Today is Deadline to Apply for 2016 Arizona Fall Hunts

BuffaloPHOENIX – Only a few hours remain to apply for 2016 hunt permit-tags issued through the draw process for deer, fall turkey, fall javelina, bighorn sheep, fall bison and pheasant.

All online and paper applications must be received by the department no later than 11:59 p.m. (MST) Tuesday, June 14. Postmarks do not count. [Read more…]

What the Loss of the Heritage Fund Means to Arizona and You


The Arizona Game and Fish Department will hosted a public presentation and live webcast on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010 to discuss the potential ramifications to Arizona from a proposed elimination of the Heritage Fund.

The state of Arizona faces a formidable budget deficit, and options to balance the budget are becoming more limited. On January 15, the Governor’s office released a budget plan to resolve a nearly $5 billion deficit for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The plan proposes to permanently take the Department’s $10 million Heritage Fund. This proposed fund reduction would begin with $5 million in the current fiscal year, continue with the full $10 million for fiscal year 2011 begin July 1, 2010, and would permanently redirect all Arizona State Lottery revenue (the source of the Heritage Fund) into the state’s general fund The Department’s Heritage Fund provides essential funding for conserving Arizona’s wildlife and is one of their primary funding sources. This loss would impact Arizona’s economy and its diverse wildlife and reduce outdoor recreation opportunities.

You can go the AGFD website ( and click on the Bald Eagle, this will give you some additional information.

Don’t Let Your Big Game Tag Go To Waste


Are you unable to use your big game tag this fall because of an unexpected change in plans?

You can still put that valuable big game tag to good use. The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s rules allow a couple of options for transferring the tag to give a youngster a thrilling hunting opportunity.

A parent, grandparent, or legal guardian can transfer his/her tag to his/her minor child or grandchild. Or, a tag holder can donate their tag to a qualified nonprofit organization that provides hunting opportunities to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Here’s how either option works:

Transfer to child:
A parent, grandparent or legal guardian holding a big game tag may allow the use of that tag by their minor child or minor grandchild pursuant to the following requirements:

  • The minor child is 10 to 17 years old on the date of transfer;
  • The minor child has a valid hunting or combination license on the date of transfer;
  • A minor child less than 14 years old has satisfactorily completed a Department-approved hunter  education course by the beginning date of the hunt;
  • The parent or guardian must accompany the child in the field or, if a grandparent allows a minor grandchild to use the grandparent’s permit or tag, the grandparent, parent or the child’s guardian must accompany the child in the field. In either case, the adult must be within 50 yards of the child when the animal is taken.

Transfer to nonprofit organization for ill child:
A number of qualified nonprofit organizations are dedicated to providing hunting opportunities to children with illnesses with a wish to go hunting. The Tag Transfer program has given many children a chance to go on a hunt-of-a-lifetime in Arizona during a time of need.

“To a child that has a terminal or chronic illness, an Arizona big game hunt truly can be the “hunt of a lifetime” said Hunt of a Lifetime Ambassador for Arizona and New Mexico, Nate Medcalf. “What better way to make a difference in a child’s life?”

To donate your unused big game tag, the following organizations can be contacted to arrange for a donation:

To learn more about the big game hunt permit-tag transfer law consult A.R.S. 17-332 at

To learn more about hunting in Arizona, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Web site at

Community Archery Program Targets Phoenix and Tucson


PHOENIX —The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Archery Trade Association have teamed up to increase archery and bowhunting programs for youngsters throughout Arizona and enhance facilities in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.

Through the agreement, the ATA will provide funding to the Game and Fish Department to double their current archery recruitment staff to include an archery coordinator and a bowhunting coordinator.

“This exciting new partnership with the Game and Fish Department will help grow archery and bowhunting in Arizona and specifically in the Phoenix and Tucson areas,” said Mitch King, Archery Trade Association’s director of government relations. “The ATA and its Arizona members, archery manufacturers, and archery shops from across the state are anxious to help the Department reach out to the youth of the state to provide them with a safe and fulfilling recreational outlet.”

The additional staffing combined with the concerted effort between all parties will provide a focused campaign for continuing and growing community-based archery programs like National Archery in the Schools, After School Archery, and Junior Olympic Archery Development.

In addition, the expanded effort will allow the implementation of programs highlighting 3-D archery, bow-fishing, crossbows, the National Bowhunter Education Foundation’s courses, and outdoor skills workshops.

“We now have more than 122 schools participating in the Archery in the Schools Program,” said Game and Fish Assistant Director Ty Gray. “This partnership with the Archery Trade Association will help expand these programs and new ones further into the communities of Arizona to recruit and retain new archery shooters and bowhunters.”

In a multifaceted grassroots system, the Archery Trade Association’s (ATA) Community Archery Program works with state wildlife agencies, local parks and recreation departments, communities, archery shops, clubs, and organizations to expand on the success of the National Archery in the Schools program, a physical education curriculum designed to teach international-style target archery in grades 4-12.

“These are exciting times to see the Game and Fish Department working hand-in-hand with private industry to achieve the same goal,” said Randy Philips, owner of Archery Headquarters in Chandler and an ATA board member.

There are many benefits from shooting a bow and arrow. Although shooting a bow is a physical activity, physical condition is not a limiting factor and allows equal participation. Additionally, shooting sports develop concentration and metal focus, improve self-confidence, teach respect and accountability, and provide a low-impact healthy activity.

To learn more about shooting sports and the Arizona Game and Fish Department, visit

Note to media: For high-resolution action photographs of archery shooting, or live interviews with the department’s archery education coordinator, contact Public Information Officer Doug Burt at (623) 236-7215 or

Elk Foundation Grants to Benefit 5 Arizona Counties



MISSOULA, Mont. Five counties in Arizona are slated for wildlife habitat conservation projects using $99,820 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Apache, Coconino, Navajo, Yavapai and Yuma counties.

Thanks to our volunteers across Arizona who helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. When Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, it’s payday for all of our supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors,  said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.

Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following Arizona projects, listed by county:

Apache County Thin trees and shrubs to restore 8,339 acres of grasslands, and install 6 miles of pipeline for wildlife watering devices, to improve winter range for elk, mule deer, pronghorn and other wildlife in the North Escudilla area; sponsor White Mountain Youth Hunter Camps to introduce young people to hunting skills and ethics in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (also affects Navajo County).

Coconino County Research elk movements to locate potential sites for wildlife underpasses along Interstate 40 between Williams and Winona.

Yavapai County Sponsor National Archery in the Schools program to introduce Prescott Valley Charter School students to competitive archery skills.

Yuma County Sponsor Scholastic Clay Target Program in Yuma to introduce young people to trap and skeet shooting.

A committee of Elk Foundation volunteers and staff select projects for grants. Additional projects are being reviewed and supplemental grants could be announced later this year.

To date, partners for 2009 projects in Arizona include Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Department of Transportation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.

Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 360 conservation projects in Arizona with a value of more than $28 million.

Reward of up to $8,000




PINETOP, Ariz. – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking for the public’s help in finding the individual responsible for the illegal killing of a large bull elk found shot on July 31. It was left in the vicinity of Pinot Ridge on Bluegrass Ranch Drive in Pinetop.

“The poacher left this majestic animal to waste, and we need assistance from the public to find the individual responsible,” says Bruce Sitko, spokesman in the department’s Pinetop office. “This isn’t the action of a hunter; it’s an act of a criminal stealing wildlife assets and resources from the people of Arizona.”

To report information on this incident, or any Game and Fish violation, call the department’s Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700. Caller identities may remain confidential upon request. Callers are eligible to receive a reward of up to $8,000 for information leading to the arrest of the violator responsible for this poaching case.

Tag Raffle Raises $540,000 For Conservation



PHOENIX – The 2009 Arizona Big Game Super Raffle sold a total of 34,614 raffle tickets raising a near record $591,465. Of the dollars raised, more than $540,000 will go to directly benefit Arizona’s wildlife.

Read the full article here.

Sheep and Deer Draw Results




Arizona Game and Fish Department posted the draw results for sheep and deer late Friday afternoon.

No sheep tag for me, as expected and just points for deer.

Check your results online at

Arizona Big Game Super Raffle July 12




PHOENIX – You still have a chance to win one of the nation’s most prestigious hunts — the Arizona Big Game Super Raffle deadline for 2009 has been extended to July 12.

Here’s your chance to win one of Arizona’s 10 top hunts, while also contributing to wildlife conservation. It’s a win-win for everyone. But Super Raffle mail orders must be received by July 12 and online orders will be accepted at the Arizona Gig Game Super Raffle Web site until 10 p.m. July 12.

The big game tags available in the raffle are for 365 days of hunting almost anywhere in the state during the 2009-2010 hunting season, and ticket prices range from $5 to $25. Raffle tickets are offered for the following species:


  • Elk
  • Desert Bighorn Sheep
  • Buffalo
  • Antelope
  • Turkey (Merriam’s or Goulds)
  • Coues Whitetail
  • Mule Deer
  • Javelina
  • Black Bear
  • Mountain Lion

You can also get tickets for the incredible “Swarovski Optics Package” (This package will include the 15×56 SLC binoculars, 10×42 El binoculars, STS-80 spotting scope, Swarovski Rangefinder and 4x12x50 rifle scope) valued at more than $5,000. The money raised from the optics package is used to defray the costs of the raffle itself. All the money raised from the hunt raffle tickets goes directly to wildlife management efforts.

Arizona offers some of the best trophy opportunities in North America for each of these species.  A quick review of both the Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young record books will confirm this.  (Click for B&C and P&Y websites). If you are after a truly huge mule deer, elk, antelope, Coues deer, desert bighorn sheep, or buffalo, then Arizona is where you need to be.  The only huntable population of Gould’s turkeys in the United States exists in southern Arizona and can be hunted with the raffled turkey tag.

Remember, hunters are the original conservationists and have financed most of the wildlife conservation efforts in the United States for the past century. This raffle is just another creative way to raise money for these remarkable conservation efforts. It’s a proud and successful heritage.

For more information visit


Youth Turkey Camps in the AZ Mountains


COLCORD RIDGE, Mogollon Rim – The mountains, mentors, wildlife officers, volunteer instructors, gobblers, guides and even the wind had a lot to teach 180 or so camo-clad youngsters during the opening weekend of the spring turkey season.

With a lot of able assistance from sportsmen’s organizations, the Arizona Game and Fish Department conducted two youth turkey hunting camps, one along the Mogollon Rim and the other in the White Mountains.


It was a great weekend of learning in the pine-scented woods with shotguns in hand at first light or during the afternoon in-camp workshops while gripping steaming mugs of hot chocolate or frosty cold sodas.


Read the full article here.