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

    Archive for September, 2007

    Elk down!

    I love this time of year, because the message boards spring to life with threads about successful elk hunters. Invariably rumors start to fly about potential record-breakers. This year is no exception, and some real nice elk stories are popping up, around the web.

    A sampling:

    The Wrongway Bull - CWT.com

    Huge Bull - CWT.com

    Potential Record - CWT.com

    Too Quick To Tell Bull - CWT.com

    Huge Bear - CWT.com

    Grong’s Bull - CWT.com

    Various Archery Hunts - AZSJ

    First Bull - AZOD

    A Wife’s Bull - AZOD

    Blake’s Brother’s Bull - AZOD

    Redbeard’s Bull - Bowsite

    6A Giant - Bowsite

    Congratulations to all of the successful hunters! Some amazing animals there!

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    Posted on 30th September 2007
    Under: General, Hunting | 1 Comment »

    Beef of the Week - Late, but worth it!

    This week’s gonna be a double - kidney stones and car dealers!

    I had to buy a new truck for work. They are giving us an allowance and stipulated certain criteria. We were to choose our own brand, work our own deals, etc.

    So, I finally narrowed down my choices and stopped at a dealer yesterday. This particular salesman had been referred to me by someone else as a no-BS, no-haggle straight shooter, which he was. Partway through the process however, my left kidney started to really ache. Well, finally the deal was done, and it was off to “finance” to get my title and registration, finalize everything, etc. By now I was so uncomfortable I could hardly sit still. Well, this was the guy that tries to sell you lojacks and extended warranties and gap insurance, blah blah blah. Explaining why I didn’t want that stuff, while in that much pain was really getting old fast.

    Anyway, I drove straight from the dealer to the ER. By now, I was EXTREMELY uncomfortable. Gave me drugs, did a cat scan, and finally I was able to doze off for a bit. Woke up feeling somewhat better. Doc confirmed that I had a 3mm stone that was almost to the bladder, and should make it the rest of the way out OK. Rx for percocets, and I’m good to go.

    I’ll tell you what. I consider myself a pretty tough guy, but that thing was kicking my ass.

    Oh - and at some point during all that, my wife called and handed the phone to the HVAC tech who informed me that I need a new air conditioner. What a day.

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    Posted on 28th September 2007
    Under: General | 7 Comments »

    When Hatchets Go Wild

    I never liked hatchets anyway. I always preferred an axe - even for little jobs.

    From the Canadian Press, full story here

    Mom and daughter both get fingers hatcheted — in same day
    Sept. 21, 2007 10:20 AM

    PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - A Prince George, B.C., mother and daughter, who were determined to drive the autumn chill from their house, both ended up chopping their fingers with a hatchet.

    On the same day - at separate times - with the same hatchet.

    “A silly thing happened at my house,” said Nellie Lefebvre. “When I was out in the garage chopping kindling to light the fire in my insert, I missed, and I cut my left index finger badly.”

    “I drove myself to the hospital. It bled a lot like a gusher. They couldn’t stitch it because of nerve damage, but they glued and bandaged it.”

    When Nellie was at work the same afternoon, she received a call from her adult daughter, Corinna.

    “Mom, I went out to cut some kindling to start the fire so you wouldn’t have to, and I missed and chopped my finger,” the 32-year-old woman told her mother.

    A neighbour drove Corinna to Prince George Regional Hospital to deal with her right index finger, which was also gushing blood.

    “Darn those hatchets anyhow,” said the medical person caring for a second family member in one day.

    Nellie said she and Corinna are trying to decide whether to frame the hatchet or throw it away.

    “I wonder what the odds are of two family members - one left-handed and one right-handed - cutting index fingers with the same hatchet on the same day,” said Nellie.

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    Posted on 22nd September 2007
    Under: General | 4 Comments »

    The Controversy at Kofa

    Ron Kearns is a regular visitor to this blog. He is a former Wildlife Biologist of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. He has taken issue with the game management policies at Kofa, and frequently challenges both Arizona Game & Fish and the Kofa NWR staff on their actions taken there; specifically actions involving the sheep herd, and mountain lions. Mr. Kearns claims that he is not anti-hunting. Google his name, or Kofa, or lions though - and you will find him disseminating information via some pretty die-hard anti-hunting groups. I grilled him on this, and he insists that he is just trying to “get at the truth”. Kearns and I correspond on a number of issues, and I find him to be intelligent and well-spoken. He is respectful even when we disagree. I agreed, with some conditions, to present the information he sent to me.

    I want it to be clear that I am no conspiracy theorist. I am pro-AZGF, pro-FWS, pro-hunting. I am not educated enough (about Kofa) to even post a sensible opinion on this matter. I have some leanings for sure, but would rather see what comments arise before I really throw my $.02 in. It was interesting material though, so I agreed to post it. My hope is that one way or the other, AZGF or the FWS can set the record straight. I would ask that people posting replies debate the issue, and not make personal attacks. Posts that I don’t feel contribute to the debate in a civil fashion will be summarily deleted.

    The Lion

    A few weeks ago, Ron sent me a photo of a dead lion and asked if I would consider posting it. He included the following comment:

    Mr. Hovatter, the spokesperson for Region IV AGFD in Yuma, AZ, stated the following quote taken from a recent cougar update. If lions are so hard to catch and collar why did they kill this lion after just about 3 months of research data?

    “Given how hard it is to catch lions here, collaring of sheep has proven to be a good way to get data on lion predation (it’s worked for us on the Cabeza Prieta and in the Black Mountains) and other sources of mortality, i.e., we get a mortality signal and go to the site to determine cause of death. Barring rain, if the animal killed was an adult, we can make a predation determination weeks afterward . . .can still see drag marks, remains still cached, scat, tracks, etc..” {End Quote}

    If the AGFD and KNWR staffs collar bighorn to track predation, then they can indiscriminately kill all the lions because it would be impossible to determine the “offending lion”…..

    I replied to Mr. Kearns and stated that I wasn’t going to be posting pictures of dead lions, along with barbs aimed at State and Federal agencies, without sources, further explanation, etc. For all I knew, that wasn’t even an Arizona lion, let alone one killed at Kofa.

    Here is that photo:

    Ron crafted a lengthy reply:

    I most certainly understand your concern for authenticity of the photo and you are to be commended for that. This young tom lion was part of a lion research project I initiated on Kofa NWR in 2004 following sightings of 3 lions, a queen and her 2 cubs, on a 2003 Kofa NWR bighorn survey. We set up cameras at water holes and camera-trapped lions using TrailMaster camera systems. While still employed with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, I purchased the satellite radio collar that the tom is wearing in the photo. Since lions are so difficult to capture, this tom was not captured and collared until a year and a month after I retired. I procured the collar to learn the currently unavailable natural history of desert pumas, not as a tracking device to unethically kill it. There are many details included in the Yuma Sun articles and other newspapers about the reason AGFD killed the lion. Briefly, the justification given was this tom killed 2 bighorn on Kofa, but he actually only killed 1 Kofa bighorn. I confronted the Yuma AGF Department staff about the false statement and they said there was only one lion-killed Kofa NWR sheep but this kill one was vaguely about a mile away from the Kofa boundary and close enough to the refuge. As hunters, although I no longer hunt, we know if we killed our prey/quarry one mile or more away from our hunting unit the AGFD would fine us severely. You have a blog spot on this very subject. This was a misrepresentation of the facts and a major double standard by the AGFD because they killed this lion outside of their “hunt boundary” and modified the rules as they went along. The story is deep, but those are the broad facts. When the lion left the refugium of Kofa NWR where it was safe, the AGFD killed it by arbitrarily and capriciously branding it, on the spot, as an “offending lion” after killing 2 bighorn in a 6-month period over a remarkably large home range.

    I received the photo as part of a public records request (the State counterpart of the Federal Freedom of Information Act; FOIA) when others and I found out about the Department’s false statement that this tom killed 2 Kofa sheep when only 1 was killed. The lion was tracked by aircraft and ground telemetry and 2 awaiting AGFD personnel were on the ground to shoot the lion once it left its lair at a place called Dripping Springs in the Plomosa Mountain north of Kofa about 2.25 miles from the northern Kofa NWR boundary. As a note, I first visited Dripping Springs in 1974 and did vegetation transects throughout the Kofa, Plomosa, Dome Rock, Trigo, and the New Water Mountains, so I have a long history and knowledge of the area since I first camped on Kofa in 1971. Therefore, the photo is authentic and it was taken by AGFD personnel on June 3, 2007 (Properties: Sunday, ‎June ‎03, ‎2007, ‏‎6:33:56 AM) To be complete, there were 3 lion-killed animals near Dripping Springs, 2 adult bighorn ewes and one mule deer doe, which this young tom likely killed.

    Since my retirement, the Kofa and AGFD staffs have consistently withheld the simplest, most basic public information from me, even on projects I started, such as the lion research. I am dubbed an adversary by them. When I was employed at Kofa as a wildlife biologist and as a federal law enforcement officer, I answered my phone or returned voice mail messages on nights, weekends, and holidays to give hunters or non-hunters requested information and responded promptly to e-mail and all other correspondences. All members of the public were amazed and surprised that a government employee would reply in that manner. I would tell them I was just doing my job that I loved and I would be neglectful of my duties if I did not promptly reply. I never hid or withheld any releasable information from anyone because I was a public servant there to serve the public who paid my salary. I have been responsible for successful ram harvests by telling bighorn hunters where rams were, that I personally did not want to see harvested (because I wanted them to spread those great genes a few more years) so they could be located and most often those rams were bagged with the help of my information. My job was to put my personal biases aside and provide the public, my “bosses”, the fair, accurate information whether I really personally wanted to or not. I checked and measured the horns on many harvested rams and the antlers of mule deer bucks during my Kofa tenure while gathering biological data to determine harvest rates and while performing game warden duties. On 2 occasions I helped hunters carry out their game and I always provided locations of where I saw the big bucks (or rams) immediately following surveys, by cell phone, or during my on-the-ground Law enforcement patrols afield on Kofa.

    As I have written to you before, I consider legal, scientifically-based controlled hunting as one of the inalienable rights we humans have. However, the deceit, secrecy, and false statements by the AGFD and the Kofa staffs are unconscionable and unacceptable. If the tom lion had been given the opportunity to live and if he would have been confirmed as killing 10 Kofa bighorn then I would have likely championed the depredation of that particular Kofa tom and other same-aged young tom lions that followed a similar pattern after 4 Kofa bighorn were lion-killed in a 6-month period. By killing the lion after just 3 months of limited satellite tracking data, lion advocates and lion-haters alike lost the valid scientific data necessary to make unbiased, sound wildlife management decisions we would all be required to accept as valid, if based on verifiable evidence. Bear in mind, even with an unprecedented rapid Kofa population decline, the AGFD and KNWR staffs are still allowing the harvest of up to 13 Kofa rams while they killed the tom for harvesting 1 Kofa bighorn. That clearly demonstrates a vendetta against cougars and inconsistent, double standard unscientifically based and biased wildlife management practices.

    Without a doubt and without any retraction, the AGFD officer(s) who killed this lion in this manner based on false statements that this collared lion was responsible for 2 Kofa lion-killed bighorn performed a cowardly act and exhibited the antithesis of what all legal, ethical hunters strive for: fair chase. This was an AGFD sanctioned “canned hunt”. The only way we found out the details was the fortunate availability of a valuable tool, the public records request, that helps, or attempts to, ensure the forthrightness of our Arizona government employees’ actions and the information they often stubbornly must furnish to all members of the public.

    Ron Kearns
    Retired Kofa NWR Wildlife Biologist, USFWS
    Former Federal Collateral Duty Refuge Law Enforcement Officer, USFWS
    Viet Nam Era Veteran, US Army

    Kofa bighorn have intrinsic value far superior to and with precedence over all extrinsic consumptive uses wild sheep could be subjected to. Kofa NWR bighorn management strategies (and managers) will have demonstrably failed and irresponsibly damaged the quality of this extant population if non-indigenous translocated bighorn are ever imported into the Refuge for recompensive attempts to salvage a mismanaged, once prolific viable deme. Ron Kearns

    Saturday, September 8, 2007

    So, there you have it. Kind of a “guest post”, I suppose. I have of course, notified AZGFD, as well as Kofa staff, and invited them to respond. As I said before, I do have some comments forming in my little brain; I will post them later.

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    Posted on 21st September 2007
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General, Politics and More | 9 Comments »

    On Reporting Violations

    I have decided that I am going to report every violation I see. Time to start shaking the chaff out from the wheat..

    From AZGFD:

    The dos and don’t of reporting a wildlife violation

    Arizona Game and Fish Department law enforcement officers want the public to report wildlife violations, but there are things a person should and shouldn’t do at a potential crime scene.

    “The desire of the public to help us catch violators is great. However, there are instances when that desire can actually hinder law enforcement efforts,” said Gene Elms, manager of the department’s Operation Game Thief (OGT) program, which maintains a 24-hour hotline for people to call in wildlife violations.

    Elms explained that those encountering violations sometimes inform the violator they will be calling the OGT hotline.

    “At that point the violator vacates the scene before law enforcement personnel can arrive,” Elms said. “A better approach is to avoid contact, leave the scene, and call the OGT hotline as soon as possible with details.”

    Elms added that license plate numbers, names (if known), vehicle descriptions, and GPS (global positioning system) coordinates are all important pieces of information an officer can use.

    Another common mistake is getting too close or examining a dead animal.

    “Additional footprints, tire tracks, and general disturbance of the area makes an investigation difficult, if not impossible,” Elms explained. “If the death of a wild animal appears to be suspicious, people should assume a violation has occurred, call the OGT hotline, and provide the location. Do not disturb the area around the site.

    “In the case of a natural cause of death, including predation, vehicle collision, or lightening, individuals can file a claim for the remains or parts. It is important to remember that only Game and Fish officers can make this determination about the cause of death and they can only do that when the animal is in the field.”

    Individuals should also remember that confronting suspected violators in the backcountry could be dangerous.

    “Approaching a violator is not the best course of action,” Elms warned. “Allow trained law enforcement officers to handle such situations. Individuals should focus on being a good witness, but should never put themselves in harm’s way.”

    Individuals witnessing or suspecting a violation can call OGT toll free hotline, 24 hours a day at 1-800-352-0700. Callers can remain anonymous. The OGT program will pay rewards for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in the case.

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    Posted on 20th September 2007
    Under: Arizona News, General, Hunting | 3 Comments »

    Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Membership Drive

    I mentioned in a previous post that I believed if bloggers were serious about what they do, then they should consider joining professional writers’ organizations. As previously stated, I think that not only does it provide credibility, but allows members to network extensively - not only with each other, but potential employers and other industry representatives.

    As it turns out, POMA is holding a membership drive. From the “Why Join POMA?” section of their website:

    What is POMA?

    The Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) is an organization of outdoor writers, photographers, broadcasters, videographers, illustrators, artists, editors, producers, firms and organizations dedicated to hunting, shooting, fishing, trapping and other traditional outdoor sports.

    How does POMA differ from other national, regional or state outdoor communicators’ groups?

    POMA is focused on communications professionals, firms and organizations who derive their primary income from the outdoor industry. Additionally, POMA and its members are focused on maintaining the integrity and future of the traditional outdoor sports such as hunting, shooting, fishing, trapping and other traditional outdoor pursuits.

    Who is eligible to join POMA as a voting member?

    Applicants for voting membership in POMA must meet stringent requirements based on criteria established by the board of directors.

    Are corporate, industry, organizational and agency members welcome?

    Absolutely. Corporate Partner membership is by board invitation only, and for those organizations that subscribe to POMA’s mission, charter and bylaws. Suggestions for Corporate Partner membership may be sent to lldovey@professionaloutdoormedia.org for processing.

    POMA’s Corporate Partners (CPs) are just that – partners. They hold a seat and a vote on the board of directors. In addition, the CP Advisory Council addresses CP-related issues and questions and makes recommendations to the POMA board. For more information on CP membership, please contact Corporate Partner board member Vickie Gardner.

    Corporate Partners may apply online, or print an application and mail it to headquarters. After submitting the online membership application, CPs may make payment online or request an invoice and mail payment to headquarters. All membership applications are predicated upon board approval.

    Is it true that you are ineligible for membership in POMA if you belong to another outdoor media organization?

    No. In no case does membership in another journalists’ organization disqualify or otherwise influence an application for POMA membership.

    Noting a substantial cost in the dues structure, what can I expect to get in return for my annual investment?

    POMA’s dues are higher than some other journalists’ associations [$200 for individual members, $500 for Corporate Partners]; however, when you study the focus of the organization and the criteria for membership, you will quickly identify POMA as a network of the outdoor industry’s most notable communicators and Corporate Partners.

    As a member of POMA, you join and gain access to an exclusive network of professionals, the most accomplished in the industry, and benefit from a level of membership services not offered by other organizations.

    POMA is service focused, emphasizing business dealings, technology, Internet use and other elements critical to profitable business operation.

    Is the media member application process difficult? Does it require numerous tear sheets and other evidence of qualification?

    Definitely not. Because we realize that time is a valuable asset and believe in the integrity of our applicants, POMA’s application process only requires media member applicants to list the required number of credentials for the past year. No tear sheets or editor letters are required.

    Before applying, please read the membership criteria carefully.

    You can apply online in minutes, or print and mail in an application.

    How do I pay my membership fee?

    Pay by credit card, e-check, PayPal or by mailing a check to headquarters. After submitting your application, you are taken directly to the payment options page. To pay dues now, click here.

    How long does it take for my application to be considered?

    POMA bylaws regulate the approval or denial of all membership applications. After receipt, applications are forwarded to the membership screening committee for consideration. The committee generally makes decisions within 10 days. Regardless of the committee’s decision, membership is not activated until the dues payment is received.

    If a voting membership application is received without enough credits listed, but the applicant qualifies as an associate member, associate member status will be granted until all required information for voting membership is provided.

    Applicants are notified of approval by e-mail, so please make sure that your spam filters accept e-mail from addresses with the @professionaloutdoormedia.org extension.

    If an application is denied, the prospective member has the right under POMA’s bylaws to appeal the committee’s decision.

    Do I have direct access to POMA’s leadership?

    Yes. Via the Web site, e-mail, telephone and postal mail, members have direct access to the board of directors and POMA’s Executive Director Laurie Lee Dovey. Contact us.

    What are POMA’s business address, phone number and e-mail address?

    POMA’s daily administrative affairs are handled by Executive Director Laurie Lee Dovey and Executive Assistant Shelly Moore. POMA, P.O. Box 1569, Johnstown, PA 15907, 814-254-4719, admin@professionaloutdoormedia.org.

    Does POMA offer annual or semiannual conferences?

    Yes. POMA’s annual business conference is considered one of the premier benefits of membership. The three-day conference offers seven to 10 business sessions, field day, editorial content gathering sessions, evening networking gatherings, and much more.

    Here is a summary of benefits:

    Concrete & Measurable Benefits

    POMA offers some of the most innovative membership benefits of any media organization. Take a look at what POMA is doing for its members:

    Welcome Packet — New and renewing members receive a welcome packet that includes a hard-plastic POMA ID card, window decals and additional membership information. Carry the ID card in a wallet or purse or have the card punched so it can be worn on a clip lanyard as a conference/trade show badge.

    Web Site — POMA’s Web site is divided into two sections, one for the public and one for members only. The public site (www.professionaloutdoormedia.org) provides a general overview of POMA, the mission statement, irrevocable charter, bylaws, membership criteria, membership applications and a FAQs section. The Members Only Web site (www.professionaloutdoormedia.com) requires an individual username and password to access. It houses all information pertinent to members.

    POMA Briefs — This newsletter is e-mailed to members biweekly, except in the months of POMA Briefs’ quarterly printings. It’s also archived on the Members Only Web site. A great way for new members to acquaint themselves with POMA’s services and history is to read the back issues of POMA Briefs.

    CP Focus — Corporate Partners (CPs) receive a quarterly newsletter focused on CP issues and services. This publication is compiled by the CP board member and sent by e-mail as a PDF attachment.

    Annual Business Conference — POMA holds an annual business conference incorporating business sessions and field events. The purpose of the conference is to help all members, media and corporate, grow their businesses and to offer networking opportunities.

    Money Line
    — Job opportunities and market listings are e-mailed weekly to members. POMA members often have access to these opportunities before they are listed anywhere else. This service isn’t just for media members. Career opportunities for PR specialists, graphic designers, sales and marketing people and more are included.

    Business Discounts Program — This program offers discounts on valuable business products and services for all POMA members. Discounts on travel services, advertising, Web site hosting, cameras, computer equipment and much more are included. The Business Discounts Directory, on the Members Only Web site, is updated quarterly.

    Trade Tips — This Web-based business service offers vocational and business enhancement tips that cover a wide range of subjects for both media and CP members.

    Tech Talk
    — This Web-based service offers tips and info on technology, from products to Web sites to computers and software to Internet techniques. Tons of helpful tips for both media and CP members are included.

    Tele Seminars
    — Thirty- to 90-minute educational teleconference sessions on business, craft, finances and technology offer members opportunities to continue to grow their businesses. Some of the teleseminars have included how to self-syndicate your work and digital photography tips. No other media organization offers this service to its members. The only charge to attend sessions is the long-distance fee for the call.

    — Here is a program created especially for a group of members under 35 who are focusing on bringing the industry’s young professionals —journalists, marketing and communications people — together so they can network and build relationships now that will serve the industry later as they move up the corporate and freelance ladders. Veteran members enjoy working with this group to help them provide the services that young professionals need to be successful at work and life.

    Member Spotlight — Getting to know fellow POMA members and networking with them is one of the most valuable organization benefits. Spotlight affords members the opportunity to post briefs about themselves with an image or two on the Web site. All Spotlights are permanently archived on the site.

    CP Corner — Utilizing a real-time, interactive online posting system, CPs post 50- to 250-word briefs to the CP Corner section of the Members Only Web site for review by members.

    Member News
    — This section highlights members’ accomplishments, and can be posted to by the membership.

    Real-time Profile Update System — Using this system, members ensure that their contact information is always current. The system is also connected to the application process, so new members can access their profiles the day they are approved.

    Online Membership Directory — The online directory is set up to work in concert with the application and member profile update systems, ensuring that directory information is current. Members may search the Media, Corporate Partner, Retired and Public Agency databases on several criteria such as name, company and state. Results are listed with a link to the contact information for each member shown.

    Quarterly Directories — Printable PDF-format membership directories are posted on the Web site quarterly. The directories are easy to access and print. This system allows POMA to keep the directories as current as possible.

    Individual POMA E-mail Address
    — Members may request a personalized e-mail address, such as yourname@professionaloutdoormedia.org. Sign-up information is included in the Members Only section, under “Your Own POMA E-Mail Address.”

    Member Mailing Lists
    — The POMA membership mailing list is available to all members for no fee. The list is delivered in an Excel format that includes mail and e-mail addresses and telephone numbers.

    Trade Partnerships — POMA is the first and only media organization to become a member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and Archery Trade Association (ATA). Membership in these organizations has helped POMA to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with these three key trade groups. POMA is committed to having an annual presence at these organizations’ trade shows to interact with POMA members in attendance.

    POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Communicator of the Year Award; POMA/RBFF Homer Circle Fishing Communicator of the Year Award and the POMA/ATA Fred Bear Archery & Bowhunting Communicator of the Year Award
    — These awards are tremendous benefits to the organization and communicators who receive the honors. The awards were developed through partnerships with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and Archery Trade Association. The awards are presented annually at premier functions at the SHOT, ICAST and ATA Shows, respectively.

    Discounted NSSF Individual Membership — The NSSF offers POMA members an exclusive half-price individual membership. This is an important benefit because it allows POMA members to take advantage of a competitive health insurance program.

    Archery Trade Association (ATA) Partnership — POMA has developed a partnership with the ATA to foster increased interaction between the ATA and the media. This partnership will benefit all POMA members who write in the archery and bowhunting markets.

    Special Press Credentials
    — POMA works with a variety of organizations to garner special credentials for POMA members that afford easy registration and access to events. POMA also negotiates exclusive POMA member services and benefits at many of these events.

    Surveys — POMA’s leadership wants to hear from members on a wide range of organizational issues. So, from time to time, surveys or links to online survey forms are e-mailed to members. By participating in these surveys, members help to shape POMA, its direction and the services it develops.

    So, there you have it. Go take a peek at the POMA Website and think it over!

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    Posted on 20th September 2007
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Beef of the Week - Sept 19th

    In honor of my mother’s arrival for a visit today, I am forgoing the publishing of a “beef” this week. Take that however you want. :-)

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    Posted on 19th September 2007
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Emmy Nominations!

    This is neat! I didn’t see our AZGFD personnel on the red carpet though

    Wildlife Views TV show gets 9 Emmy nominations

    The Arizona Wildlife Views television show received nine Emmy nominations for its award-winning series that airs on Arizona PBS stations.

    Producers Gary Schafer and Carol Lynde were honored for shows and segments that ranged from the relocation of alligators to plans for the future of wildlife in Arizona. Programs nominated for Emmys include:

    Show 10
    * Snake Study – Do you ever wonder what rattlesnakes do when no one is watching? This show takes a tiny fiber optic camera inside a western diamondback’s den. You’ll be amazed at what transpires.
    * Reptile Book – If you are interested in Arizona amphibians and reptiles, you’ll want to check out this new field guide.
    * Later Alligator – Reptiles that are turned in, abandoned or seized in Arizona are cared for by the Phoenix Herpetological Society. This show takes you to their sanctuary as they prepare 22 alligators to be moved to a new home in Florida.

    Show 7
    * 143 Days – Here in Arizona we love to talk about the weather, the perfect winters and the scorching summers, and we actually count the number of days when it rains. This story shows what happened when we had to count a record-setting 143 days between rainfalls.
    * Lake Health – The health of our lakes and reservoirs is very important to all Arizonans. This story takes you out with Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists as they check on the latest threat to our fisheries: golden algae.
    * Crayfish Festival – Crayfish are a non-native species that are becoming a problem in some of our lakes. Fortunately, they are fun to catch and good to eat, so come along as we take you on a good old-fashioned crayfish festival

    Show 9
    * Lees Ferry – Tonight we travel to one of the most beautiful and world-renowned trout fishing areas you’ll find anywhere. Come along as we go fly-fishing on the Colorado River at Lees Ferry.
    * Condor Rehab – The Vermilion Cliffs area of Arizona’s canyon lands is home to one of the largest and rarest birds in the world: the California Condor. We’ll take you there and show you how the latest technology is being used to help these magnificent birds survive.
    * Lake Powell Fishing – Lake Powell offers many recreational opportunities. This show focuses on just one: the thrill of striped bass fishing.

    The Rocky Mountain Southwest Emmy Region includes Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. The winners will be announced and the Emmys handed out on Oct. 6.

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    Posted on 19th September 2007
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »

    Deer Poached in the White Tanks

    Sigh. Another poaching story. The legislation needs to be amended to take away hunting privileges nationwide, on the first conviction. For life.

    From AZGFD:

    Deer poaching in White Tanks prompts $2,500 reward

    The public’s help is being sought to solve the poaching of a radio-collared mule deer buck sometime around July 18 on the north side of the White Tank Mountains in northwest Phoenix, said Arizona Game and Fish Department officers.

    Anyone with any information in this case is encouraged to call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700. Thanks to contributions by sportsmen’s organizations, the Game and Fish Department is offering up to a $2,500 reward for information in this poaching case.

    Wildlife Manager Mark Stewart said the mule deer, which was being tracked by research biologists as part of a deer-movement study in the White Tanks, was apparently taken by a bow and arrow. “Poachers steal from all of us. Please help us catch them,” Stewart said.

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    Posted on 18th September 2007
    Under: Arizona News, General | 2 Comments »

    A comment about comments

    Recently a respected member of the AHT Forums contacted me and said “Hey, I tried to tell a guy about the site. He said that he visited and saw so-and-so posting along with whatshisname. They are both anti-hunters. He wanted no part of that”

    I corrected my friend, saying that the gent must have stumbled across the blog, not the forum. I knew that the people named weren’t members of the message board. I explained that I blog for a few reasons. To educate; to entertain; to stimulate debate; to learn. I added that unless posts were hateful, slanderous, or otherwise inappropriate - that typically I would not delete them. As a matter of fact, blogs encourage comments from readers - to some, the number of comments are a measure of their success. Also, I think arguments/points of view should stand or fall on their own merits. If we as hunters aren’t equipped to effectively and diplomatically debate with those who have differing views - what does that say?

    Yes, to a degree, this post is pre-emptive. You will no doubt see why I made it, in the days to come. :-)

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    Posted on 18th September 2007
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    Spring Hunt Deadlines Approaching

    From AZGFD:

    Spring hunt application deadline is rapidly approaching

    Record number of spring turkey tags available

    Don’t forget that the spring hunt application deadline – Oct. 9 – is rapidly approaching, and there are a record number of spring turkey tags available for 2008.

    Keep in mind that the online application process is not available for the spring 2008 draw. All spring hunt-permit applications will have to be mailed or hand-delivered to department offices.

    There are 6,983 general hunt-permit tags for turkey, which are 737 more than in 2007. Eight of these permits are available for Gould’s turkey. There are also 350 junior’s-only turkey permits, which is a 125-permit increase over 2007.

    For javelina, there are 27,760 permits for the 2008 year, which were split into the following seasons:

    * General season – 11,705 (plus 225 over 2007)
    * Archery season – 9,645 (plus 445)
    * Junior’s only – 970 (plus 105)
    * H.A.M. – 5,440 (minus 25)

    The 2008 buffalo season has the same permit levels as last year – 10 each for the House Rock and Raymond wildlife areas. The season on House Rock, however, has been extended through May.

    The spring bear season did not remain static. There are 405 permits, which is an increase of 15 permits over last year. There are also 250 archery-only bear permits, which is an increase of 65.

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    Posted on 17th September 2007
    Under: Arizona News, General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Volunteers Needed to Spotlight Ferrets

    Sounds like a cool volunteer opportunity!

    Volunteers sought for ferret spotlighting

    In the continuing effort to monitor the progress of the black-footed ferret reintroduction project, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking volunteers to participate in spotlighting, a technique used to find the nocturnal animals.

    “Volunteers have always played a critical role in the recovery effort,” said Carrie King, supervisor of the reintroduction effort. “These spotlighting efforts help Game and Fish determine how the population is doing.”

    The fall spotlighting effort will be held the nights of Oct. 24-28 at the reintroduction site in Aubrey Valley, just outside Seligman.

    During a similar effort last spring, 35 ferrets were captured and processed. Of these, 34 were wild born, showing that reproduction in the wild remains high. One of the animals was a recapture from 2003, displaying longevity in the wild.

    The effort is a rewarding, but challenging adventure. Volunteers must be able to stay attentive from sunset to sunrise, carry up to 30 pounds while backpack spotlighting for two-hour durations, and be willing to learn how to use a Global Positioning System (GPS).

    Individuals can volunteer for one day or multiple dates. A parent or guardian must accompany any youth under the age of 18.

    Those wishing to volunteer or needing more information should e-mail azferret@azgfd.gov by Sept. 15 with “October Spotlighting” in the subject line. Please indicate what night(s) you will be attending and who else (first and last name) will be attending with you. Also, please list any of the following equipment you can bring: GPS, clipboard, backpack (to carry a 30-pound battery), headlamp, pen, compass, binoculars, walkie-talkies, 4×4 vehicle (please list passenger capacity), compass, spotlight (that can plug into a cigarette lighter), or a cordless rechargeable spotlight.

    It can be cool during the last October event, so individuals should monitor weather conditions and dress accordingly.

    A mere 18 black-footed ferrets remained when captive breeding efforts began in 1985. Selected as a reintroduction site in 1996, Arizona has established a record number of sightings in each of the last six years.

    “We’re making progress, but we’re a long way from recovery,” King explained. “We wouldn’t be able to monitor the ferret population without the volunteers.”

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    Posted on 17th September 2007
    Under: Conservation Groups, General | 1 Comment »