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

    Archive for December, 2008

    Leupold Issues Warning About Counterfeits

    From the Leupold website:

    Counterfeit Leupold Riflescope Warning

    Leupold® is issuing a customer alert to purchasers of products, particularly via Internet sales, in regards to bogus Leupold products that are apparently being illegally imported from the People’s Republic of China. These products bear many of the marks and trade dress of current Leupold & Stevens riflescopes making them very hard to distinguish externally from authentic Leupold products.

    In recent months, counterfeited Leupold Mark 4® riflescopes have begun to arrive with increasing regularity at the firm’s Beaverton, Oregon, headquarters for service. These products are not manufactured by Leupold and are not covered by the Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee.

    Leupold employs serial number tracking for all its riflescopes, so if a customer finds a scope that is suspect, he or she can simply write down the serial number and call 1-800-LEUPOLD to confirm if it is indeed authentic.

    In general, most of the scopes appear to originate from Hong Kong (People’s Republic of China), and have “Leupold Mark 4” laser engraved on the bottom of the turret in a silver etch, while the black ring on the objective is etched in white and does not include the name “Leupold.” The scopes also do not bear the Leupold medallion, a mark all Leupold scopes will always possess. An authentic Mark 4 riflescope will always be engraved black on black and have the name “Leupold” engraved on the black ring.

    Identifying Marks

    * Adjustments
    * Objective
    * Bottom of Turret

    For more info visit the site.

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

    Interesting Camo Article - Optifade

    I found this interesting article on a new camo pattern that is being developed by W.L. Gore and Associates. This pattern, known as Optifade, utilizes military technology, along with the science associated with deer’s vision. Very interesting indeed. Some snippets:

    The Optifade camouflage pattern, created by W.L. Gore & Associates (the makers of Gore-Tex fabric), represents a break from the colored leaf patterns you see on stereotypical camo clothing. In fact, it looks a lot like the mostly monochromatic blocks-and-dots now used on military duds. That’s no mistake: One of the advisers on the Optifade project was retired Lt. Col. Tim O’Neill, whom some regard as the father of modern-day military camouflage.

    The design includes a big, blocky “macro pattern” that is meant to make the human form hard to spot when it’s on the move (just as a tiger’s stripes break up its outline). There’s also a smaller-scale “micro pattern” that helps hunters blend into their environment when they’re waiting to ambush a deer (similar to the function served by a leopard’s spots).

    But that’s not all: The fabric’s colors and patterns were fine-tuned to take advantage of the particular way deer and other hoofed animals (known as ungulates) process visual information. Jay Neitz, an animal vision scientist at the Medical College of Wisconsin, was called in to lend his expertise.

    The Optifade pattern is specifically designed to fool a deer’s lower-resolution eye, Neitz said. And the color scheme does away with the usual forest green and brown. Instead, it emphasizes blue, black, white and gray - because those colors, plus yellow, are the only ones that a deer sees.

    The eyes of a deer have the receptors for blue and yellow, but not for red, Neitz explained. As far as they’re concerned, red is just another shade of gray.

    Visit the links above for videos and photos of the products, along with more information.

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    Posted on 28th December 2008
    Under: General, Hunting, Products | No Comments »

    Fall 2008 Was Great - What Does The New Year Hold In Store?

    You may recall me writing that my daughter and I took a Hunter’s Ed class in September. You may also have seen the fantastic blog article that my daughter wrote about a trip afield we had together. That was in October.

    November found my daughter grinning like a Cheshire cat when we purchased her first hunting license. We had managed to miss the spring draw; we then put in for leftover tags which were returned because we sent them in too early. We re-sent them and subsequently, we both drew tags. Early December had my daughter squealing with delight as she opened her mail and held her first official big game tag in her hand! Christmas was a big deal too - she received some camo, some targets, a shooting monopod, and a .223 rifle that fit her much better than Dad’s rifles.

    Her javelina hunt is in late January, so she’s psyched for sure. Now I’m a terrible hunter; I know lots about hunting, I love to write about hunting. The proof is in the pudding though, and that’s where I falter. This is good in a way though. Most great hunters that I know agree that game on the ground is not the measure of a successful hunt. Rather, spending time with friends and/or family, enjoying the great outdoors, and the tremendous variety of sights, sounds and smells that this state has to offer. Every time I hit the field I learn something. I see something interesting. I discover something new. That’s what it is about for me.

    That all being said, I really hope the kid gets a big ol pig - then she’ll be hooked for life! We’ll see…

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    Posted on 27th December 2008
    Under: General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Now What Happens To Fossil Creek?

    Nature abhors a vacuum; note that the Center For Biological Diversity is already staking a claim in this issue. Staking a claim while APS and several Government entities are scratching their heads. Combine this with the absolute irresponsibility demonstrated by the average person when it comes to utilizing the environment for recreation - this has disaster written all over it.

    From this story on AzCentral.com:
    State trying to protect the lush Fossil Creek

    Here are some snippets:

    Like any river or lake in the desert, Fossil Creek has become a magnet for visitors seeking relief from the hot city. Its restoration has government and non-profit groups scrambling to protect one of the state’s most unusual waterways and give it a rare second chance.

    “Fossil Creek remains one of our major concerns,” said Michelle Harrington, rivers-program director for the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity. “We think there needs to be a plan in place to handle the visitors.”

    No such plan exists now, in part because the agency responsible, the U.S. Forest Service, previously couldn’t afford to do the work. Except for a temporary closure this year while parts of the old power plant were removed, the creek and its surroundings have been open to the public with few enforceable limits.

    No one meant to let the restoration of Fossil Creek get this far without a plan, but that’s what happened after Arizona Public Service decided three years ago to shut two hydropower plants that had diverted flow from the creek since the early 1900s.

    The U.S. Forest Service, already stretched thin, ran out of money to complete the environmental studies needed to write a management plan, and it lacked money to patrol the area or install toilets or campsites. In the meantime, lured by running water, stunning scenery and easy drives from Phoenix and Flagstaff, people discovered Fossil Creek.

    Although visitor counts aren’t available, the effects of heavy use are obvious. Stream banks have eroded. Makeshift campsites have flattened vegetation. The area is strewn with litter after busy weekends. Without public restrooms, visitors improvise, leaving waste and tissue products along the creek, threatening water quality.

    So - try and convince me that this is going to have a good ending…

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    Posted on 27th December 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General | No Comments »

    OHV Decal To Cost $25

    From AZGFD:

    Off-highway vehicle decal price set at $25

    Dec. 19, 2008

    New state laws requiring purchase take effect Jan. 1
    PHOENIX — A coalition of state agencies has agreed on a price for the new off-highway vehicle (OHV) decal that will be required in Arizona to operate most ATVs, dirt bikes, and other OHVs meeting certain criteria beginning in January.

    The “OHV Decal” will cost $25 and will be issued annually through the Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). Revenues from the purchase of the decal will help better manage Arizona’s exploding OHV use and help protect natural resources.

    “This is the most important legislation that I have sponsored,” said Rep. Jerry Weiers (R-Glendale). “This legislation will allow folks to better enjoy outdoor Arizona in a safe and responsible way.”

    The OHV Decal is a part of new OHV laws taking effect Jan. 1, 2009. The laws will require the annual purchase of the decal for any OHV designed by the manufacturer primarily for travel over unimproved terrain and weighing 1,800 pounds or less. Beginning Jan. 1, owners whose OHVs are currently titled or registered in Arizona may purchase the decal online at www.servicearizona.com. After Jan. 1, title and registration services and decals will be available at MVD offices. The new laws also contain other provisions about titling, registration, equipment, and responsible operation.

    Purchase of the decal is a “user-play, user-pay” fee that will allow the OHV to be legally operated in Arizona as well as in other states that have reciprocity agreements.

    Revenue from purchases of the decal will be used in many ways to benefit Arizona OHV users. This will bolster the State Parks grant program that is used for damage mitigation, trail construction, habitat restoration and various other programs. Game and Fish will use funds to hire new law enforcement officers specifically for OHV enforcement. It is also creating new OHV education classes that can be taken by OHV users and may be court ordered for those found in violation of OHV laws. State Land will use a portion of the funds for law enforcement, habitat restoration and access across state trust lands.

    Arizona Game and Fish Department, MVD, Arizona State Parks and Arizona State Land Department have worked cooperatively to determine a price that is reasonable for all users.

    “It’s been a long time coming,” said Hank Rogers with the Apache County Rough Riders, an OHV group in eastern Arizona. “We’re very happy it’s been set at $25. We’re thrilled it’s here and look forward to putting the dollars to good use for the benefit of all Arizonans.

    Enactment of the laws was the end product of a huge collaborative effort between OHV groups, conservation and sportsmen’s organizations, government agencies and elected officials, who all worked together to achieve this positive outcome for Arizona’s natural resources and outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

    For more information about safe and responsible use, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department at www.azgfd.gov/ohv.

    For more information about where to ride in Arizona, visit Arizona State Parks at azstateparks.com/partnerships/ohv/OHVindex.htm.

    For more information about usage of state land, visit the Arizona State Land Department at www.land.state.az.us/programs/natural/recreation_permit.htm.

    For more information about title and registration of OHVs, visit the Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) at: www.azdot.gov. To purchase a decal for an OHV that has an Arizona title or registration, visit www.servicearizona.com.

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

    Hunter’s Choice Award for America’s Best Looking Deer

    Hunter’s Choice Award for America’s Best Looking Deer
    Sponsored by Remington and the USSA

    The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), the nation’s leader in defending your right to hunt, fish and trap, and Remington Arms. Inc, the world’s leading manufacturer of firearms, ammunition, targets and accessories, have created a contest to recognize America’s successful deer hunters.

    To enter, simply submit a photo of your deer, antlered or antlerless, taken during the 2008-2009 hunting season along with a $5.00 entry fee. Interested sportsmen and sportswomen may email entries to: contest@ussportsmen.org with payment made via credit card using the form found at www.ussportsmen.org/hunterschoice. Please refer to the reference number located in the donation confirmation email when sending your submission by email.

    The winning entry will be published in Fur-Fish-Game magazine and receive a Bushnell Rangefinder and a Remington Prize Package. Second and third place prizes will also be awarded. In addition, all non USSA member entries get a three month trial email membership. All member entries will get a 10% off coupon for any in-stock U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance product. It’s easy to participate and everyone who enters is a winner!

    Entries can also be sent via the postal service to:

    Hunter’s Choice
    U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
    801 Kingsmill Parkway
    Columbus, OH 43229

    Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email address. Also, please provide when, where and how you took your deer shot along with a check, money order or credit card information. You may also send in the photo with above information and contact us by phone at (614) 888-4868 to give us your credit card payment over the phone.

    Entries will be judged by USSA panel of experts on the deer’s overall quality of appearance, shape of the rack (if applicable) and the photo background. From all submissions, 25 finalists will be selected. Finalists will be judged online by the public during a two week voting period. The top three vote getters will be the winners. Voting will be at www.ussportsmen.org/hunterschoice.

    Entrees must be submitted and postmarked by February 2, 2009. Voting will began on February 16, 2009 and will end on February 27, 2009 at 5:00 PM EST. Winners will be announced the week of March 2, 2009.

    Prizes include:

    First Place Package
    Bushnell Rangefinder
    The Bushnell Yardage Pro Sport 450 laser rangefinder is the Bushnell compact laserrangefinder. Featuring a weather-resistant design with a textured grip, 5 yard minimum distance, and a sleek streamlined casing. The 4x Sport 450 rangefinders take a 9 Volt battery, and comes with a carrying case and strap.

    Remington Fieldmaster® Cleaning KitCleaning kit contains:
    Brass, 3-piece cleaning rod w/ swiveling handle, shotgun/rifle patch puller, brass adapter, bronze bore brushes, cotton bore swabs, cotton patches, Rem® oil, Brite Bore™, and a silicone gun cloth all in a stylish wooden box

    Remington Sportsman™ Series F.A.S.T.™ Fixed Blade Knives
    The “Fast Action Soft Touch” knife has a rubber coated stainless steel handle with a 440 stainless steel blade. 5 3/8” Serrated Blade, 10 ½” Overall Length

    Second Place Package
    Remington Fieldmaster® Cleaning Kit
    Remington Sportsman™ Series F.A.S.T.™ Fixed Blade Knives
    Cabela’s Hunting Vest
    Blaze orange vest has two bellows pockets that expand for extra room. Six covered elastic shell holders on each side.

    USSA First Aid Kit
    Organized interior design with metal hanger that contains 76 pieces in a convenient carrying case.

    Third Place Package
    Remington Fieldmaster® Cleaning Kit
    Remington Sportsman™ Series F.A.S.T.™ Fixed Blade Knives
    Cabela’s Hunting Vest

    All submissions must be in color of legally taken deer, using a bow, firearm or primitive weapon. By submitting your photo and signing the release form, you enter the photo as property of USSA and allow USSA to use the photo for purposes other then this contest. All entries agree to be bound by the choices made by the selection committee.

    Photos submitted by mail can be printed from a standard printer or be a professionally developed photo. All entries become the property of U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and will not be returned and may be used for purposes other than the Hunters Choice contest.

    All winners will be notified by mail and phone. Results will be available the week of March 2, 2009.

    For more information, contact the USSA at (614) 888-4868 or visit www.ussportsmen.org/hunterschoice. Thanks in advance for your entry and good luck!

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

    2009-2010 Fishing Regulations Available

    From AZGFD:


    Dec. 19, 2008

    2009-10 Fishing Regulations are now available
    Should make superb seasonal stocking stuffers

    PHOENIX – Just in time to be stocking stuffers for your favorite outdoor enthusiast, the newly printed 2009-10 Arizona Fishing Regulations are now available for free at all fishing license dealers in the state, including all Arizona Game and Fish Department offices.

    The theme of this year’s fishing regulations also dovetail well with the seasonal spirit of the holidays: “Kids don’t remember their best day of watching television.”

    “Whether it is from a child’s Christmas wish or your own New Year’s vow, take your children fishing this coming year. I guarantee the memories you make will outlast the video game he or she wants,” said Fisheries Chief Kirk Young.

    Don’t forget that the 2009 fishing licenses are also available – a license is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving all year long. There are even family licenses and youth combination licenses available. Just check them out in the easy-to-use regulation booklet.

    “Thanks to Arizona’s abundant snowpack and superb runoff that filled our lakes to overflowing last year, the fishing prognosis going into 2009 is very good. The recent winter storms also provide the hopeful promise of good things headed our way this coming year,” Young said.

    Keep in mind that there are some regulation changes also heading your way for 2009-10.

    The Game and Fish Department has instituted a protective slot limit at Saguaro, Canyon and Apache lakes, where you may have six bass in possession (combination largemouth and smallmouth), of which no more than one may be between 13 and 16 inches. The slot limit at Roosevelt is also the same as the ones at the other Salt River lakes – one bass between 13 and 16 inches may be possessed.

    The Game and Fish Commission also took off the bag limits for bass (all species) and catfish (all species) at Mogollon Rim area trout waters, specifically Willow Springs, Woods Canyon Lake, Black Canyon Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Chevelon Lake, CC Cragin Reservoir (Blue Ridge), Knoll Lake and Long Tom Lake.

    This coming year also you can experience something new in the state – the first-ever seasonal, blue ribbon roundtail chub fishery. A 4.5-mile segment of Fossil Creek in the Verde Valley will be a catch-and-release-only, artificial fly and lure only, single barbless hook fishery with a seven-month season commencing Oct. 3, 2009.

    “We are excited about this unique fishery for one of our impressive native fish, the roundtail chub, which has historically been referred to as ‘Verde trout’ by many anglers,” Young said. “Keep an eye out for information on activities planned for opening day at Fossil Creek in October.”

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    Posted on 22nd December 2008
    Under: Fishing, General | No Comments »

    Covert Trail Camera Giveaway

    You may have read an earlier post where I talked about Covet trail cameras.

    As it turns out, my friend Amanda Moors is giving one away over on her site CouesWhitetail.com.

    She has a cool contest going, based around, of all things - coral beans! She’s got some cool photos in the contest thread as well. Stop by and enter the contest!

    CWT.com is a great site, with an awesome message boards as well. You won’t be disappointed!

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    Posted on 21st December 2008
    Under: Events, Hunting | No Comments »

    Michigan Man Fined $14,995

    You may recall the saga of the Droptine Bull - a tale that created a lot of hubbub in Arizona - in more ways than one. Anyway, after being found guilty in criminal court, the man was sentenced to 8 hours of community service.

    That was the result of the criminal justice system - but the Game and Fish Commission still had some justice of their own to dispense. According to an article on the White Mountain Independent’s website the Arizona game and Fish Commission has fined Malik $14,995. Even better (in my mind) his hunting privileges have been suspended here and in 27 other partner states - for 5 years. Good.

    The commission also revoked his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges in Arizona for five years. Malik must successfully complete a hunter education course prior to having his license privileges restored.
    The commission’s action to revoke Malik’s license for five years has far-reaching implications. Arizona is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact with 27 other states, including all western states and Malik’s home state of Michigan. Until his license privileges are restored in Arizona, he will not be able to legally hunt in any of those 27 states.

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    Posted on 18th December 2008
    Under: Arizona News, General, Hunting | No Comments »

    SCI Commends Choice of Salazar for Interior Secretary

    SCI Commends Choice of Salazar for Interior Secretary

    Washington, D.C. – Safari Club International (SCI) today expressed its support for President-Elect Barack Obama’s choice of Colorado Senator Ken Salazar as his Administration’s next Interior Secretary.

    Senator Salazar is currently a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and has been a consistent pro-sportsman vote since he came to Washington, D.C. in 2004. With this appointment, President-Elect Obama has made the logical choice of an Interior Secretary who understands the sportsmen’s legacy of hunting and conservation on America’s public lands.

    “We are pleased that President-Elect Obama has resisted the pressure from anti-hunting groups to name an anti-hunting extremist to this important post,” said SCI President Merle Shepard. “Senator Salazar’s pro-hunting votes over the past four years in Washington, and his support for access to federal lands for hunting throughout his entire career in Colorado will prove to be invaluable for sportsmen and women during this Administration.”

    Shepard continued, “SCI looks forward to working with Senator Salazar in the Obama Administration to make sure the hunter’s voice is heard on every issue that affects hunting, hunters or science-based wildlife management.”

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


    SCI-First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s 189 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.

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    Posted on 17th December 2008
    Under: General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Deadline approaching for public comments on fish stocking issues

    From AZGFD:

    Deadline approaching for public comments on fish stocking issues

    Dec. 11, 2008

    The Dec. 19 deadline is rapidly approaching for public comments on issues associated with all the sport-fish stockings in Arizona as part of a draft environmental assessment process being conducted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    The public input is being sought to determine the extent and variety of issues that should be addressed by the draft environmental assessment. All comments must be submitted in writing no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 19.

    Once the comment period ends, the wildlife agencies will prepare a draft environmental assessment to evaluate the social, economic and environmental effects of stockings related to continue funding for the program through the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

    Written comments can be sent to either:

    David Weedman, Aquatic Habitat Program Coordinator, Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.
    E-mail: fishaz@azgfd.gov


    Harold Namminga, Sport Fish Restoration Grant Administrator, Wildlife and Sport Fish
    Restoration Program, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, P.O Box 1306, Albuquerque, NM 87103.

    The federal funding apportioned to Arizona is authorized under the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the Dingell-Johnson Act and Wallop-Breaux Act. It provides federal aid to state wildlife agencies for management and restoration of sport fish.

    These Sport Fish Restoration funds are derived from a federal excise tax at the manufacturing level on certain items of sport-fishing tackle, fishing equipment and motor boat fuel.

    For more information, including maps, proposed stocking locations and an overview of the scoping process, visit www.azgfd.gov/fishea.

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    Posted on 16th December 2008
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Fishing, General | No Comments »

    Muzzy Presents 2008 Tall man Award

    I have read about Ray before - well done, and well deserved!

    Each year, Muzzy Products Corporation bestows its prestigious Tall Man Award to someone who “stands tall” among his or her peers by contributing to the community and going above and beyond to promote and protect the future of archery and bow hunting. Muzzy will proudly present the 2008 Tall Man Award to Ray Howell, founder of the Kicking Bear Foundation, at the 2009 ATA Show in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday, Jan. 9 at 10am in the Muzzy booth.
    The Kicking Bear Foundation holds free bow hunts, camp-outs and archery shoots for disadvantaged youth throughout 16 states. Kicking Bear has enriched the lives of thousands of young people through mentoring programs that give them hope for their future and teach them that dreams can come true.
    “I am very humbled that Muzzy, a leader in the outdoor industry, would recognize the Kicking Bear Program for its efforts to reach today’s youth,” Howell said. “Receiving the Tall Man Award is an avenue the Lord has blessed me with to let others know that there are kids out there who need our help.”
    Now one of the most respected and admired people in the industry, Howell was once a troubled kid himself. As a child in the foster care system, Howell often found himself tossed into jail for truancy, but thanks to a counselor who took him hunting and became his mentor, Howell turned his life around.

    As an adult he founded a successful welding business and immersed himself into the bow-hunting world. As one of the most successful bowhunters in the industry, Howell has written numerous magazine articles, produced videos and appeared in outdoor-related TV shows. He even got within six species of the Super Slam, but put his quest for the Super Slam aside in order to pursue his true passion for helping others.
    With a gracious heart for all of God’s blessings, Howell decided to give back by helping youth whom found themselves in situations similar to that of his own childhood.
    In appreciation for all of Howell’s contributions to the world of archery, Muzzy congratulates him on being selected as the 2008 Tall Man Award recipient.
    For more information on Muzzy Products, call 1-866-387-9307, or check out www.muzzy.com.

    Ray Howell

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    Posted on 16th December 2008
    Under: Archery, General, Press Releases | No Comments »