Arizona Quail Hunting: Gambel’s Quail

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Male Gambel's Quail
A hard earned bird to get the day started

I made it home late on Friday evening from the latest Pig Farm Ink BarFly, and morning came much earlier than I had anticipated. After hastily gathering gear, DJ and I made it into the field for an early morning of hunting Gambel’s quail. The desert was pretty quiet for the first couple hours and we opted to change up locations and look at a different piece of desert. The change paid off and we ended up flushing a couple large coveys onto a sprawling flat which gave us an hour or two of hunting singles.

I haven’t had this productive of a morning all season, and it was nice to see such a so many birds. The desert in this area was healthy from our frequent summer rains and there was plenty of undergrowth, feed and cover that has obviously helped this particular area. With a solid morning like this one in the books, I’m looking forward to getting out these next few months and putting more miles under my boots.

Gambel's quail hunting
Listening for that tell tale Gambel’s quail call
Female Gambel's Quail
DJ with a beautiful female Gambel’s
Male Gambel's
Male Gambel’s Quail
Gambel's Quail
A fine pile of Gambel’s after the morning hunt

Guest Post: Thanks to the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation

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DJ and Ranger 3This is a guest post by my good friend DJ Zor. This guy has tirelessly worked with Trout Unlimited and Arizona Game and Fish Department to get the Trout in the Classroom Program up and running here in Phoenix. DJ has also spearheaded several Pig Farm Ink Fly Tying Nights here in the Valley. Follow him on instagram and like the Arizona Pig Farm Ink Facebook Page

 

Thanks to the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation   –   by DJ Zor

 

ADOT
ADOT License Renewal

It’s that dreadful time of year in my house. License plate renewal time. Both of our cars are due in October so I get to bite the bullet just once a year. This year I’m doing things slightly different. I’m getting one of those fancy plates with a picture on it. Why? You might ask. Well, let me tell you. Recently the state council of Trout Unlimited received a generous grant from the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation to help us get Trout in the Classroom off the ground in 12 new schools this fall. The grant that was received funded a large portion of the equipment costs for starting these new schools in the program. So this year, and from now on, both my wife and I will be sporting AZSFWC plates on our vehicles.

The Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation is a group of conservationists, whose mission is to educate and inform sportsmen, wildlife conservation organizations throughout the state, and the public at large on important issues related to wildlife and wildlife habitat, and to provide, via grants or other sources, funding to conserve Arizona’s wildlife populations through habitat enhancement initiatives. The funding provided by AZSFWC largely comes from the license plate fund, and is provided to organizations for work in one of three categories: habitat, education or hunter/angler recruitment projects, and any 501(c)(3) organization in the state can apply for a grant to help with their project. So for me, now knowing exactly where this money is going, getting a conservation plate is a no brainer. It couldn’t be simpler either, just go to servicearizona.com to renew your vehicle and when given the option to select a plate, choose the one for conservation.

Trout in the Classroom would not be able to expand at the rate we are trying to without the help from the grant from the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation. We went from exposing about 300 Arizona students to cold water conservation and the Apache and Gila trout, to reaching close to 1,800 kids this year with plans to continue to expand for at least the next four years. What TIC does, is install an aquarium in a classroom where the kids get to raise rainbow trout from eggs to fry. TIC is a science- based, hands-on learning opportunity for kids to learn the trout life cycle, while learning about our native cold water species in Arizona, and their effects on the ecosystem. It’s also a great opportunity for students to be responsible for data gathering and recording, tank and water chemistry maintenance, and can be tied into any subject from science to art. Our goal is that this exposure will help encourage a lifelong respect for conservation of natural resources.

All that said, I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere gratitude to anyone with a conservation license plate currently hanging off the back of their car or truck and to inform you of exactly where part of your donation is going.

** The fine print, the plate will cost you an extra $25 and the Az Motor Vehicle Division is going to skim $8 off the top, so each plate will net $17 to AZSFWC.

Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation
Select Arizona Conservation License Plate
Trout in the Classroom
Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation Money goes to fund educational opportunities for kids
Trout in the Classroom
DJ sharing his passion for trout
Trout Unlimited Trout in the Classroom
Trout in the Classroom

Arizona Quail Hunting: The Start of the 2015 Season

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Arizona Quail Country
Arizona Quail Country

For the first time since living in Arizona, I skipped the opening weekend of Arizona quail in favor of heading north to some cooler temperatures, grouse hunting and Apache trout. But in the weekends following, I laced up my boots and braved the heat to chase Gambel’s in the Sonoran desert.

The summer reports seem to be accurate as there seems to be a slight uptick in bird numbers. Regardless, it felt good to get out and work the washes and hills. The weight of a shotgun over my shoulder and a couple of birds in the vest was a welcome feeling after a long off season. Here’s hoping for many more quality mornings in the field chasing quail with buddies.

Gambel's quail
Gambel’s quail
Cholla
Cholla

Rambling Review: GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator

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Rambling Review: GSI Glacier Stainless Percolator

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator

Why:

Regular readers of this blog know that I take my morning cup of coffee fairly seriously. At home I have a pretty standard French press routine, but I mix it up when I’m in the field depending on how much time, space, and weight I have. I’ve found that I really enjoy the taste of percolated coffee in camp, and the GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator has become standard in my camp cookset.

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator

First impressions:

Stainless Steel – The GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolators are constructed from corrosion-resistant, marine-grade 18/8 stainless steel componentry and welds.

Sizes – GSI Outdoors sells several sizes of their Glacier Stainless Percolators: 8, 14, 28, and 36 cups. In this review, I am using 14 cup percolator

Dimensions – The 14 cup percolator weighs 2 lbs. 2 oz. and measures roughly 8.80” x 6.70” x 9.00”

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator

Field Use:

My Glacier Stainless Percolator has been a staple on my hunting and fishing trips this past summer and fall. One of the biggest aspects about the GSI Outdoors percolator that stands out is it’s rugged design. I never have any worries when I toss it in the back of the truck for an overnighter in the woods.

The other aspect that I appreciate about the GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator is the overall simplicity that comes with percolating coffee. Everything that is needed for making coffee is in one unit and completely reusable. As with all percolators, no filters are needed. The only ingredients needed are coffee, water, and a flame to boil water. Typically, I use my camp stove to get a boil going, but there’s nothing more aesthetically pleasing then hanging the percolator by the wire bail handle over an open campfire to make coffee.

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator

Pros:

Rugged design

Made from corrosion-resistant, marine-grade 18/8 stainless steel

Simple and easy to use

Cons:

Made in China

Plastic glass PercView top might be the piece to break if not careful

Prognosis:  The GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator is an excellent choice for someone looking for the esthetics and ruggedness of a quality percolator. 

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator
GSI Outdoors Percolator

* Disclaimer:

The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. The GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator was provided by GSI Outdoors for the purpose of this review.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.

Grouse-Trout Camp 2015

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Arizona Grouse
Ranger dog in the aspens

DJ and I had been talking about doing this trip for quite a while, and it was a bit surreal when we finally rolled into camp at midnight. We set up tents and made short work of getting to sleep knowing that morning would come quickly. Waking early, we donned bird vests and shouldered our shotguns for our day afield. We put some serious miles on our boots without much luck, but our hike took us through some of the prettiest country in Arizona.

We broke for lunch and decided to shift our focus from the birds and dropped 2000 vertical foot into a remote canyon in search of wild Apache trout. We found the golden beauties in a small trickle of a stream, eager to take a well placed fly. On our hike out, we debated how many other anglers walked the small canyon trail to this tiny creek. With the trail being so faint and overgrown, we concluded that the fish here did not often see a fisherman’s fly.

The roaring fire we built that night warded off the evening’s chill and provided a bed of coals to grill steaks and cook potatoes over. But the miles put on that day had taken their toll and we headed to bed for another early morning. The next morning, we worked some different country and were able to flush one grouse, but no shot opportunity presented itself.

Heading back to town, Ranger dog crashed on the back seat for a well earned rest, and we sat up front recounting the beauty of the country, the hard work we had put in, and the overall success of the weekend.

We’ll be back.

Arizona Grouse
Ranger Dog
Arizona Grouse Hunting
Aspens
Arizona Grouse
DJ and his boy
Tailgate breakfast
Tailgate breakfast
Stanley Growler
Camp Coffee
Aspens
Aspens
Apache Trout
Looking down into the canyon
Apache Trout
Straight on down
Ranger and Apache Trout
Apache Trout
Apache Trout
Apache Trout
DJ and Ranger
DJ and Ranger tag-teaming a small pool
Apache Trout
Apache Trout
Arizona Grouse Hunting
One last morning looking for grouse
Aspens
High Country

Rambling Review – Stanley Gear for Fall

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Stanley Growler
Stanley Growler

I’ve had some pretty cool opportunities lately to check out some gear from Stanley. Several have really stood out to me over the past few weeks. The first is the Stanley Growler, I had reviewed a growler from another company a while back, and although it was an awesome product, the Stanley Growler had two features that made it stand out from others I’ve seen. The first was that Stanley printed the proper government warning right on to the bottom of the 64oz growler. Arizona law states that for a brewery to fill the growler it must have the government warning on the actual container. The second feature I like about the Stanley growler is the heavy duty o-ring and latch. There is zero chance of leaking and the contents either stay very hot or very cold.

The second piece of gear that I really found useful in the mountains was the set of Stanley tumblers. The stainless steel BPA-free tumblers stack and nest together to save room when not in use.  These came in real handy around the campfire and the built in neoprene sleeves kept your cup sweat free while your drink stays icy. The Stanley Adventure Stacking Steel Tumblers make a serious upgrade to plastic Solo cups or the mismatch set of cups that typically make the journey to the mountains with me.

Stanley’s name has become synonymous with quality outdoor gear and they continues to expand their lineup and offerings. Check them out at Stanley Brand.

Stanley Growler
Stanley Growler
Stanley Tumblers
Stanley Tumblers

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. – See more at: Stanley Brand 

 

Arizona Fly Fishing: Autumn Brown Trout

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Arizona Brown Trout
Colored up Arizona Brown Trout

It had been a while since I’d seen some moving water, and my understanding wife told me to head north for the day. I was feeling pretty stubborn, and even though there wasn’t a ton of surface activity, I continued to fish hoppers through the day. I managed the fish about as the sun was getting lower in the sky. The colors on this brown defied description, and I took just a moment to appreciate the Creator’s handiwork.

There’s no therapy like standing knee high in a stream with a fly rod in hand.

Treetops
Treetops
Brown Trout
Hungry brown on a bushy terrestrial
Daisy
The last bit of summer hanging on.
Brown Trout
Drippy brown trout

Arizona Dove Season

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GSI Percolator
The sun rising on a morning of dove hunting in Arizona

My brand new baby boy made is appearance on the opening day of Arizona dove season, and subsequently Saturday the 12th was my first day in the field. With mama and the two babies still sound asleep at home, I eased the truck along a bumpy road that lead to a small piece of state trust land. It surely isn’t the greatest spot, but it offers a quick hitter for an hour or two at sunrise. I had packed the necessary fixings for a tailgate breakfast and coffee. Eggs and coffee were not a disappointment.

There was a small window of dove action right at sunrise, but things died down pretty quick. Knowing that there were little ones waiting at home, I called it a morning and made short work of the plucking. You’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend a Saturday morning in September than hunting doves in Arizona.

Dove
Arizona Dove Hunting
Dove hunting
Tailgate Breakfast
Plucking
Plucking Feathers
Success
Lunch