Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to All!  I thought I would make a list of some things that come to mind that I am thankful for, so here goes.  I AM THANKFUL FOR:
A merciful loving God, my wife Jeanne, a family that loves me, friends that are loyal, the thrill of the hunt, the feeling of a fish pulling on my line, the sound a river makes, the bugle of a bull elk, the sound of a gobbling turkey coming to my call, christian music, the memories of the old timer that taught me so much, the clarity of swarovski binoculars, the way a big bucks antlers shine in the morning sunlight, the days my Rhino starts on the first turn of the key, our Veterans and their families that have given so much, the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory, the smell of sagebrush on a mule deer hunt, the sound of my alarm clock on hunting and fishing days, the perfect shot, having the exact fly that the fish are biting on, a nice piece of land purchased at a fair price, the fact that I can still here my Papa's laugh in my head, the smell of fresh cut grass at the golf course, my wifes cooking, my nieces and nephews, my parents and grandparents, my sisters.  There are many more but I will save them for another day..........

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Family Truckster

This was my awesome rental car that I used on my Colorado hunt when my truck went down.  Hands down this was the most important piece of gear I used the whole hunt!!  Mercury Grand Marquis!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Montbell Sleeping Bag

I recently used my Montbell Super Stretch Down Hugger #1 Long while scouting for sheep in Western Arizona.  I got the bag to use on backpack trips.  As you can see from my setup above I was far from backpacking but it was still a good opportunity to test the comfort of the bag.  The temperature when I got in my bag was about 55 degrees and was 39 degrees when I woke up the next morning.  I started with the bag completely zipped open and about 2am I zipped it all the way up.  All I can say is wow!  The bag is not confining like most backpacking bags.  It stretches in all directions and was very warm and comfortable.  The bag is a 15 degree bag and should be great for future deer hunting/sheep hunting backpacking trips.  I am 6'2" and the long bag is perfect for me.  The bag comes with a tunnel hood, neck adjuster, neck baffle, and auto lock zipper.  This bag only weighs 2.7lbs and comes with a stuff sack and cotton storage sack.  The construction of this bag is made of ballistic airlight fiber nylon and 800 fill power down.  The dimensions in the stuff sack are 7 X 13.8 inches.  I look forward to using this bag on my upcoming hunts!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Boot Maintenance

I try and keep my boots dressed up with Nikwax during the season.  It seems to work pretty good for me and keeps the boots in pretty good shape.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Marvin Robbins Tribute Banquet

Come celebrate the life of Marvin Robbins with us!
Tuesday - November 17th
Doors open at 6:00pm - Dinner at 6:30pm
$5 Turkey dinner (Please RSVP how many in your party will be eating dinner to 602-309-3430) Raffles - Auctions - Door prizes - All proceeds will go to Marvin’s family
We will have an ‘open mike’ tribute to Marvin allowing everyone the opportunity to speak
Calvary Community Church
12612 N. Black Canyon Highway
Fellowship Hall - Phoenix, AZ 85029
(South of Thunderbird on the South bound I-17 access road)
(Fellowship Hall is on the West side of the Calvary Campus)
For more information contact David at: 602-909-3600 or
Turkey Dinners and seating are limited - RSVP does not guarantee seating/dinner - First come/First Serve
Here are some of the raffle/auction items so far:
1. Two Live turkeys, very fat, probably hens. They will be at the event. Winners can take them that evening or arrange to pick them up later near 15th Ave. and Happy Valley Rd.
2. Large turkey rug, 4’ by 6’.
3. A set of six of Marvin's box calls, dated 2004 through 2009. All are numbered 14. Mike Cupell
4. A new, unfired, 3006 rifle.
5. (2) framed wildlife prints, 13” x 15”.
6. (3) pocket knives.
7. 1 large Schrade knife, model 160OT Mountain Lion with Leather Sheath.
8. Wilderness Athlete 10 day pack: Donated by Outdoorsmans
9. 3 day Youth AZ Spring Turkey Hunt: Donated by Colburn and Scott Outfitters
10. new PSE X-Force Bow with Winners Choice strings: Donated by the ABA/Archery HQ,
11. NWTF turkey print and quail print: donated by John Stuckey
12. A 12 guage-Charles Daly-camo-pump-shotgun donated by Randy Hill
13. a Firestone-12 volt-vehicle-compressor kit: donated by Performance Suspension/Cartridge (Steve Clark with AZ Elk Society), and several knives, etc that we can use for raffle/door prize items.
14. a couple of prints: donated by Larry and Cari Derksen
15. Three ABA Logo XL polo style shirts and fitted hats.....these things are nice!
16. Desert Christian Archers t-shirts and hats.
17. Jennings " machined extreme" bow by Merl Nielsen
18. Candle light " Forest Friends Light House" Kristin Ornoski
19. Porcelain turkey clock with turkey hat hanger Mike Ornoski
20. We will have 3 separate call packages from Marvin's new shipment. Donated by Robbins Family
21. (Mike Ornoski) I few a few others but have not received them yet. I will follow up and let you know
22. $250 Gift Certificate to Authentic Taxidermy good until 1-1-11
23. (1) hour Shooting Lesson/Bow Tuning/Hunting Talk with Bowhunter Hall of Famer, Randy Ulmer. The exact time will be worked out between the two parties according to schedules. Randy is well known for his competitive archery achievements. He has won world and national titles in many different venues. These include 2 ASA Men’s Professional World Titles, 2 NABH Men’s professional World Titles, 2 IBO World Titles and 1 FITA World Title as well as NFAA National and VEGAS indoor titles. Randy has been bowhunting for nearly thirty years and was inducted into the Bowhunter’s Hall of Fame in 1999.
24. Erik Perderson Lasting Impressions Taxidermy $500 Value towards any taxidermy work.
25. Skull Cleaning for elk or deer :Donated by Mogollon Taxidermy Clay Goldman $280 value

Here is something that Marvins good friend, Joe Slaton, has posted on a NWTF website:
First I want to thank all of those who are involved with the Marvin Robbins Memorial this Tuesday, which is his B-Day 11/17. It looks like there is going to be some good prizes and giveaways. I also wanted to let everybody know that I am also doing a fundraiser for Marvin/Barbara. I am doing it online. I have asked for donations and will be selling raffle tickets. The raffle tickets are 5.00 a piece. The donations are starting to come in. I am donating a mounted turkey Jake decoy and an NWTF stamp print. There will be some nice turkey calls and other items as well. If you know anybody that would like to donate to this fundraiser and buy some raffle tickets let me know. You can send money for raffle tickets to me and the Drawing will be Dec 20th. Hopefully everything will be sent out to the winners before Christmas. I have posted this fundraiser on 2 different forums that I belong to. Here are the links for both. If any of you would like to donate anything or buy any raffle tickets you can send it to me as well. I will be videoing the raffle draw so everybody can watch it. Thanks for your support.

Joe Slaton
19851 E. Comstock Rd
Linden CA 95236
Joe's email:,23738.0.html

Joe goes on to say:  Most of you know that a good friend of mine, Marvin Robbins, past away a few weeks ago. I would like to do a fundraiser for his widow. Her name is Barbara. She has end stage Rheumatoid Arthritis and is unable to get around very well. Marvin didn't have any life insurance and Barbara would never ask for anything but the reality is she doesn't have many funds to live.

Marvin was born in Shrevport Louisiana and was raised in MS. He moved to Colorado where he was an Elk and Deer guide for 20 years. He moved to Arizona because of Barbara's health issues with RA. The cold weather of CO was to much for her arthritis. Marvin was an avid turkey hunter. He had been turkey hunting since the early 70's. He knew Mr. Lynch, Mr. Cost, Mr. Ben Lee, Albert Paul and many other old time turkey hunters. He told me stories of hunting with Neill Cost and he introduced me to Neill in 1992 at the National Convention. Marvin owned a small turkey call company called Timberline Turkey Calls. His passion was teaching new turkey hunters how to turkey hunt. He taught many Turkey hunting seminars every year. He also taught all day turkey hunting seminars in the field on public land where the students were able to see and experience turkeys in the field. Marvin was a President of a local Chapter of the NWTF in Phoenix and then became the President of the State Chapter. He was instrumental in helping with the Goulds release in AZ and was at the first Goulds release. He was named to the AZ Outdoor Hall of Fame 2 years ago.

Marvin's other passion was Jesus Christ. He was a wonderful man of God. His calling was Discipleship. He averaged 2-3 Disciples a year for 40 years. At the Funeral the Pastor asked the if you had been "Discipled or Mentored by Marvin to please stand up". There were 500 people at the funeral and 450 people stood up. 5 Years ago Marvin started training specific Men to learn how to Disciple. He called it the "Training of the Twelve". This training was done in New Mexico, on public land, over a three day period, while we all turkey hunted. I was fortunate enough to be one of the Twelve that he asked to be there. It was an experience of a lifetime. Since that first training of the Twelve, he did one every year, One more in NM and 3 others in CO. He told me last year that the Lord had put on his heart that he was to become a Maker of Disciple Makers. He is now with our Lord and Savior. When Jesus said " Go and make Disciples of every Nation, Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always even until the very end of the age", Marvin did this relentlessly.

Marvin passed away on Oct 23 while on a deer hunt. He had killed a buck and was walking up to the deer when he had a massive heart attack. He was found laying next to the deer.

I am asking for any Donations. If you would like to donate please send me a PM. I am going to donate a full body mounted Jake decoy, which I am in the process of mounting, and an NWTF stamp print. I am going to sale raffle tickets for 5.00 a piece and then raffle off all the dontaions. If you would like to purchase any raffle tickets send me a PM. All procedes will go to Barbara Robbins. I will video the raffle drawing so everybody can watch and thank all of those who donate. Thanks for all your help for my best friend, turkey hunting partner, and mentor in Christ.

Marvin wrote this to me a few years ago on the back of a box call he gave me.

" To Joe,
Someone I love like a son,
respect like a father,
and treasure as a friend.
Someone I can Lead,
Someone I will follow,
and someone I could walk side by side.
A caller who has no match
and a hunter who has no peer.
I love being in the woods with you every spring.
We Love the Gobblers,

Joe Slaton (

Joe, that was awesome: Everyone who lives in Phoenix should come to enjoy a great night and pay tribute to a great man, Marvin Robbins.  There have been many great things donated for the raffle and auction with all the money going to Barbara Robbins.

I would like to let everyone know that Darr Colburn and I have dontated the following hunt:

Three day guided hunt donated by: Colburn and Scott Outfitters
Darr Colburn and Jay Scott
This hunt will be for any youth hunter ages 10-17 for the 2010 AZ Spring Turkey hunt. This will be a three day guided hunt by Darr Colburn and Jay Scott. This will be a great opportunity for a youth hunter to learn from two seasoned guides that have harvested many turkeys over the years. The youth hunter will learn how to hunt turkeys, including how to roost birds, call birds and position for the shot. The tag and license for the youth spring hunt are not included but can be purchased over the counter and if the hunter is 14 years or under they must have completed an AZ Hunter Education class (See AZGFD website for more info). The area of the hunt will be determined by Colburn and Scott Outfitters prior to the hunt. The AZ Youth Spring Turkey season runs from April 16th thru May 20th. The exact dates of the hunt will be determined after the AZ Spring general draw by Colburn and Scott Outfitters and the hunter. This will be a great opportunity for a youth hunter to harvest a gobbler and have a great time doing it. For more info call Jay Scott 602-803-0223 or email at

AZ Youth Turkey Hunt for 2010 provided by Darr Colburn and Jay Scott

Come join us Tuesday night Nov. 17th for Tribute to an awesome man!  If you cannot make the banquet email me to arrange for phone bidding and/or donations! Also, if you cannot make the banquet and you would like to send a Monetary donation there has been a account set up at the Bank of America for the "Boss Gobbler Memorial Fund" The account number is 457016857052.  Now amount is too small or big!  Thanks for your help!

Click here to see video tribute to Marvin Robbins, my friend.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Manfrotto 701 HDV Head

By Darr Colburn

I was talking with Steve down at the Outdoorsmans a couple of weeks ago about replacing my tripod head. Jay and I have both used the Manfrotto 701 RC2 for several years and really liked it.  Manfrotto no longer makes that head so Steve suggested the new Manfrotto 701 HDV.  Here is the description of the 701 HDV head from the Manfrotto web site " Developed specifically to support the latest prosumer and professional light, compact HD camcorders, the 701HDV offers an updated design, which has been created for improved ergonomics with locks and knobs that allow for a more solid grip and better control, a better fluidity thanks to improved internal fluid cartridges, a double pan-bar rosette and a bigger sliding plate to optimize the position of the camera considering its centre of gravity."  The 701 HDV weighs 1.81lbs (slightly less than the 701RC2).  I took the new head out elk scouting and was very impressed.  The head is very smooth even with the 15X56 Swarovski binos and the Swarovski spotting scope.  The large adjustable plate locks into place and allows you to adjust the center of gravity of your optics, making the head extra smooth.  I think this will be a great all around head and should work great with the video camera as well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Venison Steaks

By Darr Colburn

I got home from a successful coues deer hunt a couple of weeks ago and thought I would share a few game meat tips.  First I took most of the meat to 4 Peaks Processing in Phoenix to get ground into hamburger and meat sticks.  I kept the back straps at home and prepared them for the freezer and grill.  The Wild Game Cookbook by Dennis Rohde has some great recipies and tips for wild game.  I used cider vinegar and cheese cloth to clean the meat.  This helps take away some of the "game" taste and leaves the meat looking and smelling great.  After cleaning and cutting the back straps into steaks I kept one steak out to cook and vacuum sealed the others for freezing.  I used the Cabelas Bulk Vacuum Bags to package the meat for the freezer.  These bags are great because you can cut them into any size you need and they keep the meat from getting freezer burn.  The steak I was going to cook I seasoned with Lawry's meat tenderizer and marinated it in worchestshire sauce overnight.  The following evenning prior to grilling I took the steak out of the marinade and wrapped it with thick sliced bacon prior to placing on the grill.  The bacon adds great flavor and helps keep the steak from getting over cooked.  The last couple minutes of grilling I usually take the bacon off and brown both sides of the steak.  The key to cooking most wild game is to not over cook because wild game has very little fat and can dry out quickly.  After grilling slice the steak into thin strips and serve.  Enjoy!

Target Rich Environment

This is definitely what I would call a target rich environment!  Last week while hunting deer in Colorado with Whinnery Ranch Outfitters, Janis and I were covered up in elk.  We counted nearly 300 head of elk in one herd with at least 50+ legal bulls.  It was a bugling frenzy for sure!  Email me if you want to get hooked up on a great elk hunt, archery or rifle.

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