Arizona Game and Fish Commission to meet Jan. 21 in Phoenix

 

The next public meeting of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission will be Friday, Jan. 21, at the Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, in Phoenix.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m.

A complete agenda and more information on viewing the meeting, or speaking to the commission, can be found here or at https://www.azgfd.com/agency/commission/meetingagenda/.

 Deadline is 11:59 p.m. (Arizona time) Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022   

 

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reminds hunters that the deadline to apply for 2022 hunt permit-tags issued through the draw process for pronghorn and elk is right around the corner.   

To apply, visit www.azgfd.gov and click on “Apply for a Draw.” For an overview of the application service, including license requirements, applying for bonus points and payment information, see Page 8 of the “2022 Pronghorn and Elk Hunt Draw Information” booklet. The booklet can be viewed at www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Regulations/. Printed booklets also are available at license dealers statewide.

All applications must be received by AZGFD no later than 11:59 p.m. (Arizona time) Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

In the meantime: 

  • Applicants must possess a valid Arizona hunting license (or combination hunt and fish license) to apply online for a hunt permit-tag. That license must be valid on the last day of the online application period (Feb. 8). Licenses are available online, and at any department office. When purchasing an Arizona hunting (or combination hunt and fish) license online, the license number will appear at the bottom of the customer’s receipt. Don’t throw it away! That license number will be required as part of the draw application process.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, license dealers statewide no longer will sell traditional paper licenses, but many of them will offer to sell licenses through AZGFD’s online purchase system. AZGFD has provided a list of dealers offering online license purchases at www.azgfd.com/license/
  • Know your Customer ID or Department ID. This is a must to submit an application. There are four ways to locate a Customer ID or Department ID: (1) Use the new “Customer ID Retrieval Tool” that can be found either at www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Draw/, www.azgfd.com/license/ or when adding applicants when applying for a hunt permit-tag; (2) Log into your AZGFD portal account and click on “View Details” under “My AZGFD Dashboard;” (3) Check your hunting or combination hunt and fish license if it was purchased online; or (4) Call AZGFD at 602-942-3000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
  • Check your AZGFD portal account. This is the perfect time to review your personal data, including your application history and total bonus points (bonus, loyalty, hunter education). If something seems amiss, call AZGFD at 602-942-3000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Open an AZGFD portal account. AZGFD portal accounts now are the sole source for finding out draw results and viewing bonus points. Customers are encouraged to create a portal account at accounts.azgfd.com/Account/Register, as family account features are now available, and complete the required fields. Draw results no longer will be provided through the automated phone system. 
  • Plan to purchase PointGuard. This allows hunters to surrender their hunt permit-tag(s) for any reason without losing their bonus points. A portal account is no longer required to purchase PointGuard. Information: www.azgfd.gov/pointguard.

For more information, check out “What You Need to Know,” a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), at www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Draw/

 

Deadline is 11:59 p.m. (Arizona time) Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022   

 

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is accepting applications for 2022 hunt permit-tags issued through the draw process for pronghorn and elk.   

To apply, visit www.azgfd.gov and click on “Apply for a Draw.” For an overview of the application service, including license requirements, applying for bonus points and payment information, see Page 8 of the “2022 Pronghorn and Elk Hunt Draw Information” booklet. The booklet can be viewed at www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Regulations/.          

The deadline for the department to receive all applications is 11:59 p.m. (Arizona time) Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

In the meantime: 

  • Applicants must possess a valid Arizona hunting license (or combination hunt and fish license) to apply online for a hunt permit-tag. That license must be valid on the last day of the online application period (Feb. 8). Licenses are available online, and at any department office. When purchasing an Arizona hunting (or combination hunt and fish) license online, the license number will appear at the bottom of the customer’s receipt. Don’t throw it away! That license number will be required as part of the draw application process.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, license dealers statewide no longer will sell traditional paper licenses, but many of them will offer to sell licenses through AZGFD’s online purchase system. AZGFD has provided a list of dealers offering online license purchases at www.azgfd.com/license/
  • Know your Customer ID or Department ID. This is a must to submit an application. There are four ways to locate a Customer ID or Department ID: (1) Use the new “Customer ID Retrieval Tool” that can be found either at www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Draw/, www.azgfd.com/license/ or when adding applicants when applying for a hunt permit-tag; (2) Log into your AZGFD portal account and click on “View Details” under “My AZGFD Dashboard;” (3) Check your hunting or combination hunt and fish license if it was purchased online; or (4) Call AZGFD at 602-942-3000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
  • Check your AZGFD portal account. This is the perfect time to review your personal data, including your application history and total bonus points (bonus, loyalty, hunter education). If something seems amiss, call AZGFD at 602-942-3000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Open an AZGFD portal account. AZGFD portal accounts now are the sole source for finding out draw results and viewing bonus points. Customers are encouraged to create a portal account at accounts.azgfd.com/Account/Register, as family account features are now available, and complete the required fields. Draw results no longer will be provided through the automated phone system. 
  • Plan to purchase PointGuard. This allows hunters to surrender their hunt permit-tag(s) for any reason without losing their bonus points. A portal account is no longer required to purchase PointGuard. Information: www.azgfd.gov/pointguard.

For more information, check out “What You Need to Know,” a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), at www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Draw/

 

Hunters need to make most of remaining opportunities  

 

PHOENIX — There’s still time for Arizona hunters to take aim at some of the best wing-shooting opportunities the state has to offer — but the clock is ticking. 

The general waterfowl season in the “Mountain Zone” (Game Management Units 1-5, 7, 9, 11M, 12A, and those portions of Units 6 and 8 within Coconino County) runs through Sunday, Jan. 9. The general season in the “Desert Zone” (Game Management Units 10 and 12B through 46B, and those portions of Units 6 and 8 within Yavapai County) runs through Monday, Jan. 31

Ducks, including mergansers, coots and common moorhens (gallinules); white geese (snow, blue and Ross’); and dark geese (Canada and white-fronted) are legal wildlife in both zones. Scaup can be harvested in the Mountain Zone through Sunday, Jan. 9, and in the Desert Zone through Monday, Jan. 31.

In the meantime, quail hunters might want to circle Sunday, Feb. 6, on their calendars. That’s when the season ends for the state’s three main species — Gambel’s, scaled and Mearns’. The general bag limit is 15 quail per day in the aggregate, of which no more than eight may be Mearns’ quail. The general possession limit is 45 quail in the aggregate, of which no more than 15 Gambel’s, scaled or California quail in the aggregate may be taken in any one day. The 45-quail possession limit may include 24 Mearns’ quail, of which no more than eight may be taken in any one day. 

As a reminder, all hunters 10 and older must possess a valid Arizona hunting or combination license. Those 18 and older also must possess an Arizona Migratory Bird Stamp ($5) to hunt dove or waterfowl. Also, hunters 16 and older must possess a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp to hunt waterfowl.

All hunters play an important role in conservation. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program funds are comprised of excise taxes collected on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment (including 11 percent on ammunition), the benefit of which comes right back to Arizona for habitat improvements, shooting ranges, boating access and more.

For more information about hunting in Arizona, visit https://azgfdportal.az.gov/Hunting.

AZGFD aims to meet elk objectives beginning in January   

 

PINETOP, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is seeking to bolster its pool of hunters who apply to be randomly selected throughout the year for specific population management hunts.

Population management hunts enhance the department’s ability to meet population and habitat management objectives when traditional harvest strategies are not meeting these objectives. At this time, two separate population management hunts for antlerless elk (and/or a few “any” elk) are planned for this month in portions of Game Management Units 3A, 3B North and 4B North, near Snowflake, Ariz. The dates for these hunts are pending.   

Only those hunters who have submitted a Hunter Pool Application for population management hunts will have a chance to be drawn. Applicants should note that if they choose to participate in a population management hunt, and fill their annual bag limit for that species, they cannot take part in a general season for that species even if selected through the standard draw process. A successful hunter is still eligible to purchase a bonus point for elk in the upcoming general draw, however.

AZGFD encourages all interested hunters to complete a “Hunter Pool Application, which can be found — along with detailed information about population management hunts — on Page 59 of the “2021-2022 Arizona Hunting Regulations.” NOTE: Because of deadline considerations in the printing of regulation booklets, an expiration date of “Dec. 31, 2021” will appear in the upper left corner of the application. Applicants should simply cross out that date and write in “Dec. 31, 2022.”

Applicants should mail their completed application and nonrefundable application fee of $13 for residents, or $15 for nonresidents (do not send cash), to: Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn.: Drawer FAB, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, Ariz., 85086-5000. 

A few points about population management hunts:

  • AZGFD will purge the Hunter Pool Application list Dec. 31 each year. An application may be submitted at any time during the year (do not include the Hunter Pool Application with a hunt permit-tag application. Each application must be sent separately.).
  • If selected during a random drawing for a population management hunt, the department will attempt to contact the applicant within a 24-hour period. If that applicant cannot be contacted, their application will be returned to the pool for inclusion in future population management hunts that year.
  • If a successful applicant agrees to participate in a population management hunt, it is likely that person will be asked to arrive in the field to hunt within a few days of being contacted. The purchase of a restricted nonpermit-tag and applicable hunting license prior to hunting is required. 
  • An applicant will not gain or lose bonus points when applying for, or participating in, a population management hunt.      

 

AZGFD, Navajo Nation hope to reach long-term deal 

 

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) and the Navajo Nation have renewed an access agreement that ensures continued public recreation use for one year on the Boquillas Ranch in Game Management Unit 10.   

The 720,000-acre ranch in northwest Arizona, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the land in Unit 10, is owned by the Navajo Nation. After more than six months of negotiations between the department, the Navajo Nation and its lessee, Cholla Livestock LLC, the ranch will be open to select hunting opportunities in 2022.

As a result of the agreement, the original number of hunt permit-tags that had been approved for Unit 10 will be restored, as authorized by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. NOTE:  Because of deadline considerations, printed “2022 Pronghorn and Elk Hunt Draw Information” booklets will not accurately reflect hunt permit-tag numbers and hunter access information in Unit 10. Those hunters who intend to apply for hunt permit-tags in the upcoming draw with the hope of hunting on the ranch should view updated draw information at www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Draw/. 

“The department values our relationship with the Navajo Nation and Cholla Livestock LLC,” said Clay Crowder, assistant director for the department’s Wildlife Management Division. “We plan to keep working toward developing a long-term agreement that not only ensures recreational access that benefits the Navajo Nation and the citizens of Arizona, but allows for the regulated management of wildlife populations under the pillars of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.”  

 

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s proposed game management hunt guidelines for the fall 2023 through spring 2028 hunting seasons are available for review at https://www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Guidelines/.

The department will accept public comments on those hunt guidelines for 30 days beginning Jan. 1. Comments can be submitted by email to AZHuntGuidelines@azgfd.gov, or by mail addressed to: Hunt Guidelines, Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.  

All comments will be compiled verbatim into a single document to be posted by March 18 at https://www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Guidelines/. The final proposed hunt guidelines will be presented to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission for consideration during a public meeting April 1 at department headquarters in Phoenix. 

“All of us are passionate about wildlife,” said Amber Munig, big game management program supervisor. “There will be a lot of varying views that must be considered and balanced to create the guidelines for setting hunting opportunities in Arizona. We are seeking your ideas, comments, concerns and observations on how to meet the many demands by our varied hunting public, as well as fostering new opportunities for continuing our hunting heritage for future generations.” 

 

Game and Fish offers ideas for a better 2022 

 

PHOENIX — It’s just about time to say goodbye to 2021. As we reflect on the changes we want  — or need  — to make in the new year, how about adding an outdoors resolution to the list?

The Arizona Game and Fish Department offers some simple resolutions, any one of which should be easy for an outdoors enthusiast to stick to:

  • Fish local. Make it a point to wet a line this year at one (or more) of 40-plus waters in the Community Fishing Program that are seasonally stocked with channel catfish, bluegill and rainbow trout. This is a great way to introduce a youngster to a fun, lifelong sport. Your reward? Hearing that youngster squeal with delight while pulling in his or her first fish. Buy a license online today at www.azgfd.com/license/ (youth under age 10 do not need to purchase a license).  
  • Support wildlife. Wildlife lovers can put their money where their heart is by signing up for a Conservation Membership Package. Your annual dues provide much-needed funding to sustain important wildlife and habitat conservation projects.
  • Take a youngster outdoors. Look for animal tracks together and identify the critter that made them. Armed with only a bird identification guide, embark on a “hunting” expedition and see how many species you can find. A day in the field will create memories that last a lifetime — for both of you.   
  • Pick it up. Vow to clean up not only after yourself, but those who aren’t as considerate. Take an extra trash bag along on your next outing, and spend a few minutes picking up those empty cans, cigarette butts or campsite trash. After all, respected access is open access.
  • Be a wildlife viewer. Arizona provides some of the best wildlife-viewing opportunities in the nation, with more than 800 species of wildlife. It’s a fun, inexpensive activity the entire family can enjoy.
  • Invest in good optics. Most hunters know that success in the field begins with a quality pair of binoculars or spotting scope. Don’t skimp. Better to buy the best you can afford that fits your needs than settle for a middle-of-the-road piece of equipment and be forced to upgrade later. 
  • Be a conservationist. It’s difficult to imagine what our wildlife populations might be like today without the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. For a presentation from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, produced by Arizona Game and Fish, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE4L9KicSeU
  • Get hunting. Don’t let the odds of being selected in the random draw keep you from applying for what could be the hunt of a lifetime. If you’ve always dreamed of hunting bison, pronghorn or bull elk, then get in the game and fill out an application. Also, don’t overlook small game or other species that can be hunted year-round. Buy a license online today at www.azgfd.com/license/
  • Enter AZGFD’s portal. The portal lets you create a secure account where you can view and manage your licenses, draw results, bonus points and memberships in your own personal “My AZGFD Dashboard” section. Just click on the “My Account” button in the upper right-hand corner of the www.azgfd.gov home page, then select the “Register” option. 

Join AZGFD photographer George Andrejko, biologists at Whitewater Draw 

 

McNEAL, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Viewing Program will conduct a wildlife viewing and photography tour from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 29, at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area in McNeal, Ariz.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission-owned property in the southeastern part of the state is a roosting and loafing place for more than 20,000 sandhill cranes each year. Game and Fish biologists, along with award-winning photographer George Andrejko, will provide an exclusive, up-close opportunity to learn about and photograph these spectacular birds. Andrejko will be available to provide tips, instruction and advice for both novice and experienced photographers. 

The cost is $50 per person. Registration is required, as space is limited. All proceeds support the department’s Wildlife Viewing Program. 

Arizona’s deer and elk populations remain free of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) due to diligent surveillance efforts.

 

PHOENIX — With big game seasons still taking place through the end of January, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking hunters to continue doing their part to help keep Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) at bay. CWD is a fatal wildlife disease that affects the nervous system of deer and elk. 

All successful deer and elk hunters are encouraged to bring the head of their harvested animal — especially bucks and bulls — to any department office statewide between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To schedule a drop-off time, send an email to CWD@azgfd.gov or call Jon Heale, wildlife health biologist, at 623-236-7227.

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. 

Department officials did not find any cases of CWD in the nearly 1,600-plus deer (mule and white-tailed) and elk that were harvested by hunters and voluntarily submitted for testing in 2020. In addition to hunter submissions, the department collects samples from across the state through partnerships with meat processors and taxidermists.  

Game and Fish has been testing for the presence of the disease in Arizona since 1998 and has tested more than 25,000 samples. While CWD has been found in the neighboring states of Utah, New Mexico and Colorado — and as recently as last month in western Idaho — the disease has not been detected in Arizona. CWD has not been documented to cause disease in people.

CWD is transmitted and spread by animal movement and direct contact, which means the illegal importation of a cervid carcass or parts with brain or spinal column tissue of an infected animal could introduce the disease into Arizona. To that point, an individual is only allowed to possess, transport or import the following portions of cervids lawfully taken in another state or country:

  • Boneless portions of meat, or meat that has been cut and packaged.
  • Clean hides and capes with no skull or soft tissue attached.
  • Antlers, clean skull plates or skulls with antlers attached with no meat or soft tissue remaining.
  • Finished taxidermy mounts or products (hunters may ship their harvested animal to a taxidermist)
  • Upper canine teeth with no meat or tissue attached.
  • Do not bring the brain, intact skull or spinal column of a deer or elk harvested in another state back into Arizona.

It may take longer than a year before an infected animal develops symptoms of CWD, which can include drastic weight loss (wasting), stumbling, listlessness and other neurological symptoms. CWD can infect animals of all ages, although it’s most frequently noticed in older animals and can affect males more than females. CWD is fatal, and there are no treatments or vaccines.

All 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 1-800-352-0700 if they see or harvest an animal that appears to be sick.  

For information about importation of harvested animals in other states, contact that state’s wildlife management agency. For more information about CWD, visit the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website at http://cwd-info.org/

Pleasant Harbor July_Sept 2016