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Outdoor Writer

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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

    Amanda, Something's haywire. A lot of clicks are producing error messages and the only way to get out of them is to log in again.
  6. Outdoor Writer

    500 error messages

    Nope, it was everyone. Amanda got it up and running as soon as I let her know.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. Outdoor Writer

    Point guard question

    One or both.
  10. Outdoor Writer

    Having a Blast with the Past

    Will do.
  11. 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.
  12. Outdoor Writer

    Having a Blast with the Past

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

    Daughter's October White Tail

    Nice buck for a pretty young lady. 👍
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Outdoor Writer

    Mexico 2020

    Way to get it done, Houston. 👍
  18. Outdoor Writer

    Arizona Conservation area(s)

    Sounds like it's a Maricopa County Park. If so, here's some relevant info: From Maricopa County FAQ list: Q: Can I access the Tonto National Forest via Maricopa County Parks? A: Yes. Within Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Spur Cross Trail / SR Trails; within Usery Mountain Regional Park, the Wind Cave Trail can be used for non-motorized access to the Tonto National Forest. If you plan to hike north on the forest, you should leave a responsible person aware of your hiking plans. A compass and map for the area is recommended for all hikers. Q: Is hunting allowed in Maricopa County Parks? A: Yes. Some of the parks within the system allow hunting during specified seasons. Contact the ArizonaGame and Fish Department for all hunting information. 602-942-3000. This below is from pg. 42 of the CURRENT AGFD deer regs: 29. The following parks and preserves in Maricopa County are open to hunting as defined in R12-4-321 and are open for the archery-only seasons: Lake Pleasant, White Tank Mountains, Estrella Mountain and McDowell Mountain Regional parks; McDowell Sonoran Preserve; and portions of Skyline Regional Park (Back Country designated area only – contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Mesa Regional office or City of Buckeye for open area maps). Hunting in parks and preserves opened by this Commission Order is not permitted within ¼ mile of any developed picnic area, developed camp ground, shooting range, occupied building, boat ramp, or golf course. Developed areas do not include trails. From pg. 98: Maricopa County Parks: Some land within the Maricopa County Park System is open to hunting. Discharge of firearms or arrows is prohibited in Cave Creek Recreation Area. Contact the Maricopa County Parks Department at 602-506-2930 for further details. Additional information may also be obtained by contacting the following parks (see R12-4-321, page 131): • McDowell 480-471-0173 • White Tanks 623-935-2505 • Estrella 623-932-3811 • Lake Pleasant 928-501-1710 or 602-372-7460
  19. Outdoor Writer

    Arizona Conservation area(s)

    Most all BLM conservation areas in AZ are open to hunting. Sounds more like it's a recreation area or park such as South Mountain, etc. Isn't there any agency name on the signs? And yeah, the unit manager would be a good source to contact.
  20. GAME AND FISH NEWS Jan. 17, 2020 Reminder: Applications for 2020 pronghorn, elk hunts due soon Raptor capture seasons now included in latest draw process PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reminds hunters that the deadline to apply for 2020 hunt permit-tags issued through the draw process for pronghorn and elk is right around the corner. To apply, visit www.azgfd.gov and click on “Apply for a Draw.” For an overview of the application service, including license requirements, applying for bonus points and payment information, see Page 10 of the “2020 Pronghorn, Elk and Raptor Capture Hunt Draw Information” booklet. Printed booklets are available at all department offices and license dealers statewide. Attention falconers: Raptor capture seasons are included in this booklet. A valid hunting or hunt and fish combination license, along with a sport falconry license, are needed when applying for a hunt permit-tag. For more information, see Page 38. All applications must be received by AZGFD no later than 11:59 p.m. (Arizona time) Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. All applicants are encouraged to purchase PointGuard, which allows hunters to surrender their hunt permit-tag(s) for any reason without losing their bonus points. Information: www.azgfd.gov/pointguard. AZGFD is standing by to assist applicants. All department offices are equipped with customer computers that can be accessed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Customer service representatives can be reached by calling (602) 942-3000.
  21. Outdoor Writer

    Arizona Conservation area(s)

    What kind of designated conservation land?
  22. GAME AND FISH NEWS Jan. 9, 2020 Arizona's waterfowl, quail seasons flying by Hunters need to make most of remaining opportunities PHOENIX — There’s still time for Arizona hunters to take aim at some of the best wing-shooting opportunities the state has to offer — but the clock is ticking. The general waterfowl season in the “Mountain Zone” (Game Management Units 1-5, 7, 9, 11M, 12A, and those portions of Units 6 and 8 within Coconino County) runs through Sunday, Jan. 12. The general season in the “Desert Zone” (Game Management Units 10 and 12B through 46B, and those portions of Units 6 and 8 within Yavapai County) closes Sunday, Jan. 26. Ducks, including mergansers, coots and common moorhens (gallinules); white geese (snow, blue and Ross’); and dark geese (Canada and white-fronted) are legal wildlife in both zones. Scaup can be harvested in the Mountain Zone through Sunday, Jan. 12, and in the Desert Zone through Sunday, Jan. 26. Quail hunters have until Sunday, Feb. 9, to get out and chase the state’s three main species — Gambel’s, scaled and Mearns’. The general bag limit is 15 quail per day in the aggregate, of which no more than eight may be Mearns’ quail. The general possession limit is 45 quail in the aggregate, of which no more than 15 Gambel’s, scaled or California quail in the aggregate may be taken in any one day. The 45-quail possession limit may include 24 Mearns’ quail, of which no more than eight may be taken in any one day. As a reminder, all hunters 10 and older must possess a valid Arizona hunting or combination license. Those 18 and older also must possess an Arizona Migratory Bird Stamp ($5) to hunt waterfowl. Also, hunters 16 and older must possess a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp to hunt waterfowl. Licenses and state migratory bird stamps can be purchased on the department’s website at www.azgfd.com/License/. All hunters play an important role in conservation. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) funds are comprised of excise taxes collected on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment (including 11 percent on ammunition), the benefit of which comes right back to Arizona for habitat improvements, shooting ranges, boating access and more. For more information about hunting in Arizona, visit www.azgfd.com/Hunting/.
  23. Outdoor Writer


    I received the following today via email as a reply to the one I had sent him (in red below) and posted here earlier. Rep. Bob Thorpe Will Not Run HB2130 and HB2131 STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Bob Thorpe (R-6) today announced that he will not be running HB 2130 (G&F; trail cameras; use; limits) and HB 2131(G&F; unlawful activities; penalty). According to Representative Thorpe, after conferring with the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, he determined it would be much better for the Commission to address these issues through their rule-making and public engagement process, then for the Legislature to enact in state law. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. Thorpe, As written, it appears HB2031 would eliminate all hunting, including waterfowl, within 100 yds. of nearly every lake in the state since they are all "man-made." And if someone owns a house or cabin within a 100 yds. of a lake or other man-made watering "facility," they won't be able to field dress doves, quail, etc. at home. Although HB2030 isn't near as bad, it contains ambiguous and vague language such as "...or alters the manner in which wildlife accesses a water source." What is the normal "manner" in the way wildlife accesses a water source? Tony Mandile Glendale, AZ
  24. Outdoor Writer

    So who’s air frying?

    Indeed. Outer frame is 1.5" and the crossbars in the center section are .75", all held together with JB Weld because I didn't want to put a torch to it. I made a jig to bend the pot hooks, which are 6 and 4 ga. ground wire. The hanging deals are copper window sash chains attached to copper-painted pipe hangers. Four large C-hooks, also painted copper, are screwed into the ceiling rafters. At the time I made it, it cost me about $65 for the materials. Another nicety is the center island, which is on wheels, so we can move it around and use as a serving bar. It has one door that pulls out with two large trash cans. The other three open normally. One has a lazy Susan in it and the other two have two slide-out shelves on drawer slides. Each end has shelves for cookbooks, etc. All the other lower cabinets also have pull-out shelves, and the upper cabinet shelves are adjustable by 1" increments. The smaller cabinet right of the stove has three slide outs for spices and there are two slide-out cutting boards -- one left of stove and one right of the dishwasher, which the original kitchen didn't have. When I bought it as a Christmas present for my wife, it was her clue that I was about to provide her "kitchen to kill for" as she calls. It's about 24' long by 14' wide. I also built all the cabinets using recycled 3/4" pine paneling that came out of the Phoenix Coop downtown when they built Chase Field. It was anywhere from 6 to 12 inches wide and 8 to 14 feet long with a molded edge on one side. I bought the whole stack (about 6' wide by 3' tall) from a salvage yard for $80 and have used it extensively throughout the house. All the baseboard and the trim around the doors in nearly every room was molded on my shaper from it. And I still have a goodly amount left. In fact, I'm getting ready to build her a bread box that's she been on my case for over the past three years. This is more of the same wood used in the master bath when I redid it and the hall linen closet. Note the door trim and baseboard.
  25. Outdoor Writer

    So who’s air frying?

    When I remodeled our kitchen about 10 years back, it had three circuits -- 220 for the stove and 110 for the other two available outlets and one for the light in that room and the dining room. From a 100-amp panel I had added when I built my workshop, I ran a 20amp GFI that powers the dishwasher, disposal and two outlets on either side of the sink. Then I added another 20 amp circuit for the over-the-stove microwave and two outlets on that same wall, one of which is used for a toaster oven. I used the old 15 amp light circuit for the 8 can lights I installed and the one for the old dining room powers he fridge. So far, no breakers or GFI ever tripped. Old kitchen thru backdoor as we started to empty all the cabinets for the demolition stage. View from the old family room, which is now the dining area.