Think safety first when hunting
While planning on hunting deer, we need to remember that safety is the responsibility of each individual hunter. Game and Fish offers three primary rules for hunting safely: Treat every firearm or bow as if it were loaded; treat it with respect. Always point the muzzle or arrow in a safe direction. Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.
Hunters hoping for a successful deer hunt should be familiar with the terrain and know where to find thick cover and natural trail routes such as draws, brushy fence lines, thick timber or low places on high ridges, and you should have your body conditioned for the hunt.
Avoid hypothermia when you're in cold country. Both days and nights can be very cold so prepare for warm and cold weather. It's been known to rain, too, so be sure to carry dry matches in case you need to build a fire. Be sure you take along plenty of warm clothing — waterproof jackets and warm, dry socks can be worth their weight in gold especially if it's wet and the wind is blowing. A ground cover and extra warm sleeping bag are definitely a plus.
Practice is the key. I hope you've done yours and are able to use your bow and arrow or rifle accurately to prevent needlessly wounding and losing your deer. A good idea to always use binoculars to identify your game. It's also a good idea to wear something bright, either a hat or vest, or both so your movements don't get mistaken for wild game in the field.
Make the choice to not shoot small deer and give them a chance to grow. It's the only way a young buck will ever have a chance to grow to maturity. There are plenty of large-size antlered deer in the wooded and desert areas in Arizona to fill that tag.
While you are in the field, think about the fact that for a buck to have heavy antlers and a large body, he must be allowed to live to be at least 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 years old. Bucks in many areas of the country are harvested the first year they put on antlers, at 1-1/2 years of age. Whether you hunt private or leased lands, if you want more trophy bucks to hunt in many regions, you must not take spike bucks or bucks with antlers less than 12 inches wide. By protecting the young bucks, you eventually will have more older, larger bucks to hunt.
When the hunt is on, avoid other hunters. Hunt earlier in the day and farther from roads. Hunt when other hunters do not. Mid-week is a good time when bucks have had time to calm down from the previous weekends hunt.
It does no good to hunt when the wind is wrong or when you spook your buck. And still hunting an area when it's too dry and noisy only lets the deer know you're around.
When you have harvested your deer and want to sample the meat, try Venison Curry in camp. Easy to put together and so tasty.
Take 1 pound venison (works with other game meat as well) stew meat, 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 medium onion, thinly sliced, 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger, 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) tomatoes, with liquid, 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in boiling water. Directions: Toss stew meat in flour, shaking off excess. In a cast iron or other large skillet or dutch oven, saute venison in hot oil until browned. Add onion, ginger, curry, tomatoes with liquid (break up tomatoes) and beef bouillon. Cover and cook on low heat, keeping a slow boil, for 1-1/2 hours or until meat is fork tender. Serve over hot, cooked rice. If you wish to thicken the sauce, add one to two tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in small amount of cold water and stir into curry until desired thickness is reached.
Game and Fish reports youth waterfowl hunting experience is being offered in the effort to reverse the trend of youth spending idle time inside behind a television or computer. “There is an alarming number of youth growing up with little outdoor experience and little knowledge of nature,” said officer Luke Apfel, wildlife manager for the Game and Fish region 3 office in Kingman.
Along with the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, Ducks Unlimited, Topock Elementary School and the Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges, Game and Fish will be hosting the inaugural Junior Waterfowl Camp. The effort will be held at Pintail Slough located in Golden Shores within the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Jan. 4-6. The waterfowl hunt is limited to 18 junior hunters, 12-17 years old, although additional activities will be available to others wanting to attend. “This is just a great opportunity for parents to get outside with their kids and enjoy the outdoors,” Apfel said. “Efforts such as this help foster an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors.”
While the camp is free (the $40 mandatory deposit with the application will be returned upon arrival at the camp), any youth 14 and over needs to have a hunting license and those 16 and over also need the federal and state duck stamps. There are other parts to the camp that will be open to the public, such as archery instruction and shotgun clay pigeon shooting. There will also be great fishing opportunities in the area — something the whole family can enjoy. To apply, visit www.azgfd.gov/waterfowlcamp to download an application or contact the Game and Fish Region 3 office at 692-7700. The deadline to apply is noon Friday.
• Yuma-area archery for all ages: All archers are invited to shoot the trail of 3D animals with Renegade Archers at 7:30 a.m. Sundays at the Foothills Archery Range located east of Foothills Blvd. near the Gila Mountains, south side of I-8. Directions: Take the south Frontage Road from I-8 at South Foothills Blvd., drive 2 miles east to Avenue 15E, turn right and drive south 1 mile just past the Golf Range Pond on the right. Turn left (east) at the Archery Range signs and follow the dirt road to the range. Adult fees are $3, youngsters always shoot free with free use of bow and arrows available upon request prior to the shoot. A great opportunity for both youngsters and adults to learn how to shoot and enjoy archery or for experienced archers to get in the needed practice and have fun. Call Jean or Kevin at 247-4450 or 726-0953.
• Archery with Southwest Bowhunters at Adair Park: Nov. 17-18 “Walk the Trail Fun Shoot” with 60 McKenzie 3D targets and a lighted practice range. This is a fun shoot. There will be no trophies or Saturday night dinner. The snack bar will be open throughout the weekend with burgers, chips, sodas, water. Fees are: Family $25, individual (18 and up) $20, youth (14-17) $8, cub 10-13 $5, with peewees and half-pints (under 10) free. Shooting from sunrise Saturday until noon Sunday. Call Zach Slette at 246-8381, Larry Leake 342-5181 or Uschi House 345-3770. 7 a.m. Sunday shoots will continue as usual until and after the Fun Shoot.
• Yuma Trap and Skeet Club: Open trap and skeet 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays at Adair Park. Call Gary Knight at 210-0805.
• Yuma Territorial Longrifles Club: Open black powder matches 1st and 3rd Saturdays each month at Adair Park. Call Dennis Hansel at 342-7573.
• Cholla Gun Club: Open .22 pistol and rifle silhouette at 8:30 a.m. Fridays at the Adair Park metallic silhouette range. Call Rick or Glenda at 502-0736.
• Yuma Rifle and Pistol Club: For shooting information at the Adair Park big bore range, call Paul Lerma at 783-6766 or Gerald Brooker at 305-9681.
• Yuma Matchmasters: Open Cowboy Match Oct. 28 at the Adair Park small bore range with sign-up by 7:30 a.m., the shoot at 8 a.m. Call Ron Gissendaner at 726-0022.
• Desert Bass Anglers: Stay in practice to fish the Nov. 3 team tournament launching out of Fisher's Landing. Stay ready for the President's Choice Tournament being held Dec. 1 with the angler of the year presentation and tri-tip dinner for members and guests at Fisher's Landing. Call Mac or Bobbi McDermott at 726-1984.
• Yuma Pro Am Series: Check online at Bob@yumaproam.com or call Bob La Londe at 580-1270 for club and tournament information. Pay the $15 membership and reasonable entry fees online.
• Wednesday Jackpot Derby and Monthly Swede Ferguson Big Bass Derby at Fisher's: Entry $5 for each Wednesday Jackpot Derby with sign-up at 8 a.m. at the gas dock, weigh-in around 1 p.m. with the winner taking all for one big fish, any species: $10 sign-up anytime during each month to fish the Swede Ferguson Bass Competition with the winner taking all for the biggest bass determined the last day each month. Call Jimmy Phipps at 782-2207.
• MCAS Recreation Area: Call Mike Castello at 783-3422 to learn about fishing, camping and other outdoor activities open to all military personnel and their families at Martinez Lake/Colorado River areas.
• Bass Class on the Water: Want to learn when, where and how to catch bass at local waters in all seasons and conditions with a bass boat and all equipment provided? Call Dave Willhide at 782-2621. Ask about seminars available for RV parks and home groups.
Contact Jean Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 247-4450.