This last year has been a whirlwind. We moved into a new house in June of 2018, and last summer was a total wash as far as fishing trips were concerned. It had been so long since I’ve been fishing that I had to buy new tippet and floatant, as well as tie up a few new furled leaders for the day. After a few flubbed casts, it all came rushing back.
I’ve never heard or seen the cicadas so thick in the White Mountains. For most of the day, the fish were looking up and attacking flies as soon as they hit the water. In the evening, the fish backed off from their feeding frenzy and refused any cicada/hopper pattern. I worked my way through the fly box, cycling through different flies, and trying to figure out what they were eating, when I spotted several winged ants in the slower slack water. The one small black foam ant pattern I had in my box caught a half dozen more fish, before the ravaged fly unraveled completely.
Standing in knee deep water watching the sun set and fish rise is a great way to end the day.
Scouting didn’t go as planned on the day before season opened. We were unsuccessful roosting any birds in the evening and morale for opening morning was pretty low. Our only play was to head back to an area we’d driven through around noon where we had seen a few birds moving through the trees. We figured we’d work one of the two-tracks out in the morning darkness and see if we could get lucky and hear a bird on the limb. It wasn’t a great plan, but seemed to be our only option.
Luck was with us, a tom started gobbling across the canyon in the gray light. We worked one of the ridges out to get close to him, set out some decoys and did some real light calling. Ten minutes later while he was still in his tree gobbling, two other gobblers came screaming into our setup and met with a quick end. Austin and I stood there in disbelief looking down at two mature Merriam’s gobblers realizing that our 2019 Arizona turkey hunt was over just like that.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from turkey hunting – It’s better to be lucky than good.
Why: I was blessed to add a rugged Owens Armory built 6.5 Creedmoor to my arsenal. It quickly became apparent that this was not a firearm I wanted bouncing around in a soft sided case. There are several options for bombproof hardcases, but after a bit of searching I decided on the Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case.
The Case: The Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case is a rock solid impact resistant case. The lid of the capsule has a heavy duty O-ring which keeps the entire case watertight, and is also equipped with an automatic pressure equalization system. The standard safety latches are beefy and the padlock holes ensure this case to be airline approved.
The Foam: The Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case comes with Accufoam (pick and pluck) which makes for great customization.
Made in the USA: All Seahorse cases are made in America.
Lifetime Guarantee: Seahorse Cases are guaranteed against defects in materials and craftsmanship for the life of the case.
I was extremely excited to arrange my rifle case and lay everything out. It took me a few minutes to lay everything out how I liked it, but once I had a plan, it was very easy. The pull and pluck foam came out quick and easy with no issue. After about 15 minutes, I had my rifle, ammunition and accessories stowed securely in the case.
I’ve been to the range a couple of times since, and have to say that I really do like everything about this case. Knowing the gun is secure and protected gives a real peace of mind. The Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case also has 6 spots for heavy duty Master locks making it perfect for air travel. This rifle case scales out at 19.6 lbs.
Rock Solid Design
Perfect for airplane travel
Pull and Pluck foam only – The pull and pluck works great, but it’d be nice to have the option to buy a hard closed cell polyethylene foam replacement for this case.
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.
TSA flagged my carry-on as I stepped through the metal detector. I could see several folks crowded around, pointing, and discussing something on the screen. A woman dressed in a blue uniform with blue latex gloves picked up my duffle bag, carried it to a stainless steel table, and set it down with authority. The x-ray image of my duffle bag and it’s contents appeared on the TV screen above the table.
In a slow thick Texas drawl, the TSA agent took her pen and pointed it at the screen. “Sweetie, what is this mass right here in your bag?”
The day dawned bright, cold and dry. Sunny was hesitant to leave the warm confines of her kennel, and I had every article of clothing on as we left the truck. About halfway through the morning, the first flurries showed up, and within the hour the ground had a light dusting of snow. We hunted until one and moved 5 coveys, but decided to call it a day after lunch to give the birds a rest. I had two pretty males in the vest and am not particularly greedy. Sunny barely stirred in the back seat when I stopped for a coffee on the way home.
My truck still has a faint stink of wet dog. I don’t particularly mind.
Sunshine and I took a solo trip down south to chase Mearns quail a couple weekends back. In spite of all of the things that I do wrong as a dog owner and all of the missteps I take in her training, the instincts coursing through her veins won out, and she held a quivering point long enough for me to walk up, flush a covey, and shoot a fat male Mearns. It was a simple thing, but arguably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in the field. There was a moment where she sat there holding that bird in her mouth looking at me and I reached for it. That moment will always be ours.
Now I look forward to repeating it another thousand times with her.
Sunny and I headed south early on Friday morning to brave the weather and try and find a few Mearns quail. We were both soaked through after the first push, but we persevered and were rewarded with a covey after lunch. By evening, we were both exhausted, soaked, hungry, and ready to rest. We made camp and crashed out shortly after dinner.
With blue bird skies on Saturday morning, we met up with a few friends and their dogs. We made a couple of runs through a few quality canyons and the dogs found plenty of Mearns quail. It filled me with pride to see Sunny work and retrieve. There’s plenty of work yet to polish us both up. We’ll be hitting the hills again soon.
We had known for several months that we’d drawn this tag. My good buddy Austin and I had hunted the unit during the January archery season several years back and were anxious to see what we could find hiding in the mountains on this November rifle tag. We’d spent quite a bit of time looking over maps and marking waypoints and believed we had a good plan for the weeklong season.
On the evening of the second day, we spotted a small forky working the ridge below our glassing point. It was pretty thick cover, and when I checked back on him after a while, I saw he had a bigger buddy with him. I quickly moved into position and was nothing but jitters. Austin coached me through it, and once I got steady, I squeezed off a shot. The buck piled up and we hiked down to him.
It’s always stunning to me how fast things happen in the field. One minute you are just trying to find one through the binoculars, and the next you are staring down at mature deer. I couldn’t believe my luck and was extremely happy with my 2018 coues deer. After a couple of quick photos, we broke down the buck and hiked our way back to the truck by headlamp.
We spent the rest of the week looking for a buck for Austin, but never found the one he was looking for. What we did find was some remote country with lots of potential, and a burning desire to get back after coues deer next season.