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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. 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 -----
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Outdoor Writer

    500 error messages

    Nope, it was everyone. Amanda got it up and running as soon as I let her know.
  6. Outdoor Writer

    Point guard question

    All of us know what it feels like to deal with the frustration and disappointment of an unforeseen event. After all, life happens. That’s why the Arizona Game and Fish Department is excited to announce an innovative new program in “PointGuard,” which essentially will provide hunters with peace of mind in knowing that they can surrender their hunt permit-tag for any reason without losing their coveted bonus points. A bonus point is an accumulated credit that authorizes the department to issue an applicant additional computer-generated random numbers during a draw. An applicant accumulates a bonus point each year in which he or she submits a valid application and does not draw a hunt permit-tag. PointGuard ensures that if a successful applicant is unable to participate in a hunt for any reason, the accumulated bonus points that were expended to draw that hunt permit-tag will be reinstated. Here are the requirements: PointGuard is available to applicants who apply online for a hunt permit-tag. All applicants must sign up for a free AZGFD Portal account to purchase PointGuard (visit www.azgfd.gov, click on the “Sign in to Account” button in the upper right-hand corner of the home page, then select the “Create an Account” option). PointGuard is $5 per species, per applicant, purchased at the time of completing the online application, or prior to the application period deadline. The fee is non-refundable. Only one hunt permit-tag may be surrendered, per species. If an applicant is drawn in the future for that particular species, that hunt-permit tag must be used, expending all accumulated bonus points. Only then may an applicant participate again in PointGuard. The primary applicant (the person who takes the lead in completing the online application for the other applicants) will be prompted to purchase PointGuard at the time of completing the online application. That primary applicant can purchase PointGuard for each additional applicant who has a verified Portal account. Tag surrender application Here is the process to surrender a hunt permit-tag: A hunt permit-tag must be surrendered prior to the close of business the day before the start of that particular hunt. An applicant who has purchased PointGuard will present the original hunt permit-tag to be surrendered, along with a completed tag surrender application form, in person to any customer service representative at any of the department’s statewide office locations, or by mailing the hunt permit-tag and tag surrender application form to AZGFD, Attn: Draw, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086. The hunt permit-tag being surrendered and PointGuard purchase will be verified by the department. The department will restore all accumulated bonus points for that particular species, including the bonus point the applicant would have accrued if not successful in the draw. The hunt permit-tag fee is non-refundable. A person who donates, or transfers, his or her hunt permit-tag to a qualified nonprofit organization, also can participate in tag surrender, provided the requirements listed above are fulfilled. An acceptable proof of the transfer must be provided to the department (a receipt from the qualified nonprofit organization, for example). The tag surrender application form and an acceptable proof of the hunt permit-tag being donated must be completed within 60 days of the donation, and no less than 30 days before the next application deadline for that particular species. According to rule (R12-4-118), the department has several options for the reissuance of a surrendered hunt permit-tag. The proximity to the start of a particular hunt, the type of hunt permit-tag, and demand for that hunt permit-tag will factor into how it will be reissued. For more information, call (602) 942-3000.
  7. Outdoor Writer

    Popcorn thread continues on MonsterMuleys>com

    I posted the following reply to his "excuse" on MM: "After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him... The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut." -- WILL ROGERS
  8. Outdoor Writer

    Point guard question

    One or both.
  9. Outdoor Writer

    Having a Blast with the Past

    Will do.
  10. Outdoor Writer

    Having a Blast with the Past

    Not sure. It's packed it away right now, but if I get a chance in the next couple days, I'll check.
  11. Outdoor Writer

    Having a Blast with the Past

    I have the twin to that pistol without the rust. Belonged to my grandad.
  12. Outdoor Writer

    Daughter's October White Tail

    Nice buck for a pretty young lady. 👍
  13. GAME AND FISH NEWS Jan. 23, 2020 Governor nominates Dr. Todd G. Geiler to Arizona Game and Fish Commission PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday announced the nomination of Dr. Todd G. Geiler to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. Geiler, whose family has lived in Yavapai County since 1946, maintains a solo optometric practice that his grandfather began in 1946 in Prescott. A lifelong outdoorsman, Geiler has volunteered his time to get young people more involved in outdoor activities. He spearheaded a partnership with the City of Prescott and the Arizona Game and Fish Department to provide the youth of greater Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley with a Kids Free Fishing Day, a day that encourages kids to spend time outdoors fishing and learning about conservation. Geiler also is a member of the Safari Club International, Arizona Cattle Grower’s Association, Arizona Mule Deer Foundation, the Prescott Sportsmen’s Club, the Kiwanis Club and more. “Dr. Geiler’s extensive outdoor involvement and community leadership will serve the Arizona Game and Fish Commission well,” Ducey said. “I am pleased to nominate him and look forward to his contributions on the commission.” Geiler attended Prescott High School before receiving an associates degree from Glendale Community College. Between 1984 and 1987, he attended Northern Arizona University for pre-doctoral studies with an emphasis on physics and finance. He later earned a bachelor of visual science and doctorate of optometry from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. His nomination is pending confirmation by the Arizona Senate.
  14. GAME AND FISH NEWS Jan. 22, 2020 Commission to meet Jan. 24 in Phoenix PHOENIX — The next meeting of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the Arizona Game and Fish Department headquarters building, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Quail Room, in Phoenix. The meeting can be attended in person or viewed at www.azgfd.gov/commissioncam. The meeting also can be viewed from any of the Department’s regional offices statewide on streaming video. View the revised agenda.
  15. Outdoor Writer

    Montana General Elk Tag

    The only place in MT I've ever seen big bulls is the Moise Bison Range -- no hunting, of course and it's fenced.