th and Sunday, April 7th.  Come and discover which camo is going to work best for Missouri turkey hunting.  Make sure you have all the right gear before heading out. You will not need to pre-register for this class.


Take Aim!  Beginners Archery:

This class will focus on the basics of archery:

• Learning the safety first

• Importance of the parts of the bow

• Proper stance

• Achieving a good shot

This is a great family activity – they are open to the public, FREE, and taught by some of our seasoned Archery Staff in the store. Take Aim is a class for those who want to explore the sport of Archery. You are more than welcome to bring your own equipment, but it is not required.  Please call or e-mail April at 816-795-4307 or to reserve your spot. Classes will take place in our Archery Range in the Hunting Department on April 9th and April 16th at 7pm. Class size is limited and you must sign a waiver to participate. 


Advanced Turkey Calling:

Join us for instruction on Advanced Turkey Calling on Saturday, April 13 & Sunday April 14 at 2pm. This seminar will be taught by Norbert, who is an active member of NWTF and a very seasoned turkey hunter and caller. This seminar will be held upstairs on our bridge near the optics counter.  No need to preregister for this seminar. 


Basic Knot Tying For Fishing:

Friday, April 19th at 7pm in the Conservation Room

Knots do not have to be difficult, but you need to make sure you have the right one on there to reel in that big fish.  Come discover some basic knots and bring your questions.  There will be hands on demonstrations.  We ask that you please preregister for this seminar by emailing April at or by calling 816-795-4307.



Youth Archery:

We will be having a Youth Archery seminar on Saturday, April 20 & Sunday, April 21 at 2pm in our Archery Range.  No supplies needed.  Bring the kids up to learn proper stance, safety, and how Archery can be a fun sport.  Please preregister for this class by calling April at 816-795-4307 or e-mail at



Hiking 101:

Thursday, April 25th at 7pm

Come join Jeff as he talks about everything you need to know about making your next hiking trip the best trip of your life.  He will discuss proper footwear, hiking packs, and what to pack.  Please preregister for this class by e-mail - or by telephone at 816-795-4307.



Spring Food Plots:

Come join us as we talk about getting Spring Food Plots planted on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 at 2pm.  These seminars will be held upstairs on the bridge near our optics counter.  No need to preregister for this seminar.


Camping Critters:  Let’s Talk Fishing!

Tuesday, April 30th in the Conservation Room at 10:30am

Open to toddler's aged 2 - 5 years.

Come in and have some fun with our new Toddler Program - Camping Critters!  This month, we will talk about how much fun fishing can be.  Some of our topics include local fishing, learning the different parts of a fishing pole, and let the kids try their skills out at casting.  We have some drinks and snacks as well and will finish up the morning by reading a story.  This program normally lasts about an hour long.  Space is limited - we ask you call or e-mail April for preregistration - or 816-795-4307.


We hope you will be able to come in and join us for one of these fun free seminars soon!


Archery Season is Here and We Have a Bow for You!

At Bass Pro Shops we are all about getting you outside.  We have such a nice variety of bows to pick from that it was hard for me to highlight just a few.  As many of you know,  your bow is unique to you.  You have to feel comfortable with the draw and ease of use.   Bow hunting creates a different challenge than hunting with a firearm.  This type of hunting is more silent and peaceful.  You also need to be closer to your game.  Anyone of our associates in our Archery Department are happy to spend as much time as you need to find the right bow for you.  Here are a few you might want to take a look at.

The Bear Archery Apprentice.   This bow is great for a young archer.  13 different draw lengths, draw weights adjust 15-60 pounds.  Nice and light at 2.9pounds.  This will accomodate a young archer longer than other youth bows.











The Bear Motive 6 Compound Bow is light, quiet, and extremely fast.  Very smooth draw cycle.















The easy to use Redhead Kronik XT Compound Bow  is also lightweight and strong.  This bow package also includes a 3 pin sight, hostage capture style arrow rest, and a 5 arrow quiver.


Last but not least is the Redhead Toxik XT Compound BowThis bow has a smooth draw and is extremely accurate.  Lightweight at 3.8 pounds this bow is also great value for the money and high quality.
















Believe me that a quick look here just does not do these bows justice.  You have to look at these quality products to see just how great they are.  So stop on by, and take a good long look at what we have.  Ask a lot of questions this is not just a great investment, but a wonderful time spent outside enjoying nature at its best.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator 


Opening of Turkey Season

The 2013 Wild Turkey Season will open March 23 in three designated areas with varying end of season dates as follows:Turkeys


  • Area 1, March 23 - April 21
  • Area B, March 23 - April 14
  • Area C, March 23 - April 7


These areas include similar geographic boundaries utilized in 2012 except for minor additional openings in Pointe Coupee, Ascension and Iberville parishes.

The statewide youth and physically challenged hunter weekend for private lands will be March 16-17. To access additional information, the 2013 Turkey Regulations pamphlet can be viewed at LWLF.

The application forms for 2013 Turkey Season WMA lottery hunts for adult and youth hunters are also now available on the LDWF website. Those forms are located at LWLF.

Changes in the 2013 Turkey Season include the loss of Bens Creek WMA, Dewey Wills WMA lottery hunts moved earlier in the season, an additional three-day lottery hunt on Union WMA, one-day youth lottery hunts added on the Winn, Catahoula, Caney and Kisatchie Ranger districts of Kisatchie National Forest, and an additional one-day youth lottery hunt added to the Pearl River WMA.

Hunter's are allowed to take 2 gobblers per season with daily limit of 1. Taking of hens is illegal. Turkeys may only be taken using shotguns using shot not larger than #2 lead, crossbows or bow and arrow. Use of dogs, baiting, electronic calling devices and live decoys is illegal. Prior to hunting season, all turkey hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain turkey tags and have them in their possession while turkey hunting.  Upon killing a turkey, hunters must immediately attach a carcass tag to the turkey before it is moved from the site of the kill and must document the kill on the turkey harvest report card. You can view full laws and regulations at LWLF.

For more information, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit them at LDWF, on Facebook.



Spring Turkey Techniques

Turkey season is right around the corner, and for those of you who are gearing up for the upcoming season, read on.  Turkey hunters are a passionate and dedicated group. Those that chase turkeys with archery equipment take the challenge of harvesting a nice tom or jake this spring to the next level. Getting a bead on a tom with a shotgun can be hard enough but when you decide to do it with your bow, that difficulty becomes significantly higher.

What is the best type of broadheads for bowhunting turkeys? This can be a tough one. Just like when choosing the best broadhead for other types of hunting seasons, much of this decision is based primarily of personal preference.  With this being stated, my preference is mechanical broadheads. They fly like field tips and due to the “mechanical” expansion, they normally will stay within the turkey opposed to getting a complete pass-through.  When shooting turkeys with broadheads, if they run/fly after the shot, they usually do not leave the best blood trails. The ideal shot is to accurately place an arrow that penetrates at least one wing, if not both, while hitting the vitals. This will ensure a quick kill and a bird that is unable to fly.

When hunting for turkeys with a bow, your setup is critical. I often get the question regarding which is better, hunting from a blind or from the ground? In my opinion, both are effective options, the real question is what type of “turkey chaser” are you, and what is the situation. If you are bow hunting turkeys for the first time, the first thing you will learn is truly how impressive the wild turkey is at picking up movement. It was not until I started toting a bow in the turkey woods that I really began to appreciate the eyesight of a turkey. It takes practice getting your setup right on a turkey with a bow. With a bow, I want them within 20-30 yards to increase my odds on such a small target. Therefore, your setup is everything. For me, if I know where a gobbler likes to hang out and strut and have the ability to setup a blind without him seeing me, than this is a great option. What is interesting about turkeys and blinds is in my opinion turkeys are not as “forgiving” as whitetail deer. A turkey will notice just about anything out of place and are easily spooked. It is important to get your blind tucked into brush so that it blends in with the terrain around you.

Every person is different, and for me, I enjoy walking the woods and trying to strike a “hot” bird. Therefore, I prefer the ground setup mainly because of my style of turkey hunting. Again though, if I have a bird roosted, and I know where he likes to strut, I would jump at the opportunity to be sitting in a blind at daylight in hope he would come to my calling and decoys 15 yards in front of my blind.

Hunting from the ground, as I have already mentioned, is very difficult for many reasons. You need the bird to get within that 20-30 yard range, and you really cannot draw your bow until they do. This requires attention to detail on your camouflage, your setup, and your decision on when to actually draw. What I have found works best for me, is to setup on my knees with my left shoulder facing towards the direction I think the bird is going to come. I try to find a bush or tree that will allow me to have good visibility in front of me, but be completely blocked on my sides and back. If coming to full draw on a tom is not hard enough, add a few hens or a subordinate or two, and the challenge has just increased dramatically. Finding the right time to draw, as it is with hunting any animal with a bow, will be the toughest challenge when hunting without a blind. If you love bowhunting, there is a very good chance you will enjoy bowhunting for turkeys as well.


2013 Iowa Spring Turkey Season Dates

  • Archery Only (Resident)
  • April 15 - May 19, 2013
  • Combination Shotgun/Archery
    • April 6-14             (Youth Season – Resident)
    • April 15-18           (Season 1)
    • April 19-23           (Season 2)
    • April  24-30          (Season 3)
    • May 1-19             (Season 4)

2013 Nebraska Turkey Season Dates

  • Archery
    • March 25-May 31, 2013
  • Youth Archery
    • March 25-May 31, 2013
  • Shotgun
    • April 13-May 31, 2013
  • Youth Shotgun
    • April 6-May 31, 2013


In May 2012, Fishing Associate Ed Snook was invited to do a Career Day at an Elementary School, in Greenville, Indiana.  Snook talked to the 2nd grade class about being a touring bass fisherman and sales associate at Bass Pro Shops Clarksville.  Merchandising Manager Scott Liebert gathered up some backpacks for Snook to take as handouts, and Special Events Coordinator/Promotions, Tina Tucker provided some items to go into the backpacks for each child at Career Day.  Snook brought his boat, talked about the excitement and hard work of being a touring bass fisherman, and how much he enjoyed working at the Clarksville store.  Everyone loved the talk and the goodies.

A couple of months after Snook’s visit to the school, Tucker was contacted by Samuel and his mother Alicia.  It seems like Samuel did not forget the impression Ed Snook and his expertise had on the class.  Samuel had decided he wanted to make a 3D replica of the Bass Pro Shops in Clarksville for a school project!  Tucker provided a store brochure, some stickers and tattoos to help him in construction of his replica.

Samuel at school with his model.

Once he completed his project and to Ed’s pleasant surprise, he received a text message from the teacher at the Elementary School.  In that text was a picture of Samuel with his completed 3D replica he had made of the Clarksville Bass Pro.  The text stated, “One of our kids made this for his project because of the fishing guy that was here on Career Day”.. 

Samuel, proudly showing his "Clarksville Bass Pro Shops"

Samuel is seven years old and in the 2nd Grade.  His teacher is Mrs. Plass.  Samuel loves to hunt (and he shot his first deer this season!).  He is a member of Super Shooters 4-H Club.  He loves to practice target shooting with his .22 and his bow.  Samuel will wear a Bass Pro shirt every day of the week if his mom would let him, and she says most of the time they do!

Samuel’s mom emailed Tucker the pictures of the completed project!  With this being his favorite store, he wanted it to look as much like it as possible.  You be the judge!

Samuel's Model

Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville Indiana

This is just some of the rewards we gain from the impressions that we put forward to our youth.  These kids are our future.  Taking the time to go to a Career Day and putting on the store events is just a couple of the ways to endear the fishing and hunting heritage to today’s youth.  Samuel did a fantastic job on his model!

For those of you who ever get an opportunity to visit a school or youth organization, take it!  Children and parents alike never forget the good that comes out of these sessions, and neither do the associates or the stores!


Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator/Promotions, Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville


Evolution of a Hunter

I would have never thought that on December 26th, of all days, I would come face to face with my nemesis. The buck I'd been hunting for the last 80 days shows up at 1:00 in the afternoon, broadside, without a care in the world. Only one problem... he had broken off a portion of the left side of his head gear. I couldn't believe it!


The pain really began to set in when I reflected on the Cuddie Back pictures from the week prior at 12:42 in broad daylight. His entire 160-inch frame was still intact. I was in awe as I watched the largest whitetail of my 2011 season browsing eyes deep in the snow at 15 yards and I knew I couldn't take the shot.

For a half-hour, the four-year old lumbered under my stand searching for acorns, care free. I’ll never forget the calming effect that overcame me. I lost a whole year’s anticipation and nerves in less time than it took to hang my bow.

The Beginning

That night, I was able to reflect on my fondest memories of my youth when my family and I hunted a Wexford County Swamp. At that time, we weren't looking for world-class animals, but instead shared unforgettable life experiences.

Many of us were fortunate to have mentors who made sure we were exposed to what the outdoors had to offer. For me, hunting revolved around family bonding and values.

These few years in a child's life are critical. They need to see beyond video games and find a path to their primal instincts that, in turn, will make them better equipped for life.

Independent Years

In my mid-teens, I was on a mission to figure out the ways of the quarry I pursued. My friends and I focused on waterfowl for more than a decade, sharpening our skills on small flying targets. We spent a quarter of the year in their habitat, which without doubt, honed our overall predator and marksmanship skills.

My twenties led me to some of Michigan's finest whitetail habitats as well as journeys throughout the Cascade and Rocky Mountain ranges, all the while soaking up information that heightened my skills even more. During that time, I realized that our planets amazing ecosystems had more to offer than could be found in one lifetime.

Throughout the years, my friends and I began a friendly competition on who would harvest the largest buck of the year. All of us had harvested countless animals and took on the challenge with a vengeance. During this period, the Quality Deer Management movement was introduced. Television began broadcasting this newly researched phenomenon. In my opinion, this was the tool to use in order to produce what every hunter dreams.


We learned that by taking subordinate animals, we would end all opportunity for mature bucks with filled tags. This lesson took us to the next level. Looking back, I can’t even imagine how many mature bucks my friends and I simply did not know existed.


Twenty plus years into it, I finally figured it out. I've covered thousands of miles of ground, learned as much as I could about the game I've hunted, and the number one thing I learned was . . . location . . . location . . . location!

Time spent researching where to be in order to intercept a trophy animal means the difference between harvesting the intended trophy or another fruitless season. I've found that going in to it blind is worse than not hunting at all.

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked how I find the properties I hunt, I’d be hunting heavy horned sheep in Kazakhstan. The simple answer is networking. There is not a day that goes by that I do not throw hints to newly met people, almost subconsciously, picking their brain for any information leading to my next trophy. Hunters as a whole are very friendly group. Sharing experiences with new people can create lifelong relationships and that can lead to endless opportunities.


Every hunter has a wealth of information at their fingertips. A serious hunter can research the best areas to find any species of game on the planet. A simple click of the pc mouse can produce statistics, trophy areas, planning, and all the information needed to get the hunt started.

One of the most recent additions to the hunter's arsenal are cell phone apps, such as Google Earth which gives you a bird’s-eye view of any spot on the planet. The GPS has evolved into a hunter’s guide to his own destiny. While hunting with my grandfather, he trusted his compass to negotiate his stomping grounds. We can now pinpoint our exact location via satellite photos and see what's over the next ridge without even climbing it.

golden estrus

Trail cameras have replaced the need to spend countless hours in the field scouting. This innovation is the mainstay of the trophy hunter. At any one time throughout the year, I have a half dozen or more cameras working for me, documenting every animal which crosses their path. I've been able to track antler development, travel corridors, pinch points, bedding and feeding areas, and ultimately find the largest bucks with little disturbance to my hunting properties.

One has to choose their path and realize what they can do economically and research the opportunities within their grasp. No matter where you live there are mature animals to be hunted. Time may not be on your side, but technology can maximize your time and fulfill your dreams. Hunting smart will line your walls faster than just depending on dumb luck.


As I try to portray my experiences in this article, I'm reflecting on my own life and trying to decode my own efforts to share. During a recent seminar, I was asked if I believe I'm a better hunter than others. My answer was no. I've just spent the time and energy in the wild environment to realize that nature has a plan for everything. We make our own destiny. After all, we are the ultimate predator.

I’ve seen what our Nations Mountains, hard woods, river bottoms, thickets, and farmlands have to offer. Years of trial and error have molded me into what I am. I've done my share of missing, wounding, and killing. Because of that, I know that, when presented with an opportunity, I will follow through and harvest the animal. But, I would let a trophy animal pass if he presents no shot rather than wounding him.


Today, we have generations of people who have not been exposed to what we as hunters take for granted. It's up to us to take the time to involve as many kids as possible. Realizing this, I've made it an annual mission to donate a youth hunt and take a new hunter out to harvest their first animal in order to help save our heritage. It’s a rewarding and humbling experience.

The buck I mentioned at the beginning of the article was no ordinary animal for the State of Michigan. It was a world-class animal that I followed with my trail cameras for the last three years. I knew he would become an animal of epic proportions and elected to let him pass last season . . . not an easy task.

Twenty years ago, I would have never seen a buck of that stature. I would have been tagged out and happy. Who would have figured that decades later, I would spend hundreds of hours hanging in a tree waiting for a certain buck to cross my path and ultimately let him go?

183 5/8

On October 23 of this 2012 season, I harvested that very same buck. If I had taken him last December he would not have evolved in to this 180 plus inch giant.

Dave Lee

Bass Pro Hunting Staff


Spring Turkey Regulations

Spring Turkey season is right around the corner.  May 1 thru May 31.  The spring youth hunt is April 20 and April 21.  Here are a few rules and regulations put out by the DEC.  Refer to or 1-866-426-3778 for additional information.

1.  You must have a turkey permit in addition to a small game or sportsman license.

2.  You may take 2 bearded turkeys during the spring hunt, but only one bird per day.

3.  You must carry your hunting license and turkey permit while you hunt.

4.  You may hunt with a bow.  You may hunt with a shotgun or handgun only when using shot no larger  than #2 and no smaller than #8.

5.   You may not take a turkey with a rifle or handgun when firing with a bullet.

6.  You may use a muzzle loading shotgun.

7.  You are not allowed to hunt with a dog during the spring season.

8.  You are not allowed to use bait to hunt turkey.  You also may not use electronic calling or an amplifying device to locate or hunt turkeys during the open season.

9.  You may use decoys.

10. A scope of any type is allowed.

Once you are successful in shooting a wild turkey, you must fill out the carcass tag in ink, mark or cut out the date and month of the kill and attach it to the carcass.  The carcass tag must stay attached to the turkey carcass until it is prepared for eating. 

Should you decide to give your turkey to another person, you must attach a tag with the following information to the turkey carcass:

1.  Your name

2.  Your address

3.  Your hunting license number

4.  Turkey permit carcass tag number

5.  The recipient's name

6.  The recipient's address

You must report your harvest within 7 days via phone (1-866-GAMERPT) or internet

You do not need to save and send in turkey legs during the spring hunt.  You do need to take careful spur, beard, and weight measurements for harvest reporting. (refer to your NY Hunting and Trapping book or for more detailed information)

Spring Youth Hunt

Ages 12-15 years of age and who hold a junior hunting license and a turkey permit.  All youth hunters must be accompanied by a adult as required by law for a junior hunting license (see your NY Hunting and Trapping book).  The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and Turkey Permit.  He or she may assist the youth hunter (including calling) but may not carry a firearm or longbow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt.

Always refer to your New York Hunting and Trapping book for a more detailed regulation.  Now that you are up on the rules.  Stop on by to Bass Pro Shops and see what you need so you can enjoy a fun Spring Turkey Season.


Robin Piedmonte

Events Coordinator