At the last BassPro summer event that Lyle S. and myself attended a few weekends ago, I won a $100 gift card as a door prize. Over the years that they have been doing those members only events I have won 3 gift cards, a $25, and 2 $100 cards. I also have won a hunting blind which serves as an excellent ice fishing hut. If you are not a Basspro member, thank you, it makes it easier for me and Lyle to win stuff. I digress. Today as I went into basspro with my $100 gift card burning a hole in my wallet, I was going to buy a few items that I need for opening day in September. I decided to walk throughout the store and check out their lacking inventory in the decoy section then head to the ever elusive ammunition area. Boy am I glad I did.
GET YOUR AMMO NOW!
I was chatting (no surprise there) with a employee working the gun desk. I asked if I could buy a case of my favorite Winchester 3 Inch 12 gauge #2 ammo. They said all they had was on the shelf. Now I personally believe that I will solve the mystery of the Bermuda triangle before I can figure out how they ‘order’ ammo at BassPro. You would think that if it flies off the shelf like they claim that the head office would send a few tractor trailer loads of shotgun shells out so we could exchange our money for their ammo. So I was looking for the 2 kinds of ammo that my shotgun and extra full choke shoots well. They had no Remington and only 7 boxes of the Winchester ammo that works for me. I took all 7. Now I am sitting at 12 boxes (300 rounds) in my current inventory.
I know that in a decent season I will shoot 1 1/2 – 2 cases (10 boxes of 25 shell per case 250 rounds) in a fall. Add another 1/2 – 1 case for the spring season. I like to buy the shells throughout the year (2 or 3 boxes at a time) just to keep the inventory up. I use #2 steel shot at 1550 fps for geese and ducks. That shot is a little big for mallards but I am not going to change up ammo if on a goose hunt and a bunch of mallards buzz in. If I am on a primarily duck only hunt, I run #4’s. I usually will bring 4 boxes of ammo with me into the blinds per day. I do not want to run to the truck to get more shells if the birds are flying.
The worst thing you can do is try to find ammo near opening day or during the season. BASSPRO WILL NOT HAVE IT. Wholesale sports may have some but not much. Hopefully when Cabelas opens in the Fall they will have a good amount and selection. If you snooze you will looze. You will be forced to buy overpriced ‘specialty’ ammo or just have to take the leftover scraps. What these retailers in our area do not seem to grasp is the volume of shotgun shells that an active waterfowler goes through in a season. A deer hunter may use 2 boxes (1 to sight in and 1 to hunt) in a season versus the crate that bird hunters can go through.
Last Fall during our October Saskatchewan hunt with Andy S., Lyle S., Rusty, Davey, Warren C., and myself; we ran out of ammo nearing the end of the hunt. We went to Kindersley Walmart and cleaned them out of their limited stock. We found some overpriced ammo in the Co-op hardware store in town. They had somewhat of a selection, but beggars can’t be choosers. During that week hunt I went through a case right there and all the dead birds were proof. Don’t go into the season with the old war chest low, load up on ammo TODAY!
GET YOUR LICENSES NOW!
Did you know that when you buy your hunting licenses and tags and Basspro you get member reward points? Yes you do. Here is a list of what you need to hunt in Canada as a whole, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Here are some helpful links.
Federal Migratory Game Bird License – $17 plus GST. This license is needed to hunt waterfowl in Canada. Don’t forget to get this on top of your provincial licenses. They are purchased online or from Post Offices across the country. Wholesale Sports and some Canadian Tires carry them. SAVE THIS STAMP as this is the only license that is required to hunt Spring Snow Geese across the prairies in the 2016 spring hunt. Here is a link from the Federal Gov’t with places that carry these.
ALBERTA – WIN card is needed (renewed every 4 years), a hunting certificate, then a migratory game bird license. These can be bought almost everywhere just look to major sporting stores, Canadian Tires, and Walmart. These can also be bought online. Here is a link with the info and the regulations.
SASKATCHEWAN – The best place to get your license in online. They have made it easy and quick to get it this way. You will need to buy a hunting license and a game bird license. They will mail you a log-book that you will need if you are hunting upland game birds. For water fowl all you need is to print off your licenses and carry it with you.
KNOW YOUR REGS – Now that you have the regs in front of you, time to actually read them. You would be very surprised on how many questions you may have will be answered. It is important that we all read up the regs. Then we can catch any errors or honest mistakes. There is so much info inside the regulations, it is very easy to get it wrong. If we all are reading up on them, we can catch our mistakes before they become hideous errors. It is important to know when the seasons open and close, bag limits, what time sunrise and sunset are, and which lakes are restricted to hunting. Those are just a few things that we all must know. Ignorance is a lousy excuse and will get you no where when you have a visit with a Conservation Officer. Be in the know and be in the right. READ THOSE REGS!