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    Archive for October, 2008

    Lakes To Get Slot-Limits

    Salt River lakes get slot limits for 2 years starting in 2009

    Anglers enjoying the popular Salt River chain of lakes may want to keep a ruler handy starting in January 2009 when Arizona’s new fishing regulations go into effect.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Commission on Oct. 11 voted to create slot limits at Saguaro, Canyon and Apache lakes just like the one already in place on Roosevelt Lake in an effort to give these popular fisheries another nudge down the comeback trail after being blitzed by golden alga blooms in recent years.

    In addition, possession of one fish out the protected slot limit will be allowed at Roosevelt and this provision is also part of the new slot regulations at Saguaro, Canyon and Apache.

    The Game and Fish Commission adopts the fishing regulations for a two-year period. For 2009 through 2010, the whole Salt River chain of lakes (Roosevelt, Apache, Canyon, and Saguaro) will have a 13- to 16-inch protective slot limit, with anglers being allowed to keep one slot-sized bass. These slot limits will automatically sunset after two years (the slot limit and newly added one fish possession provision at Roosevelt Lake does not sunset).

    “It’s a nice added insurance policy for these lakes as they recover from the alga-caused fish die-offs these fisheries suffered several years ago,” said Fisheries Chief Kirk Young.

    Young added that anglers have always shown a willingness to play a role in helping fisheries when they can by either catching-and-releasing fish when necessary or by catching-and-keeping fish when called for.

    Young explained that in December of 2007, the Game and Fish Department launched a four-pronged effort to help the popular Salt River chain lakes (below Roosevelt Lake) on the road to recovery. The ongoing efforts include:

    Stocking the lakes to give sport-fish populations a boost.
    Conducting fish population, water quality, and angler creel studies to determine the effectiveness of those stockings.
    Implementing research to better understand golden alga and to assess whether stocking fish will benefit the fishery.

    Conducting outreach and education.

    This project has been another example of positive things being born out of a negative event. Several anglers got together and organized the United Arizona Angler Foundation, a group that has successfully raised thousands of dollars to help pay for additional fish stockings. “We hope to both keep this momentum and expand it to other needs at these lakes such as habitat projects and additional research,” Young said.

    However, he said, right now it appears that natural productivity and reproduction are the primary driving forces behind the recovery being experienced at these picturesque reservoirs along the Salt River on its journey to the Valley of the Sun.

    “That is okay. In fact, natural recovery is what we hope for. Our biggest management challenge is better understanding the dynamics that swing fisheries in one direction or another, especially when it comes to impacts from organisms like golden alga,” Young said.

    Young also pointed out that Saguaro Lake has even become an angling hot spot in the last several months. “The bass and shad spawns at this lake have been phenomenal the past two years. Catch rates lately have been terrific for small bass and prolific yellow bass. That bodes well for the future,” Young said.

    Young cautioned that while conditions have been favorable for two years, biologists still don’t know the environmental dynamics that lead to major fish-killing golden alga blooms. “I am cautiously optimistic, but from all we know, it appears golden alga is here to stay. We are trying to learn more about the dynamics associated with golden alga, but we are still on the low end of the learning curve.”

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    Posted on 30th October 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Fishing | No Comments »

    The Green Family’s Elk Hunt

    Recently I read a post over at The Arizona Sportsman’s Journal Forum that really caught my attention. It embodies everything to me, that is hunting. Ron - a hard core, and very effective hunter. His wife, Karly - brand new to big game hunting. A successful big game harvest. Kids there to help celebrate. Lots of smiles and beautiful scenery - as Ron’s great photos clearly show. A handsome family, and a happy new huntress. This is a wonderful tale, no matter how you slice it. Ron is a great writer too, so we’ll just anoint him “Guest Blogger” for the day. Here is Karly’s story. Enjoy. ~Desert Rat

    2008 is a year I won’t soon forget. My wife, Karly, decided to put in for elk this year. We put her in for early rifle bull first choice, and rifle cow second choice. When the elk draw results came out, my sorrow at not getting drawn was overruled by joy for my wife getting drawn for her very first elk tag. She was drawn for the October antlerless elk hunt.

    The work then began. I took her out shooting every chance we got, and an informal education on hunting began. This was to be her first big game hunt, and in actuality it was pretty much her first real hunt except for accompanying me on a couple of duck or turkey hunts.

    Practicing for the hunt…

    We didn’t go up until Friday night, as much as it killed me to skip opening day it worked out better time wise for us. We also figured we’d only have to deal with the crowds in the woods Saturday and Sunday am before the majority of the people tagged out or went home.

    Saturday am found us near where I was archery deer hunting earlier in the year. Many of you may remember the some of the elk pictures I posted after that hunt. I figured it would be a good starting point. After sitting and hiking around some, we were getting ready to take a break and I saw an elk running on the opposite ridge. I pulled out the cow call and gave a couple of ‘mews’. Before I could react, what I now realized was a cow elk came running at full bore right for us. Karly and I looked at each other and she asked me if she should shoot it. I said it was her decision and she said on her first day of hunting she didn’t want to shoot a calf. The calf came over to within 40 yds of us before finally realizing mommy wasn’t over there and wandered off to bed down further up the ridge. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We did see one bull that night on a waterhole as we were heading back to the truck.

    Excited anticipation…

    Excited Anticipation


    More glassing…
    More glassing

    The next morning found us in an area recommended by my dad and another friend who has a place near my parents. After passing a couple of trucks along the road, we parked where we thought we could intercept the elk that travel back and forth across a couple of ridges. As we were getting out of the truck I heard a bugle. Then another, and another. I mentioned to Karly while sitting in the truck with the doors open that it must be a couple of ‘yahoos’ back up the road a ½ mile and that they must be screwing around with a bugle while waiting for it to get light. As soon as I stepped out of the truck I realized that the bugles were coming from different directions. Hot darn! The bulls were still fired up, probably hot with the ‘second’ rut. Karly and I got on our way and had bugles and cow calls within a 100 yds of us, but it was still too dark to see well enough to shoot. We ended up seeing 3 different bulls that morning ranging from a 3×3 to a 6×6. We did kick up some elk out of their bedding area around 8am. They only offered a quick glimpse and were gone. So close, but no cows seen and no shot opportunities.

    That afternoon my dad wanted to show us a trail in the area so the whole family loaded up and went out hunting. The kids were pretty good sports and walked a little ways down this trail before wanting a break. They also got to play in the dirt for a while.

    Papa helping out with the kids…
    Papa helping out

    My family…
    Green family

    Playing in the dirt…
    Kids playing

    We walked with Papa and the kids back to the truck and then saw them off. Karly and I hunted the rest of the evening and didn’t see anything except a beautiful sunset.
    Arizona Sunset

    We’d hiked way too much on Sunday, so I was hoping the elk would be just as fired up on Monday am, and we’d hopefully be in a better position to cut them off at daylight instead of before light.

    We got out a little earlier on Monday to hopefully allow us a chance to locate the bugles and position ourselves to intercept them. We stopped where we parked the day before and got out to hear bugles 100-200 yds behind us, with cow mews just out of sight. Further up the road we went. I think we went too far though, as when we got out of the truck and started making our way back to the elk all we could hear was very faint bugles, and by sunrise the bugles tapered off to nothing.

    After crunching our way through the woods for a while, we decided to circle around and possibly get back to the truck a little earlier since we found the elk bedded so early the day before. I suddenly looked up and saw a cow standing broadside about 80 yds from us. I put up the shooting sticks and stepped aside so Karly could get set up for a shot. It was a little comical as the sticks fell to the ground and we fumbled around to get a shot off at the elk. As soon as Karly got all set up for a shot the cow walked off into the surrounding cover. It was only after she was out of sight that I remembered the cow call.

    We snuck through the trees trying to intercept the cow and saw a flash of movement ahead of us. Once again we got set up and this time I stopped the second cow with a ‘mew’ from the cow call. She was behind two layers of trees and didn’t provide a clear shot. She walked off and the next cow stepped into view. Once again I stopped her with a cow call. Still no clear shot. This happened one more time before we decided to move and try to catch them in a more open area. During this time we could hear weak bugles, more like grunts coming from behind the cows. It seemed like the elk were reacting to the shots and pressure from the last few days and once the sun came up they were quieting down significantly.

    We moved up a bit and we saw a lone cow behind a clump of bushes. Karly got set up on her shooting sticks and as the cow stepped into the open I stopped her with a cow call. Her vitals exposed, I told Karly to shoot when she was ready. Next thing I hear is the click of the safety and BOOM! The cow dropped in her tracks. She kicked and moved around so we sat and watched her. After a couple of minutes she struggled to get up so I told Karly, “Shoot her again! Shoot her in the neck!” BOOM! She was down for good then. Karly’s first shot hit the cow high in the shoulder, and the second right in the neck. I had ranged the cow at 96 yards.

    Karly’s excited smile after the shot(s)…
    karly is excited!

    We walked up on her and found out that Karly dropped her right in the middle of a quad trail that intersected two roads on parallel ridges. It would make for an easy pack out. We tagged the elk and I left to get the kids and my dad for pictures and help get the elk back to the house. I was very proud of my wife and happy to be there with her. She was super excited and can’t wait to get drawn again! The kids were excited to be a part of it and were excited to see Karly’s elk.

    As we found her…
    As she lay

    Me bringing the kids…
    Bringing the kids

    The kids checking out Karly’s elk…
    Checking her out..

    Karly with her elk…
    Karly with her elk

    The family with Karly’s elk…
    The whole family

    One proud and happy hunter!
    The proud hunter!

    Sorry for the length and thanks for reading…

    Ron G.

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    Posted on 29th October 2008
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    3-D Shoot At Ben Avery

    Hey Shooters:

    Archery 3-D fun shoot

    A 3-D archery fun shoot will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility’s archery range Saturday, Nov. 1 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    This fun shoot is a 20-target course designed to be fun, exciting and challenging. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

    No registration is required. The cost is $12 for shooters 18 and older and only $5 for those 17 and younger.

    The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is located on the northwest corner of I-17 and Carefree Highway. Archers can enter the range at Archery Drive, which is the first light on Carefree Highway about 1.25 miles west of I-17.

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    Posted on 29th October 2008
    Under: Archery, Arizona News, Events | No Comments »

    Oh, to be 10 again…

    My daughter and I went out Sunday afternoon, and had a great day afield together. I mentioned that day that maybe the story would make a good blog post. She thought she might write a story as well. When I got home today, Mikaela could hardly contain herself! She dragged me over to the computer and opened up Word, to show me the story she wrote. She hadn’t even shown her Mom yet! My daughter is an excellent writer for 10 years old, but I could hardly believe my eyes! This piece was awesome. I decided to make Micky my Guest Blogger, and let her tell the story. I decided to post the article as is (unedited) so some of us adults can appreciate just what a great job she did in writing this piece. Without further ado, I present Guest Blogger Mikaela MacFarlane. And, yes - I’m just a little proud! ~Desert Rat

    Adventure Hunt

    On Sunday, probably not a care in the world (at least for me), me and my dad went out hunting quail and coyote for a few hours before it got dark. I had just achieved my Hunter Education license, and was eager to get out again, possibly able to shoot at a few things. We left about 3:00 in the afternoon and set out for 37B, but I forgot the exact area; some place in Florence. We went in about half hour towards the center of the acres and acres of wild desert.

    Finally, Dad pulled over at the side of the dirt road, got out of the truck, and got ready for the hour trek through the Arizona “forests”. As we walked, my dad told me the type of quail we’d be hunting, Gambel’s, and what kind of sound they made. “No, Mikaela, that’s not it, that’s a ground squirrel, a quail makes a more complicated sound.” He’d say, as I’d mistake a ground squirrel sound for quail.

    Dad told me that he’d try and give me an easy shot if he saw a quail, such as if it was walking on the ground. “Isn’t that unethical,” I said, confused. “For not giving game a fair chance?” All that Dad said to me is that he was still sitting on the fence. So we got into this big discussion on ethics and fair game. As the chat died down, I was getting tired, and slowed to a very slow walk, while Dad walked ahead. Occasionally we’d stop and listen for quail. There was nothing.

    Halfway through the hunt, when I was like 20 feet behind Dad, for I was very slow-paced ten-year-old. Suddenly, I saw something that amazed me as much as freaked me out. “Dad!!! Tarantula!!” I screamed to Dad, who seemed mildly bewildered with the yelling. He spun around, saw the great hairy spider and said, “Whoa! Cool!”. We didn’t know that there was more to come for us that day. And I was still losing hope of finding quail.

    Finally, after 45 minutes, just as I was out if hope, we heard quail 100 yards away. Careful not to spook the little tufted birdies, we walked very quietly over to the clump of bushes. Dad thought they were too small, but asked me, “Do you want one?” Shocked, I replied, “Sure,” so Dad took his aim and fired one shot out of his 12 gauge pump shotgun. It was so loud that I covered my ears for the second shot. Once he was done, I picked up the shotshells and asked whether he had hit the bird or not.

    Once I got the ok, I walked over to the bush and picked up the medium-sized quail. As he looked for more, I examined the bird, expecting to see puncture marks everywhere. Not a single shred of evidence that it had got shot. Except that it had blood on its beak. Dad found none more, and we walked back to truck, as I picked up the “souvenir” rocks of quartz that I had found. We took our pictures, ate our granola bars, did the necessary to the quail meat, and hopped into to the truck for the ride home, talking all about our great trip.

    But we had one last animal visit. As we drove through the dirt roads, we saw a Diamondback Rattlesnake in the middle of the road! Dad drove backward so we could see the rattler, and stepped out of the truck to get a closer look. I wanted to see the rattle, so my dad took a very long stick and jabbed the snake. As it slithered away, I got a glimpse of its black-white rattle.
    The quail meat we had that night, and it was delicious by the way. We never stop thinking about the tarantula, the quail or the snake. Today I still call it The Never Forget Hunt, or the Adventure Hunt.


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    Posted on 28th October 2008
    Under: General, Hunting | 6 Comments »

    Hunters can help monitor for CWD

    Hunters can help monitor for CWD

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking deer and elk hunters for assistance in monitoring for chronic wasting disease (CWD) this season.

    CWD is a wildlife disease that is fatal to deer and elk. It has not yet been found in Arizona, but has been detected in three bordering states—Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk to humans.

    Hunters can help the monitoring effort by bringing in the head of their recently harvested deer or elk to any Game and Fish Department office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Place the head in a heavy plastic garbage bag for delivery, and keep it cool and out of the sun. If the weather is warm, it is best to either bring in the head within a day of harvest or keep it on ice in a cooler before delivery.

    To better assist the surveillance efforts, you’ll be asked to fill out a form with your drop-off. Please include the following information: county, game management unit in which the animal was harvested, hunt and permit number, and a contact address and phone number. If this information is not provided, the department will be unable to test the head.

    The department is increasing its sampling in certain parts of the state that border Utah and New Mexico.

    “In particular, we’re looking for assistance from deer and elk hunters in Game Management Unit 12B, which borders Utah, as well as from hunters in Units 1 and 27, which border New Mexico,” says Clint Luedtke, department research specialist on CWD.

    A check station at Jacob Lake on the Kaibab Plateau will be operational from Oct.31-Nov.9, Nov.14-17 and Nov. 21-30. The department will conduct sampling on the weekends of Oct. 31-Nov. 3, Nov. 8-10, and Nov.14-17. Additional sampling will be available throughout the week. A voluntary check station will be in place in Alpine in Unit 27 from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Nov.7-9.

    However, Luedtke added, samples from all regions of the state are still needed. Test results to those providing samples will be sent by postcard within six to eight weeks. There is no charge for the testing and notification.

    Here are some guidelines for hunters when out in the field:

    Don’t harvest any animal that appears to be sick or behaves oddly. Call the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 1-800-352-0700 if you see an animal that is very thin, has a rough coat, drooping ears and is unafraid of humans.

    When field-dressing game, wear rubber gloves and minimize the use of a bone saw to cut through the brain or spinal cord (backbone). Bone out the meat. Minimize contact with and do not consume brain or spinal cord tissues, eyes, spleen, or lymph nodes.

    Always wash hands thoroughly after dressing and processing game meat.

    If you hunt in another state, don’t bring back the brain, intact skull or spinal column. It’s OK to bring back hides and skull plates that have been cleaned of all tissue and washed in bleach. Taxidermied heads, sawed-off antlers and ivory teeth are also OK to bring home.

    If you intend to hunt out of state, contact the wildlife agency in the area you intend to hunt. Several states have regulations on carcass movement.
    For more information about chronic wasting disease, visit www.azgfd.gov/cwd or www.cwd-info.org.

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

    Visit AZGFD At The State Fair

    Visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department at the State Fair

    If you’re heading out to the Arizona State Fair, don’t forget to stop by the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Building and see an informative and entertaining array of exhibits.

    Whether you want to see live snakes and Gila monsters, learn about Arizona’s wildlife, or purchase your 2009 hunting/fishing license or the new 2009 wildlife calendar, there will be a wealth of information for you and your family.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department is a wildlife information resource to visitors at the fair, which ends November 2. Live animals and simulated exhibits are on display, and wildlife officers and other department staff are on hand to answer questions and distribute information.

    The Wildlife Building, located on the north side of the fairgrounds next to the Grandstand Plaza, has exhibits about bats, bears, fish, wildlife conservation, shooting sports, off-highway vehicle and boating safety information, and more. Children of all ages have an opportunity to win a “Raptors of Arizona” poster after completing a ‘wildlife’ interactive quiz, while their parents can pick up the latest hunting and fishing regulations and information about small game hunting, the urban fishing and watchable wildlife programs, Operation Game Thief, and the Ben Avery Shooting Facility.

    The Arizona Wildlife Viewing Guide, the book that takes you on a magnificent journey through the state’s canyons, cliffs, deserts and plateaus, will be available for sale for $14.95. The guide offers detailed descriptions of 128 unique sites and their wildlife, tips for wildlife watching, driving directions, “must see” locations, and contact information.

    And just “hot off the press”, you can purchase the department’s 2009 wildlife calendar, which includes stunning wildlife photographs from annual contest winners, for only $3. You can also get information on how to subscribe to Wildlife Views magazine or sign up for free Arizona Game and Fish Department e-newsletters.

    Don’t forget that you can purchase your 2009 hunting and fishing licenses while you are visiting the fair. Licenses will be available for sale at the Wildlife Building between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays except Monday, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. In addition, 2008 fishing licenses will be available for purchase at half price beginning November 1 and are valid until the end of the year. The Arizona Game and Fish Department accepts cash, personal checks, and Visa and Mastercard credit cards only.

    The Wildlife Building at the State Fair is open noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 2. The fair is closed on Monday.

    For more information about the Arizona Game and Fish Department, call (602) 942-3000. For more information about the Arizona State Fair, visit www.azstatefair.com.

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    Posted on 28th October 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Events | No Comments »

    Election 08 - My Prediction

    Well, I’ve told you where I stand. With a week to go, I’ll now offer my prediction:


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

    New OHV laws go into effect Jan. 1

    New OHV laws go into effect Jan. 1

    Off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts should be aware that new regulations affecting OHV use will go into effect Jan. 1, 2009. Some of the new requirements include:

    Travel is limited to roads, trails and areas that are designated open by the land management agency for motorized vehicle use.

    Travel by motorized vehicles that causes damage to wildlife habitat, riparian areas, cultural or natural resources, or property or improvements is prohibited.

    Purchase of an annual sticker through the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) validating use of the OHV in Arizona. This will be a flat fee that is yet to be determined and will be required for those OHVs designed by the manufacturer primarily for off-highway use and weighing 1,800 pounds or less. This includes all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), side-by-sides (utility vehicles), dirt bikes, and sand rails. Trucks, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), cars, and other recreational vehicles (motor homes) will not be affected.

    Sound restrictions for OHVs generating sound greater than 96 decibels.

    Anyone under the age of 18 will be required to wear a USDOT approved helmet when riding any OHV.
    The new regulations were passed thanks in large part to a joint effort between Arizona sportsmen, conservation groups, off-highway vehicle (OHV) user groups, elected officials, and other members of the public. The goal of the new regulations is to provide better OHV management and protection of natural resources while maintaining access.

    Further information on the new regulations will be posted at www.azgfd.gov/ohv when it becomes available.

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

    Commission creates first-ever blue ribbon roundtail chub fishery

    Commission creates first-ever blue ribbon roundtail chub fishery

    The Game and Fish Commission approved creating the country’s first-ever blue ribbon catch-and-release-only seasonal roundtail chub fishery along Fossil Creek in the Verde Valley starting in October of 2009.

    “This is really a landmark fishery for a native fish species,” said Young. “Plus the unique history of Fossil Creek itself makes this a classic fishing story for the ages.”

    When the decommissioning of the Childs Hydroelectric Power Plant and accompanying renovation of Fossil Creek was first proposed, many anglers and angling groups expressed support for the project but asked that the stream not be closed permanently to angling.

    With the stream recovery progressing well, the Game and Fish Department gained the Game and Fish Commission’s approval to create a catch-and-release artificial fly and lure-only (single barbless hook) fishery with a season opening the first Saturday in October and continuing through April 30

    The timing of the fishing season is selected to reduce the chance of conflicts between anglers and other users during the summer months.

    Lots of Arizona anglers along the Verde River over the years have learned to appreciate the angling qualities of roundtail chub, and have long referred to them as Verde trout. In fact, anglers helped to salvage roundtails from Fossil Creek during the renovation process in 2004.

    Young added that not everyone has embraced the concept of having a blue ribbon roundtail chub fishery along Fossil Creek.

    “One concern being voiced is that some stretches of Fossil Creek have been loved a little too much. Some fear that increased usage could increase the amount of litter and other abuses.” Young said. “But in honesty, we expect the exact opposite.”

    Young explained that the dedicated anglers who will be attracted to this one-of-a-kind fishery are conscientious conservationists and stewards of the land. “These are the type of outdoor enthusiasts who will give this unique travertine stream the watchful loving attention it truly deserves and should help counter some of the abuses currently being experienced there.”

    Young added that unless we can successfully cultivate public stewardship including a community policing component, long-term conservation of areas like Fossil Creek is likely to be tenuous. “This type of fishery will also engender more public appreciation for all the state’s native fish populations, most of which are imperiled.”

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    Posted on 27th October 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Fishing | No Comments »

    Guest Blogger Adam Guggisberg - Part III

    If you have been following the bow project, here were Adam’s previous entries as Guest Blogger:

    Post 1

    Post 2

    I now welcome Adam’s final post on the technical nuances involved in setting up my bow. I strongly encourage you to check out Adam and his services. You can visit Adam’s website HERE. ~Desert Rat

    In the first 2 blog entries I was able to cover the basic setup & configuration of the bow. I walked you through the procedure for checking & verifying Marshall’s draw length for the new bow by comparing the TRU-DRAW measurement from his other setup. I discussed how I tied in the nock points with serving material & then installed a D-loop. I also discussed the proper method for installing the drop away cable for the Trophy Taker drop away rest. Finally I discussed how to achieve the proper timing for the drop away rest. Now it is time to tune the bow & install the Vital Gear peepless sight.

    Fortunately for me, Marshall made a great choice in arrow spine for his new bow. Paper tuning the setup was a breeze since I had already set the nock point & center shot using my bow vice & levels as a basic guide. I started by setting up the bow in the Hooter Shooter & positioning the paper tuning frame about 6 feet in front of the bow. I then drew the bow so that the draw stop was positioned solidly on the cable. Once I had everything in place I fired the first arrow through the paper. At first glance from a distance it appeared to make a fairly clean hole. This immediately let me know that there was not going to be an arrow spine related issue & that my initial setup & configuration was within a reasonable range. As I walked up & more closely inspected the hole, I noticed that the vanes had impacted the paper slightly lower than that point. This indicated a slightly LOW TEAR. My next step was to duplicate the results & verify that there were no anomalies associated with the first attempt.

    My 2nd shot was indeed an exact duplicate of the 1st. The fact that I had a very minimal low tear, and that I was able to duplicate the tear easily was a great sign. Arrow spine, clearance issues, nock point, center shot, and drop away timing were all showing to be correct. The next step was to resolve the slight low tear. Considering that the low tear indicates that the rear of the arrow was coming out of the bow below the tip, I need to find a way to get the point of the arrow to come down slightly in the static position. The easiest way to do this was to simply lower the arrow rest. Since the tear was very minimal, I felt that 1/16th of an inch would be adequate to resolve the issue, so that was where I decided to start for my first attempt at resolving the issue. Once I made the adjustment, I then fired a 3rd shot through the paper tuner using the Hooter Shooter. Just as I had hoped, 1/16th of an inch was all that was required to resolve the low tear. I now had a very defined clean paper tear. There was 1 clearly defined hole with no trailing tear, and there were 3 very distinct fletching impact points which were centered around the hole. Figure 7

    Now that I had the bow tuned properly, it was time to install the Vital Gear peepless sight. The sight leverages 2 separate reference points. One in the rear to act as a built in peep, and one in the front to serve as your sight pin. Figure 8

    The way the sight works is that the peep that you would normally install on your bowstring is replaced by a rear reticle that is built into the sight. The sight needs to be configured so that while you are full draw & fully anchored, the front sight pin will be perfectly centered inside of the rear circular reticle. This configuration will be unique for each individual.

    This is what you should see at full draw if the sight is properly configured. Figure 9

    Adjustments can easily be made to properly align the 2 sight rings so that everything is correctly aligned for your style of shooting. Horizontal & Vertical gang adjustments can then be made so that you can match the impact point of your arrow to the reference point of the sight. Overall I found the sight to be very solid & very efficient in design.

    I hope that Marshall will be able to leverage his new setup to dispatch a few Arizona Javelina this year! I look forward to reading about his hunting adventures with his well tuned Pearson Pride on the Desert Rat hunting blog. I hope that I can participate as a guest writer again very soon. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my services with you & I look forward to providing professional services to those of you in need.

    -Adam Guggisberg

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    Posted on 26th October 2008
    Under: General | 3 Comments »

    Legendary Turkey Call Maker Donates Rare Call to NWTF Museum

    NWTF Press Information
    Hunt. Conserve. Share.

    Legendary Turkey Call Maker Donates Rare Call to NWTF Museum

    Courtesy of the National Wild Turkey Federation:

    Allen Jenkins, CEO of Allen Jenkins Turkey Calls and one of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s founding directors, donated an M.L. Lynch Big Chief turkey call to be permanently displayed in the NWTF’s Winchester Museum in Edgefield, S.C., Oct. 23, 2008.

    The call will be a part of the Federation’s collection of 23 M.L. Lynch turkey calls.

    Made around 1952 by Mike Lynch, founder of M.L. Lynch Turkey Calls, the Big Chief is one of the Lynch company’s more unique calls.

    Jenkins served as a founding director for the National Wild Turkey Federation from 1973-78 and received an Outstanding Service Award from the Federation for his dedicated service in 1979.

    Jenkins is an NWTF Diamond Life Sponsor who played a vital role in the Federation’s growth during its formative years.

    For more information about the NWTF or the Winchester Museum, contact Shannon Coggin at (803) 637-3106 or scoggin@nwtf.net

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    Posted on 26th October 2008
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    Arizona’s Hunter Education Program Is Top-Notch

    Around 6 or 7 years ago, I attended my first Hunter’s Ed Class, in Arizona. My intentions were two-fold; to do an article for the Arizona Outdoorsman magazine, and to get the Hunter’s Ed Bonus Point. I subsequently wrote an article called “Arizona’s Hunter Education Instructors - A Lesson In Dedication”. It was a pretty good article, if I do say so myself, and was accompanied by some great photos as well.

    Fast forward to September 2008. My daughter is now 10 years old, and wants to go hunting. I signed us both up for the class in Mesa - my first class was in Gilbert. My daughter was so anxious to take her Hunter’s Ed Class that she passed up karate this semester to accommodate scheduling. I wanted her to take the “actual” class, as opposed to the online class, as I thought she would get more out of it.

    Now for some background info, I have been a Scout Leader, and I have also spent some significant time in Canada’s military. There I was “taught how to teach”, and I did. Recruits from all walks of life, as well as experienced soldiers. From Basic Training level topics, to advanced gunnery subjects (I was in the Artillery). I was also a qualified Range Safety Officer. All that to say I know what it takes to connect with kids, I know how challenging it can be to be an instructor, I know what is involved with running a safe range practice. I also used to instruct new instructors - I know good ones when I see them.

    To fully appreciate just how good Arizona’s Hunter’s Education Instructors are, you need to see them in action. I can prattle on, here on my blog, or in a print article, about how good they are, and I still don’t think you will “get it”. These folks are professional. They know how to connect with their student, whether the students are 11 years old, or 70 years old. They patiently answer questions from kids, they can diplomatically correct ummm… suspect comments…. from adults. The amount of preparation that these Instructors put into their classes is obvious. They aren’t teaching points off of a checklist; they are passionate about this stuff. Imagine hundreds of years’ worth of experience in a classroom with you - discussing everything from laws to desert survival, ethics to firearms. Lots of analogies and personal experiences add to the presentations. Field Day was a terrific experience with demonstrations that are akin to an episode of McGyver or MythBusters. Amazing stuff that fascinates the kids and adults alike, and will drive home principles that will stick with those young people for years and years to come. Every instructor (and the Mesa class had a ton of them) was personable, approachable, and knowledgeable. There classes are a combination of lecture, book review, hands on learning, question and answer, films, etc. The Instructors have clearly been trained on how to involve the students, even the shy ones. There will be no wallflowers in a Hunter’s Ed Class. That being said, students are put at ease, and never embarrassed - good instructors know how to make students pay attention and participate. This whole process is geared to answer one final, important question for the Instructor - “Would I hunt with this person?”

    Like a dummy, I forgot to take my camera. I couldn’t find my photos from the first class either. I mention that because I think pics would help drive home my point, and show some of the really neat stuff that the class was exposed to. I cannot think of a good reason why anyone would not want to take a Hunters’ Ed Class. If you have a child, even remotely interested in hunting - take them. If you have a neighbor that doesn’t hunt, but is curious about why you do what you do - take them. Been hunting for 50 years, and think you can’t learn anything new? Yeah, right. I can say without hesitation, that if you take this class, you will learn something. I can guarantee that no matter how much time you have spent afield, this class will be beneficial in some way, shape, or form.

    Arizona’s Hunters’ Education program molds new hunters into the “ideal” that we want - safe, ethical and tuned in to why we hunt. It can add polish and understanding to an experienced hunter. These days it is more important than ever for hunters to promote and present a positive image to each other, and the non-hunting public. It also gives you a permanent bonus point. Tell me again why you wouldn’t go take the class. If you’ve already had the class - take someone else. A new hunter or non-hunter. Seriously, I recommend this class to non-hunters as well. This class is not about killing. It’s about hunting.

    There is also an online class available, but I kind of have a soft spot for the full version. Either way, you’ll need to do Field Day. You can find more info at the AZGFD website: Hunter Education

    Oh - My daughter absolutely loved the class. She marveled at everything she learned, and was always anxious to come home and tell Mom what we learned that night. Imagine dad’s pride when, on the final night, her classmates voted her Top Student! Well done, Mikaela!

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    Posted on 26th October 2008
    Under: General | 2 Comments »