Fall hunts

For the most part the draw deadlines have passed in the western states. I drew an elk tag again this year for Arizona. So I do not put in for deer as a rule because it takes too much time away from my family. However, there are still multiple opportunities for me to hunt. Small game is fun and I can take my oldest daughter with me. She passed her hunter safety course when she turned 10. This year she and I will be traveling out of state for the first time to hunt. We are headed to near by New Mexico to hunt waterfowl and out favorite, sandhill crane. This fall we will be talking two more people on our annual adventure to hunt crane. My nephew, who will be 17, and my sister-in-law, who has never hunted but wants to experience getting her own healthy organic meat for her family. Crane and waterfowl are a great introduction. However, first up is the early dove season. Time to dust off the shotgun and get some wing-shooting practice in. Did you draw any tags this year? Are you planning any new and exciting hunts? Continue reading


Spring preparations for fall hunts.

It’s that time of year for me to get thinking about what to do to prepare for my fall hunts.

I drew another elk tag for the fall so it’s time to hit the range, hopefully with my children so we can learn proper gun safety and practice at the same time. My eldest has her hunter safety completed, but does not really want to hunt yet, though she lives shooting our .22lr. That is one of the issues we have though. See she is cross eye dominant, right hand dominant and left eye dominate so I have to train her to look through her right eye over the sights or trough the scope. I have a few ideas on how to help her. However, I am open to suggestions if anyone has a few.

I’m trying to get a few hikes in b fore the weather here in southern Arizona gets over 100 on a regular basis. Though the place we’re hunting this fall is not going to require miles and miles of hiking.

What are you doing to prepare for the fall hunts?

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That’s why they call it fishing.

Last night my buddy and I tried something new. We went hoop netting for California spiney lobster in the inlet to San Diego Bay. We were in an open party charter vessel that only had 10 people on it. I’ve been fishing before, but never for lobster, it was a very different experience and very enjoyable. The captain and mate were very nice guys and did what they could to put us on the bugs. The rest of the guests were also very cool people, I’ve been on other open party charters where that was not the case.

We took off in the evening and headed out, I thought we’d head out of the Bay, like the other boats I had been on, not so much. We headed out, dropped our traps and found a spot to get a little rod and reel fishing in as well. That was slow over the course of 4 hours we, as a group of 10, only pulled in 4 fish. We did manage to find 52 lobster, only 8 of them were legal size, and over a dozen Turbin Snails. Unfortunately, my buddy and I were not the fortunate ones to haul in legal sized lobster.

The season runs October through March. If you find yourself in San Diego try your hand at lobster hoop netting. I’ll be back.

It’s been far too long

I’ve been so swamped between work and kids that I haven’t really had time for much. However, recently an out of state group has come to Arizona trying to ban the hunting of certain species. Frankly it is a feel good measure so they can start a snowball effect. Ban mountain lion hunting because they call it “trophy hunting” then other species follow. Next they may Go after bears for the same reason. They start with the charismatic megafauna then go after the less appealing species until they have outlawed hunting.

This is their strategy and we must fight back. I have a hard time trying to explain to people who do not hunt why I do. The primary reason is to provide ethically harvested organic protein for my family. The other reason is because I enjoy being out in nature and being a part of the food chain. I want to know where my good comes from. This whole no hunting thing, is relatively new in human history. Just because some people choose to support factory farms and the by proxy killing of animals so they can have a steak, does not mean they have to force their opinions on others.

Why am I rambling? I’m trying to figure out the best way to express why I want people to decline to sign the misleading petition put forth by the Humane Society of the United States. They have s front organization, Arizonan’s for Wildlife … but they are just that… a front. Let people here start a grassroots organization instead of s false front from DC.

A short post. After the hunt

I returned last night from my five day elk hunt. My two friends, both started hunting at my suggestion, and I had an incredible experience. I will write up the full story later. However, I will say we were successful in brinin home more than 400 pounds of natural organic grass fed meat for our families. That is why we hunt. Our trophy is the memories we create and the meals we make for friends and family. Perhaps a little “venison diplomacy” will bring those opposed to hunting and those who hunt a little closer together?

More to come when I have additional time to write up the story.  
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The hunt begins today 

We’ve found our way into the elk unit.  It’s a few hours before dawn and we are getting ready to head out into the woods. 
I’m excited and my two buddies are both excited and nervous. This group of adult onset hunters are ready to find a few elk and provide high quality organic protein for our families. 
This should be a completely self guided and public lands hunt.  Look for updates as the hunt progresses and a few new podcasts. 

Final preparations 

I’m headed into the elk woods for the first time in two years. The last time I had a tag I was successful in bringing home hundreds of pounds of free range organic meat to my family. I pray I am successful again. 
This trip I’m not going solo but with two friends of mine who each have their own tag. The difference is neither of them have hunted elk before. So the three of us, all adult onset hunters, are ready for the opportunity to bring dinner home to our families. 
Wish us luck. 

Another season of fun

I was lucky enough to draw s sandhill crane tag for Arizona this fall. Last season my daughter and I had a great time hunting together. I’m really looking forward to hunting with her again. She is equally excited to get back out there and start calling in the crane. She’s really good for an 11 year old. 
This year we were drawn for the weekend after thanksgiving and it couldn’t have worked out better. Now I need to acquire those decoys she wants us to have. (Yeah she picked them out)

Take your kids hunting. Even if you’re not successful in the hunt you will be successful in building your relationship with them. For me the hunt is secondary to being able to spend quality time with my oldest child. 
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Down to the wire. 

I’m headed to elk country in just under two weeks for a trip we have been planning since April. My buddies and I are in the final preparations gathering all of our gear, exploring the onXmaps, getting a place to camp secured, and finalizing meals. Neither of my buddies have been elk hunting before and are both intimidated by the prospect of the work that comes after the shot. I’m less concerned as I’ve done this before, but keeping by them relaxed is a process. We’re going to a unit in Arizona that is larger than some eastern states and has low density elk populations. I’ve hunted there before, and never saw an elk. 

Recently my personal preparations have been put on hold so I can spend that time coaching a great group of girls volleyball. Most of my team had never played before this season. We’re half way through and they are 2-2. I’m very proud of them. 

That’s okay it was a guaranteed tag so it was go hunting or sit at home. I know I made the best choice. So we’re off to units 2A and 2C and will put in the time to find a small herd of elk and hope to bring home several hundred pounds of lean organic grass fed wild protein back to our families. The challenge will be finding them on public land in the checkerboard area up there. 
If we’re really lucky we will see one of the reintroduced Mexican grey wolves. 
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Dove season

The long summer of getting ready for hunting season to begin is nearly over. Tomorrow is opening day of dove season in many states across the country. I would be more excited if I had the opportunity to go out. My plans were thwarted by an all day in service training. 
So I hope to make it out another day this weekend. The countdown continues as I enter the final month of preparation for my elk hunt this fall. Time off from work is approved, the camping area is picked, the tag is in hand, just final details are all that’s left. 
The elk hunt, this fall, is far more important than any of my previous hunts because I am taking out two friends who are new to hunting. The prospect of helping them provide organic free range healthy protein to their families is amazing. Of course the hardest part is yet to come. Can we find a herd in an area that has historically low numbers? While there can we avoid the wolf reintroduction project in that same area? Time will tell. 
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