A few helpful hints for hunting javelina

By Craig McMullen, field supervisor, Arizona Game and Fish Department

In javelina hunting, finding the javelina is more than half the battle. They are small, cryptically colored quarry that like to be out of the wind and sometimes hang out in thick brush.

Once you find them, you’ll discover that, relative to deer and elk, they are easy to stalk. They’ll see you if you are not careful, but you don’t have to be perfect. They’ll hear you if you are clumsy or careless, but again, you don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have very good memories, either. If they see or hear you and you stop whatever it is you are doing to attract attention, they’ll probably forget about you after 10 minutes or so . . . if they didn’t smell you. Your scent is the death knell to every stalk. If you are careless with the wind direction, your stalk will be over before it begins.

Scouting tips

Javelina herds tend to have relatively well-defined home ranges. They require free water to drink, so you know that javelina home ranges must include water. During your scouting trips, look for javelina sign around water holes, along roads and washes, and anywhere else a track might be captured. If you are seeing a lot of javelina sign, you know you are probably within the home range of at least one herd.

During your scouting, look for areas on north- and east-facing slopes and in the drainage bottoms where javelina have been bedding all year. They will frequently use the same bedding areas so often that the beds become excavated holes under good shade trees, such as junipers. If you find a heavily used bedding area, you know you are in a heavily used portion of their home range. This is a good place to start.

The next step is to gain some elevation and use binoculars. Binoculars significantly increase your chances of spotting a javelina.

Wind is a key factor

Javelina hair does not provide the same insulative protection as deer hair or elk hair, so on cold mornings, look for javelina on a sunny slope or bottom somewhere that will allow them to sun themselves without being exposed to the wind. Remember, a javelina’s best-developed sense for detecting danger is its nose. This means they will position themselves to take best advantage of their ability to smell. If you are trying to decide where to glass, and there is wind or even a slight breeze, start with the lee side of a hill or in a bottom where the javelina are not directly exposed to wind.

Once you find javelina and are planning your stalk, go slowly and pay attention to the wind. Whether hunting with archery equipment or a rifle, everyone has a maximum distance they can shoot. In a steady wind, a javelina can smell you further than you can shoot, so wind is the primary factor to consider when making a stalk.

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Hunting outlook: javelina
By Brian Wakeling, big game supervisor, Arizona Game and Fish Department
Map of regions

If you were lucky enough to draw a spring javelina tag, you may be planning the best approach to your hunt as you read this. Javelina hunting is one of those activities that can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with your hunting area and the fates don't smile on you. Javelina live in a relatively small area that meets their yearlong lifestyle needs, but they can be difficult to spot and change their habits in response to the often unpredictable weather and habitat changes that can occur during the January and February hunting seasons.

This winter has been unusually dry in Arizona’s javelina range. Our javelina herds are fairly stable, with some improved recruitment as a result of last year's wet winter. Javelina will forage among prickly pear, especially during dry periods when there are few other groceries to be had. When wet weather occurs during hunts (not the case so far this year), hunt success often diminishes because hunters can't cross flowing washes and javelina spend more time huddled up out of the rain. If we get some wet weather, hillsides will green up, and javelina will take advantage of fresh, new growth to augment their diet. In that event, they may be harder to see.

Spring javelina hunts occur during a beautiful time of year to experience the desert habitats of Arizona. Take the time to enjoy your hunt!

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Been hunting? 
Determination pays off for Ryan Burbank

Ryan Burbank and his elkRyan Burbank’s first elk hunt got off to a rough start even before he took to the field. Two weeks before he and his dad Pete, a hunter education instructor, were to start their November hunt in Game Management Unit 5B-S, the 14-year-old from Litchfield Park broke his foot.

Not wanting Ryan to miss out on the hunt, Pete built a special swivel seat on a mount and situated his son in a couple of likely spots for elk. After two days of not seeing anything, Pete and his companions noticed that Ryan could get around pretty well with the aid of his crutches, so they allowed him to join them on foot. Ryan hiked up and down over ridgelines for a couple of miles until the terrain became steeper and rockier. His dad had him descend and rest in a meadow that would be the turnaround point.

Pete was still uphill when he heard Ryan call over the radio: “Dad, there’s elk coming your way.” Ryan had seen several elk pass by the other side of the meadow. As Pete prepared to get in better position for what he hoped would be the approaching elk, he heard a rifle report. Ryan had spotted another elk in the meadow, dropped to one knee, and got himself a 5x6 bull elk with a 275-yard shot.

“I’ve hunted small game and deer before, but this was my first elk hunt,” says Ryan. “I didn’t expect to get one that big. It was amazing.”

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Another day in the woods: looking for shed antlers 
By Ron Day, law enforcement branch chief, Arizona Game and Fish Department

Man walking with shed antlersIt’s February, so what’s a hunter to do? There are javelina, but not everyone likes hunting javelina. Ducks are everywhere, but the season is closed. Quail season has closed, too. Hunting season is winding down, and those who fish are dreaming of warmer weather and water. Having said all of this, there are still ways to enjoy being in the great outdoors. One of my favorite late-winter activities is picking up shed antlers.

The antler growth cycle

The annual antler growth cycle of deer and elk is one of nature’s amazing events. In the late winter or early spring a new antler begins to grow from the pedestal, from which the previous year’s antler recently fell off. The antlers grow until midsummer or early fall. During this time the antler is a live bone, covered with velvet. Once antler growth stops, the bull or buck starts to rub the velvet off of the now-dead antler. This is the time of year when it really stinks to be an 8-foot pine tree in the middle of a little opening. After the antlers are rubbed, they remain unchanged until they once again fall off in late winter or early spring, and the cycle starts over.

The timing of this cycle depends on the species (deer or elk), and the age and maturity of the animal. For example, a big bull elk will usually drop its antlers by the end of February. Bigger antlers take longer to grow and, as such, necessitate dropping the previous year’s antlers earlier. By comparison, younger bulls are often seen with the previous year’s antlers as late as April or early May.

Where do you look for an antler?

The answer is actually easy. It’s where the bulls or bucks are during the time of year when their antlers fall off. It truly depends on the dynamics of the deer or elk herd in the area where you plan to look. In most parts of the state, elk winter in a different area than where they spend the summer. Since antler drop occurs in the late winter, the place to start looking is winter range.

Typical elk winter range will find the bulls feeding on some combination of cliffrose, mountain mahogany, sage, or maybe the first green grass of the spring. They are probably not traveling very far between bedding and feeding areas unless they have to travel for water. All these factors come into play when trying to find an antler. Remember, you are not trying to find a bull elk; you’re trying to find where they were during that six- to eight-week period when most of them dropped an antler.

As with all types of hunting, knowing the specific area where bulls like to feed, water and bed will help immensely in finding an antler or two. An elk’s life is not terribly complicated during this time of year: eat, sleep and drink, that’s all they’re doing.

How do you look for an antler?

I pick an area where I can get away from people and spend my day hiking where bulls have wintered. That may sound easy, but unless you have tried it, you don’t know how truly competitive antler hunting has become. It is rare to spend a day anywhere and not find a boot print from another antler hunter.

I spend a lot of time looking where they are feeding. It makes sense to assume that this is where most of the antlers are going to fall off. You should also look in bedding grounds. Probably one-third of the antlers I pick up are in or right next to a bed. The last place worth some of your time is along major trails used by bulls between where they feed and bed. Pay attention to fences, as many antlers fall off when a bull jumps a fence.

The legalities of picking up an antler

What are the legalities of picking up an elk or deer antler? Naturally, shed antlers are lawful to possess. However, the legality of possessing antlers, skulls or other parts from animals that have died is more complicated. In a nutshell, if the animal died from an unnatural cause, such as wounding during the hunting season or vehicle impact, it may not be lawfully possessed. Parts from wildlife that die from natural causes, such as predation, disease, drowning, or lightning may be lawfully possessed. You may not make this determination on your own. If you find an animal that you wish to keep a part of, you must contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department so “cause of death” can be properly determined. For more information, see the article below on the legalities of picking up wildlife parts.

Other issues

Other legal issues to consider are closures and access. A land management agency, such as the USDA Forest Service or U.S. Bureau of Land Management, may have closed an area to vehicle traffic, either for wildlife reasons or due to winter conditions. In most of these cases, you may usually access the area on foot but may not be allowed to drive a vehicle, including an OHV, into the area. Make sure you check the current local conditions of your destination.

What you do with the antlers you find is up to you. The majority of the antlers are sold to local antler buyers, who either resell them or make them into lamps, lights and chandeliers. They are often resold to buyers who ship them overseas. Whatever you do with yours, remember, the antler is just a bonus, the real reward is spending another great day in the woods.

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Junior hunters 
Travis-Jay Toot gets his first mule deer

Travis and his mule deerPat Taylor submitted this report about his 11-year-old grandson Travis, of Tucson, getting his first mule deer. Travis is already quite an outdoorsman, having been shooting since he was 6 years old. He completed the Arizona Hunter Education course in May. Travis was fortunate to get drawn for the junior deer hunt in Game Management Unit 36A. On the last day of the hunt, he came across a fine mule deer. He took his time, was able to stalk within 175 yards, and made a fantastic shot. Everyone is very proud of him, and he is already talking about next year’s hunt.

Pat also had this to say about Arizona’s hunter education instructors. “I would like to offer special thanks to the hunter education instructors who make a special effort to help kids on their hunt. I have known some of these people for most of my life, but to watch them go out of their way to offer kids help and encouragement was terrific. If they spotted a deer, they would actually help complete strangers get the opportunity to fill their tags, or at least give the kids an opportunity for a shot. Thank you to the Brian and Bryce Stark families, Steve Hopkins, and Fred Wiemann and his son Mike.”

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Ask a wildlife manager
By Ron Day, law enforcement branch chief, Arizona Game and Fish Department

The legalities 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 answer.

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.

If an individual wishes to keep such wildlife parts found in the field, 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 or transported.

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 of death.

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Supplemental hunter education classes enhance knowledge
By Bill Larson, former hunter education coordinator, Arizona Game and Fish Department

Steve Osminski with bull elkIn 1999, the Arizona Game and Fish Department began offering supplemental one-day classes to hunters who have already taken a basic hunter education class in another state. Participants are required to show that completion of their basic course occurred in 1980 or later. 1980 is the same year that Arizona looks back to for hunter education bonus point credit for completion of the course.

The class is designed to cover Arizona-specific issues and not to replace or duplicate previous studies. Subjects include habitat concerns, Arizona wildlife identification, venomous bites and stings (and first aid for them), game laws and hunting rules, how the draws work, and similar subjects.

As required in Arizona, students must be at least 10 years old to graduate from the class. This is an advanced-level class that tests an individual’s knowledge. Anyone who would like to participate in one of these classes needs to contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department Education Branch at (623) 236-7235 and provide the necessary documents.

For a testimonial about the supplemental hunter education classes, below is a letter from Steve Osminski of Michigan.


I took one of your all-day supplemental hunter education classes a couple of years ago. It was great information, and I'm sure the permanent bonus point I earned helped get me my archery elk tag this year. Here is a picture of my do-it-yourself bull. I took him on my eighth day hunting. The shot was less than 10 feet and he went 120 yards and fell in my sight. I wanted to thank the Arizona Game and Fish Department for the great work it does in managing the animals. I appreciate the opportunity to hunt in your great state.

Thanks again,

Steve Osminski

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Conservation spotlight 

Arizona Antelope Foundation
By Jim Unmacht, 2004-2005 president

How did your group get started? On Oct. 3, 1992, a group of concerned sportsmen and wildlife conservationists formed an organization known as the Arizona Antelope Foundation. They dedicated themselves to increasing the Arizona pronghorn population by advocating and actively participating in pronghorn management and habitat improvement programs. In its 13-year history, this organization has made a positive impact on the welfare and enhancement of pronghorn herds in Arizona.

What is AAF’s purpose? The Arizona Antelope Foundation works toward a number of goals and objectives:

  • Acquire blocks of key pronghorn habitat and manage them for pronghorn.
  • Participate in habitat manipulation projects to enhance pronghorn habitat.
  • Develop additional water sources for pronghorn.
  • Modify existing fences to exceed current wildlife standards.
  • Reintroduce pronghorn into historic habitat.
  • Support predator control efforts where necessary to insure the survival of pronghorn populations.
  • Educate the public about pronghorn in Arizona.
  • Coordinate with the livestock industry, land management agencies, private landowners, and game management agencies to encourage programs emphasizing pronghorn.
  • Promote research necessary to better manage pronghorn.
  • Serve as an advocate for the enhancement of pronghorn.

How many members do you have? About 350.

What does AAF do? The AAF works tirelessly to improve habitat for pronghorn and other grassland species that benefit from the efforts. One of our primary project focuses is modifying barbed wire fences to make them antelope friendly. Pronghorn typically go under rather than over fences, so we raise the bottom strand to a height of 18 inches to allow the animals to safely move between pastures, ensuring genetic diversity and giving them a chance to escape predators. While working the fences, we have partnered with many ranchers and government agencies, repairing many miles of fence over the last 13 years. We are very active in restoring grasslands by eliminating invasive trees, too. Finally, we also participate in other habitat and conservation activities for the benefit of Arizona's wildlife, as well as sportsmen and women.

While the conservation spotlight is shining on AAF, what would you like to say? Arizona's building boom has probably impacted antelope more than any other big game species. Why? Because the ideal place to build a “home in the country” is in prime pronghorn habitat! The grasslands of Arizona that aren't encroached by housing developments are alternatively being overgrown by invasive junipers, due to decades of fire suppression and other range management issues.

We need all the help we can get to continue to conserve places for pronghorn in Arizona. Come join us on a project and learn why our motto is, "Libertas ad vagor"—freedom to roam!

Another opportunity to help Arizona's antelope in 2006 is by joining us in our new Adopt-a Herd Project. Watch for details coming soon on the AAF Web site.

How can people reach you? You can learn a great deal about us by visiting our award- winning Web site at azantelope.org.

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Volunteer opportunities for hunters 
By Sandy Reith, 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, and gain knowledge about Arizona wildlife and wildlife management. We recognize that your time is important and strive to provide rewarding and educational volunteer experiences.

We’ve listed some opportunities below that we think you might find interesting. To learn about other opportunities or to submit information about a project that would benefit from our volunteers, check our volunteer page.

March 11
Arizona Hunters Who Care cleanup, near Three Points
Details will be available soon at azhunterswhocare.org.

April 1
7:30 a.m.
Antelope improvement project
The Arizona Antelope Foundation will be modifying fence to improve antelope habitat in Game Management Unit 21, near Dugas and Cordes Junction. Contact Arizona Game and Fish Department Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Reith at (623) 236-7680. More information will be posted soon at azantelope.org.

April 22
7:30 a.m.
Adopt-a-Ranch project with Hopi 3 Canyon 26 Bar Ranch, near Eager
The Arizona Elk Society will be modifying and removing fence to improve wildlife habitat. Contact Arizona Game and Fish Department Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Reith at (623) 236-7680.

May 20-21
Fence removal in the Big Lake area
This project is being done in conjunction with the Arizona Elk Society. Contact Arizona Game and Fish Department Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Reith at (623) 236-7680.

Ongoing project: habitat restoration for pronghorn and grassland birds
Volunteers will be using loppers and hand saws to thin juniper south of Mormon Lake at Mud Lake, on Forest Road 82 (Kinnikinick Lake Road). Dates are May 20, June 17, July 22, Aug. 19, Sept. 23, Oct. 14, all at 8:30 a.m. Contact Arizona Game and Fish Department Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Reith at (623) 236-7680.

Ongoing project: line 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. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (623) 236-7680.

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Vol. 2 No. 1 Feb. 2006
In this issue:

Manage your account:
Follow the link below to unsubscribe from this mailing, to change other account subscriptions or to change your e-mail address and contact information. Edit your account.

Visit the archives:
December 2005
October 2005
August 2005

Send us your stories and questions! We welcome mail from readers and will feature the following in each issue:

Been hunting?
Do you have a photo and story you’d like to share about your recent hunting trip? We’d like to include one hunter's story in each issue of Hunting Highlights. Send your picture and a brief story to the Hunting Highlights editor.

Junior hunters
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 junior hunter’s story in each issue of Hunting Highlights. Send your picture and a brief story to the Hunting Highlights editor.

Conservation spotlight
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 Highlights editor.

Ask a wildlife manager
Is there something you’ve always wanted to ask a game warden? All questions are fair game in this regular feature. If you’ve got a question for our wildlife managers, e-mail the Hunting Highlights editor.

Hunter education
Hunter education classes are 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. T=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. Happy hunting!

News and notes
Public input still sought on hunt guidelines
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is still accepting public comment on the proposed 2006-2007 hunt guidelines, which include several changes to the hunt structure. To find out how to submit written comment by the March 1 deadline, or to view the entire 2006-2007 hunt guidelines and recommendation package, visit the department’s Web site at azgfd.gov.

The final recommendation package for the fall 2006 hunts, along with the hunt structure changes, will be presented at the April 22 meeting of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission at the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Midtown, 4000 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.

Fees increases coming before commission for final approval
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is scheduled to finalize the rule-making process for proposed fee increases on most hunting and fishing licenses, tags, stamps and permits during the Saturday, Feb. 11 portion of its two-day meeting in Yuma. The meeting is at the Shilo Inn, 1550 S. Castle Dome Ave., Yuma, starting at 8 a.m. If approved, the fee increases would become effective for 2007 licenses and tags. To view a copy of the increases, visit the department's Web site at azgfd.gov.

Archery-only hunters can now carry a non-hunting handgun for protection
The October issue of ”Hunting Highlights“ reviewed the legality of carrying a handgun during an archery-only hunt. The rule at that time was that hunters participating in an archery-only hunt could not possess a firearm, even if they had a concealed weapons permit.

Since that time, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has issued a directive allowing hunters participating in an archery-only hunt to carry a non-hunting handgun for personal protection and safety. As a guideline, a non-hunting handgun shall be defined as a handgun with a barrel length of 6 inches or less that does not have a scope or any type of electronic device.

Handguns meeting this definition may be carried during an archery-only hunt for personal protection only. They may not be used to take any species of wildlife while participating in an archery-only hunt.

Arizona Big Game Super Raffle: Win the hunt of a lifetime
Every hunter now has a chance to win the hunt of a lifetime in Arizona with the advent of Arizona's Big Game Super Raffle. In fact, nine super hunts will be offered through the raffle.

Here’s how it works: The Arizona Game and Fish Commission last fall set aside one additional tag for each of the big game species to be used in a super raffle to raise money for wildlife conservation. A consortium of conservation groups banded together to raffle these special tags. Every cent raised goes to the Arizona Game and Fish Department to benefit the big game species for which the raffle is held.

One tag will be offered for each of these species: antelope, black bear, buffalo, Coues’ white-tailed deer, desert bighorn sheep, elk, javelina, mule deer and turkey. Raffle ticket prices are very affordable.

In addition to these tags is an optics raffle for a package of Swarovski products. This package will include the 15x56 ER binoculars, 10x42 El binoculars, ST-80 spotting scope with a 20-60x eyepiece, Swarovski Laser Rangefinder and 4-12x50 rifle scope. An Outdoorsmans tripod with all the appropriate tripod adapters will be included as well.

The public drawings this year will be held in Phoenix on July 8. The season dates associated with these special tags are 365 days per year starting Aug. 1, 2006, with few restrictions on hunting areas.

Sound exciting? For more details, visit arizonabiggamesuperraffle.com.

Attend the Arizona Shooting Showcase on March 25-26
Check out the latest firearms and enjoy some of the specialty shooting not normally available to the public at the Arizona Game and Fish Department Shooting Showcase, March 25-26 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility.

You’ll have a unique opportunity to try out pistols, rifles and shotguns on the range, talk to manufacturers' reps, and sample cowboy action shooting, rifle and pistol silhouette, black powder, trap, and other competitive shooting disciplines. Plus, we’ll have exciting shooting demonstrations by experts and informative workshops on shooting and hunting.

Admission and parking are free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is located on the northwest corner of I-17 and Carefree Highway in north Phoenix. Exit I-17 at Carefree Highway (Exit 223) and go 1/2 mile west to the entrance at Long Shot Lane.

For sportsmen's and shooting clubs interested in being exhibitors, indoor booths are available at a special reduced rate. Reserve your booth by contacting the Showcase event coordinator, We Are Arizona, by e-mail or by telephone at (480) 219-2388.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department 2006 Shooting Showcase is sponsored by Sportsman’s Warehouse. For more information, visit azgfd.gov/showcase on the Web.

Shooting Showcase logo

Visit Arizona Game and Fish at the Phoenix ISE show, March 10-12
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will have an extensive presence at this year’s International Sportsmen’s Exhibition, with everything from live wildlife to virtual shooting. Visit our exhibits, obtain information, and talk with department representatives about hunting, fishing, off-highway vehicle opportunities and boating safety. Plus, we’ll be conducting presentations on fishing, small game hunting and outdoor safety and survival.

The show runs from March 10-12 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix. Show hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 (free for children age 12 and under). Parking is $7. For more information, click here.

Conservation groups donate training aids
The Arizona Bowhunters Association and the Wildlife Conservation Council have donated several training aids to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Hunter Education Program. The seven deer models have simulated vitals on one side and pre-drilled channels that an arrow can go through to show the type of hit results with different shot placements. Many thanks to these organizations for their generous contribution to hunter education.

Dates to remember
Feb. 10-16: Juniors-only javelina
Feb. 17: HAM javelina opens; general javelina opens in selected units
March 1: Deadline for written public comment on hunt guidelines and recommendations
March 10-12: International Sportsmen’s Exposition, Arizona State Fairgrounds, Phoenix
March 24: General spring bear opens; archery-only spring bear opens in selected units
March 25 and 26: Arizona Shooting Showcase, Ben Avery Shooting Facility, Phoenix
April 22: Arizona Game and Fish Commission Meeting (hunt orders)

Game recipe
Barbecued javelina

From the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s “Almost All Things Edible” cookbook

  • 3-5 pounds boned javelina shoulder or ham
  • 2-3 pounds white onions
  • 20-30 whole cloves
  • 1 quart favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 quart water

Slice and quarter the onions. Reserve half the onions in a covered bowl and refrigerate. With a paring knife, make 20-30 small slits in the meat and push a clove into each opening. Arrange half of the remaining sliced onions on the bottom of a crockpot and add meat with the remaining onions on the top. Add water to cover and cook on low for eight hours or high for four hours. Remove meat to cutting board, reserve cooked onions, discard remaining juices. Shred and cut up the meat, being sure to keep visible uncooked cloves. Add meat, the cooked onions, the reserved uncooked onions and barbecue sauce to crockpot. Cook on low heat for four to six hours, stirring occasionally. Serve on large hamburger buns.

Hot links

Thank you hunters!
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 State. When you purchase a rifle, ammunition, archery equipment and other sporting gear, you pay a federal excise tax and import duties. Since 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. In 2004, that meant over $5 million for game management in Arizona. This money paid for game surveys, hunter education classes, wildlife water catchment construction and wildlife research, among other projects. Hunters like you are part of the largest and most successful wildlife conservation programs in the world… Thank you.