• Join

    2010 July - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Archive for July, 2010

    Huachucha Gold’s NWTF Chapter Hunter Heritage Banquet on July 31st

    The Huachuca Gould’s Chapter would like to invite you to their 12th Anniversary Hunter Heritage Banquet to be held on July 31, 2010 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 156 W. Kayetan Drive, in Sierra Vista, with doors opening at 4:30PM. Thirteen quality firearms will be raffled, along with activities for children, women package raffles, many live and silent auction items from well known artists, bonus raffles and above all, fun for the entire family.

    Ticket costs are as follows: Single - $60.00, Couple - $90.00, JAKE - $30.00. Each ticket includes a one year membership into the NWTF, a dinner(s), and a chance at a door prize. NOTE: Ticket sales at the door on July 31 beginning at 4:30PM will cost an additional $5.00/person.

    Plan on arriving early to reserve a good seat, especially if attending as a group. No additional tables will be added to accommodate large groups.

    For more information on the banquet or upcoming activities sponsored by the Huachuca Gould’s Chapter please contact John Millican at 520-508-4272 or by email at: j2dbmill@msn.com or Steve Brown at 520-266-2282.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 29th July 2010
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Events | No Comments »

    Az Deer Association Deer Hunting Clinic

    The Arizona Deer Association will be holding its Annual Deer Hunting Clinic on Saturday August 14, 2010 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility located at 5000 W. Carefree Highway Phoenix, AZ. For more information visit us at www.azdeer.org or call (602) 395-DEER.

    This year’s clinic is free of charge and will be co-hosted with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. This will be a hands on clinic geared towards new hunters full of great information on deer hunting, tips, tactics, gear, meat care, cape preparation and proper use of optics to locate deer in the field.

    This will be a great opportunity to introduce new hunters to various hunting techniques while providing them the opportunity to gain hands on shooting and glassing experience with optics and guidance being provided.

    Hands on activities include assistance with rifle sighting in, youth archery shooting and hands on optics glassing techniques of 3D targets placed on the mountain side. The outdoor activities will take place from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the BASF Rifle 1, Pistol 1&2 Ranges. This will be followed by a seminar in the Quail room at the Game and Fish main building from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. where we will cover game care, hunt preparation and other topics to help make your hunt a success.

    After this full day of activities the Arizona Deer Association would like to invite everyone over to the BASF Activity Center near the small bore range for a free BBQ lunch and a free youth raffle featuring a .22 youth rifle. Representatives from the Arizona Game and Fish Dept. and the Arizona Deer Association will be on hand to answer your questions at the BBQ.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 29th July 2010
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Events | No Comments »

    Stick Em Archery Interviews Spook Spann

    My friend Brian Stephens over at Stick ‘Em Archery has an awesome site going over there. Below is an interview with TV personality Spook Spann. If you’re a bowhunter, have a look at Brian’s site ASAP!

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 29th July 2010
    Under: Archery, General | No Comments »

    Montana Bear Kills One, Injures Two

    Please read the full article on MSNBC.com here: Rampage in Montana.

    HELENA, Mont. — At least one bear rampaged through a heavily occupied campground Wednesday near Yellowstone National Park in the middle of the night, killing one person and injuring two others during a terrifying attack that forced people to hide in their cars as an animal tore through tents.

    Authorities said three separate attacks left a male dead and a woman and another male injured at the Soda Butte campground. The woman suffered severe lacerations and crushed bones from bites on her arms, and the surviving male was bitten on his calf.

    Read the rest of the story at the link above.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 28th July 2010
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Kudos to The Survival Mom

    Last month I attended the AESA conference in Carefree. Emergency planning is one of my responsibilities at work, and the AESA (Arizona Emergency Services Association) is an association of emergency planning professionals, first responders, law enforcement and other folks involved in emergency planning, in Arizona.

    One of the speakers at this year’s conference was Lisa Bedford, The Survival Mom. I was a bit skeptical, but I need to tell you that Lisa not only knows her stuff, but she is a great speaker and a wealth of information to boot. She certainly held her own, amongst all of “the experts”! The story doesn’t end here though. My wife as of late, has become a “prepper”. Worried about the economy, government instability and other factors, she has really been working at stocking our emergency supplies and getting a plan. I didn’t know what a prepper was, until I heard Lisa speak. Lisa is a blogger to boot, and her website is full of info. I bet that, regardless of your level of survival experience, you can’t spend 15 minutes surfing her site, and not learn something. It turns out too that Lisa runs classes at different sites on topics ranging from preparedness basics to cooking “off the grid”. My wife took two classes with Lisa this weekend at Honeyville Farms in Chandler - look for a review soon!

    I was struck by something Lisa told our group in Carefree. “After Katrina, I decided that I would never be found standing on a bridge, waiting for someone to come and rescue me.” Professionally and personally, I have always considered myself to be “survival savvy”. Lisa makes me feel like a rookie. I encourage you to learn more about The Survival Mom, Lisa Bedford - lecturer, author, and survival expert. She’s doing a very valuable service for families across the country.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 25th July 2010
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »

    Ken Clay of Winslow named Shikar-Safari Wildlife Officer of the Year for Arizona

    Ken Clay of Winslow named Shikar-Safari Wildlife Officer of the Year for Arizona

    On just about any frosty morning in autumn, you’ll find Wildlife Manager Ken Clay III bunking at the Vincent Ranch Wildlife Area so he can get up at O-dark-thirty and patrol the big game hunts in the Mogollon Rim area.

    Ken has old-school dedication. His enthusiasm is contagious. He makes those around him better. Those are just some of the reasons Ken is a top wildlife manager training officer.

    Those who work with Ken Clay, the people he has helped and probably even those whom he has cited over the years will not find it surprising that he has been named the 2010 Shikar-Safari wildlife manager of the year.

    Ken is both carrying on a family tradition, and maybe even starting a new one. His dad, Ken Clay II, is a retired Arizona Game and Fish wildlife manager. Ken has Game Management Unit 4A. So did his dad.

    Ken followed in his dad’s footsteps in more ways than one. In 2005, he was named the department’s Game and Fish Wildlife Manager of the year, just like his dad before him.

    But he is the first in the family to receive this latest prestigious award.

    Ken has been with the Game and Fish Department for 15 years. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1994 with a B.S in Wildlife and Fisheries Science, and was hired by Game and Fish that same year.

    His first assignment was the Lake Havasu District, where he quickly excelled as a watercraft officer and became an expert at detecting those operating watercraft while under the influence. Then in 2000, he transferred to Unit 4A stretching south of Winslow and encompassing Chevelon and Bear Canyon Lakes – this district receives some of the most intense outdoor recreation use in the state.

    “Ken’s dedication and enthusiasm are high and his activity level is contagious to other officers. He makes those around him better,” said his field supervisor, Bob Birkeland.

    Ken has developed a good informant base in the Winslow area and has made several high profile cases for the department.

    In January 2009, Ken started the first winter archery deer hunt for Unit 4 and even initiated a special deer decoy operation for the archery hunt. It proved immensely successful. On the first day, an individual used his .223 rifle to shoot the deer decoy during the archery-only season. The operation also nabbed a “bad guy” with no hunting license or permit who saw the decoy, stopped his truck, and stalked the fake deer with pistol in hand.


    On another occasion, Ken organized a sector patrol at Bear Canyon Lake that resulted in five wildlife officers issuing 20 fishing violations. Be sure you have a valid fishing license and trout stamp when fishing any of Ken’s waters.

    Ken is renowned for his night patrols using night vision goggles to nab poachers and other wildlife violators. But that’s not all. He is also very involved in improving his unit’s wildlife habitat.

    Working with local ranches, Ken coordinated the High Point Well project, which entailed 40-plus miles of pipeline and 32 drinkers. “His persistence and coordination has led to 29,000 acres of grassland restorations totaling more than $1.5 million dollars,” Birkeland said.

    That wasn’t too surprising – Ken had drafted the first district habitat management plan encompassing 482,000 acres that even detailed 30 years of precipitation data, vegetation mapping, land use identification, habitat condition and trends, wildlife occurrence, and potential land partnership opportunities.

    He set the bar high for others to follow.

    Ken knows his district and uses science to manage the wildlife there. His herbaceous monitoring data, especially on elk, are a key ingredient in setting hunt permit levels for the district. “Ken is a regional leader and expert in forage monitoring,” Birkeland said.

    Ken also thought “outside the box” and proposed over-the-counter elk permits for parts of Unit 4A/B a few years ago.

    “This was a bold step in a long process of managing elk in some Limited Elk Zones. This could not have happened had it not been for Ken’s vision to document processes over many years. It was almost an evolutionary approach where he proved that our traditional methods were not working and our landowners were not happy,” Birkeland said.

    The over-the-counter permits resulted in more hunters having an opportunity to go afield, with a side benefit of also improving landowner relations – a farsighted win-win solution.

    That’s not all.

    Ken is a hunter education instructor and a Little League coach. He teaches classes annually on the Hopi Reservation. He is currently working on getting the Archery in the Schools program established in the Winslow Schools. And in his spare time, he helps horse-packing materials into remote sites for the Apache trout recovery – sites that are far removed from his district.

    Each year, the Shikar-Safari Club International honors one wildlife officer from each of the 50 states for service over the previous year that demonstrated outstanding performance and achievement. The organization was founded in 1952 for the purpose of advancing knowledge about wildlife.

    Well done and thanks to this officer for his service, along with all of our Game and Fish Officers ~DesertRat

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 22nd July 2010
    Under: Arizona News, General | No Comments »

    Remington® set to introduce HyperSonic Steel™

    Remington® set to introduce HyperSonic Steel™

    The World’s Fastest Waterfowl Shotshell. Featuring the New Xelerator® Wad Technology

    Madison, NC – Few things are more challenging than hitting fast moving, high flying waterfowl. To meet this challenge, Remington is proud to introduce the fastest velocity, highest downrange pattern energies ever produced in the history of steel waterfowl loads; the revolutionary new HyperSonic Steel™. To put it simply, waterfowl hunters now have the fastest, hardest-hitting, steel shot shell in the world, resulting in shorter leads to help hunters be more successful.

    At the heart of the new HyperSonic Steel™ load is the patent pending Xelerator® Wad. The newly designed wad features a unique Ignition Chamber which allows higher velocity with safe pressures.
    How does the Xelerator® Wad work? The primer ignites a small portion of the powder charge captured in the “Ignition Chamber”, this captive charge accelerates the wad and payload forward until the remainder of the powder charge is ignited. The increased volume behind the wad allows for the remainder of the propellant to burn, driving the shot to 1700 fps without causing excessive pressure – all in just a fraction of a millisecond.

    With the HyperSonic Steel™ producing velocities at 1700fps, the lead on flying ducks is shortened by 8-inches at 40 yards which gives the hunter a higher success rate and less crippling with fewer shots. Now waterfowl hunters have a load with the highest steel pattern energy ever produced; up to 16% greater energy than current steel high velocity loads, with longer-range lethality in 10 load choices. “ At 1700 fps HyperSonic Steel™ is the most innovative and exciting shotshell developed in decades. It will change the way that we hunt waterfowl”. Kevin Cross, Remington Research Engineer - Ammunition.

    Features for the New HyperSonic Steel Waterfowl Loads
    • Patent Pending Xelerator Ignition Chamber Technology
    o Allows Highest Velocity with Safe Pressures
    • The “World’s FASTEST” Waterfowl Loads Available
    • Highest Steel Pattern Energy, 16% Greater Energy
    • Longer-Range Lethality
    • Industry-Leading 1700 fps Velocity – All Loads
    o Shortens Leads by 11% (8 Inches at 40 Yards) About a Duck’s Body Length
    • Higher Success Rate – Fewer Shots Required
    • For the same shot size- Same On-Game Lead in Every Load

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 20th July 2010
    Under: General, Press Releases, Products | No Comments »

    Up to $6,000 reward offered in Rocky Mountain bighorn ram poaching near Alpine

    Note to non-hunting public - hunters don’t do this. Brain-dead thieving pieces of fecal matter do. ~DesertRat

    Up to $6,000 reward offered in Rocky Mountain bighorn ram poaching near Alpine

    PINETOP, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking for the public’s help in finding the individual or individuals responsible for the illegal killing of a Rocky Mountain bighorn ram in the Black River area, west of Alpine, during the July 4 weekend.

    The wild sheep was illegally shot and killed in Game Management Unit 1 in eastern Arizona, adjacent to Forest Road 249.

    “This mature ram was commonly seen, photographed and enjoyed by many visitors to the area,” says Tyler Richins, wildlife manager in Unit 1. “It was needlessly killed and left to waste with nothing removed from the carcass.”

    “This isn’t the action of a hunter,” says Richins. “This is a criminal act of stealing wildlife assets and resources from the people of Arizona.”

    This crime is further compounded by the fact that this ram was part of the Black River bighorn herd, which, although having a stable population, has not been increasing in number for the last several years.

    “Removing this older age-class ram from the population may influence the department’s recommendations for future bighorn sheep hunting permits in this area. Bighorn sheep permits are highly sought after by sportsmen, who are a primary funding source for wildlife conservation,” notes Richins.

    The department received more than 300 applications for the single permit that was authorized in this area last spring.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 20th July 2010
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Draw Results Up

    Zilch for me, but i only put in for December deer hunts so it’s not a big surprise. I’m going to focus my efforts on archery hunting this fall and winter, and maybe some predator hunting also.

    Congrats to all those who drew tags!

    For draw results and a list of leftover tags, go here: AZ DRAW

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 20th July 2010
    Under: Arizona News | No Comments »

    Cunningham’s Grand Opening A Success

    The southeast valley has a new state of the art shooting range thanks to the efforts of the folks behind Cunningham’s Shooting Range located in Queen Creek, near Power and Germann.

    I was able to make it over to the event for about an hour and I bet 50-100 people passed through the place, during the time I was there. Michelle Cunningham tells me the turnout was great, and the day went well. There were some raffles, Sig Sauer was there, hot dogs and other refreshments, and the Grand Opening was headlined by Peter Mayhew thw actor who played Chewbacca in Star Wars, and members of the 501st Legion Dune Sea Garrison stormtroopers. Mr. Mayhew has quite a following, as indicated by the number of fans willing to wait in line for an autograph.

    I was at Cunningham’s about 3-4 weeks ago, and the amount of work they got done in that time was amazing!

    From this:

    To this:

    I’ve got some more photos that will be up later this week. Their shop is full of guns and gear, and the range is ready to go. For more info, please visit their website: Cunningham’s.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 5th July 2010
    Under: General | No Comments »