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    2008 March - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Archive for March, 2008

    Public Invited to Review Hunt Recommendations

    From AZGFD:

    Recommendations for the 2008-09 Arizona hunting and trapping regulations will be available for public review

    The proposed recommendations for the 2008-09 Arizona hunting and trapping regulations will soon be available for review on the department’s Web site and at a series of open houses at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s regional offices.

    The annual hunting and trapping regulations establish the seasons, season dates, bag limits, open areas, and hunt permit-tag quantities.

    During the regional open houses, no formal presentation will be made. However, a knowledgeable staff person will be available to discuss regional hunt recommendations. The open house schedules are:

    Monday, April 7, 3-5 p.m. – Arizona Game and Fish Department Pinetop regional office, 2878 E. White Mountain Blvd.

    Tuesday, April 8, 3-5 p.m. – Arizona Game and Fish Department Tucson regional office, 555 N. Greasewood Road.

    Tuesday, April 8, 6-8 p.m. – Arizona Game and Fish Department Kingman regional office, 5325 N. Stockton Hill Road.

    Wednesday, April 9, 3-5 p.m. – Arizona Game and Fish Department Mesa regional office, 7200 E. University Drive.

    Wednesday, April 9, 3-5 p.m. – Arizona Game and Fish Department Yuma regional office, 9140 E. 28th St.

    Thursday, April 10, 6-8 p.m. – Arizona Game and Fish Department Flagstaff regional office, 3500 S. Lake Mary Road.
    If you are unable to attend one of these open houses, the 2008-09 hunt recommendations will be posted on the Game and Fish Department’s Web site early next week and you may download a PDF file to review.

    The recommendations are scheduled to be presented to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission for consideration during its April 18-19 meeting in Phoenix at the department headquarters at 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix (1.5 miles west of I-17).

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    Posted on 31st March 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Press Releases | No Comments »

    OHV Update

    From AZGFD:

    Off-highway vehicle legislation update

    House Bill 2573 (also known as the off-highway vehicle, user fee bill) was added to the House Natural Resources Committee agenda and passed on March 26 as a strike-everything amendment to SB 1167. HB 2573 had failed the previous week in the Arizona Senate Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee (the March 19 vote was 3-3, with one absent).

    House Bill 2573 will provide resources to better manage Arizona’s growing off-highway vehicle (OHV) use while protecting wildlife habitat. OHVs have seen a 347 percent increase in usage in Arizona in the last few years, but law enforcement and trail development have lagged far behind. Through this legislation, dollars would be provided by a nominal user fee to create new law enforcement positions, new land and habitat mitigation for damaged use areas, and better trail construction.

    For more information or the latest developments regarding HB 2573, go to the department’s OHV legislation Web site at www.azgfd.gov/outdoor_recreation/ohv_legislation.shtml.

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    Posted on 30th March 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Politics and More | No Comments »

    New Camo for the Southwest

    I saw these folks while at the ISE Show. This is an open pattern including prickly pear, yucca, and mesquite. By all appearances, the clothing is well-designed and well made. Best of all, it is made in the USA. You can visit the Cactuflage website to have a look at their camo.

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    Posted on 30th March 2008
    Under: Products | No Comments »

    Three-legged Deer

    More neat photos sent to me by my mom, who is now my biggest photo contributor, intentional or not! I think these came from New Brunswick; I am trying to verify. Regardless, another example of how tough these critters can be. In all other respects, this guy (or gal) looks pretty healthy!

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    Posted on 29th March 2008
    Under: General | 2 Comments »

    Ultimate Game Bags

    When I was at the ISE Show, a gent named Gary Hanson stopped by my booth. Gary sells a top-of-the-line game bag. Game bags are an important addition to any hunting trip - allowing meat to cool while keeping dirt, insects, etc. away from the meat.

    Have a look at Gary’s site today. You can learn more about the product, and you can order it there too. This is great stuff! I’ve seen it, held it, stretched it.

    A bit of a funny story. Gary said he couldn’t find anyone to do a product review on his game bags. I said that I’d be happy to, except that I never kill anything! If he was counting on me, he’d be waiting a long time!

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    Posted on 29th March 2008
    Under: General, Products | No Comments »

    Results Up

    I drew exactly what I put in for this year: Bonus points! It still amazes me how much anticipation and excitement the Big Game Draw generates in Arizona!

    From AZGFD:

    Elk and antelope draw is complete; results are available

    The 2008 elk and antelope draw has been completed and the 120,392 applicants can now visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Web site at www.azgfd.gov/draw or call (602) 942-3000 and follow the prompts to see if they have been drawn.

    Be prepared to provide your department identification number, plus your birth date to access your specific draw information.

    Game and Fish officials said there are approximately 45 antlerless elk tags for limited opportunity hunts remaining for first-come, first-serve starting April 14 by mail only. Approximately 50 archery elk tags remain at Camp Navajo for those eligible. Please contact Camp Navajo at www.campnavajo.com or call (928) 773-3306 for further information.

    Remember that the Arizona Game and Fish Commission will be setting the other 2008-09 big game hunts for deer, turkey, javelina, bighorn sheep, buffalo, bear and mountain lion during its Saturday, April 19 meeting in the new Game and Fish headquarters on Carefree Highway just 1.5 miles west of I-17. You will be able to start applying for the other permitted fall hunts once the appropriate information is posted online.

    The anticipated deadline day to submit for those remaining fall big game hunt-permit applications is Tuesday, June 10 (the second Tuesday of June). Remember, postmarks don’t count. As a reminder, the online application process will not be available for the remaining fall hunts.

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    Posted on 29th March 2008
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »

    Honouring Canada’s Fallen

    Canadians have a different style of patriosm than a lot of countries. More stoic, I guess. Many Canadians have secretly admired the passionate patriotism showed by their neighbours to the South. That being said, they have really started to shine when honouring Canadians that have fallen in Afghanistan.

    Have a look at this slide show.

    More info: “In Ontario, when a Canadian soldier dies for his country in Afghanistan they touch Canadian soil at Canadian Forces Base Trenton. From there, a funeral procession leaves the base and heads to Toronto, Ontario taking our departed heroes to the Centre for Forensic Sciences. Along the 172km path of Highway 401 people fill the overpasses to show their support, waving Canadian flags and signs, in a sort of paying their respects to the fallen and their families.”

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    Posted on 28th March 2008
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Make sure you listen to “Xplor The Outdoors”

    Wiith Jim Solomon and his fiance Patti Anne. Jim also has a blog and website going - you can visit it here. Their radio show airs Sunday mornings from 7-9 AM on 1060AM.

    Some more on them:

    Jim Solomon (your guide to the outdoors) moved to Phoenix in 1958. Spending all of his free time in the outdoors as a kid, exploring the deserts and irrigation ditches, He learned to respect nature.
    After graduating from Maryvale High School in 1971. he moved to Montana and attended the University of Montana in Missoula. His first year he was hired by the Montana Co-operative Wildlife Research Unit where he met and later was invited to work with Dr. John J. Craighead on a grizzly bear habitat study in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana for National Geographic. This was a six-week, 270 mile backpacking, habitat typing trek, (obtaining the ground truth data in accordance with the satellite imagery maps) as well as numerous other wildlife research studies he worked on for different state agencies.
    Jim’s love of the outdoors and the sports of hunting and fishing not only involved him in many classes that he taught for the Montana Dept. of Fish Wildlife and Parks as a Bow hunter Ed. Instructor, but also classes for continuing education for teacher up grades.

    He is currently on the board and the executive committee of the Arizona Wildlife Federation, and the Vice President of the Arizona Wildlife Foundation, the educational branch of the federation. He teaches beginning and advanced outdoor classes for the “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” program in Arizona.
    July of 2006 will see the first of many “ Becoming an Outdoors Family” programs, designed to introduce the novice family to the outdoors.

    In 2005 he began what was the first Outdoor Education Day for the homeless children in the Thomas J. Pappas School in downtown Phoenix, (200-300 kids). Another first came in 2006 with Jim taking the homeless children of the Tempe Pappas School (85kids) on their very first fishing field trip to Tempe Town Lake. Jim will be the first to admit that none of this would have been possible without the help and support of some of the wildlife organizations, his close personal friends and family, and the state, federal and local parks and agencies.

    His number one passion, besides his fiancé’ and co-host, Patti Anne, his kids, and grand kids is bow hunting, and if he has the time during the season that is where he will be. Because of his vast knowledge of the outdoor sports Jim became an outdoor radio broadcaster seven years ago. Where he again began broadcasting live, the first ever, poaching report, titled “The Poacher Chronicles”,(listing the guilty parties by name, their residence, violation and fines) as well as organizing an outreach with the Arizona Food banks across the state, where hunters can donate excess game meat to the soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
    Leading the way with HB 2129 a bill, which increases the fines and revocations for poaching the state of Arizona and was signed into law by coincidence May 2nd 2006, on his birthday.

    Setting the bar once again with the first ever satellite phone, live one hour, radio broadcast, thirty-eight miles out to sea off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, marlin fishing. He now hosts “Xplor The Outdoors with Jim and Patti” the outdoor radio show that will make a difference in your outdoor world, which can be heard every Sunday morning from 7-9 on the FAN AM 1060, LIVE, around the globe, on the internet to millions “LIVE”, on xplortheoutdoors.com. And past shows can be heard 24/7 on xplortheoutdoors.com and myoutdoortv.com.

    In March of 2007 Jim Solomon was nominated for the Legislative Advocacy Champion Award through the Arizona Wildlife Federation. Jim was instrumental in pushing his Anti-Poaching bill through the legislature of Arizona making the fines and revocations much stiffer. As a coincidence, the Governor signed the bill into law, on his birthday May 2nd of 2006.
    March 4th, 2007 the President of the NRA, Sandra froman, flew in to co-host “Xplor the Outdoors radio show with Jim at the new Cabela’s store in Glendale Arizona.

    March 2007 Jim was voted back in as the Vice President of the Arizona Wildlife Foundation, the educational branch of the Arizona Wildlife Federation. May 2007 Jim will once again take up to 135 homeless children from the Thomas J. Pappas School on a fishing field trip. These kids, some of them that live in cars, age from 5 to 12 years. Many of who have never fished before.
    On June 17th of 2007, because of the positive, multi state response, Jim will extend “The Poacher Chronicles” to one hour, the third Sunday of each month. Each hour will include three different state wildlife law enforcement agencies, with each talking about the laws and the wildlife violators in their state. There are 26 states involved in the “Wildlife Violator Compact” of which Arizona is a member. If you break a wildlife law in one of these states and your license is revoked, you will not be allowed to hunt, fish or trap any of the member states. These are the states that Jim will be interviewing.

    Patti also graduated from Maryvale High School in Phoenix. That’s where Jim fell in love with her. After their high school prom, Jim graduated and later moved to Montana. Patti, to Canada and then on to California where she now resides. They got back together in October after 36 years of being apart and now they work together to get others involved in the outdoors, Especially Kids. Patti has the innate ability to reach out effectively into the community to garner help for a variety of projects. Every project that she takes on is taken on with passion and endless drive. As executive producer of SLEEPING WITH THE LION, Patti will be taking the same can do approach as with all projects she has graced. Patti will assist the producers of Prodigy Entertainment in creating, and the implementation of a strategy that will be geared toward the community for the purpose of acquiring investment and talent partners for SLEEPING WITH THE LION. Philosophy, “Finance it here, Shoot it here, and equates to jobs in the city of San Francisco. As Entertainment Arts Liaison for San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom, Patti connects entertainers with the city of San Francisco for benefits and many other worthy causes. She has been instrumental in producing a number of beneficial projects for the city of San Francisco. Patti is a resident of San Francisco: has a background in San Francisco/San Mateo County Real Estate, Commercial Loan agent for residential and commercial properties, marketing, administrative and consulting. She has been a leader on projects ranging from Art @ Mons(Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services), Music @ Mons, Homeless Outreach and Golden Gloves benefit for after school sports programs, Reel Kids Film and Theatre projects with children to explore their hidden talents. Patti has a passion for kids, wildlife and the environment. She understands full well the importance that hunting and fishing play in the all over conservation management plan. Patti loves fishing, cross-country skiing, camping and horseback riding.

    Patti has already shown her professionalism in the broadcast industry by co-hosting with Jim on several shows.
    She was instrumental in setting up a LIVE broadcast at Lake Merced in San Francisco for the debut of the “Fishing in the City” Program September 2nd, and the LIVE broadcast at the Houlihan Ranch in Sheridan Wyoming, with famed Horse Whisperer, Buck Brannaman.

    Jim and Patti together are a dynamic team. Though Patti is new to many aspects of the outdoor industry. Her willingness to learn encourages her to ask the questions that many listeners want to ask themselves. And she is an inspiration to all women out there that want to learn about the outdoors. She proves that you can be beautiful and gracious and still not be afraid to get her hands dirty.

    We’re Jim and Patti and we’re “Making a Difference in Your Outdoor World”, every Sunday morning from 7-9 Arizona time locally in Phoenix “LIVE” on The Fan AM 1060 and around the globe by logging on to xplortheoutdoors.com. Archived shows can be heard 24/7 on xplortheoutdoors.com and myoutdoortv.com.

    For more information you can call;
    Jim Solomon (623)533-6820 or
    email at jim@xplortheoutdoors.com.

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    Posted on 28th March 2008
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »

    Bear Protection Bill Exposed

    So-Called “Bear Protection Bill” Exposed

    By Outdoors Community, Congressman and FWS

    Washington, DC - At the urging of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, a letter signed by twenty-two organizations representing millions of sportsmen was sent to Rep. Nick Rahall, Chairman and Rep. Don Young, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, strongly opposing HR5534, the supposed ‘Bear Protection Act of 2008’. The letter, which was introduced into a hearing this week by former Caucus Chairman, Don Young (R-AK), requested that the committee oppose the bill and give no further legislative attention to it.

    HR5534 would amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to extend its protections to bears illegally harvested for their viscera in the same manner as with respect to prohibited wildlife species, and for other purposes. The sportsmen’s groups that signed on to the letter believe that any trade in bear viscera (gall bladders and bile) is already subject to prosecution under the Lacey Act.

    The Lacey Act provides that it is unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law whether in interstate or foreign commerce.

    The stated purpose of HR5534 is “to ensure the long-term viability of the world’s 8 bear species by reinforcing State conservation and management of bear populations.” The allied sportsmen’s groups believe that this bill is a veiled attempt to reduce hunting opportunities for a robust black bear population by overburdening enforcement agencies with new layers of regulations that would strain wildlife management budgets and by causing a public outcry against regulated, science-based bear hunting.

    One such inflammatory campaign, driven by the Humane Society of the United States claims, “Wild American bears and highly endangered Asian bears are slaughtered for their gallbladders and bile, which are consumed domestically or exported illegally as traditional folk remedies. As wild bear populations are eradicated in other parts of the world, poachers intensify their targeting of wild bears in the United States.” In fact, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is actively engaged in the enforcement of existing laws that address the black-market trade in bear viscera.

    The letter, while acknowledging that some illegal harvest occurs, stresses that the bill is unnecessary because state and federal law enforcement agencies are adequately addressing the domestic issue of poaching on state and federal levels.

    During a subcommittee hearing, Benito Perez, head of law enforcement for the Fish and Wildlife Service stated that HR5534 would be “largely duplicative” of existing authority.

    “This is another example of the animal rights extremists wasting Congressional time on a piece of legislation that will do nothing but undermine the states authority to manage their wildlife resources,” stated Rep. Young.

    About the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF)
    The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is the most respected and trusted proponent for hunters and fishermen in the political arena. With support from every major hunting and fishing organization, CSF is the leader in promoting sportsmen’s issues with elected officials. CSF works directly with the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus in the U.S. Congress, as well as affiliated state sportsmen’s caucuses in state legislatures around the country. For additional information, visit www.sportsmenslink.org or call 202-543-6850.

    Allan Ellis

    Director of Communications

    Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

    110 North Carolina Ave., SE

    Washington, DC 20003

    202-543-6850 Extension 19

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    Posted on 27th March 2008
    Under: Press Releases | No Comments »

    NWTF Exec Suddenly Steps Down

    Dual credits for this. I received it via the Outdoor Wire as well as through Grand View Media, with the Grand View release arriving just ahead of the Outdoor Wire one.

    From the Southern Sporting Journal. a la Grand View Media e-mail:

    From Southern Sporting Journal editor in chief Doug Howlett

    NWTF Chief Rob Keck Calls It Quits!
    - A Southern Sporting Journal Exclusive

    The National Wild Turkey Federation’s CEO turns in his resignation in conjunction with firings of some high level members (Photo courtesy of NWTF).

    Wow, talk about a quick departure. Last week, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) CEO Rob Keck was smoozing at the Alabama Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt, and this week he announced his resignation from the group. Though we’re still sorting out the details, ear hears that a couple of NWTF honchos were fired and Keck then headed off for greener pastures. When we know, you’ll know.

    Talk about an earthshaking event — Keck was the living embodiment of the NWTF and had huge stroke with most of the major manufacturers, DNR folk and politicians who are involved in the outdoor world. Though an NWTF big shot, Keck still liked to rub shoulders with the turkey-hunting crowd and he never met an audience he wasn’t willing to give a speech to.

    Apparently Keck, who’s been at the helm of the NWTF for the last couple of decades, threw himself on the funeral pyre of the two guys who were dismissed by the board. That action came on the heels of a fact-finding mission instigated by the board to delve into business practices in the Edgefield, S.C. home office.

    Stay tuned. Southern Sporting Journal will bring you every detail of this breaking news event in a “You Read It Here First” exclusive.

    More on this story..

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    Posted on 26th March 2008
    Under: Conservation Groups, General, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Desert in Bloom

    ‘Tis the season that the deserts explode in color. Here are some flower photos that I have taken over the years:



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    Posted on 26th March 2008
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »

    Caribou Photos

    From another unconfirmed source. Supposedly these were taken in Newfoundland. If that’s the case then they are Woodland caribou. A lot of venison roaming around there!

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    Posted on 25th March 2008
    Under: General | No Comments »