Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. - Mark Twain

Forest Service Declares War on RV & Campers During Hunter Season - Updated


It would appear that there was enough public outcry that the FS decided that they needed to "clarify" their position. Game & Fish believes that the confusion has been resolved.

The letter from Regional Forester Cal Joyner dated November 26 to Arizona Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles regarding AZGFD's concerns

A release by Coconino National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart and Kaibab National Forest Supervisor Mike Williams on the Forest Service website dated December 9;

A letter dated December 9 from Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to Senator John McCain, addressing the senator’s concerns

I can't say that my opinion of the two departments has changed. The FS just got called out on their publication and decided to backtrack.

Original Post

Forest Service Camping - 72 Hour Rule

Warning to Arizona hunters camping on the Coconino, Kaibab and
Prescott National Forests

On August 16, 2013, the Coconino National Forest issued a press release entitled “Parking trailers in forests prohibited during hunting season.” The press release is specific to the Coconino, Kaibab, and Prescott National Forests, and is directed exclusively at hunters and recreationists who leave their trailers and/or motor homes unattended on the forest for more than 72 hours. These sportsmen may be subject to enforcement action, including citations or impoundment of vehicles, trailers and/or motor homes. The release specifically states,

If trailers are left unattended for more than 72 hours, the Forest Service considers them abandoned property and may remove them from the forest. Violators can also be cited for this action.

See the whole article from AZ Game & Fish, link above, who are very opposed to this tactic along with the Sheriff's Departments.

You know where this is heading since most of the Forest Service is a 9-5 operation. You leave the trailer prior to daybreak to hunt and don't return until after sundown. Do this 3 days running, the FS comes by about midday for three days and then steals your camp claiming is was abandoned. Notice that they included impoundment of vehicles.

This is actually very anti-hunting. It must really chap their hides that some of the people come out a couple of days before season to grab a decent place to put the RV, return to town and then come back to camp for the hunt season. They are still legal within the 14 day limit. I imagine some candy-a**ed people have complained because they did not get there first. I don't have an RV and I could care less if the people with them do this. I have been known to go a couple of days early with my tent to do just the same. I am surprised that the FS hasn't included tents and vehicles the same way. If you are going to be a thief then you might as well go all the way. This has nothing to do with preservation but everything to do with revenue enhancement and restrictive control.

See the AZ G&F site for the contact information of the various FS employees so that you may vent your displeasure. The FS don't want you out there shooting, hunting or any other multiple use activity. They would love to get rid of the ranchers too. Only tree huggers allowed but you have to form a ring without touching the tree as a bit of bark may become dislodged. Don't step on the grass and quit breathing out that CO2!

Perhaps I am just lucky, but I have yet to meet a Game & Fish Officer who was anything but polite. Most have been willing to talk about good places to hunt or what the fish are hitting on. I am not new to this as I have been hunting, hiking, camping, four wheeling and backpacking for almost 50 years (yes, I am getting kind of old) and have met dozens of G&F Officers

On the other hand I am probably unlucky in that I have yet to meet a FS employee who wasn't an unfriendly bureaucrat with inflated opinions of their importance.  I am biased by my experiences and think that the FS has become run by a bunch of tree hugging, anti-ranching, anti-hunting, anti-camping college grads with inflated opinions of themselves and their mission to keep the unwashed masses out of "their" forests.  Feel free to disagree.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Too Warm

It is a little warm for the season right now. But that is just my opinion as I think that it should be a little chilly for Christmas time. Guess I will just have to go get an ice cream cone.
So that is how soft serve is made. Perhaps I will pass on the ice cream!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We are off to the "Hallelujah" service tonight. Our daughters starting calling it this when they were little because there is a lot of singing and a little sermon on Christmas Eve. Daughter #1 is home for college break so we will exchange gifts tomorrow. We already exchanged gifts with Daughter #2 and her Marine before Thanksgiving as he deployed then to Okinawa for the next three years. I would like to wish all a very merry Christmas and may God bless!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Deja Vu Thanksgiving

It was like we had gone back in time to BC. This is what we refer to as "Before Children". Daughter #1 stayed in Texas and daughter #2 along with her Marine are in Okinawa. We decided to go back to our old ways and skip the turkey. Turkey for two has a nice sound to it but results in leftovers forever. There is only so much dark meat and I am no fan of the dry white meat on a turkey. We had our old standby which is Cornish game hens. I will need to get a new rotisserie motor so that I can do the birds on the barbecue again. It was very nice day even though it was a bit quieter than the previous couple of decades.

I carefully perused all the adds that came in the 5 pound newspaper in preparation of my usual Black Friday shopping excursion. It was a nice day and I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.

My usual excursion on the dreaded Black Friday is Sportsman's Warehouse and Ace Hardware. That's it as I would not go within a couple of miles of any mall. Most of the day was spent preparing my list and gathering things for the upcoming elk hunt. No, there will be no guide. I seem to be done with considering using a guide. My first guided event was a disaster (My Elk Hunt Sucked) and the next one was actually pleasant (Big Game Outfitters) but neither produced a shot. My odds seem to be better without "help". We shall see.

I was drawn for a cow hunt just north of Flagstaff in December. I am an experienced cold weather camper and backpacker as I used to do both ages ago in Michigan. I have all the gear including a nice heater for the tent. It is not as much fun to camp by yourself. I was pondering the wisdom of camping by myself in a place that can dump exceptional amounts of snow in a short time. At the of end of my careful considerations that took all of about 30 seconds, I rented a motel room in Flagstaff. One area that I shot an elk is about 15 minutes from the motel and another I would like to go to will take about 35 minutes. I will still take a small tent, sleeping pad, and my good bag in case I get stuck for some reason. Otherwise it will be a hot shower and a regular bed at night.

This reminds me of when I used to go deer hunting with Dad in Mio, Michigan. Dad did not like to camp. I believe the words were, "I saw enough camping in WWII." We would stay in town and drive about 15 minutes in the morning to where we would hunt. There are some good memories of those trips!