Bighorn sheep workshops near Hoover Dam
The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Region III office in Kingman each summer serves as host to the popular Desert Bighorn Sheep Workshops.
Two workshops will be held this year: July 26-27 and Aug. 2-3, 2013.
Each workshop begins with a mandatory Friday evening classroom educational session (6-8 p.m.) at the Game and Fish Kingman region office at 5325 N. Stockton Hill Road in Kingman. The second day (Saturday) provides the opportunity to view the bighorns in their native environment during a four-hour boat ride beginning at 10:30 a.m. on the Colorado River between Willow Beach and the Hoover Dam. There is also an optional 45-minute tour of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery prior to the river trip.
The workshops are open to any member of the public 14-years-old and up, depending on space availability. Nobody under 14 will be registered. Space is limited to 40 people per session. Preference will be given to those who have not attended the workshop in at least three years.
To register for either workshop, download an application form, fill it out, and mail it or hand deliver it to Sheep Workshop, Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5325 N. Stockton Hill Road, Kingman, AZ 86409. The workshop is free, but a $20 per person refundable deposit is required in the form of a check made out to the Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation to help reduce the problem of no-shows. The money is refunded when a person either attends the workshop or calls to cancel at least 48 hours in advance. Wildlife for Tomorrow is a non-profit group that works closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Applications should be limited to no more than four people and must be received by 12pm, June 14, 2013.
Because demand for these workshops often exceeds availability, participants will be selected through a random draw process. Following the draw, all applicants will be contacted by mail, or e-mail. Applications received after the deadline, and individuals not drawn, are placed on the reserve list.
“That is the time of year the bighorns are coming to the river pretty regularly,” said Zen Mocarski, public information officer with the Kingman office. “The hotter it is, the better the opportunity to see the sheep along the river’s banks.”
“Our goal is to reach as many people as possible, and that’s difficult with only 98 open spots over two weeks,” Mocarski said of giving preference to those who have not recently attended. “This is a great opportunity for people to learn about bighorn sheep, the department, and the conservation efforts of many different agencies in regards to bighorn sheep.”
Cash donations, which are not mandatory to participate, will be accepted at the workshop to help offset increasing costs for boat rentals and fuel. Please do not send cash donations prior to the event.
Participants are encouraged to bring a camera, water, snacks, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. No tripods will be allowed on the boats, but monopods and small coolers are OK.
“It will be hot on the river,” Mocarski advised, “but that’s when bighorn come down for a drink. There is limited shade on the boats, but the temperatures will be in the triple digits.”
For questions or more information, please contact Zen Mocarski at (928) 692-7700, ext. 2301, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.