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

    Archive for September, 2009

    Game and Fish Commission to consider petition to close Fossil Creek


    Sept. 28, 2009

    Game and Fish Commission to consider petition to close Fossil Creek to fishing even before the fishery opens

    PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Commission will conduct a telephonic meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30 at the department headquarters on 5000 W. Carefree Highway to discuss a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to close Fossil Creek to fishing.

    The public can attend the meeting in person or view it live over the Web at www.azgfd.gov/commissioncam. Those wishing to present oral comment to the commission must do so in person. The commission may vote to take action on, or provide the department direction regarding the petition.

    A segment of Fossil Creek is scheduled to open for the first-ever seasonal fishery for roundtail chub on Oct. 3, requiring that artificial-only lures be used with barbless hooks and that all fish be immediately released.

    The center claims that a draft study released last spring by researchers at Arizona State University, months after the commission had established this fishery in the regulations in October of 2008, shows that headwater chub, not roundtail chub, dominate in an upper section of the creek. The mix is about 50-50 in another lower section of creek.

    Both chub species are “candidate species” under federal law. Being a candidate species does not afford them any increased protection under either state or federal statutes.

    Both species of chub look exactly the same and experts can’t tell the difference between the two visually. Nor can geneticists describe genetic differences separating the species across their range.

    In addition, the two chub species at Fossil Creek are known to interbreed, something that last spring’s draft study by ASU points out. The hybrid chubs are also capable of breeding, and do.

    A Game and Fish Department survey last spring and this fall showed that Fossil Creek has a healthy, robust population of chub with a good diversity of age classes within the reach open to fishing.

    Department biologists said employing the catch-and-release techniques prescribed in regulation at Fossil Creek would have no demonstrable affect on wild populations of either chub species.

    “We believe Fossil Creek is a unique opportunity to increase the public’s appreciation of native fish,” said Fisheries Chief Kirk Young. “We firmly believe this increased public appreciation, especially by anglers, will aid our efforts in recovering other native fish species, even those listed under the Endangered Species Act.”

    Young pointed out that the past 100 years have clearly demonstrated to all that the sportsmen conservation model in North America is clearly the most successful one in the entire world.

    “When hunter and angler conservationists become involved with a species, biologists are given one of the best tools in the tool box for conserving the species and their associated habitat. We want to deploy that invaluable tool at Fossil Creek,” Young said.

    Young pointed out that there are over 6 million people currently in Arizona there are just under 10 million projected by 2025. “Without a dedicated and diverse cadre of advocates for native species and special areas, places like Fossil Creek may not last. We need to lay the foundation now to build as large an advocacy group as possible.”

    Although Fossil Creek is popular with hikers, officials point out, it is also way too popular with partiers – especially ones who leave lots of trash.

    “We are hoping to gradually yet dramatically change the patronage at Fossil Creek from ones who often abuse the creek and its associated habitat to ones who wish to protect and conserve this unique travertine system,” Young said.


    The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Deputy Director, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Deputy Director as listed

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    Posted on 29th September 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Fishing, General, Politics and More, Press Releases | 1 Comment »

    Trophy’s Steakhouse - A Review

    Well, yesterday was my birthday so my wife Karole came through (as usual) and had arranged dinner for the family. “Be home by 6:30″, she cautioned, but didn’t say where we were going. I was indeed home by 6:30 and arrived to find everyone spiffied up and ready to go. My daughter Mikaela even had donned a skirt, and was looking particularly pretty and all grown up! As it turns out, my wife had made 7:00 PM reservations for Trophy’s Steakhouse which I had been dying to try for a long time. Add to that the fact that it was almost literally around the corner and full of taxidermy - I was psyched! I don’t do many restaurant reviews, but thought that due to the hunting theme of Trophy’s, I would make an exception and give it a shot.

    We arrived a bit early, but were seated immediately. As you pass through the big wooden doors (adorned with animal carvings) you are greeted with a wolf, a mountain lion, and a moose. The main dining area is ringed with caribou mounts, along with elk, bison, pronghorn and more. The centerpiece of the room is a giant display containing 5 or 6 varieties of bear, including a polar bear. Toward the back of the area the bar is set-up, with sheep and a musk ox behind. there is also a room or two for private events, off of the main area. The decor (besides the mounts) is very well done.

    Our waitress Camille was awesome throughout. She didn’t hover, she didn’t disappear for extended periods of time. She was friendly and considerate, and helpful as well. So we started with the Elk and Buffalo Sliders. While we were waiting for those, the warm rolls were brought out, and they were great. The E&B Sliders were well presented, and yummy. Two loaded sliders were delivered - just enough for the 3 of us when divided into bite-sized pieces. My wife ordered the Shrimp Creole with salad, my daughter ordered a Trophy’s burger with fries, and I ordered the ribeye with sweet potato fries - led off with a bowl of Prime Rib soup.

    The soup was well done. Lots of meat, thick broth, and big chunks of potato. Minimal seasoning made it a great lead-in. My wife’s salad looked fresh and well done as well. The main course arrived, and we really dug in. My daughter went on and on about her burger, insisting that it was the best she’d had. My wife enjoyed the shrimp dish as well. My steak? Quite possibly the best I’ve had, rivaled only by the one I had at Ruth’s Chris several years ago - also on my birthday coincidentally, and at almost twice the price. Seriously, the steak was THAT good. The veggies (French-style green beans) were cooked al dente and pretty tasty. I liked the sweet potato fries, but they were a first for me. I kept thinking I needed something to dip them in, to offset the sweetness. I tried ketchup and mustard, with the mustard actually coming out on top. What I really kept thinking was something akin to that onion ring sauce that you get at Burger King. Anyway, the fries were cooked to perfection and looked great, the jury is just still out - on a “personal taste” basis…

    We were too full for dessert, but my wife and I did have a coffee. Coffee was rich and hot as well. The price was what you would expect for a steakhouse of this caliber. We only visit restaurants like this on special occasions, but we all agreed the quality of the food well exceeded the price. Long story short - be prepared to pay, but my family is unanimous - we think you’ll be happy. Our financial experience was “enhanced” by a gift certificate that my wife purchased on Restaurant.com.

    My only suggestion is to maybe have an avenue for people who want to try wild game to dip their toe in the water. I imagine that sportsmen and outdoors people that visit the restaurant don’t have a problem with buffalo burgers, but I think this is a great opportunity to introduce more people into the world of wild game meat. A sampler platter or something similar may be a great way to accomplish this. Some people may be intrigued by kangaroo medallions or antelope sausage, but may be leery of ordering the full entree, lest they don’t like it.

    You can find all of North America’s 29 Big Game animals at Trophy’s - it really is a sight to behold. They are located just east of Power Road, and slightly north of Germann. They are very easy to get to from the Loop 202 Santan freeway. I’m not sure about the economics of running a restaurant in this economy, especially one that is so hunter-friendly, and located in the southeast valley. That being said, I hope Trophy’s is able to flourish and prosper for a long time. They really are an awesome place to visit.

    More about the family behind Trophy’s:

    Trophy’s is owned by Kevin and Becky Dettler, who live in Gilbert, AZ at Power Ranch. Their sons, Kiel and Brett also manage the steakhouse.

    Our theme is the “North American 29″. Showcased here are all “29″ species of big game animals that inhabit North America. All of these animals were taken by Kevin. They were all taken with the same .300 Weatherby rifle. The name Trophy’s came about, as every animal here has qualified for the Safari Club International (SCI) record book of trophy animals. Kevin belongs to SCI, a worldwide hunting organization with more than 200,000 members. In their record book there are less than 120 members who have taken and registered the “North American 29″. In order to take the “29″, a hunter has to hunt Alaska, many Canadian Provinces, a large number of Western US states, and a few states in Mexico. This endeavor takes the hunter from
    glaciers, sea ice, tall remote mountains, deep canyons, deserts, and foothills. The weather ranges from -65 degrees below zero (hunting Polar bear or Muskox) to 90 degrees above zero (hunting Coues’ deer or Desert Bighorn sheep) Then there is rain, wind, and snow which seem to be a part of every successful
    hunt. Emotions range from elation, disappointment, anger, exhaustion, frustration, and great sense of accomplishment. This only covers feelings on the first morning of the first day, of what
    typically are 10-14 day hunts.

    The reason the “29″ is so elusive for many hunters, is because three things need to happen simultaneously for success. First, the hunter needs to be in great physical shape. It is not uncommon to be running six miles per day before a sheep or goat hunt. Second, a hunter needs to have the time to be gone for weeks at a time for each animal. In many cases, when trophy hunting, you come home without the animal you sought, and have to return again to hunt. Thirdly, a hunter needs the financial ability to cover the very high costs of hunting in North America. Kevin was very fortunate to have a very supportive family, including daughter Nicole, all of whom worked extra hard so he would have time to go hunting. Lastly, it didn’t hurt to have a somewhat understanding banker!

    Kevin, Becky, Kiel and Brett Dettler

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    Posted on 26th September 2009
    Under: Arizona News, General, Hunting, Products, Recipes | 3 Comments »

    What’s happening with Arizona’s aspens?

    I found this interesting article online today at AzCentral.com Here’s hoping the foresters figure out what’s going on…

    You can read the full article here: Arizona’s dying aspens a mystery to scientists

    Some snips:

    Northern Arizona’s aspen trees are dying in ever-increasing numbers, tearing holes in the blankets of color that spread across the high country each autumn.

    The tree deaths have mystified scientists, though the list of suspected causes is long: drought, disease, insect infestation, wildfire suppression and even the grazing habits of elk.

    Scientists have tracked long-term aspen deaths throughout the West for years, but they refocused their attention more recently when trees began dying faster and in greater numbers, especially at lower altitudes.

    The phenomenon, known as Sudden Aspen Decline, “is really quite a mystery,” Ireland said. Research is under way at a number of schools, including NAU, Utah State University and Colorado State University, and among biologists and plant pathologists for the U.S. Forest Service.

    Field studies have turned up evidence of tree fungi and insects, but neither would typically kill an aspen, said Zegler, who spent the summer tromping through aspen stands in the Kaibab forest outside Flagstaff.

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    Posted on 26th September 2009
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »

    Get Outside For National Hunting and Fishing Day!

    Saturday, September 26th is National Hunting and Fishing Day

    For lots of great info visit the National Hunting and Fishing Day Website

    How a Good Idea Became a Great Tradition

    Over 100 years ago, hunters and anglers were the earliest and most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated uses of wildlife were threatening the future of many species.

    Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first laws restricting the commercial slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most dramatic conservation successes of all time.

    Populations of white-tailed deer, elk, antelope, wild turkey, wood ducks and many other species began to recover from decades of unregulated exploitation.

    During the next half-century, in addition to the funds they contributed for conservation and their diligent watch over the returning health of America’s outdoors, sportsmen worked countless hours to protect and improve millions of acres of vital habitat—lands and waters for the use and enjoyment of everyone.

    In the 1960s, hunters and anglers embraced the era’s heightened environmental awareness but were discouraged that many people didn’t understand the crucial role that sportsmen had played-and continue to play-in the conservation movement.

    The first to suggest an official day of thanks to sportsmen was Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe’s Gun Shop in Upper Darby, Pa. In 1970, Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer adopted Joffe’s idea and created “Outdoor Sportsman’s Day” in the state.

    With determined prompting from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the concept soon emerged on the floor of the U.S. Senate. In June 1971, Sen. Thomas McIntyre, N.H., introduced Joint Resolution 117 authorizing National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September. Rep. Bob Sikes, Fla., introduced an identical measure in the House. In early 1972, Congress unanimously passed both bills.

    On May 2, 1972, President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing, “I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations.”

    By late summer, all 50 governors and over 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day. The response was dramatic.

    National, regional, state and local organizations staged some 3,000 “open house” hunting- and fishing-related events everywhere from shooting ranges to suburban frog ponds, providing an estimated four million Americans with a chance to experience, understand and appreciate traditional outdoor sports.

    Over the years, National Hunting and Fishing Day boasted many more public relations successes, assisted by celebrities who volunteered to help spotlight the conservation accomplishments of sportsmen and women. Honorary chairs have included George Bush, Tom Seaver, Hank Williams Jr., Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, George Brett, Robert Urich, Ward Burton, Louise Mandrell, Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Jeff Foxworthy and many other sports and entertainment figures.

    National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated the fourth Saturday of every September, remains the most effective grassroots efforts ever undertaken to promote the outdoor sports and conservation.

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    Posted on 25th September 2009
    Under: Archery, Arizona News, Events, Fishing, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Trophy Bag Kooler Lands on BassPro Shelves For The First Time

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information contact:
    Steven W. Glass
    Trophy Bag Kooler, LLC
    PO Box 1159
    Bethany, OK 73008

    Trophy Bag Kooler Lands on BassPro Shelves For The First Time

    Trophy Bag Kooler products introduced at Grapevine, Texas store.

    Bethany, OK – September 25th, 2009. After being available at Bass Pro Shop Online for only a few weeks, products from Trophy Bag Kooler, LLC are making it onto Bass Pro shelves in Grapevine, Texas.

    According to company President Steven Glass, “We are excited about getting our product onto Bass Pro Shop shelves and hope that more stores will soon follow suit. Our Trophy Bag Kooler™ and The Game Fresh System™ are rapidly gaining popularity both in online sales and at smaller retail outlets. We feel that as sportsmen learn more about our product both through Brad Lockwood, the award winning processor and host of OutDoor Edge Knives, Love of the Hunt TV Show and from hunters nationwide using the products in the field, they are realizing what a great system we have. We are both excited and honored with our association with Bass Pro Shops.”

    The Trophy Bag Kooler™ lets hunters put their harvested game into a cooler bag that can be cooled down to 36 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit with our KoolerGel™ or bagged ice. Keeping your harvest cool will also ensure that the animal will be ready for the taxidermist by preventing slippage of hair on the hide. In addition, the Trophy Bag Kooler™ will help prevent flies and others bugs from getting to the animal. The Trophy Bag Kooler™ is uniquely designed with an innovative Thermal Radiant Barrier Energy Shield that has antimicrobial properties which provides added protection to prevent the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. The bag cleans-up easily with soap and water. The bag is constructed out of a durable polyester outer shell and comes in Mossy Oak Break-Up, Mossy Oak Brush and RealTree APHD camouflage patterns. Two sizes are available, Regular for small bucks, does, and antelope up to 140 pounds, and Large for bucks over 140 pounds and a quarter bag for larger game, such as elk and moose.

    For more information regarding the Trophy Bag Kooler™ or The Game Fresh System™, please visit: www.trophybagkooler.com. Hunters can also find the products at Bass Pro Shops’ website www.basspro.com.


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    Posted on 25th September 2009
    Under: General, Hunting, Press Releases, Products | No Comments »

    2009 Bonus Point Reports

    The bonus point system have you stymied? Arizona Game and Fish has posted analyses in a number of formats. You can view them here: Bonus Point Process.

    Some more info:

    What is a Bonus Point?
    An accumulated credit (or point) that authorizes the Department to issue a Big Game Drawing applicant additional computer-generated random numbers during a draw. The bonus point system grants an applicant one random number entry for each bonus point that has been accumulated into the drawing for that species. Each bonus point random number entry is in addition to the application random number entry itself. This system provides applicants with an added chance of receiving a low random number in the draw, hence improving their draw odds, while still providing a chance (no matter how small) for any applicant to get drawn. ‘

    How is a Bonus Point different from a Preference Point?
    In a Preference Point system, there would be separate pools of applications for each point category. Those in the highest point category would be drawn first. If there were any hunt permit-tags left after looking at all applications in the highest point category then a second drawing would be held for those with the next highest point category. Over time, this would guarantee you getting a tag if you put in every year for the same species. With the Preference Point system, it could reach a point, with some species, that the drawing would, in effect, be closed to anyone who had zero or very few points.

    Bonus points may be accrued for deer, antelope, elk, turkey, javelina, bighorn sheep, buffalo, and bear. In order to accrue a bonus point for a species, a valid application must be submitted into a drawing for that species and the application must be unsuccessful (not rejected) in the drawing. What is a valid application? A valid application is one that has all required fields completed, is submitted with sufficient fees, and is legible. Refer to R12-4-104 for detailed application and drawing procedures.

    A Loyalty bonus point can also be earned per species, if an applicant submits a valid application at least once a year for a hunt permit-tag or bonus point for that species consecutively for a 5­year period. An applicant retains the loyalty bonus point once accrued as long as the applicant continues to submit a valid application for that species at least once a year.

    How do Bonus Points work in the Big Game Drawing?
    There are 3 phases to the Big Game Drawing – the Bonus Point Pass, the First-Second Choice Pass, and the Third-Fourth-Fifth Choice Pass. For each phase of the drawing, a random number is generated for each application plus additional random numbers for each group bonus point (which includes the Hunter Education and Loyalty bonus points) credited to the application. The lowest random number generated for an application is used in the drawing process.

    If you are drawn for a species, your bonus points for that species are zeroed out; however, you will retain your Hunter Education bonus point, if you have one, for the next drawing and your Loyalty bonus point for that species if you continue to submit valid application for that species.

    What are Group Bonus Points?
    Group Bonus Points occur in the Big Game Draw when 2 to 4 applicants apply on 1 hunt application. Group bonus points are calculated by adding the species bonus points, loyalty bonus point, and hunter education bonus point for each applicant on an application and dividing that total by the number of applicants. The Department shall use the average number of bonus points accumulated by the individuals in the group, rounded to the nearest whole number. If the average has decimal digits equal to or greater than .5, the total will be rounded to the next higher number otherwise it is rounded down.

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

    NSSF Launches Campaign to Educate America About ‘Most Misunderstood Firearm’

    NSSF Launches Campaign to Educate America About ‘Most Misunderstood Firearm’

    Modern Sporting Rifles — based on the AR-15 platform — Are Widely Owned
    by Hunters and Target Shooters and Are Not ‘Assault Weapons’

    NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation has launched a national media campaign designed to correct widespread misperceptions among gun owners and non-gun owners about AR-15-style rifles, also known as modern sporting rifles.

    “The best-selling rifles in America today are those based on the AR-15 platform — they are today’s modern sporting rifles — yet they remain America’s most misunderstood firearm because of confusion caused by their cosmetic features,” said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, trade association for the firearms industry.

    Sanetti said the confusion is understandable because a modern sporting rifle looks like a military firearm, like an M-16, for example. “We want people to understand that these civilian sporting rifles function just like many other sporting rifles, as semi-automatics, firing only one round with each pull of the trigger, and are widely used by hunters and target shooters and for home protection. They are not ‘evil’ or ‘bad’ firearms, as some would have you think,” Sanetti emphasized.

    The media campaign illustrates how for more than 100 years rifles used by the military that possess battlefield requirements of accuracy, ruggedness and reliability became, understandably, popular civilian sporting rifles. This military-to-civilian evolution can be seen in some of the most famous rifle models of all time, including the 1903 Springfield bolt-action rifle of World War I, the Garand semi-automatic rifle of World War II and the M-16 rifle of the Vietnam era. In the case of the M-16, its civilian version, the AR-15, was modified so that it functioned only as a semi-automatic.

    Today’s AR-15-style modern sporting rifles are just another step in the evolution of the tools hunters and target shooters use to enjoy their activities. These rifles may not look like current hunting rifles, but remember, your current hunting rifle probably doesn’t look much like your grandfather’s rifle either.

    Sanetti emphasized that these AR-15-platform sporting rifles are not “assault weapons,” as they are frequently and incorrectly labeled by organizations, media and elected officials who would like to ban them. “An assault weapon is fully automatic — a machine gun — while rifles based on the AR-15 platform are semi-automatic,” said Sanetti. “Civilian ownership of fully automatic firearms has been severely restricted since 1934.”

    The multi-pronged campaign will use print, video and Web-based components to reach as wide an audience as possible, with emphasis placed on educating sportsmen whose preference for traditional-looking firearms can lead them to misunderstand AR-15-platform rifles and to even describe them using terms such as “assault weapon,” which inadvertently lends support to those wanting to ban these rifles.

    The campaign’s educational ads have been placed in major firearm and sporting magazines such as Field & Stream and Outdoor Life and on outdoor cable television networks. The campaign’s materials can also be seen on a dedicated Web site, which expands the educational messages delivered in the media campaign to promote an even better understanding of how civilian sporting rifles have evolved from military rifles over time.

    The Web site offers video, a timeline of military-to-civilian rifle evolution plus interactive features that identify the components and functionality of modern sporting rifles. There is also a facts section of the site, where gun owners can arm themselves with facts to correct individuals, media and organizations who are misinformed about these rifles.

    “We ask everyone who values their gun ownership rights to correct misunderstandings about the use and operation of these modern sporting rifles,” said Sanetti. “If we let misinformation go unchecked, we only assist those who would ban ownership of these and other types of semi-automatic firearms, like your duck-hunting shotgun. We can’t let that happen.”

    Visit the Web site at www.nssf.org/MSR to learn more about modern sporting rifles.

    About NSSF

    The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

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    Posted on 24th September 2009
    Under: General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Wisconsin Teacher Shoots Giant Bear

    Wow - well done to this lady! A big ol rug and a freezer full of steaks to boot! ~DesertRat

    Read the full story here: Huge, 658 pound black bear shot by Wisconsin school teacher

    What will probably be the largest black bear shot either in Minnesota or Wisconsin this fall was taken last weekend by Rhonda Anderson of Sarona, Wis., a fourth-grade school teacher. The animal weighed 658 pounds live weight, 564 dressed.

    Anderson was in a four-person party that included her husband, Brian. They were hunting behind three Walker hounds and a Plott hound when the youngest canine in the bunch, a mere 6 months old, got on the hot trail of the big bear, finding it in a corn field while the hunters and other dogs took a break.

    Read the rest of the story at the link above….

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    Posted on 22nd September 2009
    Under: General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Scholastic Clay Target Program offers fun outdoor recreation

    Join a youth shotgun shooting team this fall

    Scholastic Clay Target Program offers fun outdoor recreation

    PHOENIX — Students, are you looking for fun, competition, and the chance to meet new friends and be part of a team?

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s 2009-10 Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) season is ready to get underway, and students interested in learning about and competing in skeet, trap and sporting clays shotgun shooting are encouraged to find a club in their community.

    The program is open to boys and girls from age 9 through 12th grade.

    “Our SCTP program is one of the best in the nation and we continue to see students become great athletes of clay target shooting through this team-based youth development program,” said Statewide Shooting Sports Coordinator, Ashley Lynch. “The mentoring, instruction, safety, and teamwork instilled by our certified coaches are second to none.”

    The program is run similar to other youth-based athletics. The season runs from Oct 1, 2009 – May 1, 2010. Athletes can join at anytime depending on club availability. All of the SCTP clubs in Arizona are run 100 percent by volunteers. These dedicated volunteers are committed to teaching today’s youth to carry on the American tradition of shooting sports recreation.

    “Shooting sports are an activity that any person with the desire can participate in. The structure of this program allows kids to have fun, compete, and learn safety and discipline skills,” said Lynch.

    Currently, there were 20 active clubs across the state, below is a list by region with contact information to get you started.

    Central region:

    Chandler area – Arizona Dust Devils (480) 628-9977
    North Phoenix – Ben Avery Clay Crushers (602) 920-5465
    Buckeye – Buckeye Buckshots (623) 869-9050
    Phantom / West Valley – Phantom Sure Shots (623) 925-9549
    East Valley – Rio Salado Target Terminators (480) 510-5604

    Northern region:

    Cottonwood / Verde Valley – American Heritage Academy (enrollment to AHA students only)
    Prescott – Prescott (928) 636-4709
    Williams/Flagstaff – Williams Bird Busters (928) 635-4330
    Wickenburg – Wickenburg (928) 231-7644

    Northeastern region:

    St. Johns – Leading Edge Shooters (928) 337-4955
    Springerville / Round Valley – White Mountain Rod & Gun Club (928) 333-5692
    Show Low – White Mountain Clay Busters (928) 369-1155

    Northwestern region:

    Kingman – Mohave Top Guns (928) 753-5274
    Lake Havasu – Havasu SCTP (928) 486-8607

    Southern region:

    Casa Grande - Central Arizona Target Shooters (CATS) (520) 251-2024
    Tucson – Tucson Shooting Stars (520) 780-0715
    Globe – Glove SCTP (602) 542-2785

    Southeastern region:

    Double Adobe / McNeal – Double Adobe Young Guns (520) 364-4000
    Sierra Vista – Huachuca Hot Shots (520) 266-1078

    Southwestern region:

    Yuma – Yuma Young Guns (928) 246-7157

    To learn more about the department’s SCTP program, maps of participating teams, or how to get involved, visit www.azgfd.gov/sctp.

    SCTP is a youth development program that teaches trap, skeet and sporting clays to students in grades 12 and under. The program uses a competitive, team-based format and has been called the “Little League” of shooting sports. More than 600 kids compete in Arizona’s SCTP. Nationally, about 10,000 youngsters compete in 40 states.

    To learn more about the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation national SCTP program, visit www.sssfonline.org.

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    Posted on 21st September 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Events, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Application deadline for spring draw is Oct. 13

    Application deadline for spring draw is Oct. 13

    The deadline to submit applications for 2010 spring hunts for turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear is Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009 at 7 p.m. (MST).

    In order to participate in this draw you must submit a paper application by mail (Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn: Drawing Section, PO Box 74020, Phoenix, AZ 85087-1052) or drop it off at any department office prior to the deadline. Applications must be received by the deadline; postmarks don’t count. There is no online application process available.

    The spring regulation booklet with season dates, hunt numbers and additional draw information can be downloaded from www.azgfd.gov/draw. Printed copies of the regulation booklet should be available from department offices and more than 300 license dealers statewide no later than Sept. 15.

    This is now a great time to get your application submitted and take advantage of the correction period. If your application has a mistake and is received by 5 p.m. on Sept. 24, the department will attempt to call you three times in a 24-hour period and give you the opportunity to correct the mistake. After that date, mistakes can cause your application to be rejected.

    Remember, you must purchase a 2010 license to enter the spring draw.

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

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    Posted on 20th September 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Events, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Accurized Remington SPS Tactical From Underground Skunkworks

    I met the guys from Underground Skunkworks at the NRA Convention in May. This is a screamin’ deal! ~DesertRat

    Chino Valley, AZ August 30, 2009 New developments from Underground Skunkworks, LLC; a Division of Black Bag, Inc, provides users of the Precision Rifle with high quality rifle packages. Ongoing operational issues currently experienced by Military and Law Enforcement Officers have fueled the need for higher quality tactical shooting systems.

    In today’s economy, we understand that spending thousands of dollars on a custom precision shooting system may not be a practical thing to do. But at the same time, we understand that there are those
    that will never find it within themselves to be satisfied with a box stock “Tactical” rifle. So, we’ve designed an economical and practical alternative that we guarantee will provide accuracy of less than 1 MOA out of the factory Remington SPS Tactical. No high dollar components involved, we utilize every part of the factory rifle by applying a bit of old fashioned attention to detail. We start by inspecting the factory rifle for possible defects, missing or out-of-spec components. If the rifle passes our inspection, we disassemble and
    perform the following:

    • True Receiver Face and ensure proper cut of threads
    • True Bolt Face
    • Lap Bolt Lugs
    • Set barrel back and Match Chamber to ensure perfect headspace and proper throat
    • Re-crown with our 11 degree target crown
    • Surface grind factory recoil lug
    • Open the 6-48 base screws to 8-40
    • Trigger Job
    • Blast and Re-finish
    • Install in bedded Hogue/UGSW Overmolded Stock
    • Test fire and print target with Hornady TAP Ammo

    We guarantee a significant improvement over factory configuration and we will perform these upgrades at a cost of only $899*. This price does include the new rifle. We will also perform these upgrades on your rifle for only $400. Options for this package are:

    • Underground Skunkworks 20 MOA Picatinny Rail, $179 (manufactured from 4140 ordnance steel)
    • Hogue/UGSW Overmolded Stock with Aluminum Bedding Block, $279.95
    *We will perform these upgrades on other Remington Tactical rifles as well but the price will vary based on the particular rifle in question.

    For more information on these and our other high quality Precision Rifles, visit www.undergroundsw.com . You may also contact us to discuss your needs for a Tactical Shotgun Package built with Underground Skunkworks components. There’s also a complete line of high quality hunting rifles available from our sister company; Grizzly Custom Guns, LLC. (www.grizzlycustom.com)

    Surgical Shot Placement. NO EXCUSES!
    Rev 1.0
    Underground Skunkworks, LLC
    A Division of Black Bag, Inc

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    Posted on 20th September 2009
    Under: General, Press Releases, Products | No Comments »

    The dos and don’ts of reporting wildlife law violations

    The dos and don’ts of reporting wildlife law violations

    Arizona Game and Fish Department law enforcement officers want the public to report wildlife violations, but there are things a person should and shouldn’t do at a potential crime scene.

    “The desire of the public to help us catch violators is great. However, there are instances when those desires can actually hinder law enforcement efforts,” said Ken Dinquel, Operation Game Thief (OGT) program manager in Phoenix.

    Dinquel explained that those encountering violations sometimes inform the violator they will be calling the Operation Game Thief 24-hour hotline.

    “At that point the violator vacates the scene before law enforcement personnel can arrive,” Dinquel said. “A better approach is to avoid contact, leave the scene, and call the OGT hotline as soon as possible with details.”

    Dinquel added that license plate numbers, names (if known), vehicle descriptions, and GPS (global positioning system) coordinates are all important pieces of information an officer can use.

    Another common mistake is getting too close or examining a dead animal.

    “Additional footprints, tire tracks, and general disturbance of the area make an investigation difficult, if not impossible,” Dinquel explained. “If the death of a wild animal appears to be suspicious, people should assume a violation has occurred, call the OGT hotline, and provide the location. Do not disturb the area around the site.”

    Individuals should also remember that confronting suspected violators in the backcountry could be dangerous.

    “Approaching a violator is not the best course of action,” Dinquel warned. “Allow trained law enforcement officers to handle such situations. Individuals should focus on being a good witness, but should never put themselves in harm’s way.”

    Individuals witnessing or suspecting a violation can call Operation Game Thief toll free, 24 hours a day at 1-800-352-0700. Callers can remain anonymous upon request. The OGT program may pay rewards for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in a case.

    For additional anti-poaching resources or to report wildlife violations online, please visit the Operation Game Thief web page at www.azgfd.gov/ogt.shtml.

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    Posted on 18th September 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Fishing, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »