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

    Archive for September, 2008

    Like fine art? Check this out!

    I found this gentleman posting over on the ArcheryTalk Message Board. I am no afficionado, and barely know pastels from tempera - that being said, Ryan Jacque’s artwork is so realistic, it is breath-taking! Whouldathunk that pencil drawings could look like photographs?

    Ryan Jacque specializes in spectacularly detailed pencil renderings. Known for nature and wildlife scenes, as well as incredibly lifelike commissioned portraits, his work may be best described as painting in pencil. Often mistaken for a photographic technique, Ryan’s style creates a unique, enduring and endlessly compelling work of art.

    Seriously, check out his wildlife gallery - you will not be disappointed!

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    Posted on 30th September 2008
    Under: General, Products | No Comments »

    Awesome Baby Moose Photos

    OK - Disclaimers… My Mom sent this to me. A Fwd/Fwd/Fwd/Fwd. I don’t know where it’s from. Don’t know if the story is true. Haven’t run it through snopes. Don’t know if its been photoshopped. I am reasonably sure that it is indeed a moose calf (along with a deer fawn, at the end). Would be neat if one of the original folks found us an posted.

    Supposedly, the story is:

    A baby moose was in distress in a creek. A man got him out of the creek; tried to find the mother & send him on his way, but eventually the moose stumbled back into the creek & was rescued again. The baby moose followed the man home.
    The man has only a small cabin so he took the moose to another neighbor, who took these photos. They took the moose the next day to a woman who looks after wild animals & she put it in a pen with a rescued fawn.

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    Posted on 29th September 2008
    Under: General | No Comments »

    More Ted Nugent

    I can’t resist - here’s some more Ted:

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    Posted on 28th September 2008
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    Ted Nugent On The Bailout

    First sensible thing I have heard all week.

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    Posted on 27th September 2008
    Under: General | 2 Comments »

    City of Surprise Eases Weapons Ban

    Read the full article on AzCentral.com: Surprise City Council backs off of city bow-and-arrow ban
    A snippet:

    Surprise City Council backs off of city bow-and-arrow ban
    by Tony Lombardo - Sept. 27, 2008 07:00 AM
    The Arizona Republic

    The Surprise City Council on Thursday exempted bows and arrows from a list of weapons banned inside city limits.

    The decision came after the council heard passionate pleas from archers, including an athlete who competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.

    On Sept. 11, the council voted unanimously on a first reading to add bows and arrows, crossbows and blowguns to the list.

    Weapons on the list include firearms, BB and pellet guns, dart guns and slingshots.

    But Thursday, the council agreed 6-0 to exclude bows and arrows. Mayor Lyn Truitt was absent.

    City officials will work with archers to reach a compromise that won’t prohibit archery but will still increase public safety.

    That is good news for archers and bowhunters. This is the comment that kind of made me roll my eyes:

    The Surprise Police Department sought the ban because of safety concerns.

    Surprise Police Chief Daniel Hughes said he is open to discussion about the ban.

    Hughes said the ban was never intended to hinder sportsmen, but rather inexperienced or irresponsible shooters that pose a threat to themselves or their neighbors.

    “It’s always been about public safety,” Hughes said.

    Holy cow! If we’re going to create laws to mitigate any situation where irresponsible or inexperienced people might cause harm to themselves or others….. we’d better get at ‘er!

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    Posted on 27th September 2008
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Good Luck, Dad!

    I’m often asked “If you could go on any hunt, anywhere, what would that be?” Well, I gotta say that I would probably enjoy being out at the camp with Dad and his friends during moose season. This is the weekend, and I’m hoping they get a big ol bull!

    I haven’t had a hunting experience yet which quite compares to having a bull moose come into a call. You can hear he’s getting closer, the crackling in the alders… adrenaline at its finest!

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    Posted on 27th September 2008
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Escapades of an Elk Hunter

    Chad Rodvold of Field Dress has been sending me weekly updates of his cousin’s elk hunting trip. “So what?” you may ask. Well, lots of people share their hunt experiences, but how many times has the first chapter of a story been about a monster, three-legged bull?

    Marshall - Every year my father, uncle, brother and I get together for a week of non-stop bowhunting in either Colorado, for elk, or North Dakota, for whitetail. This year is like no other, as everyone had a tough year financially and we decided we’ll have to wait until next year to get together. My uncle’s son, however, finally decided he would like to take up bowhunting and drew both elk and mule deer tags. In previous years, he would always join us in the woods, but he never had the passion for the actual “hunt”. He has been calling me every evening to not only rub it in, but mostly to get advice and tell me about the happenings. The story he told me the other night was one we’ll be telling around the campfire for years to come.

    He scouted pretty well and had been seeing quite a few cows and a couple monster mule deer on a consistent basis. In the morning hunt, he glassed the area they’ve been in and the valley was alive with activity. The mule deer bucks, herd of cows, and a couple rag horned elk were out. A friend came up the night before and the two devised the route to take. They had radios, a perfect wind, and my cousin set out on his first true stalk.

    He decided to go after the rag-horned elk, as they were preoccupied with each other in a morning scrap. It didn’t take him long to get within sixty yards. He feels extremely confident shooting within forty yards and as he stopped to figure out the plan, he heard the familiar “crack” to his left.

    Now, the rest might be hard for some to believe, but let me tell you, the boy doesn’t have it in him to lie. He looked down the ridge and there was the grand-daddy bull elk standing forty-yards away through the pines. He set up just in front of a pine and some brush preparing for the shot. He couldn’t tell how big, but could see a mass of horns walking directly to him. As the bull came through the pines into clear view, he counted eight points on one side and as he described it, “horns going every direction” on the other. He also noticed the bull had a limp and realized one of his back legs had been shot off just above the knee. An eight by (?), three-legged monster bull elk on his first elk hunt. The wind was perfect, blowing directly in his face and the adrenaline was kicking in as the bull kept walking to within twenty yards. Never offering a shot, the bull kept coming to ten yards. At fifteen-feet, the bull stopped to relieve himself and my cousin swore he felt the spray on his face. He absolutely had no idea what to do with a bull that close and continuing to get closer and closer. My cousin was slightly above him, as the bull had been walking up the ridge and fifteen-feet quickly became five-feet and then TWO-FEET. My cousin closed his eyes to try and calm down and when he opened them all he saw were horns surrounding his body. The bull had put his head down to feed and had he turned his head would’ve hit my cousin for sure. Being an agile young man, he slowly contorted to draw his bow, never realizing if he actually would extend his arm he would hit the bull directly in the forehead with the end of his arrow. As the monster grand-daddy lifted his head, they met eyes and I’m sure they both “shat” themselves. I can’t imagine the feeling of looking into the eyes of such a majestic animal at that distance. In a moment the three-legged eight-point grand-daddy monster bull was gone and my cousin was left standing to wonder what he could’ve done. To me, it doesn’t really matter. He might not ever get the biggest bull in our camp, but he’ll always be able to keep us captivated with the best elk hunt story ever told.

    He has another week or so to go after him and has promised to not forget a camera. I’ll keep you informed as I look forward to the evening updates.


    Cool, huh? Now I was hooked, so the next update:

    Three-Legged Bull Update!

    Well, my cousin is really getting into them. He’s been having the most luck in the morning hunts and yesterday was no exception. He spotted a couple cows and the monster muley in the same general area as before and headed out. A snow front started in which made for a beautiful walk in. About half way up he spooked something and froze. As he looked to his right, getting up from their beds were two moose. It’s rare, but every once in a while we’ll come upon one. This was a small bull and cow and they just kind of wondered off into the timber. He continued up the trail and got about one hundred yards out from where he saw the cows and stopped to glass. As he was glassing, down below him, the herd was moving his way. He initially saw numerous cows, a six-point bull, and more horns through the pines, but couldn’t make out their sizes. In his mind, however, all he saw was “Tripod”, the eight-point, three-legged bull, he’s seen over and over in his dreams since last week. He put out a couple bugles and got the answer he was looking for from the six-point. They talked back and forth for a while, but the big bull didn’t want to leave the herd. He thought Tripod must be in the area. Then suddenly, a nice four-point appeared in a clearing, forty-yards out. Perfect shooting distance, but Tripod got the better of him. First-time elk hunting and I think he believes its always going to be this way. Little sh*t passed him up and continued towards the herd. The six-point wanted nothing to do with his bugling and took the herd off into timber and again Tripod was victorious.

    How many of us passed a nice trophy because of the one that got away still fresh in our minds? In the field training for the rookie elk hunter. Whatever he is doing however, he must be doing something right. He was able to get a picture of the walk in on his cell and thinks he got some of the moose and elk. I’ll have to wait for him to get on a computer to send everything over. The way his hunts are going, I don’t think he’ll be in civilization until he and Tripod meet again. More to come…

    It’s kinda fun, following this.

    My cousin devised a way to set-up a bow cam, as he is hunting by himself. He was so excited after his morning hunt, he drove back to Denver and wrote the following, along with posting the video on YouTube. Sorry for the shameless plug in the video…he is my cousin however. Gotta love him. The bull comes into great focus and range about 2 minutes in.

    Again, I started my morning hunt in the same spot I have hunted now for the last couple of weeks. I leave the truck and start on the trail at 6:30 am. It’s only about a 15 minute hike to my first glassing point. I glass for only a couple of minutes before spotting the herd a little over a mile away. I have a nice little trial that drops down low off the ridge and dumps me right into the open meadow where I saw those moose a couple days ago. On my way down, I spot a cow moose out in the field grazing. I know the bull is around somewhere. I slow my walk down until I get to the bottom, still watching the cow, and find a nice spot behind a couple of pine trees. Note to self, if you are going to take electronics out on a hunt, make sure they are functioning properly before you spot a 30 inch bull moose laying down in the brush 50 yards away! That’s right, I go fire up my bow camera, and the tape is set on lock mode to prevent recording over previous items. Usually not a problem, just pull out the tape, flip a little deal on the tape, pop it back in and video some moose right there in front of me. It is a big deal when you have your camera bolted down to an aluminum plate which makes it impossible to do the switch without any tools or scaring away the wildlife. Luckily, I had my backup Nikon in the pack and was able to take some good shots. Meanwhile, I can hear the elk bugling out over these moose moving across the ridge. It’s time to make a move. The only problem is there is a big moose in the way of where I need to go to get to where the elk are moving. I spit out a couple moose calls to let them know my presence. Normally, I would have sat there all morning without them noticing me but the elk are getting away. A couple poor moose calls later, the cow moose gets comfortable and lies down. Fifteen minutes later, I announce my hiding spot by getting up and walking back over to my pack. Finally, they get up and start walking away. First time I have actually wanted to scare a big bull moose away. I can make my way over to the other side of the ridge where I get set up to start in on the elk calls. This is where the fun begins.

    I start in on my cow call. I get set up where if the come through the trees in front of me, it makes for a nice shot. Another problem occurs. The first bugle I get from my call is behind me a couple hundred yards. I quickly get up and move to the other side of this nice little gully probably 50 yards wide that runs up the bigger ridge. I just reversed my plan, so to speak. The wind at this point is barely moving. I get set up in my new spot, flip open that bow camera that I have been so eagerly waiting to use, hit record and spit out another cow call. Right on the other side, I hear this massive bugle unload probably 80 yards. I haven’t got a visual yet. A couple more cow calls, I finally get this “nice six-point” to come out in the open. My cow calls get this bull to drop down the rocky facing, unleash several enormous bugles that only the video camera can begin to describe, and walk across this gully only to disappear into the pine. I keep after the cow calls and while I can only hear the six-point, I accidentally called in another bull behind me. I just realized that my “nice six” was now more interested in this other bull. I hear both sets of bugles and slowly start to follow. Finally when the both sets meet up, all I hear is two massive set of antlers go at one another less then a hundred yards away. I pick up the pace to maybe get a small glimpse at what I can only hear. I keep seeing “Tripod”, the massive eight-point three-legged bull in my mind. This battle went on for well over a minute. I am guessing that second bull had to have been pretty good size to go at it with the one I was watching. Before I get up to the scene, I spot the herd of cow elk trotting across up on top of me. Probably a dozen go by before I see the bull that won the battle that I tried to observe. I decide to go right into the bugle thinking maybe with how worked up he is, he might come after another big bull. He trots off through the pine, herding his cows along the way. Meanwhile, I take a seat and start to recap on what had just happened. I get interrupted by a cow call right on the other side of my little gully. So I cow call back. This goes on for the next couple of minutes. I get these half a dozen cows to become pretty interested in me. So I sat there and worked on my cow call a little bit with the real thing. Kind of fine tuned it a little to get ready for tomorrows hunt. On my hike back to the truck, I listened to several more bugles coming from deep into the trees. I know they will be out tomorrow. It’s just another typical day seeing the elk and exchanging bugles with bulls less then the length of a football field away. I am the only one hunting this area. After watching the video a few times of that bull elk bugling right into the lens of my camera, I can’t wait to get up a little earlier and do it all over again tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow’s hunt I won’t get distracted by the moose. It’s probably time to plot a new way around the bull moose to hunt the bull elk


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    Posted on 23rd September 2008
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    US Sportsmen’s Alliance Applauds New Bill Regarding Polar Bear Trophies

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Greg R. Lawson (614) 888-4868 ext. 214

    September 19, 2008 Sharon Hayden (614) 888-4868 ext. 226

    US Sportsmen’s Alliance Applauds New Bill Regarding Polar Bear Trophies

    Alaska Congressman Introduces Legislation to Allow the Import of Trophies and Guarantee Conservation Funding

    (National)- The US Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) applauds the action taken yesterday by Representative Don Young (R- AK) to introduce HR 6936. This new legislation will allow for the importation of already existing polar bear trophies currently prohibited due to the recent decision to list them as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

    HR 6936 will eliminate the legal limbo surrounding existing trophies and permits that was created when the U.S. Department of Interior formally May 15, 2008 formal listed polar bears as threatened.

    “Unfortunately, the decision to list polar bears as “threatened” under the ESA was driven by politics rather than science,” said Rob Sexton, USSA Vice President of Government Affairs. “All of the polar bear populations where Americans are permitted to hunt are healthy, sustainable and well managed. The Marine Mammal Protection Act only allows trophy imports to occur from healthy bear populations. When the listing was ordered, provisions should have been included that allowed this year’s hunts to be completed. Representative Young’s bill is fair to hunters and good for polar bears. It is important to remember that the fees from these hunts actually pay for polar bear conservation efforts. ”

    Though, a positive step, HR 6936 does not solve the long-term problem. Under the current ESA designation, no new trophies can be imported, thereby eliminating polar bear hunting by Americans who provide the bulk of bear conservation funding. The Interior Department issued the threatened listing in response to a lawsuit by environmental activists who claim that shrinking arctic ice, allegedly caused by global warming will cause polar bear numbers to decline in 50 years. The threatened species listing provides no solution to arctic ice. The only result of the listing was to suspend polar bear hunting.

    “It is ironic that the only Americans impacted by the decision to list polar bears as threatened were those who pay actually pay to ensure their survival,” said Sexton.

    USSA has been working with Rep. Young and other conservation minded legislators to find a solution that will allow hunting and conservation efforts to resume.

    The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organizations that protects and advances America’s heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping. It does so in the courts, state legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussportsmen.org.


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    Posted on 23rd September 2008
    Under: Conservation Groups, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Jim Casada Newsletter A Great Read

    Jim Casada is one of those friends I haven’t met yet - other than online. He has always been quick to help me out and answer my questions over on the Outdoor Writers’ Forum. Anyway, I get a monthly e-mail newsletter from Jim, and it is always a delight. If you miss real writing, with words that stir up images in your mind that are HD and smells that are so real they make your mouth water - I suggest you have a look!

    A snippet:

    I’ll finish by saying that today, having returned to the mountains after that wonderful dove shoot to be with my elderly father, I sort of relived a bit of both the near and distant past. Morning found me gathering and shucking the final crop of corn from the garden I raised in the same spot my father cultivated from the age of 33 until he finally put away his hoe four years ago at the age of 95. It is now processed and frozen, promise of many a fine winter’s meal in the months to come. While doing this I paused a couple of times to eat some ground cherries, and twice I rested and enjoyed a bunch of Concord grapes so full of sugar they seemed like candy. Now if I could only supplement them by finding a huge vine of fox grapes growing along some creek and turn them into a tangy, toothsome jelly and educates a cathead biscuit in a most remarkable way.

    Still, our lunch featured doves I shot on Labor Day, and a new recipe proved mighty fine. I’ll finish by sharing what I did. For starters I removed the dove breasts from the bone in a process I learned years ago. While doing this I had several slices of bacon frying in a skillet. Once the bacon was done I set it aside and used the hot grease to brown the dove breasts, which had been coated in flour. The breasts were set aside as well and the drippings, with the addition of flour and mile, became a pan of gravy. Then I added the breasts, crumbled the bacon, and covered it all to simmer for 45 minutes (this meant moist, tender dove meat). Just before serving I added some leftover chicken bog, although a side serving of rice topped with the dove/bacon/gravy mix would have worked just as well. How I wish Grandpa Joe could have joined Dad and me at the table, but Dad’s comment judging the dish “right tasty” (and it was) served as praise enough.

    You can read Jim’s full newsletter online HERE.

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

    Hats off to Greg and his cool NM Antelope!

    Recently heard from my good friend Greg McBride who owns Trail’s End Taxidermy. He sent me an e-mail along with the photos below, stating:

    Hello all - Just got back from New Mexico. Ended up shooting a buck we called the “freak”. He had 16 1/2″ horns, beautiful cape! Went with a group of three others from here in AZ. The rancher that owned the property was super nice, great guy, it must be tough on them to allow public hunters on their own property but he was a super guy. All four of us ended up with great bucks.

    Take Care

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    Posted on 21st September 2008
    Under: General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Bow Project Ready To Peak

    If you have been following this project, here is the most recent update.

    I am happy to say that my new bow is back in hand! I have not shot it yet, but it looks GREAT! That’s all I’m saying for now…

    Adam Guggisberg is almost done his articles and will be posting write-ups and pictures soon!

    This is AWESOME! I will thank them again during my final reviews and evaluations, but I especially want to thank the Vendors who were VERY generous in assisting me with this project:

    Vince at Alpine Archery
    Jerrod at Trophy Taker
    Ben at Vital gear

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    Posted on 21st September 2008
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    Darla Bardelli - A Hometown Inspiration

    This article was sent to me by Jim Allen, who is the Publisher of the Arizona Boating and Watersports News Magazine.

    I’ve got a kidney stone and have been feeling sorry for myself all day. Kinda makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?

    For a Pro Angler, Fishing Is a Relief From Breast Cancer


    Published: September 17, 2008

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Darla Bardelli is getting ready to fish, so she slips off her pink shoes, which reveal toenails polished pink, and reaches for her pink fishing rod. A moment later, a plastic worm is sailing through the air and splashes the water.

    Darla Bardelli, a Women’s Bassmaster Tour competitor, learned a year ago that she had cancer.
    For the next few seconds at least, in anticipation of a bite, her mind is on the task at hand.
    “You always have one foot in cancer land,” Bardelli said, “but fishing has helped get the rest of me out of cancer land. Your life is so far out of control that focusing on fishing is a relief. I need this. I had to come here.”

    Bardelli is standing on a bass boat on Clarks Hill Lake practicing for the Women’s Bassmaster Tour event that starts here Thursday. She has finished 24th and 47th in two previous events and missed a third because of complications from radiation treatment.

    The conditions on the lake are brutal. Broiling heat has chased fish deep into waters that have been fished three weekends in a row in tournaments. The women take their three highest finishes in the four events to try to make the field for the championship event next month in Hot Springs, Ark., and Bardelli needs to be in the top 15 this week in the field of 74.

    She has not practiced much, does not have her own boat with her and is still weak from radiation treatments that ended five weeks ago. She is at a physical disadvantage because of her surgery — a double radical mastectomy.

    Bardelli, 55, found a lump on her right breast in August 2007. As it grew, the pain intensified and she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in her right side, and Stage 1 in her left side.

    Last September, her bushy blond hair was in clumps circling the drain in her shower because of chemotherapy. She was on her way down to a size 4 from a size 14, a loss of 50 pounds, and her marriage was falling apart. She did not have health insurance.

    Bardelli shook her head as she talked about how her life changed so abruptly, creating so much uncertainty. She hosts a talk radio outdoors show in Phoenix and has a nationally broadcast show, Outdoors America, that reaches 120 stations in the United States. Her life was so vibrant she did not even consider the possibility of cancer.

    Bardelli, who raced dune buggies in the Baja when she 13, shot her first deer when she was 12, learned to water ski when she was 5, and talked archery with her male-dominated audience, was on a roll. “The biggest thing I had to worry about was falling off my boat or getting a fish hook in my hand,” she said, “And then, whammo.” After the chemo came the mastectomy on Feb. 11. After that, the determination to hold a fishing rod again and not waste another second on self-pity.

    When she got out of the hospital after surgery, Bardelli taped drain tubes to her side and walked three miles every day to the fishing hole closest to her home in Phoenix to watch others fish and walked back. She could not hold a rod for six weeks, but she wanted to rebuild the strength in her legs so she could be ready to stand on a trolling motor in Lewisville, Tex., in April for a tour event.

    Bardelli drove 25 hours to Texas in her yellow Jeep, slept by the side of the road and finished 24th. Listeners and sponsors helped pay her way, and she shared her story on the air. The surgery has stripped her ability to power fish with crank baits and spinners. Bardelli can throw and reel hard for a few hours, but then she tires, and has to soak a worm and let it do the work. Bardelli casts to a spot and allows the bait to settle to the bottom, or she suspends it with a Carolina rig and slowly works it back to the boat. Where some anglers might make 1,200 casts a day, Bardelli might get half that many.

    “She has been real good with plastics before, she can fish with that,” said Dianna Clark, the 2006 Angler of the Year, and a close friend, who is helping Bardelli meet expenses on the road. “This is one amazing woman. The fact that she is here with all that has happened to her in a year is incredible.”
    Bardelli did not have to fill her wardrobe with pink, the color that symbolizes breast cancer, because five years ago she started wearing the color. She was trying to link feminism to the outdoors, not even thinking pink would soon surround her life in more dramatic fashion.

    While she practiced Monday with Sharon Teague, a friend and an angler, Bardelli was head-to-toe pink with a pink visor, earrings with a splash of pink, a pink fishing rod, pink fishing line and a splash of pink on her cheeks from the bright sun. When the tournament starts, she will put on her fishing shirt with pink logos from sponsors, the same shirt she wore in chemo treatments to help lift the spirits in a chemo room crowded with other patients.

    “I really don’t stand on the why-me square as much as the why not me square,” Bardelli said. “I have a big voice. I am very outspoken about having breast cancer and telling people that one in eight women are going to get breast cancer.

    “Where is everybody else that looks like me? You don’t see them. You know why? People will treat you differently, you’re scared, you want to curl up in a ball and pretend this never happened to you and you have to fight that.

    “Fishing helps me fight it.”

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    Posted on 21st September 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Fishing, General | No Comments »