Christmas gift ideas for the hunter in your family
I have included Larry Voyles letter in this week's column because of the interest and concern in the situation by many local deer hunters who hunt the Kaibab National Forest areas where the condors reside.
“Cooperative conservation, not ban, is best approach to condor-lead issue, writes Larry Voyles, director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department in a recent letter in answer to the “My Turn” opinion piece published Nov. 12 when Kieran Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity and Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club as well as by Kim Crumbo of the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council in their summarization of their stance on the California condor reintroduction project in Arizona made their final statement: “No animal in Arizona should die from preventable lead poisoning.” Voyles writes, “The issue is, of course, not whether animals should die from lead poisoning, but rather, the real issue is what the best approach is to address the problem of lead poisoning. The environmental litigation groups headed by Suckling, Bahr and Crumbo have taken the approach of suing the federal court to order the U.S. Forest Service to ban lead ammunition for hunting in the Kaibab National Forest. The Arizona Game and Fish Department favors a different approach.”
“Repatriation of condors in Arizona faced intense local opposition. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gained support by developing agreements with local parties, under provisions of the Endangered Species Act. These agreements were memorialized through rules published in the Code of Federal Regulations. These rules constituted promises to local groups in exchange for their support. Some of those promises have since become the center of intense controversy. In the case of the condor, the service promised not to seek the regulation of lead in ammunition. The Game and Fish Department has been consistent in its belief that agencies must live up to those legally-binding promises. Failure to do so risks the loss of local support which in our experience, can make or break critical endangered species programs. Every in-the-field success in condor repatriation to date has been accomplished through partnership with fellow conservationists — on the ground, not in a courtroom.
The Southwest Condor Working Group, which includes Arizona Game and Fish, the Peregrine Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 24 other partners, has devoted countless hours and well over a million dollars annually to fieldwork and outreach programs to make condor reintroduction successful. Today, 80-90 percent of Arizona hunts use non-lead ammo or physically remove big game gut piles from the field to reduce the amount of lead available to condors. Today, 77 condors fly free in Arizona-Utah where once there were none because of this groups efforts. Now Utah is emulating the very successful Arizona program to address the condor's increasing use of its lands.
The Southwest Condor Working Group is devoted to keeping condors in the wild in Arizona. Free-ranging condors exist entirely because of this group's dedication.
Voyles finished his letter with, “I was initially taken aback by the authors' vitriolic characterization of the Arizona Game and Fish Department as an agency that shoots, traps and kills threatened and endangered species. In spite of the dramatic condor photo accompanying the opinion piece, virtually no public outcry or response occurred. Either the public saw through the diatribe or the public has grown so jaded, as a result of the name calling and never-ending environmental litigation, that their passion for wildlife is waning. For those of us who love wildlife and wild places and the sight of a condor majestically souring above vermillion cliffs, that would be the ultimate tragedy.”
• Christmas gift ideas: With Christmas coming, a great gift idea for that hunter/fisherman or woman in your life would be the 2013 Wildlife calendar put together by Arizona Game and Fish Department. Find the full size wall calendar in the Nov./Dec. issue of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine featuring winning photos from this year's wildlife photo contest. Still available to subscribers, order at www.azgfd.gov/magazine or call 1-800-777-9915. Single copies are sold at Game and Fish. Another great Christmas gift would be “Hunting Arizona's Small Game,” a fantastic resource for hunting small game, birds, and mammals from quail and doves to squirrels and rabbits that covers their behavior and habits, how to select the right firearm and gear up for the hunt, how to succeed in the field and care of the harvest. Go to azgfd.gov/publications or call 1-602-942-3000. The book will be on sale Monday at Game and Fish offices over-the-counter. Also ask about the Arizona Fishing Guide as well as maps to outdoor hunting and fishing areas in Arizona. Also ask Game and Fish about the HabiMap Arizona. Other gift ideas include leftover spring hunt tags for javelina, turkey and archery bear that are still available. Be sure to pick up the 2013 hunting and fishing license as well, a great stocking stuffer. Extra warm outdoor clothing, including thermal underwear, boots, gloves and caps, even no-scent deodorant and the no-scent clothing spray are other good ideas as well as tents and shades or ground blinds, sleeping bags, air mattresses, extra tent stakes and tarps. Camp tables and chairs also come in mighty handy for any outdoors enthusiast. Fishing poles and reels as well as artificial baits will always bring a bright smile to any avid fisherman or youngster.
• Desert Bass Anglers: Congratulations to the club's Robert Murray, 2012 “Angler of the Year,” on doing such a great job this year with fishing pole in hand. Job well done, Robert!
Twenty-three boats competed in the annual President's Choice (4-fish limit) Tournament with Manuel Garcia/Scott Stiffins winning top honors with 11.61 followed in second place by Jimmy Phipps, fishing alone, with 11.31. In 3rd place was the team of Joe Mayerchik/Jeff Cotten with 10.22 while Lance Adams, also fishing alone, took 4th place with 9.89. The father/son team, Ron and Doug Terhawk, placed 5th with 8.80. Hammer Kuanda took 1st place big fish with a 5.72 pounder as well as winning the junk option with a 1.29 crappie. 2nd place big fish was won by the Terhawk's with a bass weighing 4.18. The fun raffle was a great success with donations by local merchants and anglers. Stay in practice for the Jan. 5 Team Tournament launching out of Fisher's Landing, open to all anglers with tournament approved boats having remote steering and kill switches as well as a livewell with aeration capable of supporting a 5-fish limit of bass. Call Mac or Bobbi McDermott at 726-1984.
• Yuma Pro Am Series: Check next week's column for results of the 2012 Toys for Tots Tournament held Dec. 15. Time once again to pay the $15 dues for 2013 as well as paying all tournament fees online at email@example.com.
• Wednesday Jackpot Derby: Entry $5 each Wednesday with sign-up at 8 a.m. at Fisher's gas dock;, weigh-in around 1 p.m. with the winner taking all for one big fish, any species. Call Jimmy Phipps at 782-2207.
• Swede Ferguson Memorial Monthly Bass Derby: Sign-up $10 anytime during each month to fish with the winner taking the pot with the biggest bass determined the last day each month. Call Phipps for information or to sign up.
• American Bass: Jan. 12 is the Yuma Region Bass Tournament launching out of Fisher's with advance registration being sent to Jeff Woods, 2520 Tara Lane, Riverside, CA 92506 anytime prior to 7 days before the tournament or sign-up also 5-7 p.m. the night before the tournament or the day of the event at Fisher's. Any person living within the Yuma region does not need to be an ABA member the first year. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jeff Woods at 1-951-201-9461.
• MCAS Recreation Area: Call Mike Castello at 783-3422 at the recreation area at Martinez Lake to learn about the various fishing, camping and other outdoor activities on hand along the Colorado River at Martinez, open to all military personnel and families.
• Bass Class on the Water: If you'd like to learn about bass fishing including all the tricks of the trade, call Dave Willhide of Goin' Fishin' Productions at 782-2621. He'll teach you everything you need to know to catch those big bass at local waters at all times of the year with a bass boat and all equipment provided. Ask about the fishing seminars for RV parks and home groups.
• Renegade Archers of Yuma: All archers are welcome to shoot the 3D trail shoots at the Foothills Archery Range located east of Foothills Blvd, south of I-8 with adult fees $3, youngsters always free. Bows and arrows available, also free to use, for anyone by calling Jean or Kevin at 247-4450 or 726-0953 prior to any Sunday shoot. It's a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning how to shoot and enjoy archery as well as for experienced archers to stay in practice and have fun. Give us a call if you'd like to come shooting with us (be sure to leave your phone number for us to call back).
• Southwest Bowhunters: 3D trail shoots on Sundays for all archers at Adair Park with the practice range open all week. Call Wayne Wittenberg at 314-0140 for shooting times.
• Yuma Trap and Skeet Club: Open trap and skeet 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Adair Park range. Call Gary Knight at 210-0805. Ask about the Youth Sporting Clays Program practicing at the range each week.
• Yuma Territorial Longrifles Rendezvous 2013: All black powder enthusiasts are welcome to attend the Jan. 17-20 Rendezvous at Adair Park with primitive and Tin TeePee camping as well as Traders Row (all traders welcome with no traders fee). Events include Rifle, paper and gong; Trade Gun, gong and paper; Pistol, gong and paper; Knife and Hawk. Shooting fees include adults $20 with family $30 plus a blanket prize per shooter worth $10 or more (something you'd like to have). Saturday evening 5:30 p.m. barbecue and potluck. The club will furnish the cooked meat. Your ticket to attend is one side dish. Anyone not registered to shoot and wishing to attend the dinner must bring a potluck dish and pay $5 per person (fee does not apply to family members of registered shooters). Shooting times: The range will open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. All firing will be completed by 5 p.m. Saturday. The Fort Shoot will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday with awards at 1 p.m. Call Dennis Hansel at 342-7573 or Glenda Graves at 502-0736.
• Cholla Gun Club: Holding a variety of silhouette matches at the Adair Park range with disciplines for hunter pistol, lever guns, high-power, small bore and black powder cartridge with the season running through the end of April 2013. Call Rick or Glenda at 502-0736.
• Yuma Rifle and Pistol Club: Call Paul Lerma at 782-6766 or Gerald Brooker at 305-9681 for information on December Matches at the Adair Park big bore range.
• Yuma Matchmasters: Shooters can sign-up at 7 a.m. with the shooter's meeting at 7:30 a.m. at the Adair Park small bore range. Monthly schedule: 1st Saturday - Steel Challenge Match; 2nd Sunday - IPSC Combat Match; 4th Sunday - Cowboy Match. Call Ruth Wilmot at 726-7727.
Contact Jean Wilson at email@example.com or call 247-4450.