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

    Archive for August, 2008

    Bickering Over Waterholes

    A thread over on CouesWhitetail.com recently caught my eye: Read it here.

    The gist of it is that a guy was out scouting out an area he frequented, and lo and behold - a blind had been up, and a sign posted: “This ground blind will be used for the 2008 Archery deer and Elk Hunt”

    Folks, unless you are on private property (with permission, of course) - you can’t reserve spots. Depending on whether it is State land or Federal land, national Forest, etc - you can’t leave “stuff” there for an extended period of time, in order to secure your place. Depending on the jurisdiction, it seems to run from 2 days to 2 weeks - after that, it may be considered “abandoned”. Public land is first come, first serve - if you want your ‘spot” to go unused, you need to walk farther, or get up earlier.

    It seems these days, that I can’t visit a website or talk to another hunter without hearing about a quarrel over someone’s “spot”; sometimes it approaches the level of fisticuffs.

    I have a friend who is usually “in the know”. He and I were talking about this the other day. he said that some game and Fish officials told him that “It’s getting so bad, we’re about to shut the whole thing down”. In other words, no one will be hunting near water holes, hanging blinds, etc.

    We have seen what a few bad apples have done in the OHV world - let’s not let the same thing happen to us. let’s be reasonable.

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

    Arizona Custom Rifles Donates Custom Rifle To HOAL

    Arizona Custom Rifles Donates Custom Rifle To HOAL

    Custom rifle can be mounted on a wheelchair attachment or shot from the shoulder.

    Tempe, AZ – August, 2008 - In mid-August, Arizona Custom Rifles Owner Terry Mushrush happily presented Arizona Hunt of a Lifetime Ambassador Terry Petko with a beautiful, hand-built custom rifle. This rifle is unique in that it can be fired from the shoulder, or mounted to a special attachment which mounts on a wheelchair. This enables a wheelchair user to fire the weapon basically, without assistance.

    Hunt Of A Lifetime is a non-profit group that provides sick and terminally ill children with the opportunity to go on a hunt, utilizing big game tags donated by sportsmen and their families. It is not uncommon for a hunt recipient to utilize a wheelchair. Having a rifle that can mount to a wheelchair is a great bonus for the organization. The rifle will be kept within the group, so it can be utilized as required, by different hunters.

    Mushrush was quick to point out that the rifle was a group effort. The Turkish Walnut Stock blank was donated by Luxus in Ohio; the barrel and muzzle brake were donated by Brownells in Iowa; the bluing and shipping were donated by Glenrock Blue in Wyoming; Mr. Eric Olde, a private citizen in Tempe donated the Remington receiver and Nightforce Scope. Once all the materials were in hand, the group at Arizona Custom Rifles spent a considerable amount of talent and labor hours assembling and accurizing the rifle, chambered in .30-06. Mushrush presented the rifle to HOAL-AZ with the following statement: “As a token of appreciation for your selflessness to terminally ill children, Arizona Custom Rifles is pleased to present this rifle to Hunt of a Lifetime. We are looking forward to future projects in support of your organization.”

    Petko was awed by the donation, and thankful to Arizona Custom Rifles and all those companies and individuals that aided in this project. “This is a beautiful rifle, and will be a much-needed addition to our program”, said Petko. “This donation furthers our goal of each kid having an enjoyable experience and successful hunt”.

    “Hunt Of A Lifetime” is a nonprofit organization with a mission to grant hunting & fishing adventures and dreams for children age 21 and under, who have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses. To learn more, please visit www.hoalarizona.org or contact Terry Petko at the phone number listed above.


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    Posted on 28th August 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Mossback Mini Throttle Bugle

    Mossback Mini Throttle Bugle

    Small in size, but big in performance, the Mossback Mini Throttle Bugle offers all of the same great features as the Full Throttle Bugle, but in an undersized package. The smaller size allows for easy storage in day packs or pockets. The simple-to-use, adjustable reed produces a full range of calls from basic bugles and grunts, to the thunderous, full-throttle bugle for long-distance and assertive calling. This user-friendly call will produce soft, quiet calls with very little air and loud locator calls when more air is applied.

    The Mini Throttle Bulgle is designed to stand up to all that Mother Nature can dish out, including rain, snow and frigid temperatures.

    More info: www.mossback.com
    What it costs: $29.95

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    Posted on 28th August 2008
    Under: Press Releases | No Comments »

    Gorilla™ Climber Reaches New Heights

    Gorilla™ Climber Reaches New Heights

    New Pro-Series Greyback™ Deluxe Hunter Represents The Pinnacle In Climbing Stand Design

    FLUSHING, MI - Comfort, security, and concealment are taken to new heights with the introduction of the new Pro-Series Greyback Deluxe Hunter climbing stands from Gorilla Inc.

    The new convertible stand features the exclusive Gorilla Grip pivoting arms which adjust to trees from 8 to 20 inches in diameter providing secure climbing in a variety of situations.

    “The Gorilla Grip pivoting arms help this stand grip a tree like no other,” said Director of Marketing Stephen Graham. “The climbers, which are engineered for lightweight stability, have 11 possible adjustments giving each one the proper fit for nearly any tree. In addition, included attachment straps lock the platforms in place for rock solid hunting.

    “Comfort and versatility are two more features that help this stand rise above the rest. The Greyback Deluxe features a two position shooting rail, two detachable gear bags, and padded seats for all day hunting comfort.”

    Finally, the stands also feature the new and exclusive SilenTech noise reduction coating, ultraquiet nylon bushings, and Mossy Oak Treestand camo for the ultimate in stealth and concealment.

    The new Treestand pattern utilizes the same silhouette-altering technology found in all the Mossy Oak patterns. It was designed specifically for hunting from an elevated position, effectively erasing the outline of an elevated hunter among the bare limbs of a late fall tree.

    Gorilla Inc. is an award-winning manufacturer of high performance treestands and accessories for hunters who demand comfort, strength and stealth. For more information on the Gorilla Treestand Inc. products visit www.gorillatreestands.com.

    Gorilla Treestands, Inc. produces official licensed products of Mossy Oak/Haas Outdoors Inc. Haas Outdoors Inc., headquartered in West Point, Miss., was established in 1986 and is home of Mossy Oak (www.mossyoak.com). Mossy Oak specializes in developing and marketing modern camouflage designs for hunters and outdoorsmen. Mossy Oak patterns can be found on a multitude of products worldwide. Haas Outdoors Inc. is the outdoor industry leader in modern camouflage design, international licensing and marketing. Haas Outdoors Inc. markets its services and products under widely recognized brands including: Mossy Oak, BioLogic, Mossy Oak Productions, Mossy Oak Interactive, LLC and Mossy Oak Properties.


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    Posted on 28th August 2008
    Under: Press Releases | No Comments »

    Victory for Wildlife Conservation in Alaska

    All Media: For Immediate Release
    August 27, 2008

    Victory for Wildlife Conservation in Alaska

    Tucson, Arizona – Safari Club International (SCI) congratulated the voters of Alaska for defeating Measure 2 on their August 26 primary ballot. Measure 2, defeated by a 55% to 44% margin, would have limited the state’s authority to manage predator populations that threaten the state’s wildlife, livestock and even pets.

    “The true winner in this vote was Alaska’s wildlife,” said SCI president Merle Shepard. “Anti-hunting organizations that ignore science-based conservation should take a lesson from the defeat that Alaskan voters have dealt to them. It’s time for the animal-rights groups to try to understand, once and for all, that Alaska’s professional biologists at the Department of Fish and Game are best qualified to manage the state’s wildlife.”

    SCI’s Alaska Chapter president, Eddie Grasser added, “The misinformation spread by the proponents of this ballot initiative was amazing, but not surprising considering these individuals are not Alaskans and do not understand Alaska’s wildlife and ecology. Many organizations rallied together to ensure that Alaskan wildlife management remained the prerogative of the state Department of Fish and Game – not out-of-state extremist groups.”

    The local organization leading this campaign to victory was Alaskans for Professional Wildlife Management, whose leadership throughout a difficult and contentious campaign truly paid off. The SCI Alaska Chapter and the SCI Kenai Peninsula Chapter generously donated both time and considerable financial resources to guarantee that the ballot initiative and the anti-hunting organizations were finally defeated.

    “This should be a lesson to the animal-rights extremists,” concluded Shepard. “They may think the politics of this state are changing – but the truth behind science-based conservation never will.”

    SCI-First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s 188 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 18 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.safariclub.org or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.

    Nelson Freeman
    Governmental Affairs
    and Public Relations
    Safari Club International
    (202) 543 – 8733

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

    By the numbers

    The folks over at Hunting Illustrated magazine put together a pretty darned good publication - especially if you like Western Hunting tales and photos.

    One monthly feature I enjoy is a sidebar where they post statistics. Here are some from this past issue:

    14.3 Million - The number of hunters in the US

    1.8 million - The number of youth hunters

    1 in 4 - Gun hunters who also bowhunt

    37.2 - The average age of the bowhunting population

    3.2 Million
    - The number of hunters in the US who bowhunt

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    Posted on 25th August 2008
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    Spring hunt draw regulations are now posted online

    Spring hunt draw regulations are now posted online

    Hunters can start applying for Arizona’s spring 2009 hunts

    Aug. 22, 2008

    PHOENIX – Arizona’s spring 2009 hunt draw regulations have been posted on the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Web site at www.azgfd.gov/draw. Hunters can now start applying for the spring hunts for turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear.

    Keep in mind that the online draw application service is not available; hunters must apply using paper applications. A PDF application form is available for downloading at www.azgfd.gov/draw. The form can be filled out using a computer and keyboard, but must be printed, signed and submitted (along with the correct fees by check or money order) by mail, or by delivery to any department office. The form can also be printed and filled out using an ink pen.

    Printed regulation booklets and applications are anticipated to be available at license dealers statewide by Sept. 15.

    The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008, at 7 p.m. MST – postmarks do not count.

    Apply early to take advantage of the correction period. If your application has a mistake and is received by Sept. 25, the department will attempt to call you three times in a 24-hour period and give you the opportunity to correct the mistake. After that date, mistakes can cause your application to be rejected.

    Remember, you must purchase a 2009 license to enter the spring draw. Licenses available through the draw include General Hunting, Adult Combination Hunting and Fishing, and Youth Combination Hunting and Fishing. Other licenses (including Family and Super Conservation licenses) can be purchased at department offices. License information can be found on page 4 of the spring regulations booklet.

    Some changes for the 2009 spring season include:

    Juniors-only spring turkey. Tags for the juniors-only spring turkey hunts are now nonpermit-tags and can be purchased over-the-counter at any department office or license dealer. If not filled during the spring hunts, these nonpermit-tags may be used during the fall if the Arizona Game and Fish Commission authorizes a juniors-only nonpermit-tag fall turkey season.

    Archery javelina. Tags for the archery javelina hunt in Units 11M, 25M, 26M, 38M and 47M are now nonpermit-tags and can be purchased over-the-counter at any department office or license dealer.

    General spring bear. Tags for the general spring bear hunts in all open units, except 6B and Fort Huachuca, and the archery spring bear hunts in Units 3B/3C and 33 are now nonpermit-tags and can be purchased over-the-counter at any department office or license dealer. A bear nonpermit-tag purchased in the spring and not filled is valid for any authorized fall bear nonpermit-tag season.

    Hunters operating off-highway vehicles. Please be aware that new regulations affecting off-highway vehicle use will go into effect Jan. 1, 2009. See page 16 of the spring regulations booklet for more information.

    Waterfowl hunters will want to take note that the 2008-09 waterfowl and snipe regulations have also been posted to the department’s Web site at www.azgfd.gov/draw (click on the link under the “downloads” column).

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    Posted on 24th August 2008
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Cooking Wild Game In The Summertime

    Here are some wise words posted by my friend the WildCheff over on his Camo Space page:

    Summer is now in full swing. While hunters and game enthusiasts are busy with vacations, fishing, planting food plots and other outdoor activities, don’t ignore the fact that you have some delicious game sitting in your freezer that can be savored over the Summer months.

    Summer is a great time to bring to light vibrant dishes that highlight your game. Fire up your bbq and cook some wild game kabobs by placing them on skewers with fresh summer veggies, and marinate them in olive oil and fresh herbs; flavors like rosemary, garlic and lemon. Olive oil adds that heart-healthy unsaturated fat to your game so you don’t dry out the meat and smidgen of herbs can truly accent the flavor – the key word being accent.

    Break out that game burger and mix with some shredded cheese, a bit of bbq sauce, soy sauce, and herbs like WildCheff Wild Game Onion Blend. Form into burger patties and cook until medium (pink inside). Remove from grill and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

    Serve either with your favorite summertime cole-slaw, potato or pasta salad.

    While many of us old-fashioned wild game traditionalists like it simple, we can occasionally attempt to do something out of the ordinary. Create a new food experience by thinking outside the box. Surprise your spouse or companion and set a table for two with tablecloth and flowers in a vase, so you can enjoy a romantic dinner featuring grilled game and a nice salad that has mesculin, fresh strawberries, goat cheese and pine nuts with a hint balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add a crisp glass of wine, summer ale or fresh brewed iced tea and you have the makings of a tasteful memory. Come on guys, these gals need a bit of romance every now and then. Plus it’s a great excuse to eat your game – getting you psyched about the upcoming hunting season.

    Summertime game can be enjoyed; you just have to exercise a bit of creativity.

    Bon appétit and happy hunting,The WildCheff

    About the author: New England’s French-Canadian WildCheff continues to educate and inspire hunters and game enthusiasts alike. Denny has been an avid hunter and game chef for well over 25 years. He is affectionately been known throughout outdoorsmen circles as “The WildCheff”. Denny has been teaching wild game cooking skills via his WildCheff Cooking Academy Clinics since 1995, and has worked exclusively with an award winning food industry expert to create gourmet spice and sausage blends that take your cooking skills to a whole new level; helping hunters and game enthusiasts to visual their game cooking in a way they never thought possible . Additionally, Denny is also a certified motivation speaker, cooking columnist and cookbook author. For more information about “The WildCheff” visit his website @ http://wildcheff.com/

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    Posted on 24th August 2008
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Arizona Custom Rifles - A Diamond In The Desert

    Recently, I had a chance to lay my hands on some of the finest gunsmithing that I have seen. Hand-checkering that would make any amateur cabinetmaker weep. Bluing and machining the likes of which people usually can only read about. Stocks crafted from fine Turkish Walnut. I watched masters at work, and spoke at length with a man who is passionate about what he does. I wasn’t at that fancy room at Bass Pro Shops, the one that holds the $40,000 elephant guns. I wasn’t in a den somewhere in the English countryside, puffing on a pipe and sipping a glass of after-dinner Port. It may surprise you that I was in an obscure little shop in a small industrial park in Tempe.

    I was there for another purpose, mostly though - I was there with Hunt of a Lifetime - the Arizona Chapter. Arizona Custom Rifles owner Terry Mushrush was presenting HOAL Arizona Ambassador Terry Petko with a beautiful hand-built custom rifle. This rifle was meant to be used by kids who enrolled in the HOAL program and is designed in such a way that it can be shot from the shoulder like a conventional rifle, or mounted on a wheelchair.

    Arizona Custom Rifles performs a lot of different services, including a couple of real neat ones which I will review in future posts. Custom rifles, however, form the core of their business. ACR has been in their Tempe location since 2006. Terry Mushrush and his partner Jeremiah Bass believed that there was a niche market in Arizona for hand-crafted custom rifles, and a general demand for quality gunsmithing. Both men have graduated from the Gunsmithing School at Yavapai College, located in Prescott.

    Currently they have 4 employees. Diversification has helped keep them busy, when the economy started slowing down. I’ll be making another post about Terry and his crew next week. I’ll talk more about what they do, and how they do it. I’ll discuss their line of services as well. I have a lot to talk about - heck, I may have to make 2 more posts!

    In the meantime, visit their site and have a look around: Arizona Custom Rifles. I think you’ll be impressed to discover that we have such a facility here in Arizona. You’ll be even more impressed when you see some of what they do!

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    Posted on 23rd August 2008
    Under: Arizona News, General, Interviews, Products | No Comments »

    Bear At A Picnic

    if you haven’t seen the photo yet, head over to my buddy’s blog and have a look: Bear At The Picnic Table

    It’s pretty cute!

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    Posted on 23rd August 2008
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Barbie Fishing Rod Lands State Record

    You can read the full story online at FoxNews: North Carolina Man Makes Record Catch With Barbie Fishing Rod

    David Hayes was fishing with his granddaughter in a pond behind his house when she asked him to hold her Barbie fishing rod while she went to the bathroom.

    The rest is North Carolina sports history.

    Hayes took the fishing rod and seconds later the toy hooked a state-record channel catfish, at 21 pounds, 1 ounce.

    “I was pretty sure I was going to lose it,” he said told The Winston-Salem Journal. “I was hoping I would hang on to it long enough for Alyssa to see it. When she did, she squealed so much it took off on its last run.”

    Read the rest at the link above….

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    Posted on 22nd August 2008
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Public input sought on proposed fishing regulation changes

    Public input sought on proposed fishing regulation changes

    PHOENIX – How would you like a one-of-a-kind, catch-and-release fishery for feisty roundtail chub at Fossil Creek, which is one of the state’s two travertine streams (Havasupai is the other)?

    Can you imagine spear fishing for striped bass at Lake Pleasant in the future?

    How would you like to catch-and-keep (or have in your possession) one bass within the 13- to 16-inch slot limit at Roosevelt Lake?

    Fisheries Chief Kirk Young said these are some of the potential fishing regulation changes for 2009-2010 for consideration by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission during the October meeting at the Phoenix headquarters.

    But to gather public input on the proposals, the Game and Fish Department is conducting a series of public meetings on the draft “Commission Order 40,” which is the basis for what anglers commonly refer to as the fishing regulations.

    The following public meetings are being conducted:

    Mesa, 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Mesa Regional Game and Fish office, 7200 E. University Dr..
    Flagstaff, 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Flagstaff Regional Game and Fish office, 3500 S. Lake Mary Rd.
    Tucson, 7 p.m. Sept. 15, Tucson Regional Game and Fish office, 555 N. Greasewood Road.
    Yuma, 7 p.m. Sept. 17, Yuma Regional Game and Fish office, 9140 E. 28th St.
    Pinetop, 7 p.m. Sept. 22, Pinetop Regional Game and Fish office, 2878 E. White Mountain Blvd.
    In addition, you can also submit written comments to: Arizona Game and Fish Department, Fisheries Branch, c/o Kirk Young, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.

    A detailed explanation of the proposed regulation changes is available online at www.azgfd.gov. The following is a synopsis of the proposed regulations changes for 2009-10:

    Reduce the bag and possession limit for trout from six to four (from three to two for unlicensed anglers) at Woodland Lake.
    Remove bag limits for bass and catfish at Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Black Canyon Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Chevelon Lake, CC Cragin Reservoir (Blue Ridge Reservoir), Knoll Lake, and Long Tom Lake
    Extend the fishing closures on the Apache trout recovery waters that include Bear Wallow Creek, Snake Creek, Fish Creek (including tributaries Double Cienega and Corduroy creeks but excluding Ackre Lake), upper East Fork Little Colorado River, Hayground Creek, Conklin Creek, South Fork Little Colorado River, and Stinky Creek to fishing. The closures would remain in effect until population criteria are met for recovering native apache trout.
    Establish a one-of-a-kind, catch-and-release only, artificial fly and lure-only fishing season for native roundtail chub on the recently renovated and re-established free-flowing Fossil Creek in the Verde Valley.
    Allow take of one bass in the slot at Roosevelt Lake. The limit would be changed to six bass, of which no more than one bass between 13 and 16 inches (protected slot limit) in length may be in possession.
    Allow harvest of striped bass at Lake Pleasant by means of spear fishing.
    Implement restrictions (reduced bag limit, slot limit or minimum size limit) on harvest of bass at Saguaro, Canyon and/or Apache lakes to aid in the recovery of these lakes from golden alga impacts.
    Once the public input is gathered and the Game and Fish Department makes its final recommendations, the Game and Fish Commission will be considering the 2009-10 fishing regulations during its Oct. 10-11 meeting in Phoenix in the department headquarters at 5000 W. Carefree Highway (just west of Interstate 17).

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    Posted on 22nd August 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Fishing, Press Releases | No Comments »