How about some fly fishing for Gila Trout and Smallmouth Bass. Click the image to watch the video.
How about some fly fishing for Gila Trout and Smallmouth Bass. Click the image to watch the video.
This is what it is all about… Great Job Emma, we are super proud of you…
I’d like to nominate my daughter – Emma Moore; she is 11 years old. She has been at my side fishing for trout but has often mentioned how she would really like to hunt. In February 2013, she took her hunter safety course and passed. On the way home, I asked her if she would like me to enter her into the draw. Instantly, her reply was, “yes!” I asked what she wanted to hunt. She replied elk with a bow. I told her that she was probably not big enough to kill an elk with a bow yet. She was disappointed. I asked her if there was anything else she wanted to hunt. She replied with put me in for everything.
Between the time of putting in for the draw and getting the results, we hunted turkey with our friends Carl and Robin (his daughter) Abrams. We got skunked. However, Emma got her own 20 gauge over/under so now, she is prepared for bird hunting.
When the draw was released, we were excited that Emma drew a once in a lifetime Oryx tag on the WSMR. She practiced all summer long with a Remington 700 Mountain Rifle, which I had customized for her length of pull. She went from shooting a reduced recoil load to the hottest load that I could find – Winchester 180 grain XP3. She not only handled the load well, but she also maintained her accuracy.
We joined Robin (her friend) on her antelope hunt and watched her take an antelope. This only fueled Emma’s fire for hunting. We went to WSMR in late September for her hunt. We hunted hard Friday (after the safety brief), Saturday, and Sunday. We jumped oryx and spotted and stalked oryx for 3 long days. That was one of the harder hunts that we have had on WSMR (Stallion). On Saturday, we spotted 4 oryx about 1.5 miles out. We decided to go after them. We stalked to within 40 yards of them. They were bedded in the brush. Turns out, there were 6 of them. We sat there for about 5 minutes quietly picking them through the brush and trying to show the children (Robin, Carl’s daughter was with us) where they were. I told Emma to pick one out, and when they stood, she would only have a second or so to shoot. Well, they stood, and Emma was so excited that the gun never barked once. Instead, I could see that Emma was almost shaking because she was so excited.
That night she told me that she blew it and was worried that she would not be able to get one. I was beginning to doubt myself about putting her in for a once in a lifetime tag. I told her that we would do our best the next day, but she needed to be prepared because you could go overs and days hunting, but sometimes you only have a second or so opportunity to pull it off. The next day, we went out again, and got into some Oryx. They were about 110 yards off, and the they spotted us and took off. Emma and I chased after them after they hit a hill. I was in the lead with her following me. When we were running towards them, a doe popped up out of no where and shocked both of us. The oryx were gone at that point, but we gave it a try.
We decided to go down to the southern part of Stallion around lunch time. The kids were getting hungry, and Carl and I decided to make some dehydrated food for them while we glassed for oryx. All of sudden, Carl pulled me to the side exclaiming that there were 3 typical horned oryx running our way. I pulled Emma out of the truck and got her set up in a prone position. They were at 220 yards – a stretch for her, but still doable. They came within range and were still running. Carl honked the truck horn, and they stopped. Still, the Remington did not bark. Emma was frustrated, and said that she had no shot (she was on an elevated position trying to shoot down from a prone position…for an adult, this was doable but not for an 11 year old). We hopped into the truck and sped down the road. The oryx were still running. We got about a mile ahead of them. Emma and I bailed out of the truck and ran about 300 yards out into the desert. We looked and looked but could not located them. I looked behind us thinking what in the heck…where did they go? Then, I spotted them running straight at us. I turned Emma around and pointed to them. I ranged them at 110 yards and told her that they were still running towards us. I told her to pick out any one of them that she wanted. She did. They stopped at 65 yards, and she shot at the lead cow. The cow oryx was quartering to us, and Emma hit that oryx hard. The oryx side stepped about 10 feet after the shot while I was telling (maybe even yelling???) shoot it again, shoot it again. Emma was so excited that she ejected the shell but jammed it when she put the bolt forward. She handed me the rifle, and I cleared the jam and gave her the rifle right when the oryx fell. I cannot explain to anyone the way I felt knowing that my 11 year old daughter just killed a typical oryx on a once in a lifetime hunt.
The cow was not huge – it was 31″, but when we got to the gate, we were told that we were one of the lucky ones. Out of the 65 (or so) tags for the hunt, there were only about half of the hunters who were successful with only half of those being able to take a typical. We were told that the cold winter from 3 years ago had hit the oryx herd hard, and that many of the survivors only had 1 horn due to the extreme cold temperatures. They told us that her oryx was definitely considered a trophy. Regardless of what they had told us, this oryx was a true trophy. This oryx also cemented the fact that now she wants to hunt regardless of being successful or anything else.
We went out to hunt cow elk with a muzzleloader (again, having one of mine customized for her). Again, we had no success, but she did get a muzzleloader out of it. To boot, she got a Diamond Infinity Edge bow for Christmas. She now has her own 20 gauge shotgun, a 30-06 rifle, a Knight .50 muzzleloader, and a bow. She is now all set for future hunts!!!
I do not have the ability to upload photos for her along with this nomination, but if you want some, please get me your email address, and I will submit some. Thanks.
Here is a quick video on a recent trip Brock and I took to a local pond…
This is an edited interview I did with KSFR.com regarding the Gila River Diversion Proposal.
Thanks for listening
I am starting to migrate a lot of stuff from my previous blog…
Good Things to Good People
1/18/08 What a Way to Start the New Year!!
As I created the waypoint for the kill site on my GPS the big number that stood out was 350, that was what my trip odometer read. This year I covered 350 miles of some of the best Coues deer country in the southwest looking for the perfect setup. The Burro Mountains have always had some quality deer hunting and like most well known hunting areas the “usual” spots had treestands on every saddle or game-trail. My goal was to find a nice honey hole off of what we call “the Big Three”, The Big Three consist of Jacks Peak, Burro Mountain and Ferguson Mountain. Throughout the summer I had at least two trail cameras in the field at all times. For the most part they were over springs or game trails, I had decent success and I had several great pictures of some quality bucks. I also found a real nice set of shed that were a little big that 100 inches.
Unfortunately, as December rolled around everything went south. All of my bucks stopped showing up, I still don’t know what happened but it was pretty obvious I was going to need to spend some time locating does or I was going to be in for a long tough hunt. I was pretty much in panic mode. Coues deer hunting is a game of preparation. Unlike Mule deer hunting you need to do your homework upfront. I changed my strategy from worrying about the bucks and I spent a ton of time behind the 15×56 Swarovski’s looking for does. I knew that once the rut kicked in the bucks would be chasing. A few days before the hunt I found three nice groups of does and I knew that I was back in the game. I also found some scrapes and rubs in the general area.
My initial plan was to switch between a spring that the does were hitting and a scrape line. If I wasn’t getting into deer I would change areas and hunt a huge flat in a saddle that I had a feeling was going to have a scrape line in it.
As the hunt started I was hunting with a heavy heart, my dad has been sick and in and out of the hospital. Even though I had planned all year for this hunt it was just hard to leave the house in the morning.
The first couple of the days were extremely windy and the deer were not moving. Trying to make something happened I decided to do some Spot-n-Stalk hunting. I wasn’t able to get on any Coues deer but I was able to get within 30 yards of this Mule deer.
I was able to get these Mule deer pictures during some of my time on one of my stands. I also had a few bigger deer, some Javelina and a coyote come in but I wasn’t able to get pictures of them, these bucks are nothing special but at least I knew I wasn’t getting winded.
Unfortunately, because of the high winds and sleet the Coues deer just weren’t moving. I have always said,” Mule deer see a person and they think he is a stump, Coues deer see a stump and think it is a person”. When the winds are high the deer are just to scared to move.
As the hunt wore on it became obvious that I need to make something happen, so I moved to a scrape line. Below are some pictures of the scrapes and some rubs that I have found in the area. Scrapes during this time of year are a much better indicator of a buck working the area but it is nice to see the rubs.
This is the little patch of trees that I setup in. I ALMOST CLOSED THE DEAL on this scrape line but a buck came from the one area that I couldn’t get a shot. He came from behind me and I think he caught a whiff of me in the swirling winds. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed.
A few days into the hunt my dad was getting stronger and he was released from the hospita on Tuesday giving me one good day to hunt before I had to pack for my Mexico Coues deer hunt. So I figured I needed to push the issue. I hiked into the flat that I had scouted earlier in the season. During the summer months I had seen three different bucks in the area and I found a few sheds.
As I made the .75 mile hike into the flat I found a few rubs and scrapes. My hunch had been correct. After slowing working thru the area I decided to sit the scrape line and rub below.
I have found that for me, the best way to hunt a scrape line is to stay mobile and sit around 35 yards off the scrape. I also carry one of those little stools to sit on for comfort. I had just setup my stool and hung my bow on a bow hanger in the tree when I first caught movement. I hadn’t even knocked and arrow. First it was a flicker of an ear then I was able to pick out a brow-tine. After 6 months of scouting and one day of hunting left it looked like if I could knock and arrow and draw I might have the opportunity at a nice buck. I wasn’t able to determine the number of points but at this point it didn’t matter. If I had the chance to take him I was going to let the air out of him.
I had setup so if a buck came in I would be in his blind spot for a few yards. This would give me the opportunity to grab my bow and knock an arrow. Luck was with me this day. As he went into the blind spot I pulled “Yoda II” (my arrow) from the quiver, knocked him, drew and got ready to pick a spot. I always have a cheesy saying that I say to myself, it is “Confidence is Deadly”. It just reminds me that I have done everything in my power to make the shot. I have the best bow, the best arrow, the best broadhead and I have practiced to to make the shot. As I mutter those words in my mind, he cleared the brush at 30 yards, I picked a spot and I released the arrow. As the arrow flew I knew it was a good shot, it took out both lungs. I don’t think he knew what happened. He jumped a little and trotted off to about 60 yards. I am a firm believe of shoot until they are down so I pulled “Yoda III” knocked, drew and picked a spot again. I hit him high and “spined” him. He dropped.
This was my setup, he came in from the left.
This is the “as they lay picture”.
It is very hard to explain the emotions that come over you when you kill an animal that you have spent so much time admiring. I must admit that I did my little dance and I did a bunch of screaming and yelling but after that I just sat there and admired him in all of his beauty. I always give thanks and remind myself that it is not about the kill but about setting a goal and reaching it. My Grandfather Papo used to say that the outdoors was his church, nothing could be truer.
Stay tuned…. I need to tell you about my Mexico Rifle Hunt… You won’t believe what I killed. A true GIANT…..
This should be a good thing..
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JULY 30, 2013:
Lake Roberts dam improvement project to begin soon
SILVER CITY – A project to improve the dam and spillway at Lake Roberts, a popular fishing and camping destination in southwestern New Mexico, is scheduled to begin this week as the Department of Game and Fish starts to lower the water level about 10 feet.
The lake and the Gila National Forest campgrounds and picnic area will remain open during the construction, estimated to take about one year. Fishing opportunities and access to the shoreline may be limited, and the boat ramp will be closed as the water level drops over the next month. The portion of the lake around the dam and spillway will be closed for the duration of the project.
The Department of Game and Fish will monitor fish health during the project to determine whether to relax fishing bag limits to avoid fish going to waste. Once the project is finished, the lake will be refilled and restocked with fish.
The $6.5 million project is designed to make the dam and spillway better able to withstand extreme flooding events. The plan is to replace the existing spillway, construct a secondary 70-feet-wide spillway, and raise the dam eight feet. Sportsmen are paying for the project through license fees and federal excise taxes on fishing equipment and boat fuel.
Mike Gustin, assistant chief of lands for the Department of Game and Fish, said the state engineer has indicated that the dam could be vulnerable if a major flood were to come down Sapillo Creek. Since the dam was completed in 1963, a small town has taken roots along the tailwaters. The improvements will help the dam withstand a major flood.
The dam at Lake Roberts is one of 11 dams owned and maintained by the State Game Commission and the Department of Game and Fish. The others are Eagle Nest, Bear Canyon, Jackson, McGaffey, Laguna del Campo, Fenton, Hopewell, Snow, Quemado and Clayton lakes. All are scheduled for different degrees of upgrades over the next four years.
For more information about the Gila National Forest recreation sites at Lake Roberts, please contact Wilderness District Ranger Ray Torres at (575) 536-2250.
WOW… What a great trip… Follow me on a Fly Fishing Smallie Trip in the Gila… I also come across a bunch of elk..
How about some shed hunting, trail cam pics and a cool old dude camp?
Great Job Brock.. We are proud of you..