5 No. 2 May 2009
In this issue:
never too hot to dream about hunting
Guideline review period; Your input will help
shape and preserve Arizona’s hunting heritage
hunting? Outdoor learning flourishes during youth
turkey camps in the mountains
hunt application deadline is Tuesday, June 9
camping season is here – Be bear aware
Game Super Raffle offers all 10 big game species
American Deer Raffle helps benefit Arizona’s
restrictions implemented at some wildlife areas
a hand, wildlife project need your help
28 - Correction Period for fall hunt applications
31 - Deadline to e-mail public comments for Hunt
Guidelines (Public meetings to follow in June)
31 - Unit 33 squirrel season closes
6 - National Free Fishing Day
9 - Fall Draw deadline (including pheasant)
10-25 - Statewide public meetings for Hunt Guideline
changes (public input accepted) starts
13 - National Free Fishing Day
14 - Flag Day
19-20 - AGFD Hunter Heritage Workgroup Meeting
campout - sportmen's groups welcome
19-21 - Wapiti Weekend AZ Elk Society
21 - Father's Day
26-27 - Commission meeting in Phoenix (dove orders,
special big game tags)
July 3 - Mail order deadline for Arizona Big Game
Super Raffle (AZBGSR) tickets
July 12 - Online deadline for AZBGSR tickets
July 18 - Drawing for AZBGSR
August - Commission meeting (spring hunt orders)
Bahti receives 2008 Shikar-Safari Arizona Officer
of the Year Award
Kurt Bahti, the
Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Region
5 Tucson wildlife manager supervisor, received
the 2008 Shikar-Safari Club’s Officer of
the Year Award for Arizona for his lifelong service
and impeccable record.
Bahti, a 30-year
veteran, has more than 20 years experience as
a field-training officer impacting a generation
of new wildlife managers in Arizona. He draws
from his vast experience in weapons identification,
animal tracking, animal trapping, livestock brand
identification, interview and interrogation, and
his intimate knowledge of the region.
By blending his
vast knowledge of proven techniques passed on
by game rangers before him with the modern-day
methods of wildlife management, Bahti has become
one of the most respected and successful field
officers in the department. As a leader, he is
passionate, hard working, and has a genuine love
for the state’s wildlife resources.
truly an honor to receive this award alongside
so many other well respected officers,”
When asked to what
he attributes his success, Bahti replied, “You
can’t treat this as just a job; it’s
a way of life.”
attitude has garnered him many awards during his
tenure, including the Cliff Sorrells FOP Officer
of the Year Award, the Coronado National Forest
Resource Conservation and Development Special
Recognition Award, the FOP Lodge 32 Officer of
the Year, and many Arizona Game and Fish Department
commendations for excellence.
Awards aside, one
thing that stands out is his commitment to his
fellow employees. Bahti is well known for never
asking his people to do something he is not willing
to do himself – another sign of a great
leader and officer.
Here are just a
few examples of his accomplishments:
- Since 1994, cases in which he has been involved
have netted over $50,000 in fine monies and
civil assessments, and 125 years of license
- Made some of the department’s most important
wildlife cases, including a case involving multiple
violations of the state’s trapping laws.
The results shaped how the department issues
trapping licenses and changed, for the better,
the way field officers worked with trappers.
- Employed inventive interrogation techniques
on a poaching case of a 402-inch trophy bull
elk that resulted in criminal fines of $14,000,
an $11,000 civil assessment, and a total of
10 years of license revocation for the two subjects.
- In the absence of a regional investigator,
Bahti carried out the investigation that resulted
in the arrest and conviction of several repeat
offenders and the seizure of multiple weapons
and illegally taken game meat.
Club International was founded in 1952 for the
purpose of advancing knowledge concerning wildlife
of the world. Each year, the group honors one
officer from each of the 50 states for service
during the previous year that demonstrated outstanding
performance and achievement among the state agency’s
sworn law enforcement personnel.
The award was presented
to Bahti during the April 18 Arizona Game and
Fish Commission meeting by Joe Melden of the Shikar-Safari
Club International and Donna “Didi”
Foss of the Joe Foss Institute.
To learn how to become
an Arizona Game and Fish Department wildlife manager,
and click on the "Become a Game Warden"
button on the left side of the page.
Some hunting areas require a permit via the draw
Some popular hunting
units no longer open to over-the-counter tag holders
Archery deer hunters
are reminded that some game management units formerly
open to over-the-counter archery nonpermit-tags
will now require a permit issued through the big
game draw application process for the 2009-10
hunters interested in hunting deer in the following
units will need to submit an application through
the big game draw application process:
- 1 – White Mountains / Big Lake
- 3A and 3C – Heber-Overgaard,
Show Low, Snowflake and Holbrook areas
- 7 – Areas north and west of
- 12A and 12B – North Kaibab
- 13A – Arizona Strip
- 13B – Arizona Strip
The deadline to
apply is Tuesday, June 9 by 7 p.m. (MST) –
postmarks do not count. Applications will be accepted
by mail or may be hand delivered to a department
office – there is no online application
Since the permitting
change of last year, the number of units requiring
a permit-tag issued through the draw for archery-only
hunts have not increased or decreased. However,
a minor change was made to the “open areas”
structure. Hunts on the Kaibab for Units 12A,
12B and 12B West are now all one hunt rather than
three separate hunts as last year. The number
of permit-tags available in Unit 7 decreased to
400 from 800 of last year. All other permit-tag
levels are the same as last year.
Deer hunters who
purchased a 2009-10 season archery-only nonpermit-tag
are reminded that you are required to adhere to
the new 2009-10 hunting regulations, and these
draw units are not open for hunting with a over-the-counter
nonpermit-tag. Hunters are also advised that some
archery-only season structures (dates) have changed,
so refer to the regulations for specifics.
To download a copy
of the 2009-10 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations
and to learn how to apply through the draw process,
visit www.azgfd.gov/draw. If you have additional
questions, call your local department office.
Nonpermit-tag holders: Mandatory harvest reporting
is still required by archery deer hunters with
an over-the-counter nonpermit-tag. Please call
Permit-tag holders: Archery deer hunters with
hunt permit-tags obtained through the draw process
are NOT required to call the harvest hotline.
However, you will receive a hunter questionnaire
in the mail. Please return your questionnaire.
Regardless of hunt permit-tag type, all successful
archery hunters are encouraged to participate
in the voluntary chronic wasting disease (CWD)
sampling program. Hunters who are successful in
Game Management Unit 12B are especially encouraged
to submit heads. Because this unit borders Utah,
deer from this area of the state may have the
greatest potential for initial detection of CWD.
To submit a sample, heads can be brought to any
Game and Fish Department office between 8 a.m.
and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will be
notified of the results of this test and there
is no charge for this service. Lab tests from
the sampling during the 2008-09 season found no
presence the disease in Arizona.
To learn more about
hunting in AZ., visit:
Five men arrested
in alleged poaching incident
PINETOP, Ariz. —
Arizona Game and Fish Department officers have
arrested five men in connection with alleged poaching
activities that occurred north of Springerville
Four of the men
— John K. Parks, Michael E. Mangum, Jeffery
D. Phillips and Frederick P. Dobson — were
arrested May 15 at the Tucson Electric Power/Salt
River Project generating station outside of Springerville.
The four were taken into custody without incident
with the assistance of power plant security staff
and the Apache County Sheriff’s Department.
A fifth man, Freeman
L. Kartchner, was later arrested off-site by officers.
Parks, Mangum and
Kartchner were charged with unlawfully killing
four mule deer does during the closed season and
with the aid of a spotlight. Most of the meat
was left to waste. They were also charged with
vandalism for damage caused to ranchers’
fences, gates and locks. In addition, Parks and
Mangum were charged with littering for allegedly
leaving a string of empty beer bottles in the
Phillips, who was
not present during the alleged poaching incidents,
was charged with providing false and misleading
information to officers to protect two of the
other individuals. Dobson, who also was not present
during the incidents, was charged with eight counts
of fraudulently obtaining resident Arizona hunting
licenses and tags.
The alleged poachings
occurred during the night and early morning hours
of Dec. 20-21, 2008, near Richville, a rural farming
and residential community located along the Little
Colorado River between Springerville and St. Johns.
The arrests were made as a result of a tip called
in to the Game and Fish Department’s Operation
Game Thief hotline.
like to recognize and commend the high level of
cooperation our staff received from the power
plant administration and its security personnel,”
said Jim Hinkle, law enforcement program manager
in the department’s Pinetop office.
that poaching is not hunting. “The vast
majority of people who hunt have a deep respect
for wildlife resources and the laws established
to protect them, and they are outraged by poaching.
Unlawful killing of any wildlife is considered
a major loss for the residents of Arizona and
our wildlife resources.”
If convicted of
the criminal charges, each of the men, except
Phillips, will face potential license revocations
and/or civil assessments from the Arizona Game
and Fish Commission. The commission may civilly
assess the men a minimum of $1,500 or more for
the loss of each mule deer to the State of Arizona.
To report a poaching or wildlife-related violation,
hunters and non-hunters alike are strongly encouraged
toll-free hotline at:
24 hours a day, 7 days week
Callers are eligible
for a reward if the information leads to an arrest.
Caller identities can remain anonymous upon request.
for your hunting tips
will be announced in the
July-August issue of the "Arizona Wildife
Recently we invited
you to send in your best hunting tips for possible
publication in Arizona wildlife Views magazine.
The response was exciting!
More than 200 people
sent in great tips for success in the field. Narrowing
them down to the best of the best is a tough assignment,
but that’s what we’ll have to do before
publishing the results in the July-August issue
of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine.
To get Arizona’s
award-winning wildlife magazine for your very
call (800) 777-0015, or go online at www.azgfd.gov/magazine
and click the link “subscribe or give a
gift subscription online.”
Six issues a year are just $8.50.
Interested but not sure? We’ve
stories about legal methods of take, cast-‘n’-blast
expeditions, cottontail hunting and more on our
sample stories page. Try it — you’ll
Fish to consider alternative sites for the Northern
Arizona Shooting Facility
The Arizona Game
and Fish Department has surveyed 13 alternative
sites for consideration along with the Willard
Springs site for the establishment of a public
shooting range in northern Arizona.
The commission directed
the department in March to produce a list of potential
alternative approaches due to a multi-year timeline
forecast by the Coconino National Forest to complete
a land exchange for the Willard Springs site.
Since the March
commission meeting decision, the department has
surveyed new and previously evaluated sites for
the much-needed shooting range in the Flagstaff
region. Alternate site selection has been in coordination
with private property owners, the Coconino National
Forest, the current forest grazing permittee at
Willard Springs, representatives of the Hopi Tribe,
Camp Navajo, and representatives from the Munds
Park community. The department is continuing to
look at other alternative approaches prior to
the commission’s June meeting in Phoenix.
To assist in the
selection process, the department hired an independent
firm to survey potential users for their opinions
on, and demand for, a public outdoor shooting
range in the northern Arizona region. The study
entailed a telephone survey of hunting license
holders from the Flagstaff area, a list of supporters
who attended previous public meetings regarding
this range proposal, and local law enforcement
agencies. Survey questions included the distance/time
they are willing to travel, past and future shooting
participation, and preferred capabilities of the
proposed range. Click on the links below for survey
A briefing of the
survey reports was presented at the commission
meeting on Friday, May 18. The complete list of
viable alternative approaches will be presented
at the June commission meeting, June 26-27. The
meeting will be held in Phoenix at the Arizona
Game and Fish Department headquarters at 5000
W. Carefree Highway. However, the meeting may
be viewed at any of the six regional offices by
video conference. The public can offer comment
remotely via blue slips during the appropriate
agenda item. For a list of department offices,
Flagstaff is the
largest city in Arizona without a public shooting
facility, forcing recreational shooters to use
makeshift areas, such as cinder pits in the forest,
and causing law enforcement personnel to travel
to other cities with shooting ranges for training.
Hunter education, online or in a classroom, take
a class today
fall big game draw deadline is fast approaching,
Tuesday, June 9. Don't forget, once you put your
youngster in for a big game hunt, if he or she
is between the ages of 10-13, they must have completed
a certified hunter education course to go on that
hunt once drawn.
the heat of the summer and take advantage of the
convenience of the department's online self-paced
hunter education course today.
to accommodate today's busy schedules, online
classes are still focused on making you a safer
and more knowledgeable hunter. Attending a field
day is still a requirement of the program.
the fact hunter education is required for youth
10-13 hunting big game, there are many other good
reasons to take hunter safety, including:
Plus, taking a hunter
education course is a great way to make new friends
with similar interests.
more details visit:
our safety phrase:
T.A.B. + 1
= Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
A = Always point your muzzle
in a safe direction.
B = Be sure of your target and
what is beyond.
+1 = Keep your finger outside
the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
hunting and be safe!
next meeting of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission
is scheduled for:
26-27: Dove hunt orders & Special
Big Game Tag selection are anticipated to be on
the agenda (the full agenda is not yet available).
of the commission meetings in 2009 will be held
at the Arizona Game and Fish Department headquarters
in Phoenix, located at 5000 W. Carefree Highway,
just west of I-17.
those outside of the Phoenix metro area, the department
is offering video conferencing of the commission
meetings at each Game and Fish regional office
to allow constituents across the state to stay
engaged in these public meetings.
is no regularly scheduled commission meeting in
July. The next meeting will be in August where
the spring hunt orders and the two-year hunt guidelines
will be set.
agendas will be posted at: www.azgfd.gov/commission
Select "commission agenda."
of picking up wildlife parts
A common question that needs to be addressed is
the issue of whether individuals may pick up and
keep the head, antlers, or any part of wildlife
they find dead in the field. What may appear to
be an easy question actually requires a complicated
State law requires
an individual to have evidence of legality when
possessing or transporting wildlife carcasses
or their parts. A hunting license and/or big game
tag meets this requirement for wildlife lawfully
taken during hunting season. However, if an individual
in the field finds dead wildlife, or any part
of an animal he or she did not legally take during
the hunt, then that individual may not automatically
possess and /or transport any of it. An exception
is that there are no restrictions on the possession
of naturally shed or cast antlers.
If an individual
wishes to keep wildlife parts found in the field
(other than shed antlers), he/she must contact
the Arizona Game and Fish Department so an officer
can determine the cause of death of the animal.
If it is determined the animal died from a natural
cause, such as predation, disease, fights, falls,
drowning, lightning, etc., the wildlife part may
be possessed by the individual. If the officer
determines the animal died from an unnatural cause,
such as wounding loss, illegal activity or vehicle
collision, no part of the wildlife may be possessed
If the cause of
death cannot be determined and the wildlife part
is fresh, meaning bone or tissue moisture is present
and the part is not oxidized, possession will
not be allowed. This also applies to parts, such
as skulls, where the age cannot be determined
because the finder has boiled and/or cleaned them.
If the cause of death cannot be determined and
the part is old (with no moisture and oxidized),
possession will be allowed.
Clear? Just remember,
the key is to contact the Arizona Game and Fish
Department prior to picking up the part. There
is no way these parts may be lawfully possessed
until the department has determined the cause
Arizona Revised Statute, Title17-371 and Arizona
Game and Fish Commission Rule R12-4-305.
what is happening in the outdoors at
Wildlife and outdoor
recreation enthusiasts can learn about upcoming
fishing clinics, hunting seminars, nature talks
and more by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish
Department’s Outdoor Calendar.
are encouraged to add their public events to the
Outdoor Calendar. Examples
of events include hunting workshops, fishing clinics,
birding/nature hikes, wildlife presentations,
shooting sports and archery events, off-highway
vehicle programs, boating safety fairs, and public
As an added perk,
selected events will be listed on the department’s
home page, which is viewed by more than 125,000
visitors each month.