• Advertise with us
  • Blog with us

    2006 July - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Archive for July, 2006

    Goodbye, Scurry

    Why is it a guy that wouldn’t hesitate to shoot an elk or bear or duck gets all misted up when a pet rat dies? Sonia and Scurry are rats. We got them about a year ago. Our daughter Mikaela had “earned” a pet. After some research, we learned that rats were highly recommended for kids her age. Reasonable care requirements, intelligent, and they could handle some rough handling by an 8 year old. Now keep in mind I hate rats with a passion. Well, “regular” rats anyway. Admittedly, Sonia and Scurry have been a lot of fun. Scurry got sick yesterday, and it was obvious her chances of making it through the night were slim. I think I feel more bad about it than I should. It will be a sad day for our family, especially Mikaela. Whoulda thunk a 7 dollar rat could make such an impression on a bunch of humans? Go figure. I hope she’s up there somewhere, with lots of treats, lots of other little critters to play with, and a ton of doodads to play with. Goodbye Scurry, thanks for the happiness you brought to our daughter.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 29th July 2006
    Under: General | No Comments »

    State Varmint Calling Championship

    If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact Eddie Murdock at 602-336-8364 (h) or 602-747-9019 (w) work number is good from 7:00 am � 4:00 pm Mon - Fri.

    State Varmint Calling Championship/Contest

    July 29, 1:00pm � 2:30pm: The annual State Varmint Calling Championship/Contest will be at the Gila County Fairgrounds during the Arizona Trappers Convention in Globe, AZ. Trophies and prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. For more details go to www.pvci.org

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 28th July 2006
    Under: Events | No Comments »

    Ghost Camo

    Clay Mathews and Rob Efinger are the guys behind ghost camo. I’ve done some writing for them, and have gotten to know them a bit, over the last year or so. I can tell you that they are innovative, driven to provide a quality product, and just all-round good guys. Hunters like us. Clay developed Prairie Ghost because he couldn’t find the right camo for his hunting environment. It wasn’t a gimmick. It was research and practicality.

    I wear Ghost Camo and can tell you that it is comfortable. It is of a high quality. They have great patterns for specific environments. This year I’m going to give River Ghost a try. I think the tans and browns will blend well, in our deserts.

    Have a look at Ghost Camo - sooner, rather than later!

    Ghost Camo

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 27th July 2006
    Under: Products | 1 Comment »

    The Draw - complaints

    Every year, folks bitch about the draw process. I include myself in that generalization. It’s something we’re all passionate about, so it’s no wonder we all have great ideas for “tweaking” it.

    One comment that bugs me however is the “people should pay up front” comment. I know that I am in the minority here. A lot of people feel that applicants should pay up front. My problem is not with the theory; it is with the motivation of some of those who suggest it. Some message boarders say it, and you can almost sense their written words dripping with disdain. “If people can’t afford to pay up front, they shouldn’t be applying”. Translation - “eliminate those people, and there will be more tags for me.” That my friends, is an opinion mired in selfishness, not effective management of either game animals, or draw logistics.

    Maybe they should apply that tenet to the rest of the aspects of their lives. If they can’t afford to pay up fron for gas, they don’t deserve it. Or groceries. Or a vehicle. Or a meal out at a restaurant. Yeah - that’s it. I bet those people pay up front for everything.

    Do we want to keep our sport strong or not? Maybe we should go to the European style of game preserves and caretakers. Only the lords and ladies and dukes may hunt… No wait - the same people who gripe about draw-by-credit-card probably don’t agree with fenced hunting either.

    I’m all for making the draw fair and easy. Maybe human nature dictates that our suggestions will be focused on what will be best for us, as individuals. Is that really the way it should be?

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 27th July 2006
    Under: Hunting | 9 Comments »

    The 2nd Amendment

    A pretty neat, scholarly analysis of the true meaning of the Second Amendment:


    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 27th July 2006
    Under: Politics and More | No Comments »

    The DRAW

    Well, crunch time is here, and chaos reigns supreme. This is my 4th year of draw-watching. I must say that “the draw” is a VERY different phenomenon here in AZ than it was in Maine or NB. Back there we had draws for moose tags. People got excited, but nothing like this. People are obsessed; people are frantic; people are irritable; people are ecstatic.

    This year, AZGF had a new vendor to implement the draw. By most accounts, it hasn’t been a pretty sight. See, the thing is.. “stuff happens”. My issue is with the passage of information. Rumors run rampant when the draw is going as it should. This year, it has been absolute, undeniable chaos. I’m not slagging AZGF for problems with the vendor. I have a considerable background in project management - when you’re under the gun, and a sub-contractor screws things up (if that is the case) - things go south real quick. The key is to get you arms around the situation, do constant evaluation and re-evaluation, and control the passage of information, so everybody is on the same page. Jumbled and contradictory info has been the icing on the cake, this year. Folks are calling AZGF and/or the draw company constantly, and dutifully posting updates on the various websites. The problem is, everyone it seems, is being told something different. This is just making a bad situation worse.

    Obviously, G&F will address the technical issues that they encountered this year, in order to improve the process. Let’s hope they brush up on their communication strategy as well.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 21st July 2006
    Under: Hunting | 3 Comments »

    NAHC - STOP sending me JUNK!

    I have belonged to the NAHC, off and on, over the years. Truth be told, I really like their magazine, and they have a nice website as well. That being said, I AM TIRED OF THEM SENDING ME UNSOLICITED STUFF! Most of it is stupid junk that I never would order on my own. I am an enabler, because curiosity gets the better of me, I open the package to see what’s inside. Then the stuff sits around waiting for me to go through the hassle of sending it back. Usually that doesn’t happen. By the time I get an invoice, the junk is packed, put away, or thrown out. Now I owe them. I think that is their plan. I really wish they’d knock it off.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 17th July 2006
    Under: General | 5 Comments »

    Super Big Game Raffle

    Looks like a success!!

    From AZGF:

    Arizona’s first-ever big game super raffle raises $514,055 for wildlife

    PHOENIX – Nine lucky winners now have hunt-permit tags of a lifetime while Arizona’s first-ever big game super raffle raised more than a half million dollars for wildlife conservation in the state.

    The nine winners of special, prized commissioner’s hunting tags with yearlong season dates were drawn from a drum on July 8, and almost immediately the goal for next year’s super raffle was set at raising a million dollars for wildlife.

    The big game super raffle is a new concept, not just for Arizona, but for the nation. For years, two commissioner tags were set aside per big game species in Arizona, and they were auctioned off or raffled by individual sportsmen’s groups to raise money for wildlife. A third tag per species was created last year by the state Legislature. Several sportsmen’s groups then joined together in a unique collaborative effort to market these nine new commissioner tags via a super raffle.

    These dedicated sportsman-conservation groups sold 42,606 raffle tickets for the nine available commissioner tags, a total raised of $514,055. Although 56 percent of the tickets were sold within Arizona, raffle tickets were actually sold in every state except Vermont, plus Canada. Every dollar raised goes directly to wildlife and wildlife management for the particular species.

    In addition, 4,752 raffle tickets for a Swarovski optics package were sold, which raised more than $47,000 to cover the operating expenses of the raffle. Swarovski donated the optics package.

    The super raffle winners were:

    Antelope - Wallace Duncan, Flagstaff:
    Black Bear - Pete Demassari, Chandler:
    Buffalo - Andrew Pontious, Upland, Calif.:
    Coues Whitetail - Olga Boido, Tucson;
    Desert Bighorn Sheep - Gerald Carter, Caldwell, Texas:
    Elk - Gary Chiurazzi, Peoria:
    Javelina - John Dardis, Jamestown, N.D.:
    Mule Deer - Garel Westall Jr., Carlsbad, N.M.:
    Turkey – Harold Barton, Corbin, Ky.:
    Swarovski optics - Paul Lennon, Benson:
    After each winner was drawn from the barrel, he or she was immediately called and hooked into a speakerphone, often with the accompaniment of much appreciative applause from the assembled sportsmen.

    The night’s humorous relief came from deep in the heart of Texas. “I’ll tell ya what now, this here is a pretty good present,” said Gerald Carter from Caldwell, Texas, after being told he had won the much-coveted bighorn sheep tag. Without skipping a beat, the Texan asked with a slight drawl, “Have you all drawn for elk yet? Hope ya’ll will be calling back in a few minutes.”

    Following completion of the drawing, Pete Cimellaro told the assembled representatives from the various organizations that everyone thought he was crazy when he set the super raffle goal this year of raising a half-million dollars for wildlife. “I’m going to tell you right now, this $500,000 is going to double next year.”

    Cimellaro explained that with all the sportsmen’s groups working together on this project, “This thing is going to grow and grow, and raise millions for wildlife.”

    For more information on the super raffle, visit arizonagiggamesuperraffle.com.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 15th July 2006
    Under: Conservation Groups | No Comments »

    Blue October

    i thought I’d really switch gears for once. I’m not a real heavy-duty musicaholic. I don’t go to concerts, I don’t go nutty for band-wear, I don’t spend 90% of my time with an I-pod strapped to my noggin.

    I do enjoy music though. I must say that my favorite band for the last 2 or 3 years has been Blue October. As a matter of fact, my entire family loves them. Finally, they have a song that made the mainstream “top 40″ play list. Hate Me is a hit. We have been hoping and wishing for these guys for so long, that my daughter said “she felt like crying” when she first heard them on our local radio station.

    These guys have some serious talent, and their songs cover a range that you wouldn’t believe. Every album is different; every song is different. Hard songs, punky songs, slow songs, rockabilly. Argue With A Tree is a great double-live album. Consent to Treatment and History for Sale are great albums as well. Parental warning - a couple of songs have the F-bomb. That being said, it is used sparingly, and in context - not just for the sake of using it.

    You can learn more about these guys at their site Blue October

    Oh - my favorite songs: Breakfast After 10, Calling You, Hate Me, Balance Beam

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 15th July 2006
    Under: Politics and More | 1 Comment »

    Elite Archery

    I have been following Elite’s progress, since they popped onto the scene not too long ago. With some legal wranglings behind them (successfully) Kate and Kevin Strother look poised to hit the ground running, with their new company. They have some great looking products. A lot of the speculation was put to rest in this month’s Outdoor Life magazine which rated their bow 4th out of 18 or so bows. The judging team issued high scores on the tested bow (the E-Force), and also listed 2 of their bow’s features in a sidebar on the best innovations of the year.

    Visit Elite

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 13th July 2006
    Under: Products | 20 Comments »

    No Trace - Scent Control Camo

    Folks interested in scent-control clothing need to take a serious look at a relatively new product called “No Trace”. No Trace utilizes aprocess whereby the fibres in the clothing actually attract scent molecules, and neutralize them. No trace is amazingly easy to care for as well - simply wash it to reactivate.

    From the No Trace website: The new science of odor control

    The science behind the No Trace Odor Magnet Technology is a process patented by Dan River Inc. Permanently attached to the fibers of the No Trace fabric are molecules, called cyclodextrins, that act as magnets which attract and bond with human odor molecules as they are released from your body, preventing them from escaping into the air. The cyclodextrins are of various shapes and sizes, providing a broad spectrum of protection.

    This same Odor Magnet Technology (OMT™) also attracts external odors such as campfire smoke, making the hunter virtually odorless.

    Simple and easy care

    No Trace will continue to absorb odors for up to a week or more. To restore it is a simple matter of washing the garment in scent-free detergent. If you’re in the field for an extended period, you can extend the effectiveness of No Trace with a quick rinse and scrub in a creek.

    U.S. Patent No. 6,861,520

    Visit their site here: No Trace

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 13th July 2006
    Under: Products | No Comments »

    Draw News - Sort Of

    From AZGFD

    For immediate release July 13, 2006

    Big game draw still on target

    PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is actively processing fall hunt-permit applications and is committed to getting the results out to applicants on time.

    “Due to technical problems experienced during the last two days before the fall hunt application deadline, we are still actively working to process all the applications properly,” said Assistant Director Richard Rico.

    Rico said the department is committed to conducting the draw in a timely manner, mailing the results out to its customers by July 28 and sending out any refunds by Aug. 11.

    In past years, the department has had a terrific track record of getting the draw accomplished and releasing the results up to two weeks ahead of the deadline. “We might not be as early as we would like to be, but we’ll get it done,” Rico says.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 13th July 2006
    Under: Hunting | No Comments »