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What's Cabela's?

Writer experiences archery event at Wheeling store

August 27, 2010
By Diana Perry
From their origins in 1961 when Dick Cabela started selling fishing flies in Casper, Wyoming to today with 30 stores in the U.S. and 1 in Canada, Cabela's really is the World's Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. I recently visited their 176,000 square feet store located at The Highlands, just north of Wheeling, WV for their annual two-day Archery Classic. There was a long line of anxious consumers waiting for the doors to open which is where I met three guys from Indiana, Pa. Joe Zoka had this to say, “Cabela's is the best store for all your outdoor needs which is why I was one of the many who showed up the first day this store opened.” Dave Aikins told me, “I get everything I need for fishing in this one location and have had great success in catching more and bigger fish.” Ed Gamble states, “Cabela's has all the state-of -the-art equipment and accessories for the bowhunter at competitive prices.”

When the doors opened, I was met by Joe McGurn, Event Coordinator, who gave me the grand tour of the huge and impressive store. “There's a department for virtually everything for the great outdoors including outdoor clothing and footwear, and all the latest and best merchandise for camping, hunting, fishing, marine, firearms and archery. There's also a Gun Library and Whitetail World, a Smithsonian-style wildlife museum and a huge aquarium with local fish,” said McGurn. “We even publish a quarterly magazine called The Cabela's Outfitter Journal which features wide-ranging articles on outdoor activities and is free to the public. We also have two television shows; Cabela's Ultimate Adventures and Cabela's Memories In The Field, both air on The Outdoor Channel and the Wild TV Hunting & Fishing Network. This Cabela's has two Conference Rooms; the Whitetail and the Black Bear Conference Rooms, both located near the Powder Horn Grill Restaurant.”

This day at Cabela’s was filled with insightful seminars. One of those included David Shipman, who started with arrow fletching, where he instructed how to have the proper jig for the installation of fletching, why you should use only a fast-bonding glue, the necessity of cleaning the shaft prior to installation and how to replace the veins or feathers on the arrow shaft or bolt to ensure better arrow spinning. “Two good reasons to attend our events is that you get to try out a bow before you buy it and you get great advise from the people who make these products, many who are here today,” said Shipman.

Josh Beaty held the seminar on treestand safety, as he states “9 out of 10 treestand falls occur because hunters fail to remain attached to their safety harnesses. No matter what, if you feel drowsy at any time — get out of the treestand NOW!” said Beaty.

Justin Roll was the last Cabela's expert outfitters to host seminars. His first was on the right scent for the right season. According to Roll, “You need to know the time of the year and season before using a scent. In early season, use an attractant or 'curiosity scent'. In the heart of rut season, use a reliable type of estrus and most importantly, keep yourself smelling invisible by using some kind of scent prevention.”

Set up outside were representatives of Parker Crossbows, one of the largest producers of compound bows and crossbows in the world. Jim Wynne, National Sales Manager, offered this advice, “Parker Bows are made right here in the U.S. at Mint Spring, Virginia. We offer a lifetime warranty to the original owner and we feel we have the best customer service as consumers always talk to a real person when they call in, not a machine,” said Wynne. “Each employee is an expert in their field. We started making bows in 1984 and after perfecting the compound bow, we added the crossbow in 2003. Today we make a complete line of bows and accessories to service the bowhunter's every need.”

The West Virginia Bow Hunters Association had a large area set up for their 3-D Archery Shoot. Everyone had a blast shooting bows at the 3-D animals. In particular, Landon Miller, 7 and his sister Alayna, 4 of Walnut Creek, OH seem to catch on pretty well with expert advise from George Coleman, Vice-President of the group, while Ed Mcminn, President assisted Marcus Lee, 8 from Botkins, OH who was off to a great start as a hunter as he hit his target more times than he missed.

The crowd all had a great time but, according to George, “Our job is to protect and promote bowhunting in the state of West Virginia. We do this by holding family events throughout the state for the sole purpose of promoting bowhunting.” For more information about the group, visit their Website at

Outdoor celebrities Don and Kandi Kinsky were a huge hit at this event. The Kinsky’s are Pro Staff members of Hunter Safety System, they’re also co-hosts of The Outdoor Channel's 'Whitetail Freaks'. Per Don, “Our purpose for the program is to show the average guy with an average job how to harvest and grow mature bucks and how to kill mature four-year-old deer yearly. You need to get to know your territory deer and what they eat. It's important to feed the deer to keep them healthy because this makes for larger trophy deer. Plant corn in good weather and soybeans in the winter. Turnips and buck forage oats work well but my favorite is Antler King's Trophy Clover because it regrows and can stand heavy deer foraging.” Candy agreed, “Hunters are actually good for the deer population because by feeding them and keeping their numbers from over-populating, we help prevent disease and a slow death by starvation. I started hunting right after I met Don. I started with a 35lb bow and still managed to harvest a 180-inch deer. Now I use a 48lb bow. Being a mom, my main concern is on safety. 80% of hunters still don't use a safety harness. This sets a very bad example for the next generation of hunters. Don and I wouldn't think of climbing into our treestand without our Hunter Safety System harness.” For more details on Don and Kandi Kinsky, see

Jerry Wydner, President of Hunter Safety System, added, “There are several reasons hunters don't buy and use a harness. Namely, they think it's too expensive. What they don't realize is that although we make each unit and accessory to be tested and certified to Treestand Manufacturers Association standards, we keep the price as low as possible so that every hunter can afford one. It only takes one fall without a harness to result in an expensive hospital stay, loss of wages and many end in permanent damage never to hunt again or worse...death,” said Wydner.

The crowd loved Eddie Salter, a Pro Staff member of Hunter's Specialties. His seminar was titled, 'Smelling Invisible'. Salter has appeared on the Hunter's Specialties Outdoors TV show, which airs on The Outdoor Channel as well as the Prime Time Bucks and Cutt'n & Stutt'n DVD series, ESPN, ABC's 20/20 and many others. According to Salter, “You have to beat a deer through his nose by 'smelling invisible' to get close enough to harvest the biggest trophy bucks. Hunters tend to miss the little things that cause them to come home empty handed, like touching branches with their bare hands. It also defeats the purpose to show up in camouflage when you advertise yourself throughout the forest because you smell like deodorant, shampoo, soap and shaving cream.”

Salter also offered these hunting tips: “Don't get dressed until after breakfast because clothes absorb smells. There's nothing like being on a hunt smelling like french toast and eggs. Even your watchband holds your scent.”

For additional information about Cabela's visit their Website at:

Article Photos

Cabela's of Wheeling, WV employee Scott Panas offers fishing tackle advice to two youngsters. Photo by Diana Perry

Fact Box

“Our purpose for the program is to show the average guy with an average job how to harvest and grow mature bucks and how to kill mature four-year-old deer yearly...” Outdoor Celebrity Don Kinsky

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