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Dennis Pirch

Stories by Dennis

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Elk seasons come to a close

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?” The great majority are hunters heading to elk country to preseason scout or to start their hunt.

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Sounds of the woods

Outdoors Under the Rim

Over this past month, I have spent many hours in the woods observing a variety of big game animals which inhabit the Rim Country.

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Plenty to be thankful for in 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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Successful first elk hunt

The fall means hunting season for elk in the Rim Country with nu­merous weeklong hunts already finished.

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Fall fishing can net big trout on area lakes

Outdoors Under the Rim

It is already into mid-November and the weather is still holding for a high mountain trout fishing trip. Most “Hook and Bullet” folks have put away the fishing rods and have picked up the rifle, shotgun or bow.

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Deer hunting creates lasting family memories

Outdoors Under the Rim

The rifle deer season is underway throughout the state of Arizona for the Coues whitetail or the mule deer, which are the two species that inhabit our state. The early general whitetail hunt ended last week in the local units 22 and 23 with numerous trophy whitetails harvested.

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Fall’s final flare

Tips for fall color treks

The fall months with the last days of Indian summer offer the hiker and other outdoor enthusiasts perfect weather conditions to view the changing colors of the leaves before the winter snows arrive.

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Will a trout stream run through it?

Outdoors Under the Rim

A trout stream in the city limits of Payson is certainly thinking “outside of the box” when it comes to ideas that make our community even more appealing as a destination.

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With fall hunting season nearing, it’s time to get in shape

Outdoors Under the Rim

The results from the Arizona Game and Fish Department lottery drawing for deer, turkey, sheep and fall javelina are available on the Internet by typing azgfd.gov and following the directions posted. Elk and antelope tags have already been determined and the lucky hunters now have those precious permits in their hands for the 2014 season.

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Fishing in Rim Country priceless

Outdoors Under the Rim

A weekend in the Rim Country or the White Mountains to a Valley resident is priceless with the chance to cool off, maybe get drenched by a summer monsoon storm, and catch a fighting rainbow.

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Late July the perfect time to pick blackberries in Rim Country

Outdoors Under the Rim

By the third week in July it is the time to start picking blackberries from your favorite patch. Residents who have picked in previous years know when to make that first trip with bucket in hand.

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Weekend 3-D archery contests growing in popularity

Outdoors Under the Rim

Archery big-game hunting is a rapidly growing sport throughout the USA. The seasons are generally longer which provides more opportunities to be in the woods in pursuit of deer and other game depending on the region of the country.

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Reservation Lake a great weekend getaway

Outdoors Under the Rim

Sometime during the summer months after fishing the same Rim lakes and streams, it may be time for a new angling destination.

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Fourth of July a great time in Rim Country

Outdoors Under the Rim

Summer is in full swing and the 4th of July, Independence Day, is already upon us.

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Haigler Creek is off the beaten path

Outdoors Under the Rim

The area between Payson and Young is some of the more remote territory in the state of Arizona with steep canyons and rock outcroppings, which shield the creeks that are in the bottoms of the drainages.

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Trout stream fishing 101

Outdoors Under the Rim

Summer is here and the local hatcheries on Canyon and Tonto Creek are busy stocking waters throughout the state of Arizona.

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Elk calving in the Rim Country is a time to be alert

Outdoors Under the Rim

Late spring and early summer in the Rim Country means that the cow elk that were bred during the rut in September are now having calves.

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Trout fishing tip: either go early or stay late

Outdoors Under the Rim

The Arizona summer heat is upon us and even at 5,000 feet in elevation Payson can get mighty hot in the afternoon.

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Arizona Game and Fish Commission meeting this weekend in Payson

Outdoors Under the Rim

The Arizona Game and Fish Depart­ment will have a commission meeting in Payson on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, 14 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino at 8 a.m. both days and the public is invited.

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Big game applications due soon

Outdoors Under the Rim

The antelope and elk permits have already been issued for 2014 and those lucky hunters who drew a tag already have a week or two in the fall set aside for the pursuit of big game.

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Water running in the East Verde River

Outdoors Under the Rim

With the year of no winter behind and late spring upon us, there is a definite lack of moisture and ground water in the Rim Country.

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Wildlife drinkers improved in Unit 23

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

There are a number of wildlife drinkers that have been built over the years to catch water when it rains and used later in the drier times which are frequent in Arizona.

Time for fall trout fishing

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

Fall has arrived, and that often dictates storing the fishing equipment and breaking out the hunting gear. Many archers have been in the field for a couple of weeks attempting to tag a deer, while archery elk season is just beginning.

The bulls of fall are starting to call

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

To an outdoorsman, there are a few predictable signs that wildlife exhibit at different times of the year. The gobble of a wild turkey in the spring, the salmon run of an Alaskan summer, and the bugle of a bull elk in the early fall in the mountains of the West are all benchmark events in nature.

The Mexican Gray Wolf expansion into the Tonto

For many years there has been an experimental transplant population of Mexican Gray Wolves on the Arizona-New Mexico border. This area is located in the sparsely populated Blue River area, White Mountain Apache Reservation and the Gila wilderness.

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Get in shape for fall hunts

The results are now in from the Arizona Game and Fish Department lottery drawing for deer, turkey, sheep, and fall javelina hunts and are available on the Internet — go to azgfd.gov and follow the directions posted.

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Knoll Lake offers a cool, solitary retreat

The Mogollon Rim rises more than 1,000 feet above the general landscape with rock cliffs that form a plateau of thousands of acres of dense conifer forest.

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Rim blackberries are ripe

By about the third week in July, the first crop of blackberries are beginning to ripen on the vine and these bushes will continue to produce berries through the Labor Day weekend. So it is time to start exploring some of the old haunts to see which canyon has the ripest and best fruit. There are numerous locations under the Rim that have berry patches, but most of them are off the beaten path.

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Big Lake - big fish

Summer trout fishing in Arizona is a popular way to beat the heat of the desert and maybe catch a few rainbows.

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Bear Canyon Lake — worth the trip

Sometimes it’s so tough to drive by a lake for another destination, which may be a few miles further where you are planning to go fishing for the day.

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Mississippi River experience

A couple of weeks ago on the spur of the moment, I had the opportunity to journey to LaCrosse, Wis., which is on the banks of the upper Mississippi River.

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Crappie concerns for Roosevelt Lake

Anglers, Game & Fish search for solutions

Roosevelt Lake has long been considered one of the best crappie lakes in the Western United States.

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What a difference 50 years makes!

The longer I live, the more I reminisce about fishing trips and memorable moments catching trout with friends.

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White Mountain fishing trip is worth time and effort

Last week, my longtime friend and fishing buddy, Dean Pedersen, made a trip to Sunrise Lake on a day that I couldn’t make the journey.

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The East Verde River is a real trout stream

With the pumps working at Washington Park, the East Verde River is flowing at a healthy clip; creating at least 20 miles of quality trout waters from the pump station to well below East Verde Estates.

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Visiting Woods Canyon Lake on a hot, summer weekend

Weekends at Woods Canyon Lake can be hectic — even when in a boat.

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Catch, but then carefully release, rare, wild brown trout

The trout-fishing season is in full swing with all the Rim lakes and major streams being stocked on a regular schedule.

Big game applications due soon

The antelope and elk permits have already been issued for 2013 and those lucky hunters who drew a tag already have a week or two in the fall set aside for the pursuit of big game.

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Let’s keep our forest clean

The Memorial Day weekend crowds appeared to be at an all-time high, with the local campgrounds and day-use areas filled to capacity by Valley residents wanting to escape the heat of metropolitan Phoenix.

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Spring trout fishing

It is mid May and the Rim lakes have been producing limits of rainbow trout to the anglers who have already made the short trip. Water temperatures have gradually increased after the long winter and that has made the holdover trout more active and willing to bite.

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Young Payson anglers win tourney

Over the years Payson anglers have shown very well in state, regional and national bass fishing tournaments. There is a younger generation of high school- and college-age anglers that are continuing with that tradition and the fishing world of competitive bass angling is taking notice.

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Ted Pettet receives Legacy Award 2013

Ted Pettet was a young Arizona State College graduate (now Northern Arizona University) when he came to Payson as a business teacher/coach 54 years ago and he is still making a difference in young people’s lives in this community.

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The crappie bite is starting on Roosevelt Lake

It is finally starting to happen at Roosevelt Lake – the springtime crappie bite is blooming.

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Springtime fishing off to a slow start at Roosevelt

While local anglers are chomping at the bit to head to the largest of the Salt River reservoirs, Roosevelt Lake, the fish just aren’t cooperating.

Listen for wild turkey mating calls

Winter is coming to a close, the days are getting longer, and the comfortable temperatures encourage more outside activities.

Repairing fishing equipment in the off season

It’s early March and most of the hunting seasons are over, yet, spring is still a few weeks away.

First hunt memorable for fifth-grader

The rifles and bows are now back in their cases, stored away for the next hunting season.

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Youth hunt for javelina in Unit 23 a success

Over the last decade, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has expanded the youth hunts for a variety of big game including deer, elk, turkey and javelina.

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Examine those fishing rods before the season

Zane Grey, the famous Western author, was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed fishing in all parts of the world including right here in the Rim Country.

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Wildlife, fishing grow when water flows

Remember an old Salt River Project commercial, which stated “Arizona Grows When Water Flows”? How true that is, especially when it comes to outdoor recreation in the Rim Country. 

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