What you bring in, be sure to pack it out
Here we go again — same ol' thing, different day! I'm talking about our early dove season and, as usual, with bunches of “slobs” leaving their spent shells and other trash out there for someone else to pick up and take care of. I just hope the farmers whose lands we still get to hunt on don't get fed up with the mess and leave us with “No Hunting” signs posted at our favorite hunting areas when the next season rolls around. That's what will eventually happen if we don't change our ways. It's inevitable! Just a matter of time.
Instead of having that happen, join us in getting back out to our hunt areas, with trash bags in hand, to pick up every single bit of debris left by others. Someone has to do it and it might as well be us. No, that's not the way it should be, but it's a fact and we have to face it or stand the chance of losing our favorite honey hole next time we venture out to fill our game bag. Even early evening isn't too terribly bad out there in spite of our usual heat and humidity. It's a good time to fill the trash bag and take it all home for proper disposal. Just be sure to take along plenty of drinking water to keep hydrated.
Not only is the trash in the way and unsightly, spent shells can damage and destroy the farmers' expensive equipment. They won't have a choice but to shut it down and keep us away. We don't want that, so let's do what we need to do and get it all cleaned up.
While we're talking cleaning up, there will be the additional annual trash cleanup the morning of Dec. 1 to celebrate Public Lands Day in the Yuma area, with early sign-up at Mittry Lake (at the boat ramp). Hot dogs will be waiting when you're done. Dumpsters will be located at the lake as well as near the Adair Park turnoff on Highway 95. Take your trash bags and fill them at most outlying areas, fill the dumpsters put out by BLM, then get back to Mittry Lake so you can fill yourselves up on the tasty hot dogs with all the trimmings. Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club will assist and be doing the cooking so it's bound to be a treat.
A message to always remember for anyone who enjoys our precious outdoor areas: Don't be a litte bug. Do yourself and us a favor — pack it in, pack it out, and always leave it better than you find it.
• Free Youth Quail and Small Game Camp is Oct. 19-21: Youngsters and their parents can get signed up at Game and Fish to enjoy this great weekend at Unit 41 near Dateland with camping, great food prepared by the camp sponsor Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club, along with lots of raffle prizes for the kids and mentors to assist each youngster and parent for a safe and successful hunt. There will also be extra activities that Saturday, including archery among other fun activities. For information, call the Yuma Regional Office of Game and Fish at 342-0091 or Doug Beach, president of YVRGC, at 446-1122.
• Arizona Hunter Safety Education Class is the week of Sept. 24: It's free! Call Sprague's Sports at 726-0022 to sign up (youngsters 10-14 must have completed the class in order to hunt big game in Arizona). Open to anyone wanting to hunt, even for experienced hunters to take advantage of as a refresher. The learning is incredible.
• Over-the-counter Javelina Hunt/Mohawk Valley: Must be a legal resident to apply for license and tag to take each of two javelinas to prevent them from damaging crops in the farmers' fields. Must contact farmers in the area prior to hunting. For details, contact Game and Fish at 342-0091. Any adult able to assist as a mentor at this event will be most welcome. Be sure to contact Game and Fish for proper sign-up and information.
• Spring hunt application deadline Oct. 9: Don't miss out on applying for turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear. Online applications service is available. Get your copy of the information booklet (regulations) from local license dealers or from any Game and Fish office.
• Kaibab hunts with non-lead ammo: When I reported earlier that Game and Fish would provide non-lead ammunition to hunters so as to not endanger California condors in the Kaibab while hunting, I was wrong. They no longer provide the ammo. I goofed, sorry about that! They do, however, encourage hunters to use non-lead ammo because lead is an issue with condors in the area.
• Deer hunt assist: Want help with your deer hunt? Get your free deer hunting tips with Marty Prokop, deer hunting expert, at www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com. Information includes being aware of weather and wind speed and direction issues in the area in order to zero in on a big buck at any range under any circumstances, as well as learning about bullet drift when wind is hitting your gun barrel at certain angles, along with steps to take for successful deer scouting to name just a hint of what is available out there to fill that freezer with deer meat.
• Youngsters wanting to shoot firearms: Yuma Young Guns is open to young men and women, ages 9-25, who are interested in the Shotgun Shooting Sports with the Yuma Scholastic Clay Target Program with instruction by Arizona Game and Fish-certified coaches in shotgun safety (course mandatory for first-time club athletes), use of a club 12-gauge or 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun during practice, trap and skeet shooting skills and teamwork, sportsmanship, concentration and focus training. Contact head coach H. McNutt at 314-0179, coach John Gross 580-4836 or coach Wes Burch at 580-4495.
• 4-H Yuma County Shooting Sports Program: Open to 4-H club members with safety training and a first shoot Sept. 22 at the Yuma County Fairgrounds. Call Stanley Gourley at 344-0740 or the 4-H office at 726-3904.
• Venture Shooting Sports for boys and girls: Contact Yuma-area Boy Scouts for information on their firearms programs available in the Yuma area. Call the office at 782-1896.
• Yuma-area archery for all ages: Come shoot the trail of 3D target animals at 7:30 a.m. Sundays with Renegade Archers at the Foothills Archery Range located east of Foothills Blvd. up against the Gila Mountains, south side of I-8. Directions: Taking the south Frontage Road from I-8, at south Foothills Blvd., drive 2 miles east to Avenue 15E, turn right and head south 1 mile to 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 $3, with youngsters always free of charge, free use of equipment by request prior to the shoot. We are very glad to help any child or adult learn how to shoot. Call Jean Wilson at 247-4450 or Kevin at 726-0953.
• Southwest Bowhunters also shoot archery at 7 a.m. Sundays at Adair Park, open to all archers, with the practice range open all week. Call Wayne Wittenberg at 314-0140.
• 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 at 8:30 a.m. 1st and 3rd Saturdays each month at Adair Park. Call Dennis Hansel at 342-7573.
• Cholla Gun Club: Open .22 Rifle and Pistol Silhouette “Fun” Matches 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: Open Vintage Match Saturday with a High Power Match Sunday at the Adair Park big bore range with sign-up by 6:30 a.m. Open to civilian, service, women, men and junior shooters. Call Paul Lerma at 783-6766 or Gerald Brooker at 305-9681. Ask about their youth shooting program.
• Yuma Matchmasters: Open Cowboy Match Sept. 23 at the Adair Park small bore range. Call Ron Gissendaner at 726-0022.
• Desert Bass Anglers “The Fun Way to Fish”: Higher-than-high humidity with no breeze at all made for the worse day fishing seen in a long time for anglers at their latest competition. However, some limits were enjoyed in spite of weather conditions, with Joe Mayerchik/Jeff Cotten taking the top spot with their 15.92 total followed by Craig Johnson/Jimmy Phipps with 14.12. K. Kuanda enjoyed third place with his 13.15 total. Robert Munoz weighed in the 1st place big fish, a 4.87 bass, while Craig Gilbert/Candi Rojas placed 2nd big fish with 4.81. The junk fish option was won by Brian Crawford/Shaun Cogswell with a 1.80 catfish. Anglers can sign-up 45 minutes prior to safe light to launch out of Fisher's Landing on Oct. 6 competition. Call Mac or Bobbi McDermott for details and club information with annual dues $15 ($10 each additional family member).
• Yuma Pro Am Series: Check online at Bob@yumaproam.com or call Bob La Londe at 580-1270 for latest results and details on upcoming tournaments. Pay the $15 membership and reasonable entry fees online as well.
• Wednesday Jackpot Derby at Fisher's Landing: Entry $5 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. Also fish the Swede Ferguson Memorial Bass Derby each month with $10 sign-up anytime during the month at Fisher's. Winner takes all for biggest bass determined the last day of the month. Call Jimmy Phipps at 782-2207.
• Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club: Check next week's column for results of the first-ever Cats and Carp Slime Fest held this weekend with weigh-in today at Fisher's Landing. Call David or Jonathan Parrish at 941-6168.
• MCAS Recreation Area: Call Mike Castello at 783-3422 to learn about fishing, camping and other outdoor activities at Martinez Lake/Colorado River for Yuma area military personnel and families.
• Bass Class on the Water: To learn how, when and where to catch bass at local waters in all seasons and conditions in the Yuma area with a bass boat and all equipment provided, call Dave Willhide at 782-2621. Ask about seminars available for RV parks and home groups.
• Slim Evans Memorial Catfish Derby: Sept. 29-30 with $20 entry per person with $100 guaranteed for 1st place along with a new rod and reel provided by Fisher's Landing Resort with fishing from 2 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday with scales closing Sunday at 7 a.m. in time for the $5 breakfast available to all contestants at Fisher's Grill. Sign-up at the gas dock with late sign-up in the bar until 8 p.m. Saturday.
Contact Jean Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 247-4450.