The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking hunters, once again, to keep chronic wasting disease at bay. In case you don’t know, chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal wildlife disease that affects the nervous system of deer and elk. With big game hunts already underway, successful deer and elk hunters are encouraged to bring the head of their harvested animal – especially bucks and bulls – to any department office statewide (http://www.azgfd.com/Agency/Offices/) – call Jon Heale, wildlife health biologist at 623-236-7227. CWD has not yet been detected in Arizona and best to keep it that way!

If you should come in contact with a elk or deer that appears to be affected with CWD, the preferred method for storage is to place the head in a heavy-duty plastic trash bag, and keep it cold or frozen until it can be sampled. The department also requests hunters to provide accurate hunter information (name, telephone number) as well as hunt information (hunt number, game management unit in which the animal was harvested, state and hunting license number). This information is crucial should CWD be detected in a sample.

CWD is transmitted and spread by animal movement and direct contact, which means the illegal importation of a carcass or parts with brain or spinal column tissue of an infected animal could introduce the disease into Arizona. CWD can infect animals of all ages, most frequently noticed in older animals and can affect males more than females. CWD is fatal and there is no treatments or vaccines. Hunters are advised not to shoot, handle or consume any animal that is acting abnormally or appears to be sick. Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing deer or elk. All hunters are asked to contact the department at 800-352-0700 if they see or harvest an animal that appears to be sick. For information about importing a harvested animal in other states, contact cwd-info.org/ (http://cwd-info.org/).

Hunt happenings

QUAIL SEASON IS UNDERWAY: A reminder of Latest reports from Arizona Game and Fish brings good news for Quail hunters for the season running from Oct. 15 through Feb. 6, 2022. As I reported last week, “This is Gambels quail year! If you’ve ever wanted to try quail hunting in Arizona, this is your year! You may not even need a bird dog (though admittedly they’ll make hunting quail easier) because there are Gambel’s quail all over our desert landscapes this season. A great opportunity to introduce a new hunter to the fun that is quail hunting. We think you’ll find that you enjoy watching someone else learn to love the challenge of the hunt as much as you do. So go ahead and invite that friend who’s on the fence about hunting but would love to harvest their own meat, or take a grandchild, any child. Talk to your friends or family about why you love quail hunting and your enthusiasm is sure to spark some interest.

A repeat of things quail hunters need to do: Teach by example with ethical hunting practices, like only taking a few birds in a covey (so the others can keep making more for later), talk about the valuable role hunters play in conservation, and how you enjoy harvesting and eating clean, organic meat. Maybe you love the fancy dishes and tasty stews made with quail, maybe you enjoy the time out hiking some of the most beautiful and rugged country in the Southwest, or maybe you just enjoy working with your dog.

The Essentials:

Hunters age 19 and older need a valid Arizona Hunt License or combo hunt and fish license.

Hunters aged 10-17 only need the Youth Combo Hunt and Fish License.

Youth under age 10 can hunt quail without a license if accompanied by a licensed adult age 18 or older (not more than 2 unlicensed children may accompany 1adult licensed hunter).

The daily bag limit is 15 quail in the aggregate after opening day, of which no more than 15 Gambels, or other quail in the aggregate may be taken in any one day. After Mearns season opens, the 45 possession limit may include 24 Mearns quail of which no more than 8 may be taken in any one day.

Falconry-only season for quail began Sept. 1. Falconers may take up to 3 quail per day with a 9 quail possession limit of which no more than 3 may be taken in any one day.

ARIZONA OUTDOORS SKILLS NETWORK: on pages 114 through 119 in your copy of the Arizona Hunting Regulations 2021-2022 you’ll find a great list of hunting and fishing programs and hunt camps put together for anyone who would like to participate and learn outdoor skills. Check it out. The learning never ends when it comes to hunting and fishing. It’s great to have this readily available when thinking of what we might want to get in on when learning to improve our skills.

YUMA VALLEY ROD AND GUN CLUB: A great raffle in the works now is for a Custom “one of a kind” BBQ that will take care of anything you might want to cook using any method you want to cook it. It has everything you could ever ask for. Many thanks to Larry Pikula who designed and fabricated this beauty and to PSI Industrial Supply for donating all materials as well as to AZ Equipment for donating all final welding needed. Check online at http://rafflecreator.com/pages/39121/custom-bbq-raffle to see the picture of the bbq outfit and to purchase tickets. Tickets are $40 each or 5/$175 with only 200 tickets available making the odds great for anyone who buys a ticket (or two) to be a winner. Who knows, it could be you!

YUMA DESERT DOVES: Check next week’s column to learn about a group called Yuma Desert Doves learning everything about hunting and wildlife conservation and putting it all to use, who will hold a meeting 6 a.m. Oct 21 at Brewers off Avenue B. in case you might be interested.

Fishing clubs

YUMA HIGH SCHOOL BASS FISHING CLUB: Open to both Junior High and High School students. David Parrish and his crew are back working with the young anglers so it’ll be a great year for all the kids with a lot of learning going on. If any Yuma area student is interested in teaming up with the group, call David Parrish at 928-941-6168 for answers to any questions you might have and when I learn something I’ll pass it on to you.

YUMA VALLEY ROD AND GUN CLUB: Contact Pat Headington at 928-941-6168 or visit 585levy@gmail.com if you’d be interested in helping to keep the bass tournaments going strong this next season. Or attend the Oct. 6 YVRGC meeting at 7 p.m. at American Legion Post 19 Hall, 2575 S. Virginia Dr. You are also welcome to get in on a tasty reasonably priced dinner prior to the meeting.

AMERICAN BASS – YUMA REGION: Jimmy Waits is now the contact person attempting to locate someone to handle bass tournaments for ABA here when the season rolls around again. Call Jimmy at 928-210-3372.

DESERT BASS: Still no word on what’s going on with this club. If anyone might be willing to take this one on please let me know – jeanrenegade@gmail.com. A shame to see it bite the dust after Mac & Bobbi spent so many years keeping the “fishing fun” going so well.

Shooting sports

YUMA TRAP AND SKEET CLUB: Saturday and Sunday matches held at the Adair Park range 8 a.m. to 12-noon with Tuesday and Thursday matches 12-noon to 4 p.m. with sign up range fee $1 at the club house paid prior to shooting. Non-Member fee $7, Member fee $5 per round of 25 targets. Please use small bills or check. Eye & Hearing protection required. Call Bob Avila at 928-580-0918.

YUMA YOUNG GUNS are busy with practice as usual at the Adair Park range.

YUMA RIFLE & PISTOL CLUB: Visit hprifle.com for information on when they will begin their fall shooting schedule at the Adair Park big bore range. Check into the youth firearms training that also might be available.

YUMA MATCHMASTERS: Monthly matches ongoing with the PRACTICAL USPSA the 2nd Sunday, COWBOY SASS, THE 4th Sunday (no shoots July & August), COWBOY FAST DRAW, 3rd Sunday, STEEL MATCHES – 1st Saturdays, MULTI-GUN/PCC matches 1st Sunday, NATIONAL RIFLE LEAGUE (NRL) .22 The 2nd Saturday. Check Yuma Matchmasters.com, Facebook or call Irene Snyder at 920-613-4598.

SOUTHWEST BOWHUNTERS: Sunday Archery Shoots 7-10-a.m. ALL Archers Welcome! SWAMP GOBBLER TURKEY SHOOT, 2nd Sunday in November; HUNT FOR CHARITY SHOOT, 1st week-end in December, WALK THE TRAIL INVITATIONAL SHOOT 2nd week-end in February, MEMORIAL DAY 2-day fun shoot, Memorial Day Week-end with Field and Animal rounds throughout the fall/winter seasons along with regular archery shoots all year long.

The SWBH is proud to support other clubs’ events in addition to their own. If you know of any events that aren’t displayed here, please send the information for that event to info@southwestbowhunters.net>, and we will gladly post them to our site. Call Rick Bielke at 928-750-6279 OR email the club at info@southwestbowhunters.net. All shooting at ranges is done at the Adair Park Shooting Facility located approximately 15 miles N.E. of Yuma off east HWY 95.

Contact Jean Wilson at jeanrenegade@gmail.com with questions or additions.

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