Archive for July, 2022

The author’s dog, Bartok “Hugo” Ahornzwinger, is a wirehaired dachshund, a breed often used to track wounded big game. He just passed his first field test for United Blood Trackers. Photo by Matt Vincent

As hunters put in for big game tags in Arizona and begin thinking about plans this fall there is one aching gap in Arizona Game and Fish regulations that needs to be addressed – the ability for hunters to access game recovery dogs to find wounded game.


Tracker Scott Gillespie, Lucy (dachshund), Lynas and recovered elk.

Forty three states allow tracking dogs as a reliable conservation component to reduce waste of big game species. In the vast majority of states the dog is required to be on a lead and in constant control by the handler. Most inveterate hunters have experienced the loss of a wounded animal at some point in their history. Those that haven’t are both lucky and, likely, take close approach shots with a rifle or the pull of their bow. But we all know the advances in optics, ammo and archery equipment provide opportunities for longer take downs – and also the opportunity to critically wound an animal that still has enough juice left to evade harvest.

Scott Gillespie and Lucy (dachshund) on a recovered black bear.

Game recovery dogs can solve many of these lost target issues during what becomes a stressful and emotional moment for hunters. The results can be amazing and salvage what may be the trophy elk, mule deer, Coues deer or bear of a lifetime (and one that possibly cost decades of bonus points to garner).


“A strong case can be made for the use of tracking dogs, both as a means of reducing animal suffering, and as a way of reducing the waste of a valuable natural resource,” says John Jeanneney in his landmark book Tracking Dogs for Finding Wounded Deer. “There are political and social implications involved that cannot be disregarded”


Efforts by United Blood Trackers of America, which has a searchable database of tracker contact info and resources on tracking and recovering big game, has transformed the conservation landscape by working to get state game and fish regulations in line with contemporary conservation concepts. In the West, too, there are social media landing spots like Rocky Mountain Big Game Recovery on Facebook that can guide hunters to being prepared for hunting season and lessons about arrow or rifle impact zones and what that means for recovering wounded game. In many cases, recovery dogs can be used at little to no cost compared to the financial outlay of the overall hunt itself.

Joe Bradley and a recovered mule deer that was partially consumed by a bear.

“Tracking is a serious business. It is about recovering a wounded animal that might be still alive, in great distress and pain,” according to Steven McGonigal and Julia Szeremeta in their book The International Working Teckel. “It all starts with the hit spot and a description from the hunter what has happened – an experienced tracker is like a detective, putting all the information together to determine whether and when to start tracking. Depending on the shot placement, the wounded animal needs time to expire.”

Hopefully, the Arizona Game and Fish agency can address this gap in hunting regulations and in the future consider allowing the use of tracking dogs (on a 30-foot lead) for recovering wounded game. Hunters will be grateful, and the resource will be more healthy and cared for as a result. For more information go to www.unitedbloodtrackers.org or visit the Facebook site for Rocky Mountain Big Game Recovery to chat with trackers throughout the region.

Reprinted courtesy of Arizona Wildlife Federation.

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Bustling Super Tuesday Brings ICAST Back to Orlando

Thirty new products set to square off for ICAST overall “Best of Show” today

Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL – July 21, 2022 – Last night, the ICAST 2022 “Best of Category” winners were announced during the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception, sponsored by St. Croix Rod. The recreational fishing industry’s brightest stars gathered beneath the stage lights to see which products would carry home one of the coveted ICAST awards selected by credentialed buyers and media at the industry’s largest trade show.

“The nice thing about these awards is that they are accolades from your peers,” said the American Sportfishing Association’s(ASA) Chairman Jesse Simpkins, VP of Marketing for St. Croix Rod. “They recognize the hard work, effort and ingenuity that goes into the product.”

This year, more than 900 new products were entered in 30 categories. On Thursday, those winners will go head-to-head in voting to determine the overall “Best of Show” winner—an honor reserved for the pinnacle of new products with the greatest chance to impact sportfishing’s future.

After launching on July 19 with Super Tuesday, ICAST, the premier annual event for the global recreational fishing tackle industry, is now in full swing through Friday, July 22. ASA, the show’s producer, is a national, non-profit trade association whose member companies share a stake in promoting sportfishing for the well-being of their businesses and to grow recreational fishing.

Today at 2:00 p.m., the ICAST 2022 overall “Best of Show” award will be presented inside the New Product Showcase at the Orange County Convention Center.

“One of the winners told me he spent 365 days on this,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “Then, he told me that he is starting on next year’s tomorrow. That’s how much this means to some manufacturers.”

All New Product Showcase entries are available for viewing on the ICAST app for Apple and Android devices.

On Wednesday, the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception was preceded by a full day of festivities, including the State of the Industry Breakfast featuring keynote speaker and shark attack survivor Paul de Gelder. De Gelder warmed up the packed ballroom with tales of personal perseverance and survival amidst an irreverent backdrop that sent attendees into the show on a high note.

By mid-day, the Keep America Fishing Dunk Tank was causing a stir across the show floor thanks to Bassmaster Elite Series professional anglers Matt Robertson and Brandon Palaniuk, who taunted fellow pros and fans gathered to take their shot at splashing them in the tank for a cause.

It all served as a prelude to the highlight of the day, the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception where Hughes presented 30 lucky winners with hard-earned recognition and the chance to take home Thursday’s overall “Best of Show” award, the sportfishing trade’s top prize.

ICAST 2022 New Product Showcase Best of Category Winners

For product details, images and other information please contact the individual award winners’ contacts listed below.

Best of Category — Novelties and Wellness

Product: Garmin Quatix 7 Smartwatch – Sapphire Edition | Garmin USA

Contact: Carly Hysell

Best of Category — Boating Accessories

Product: Frabill ReCharge, Deluxe Aerator | Pure Fishing, Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Best of Category — Boats and Watercraft

Product: BOTE Rackham Gatorshall + APEX Pedal Drive | BOTE

Contact: Suzy Nicholson-Hunt

Best of Category — Footwear

Product: AFTCO Ankle Deck Boot | AFTCO

Contact: Matt Florentino

Best of Category — Ice Fishing

Product: Garmin LiveScope Plus Ice Fishing Bundle LI | Garmin USA

Contact: Carly Hysell

Best of Category — Eyewear

Product: Roca | Baijo Sunglasses

Contact: Shauna Metz

Best of Category — Lifestyle Apparel for Women

Product: Women’s Reaper Softshell | AFTCO

Contact: Matt Florentino

Best of Category — Lifestyle Apparel for Men

Product: CocoBoardies Boardshorts | AFTCO

Contact: Matt Florentino

Best of Category — Warm Weather Technical Apparel

Product: SolarFlex Guide Cooling Hoody | Simms Fishing Products

Contact: Charlie Fowler

Best of Category — Cold Weather Technical Apparel

Product: Barricade Rain Suit Acid Camo Colorway | AFTCO

Contact: Matt Florentino

Best of Category — Soft and Hard Coolers

Product: P88-MK Combo | PacBak

Contact: Brian McKinnon

Best of Category — Electronics

Product: MEGA Live Imaging TargetLock | Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics

Contact: Bailey Eigbrett

Best of Category — Cutlery, Hand Pliers or Tools

Product: BUBBA Saltwater Multi-Flex Fillet Knife | BUBBA

Contact: Logan Waddell

Best of Category — Fishing Accessory

Product: Frabill WITNESS Weigh Net | Pure Fishing, Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Best of Category — Kids’ Tackle

Product: Kid’s Tributary Wader | Simms Fishing Products

Contact: Charlie Fowler

Best of Category — Tackle Management

Product: Plano EDGE Frog Box | Pure Fishing, Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Best of Category — Terminal Tackle

Product: DieZel Eye Jigheads | Z-Man Fishing Products

Contact: Cory Schmidt

Best of Category — Custom Tackle and Components

Product: RBS Pro G2 Power Wrapper | Mud Hole Custom Tackle

Contact: Stuart Crawford

Best of Category — Fishing Line

Product: SpiderWire DuraBraid Hi-Vis Yellow | Pure Fishing, Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Best of Category — Freshwater Soft Lure

Product: Berkley PowerBait PowerStinger | Pure Fishing, Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Best of Category — Freshwater Hard Lure

Product: Berkley Slobberknocker | Pure Fishing, Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Best of Category — Saltwater Soft Lure

Product: Kicker CrabZ | Z-Man Fishing Products

Contact: Cory Schmidt

Best of Category — Saltwater Hard Lure

Product: LIVETARGET Live Shrimp | LIVETARGET Lures

Contact: Victor Cook

Best of Category — Fly Fishing Rod

Product: Banshee Fly | Bull Bay Tackle Company

Contact: Dustin Phillips

Best of Category — Freshwater Rod

Product: Legend Tournament Bass Rod | St. Croix Rod

Contact: Savannah Stenlund

Best of Category — Saltwater Rod

Product: Ugly Stik Carbon Innshore Rod | Pure Fishing, Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Best of Category — Rod & Reel Combo

Product: Shimano Spheros SW Combo | Shimano

Contact: Amy Lee

Best of Category — Fly Reel & Fly Fishing Accessories

Product: Hardy Fortuna Regent Saltwater Fly Reel | Pure Fishing, Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Best of Category — Freshwater Reel

Product: Shimano STELLA FK | Shimano

Contact: Amy Lee

Best of Category — Saltwater Reel

Product: PENN Authority Spinning Reel | Pure Fishing, Inc.

Contact: Kimberly Hoffman

Thank You ICAST 2022 Sponsors!ASA extends our sincere thanks and appreciation to our members for their generous support of ICAST 2022.
Platinum: Take Me Fishing™Under Armourand Wired2Fish
Gold: AFTCOCrocodile BayEngel CoolersFishing Tackle RetailerGuy HarveyMajor League FishingPure FishingSt. Croix Rodand VisitOrlando
Silver: ANYTHINGpossible BrandsBonnier CorporationLunkervilleRaymarine and Roswell Marine
Bronze: Eagle ClawKistlerMAGMAMustadOcean Waves Sunglasses and What the Fin?

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The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 55 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate more than $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 825,000 people.

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