Trout Unlimited: State of the Trout
Posted by

I grew up fishing trout. I think it’s important that we keep an eye on these beautiful creatures, and do what we can to spread the word.

Deadline Looming to buy Tickets For The AZ Big Game Super Raffle
Posted by

I enter this every year! Would be cool to draw the tag of a lifetime and the money does great work on the ground here in Arizona! You will be able to purchase tickets online until 10:00 pm (Pacific) on Sunday, July 12th ~DesertRat

These Special Tags are designed to earn money for wildlife and wildlife management in Arizona. Every dollar raised for each species by the raffle of these special big game tags is returned to the Arizona Game and Fish Department and managed by the Arizona Habitat Partnership Committee (AHPC) for that particular species. With input from local habitat partners across the state, as well as the input from the organizations involved with the fund raising, they collectively determine which projects will provide the most benefit to each species represented.

Operating costs are covered entirely by sales of the Optics Raffle and New Mexico Elk Hunt tickets as well as contributions from the sponsoring organizations. The management of the raffle is overseen by a volunteer board of directors.

There are very few limitations on hunting areas and the prices for each ticket have been set to give every hunter in the world an opportunity to win a true hunt of a lifetime. Prices range from $5-25 each. (See the Buy Tickets page).

Arizona offers some of the best trophy opportunities in North America for each of these species. A quick review of the both the B&C and P&Y record book will confirm this. 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. The only huntable population of Gould’s turkeys in the United States exists in Southern Arizona and can be hunted with this tag.

You can buy your tickets HERE

Pregnant mule deer poached, twins found dead
Posted by

I hate thieves, and I hate poachers even more. Make no mistake, poachers are not hunters in any way, shape or form. Hunters are custodians, poachers are thieves. There is also an issue in Arizona with sentencing of poachers. We need strict, minimum sentences for poachers that include jail time. I hope they find this scum. ~DesertRat

Pregnant mule deer poached, twins found dead

July 2, 2015

Up to $1,000 reward available

CHINO VALLEY, Ariz. – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking information about the poaching of a pregnant mule deer in Game Management Unit 19A, east of Chino Valley.

Game and Fish officers are continuing to investigate the crime, and the department’s Operation Game Thief program is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

On June 29, Game and Fish received a call regarding a dead doe. On June 30, officers found where the carcass had been dumped after the desirable meat had been removed. At the gut pile, officers discovered two, full-term fawns that were due within days.

“The residents of Arizona lost three deer with this one criminal act,” said Zen Mocarski, information and education program manager for the department’s regional office in Kingman. “The fawns were simply discarded as the poacher, or poachers, were field-dressing the doe.”

The doe was killed east of Chino Valley behind a subdivision the night of June 28. The gut pile was found near Muldoon Tank, located off Forest Service Road 638, just north of the Haystack Ranch.

Evidence was collected at the scene, but help from the public is needed.

“Maybe someone saw something and didn’t think too much about it,” Mocarski said. “Or, maybe someone overheard someone talking about it or saw something on social media. The department needs this information to try and bring those responsible to justice.”

If found, those responsible may face criminal charges, including take of big game wildlife during a closed season and waste of game meat. After the case is adjudicated, those responsible also face a potential civil assessment by the Game and Fish Commission and possible license revocation.

“This is not the act of a hunter,” Mocarski said. “Poaching is a crime. True hunters are conservationists and would never show such disrespect for modern wildlife conservation.”

Anyone with information regarding this case, or any wildlife violation, should call the Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700. Information also can be reported at Identities will remain confidential. Anyone calling should reference case number 15-001965.

Pronghorn antelope numbers on rise near Sonoita, Patagonia
Posted by

Birth of 84 fawns indicates management efforts paying off

TUCSON – After four years of comprehensive, science-based management efforts, biologists at the Arizona Game and Fish Department are encouraged by the birth of 84 pronghorn antelope fawns this year and increased pronghorn distribution throughout Game Management Units 34A, 34B and 35A in southeastern Arizona.

In recent ground surveys conducted with the Arizona Antelope Foundation, the Arizona Game and Fish Department counted 48 bucks, 131 does and 84 fawns during a two-day (June 13-14) ground survey near Sonoita and Patagonia.

This year’s count of 263 pronghorn antelope is up from the minimum adult population of 81 counted four years ago, when the Arizona Antelope Foundation was awarded a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant for grasslands restoration projects in the area.

The grasslands restoration efforts included a combination of mesquite removal and prescribed burns. In addition, fence modifications, water improvements, predator control, and population augmentation also were used to help bolster pronghorn antelope numbers.

“The conditions that allow pronghorn numbers to increase were created by a combination of these wildlife management actions,” said Amber Munig, big game management program supervisor. “Rarely will a single management action result in such positive change.”

A running pronghorn antelope can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour or more, but they are hesitant to jump over objects, preferring instead to crawl under or through fences. Their eight-month gestation period is among the longest of North American game animals.

For more information about pronghorn antelope, visit:

Bulletproof Laptop Bag Doubles as a Potentially Life-Saving Shield
Posted by

Wow – this looks like a great piece of kit, especially if you work in the security field. Heck – I oversee campus security – maybe I need one! ~ DesertRat

Bulletproof Laptop Bag Doubles as a Potentially Life-Saving Shield

MTS™ – Multi Threat Shield protects from various guns, knives; other weapon attacks

Most laptop bags are not much more than a pocket with a strap attached for people to tote more gear around than they can carry in their hands. Not any more. The new MTS™ – Multi Threat Shield (MTS) bag looks like an average black laptop bag, but not only can it carry gear it can also save lives. Built into the MTS™ is a lightweight and discreet ballistic shield. Whether the threat is an intruder or an active shooter, a quick flick of the wrist swiftly deploys a 3-foot long blanket of protection to defeat multiple impacts from most handgun, shotgun and pistol caliber sub­machine gun threats.

In the event of a physical attack, families, schools, law enforcement, first responders, hospitals, businesses and private security personnel can use the MTS™ to protect one or more people. The MTS’ primary design is protection against threats from firearms. However, the MTS™ is a true multi-threat shield, offering protection from attacks with blunt objects and edged weapons, as well as punches and kicks. The MTS™ is certified NIJ Level IIIA (Level III with optional Rifle Plate Insert). The MTS™ was tested by a National Institute of Justice approved laboratory for ballistic resistance in accordance with Modified/Abbreviated NIJ 0108.01, Threat Level IIIA. The results were “No Penetration,” and the MTS™ will not fold or bend when shot.

The MTS™ is designed for everyday carry. To enhance its practicality, it includes an expandable utility pouch with covert access, which offers the ability to carry a wide range of equipment and accessories – from a handgun or Taser to a laptop or tablet. The MTS™ measures 12 by 17.5 inches when closed. When the shield is unfurled, the MTS can protect an area that is 36.5 by 17.5 inches, with a total ballistic coverage of 639 sq. in. The MTS is a one-piece seamless design that weighs only eight pounds with a military spec webbing strap and 360 degree rotating attachment clips.

The MTS™ has a retail price of $899. For more information and purchasing, visit:

About Force Training Institute

Force Training Institute (FTI) exists to advance the safety and security of people, information, and property. FTI is comprised of a diverse and highly experienced group of subject matter experts with legal, corporate, risk management, security, military, and law enforcement backgrounds. FTI provides a full spectrum approach toward the fields of crisis management, and both personal and organizational safety and security, while remaining acutely aware of liability issues. FTI works with and advises hundreds of private and public organizations in the United States and abroad, including retailers, Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, educational institutions, airports, security teams, military units, and law enforcement agencies.

Sitka Gear Video – Deer Year
Posted by

Awesome effort from Sitka Gear Here is the episode 1 of their new video project, Deer Year. ~DesertRat

Deer Year – Episode 1 – Explore from Sitka Gear on Vimeo.

Swab Its Needs Testers!
Posted by

You may have read my post about Swab Its a great product for gun cleaning. My good friend Pam Den Hartog from Swab Its contacted me to let me know they were looking for 300 or 400 product testers, for their new line of .50 Caliber Swab Its.

Here is the Press Release:

Swab-Its® by Super Brush LLC – We need 300 – 400 Product Testers for new product development testing for our .50cal Bore-tips

We’re Super Brush LLC – the folks who bring you the reusable and washable foam swab caliber-specific Bore-tips®, our new pull-through Bore-whips™ for cleaning bores and the non-caliber specific Gun-tips™ for cleaning nooks and crannies in your firearms,

We’re looking for 300 – 400 product testers who will try our new reusable washable .50cal Bore-tip® and let us know how it works for them. The Swab-its® .50cal Bore-tip® is designed to be caliber specific. It is developed to provide the same 360 degree bore coverage, tight bore fit and smooth application for the loading of solvents or lubricants as our other Swab-its Bore-tips®

We’ll send out two .50cal Bore-tips® to each tester, along with a postage-paid survey form that can be mailed or scanned and emailed back to us. We’ll also have an online link if you prefer to submit your feedback via computer. We’ll need feedback within 3 weeks of your receiving the swabs.

Please let me know if you can participate in this product testing. We need your honest opinion of how it works for you so we can make any changes needed before we go into mass production. If you wish to be a tester, please call or email me with your mailing address and best daytime phone, along with your email address.

You can find more information and videos about our firearm cleaning products and a link to our many retailers at Swab Its

Super Brush LLC, with its online retail division, is a USA-owned and operated foam applicator manufacturer located in Springfield Massachusetts. We have been proudly manufacturing swabs and applicators in the USA for over 60 years!

We look forward to your participation in our .50cal Bore-tips® product development!

So – do you want in? Shoot Pam an email at and let her know Desert Rat sent you!

Animal Weapons – A Review
Posted by

What an awesome book! I’d like to thank Ebony LaDelle from Henry Holt and Company for providing me with a copy to review.~Desert Rat

The book is written by Douglas J. Emlen, Illustrated by David J. Tuss

From the Publisher:

The story behind the stunning, extreme weapons we see in the animal world–teeth and horns and claws–and what they can tell us about the way humans develop and use arms and other weapons.

In Animal Weapons, Doug Emlen takes us outside the lab and deep into the forests and jungles where he’s been studying animal weapons in nature for years, to explain the processes behind the most intriguing and curious examples of extreme animal weapons—fish with mouths larger than their bodies and bugs whose heads are so packed with muscle they don’t have room for eyes. As singular and strange as some of the weapons we encounter on these pages are, we learn that similar factors set their evolution in motion. Emlen uses these patterns to draw parallels to the way we humans develop and employ our own weapons, and have since battle began. He looks at everything from our armor and camouflage to the evolution of the rifle and the structures human populations have built across different regions and eras to protect their homes and communities.

With stunning black and white drawings and gorgeous color illustrations of these concepts at work, Animal Weapons brings us the complete story of how weapons reach their most outsized, dramatic potential, and what the results we witness in the animal world can tell us about our own relationship with weapons of all kinds.

This was a great book! Emlen writes with knowledge and detail of a biologist, but weaves that info together with all of the mystique and ability of a seasoned storyteller. Fur or feathers, bugs or crustaceans; camouflage, weaponry, deception – this book covers it all. In an easy-reading fashion the book discusses evolution of weaponry and defense within species, and also compares animal weapons to both ancient and modern weapon systems.

Whether your interest is weaponry or the animal kingdom, I think you will enjoy this book. It’s a hardcover book and has a bit of a hefty vocabulary, but I definitely think younger readers will enjoy this book as well. I learned a ton and had a great time reading it!

Review – Camillus Les Stroud Survivor Hatchet
Posted by

First off, I’d like to thank Derek Cnota of Connect Communications for reaching out to me and offering to send me a part of the Les Stroud series to evaluate! ~Desert Rat

When Derek asked what I would like to have a look at, I asked for the Vigor Hatchet. What a great tool! This hatchet is so well made that it is easy to forget that it is marketed as a “survival” hatchet – it is “almost” good enough for every day use.

This hatchet comes with some great features, most notably a sturdy sheath, a chisel blade, a hammer striking surface and a fire starter. Further, it has a Lifetime Warranty!

The most impressive feature of this hatchet is the heft, grip and balance. It is superbly balanced and swings easily. As a matter of fact, the handle facilitates a grip so well made for swinging (using the cutting surface) that it is a little bit off, when using the hammer side. that’s a small price to pay though.

The blade comes pretty sharp, out of the box. Some hatchet purists of old may insist that hatchets are meant for splitting kindling and don’t need to be that sharp; most modern day outdoorsmen and women use them for everything however, so the keen edge is appreciated. Based on the handle design, the balance, and the blade – you could put a lot of time and effort in around the campsite – clearing brush, chopping wood, splitting kindling – and this hatchet would let you go all day (and go with you).

I didn’t really have any good ideas on how to test the chisel, but it is a chisel blade. Not fancy but I’m sure it would do in a pinch. The hammer surface works, but this is my only concern with the whole tool. The back of the hatchet is the same thickness as everything else – around 1/4 “. I fear that heavy use would eventually cause the hammer section to mushroom and spall. For extended use, it would have been nice to see a thickening or reinforcement near that area of the head. On the other hand, this is marketed as a survival hatchet – and it would definitely serve that purpose.

All in all it is a great tool. Quality materials, great design, quality construction, and it is pretty light. Mine was slid in between my day pack and the small of my back. A few times I had to check and make sure it was still there. It’s well thought out, has an awesome warranty and carried the reputation of Camillus along with it. If you’re in need of a hatchet that is meant to be used sparingly in certain situations, this would be a great one. I think it would stand up to regular, heavy use as well, with the exception of the hammering surface. The Hatchet retails for around 55 bucks. Well done, Mr. Stroud, well done Camillus.

From Camillus: Les Stroud, AKA Survivorman, is best known for producing, directing, creating, and staring in Discovery Channel’s Survivorman. Les is a true survivalist and a true survivalist need tough knives built to withstand every challenge. The Les Stroud Signature Series combines the essence of survival and innovative thinking with Camillus’s best materials and craftsmanship. The result is a true survival knife line that is also great for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and more.

Shoot for Hope A Success
Posted by

Well, while the internet is aflame over pictures of some idiot shooting a cat, a group of hunters from Arizona got together to do something good this past weekend.

John Bingham and his Facebook group Broadhead Brotherhood organized and put on a heck of an event, raising a significant amount of money for Cancer research.

It looks like this event took on a life of its own, with members of the Brotherhood from across the west, along with friends and family, jumped on this cause with a vengeance. The event was rich with cool prizes – some handmade by BB, and lots donated by Corporate sponsors. The archers got into the act as well – many an arrow that was sent towards a 3D target had someone’s name on it. Some were the names of folks who had lost their battle with cancer, some were names of those still in the fight. John and his team put a ton of work into this, and by following via Facebook, it looked like a top-notch, amazing, well-organized event held in beautiful Arizona spring weather.

I wasn’t able to attend but it looks like this will be an annual event – I’m planning on going next year. A hearty “well done” to John, the Brotherhood and all of those that supported the event. Hunters are good people, and this was an important cause.

You can find Shoot for Hope on FACEBOOK