A new addition to the family
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I had a .41 Magnum for a long time that I loved, but it was a closet queen so I reluctantly sold it. I then picked up an XD40 with the tactical slide. That gun shoots nice and is reliable but the long slide doesn’t make it practical for concealed carry. It now has a flashlight attached underneath and is at the ready in my nightstand. I don’t regularly carry concealed, but that is partially because I haven’t owned something that was well suited to CCW. That led me on a search for a CCW piece. I had it in my head I was going to get a single-stack .45 – either Springfield’s XDS or a Glock 36. While shopping though, I came across a great deal on a Glock 32 in OD. I didn’t know much about the .357 Sig so I did some research and discovered it has a lot of fans and is generally considered to be a very effective cartridge. I have never owned a Glock before but I am excited to get out on the range with this. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Vortex Optics – Great Service!
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I have been associated with Vortex for several years and in spite of having rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and 2 different pairs of binos – I have never had to use their warranty program. Vortex is well-known for their superior level of service, but I had never needed to experience it first hand.

I have an olddddddd pair of 8×42 binos – “Sidewinders’ that they don’t even sell any more. Years of bouncing around in Rangers, tramping around the desert and riding in the front of the truck had made them victim of our nasty Arizona dust. They felt really gritty when adjusting the focus. I called Vortex and asked if they could clean and service them and they said “Sure”. On the Service Form I indicated “Need a good cleaning, missing a lens cap”

Wow! The binos were only gone 2 weeks or so, and here is the work they performed, at no charge:

Repaired both eye cup assemblies
Cleaned and lubed focus mechanism
Adjusted diopter so both sides focus together
Checked alignment
Cleaned binoculars
Installed objective lens covers and rain guard.
Included new cleaning cloth
Included new case

These came back to me working flawlessly and looking like they were brand new! Great job by Vortex!

Healthy Joints for Life – a book by Richard Diana, MD
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“But… but… this is a hunting website!”

Yes, yes it is. But I have been plagued with arthritis for several years so when I was offered a chance to review this book, I took it! Thanks to Saraciea Fennell at Harlequin for reaching out to me and getting me a copy of the book!

What a great book! Dr. Diana discusses the ins and outs of inflammation in layman’s terms that make sense, even when he is discussing it at a cellular level. He describes what inflammation is, what causes it, and how to reduce it. He discusses foods and supplements – what works and what to avoid. He discusses exercise and presents an 8-week comprehensive program to get you back to feeling better. In this program he covers in detail recipes, vitamins, and exercise – why, how and when.

I’m 47 and everything hurts. If you’re starting to ache or get creaky, I highly recommend this book. It’s interesting, thorough and well-written. Dr. Diana utilizes current research, years of training and experience as a physician, and past suffering of aches and pains as an NFL player to make this practical and easy-to-read.

Think you’re destined to eating carrots? Check this out:

Fiber Creamsicle Smoothie

1 teaspoon orange flavored Metamucil
1 Tablespoon sugar-free yogurt
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
3-4 ice cubes
1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

From the Harlequin press release:

HEALTHY JOINTS FOR LIFE: An Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again (February 2014).

Dr. Richard Diana—the only orthopedic surgeon to play in a Super Bowl—is uniquely positioned to explain joint pain and how to free yourself from its debilitating hold on your life. Diana, who retired from the Miami Dolphins after playing Super Bowl XVII to attend the Yale School of Medicine, has drawn on his professional experience and cutting-edge science to develop a proven plan to reduce pain and inflammation without surgery or medication. HEALTHY JOINTS FOR LIFE is a proven 8-week program that teaches joint pain sufferers how to use diet, exercise and supplements to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and rejuvenate their joints.

You can purchase the book at all major book sellers. It sells on Amazon for about 15 bucks.

Richard Diana, MD

Simple Fly Fishing by Yvon Chouinard, Craig Mathews & Mauro Mazzo
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I loved fly-fishing in my younger days, and probably miss it more than any other type of fishing. I was fortunate enough to grow up in Atlantic Salmon country, fishing rivers such as the famous Miramichi. That being said I had never heard of Tenkara – what a cool technique! I was fortunate to be able to view an advance copy of the book and I can tell you this will be a great book whether you are young or old, novice or expert – I guarantee you’ll learn something!

From the release:


Modern-day fly fishing, like much in life, has become exceedingly complex, with high-tech gear, a confusing array of flies and terminal tackle, accompanied by high-priced fishing guides. But in a long-anticipated book, Simple Fly Fishing, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard joins noted fly fishermen Mauro Mazzo and Craig Mathews to reveal the best way to catch trout: simply, with a rod and a fly and not much else.

The wisdom in the book comes from a simpler time when the premise was the more you know, the less you need. It introduces modern-day readers—beginner anglers to master fishermen—to the techniques based on Tenkara fishing, which relies less on equipment and more on how to discover where the fish are, at what depth, and what they are feeding on. Then it describes the practices needed to present a fly at that depth, make it look lifelike, and hook the fish.
“This is a book for the young person who has wanted to learn, but is intimidated by the complexity, elitism, and expense of the sport,” says Chouinard, a Tenkara enthusiast. “For the woman and her daughter who are put off by the image of the testosterone-fueled, good old boy bass and trout fisherman who turned the ‘contemplative pastime’ into a competitive combat sport. And for the long time angler who has everything and wants to replace all that stuff with skill, knowledge, and simplicity.”

With chapters on wet flies, nymphs, and dry flies, the authors employ both the Tenkara rod as well as regular fly fishing gear to cover all the bases. Illustrated by renowned fish artist James Prosek, with inspiring photographs and stories throughout, Simple Fly Fishing reveals the secrets and the soul of this captivating sport.

Patagonia Books is intended as a way to advance our love of books as well as nature and a reflective life. We publish a select number of titles on wilderness, wildlife, and outdoor sports that inspire and restore connection to the natural world. We also present books that raise awareness about not only the environmental challenges our world faces, but suggest ways that we can work together to slow the disintegration of our planet. This includes immediate activities, such as strategies to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as more in-depth examinations of the meanings of affluence, consumerism, and capitalism in the 21st Century.

We believe that books are still the most important medium for passing our values to the next generation. The titles we publish reflect the principles that guide the business and personal lives of many of us who work at Patagonia and many who participate in the sports we support. These include the vow to lead an examined life, to do what we can as individuals and as a company to make a difference to the environmental challenges we all face, and to hold up our company, with full transparency and honesty, as an example for other businesses.

Jim Shockey’s “Uncharted”
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Looks awesome!

Jim Shockey’s UNCHARTED – Trailer from Branlin Shockey on Vimeo.

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RED WING, MN (December 2011) — Irish Setter ®VaprTrek hunting boots with RPM technology are extremely lightweight and hunt-ready.

New VaprTrek boots are 40% lighter than traditional Irish Setter big game hunting boots without sacrificing support or stability. RPM Technology, a breakthrough composite material, significantly reduces the weight of the boot, providing extreme comfort without the extra weight.

The RPM sole features a bi-directional lug pattern for increased traction and balance during heel strike and toe off. The wrap-around instep provides protection and aids in gripping tree stand rungs or ATV foot pegs. Armatec™ heel and toe protection guards against ground hazards. Underfoot comfort is enhanced with an anatomically-correct polyurethane and high-rebound foam footbed with a ScentBan™ odor inhibiting top cover. And a ScentBan lining delivers scent control through a process that kills odor-causing bacteria.

Irish Setter VaprTrek hunting boots incorporate UltraDry™ waterproofing so feet stay dry and boots stay breathable. A memory foam collar forms to fit the ankle for comfortable stability in the boot shaft. The Cushin™ Comfort Tongue offers long-lasting comfort in the shin area. A speed lacing system with one-tug tightening provides fast, snug lacing.

Men’s VaprTrek Boots (sizes 8-12, 13, 14 in D and EE widths)
Style #2868 is an 8″ non-insulated boot with Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camouflage, $149.99*
Style #2870 is an 8″ non-insulated boot with Realtree Xtra® camouflage, $149.99
Style #2863 is an 8″ non-insulated boot in Stone leather and fabric, $149.99
Style #2864 is an 8″ non-insulated boot in Black leather and fabric, $149.99
Style #2875 is a 17″ non-insulated, lace-up snake boot with Realtree Xtra® Green camouflage, $209.99
Style #2873** is an 8″ boot with 400 grams of PrimaLoft® insulation in Realtree Xtra® camouflage, $159.99
Style #2874** is an 8″ boot with 400 grams of PrimaLoft® insulation in Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camouflage, $159.99

Women’s VaprTrek Boots (sizes 5-11 medium width)
Style #2862** is an 8” boot in Realtree Xtra® camouflage, $149.99
Style #2881** is an 8” boot with 400 grams of PrimaLoft® insulation in Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camouflage, $159.99

“Irish Setter VaprTrek boots are engineered to be remarkably lightweight and flexible,” explained Charley Bryant, Irish Setter Hunt Line Manager for Red Wing Shoe Company. “All you have to do is pick up this boot and you’ll feel the difference.”

New styles (indicated by **) will be available at leading outdoor retailers in July 2014. Style #2864 is also available in sizes 4, 5, 6, and 7 in D (medium) width.

About Irish Setter

Based in Red Wing, MN, Irish Setter is a division of Red Wing Shoe Company that produces a full line of performance hunting boots and rugged outdoor casual footwear. Irish Setter continues to use leading technologies and the finest materials to offer customers the highest quality outdoor footwear. For more information about Irish Setter’s heritage, products and retailers, visit www.irishsetterboots.com.

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Deer TrackerRED WING, MN (December 2013) — Irish Setter Deer Tracker Big Game hunting boots feature StableFlex® technology, which combines welt construction in the heel for stability and cement construction in the forefoot for added flexibility. The Deer Tracker sole with an aggressive lug pattern provides superb stability and traction on the toughest terrain. Maximum underfoot comfort is delivered by a triple-density, RPM lightweight sole and polyurethane footbed. The boot features premium US-Made Trout Brook leather with a variety of camo options, proven UltraDry™ waterproofing and ScentBan™ scent control. Additional features include Armatec™ toe and heel protection, Achilles Comfort Panel and a CuShin™ Comfort tongue. Insulated versions provide warmth with long-lasting, hydrophobic Primaloft ® insulation.

Style #4833 is a 7″ non-insulated lace-up boot with Realtree Xtra® camo, $169.99
Style #4835 is a 10″ non-insulated lace-up boot with Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camo, $189.99
Style #4837 is a 10″ lace-up boot with Realtree Xtra® camo and 400 grams of Primaloft® insulation, $194.99
Style #4838 is a 10″ lace-up boot with Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity® camo and 800 grams of Primaloft®insulation, $204.99
Style #4843 is a 12″ non-insulated pull-on boot with ExoFlex™ Performance Fit System for easy on/off and Realtree Xtra® camo, $179.99

“Deer Tracker boots will help you traverse rough terrain with confidence and comfort,” said Charley Bryant, Irish Setter Line Manager for Red Wing Shoe Company.

Irish Setter Deer Tracker boots will be available in July 2014 at leading outdoor retailers. Visit www.irishsetterboots.com for the retailer nearest you.

About Irish Setter

Based in Red Wing, MN, Irish Setter is a division of Red Wing Shoe Company that produces a full line of performance hunting boots and rugged outdoor casual footwear. Irish Setter continues to use leading technologies and the finest materials to offer customers the highest quality outdoor footwear. For more information about Irish Setter’s heritage, products and retailers, visit www.irishsetterboots.com

Antelope Awareness Day – April 5th
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This sounds like a great day for anyone interested in these beautiful animals! ~Desert Rat

A day to learn about pronghorn in Arizona and about current and ongoing research projects related to this species. The day will be full of informative presentations, followed by afternoon workshops and field trips.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Horseshoe Ranch, Agua Fria National Monument
Exit I-17 at Bloody Basin Rd. (exit 259) and head east approximately five miles. The road is
graded dirt – suitable for passenger cars. The ranch is just before the road crosses the Agua
Fria River.

Water, lunch, chair, layered clothing, sun protection (hat, sunscreen), binoculars, an interest in
Morning refreshments and water refills provided.

For more information, contact David Brown at (602) 471-2872 or Dana Warnecke at (480) 324-
3547 or dwarnecke@azgfd.gov.

Photo above from the Arizona Antelope Foundation website

Scope Upgrade Coming
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My rifle of choice is a Savage Weather Warrior in .270 WSM and came fixed up with a muzzle brake that you could turn on or off, along with the Accu-Stock and Accu-Trigger. The scope I had on it was OK, but I have decided to tinker away at turning this into a rifle where I would be comfortable taking shots out to 600 yards or so. With that in mind, I am upgrading the current scope to a Viper HS LR by Vortex Optics.

Once I get the scope mounted, I’m going to put a custom turret on it, made by Kenton Industries. Look for a series of articles on the Kenton turret – from how to select, how to install and then a profile on the company and owner Mark Kenton.

Stay tuned!

And another curse falls
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Arizona Javelina

Those of you who know me know that I have struggled with various curses over the years; I’ve definitely had some challenges filling Arizona big game tags. Now to be fair, I’m a bit f a “victim of circumstances” – nonetheless, success has been a fickle maiden for sure. In October I finally filled an Arizona deer tag. He wasn’t a monster, but he was all mine. My real nemesis all these years however, has been the lowly javelina. I have eaten up a lot more hours and boot leather chasing those stinky pigs than I have anything else. My daughter got hers. I’ve helped other people get theirs, thanks to my successful advice and directions.My tags continued to go unfilled.

As per my custom, I put in for (and drew) a 33/37B archery tag this year. My friend John Greiss urged me to put in for a second tag; an 18B leftover general tag.I drew one of those too.John was named Arizona Game and Fish’s 2014 “Mentor of the Year”, and that is no coincidence. John has assisted in dozens if not hundreds of “firsts” when it comes to hunting, for people all over Arizona. He and friend Josh Smith helped my daughter get her first javelina. John was there in October when I got my first Coues. A new job in January sunk my chances of going out bowhunting, so my 18B tag was my last hope in 2014. I arranged to hunt on Sunday, and John and I made a plan. It was off to a rough start. I had to get up at 3 AM to make the 3+ hour drive to Bagdad. My daughter had a dance that night and I didn’t get to bed until almost midnight. I was a tired lil boy driving up there the next morning. John met me in town and we headed out to where Jose, Miguel, RL and the others were camped. They had a plan, and we loaded up the Rangers and headed out.

About an hour and a half into the real hunting, a herd of 3 or 4 was spotted. We set up an ambush, and Jose went on a mini Javelina drive – they were hunkered down in some thick stuff and not moving. Miguel scored, Jose and Andrew took shots, but only one tag was filled. After a couple of hours we went in and broke camp in order to facilitate heading to a different spot on the way out of town. Miguel and RL headed home, and the rest of us kept hunting.

Late in the afternoon, a single pig was spotted. Jose was really working the glass. There were 2 other rookie pig hunters there, but John insisted I take the shot. We re-positioned, glassed for a bit to make sure there was only one pig, and then John set up his Claw. I was trying to get set up but we were sideways on a slope so I elected to use the Triclawps. We put my rifle in (a Savage .22-250) got situated and I settled in for the shot. “Boom” “Whap”

“He’s down! He’s down” I was watching hi through my scope. He went down instantly, rolled down the hill, and fetched up on a bush. He kicked a few times and it was over. Shot was ranged at 175 yards, and then the work started.

As he lay

Snapped a few trophy pics and carried him up the hill.

We hunted until almost dark, trying to get the other guys onto a pig but to no avail. Icing on the cake? Miguel’s javelina tied John’s prior record for “javelina assists”. Mine was the one that created his new single-season record.

Sunset on the Ranger in 18B

By the time we got back to the trucks it was nearly 7:30. The ride home was long, but having a filled tag instead of an empty one made it much more bearable!