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Outdoor Writer

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About Outdoor Writer

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  • Birthday 11/19/1941

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    Glendale, AZ

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  1. GAME AND FISH NEWS March 31, 2020 2020 bighorn sheep, migratory bird hunt recommendations posted online Amendments to deer, small game hunts also available for review PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s 2020 hunt recommendations for bighorn sheep and migratory birds, as well as some 2020 deer and small-game hunts, are available for review online at www.azgfd.gov/huntguidelines. The department annually makes recommendations to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission regarding the management of game species, which establish the seasons, dates, bag limits, open areas and permit-tag allocations based on the framework of the hunt guidelines set by the Commission. The proposed recommendations will be presented to the Commission for consideration during its April 17 meeting. The department will share meeting logistics at a later date. The agenda will be posted at www.azgfd.com/Agency/Commission. Questions or comments on these recommendations, prior to the Commission meeting, may be submitted by email to azhuntguidelines@azgfd.gov, or by contacting any department office statewide and asking to speak to a biologist. No formal presentations are planned. To learn more about the hunt recommendations and hunt guidelines processes, visit www.azgfd.gov/huntguidelines.
  2. GAME AND FISH NEWS March 31, 2020 Arizona Game and Fish Department AZGFD temporarily makes service level changes at its customer lobbies Customers encouraged to use online, phone and mail services PHOENIX -- To protect the health and safety of customers and employees while continuing to provide services and support, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has temporarily modified in-person customer service. Effective April 1, 2020, front lobbies at AZGFD offices will be closed to in-person transactions except those made by appointment. Appointments can be made by calling (602) 942-3000 (select item 4 if you wish to be connected to one of our regional offices in Pinetop, Flagstaff, Kingman, Yuma, Tucson or Mesa rather than the Phoenix headquarters office). Customer service representatives will also be available to answer questions by phone during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday). Customers are encouraged to take advantage of our online services available 24/7: Purchase of fishing, hunting, and combo licenses (or reprinting a duplicate for a lost license purchased online or at an AZGFD office), and migratory bird stamps. (www.azgfd.com/license/) Watercraft registration renewals. (www.azgfd.com/boating/registration/) Off-highway vehicle (OHV) decals (please note the separate sections for resident and nonresident decals). (www.azgfd.com/OHV/Decals/) The following services can be conducted by U.S. mail: New watercraft registrations, watercraft transfers of ownership, duplicate watercraft decals and certificates (for information and forms, visit https://www.azgfd.com/boating/registration/). Please call (602) 942-3000 before sending your application through the mail to ensure that the proper documentation and fees are submitted. Pioneer, disabled veteran and lifetime licenses. (https://www.azgfd.com/license/, scroll down page). Special licenses, such as CHAMP, crossbow, guide license, trapping license, etc. (https://www.azgfd.com/license/, click on the “special licenses” link). Leftover tags from 2020 elk draw - can apply via U.S. mail or with an application at a Department office (if the latter, make appointment); visit www.azgfd.gov/draw (scroll down to 2020 Pronghorn, Elk and Raptor Capture Hunt Draw Information section for links to the list of available tags and an application form.) AZGFD encourages customers to stay updated by signing up for the department’s free e-News service (www.azgfd.gov/signup) or by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  3. Outdoor Writer

    Ben Avery closed

    GAME AND FISH NEWS March 31, 2020 Ben Avery Shooting Facility temporarily limits shooting sports opportunities PHOENIX — To ensure the safety of customers and staff, the Ben Avery Shooting Facility (BASF) is temporarily limiting shooting sports opportunities effective immediately. Until further notice: All rifle and pistol ranges, as well as the Clay Target Center, are closed to the public. This includes clay-target shooters with preloaded Gold Cards. The rifle and pistol ranges are only available for law enforcement officers and user groups. The archery range is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday on a cash-only basis. Archers can deposit their $7 daily fee into a dropbox at the archery range. Get the latest information about changes to processes and procedures, and review frequently asked questions, by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s new web page: www.azgfd.com/agency/covid-19-related-updates/. Customers also can call (602) 942-3000 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email customerservice@azgfd.gov. As a reminder, most department business can be conducted online by visiting www.azgfd.gov.
  4. Outdoor Writer

    AGFD -- Leftover elk permit-tags remain

    GAME AND FISH NEWS March 27, 2020 Leftover elk permit-tags remain only for "low density" hunt Applications will be accepted in person beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, March 30 PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s random draw for 2020 elk hunts has been over for weeks, and all leftover permit-tags are gone — with one exception. More than 600 hunt permit-tags remain available for the minimal occurrence zone/low-density hunt in game management units 12A, 12B, 13A and 13B. There are two ways that hunters can purchase these leftovers on a first-come, first-served basis: By mail: The preferred method would be to mail a paper application addressed to: Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn.: Draw/First Come, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086. Note: There is no “mini” draw. Allow 10 to 15 days to receive a permit-tag by mail. In person: Applications will be accepted in person beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, March 30, at any of the department’s regional offices. Before mailing that application, or venturing out to a department office, hunters are reminded that these four units combined have an extremely low-density elk population of less than 50 animals. The department is specifically managing these units for wildlife values other than elk, and an established population is not desirable. The intent of this particular hunt (Hunt No. 3799) is to eliminate this elk population. Those who purchase one of these permit-tags should be aware that because of extremely low densities, hunt success likely will be less than 5 percent. Only those who did not receive a permit-tag in the random draw may buy one of these permit-tags. Bonus points are not affected when purchasing a permit-tag through the first-come, first-served process. The cost of a permit-tag is $48, which includes a $13 non-refundable application fee. A non-resident hunt permit-tag is $50, which includes a $15 non-refundable application fee. The hunt dates are April 15-Oct. 8, and Oct. 23-Dec. 31, 2020. A bull or cow elk may be harvested. For more information, view the “ 2020 Pronghorn, Elk and Raptor Capture Hunt Draw Information” booklet online, or call (602) 942-3000.
  5. Outdoor Writer

    Effects of the virus scare?

    One has to be innovative in a time of need...….
  6. Outdoor Writer


    Typical. They need to inject more "diversity" into the programming. The rehab facility (96 private rooms) where I was shuttered closed access to all visitors last Fri.
  7. Outdoor Writer


    She's the gal from the non-Pickett books, right?
  8. Outdoor Writer

    Little Brag?

    Nice. I don't tell the story too often, but I once killed a mule deer buck in 1A with my pants down to my ankles.
  9. Outdoor Writer

    coues art

    Second that. Copies of two his prints are used in the "How To Hunt Coues Deer" book. Like you, I haven't seen or spoken to Mike for many years. Last time was when he was still working for Gore in Flagstaff.
  10. Outdoor Writer

    I'm Still Alive -- barely

    After a month+ of adventure for severe pneumonia at Arrowhead Abrazo Hospital (2+ weeks)and the Center at Arrowhead rehab facility (another 2+ weeks), I finally got discharged Sat. afternoon. I've been playing catch up ever since with more than 250 unread emails, etc. Short version of long story: The pneumonia is supposedly gone, but all the time in bed with no activity to speak of did a terrible disservice to my body. I'm just now getting to being able to stand a bit. All of my moving for the time being is with the aid of a wheelchair or a walker, however. Thanks for the "well wishes" from everyone. That's it for now.
  11. Outdoor Writer

    I'm Still Alive -- barely

    It's been a while since I've been able to log in here. I've spent the last three weeks battling a nasty case of pneumonia. The first two weeks was a hospital stay Abrazo Arrowhead and then a move to the Center at Arrowhead rehab center, where I am now. I'll likely be here at least another week while I learn how to walk again. 😊
  12. Outdoor Writer

    Lost or Stranded/FUBAR scenarios while hunting.

    Never been lost. This incident from the 1980s is about as close as I've come to it. It's one of my LAST SHOT columns from ARIZONA HUNTER & ANGLER. Copyright by Tony Mandile ONE-DOG NIGHT Thirty years have passed since my first venture into Arizona's great outdoors. During that time I've had both some good and bad experiences. Thankfully, most have been of the former variety. One experience I never had was getting lost. Oh, I had times when I was slightly "turned around," but none where I had absolutely no clue as to my location. Consequently, I've never spent a night away from my main camp unless it was intentional -- with at least a basic supply of necessities. Like most of us probably do, though, I frequently wondered how I'd handle it. My late grandfather indoctrinated me early about the perils of being unprepared if it becomes necessary to spend the night away from camp. So I committed myself to carrying matches, an extra candy bar or two and water in areas where it is scarce. Under the right circumstances a person can live many days without food or water other than in the hot desert. So the candy and water were simply feel-good conveniences. But the matches seemed the most important to me. We often read stories about people getting lost and dying. These accounts continually upset me, especially when the victim had spent only a night or two in the woods. I always wondered how someone becomes a casualty in such a short time. Yet it happens too many times every year. Most folks who get lost die of hypothermia, the medical name for exposure. Characterized by a rapid lowering of one's body temperature and uncontrollable shivering, it soon causes disorientation and a loss of energy. Death is the final consequence. Hypothermia frequently follows panic, a common occurrence when a person becomes lost. Of course, it's very disheartening because the tragedy can be avoided if a person keeps his head on straight. About five years ago on a lion hunt with Joe Mitchell in the Mazatzal Wilderness Area near Rye, I finally found out what's it like to spend a night in the wilderness alone without any food, water or equipment. Luckily, I knew where I was all the time. But my camera, a .357 handgun, matches, a candy bar and a light rain jacket made up my meager supplies. About the only panic I had came with the realization of having only three cigarettes. I knew I had to ration them to make it through the night and part of the next morning. Mitchell and I had cut a hot track early that morning and stayed on it for six hours. Eventually, that track crossed another set. The dogs, confused by the second track, split into two groups. So I trailed one bunch, while the guide followed the other. At sunset, my group of dogs were nowhere to be seen. I dropped off the ridge into the canyon where Mitchell had been about an hour earlier. He was gone, too. Realizing it was at least a five hour walk to camp and thinking I could make it before midnight, I stumbled through the darkness along the meandering trail. It was a bad decision. I lost the trail three different times when it crossed the stream bed, got smacked in the face by an unseen branch and had more than one prickly pear cactus deposit its spines in my shins. I decided hiking in the dark without any moonlight was not my thing. Thoughts flowed readily, but panic was not one of them. Instead, everything I had read or been taught about this kind of situation came to mind. I began looking for a protected place on the trail with enough nearby firewood to get me through the night. Such a place existed only a few yards up the trail. A downed tree, though rotten and and a bit damp, offered plenty of firewood, and the light from my cigarette lighter revealed enough dry kindling nearby to sustain the wet wood. After building a fire ring out of rocks on some level ground, I gathered enough small wood to get a blaze started, broke the rotten log into smaller pieces and stacked them outside the fire ring. As the pieces dried from the heat of the fire, I would have a continuous supply of larger chunks to burn. The warmth from the flames quickly countered the chill from the March evening. Hungry and weary from hiking around the up-&-down wilderness all day, I ate half of my candy bar and saved the rest for breakfast. I then cleared a "bed" next to the fire within easy reach of the drying wood. With my rolled up daypack tucked beneath my head, I snuggled up beside the now blazing fire. A few minutes later, a noise that sounded like something walking through dry leaves came from the blackness. Just as I reached for my handgun, one of Mitchell 's hounds wandered into the light of the fire, and I let out a sigh of relief. "Here, Jake," I called. The hound moved warily toward me, then stopped ten feet away and laid down on a bed of fallen leaves. "Suit yourself," I said, thinking it was nice to have company anyway. I tried sleeping again, but worried about Joe and what he would think. No doubt he might imagine the worst. Just then, the sound of rustling leaves made me look over my shoulder. Jake, with head lowered, cautiously crept to where I lay, circled once and then lowered himself to the ground and pushed up against my back. Providing a bit of body heat for each other, my canine buddy and I went to sleep. Over the next 11 or 12 hours, I woke often to rekindle the flames with a fresh supply of the dead tree. And each time, I lay back down, Jake wiggled his body closer to mine. The next morning, after a five-hour, uphill hike, Jake and I reached the main road. I immediately heard the whine of an ATV. As the three-wheeler came around a bend, the driver spotted me and stopped. "Are you Tony?" he asked. "Yes." He then told me he was Mitchell’s dad and had arrived the previous night. "Joe called me and said you might be lost. He drove down to Rye this morning because he thought you might come out that way. Did you have a bad night? "Well, I could use a cigarette and a sandwich. But other than that, I'm fine. I spent the night with a warm fire in front of me and a warm dog behind me." The man smiled. "Oh, you had a one-dog night, huh?" ----- 30 -----
  13. Outdoor Writer


    Alamo is a State park. Park Rules Help protect the park. Please be aware of the following park rules: Camping is only permitted in designated sites. Maximum length of stay is 15 days. Checkout time is Noon. Check-in time is 2 p.m. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Fires are only allowed at campsites in designated fire rings. Littering is unlawful. Trash should be packed out and disposed of properly. All dogs must be kept on leashes. Please pick up after your pet. Drive only on designated roads. OHVs must be licensed and street legal. Limit of two vehicles per site. Park fees are per vehicle, unless in-tow Leave something in your site to demonstrate occupancy at all times or site may be forfeited. No saving sites for people who are not in the park. First come, first served. Violators are subject to eviction. Vehicles arriving prior to 6 a.m. (Arizona Time) must pay for previous night. Fees subject to change. Campground and RV Sites Campground A has 21 sites available while Campground B has 42 sites with mixed amenities. Sites 1-27 (electric/water) are $22 per night. Sites 28-42 (dry camp) are available for $15 per night. Dry camping is located in Campgrounds D & E for $15 a night per vehicle. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. There are vault and chemical toilets located throughout the campgrounds. There are 19 full hook-up sites with 50 amp electric, water and sewer located in the Main Campground. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. There is no limit to maximum RV length at these sites. Additional sites have 30/50 amp electric and water at each site. Campground B has 27 electric sites. The Ramada Area has 12 electric sites. Cholla Campground area has 41 electric sites (30 amp). Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring.
  14. GAME AND FISH NEWS For immediate release, Jan. 30, 2020 Arizona Game and Fish Department Contact: Dale Hajek, Public Information Officer (623) 236-7215, dhajek@azgfd.gov Coming soon: AZGFD's 2020 Outdoor Expo Event set for March 28-29 at Ben Avery Shooting Facility PHOENIX — The largest hands-on outdoor expo in Arizona is set for March 28-29 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix. The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s annual Outdoor Expo will feature everything from wildlife exhibits and family fishing tanks to kayaking at the 90,000-gallon “Lake Paddlemore” and trying out firearms in a safe, controlled environment on the range. “We’re not aware of any other free event of this scale that combines conservation, recreation and industry into such a welcoming environment for the public,” said Ty Gray, AZGFD director. “This is where people can find plenty of hands-on activities, see educational exhibits, test and purchase the latest equipment and products, and connect with social organizations that can provide countless ‘next step’ experiences to support their outdoor passions.” Last year’s Outdoor Expo drew the largest two-day crowd in the event’s 15-year history. More than 52,000 people visited the Outdoor Expo and participated in the myriad activities available. Another great event is expected with more than 150 exhibitors, including outdoor recreation and conservation groups, government agencies and commercial vendors of outdoor products and services. For more information, visit azgfd.gov/expo.
  15. GAME AND FISH NEWS Jan. 30, 2020 BASF rolls out youth firearms safety class PHOENIX — The Ben Avery Shooting Facility (BASF) recently added another class to its introductory firearms program schedule. This introductory class, for boys and girls ages 9 to 16, will cover the basic principles of firearms safety and terminology. In addition to classroom instruction, participants will have the option to learn the fundamentals of marksmanship on the range (equipment, ammunition will be provided). Cost is $25 (must be paid prior to the class). Pre-registration is required. All participants must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. To register, visit www.azgfd.gov/basfclasses. For more information, call 623-236-7068. Founded in 1957, BASF is one of the nation’s largest publicly operated shooting facility. The world-class range is a City of Phoenix Point of Pride. It has received a five-star rating from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. BASF is funded by the revenues generated by user fees and federal dollars appropriated through the Pittman-Robertson Act.