Arizona Quail Hunting: Bird Dogs

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Arizona Quail Hunting
Ranger pup

I scored a free Saturday morning and got a chance to head out into the field with my good buddy DJ and his up and coming pup, Ranger. We planted a couple birds and let the nose on the dog work out the rest. With quail season just around the corner, it was nice to stretch my legs, see a dog on point, and watch a bird flush.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for this Arizona quail season to start.

Training pigeons
DJ wrangling pigeons
Ranger on the retrieve
Mouthful of feathers

DIY Rod Tube Holder

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Rod Tube Holder
DIY Rod Tube Holder

So the story goes, I used to have a whole room in our house all to myself. Camo and waders hung in the closet and the table was always covered in fly tying material, tools, and books. My rod tubes were leaned in the corner with an assortment of arrows and a couple of long guns.

Then we had a little girl. I painted that room pink for her, sold some of the gear that hadn’t seen much use and moved what was left to the garage and guest bedroom closet.

Then 8 months ago, I found out we were having a little boy. So I painted the guest room blue, sold a bit more gear that was seeing even less use and moved the rest of the gear into the master bedroom closet. It didn’t take long for my patient wife to let me know that the “clutter” piled in the corner wasn’t going to fly. So after a couple hours in the garage, I came back with a fly rod tube rack that hopefully will keep the rod tubes a bit neater and the wife a bit happier about having to make some room in the master bedroom closet.

Rod Tube Holder
Rod Tube Holder
Rod Tube Holder
Before
Rod Tube Holder
Rod Tube Holder
Rod Tube Holder
After

 

Rambling Review – Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System

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Rambling Review: Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System

Why:

I’ve always struggled to get a hair popping edge on a blade, and I have run through several different  sharpening systems.  The Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System is the real deal and has taken my edge sharpening to the next level.

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Pivot-Response Technology

First impressions:

What’s included – 

  • 6” coarse (320 grit) and fine (600 grit) Diamond Sharpening Plates
  • 17° and 20° Angle Guides
  • Coarse and Fine Ceramic Hone with built-in Angle Guides
  • 3 sizes of ceramic rods to sharpen serrations
  • Pivot-Response technology
  • Removable diamond plate holder for sharpening tools

– 42 year warranty –  The Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System comes with a 42 year warranty. Why 42 years? According to Work Sharp “that’s how long we’ve been serving our customers, and we’re looking forward to another 42.”

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Ceramic Hone

Field Use:

I have always had trouble getting a good edge on my knives and broadheads, but the Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System is the perfect tool for a novice like myself. One of the most important aspects of the Guided Sharpening System is the fact that it is guided. The 17 and 20 allows for a consistent starting angle for each swipe of the blade.

The one feature that makes the Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System stand out is the Pivot-Response technology. Different blade profiles require different sharpening techniques. With the Pivot-Response System, the stone surface is allowed to rotate down when sharpening a curved blade. The Pivot-Response system is able to be locked out for straight blade sharpening as well.

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System - Upgrade Kit
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Upgrade Kit

I usually dread having to sharpen my broadheads and knives, because I spend so much time trying to get it right. The Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System certainly cuts down the learning curve and gives me confidence when putting an edge on a blade. One thing I did find helpful was the The Guided Sharpening System Upgrade Kit which includes:

  • Extra-Coarse Diamond Plate (220 Grit)
  • Extra-Fine Diamond Plate (800 Grit)
  • Leather Stropping Plate
  • 25° Stropping Angle Guides (2)
  • 0.5 Micron Honing Compound

 

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Hook Sharepener

Pros:

Perfect for beginner or someone more experienced

Straightforward ease of use

Angle guides

Pivot-Response System

Multiple interchangeable diamond plates and ceramic rods

42 year warranty

Cons:

Warranty applies to only non-consumable parts – in other words, everything except the abrasives (diamond plates and ceramic rods).

Upgrade Kit not included – This upgrade kit really completes the package 

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Pivot-Response System Locked Out for straight blade

Prognosis:  If you’re like me and need a little extra help getting your knives razor sharp, definitely check out the Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System.

 

* 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 Fly Fishing: Lees Ferry

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Lees Ferry
Fly Fishing Lees Ferry

My cousin is a fantastic runner and currently runs on the Navy Cross Country team. Their team has been doing some altitude training in Flagstaff, and we started talking about getting out and doing some fishing here in AZ. On Saturday, he and I, along with 5 other members of the team ran up to the walk in portion of Lees Ferry to see if we could tempt the rainbow trout that reside there.

Long story short, the fishing was pretty slow, but I had a good time showing the guys the water and trying to teach them what little I know about fishing big water like the Colorado River. Lees Ferry is a very striking location and I never get sick of spending time up in that part of the state.

 

Lees Ferry Rainbow Trout
Lees Ferry Rainbow
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry Walk In Area
Lees Ferry
My cousin, Sam, working a riffle at the Walk In
Lees Ferry
Flogging water
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry Fly Fishing
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry

Rambling Review: Stanley Adventure Cooler

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Rambling Review –Stanley Adventure Cooler – 16 Qt.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler

Why:

Where I live, normal temps in the summer can reach 115 degrees. In Arizona, coolers are not optional; they are a necessity. Enter the 16 Quart Stanley Adventure Cooler.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler

 

First impressions:

The Lifetime Warranty – Pretty self-explanatory. I love warranties.

Dimensions – The Stanley Adventure Cooler exterior measures 16.6″ x 12.1″ x 11.3″ while the interior measures 12.7″ x 9″ x 8.3″ inches. The cooler weighs in at 8 lbs. 4 oz. and has a 16 quart capacity.

Integrated Adjustable Bungee System – One of the most noticeable features of the Stanley Adventure Cooler is the adjustable tie-down bungee system that is perfect for holding plates, cups, or even a thermos.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler with integrated bungee system

Field Use:

The Stanley Adventure Cooler is constructed with a high-density polyethylene shell foam-insulated body and lid. The two latches on the front make sure the top stays  closed when the Stanley is bouncing around in the back of the truck. The overall construction of the cooler is pretty rock solid and I can see how this little cooler could stand up to some serious abuse. Through my short use of it so far, I was a little concerned about the movement in the handle, but knowing that a lifetime warranty covers the Stanley Adventure Cooler, quickly puts my mind at ease.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler

Built with a heavy duty leak resistant gasket, the Stanley cooler is rated for 36 hours of ice retention. That 36 hour number was pretty interesting to me, so I decided to do my own, extremly unscientific test to see how well the cooler would work on a typical day out hunting quail. So I filled the cooler up with beverages, ice, and a couple frozen water bottles and put it out in the backyard for 8 hours in direct sun on a 112 degree Phoenix, Arizona day. When I picked up the handle and felt the body of the cooler it was hot to the touch. But inside I still had some ice as well as the frozen water bottles.  For a $65 cooler, I was impressed.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler

This beefy 16 quart cooler can hold up to 21 cans and will also fit a regular 32 oz Nalgene bottle standing up. I was a little bummed when I went to put a case of bottled brew in the cooler and realized that the top would not close while the bottles were standing straight up.

Pros:

– Lifetime Warranty

Price

– Leak-resistant construction

– Adjustable tie-down bungees secure

– Rugged polyethylene exterior with foam-insulated body and lid

Cons:

– Cooler is not tall enough to fit a regular 12oz bottle standing up

– Handle 

 

Prognosis:  If you are in the market for a new the Stanley Adventure Cooler should absolutely be on your radar. A great cooler with an even greater warranty.

 

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart

 

* Disclaimer:

The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion.   The Stanley Brand products were provided for the purpose of this review and the links in the article help to pay the bills here on Arizona Wanderings. As always, I always strive to be up front and honest about gear and my relationships with gear companies. Thanks for looking.

 

Arizona Fly Fishing: Summertime

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Mino
Agua Fria Alchemy

With the temperatures rising all over the state, we made a quick trip to a high elevation stream in the White Mountains. The cicadas are singing in the trees and the fish were looking up, eager to take big bugs. Anything that splats on the water seemed to illicit a response.

Have I told you how much I like this new bamboo rod?

Cicada
Cicada Shuck
Arizona Brown Trout
Brown Trout

Book Report: Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh

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Book Report: Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh

Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh
Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh

My good buddy DJ, shoved this book into my hand and told me quite sternly that I had to read it. The thought of reading a book on shooting didn’t really appeal to me, as I thought it would be a bit too academic and rigid for my taste. I was wrong.

Shotguns and Shooting is divided into two different sections. In the first section,Michael McIntosh takes the reader through a flowing historical description of the art gunmaking and the milestone achievements of shotgun history. The book then moves into the second section and focuses on the art and discipline of shotgun shooting. By the time I finished the 280 page book, there was no doubt in my mind that Michael McIntosh knows what he’s talking about and I truly enjoyed the flow of the book. Bottom line, this book is a great read, and if you’re jonesing for shotguns and quail season, it’ll will help a little bit.

Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh
Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh

Back East

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Orvis Encounter
My kid brother getting it done

We made the journey back east to Grandma’s house a few weeks back. As you might imagine, it was action packed with an 18 month old. We visited all the usual haunts and enjoyed the company of those we love so much, but only see a couple times a year. I fixed my brothers up with a set of the Orvis Encounter Combos, and we made the sunfish at the cottage pay for it. We ate enough icecream and sweets to make us swear off sugar for a couple of weeks. All in all, there is no better way to spend vacation.

Icecream
My girls love their icecream
Jojo
18 months and on top of the world
Horses
Neigh
Hammock
Summertime swinging
Grandma's
No place like Grandma’s
Farm
The Ranch
Yuengling
When in PA…
bass
Perspective
Boat
Boat rides
Dog
Woof
Joel Fishing
Brother one
Nick Fishing
Brother two
Mama and babies
Mama and her babies
Making Pizzas
Helping Grandma make pizzas
Watermelon
Getting after it
Rainjacket
Rainjacket. Something we don’t often need in Arizona
Walk down dirt road
Long walks on dirt roads
New friends
New best friends
Family
The gang