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

    Archive for August, 2009

    Dove Season Opens Tuesday

    Good luck to everybody! Have fun and be safe!! ~DesertRat

    Dove season opens Tuesday
    Wing shooting perfect for new hunters, lifelong tradition for seasoned hunters

    Gather up your shotgun, birdshot, retriever, and ice chest because Arizona’s dove season opens on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

    “With the continued drying conditions throughout the state this summer, dove hunters will find birds concentrated around traditional agricultural areas due to the dependable food sources,” said Randy Babb, Arizona Game and Fish Department biologist and avid upland hunter. “This will provide some very good hunting opportunities for those that spend time scouting.”

    Given that, hunters are encouraged to wear some hunter orange when taking to the field. Hunting doves doesn’t require full camouflage, and if you hold still before taking your shot, the dove won’t even notice, but other hunters will see you — even in pre-dawn light.

    Babb added, “There are some desert areas that do have reliable water sources and good drainage that provide roosting cover, food, water and resting areas for doves that can be productive. Hunting a distant stock tank in the upper desert can provide an exciting and private hunting experience.”

    The weather forecast for the opener is for dry and hot conditions. Expect morning temperatures to be in the 80s and ramp up 100 before you know it. Dove meat is fantastic when gathered and prepared properly. With high temperatures, be sure to get your harvest on ice quickly, or your taste buds will suffer severely.

    The season runs from Sept. 1-15, with shooting hours starting one-half hour before sunrise. The sunrise time for central Arizona on Sept. 1 is 6:03 a.m. Adjust accordingly depending on if you are in the west or east ends of the state, up to nine minutes in some cases. Legal shooting hour ends at noon in the South Zone. However, all-day shooting hours are open to juniors statewide and all hunters in the North Zone (see regulations for details).

    Bag limits are the same as previous years, with a 10-bird total of mourning and white-winged dove, of which only six may be white-winged doves. There is no limit on collared doves. Be sure to leave one feathered wing on each bird until you reach your final destination.

    Before heading to the field, be sure to pick up plenty of shotgun shells. The unspoken average of shots per bird harvested is five to one – so make it three boxes of shells. Shot size No. 8 or 7 ½ bird shot will do.

    A general hunting license is required for hunters ages 14 and up. The Arizona Migratory Bird Stamp is required for those 16 and older. However, for new and younger hunters there are two options. Young hunters under 14 may hunt without a license (2 maximum), when accompanied by a licensed adult – so take a youngster hunting. An apprentice license is available at no charge and valid for two days, allowing new hunters the chance to “try before you buy.” The license is valid for two consecutive days but must be issued to a licensed mentor. To hunt doves with the apprentice license a migratory bird stamp is required. To learn more about the new apprentice license, visit www.azgfd.govand select the license icon.

    Ready? So where to go?

    Arizona offers a plethora of public lands open to licensed hunters. The places to avoid are city limits (most have ordinances against discharging a firearm), and private property without written permission.

    There are many agricultural areas in the central corridor of the state that border BLM or state trust land that will offer hunting opportunities.

    Babb suggests, “Using Google Earth or the Delorme Gazetteer are great resources for identifying land ownership, topography (water holes, drainages, etc.) and other potential honey holes. Another great cross reference is to go online to http://rainlog.org(or similar site) and check out rainfall numbers to see up-to-date information for where the best crop and water sources may be.”

    Lastly, to simplify learning how to dove hunt, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is hosting and teaming up with sportsmen’s groups to provide a number of designated hunts – some offering mentoring and equipment to help you get started. Schedule events are:

    Sept. 1-3: Habitat fundraiser dove hunt (fee required), Texas Hill Farms, Roll (east of Yuma). To register, contact getoutsideaz@gmail.com.

    Sept. 5-6: Juniors-only dove hunt, Robbins Butte Wildlife Area, near Buckeye (pancake and sausage breakfast provided by Chandler Rod and Gun Club). First-come, first-served, for details and directions, visit www.chandlerrodandgunclub.com.

    Sept. 5: Juniors-only dove hunt, Texas Hill Farms, Roll (east of Yuma). To register, contact getoutsideaz@gmail.com.

    Sept. 11-12: New hunters dove hunting seminar and hunt by AGFD and Chandler Rod and Gun Club. Seminar (required) on Sept. 11 at the AGFD Mesa Regional office, hunt on Sept. 12 in Queen Creek at Zimmerman Dairy. For additional information, contact David Carson (480) 987-4825 or Randy Babb (480) 324-3546.
    Be sure to hunt in open areas, observe the ¼ mile rule when near a building (when in doubt, move further away), and always remove your trash from your hunting area (this includes your spent shotgun shells).

    Of course, no matter where you go, remember to be safe. An easy lesson is the basic hunter’s safety rule T.A.B. +1:

    T = Treat every gun as if it were loaded;

    A = Always keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction;

    B = Be sure of your target and beyond;

    +1 = Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

    To learn more about the hunting opportunities offered by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, visit www.azgfd.gov/hunting.

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    Posted on 31st August 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Events, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Desert Rat Needs Bling

    So, I don’t really do this gig for money but it does have some perks here and there. Now I’m a hat guy, and have never seemed to have a shortage of hats in the past. I liked my Eastman’s hat, and am particularly partial to my Natural Predator hat. Periodically, manufacturer’s will send me goodies, especially hats.

    This year, though, my stockpile of hats is running pretty low - which is unusual. So I’m challenging all the manufacturers that stop by my blog. Hook me up, and if your hat is coolest - it will be my hat of choice this fall. That means if I actually happen to kill anything this year - I’ll take a picture. If I take a pic, your hat will be in it.

    And there you have it. Not convinced this economy sucks?

    Desert Rat <———- Will work for hats.


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    Posted on 31st August 2009
    Under: Archery, General, Hunting, Products | No Comments »

    Desert Rat Readers Get A Discount On Yummy Meat Snacks

    I recently received an e-mail from Pop’s Authentic who are known for their handmade Artisan Meat Snacks. Knowing we outdoors-folk love to munch on meat sticks and similar snacks while prowling the deserts and forests, they thought they’d makes us an offer. They’re also sending me a sample, so if you’re a skeptic, stay tuned! If you’re not, follow the instructions below to get your discount. YUM

    I’m contacting you today to tell you about Pop’s Authentic and how you can add more fuel to your weekend (or if you’re lucky enough weekday) hunting and fishing trips. Pop’s Authentic is locally sourced and crafted by a family-owned company in Missouri. Pop’s Authentic - Handmade Artisan Meat Snacks are made from a family recipe passed down from Pop Jennings, the patriarch of the family. These new meat snacks are a satisfying solution for those day-long expeditions. I would love if you could share information about Pop’s with your readers and if you’re interested, I can get some samples out for you to try. We’ll also provide a discount for your readers, if you think they’d be interested. By offering the promo code OSCAR to your readers, they’ll receive an average of 25% off their order at popsauthentic.com.

    Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!

    Happy hunting and fishing!

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    Posted on 31st August 2009
    Under: General, Products | 1 Comment »

    A Shout Out To The Folks At Dead Down Wind

    I want to thank Gary at Dead Down Wind for sending me some goodies to try this upcoming season. Gary and I are going to touch base this fall, so look for some more info on their company soon!

    Dead Down Wind introduces 10 game changing products for 2009

    Pleasant Valley, MO – Dead Down Wind®, an industry leader in scent prevention, introduces 10 new products to help hunters go undetected in the woods. The new products include: 12 oz concentrated laundry detergent with UVe Ultraviolet inhibitor, 60 oz ScentPrevent Field spray with 12 oz sprayer, Field Wash Cloths, Pac-it Concentrated Field Spray, Checkmate Wind Checker, Totally Odorless Oil, eLive Down Stream Odor Terminator, and Scent Prevent Dryer Sheets.

    12 Oz Concentrated Laundry Detergent
    The concentrated formula of Dead Down Wind’s Scent Prevent Laundry Detergent utilizes enzymes to target and eliminate scent. In addition, the exclusive formula unclogs carbon molecules so it is the perfect choice for carbon suit users. It also features an exclusive UV Inhibitor – UVe to knock out UV glow. Because it utilizes enzymes, the HE washer approved concentrated laundry detergent is easier on apparel fibers and will not cause camouflage patterns to fade.

    Field Wash Cloths
    Perfect for pack and/or spot and stalk hunting, the new 20 count of field wash cloths are easy to use and offer convenient scent elimination. Each 100% all natural, organic, and biodegradable wipe is heavily saturated with Dead Down Wind’s bio-engineered enzymes that prevent human odor from developing on the skin. The Field Wash Cloths utilize DDW’s new Evolve broad spectrum formulation to prevent other common odors as well.

    Pac-It Concentrated Field Spray
    The new Pac-It is a highly concentrated ScentPrevent field spray that when mixed with water produces 36 ounces of effective scent prevention and elimination spray. Pac-It was designed especially for travelers and pack in hunters when minimizing weight and space is critical. Pac-It utilizes Dead Down Wind’s proprietary ESP Enzyme Technology to eliminate and prevent a wide range of odors from animal and gasoline odors to odors commonly created by humans. The ScentPrevent concentrate is the only natural, organic, biodegradable product that effectively eliminates odors without harsh chemicals, masking agents, or potentially damaging effects on the environment.

    Checkmate Wind Checker
    In its relentless effort to improve hunter success, Dead Down Wind has taken a technical, bio-engineered approach to developing it latest product CheckMate – a superior powder based wind indicator. Every consideration, every detail, even ESP Enzyme ScentPrevent™ Technology went into the design, specifications and formulation of CheckMate. With its ergonomically designed package and large 4 oz. size, Checkmate is designed for serious Elk hunters or avid archers. In addition, the quality controls on particle size are within a single micron, 1.5 - 2.5 microns insuring consistent delivery of the perfect wind indicating cloud. As a frame of reference, a human hair is 50-75 microns thick.

    Totally Odorless Oil
    Dead Down Wind® extends scent control beyond the body and into the gear with its latest product, Totally Odorless Oil®. This new odorless oil provides optimum protection, cleaning, anti-corrosion and lubrication for all your outdoor gear while limiting wildlife alarming scent on your gear. Ideal for bows, firearms, fishing equipment and even photo gear, Totally Odorless Oil helps hunters, anglers, and wildlife photographers insure and maintain a scent free environment.

    eLive Down Stream Odor Terminator
    eLive Down Stream® is new line of scent eliminating and scent preventing products designed for the marine and fishing industry. eLive Down Stream utilizes the same proven odor eliminating and odor prevention ESPTM Enzyme Technology found in other Dead Down Wind products.

    eLive ScentPreventTM spray is a natural, organic, and biodegradable product that not only prevents human odors, but also eliminates odors such as gasoline, fish smells, and other odors that are commonly found in the fishing world. From musty carpets, coolers, smoke, and foul footwear, eLive eliminates a wide range of odors, while the ESPTM Enzyme Technology prevents future odors from forming.

    About Dead Down Wind®: Dead Down Wind® has revolutionized the scent elimination industry through a bio-engineered process known as ESP® (Enzyme Scent Protection). Through this process a strand of enzymes is created that target human bacteria – the source of human odor. Without intervention your body produces bacteria that create human odor. Cover sprays can only attempt to mask these odors. Carbon clothing only attempts to contain it. The enzymes in Dead Down Wind® actually PREVENT odor-causing bacteria from forming – allowing you to maintain a zero scent environment.

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    Posted on 31st August 2009
    Under: General, Hunting, Products | No Comments »

    Concerns Grow About Kofa

    PHOENIX — Biologists recently presented the Arizona Game and Fish Commission with compelling data indicating that recovering the critically important Kofa desert bighorn sheep herd from near record-low population levels will be challenging due to additive mountain lion predation.

    Game and Fish Department biologists informed the commission at its Aug. 7 meeting that the monitoring of one radio-collared mountain lion revealed it had killed 14 bighorn sheep since February, an average of one bighorn sheep about every 10 days. At this rate, this one lion is on pace to kill an estimated 37 bighorn sheep annually.

    By comparison, the estimated annual yearling recruitment from the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge bighorn sheep herd is only 39 animals.

    Additionally, biologists reported last week that the same radio-collared lion has made a 15th kill. The animal killed was a bighorn lamb within the Kofa Predation Management Area near the Little Horn Mountains.

    “The rate at which this lion is preying on bighorn sheep is of grave concern,” said Game and Fish Yuma Regional Supervisor Pat Barber.

    Eleven of the bighorn sheep killed were within the department’s Kofa Mountains Complex Predation Management Area. This management area includes all of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and three key areas that extend slightly beyond the refuge to encompass contiguous mountain ranges not captured by the Refuge boundaries. These areas contain habitats used by Kofa NWR bighorn sheep population.

    Barber added, “The Kofa NWR bighorn sheep population provides 76 percent of all bighorn sheep recruitment in a greater isolated metapopulation in southwestern Arizona and is a critical core in sheep restoration for Arizona and the southwestern U.S.”

    This isolated metapopulation is comprised of several smaller subpopulations between Interstates 8 and 10 and State Routes 85 and 95. Due to human development, fragmentation, and changes in landscapes active management is required.

    Although managers are working to address several issues that might limit sheep recovery, such as water availability, disease and human disturbance, predation at this level remains a significant concern.

    Past surveys indicate that, historically, mountain lions were virtually non-existent or only transient guests around the Kofa region. However, in recent years, a number of lions have become residents on and around the Kofa NWR and are having a significant impact on the bighorn sheep population.

    Furthermore, officials estimate there are three to five other mountain lions in the Kofa Mountains Complex Predation Management Area. Conservative modeling of four mountain lions (three males and one female) suggests predation could exceed the annual bighorn sheep recruitment by more than 150 percent.

    “Once a localized wildlife population has zero recruitment or less, meaning it’s not replacing lost animals from standard mortalities, it’s just a matter of time before that population is extirpated.” said Game and Fish Wildlife Specialist John Hervert.

    “We want to remind the public, our goal is not lion eradication,” said Barber. “When the Kofa bighorn sheep populations return to their historic levels, normal depredation is typically not a concern and in fact is healthy. However, with the herd at record lows, it is inhibiting critical recovery efforts of this valuable resource.”

    The mountain lion population in Arizona is neither threatened, endangered, or at risk, and they are the most broadly distributed large mammal species in North America.

    The concern over declining bighorn sheep populations is not unique to Arizona. There are a number of distinct bighorn sheep populations that have required federal listing through the Endangered Species Act, in part or exclusively due to mountain lion depredation, including the Peninsular, Sierra Nevada and the San Gabriel Mountain bighorn sheep populations. Recovery efforts for those populations will cost millions of dollars.

    The department’s second self-imposed moratorium of lethally removing offending mountain lions when off the Refuge, that have been captured and collared on the refuge, ended July 31. In accordance with the May 2007 “Kofa Mountains Complex Predation Management Plan,” an offending lion – defined as one that kills more than one bighorn sheep within a six-month period – may be lethally removed when off of the Refuge.

    No mountain lion has been removed from the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Prior to the moratorium, two offending lions were removed from the Kofa Mountains Complex Predation Management Area, but they were outside of the Refuge.

    The department agreed to delay implementing of some portions of the Kofa Mountains Complex Predation Management Plan (i.e., instituted the moratorium) to accommodate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s desire to complete an environmental assessment (EA). However, the EA was originally estimated to be completed in October 2008. The date was extended to April 2009, then October 2009. The current estimated completion date is now March 2010. Data of lion predation and bighorn sheep populations makes it evident that further delays will continue to reduce this seriously depressed population.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s draft environmental assessment (EA) proposing management options for limiting mountain lion predation on bighorn sheep within the Kofa NWR is now open for public comment. The proposed alternative will provide the Refuge with added management tools to help restore and preserve the bighorn sheep herd – one of the principal reasons for the refuge’s creation in 1939. The comment period is open until Oct. 2 and a public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16 in Yuma. The anticipated completion date is March 2010. To learn more or comment on the draft EA, visit www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/kofa.

    The EA is not required for the Arizona Game and Fish Department to manage resident wildlife (including mountain lions and bighorn sheep) off the Refuge.

    The Kofa NWR bighorn sheep herd was once one of the most robust herds in the nation. Prior surveys estimate population levels ranging from 600 to more than 800 animals. However, in 2006 the survey revealed a historic low of 391 animals. The last two surveys showed an estimated 460 in 2007 and 436 in 2008. The 2009 survey is scheduled for October.

    For history on the struggling Kofa bighorn sheep population, visit www.azgfd.gov/kofa.

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    Posted on 30th August 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Camp Compass Featured On NBC News

    What an awesome program. Well-done to this teacher and those who support Camp Compass

    Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

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

    Flavoring Your Fish & Game - From The WildCheff

    Another great newsletter from my friend Denny Corriveau - The WildCheff! The WildCheff is THE authority on wild game cooking, in my book. Visit his site, buy his spices and rubs, heed his counsel - you won’t go wrong. ~Desert Rat

    When approaching fresh or dried spices it is important to take into consideration a few key components in order to bring the greatest success to your cooking endeavors. Like a restrictive diet, Lord knows that food can be without flavor and have no life when we don’t inflect some type of seasoning. The key is to accent and never drown out what you eat by masking it with things like bottled marinades and other things that are loaded with salt and other unhealthy ingredients. You ultimately want to taste the quality of your fish and game and it needs to be the star of your plate, otherwise why bother eating it, right??? If you want to just taste soy, why not just grab a shot glass and have at it. For those of you who are soy lovers out there, I do use a special Japanese soy in certain dishes, I just don’t believe in drowning any meat or fish to where all you taste is the soy.

    As I teach in all my WildCheff Cooking Clinics, first and foremost you have to realize that every individual’s sensitivity for spice varies. Some like it hot and some don’t. Some like a lot of spice and some don’t. It is very parallel to the story of Goldilocks; you have to find that combination and amount that is just right for you . Additionally, you should take into consideration, if you have guests, what would matter to them.

    Take garlic for example. You can have garlic as an accent or a primary part of your dish. You can cook it raw, which, depending on how fine you chop it will determine the strength of flavor. If you roast the garlic in the oven and then use it in flavoring a dish, it can add a delicious sweet garlicky background. I particularly enjoy this in things like an aioli sauce or even in making roasted garlic potato salad to go with my fish or game during the warmer months. Garlic can also be used in its dried form and can accent meat, veggies, soups and side dishes.

    We all know that garlic is a great herb for our health and has been known to occasionally ward off things like vampires J Herbs like garlic can also have pros and cons. Depending on the individual, herbs like garlic can permeate through our pores, so eating it prior to a hunt may not be good or if you are looking for a kiss from your sweetheart you may want to hold off, but warding off mosquitoes may be a good thing if you are fishing.

    Other thoughts include the fact that certain herb combinations can create flavor profiles that can truly help you to cook dynamic recipes that yield tastes and aromas that make fish and game memorable.

    When you smell sage most of us associate it with Thanksgiving and rustic cooking styles. Spices like nutmeg can provide us with a hint of sweet and savory to certain recipes, while things like lemon zest or fresh basil can brighten a dish and bring a sense of freshness.

    I’m sure that you have tasted the combination of onion and garlic on many occasions and it is amazing how well that flavor blend works well together for many game dishes; yet when you add another herb to that mixture like rosemary or thyme it takes that taste in a whole other direction by adding additional layers of essence. Fresh lemon, when combined with sea salt, and fresh ground pepper and herbs can really add a lot of character to your fish. Then of course you can flavor your main course of game or fish with a few herbs and then season your side dish or sauce that accompanies it with other spices and herbs that compliment the main course and bring the whole meal together.

    Fresh dried herbs such as the WildCheff line of Spice Blends and Brines contain essential oils from the herbs that concentrate the flavor, which in turn will help you to accent and heighten the taste of your fish and game. Many of the spices that you purchase at the store tend to be somewhat outdated and have lost their luster due to having been warehoused and shelved for longer periods of time. Have you ever noticed when looking at them they often do not look fresh??? They also are in many cases, grown and treated with pesticides, and we all know what those due to our health. In addition, when you draw a comparison you will notice that 1/10th of an ounce will cost an average of $6.00 at your local market. The WildCheff Blends are all natural and organic ingredients and are a much higher value – costing an average of $7.99 for a 6 oz. jar (average of 13 tablespoons) vs. $6.00 for a couple of teaspoons of product that if often not very fresh. My blends are also hand-packed, ordered just in time to fill orders so they are fresh when you receive them. We also ship our orders within 24-48 hours of receiving your order so you receive your order quite often within just few days of when the order was placed. The Olive Garden liked them so much, they chose my Herbs de Provence to season two of their dishes nationally!!!

    Do yourself, your fish and game, and your dinner guests a tremendous favor the next time you want to cook your favorite species. Take a moment and visit the WildCheff website www.wildcheff.com and purchase a few Blends that appeal to you. There are 28 currently to choose from. I developed them so you can create any style, and apply any technique of cooking fish and game that you desire. We always include free samples of new blends to try – when is the last time your local market did that for you??? As outdoors enthusiasts, we want the best gun, fishing pole or equipment to enjoy our love of the outdoors. Why not look at how we cook what we harvest the same way???! Purchasing quality blends will make a noticeable difference in the quality of your fish and game cooking!

    No shopping for herb and spice ingredients that are hard to find, simply pick a blend for the type of cooking you want to do, lightly coat your fish or game with healthy olive oil and season it with your desired amount of WildCheff Spice Blends.

    They can also be used to season your veggies, create great homemade marinades, and flavor your sauces and standard meats too!!!

    Bon appetit


    The WildCheff

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    Posted on 26th August 2009
    Under: General, Products, Recipes | No Comments »

    Skinny Moose Newsletter

    Folks - I encourage everyone to sign up for the Skinny Moose Newsletter. It will be a weekly newsletter featuring the latest news and best blog posts from across the entire Skinny Moose Network. I think there will be some coupons and stuff too.


    If you sign up, please put Desert Rat as the “referrer”.


    Your e-mail address won’t be sold or used for anything other than the newsletter.

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    Posted on 24th August 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Events, Fishing, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Thousands of pigs roam Arizona wildlands

    And not the four-legged variety. If you read my blog enough, you’ll know that littering is one of my pet peeves. I have been amazed since moving to Arizona 12 years ago at just how much litter there is. Litter in the deserts, litter along the roads, litter ringing our urban lakes. Knee-deep piles of trash in the south left by illegal aliens; trash strewn all over our north by ignorant urbanites seeking fun and recreation in the pines. My daughter and I always have some trash bags in our packs when we head afield, and invariably end up bringing someone else’s litter home with us. Call me old-fashioned, but this is just a symptom of the ignorance and laziness that pervades our society today. “Gimme, gimme, gimme” with no responsibility attached to it. Read this article in today’s AzCentral.com: Trash piling up in Arizona’s forests.

    Some excerpts:

    Trash is piling up in Arizona’s forests, left behind by sloppy hikers, campers and people who just use the land as a dumping ground.

    Forest workers find cans, bottles, paper plates, diapers - anything that would go into a trash can or a recycling bin back home. Some people pick up their refuse and leave it behind in bags to be picked up. Workers don’t have the time or the staff to keep up with it.

    “Frankly, there are areas out there that are pigsties,” said Paige Rockett, spokeswoman for the Tonto National Forest, nearly 3 million acres of desert, mountains, lakes and other terrain northeast of Phoenix.

    And when people leave human waste in their bags, forest employees with hazardous-materials training have to be called to handle it. Magee said that takes workers away from their main duties, such things as responding to fires and building and maintaining trails.

    “There isn’t a trash crew on the forest,” she said. “Any trash you create has to go out with you.”

    Officials say there are more people using the forests, so there’s more trash. The Tonto also contends with graffiti and vandalism.

    Rockett called the Tonto an “urban forest” since it’s so close to metro Phoenix. It gets an estimated 5 million to 6 million visitors a year, she said.

    Rockett said people also appear to be getting sloppier, more careless, in throwing around garbage. She said that since people pay a fee for certain access, they might see the forest like a sports stadium or a movie theater, where some people think that since they paid to get in, someone will come in and clean up after them, Rockett said.

    Sheryl Yerkovich, recreation field supervisor at Tonto’s Mesa Ranger District, said she was shocked by the piles of trash thrown in ditches, stuck under trees and pushed into crevasses in rocks when she started working in the district four years ago and still is.

    “We just didn’t and still don’t understand why people would treat their environment in this way.”

    Most hunters and fishermen I know continue to set the standard for outdoor stewardship. They haul out trash they find. They clean up where shooters have left targets, shotgun shells and cardboard boxes. They call in and report violators. Lance Altherr created a group called Arizona Hunters Who Care - they organize several times per year and do massive garbage sweeps in high problem areas, especially down south. It’s not unusual that they fill a couple of roll-off dumpsters during an event. The message boards start coming to life every year around this time with stories of “hunters” who are slobs. As far as I’m concerned, if you trash a campsite you’re not a hunter - you’re an ignoramus with a gun and a hunting license. Same thing if you’re shooting signs. I don’t know many people like that though. Most hunters I know are just that - hunters. Let’s continue to spread the word, police ourselves, and demonstrate to the rest of society what it means to be a good caretaker of our forests, waterways and deserts.

    A guy I know through a military message board happened to come to Phoenix on business a couple of years ago, so we took the opportunity to meet for lunch, talk about the old days, and so on. When he returned, he posted on the board “I used to think that plastic bags were made in factories; now I know they grow on bushes along the roads in Arizona”. Nice

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    Posted on 23rd August 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Fishing, General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Open Carry Brouhaha

    I guess when your life has been consumed by writing travel books, your awareness of everything non-travel diminishes. Mr. Frommer’s statements are just plain silly and uninformed.

    From the Fox article: Travel Icon Says He’ll Avoid Arizona Because of Gun Laws.

    PHOENIX — Travel icon Arthur Frommer says he won’t be spending his tourism dollars at the Grand Canyon, or anywhere else in Arizona, because the state’s laws allow people he described as “thugs” and “extremists” to openly carry firearms.

    The author of budget-travel guides said on his blog Wednesday that he was “shocked beyond measure” by reports that protesters openly carried guns and rifles outside a Phoenix building where President Barack Obama spoke on Monday.

    Frommer says he won’t personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons as a means of political protest.

    It’s going to be hard to be a travel expert when you don’t allow yourself to visit any of these places:

    Open carry states:

    New Mexico
    South Dakota

    Open carry–with restrictions (eg. permit requirements):

    North Dakota
    New Jersey
    Rhode Island

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    Posted on 22nd August 2009
    Under: Arizona News, General, Politics and More | 1 Comment »

    Desert Rat Talks With Laura Francese

    You may recognize Laura Francese if you read archery magazines, or shoot Martin bows. You may also recognize her if you are a Buffalo Bills fan. I was delighted that Laura took the time to answer some questions from me. What a great interview! ~Desert Rat

    First off, Laura - thanks for taking time to answer my questions - it is very much appreciated!

    1. Laura, you’ve had an interesting life. Tell us a bit about your childhood. Also about your family.

    I had a very active childhood. My parents loved to camp and fish and travel. I learned to snow ski when I was two and water ski when I was five. I’ve been fishing my entire life and have continued to love the outdoors. All my siblings were at least 6 years older than I, so I felt a little bit like an only child. But there were lots of neighborhood kids to hang out with always..

    2. You’re the current “Martin Girl” - tell how that has changed you, and what it is like to be such a “public face’ for a large organization.

    I’m not a big fan of the term “Martin Girl” in fact I didn’t even really know what it meant at first since I was so new in the archery industry. Working with Martin in their ads has definitely put me in the public eye more than I was really aware it would. I’ve never been interested in being recognized or being “famous”. However, with the little bit recognition that has developed, I have tried to use it to help others in anyway that I can… I will continue my efforts to help raise awareness about Breast Cancer as well as many other organizations I believe in. I will also continue to support, raise money and awareness for our military and their families in the US and overseas. I want to see this industry grow and if I can help in any way then that makes me happy.

    3. Now that you are involved at such a high level with the “archery business” - what are some things that came as a surprise to you?

    In all honesty I do not see myself at a “high level in the archery business”. I have so much more to improve on and learn. I hope that I can keep learning and become a better archer and hunter as I continue to practice and learn from so many great people. There are a lot of things that surprise me but I’ll just mention one and that is that people still ask me if “I really shoot”. It’s not really a big deal anymore……I just kind of chuckle to myself.

    4. I read about you doing some turkey hunting on your website. Do you hunt a lot? What do you like to hunt most? Any favorite places? Any dream hunts on your list of things to do in the future?

    I hunt every single day that I am available. Doesn’t matter if I am sick, recovering from surgery, or haven’t slept in two days. If I’m available….I’m hunting. As of right now I don’t have a favorite thing to hunt. I’m about to go on my first Elk hunt and I am sure it will be amazing. A dream hunt to me is sharing a hunt with great friends and having a great time! It could be anywhere hunting anything and I would love it!

    5. Are you still cheer leading? Tell us about that! Is it is exciting and glamorous as it seems?

    Yes this is my third season with the Jill’s. It is an amazing experience. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be on the squad. It’s not so much about “glamour” to me but when I think of my experience so far, these things come to mind.

    * Troop visits…..to be able to go to the military bases and tell them face to face how much we all appreciate them. It is amazing and priceless to be be able to visit them.
    * The amazing opportunities we have to help with all kinds of charities.
    * I love all my girls. I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet to be able to have 40+ sisters. It means so much to me and I miss them on the days we don’t see each other. They inspire me.

    6. I know you support Wounded Warriors - tell us a bit about your work with that organization.

    My husband discovered it actually. I’ve just tried to raise awareness and help raise money for the organization. I have a lot of military friends as I’m sure most of us do and I want to help as much as I can. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had to help.

    7. What is ahead for you? What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    I just want to keep growing as a person everyday. If I can do some good in this world for people and animals, that’s what makes me happy. I love to do so many things and I can’t wait to see what else is out there for me!

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    Posted on 21st August 2009
    Under: Archery, General, Hunting, Interviews | 2 Comments »

    Leaf River DV - 7SS Trail Camera

    Game cameras are extremely valuable tools for scouting. In fact, a good camera can help you track down the buck of a lifetime. If you want to put that dream buck in your sights this fall, then consider Leaf River’s DV-7SS.

    Featuring 7.0 megapixel picture quality, Leaf River’s DV-7SS is not your average game camera. With a built-in 2.4″ viewing screen, improved trigger speed and MPEG -4 daytime video with 640 x 480 resolution at 30 frames per second, the DV - 7 SS lives up to Leaf River’s reputation for building some of the best scouting cameras on the market.

    The DV - 7SS includes an SD card slot for removable memory, or you can use internal memory, and it will accept up to a 2GB SD card. The internal viewing screen features a zoom and pan feature, and the unit can be programmed to pause from 1 to 90 minutes between pictures. By using the Quick Shot mode, you can capture an even quicker 2nd and 3rd picture if additional motion is detected, such as a buck following a doe down the trail.


    Mossy Oak Treestand ® camouflage
    USB cable
    RCA cable
    Steel mounting bracket
    Steel security bar and mounting strap
    Requires 4 D-cell and 3 C-cell batteries (NOT INCLUDED).

    Leaf River spends months upon months developing each product and studying what you, the customer, want and require from a product. Even more time goes into field-testing to make sure that each application performs as designed. Leaf River cherishes its partnership with its customers and looks forward to assisting them in experiencing God’s great creation.

    For more info, check out www.myleafriver.com.

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    Posted on 19th August 2009
    Under: General, Hunting, Press Releases, Products | No Comments »