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Hunting in Mexico – How and Why

A huge shout out to Matt Woodward from Borderland Adventures for taking some time out to talk about hunting in Mexico!

1) So why Mexico?

Lots of reasons. It’s like southern AZ was, 100 years ago. Vast unspoiled chunks of the Sonoran desert. We hike into canyons each week, knowing we may have been the only person with modern equipment to have ever hunted it. It’s just a special place. Hunting that is relatively unspoiled is hard to find anywhere, and we have a great resource right at our back door.

2) A lot of people get concerned about the legalities of hunting in Mexico. Can you walk us through the important stuff?

It’s actually very simple, and your outfitter should take care of most for these details. Obviously, you’ll need a valid passport, and a visa on your way in. Your hunting contract and gun permit are the most important items.
At a vehicular crossing, here’s how it will go. Arrive at US Customs, declare guns, and present US Customs with form 4457, a declaration document that you can print off the internet, or get from an agent. Cross the border, present your gun permit and contract to the Mexican Customs (Aduana) for signatures and stamps, Proceceed to the local mexican military base, and repeat that same process. So, one stop on the US side, two stops on the Mexico side, and in reverse on the way out.

The smaller border towns can be a joy to cross in, while the bigger cities tend to slow the process down. I can get 4 hunters in, with rifles, in such a short time, that most hunters think we haven’t completed the process.

3) Can you describe some of the Do’s and Don’ts of lining up a hunt in Mexico?

Enjoying your time in Mexico is simply about the people that you are with. Grill your outfitter, see if you can get your actual guide on the phone, know that you can communicate with your outfitter, and that they know what they are doing. Do not get stuck with someone who does not know the ranch, or the game.
Call references, as many as you can. This is important. Try to dig for their honest opinion, how they really feel. Would they go back? Would they bring their wife? or son? These kinds of things will tell you a lot. Try to talk to someone that DIDN’T kill a deer.

Check your gun permit ahead of time. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but if you can, verify that the serial number and all the information on your permit are correct. If your gun permit isn’t correct, don’t attempt to cross it.

4) Tell us about a typical hunt – food, accommodations, guides, terrain, quality of game…

I can only vouch for our hunts, so I’ll give you a quick run down of how a hunt with us goes.
Day one, hunter arrives in Tucson before noon. We pick him up, and head for the border. We are across in about 90 minutes, including checking in our guns. Then it’s one to three hours to our ranches, depending on where you will be hunting. You’ll arrive in time to check the zero on your rifle, and maybe get quick tour of the ranch.
Our cooks take good care of us, at 7 pm, dinner will be served, then we’ll relax till bed. Hot showers and a private bedroom will keep you comfortable. Our crew will have your fireplace stoked, and stack of mesquite to get you through the night.

We’ll hunt hard, all day for the next 6 days, taking lunch breaks, and maybe a nap. You’ll see a lot of Coues deer….and some great ones. We are looking to kill bucks over 110″s, and we have an average of 112.3″. You’ll hunt with our experienced guides, who guide Coues deer, elk and other species throughout the Southwest. You’ll have no communication problems. Our guys know the ranches, and know the animals.

The terrain is as rough as anything in the southwest, but deer numbers are high, and you can make the hunt as easy or difficult (physically) as you want. You’ll use a truck to get from one vantage point to the next, then hike in after your buck.

5) Tell us something about hunting in Mexico that might surprise some of our readers..

There is not a 120″ Coues deer on every ridge…That might surprise some. We absolutely bust our tails down there to kill the bucks that we do, very few come easy. The genetics that we hunt can be hunted on leftover tags in AZ, we simply have the age classes necessary to produce big deer. Almost zero hunting pressure allows for extreme buck to doe ratios (1:1 in some cases). With all that taken into consideration, it can still take a lifetime to kill a jumbo buck down there.

6) Can you give us an idea on costs?

Coues Deer hunts range from about $2750 on the very low end, to almost $6000 for premium ranches. Expect to pay $4500 to $5500 to hunt with a reputable outfitter. I know some guys that will jump on that number and say that’s way too high to pay. I have dealt with and know a lot of outfitters in Sonora, and you get what you pay for.

7) Most of us know about Coues and Mulies – what are some other species you can hunt there?

It’s pretty limited. In most of Sonora, your outfitter can get you a Javelina tag. Javelina are thick in some regions. There are also Gould’s turkey to hunt in parts of Sonora, this is a spring season .

Mexico offers some amazing opportunities, especially if you live in the states along the southern border. A hope, skip and a jump and you are in some world-record Coues country! Know the rules, know the right questions to ask, and the logistics may not be as challenging as you think.

For more info, check out Matt’s website: Borderland Adventures. Again – a big “Thank You” to Matt and the guys over at BLA!

Fulfilled from Jay Park on Vimeo.


Comedian GARY OWEN at Stand Up Live in Phoenix on April 25-27! Five Shows!

Comedian GARY OWEN at Stand Up Live!

April 25-27
5 SHOWS!

Don't miss Shaq All-Star Comedian GARY OWEN in Phoenix!

His star is definitely on the rise with appearances in movies such as Think Like A Man, Ride Along, Little Man and Daddy Day Care!

For tickets, call 480-719-6100 or visit standuplive.com.

Gary Owen
Events subject to change without notice.

Simple Fly Fishing by Yvon Chouinard, Craig Mathews & Mauro Mazzo

I loved fly-fishing in my younger days, and probably miss it more than any other type of fishing. I was fortunate enough to grow up in Atlantic Salmon country, fishing rivers such as the famous Miramichi. That being said I had never heard of Tenkara – what a cool technique! I was fortunate to be able to view an advance copy of the book and I can tell you this will be a great book whether you are young or old, novice or expert – I guarantee you’ll learn something!

From the release:

ABOUT THE BOOK

Modern-day fly fishing, like much in life, has become exceedingly complex, with high-tech gear, a confusing array of flies and terminal tackle, accompanied by high-priced fishing guides. But in a long-anticipated book, Simple Fly Fishing, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard joins noted fly fishermen Mauro Mazzo and Craig Mathews to reveal the best way to catch trout: simply, with a rod and a fly and not much else.

The wisdom in the book comes from a simpler time when the premise was the more you know, the less you need. It introduces modern-day readers—beginner anglers to master fishermen—to the techniques based on Tenkara fishing, which relies less on equipment and more on how to discover where the fish are, at what depth, and what they are feeding on. Then it describes the practices needed to present a fly at that depth, make it look lifelike, and hook the fish.
“This is a book for the young person who has wanted to learn, but is intimidated by the complexity, elitism, and expense of the sport,” says Chouinard, a Tenkara enthusiast. “For the woman and her daughter who are put off by the image of the testosterone-fueled, good old boy bass and trout fisherman who turned the ‘contemplative pastime’ into a competitive combat sport. And for the long time angler who has everything and wants to replace all that stuff with skill, knowledge, and simplicity.”

With chapters on wet flies, nymphs, and dry flies, the authors employ both the Tenkara rod as well as regular fly fishing gear to cover all the bases. Illustrated by renowned fish artist James Prosek, with inspiring photographs and stories throughout, Simple Fly Fishing reveals the secrets and the soul of this captivating sport.

ABOUT PATAGONIA BOOKS
Patagonia Books is intended as a way to advance our love of books as well as nature and a reflective life. We publish a select number of titles on wilderness, wildlife, and outdoor sports that inspire and restore connection to the natural world. We also present books that raise awareness about not only the environmental challenges our world faces, but suggest ways that we can work together to slow the disintegration of our planet. This includes immediate activities, such as strategies to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as more in-depth examinations of the meanings of affluence, consumerism, and capitalism in the 21st Century.

We believe that books are still the most important medium for passing our values to the next generation. The titles we publish reflect the principles that guide the business and personal lives of many of us who work at Patagonia and many who participate in the sports we support. These include the vow to lead an examined life, to do what we can as individuals and as a company to make a difference to the environmental challenges we all face, and to hold up our company, with full transparency and honesty, as an example for other businesses.


Huddle Up at PhxSoul.com for the SOULFUL Super Bowl XLIX Events in Arizona!

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And another curse falls

Arizona Javelina

Those of you who know me know that I have struggled with various curses over the years; I’ve definitely had some challenges filling Arizona big game tags. Now to be fair, I’m a bit f a “victim of circumstances” – nonetheless, success has been a fickle maiden for sure. In October I finally filled an Arizona deer tag. He wasn’t a monster, but he was all mine. My real nemesis all these years however, has been the lowly javelina. I have eaten up a lot more hours and boot leather chasing those stinky pigs than I have anything else. My daughter got hers. I’ve helped other people get theirs, thanks to my successful advice and directions.My tags continued to go unfilled.

As per my custom, I put in for (and drew) a 33/37B archery tag this year. My friend John Greiss urged me to put in for a second tag; an 18B leftover general tag.I drew one of those too.John was named Arizona Game and Fish’s 2014 “Mentor of the Year”, and that is no coincidence. John has assisted in dozens if not hundreds of “firsts” when it comes to hunting, for people all over Arizona. He and friend Josh Smith helped my daughter get her first javelina. John was there in October when I got my first Coues. A new job in January sunk my chances of going out bowhunting, so my 18B tag was my last hope in 2014. I arranged to hunt on Sunday, and John and I made a plan. It was off to a rough start. I had to get up at 3 AM to make the 3+ hour drive to Bagdad. My daughter had a dance that night and I didn’t get to bed until almost midnight. I was a tired lil boy driving up there the next morning. John met me in town and we headed out to where Jose, Miguel, RL and the others were camped. They had a plan, and we loaded up the Rangers and headed out.

About an hour and a half into the real hunting, a herd of 3 or 4 was spotted. We set up an ambush, and Jose went on a mini Javelina drive – they were hunkered down in some thick stuff and not moving. Miguel scored, Jose and Andrew took shots, but only one tag was filled. After a couple of hours we went in and broke camp in order to facilitate heading to a different spot on the way out of town. Miguel and RL headed home, and the rest of us kept hunting.

Late in the afternoon, a single pig was spotted. Jose was really working the glass. There were 2 other rookie pig hunters there, but John insisted I take the shot. We re-positioned, glassed for a bit to make sure there was only one pig, and then John set up his Claw. I was trying to get set up but we were sideways on a slope so I elected to use the Triclawps. We put my rifle in (a Savage .22-250) got situated and I settled in for the shot. “Boom” “Whap”

“He’s down! He’s down” I was watching hi through my scope. He went down instantly, rolled down the hill, and fetched up on a bush. He kicked a few times and it was over. Shot was ranged at 175 yards, and then the work started.

As he lay

Snapped a few trophy pics and carried him up the hill.

We hunted until almost dark, trying to get the other guys onto a pig but to no avail. Icing on the cake? Miguel’s javelina tied John’s prior record for “javelina assists”. Mine was the one that created his new single-season record.

Sunset on the Ranger in 18B

By the time we got back to the trucks it was nearly 7:30. The ride home was long, but having a filled tag instead of an empty one made it much more bearable!


Lady Hunters – Tips On Starting Them Young

It’s not much of a secret that lady hunters are the fastest growing demographic in the hunting community. Part of that is due to families starting their daughters, nieces, neighbor girls and grand daughters early and making it fun for them, with no pressure. My daughter is not an avid hunter, but she has hunted and has a javelina under her belt. As a matter of fact, she got her first javelina before I did! My friend Chris McCotter is well known in Arizona hunting circles for not only his hunting prowess, but his support of wildlife organizations. He is also well-known for getting his entire family into hunting, including his wife and his daughter Cidney. Recently, someone asked Chris for some tips on raising lady hunters. His advice was as thorough and well-presented as I have seen. With his permission, I have reprinted it here.

I’ll go on record that I have not pushed Cid to do any of this but instead asked if she wanted to and let her make the call. I probably learned more from her than she did from me over the past few months taking her hunting.

A few I have learned along the way, and in no particular order -

- Relax – if your spastic and losing it then chances are she will be too or worse yet she won’t want to be in that situation as she won’t want to see you like that again. Just ‘let it happen’ – don’t try and MAKE it happen. And if it doesn’t? So what and laugh it off.

- Don’t get frustrated when you’re sneaking around the hill putting on a stalk and you look back and she’s lagging behind picking flowers along the way. And better yet – expect a frustrated look from her when you tell her to throw them down and get ready to shoot a javelina. Think about it – She just worked her butt off collecting them and you’re telling her to treat them like trash. Big picture dad, look at the big picture.

- Invest in one of these – Click Here. Store in your hunting rig and never forget it and you will be the greatest dad in the world.

- Never let a question she has go unanswered and no question is stupid as you’ll find they are ALL building blocks to future questions and they need to have answered.

- Being a great shot at the range bench doesn’t mean jack when it’s in the field on live game (this is true of most adults too) but if you can provide life like targets of the animal she’s hunting use them after the gun is dialed in and they have the basics down.

- Surf the internet and download or print off live photos of the animals she’s hunting. In all different positions. You’re looking for shot and no shoot scenarios. Like I said, print off or store on your smart phone as pics in a specific folder. Weeks leading up to the hunt review yes and no shots. Then the night before going out hunting laying there in the sleeping bag next to her with your headlamps on or lantern light review those pics again.

- Never underestimate the leg power a little kid has. They aren’t lugging your body weight up the mountain and it will surprise you. But don’t walk them to death either. If they want a pack make it ultra light carry your gear and theirs and shop for a kids pack if you can. There are cheap ones out there if you plan well ahead of the hunt you’ll find them. I bought my kids packs for $20-$25 each.

- If your kid is going to carry a pack, inspect it twice a day for items they may have added. A 10lb rock lugged 1.5 miles back to the truck cuz it was ‘pretty’ will explain why she’s so tired and can’t make the trek be one that could have been avoided.

- Camo is not mandatory hunting attire and any hello kitty attire she wants to wear is completely acceptable. Also pink is not mandatory for her either. Let her wear what she wants with in reason to the conditions and weather permit.

-Long hair held back in pony tail and or braid keeps it tucked out of the way and not something to get in the view of the scope or caught in the action of the rifle. Simply put it’s a distraction just not needed and take care of it at camp. (note from taking my wife hunting – as they get older they’ll probably want to toss in some lipstick and such to pretty up before pictures are taken. Don’t pick on them for it. )

- Don’t go cheap on boots and socks. Blisters on her feet mean an end of the hunt, period. They won’t play through the pain and you shouldn’t make them. When you think about it tossing in another $25 at the time to purchase boots will help pay back all you’ve invested in gas and time off work.

- Carhart youth pants will allow her to blaze through stickers like they aren’t there. Truth be told they are sold as ‘boys’ pants, just don’t mention that and cut the tag off if it says it. They also make youth leather gloves. Major investment and worth every penny. They can grab sticker bushes and push them out of the way as well if they tumble their hands won’t get cut up. Any pain that can be avoided makes the trip that much more enjoyable.

- If while you’re glassing you find an animal – show it to her. This doesn’t matter if it’s a rabbit or a chipmunk let them see it through the binos. It’s both practice getting them use to seeing game in glasses but also a distraction to the mind numbing boring as heck death silence part we call glassing. But to them it’s brutal nothingness and they want to do something.

- I’ll add this one for those of you thinking of taking your older daughter or wife out hunting and I mean it in all seriousness. Keep your hunting rig stocked with feminine hygiene products (glove box) as you will be that time of the month will hit on opening day. Besides, leaving a new one tied to a buddies door handle on his truck you find out in the woods is a riot.

- It’s blazing hot out and you just finished gutless method on two javelina and she wants you to cut open the guts and see what’s inside. You do it and give the best review of organs you can. If she wants you to cut the heart open you do. You never know, she might find it so fascinating that it leads to her becoming a heart surgeon. If she wants you to cut the stomach open you do, but hold your breath before you do. I don’t think she’ll EVER ask me to do that again. We laughed quite a while over that one.

- Make it fun and try to book hunts with her friends or other kids her age. Get her out to youth camps and let her mingle with the other kids and hear the stories they have. They seem to learn a lot from others their own age and not us old farts.

- If you can let her choose some of the details about the hunt. If it’s the third day of the hunt and you’re stumped where to go and what to do, give her some ideas and let her pick. If it turns out you find critters and she gets one SHE gets the credit. GOT THAT DAD?

- take photos – tons of them and let her take photos too! Kids take the coolest pictures.

Lastly – and the one I failed to master but learn how not to cry your eyes out that first time she fills a tag. If you figure that one out let me know. I have a second kid to go through this all again.

Dad and Daughter Javelina

Dad and Daughter Javelina


Sinbad LIVE at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino on June 14

SinbadThe laughs are never-ending when superstar comedian Sinbad takes the stage at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino on June 14. Show begins at 8 PM.

From classic TV sit-coms like “A Different World” to hit movies such as “Jingle All The Way,” he’s entertained us for years. Now he’s bringing his hilarious stand-up comedy directly to you for one unforgettable show.

Tickets available at WinGilaRiver.com or by phone at 877.840.0457.

Event subject to change without notice.


Heart and Sol Wellness Festival on March 8 in Downtown Phoenix – Youth Football Camp, Health Tips and More

Event to Increase Awareness about Fronto Temporal Dementia

Sports anchor/reporter Bruce Cooper, the long-time KPNX Channel 12 Television personality, is the featured of Master of Ceremonies for the inaugural Heart and Sol Wellness Festival.

The Heart and Sol Wellness Festival will be held on March 8 at Civic Space Park, 424 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.

The Heart and Sol Wellness Festival will support The Kizer FTD Awareness Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation delivered to Fronto Temporal Dementia (FTD) awareness and family care. The festival honoree, Yolanda Collazos Kizer, was diagnosed with FTD, which is a neurological disease that affects language and behavior. Little is known about this disease and there is currently no cure or treatments. Although the life expectancy is typically 5-7 years after diagnosis, Yolanda has found that exercise and good health has been extremely beneficial in managing this disease.

Former Arizona State University and NFL football player Dan Saleaumua, along with other professional staff, will offer a FREE YOUTH FOOTBALL CAMP from 11am-1pm at the Heart and Sol Wellness Festival. The former NFL players will guide participants through a series of drills, teaching proper football technique and the basics of both offense and defense. This session is open to BOYS and GIRLS ages 5-13. The FREE YOUTH FOOTBALL CAMP will be followed by an informational seminar that will answer parents’ questions about the risks and rewards of their children playing contact football, focusing on the controversial issue of concussions.

For more information, visit www.HeartandSol.org.

Heart and Sol Wellness Festival
Event subject to change without notice.

How Hunting Affects Arizona’s Economy

How important are hunters and shooting sports participants for Arizona’s economy?

Hunters and shooters support thousands of jobs, both rural and urban across the state of Arizona and our goal is to provide a unified voice for all of these stakeholders. The Hunting Works For Arizona partnership monitors public policy decisions and weighs in on hunting-related issues that impact Arizona jobs. Here are some key figures about how important hunters are to our economy.

• 269,000 people hunt in Arizona each year.
• Arizona hunters spend $149 million on trip-related expenditures.
• Hunters in Arizona spend $134 million on hunting equipment.
• Each hunter spends an average of $1,300 per year in Arizona.
• Hunting in Arizona creates over 5,700 jobs.
• Hunter spending translates to $208 million in salaries and wages.
• Hunters pay $42.5 million in state and local taxes.

All of this translates to a $592 million ripple effect in Arizona!

What does it mean to be a Hunting Works for Arizona partner?

As a partner you can be as active as you choose. Still, for this to be an effective partnership, we encourage you to become fully engaged. Opportunities for you to help include:

• Sharing your logo for use on the Hunting Works For Arizona website and printed materials. (Please email your logo to us)
• Attending Hunting Works For Arizona events such as regional meetings and our annual meeting.
• Signing and/or helping to find people to sign letters to the editor to local, regional and statewide newspapers.
• Sharing information with your membership, employees or customers.
• Recruiting other groups or businesses to join Hunting Works For Arizona as a partner.
• Attending visibility events or speaking at service club meetings.

Follow Hunting Works For Arizona on FACEBOOK