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    2007 June - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Archive for June, 2007

    Leading, not following

    I just read this post over on CouesWhitetail.com, another great Arizona based site. I haven’t met this gent yet, but it certainly deserves a reprint…. Some people talk, some people do…. A tip of the hat to these guys.

    Everyone is quite aware of our dry spell we’ve had these last several years and it difinately has had an enormous impact on everything from our national forest to the water in our homes. This person would be the last one to pat himself on the back or even mention he has gone to the next level of giving his time and hard earned money towards helping in a way he thinks is his enjoyment instead of contributing to our water shortage. I would like to take the time to let each of you, even though I’ll catch hell from him for writing this, that Mike Leas, as most of you know him as Gamehauler, has taken on the task of purchasing a water trailer and has been supplying water to much needed watering catchments throughout the rim country. Mike along with friend Dick Henry, from Payson also, has taken the next step towards our crises we’re in and I personally would like to thank both of them and wanted a few of you to know what goes on behind the scenes. So with this said I say THANK YOU Mike and to those others who go without recognition helping in their own ways as well. Ask Mike to share some of his watering pictures with us.

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    Posted on 28th June 2007
    Under: General | 2 Comments »

    Exotic animals draining AZ resources?

    Just one more case in my mind, of light sentencing guidelines allowing a specific type of crime to run rampant. At the very least, convicted offenders should have to pay restitution ($$ for care of the animals) or volunteer at these over-crowded shelters.

    From AzCentral : Exotics

    Exotic-animal trade unleashes burden on Arizona
    Traffickers seldom punished; critters crowding sanctuaries

    Dennis Wagner
    The Arizona Republic
    Jun. 23, 2007 12:00 AM
    Arizona wildlife-sanctuary operators are swamped with exotic animals because they say criminals who sell critters on the black market seldom face serious punishment.

    Of the 700 alligators, lizards and other reptiles at the Phoenix Herpetological Society in Scottsdale, for example, 120 were confiscated from poachers and traffickers, and others were possessed illegally and dropped off by owners who no longer wanted them.

    Russ Johnson, president of the society, said there is little deterrence in the courts for the traffickers, who can make hundreds or thousands of dollars off the sale of one snake or Gila monster. Violators frequently walk away without serving a day behind bars or paying a steep fine.

    “Our court system has thought that the importation of these alligators, crocodiles and snakes is not a very serious offense,” he said. “Most of these people are just given a slap on the wrist.”

    Convicted dealers often are released on probation with minor fines. “They consider that the cost of doing business, and they go back to what they were doing,” Johnson said.

    The prosecution of Raymond E. Robinson is a case in point.

    Investigators used an undercover operative in 2002 to sting the California resident, who was selling three Gila monsters and two golden eyelash vipers from South America for $7,500 in Goodyear. Robinson pleaded guilty, with the felony reduced to a misdemeanor as part of the deal. He got a $200 fine with no jail time. [Emphasis mine]

    “That is where it’s really frustrating to me,” said Hans Koenig, an Arizona Game and Fish ranger who testified about the damage done by poachers. “This is theft - the worst kind of theft - because it is stealing from the people of Arizona . . . with no consequences.”

    ‘Problem is huge’
    There are no state or national statistics on the trafficking of restricted animals.

    But “the problem is huge,” said Vernon Weir, director of the Nevada-based American Sanctuary Association. “It’s the sanctuaries that get dumped on. Sanctuaries all across this country are just stuffed full of animals.”

    Weir said the problem is exacerbated because some states allow the ownership, breeding and sale of exotic wildlife. People adopt alligators and lions, he said, but cannot care for them as adults. Or they move to states such as Arizona, where keeping them is outlawed without a special permit.

    Weir, whose association has accredited 30 sanctuaries nationwide, said he tries to find acceptable homes for seized wildlife, usually in zoos. But some large mammals and reptiles may be euthanized because there is nowhere to place them.

    The Herpetological Society’s compound opened in 2002 with 22 reptiles, a population that has increased more than 30-fold. “Right now, we have 45 alligators and crocodiles in our facility we’re trying to find homes for,” Johnson said. “You know, people say, ‘I’m up to my ass in alligators?’ We are the epitome, the picture of that.”

    In the past two years, Johnson said, his group has found homes for 20 alligators, 158 venomous snakes, 32 Gila monsters and 200 other reptiles. Still, with government seizures and private parties’ dropping off unwanted critters, he has been forced to expand the crowded sanctuary.

    More at the link above…..

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    Posted on 26th June 2007
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »

    My humble beginnings

    I’ve been writing for a long time. I suppose it is genetic. My grandfather is a writer, editor, photographer and more. In high school, my English teacher told me that “She liked my style” and “wanted to see me in print someday”.

    When in my 12th Grade, a new monthly outdoor publication hit the stores in my native New Brunswick. Wilderness Trails n Tales was the name of it, and the premier issue said that they were looking for columnists. “What the heck?”, I figured - and sent them off a letter offering to write a column showing “A Teen’s View”. I never thought too much more about it, until one day I was paged to the front office. Now unlike my brother, getting called to the office was a pretty rare event for me; I was really wondering what was up. There were two guys there that introduced themselves as Greg Davidson and Shawn McKinney - the owners of Wilderness Trails n Tales. They had talked to my mom and gotten pre-approval to take me out to lunch. Boy, was I stoked! Over lunch, they indicated that they would like to have me write a monthly column, and went over pay, deadlines, ideas, etc… Thus, a writer was born!

    I had my first taste of editing shortly thereafter. I had written my very first column, and had asked my grandfather to edit it. Of course, in my mind - I was a hotshot writer. The wind was taken out of my sails, though - when Gramp handed my column back to me, and there was more red ink than blue! At first, I was pretty upset. I quickly learned though, not to take it personally, and Gramp did reiterate the fact that I did a good job. I wrote for WTnT for a year, and continued when I went off to University. At some point, Shawn left the organization and eventually the magazine morphed into The Maritime Sportsman - a publication backed by the very successful Maine Sportsman, which is still going strong today.

    I hit a few years when I didn’t write much at all. After riding life’s roller coaster for a bit, I found myself in Arizona. At some point, I picked up a copy of another fledgling magazine - The Arizona Outdoorsman. It was a cool mag, but seemed to have some room for improvement as far as typos, grammar, etc. I sent a constructive e-mail off to them. Lo and behold Glenn, the owner calls me up and asks if I’m interested in coming on board as the Asst Editor. Would I? Heck, yeah!! I stayed with them about 3 years, and enjoyed my time there - for the most part.

    After the Arizona Outdoorsman, I found myself writing for the community monthly paper - the Hot Spot Journal. I did crime reports and feature articles. Eventually, I talked the editor into doing an outdoor column. With some re-structuring, the outdoor column went away, as did most of my writing for them. I do still continue to do fill-in work for them, however.

    I have also had stories published in Eastman’s Hunting Journal, and Raising Arizona Kids. I have done some marketing writing for some outdoor companies that included DVD reviews, press releases, etc. All in all, though - I feel that I haven’t yet found my niche. I enjoy blogging, but I also want to develop my commercial side - especially in print media. At this point in my life, I feel like I’m wandering, when it comes to writing and I’m not sure what’s next. People keep telling me “to write”, but I guess I’m still looking for a place where I’m comfortable. Maybe I just need to be “discovered”!

    Recently, I got to visit my grandparents, whom I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years. One of the first questions they asked me is “Are you doing any writing? You have a talent, and you should be writing”. I will tell you that having my grandfather, especially - tell me that I’m talented and should be writing… That’s like Tiger Woods telling you that you’re a good golfer. Or the Pope telling you that you’d really make a great priest.

    Maybe I’ll blossom soon.

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    Posted on 25th June 2007
    Under: General | 6 Comments »

    Moving day for the deer

    Well, one died - but there are always risks associated with such a big move, especially in this heat.

    From the KTAR website: DEER

    High-Risk Deer Move Ends in 1 Death

    June 24th, 2007 @ 1:25pm
    by KPHO.com

    A high-risk deer move that took hours to execute ended with one of the 46 animals dying on Saturday.

    On June 5, a judge slapped Arthur Thruston with $837 in unpaid rent, legal costs and late fees and ordered him off the two-acre rental property in central Glendale. The case stemmed from an eviction proceeding filed against Thruston by the landlord.

    Thruston got approval from the Arizona Game and Fish Department to move the deer across the Valley to Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, once the largest truck farm in Arizona with over 5,000 acres. The family farm opens its doors to visitors every fall for concerts and festivals on weekends and educational tours during the week.

    With temperatures over 100 degrees, Thruston, along with the volunteers, said they feared they might lose some of the animals, especially the expectant mothers, in the risky transport.

    It took hours and many repeated attempts of gentle coaxing and prodding to steer the deer from their pasture and into the trailer for transport.

    At one point, when some of the deer did not cooperate, volunteers, including veterinarians and Game and Fish officials, used a tranquilizer gun to speed up their efforts.

    Finally, every last deer was loaded into the trailer for the hour’s drive across the Valley.

    One volunteer said while it may not exactly be freedom, from a small Glendale pasture to acres of deer-friendly farmland, it is closer to paradise.

    “All in all, the deer won in this situation,” said John Samuelson, a veterinarian. “They’re out in the middle of an orchid. They’re going to love it.”

    They’re out in the middle of an orchid
    I think the writer meant “orchard”

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    Posted on 25th June 2007
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »

    Bacon and Eggs

    DISCLAIMER: I am not a nutritionist, nor do I play one on the internet….

    I rarely eat a good breakfast during the week, and often - I don’t eat any breakfast at all. Because of that, I enjoy a “good” breakfast, on the weekends. “Good” as in “hearty”, not “good” as in “nutritious”… Anyway, sometimes I make eggs and chorizo; sometimes sausage. Occasionally pancakes; even more rarely - french toast. Usually though, I’m eating bacon and eggs. I was thinking yesterday morning that really - bacon and eggs must be my favorite meal. I like em rolled up in a burrito sometimes. Sometimes I like my eggs scrambled or over easy - more often than not though - eggs are over hard, for me. Nothing, and I mean nothing - beats the smells, sounds and tastes of bacon and eggs cooking up in a hunting cabin, or over a campfire. Mmmmm.

    Sometimes my eggs are adorned with ketchup, or salsa. 90% of the time though, they are naked except for salt and pepper.

    Oh - and call me crazy, but for perfect bacon and eggs, I gotta use a cast iron frying pan. Oh - and washed down with fresh coffee - from a percolator. Now, I’m in heaven!

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    Posted on 24th June 2007
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    War Artists

    Sorry for the tangent.. well, no - not really. War art seemed most prolific during WWI, WWII and Korea. It seems though, that there are still a few war artists floating around. Here are some great sketches and drawings of the Canadians in Afghanistan

    Richard Johnson

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    Posted on 23rd June 2007
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Father’s Day? Indeed..

    A reprint from something I wrote a few years ago…

    Every year, when Father’s Day rolls around, the mushy poems, odes, and tributes spring up all over. Heart-wrenching stories will fill our e-mail inboxes. The department stores will tell us that if we really love our Dads, we will buy that tie, those golf clubs, or even that snazzy jet-ski. Don’t get me wrong – I like a tribute to Dad as much as the next person. It’s just that – well, why don’t people make that much fuss about their Dad’s the rest of the year? Especially if on any other day, it wouldn’t be expected, and stands a much better chance of being a pleasant surprise. My Dad is about 3500 miles away. I haven’t seen him in about 3 years. My Grandfather is about 3500 ½ miles away – I haven’t seen him in 8 years. Visiting is a major logistical exercise, but I think of em both a lot. I miss them a lot, too – and I’m not just saying that because I know they read my articles. We just aren’t a particularly affectionate family – I think they know I love them. I feel like they love me too. We just don’t have a need to prattle on about it, or to set aside a special day, once per year, to reassure each other. It’s just the way we are. They know, I know. We all miss each other, and always hope that the cards will allow for another fishing trip or two. Nuff said. The menfolk in my family aren’t big on Oprah, I guess. We’re not in touch with our sensitive sides.
    If anything, I think we should have “Being a Father” Day. In my mind, it is inferred that the current holiday is all about “having a Father”. You don’t have to “do” anything to have a Father – so why should we have a special day to remind us, that we have one?? On the other hand, being a Father – now there’s something to be commemorated! Now, some Dads make it look easy, but for most of us, I think it is an undertaking with an awesome amount of responsibility. It appears to me, however that some Dads don’t treat it like it is. And that is a crying shame. I’m not trying to judge, but when I weigh my observations against my own feelings, there is a real big gap sometimes. Children drowning in pools – what’s up with that? Or dying in parked cars. Or kids looking like .. well, not looking like young ladies, when they are at the mall. Or not being polite. Or not being respectful and kind. Maybe a day every year to remind Dads just how important they are in the lives of their children would be more productive than a day to phone our own Fathers, that know we love them anyway…
    Just over 7 years ago, my life changed forever. Mikaela was born. She arrived via C-Section, and I had to wait just on the other side of a solid door. I heard her cry. The nurse brought her out, all covered with yucky stuff, wrapped in a little white, striped blanket – and handed her to me. I was petrified. My eyes welled up. So powerful was the moment – that I was now responsible, forever, for this little being – the gravity of it was overwhelming. I’ve been scared ever since. Scared that I don’t read to her enough. Scared because I’ve put off teaching her to ride a two-wheeler. Scared because I get mad and holler at her sometimes. Scared when I haven’t heard her for a few minutes. Scared because she was just there a second ago, and now I can’t see her. Scared because I’m too strict. Scared because I’m not strict enough. Scared that if she’s this stubborn now, what the heck will she be like when she’s 14? Scared that I don’t spend enough time with her. Scared that she won’t be a responsible parent. Scared that she won’t recognize the value of hard work. And integrity. And kindness. And honesty. Scared that she’s not really “just going through a phase”. Scared that the decisions I’ve made for our family have been the wrong ones. Decisions that have resulted in her not meeting her Great-Grandparents in Canada yet. Or her Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins. Scared that the decision to home school her was not the right one. Scared that the “Cat’s in the Cradle” song will play out in my own life – I’m too busy today, she’s too busy tomorrow. Now, granted – most of us make these decisions all the time. I think what is important is not what our final decisions are, but that we recognize the gravity enough to worry about them. Some never make them. Some never seem to worry one way or the other. Others seem to make them flawlessly, and make the whole “father thing” look easy.
    So, in that context – maybe it’s not such a wild idea for us to change Father’s Day from what it is now to a day where we reflect on being Fathers. Maybe if there are Dads among us who think that being a Father is no big deal, they could take one day per year and just worry. They could reflect. They could take stock of how they are doing. They could ponder on what needs a little polish, when it comes to fatherhood. They could really notice their children, and wonder how they are going to turn out. I get the impression from experienced (retired) fathers that if you put a lot of heartache and effort into the task now, the pain and frustration softens with age. Much like Boot Camp, which is a terrible trial at the time, but years later, you only seem to remember the good times. I mean really, if one day a year isn’t too much to reflect on having a father – could it be that big a deal to take that same day, and reflect on being a father?
    The other day at work, I was having a particularly daunting day. I was in an irritable mood (hard to believe, I know), had a flu bug thing dragging me down, and half the factory seemed to be in my face. It was one of those days where, if you could, you’d pack your stuff up, and walk out the door for good. Anyway, the smoke seemed to clear for a few, and I plopped down at my desk, and noticed my message light blinking, on my phone. After punching in the code, I heard my daughter’s sing-song voice over the speaker. “Ummm, Hi Dad, this is Mikaela. So how are things going over there? I miss you, Dad. I just wanted to call and see how things are going. Love you. Bye.” Once in awhile, just for a second, I stop worrying so much, and notice just how proud I am, to be her father. I don’t tell her that enough. I’ll have to remember to do that, on Father’s Day.

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    Posted on 17th June 2007
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    The Outdoor Critic

    Paul Biggs has a pretty cool site going over here where he evaluates everything from equipment to tv shows. Stop by and pay him a visit….

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    Posted on 17th June 2007
    Under: General, Hunting | 2 Comments »

    Whirling Disease discovered in AZ trout

    From AZGFD

    Whirling disease discovered in trout at Lees Ferry

    PHOENIX – Laboratory results for trout routinely sampled at Lees Ferry by Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists this spring came back positive for whirling disease on Wednesday, June 13, marking the first time this disease has been documented in wild fish in Arizona public waters.

    Whirling disease is a parasitic infection of trout. It gets its name because the parasite infiltrates the head and spinal cartilage of small fingerling trout and can cause the fish to swim erratically (whirl). More information on the disease can be obtained from the Whirling Disease Foundation at www. whirling-disease.org or at www.whirlingdisease.montana.edu.

    “We have seen no clinical symptoms of whirling disease in trout at Lees Ferry. This is likely an early detection. Based on our sampling so far, it appears there is a low level of infection in the trout population there. We are stepping up our monitoring efforts to stay on top of the situation,” says Fisheries Chief Ty Gray.

    The department will conduct additional sampling of trout in July and October to further assess the extent of the disease in the trout population.

    Game and Fish biologists stress that whirling disease does not affect humans or other fish species; it is only known to affect trout. Although there is no known method for eradicating this disease in the wild, efforts in other parts of the country indicate that management and control is possible.

    The department has been sampling for whirling disease at Lees Ferry repeatedly since 1999. Until now all samples have been negative. The department has not stocked or authorized any trout stocking at Lees Ferry since 1998. All department hatcheries are annually inspected for whirling disease and remain free of the disease.

    Possible pathways for whirling disease introduction include the movement of infected fish as well as being transported by wildlife (birds), humans, or water. The nearest whirling disease positive site within the Colorado River drainage is on the San Juan River in New Mexico. However, determining the actual pathway of whirling disease into Lees Ferry will be difficult if not impossible.

    “Obviously we’re concerned about the potential impact this new development might have and we’ll immediately increase management activities, but we have no reason to believe it will affect the quality of fishing at this world-class blue ribbon trout fishery any time soon, if at all,” says Gray.

    Jeff English, a guide with Lees Ferry Anglers, says that right now the Ferry is experiencing its best fishing in five years and trout are in great condition. “There are 16- to 18-inch fish up near the dam that are fat-bellied, hard-fighting beasts that are routinely breaking lines.”

    Game and Fish officials are asking anglers and other recreationists who visit the Ferry to take some simple and easy precautions to help prevent the spread of this disease to other trout waters in the state.

    Never transport live fish from one water body to another (this is illegal in Arizona).
    Dispose of fish entrails and skeletal parts properly. Never discard fish parts in or near streams or rivers. Do not discard fish parts in a kitchen disposal. Whirling disease spores can survive most wastewater treatment systems. Instead, discard in dry waste that would go to a landfill.
    Rinse all mud and debris from equipment and wading gear, and drain water from boats before leaving an infected drainage. This is good practice for preventing transfer of other aquatic hitchhikers as well.
    Anglers interested in ways to best treat their equipment should visit http://www.whirling-disease.org/files/wd_prevention.pdf for more tips.

    Game and Fish officials said that although this is the first known case of whirling disease in Arizona public waters, trout from whirling disease positive facilities have been stocked into private waters as early as 2000.

    The trout for the private ponds originated from hatcheries outside Arizona that tested positive for the disease after the fish had been delivered to Arizona. In each case, immediate remedial treatment steps were taken to eliminate potential establishment of the disease. Subsequent testing at these waters demonstrated that the efforts were successful.

    “No wild trout in Arizona have ever been documented to have whirling disease until now, although we now join all the other western states that are contending with this disease,” Gray says.

    Frequently asked questions on whirling disease

    1. What is whirling disease and do all fish get it?
    Whirling disease is a parasitic infection that attacks juvenile trout and salmon, but does not infect warm water species. All species of trout and salmon may be susceptible to whirling disease.

    Rainbow trout and cutthroat trout appear to be more susceptible than other trout species. The parasite can infect brown trout, but they appear to have some immunity to the infection and have not been as greatly impacted as rainbow trout. Studies in Montana and at the University of California-Davis have demonstrated that grayling and bull trout are very resistant to infection. Click here for more information on whirling disease.

    2. Does whirling disease pose a threat to struggling populations of native fish in the Grand Canyon?
    No. Whirling disease only poses a threat to trout. However, if the disease is spread to other areas of Arizona, it could possibly jeopardize populations of native Apache and Gila trout. Anglers can take simple steps to help ensure that doesn’t happen.

    3. Where is whirling disease found?
    Whirling disease is found in 25 states including: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming; and in several European countries, in South Africa, and in New Zealand.

    4. Can humans get whirling disease?
    No, the parasite can’t infect humans.

    5. Does whirling disease always destroy trout populations? No. Although the parasite is established in hundreds of waters, its presence does not always mean whirling disease will cause dramatic population losses.

    6. How is whirling disease transmitted?
    Whirling disease is transmitted by infected fish and fish parts. It may also be transmitted by birds and it is possible fishermen could carry the disease on fishing equipment. However, live infected fish are the main vector for the spread of the disease.

    7. How can I prevent the spread of the disease?
    First and foremost, do not transport live fish or carry fish or fish parts from one drainage to another. If fishing known whirling disease-infected waters, care should be taken to rinse all mud and debris from equipment and wading gear, and drain water from boats before leaving the infected drainage.

    8. What are the Arizona Game and Fish Department and others doing to prevent the spread of this disease?
    The first and most critical step is informing anglers and enlisting their support to not unintentionally spread this disease from Lees Ferry to other waters.

    The department has been routinely sampling for this disease for eight years and will now ramp up its sampling efforts accordingly. Signage will also be placed at the Ferry informing anglers of the suspected infestation. Although eradication does not appear possible, the department is exploring every management tool available and will deploy those best suited for conditions at the Ferry.

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    Posted on 16th June 2007
    Under: Arizona News, Fishing, General | No Comments »

    Father’s Day 2007

    This was a pretty symbolic year, as far as Father’s Days go… Last week we made an unscheduled trip back to Maine. My wife’s Dad is in hospice, and seriously ill. Now, my wife and her father have been pretty much estranged for most of her life, so I was surprised when she told me that she needed to go. Off we went to Maine - we haven’t been “home” for nine years. Karole got to visit her Dad a lot, and she’s glad that she went. They didn’t talk much, but I think during these visits, what wasn’t said was as important as what was. My hunch is they are both for the better now.

    Add to that, I got to visit with my family too, who traveled down from New Brunswick for a couple of days. I haven’t seen Dad for about 5 years, and I haven’t seen Gramp for 9. Of course, it was great to visit my Mom and Grandmother, as well as my brother and his family. It was especially neat to see dad and Gramp, though, the week before Father’s Day.

    Being lazy today, here is an excerpt from a column I wrote, a couple of years ago:

    My passion for hunting and fishing is a direct result of excursions with my Dad and Grandfather, when I was young. Granted, Gramp was never a hunter, but an avid fisherman. Dad enjoyed fishing also, and I think it was fair to say that he did hunt, although I can’t remember him enjoying it as much as he did fishing. It’s funny, the things that stay trapped in your memory banks. When I recall fishing trips with my Dad and Grandfather, I always seem to remember the same “scenes”. I remember fishing along the Clearwater Stream. In those memories are the smell of Gramp’s menthol cigarettes, and Dad’s cigars. Somehow, I always enjoyed the smell of their smoke, mixed with the fresh air. I don’t think that one is allowed to fondly remember tobacco smoke, these days… I remember the Shiktehawk Stream, nestled between the watershed of the mighty St. John River, and that of the Miramichi River. I remember being old enough to wade by myself, and how absolutely frigid the water was. I remember Gramp and Dad being ahead of me, around a bend, and being terrified because I was “by myself”. I remember Gramp and Dad teaching me how to flyfish, when I got older. A skill that, although a little rusty these days – I never lost. I recall a “big” trip, where we went to Mount Carleton – the highest in New Brunswick, and fished Nictau Lake. On that trip, I drank black coffee from a thermos, ate corned beef sandwiches with hot mustard, and fished from a boat extensively – a first for me. We even visited the Ranger’s cabin at night, which was close to our campsite. Some of these sights, smells, and sounds are still with me like they just happened yesterday. I want to thank my Dad and Gramp for what they gave me – memories, their time, and camaraderie. All of which helped lay the foundation for the day when I would have a child. My memories of time with them help remind me to make time for my daughter – so that she can have memories someday too. Memories of her first fish, seeing her first bear or moose, or memories of the first time she wasn’t scared of being in the woods. Happy Father’s Day, not just to all fathers and Grandfathers, but especially to my Dad and Grandfather also. I hope that all of our memories haven’t yet been made, and there’s still a few trout and corned beef sandwiches out there, with our names on them.. If you are a Dad or Granddad, make some time for your kids. It will affect them for the rest of their lives.

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    Posted on 16th June 2007
    Under: General, Hunting | No Comments »

    AZGFD Photo Contest

    Arizona Game and Fish hosts photo contest for 2008 calendar

    You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take great pictures of Arizona’s wildlife. You now have the opportunity to show your best wildlife photos, whether taken in your backyard or in scenic locations across the state. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is inviting everyone to participate in its 2008 calendar photo contest.

    The second-annual competition, which runs through July 6, features the theme “Wildlife Being Wild!” Dig out your cameras and capture critters in their natural habitat eating, playing, sleeping, running, fighting and flying; the possibilities are endless.

    The best-in-show winner will have his or her photo published on the cover of the department’s 2008 wildlife calendar and will receive a cash prize of $400. Twelve first-place photographs will also grace the pages of the calendar and receive $250 each.

    For more information, including contest rules, categories and prizes, please visit azgfd.gov/photocontest.

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    Posted on 15th June 2007
    Under: Arizona News, Events, General | No Comments »

    Draw deadline looms

    From AZGFD

    Reminder: Fall hunt application deadline extended to June 26

    The application deadline for Arizona’s fall big game hunts for deer, bighorn sheep, turkey, javelina and buffalo has been extended from June 12 to June 26 due to the indefinite suspension of the online application process.

    Hunters applying after May 21 must submit a paper application form by mail. Paper applications can also be hand delivered to department offices.

    Printed application forms and 2007-08 Hunting and Trapping Regulations are available at all license dealers and department offices. They can also be downloaded from the department’s Web site at azgfd.gov/draw.

    Hunters submitting paper applications must remember to include their tag and application fees, and license fee, if they haven’t already purchased a hunting license. Those fees can be submitted by personal check, cashier’s check or money order.

    Hunters who already applied using the online process do not need to resubmit a paper application. Online applicants will be receiving a confirmation letter stating their online application received prior to May 21 is valid for this fall’s big game draw.

    Despite the changes in the draw application process, there will be no effect on the draw itself or how it is conducted. Draw results will be available online at azgfd.gov no later than Aug. 10, and hunt permit-tags for successful applicants will be mailed out no later than Aug. 10.

    Refund warrants will be mailed out no later than Aug. 24, a week later than originally scheduled.

    The department will accept first-come applications for leftover tags, if available, beginning at 8 a.m. on Aug. 20, a week later than originally scheduled. First-come hopefuls must apply by mail only, using paper application forms.

    The department indefinitely suspended the online application process after it determined it could not resolve concerns that its online service provider could adequately perform under its contract. The option to purchase hunting and fishing licenses online or by telephone has also been suspended indefinitely.

    More information on the fall big game draw can be found on the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Web site at azgfd.gov.

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    Posted on 13th June 2007
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »