New rule for future license, fees
As reported by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Commission's legislation, Senate Bill 1223, which would allow the commission to set future license structure and fees (including all licenses types, permits, tags, stamps and watercraft registrations) directly through a streamlined, customer-focused rulemaking process, was passed unanimously by the Arizona Senate's Appropriations Committee on Feb. 19 with the addition of an amendment sponsored by Senator Don Shooter.
The amendments adds an expiration date of July 1, 2019, to 17-333(A) on Page 11, line 17. The amended text reads: “Through July 1, 2019, the commission shall prescribe by rule license classifications that are valid for the taking or handling of wildlife, fees for licenses, permits, tags and stamps and application fees.”
This is an added “check and balance” on the commission's authority under the new bill. The commission would need to seek reauthorization, through the legislature, to extend this authority after that date. The commission was briefed on the amendment at a public telephonic meeting recently where they were to vote to take a formal position to provide the department with direction. SB 1223, previously was unanimously passed by the Arizona Senate's Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee on Feb. 6.
• Arizona Commissioners special elk tag at the Arizona Elk Society banquet March 23: A coveted Arizona Commissioners special elk tag is one of the premium auction items being offered during the 12th annual Arizona Elk Society banquet in Mesa on March 23. The tag will be sold during the live auction. Other special tags that evening will include an Arizona special buffalo tag and Hualapai exclusive bull elk tag.
Every dollar raised from this elk tag goes directly to the management of elk in Arizona and allows for a multitude of wildlife conservation projects. Management of the dollars and projects are in coordination with the Arizona Habitat Partnership Committee. Projects range from water improvements, wildlife friendly fencing, wildlife studies, game surveys, translocations, habitat restorations, land acquisitions and more. Many of these projects are matched and further leveraged with other funding sources, labor, or supplied materials, stretching every dollar spent even further.
In the end, the real winners of the Special Big Game License Tag Program are the citizens of Arizona. Through the dedication of concerned hunters and sportsmen, Arizonans can continue to enjoy the state's full complement of diverse wildlife for generations to come. “This is a great opportunity for someone to be able to take an exceptional Rocky Mountain Elk while simultaneously raising critical funds needed for elk habitat and conservation efforts in Arizona,” said AES president Steve Clark. “The Arizona Elk Society is proud to be part of this great effort and we appreciate the partnership we have with the Arizona Game and Fish to determine where these funds will be spent through the Habitat Partnership Committee.” This special elk tag is good for one calendar year starting Aug. 15 of this year and good until Aug. 14, 2014.
Joining the Arizona Elk Society is the best way to support Arizona's elk and other wildlife as well as protecting our hunting heritage for future generations. Join now at www.arizonaelksociety.org or call 1-602-885-0835 or contact Scott Kelly at 1-480-206-3435, also visit www.blackdogpromotions.com or www.facebook.com/bdpevents. The vision of the Arizona Elk Society is to have quality wildlife habitat to support a balanced elk herd and benefit other wildlife.
Anyone interested in archery, beginner or experienced, has a lot to choose from for getting in on the enjoyment of shooting archery, be it for practice, competition or fun recreation. At the Foothills Archery Range, get together with Renegade Archers for 3D trail shoots on Sundays beginning at 9 a.m. with adult fees $3, youngsters always free with free use of equipment available and directions to the range in the Foothills by calling Jean or Kevin Wilson at 247-4450 or 726-0953.
There are also Southwest Bowhunters at Adair Park with archery shoots every Sunday at 9 a.m. They also have the practice range open all week for that much-needed practice between shoots. Call Wayne Wittenberg at 314-0140.
If you'd like to travel a bit to enjoy fun competition and meet other archers, take advantage of going to Blythe Saturday and March 10 for Blythe Bowmen's annual invitational with three trails of 20 targets each and awards to third place plus novelty shoots. Divisions will be for men, women, youth 13-14, youth 15-17, cub 9-12 and peewee 8 and under male and female as well as senior men and women age 50-plus with classes for open, unlimited, limited, barebow and traditional. Costs are adult and youth 15-17 $28, youth 13-14 $15, cub and peewee $10. Cost for a family of four or more will be total cost of all shooters less $10. Cost to shoot includes one ticket for barbecue dinner at 6 p.m. for each shooter. Binoculars OK, no range finders. Awards and raffles on Sunday will begin at noon. Call John Hall at 1-760-574-2187 or Kyra Ford at 1-760-922-5304 or email Blythe Bowmen at email@example.com. Check the website at blythebowmen.webs.com.
There are some great opportunities for shooting firearms of all disciplines for both practice and competition as well as for the beginner to learn how to shoot his or her chosen firearm at the Adair Park Shooting Range facility located approximately 15 miles northeast of Yuma off Highway 95.
• The Yuma Trap and Skeet Club holds open trap and skeet 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (closed Easter Sunday), noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Adair Park Range. Scholastic clay target practice will be held Wednesdays during March at the range at 4:30 p.m. as well as March 16 and March 30 at 1 p.m. with a March Madness Buckle Shoot at 9 a.m. March 11. The 6 p.m. board meeting will be March 25 at Round Table Pizza. Call Gary Knight at 210-0805.
• Yuma Territorial Longrifles Club: Open black powder matches 1st and 3rd Saturdays at Adair Park with sign-up at 8:30 a.m. Call Dennis Hansel at 342-7573.
• Cholla Gun Club: Will begin open matches each week again this fall. For information, call Glenda or Rick at 502-0736.
• Yuma Division - American Bass: No team has been more consistent this year than the team of Gary Pinholster and Ed Shaver. Catching a big fish in each of the first three tournaments for ABA Yuma Division, Gary and Ed made all the right adjustments Saturday to deal with the fickle bite and tough fishing brought on by dramatic swings in the weather right before our third event. Using umbrella rigs, the team had their limit of bass early and topped their bag off with the tournaments big fish of 4.98 pounds shortly before weigh-in time. Another nice bag of fish and another big fish, not that's consistency and a successful winning pattern! Weighing in a total bag of 15.05 pounds, Gary and Ed took home first place prize money along with additional option money. Allen Hook and Kevin Goss took home the directors cash giveaway but like those from the previous two events, failed to draw the money ship to double their winnings and take home the bonus money. It will be added to the pot for the March 30 event launching out of Fisher's Landing.
Fishing their first tournament with ABA, the husband and wife team of Dave/Shannon Hilton from Kingman cranked their way to a 5-fish limit weighing 13.97. to take second place followed by Joe Mayerchik/Jeff Cotton using cranks and jigs weighing in 13.02 to take third place. Their big fish 3.22 was just one hundredth larger than the team of Jason Swearingin/Robert Devill's big fish who took third big fish at 3.21. Rounding out the top five was the fourth place team of John Turner/Jim Waites who brought in four fish for 12.79 pounds. Fifth place with another 5 fish limit of 10.34 was Ken Howden/Gary Understiller. Overall 50 bass for 14 teams were brought to the scales for a total weight of 110.58. All bass were released alive. Look for a complete list of results on the ABA website at www.americanbass.com. “Yuma Cup” standings race to the cup top ten year-to-date: 1. G. Pinsholster/E.Shaver 219, 2. J. Mayerchik/J. Cotton 218, 3. J.Turner/J. Waites 217, 4. A. Hook/K. Goss 212, 5. K. Howden/G. Understiller 212, 6. C. Voss/L. McDowell 209, 7. T. Hook/R. Stewart 209, 8. G. Key/ T. Rath 208, 9. R. Deville/J. Swearingin 204, 10. R. Mayo/J. Woods 204. Call Jeff Woods at 1-951-201-9461 for ABA tournament Information.
• Desert Bass Anglers: Check next week's column for complete results of yesterday's Colorado River Tournament or call Mac or Bobbi McDermott at 726-1984.
• Wednesday Jackpot Derby: Sign-up $5 each Wednesday at 8 a.m. at Fisher’s Gas Dock with weigh-in 1 p.m. Winner takes the pot for one big fish, any species. Call Jimmy Phipps at 782-2207.
• Swede Ferguson Memorial Monthly Bass Derby: Sign-up $10 anytime each month to fish with the winner taking the pot for biggest bass determined the last day of the month. Call Phipps for details or to sign-up.
• Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club: Open Bass Derby is March 9. Attend the club meeting at 7 p.m. March 6 at American Legion Post 19, 2575 S. Virginia Drive, or call David or Jon Parrish at 941-6168, or sign-up at Sportsmen’s Hideaway until the day before the event.
• Bass Class on the Water: If you’d like to learn the tricks of catching bass at local waters with Dave Willhide, inquire with Dave at 782-2621. You’ll learn everything you want to know to become successful. A bass boat and all equipment is provided for a great day on the water. Ask about fishing seminars for RV parks and home groups.
• MCAS Recreation Area at Martinez Lake: Call Mike Castello at 783-3422 to learn about camping, boating and fishing activities available at the lake and Colorado River for military and families.
Contact Jean Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 247-4450.