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    2009 March - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Archive for March, 2009

    Browning Expands T-Bolt Rimfire Rifle Line With New Left Hand Models For 2009

    Browning Expands T-Bolt Rimfire Rifle Line
    With New Left Hand Models For 2009

    March 2009

    Morgan, Utah - Browning has added twelve new offerings to their T-Bolt rimfire rifle line that are sure to please left-hand shooters. All the new models incorporate the basic design of the T-Bolt rifle but with the bolt on the left side to accommodate those who shoot left handed.

    Initially introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1975, the T-Bolt was once again reintroduced in 2006 in right-hand models only. With improvements to the design including materials and manufacturing methods, now lefties can own the smoothest little system on the market. The new T-Bolt is more accurate, reliable, lighter and smoother operating than ever.

    The T-Bolts straight-pull bolt cycles fast and locks up solid in the receiver that is machined from steel barstock. Receivers are drilled and tapped for scope mounts. Barrels are free floated and have semi-match chambers and recessed crowns. The three lever trigger design combined with a short travel firing gives a crisp break, quick lock time, and no travel take up. The trigger pull weight is adjustable with an external screw. A top tang safety is thumb operated without changing from a shooting grip.

    There are four new left-hand models in each caliber; .22 long rifle, .22 Winchester Magnum and .17 HMR.

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    Posted on 31st March 2009
    Under: Press Releases, Products | No Comments »

    HS Two-Way Strut Seat

    Hunter’s Specialties® Deluxe Collapsible Two-Way Strut Seat features a sturdy aluminum frame with steel legs and durable polymer hinges for years of rugged use.

    The seat is constructed of 2″ nylon webbing in a tight weave for optimal strength and comfort.

    The reversible angle legs allow the seat to be turned to accommodate a variety of field conditions.

    The Deluxe Collapsible Two-Way Strut Seat is currently the only folding turkey seat that has passed the rigorous requirements of Consumer Testing Laboratories.

    The seat, which is rated to 225 pounds, was tested against military office furniture standards for load bearing, weather resistance, and durability. Only products that pass their battery of tests receive CTL approval. Random follow up tests are performed by the Consumer Testing Laboratories throughout the year to ensure the products they approve continue to meet their high standards.

    The Deluxe Collapsible Two-Way Strut Seat sells for a suggested retail price of $15.99.

    For more information, log onto the Hunter’s Specialties website at www.hunterspec.com, write to 6000 Huntington Court NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402, or call a Consumer Service Specialist at 319-395-0321.

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    Posted on 30th March 2009
    Under: General, Press Releases, Products | No Comments »

    Vegetarian Logic

    Oh yeah… you know this is out there! I saw this on one of my favorite sites to visit - Fail Blog.

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    Posted on 29th March 2009
    Under: General, Hunting | No Comments »

    And another big game draw is here

    At around 6:45 AM this morning, a Sunday - I started dialing the phone again. Busy, busy, busy. I’ve been dialing on and off, since Friday after lunch. If you look at the Game and Fish website, they have buried in there somewhere, the statement that tags are mailed out by April 24th. That’s as much communication as we get.

    Every year there are a ton of rumors and innuendos leading up to the actual draw. It makes us all crazy, but we all get drawn into the web of self-made hype. Every year, it seems, there are issues with the Department’s delivery method. This of course, only fuels the debate on whether the draw is conducted fairly.

    This is one instance where I would like to see Game and Fish take the lead. Communicate better, once all systems are go. Have all their ducks in a row. They have done a good job in the last year or two in clarifying the draw process; maybe now we can work on the announcing of results. Is the phone system really that clogged, nearly 48 hours later? Shouldn’t the online results be available?

    Hunters spend a lot of money on draw applications, even in an economy like this. Money that ultimately, helps fund goings-on at the Department. Acknowledge that that this is a symbiotic relationship. Folks at the Department may be busting their collective butts making this an efficient and transparent process. We’re not getting it though.

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    Posted on 29th March 2009
    Under: Archery, Arizona News, Events, General, Hunting | 2 Comments »

    Come on out this weekend to the Outdoor Expo

    Come on out this weekend to the Outdoor Expo

    March 28, 2009

    Still without weekend plans?

    Then bring your family to the FREE Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo today and tomorrow, March 28-29, at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix.

    There are lots of hands-on activities—take an archery class, catch a fish, hike a nature trail, shoot all types of firearms in a safe, controlled environment on the shooting range, see live wildlife, watch exciting rock crawler and ATV demonstrations while learning about responsible OHV riding, see horse-mounted cowboy shooting competition, learn about boating recreation and safety, attend an outdoor workshop, or visit with more than 100 outdoor groups, government agencies, and commercial vendors of outdoor products and services.

    Admission and parking are free – bring a little money for food and beverages, or for the nominal ammunition fee if you want to try out firearms on the range.

    Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Located on Carefree Highway, 1/2 mile west of I-17 (exit 223). Just follow the signs.

    For more information, visit www.azgfd.gov/expo.

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    Posted on 28th March 2009
    Under: Archery, Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Events, Fishing, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Free NRA Membership

    If you didn’t think you were at risk of losing your 2nd Amendment Rights in October, surely you’re having second thoughts now…..

    Now there is no reason not to be an NRA member. None. Please - join today.

    Free 1-Year NRA Membership

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    Posted on 25th March 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General, Hunting | No Comments »

    HOAL Needs Big Game Tags

    Draw Results Bring Adventures For Sick Kids

    The Arizona Chapter of Hunt of a Lifetime (HOAL) is gearing up for a new year.

    Phoenix, AZ – March 26, 2009 Late March finds hunters all over Arizona anxiously awaiting elk and antelope draw results. Later in the fall, they will repeat the process, trying to draw tags for bear, bighorn sheep and other big game species. Like every year, some hunters are elated, others are bitterly disappointed. As time marches on, though – even the best plans can come unraveled. HOAL would like to remind hunters that the donation of a big game tag can literally be the “Hunt Of A Lifetime” for a very ill child. Maybe you can’t get the time off of work; maybe you have a friend that drew a tag and due to circumstances simply cannot attend; perhaps you have even had a close friend or relative pass away, leaving behind a coveted tag that can’t be used. Know that an unfortunate situation can be turned into something awesome for a child with a debilitating illness. With a big-game tag in hand, HOAL can match a kid on their waiting list with the hunt of their lifetime.

    Please take the time to visit our website at www.hoalarizona.org . There you can see the kids and their stories and also find out how you can help. Our “How You Can Help” page will show you some of the things we need this year, as well as providing instructions for making a donation. If there’s something there you can help with please contact the Arizona/New Mexico Ambassador Nate Medcalf or one of the committee members listed on our site. Only listed committee members are authorized to receive or solicit donations on behalf of our organization. As always the cornerstone of our program is the Game and Fish provision that allows hunters who have drawn a tag to donate it to 501(c)3 groups such as our for use by the kids. This is accomplished through a tag transfer. If you find yourself with a tag you are not going to be able to use please consider donating it to our program.”
    Although the most direct way to help this program is to donate your big game tag, there are lots of ways to contribute. When a youngster is accepted into the program, they receive a total hunt package including equipment, transportation (air and car), a guide/outfitter, lodging, meat processing and delivery, as well as taxidermy and delivery of their mount at no cost. They are allowed to bring one parent along on their hunt. There are many ways people can help, besides donating tags. Individuals or businesses can assist in providing hotel accommodations. The donation of frequent flier miles is always appreciated. Embroidery and silk-screening services for hats and shirts make a terrific donation, as do printing services for brochures and business cards. Sporting goods gift certificates help in providing equipment to the kids. Guide and Outfitter services always help ensure a top-notch experience for these kids. With gas prices never a sure thing, prepaid gas cards would be greatly appreciated, and of course, cash is always needed and appreciated.

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

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    Posted on 24th March 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Everything Africa

    Wow - I just spent about 20 minutes poking around Jerome Philippe’s awesome site Africa Hunting.com. What a great site for anyone interested in hunting Africa! Whether you are an old hand at hunting the dark continent, or just a dreamer (like me!) you’ll find something interesting on Jerome’s site. There are forums, shot placement guides, hunt cancellation announcements, discounted hunts and more. There are listing for Outfitters/ PH’s; there are listings for taxidermists, travel agents, etc.

    Jerome’s “Welcome” message:

    Welcome to Africa Hunting .com, a beneficial site made to empower hunters through our hunting directory, hunting forum and hunting community. You can find over 2,700 listings in our hunting directory from hunting outfitters to hunting equipment and hunting gear with ratings and reviews from hunters like you. You can interact with other users in our hunting forum, ask questions, share experiences, hunting stories and pictures. Find everything you need to know for an African hunting safari. This is a place for seasoned African hunters and those of you who dream of someday hunting in Africa.

    With your participation we are building a much needed hunting safari community for hunting in Africa. I hope that you will find Africa Hunting a great place to spend time preparing for, or dreaming about, your future African hunting safari or reliving your last by sharing your hunting stories, hunting videos and pictures and knowledge with our hunting community.

    Jerome Philippe, Founder of Africa Hunting .com

    AfricaHunting.com has been added to my favorites, and I plan to check back often. if you have any interest in hunting Africa, you should really stop by the site!

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    Posted on 23rd March 2009
    Under: General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Get ready for the largest hands-on Outdoor Expo in Arizona

    Get ready for the largest hands-on Outdoor Expo in Arizona


    PHOENIX – Want to catch a fish, hike a nature trail, shoot all types of firearms, see live wildlife, watch exciting rock crawler and ATV demonstrations, refine your archery skills or witness exciting mounted cowboy action shooters?

    Then get ready for lots of fun and excitement at the largest hands-on outdoor exposition in Arizona on March 28-29 at the 1,650-acre Ben Avery Shooting Facility on Carefree Highway just west of I-17. It’s free.

    This year, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Outdoor Expo promises to be the largest and most interesting ever. Last year, this popular outdoor event attracted 26,000 people.

    “The word is out – this is the fun place to be on the last weekend in March. Your family and friends will discover a multitude of exciting outdoor activities and interesting booths at the Game and Fish Outdoor Expo. Don’t miss it!” said Information Branch Chief Bob Miles.

    You can:

    *Try out firearms from Sturm, Ruger & Co., GLOCK, and Smith & Wesson in a safe, supervised shooting range setting
    *Have your kids catch a fish at the large kids fishing pond
    *See lots of live wildlife demonstrations from birds of prey to amazing reptiles
    *Take an archery class or try out 3D archery on a walking course through the desert
    *Kids can shoot .22s and air guns while learning more about firearm safety
    *Try your hand at different specialty shooting disciplines, such as cowboy action shooting, black powder, tactical pistol, plus rifle and pistol silhouette
    *Learn everything you wanted to know about off-highway vehicle recreation. View quads, side-by-sides, and 4x4s, plus see rock crawler, trial bike and ATV demonstrations
    *Visit with more than 100 exhibitors—sportsmen’s organizations, conservation groups, shooting clubs, government agencies, and commercial vendors of outdoor products and services
    *Hike a nature trail/field course
    *View exciting shooting competition by the cowboy mounted shooters at the brand new cowboy action riding ring
    *Attend informative workshops on fishing, hunting, and wildlife conservation
    *Get fishing tips from local tournament anglers and fishing guides at the huge fish demonstration tank
    *Visit the enhanced Clay Target Center and shoot skeet and trap in a supervised environment
    *Learn about all kinds of outdoor skills, including Stone Age camping
    *One segment being expanded this year is the Family Adventure area. This area was a big hit last year.

    Game and Fish is adding some new attractions, such as a fishing demonstration tank with local experts sharing their secrets on various fishing techniques.

    So you don’t miss a thing, trolley transportation is available throughout this huge shooting complex, which is located on Carefree Highway, ¼-mile west of I-17. Just follow the signs.
    Admission and parking are free – bring a little money for food and beverages, or for the nominal ammunition fee if you want to try out firearms on the range.

    Gold sponsors for this year’s Outdoor Expo are Pierce Bullet Seal Target Systems, the Weatherby Foundation, and the American Red Cross, Grand Canyon Chapter.

    There’s still time for “outdoor-related” vendors and sponsors to participate, but time is getting short and space in some of the venues is limited. Vendor/sponsor registration forms can be downloaded (http://www.azgfd.gov/outdoor_recreation/showcase.shtml)at www.azgfd.gov , or by calling Stormi Johnson at (623) 236-7222.

    For more information about the Outdoor Expo, visit www.azgfd.gov/expo.

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    Posted on 20th March 2009
    Under: Archery, Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Events, Fishing, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    So, What Is A “Guide” Anyway?

    Thanks to good friend Terry Herndon for bringing this to light over at the Arizona Hunter. Reading through the comments, this does seem to be a knee-jerk reaction to the Droptine Bull situation.

    When you think of a “Guide”, who do you think of? The Cook? The Booking Agent? Don’t ask the State for their definition!

    In a nutshell the bill changes the current definition of a guide from “Guide” means a person who, for pay, aids or assists any person in taking wildlife.

    And below is the proposed definition:







    This is just goofy. You can read the verbiage here: HB2064.

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    Posted on 19th March 2009
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Last Chance to Bid on Special New Mexico Gould’s Tag

    Gould's Turkey

    For Immediate Release

    For more information, contact Brian Purtymun at (803) 637-7667

    Last Chance to Bid on Special New Mexico Gould’s Tag

    One lucky auction winner will get to hunt Gould’s wild turkeys in New Mexico this spring.

    NEW MEXICO Time is running out to place bids on a very rare New Mexico Gould’s wild turkey tag. The National Wild Turkey Federation’s online auction will close March 23 at 8:00 p.m Eastern Daylight Time.

    The lucky winner will have the option of arranging to hunt with members of the NWTF’s New Mexico State Chapter for five consecutive days. The hunting arrangement includes lodging in a comfortable tent camp, meals during the hunt and ground transportation to and from El Paso International Airport in El Paso, Texas. The winner will be responsible for travel to El Paso. The tent camp will be set up within minutes of gobbling Gould’s wild turkeys.

    “This tag represents an incredible opportunity,” said NWTF Vice President of Conservation Programs Administration Scott Vance. “Not only will the auction winner get to take part in a significant milestone in turkey hunting history, but the entire proceeds from the tag will help benefit Gould’s wild turkey restoration and conservation work in southwestern New Mexico. Contributing to the successful comeback of these majestic birds is something to take pride in.”

    While there are more than 100,000 Gould’s wild turkeys in the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico, there are only approximately 800 in the United States, most of which live in southeastern Arizona. However, the Gould’s wild turkey is thriving once again in the United States thanks to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the hard-working volunteers of the NWTF.

    New Mexico’s spring wild turkey season runs from April 15 to May 10, 2009. The winner of the tag can hunt any time during this season, but must inform the NWTF of the dates of their hunt no later than March 31. The NWTF will provide the winner with the required information to attain their tag and New Mexico spring turkey hunting license.

    To place an online bid for this unique and very exclusive hunt or for more information, Click Here.

    About the NWTF
    : In 1973, Tom Rodgers founded the National Wild Turkey Federation in Fredericksburg, Va., as a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission dedicated to conserving wild turkeys and preserving hunting traditions. Shortly thereafter, Rodgers relocated the NWTF to Edgefield, S.C., where it’s still headquartered today.

    At the time NWTF was established, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America, thanks to the efforts of state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members and partners.

    Growth and progress define the NWTF as it has expanded from 1,300 members in 1973 to nearly a half million today. With that growth has come impressive strides in wildlife management as the NWTF has forged dynamic partnerships across the country to further its conservation mission. Together, the NWTF’s partners, sponsors and grassroots members have raised and spent more than $286 million upholding hunting traditions and conserving nearly 14 million acres of wildlife habitat.

    While wild turkey restoration is nearing completion, the NWTF still has much work to do. Across North America, supporters are working to enhance habitat for wild turkeys and other wildlife while providing hunters with more opportunities and access to public and private land. In addition, NWTF volunteers and partners are introducing youth, women and people with disabilities to the outdoors through special educational events.

    If you would like to become a member of Team NWTF, join a committee or start a chapter, please visit our Web site at www.nwtf.org or call us at 800-THE-NWTF.

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    Posted on 17th March 2009
    Under: Conservation Groups, Events, General, Hunting | No Comments »

    New Web page offers the story of the collared jaguar in Arizona

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department has developed a Web page to provide more information and answer questions on the recently collared jaguar in southern Arizona. The new Web page contains a summary of the capture and collaring of Macho B, along with press releases, a timeline of events, photographs and answers to frequently asked questions.

    The new Macho B Web page address is www.azgfd.gov/machob.

    The page also includes a link to a videotaped copy of a news conference held on March 5 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the attending veterinarian from the Phoenix Zoo, a jaguar conservation biologist from Game and Fish, and the chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

    The jaguar was incidentally captured Feb. 18 in an area southwest of Tucson during a research study aimed at monitoring habitat connectivity for mountain lions and black bears. The cat was fitted with a satellite tracking collar and then released. It was hoped that the collar would provide biologists with a better understanding of how jaguars use the borderlands habitat.

    Initial location data indicated the jaguar was doing well and had moved more than three miles from the original capture site, but data monitoring more than a week later revealed a decreased level of activity. A response team was activated to assess the animal’s condition in the field. Due to weight loss, on March 2, the cat was brought immediately to The Phoenix Zoo for further medical assessment. It was determined then through blood tests that the jaguar was in severe and unrecoverable kidney failure, and the decision was made to euthanize the animal.

    For more information about jaguar conservation in Arizona, visit www.azgfd.gov/jaguar.

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    Posted on 17th March 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Events, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »