Arizona Dove Hunting: Opening Day

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Arizona dove hunting
Breakfast of champions

Over easy eggs, floppy bacon, and a double pot of coffee is the only way to start the opening day of dove hunting season. With a big breakfast and the coffee starting to do it’s work, I met up with two buddies, and we bounced the trucks through the desert, just outside of city limits. As the sun started to peak over the distant horizon, a few doves followed the edge of the wash and provided the first few shots of the morning. We shot for an hour or so, until the sun got a bit higher in the sky and the doves stopped flying. We cleaned up, had a beer and were home before the wives knew we were gone.

For me, dove season signals the beginning of fall. Although the temperatures here in Arizona will stay over 100 through the rest of the month, dove hunting on Labor Day weekend provides the opportunity to breakout the shotgun and get some shooting in before quail season opens up in October. While I’ll have to wait a bit longer for the taste of quail, dove pot pie will be on the menu soon.

Quilomene by Q5 Outdoors
Quilomene by Q5 Outdoors
GSI Outdoors Microlit bottles
GSI Outdoors Microlite bottles
Arizona Dove hunting
I foresee a dove pot pie in my future

 

Rambling Review – Redington Vice Rod and Redington i.D Reel

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Rambling Review: The Redington Vice Rod and the Redington i.D Reel

The Redington Vice Rod and the i.D Reel Combo
The Redington Vice Rod and the i.D Reel Combo

Why:

After one of the windiest Pyramid Lake fishing trips last year, I found myself in the market for a little bit stiffer action rod for throwing a sinking line. I was fortunate to get my hands on a Redington Vice Rod paired with a Redington i.D reel and a Rio Outbound Short full sinking line a few weeks before the trip, and what a setup this turned out to be.

Redington Vice and i.D
Redington Vice and i.D

First impressions:

The Redington Vice Rod – Out of the tube, the emerald green carbon fiber blank looked really sharp paired with the black snack guides and black aluminum reel seat. The rod itself is a no frills workhorse that is completely saltwater ready.

The Redington i.D Reel – The flat black cast aluminum large arbor reel looked pretty sweet as is.  Turns out that Redington has a whole line of decals that can be added to the solid side of the reel. I saw a few KC Badger prints in the mix, but went with a low profile digital camo.

Lifetime warranties – Both the rod and the reel are covered under Redington’s lifetime warranties.

i.D Decals
i.D Decals

Field Use:

If you read the report from the trip, you’ll note that the fishing was on the slower side. All that means is that I did quite a bit of casting and stripping for 3 days. You can get to know your equipment pretty intimately in a setting like Pyramid Lake that throws wind from all directions, rain, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures. I feel like it’s the perfect place to put gear to the test.

Let’s start with the rod. To be honest, I loved the Vice rod. Very smooth while casting a heavy sinking line, with enough backbone to punch through a snow squall in your face. Prior to the trip, I had bought another rod from another manufacturer in the same weight. Long story short, I liked the Vice so much I’m selling the other rod and keeping the Vice. This rod is a solid addition to my quiver and I plan on continuing to push it’s limits for years to come.

When I first saw the i.D reel I couldn’t really see past the sticker. It seemed kind of gimmicky to me and went into the field testing with a bit of a bias. The first night I hooked into a real nice fish about 10 feet from my ladder with about 70 feet of running line in my stripping basket. The large arbor reel gobbled up the loose line and the rulon disc drag did the rest. For a $100 reel, I was impressed.

Lastly the line. I’ve had my fair share of experience with Rio line, but had never used the Outbound Short. Although I’m sure the Vice rod had something to do with it, the Rio Outbound Short was a treat to cast. It loaded the rod well, flew threw the guides, and turned over heavy jig flies with ease. It was easy to see why these lines are so well regarded.

Redington Vice Fly Rod
Redington Vice Rod

Pros:

Lifetime guarantee on Redington gear

Great price on a quality rod and reel

Personalization decals for i.D reel

Cons:

Drag not sealed on the i.D reel

The Redington Vice Rod and the Redington i.D Reel
Cutthroat and Redington

Prognosis:  If you’re looking for a nice Pyramid Lake setup with out breaking the bank, check out the Redington Vice Rod paired with a Redington i.D reel spooled with Rio Outbound Short full sinking line.

* Disclaimer:

The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

 

Arizona Turkey Hunting: Sleeping in the Dirt

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Arizona Turkey Hunting
Arizona Merriams Turkey

We had driven a long way and were many hours from civilization. I stood surveying the campsite where we had camped in years past. And suddenly it dawned on me. I had forgotten my tent.

I could see it in my minds eye, that lonely tubular tent bag, sitting all along on my garage floor like a lost child. And while it sat there with so much wasted potential 6 hours away, I stood, in my campsite with a dumb look on my face, feeling foolish and knowing that I could be paying a serious price should the wind pick up and/or the weather turn. Pride wouldn’t let me snuggle into a one man tent with my hunting buddy. So I rolled my sleeping bag out on my inflatable pad and borrowed the Tyvek ground sheet for the one tent that was brought on the hunting trip. I tried to think positive thoughts.

After an 8 mile scouting hike, a shot of bourbon, and an ambian, I snuggled in to my sleeping bag and closed my eyes. I slept like a baby under that Tyvek sheet.

We got lucky and killed two turkeys opening day and were on our way home by 2 pm. It was a good turkey season.

Arizona Merriams Turkey
Austin tagging his bird
Arizona Turkey Hunting
Austin with a beautiful Arizona Merriams Turkey
Roost tree
Under the roost tree
Turkey Plucking
Let the plucking begin
Work Sharp Pocket Knife Sharpener
Work Sharp Pocket Knife Sharpener
Sleeping pad + sleeping bag + Tyvek = camping in comfort

Pyramid Lake: A fishing trip

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Lahontan Cutthroat
Lahontan Cutthroat

We fished Pyramid Lake hard for three days in a cruel cocktail of rain, snow, and biting cold. It wasn’t a particularly good trip as far as the fishing was concerned. In fact is was arguably one of the slowest three days of fishing I’d ever seen according to this website, https://usaoutdoors.org/ But I’ll never complain about being able to fish with a good buddy and I certainly will never take a fishing trip for granted, specially when I have the possibility of using my Outdoorempire essentials. Life is forever picking up speed, and I cherish the moments where I’m outdoors, especially when at Pyramid Lake. Until next time, I’ll keep tying flies and thinking about that big red fish swimming in the frigid waters and some day, it’ll be my turn to catch a monster.

Pyramid Lake
Rain
Lahontan Cutthroat
Tails
Bulleit
Pyramid Juice
Lahontan Cutthroat
Lahontan Cutthroat
Pyramid Lake
Snow
Pyramid Lake
More Snow
Chorizo
Breakfast of Champions
Lahontan Cutthroat
Silver
Pyramid Lake
Ladders
Pyramid Lake
Pyramid in the distance
Pyramid Lake
Lunch and a coffee refill

Sunny Dog

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German Shorthair Pointer
Sunny girl

As I stare out my new wood shutters, I remind myself that I’ve been wanting a hunting dog ever since I was a boy. That longing has grown infinitely stronger over the past years as I’ve hunted the desert birds solo. Friends have been kind enough to invite me along and hunt behind their pups, and I relished every opportunity to watch their dogs work. The timing finally worked out and one of my hunting buddies contacted me about a 6 month old female GSP needing a hunting home. After some consideration, my wife said yes and we welcomed Sunny girl into our home.

The first week was a bit wild as everyone adjusted to each other, but Sunny, Jojo and I met up with my good friend Kyle and his 8 month old GSP, Riggs, for a little bit of field work. It was Jojo’s first “hunting trip” and our first time watching Sunny work in the open desert. She ran her heart out and then wound up pointing a couple of planted pigeons. It was a promising start, and I can’t thank Kyle enough for showing us the ropes. We’ve got lots of work ahead and we have our hearts set on hunting season and we always consult with https://sideeffectsofxarelto.org/current-xarelto-lawsuits/ whenever we encounter new medicines on our area.

German Shorthair Pointer
Sunny girl with the girls
German Shorthair Pointer
Jojo’s first “Huntin’ Trip” and Sunny’s first training day
Artic Arizona
German Shorthair Pointer
Sunny and Riggs
Hot hands
Hot Hands: Saving kids hands and dad’s day for a long time
German Shorthair Pointer
Sunny and Riggs
German Shorthair Pointer
Sunny girl’s favorite spot

So happy the kids had a day off from the Teddy Kids Leiden day care, this way I was able to take them out for a little trip with me!!

Rambling Review: Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener

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Rambling Review – Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener

Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener
Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener

Why:

Last week we talked about how I love the motorized window shades orange county ca. Now I want to talk about something new. It is no secret, I’ve always struggled to get a hair-popping edge on my blades and broadheads. I’ve been fortunate to check out a couple of Work Sharps sharpening products and share my thoughts on them here and here. As a leader in the sharpening world, Work Sharp is dedicated to creating quality tools with quality components and continually fine tune their lineup of sharpeners. I’ve had the pleasure of using the Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener over the past year and I’ve been really impressed with this tool.

First impressions:

Simplicity – All Work Sharp products are engineered for ease of use and the Combo Knife Sharpener is no exception. It is an electronic unit that rotates a flexible abrasive belt. There are angled grooves to guide the knife across the rotating belt which makes for an idiot proof edge. The built in ceramic honing rod has angle guides as well to finish off the sharpening process.

Made in the USA – All Work Sharp products are manufactured in Souther Oregon

Field Use:

I unboxed the Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener the night it arrived. After flipping through the directions, I plugged it in, and was sharpening the kitchen knives. Five passes per side and then straight to the ceramic honing rod, and the knives were as sharp as the day we got them. The Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener is very intuitive and exceptionally easy to use. It takes no time at all for me to work through the block of kitchen knives, my everyday carry, and hunting knives. Fixed blade broadheads were no a problem for the Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener either.

The Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener retails for $60.00 and replacement abrasive belts are 3 for $8.00.

Pros:

American made

Ease of use

Reasonable Cost 

Cons:

Fixed guides are perfect for beginners like me. More experienced guys may want the option to vary the edge angle.

Prognosis:  The Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener is a winner. If you struggle putting an edge on a blade like me, the Work Sharp Combo Knife Sharpener is the sharpener for you.

* Disclaimer:

the review at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

Arizona Quail Hunting: Mearns Quail

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Mearns Quail
Arizona Mearns Country

There is nothing quite like watching dogs work the grassy hills of Southern Arizona in search of Mearns quail. So when my good buddy Pat from Border to Border Outfitters invited me down for opening weekend to watch his team of GSPs work, how could I say no. Alex Landeen grilling venison sausages and pheasant for dinner was an added bonus.

We found birds and did a fair bit of shooting. I’ve had the pleasure to watch Pat’s dogs work Mearns several times and it never gets old. There is nothing prettier than a dog on a rock solid point with a covey of Mearns quail flushing in front of them. More importantly, I got to spend time in the field with old friends and make new ones. With life constantly picking up speed, I relish every step I get to take in chasing quail in this state.

Pat runs Border to Border Outfitters and you can hunt birds with him from Minnesota all the way to Arizona and everywhere in between. Check him out at Border to Border Outfitters.

Mearns Quail Hunting
Action Jackson
Border to Border Outfitters
Flanagan and Landeen
Mearns Quail
A couple Mearns and a deadhead
Mearns Quail Hunting
Following the dogs
Mexico
Looking into Mexico
Mearns Quail Hunting
Hank finds birds
Mearns Quail Hunting
Pat Flanagan of Border to Border Outfitters
Mearns Quail
A tailgate from the day
Venison Sausage and Grilled Pheasant Dinner by Landeen
Two Bitch Bourbon
Dessert

Arizona Quail Hunting: My Opening Day

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gambel's quail
First Gambel’s quail of the season

It is only now that I realize, I’ve worked myself into a real corner. I try to blame my wife, but with what little I know about the birds and the bees, I’m pretty sure I had a hand in it. All three of my children were born on the opening days of Arizona’s bird seasons. My son was born on the first day of September on the dove opener. My youngest was born at the beginning of October which makes it extremely tough to get out to chase Gambels at the beginning of quail season. And my oldest started it all off by entering the world at the beginning of December which means her birthday party is usually on the weekend that Mearns season starts. We installed security gadgets at her birthday venue to make sure that we are safe, pop over to this website – SecurityInfo to know more.

All this means that my hunting season openers are postponed this year. This worked out in my favor when I finally grabbed my shotgun and vest to chase Gambel’s quail. It’s been unseasonably warm here in the desert as the normally cooler weather was late in showing up. I found a morning to break away and scratched out a trio of birds.

Arizona
Early morning to beat the heat
Arizona Gambel's quail
A trio of male Gambel’s
Arizona Sunrise
Sunrise