Living and shooting in Arizona

Forums General Discussion Living and shooting in Arizona

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    FunGun
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    This is for all the guys that live in Arizona, specifically the Phoenix area.  My wife and I have been drawn to the Phoenix area in hopes of finding a nice place to retire and enjoy airgunning on all the available lands.  Here is my question, How bad is the air pollution for you guys?  I was there last year just before the Extreme Benchrest competition, and thought the air was fine.  We didn’t really notice anything wrong.  Yet I find now that the Phoenix area is tied for second worst city in the US for air quality.  I would really love to hear from you guys that live there as to what your thoughts are on this subject.  Thanks to all.

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    gamyrick
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    Pollution, you’re worried about pollution. Phoenix is the “property crime capital of America”. These are not my words, but the words of the patrolman who took the burglary report. I travel all over the United States, from Maine to California and I’ve never had any problems. I spent 1 night at an expensive gated hotel in Phoenix and had 2 car windows smashed and my TX200 and HW90 stolen out of the trunk. Each rifle was scoped, socked and bagged with pellets, ear plugs, safety glasses, my hunting license and hunter safety card. More than $1,000.00 each. They stole my personal brief case which contained my SSAN Card and Birth Certificate. If that wasn’t bad enough, I was driving a marked emergency vehicle. Move to Phoenix – No thanks!

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    Major
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    Unfortunate

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    FunGun
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    Gamyrick,
    Your input is greatly appreciated and duly noted.  (so sorry to hear of your loss, that is a true bummer.) 
    Phoenicians, Any input on the breathing environment in the Phoenix area would be greatly appreciated.  As this is the same air my PCP will breathe as well. 🙂

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    pbguns
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    I spent a decade in northern AZ. Nice country up there. I still miss the forest as my backyard.

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    FunGun
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    “pbguns”I spent a decade in northern AZ. Nice country up there. I still miss the forest as my backyard.

    
From what I have learned so far, I would have to agree.  It seems once you get out of the “valley” the air quality seems to improve greatly.  Arizona seems to be a perfect state to retire, lots of public land to explore and a very beautiful and diverse ecosystem.   I am really trying to get some honest feedback from the folks that do live in the Phoenix area to hear what they have to deal with as far as air quality issues. 

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    spinj
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    Gamyrick, perhaps like any populous city in the US, crime is inescapable; this is most especially true in the metropolitan areas of the city.  I’m sorry you experienced an unfortunate event during your time in Phoenix.  I don’t live in Phoenix, but I live on the outskirts (of the valley).  Things tend to get better when you situate yourself on the outer areas of the valley (e.g., Scottsdale, Sun City, Litchfield Park, Cave Creek, Anthem, Carefree, etc.).  

    Now, to give feedback to the original poster’s query, air quality is not an issue for me.  But then again, I do not have any respiratory issues.  Since it is at the peak of summer at the present time here, the air is of lesser quality than what we get in the fall, winter, and spring seasons.  Also, summertime is when the valley gets plowed by dust storms as an effect of high air pressure lifting dust off the ground.  From time to time, I get an alert on my phone app (from our local news agency) of high ozone content in the air.  However, even with that, I don’t have any issues with the air when I’m out for a walk.  It is only when doing strenuous exercise like jogging do I experience a slight funny feeling when breathing laboriously and deeply.  

    In my opinion, if you’re a serious air-gunner looking to retire in a place with lots of shooting opportunities, Arizona is one of the best places to do so.  Because of the dry air almost year-round you don’t have to worry about corrosion on your air gun barrels and screws. (I just had to throw that one in because I believe lack of humidity indirectly contributes to good resale value of your gun should you decide to sell.)  It is also a place where the real estate prices are one of the nation’s best. 
     

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    NMshooter
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    I have relatives in the Phoenix area and visit several times a year. Mother-in-Law lives in Sun City West and my Parents live in Apache Junction. I don’t think I ever noticed pollution in the air. It’s Hotter than Hades in the summer and if you’re shooting in the summer it better be a first light. I literally have burned my hand grabbing a door knob exposed to the sun! The rest of the year is great. I don’t think you can go out anywhere to shoot in the Desert, needs to be at a range.  Travels4fun posted several threads on this topic. There are several ranges in the area. My folks live right near where Extreme Benchrest is held, very nice! The Southwest is an acquired taste and if you like it green you will hate it here. I find people either love it or hate it. I would recommend planning several trips at different times of the year just so you know what you are getting into. My wife LOVES the southwest. I personally, can take it or leave it, We chose New Mexico because it not so hot. It cools off in the evening (even in August). Phoenix stays hot in the evening during the summer. If you are a big game hunter, you may not get tags every year. My brother bitches every year. Quail and doves are quite plentiful ( more so near Phoenix than Albuquerque). I do miss the kind of hunting that I did in Indiana, wish I had started air gunning there. Crime is definitely high here in both states, the “Cholo” are always on the prowl. The cost of living is reasonable and because of no grass, there is very little yard work (more time for shooting). Homes are built on top of each other! We also have very little bugs, namely mosquitos, however, the plants can “bite” you if you are not careful. Thorns can go right through your shoes and I have gotten several flats going off road running over these damn things. 
    You will definitely have to consider your trade offs. I don’t miss blowing the drive at 5 AM and having the friggin snow go down my coat. Seems like the Airgunners in Phoenix are always having events. I have considered joining them but I’m about  7 hrs away. 
    The one thing to remember is, it is HOT, hot and dry! You always leave the house with water!
    Hope this helps,

    Doc

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    AZBOBCAT
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    I’m in Tucson but shoot a bunch in Phoenix area. Compared to Tucson the air quality is not as good, but I  don’t notice any difference in breathing, but also have no health problems. Arizona is a great state for shooting great gun laws etc. Green Valley is a big retirement community down here and they have an airgun range at the Qual creek country club., I’m not of retirement age so can’t really fill you in much on that. I like the Southern end of the Valley myself if I was to move to the area it would be , Mesa, awhatukee, chandler, queencreek.area for me. Rio Salado is one of the best range facilities in the Country for shooting sports of all kinds. 
    When I  moved to Arizona some 20 plus years ago from PA,  I didn’t have allergies for about 8 years then started to get some to local stuff like olive trees.

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    spinj
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    Be warned, though, if you’ve never felt how summer is like in the valley.  The sensation is almost like that being conveyed in the picture below at summertime’s worst … though the picture is slightly exaggerated … just only slightly. :)

    But it’s only like that for four months.  The rest are nice and chill.

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    glassman
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    Where to start. I have lived here for 12 years now. Moved here from MN. I have had asthma since I was 10 years old. I have had less problems with my asthma here than in MN. Depends upon what triggers it I suppose. I have notice that the past few years I have developed allergies that last from early Feb until it gets hot enough to toast all of the blooming plants (May). It does not bother me enough to prohibit any activities. I have started taking local bee pollen. I was told if you do that for at least 1 year and continue on it will greatly reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms. We’ll see. One thing to remember is to always drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty. Especially in the summer. If you start when you feel thirsty it can be too late. I moved here in the month of April it was beautiful, however I was getting headaches quite often due to the fact that I was drinking as if I was still in MN. Once I started drinking more, no headaches. I am self employed and work outside at least 50% of the time year round. If you take proper cautions and use common sense you shouldn’t have many problems with the heat. You quickly learn to find shade out doors and to park in shade. Great weather 8 months of the year. I do not miss the snow, ice, cold one bit. If I feel the need for a taste it is only a 2-3 hour drive away in the winter. The best part is virtually NO blood sucking insects. Very few mosquitoes, I very rarely find them in the valley, no gnats, no horse flies, no deer flies, no ticks …. no itchy bites to scratch. Just like every major metropolitan city there are good areas and bad. Ask around and you will quickly find out about them. I have several customers and friends in LE. Phoenix itself has the lowest number of police officers per capita of virtually every major metropolitan area in the country. I have had only one close call with crime here in 12 years and I travel to and work in several areas that I would recommend people avoid if you have the choice to go there or not (Maryvale, areas of south Phoenix, the “square” in north Phoenix, Sunny slope to name a few). You can see the smog from the north valley over downtown, south phoenix and the airport on days when there is little or no breeze. There are many areas in and around Phoenix that are very nice and I would not hesitate to recommend for anyone. A few things to keep in mind. The metropolitan area is very spread out. I drive between 42K and 48K miles a year for work, going all over the valley. Traffic can be a problem. Drivers here are about the worst I have found anywhere, IMO. Red means step on it and cut across the intersection before cross traffic gets up to speed. Lots to go see and explore in terms of outdoors and the variety of outdoors. Mountains, lower desert, high desert, pine forests, canyons galore and beautiful sunsets most every day. One of the best things in terms of air gunning is that you can shoot in your own back yard in the middle of the city if you have a proper back stop. There are a couple of cities that ban any kind of shooting including air guns in their city limits, Glendale for one and Scottsdale is also pretty restrictive. That is my 2 cents off the top of my noggin for what it’s worth.

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    airborne
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    I was sent to Tollison Az. for a electrical installation. The plant would extrude bottles for Gatoraide The crew I had was 2 other men and we would not sweat while we were working. its weird but its that dry. We had to remind ourselves to drink. I liked the area and I thought it would be nice to move there. Sorry to hear of problems other members had. We were close to Scottsdale and I really liked that area

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    T3PRanch
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    I lived in Mesa years ago working for Motorola then moved south of Queen Creek into the San Tan Mountains near a Bluff called Owls Head (One other prominent land mark was a white Geodesic dome on a hill). It was a primitive area nested between BLM land and the Indian Reservation. You had to haul water and make your own power. You could see Casa Grande to the south. In a recent video featuring Kip Perot with a Brocock Compatto shooting birds at a dairy I caught a glimpse of the San Tans and Owls Head in the background of a shot. We did have stinging air pollution mostly in the wintertime when there were frequent thermal inversions and this was in 1984. I miss it a lot but it is not the same place it was then as the BLM land has been made into a county park which always attracts more people which bring more trouble.

    Thurmond

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    FunGun
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    Thanks to all that have provided their thoughts and experience, it is greatly appreciated.  Just in case there are some airgunners in the Sun City West area, that is where we are looking presently, any further experience in this area would be greatly appreciated.  I did notice that Sun City has an airgun club as well!  Sound like all kinds of airgunning opportunities exists, but we just need to fully understand the risks and expectations of the pollution issues.  So anyone live in SCW by any chance?  Feel free to PM me if you would like.  Again, thanks to AGN and all the members for helping us with this life changing decision.

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    linsfreak
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    Come to Chicago where I live
    Go downtown and get robbed. Just about 500 people shot and alot murdered. Savages.

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    airborne
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    I was raised in the Bronx and moved here to Pa when I was discharged. The Bronx is a different ball game for sure. here in Pa. its laid back and I like it that way now

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    azccj
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    I’ve lived in the Phoenix area almost all of my life, been here since 1972.

    The good. In the winter months between November and March there is no other place I would want to live. Nice weather during the days,60-70 deg and it rarely rains. Arizona is a fantastic place if you like to do outdoor things and like wide open spaces. Taxes are reasonable as is the cost of housing.

    The bad. In the summer months Phoenix is like living in an oven. Between May and October it is very hot but it’s a dry heat. In the summer months I can drive up north to the Flagstaff area which is 7000 plus feet, where it is nice and cool and still has all those wide open spaces.

    As for the pollution it depends on what time of the year it is, what part of the valley you live in, and which way the wind is blowing. Sun City West is located in the very most Northwest part of the valley so the pollution isn’t all that bad there unless the wind is blowing in that direction.

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    ashes5
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    I lived in PHX for 10 years. My best advise never never buy a home facing east or west.  The sun beating on that huge surface makes your cooling bills go through the roof.

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    jking
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    We just made a drive out to Vegas in June from NM. If I had an option the mountains and scenery around the Flagstaff and Williams area would be my choice. Beautiful country, lots of game and national forest to roam in. Been blessed as well living in the SE corner of NM. Lots of state and BLM land to roam and hunt on. But if you like trees you’ll be a little disappointed. Mesquites yes pines or oaks no.

    Fungun, another nice area although in NM is the West and SW side of the state. More diverse country there. Just throwing that in there too for consideration.

    Jimmy

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