someone small game hunting
Doug Burt, public information officer,
Arizona Game and Fish Department
you remember when you first went hunting? I think most of us do.
you remember who took you? Absolutely, it is a life-long lasting
someone new to hunting and the outdoors is a rewarding and worthwhile
many recent studies show that natural outdoor activities improve
health, fitness, attention span and focus, and teach a respect for
natural resources and our environment.
publicly accessible open spaces, and interest in hunting continue
to decline due to increased urbanization and a growing technology-dependent
there’s hope. At nearly 12.5 million strong nationally, hunters
have the ability to control their future. If every sportsman were
to introduce just one new person a year, hunters' voices will be
heard into the future.
making that introduction is as simple as asking children, family members,
friends, neighbors, or co-workers if they would like to tag along.
Starting with the basics, just like we all did, is a great place
trips and family outings. These are ideal opportunities for kids and outdoor recreation newcomers to see, touch and experience the outdoors.
watching and identification. This can be fun for all ages, whether
visiting wildlife refuges, parks, ponds, the desert, or just about
or geocaching. Exploring the outdoors with technology is a great
activity for tech-dependent kids and their parents.
them to shoot. BB guns, .22’s, shotguns and archery offer
a great way to teach marksmanship and safety; shooting ranges
and youth programs are available to introduce newcomers in a controlled, teachable
education. Suggesting a hunter education course is a great way
to have experienced, knowledgeable instructors teach a newcomer.
Courses are available online, too.
covering some of the basics, the next step is to get out hunting.
Small game hunting offers a superb entry-level opportunity. Equipment
needs are simple, and equipment is easy to borrow or obtain. Seasons
are long, bag limits are generous, and small game species make excellent
seasoned sportsmen have cut their teeth on hunting squirrel, rabbit,
dove, quail, pheasant and even ducks.
is nothing better than to see the smile on a young or new hunter's
face when they hit their first game bird on the wing or carry a
cleanly harvested squirrel or rabbit. It is a life-long lasting
impression for them and you!
For more information on programs that help introduce people to hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation, visit these Web sites:
Arizona Game and Fish Department Hunter
Archery in the Schools Program
deer and elk outlook
By Brian Wakeling, big game program supervisor, Arizona Game and
ready to head out for your fall deer or elk hunt? Here are our regional
forecasts for these species.
From a statewide perspective, white-tailed deer fawn recruitment
remained similar to last year's level, whereas mule deer fawn recruitment
dropped a little. Both remained within the range in which deer populations
tend to remain stable, and deer hunting opportunities should be
similar to last year. Summer precipitation, although not tremendous,
did provide good green up throughout much of the state in late summer,
and healthy deer herds and antler growth should be found statewide.
Buck-to-doe ratios have been increasing for both mule and white-tailed
deer over the past two years, so more bucks may be available. Don't
expect to be overrun with deer, but experiences should be similar
to the last two years.
Regions I through IV are known mainly for mule deer and provide
good hunting opportunities for this species. Even with recent improvement,
Region IV mule deer tend to be in low-density herds, so plan to
wear out the seat of your pants while using binoculars rather than
wearing out boots while walking to be successful. This can be an
important strategy regardless of where you hunt, but is more difficult
in forested habitat. Don't be afraid to use those boots to get you
off the beaten track, but rely on optics once you get there. Mule
deer numbers in Regions V and VI are also stable to slightly increasing.
Regions V and VI have the most popular white-tailed deer units,
and glassing is essential for finding these elusive ghosts. Sustained
fawn recruitment from last year should translate into more young
bucks this year. Look closely: Many “skin heads” turn
out to be young bucks on further scrutiny. Regions I and II have
lesser-known but excellent white-tailed deer hunts. Areas recovering
from recent fires can be productive, especially near steep terrain
and canyons that white-tails seem to favor.
Regardless of where you were drawn this year, know the boundaries
of your unit. Check your tag to be certain of the area for which
you were drawn. Every year a few hunters mistakenly assume they were drawn
for their first choice when they were actually drawn for an alternate
unit, but don’t find out otherwise until they get to camp,
or, worse yet, until a wildlife manager checks their harvested deer.
It can be an expensive mistake. And don’t forget to sign your
Although fall survey data is preliminary, many areas are reporting
good calf numbers and favorable bull-to-cow ratios. Elk habitat that
suffered from fires two to five years ago is producing good herbaceous
vegetation as a result of summer rains. In addition to recruitment,
favorable forage conditions are also good for antler development.
There have already been many reports of 400+ bulls harvested during
the 2007 archery hunts, and several impressive photographs are circulating
People with antlerless tags often have bigger challenges during hunts than
do bull hunters. It always seems that just before the season, you
cannot walk through the woods without stumbling over cow elk and
their young, but shortly after the season begins, they disappear
like water vapor. I've told many a hunter that it is only sporting
for the Department to inform the elk of season dates, and they seem
to take notice. In my experience, it can be productive during antlerless
hunts to work small openings in the forest during midday, especially
in later seasons, as elk seem to adjust to hunters' typical patterns
of being out early or late in the day and sleeping at midday.
Regions I (Pinetop) and II (Flagstaff)
Wildfires did not play a large role this year. Older burned areas
are going to be attractive to elk. Elk often respond to early accumulations
of snowfall by moving to lower elevations, but a single snowfall
event will not immediately drive all elk out of an area. Rainfall
and snow can cause unfavorable road conditions. Always try to minimize
the impact you have on primitive roads.
Region III (Kingman)
Elk populations have been productive and wide-ranging. Much of the
elk habitats are large landscapes with interspersed pinyon-juniper
woodland. These animals can be highly mobile and may seem to vaporize
once hunts begin. Being in the field early and late can be important,
but don't forget midday, especially later in the hunt. This strategy
can be critical regardless of your unit and region.
Region V (Tucson) and Region VI (Mesa)
Although Region V has elk hunts in Units 28 and 31, these areas
are managed for elk at low densities. These can be tough hunts in
nontraditional areas. You may need more than your share of good
luck to be successful. Region VI elk populations are doing well.
Units 22 and 23 continue to be good producers of quality animals.
Virtually any unit in Arizona has the potential to produce a record-book
bull. To make the most of your opportunity, be certain that your
rifle is shooting accurately before you get to the field. Judging
distances can be more challenging with elk hunting than with virtually
any other hunt. Distances in forested habitat just seem closer than
they really are; you expect long distances with pronghorn or deer
hunting, but mistakes that change the outcome of a hunt are easy
to make when pursuing elk.
can help monitor for chronic wasting disease
Tom Cadden, public information officer, Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona Game and Fish Department is again asking for hunter assistance
this season in monitoring for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a wildlife
neurological disease that is fatal to deer and elk.
The disease has not yet been found in Arizona, but it is in three
neighboring states—Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. The department
needs 1,800 deer and elk heads this hunting season to test for presence
of the disease.
can assist by bringing in the head of your recently harvested deer
or elk to any Game and Fish Department office between the hours
of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Place the head in a
heavy plastic garbage bag for delivery, and keep it cool and out
of the sun. If the weather is warm, it is best to either bring in
the head within a day of harvest or keep it on ice in a cooler before
better assist the surveillance efforts, you will be asked to fill
out a form with your drop-off. Please include the following information:
county, game management unit in which the animal was harvested,
hunt and permit number, and an address and phone number where you
can be reached. If this information is not provided, the department
will be unable to test the sample.
will be notified of the test results by postcard within six to eight
weeks. There is no charge for the testing and notification.
Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk for humans.
department has been conducting surveillance using hunter-harvested
deer and elk since 1998. Test samples from more than 8,300 animals
during that time have found no evidence of CWD.
department also has had rules in place since 2002 restricting the
movement of captive deer and elk into or within the state, and subjecting
those animals to marking and reporting requirements.
are some guidelines for hunters when out in the field:
harvest any animal that appears to be sick or behaves oddly. Call
the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 1-800-352-0700 if you
see an animal that is very thin, has a rough coat, drooping ears
and is unafraid of humans.
field-dressing game, wear rubber gloves and minimize the use of
a bone saw to cut through the brain or spinal cord (backbone).
Bone out the meat. Minimize contact with and do not consume brain
or spinal cord tissues, eyes, spleen, or lymph nodes.
wash hands thoroughly after dressing and processing game meat.
you hunt in another state, don’t bring back the brain, intact
skull or spinal column. It’s OK to bring back hides and
skull plates that have been cleaned of all tissue and washed in
heads, sawed-off antlers and ivory teeth are OK to bring home.
you intend to hunt out of state, contact the wildlife agency in
the area you intend to hunt. Several states have regulations on
more about chronic wasting disease at these Web sites:
for Disease Control and Prevention
Been hunting? Nolan's first buck
Don Martin, outdoors writer, Kingman
One of my passions is helping youngsters
as they experience the many facets of recreation in the great outdoors.
December 2006, I had the opportunity to assist a young man from
Paso Robles, California on his first-ever mule deer hunt.
Martinez is 15 years old and had waited for many years to go hunting
many young men who are in high school, besides sports and girls,
Martinez likes to hunt. His favorite hunting partner is his father,
had met Jim a number of years ago, and he explained that while he
wanted his son to experience hunting out of state, he was active
in sports and his availability to go hunting was limited.
looked over the Arizona hunt regulations and noticed that there
were several deer hunts that were offered to juniors during the
time that kids were out for Christmas break.
Nolan applied for one of the juniors-only deer tags that were offered
in several units in Mohave County. Due to the rule that restricts
nonresidents to no more than 10 percent of the tags, Martinez was
unsuccessful in his quest for one of these tags for four years.
2006 the Arizona Game and Fish Commission went to standardized seasons
for juniors, and most of the juniors-only deer hunts were moved
into earlier time frames. However, there was still one hunt that
kids could participate in that wouldn’t require them to miss
any school or sports activities. That
hunt was the juniors-only muzzleloader hunt in Unit 16A (Hualapai
applied for just that hunt in 2006, and this time Lady Luck smiled.
Nolan drew tag number one.
got a call from Jim in July saying that Nolan had drawn the tag,
and I quickly volunteered to help out on the hunt. Also volunteering
to help out on the hunt would be my good friend and hunting partner,
told Jim that the best time to hunt would probably be during the
time frame of Dec. 26-31. I felt that the bucks would be in rut
and that most of the other kids who had drawn tags for the hunt
would probably be done.
agreed to the hunt dates, and in the pre-dawn darkness on Dec. 26,
Jay and I met the Martinez’s in Yucca for the start of the
morning we got lucky when I spotted a wide, but young 3 x 3 buck
that was trailing a doe and a yearling near a desert waterhole.
We were able to get to within 86 yards of the buck. Nolan had
a solid shooting rest, but I told him to pass, as I wanted him to
see more of the unit and hopefully more bucks.
southern end of the unit doesn’t hold a lot of deer, but with
some judicious glassing they can be found.
it turned out, it was just before dark before I located a large
herd that was feeding at the top of a mountain. Turned out to be
about 15 deer in the group, and with them were three bucks.
of the bucks were young, but one showed the signs of having been
around for many years. His head was blocky and snow white, and his
27-inch-wide rack showed evidence of why he might have been the
big buck of the mountain. Part of his main beam on the left side
was broken off from fighting. As it was, he was now a 4 x 2, but
plenty good for Nolan to try for.
Jim and Nolan headed up the mountain, Jay and I watched and I filmed
the stalk. Though the big buck never saw the hunters, he pushed
his harem of six does over the top of the mountain before Nolan
could get into range.
next day we were back in the same general area when Jim spotted
a doe on the skyline. On the hillside below her were a yearling
and a huge 3 x 3 buck! I estimated that this buck had a rack that
was 29 inches wide. His points were all tall and the rack was mahogany
colored and well defined.
and Nolan set out to follow the buck as he slowly walked over the
hill with his nose to the ground, following the obviously hot
doe. Then the weather turned nasty and it started to rain, sleet
and snow on the hunters.
pair never saw that buck again.
in the day I found a buck we named the “Regression Buck.”
This old timer had all of the classic signs of an old deer. He had
a sway back and a big belly. His neck was swollen and his body size
was absolutely huge! He sported a set of chocolate-colored antlers
that had just two points on each side. Though the rack wasn’t
wide, the antlers were tall and heavy.
more, Jim and Nolan headed out. They got close, but a yearling doe
that wasn’t seen by the hunters gave away their position,
and the buck ran off unscathed.
day three we moved around to the east side of the Hualapais. As
dawn broke, the wind was blowing hard out of the north at 20-30
miles per hour.
got lucky when I spotted a single buck walking up a long ridge.
This mature 4 x 4 sported a rack that was about 26 inches wide.
He had heavy, deep front forks, and curiously, he was by himself.
and Nolan were able to locate this buck later on in the morning,
and while the young hunter got a shot, unfortunately the buck was
day four it dawned cold and clear, and the wind wasn’t blowing.
A perfect day for deer hunting.
trip up a canyon produced a sighting by Jim of a wide 3 x 2 buck
that again was off by himself. Jim and Nolan once more gave pursuit,
but the buck gave them the slip.
that morning they spotted a herd of deer, and with them was another
wide 3 x 2 buck. They watched until the buck bedded down and slowly
started to move towards him. Then
a helicopter that was doing aerial deer surveys came by and spooked
the herd. Talk about bad luck.
that day, with sunset approaching, Jim spotted a large herd of deer.
With them was a large, mature 4 x 4. The hunters tried to slip up
on the herd, but the animals spotted the movement and ran over the
short time later the hunters got a break when they spotted several
more deer, including another 4 x 4 close by in a thicket of trees.
The range was just 70 yards when Nolan settled the sights of the
White muzzleloader on the 3½-year-old buck.
the shot, the buck dropped in his tracks and the young man’s
quest for a mule deer was over. This
buck was indeed a fine representative of the species and one that
we were all proud that Nolan had taken.
great outdoors in Mohave County once again produced a life-long
memory for a fine young man who had worked hard to bag his first
country gem: Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area
Tom Cadden, public information officer, Arizona Game and Fish Department
in the shadow of Escudilla Mountain a few miles south of the eastern
Arizona town of Eagar, the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area is
a special high-country destination that can be enjoyed by hunters,
anglers, wildlife watchers and others who love the outdoors.
Arizona Game and Fish Department acquired the 1,362-acre property
in 1993 when it purchased the White Mountain Hereford Ranch. The
area was renamed the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area two years
area boasts a combination of grassland, pinyon-juniper woodland,
and riparian habitat, making it home to a diversity of wildlife
species. Elk are found here throughout the year, with fall and winter
the best times to see them. Waterfowl are readily seen during fall
and spring migration periods. The area is used by a variety of raptors,
including ospreys, hawks and golden eagles, and nesting birds such
as rufous and broad-tailed hummingbirds, Lewis’ and acorn
woodpeckers, and mountain bluebirds. Other wildlife to look for
are gray fox, striped skunks, badgers, coyotes, mule deer, Merriam's
turkey, pronghorn antelope, and a variety of ground squirrels, chipmunks
acquiring the property, the department has steadily enhanced its
habitat values and attractions for visitors,” says Bruce Sitko,
information and education program manager for the Game and Fish
small visitor center, a series of hiking trails complete with interpretive
signage and wildlife viewing sites, and a day-use picnic area offer
the public the opportunity to learn more about Arizona’s unique
wildlife and their habitat needs.
public is welcome to hike, bicycle or horseback ride on the property.
The four hiking trails range from easy to moderate in difficulty
and take visitors to wetlands, meadows, old homesteads and scenic
vistas. The longest is a 2.5-mile loop. Several wildlife viewing
points are located on the trails, including one on the High Point
Trail Overlook, which has a 20x spotting scope for locating wildlife
in the surrounding forest and meadows.
visitor center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week,
from mid-May until the beginning of October. Even when the visitor
center is closed (as it is now), visitors can explore the grounds.
is allowed on the property in season.
get to the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area, take U.S. Highway
180/191 south from Eagar towards Alpine. At the signs on top of
a mesa two miles from Eagar, turn off on an improved dirt road and
drive five miles to the property. Park your car at one of two designated
more information, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/outdoor_recreation/wildlife_area_sipe.shtml
some small game fun this year
By Rory Aikens, public information officer, Arizona Game and Fish Department
you're getting ready to head afield, be sure to take advantage of
the small game hunting opportunities that Arizona has to
The outlook for tree
squirrels and rabbits is promising, the late dove season (opens
Nov. 23) ought to be a ball, and you can add Eurasian collared doves
(year-round season) to the bag.
the overall quail outlook is "less than optimal," southeastern Arizona
is looking good for Mearns', Gambel's and scaled quail. You might
be able to triple-up this year.
consider mixed bag hunts, or cast-n-blast expeditions to maximize
your recreational time and dollars. For instance, if you are going
after tree squirrels, take along the fishing pole for some high
country trout. Or, look for pockets of quail hunting in the foothills when you fish central Arizona lakes such as Roosevelt.
seasons are underway, try hunting desert stock tanks for quail,
rabbit, dove (opens Nov. 23) and waterfowl (mountain zones opened
Oct. 5 and desert zones opened Oct. 19).
the full small game forecast report on our Web site:
sure to check the appropriate hunt regulations for season dates,
open areas, methods of lawful take, bag and possession limits and
other useful information prior to going afield.
hunters: Alex Martinez's first game animal
By Mike Martinez, Arizona hunter, USFWS biologist
My son Alex harvested his first game animal in February
2007 at the age of 12. He used a Henry lever-action .22-caliber rifle
to take a cottontail rabbit in the hills of the Verde Valley in central
Arizona, while accompanying me and his grandfather on a javelina
Alex was the only successful hunter in the group. He was very excited about his harvest and enjoyed helping cook and eat the rabbit.
developed his interest in hunting from me bringing him along on
deer hunts. While out in the field, we would spend extra time watching does
or coyotes to help pique his interest. He is
excited about the opportunity to join us during the antlerless
a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and have
conducted wildlife presentations for Alex's classes throughout
his school years. He has a strong academic interest
in conservation biology and says he wants to be a marine biologist
or herpetologist. He will certainly be part of Arizona's hunting future.
hunting: It’s not just a practical joke
By Tom Cadden, public information officer, Arizona Game and Fish
you ever wondered how many beginning campers have been duped into
participating in a “snipe hunt?”
The ritual goes like
this: The unsuspecting newbie is told about a unique bird called
a snipe and is given some ridiculous method of catching it, such
as running around the woods with a bag while making strange noises
or banging sticks. The practical joke leaves the recipient red-faced
and his pals with a good laugh.
Arizonans, including some hunters, might be surprised to know that
snipe not only exist, but offer some enjoyable, sporty hunting opportunities.
photo courtesy of B. Griswold, DVM
are one of the most overlooked game birds in the state,” says
Randy Babb, information and education program manager for the Arizona
Game and Fish Department’s Mesa region. “They flush
similar to quail, and their zig-zag flight patterns make for a challenging
prefer marshy habitats along rivers and lakes and will also use
flooded agricultural areas. Birds can often be spotted by the hunter
prior to entering an area by glassing the water’s edge with
advises hunters to check snipe habitat often, as the birds tend
to suddenly appear and disappear in the feeding areas.
offer a great ‘extra’ for duck hunters,” says
Babb. “After a morning duck hunt, hunters should walk the
nearby marshy areas or other flooded vegetation. If you prefer to
jump-shoot ducks, snipe are common visitors to stock tanks.”
season dates for common snipe this year are Oct. 5 through Jan.
13 in the mountain zone, and Oct. 19 through Jan. 27 in the desert
zone. You must have a valid Arizona hunting license and an Arizona
migratory bird stamp. For more information on open areas, bag limits
and other regulations, check the Arizona Waterfowl and Snipe Regulations
on the Department’s Web site,
or pick up a copy at department offices.
are classified as an upland game bird, and steel shot is not required
for hunting them.
back to top
opportunities for hunters
By Les Bell, volunteer coordinator, Arizona Game and Fish Department
The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s volunteer
program provides opportunities for volunteers to participate firsthand
in managing Arizona’s wildlife resources. Our goal is to provide
you with a congenial and cooperative atmosphere where you can build
relationships with staff and other volunteers, as well as gain knowledge
about Arizona wildlife and wildlife management. We recognize that
your time is important and strive to provide rewarding and educational
listed some opportunities in which you may have an interest. To
learn about other opportunities or to submit information about a
project that would benefit from our volunteers, check our volunteer
page at www.azgfd.gov/volunteer.
Volunteer shotgun instructors and range safety officers for women's shotgun shooting program
Volunteers will instruct women of all ages in the shotgun shooting
sports as prescribed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Coaches
will assist beginners in shotgun shooting form and skill. Range
safety officers will watch over the range and ensure safety among
all participants. Instructors will teach, and assist in teaching,
or proctor the hour-long introductory class. Applicants must be
at least 21 years old and participate in a free-of-charge Shotgun
Instructor Certification process (two-day class). It is desirable,
but not necessary, that instructors have shooting experience, basic
knowledge of firearms and firearms safety, and some teaching/public
speaking experience. Benefits to volunteers include free shooting
at the main range and discounts at local sporting goods locations.
The women's shotgun shooting program will be held the first and
third Thursday of each month from approximately 7-9:30 p.m. The program is held at the
Ben Avery Shooting Facility (range time is held at the Ben Avery Clay Target Center). Entrance is just west of
I-17 (Exit 223) on Carefree Highway. For more information, contact
Range safety officers needed at Ben Avery Shooting Facility
Responsibilities include checking the safe condition of customer firearms, observing participants while they are shooting on the range, maintaining safe operation of the shooting line, and providing superior customer service by answering customer questions about firearms. Volunteers shoot for free at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, located just west of I-17 and Carefree Highway in north Phoenix. Contact Arizona Game and Fish Department Volunteer Coordinator Les Bell at (623) 236-7680.
3 No. 6 October 2007
In this issue:
News and notes:
archery deer hunters
must report harvest
archery deer hunters are reminded that they must contact an Arizona Game and Fish Department office in person or by telephone at
10 days of taking a deer unless the deer has been checked through
a mandatory hunter checking station.
report your harvest to help us collect this important data. Hunters
who fail to comply with this rule will be cited by the department.
waterfowl, quail seasons are underway
- Opened Friday, Oct. 5 in the mountain zone and Friday, Oct. 19
in the desert zone. Please refer to the 2007-2008 Arizona Waterfowl
and Snipe Regulations for season dates and other information. As
a reminder, a federal and state duck stamp are required as well
as nontoxic shot to legally harvest waterfowl.
Quail and tree squirrels - Season for Gambel's and scaled quail and general tree squirrel opened Friday, Oct. 12. Mearns' quail season does not open
until Nov. 23. Other huntable small game include rabbits,
offering a great opportunity for a mixed bag.
Blue grouse, chukar partridge, band-tailed pigeons as well as Eurasian
collared doves. Check current regulations for season dates, hunting
areas and bag limits.
teach small game hunting basics to youths and novices
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is partnering with several
organizations to offer introductory hunting camps for youths and
adults who want to learn how to hunt small game in Arizona. Participants
will learn information on firearm safety, hunting opportunities,
game care, and archery instruction. There will also be hands-on
hunting opportunities with experienced mentors.
camps have already been held. The next one will be a Dove/Quail/Rabbit Camp on Nov. 30-Dec. 2, at Robbins Butte Wildlife
Management Area (west of the Phoenix Metro Area). The camp is sponsored by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Chandler Rod
and Gun Club and is for youths age 10 and older, and adults. Youths
must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $40. Registration is required. For more information or to download a registration form, visit:
Foundation grants benefit young shooters
funds awarded earlier this year by the Arizona Friends of NRA (National Rifle Association) and
the NRA Foundation are being put to good use to benefit and promote
youth shooting opportunities in our state. The three
grants are being used to purchase shotguns, target
throwers and seven DryFire target simulators (a unique electronic
indoor training system) for the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) statewide.
more information about the Arizona Game and Fish Department SCTP,
visit our Web site at:
For more information about NRA Foundation grants, visit
Online hunter education course is popular
data shows Arizona's new online hunter education course is already
popular and growing in attendees.
Designed to accomodate today's busy schedules, online classes are
still focused on making you a safer and more knowledgeable hunter.
a field day is still
a requirement of the program.
more details visit:
classroom courses are still offered and scheduled throughout the
year in many locations around the state. This list is updated weekly,
and new classes are being offered all the time.
If you are planning on hunting in another state, please check with
that state well in advance of your hunt to see if proof of hunter
education is required.
Remember our safety phrase: T.A.B.
= Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
= Always point your muzzle in a safe direction.
= Be sure of your target and what is beyond.
hunting and be safe!
Avery switches to winter hours
Ben Avery Shooting Facility Main Range, archery ranges, and the
Ben Avery Clay Target Center changed to winter hours of operation
for the public on Oct. 15. The new hours are:
- 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Note: The main range may close at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday evenings of each month, depending on turnout for the Annie Oakley Sure Shots women's program)
- 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
winter hours are designed to give the recreational shooting community
the most opportunity for best quality shooting times during the
shorter days of the winter months," says Ben Avery Range Manager
more information on the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, visit:
contact (623) 582-8313.
more information on the Ben Avery Clay Target Center, visit:
contact (623) 434-8119.
asked to meet wildlife conservation challenge
and Fish encourages participation in voluntary non-lead ammunition
Hunters in Arizona are proving to the critics that voluntary efforts
to conserve endangered wildlife do work. In only two years, hunters
have helped achieve a 50 percent reduction in the amount of available
spent lead ammunition in the California condor’s range. While
the numbers indicate a good start, Arizona Game and Fish is encouraging
more hunters to participate in the successful non-lead ammunition
poisoning has been identified as the leading cause of death in endangered
condors and the main obstacle to a self-sustaining population in
Arizona. Studies show that lead shot and bullet fragments found
in game carcasses and gut piles are the main source of lead in condors.
Since condors are group feeders, several birds can be affected by
feeding off of one carcass or gut pile containing lead fragments.
Arizona Game and Fish Department, and its partners, the Arizona
Deer Association, Arizona Elk Society, Arizona Antelope Foundation,
Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, and the Arizona Chapter of
the National Wild Turkey Federation, ask hunters to continue sportsmen’s
proud tradition of wildlife conservation by using non-lead ammunition
in condor range.
bullets offer hunters superior knock-down power, are less toxic,
and do not fragment like lead ammunition. More than 90 percent of
hunters agree that non-lead bullets perform as well as, or better
than, lead bullets on game. The majority of hunters on the Kaibab
Plateau and Arizona Strip have used non-lead ammunition to help
condors since 2005, although expanded adoption of the successful
effort is needed to further reduce lead exposure and mortality in
condor is the largest flying land bird in North America. The birds
can weigh up to 26 pounds and have a wingspan of up to 9.5 feet.
Condors were first reintroduced in Arizona in 1996, and they now
number 57 in the state. Visitors at the Grand Canyon and Vermilion
Cliffs may be able to observe the birds, especially during the spring
more information on non-lead ammunition and a list of the available
calibers, visit our condor page at:
about bighorns in the next issue of Arizona Wildlife Views
bighorn sheep herd had dropped to just 1,000 sheep in 1950, when a group
of concerned hunters and biologists stepped forward to speak on
behalf of this magnificent animal.
after dozens of translocation projects, the herd is holding steady
at just over 6,000 animals. Read the history of bighorn sheep translocations
in the November-December issue of Arizona Wildlife Views
now, and you’ll also learn delicious ways to cook those “odd”
cuts of meat, from the neck to the heart … and so much more.
official magazine of the Arizona Game and Fish Department is published
six times a year. Subscribe for just $8.50 a year by calling:
40-page issue of this award-winning magazine offers stories
about Arizona wildlife and outdoor recreation, illustrated with
gorgeous full-color photography. Call today!
Route 273 road construction could affect some hunts in Unit 1
The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Apache-Sitgreaves
National Forests, Springerville District, advises hunters, anglers
and other forest users to be aware of ongoing travel restrictions
on Forest Road 113, also referred to as State Route 273.
stretch of road from Crescent Lake westward to the forest boundary
located east of Sunrise Park on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation
is currently under reconstruction. Due to construction activities,
much of this stretch will be closed for the next several months.
The Springerville Ranger District, in cooperation with the department,
is working with the contractors to ensure safe access is provided
through portions of this route to forest users.
the next few months, the portion of the road between Crescent Lake
and Gabaldon Campground will be open from 6 p.m. on Thursdays until
6 a.m. on Mondays for all user access. The road section between
Gabaldon Campground and Winn Campground will be opened during the
same time period, Thursdays through Mondays, when weather conditions
permit safe travel without concern for adverse driving conditions
due to a wet road surface. Currently, wet and muddy road conditions
along this section prevent safe vehicle travel by the public.
addition, the Springerville District will be providing foot and
horse access into the Mt. Baldy Wilderness Area via foot-traffic-only
crossings located at the intersection of Forest Service Road 112
and State Route 273 and Forest Road 87 and State Route 273. The
east portion of the Mt. Baldy Wilderness Area may also be accessed
from the Burro Mountain area off Forest Road 116.
of a Lifetime needs volunteers: guides, outfitters, sportsmen
of a Lifetime (HOAL), an organization that fulfills terminally ill
children's dreams of going on a big game hunt, seeks assistance
from guides, outfitters and sportsmen for upcoming hunts.
AZ is currently seeking caring sportsmen to donate their time, gear,
food, and general hunting services to "make a difference in these
youngsters' lives by making their dreams come true". Help is needed
scouting hunt areas, guiding, packing, and general outdoor assistance
is needed for an upcoming elk and deer hunt in Arizona.
of a Lifetime (HOAL) is a national nonprofit organization that provides
hunting and fishing opportunities for children with life-threatening
and terminal illnesses. Since Arizona passed legislation in 2005
to make big-game permit transfers possible, the Arizona chapter
(HOAL AZ) has sent 14 youngsters on 16 hunts.
a youngster is accepted to take part, he or she receives a total
hunt package including equipment, transportation (air and ground),
a guide/outfitter, lodging, meat processing and delivery, as well
as taxidermy and delivery of their mount at no cost. Also, one parent
can accompany the young hunter.
you are available to assist these extraordinary children on an upcoming
hunt, contact Arizona Ambassador Terry Petko by phone at (602) 689-9524
or by e-mail at email@example.com. For more information, visit:
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us your stories and questions!
welcome mail from readers and will try to feature the following
in each issue, as available:
Do you have a photo and story you’d like to share about your
recent hunting trip? We’d like to include one or more stories
in each issue of Hunting Highlights. Send your picture
and a brief story to the Hunting
Do you have a photo and story about a youth hunt (your own or that
of your child or grandchild)? We’d like to share one or more
junior hunter stories in each issue of Hunting Highlights.
Send your picture and a brief story to the Hunting
Are you excited about the mission and activities of your wildlife
conservation organization? In the Conservation Spotlight, our readers
will share your excitement. To get your group into the spotlight,
e-mail the Hunting
a wildlife manager
Is there something you’ve always wanted to ask a game warden?
All questions are fair game in this periodic feature. If you’ve
got a question for our wildlife managers, e-mail the Hunting
ANSWER TO 911
Report Wildlife Violators
GAME THIEF is a public awareness program that allows people
to call in on a toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,
to report wildlife violations. Poaching is serious business in Arizona.
There are only 156 commissioned officers in the Arizona Game and
Fish Department and many of these officers only do enforcement part-time.
The department relies on the honest citizens of the state to assist
in the reduction of wildlife violations.
Poachers are thieves and they are stealing Arizona’s most
precious natural resource—its WILDLIFE! It doesn't matter if you hunt
or fish in our great state, wildlife is here for ALL of us to enjoy.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief
Program is asking that you report any suspicious activity to the
department. You can do this by either calling our toll-free hotline
at 1-800-352-0700, or filling out as much of the information as possible (all fields are optional) on the link to the online form below.
will keep your report CONFIDENTIAL upon request, and REWARDS of
$50-$1,000 may be offered in certain cases. Eligible cases will
pay rewards upon the arrest of the violator.
24 HOURS A DAY
report a violation online at:
Arizona’s rich outdoor heritage is enjoyed by all, thanks
to hunters like you, whose purchase of hunting equipment supports
wildlife management and habitat enhancement in the Grand Canyon
you purchase a rifle, ammunition, archery equipment and other sporting
gear, you pay a federal excise tax and import duties.
1937, this money has been collected by the federal government and
redistributed to the states using a formula based on hunting license
sales and the state’s land area.
2006, that meant more than $5.6 million for game management in Arizona.
money paid for game surveys, hunter education classes, wildlife
water catchment construction and wildlife research, among other
like you are part of the largest and most successful wildlife conservation
programs in the world… Thank you.