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

    Archive for October, 2009

    Beer Bottle Cap Fishing Lures

    This guy is gonna make a mint. What a cool idea. Too bad the breweries are being jerks - like they care about bottle caps! If they are that important maybe they should take responsibility for all of them. ~DesertRat

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    Posted on 31st October 2009
    Under: General | No Comments »

    How To Pack A Hunting Pack

    From friend Pat McHugh:


    This is only an outline, your specific style of pack and your “on the trail” needs are unique to your destination and personal requirements. Listed below is a basic packing formula that hopefully will help you visualize your individual arrangement needs. It is important that you take the time to experiment with your packing arrangement at home, well before you go outdoors, as you will be more comfortable and know exactly where things are, when needed, on the trail.

    • Layer your extra clothes on the bottom of the pack. Carefully fold and stack, this takes up less space and makes it easier to get to when you want or need an item. This also helps provide a good base while cushioning all other items in the pack. With the majority of the weight above this gives a stable yet flexible base when you set your pack down.

    • Place heavy gear items like tree pegs, extra ammo, cooking gear etc. in the next upward layer. Cushion loose items with clothing or wrap tightly in poly bags with rubber bands.

    • Distribute your food items, rope, your first aid kit, etc. on the next layer.

    • Place your raingear, camera, personal hygiene items and survival kit and any other trail need items on the top layer where they are quickly accessible.

    • Keep water bottle, map, compass/GPS, knife and extra fire starting kit in the outside pockets of your pack along with any small snack items.

    • Lash or secure your coat to the outside of the pack, as the day gets warmer. Some packs come equipped with bottom lashing straps, if these are not on your pack then consider rolling it bedroll style and carry some cord to tie it off and then lash it to the “haul handle” on top of the pack. This keeps it out of the way and easily available if the weather changes quickly.

    • Don’t hang items off any of your pack webbing, the zippers or from the shoulder straps. This tends to abrade the material from bouncing around; they make noise, pull on the material and can catch on branches or underbrush. The only exception to this is wearing “bear bells” if you are traversing through bear country.

    • Always try and place the heavier items in the center of the pack toward your center of gravity. For MEN, this tends to be higher in the pack and forward towards your body
    For WOMEN, it tends to be lower and centered on the small of the back and put items towards the center of the pack. Experiment with a full pack for the best positioning before you go outdoors by climbing up and down your steps, jog and run in place to find the best and most stable comfort position for your frame size.

    • Wear your pack as low on your back as is comfortable for you to walk and maneuver. Let the “hip belt” (it is not a waist belt) secure the majority of the weight of the pack on your hips. The shoulder straps should only stabilize and balance the weight of the pack. Your hips are much stronger than your neck or shoulder muscles; so let them do the heavy work.

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    Posted on 31st October 2009
    Under: General | No Comments »

    New promotion At Pop’s Authentic

    Awhile back I did a review on snack sticks from Pop’s Authentic.

    Well, they are running a new promotion - buy 2 boxes of (12) and you get a box FREE! Yummmy.

    You can enter the promo code “OSCAR” when ordering online.

    Try some - you won’t regret it!

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

    Hunting Pack Pointers

    Great pack pointers from Pat McHugh!

    Hunting Pack Pointers

    • When you pick up a loaded pack always do so by grabbing the “haul loop” on top of the pack or pick it up by grabbing both shoulder straps. Never carry or grab a pack by one of the shoulder straps. This puts all the weight on this strap and may cause it to fail.

    • Don’t over tighten the compression straps fitted to packs, these straps are meant to stabilize a load once it is packed, not to hold it in tightly in place.

    • Take care of all your zippers. Clean them often using an old toothbrush and lubricate the full length occasionally with a high quality silicone spray. Keep frayed fabric trimmed back around all openings so it doesn’t get caught in your zippers. There is nothing more aggravating than a broken zipper on the trail.

    • Keep the all the buckles and shoulder strap buckles fastened when you are not wearing the pack. This prevents them from getting stepped on, or crushed and broken.

    • Inspect the stress points on your pack before each trip. Check along the shoulder straps, compression straps, and the hip belt (it is not a waist belt, all MPI Outdoors backpacks are meant to be worn low and secured across your hips, not on your waist). Make any necessary repairs before going into the field by using a strong upholstery thread or un-waxed dental floss and a heavy-duty needle.

    • Always pack smart. Don’t let pointed objects like stoves; tree pegs, knives or other objects create cuts or weak spots in the fabric. Wrap these items inside of clothing or place them inside smaller pouches.

    • Don’t overload a pack. This could cause harm and discomfort to your back. Most hunting daypacks are just that, packs for one-days use. Daypacks are meant to carry extra clothing, calls, and some ammo, trail gear and possibly some food for lunch. Do not try to pack for a weekend trip in what is classified as a “day”-pack; use a duffel bag for any extended trip or other heavy gear.

    • Distribute the load weight in a fanny pack carefully and evenly so as not to add any imbalance to yourself on the trail. Remember to carry the weight of the pack as low on your hips as is comfortable, keeping the weight off the small of your back, but centered on your body frame.

    • When you go out to buy a new pack, remember that you most likely will be wearing a heavy jacket when hunting season opens. Look for extra long webbing on the shoulder belt adjustments and also on the hip belt. Better yet take a jacket off the stores shelves and put it on before trying on a new pack. ALL MPI Outdoors hunting packs are engineered with extra length shoulder strap adjustments and 26 inches of webbing on “each” side of the hip buckle, giving you plenty of room for “expansion”.

    • Spot clean your pack regularly with a soft brush and a mild soap and water solution. Never use harsh laundry detergents or tumble dry your pack in a dryer. This is a good time to inspect for abrasions, tears and any loose threads.

    • Open up all compartments and air your pack out before storing it away for the next season. To prevent mold and/or mildew never store a pack that is the slightest bit wet or damp, also never store a pack that is dirty. When possible hang the pack on a clothes hanger by looping the straps over and closed around the hanger for support.

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    Posted on 30th October 2009
    Under: General | No Comments »

    How To Buy The Right Pack

    Thanks again to Pat McHugh for these great tips!

    Before you go out to the store to purchase a daypack for your hunting trips try and keep these observations in mind:

    • When you go to the store make sure you have the coat with you that you will be wearing with the pack. Too often we try on a pack in our warm weather shirt, like the fit and buy the pack, only to get to “opening day” and we are wearing our hunting coat. Now you find out that the pack webbing and/or shoulder straps are too small to go over the added thickness of our jacket.
    • Don’t buy a daypack just for looks or more importantly just for price. Buy your daypack for your own trail needs. Think what you want and what you have to carry with you, where you will put your gear in the pack, how easy is it to open and close, how does it feel on, does it sit right on your lower back (not riding high up on your back), are you comfortable wearing this pack, etc. You are making an investment; will this pack be adequate for the next few years? It may be better to take the time, purchase a better pack now, and have the added benefits over the coming years.
    • Take some time in this process, as the pack you are trying on is not loaded, will it still perform when loaded? Stuff your coat or other available items into it and then try it on. Have someone apply some downward pressure to simulate a load. Make sure it feels right, you are going to spend a lot of time toting this through the woods.
    • Look at the overall pack construction, does it have a good “hip belt”…. this is critically important as this is what bears most of the load weight. Does it fit comfortably and securely around you without sliding? Is it long and wide enough to secure down on your hips, not up on your waist? Are the buckle ends secured tightly? Can you make fast and easy adjustments?
    • Are the shoulder straps long enough and well padded? Do they have easy to get to releases so you can get in and out quickly and easily? Do they have adequate webbing to make tight adjustments? Are the shoulder straps contoured in shape to fit around your upper body area or are they just uncomfortable straight straps? Are they stitched down and into the packs back panel, so they will not pull out with a heavy load? Look and see where and how they attach, this is the most common problem with packs, shoulder straps not stitched properly tear out on the trail.
    • Are all the release buckles sewn in tightly and securely? Are the zippers on the pack easy to operate, even if you are wearing gloves? Are they quiet?
    • Do you need compression straps to steady your load? Are they on the pack and easy to use? Are they tight when closed?
    • If it is an extra large daypack does it have a “sternum strap”? This buckle assembly helps position the shoulder straps for comfort and steadies the pack when walking. It should buckle easily just below your collarbone, not down on your stomach.
    • Look carefully at the packs construction: Is the main material water repellant? Is it a quiet fabric? Is it durable enough to take the abuse of the field? Does the manufacturer offer a guarantee? Does it have a “carry handle”? (You never want to carry or hang a pack by the shoulder straps.) Can you wash it?

    If you invest a little time to do most of the above, you will most likely never encounter a problem with your daypack on the trail. Always remember to do a thorough inspection of the seams, adjustments, zippers and webbing on your pack before you embark on your trip.

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

    Announcing Acli-mate

    “Go Higher - Feel Better”

    Acli-Mate® is a unique and energizing, mountain sports drink designed to aid in the prevention of altitude sickness in mountain visitors and promote maximum energy
    and performance for mountain athletes.

    The specific combination of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and herbal extracts helps the body adapt to the stressors of being at elevation, minimizes the risk of dehydration and improves energy. Acli-Mate® is made of all-natural ingredients and recommended for mountain travelers, visitors and athletes.

    What’s in Acli-Mate® and How Does it Work?

    ■ B-vitamins at 50% of the RDA per serving for energy and metabolic support
    ■ Balanced electrolytes to prevent premature muscle cramping and dehydration
    ■ Calcium & magnesium to further reduce cramping and fatigue and promote efficient
    ■ Rhodiola herbal (root) extract to promote acclimatization and optimal adaptation to
    the stressors of altitude and exercise. Excellent for aiding in the management of stress
    not related to elevation or exercise as well
    ■ Ginkgo Biloba (leaf) extract to enhance red blood cell integrity, cellular oxygenation
    and circulation
    ■ Reishi mushroom extract for immune support and acclimatization. May also reduce
    the incidence of viral cold sores among individuals susceptible after being in the sun
    ■ All Natural Ingredients

    No other sport or electrolyte replacement drink offers such a comprehensive and healthy
    array of ingredients. Acli-Mate® is made with natural, low glycemic ingredients and is
    ideal for individuals opting for maximum blood sugar control.

    Who Should Use Acli-Mate®?

    ■ Travelers who will be at or above 5000 feet.
    ■ Recreational and elite athletes at both high and low elevation
    ■ Persons who suffer from fatigue
    ■ Those seeking optimal hydration
    ■ Individuals who suffer from stress
    ■ Those with an exercise, sleep or alcohol “hangover”

    DIRECTIONS: Mix one full scoop or packet of Acli-Mate® powder with 10 ounces of cool
    water, or to taste preference. Store any unused portion in the refrigerator for up to 48
    hours. The packets are especially convenient for mountain travelers while the tubs are
    more economical for keeping on the shelf at home.

    FOR BEST RESULTS: Acli-Mate® is effective at reducing symptoms associated with
    altitude when started upon arrival at your destination. However, increased benefit is
    observed by using 2-3 servings daily starting 3 or more days prior to traveling at
    ■ For active individuals, consume Acli-Mate® 30-60 minutes prior to exercise, as well
    as during and after for sustained energy and recovery.
    ■ Athletes who are training for an event should consume 1-2 servings of Acli-Mate®
    daily starting 7 days prior to the event. Acli-Mate® should be used after strenuous
    exercise for optimal recovery.
    ■ One to three servings daily is suggested. Adjust based upon your anticipated need.
    Children and individuals sensitive to the energizing effects of B-vitamins should
    consider limiting the use of Acli-Mate® after 5 pm.
    Available in three flavors: grape, orange or citrus. Comes in 30 serving containers
    (MSRP $ 25.99) or in boxes of 30 individual packets (MSRP $27.99 or $1 per packet.

    About Dr. Roanne Houck

    Co-Owner and creator of Acli-Mate®, Dr. Roanne Rouse Houck, N.D., is a naturopathic
    doctor and athlete. She owns an integrated healthcare clinic in Gunnison, CO and
    worked with the Western State College High Altitude Laboratory. She is from Crested
    Butte, CO and has spent the majority of her life living at or above 7500 feet. Dr. Houck
    recommends Acli-Mate® to her patients, visiting tourists, friends and all the valley’s
    athletes, elite and recreational alike.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is
    not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

    Acli-Mate®, 80 Camino Del Rio, #3, Gunnison, CO 81230 Phone: 866-641-5361

    You can read some testimonials here: TESTIMONIALS. They’re sending me some to try, so I will post a follow-up! ~Desert Rat

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    Posted on 29th October 2009
    Under: General, Press Releases, Products | No Comments »

    Michael Waddell Talks ELK

    Well, I guess Michael Waddell’s people talked to my people and the end result is a guest post by the man himself. Enjoy! ~Desert Rat


    Whether hunting public or private land, the fundamentals of calling elk remain the same

    By: Michael Waddell

    We heard the bull bugle at first light and snuck into his core area. When I hit a lick on my bugle, the bull sim­ply came unglued and stormed our position like a tank, crashing through brush and small lodgepole pines like they were match­sticks. Before we could react he was in our lap and we were pinned down, myself hiding behind a camera, too afraid to even touch the tripod for fear of my shaking hands would run the footage. All I could see of my partner wedged against a stunted pine was the tip of his undrawn arrow shaking uncontrollably on the rest. Before a shot presented itself, the bull smelled a rat and disappeared as quickly as he arrived. While this experience didn’t result in a dead elk, it did hopelessly addict me to calling them.

    It seems that in all walks of life, be it the animal kingdom or humans, communication is a key ingredient for all social interac­tion. However not all living things communicate to the same degree. If you ask my wife, I am sure she will tell you I lack in the communication department, in fact I am sure she believes I don’t listen to her at all, but when it comes to communicating with animals I can barely shut up. Of all the animals I love to communicate with elk rate right at the top.

    By nature elk are very vocal. The uninitiated often simply think of bulls bugling, but cows, calves and bulls make all sorts of noises year around. If you encounter a larger herd of elk while you might not hear a thing from a distance, if you get close you will hear lots of subtle vocalization. Most of the time these are sounds of contentment, but depending on what’s happening the vocalization reflects it. Elk can convey contentment, danger, curiosity, or a cow in heat. Bulls for instance only bugle primar­ily in the rut, but they also communicate to establish a pecking order. After spending a considerable amount of time chasing the mighty wapiti, I’m convinced every elk in the herd knows each other by sound alone. This happens with the cows as well as the bulls and based on my evaluation somewhere in this mix is the deadly secret to calling elk archery-close.

    Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

    It seems that the more vocal a herd the better the odds are for success at calling them. Some cows call subtle, while others are loud-mouth ladies actively looking for a date. By listening it gives you a better opportunity to imitate the particular tones and intensity of the herd.

    By calling we are automatically intruding into the social club without an invitation. The closer we can sound to a known elk, and match that intensity the better the odds are of filling a tag. Even though we may sound like an outsider to the herd, luckily for us, love crazed bulls are not looking to be intimate with just one or two cows they are looking for all the love of every cow in the world, so taking advantage of their sexual frustrations and promiscuity is what we aim to do.

    It doesn’t take a world champion elk caller to trick bulls within range. By simply paying attention to the herd and under­standing simple elk rhythm, tone and more important volume when calling, a hunter can depend on an elk call to be a valuable asset to dulling broadheads.

    Public Versus Private Land

    Since I started hunting elk 16 years ago, on private as well as public ground, I have realize that comparing these two different types of ground are like comparing night and day and it is all about the amount of pressure each receives. Generally speaking private ground bulls are way easier to call than public ground animals, but this is not always the case. Some private land does get a lot of pressure, which can make for some pretty tough calling duels with elk that can serve you up a humble pie every time you bust out a call. While conversely some public land either through sheer remoteness or hard-to-get tags is like calling the best private land in the nation.

    Hunting un-touched land and cow calling to bulls that have never heard a Hoochie Mamma would obviously be nice and it wouldn’t take long work­ing over these uneducated elk to start feeling like an elk calling pro only to be deflated the first time we went to the national forest and mixed it up with bulls so well-known by local hunters that they have knick names. However, regardless of where you hunt the basics of calling remain the same.

    Start with mastering the cow call and all its various inflections. Your basic reed type calls are the easiest to learn as well as get proficient with. You will find two kinds; both are bite down reed-type of calls, one being enclosed and the other having an open reed or reeds. These calls make a very realistic sound and before your wife can run you out of the house you will master the basics.

    I rely heavily on the cow call and think most of the time hunters are better off sticking with it over a bugle no matter where he is hunting. But learning how to make a basic bugle is important, especially for locating bulls at a distance before getting close and working him with your cow call. In addition, sometimes it is the bugle that finally provokes a dominant bull to commit, especially during the early season when bulls are still sorting out their peckin’ order.

    Earning Your Public Ground PhD

    Lets face it, unless you have deep pockets much of the private ground in the West is pretty much off limits, so you have to learn to hunt public land. This is not a bad thing as public ground comprises millions upon millions of acres across the West and happens to have some of the biggest bulls found anywhere. While it can be tougher than private, once you learn how to hunt it you won’t be disappointed. Over the years, one of my favorite places to hunt is the Gila National Forest, in New Mexico, and even though this is a trophy area tags are fairly obtainable through application.

    In the Gila, the trophy potential is off the chart, sporting some of the biggest bulls in the country, but just because the big ones live there doesn’t mean that you automatically make one call and they come running to get in the back of your truck. These mature jokers have a PhD in avoiding hunters.

    Over the last six years I have hunted this area religiously and have had the op­portunity to shoot some nice bulls all by using elk calls as an aid to close the coffin.

    Notice I said, “as an aid”, meaning the call was just one thing in a bag of tricks to help smoke these monarchs. My biggest bull that came out of the Gila was a 378 P&Y bull that had earned the name Professor because he always seemed to take you to school when you applied too much pressure. However, this bull was vocal and would bugle his butt off. He also seemed to be fairly easy to find, not only by his gnarly, raspy bugle that set him apart, but frequently he could be found early in the morning in a large meadow just south of a particular water hole that always attracted a large herd.

    The Professor was not the only bull in the area that had large headgear, but it was The Professor that seemed to call the shots. I had caught this bull in the open several times, but calling seemed to really make him uneasy when you were in close. The Professor however would bugle hard to distant cow calls and seem to be whole heartedly interested, but had a sixth sense when you moved in for the attack.

    Finally we decided to have a caller stay behind as we worked him coming off the meadow at daybreak. By doing this we could keep him interested and bugling as we stalked in closer. The caller always was no closer than 80 yards behind me. While the caller kept him occupied, I slid within 50 yards and gave him a G5 Tekan right behind the shoulder. This hunt was really a stalk, but the call and caller had a big part to do with his demise. Once we started quartering the bull up, we found a piece of an old arrow lodged just below the backstraps, so obviously someone had him in close before and gave the Prof and education, which explained why he was so wary.

    The Double Team

    As this old bull showed, hunting with a partner can work extremely well. It not only puts the hunter out in front of the call, but it gives the hunter a chance to move and adjust the angle based on where the bull might be ap­proaching. Likewise, the caller has the flexibility to move as well and apply a lot of different calling techniques.

    The double team plan worked again on another hunt. It had been hot and the bulls were only bugling early and late. As soon as the sun would rise the elk woods would turn in to a ghost town.

    Just after daybreak on the fourth day of our hunt we heard this bull bugle. He hit it only two times, both very weak and he sounded like the littlest rag horn in the land but with no other game in town we went after him. Getting as close as pos­sible to where we thought the bugle came from I eased up and sat down by a pine stump while my buddy moved back and to my right about 40 yards. Neither of us were very optimistic about our chances. My buddy made one or maybe two very soft cow calls on a two reed diaphragm then he started raking a tree and rolled a few rocks. We sat there for possibly 10 minutes in silence, then out of nowhere appeared a wide 340 inch 6 x 6 coming directly to us, at 25 yards the bull let out a soft chuckle, looked over his surround­ing and kept walking in the direction of where the last rock had been rolled, which led him 16 steps from my pine stump. By now I was at full draw waiting for a broadside shot. When the arrow left my bow, I knew we had killed a call shy monster by keeping it low key and stay­ing patient. Needless to say, I was never convinced by the two times he had bugled earlier that he was a shooter. This was a lesson in itself. Never judge a bugle until you can see what is making the sound.

    The most exciting way to bag a bull elk is to get him in close, and the best way to do that is with a call. Confidence in your call is critical, because if you’re insecure about using your call there is a good chance you will spook elk. Have confi­dence in your calling ability and become just another elk in the herd where you are hunting. Find a call that works for you and not what works for some else. Think like an elk and do as elk do. Real­ism, rhythm, and volume control can make the difference between bringin’ them in or running them over the next ridge. And remember its not always about calling, it can be just patiently listening to the sounds around you and applying minimal calls, while practicing good woodsmanship, and stalking skills that could help you put that monster on the back of the truck.

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    Posted on 29th October 2009
    Under: Archery, General, Hunting | 1 Comment »

    Coyotes Kill Woman in Cape Breton, NS

    Wow - this is some freaky stuff ~DesertRat

    You can read the full article here: Coyotes kill woman on hike in Canadian park.

    TORONTO – Two coyotes attacked a promising young musician as she was hiking alone in a national park in eastern Canada, and authorities said she died Wednesday of her injuries. The victim was identified as Taylor Mitchell, 19, a singer-songwriter from Toronto who was touring her new album on the East Coast.

    She was hiking solo on a trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia on Tuesday when the attack occurred. She was airlifted to a Halifax hospital in critical condition and died Wednesday morning, authorities said.

    Coyotes, which also are known as prairie wolves, are found from Central America to the United States and Canada.

    Wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft said coyote attacks are extremely rare because the animals are usually shy.

    Bancroft, a retired biologist with Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources, said it’s possible the coyotes thought Mitchell was a deer or other prey.

    “It’s very unusual and is not likely to be repeated,” Bancroft said. “We shouldn’t assume that coyotes are suddenly going to become the big bad wolf.”

    Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman Brigdit Leger said other hikers heard Mitchell’s screams for help on Tuesday and called emergency police dispatchers.

    Police who were in the area reached the scene quickly and shot one of the animals, apparently wounding it. But the wounded animal and a companion coyote managed to get away.

    Paul Maynard of Emergency Health Services said Mitchell already was in critical condition when paramedics arrived on the scene and had multiple bite wounds over her entire body.

    “She was losing a considerable amount of blood from the wounds,” he said.

    An official with Parks Canada said they blocked the entrance to the trail where Mitchell was attacked and were trying to find the animals to determine what prompted such an unusual attack.

    You can read the full article at the link above.

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    Posted on 28th October 2009
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Fishing Report - Oct 28

    From Rory Aiken and others at AZGFD:

    The full moon is Nov. 2, so it will be almost full for spook night, so don’t expect to go trick-or-treat fishing for crappie or stripers at night using submersible lights or you’ll likely end up haunting an empty bag.

    With windy cooler weather visiting the state this week, we may be experiencing the swan song for the great autumn fishing in the warmwater lakes, but it could prompt increased salmonid activity in the high country, especially in lakes with brown trout and brookies. Browns spawn in autumn, and brookies spawn in late autumn, early winter. So at the very least, these two species should be getting more active as they stage for the spawn.

    Once the spawns get underway, be sure to put some salmon eggs on the tips of your lures and other offerings. But watch the weather reports: snow expected Wednesday and Thursday, but the front is expected to clear out by the weekend. We’ll see.

    This coming week, we will be stocking the Lower Salt River below Saguaro Lake with trout for the first time, Parker Canyon Lake will get its second stocking of the season, Patagonia will get is first seasonal trout stocking, Dead Horse Ranch State Park will get its first stocking, and Wet Beaver Creek will get its last stocking until March.

    So my best tip right now is to strip the fishing line off those reels you have been using all summer and replace the line with the smallest diameter fishing line possilbe. Old line can lose you some nice fish. A good rule of thumb is change of season, change of line, especially here in Arizona with our summer heat.

    This is a great time to try for cool-water fish, such as northern pike and walleye. There are plenty of northerns in Upper Lake Mary, Ashurst and Long Lake. For walleye, the two best are Show Low Lake and Fool Hollow, but Upper Lake Mary also has some.

    For the warmater lakes, right now I would look for action in the lakes with smallmouth bass. Try Roosevelt, especially around the more rocky areas. Apache Lake might well be worth a visit, even though the bronzebacks are still in the comeback mode here (the drive should be terrific). I really like Canyon at these transition times — it’s tough to fish, but hauling in one huge toad will make you smile in remembrance all winter.

    Another one to try is Havasu — the smallmouth population here is terrific. Or scoot just downriver below Parker Dam and fish for smallies in the current.

    Crappie Report: Good News from Barlett

    Since my last report I’ve heard real good news from Bartlett. Several anglers have reported good numbers of Crappie been caught up river trolling crankbaits and grubs. Plus much to my surprises many small Crappie under 10” are being caught. This is very good news as for the past few years we have worried that Bartlett Crappie may not be spawning. The only catch is that SRP in drawing the lake down for dam inspections/ repairs and the water level is dropping fast. Because of this the bite has started to slow down a little so the time to try Bartlett is now. And be careful up river as there may be hazards that are not marked yet.

    This past week Roosevelt has shown signs that the fall/ winter patterns are really getting going. Art Chamberlin of C&C Guide Service caught 18 nice slabs on the Tonto end the other day and a few anglers have done well on the Salt end as well. Many avid Rosey Crappie anglers believe that the time is right for the bite to explode. As the weather cools off it’s a great time for a weekend camping trip to Rosey. Cholla and Windy Hill are my favorite spots to camp.

    I haven’t heard any reports from Alamo or San Carlos this week. However, Alamo has always been a great place to catch big AZ slabs in the winter. Plus the camp sites there are very nice. San Carlos is at about 3% and can be dangerous to launch and navigate, so be careful.

    If you need any help with tips or tackle you can find me at Bass Pro Shops in Mesa Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm in the fishing department.

    Bill (Piscolli) Eveland



    URBAN LAKES – Catfishing at Urban lakes continues to be good to excellent with fall stockings well underway. Not much change in the top baits for channel cats: shrimp, stink baits and hot dogs. Activity is best in the evening and early morning with cooler temperatures making the cats active during mid-day periods as well.

    Bluegill and bass are biting well in the early mornings as they seek to fatten up before winter sets in. The special fall stocking of bluegill is scheduled for the week of Oct. 26-31, so make sure to take the kids, grandkids or a friend. Earthworms, mealworms or a piece of hot dog on a small hook under a small bobber will keep you and the youngsters busy catching bluegill.

    The Green Valley Lakes (Payson) received the first delivery of rainbow trout on Oct. 20, kicking off an eight-month trout stocking season. Fishing should be excellent for the 11-14 inch trout. Best trout baits include Power Bait, small spinners and lures, and worms. Green Valley anglers continue to have success catching bass, bluegill and crappie.


    All UFP waters in Phoenix area and Tucson area - Last stocked catfish Oct. 9 (second of four fall stockings). Next stocking, catfish the week of Oct. 19-24 and sunfish the week of Oct. 26-31.

    Green Valley Lakes (Payson) - Stocked with trout on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

    TEMPE TOWN LAKE - Mark your calendars — the Welcome Back the Trout celebration is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving again (just like years past), starting at 3 p.m. We will be doing a fishing clinic, so even if you don’t have a fishing license, you can legally fish if you are signed up for the clinic. Bring the youngsters after school — this is a great treat right before turkey day.

    By the way, this lake has been named the “Best in Phoenix” by the New Times.

    Mealworms or earthworms usually will get you bass, catfish or redear if fished off the bottom with a weighted leader of about 18 inches. Bluegill will take mealworms or worm pieces fished under a bobber. Try crayfish imitations both the soft plastics and crankbait as an alternative.

    Here are some nice reports:

    “Hit Tempe Town Lake this morning with a buddy. Fished the north side east of Rural/Scottsdale Rd. Caught 6 mirror carp in the 4- to 10-pound range using corn and dough balls. Also caught 2 channel cats about 2 lbs each. All in all a fun morning.”

    For those tilapia fishermen, here is another tidbit from an angler: “There are quite a few in front of the bridge at Rural Road. Use worms and a slip bobber at about 7 feet deep.”

    Another angler gives this report and a warning: “Hit up TTL yesterday afternoon. Only caught 1 lmb on a t-rig. Caught one yellow bass on a CB. Saw 2 guys fishing in an aluminum boat and almost got run over by the fleet of row boats.”

    Don’t forget the current bag limit for largemouth bass at Town Lake is four fish per day with a 13-inch minimum length restriction.

    There are also no gas powered boats allowed on the lake and Tempe Town Lake permits are available at the City of Tempe Town Lake Operations Center, 620 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281. Phone: (480) 350-8625.

    LAKE PLEASANT - Lake elevation 1651 ft (49% full).

    A couple fisherman fished Pleasant at night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. while anchored in the main lake by Castle Creek in 70 feet of water. They used anchovies (also chummed a bit) under a green light. They steadily caught stripers although some were small. They kept 25 and the biggest 6 were close to 3 pounds.

    With a full moon on Nov. 2, submersible lights won’t be as effective, but chumming can still work once you locate a school of stripers. Our research studies show that his time of year, the stripers will orient more toward the northern coves. Whether day or night, try over the submerged creek channels, which act as underwater fish freeways. Chumming can work well with frozen anchovies, but spoons during the daytime can also get you fish. Try small KastMasters.

    ROOSEVELT LAKE — Lake Elevation is 2132 ft (77-percent full). Tonto Creek runoff is 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 129 cfs.

    A cold front and possible windy conditions this week could drop the lake temperatures below optimum. During the windy days, fish the rocky shorelines using crayfish-like lures for smallmouth bass. It is possible that fish will go deeper if the lake temperatures drop significantly, but it’s a wait-and-see proposition.

    However, the cooler temperatures this week may make it better for quail hunting, so maybe plan to do a cast-and-blast.

    A fisherman caught 20 fish mostly on drop shot and a few on crankbait, Rat-L-Trap and Texas-rigged worms. Water temps were in the high 60’s and warmed into the low 70’s by mid-day. Most fish were caught before 10 am.

    Another angler had a tough day of it and caught 4 largemouth using drop shot then the bite died and nothing the angler threw at them worked for the rest of the day.

    A couple anglers caught 9 bass using Texas rigged worms in the shoreline brush. On the previous day drop shot worked the best and they caught 14 in the morning and then the wind picked up and the bite died.

    An experienced fisherman fished Monday morning and did real well trolling the Tonto end catching 18 crappie, 6 yellow bass, and 3 largemouth in 20 to 25 feet of water then they went out again on Thursday and only caught 2 largemouth, 2 yellow bass and 2 bluegill and no crappie trolling the same area.

    APACHE - Lake elevation is 1,906 feet (92 percent full).

    Here is a good report:
    “I fished Apache twice during the week of Oct 10, a total of 14 hours + or -. I caught about 15 fish, all LM except 1 SM. The two or three largest were maybe 13″, about half between 11″ and 13″, the smallest few were very small, clearly this year’s spawn. The SM was about 13″. All fish seemed healthy; the larger fish were chunky and well developed.”

    This is from Bill of Game and Fish who conducted the survey on Apache a couple weeks ago at Apache:
    “Things are looking great. Both LMB and SMB were very healthy and it looks like we have some smallmouth recruitment. We also caught a lot of small walleye (8-10”) and just about one at every site.

    Largemouth Bass

    Below Slot: 639
    Within Slot: 60
    Above Slot: 9
    Total: 708

    27 recaptures


    Young of year: 17
    Below Slot: 23
    Within Slot: 4
    Above Slot: 0
    Total: 44

    27 recaptures


    < 12 inches: 166
    > 12 inches: 9
    Total: 175”

    Angler report:


    First time reporting to you. Thank you for your reports I have read them every week and the information is very useful.

    This past weekend my family and I fished Apache Lake from the shoreline. We had 6 small bass on worms from the bottom. In the early afternoon I started to throw a chartreuse and gold bladed bass spinner, it was rigged with an extra stinger hook that I place a 3″ silver swim bait body on it. Stared by the west boat ramp and dragged it through the shadows cast by the wall. Four bass about 17 inches were caught there. We moved to the point over by the ranger station and drifted worms there. We caught 2 8-inch channel cats there and one 22″ cat took the spinnerbait I was throwing earlier, never had that happen before. Took 3 more largemouths off that point. Had some hits that I missed on the spinnerbait that chewed the plastic bait up suspect walleyes were chasing it. We spent only 5 hours there but the kids loved the fishing consistent enough to keep them focused.

    All in all
    7 Largemouth’s
    3 Channels
    Bait: Night crawlers, Chartreuse And gold willow blade 1/4 ounce Spinner with Plastic silver and white swim bait on the stinger hook.

    Eric Seif

    CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,658 ft, which is 97-percent full. If we get rain, there can be some spectacular waterfalls at this lake. Also, bighorn sheep numbers in the area are looking better, which means your chances of seeing them have also improved over previous years (the same at Saguaro and Apache).

    A float tube angler fished the boulder creek area and caught a smallmouth bass. There are a few in there. That area is real good for bluegill and yellow bass as well.

    When the expected winds come this week, try using crayfish-like lures for smallmouth and possible largemouth bass as well. Apparently the fish have gone deep at Saguaro already, so it is possible they are deep here as well, so if you can’t connect at the top of the water column, go deep.

    This lake can be tough to fish, but experienced anglers might just land a new state largemouth bass record. This lake is also full of fesity yellow bass — try gold KastMasters or yellow spinners.

    SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation 1,525 feet at 92% full.

    The fish have gone deep at Saguaro. An experienced angler found the shad 28 to 32 feet deep; yellow bass, largemouth and bluegill are at that depth too. He also noted the young of year yellow bass are in that depth range as well. You can find fish in the channels and other deep water areas. Surface temps are in the 60s and surface action is pretty much nonexistent.

    BARTLETT - Lake elevation is 1,768 ft, which is 60-percent full. Reservoir release is 1,250 cfs., so this lake is dropping fairly rapidly, which can help the bite at times.

    An angler fished from sunrise to 10 a.m. and boated 10 keeper fish. He threw a handful of small ones back. The bass were all caught on spinner baits, crankbaits and Texas-rigged plastic worms. Most the fish were around 1.5 pounds.

    Another angler fished from 1pm to sunset using jigs with twin tails in 25 feet of water. He caught 7 bass with the biggest one about 3.2 pounds.

    An angler warns of some islands barely exposed, so pay attention as the water is dropping fast and there are quite a few unmarked obstacles. Lots of fish are in the main lake and secondary points around 8 feet of water and deeper.

    Bill Eveland said several anglers have reported good numbers of Crappie been caught up river trolling crankbaits and grubs. Plus much to my surprises many small Crappie under 10” are being caught. This is very good news as for the past few years we have worried that Bartlett Crappie may not be spawning. The only catch is that SRP in drawing the lake down for dam inspections/ repairs and the water level is dropping fast. Because of this the bite has started to slow down a little so the time to try Bartlett is now. And be careful up river as there may be hazards that are not marked yet.

    HORSESHOE - Lake elevation is at 1967 feet; no pool. They are releasing water at 25 cfs.

    VERDE RIVER — Verde River flow at Tangle is 135 cubic feet per second. Release from Bartlett Lake is 1,250 cfs..

    SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 129 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 119 cfs. The shift to the Verde River side has occurred and SRP is only releasing 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.

    LOWER SALT RIVER — The shift has occurred; SRP is now releasing 8 cfs from Stewart Mtn. Dam (below Saguaro Lake) and the release out of Bartlett into the Verde River is 1,250 cfs. This is the typically late-fall/early-winter pattern. This stretch of river near Tempe and Mesa is scheduled to start getting its winter trout stockings on the first week of November, but it is still possible to catch bass and even some holdover trout in the deeper pools. The stockings will occur at the Phon D. Sutton and Granite Reef areas below the confluence with the Verde River.

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    Posted on 28th October 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Fishing, General | No Comments »

    Camp Fire Tips

    More great info from Pat McHugh, former owner of MPI Outdoors:

    Whenever you build any fire, for warmth, overnight, or for cooking, get all the materials together in their proper place, before you strike your match. Matches are one of your most valuable physical assets in the outdoors. Haste and poor preparation defeat the purpose of being able to quickly and efficiently start a fire. There is the old outdoor adage of only one-match for one- fire, if you practice, prepare and predetermine your actions you can accomplish this task, even in severe weather conditions.

    For a midday cooking fire, pick a sheltered location, away from overhanging branches and on solid ground, and make a very small fire. For evening cooking and for an overnight fire, plan for a larger one or several small fires around you, this will help provide for greater warmth. Three (3) fires in a triangular arrangement is a recognized air to ground signal of distress.

    For overnight fires, pick your sleeping location first and build your fire in relation to it for maximum warmth. Do not set your sleeping bag too close to the fire, and make sure your fire pit it is a safe distance from overhanging trees, etc.. Do not use wet or damp rocks, they can heat up and explode.

    In a real survival situation or when you or others are dangerously wet and cold, build three smaller fires and position yourselves in the middle… more shared warmth than from one large fire…. allows you to get around the body heat. Also three fires is a distress signal for air search… just like 3 shots or 3 blasts on a whistle.

    Start any fire with the utmost of patience. Plan it carefully and one match will do. Get as much out of the wind as you can before striking your match, shield your fire area with your body or make a windshield with your jacket or other gear before lighting your match. Though one match-one fire is for the professionals, make sure before you leave home that you have plenty of matches stored in a weatherproof container. In times of need, what works in good times always fails in bad times, so BE PREPARED.

    Lay a foundation of fine tinder, such as shavings from dried twigs, a bird’s nest, or whittle with your knife from a dried branch. Use pre-prepared tinder you have made from dryer lint or wood shavings from home. Whatever you have or decide to use get a good supply of dried tinder into your fire area before you strike that first match.

    Crisscross above the fine tinder bed you have made a few larger dry twigs about the size of a pencil to begin. Have increasingly larger wood at hand. A good method is to lay your tinder beside a short length of stick 3 to six inches in diameter, lean the twigs over the tinder and against the large stick. Now when the tinder catches, the twigs go in a moment, add larger ones and a good blaze is there.

    Always light your fire with the breeze at your back, and on the side nearest you to provide additional ease and shelter. Always light your fire from below the tinder, not on top. Never start your fire under overhanging limbs of trees, or where the smoke will blow into your shelter. Take the time to plan, and your fire will ignite quickly and burn safely.

    COOKING FIRES: Look for flat dry rocks to surround the fire, so you have containment and a place for your utensils. A small pit built with rocks laid out in a “V” or a “U” with the open end toward the breeze will allow draft in that open end to help keep the fire going. If winds are strong, reverse the open end of your pit. Again, the most important consideration is to start with a small fire and progressively add larger material. Do not panic, take your time and concentrate and you can build the fire that you want.

    WET CONDITIONS: In rain or snow, fire making becomes more important, and also more difficult. One method is to make a tripod of sticks over your chosen fire area and drape your jacket over the tripod to shelter the fire base. Carefully light your dry tinder, add some small dry twigs, and then remove your jacket. If the ground is exceedingly wet lay a base of large logs and sticks and start your fire on top of them.

    TYPES OF WOOD: When and where possible use old dried wood from conifers (evergreens) for starting fires. Dry pine cones or needles are great for starting a fire. You may not have the time or the energy to go around and select wood, so burn what you can, get warm and safe and then look for more wood. Just remember that pine, cedar, spruce will start a fire quickly but burn swiftly. Woods such as oak, ash and maple will burn longer but are more difficult to ignite. Aspen, birch and poplar are quite common and they make good fires as they burn hot but fairly fast. You don’t want wet or new wood, look around for downed trees or limbs. Whatever supply of wood you intend to have at hand to burn, gather at least 3 times more than you think you will need, experience shows that you will use it. Wood burns faster than you think.

    TINDER: You can make your own fire starter kit from lint, sawdust, etc. another trick is to slightly saturated it with charcoal lighter, kerosene, and carry it in used 35mm film canisters that have been sealed tightly with duct tape. Always have an “extra” supply of matches stored away for emergencies. One easy home-made fire starting kit is to take two small zip-lock bags, insert 6 to 8 strike anywhere matches in one along with a small piece of emery paper or sandpaper to strike against in wet conditions. Add in a combination of dried wood shavings, purposely made or picked up on the trail. Seal this bag upside down inside the other bag, for maximum waterproof protection and keep it in your jacket pocket, not as a primary, but as a back-up, just in case you ever need it.

    There are a variety of fire starting kits available in your local camping/hunting store, pick one of these on your next visit as your emergency back up. Practice whatever methods of fire starting you choose at home in your backyard, so you know how it works.

    As a safety suggestion, DO NOT rely on the disposable butane lighters to always function for you in the outdoors, as you can not always rely on them in wind and wet conditions. Also, if they slip out of your pocket and into the fire, you could have a potential explosive projectile. The problem with most lighters is that you can not determine the fuel supply in them, and some disposable types will not light at higher elevations.

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    Posted on 28th October 2009
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Build Your Own Foot Care Kit

    Another gem from my friend Pat McHugh:

    We always seem to forget about our feet and the load they constantly carry (us and our gear) and the trail conditions they traverse (through rain and snow, over gravel, rocks and steep terrain, through heat, humidity and cold, etc. etc.). It may be wise to take some time before or in the off-season to put together a little kit to keep in your pack so that when the going gets rough you can have the means to give your feet some TLC. Here are few items to consider, use a small Zip-Lock bag or a small plastic tackle box.
    • Moleskin pads (blisters, rubbing spots)
    • Antiseptic wipe pads (soothing, cleaning)
    • Wet naps for cleaning and soothing feel
    • Cushioning pads (Dr. Scholl’s rack in drugstore)
    • Small pair of scissors (trimming pads, etc.)
    • Foot powder (put into a 35MM film canister wrap with a few layers of duct tape which can be used to add standoff of tight fitting areas)
    Make it a point to stop during the day and take your boots off, air them out along with your and after a long hike or long time sitting in a tree stand or blind. Pack an extra pair of socks in your pack; you will be amazed at how good your feet will feel after drying them out and cleaning them with a wet nap when you change socks mid-day.

    You may want to consider adding some boot care items if you have the space and think you have the need or are going out on an extended trek.
    • Cleaning Brush (removes mud/dirt build up)
    • Polishing rag (helps dry and clean uppers)
    • Extra laces (always extra laces just in case)
    • Small can of boot wax (re-waterproofing)

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    Posted on 27th October 2009
    Under: General | No Comments »

    On First Aid Kits

    My friend Pat McHugh built a very successful business on survival equipment and techniques, not the least of which is the space blanket (I have one in my pack!). Pat is retired now but has re-disseminated a bunch of his tips and techniques for everyone’s use. I’ll be posting some of them this week. Thanks Pat!

    Your personal field medical kit

    …if you build it, then you know what you have, you also will know how, where, and when to use it.

    “First, do no harm.” This is a prime tenet of the Hippocratic oath that all doctors swear to uphold. It also is a prime directive for non-doctors attempting to render first aid to themselves or others in an outdoor injury situation. Understanding the aid limits imposed by your own first-aid kit itself keeps one from doing more harm than good.

    Also understand that the “general” first-aid kit is a limited concept. Basic first-aid kits are just that, basic. They are just starting places for personalized first-aid additions that are determined by:
    • Environmental hazards inherent to the specific area.
    • The specific outdoor activity and its known inherent risks and dangers.
    • Your own personal health history and personal medicines, including maintenance prescription medications taken regularly and remedies for chronic or recurrent conditions that could conceivably crop up.
    Personally I do not want some pre-packed kit that I did not build or understand the content layout if and when I need to rely on it. A 96 piece commercial kit where 85 of the components are band aids… does you no good when you scuff a knee or get bit by a bee.

    The AREA and the ACTIVITY…
    Where one is going, what one is doing and how long one is going to be doing it — all these factors determine both the size and the make-up of the “personalized” first-aid kit.
    Long stays in the remote backcountry require more extensive first-aid kits (and more first-aid knowledge) than short day hikes in green belts near civilization. How far are you from help; how fast can you get to it or can it get to you? These are serious first-aid concerns. (Letting someone know exactly where you are going and when you expect to get out, is both a survival and a first-aid issue.)
    The nature of specific activities should be considered. Climbing and canoeing have high bruise and abrasion potential. Broken bones are not out of the question in the more extreme forms. Hikers and hunters typically deal with blisters, stone bruises, cuts and scratches. However, eye injury from tree branches, falls and sprains are not uncommon.
    Duration of activity regarding first-aid issues has a basic tenet of common sense-”Unless the injury is minor or superficial, come out and seek professional medical aid immediately.
    On the other hand, long-distance hikers and wilderness backpackers should consider remedies for sore muscles and joints that will allow them to continue their activity.
    The point is, consider the most likely injuries or health-related risks for a given area/activity and build extra “stuff” into the first-aid kit to deal with these.

    Perhaps the most important part of any first-aid kit is a good first aid manual. Read and understand it. Then pack it with the kit. Prior reading and knowledge help you start first-aid procedures faster and perform them better under stress. Have an orderly, well-organized kit and a thorough understanding of each medication, bandage and tool. Don’t wait until the last moment, when in an uncomfortable, stress-filled situation, to try to figure out first aid and find the appropriate materials to administer it.

    Read “READ THE MANUAL…” again. Panic can be drastically toned down and/or brought under control if:
    * You know where the first-aid kit is.
    * You know what it contains and what is required for the situation.
    * You know how to use the materials for effective first aid.

    The extent of first aid is limited by lack of professional medical training. Setting bones and needle suturing are not recommended for non-professionals. However, there are certain things that can and/or must be done until the doctor comes. Some are vitally necessary and must be accomplished rapidly in an emergency situation.

    Know How To:
    • Stop bleeding (pressure and bandage).
    • Prevent shock (keep victim warm, still and comfortable).
    • Prevent infections (clean and apply antiseptic to wound).
    • Bandage wounds and tape (athletic bandage) sprains.

    The following list of suggested first-aid materials should not be taken as the final word. These are merely some basic items to be considered if you are building your own kit or evaluating various commercially available models. However, only you, after serious thought, can truly personalize a first-aid kit to fit your needs.
    Also remember, even minor problems can turn into major discomfort in the backcountry. Don’t discount diarrhea, blisters or even heartburn as being able to seriously impair the quality of your outdoor experience.

    TOOLS — Small scissors, tweezers, thermometer, small flashlight, several sizes of safety pins and several tongue depressors (finger splints).
    SPACE Brand EMERGENCY BLANKET — Post-traumatic shock can make some survivable injuries much more serious. Use the EMERGENCY BLANKET to keep the victim warm and sheltered. It can also be made into and emergency litter to help transport an accident victim.

    • BAND-AIDS of various sizes. The regular 3″ sizes are most useful, but include some of the larger sizes for larger wounds, plus some fingertip, knuckle and even the smaller bandages.
    • 10 each 4×4″ and 10 each 3×3″ sterile gauze pads. These help stop bleeding, and can be used to clean and cover a wound.
    • Two gauze eye patches. A scratched cornea from a swinging tree branch or foreign particles in the eye is very painful. Immediately flushing and covering the injured eye will bring relief.
    • 10 butterfly suture type bandages for quickly closing cuts.
    • One roll of 4″ wide sterile gauze for wrapping.
    • One roll of 2″ wide adhesive tape. The type that is enclosed in a container to keep it clean and prevent drying out is preferred.
    • One 2″ roll of elastic bandages (athletic bandage) for sprains and general wrapping or bandaging.
    • Moleskin for blisters. Blistered feet may sound trivial, but they are extremely painful and debilitating in most outdoor activities.

    • Eye Drops or eyewash to flush eyes.
    • Antiseptics to clean wound and prevent infection.
    • Antiseptic wipes and antiseptic soap for cleansing. Examples: Betadine solution or ointments such as Neosporin, Bactracin or Hydrocortisone cream. Iodine is an old standby that can also be used to purify water. These are very important elements of a first-aid kit. Preventing the onset of infection is critical in the outdoors environment.
    • Anti-Inflammatory remedies for muscle and joint soreness. Non-prescription types include Aspirin, Tylenol and some types of Ibuprofen. Stronger anti-inflammatory drugs must be prescribed by a doctor and can have significant side effects.
    • Antacids — You may have to eat your own cooking! Also antacids can ease some side effects of strong anti-inflammatory drugs.
    • Anti-Diarrhea Medication — Speaks for itself.
    • Topical Analgesics reduce surface pain and itching associated with insect bites, contact dermatitis (poison ivy, rashes), etc. Examples are Caladryl, new Benedryl gel and products containing Lidocaine or Cortisone.
    • Antihistamines reduce swelling in mucous membranes and soft tissues. Effective for hay fever-type allergic reactions. Remember that your outdoor experience will introduce you to new pollens and spores.
    • Bee Sting Kit — Anaphylactic shock is an allergic reaction that can kill. If you or anyone in your party is known to be allergic to bee, wasp, hornet, etc. stings get a special sting kit prescribed by a physician. In case of unexpected onset of anaphylactic symptoms (difficulty breathing), administer antihistamines. This is an emergency situation; seek medical help immediately.
    • Snake Bite Kit — Current medical opinion discourages radical first-aid measures for snakebite beyond simple suction and a slightly tight ligature above the bite. Cutting and tourniquets are out!!! Get to a hospital immediately.
    • Special and prescription medications — Consult your physician regarding your outdoor plans. Get prescriptions for any special or maintenance medications you might require. Discuss possible adverse reactions to the over-the-counter remedies suggested above (Anti-inflammatory, Antihistamines, etc.). Ask if your prescribed medicines have an “outdoors downside.” (For example, certain antibiotics increase sun sensitivity.)
    Remember that you don’t need a ton of each medicine. A small amount, stored in a small packet will suffice. You can get these at a retail home care or medical supply stores or make up your own using clean and labeled plastic coin canisters (www.littletoncoin.com) sealed tight with duct tape for storage.

    Obviously, your outdoor activity determines how big your first-aid kit can be. Boaters and RV campers can carry a small pharmacy while hunters must carry the needed minimum. Look at the example of emergency medical and mountain rescue personnel. Their first-aid equipment is modular in concept and organization. Each large kit “breaks” into smaller kits as the need to go farther and lighter demands. The outdoor recreationist can have a “large” kit for vehicle and camp and a smaller kit for personal carry.

    Keep the “personal” kit with you. The whole point of building your “own” personal first-aid kit is for it to be available when you need it — which is often when you least expect it.

    1. “First do no harm.”
    2. Read the first aid manual and then re-read the manual.
    3. Have your kit with you at all times.
    4. Know what’s in it, where it is and how to use it.
    5. Stop bleeding.
    6. Prevent shock.
    7. Prevent infection.
    8. Seek or Summon medical help immediately.

    Prepare for the obvious
    If you spend a lot of time on the trail backpacking, hiking, hunting, fishing or on any extended trip consider setting up an easy to use and injury specific personal first-aid kit.
    One “container or carry vehicle” that works well is the TACKLE LOGIC® Storage System originally designed for plastic fishing baits.. These are ringed soft-sided packs that utilized three-hole punched end strips affixed onto zip closure bags that act as pages in a binder.
    The main benefit of this small, compact and lightweight packing system is you can organize each “bag” to meet a specific need. Instead of inserting plastic worms and hooks, you now can organize your potential first-aid needs. In an emergency you are not fumbling in a pack or a plastic box, digging through piles of bandages looking for a specific product. In an emergency you need to stay calm. You should now be able to find what you will need quickly without panic and hysteria overtaking your senses.
    Take a few minutes with pencil and paper, relax and think of what should go into assembling your personal First-Aid Kit. (NOTE: this separate bag system in a folder also is an excellent transport system for your Personal Survival Kit)
    . If you don’t like the idea of buying the Tackle Logic pack use a separate zip-lock poly bag page for each specific incident that may occur. Mark each bag, so when needed it is easily identifiable and contains all the required items. In times of stress you don’t want to be wasting time looking here and there for what you may need… consider making the following and marking them as such:
    • Cut Kit — (cleansing pads, gauze pads, 3″ bandages, fingertip bandages, antiseptic, etc.)
    • Scrape Kit — (large gauze pad, cleansing wipes, antiseptic ointment, large bandage, and a clean mans handkerchief for wrapping)
    • Eye Care Kit - (eye pad, small bottle of eye wash, a small plastic mirror, some clean tissues)
    • Splinter Kit - (antiseptic wipes, needle, finger tip bandages)
    • Burn Kit - burn ointment, antiseptic, gauze pads
    • Pills - (aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, antacids, Imodium AD, etc.)
    • Ointments (extra antiseptic, burn and itch cream packets)
    • Splint Kit -a few tongue depressors, small roll of self adhering stretch bandage
    • Personal medication — (any specific anti sting, anti-shock medication you may need)
    • Instruments and tape (small pair scissors, small tweezers, adhesive tape, gauze wrap re-folded flat, large rubber bands)
    • Bandages - take an ACE bandage and fold it flat.. Put in a pair of sterile gloves.
    • Other - think of your needs, your terrain and your past experiences, make up a small one-serve bag for your area and climate needs. Things like Quick Clot or Epi-Pen if you have need.
    • Manuals- put in a small pocket first-aid manual that will help you. Also put in the name and phone number of your doctor and photocopies of any special prescription medications. A small golf pencil and some paper may be helpful also.
    REMEMBER: You are not doing surgery, most of the time you are taking care of cuts, scrapes, abrasions, headaches, poison ivy, etc. … IMPORTANT: in any vital organ situation ALWAYS seek medical help as soon as possible.
    A lot of these medications, tools and bandages are available in “single serve” packets that can be purchased by visiting a home medical supply store or a well equipped drug store in a town near you.
    IF YOU PERSONALLY BUILD YOUR KIT, YOU HAVE OWNERSHIP IN IT, and YOU WILL KNOW WHAT AND WHERE EVERYTHING IS. This could become a very important asset in an emergency situation.
    Add more or less of each item depending on your specific personal or group needs. This “by incident system” is an easier and more productive way to pre-organize your kit. You may just want to put all bandages, all instruments, all pills, etc. into their own compartment. The choice is yours. Now when an incident occurs you go right to that specific page, then you only have to refill that “page” before your next trip.
    If you do not want to use the zip-bag folder, place the items categories mentioned above, and others you may create into small size Zip-Lock freezer type bags with the sliding closures (purchase in a supermarket) and mark them as indicated to a specific incident. Then place these in a bright colored fanny pack or into a plastic lure type box that you wrap with rubber bands for transport security and so you can open and spread out the individual packs.
    Before going afield, be sure to check to make sure your kit contains fresh and useable items. Bandages tend to loose their adhesive power over time, especially when exposed to extremes of temperatures in the outdoors and medicines do have expiration dates. Inventory what you have, and determine what you may need. Become familiar with what items and where they are in your kit, you may have to get to them quickly on the trail.

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    Posted on 26th October 2009
    Under: General, Hunting, Products | No Comments »