Decline to Sign – The Arizona Fight to End Lion and Bobcat Hunting
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Sun Tzu said “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Arizona hunters are facing a challenge and I am concerned that we (the collective “we”) don’t know the enemy, and maybe even worse – we don’t know ourselves. If you haven’t heard, there is a movement afoot to ban the hunting of lions and bobcats in Arizona. The group that is spearheading the initiative is called Arizonans for Wildlife, and they are backed (or at least allied with) the Humane Society of the United States – a lobbying group bent on eradicating all hunting, fishing, rodeos, etc. You can learn more about HSUS here:

There are lots of hunters on social media downplaying or ignoring this effort. There are lots who mock the efforts of these anti-hunters. They make fun of the messengers and not the message. They are complacent or worse – full of bravado, scoffing at the effort. The problem is, they don’t put themselves into the mind of the “average, non-hunting voter”. Many of the petitioners are using erroneous information or flat-out lies to get their petitions signed. They are counting on emotion and embellishment to garnish signatures. They are mobilized and are seemingly all over the state trying to get folks to sign their petition. Frankly, they appear to be better funded and better organized than we are. Make no mistake – if this gets on the ballot, I think lion and bobcat hunting are done in Arizona.

I have lots of non-hunting friends. Most of them are intelligent, reasonably well-educated and generally speaking, responsible citizens. They don’t hunt, they don’t know much about it, but they don’t really care that I hunt. So imagine one of those folks – soccer moms, engineers, teachers- is walking into a store and is confronted with posters of mangled lions and bloody bobcats. They plead with you to sign the petition to end “trophy hunting” in Arizona. Of course they will. Why would they not sign? If the same issue ends up on the ballot, same result. We are not “fighting the anti’s” as some think – rather, our campaign should be to educate the 60 or 70% or so of the public that doesn’t hunt, but isn’t necessarily anti-hunting.

I’m not yelling that the sky is falling. We have no way to gauge their success so far. That being said, I think there is at least a reasonable chance that we will fail, and this will go on the ballot. Too many of us are buffoons – “Killin is what we do. I ain’t gonna hide it by saying harvest”. “Let them ban it – I’m gonna hunt anyway”. Too many of us are convinced the way we do it is the right way, but we don’t like rangefinders/compound bows/long range rifles/hunting with hounds/trapping/crossbows/whatever. New hunters asking newbie questions on Social Media are mocked and ostracized. Do you think for a minute when someone is considering joining PETA that they are told unceremoniously to “figure it out for themselves” when they ask questions? Do you think animal rights’ groups struggle at fundraising and rallying volunteers? Recruiting comes easy to animal rights’ groups. For lots of hunters, recruitment is largely unimportant.

We need to get our collective act together. The way we win this battle is to be well-organized, well-funded and UNITED. We need to present well to the public; both face-to-face and on social media. We need to educate the non-hunting public with facts about the issues. We need to publicize our massive (and unmatched by any anti-hunting groups) efforts aimed at habitat improvement and preservation. We need to educate the non-hunting public on the North American Conservation model and just how well our state manages wildlife – both game and non-game species. That is how we win this battle. And the next one. And all of the battles coming after that. These groups are committed to end hunting. Then fishing. Then rodeos. Bluster doesn’t win this. Organization does. Unity does. Reason and science do.

Talk to your non-hunting friends about this movement. Don’t preach or cajole – tell our success stories. We have lots.

Remind them that in California, where lion hunting was banned, lion and human/pet encounters have shot upwards and taxpayers are now paying to have lions killed when they threaten communities.

Per this great article in the Arizona Daily Sun, “the annual harvest of mountain lions in Arizona is 250 with a stable population of 2,700. Considering a male mountain lion home range is 100 square miles and they don’t tolerate other male lions in their home range and the available habitat for mountain lions in Arizona is 75,240 square miles, we have one mountain lion for every 28 square miles. Ban lion hunting and more mountain lions will have to kill other mountain lions just to survive.”

Science. Not emotion, not rhetoric. Educate, don’t berate.

Check out this great article at the Arizona Elk Society: Decline to Sign

On Facebook, visit: Arizonans for Wildlife Accuracy or Arizonans for Wildlife Uncensored

Also on Facebook, visit Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation

Another great resource is the website Support Wildlife Conservation

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Here are some facts:

Arizona voters deserve to know the truth about this issue and the following are FACTS:

*There is NO SUCH THING AS TROPHY hunting of mountain lions in our state, so no hunting ban is needed to stop it.

*Jaguars, ocelots and Canadian lynx (the latter of which doesn’t exist here) are already federally protected so no hunting ban is needed to protect them.

*Data from our wildlife agency shows healthy populations of mountain lions and bobcats given their sustainable habitat. Their numbers are not and never will be in danger due to managed hunting. A ban on hunting is not needed to protect their numbers.

*Habitat loss due to increased human population and activity is the primary reason for population decreases of many species in recent history. A hunting ban does nothing to solve the problem of habitat loss and can potentially do harm when unmanaged populations exceed available habitat. Our state wildlife agency is trained to react to changes in habitat and has successfully managed over 800+ species through these changes for nearly 100 years.

*Arizonans for Wildlife (aka Humane Society of the United States) has not provided data, specific to Arizona, showing expected mountain lion growth following a hunting ban and the effect of more cats in a finite habitat.

The voters deserve to see the environmental impact study the HSUS conducted in Arizona regarding the ban on hunting wild cats.

Decline to sign their petitions and ask your family and friends to do the same. Help us spread the word!

New Conservation Group Launches in Arizona
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Editor Disclosure: I personally know Jim and Terry very well, and have been asked to join the Board of Directors of the new group ~DesertRat

New Willdlife Conservation Group Launched in Arizona

Phoenix, AZ (01 February, 2018) – Arizona Mule Deer.Org (AMD), whose focus is the recovery of Mule Deer in the state, has announced their entry into the ranks of other notable conservation groups in Arizona. Although AMD is new, they bring into the new organization an experienced core leadership group and a cadre of excited volunteers ready to get to work. Former Mule Deer Foundation Board of Directors member Jim Lawrence and former MDF Arizona Regional Director Terry Herndon, have teamed up to tackle the tough issues that face the Mule Deer population in Arizona. Lawrence states, “Both Terry and I are excited to be a part of this new venture; we’ve received strong support from Arizona Sportsmen along the ranching community and other groups with a vested interest in helping Arizona’s mule deer populations.”

Over the past 6 years, Jim and Terry have made a considerable impact on the wildlife conservation front in Arizona. “During our tenure with MDF, we completed more conservation projects than any other group in the state”, says Herndon. Both Lawrence and Herndon state emphatically the key to their habitat improvement success in Arizona is simple….great volunteers.

“AMD has hit the ground running and best of all, 100% of our fundraising dollars will stay right here in Arizona” says Lawrence. “We’re blessed to have a great Board of Directors at AMD, including some of Arizona’s top sportsmen, ranchers and business leaders are focused on the success of the organization”. AMD takes great pride in their growing volunteer base, who can be found most weekends repairing a wildlife drinker or redeveloping a spring in the Arizona’s backcountry.

The leadership at Arizona Mule Deer is also proud of their unique relationship with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “Our close relationship with AZGFD has been a great partnership from the beginning.” says Herndon. He goes on to state that “Working with AZGFD and their expertise in managing Arizona’s wildlife resources, is how we get conservation done.” Although Arizona Mule Deer is a newcomer to the scene, the group plans on making an immediate impact on mule deer herds in Arizona.

About Arizona Mule Deer.Org
Arizona Mule Deer is an Arizona Conservation group focused on efforts to restore, grow and preserve Arizona’s mule deer. These efforts include a multi-pronged approach including fundraising which goes towards education, biology, habitat preservation and habitat improvement.

The GoFish Cam – Cool Product and a Great Christmas Gift Too
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With the holiday season steadily approaching, it’s almost time to start rounding up the coolest new gifts for loved ones. For friends and family who’ve got a knack for the great outdoors, GoFish Cam brings the “wow” factor with a specially designed underwater camera.

In terms of its features, it’s camera’s broad lens captures wide-view footage, features a four-hour battery life and green LED lights around the camera (meant to product light and attract fish), which makes it the perfect fishing accessory.

GoFish Cam’s advanced technology replaces trophy images with high-def video that can be easily shared directly to social media through the WiFi-enabled device.

According to their site, here are some features:

– Attaches in-line between your test line and leader line.

– Designed for trolling, bottom fishing, float fishing, and cast and retrieve fishing.

– Supports 1000 lbs with tough armor casing, night vision, and goes 150M underwater.

– Records in 1080p HD with 64GB Micro SD card storage, anti-wobble system, and 4-hour long lasting battery.

– Provides insight into your catch, so you can make better decisions, learn, and land more fish.

This would make a real cool gift! It sells for about 240 bucks. Im going to try and review one in the future.

You can read more about the camera here: CAMERA

You can learn more about the App that goes with it here: GoFish Camera APP

Finally, here is a video showing what it looks like when in use:

Shooter’s Bible – Still Going Strong
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Published annually for more than eighty years, the Shooter’s Bible is the most comprehensive and sought-after reference guide for new firearms and their specifications, as well as for thousands of guns that have been in production and are currently on the market. Nearly every firearms manufacturer in the world is included in this renowned compendium. The 109th edition also contains new and existing product sections on ammunition, optics, and accessories, plus updated handgun and rifle ballistic tables along with extensive charts of currently available bullets and projectiles for handloading.

As a kid, I think the only book I scrutinized more thoroughly than the Shooter’s Bible was the Sears Christmas Catalog. I remember looking at all of those guns and reading about all kinds of shooting info; some of it I could only dream about. Imagine my excitement when the good folks at Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a copy! Heck yeah, I would!

Some of the Shooter’s Bible was just the way I remembered – nearly 600 pages of data about nearly every commercially produced gun known to man (it seems that way at least!). Details about the gun, features, and MSRP for every model. From rifles to shotguns to handguns and airguns. Muzzleloaders, too. There is lots of good stuff on Optics and Ammunition as well. There’s a reference section with information about Ballistics and another section on Manufacturers & Suppliers. Although much of the book is in (high quality) black and white print, there is an extensive color section on new products in the front of the book. Sure, this book can be used as a comprehensive reference guide but it is also flat-out fun to read.

This would make a great gift for the hunter or shooter in your life. For 30 bucks or less you really can’t go wrong.

About the Author of the Shooter’s Bible:

Jay Cassell, editorial director at Skyhorse Publishing and the editor of this compendium, has hunted all over North America. He has written for Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Time, and many other publications, and has published numerous books. He lives in Katonah, New York.

A quick web search showed the book to be available at WalMart, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retail outlets.

Avenza Maps Adds Draw and Measure Tool and More in Avenza Maps 3.3
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Avenza Maps, an innovator and leader in the GPS digital mapping space with thousands of maps designed for use without cell signal, is pleased to announce their latest advanced mapping technology in Avenza Maps 3.3

From the folks at Avenza:

We’re excited to announce that we’ve completed the release of Avenza Maps 3.3 for iOS and Android. We addressed some early user feedback and made a few point releases to resolve those issues (3.3.1 for Android and 3.3.2 for iOS). We’re also working on another minor update that addresses some additional user feedback.

Avenza Maps 3.3

This update contains new features and performance improvements as well as fixes for reported bugs. Some highlights are mentioned below, for the full release notes see below.
Redesigned Measure Tool. This tool has been completely redesigned and renamed — now known as the Draw and Measure tool. It features an improved interface which lets you draw shapes and measure more easily. While in a draw or measure mode, you can now quickly tap anywhere to enter a segment for a line or area. In addition, there are two precise input modes to enter segments: Point By Point and Course and Distance. Long press anywhere on the map to enter precise input mode. For Point By Point, simply enter the coordinates (lat/long, easting/northing or MGRS/USNG) to add a segment at an exact location. The Course and Distance mode allows you to enter the heading (angle) and distance from an initial location.

You can also now draw circles. Using only two points — an initial center point and a second point at any distance away — which means you can now draw circles that can act like buffers. It even works with the Point By Point and Course and Distance modes to enter specific distances or coordinates. Best of all, shapes and areas can now be saved as a map feature to your map. They can be exported as KML, CSV or GPX or even SHP (if you have Avenza Maps Pro). New style settings are available to adjust line thickness, stroke and fill colors, and opacity.

3.3 – What’s New?

The major feature is the redesigned (and renamed) Draw and Measure tool which now allows you to draw shapes quicker and more easily.

• Redesigned Measure Tool (now known as “Draw and Measure”)
• New advanced drawing capabilities, including tap anywhere to draw a segment and tap and hold to access “point by point” and “course and distance” modes
• Draw, edit, save, export and import areas. Draw areas including circles using only two points.
• Reorganized Settings including new settings to change location dot color and line and area colors including opacity
• Record GPS Tracks will continue to run even when the map is closed
• Map Store improvements including ability to preview map extent
• Improved Map Store user registration workflow

You can get Avenza Maps now from the App Store and Google Play.