• Advertise with us
  • Blog with us

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

    Archive for the 'General' Category

    Everything local, and across the globe. Widgets and people. Editorials and interesting stuff

    Bears Used To Guard Pot

    Neat idea but don’t be nearby when they get the munchies! ~DesertRat

    You can read the full article here: ‘Tame’ bears guard Canadian marijuana farm

    However initial alarm wore off when officers realised the 10 or so bears did not behave aggressively and were in fact docile and tame.

    Police believe dog food was used to attract the animals onto the farm in British Columbia.

    But they say the bears may have to be put down if they have become accustomed to living around humans.

    Two people were arrested in the raid.

    The five police who went to the farm near Christina Lake, close to the US border, to dismantle the marijuana plantation were amazed when the bears loped into view.

    And a video:

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 29th August 2010
    Under: General | No Comments »

    EPA Surrenders on possible lead ban

    Surrenders for now. They are already working on alternate methods.. ~DesertRat

    Read the full article here: EPA Surrenders to NRA on Gun Control Issue

    In a swift and unexpected decision, the Environmental Protection Agency today rejected a petition from environmental groups to ban the use of lead in bullets and shotgun shells, claiming it doesn’t have jurisdiction to weigh on the controversial Second Amendment issue. The decision came just hours after the Drudge Report posted stories from Washington Whispers and the Weekly Standard about how gun groups were fighting the lead bullet ban.

    The EPA had planned to solicit public responses to the petition for two months, but this afternoon issued a statement rejecting a 100-page request from the Center for Biological Diversity, the American Bird Conservancy, and three other groups for a ban on lead bullets, shot, and fishing sinkers. The agency is still considering what to do about sinkers.

    Read the full story at the link above.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 28th August 2010
    Under: General, Hunting | 2 Comments »

    The Poacher Chronicles Unveils New Line of Apparel

    The Poacher Chronicles Unveils New Line of Apparel

    Political correctness, while it may be prominent in DC, will not be found on the Poacher Chronicles Outdoor Radio Show, which airs the 4th Sunday every month streamed LIVE around the globe on www.xplortheoutdoors.com. “Poachers are what they are, thieves plain and simple and we’re going to expose them whenever and where ever we can in over 43 states and Canada”, explains Jim Solomon, the creator and host of the show.

    This is why Solomon has come out with new apparel designed by Rodney Holmes of Wolf Creative Services that tells it like it is. Two new product designs will hit the market in the next 30 days and already there is a buzz behind the growing anti-poaching movement and the message that the shirts convey.

    Members of The Anti-Poaching Posse, an elite group of individuals in the industry, will be listed on the back of each shirt not only to show their support, but also to relay a message to the rest of the industry. “There is no middle of the road when it comes to poaching, Solomon explains, either you are for it and a poacher, or you are against it and should let your voice be heard”.

    Posse members can be found on www.poacherchronicles.com. We welcome anyone who is willing and brave enough to join the posse and take on poaching where it hurts by exposing poachers on the only anti-poaching radio show in the United States, “The Poacher Chronicles”.

    The Poacher Chronicles was created by Jim Solomon over 12 years ago beginning as the” Bad Boys Poaching Report” with in the state of Arizona. It has evolved into “The Poacher Chronicles” just 4 short years ago. During the course of one hour, convicted poachers are listed by name, their fines, revocations, forfeitures and the evidence that led up to their arrest, in over 43 states and 8 Canadian Provinces will be exposed.

    Only members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact or the International Association of Natural Resources Crime stoppers IANRC are asked to participate.
    By purchasing the apparel you are not only supporting the Anti-Poaching movement but a portion of the sales goes to the International Association of Natural resources Crime stoppers, to buy body armor for game wardens.

    As Solomon says, “You don’t want your 15 minutes of fame on this program.” A quote that stuck with the show from Rob Young with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (Retired)

    Media contact:
    Jim Solomon

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 24th August 2010
    Under: Arizona News, General, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Looking for an East Valley Church?

    OK, I rarely write on here about anything other than hunting or fishing. Once in awhile, I might talk about politics if it’s related to outdoors issues.

    This is a first for me. I have never been one to be vocal about my religion (or lack thereof). It’s been personal. After we moved, our old Church, which we liked, was too far away. We were looking for a new pastoral home.

    The morning we headed out to find a new Church, we had narrowed it down to two choices to try. We were going to visit several and then pick one. As it turns out, we were running a little late for Option #1 that had a 10:00AM service; we went with Option #2 that had a 10:30 service.

    This was a giant (to us) “non-denominational” Church. With modern music and a much less formal service than what we were used to. We were astounded at the organization. We were in disbelief that such a large congregation could feel so small and make us feel so welcome. We were sold on the first visit.

    Honestly, you would need a heart of stone to sit through one of these services and not be touched in some way. Whether it is the music, Pastor Mark’s remarkable sermons, or the vast array of things to do at this Church. Honestly, I’ve been going to Church a long time and have never quite felt this way before.

    So, if you’re in need of a Church, or just looking for something different, visit Mission Community Church. It really is something to experience.

    The Church Motto is: Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.

    Micah 6:8 (New International Version)

    8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
    And what does the LORD require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

    Services are 9;00AM, 10:30AM and Noon each Sunday. The Church is located west of Power Rd on Elliot in Gilbert, AZ.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 22nd August 2010
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Nominations Sought for Commission Awards

    Nominations sought for 2010 Commission Awards

    The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is soliciting nominations for the 2010 Commission Awards to recognize Arizonans who have contributed significantly to the welfare of the state’s wildlife and the mission of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

    Categories for nomination include Award of Excellence, Youth Environmentalist of the Year, Outdoor Writer of the Year, Media of the Year, Conservation Organization of the Year, Conservationist of the Year, Natural Resource Professional of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Educator of the Year, Mentor of the Year, Advocate of the Year, and License Dealer of the Year. Descriptions of each category are on the nomination form.

    To download a nomination form, click here.

    Nominations may include individuals, organizations, clubs, foundations or government agencies. Arizona Game and Fish Department employees are not eligible for nomination.

    Return the nomination form and all supplemental materials to: Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn: Marty Fabritz - DOHQ, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086. Forms can also be faxed to (623) 236-7299 or e-mailed to Mfabritz@azgfd.gov.

    The submission deadline is 5 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2010.

    Winners of the 2010 awards will be honored at the Meet the Commission banquet in Phoenix on January 15, 2011.

    For more information, visit www.azgfd.gov/inside_azgfd/commission_awards.shtml.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 21st August 2010
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Events, General, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Ted Nugent Pleads No Contest

    Well, this is going to sting for a lot of fans of The Nuge. Ted Nugent has been a dynamic and outspoken supporter of hunting and 2nd Amendment rights practically forever. From the article it appears to be a relatively minor mistake, and he did cooperate with authorities. That being said - we preach it all the time - the onus is on the hunter to know the laws. ~Desert Rat

    You can read the full story over at Moose DroppingsTed Nugent Pleads No Contest To Multiple California Game Violations

    A snippet:

    Yuba City attorney Jack Kopp, representing Theodore Anthony Nugent, entered the plea to Department of Fish and Game charges of baiting deer and not having a deer tag “countersigned” at the closest possible location, said Deputy District Attorney John Vacek.

    Nugent, who did not appear in court, also illegally shot an immature buck on the show but was not charged, according to Fish and Game.

    Baiting deer is legal in some states but not in California, said department spokesman Patrick Foy. Baiting supplies are sold at some outdoor stores, he said. The deer was killed in El Dorado County toward the end of deer hunting season last fall but brought to Yuba County. Two co-defendants, Mitchell Neil Moore and Ross Albert Patterson, live in Yuba County, said Vacek.

    The story of the hunt in Ted’s words can be read here: God Loves Me Blacktail. I think this story was posted well before the violations came to light, so there is no mention of them.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 21st August 2010
    Under: General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Public sees bighorns-a-plenty at two viewing workshops

    Public sees bighorns-a-plenty at two viewing workshops

    Another awesome event - kudos to AZGFD! ~DesertRat

    Standing majestically along a ridgeline, or bent down at the Colorado River’s edge, the Black Mountains desert bighorn sheep made for a memorable experience for nearly 100 members of the public.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Region III office in Kingman hosted two bighorn sheep workshops on July 30-31 and Aug. 6-7 for the attendees, who were drawn at random from approximately 150 applications.

    Following a Friday night classroom presentation on bighorn sheep, participants were taken on a four-hour boat trip from Willow Beach to the Hoover Dam to view these majestic animals in their native habitat. More than 90 bighorns were seen over the two weekends, many of which were bending down for a drink at the river’s edge.

    Mocarski said as the population becomes urbanized, the disconnect people have with nature has increased, and it’s important to provide people with education and to get them outside to see these animals in their native habitat.

    “These workshops, and others conducted by Game and Fish, provide an opportunity for people to learn about wildlife and the issues the animals and the department face, and to get outside and see what the outdoors has to offer.”

    The classroom segment provided information on bighorn sheep biology, predation, disease, habitat, and efforts to prevent continued habitat fragmentation, as well as an overview of the activities of the Game and Fish Department.

    Along with the bighorn workshops, Game and Fish offers watchable wildlife opportunities involving bald eagles, elk, California condors, and hummingbirds in various regions. There are also numerous birding festivals around the state. These types of opportunities for the public are made possible by the Heritage Fund, which was passed by voters in 1990 to help further wildlife conservation efforts in the state through Arizona Lottery ticket sales

    “There’s no shortage of opportunities for people to see and learn about wildlife,” Mocarski said. “I’d really like to see more people join us on these workshops rather than sitting in front of a television. You’ll learn a lot more getting out than sitting down.”

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 20th August 2010
    Under: Events, General, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Highlights from the August commission meeting

    Highlights from the August commission meeting

    The Arizona Game and Fish Commission met on Aug. 6-7 at the Game and Fish headquarters in Phoenix. The commission took the following actions:

    * Removed the slot limit on Roosevelt Lake starting Aug. 17 (for more details on this and the next two items below, click here);
    * Set the Spring 2011 hunts;
    * Set the 2010-11 waterfowl and snipe seasons;
    * Approved the hunt permit-tag application schedule for the spring hunts;
    * Approved the department continuing with negotiations to purchase the Horseshoe Ranch in Yavapai County along the Agua Fria River;
    * Heard and processed revocation/civil assessment cases for violations of wildlife laws;
    * OK’d a two-year agreement with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to translocate Merriam’s turkeys from Arizona to Utah;
    * Approved a memorandum of understanding with the Bureau of Reclamation to be a cooperating agency for the nonnative fish control below Glen Canyon Dam.
    * Approved a memorandum of understanding with the Bureau of Reclamation to be a cooperating agency for the high-flow experimental protocol for releases from Glen Canyon Dam Environmental Assessment.
    * Approved an agreement with Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department to permit a section of the Maricopa County Trail System to traverse a portion of the Ben Avery Shooting Facility.
    * Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Eloy regarding hunting with firearms within city limits.
    * Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Marana regarding hunting with firearms within city limits.
    * Approved a memorandum of understanding with Iberdrola Renewables to cooperate on mutually beneficial wildlife projects.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Commission makes rules and regulations for managing, conserving, and protecting wildlife and fisheries resources, and for safe and regulated watercraft and off-highway vehicle operations for the benefit of the citizens of Arizona. The commission is composed of five members appointed by the governor pursuant to ARS 38-211. The commission appoints the director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and the director serves as secretary to the commission. No more than one commissioner may be from any one county, and no more than three may be from the same political party. Each commissioner serves a five-year term, staggered. For more information, visit www.azgfd.gov/commission.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 19th August 2010
    Under: Arizona News, General, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Desert Rat At Cabela’s Fall Great Outdoor Days

    I will be attending Fall Great Outdoor Days at the Glendale Cabela’s store this coming weekend, August 21-22.

    I will be on site both days from Noon - 4:00PM and I will be talking to folks about the great products from Trophy Bag Koolers. Trophy Bag Kooler’s game Fresh System is the pride of their line-up, and I’ll have the system there. Trophy Bag Kooler founder/owner Steve Glass is a friend and asked me to help out - I’m happy to oblige!

    The Game Fresh System™ includes everything you need to keep meat as fresh as possible from the field to the processor or taxidermist. The Game Fresh Spray™ is an antimicrobial spray, that when applied to dressed and cleaned meat, helps disinfect and control the growth of bacteria and microorganisms on wild game or raw meat. Our specially formulated KoolerGel™ is re-useable and stays colder longer than conventional ice.

    The Trophy Bag Kooler™ has the durability to last for years. And best of all, it is made right here in the USA! For the best solution to transporting game from the field to the processor or taxidermists, make it The Game Fresh System™ by Trophy Bag Kooler™, the first step to great tasting meat!
    The Game Fresh System

    * One (1) Trophy Bag Kooler™*
    * One (1) 6-pack of KoolerGel™
    * One (1) 8-oz bottle of The Game Fresh Spray

    Events include:

    Fall Great Outdoor Day Events
    Saturday & Sunday:

    10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. - Arizona Fly Casters, Fly Tying for Beginners
    10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. - Desert Reptiles - Identify, Observe Up Close
    10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. - Meet Cliff Perch, National Guard Pro Angler.
    11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Meet Steve Chappell, Cabela’s Pro Staff.
    11:00 a.m. - Intro to elk calling for youth and beginners, presented by Arizona Elk Society (Saturday only)
    12:00 p.m. - Tips from a pro - calling big bulls, with Steve Chappell.
    1:00 p.m. - After the Kill - proper filed care and preparation of your big game, with taxidermist and big game hunter Rick Lopez (Saturday only).
    2:00 p.m. - Tracking and Glassing big game in Arizona.

    Don’t miss:
    Arizona Fly Casters fly tying demonstrations
    Reptiles of the Southwest exhibit
    Operation Game Thief representatives
    WEAR IT boat on display
    Maricopa County Parks and Recreation display
    Western Skulls dermestid beetle exhibit
    MEC Reloading demonstration

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 18th August 2010
    Under: Events, General, Products | No Comments »

    Up to $2,500 reward offered in mule deer poaching near Tacna

    Up to $2,500 reward offered in mule deer poaching near Tacna

    YUMA, Ariz. - The Arizona Game and Fish Department is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the illegal killing of an adult 4×4 mule deer buck east of Tacna in Game Management Unit 41 in southwestern Arizona.

    Game and Fish officers believe the incident occurred between Aug. 1-9 near a popular hunting area known as Texas Hill. The deer hunting season in that area was closed at the time.

    “The buck was shot, possibly through the neck, with an unknown caliber firearm and just left to waste in the desert,” said Richard Myers, law enforcement specialist for the Game and Fish Yuma region. “The shooter may have been out on a joyride at night and was startled by another vehicle, since only one shot was taken and no meat was removed from the carcass.”

    Myers added that poachers aren’t hunters, and the public shouldn’t confuse the two.

    “Poachers who commit these illegal acts not only steal from the resource, they steal from the residents of Arizona,” he said.

    Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Operation Game Thief hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700. Caller identities may remain confidential upon request. You can also report online at www.azgfd.gov/thief.

    Damn, I hate poachers. Citizens and agencies alike can help fight poaching. Visit the Poacher Chronicles to learn more. ~DesertRat

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 15th August 2010
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General, Hunting, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Arizona Big Game Super Raffle winners announced

    Arizona Big Game Super Raffle winners announced

    Annual raffle of special issued hunting permits helps fund wildlife conservation

    Twelve lucky winners are certainly grinning from ear to ear after hearing of their success from the 2010 Arizona Big Game Super Raffle.

    The winners of 10 special big game hunts, a high-end binoculars package, and a guided New Mexico elk hunt were announced during the drawing of the Arizona Big Game Super Raffle on July 22.

    The raffle winners for 2010 are:

    * Antelope (pronghorn) - Keith Newlon, Sierra Vista, Ariz.
    * Bear - Fred Provine, Capitan, N.M.
    * Buffalo - Matthew Rohrer, Phoenix, Ariz.
    * Coues white-tailed deer - Brad Richardson, Scottsdale, Ariz.
    * Desert bighorn sheep - Greg Gordon, Burney, Calif.
    * Elk - Paul E. Shepley, Jr., Tucson, Ariz.
    * Javelina - John Ristick, Queen Creek, Ariz.
    * Mountain lion - Jeffrey Penny, Yuma, Ariz.
    * Mule deer – Robert Currier, Cabool, Mo.
    * Turkey - Lester Hansen, Tucson, Ariz.
    * Swarovski optics package - Jeffrey Murray, Magnolia, TX.
    * New Mexico elk hunt - David Dubie, Scottsdale, Ariz.

    These twelve raffle winners are just the tip of the iceberg from the event. Landscape-level projects for Arizona’s wildlife and habitats will continue to be funded thanks to the reported $369,465 raised by this raffle that was founded and dedicated to funding wildlife conservation.

    Created in 2006 as a way to garner mass participation due to the low cost of a raffle ticket (prices range from $5-$25 each, depending on raffle item), it is one of the largest hunting raffles of its kind, where anyone has an opportunity to win.

    Every dollar raised for each species is returned to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for the specific management of that species. However, the decisions on funding specific projects are coordinated through a cooperative process of the Arizona Habitat Partnership Committee. Input from 12 statewide habitat partners and the organizations (state, local and conservation groups) collectively determine which projects will provide the most benefit to each species represented.

    Funding from the raffle allows for a multitude of wildlife conservation projects. For 2010, more than 60 projects were approved, including the development, maintenance, and improvement of water catchments to provide reliable water sources for wildlife during drought years. A number of grassland restoration projects through controlled burns and tree removals were funded. Other funded projects assist in wildlife management through helicopter surveys, translocation of wildlife, and the monitoring of wildlife movements to map connectivity issues. A key factor to a project getting approved is that there are funding sources to share costs, labor, or supplied materials, compounding every dollar spent for Arizona’s wildlife. Last year, funded projects provided more than $2 for every $1 spent from the tag funds.

    So, the next time you see a highway underpass allowing elk to move safely near the Mogollon Rim, or an antelope ducking under a modified fence in the open plains of Prescott, or if you’re fortunate to spot a desert bighorn sheep peering down from a cliff after watering in the arid desert, remember to think of hunters as conservationists. The majority of wildlife conservation and management by the Arizona Game and Fish Department is made possible by funding generated from the sale of hunting licenses, hunt permit-tags, and matching funds from federal excise taxes hunters pay on guns, ammunition and related equipment, and not from the state’s tax revenues.

    To learn more about the Habitat Partnership Committee, visit www.azgfd.gov/w_c/hpc.shtml.

    The Arizona Big Game Super Raffle, a non-profit entity, is supported by the following organizations:

    * Arizona Antelope Foundation
    * Arizona Bowhunters Association
    * Arizona Deer Association
    * Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society
    * Arizona Elk Society
    * Arizona Game and Fish Department
    * Arizona Wildlife Federation
    * Wild Sheep Foundation
    * Mule Deer Foundation
    * National Wild Turkey Federation
    * Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
    * Safari Club International, Arizona Chapter
    * Safari Club International, Phoenix Chapter
    * Swarovski Optik
    * West Tex New Mexico Hunting Services

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 10th August 2010
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General | No Comments »

    Helping Desert Tortoises

    Helping desert tortoises the right way during monsoon season

    Monsoon season brings one of the southwest desert’s most iconic creatures out of their burrows and out-and-about across the state. Desert tortoises are now in their most active season, and Arizona’s increased human population creates more risks for these slow-moving symbols of the Sonoran desert.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department asks the public to follow these important guidelines if they encounter a desert tortoise:

    * Do not remove a tortoise from its habitat. Taking a wild tortoise home is illegal in Arizona. Additionally, most tortoises stay in the same small area their entire lives, so if you move a tortoise to a new location it will not know where to find food and shelter and will likely die.

    * Do not release a captive tortoise into the wild. Captive desert tortoises cannot be released into the wild as they can pass diseases to wild populations and displace wild tortoises. It is also illegal to release captive animals into the wild.

    * Keep dogs away from both captive and wild desert tortoises. Even the most gentle dog can pose a serious threat to a tortoise.

    * If you come across a desert tortoise crossing a busy road, if traffic safely permits it, pick the tortoise up and gently move it to the other side of the road. Carry the animal so that it is level to the ground, and move it in the same direction it was headed.

    “People think they are doing the tortoise a favor by taking it home, but it is actually harmful to the tortoise and the tortoise population,” says Cristina Jones, Game and Fish’s turtles project coordinator.

    “Tortoises should not be handled for any length of time or brought home or into captivity. The best thing anyone can do is to leave tortoises in the wild.”

    Tortoise conservation partners include Saguaro National Park, Friends of Saguaro National Park, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and Phoenix Herpetological Society.

    “Properly caring for a legally-adopted tortoise takes a lot of knowledge, and we cannot stress enough how detrimental it is for both the captive and wild tortoises to let a captive tortoise go free in the wild,” said Jones.

    Anyone interested in legally sharing their yard with a desert tortoise may adopt a tortoise if they are from Bullhead City, Kingman, Lake Havasu, Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma. For more information on the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Tortoise Adoption Program and enclosure requirements, visit www.azgfd.gov/tortoise.

    There are two populations of desert tortoise: the federally-listed Mojave desert tortoise found north and west of the Colorado River, and the Sonoran desert tortoise, which is protected by Game and Fish.

    Desert tortoises in Arizona are considered a species of greatest conservation need; those north and west of the Colorado River are among the threatened Mojave population.

    Through its partnerships with other public agencies, non-profit organizations and the science community, Game and Fish’s wildlife recovery program aims to keep common species common and prevent species from becoming listed as threatened or endangered, allowing for conservation in a more cost-effective manner. State-level involvement provides closer oversight of wildlife species on a day-to-day basis. Specific emphasis is placed on identifying and managing the wildlife and habitat of greatest conservation need, or those species that are no longer abundant and facing increasing threats from habitat degradation, disease, introduction of non-native species, and climate change.

    Adaptive management of these species helps ensure their continued presence in Arizona and protects the delicate balance of the ecosystem for future generations.

    Tortoise conservation in Arizona is supported by the Heritage Fund, a voter-passed initiative that was started in 1990 to further wildlife conservation efforts in the state through Arizona Lottery ticket sales.

    Follow me on CamoSpace

    Posted on 9th August 2010
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General | No Comments »