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

    Archive for September, 2006

    Catfish headed for urban lakes

    Catfish stockings resume at urban program lakes

    It’s time to put some new line on your favorite fishing pole: Feisty 2-pound channel catfish have once again been stocked in the Arizona Game and Fish Department Urban Fishing Program lakes this week.

    Each year, urban catfish stockings are suspended during the heat of summer for water quality and temperature concerns. From now through early November, the urban lakes will be stocked every other week with catfish. During November, the waters cool down significantly, and the much-awaited trout stockings will commence at urban lakes.

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    Posted on 27th September 2006
    Under: Fishing | No Comments »

    Game and Fish Needs Your Help to Solve Poaching

    This crap makes me so furious that I can hardly think straight. Not only because of the waste, but because people associate this kind of activity with hunters. I don’t think penalties are harsh enough. Maybe hunters should push for penalties that will indeed be a real deterrent.

    Information needed to solve elk poaching
    The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking for the public’s help to catch a poacher who killed three elk just south of Mormon Lake, in the Gash Flat area southeast of Flagstaff, on Aug. 31.

    The poacher killed a young bull, a cow, and an adult bull with 5×6 antlers. The animals were discovered in Game Management Unit 6A along a three-mile stretch of Forest Service Road 127, which is approximately five miles south of Mormon Lake. Wildlife officers suspect one poacher shot all three animals, which were left in the field to waste. At the time of the poaching, no elk season was underway in that unit; the archery deer season started the following day.

    “This is a blatant example of poachers’ disrespect for wildlife and the laws and seasons that are established to protect our wildlife resources,” says Wildlife Manager Dan Caputo. “We need help from the public in catching the poacher. If you were in the area recently, please think back about anything you might have seen or heard or any conversations you might have had. Maybe someone doesn’t realize he or she has the key to solving this case. The poached animals are considered a major loss for the residents of Arizona and our wildlife resources.”

    Anyone with information about this poaching can call the department’s Operation Game Thief hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700. A timely report of any poaching case to the department is important to preserve any evidence. Callers may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 in this case. All calls may remain confidential upon request.

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    Posted on 26th September 2006
    Under: General | No Comments »

    ATTN: Quail Hunters

    From AZGF:

    Quail hunters: biologists need your wings
    Quail hunters: you can assist ongoing quail management efforts by the Arizona Game and Fish Department by providing the right wing from each harvested Gambel’s quail Oct. 13-15, the opening weekend of the season.

    “The wings will help assess the impacts of this year’s climate pattern on Gambel’s quail reproduction. This is the second year of the study. Given the lack of winter and spring precipitation this past year, we need good quail hunter participation again this year so we can develop strong comparative data,” says Mark Zornes, the department’s small game biologist.

    Zornes says quail hunters really came through last year. “I’d like to personally thank all participants from last year. Hunters were very generous — 2,600-plus wings — and made the effort a great success.”

    As in the past, the department will be conducting check stations on opening weekend of the quail season at Freeman Road near Florence, Willow Springs near Oracle, and at Punkin Center near Roosevelt Lake to gather quail harvest age and gender information.

    For quail hunters who do not hunt near one of the check stations, you can help by removing only the right wing from each harvested Gambel’s quail and placing it in one of the manila wing envelopes available at any department office. Wings from multiple birds harvested can be stored in a single envelope. Wing envelopes must be labeled to be useful.

    “Once you have placed the wings in the properly labeled department envelopes, you can let the wings dry without spoilage,” Zornes says.

    After returning from your hunt, please drop off the wings in the labeled envelopes to any department office during regular office hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday) no later than Nov. 1. For more information, call (602) 789-3352.

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    Posted on 25th September 2006
    Under: Hunting | 1 Comment »

    Slow Year

    Man, I’ve been pounded at work, and my Arizona fall (so to speak) is off to a slow start. Out for a 1-day bear hunt on August 28th, and that was it. No dove, no OTC deer, no predator hunting.. thi sucks! I haven’t even had a chance to go scouting (other than by map) for my late Oct Coues hunt. Dang!

    I did buy a Micro Midas bow for my daughter, so hopefully I can get her set up and shooting her “big girl’s” bow soon. We can’t wait!

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    Posted on 24th September 2006
    Under: Hunting | 1 Comment »

    Don’t Feed the Critters

    From AZGFD:

    New wildlife-feeding law goes into effect
    Our recent drought has prompted many wild animals to move into our cities, looking for food. Unfortunately, when people intentionally feed wildlife, they can encourage these animals to stick around, become aggressive and even dangerous to humans. A new law that just went into effect in Maricopa and Pima counties on Sept. 21 is aimed at preventing those problems.

    “Many people think feeding wildlife is a helpful thing to do, and they enjoy seeing rabbits or deer spending time around their homes,” says Elissa Ostergaard, urban wildlife specialist in the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Tucson office. “What also happens is that those animals attract larger, predatory animals to the neighborhoods. That’s when you have coyotes, javelina and other animals that can become a danger to people and harm their pets.”

    State Sen. Toni Hellon of Tucson sponsored the bill that evolved into the wildlife-feeding law for Maricopa and Pima counties. The law does not affect people just feeding birds and tree squirrels or anyone carrying out normal livestock or agricultural operations. It is a public safety measure that will only stop those who are intentionally, knowingly or recklessly feeding wildlife.

    “We do not intend to use this law unless someone is obviously creating a problem in a neighborhood that could affect other people, and he or she has already been warned,” says Mike Senn, head of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s field operations division. “We prefer to educate people first, and this is a last resort option.”

    Problems associated with wildlife feeding include coyote attacks on eight child victims in areas of Maricopa County, two recent Phoenix-area incidents where javelina bit humans who were hand-feeding them, and several human-mountain lion encounters in 2004 in Sabino Canyon and near an elementary school in the Tucson area.

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    Posted on 24th September 2006
    Under: Arizona News | No Comments »

    New Hunter Harassment Law

    Hunter harassment law goes into effect
    Law prohibits intentionally interfering with a legal hunt
    A new law making it illegal to intentionally interfere with a lawful hunt in Arizona became effective Sept. 21.

    The law does not apply to incidental interference arising from lawful activity by public land users, including recreationists, ranchers or miners; nor does it apply to landowners engaged in agricultural or livestock operations.

    The law, A.R.S. 17-316, protects the rights of licensed hunters by prohibiting people from intentionally disrupting hunts through such actions as vandalizing a hunter’s equipment or property, obstructing or making physical contact with a hunter, or intentionally placing themselves between wildlife and someone attempting to legally hunt that wildlife.

    Violation of the law is a misdemeanor, potentially punishable by a fine of up to $750 and four months in jail.

    “The key word in the new law is the word ‘intentional,’” says Larry Voyles, law enforcement branch chief of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “We won’t be citing people for lawful activities that might accidentally affect a hunt. We will cite people who either have been previously warned, or who have indicated through action or word that they intend to disrupt a legal hunt.”

    Certain animal rights activists have attempted to disrupt legal hunts in the past. “This new law protects the rights of hunters and allows our officers to take enforcement actions to help ensure the safety of hunters and those who would attempt to disrupt their hunts,” says Voyles.

    As always, hunters need to continue to exercise safe hunting practices when out in the field. “Hunters must be absolutely aware of their surroundings and people who might be present,” says Voyles. “Remember, you are responsible for your actions when you discharge a firearm.”

    Voyles recommends that all hunters take a hunter education course, which emphasizes firearms safety and safe hunting practices. Arizona has one of the nation’s best hunting safety records, attributable in large part to its hunter education program.

    For a list of hunter education courses, visit azgfd.gov/education and click on the “hunter education” link.

    The hunter harassment bill was sponsored in the Arizona Legislature last spring by Rep. Jerry Weiers (R-Glendale).

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    Posted on 23rd September 2006
    Under: Arizona News | No Comments »

    Youth Unit Watch - Oct 19/22

    From Sharon Fillman at RMEF…

    The Youth Unit Watch is Oct 19-22. Starts Thursday evening with dinner & a seminar for the kids & families. Fri, Sat, Sun will keep the hot choc & donuts handy. Will help advise & retrieve elk if needed. Sat evening is a pot-luck for all volunteers. Will probably need enough food to feed all the game wardens in the area as well. Event will be at Moorman Lake Rodeo grounds. The Lodge set up porta potties. Miller Processing will have a freezer there. Sunday will give away youth rifle. Usually give a knife set to boy & girl that bring in first elk.

    AES will have same setup at Happy Jack.

    Phoenix Chapt really needs our help. It does sound fun. Can any of you make it? You don’t have to be there the whole time. Come up one day or two whatever your schedule permits. Please let me know, I need to get back to Jim.

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    Posted on 23rd September 2006
    Under: Events | No Comments »

    Droning Towards Sensitivity

    From Mark Steyn, featured in the Washington Post:

    Droning toward sensitivity

    By Mark Steyn
    September 18, 2006

    Much the September 11, 2001, anniversary coverage struck me as distastefully tasteful. On the morning of Sept. 12, I was pumping gas just off Interstate 91 in Vermont and picked up the Valley News. Its lead headline covered the annual roll call of the dead — or, as the alliterative editor put it, “Litany of the lost.” That would be a grand entry for “Litany of the Lame,” an anthology of the all-time worst headlines. September 11 wasn’t a shipwreck: the dead weren’t “lost”: They were murdered.
    So I skipped that story. Underneath was something headlined “Half a decade gone by, a reporter still cannot comprehend why.” Well, in that case maybe you shouldn’t be in the reporting business. After half a decade, it’s not that hard to “comprehend”: Osama bin Laden issued a declaration of war and then his agents carried out a big attack. He talked the talk, his boys walked the walk. If you need to flesh it out a bit, you could go to the library and look up a book.
    But, of course, that’s not what the headline means: Instead, it’s “incomprehensible” in the sense, that to persons of a certain mushily “progressive” disposition, all such acts are “incomprehensible,” all violence is “senseless.” Unfortunately, it made perfect sense to the perpetrators. That is what the headline writer finds hard to “comprehend” — or, rather, doesn’t wish to comprehend.
    The piece itself was categorized as “Reflection” — dread word. No self-respecting newspaper should be running “reflections” anywhere upfront of Section G Page 27, and certainly not on Page One. But it has exactly the kind of self-regarding pseudosophistication the American media love. The proper tone for September 11 commemorations is to be sad about all the dead — “the lost” — but in a very generalized soft-focus way. Not a lot of specifics about the lost, and certainly not too many quotes from those final phone calls from the passengers to their families, like Peter Hanson’s last words before Flight 175 hit the World Trade Center: “Don’t worry, Dad. If it happens, it will be very fast.” That might risk getting readers worked up, especially if they see the flight manifest:
    “Peter Hanson, Massachusetts
    “Susan Hanson, Massachusetts
    “Christine Hanson, 2, Massachusetts”
    No, best to stick to a limpidly fey, tastefully mopey, enervatedly passive prose style that suggests nothing very much can be done about the incomprehensible lost. This tasteful passivity is the default mode of the age: Five years ago it was striking, even in the immediate aftermath, how many radio and TV trailers for blood drives and other relief efforts could only bring themselves over the soupy music track to refer vaguely to “the tragic events,” as if any formulation more robust might prove controversial.
    Passivity is far slyer and more lethal than rabid Bush hatred. Say what you like about the left-wing kooks, but they can still get a good hate on. Sure, they hate President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Halliburton and Fox News and Rush Limbaugh rather than Saddam Hussein and the jihadists. But at least they can still muster primal emotions.
    Every morning I wake up to a gazillion e-mails from fellows wishing me ill, usually beginning by calling me a “chickenhawk” followed by a generous smattering of words I can only print here peppered with asterisks, and usually ending with pledges to come round and shove various items in a particular part of my anatomy. There’s so much shipping to go there I ought to get Dubai Ports World in to run it.
    The foaming leftie routine seems to be a tough sell to a general audience. I see that, a mere three weeks after I guest-hosted for Rush, the widely acclaimed and even more widely unlistened-to Air America is going belly up. Coincidence? You be the judge. But I doubt the “liberal” radio network would be kaput if anti-Bush fever were about to sweep the Democrats to power this November. I think I said a few months back that the Dems would be waking up to their usual biennial Wednesday morning after the Tuesday night before, and I’ll stick with that.
    But there’s more to the national discourse than party politics. And, whoever wins or loses, the cult of feebly tasteful passivity rolls on regardless. As part of National Review’s fifth anniversary observances, James Lileks wrote the following: “If September 11 had really changed us, there’d be a 150-story building on the site of the World Trade Center today. It would have a classical memorial in the plaza with allegorical figures representing Sorrow and Resolve, and a fountain watched over by stern stone eagles. Instead there’s a pit, and arguments over the usual muted dolorous abstraction approved by the National Association of Grief Counselors. The Empire State Building took 18 months to build. During the Depression. We could do that again, but we don’t. And we don’t seem interested in asking why.”
    Ray Nagin, New Orleans’ Mayor Culpa, is a buffoon but he nevertheless had a point when he scoffed at the ongoing hole in the ground in Lower Manhattan. And whatever fills it will never include those “stern stone eagles”. The best we can hope for is that the Saudi-funded Islamic Outreach Center will only take up a third of the site. But in our hearts we know whatever memorial eventually stands on the spot will be rubbish — tasteful rubbish, but rubbish all the same.
    Last year, I criticized the Flight 93 memorial, the “Crescent of Embrace,” whose very title is a parodic masterpiece of note-perfect, generically effete, huggy-weepy blather. In return I received a ton of protests noting that the families of the Flight 93 heroes had “approved” the design. All that demonstrates, I think, is how thoroughly constrained our society is within its own crescent of embrace: The cult of passivity has insinuated itself deep into our bones. Behind those “Imagine Peace” stickers lies a terrible failure to imagine.
    At what point does a society become simply too genteel to wage war? We’re like those apocryphal Victorian matrons who covered the legs of their pianos. Acts of war against America have to be draped in bathetic music and uncomprehending reflections and crescents of embrace.
    We fight tastefully, too. Last week one of America’s unmanned drones could have killed 200 Taliban bigshots but they were attending a funeral and we apparently have a policy of not killing anybody near cemeteries out of sensitivity.
    So even our unmanned drones are obliged to behave with sensitivity. But then these days the very soundtrack to our society is, so to speak, an unmanned drone.

    Mark Steyn is the senior contributing editor for Hollinger Inc. Publications, senior North American columnist for Britain’s Telegraph Group, North American editor for the Spectator, and a nationally syndicated columnist.

    © Mark Steyn, 2005

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    Posted on 18th September 2006
    Under: Politics and More | 1 Comment »

    Weird deer hooves

    From Mike Hanback’s blog….

    Mike Hanback

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    Posted on 17th September 2006
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Cool Photo - Albino Moose

    Posted over in Tom’s Black Bear Blog… A cool photo, supposedly taken near Bathurst, NB. New Brunswick happens to be my home province, and I went to trade school in Bathurst.


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    Posted on 17th September 2006
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Spring Draw

    Well, I’m, 0 for 3 on javelina. Granted, I have bow-hunted them, every season. I hope to change that this year - I went for 37A at my friend Garth’s urging, instead of my usual (unsuccessful) 37B. I was hesititant, but assuming I get drawn, am looking forward to learning a new Unit.

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    Posted on 16th September 2006
    Under: Hunting | No Comments »

    Coues Deer

    I realized that a lot of folks visiting my sites are “from away” - as they say in Maine.. It seems that when I talk to people (not from AZ) about the deer here, I have a hard time explaining our Coues. This is a sub-species of the whitetail found primarily in AZ, NM, and Mexico. My friend Amanda Moors has the BEST site around for Coues info - Coues Site

    Here are some great pics of successful Coues hunters, set to music in a video : Videos Celebration 2 is especially cool.

    They have a great message board too, where they can (and do) answer a ton of questions!

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    Posted on 16th September 2006
    Under: Hunting | No Comments »