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Dennis Pirch

Stories by Dennis

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Horton Creek a self-sustaining fishery and Rim treasure

Jake Swartwood displays a trout he caught in Horton Creek. During the Thanksgiving holiday I teamed up with Jake Swartwood, the head football coach for the Payson Longhorns, and made a quick trip to Horton Creek.

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A frequently asked hunting question from non-hunters

For a person who enjoys hunting big and small game, the fall is a busy time with numerous seasons starting in late August and continuing well into the month of January.

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Thanksgiving: A time to reflect on the Rim’s blessings

Outdoors Under the Rim

It seems that the older I get, the quicker the years fly by. Summer fishing has gone, fall hunting is in full swing, and now its Thanksgiving and just a few short weeks before the year 2016 is history!

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Fall trout fishing and the Rim lakes

It’s November and fall big game hunting is in full swing with numerous deer and elk seasons currently in progress.

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East Verde River becoming year-round trout stream

Outdoors Under the Rim

The East Verde River has certainly become a magnet to weekend visitors to the Rim Country during the summer months.

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Better do your deer hunting homework

Outdoors Under the Rim

The rifle deer season has begun with many youth hunts just finishing the weeklong pursuit of any antlered deer.

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On the road with a professional bass angler

Outdoors Under the Rim

As much as I loved teaching and coaching, being retired does have its benefits. There is a liberty that allows me to say yes, rather spontaneously when needs arise within the family or with friends.

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Fall offers great trout fishing

Outdoors Under the Rim

The early October fall-like weather has been a welcome change after summer. I would not store that fishing equipment just yet because the months of October and November can be some of the very best trout fishing on many of the Arizona high mountain lakes.

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Elk bugle in Rim Country this time of year

Outdoors Under the Rim

When the bull elk begin to sound off in the Rim Country, one knows that fall is in the air. Not only is autumn approaching, but also the elk herd has begun the mating season as bulls begin to become vocal, declaring an interest in gathering a mate.

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A great time to be outdoors

Outdoors Under the Rim

Yes, I know it is still summer with hot temperatures and hopefully a late-afternoon thunderstorm brewing on the Rim.

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Early dove season opens Thursday

Outdoors Under the Rim

Dove hunting season, which is the first of the fall shotgun seasons, opens Thursday and will end at sundown on Sept. 15.

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Practice key to harvesting a deer during archery season

Outdoors Under the Rim

It seems like it was only a few weeks ago the archery equipment was put into storage after the January deer and javelina seasons. Guess what, it has been seven months and it’s almost time to pursue a buck with a “string and a stick.”

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Arizona big game lottery permits finalized

Outdoors Under the Rim

The big game permits have been drawn by a lottery system for all of the fall hunts in 2016 in the state of Arizona.

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More tiger trout to be stocked into Rim Country lakes

Tonto Fish Hatchery to raise them

In mid May sport anglers throughout the state that flocked to Willow Springs and Woods Canyon Lake welcomed the inaugural stocking of the hybrid tiger trout.

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Summer’s the time for a berry-picking adventure

Outdoors Under the Rim

If you are an outdoor person, there seems to be a season for everything.

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Calving elk pose driving hazard

Outdoors Under the Rim

Payson and the Rim Country is a destination for those who want to see, photograph or hunt the “King of the Forest,” the bull elk.

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Keep our forest litter free

Outdoors Under the Rim

The Memorial Day weekend crowds appeared to be at an all-time high and the weekends that have followed seemed to have heavier traffic than in previous years.

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Catch & release tips

Outdoors Under the Rim

This past month a new hybrid game fish has been introduced into the local waters of Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lake, the tiger trout.

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Don’t miss deadline for hunting permits

Outdoors Under the Rim

It is the second week of June and many Arizonans who enjoy the outdoors are fishing for trout or camping in the higher elevations, trying to escape the summer heat.

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Wilderness stretches of trout water offer good fishing, solitude

Outdoors Under the Rim

The summer fishing season is not far away and the urge to wet a line on one of the Rim lakes for that early morning or late afternoon trout bite is always a possibility.

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Tigers spotted on the Rim

Finally. The tiger trout are now in the waters of Willow Springs and Woods Canyon, two of the most popular fishing spots in the state.

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Junior spring turkey hunt a success for area kids

Outdoors Under the Rim

When spring comes to the Arizona high country, the early morning silence will often be broken by the distinct gobble of the wild turkey.

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These boys are hooked on fishing

Outdoors Under the Rim

Springtime weather, a couple of young boys, and a great bass lake is all it takes to make fond memories for a lifetime.

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Volunteers work for wildlife habitat

Outdoors Under the Rim

Water sources are critical to wildlife survival in the arid Southwest. Even beneath the Rim with live streams in many canyons, water can still be very scarce.

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Payson wildlife manager honored

Outdoors Under the Rim

It is always gratifying to hear of success stories from the graduates of Payson High School when they enter the careers of their choice. Obviously, there have been many.

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Newland, Wong made lasting impact on outdoor fraternity

Outdoors Under the Rim

In the last month, two life-long outdoorsmen passed away that made a lasting impact on the fishing and hunting fraternity in the Rim Country.

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Let’s go fishing

Outdoors Under the Rim

The rifles and archery equipment from the hunting seasons have probably been stored in the closet not to be used again until early fall. It’s time to head to your favorite lake or stream and try out that new fishing equipment or your favorite rod and reel.

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Final javelina season comes to a close

Outdoors Under the Rim

The majority of the Arizona javelina hunting seasons take place in the late winter with numerous week-long hunts in various desert units.

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Sportsmen assist in new rules for Horton Creek

Outdoors Under the Rim

About a year ago, Horton Creek was designated a “catch and release” only fishery by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) with the encouragement of a growing number of sportsmen who would be considered wild trout enthusiasts.

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Grand Canyon Monument could affect game management

Outdoors Under the Rim

The area north of the Grand Canyon is called the Kaibab Plateau and Arizona strip country which has some of the best mule deer hunting in the West.

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Javelina permits still available

Outdoors Under the Rim

The late winter in Arizona has traditionally been the time to hunt javelina with a firearm.

Litter season draws near once again

The Tonto National Forest beneath the Mogollon Rim has among the most visitors in the entire USA! When springtime comes, the interest in camping, fishing and other water sports brings thousands of visitors to the lakes, streams and campgrounds.

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Elk, antelope permits available from Game and Fish

Outdoors Under the Rim

It is that time of year again, the application process for antelope and elk permits for 2016 fall season is upon us.

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Snowy days, get ready for springtime fishing

Outdoors Under the Rim

The El Niño winter is making its mark with a good start on snowpack on the Mogollon Rim and rain at the lower elevations in Arizona. It appears there is more on the horizon, which is great news for anglers as the groundwater table improves and the reservoirs start to fill.

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Bowhunter claims his once-in-a-lifetime trophy

Outdoors Under the Rim

There are many species of big game animals in Arizona that can be hunted during a prescribed season. Most have a lottery drawing system for the permits that are limited to a certain number of hunters per unit.

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More Rim Country mountains to climb in 2016

Outdoors Under the Rim

If you haven’t noticed, it is a new year, 2016. Just a few years back, I had a hard time adjusting to the new century 2000 and actually writing the date.

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Number of female hunters on the rise

Outdoors Under the Rim

Most of the big game hunts for 2015 are over and many fond memories were made from successful hunts by local families in the Rim Country. Hunting is not just a “guy thing.”

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Christmas is only a few days away

Outdoors Under the Rim

Are you still struggling with what to get as a gift for family members or your friends?

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Elk hunters a shot in the arm to Rim Country economy

Outdoors Under the Rim

If you have tried to get on the Beeline on a Thursday or Friday for the last three months and have been slowed by the long line of campers, trailers and motor homes, no doubt you may be wondering, “Where are they going?”

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Game warden retires after 38 years in wildlife management

For the last 30 years when I have been hiking the trails or driving the back roads, it would be a common occurrence to see Henry Apfel, the local game warden for 22 North. Henry would be driving his brown pickup with the AZGFD insignia on the side patrolling his designated area of the Tonto National Forest.

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Cool temps draw hunters to shotgun quail and dove seasons

Outdoors Under the Rim

The big game seasons are drawing to a close for 2015 but there are still opportunities to be in the field in pursuit of game.

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Giving thanks for family, football and Rim Country

Outdoors Under the Rim

The Thanksgiving weekend is often a time for our family gathering, with an abundance of great food, plenty of football games on TV, and so many stories that seem to focus on the outdoors in the Rim Country.

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Daypacks the answer for many one-day outdoor adventures

Outdoors Under the Rim

Arizona is a state with abundant sunshine and weather, which allows for plenty of outdoor activities.

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Young hunters both bag trophies

Outdoors Under the Rim

Young men growing up in the West or rural areas of our country often find the outdoors as a priority when it comes to time spent with friends.

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Family teams up for a successful antelope hunt

Outdoors Under the Rim

The Arizona big game hunting seasons are well underway with the archery and rifle antelope hunts throughout the state having been completed.

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When the Crappie King calls, you answer

Outdoors Under the Rim

Oftentimes a person’s name comes to mind with a sport, an event, or a particular ability or skill, which everyone can recognize.

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Fall turkey hunt a success for area couple

Outdoors Under the Rim

Early October has so many hunting seasons beginning that it is difficult to keep them all in order.

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Rim Country hunting creates indelible memories

Outdoors Under the Rim

A couple of weeks ago, my wife Kathy and I attended the annual Pioneer Barbecue held at the Tonto Apache Gym to visit with former students, old friends, and families who had a vested interest in developing this area of the Rim Country.

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Quail season opens today

Outdoors Under the Rim

One of the most popular upland game seasons opens today in Arizona for the shotgun enthusiast who likes to shoot while walking the desert foothills.

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Fall in high country offers many choices for outdoor enthusiasts

Outdoors Under the Rim

The calendar says fall is here, the days are shorter and the early morning temperatures are noticeably cooler.

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