As season's turn, be wary of poisonous creatures
A recent report reveals the Arizona Game and Fish Department Commission supports our right to hunt and fish, so If passed by the Arizona Senate, H.C.R. 2008 would let voters decide on a state constitutional amendment to make hunting and fishing a right. It has already passed the Arizona Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Infrastructure and Public Debt by a 5-1 vote. It will next go to the Senate for consideration and, if passed, will go on the ballot in the fall election.
This bill would protect the right of citizens for all time to lawfully hunt and fish as well as retain the commission's authority over wildlife management, as granted by the legislature.
Arizona's constitution, Article 2, Section 26 clearly states that "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired." The intention of this language could not be clearer.
As sessions continue in Phoenix, numerous pro-gun bills are continuing to advance in the legislature with action expected in the near future on several of these bills, including constitutional carry legislation (S.B.1108/H.B. 2347), a bill to prohibit the registration of firearms (H.B. 2629) as well as H.C.R. 2008 mentioned here.
Please continue contacting our people in the state legislature and respectfully urge him or her to help guarantee Arizona's hunting heritage. E-mails are: Amanda Aguirre — firstname.lastname@example.org, Russ Jones — email@example.com, Lynn Pancrazi — firstname.lastname@example.org, and Governor Jan Brewer — www.azgovernor.gov.
To write those who represent us in Phoenix: Arizona State Senate and House of Representatives, Capitol Complex, 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890, or call 800-352-8404. Stay in touch with each of them often as a reminder to protect our rights as citizens of Arizona.
Because our weather is becoming so comfortable for enjoying our great outdoor areas, it's time to take extra care in watching what you do and how/where you do it. As stated in a desert survival booklet put out by YRMC, " Our desert is a fascinating and beautiful part of our country but it can also be deadly if not treated with respect". Snakes and other poisonous creatures love the heat and can be anywhere and everywhere now that it's getting warmer.
Watch where you reach for things such as arrows in bushes that have missed their mark when you're out shooting archery, for one example. No matter what you're doing, never reach where you cannot see. If bitten, the first bit of advice is to not panic. Cutting the bite areas is frowned upon as there is a potential danger of cutting veins, arteries, tendons or nerves. To slow down the spread of venom, you could apply moderately tight shoelaces or rubber bands on both sides of the bite. Ice packs do not keep the venom from circulating and can damage blood vessels and body tissues. Most importantly, keep the victim quiet and transport him or her to the nearest emergency treatment center or hospital as soon as possible. You can immobilize the bitten extremity with a splint until the victim can get professional medical attention.
Do not give a victim alcohol or drugs. If safely possible, it is a good idea to kill the snake and take it to the treatment center for positive identification. Bite signs may include a metallic or rubbery taste in the mouth, with tingling of the tongue or numbness, nausea, weakness and body temperature change.
Besides rattlesnakes in Arizona, there are small coral snakes with patterns of red, yellow and black rings encircling the body. Other creatures that are non-aggressive but have potent venom are scorpions — the one with the most potent venom is small, measuring only 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length, more transparent than others and with slender pincers and tail; female black widow spiders that can be identified by a red or orange marking on the underside of the abdomen; Brown or Fiddleback spider — not the brown recluse residing in the mid west — light tan to brown in color, the size of a nickel or quarter with legs extended, a violin-shaped marking on the back of its head-chest region; and the Gila Monster — a black and yellow or black and pink beaded lizard — the only venomous lizard in the United States.
If bitten, you may need to disengage the jaws as soon as possible, cleanse the bitten area and obtain immediate medical care. Keep in mind that desert animals may be cute but remember they are wild and should be left alone in their natural habitat.
• Yuma Pro/Am: Today's bass tournament will launch early out of Fisher's Landing — check next week's column for results or call Bob La Londe at 520-1270. Also visit email@example.com.
• Yuma Bassmasters: Check next week's column for Saturday's tournament results. Attend the May 4 meeting at 6 p.m. at Yuma River Marine to learn about the May 8 Mittry Lake Tournament. Call Jeff Pacewic at 580, 2031 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
• American Bass: Ken Howden/Jack Guerrette teamed to take the top spot at latest competition with their 22.38 total and the No. 2 Big Fish 6.03 followed by Kalib Lund/Bob La Londe in second place with 20.30 and 1st Place Big Fish honors with their 6.30 pound bass, with Lanny Brock /Greg Abney, third with 17.66. Other results: 4. Kelly Leigh/Jim Waits 14.7, 5. Billy Skinner/Bucky Leigh 14.61, 6. Chris/Mike Walker 13.35, 7. Keith Lute, Rickie Stewart 12.28, 8. Joe Mayorchik/Jack Cotten 11.46, 9. Manuel Garcia Jr./Christian Carter 10.70, 10. Rick Fallon/Michael Matison 9.62, 11. Brenton Lute/Chris Cernik 9.48. Check next week's column for May Tournament news or call Gabe Valdez at 928-897-5691.
• Desert Bass Anglers: Stay in practice for the May 1 Colorado River Tournament launching out of Fisher's Landing. Call Mac or Bobbi McDermott at 726-1984.
• Bass class on the water: To learn how to catch bass in the Yuma area in all seasons and conditions just like the pros, call Dave Willhide at 782-2621.