- Application deadline for elk, pronghorn hunts is Feb. 14
- Incentive trout stockings generate excitement at urban lakes
- Follow legislative issues on the Game and Fish website
- Bald Eagle Workshop set for Flagstaff
- Visit Game and Fish next month at the International Sportsmen’s Expo
- Mark your calendar for the Arizona Game and Fish Outdoor Expo
- Experts discuss quail conservation at national symposium in Tucson
- WSFR program recognizes 75 years of wildlife conservation and partnership success
Application deadline for elk, pronghorn hunts is Feb. 14
The online application service is now available. Visit www.azgfd.gov/draw and click on the online application service link.
For those not using the online process, paper applications can still be mailed to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn: Drawing Section, PO Box 74020, Phoenix, AZ 85087-1052, or they can be hand-delivered to any of the seven Game and Fish offices located in Pinetop, Flagstaff, Kingman, Yuma, Tucson, Mesa and Phoenix. Mailed applications must be received by the department by the deadline; postmarks don’t count.
Remember, a 2012 hunting license is required to apply in the draw. If you haven’t already purchased your license, you can do so through the draw application process. Please keep in mind that if you are purchasing your license online, you must have a working printer handy and print your license out at the time of purchase. The department does not mail out licenses that are purchased online. Licenses can also be purchased at Game and Fish offices and at hunting/fishing license dealers throughout the state.
Copies of the 2012 Pronghorn Antelope and Elk Hunt Draw Information Booklet are available at Game and Fish offices and at hunting license dealers throughout the state. The booklet is also available online at www.azgfd.gov/draw.
Incentive trout stockings generate excitement at urban lakes
Anglers fishing Lakeside Lake in Tucson have reportedly been scoring some nice trout. Two boat anglers fishing with flies landed a couple of 17 inchers, a 19 incher, and lost a larger one. Other boaters using spinners and scented bait landed some monsters of 22 and 24 inches.
Shore anglers were doing well at other lakes with reports of lots of 14-16 inchers and some real bragging-size trout of 19-21 inches. A variety of baits are working on the 12- to 24-inch trout: Power Bait fished off the bottom, worms inflated with a bit of air, minnows, and small spinners such as Roostertails.
Fly fishermen are scoring well using midges, copper johns and simi seal leaches retrieved very slowly. With cold lake temperatures, the bite for catfish, bass and bluegill is slow. Trout fishing is consistently good to excellent at Green Valley lakes in Payson with Power Bait, Super Dupers and Kastmasters working best. Some anglers failed to heed our advice and had some big trout get away because they didn’t have a net.
More trout are being stocked this week (Jan. 23-28).
For more information about the Urban Fishing Program, including where to fish, what to fish for, urban license information and more, visit www.azgfd.gov/urbanfishing.
Follow legislative issues on the Game and Fish website
Are you interested in staying informed about proposed state and federal legislation affecting wildlife, hunting, fishing, shooting sports, off-highway vehicle recreation, boating recreation, or the activities of the Arizona Game and Fish Department?
If so, you can follow legislative issues and actions on the department’s website. There are links to weekly updates on Arizona legislation (while the state legislature is in session), updates on federal congressional legislation, and other valuable information.
Just visit www.azgfd.gov/legislation.
Bald Eagle Workshop set for Flagstaff
To learn more about these amazing birds and to see live eagles, the public is invited to attend this year’s Bald Eagle Workshop on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Willow Bend Environmental Educational Center at 703 E. Sawmill Road in Flagstaff.
There will be a choice of three presentations at this popular event, which is hosted by the Willow Bend Center and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
- 9 a.m. – Family presentation. A great opportunity for families to learn together about bald eagles. The presentation is geared toward youngsters between the ages of 4 and 10. Pre-registration for this presentation is required; you can register at www.willowbendcenter.org/public-programs_family-science_signup.html.
- 10:30 a.m. and Noon – Adult presentations. Open to anyone, but geared toward those age 11 and older – great for students from middle school through college as well as adults. Biologists from Arizona Game and Fish will talk about bald eagle conservation and management. Pre-registration is required for either presentation; you can register at www.willowbendcenter.org/public-programs_adult_signup.html.
Depending on the weather, field trips to observe eagles in the wild are scheduled to follow all of the presentations. The day will also include an opportunity to see live bald eagles up close and personal, and a chance to talk with dedicated individuals from Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation.
“The primary goal of the workshop is educate people about eagles in Arizona but also to show the importance of wildlife management and the cooperation involved,” says Arizona Game and Fish Public Information Officer Shelly Shepherd.
Sapna Sopori, director at Willow Bend adds, “We are very excited to be partnering with Game and Fish this year. We will always take advantage of the opportunity to work with the department to provide exceptional workshops about Arizona’s wildlife and habitats.”
People are reminded to dress appropriately for weather conditions, and bring binoculars, bird field guidebooks, snacks and water.
The event is free, but optional $5 donations will be accepted (and appreciated) to help cover costs. To register or for more information, visit www.willowbendcenter.org.
Visit Game and Fish next month at the International Sportsmen’s Expo
Your chance to catch a fish, shoot a bow and arrow, see live wildlife, and experience all kinds of outdoor booths and activities is coming up soon at the International Sportsmen’s Expo (ISE).
The ISE show will be held Thursday, Feb. 23 through Sunday, Feb. 26 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will once again have a robust presence at this terrific outdoor exposition, including the Kids Fishing Tank, live wildlife from the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, wildlife asset sales (antlers, mounts, etc.), and more.
ISE hosts nearly 300 companies with exhibit booths, including local outdoor retailers and product manufacturers, plus guides, outfitters, lodges and resorts.
For more information, including hours and admission prices, visit www.sportsexpos.com.
Mark your calendar for the Arizona Game and Fish Outdoor Expo
Arizona’s largest hands-on outdoor expo will have loads of hands-on experiences, demonstrations, exhibits and presentations on activities such as fishing, archery, wildlife viewing, shooting sports, hunting, camping, boating, and off-highway vehicle recreation.
In addition to the hands-on opportunities and displays, there will be the opportunity to visit with many sportsmen’s and conservation organizations, shooting organizations, government agencies, and commercial vendors of outdoor products and services.
The event is held on the 1,600-acre grounds of the world-renowned Ben Avery Shooting Facility, a five-star range that is listed as a Phoenix Point of Pride.
And one of the best things about this popular event? Admission and parking are free!
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 31 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 1. The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is located on Carefree Highway, ½ mile west of I-17.
For more information, visit www.azgfd.gov/expo.
Experts discuss quail conservation at national symposium in Tucson
More than 15 states represented at Game and Fish hosted event
The symposium, which is the largest periodic meeting of quail scientists and managers in the country, marked the seventh gathering of experts who convene every five years to deliver and discuss findings on biology, ecology, conservation, genetics, economics, hunting, and social science.
The symposium involved two days of educational and informative presentations on Jan. 10-11, with several field trips on Jan. 12.
The presentations focused on quail populations, current trends, and the need for science-driven data to manage quail. Some potential areas to examine would include: changes in hunting techniques, land use practices, predation, and the effects of spring hunting on quail populations.
In Arizona there are four types of quail: Mearns, Gambel’s, scaled, and bobwhite.
Plenary speakers included Dave Brown from Arizona, Katherine Armstrong from Texas, Dr. Fred Guthery from Oklahoma, and Dr. Barry Grand from Alabama.
Brown, former game branch chief for the Arizona Game and Fish Department and retired Arizona State University professor, recapped the information learned from Arizona’s quail research over the last 40 years.
Armstrong discussed navigating the political process to promote quail populations.
“Collaboration is critical between wildlife agencies, hunters, land owners, non-profits, and quail experts,” she said. “I’m optimistic about the future of quail in this country. Habitat enhancement will be critical to recovery of quail numbers.”
Guthery, author of “Beef, Brush, and Bobwhites,” discussed the thresholds for wildlife populations amidst development.
Grand, of the United States Geological Survey, spoke about problem solving, explaining that such issues are much like writing.
“You need to identify who, what, where, when, why, and how,” he said.
Following a series of featured presenters, the symposium followed with a number of shorter educational presentations on quail, including translocation efforts, identifying population trends, and the importance of habitat and rain in overall quail numbers.
Quail VII sponsors included the National Bobwhite Technical Committee, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Safari Club International, The Wildlife Society, and the Arizona Game Rangers.
WSFR program recognizes 75 years of wildlife conservation and partnership success
The “WSFR 75 – It’s Your Nature” celebration brings together many organizations: federal and state fish and wildlife agencies (including the Arizona Game and Fish Department); the hunting, shooting, angling, and boating industries; and, conservation groups, to mark a milestone of partnership success that has led to 75 years of quality hunting, fishing, shooting, boating and wildlife-related recreation. The occasion also marks the beginning of a new era in wildlife conservation, during which the partners will establish new goals for fostering and maintaining partnerships to continue conservation and outdoor recreation into the next 75 years and beyond.
“The Service is proud to join our partners in recognizing more than seven decades of wildlife conservation and quality outdoor recreational opportunities,” said Director Dan Ashe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “With our nation’s support and our partnership’s renewed commitment, WSFR will help more Americans enjoy wildlife and our great outdoors for many years to come.”
Through the WSFR program, several innovative and foundational fish and wildlife conservation programs are administered. The first was created on September 2, 1937 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which raises funds through a dedicated excise tax on sporting guns and ammunition. In 1950, the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act was enacted and added to the WSFR program. Through this law, funds are provided for fish conservation and boating and fishing recreational programs in each state through an excise tax placed on certain fishing and boating equipment and fuels.
“Since its 1937 inception, WSFR has provided more than $14 billion to support fish and wildlife restoration and management,” said Hannibal Bolton, the Service’s assistant director for the WSFR program. “The program and its partners, including the sporting arms industry, conservation groups, and sportsmen and sportswomen, are coming together for this anniversary to renew their commitment to conserve fish and wildlife and enhance hunter, angler, and boater recreation.”
These funds, administered by the Service, are combined with hunting license dollars in each state to fund important state wildlife conservation and hunting programs.
For the current fiscal year, it is estimated the WSFR program will provide about $16.7 million dollars to Arizona for wildlife and sport fish conservation programs.
“That money is crucial to our conservation efforts, because the Arizona Game and Fish Department receives no Arizona tax dollars to operate,” said Arizona Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles. “The majority of our operating revenue comes from sources such as hunting and fishing license sales, the WSFR program, and a few other sources, such as the Heritage Fund from Arizona Lottery dollars.”
“The 75th anniversary of the WSFR program is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the conservation victories that have been made possible because of this innovative funding approach,” said Jonathan Gassett, PhD, president, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “WSFR has made the difference for the survival and abundance of some species, and because of it, many fish and wildlife populations are at historically high levels today.”
Industry and agency partnerships have helped the success of the WSFR program to become what it is today.
“The WSFR programs have not only supported fish and wildlife conservation, they have also supported small businesses that manufacture and sell hunting and fishing equipment,” said Myke Lynch, general manager of Green Top Sporting Goods in Richmond, Virginia. “The industry supporting sportsmen has a multi-million dollar impact on the nation’s economy, and it depends on healthy fish and wildlife populations.”
The WSFR 75th anniversary will include participation in various fish and wildlife conservation events and conferences throughout the year, to culminate with National Hunting and Fishing Day in September 2012.
For more information about the WSFR program and its 75th Anniversary in 2012, visit: