Desert Rat Talks With Outdoor Personality John Stallone
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I’m hoping you caught my earlier post about John Stallone’s podcasts which are a great source of hunting information – how to, where to, and why.. I thought it might be neat to catch up with John and ask a few questions so my readers could learn more about him. A big “Thank You” to John for taking some time to chat. ~DesertRat

First off, some background on John. From his website:

“I am the marketing Director for The Hunting Channel, a National pro-staff shooter for Mathews, Swhacker, Trufire, Sneek Tec, Bow IQ , Cogburn and Gold tip as well as many more . I am an outdoor videographer and writer in the hunting industry. My program is viewed over 4 million x monthly, I am a published outdoor writer and have over 4 million views on youtube and receive traffic upwards of 65 million each year on my video clips. I have completed my whitetail slam and currently working on my super slam. My TV show was voted viewer’s choice for 2014 on Carbon TV and I have been successfully producing shows for over 11 years.”

1) How long have you worked in the hunting industry?

I started “prostaffing” for companies in 2001 I started getting paid to hunt 2002

2) Is this your full time occupation?

Yes and no I do it full time and make a portion of my livelihood from it but I also own a commercial swimming pool company ( remodel, service and repair)

3) How did you get into this business?

I started by helping develop hunting products and writing articles for blogs and websites then got my first article published in Midwest whitetails form there I started the hunting channel online and my TV show days in the wild

4) You’re a writer, you do podcasts, you have a TV show – which is the hardest for you and why?

The TV show is by far the most time consuming and has the highest cost to produce which consequently requires me to spend a lot of time selling sponsorships. Obtaining sponsors is my least favorite thing to do but is a necessary evil and takes up the brunt of my time.

5) What’s your proudest hunting achievement?

Although I’m very proud of my Ibex there’s not any one trophy or animal that I have taken that makes me feel “proudest “because they are all equal in my eyes although I’d have to say what I’m most proud of is my consistent success rate for the last 10 years has been over 75% and I typically do 12 hunts a year

6) You’ve traveled a lot, killed a lot of game – what’s still on your bucket list?

This interview isn’t long enough lol… my top three right now are moose, mountain goat, and red stag

7) Whats your favorite thing to hunt?

Whatever is in season and I have a tag for. But if you have to make me choose only one species to hunt for the rest of my life it’s a toss up for me between whitetail and elk

8) What’s the hardest part of working in the hunting industry?

Having to chase down sponsorship money and having to constantly be selling yourself . I hate having to go hat in hand asking for money. I’m not a salesman and unfortunately in this industry being a salesman is more important than being a good hunter. But a close second is always being under scrutiny; there is always someone ready and waiting to point out what you did wrong.

9) What are some of your product affiliations?

Mathews, Swhacker, Sneektec, Goldtip

10) What are some big upcoming projects for you?

I am working on a new film right now, it’s a South Dakota spot and stalk archery whitetail hunt I hope to have it ready by May 2017 but other than that my main focus right now is my Podcast Interviews with the Hunting Masters its growing really fast and I’d like to keep up the momentum . I really enjoy the medium almost better than filming. I get to interact with my peers and fans, share info, and I get to do it as often as I like.

I’d really like to thank John for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with me about all the cool stuff he has going on.

View a sample of his hunting show here: Hunting Coues Deer

Check out one of his books here: Secrets of Hunting Western Game

Learn more about The Hunting Channel here: The Hunting Channel Online

Follow him on Twitter here: John Stallone Twitter

Finally, connect with him on Facebook here: John Stallone Facebook

ISE Scottsdale Off To A Good Start
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I was able to sneak away from work to stop by International Sportsmen’s Expo and Arizona Boat Show being held at WestWorld in Scottsdale.

It was great to see John Kirk, Director of Communications for International Sportsmen’s Expos and he always takes time out to chat and introduce me to some of his great vendors.

Attendance seemed brisk for an opening Thursday and the good news is that you still have three more days to fully experience ISE in Scottsdale. The show runs March 23rd through the 26th and there are tons of things to see and do, for the whole family.

There are lots of great live presentations

There’s some cool new stuff:

NEW—Watersports Pond—flyboarding, wakeboarding and SUP demos
NEW—Wilderness Camp, hosted byTodd Jostes
NEW—High Impact Archery Range, cash contest and Western Finals (rules here)
NEW—Fly-casting and fly-tying seminars/instruction
NEW—Best of Scottsdale Casting Contest, hosted by Desert Fly Casters and Arizona FlyCasters clubs (Sunday)
NEW—Eastmans’ Trophy Deer and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation elk Displays

And some favorites as well:

Offroad Test Track, presented by Kawasaki and Tomcar
Outdoor Product Showcase, hosted by Gear Guru Dan Kidder–see and win gear!
Youth Fair (free activities), hosted by Bass Pro Shop and Arizona Anglers
Arizona Taxidermy Association wildlife display and State Championship
Aquarium Demonstration Tank pro seminars, presented by Arizona Boating & Watersports
RMEF Adventure Theater
Zip-line and climbing wall (fees)

You can find the show at:

WestWorld of Scottsdale
16601 N Pima Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Hours are:

Thu.. 10am – 7pm
Fri… 10am – 7pm
Sat.. 10am – 7pm
Sun.. 10am – 5pm

Adult Admission – $14.00
Youth 15 and under – Free!

You can download a show program here: Show Program

Badlands Announces Groundbreaking Binocular/Rangefinder Case
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West Jordan, UT – Crowd control was key for Badlands at the 2017 ATA tradeshow as they unveiled the new Bino XR optics case. Utilizing Badlands Zip-No™ Magnetic Closure Technology, the Bino XR provides separate, easy-access compartments for a set of binoculars and a rangefinder. “Oohhs and aahhs” were frequently overheard as Badlands demonstrated the dual-carry capability of the new case.

Features of the Bino XR include:

• Badlands Zip-No™ Magnetic Closure Technology on both upper and lower compartments
• Upper storage fits most 10×42 binoculars and smaller
• Lower storage fits most rangefinder models
• Built-in lens cloth
• Tethers for binoculars and rangefinder
• New zippered side pocket storage
• Built-in (removable) rain cover for ultimate protection
• New slimmer, ventilated 4-way shoulder harness system
Badlands Supply Chain Manager Tim Shoaf said of the new case, “Honestly, this one is kind of pain in the you-know-what for me because demand is already through the roof.” He continued, “We’re working hard to fulfill all the demand and make sure everyone has one of these on their chest this spring.”

The Badlands Bino XR will be available April 2017 for $149.99. Available color options will be Badlands Approach camouflage, Serengeti Brown and Gunmetal Gray.

Now in its 23rd year, Badlands continues to focus on exceptional quality, continuing innovation, unmatched performance and as always the only unconditional lifetime warranty in the industry.


For more information about this event, products in the Badlands line, or general inquiries, please contact Blake VanTussenbrook at 1.800.386.7839 or

TriState Archery Talks About Xpedition Bows
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You may have read one of my first posts about Xpedition archery. I’m continuing to work with Blake and the Team at Xpedition because I believe they’re different, and believe in their product. On top of that, they’re just “good people”. ~DesertRat

Recently James Abbott from TriState Archery in Delaware took some time out to talk to me about his experiences as a dealer working with Xpedition Archery.

1) How long have you had Xpedition bows in the shop? How are they selling?

I have had Xpedition bows in my shop since September. They have been selling great! Mostly Mathews and Hoyts in this area and word has gotten out about this line. Ive had people drive as far as New York all the way to my shop in Delaware for one!

2) What are the qualities of Xpedition bows that make selling them easier?

I let the bow speak for itself. I never try to sell a customer on any product. So far every single person whom has shot one has purchased one.

3) What are your favorite features of Xpedition bows?

I think my favorite feature has been the cam system. The hybrid cams are great, very easy to work on as far as changing draw length without pressing the bow and they tune VERY easy. Another thing i like about the bow is bare bow or loaded they are as quiet as they come and dead in the hand.

4) As a company, what has Xpedition been like to work with?

I can not say enough good things about Xpedition from Blake Davis(National Sales manager) to my sales rep and everyone in between. They have made this journey a great one. By far the best customer and technical support I have ever dealt with. I cant possibly thank the entire Xpedition team enough for how far above and beyond they go for us dealers and the consumers as well.

5) What is your favorite model?

Now now now, honestly I cant say. I personally shoot the Perfexion, Xcursion 6 and Denali. Flip a coin but they all perform like no other bow I’ve ever put in my hand.

6) For folks who haven’t heard of Xpedition, what would you want them to know?

Just because it is not a name like Hoyt or Mathews do yourself a favor and give them a shot. Shoot one and let the bow speak for itself, I promise once you shoot one you will be joining the Xpedition team.

Thanks again to James for spending some time talking about Xpedition.

You can learn more about Xpedition here: About Xpedition

See their bows here: Xpedition 2017 Bows

Interested in getting your hands on one? Find a dealer here: DEALERS

Buy Your Tickets – The Arizona Big Game Super Raffle
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Elk and antelope draw results are mostly out but don’t despair if you didn’t get drawn. This raffle raises a lot of money for projects in Arizona which help wildlife. You can win an amazing tag, and help wildlife too! ~DesertRat


If you are after a truly huge mule deer, elk, antelope, Coues deer, desert bighorn sheep, or buffalo, then Arizona is where you need to be. Arizona offers some of the best trophy opportunities in North America. The only huntable population of Gould’s turkeys in the United States exists in Southern Arizona and can be hunted with this tag. Don’t miss your chance at the hunt of a lifetime!

You can learn more about the raffle here: About the raffle

You can learn more about the groups that the raffle funds support: Sponsoring Organizations

The rules are here: Raffle rules

Tickets range in price from $5 – $25

Antelope – $20
Black Bear – $5
Buffalo – $20
Coues Whitetail – $10
Desert Bighorn – $25
Elk – $25
Javelina – $5
Mt. Lion – $5
Mule Deer – $25
Turkey – $10
Optics – $10
New Mexico Elk Hunt – $20 each or 6 for $100

You can buy tickets online: BUY TICKETS ONLINE

CleanShot Bore Cleaning Device – An Interview With Curt From Huntego
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A big shout out to Curt Whitworth for taking some time to talk to me about Huntego and their products. These innovative products are sure to make a splash in the industry. ~DesertRat

From the Release:

CleanShot Fires Off: First-Ever “Shoot Through” Bore Cleaning Device Unveiled

Huntego Limited’s newest innovation to be the first product ever launched on –
the shooting industry’s crowdfunding platform

(Northville, Michigan) – It’s a double barreled shot of unprecedent ed breakthroughs for the gun industry. Huntego Limited is launching CleanShot, the industry’s first of its kind shoot-through bore cleaning cartridges. CleanShot is fast, efficient, convenient and compared to traditional field cleaning methods, more affordable.

CleanShot is a patented high-velocity bore cleaning device that uses approximately 9,600 psi of outward pressure to power scrub, trap particles and wipe the bore clean. Simply load a CleanShot round in the chamber like any other cartridge, safely fire and your gun is field-cleaned in an instant. Designed to be used in the field or at a range, CleanShot allows shooters to maintain their firearms with minimal cleaning equipment, effort and mess.

The first product in the Huntego Limited line is now available at–cleanshot#/about

Huntego Limited is launching the 12-gauge model now and intends to release 20, 28 and 410 gauges i n the year ahead. They are also actively working on the 9MM handgun and military grade applications such as the 5.56 model.

The 12-gauge CleanShot uses a standard shotgun hull and is manufactured using the same process and standards as ammunition currently manufactured by the OEM brands today.

The product can be used by a wide range of shooting consumers including:
recreational and target shooters, hunters, law enforcement, military, government agencies and more.

CleanShot sells for $2.50 on

Talking with Curt:

1) How on earth did you think of this?

You know – the old story that it just came to me… sorta. Was at the SHOT Show with a client and happen to see something, then another and another. For me 2+2=4 that day – it made perfect sense. I was really into “if I had an idea, I would write it down” on a small pad that I always carried at the time. Drew a few pictures, made some notes – by the flight home I was on page 6 of a business plan. Spent a lot of time looking online, then Patent Office – next thing you know it just took over. I knew that it solves a number of issues, would be easy to use and be cost effective. That was about 5 years ago.

2) What prompted you to develop the concept and go to market?

I am a firm believer in disruptive invention. Something that may be unconventional or “outside the box” to an industry that has done something the same way for hundreds of years – to me is exhilarating and/or addicting. I didn’t live inside that industry’s box – and wasn’t restrained to 4 walls, I just went in and figured it out. Once I got into something that I felt would work, I was completely hooked. So mornings, evenings and weekends were consumed with shotshells, wads, CAD, books and patent research. Its the thrill of the chase. Fast forward to today – we have made investments in large capacity molds for 12 gauge and production is in full scale production for an April 17 delivery.

3) What next for your company? Will this technology work on rifled barrels?

To complete the shotgun market, we have development scheduled for 12, 20, 28 and 410 lines for production. We have 9MM prototype materials in hand and are excited to move into more handgun gauges such as 7MM and 40cal in 2017. We also have .223 CAD concepts moving forward with possible release dates in 2018… and a few more innovative bore cleaning solutions up our sleeves… cant give it all away.

Rifled barrels. We have found the CleanShot® to be a very effective field cleaning device for rifled barrels. We have tested on a number of shotgun brands with consistent results.

4) Does this product eliminate traditional bore cleaning or supplement it?

CleanShot® is a shoot-through field cleaning device. After a day at the range, clays, in the field dogging birds/waterfowl or just plinking targets – simply load a CleanShot and safely fire. The device is designed to scrub, trap particles and wipe the bore clean. Huntego Limited is an absolute advocate of scheduled bench cleaning when you have the time, energy and funds to do so.

5) What has been the most surprising challenge in getting the product to market?

Oh, that’s loaded question. Its been a really long, educational, eye-opening process – on so many fronts – as it should be, we are talking ammunition products.

6) For readers who have never heard of your company, what would you want to tell them?

Watch this space. Huntego Limited has a number of new product innovations to release… changing the game forever. We are extremely excited to enter the industry with a product like CleanShot and the possibilities that lie ahead.

Thanks again to curt for taking the time to talk with me. Can’s wait to see the progress! ~DesertRat

Coming Soon – Xpedition Xception
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Look for a coming product review on a 2017 Xpedition Xception! Can’t wait for mine to get here!

Learn more here: Xception

Hunting Works in Arizona
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Did You Know?

• Hunting in Arizona has a $592 million impact on the state economy.
• Arizona hunters annually generate $42.4 million in taxes for the state of Arizona.
• Thanks to the Pittman-Robertson Act, every time you buy a gun, ammunition, or archery equipment, you pay a 11% federal excise tax that helps pay for conservation.
• United States sportsmen contribute nearly $8 million every day, adding more than $2.9 billion every year for conservation.
• Since 2004, 35 states have passed new laws aimed at removing barriers and making it easier for new people to get into the field and try hunting.

Just Announced: 2017 Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Dollars

Not only is hunting supporting our businesses, but hunters and shooters contribute significantly to the management and protection of Arizona’s wildlife resources and habitats through the Pittman-Robertson Act. This act levies an 11% tax on firearms, ammunition, and other gear used by hunters and shooters which comes back to the state wildlife agency.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just announced the final apportionment of the 2017 Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Funds, which have amounted to $780 million! This is a whopping 12.2% increase over the $695 million allocated in 2016. Thank you hunters and recreational shooters for your contributions to our state’s economy and wildlife habitat!

International Sportsmen’s Expo and Arizona Boat Show 2017
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Experience Everything the Great Outdoors Offers in One Location

The International Sportsmen’s Expo and Arizona Boat Show Feature Entertainment, Gear, Destinations and Experts

SCOTTSDALE (December 29, 2016) – If it can be done outdoors, it can be found at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition and Arizona Boat Show (ISE). Arizona’s 17th annual ISE returns to WestWorld of Scottsdale March 23-26.

Outdoor enthusiasts will be treated to a variety of show attractions, nearly all of which are free with show entry. The Action Water Sports giant Watersports Pond spotlights pro wakeboarders, as well as kayak and stand-up paddleboard demos. Top pros will teach fishing techniques at the Aquarium Tank. Visitors can test ATVs and UTVs at the Offroad Test Track, or get free casting lessons from the Desert Fly Casters and Arizona Flycasters. Try your hand at finding treasure during the on-site geocaching adventure. Plus, meet the Wilderness Man, Todd Jostes, to learn about survival techniques, tools, and natural medicines. Dan Kidder, the Gear Guru, will answer product-related questions at the Outdoor Product Showcase, where visitors can see and sign up to win gear. Competitive visitors can enter the Best-of-the-West finals at the giant High Impact Archery Range, or the new fly-casting contest.

There will be plenty of hands-on fun for kids, too. Free activities include two catch-and-release fishing ponds, a casting area and an archery shoot. There’s also a zipline ride and rock-climbing wall for thrill seekers of all ages.

“After a successful 2016 show at WestWorld of Scottsdale, we’re looking forward to making the 2017 Scottsdale International Sportsmen’s Expo and Arizona Boat Show bigger and better than ever,” said Brian Layng, ISE CEO and President. “Serious outdoor enthusiasts and casual explorers will find new adventures, new gear and destinations, and we bet new friends, too.”

This expo is also home to the Valley’s only boat show, the Arizona Boat Show, which will feature its largest selection ever. Fifteen dealers will offer 40 brands and more than 120 boats, from fishing to sport to pleasure models, plus rafts, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. The Arizona Boat Show includes marinas and marine accessory exhibitors. An expanded display of recreational vehicles from several Valley dealers is another area that spotlights the show’s tremendous growth.

WHO: International Sportsmen’s Expo and Arizona Boat Show, including hundreds of exhibitors showcasing the latest destinations and products for fishing, hunting, boating, RVing and offroading.

WHAT: Unique show attractions include:

• Watersports Pond, including wakeboard, kayak and stand-up paddleboard demos
• Outdoor Product Showcase
• Offroad Test Track
• Giant Aquarium Tank
• Adventure Theater

• AZ Taxidermy Assoc. State Championship
• Trophy Elk and Deer Displays
• Archery Range and contest
• Fly-Casting seminars and contest
• Bass Pro Shop Youth Fair with free activities for kids
• Climbing Wall and Zipline

WHEN: March 23 – 26, 2017
HOURS: Thurs., Fri., Sat., 10am to 7pm; Sunday, 10am to 5pm
WHERE: WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85260
COST: Admission is $14 daily for adults. Children younger than 15 are free with a paid adult

For more information, visit the International Sportsmen’s Expo website at You can also follow then on Facebook at

Broadhead Brotherhood Shoot for Hope 2017
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Support the HOPE Team by participating in the Broadhead Brotherhood Shoot for Hope – a fun 3D Shoot that will be held on April 15th at the Ben Avery Range.

To learn more, you can visit the BBSFH Facebook Page.