Tracker Second Quarter 2012
The quarterly magazine of the Arizona Elk Society (AES) with articles involving Arizona Elk and the AES's efforts at conservation of the hunting heritage for future generations.
2 n d Q u a r t e r 2 0 12 Photo by George Andrejko of Arizona Game & Fish Department. l i f e m e m b e r s o f Ken Alexander � Michael Anderson � John Anton � Ernest Apodaca, Jr. � Pete Baldwin � James Ballard � Leo Balthazor � David Baril � Ron Batz � Randy Beck � F.K. Benbow � David Bennett � Keith Berger � Janet Bowman � Tom Bowman � Dan Bradford � Tish Bradford � Richard Briskin � Stephen Brown, MD � Kurt Buckwald � Mike Burr � Esther Cadzow � John Cadzow � Harry Carlson � Lupe Carlson � Kenneth Carney � Steve Casterton � Joe & Marisa Cerreta � Randy Cherington � Pete Cimellaro � Steve Clark � Bob Cockrill, Jr. � Todd Coleman � Frank Cooper � Russell Coover � Lonnie Crabtree � William Cullins � Richard Currie � Patrick Curry � Don Davidson � Kay Davidson � Bill Davis � William Davis � Larry Day � Jim deVos � Steven Dodds � Ron Eichelberger � Sharon Eichelberger � Peter Ekholm � Daron Evans � Tim Evans � David Forbes � Tom Franklin � Douglas Fritz � Will Garrison � Walt Godbehere � Richard Goettel � Carl Hargis � Dan Hellman � R. Todd Henderson � Terry Herndon � Ed Hightower � Paul Hodges III � Mel Holsinger � Scott Horn � Michael Horstman � Timothy Hosford � Bryan House � Wayne Jacobs � Brian Johnsen � Earl Johnson � Edward Johnson � Gary Johnson � James Johnson � Richard Johnson � Jim Jones** � Mitchell Jones � Bruce Judson � Sandra Kauffman � Richard Kauffman, Sr. � Jim Kavanaugh � Bill Kelley � Denise Kennedy � Chuck Kerr � Bill Kiefer � Brian Kimball � David Kinman � Peter Klocki � John Koleszar � Charles Koons � Joseph Krejci � Otto Kuczynski � James Lara � Michael Lechter � Jorge Leon � Ruben Lerma � Tim Littleton � Deanne Long � James Lynch, Jr. � Bob Mallory � Don Martin � Gary Matchinsky � Karl Matchinsky � Russ McDowell � Steve McGaughey � Angela McHaney � Kelly McMillan � William Meredith � James Mingus � Matt Minshall � James Mullins � James Mullins � Matt Mullins � Robert Murry DVM � Gregory Naff � Mark Nicholas � Anthony Nichols � Brandon Nichols � Fletcher Nichols � Logan Nichols � Cookie Nicoson � Paige Nicoson � Walt Nicoson** � Kathi Nixon � Mark Nixon � David Nygaard � Donna Obert � Douglas Obert, Sr. � Bob Olds � Martin Paez � Pete Page � Sallie Page � Duane Palmer � Marlin Parker � Don Parks Jr. � Shawn Patterson � Art Pearce � Paul Piker � Forrest Purdy � Jan Purdy � Jim Renkema � Keith Riefkohl � Mel Risch � Travis Roberts � Mike Sanders � Rick Schmidt � Tom Schorr � Scott Schuff � Terry Schupp � Bill Shaffer � Howard Shaffer � Steven Shaffer � William Shaffer, Jr. � Lonzo Shields � Terrence Simons � Charlene Sipe � Robert Spurny � Connor Stainton � Gregory Stainton � Randy Stalcup � Douglas Stancill � Mark Stephenson � James Stewart � Shane Stewart � Vashti "Tice" Supplee � Al Swapp � Debbie Swapp � Dan Taylor � Pete Thomas � John Toner � Corey Tunnell � Bill VenRooy � Rick Vincent, Sr. � Don Walters, Jr. � Bill Wasbotten � Dale Watkins � Jerry Weiers � Dee White � Larry White � Richard Williams � Matt Windle � Cory Worischeck � Joseph Worischeck � Mark Worischeck � Chuck Youngker � Scott Ziebarth ArizonA elk society Arizona Elk Society 3 presidents' messAge by Steve Clark The 2012-2013 Arizona Elk Society Annual Meeting is coming up on August 16, 6:30 pm at Cabela's. If you want to know about our accomplishments and issues from the last year, this would be the meeting to attend. If you want insight into new programs and some of the ideas being considered for the AES into 2013, this would be the time to get to know us. This has been a horrible year for drought in the Southwest. The AES has been hauling water in Units 9, 7W and 7E and as I write this, there is no prolonged rain predicted for these Units. Parts of the state are getting rain but the north central area is still very dry. Check out our website at www.arizonaelksociety.org for up-to-date information on the water hauling program. To find out what we are working on each week, check us out and "LIKE" us on Facebook. Wapiti Weekend was held in June. The kids had a great time and we had many new events and volunteers. The AES is working to expand our "Wild in the City" youth events day and even take the event on the road. We are working with organizations in rural communities which have kids who would love the chance to attend the event. Watch for an AES Youth Day in the future in Prescott and other communities. The issues and challenges that the AES is facing with the drought, Mexican gray wolves, access issues, recruitment and retention of new hunters and anglers and habitat degradation are many. With our army of volunteers, the AES is meeting many of these challenges head on and helping to stem the trend. Youth camps, habitat projects, programs for hauling water and our continuous partnering with other organizations and agencies is allowing us to move forward. Without the help of our volunteers and the support of our donors, we could not do the things we need to be doing. Thanks for all of your help and your support. 4 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 Cover photo of a bull backlit in the early morning by of Arizona Game & Fish Department. George Andrejko in this issue President's Message by Steve Clark............................................................... 4 Too Warm for Elk? by Jim deVos................................................................. 6-8 AES Annual Meeting Information ............................................................... 9 Tinebook "BB" by John Koleszar ............................................................. 10-11 Wapiti Weekend by Steve Clark ............................................................. 12-15 The Ida Grasslands Project by Jim deVos ...................................................... 16-19 Aes mission stAtement The Arizona Elk Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) wildlife organization. Our mission is to raise funds to benefit elk and other wildlife through habitat conservation and restoration and to preserve our hunting heritage for present and future generations. O'Haco Ranch Water Tank Renovation by Steve Clark .................................. 20-21 Unit 23 Turkey Camp 2012 by Steve Clark ..................................................... 22-23 A Box of Chocolates by Patrick Weise ..................................................... 24-28 The Greatest Conservation Story Never Told by Mike Schlegel ...................... 29 AES Founding Members ........................................................................... 30 Habitat Partners of Arizona ..................................................................... 31 Upcoming Events & Kudos ..........................................................................32 Aes Website www.arizonaelksociety.org executive boArd President........................................................................... Steve Clark Vice President ..................................................................Carl Hargis Treasurer .................................................................. Cookie Nicoson Secretary........................................................................... Liala Wood Past President ...............................................Sharon Eichelberger committee chAirs Banquet.......................Sharon Eichelberger & Cookie Nicoson Grant Writer .................................................................Lin Maschner Membership ....................................................................... Dee Long Projects...............................................................................Carl Hargis Newsletter ............................................................Maria DelVecchio Website ........................................................................ Leo Balthazor Wapiti Weekend ..........................................................Shelly Hargis Scholarship ............................................................ Wendy Norburg Director of Conservation Affairs................................. Jim deVos boArd of directors Ken Alexander, Steve McGaughy, Gary Maschner, Jim Mullins, Matt Mullins, Greg Naff, Megan Naff, Mike Norburg, Rick Schmidt, Tom Schorr, Bill Walp You may send a message for any officers, board members or committee chairs to email@example.com Arizona Elk Society 5 too WArm for elk? Water is particularly important to cows when they are pregnant and nursing calves Global climate change is a natural phenomenon that has affected the Earth throughout its history. Glaciations affected much of the North American continent as recently as the Pleistocene Ice Age that ended about 12,000 years ago. Since the end of the Pleistocene, there has been a slow warming trend in the region. Of concern to many is the rapid increase in temperatures and extreme weather events that have been observed in the last 150 years as trapped greenhouse gases have increased rapidly coinciding with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Although the cause of the current warming trend is debated widely including in the scientific community, warming is occurring. As an example, during the later part of June 2012, over 1,000 highest recorded temperatures for that day were recorded in United States cities. Further, since January 1, 2012 over 40,000 highest daily temperature records were set in this country. Although it is difficult to foretell the future of weather, the International Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists who have been empanelled to provide input into what possibly might occur as the rate of greenhouse gas emissions continues to rise, suggest we will see major changes in weather patterns. Of prime concern is that the mean temperature on the Earth has increased about 6 degrees in the last 100 years. by Jim deVos, AES Director of Conservation Affairs 6 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 The Arizona Elk Society is cooperating with the Arizona Game and Fish Department in hauling water to tanks that are dry in the Flagstaff area. This is an important activity for the AES during times of extreme drought. but again, think about stringing several decades together and then adding on severe droughts to the equation, and habitat conditions for many wildlife species in the American Southwest start to concern resource managers. So what about elk; is the future grim for them? Well, if I could tell the future, I would be winning in the casino now instead of sitting at the computer writing this article. That said, there are some biological factors that seem to bode well for elk in Arizona. First, elk are intermediate feeders, which means that unlike deer that are very selective at what they eat, elk are adept at using a very wide array of forages. Elk have a large digestive system in relationship to their body size that allows them to do well on low quality food items. When plants are actively growing, the feed is easily digested. However, when growth slows and plant parts age, cellulose, which is a hard to digest cell component increases. Cellulose is also fairly high in grasses, yet with the large digestive system elk can flourish while other ungulates like deer and pronghorn do not fare as well. That doesn't mean all is great for elk either. When the state is in a serious, long-term drought as we are now, times get tough for all wildlife. When we were at the IDA grassland project (Game Management Unit 7W), which was in the middle of May this year, the forage was in poor condition. Lack of winter precipitation was apparent, as there was little in the way of forb or grass production in the area. Also, when some of the AES Board rode around checking waters, the lack of water in any of the dirt tanks or wildlife water developments was startling. Remember, this is just about the time that cows are either in the late stages of pregnancy or are giving birth and the demand for water when lactating is very high at that time. It was apparent that it was going to be a tough spring and early summer for the elk herds in the area. Couple this with the past decade that has been a period of drought with a few exceptions and the projections from weather folks that say the current drought may extend for another 20 years and habitat conditions become a greater concern to those who manage our elk herds. Throughout my career in wildlife management, when it rains, managing wildlife and wildlife habitat is easy. On the other hand, in droughts, it becomes much more difficult. Given the International Panel on Climate Change's prediction that the American Southwest will continue to experience warmer and drier conditions, the challenge to maintain our wildlife heritage will be more difficult. I believe one of the keys as it pertains to elk is to maintain adequate water supplies, particularly when cows are pregnant and lactating. This is when water is essential to calf survival and for cows to maintain adequate body condition. Arizona Elk Society 7 In extreme drought, wildlife become desperate for water. Ok, so it is a little warmer, how does this affect wildlife and wildlife habitat? One of the key issues that we need to look at is that climate change has been referred to as global warming so often that many people view warming as the sole issue related to climate change, but this is really not true. Scientists have observed that weather extremes are more common. Droughts are more severe, hurricanes are more common, snowfall more variable, and spring is coming earlier. In the aggregate, all of these weather patterns will have a definite impact on vegetation and in turn, on wildlife. Let's look at a few specifics related to changes in weather patterns that impact wildlife. Over the last several decades, the onset of spring weather has advanced an average of 2.3 days each decade so spring is happening earlier. No big deal right? Think about this. Over eons, evolutionary pressures have shaped many biological patterns such as the time that wildlife produce young with the timing of production coinciding with the optimal time for young survival. In Arizona, generally elk have their young in late spring early summer. This is when weather has warmed, snow has melted and vegetation is at its peak of nutritional value for cows that have produce milk to support the young calf as it grows. As spring comes earlier, the relationship between the peak of habitat conditions and calf rearing changes and the change is not for the better. For many bird species, this change has a more pronounced impact than it does for elk as the reproductive cycle for birds is much shorter and time sensitive than for elk. Keep in mind that we are not looking at a few days making a big difference, but string several decades together and the impact can be pronounced. There are other impacts to the vegetative community that are tied to climate change. Scientists have found that as temperatures increase, there has been a shift in animal distribution of an average of about 4 miles towards the poles of the Earth each decade. Also, there has been a push upslope of about 20 feet each decade. To me, these numbers don't seem like an ecologically important value, "Thanks for the water!" As you read this article, the Arizona Elk Society is developing a long-term water management program to assist the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the federal land management agencies with ensuring that water is distributed through the area where elk roam. The first stage of this program is to assist in hauling water to developments that have gone dry. In cooperation with the Department and the Forest Service, AES is assisting in hauling water to key water developments in units 9 and 7W. This is, however, a short-term solution, albeit a critical one now. It is also important to begin to improve the distribution and permanence of waters for wildlife. We are in discussions with the agencies now on what role we might be able to play in maintaining and improving water catchments. We are also in process of working with both landowners and agencies on cleaning and refurbishing dirt tanks that hold water for wildlife. In June 2012, the AES in cooperation with the Forest Service and the Department removed the silt from four water tanks on the Buck Springs Allotment in 5A and 10 on an adjacent allotment. The AES currently has a cooperative project with a rancher in Unit 9 whereby we are funding the refurbishment of 11 dirt tanks that were identified by the local Wildlife Manager as being important to a diverse group of wildlife species. The world we live in is changing and regardless of the cause of the current change in climate, it is occurring and unabated, the change in climate will have a dramatic impact on wildlife. For Arizona's elk herds, climate change is not likely to have a short-term impact but the longterm (hundreds of years from now) impact is uncertain. Through our on-the-ground projects, the AES is doing what we can now to help our wildlife to get through the current dry spell as we do all we can to make water available to wildlife that need a drink to get by. 8 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 2 0 1 2 A n n u A l All members and the public are invited. Learn about our accomplishments and meet the current Board. m e e t i n g Members will be asked to vote on the new Executive Board members and Directors. thursdAy, Aug.16, 6:30pm � upstAirs @ cAbelA's Below are the current seated Directors and the slate of nominees to be voted in. Only current members may vote. Additionally, we have some new bylaws changes to be adopted. Refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be available. current board members serving the second year of their 2 year term: Jim Mullins Rick Schmidt Mike Norburg Ken Alexander Bill Walp 2012-2013 slate of nominees to be voted on: Officers President , Steve Clark Vice President , Carl Hargis Treasurer, Annette Naff Secretary, Liala Wood board members: (5 open positions) Gary Maschner Greg Naff Steve McGaughey Tom Schorr Matt Mullins Cookie Nicoson Submitted By Nominating Committee Ron Eichelberger Walt Godbehere proposed changes to the Arizona elk society by-laws: To read the Arizona Elk Society ByLaws with the proposed changes please go to our website www.arizonaelksociety.org. The full copy of the AES By Laws with proposed changes in red will be available on the home page under the Annual Meeting notice. see you August 16th! Arizona Elk Society 9 by John Koleszar Tinebook "bb" As fate would have it, "BB" decided to meet with me closer to Big Lake this time rather than the Show Low area. He decided to contact me using his new wildlife social media account called Tinebook. I was amused to get the notice on my elkhabitat@gmail account and I perused some of the photos that Tinebook had to offer. "BB" is "friends" with a lot of different bulls and boys being boys, there were a few photos that showed how unique the male of all species are. Since the bachelor bulls are all gathered together, and since this is a new venture that "BB" had put together, Tinebook is almost predominantly about bulls for now. The typical chatter about "who's got a bigger set of antlers" was prevalent, but I did copy one picture that caught my eye. It was from a distant nephew of "BB" that lives way over in the Tusayan area. His Tinebook name is "Dennis the Menace" and I have included a photo that was posted on Tinebook. I was very interested in talking with "BB" about this nephew, so armed with water and a backpack, I headed towards Big Lake. We met close to dawn on what surprised me as being a chilly morning. The wind was up, but 10 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 down in the little canyon he had chosen, you could see and hear the big Ponderosas on top creaking and waving in the fierce winds. "BB" came up through the canyon and only god knows where he had been bedded down. He plodded along in that strut I am so familiar with. His antlers had sprouted nicely, but I think he will end up being only a 360" class bull this year. "Morning "BB"" I said. "Nice location for us to meet. Just where the hell am I?""BB" snorted and said, "You just want to know my hidey holes, and this location probably will stay a secret as long as you don't write about it." I had taken so many dirt roads and twisted trails that I was confused. The only thing I knew for sure was that the gray light of dawn showed we were in a north south canyon. "Okay "BB" where did you come up with the , name Tinebook?""BB" got that goofy grin and said, "You humans have this thing called Facebook, so I kind of copied the name a little. I thought about the name "Muzzlebook" but that didn't seem to have much pizzazz. Then I thought about all the great antlers I see and I wondered about tine length and the term "Tinebook" just popped into my head. Hanging out with some of my brethren we decided to try and keep in touch with this new gizmo and it just took off." I popped out the photo of his nephew Dennis and said, "Just what is the deal with Dennis? If I'm not mistaken, that's a garden hose he seems to be wearing around his puny antlers.""BB" chucked and said, "That goofy nephew of mine is always getting himself in hot water. His first pass was with barbed wire and someone from the AZGFD put a dart in his big butt and when he got up, the wire was gone and he felt a little loopy. From that point on when he wanted to get a little crazy, he would find something to wrap around that little rack and hope like all get out that someone from AZGFD would dart him again. That's when he got the nickname "Dennis the Menace" He was . really depressed when those antlers fell off a few weeks ago." I peered at the photo and commented, "He seems to have decent size, but not much on antler growth.""BB" grunted and said, "He's just a 2 year old bull. He's got great genetics and he'll have great antlers by next season. Give the kid a break and wait 2 years from now to judge him. Besides, have you seen any massive rainfalls recently? Seems like almost every waterhole I know of is bone dry and my favorite grazing spots are all just like crispy brittle blades of stunted grasses. There won't be much growing to the maximum sizes we are all used to." I nodded my understanding to his statement. The usual drought predictions were holding true and all we could hope for was a heavy monsoon season. Moisture was almost non-existent and the humidity levels were creeping up slowly. The monsoon season was supposed to be going full blast by now and there have been barely any at me and responded, "Do you really think I would give you a clue as to where I will be hanging out this fall? I heard that you will be guiding some friends this fall in 3A and 3C, so that one's off the list. I hear tell that old man Sitko has a muzzleloader in unit 1 as well, so that's certainly off my list. Besides, I go where the ladies lead me, and hell, us bulls never know where that takes us." I thought about his response and nodded my approval. "I guess that leaves either 23 or the reservation right?" Again a frustrated "BB" just stared hard at me. "What did you miss by that last comment boy? I go where the ladies take me and I darn sure am not giving you any clues. Your luck with bulls has been too good for too long and I may just stay in a tight area with a few select lady friends and keep my hide and horns intact." I knew our time was limited, so we arranged a meeting for just after the early season rifle hunts. He expressed his desire to meet in Forest "Just what is the deal with Dennis? If I'm not mistaken, that's a garden hose he seems to be wearing around his puny antlers." rains all across the Rim. We watched the brightening sky and he motioned for me to get closer to the deep shade. "You can't expect me to be hanging around in full light boy. A bull doesn't get to be as good looking as me by traipsing across any open spots in full light." I walked over to the deep recesses of the canyon wall and it really was at least 10 degrees cooler. I had a couple of more questions before my antlered buddy would be heading for his long day siesta so I started out with my most important one. "OK "BB" any ideas where you , might be running this fall?""BB" glared Lakes at our usual hang out, the Bugle Inn. Of course the time and date are kept a secret, so don't any readers think about trailing the Prius up the hill. I began my trek out of the canyon and turned to wave goodbye. Of course "BB" was long gone, but I knew he had his eyes on me, so I waved to the wind and headed back to the reality of life in the city. Arizona Elk Society 11 This year's Arizona Elk Society Wapiti Weekend was a big hit. The kids had a great time and the weather E E K cooperated all weekend. We even had a nice rain shower during lunch on Saturday that ended at the perfect time to get back to the classes. W A T PI I 2012 WApiti Weekend Photo by Brenda Crawford by Steve Clark Our goal each year is to have classes that expose the kids to many types of outdoor skills that they can continue to practice after camp. Many of the events give them instruction and ideas on how to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. We talk to the kids about conservation and our role in protecting the forests for all. "I had a great time, I loved my group, the activities, the staff, the food, and the scenery. I can't wait ` il t next year" "This was my favorite year so far! I loved my group and activities and can't wait to return next year" 12 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 E N D W Events for this year included: archery, .22 rifles, pellet rifles, fishing, muzzleloaders, shotgun shooting, geocaching, blood trailing, wildlife identification, track making, predator/ prey, owl pellet dissecting, predator calling, gold panning and survival key chain making. Lots of smiles were seen all through camp. As you can see in the pictures, we had new "Had an events and awesome time" many firsttime volunteers and other organizations that stepped in to help. Seeing all the new faces was great. I will forget to name all the groups and for that I apologize but thanks go out to: National Wild Turkey Federation for their Turkey calling class, raffle for every "I loved doing the Phoenix Varmint Callers youth and a for the predator calling bag of goodies air rifle shooting!" class, the guys from and information the Buckeye Shooting at the end but Range for the shotgun class, John Toner from the Gold Prospectors Association of Continental Divide Phoenix for the Gold Panning class, Knives donated a custom-made knife Arizona Hunt of a Lifetime, John that was won by one of the youths. Toner of Continental Divide Knives That youth in turn gave the knife to for Wildlife Identification, Blaine his dad for Father's Day. The Gold Bickford and his group that led the Prospectors donated a Gold Nugget muzzleloader class and many more. that was also raffled to one of the kids These groups bring a nice diversity to who presented it to their dad. To all our camp and expose the kids to many the dads of all the kids, we hope you different outdoor skills that hopefully had a good Father's Day. will encourage them to spend more As always, the women � Shelly, Wendy, time outdoors and help us continue Bessa and their helpers � that work the hunting and angling heritage. countless hours getting ready for and Special thanks to all the donors that running the camp, did another great donated product to the give-a-ways job. Wapiti Weekend is successful for the kids. Not only do we have a free because of the efforts of these women "I love coming here and every time I have a lot of fun" Arizona Elk Society 13 and the great amount of volunteers, supporters and donors that make it possible. Then there is the great food. We heard nothing but good things about the food. Sharon Eichelberger and her crew in the kitchen area again did a fantastic job. The food was delicious and nobody should have gone home hungry. Planning, prepping and feeding this many people is a big job and Sharon and a host of wonderful volunteers worked early mornings and late nights preparing the meals. "It was great" As always, a hearty THANK YOU to all the volunteers, sponsors and donors that make Wapiti Weekend possible. With your continued support this camp will expand and get even better. The lives you touch by helping are grateful for the opportunity your hours of service and donations provide. It is great to watch the volunteers with the kids. Many of these kids have never shot a bow, rifle or shotgun and the instructors do a phenomenal job teaching safety and coaching these kids. Every youth at the event was able to hit targets during their classes or catch a fish for the first time. The smiles from the kids after those types of accomplishments make it all worthwhile. thAnk you to our volunteers! "This was a great year and I had a bunch of fun" 14 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 "I'm coming back" thAnk you to our donors! Anton Sport Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest Alpine RD Arizona Desert Star Automotive Arizona Game and Fish Department Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation Aspen Country Reality Broken Wheel Enterprises Buckeye Sportsman's Club Burke's Towing and Recovery Cabela's CAM Repair Charlene Sipe Chasse Building Team Continental Divide Knives Desert Bowhunters EO Arizona (Carolyn Benson) Four Peaks Landscape Management Inc. In memory of Cody Geisler In memory of Dennis Sipe Kauffman Enterprises LLC. National Muzzle Loader Association NRA Performance Suspension Components Ponderosa Outfitters Round Valley Shooting Sports Shoot Right Sportsman's Warehouse Thunderbirds Charities, David Rauch Walt Nicoson Original Metal Art Arizona Elk Society 15 The Dysart High School wrestling team the idA grAsslAnds project � A key conservAtion Action by Jim deVos, Director of Conservation Affairs Boy Scouts Troop 14 16 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 Some of the 62 volunteers Volunteer teams spread out to cut trees Grassland habitats are considered one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. When we think of grasslands, often we conjure up an image of a vast area with few trees and of course, abundant grasses. While this is the image, it is a vanishing image in most regions of the world. Grasslands have been heavily impacted by a number of human-related factors. Most scientists consider grasslands as a fire-dependent habitat type. Historically, fires occurred, burned the area and killed the trees, but as a fire adapted strategy, the bulk of the grass is really underground in the form of extensive roots that escape damage from most fires. As a consequence of the absence of fires, tree species have proliferated and changed the ecological dynamics of grasslands. In addition to woody invaders, people really like to build homes in grasslands. Currently, The Nature Conservancy indicates that only about 5% of the worlds grasslands are protected from adverse impacts. I live on the edge of the grassland east of Prescott Valley and from my office window now look out at a housing development where 20 years ago, I watched pronghorn wander the expanse of Lonesome Valley. As a consequence, I haven't observed a pronghorn in this area for about five years. Instead, I watch golf carts cavort around on the golf course where the deer and the antelope played. Earlier today, I drove home from Phoenix, which takes me through the grassland around Sunset Point on Interstate 17. As I looked across the area, I was stricken by the changes that have occurred there. While it looks like a grassland, in reality, many of the grass species have been replaced by noxious shrubs like snakeweed that have very little value to wildlife and make the grasslands look like, but clearly not function like grasslands. So what does all of this have to do with the recent The younger generation pitches in and supervises Arizona Elk Society 17 Dysart High wrestlers getting the job done Ray manning the kitchen Arizona Elk Society IDA grassland project? Well, like many things that the AES does, the goal is to make the area a better place for wildlife. The IDA grasslands is located west of Flagstaff and at one time was part of a large grassland complex that provided movement corridors for big game species to avoid the heavy snows that can occur in the region. It was also a key area providing forage for elk, deer, pronghorn, and turkeys in winter as the area was lower in elevation and more free from snow than higher elevation lands. Not only was the area important as winter habitat but species like golden eagles and a couple of lark species also used the area in summer. Depending on the species and the season, wildlife needed an intact grassland to meet their needs to live and breed. In May 2012, volunteers from the AES descended on the IDA grassland with loppers and saws at the ready. On Chow lines � these volunteers earned their keep today! 18 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 Dysart High wrestling team's camp Cutting trees Saturday, May 19th about 65 people took to a section of land identified by the Forest Service as being a key area to restore to pre-historic grassland conditions. Through the day, volunteers worked tirelessly to cut pinyon and junipers that were invading this section of the grassland. No one counted but there were tree carcasses everywhere by the end of Sunday when the project ended. It is now an area where a golden eagle could find a jackrabbit for dinner and elk could find something to eat next December. There were some really unique aspects to this project. Most often, the AES volunteers are either adults or families with children. This time, we had a great Boy Scout Troup and the wrestling team from Dysart High School working along side the rest of us. What a great opportunity for young people to learn that to conserve the great natural heritage that we have in Arizona, they have to play an active role in conservation programs. By the end of the day, I was completely worn out, but the young folks were still at it. It was great to see their enthusiasm and drive. Bringing young people into the natural resource conservation world is one of the key segments of the AES Mission and the members were all proud to share camp with these youngsters. For more information on this project or to see the schedule for other projects that you can participate in, take a moment and visit the AES website at www.arizonaelksociety.org. By the way, you can also become an AES member at the same website. Hope to see at a project soon. After clearing the small trees Arizona Elk Society 19 by Steve Clark The Arizona Elk Society and our volunteers spent a couple of days cleaning and prepping a 50,000 gallon water tank for sealing to keep it from leaking. This particular tank is part of the extensive 42-mile pipeline that Jim O'Haco built. The pipeline and water is made available for wildlife even when cattle are off the range. Jim has long supported hunter access, which has been made possible through the cooperative efforts of AZG&FD and the O'Haco family. In the past, this tank has been repaired with a liner to stop the numerous leaks. The liner had served its purpose and had cracked and was leaking. In 2011, the O'Haco Ranch and the AZGFD presented the HPC (Habitat Partnership Committee) with a proposal to install a fiberglass liner in the tank to stop the leaks. The cost of the fix was $40,000 to $50,000 and was to be funded by monies raised by the Arizona Elk Society through the sale of the Arizona Commissioner Special Elk Tag. After seeing the proposal, President Steve Clark asked to take the project on as a volunteer project. The Arizona Elk Society had cleaned and sealed tanks on their Adopt-a-Ranch, the 26 Bar in Eagar, and had the experience to handle this project. On the 26 Bar Ranch, we had used an epoxy and patch kits to effectively seal coat 20 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 the tank with a 20-30 year life span. Funds for materials were provided by the Arizona Sportsman for Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Council, Conserve Wildlife license Plate grant. Take time today to go to MVD and get your plate and be part of conserving wildlife in Arizona. On the weekend of April 14-15, we arrived at camp and were greeted by high winds and a chance of snow. It was cold, but 30 volunteers showed up to get the job done. Many of the volunteers spent Friday afternoon mucking and prepping the tank for the material. Low and behold after a long night of 40-50 mph winds, we awoke to over 4" of snow. Now we had to start over removing water, drying the tank and grinding the rust and material out. Due to the cold weather, and porous concrete, the material would not cooperate and we ran short of needed epoxy by late Saturday afternoon. The drive out on Sunday was definitely one to be remembered with snow and deep mud. Stage 2: After ordering more material we worked with Jim O'Haco to keep the tank empty until we could get a crew back in. It turned out that the RMEF had a project planned on the ranch in a couple of weeks and they volunteered to finish the work. Currently the tank is full and the pipeline is running with water available for wildlife once again. As always, the Arizona Elk Society thanks all of the volunteers. Without your help and support, we wouldn't be able to accomplish these types of projects. Jim O'Haco would like all the volunteers and funders of the project to know he is grateful for their hard work and the time spent to complete this task. We are honored to have been able to work with Jim and the O'Haco Ranch. Jim has been a great steward of the land and wildlife. Arizona Elk Society 21 unit 23 turkey cAmp 2012 by Steve Clark April 19-22, 2012 the Arizona Elk Society teamed up with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Phoenix Predator Callers Inc., Arizona Flycasters, AZ Hunt of a Lifetime, Outdoor Arizona Kids and many other groups and volunteers at the Marvin Robbins Memorial Youth Turkey Camp in Unit 23. This year the First Lady of Hunting, Brenda Valentine visited the camp and chose a young girl to take out for a hunt. There are many people throughout the Arizona and the U.S. that are very interested in seeing the youth and new hunters out in the woods hunting. You might ask what the AES is doing at a Turkey Camp. I'll tell you, it is a great way to introduce new hunters to big game hunting. Similar to elk, you must locate and call in an unsuspecting gobbler to get a chance to harvest a turkey. Many of the skills you need to hunt elk are the same when you hunt turkey. Many of the Units near 23 are over the counter tags so we can get kids that want to hunt into the woods. This is a mentored camp so we had many experienced hunters in camp to take the tag holders and their parents out on the hunt. This year about 65 kids registered to hunt and 21 or so were in camp to learn about hunting, archery, fly fishing and predator calling. The Arizona Elk Society sets up a small 3-D archery course for the kids and teaches them how to shoot a bow. 22 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 Check out the Arizona Game and Fish website for youth hunts and more if you are interested or know someone that wants to learn to hunt. The AZGFD has put together a large group of organizations and volunteers to take kids and new hunters hunting. Check it out at www.azgfd.gov/h_f/ MentoredHunting Camps.shtml. If you are interested in volunteering to help at these camps or take the kids out hunting please contact a group in the HAHWG (Hunter and Angler Work Group) we are always looking for help. As always thank you to all the volunteers that took time out of their schedules to get involved. We can't do these camps without you! Arizona Elk Society 23 A box of chocolAtes by Patrick Weise Tom sits quietly. From his position two-thirds up the mountain, he can see a lot. For a hundred miles, it seems. Till the blue horizon blends end with the edge of the earth. But this is not where Tom looks. His left eye is squeezed shut as his right peers through a magnified image. A spotting scope sits on a short tripod, wedged between his legs. His breathing is calm, his attention aimed at picking apart the surrounding mountains, inch-by-inch. Tom is hunting elk, not for just any elk, but a trophy. He dreams of holding antlers that could capture a moment, his big smile, on the high gloss cover of his favorite hunting magazine. The hours slip by slow. While Tom sits in the shade of a pine, the sun bakes the open meadow below him. Waves of heat rise back up off the land, parched grasses, and dehydrating bushes. Songbirds dive-bomb insects as they move for cover, trying to follow the shade of sticks. In a few hours, the sun will set. Coolness in the air will blanket the meadow as it comes to life with elk, feeding on grasses and browse, all their stomachs can hold. It is mid September, and Tom can see trucks drive along the forest service roads. Plumes of dust send up smoke signals until the drivers arrive at their destinations, get out, and enter the woods. "Aah." The long vocal sigh breathes out of his mouth with relief, "Finally, elk," he whispers. Tom spends all day on the mountain, from sunrise to sunset, glassing the mountains. When he finds a bull, he zooms in to count the points and visually score the animal. He won't pack up and go after 24 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 anything less than 380 scoreable inches. Already his garage is full. One entire wall is stacked--European mounts--like lumber, the length of the floor. Each rack still holding tight in his mind--a memory--of how excited he felt at full draw. His mind still replays a short video clip. An arrow, flying through mid air at lightening speed, the thaa-wack of razor steel shaking hands with moist flesh. Lumbered moments etched in time, each with the same hardness as ivory tipped tines; it's what keeps Tom focused now as he sits. Inside his house, in the upper reaches of the vaulted ceiling, are trophies any hunter would ohh and aah over. Shoulder mounts of record book game, preserved in still life. Directly across the meadow, a two-mile span away, Pat parks his brown truck 30 feet off the dirt road. He walks towards a cluster of living and dead trees with bow in hand, then, disappears. He is walking uphill, cutting well-worn trails, each littered with prints of elk. He positions himself a third of a mile up the mountain, and to his right, less than a mile away, a stock tank. He knows the elk are bedded all around him. Soon, bulls and cows will begin their journey. A meandering of feeding and walking. Cautiously moving towards the water to drink at dusk. Pat pauses and studies the paths cut into the ground, looking at the size of prints in the soft silt dirt. He is looking for large dewclaws in the rear, a telltale sign of big bulls. Already, he has passed on five small bulls. Unworthy adversaries. He does not need anything huge, but wants something to make another hunter say, Wow, nice bull. Not far off he hears a bugle. A late summer cry for love. His attention leaves the prints in the ground as he stares off in the direction of the sound. He listens with the same intensity as a father, who is calling out to his lost child, waiting for the reassuring response. From the silence of the forest, the same bleeding bugle screams its lost cry again, only this time closer. Pat removes a Primos elk call from his front pocket and places the orange mouthpiece to his lips. He takes in a big deep breath of air and begins to blow, but can't. A smile, then a half-suppressed laugh erupts, breaking the seriousness of the moment. This has happened before. Back home, in his Man Cave, with the door closed, he blew the call for the first time, hearing the new sound. Immediately a bark bellowed back. Through the sheetrock walls and paint, through all the clothes hanging in the closet he heard, "What are you doing in there?" "I MAKA DA BULL CRAZY," he replied in a yell, as though she, his wife, was two streets away. "You're making me crazy," she answered back, in a tone unreceptive, non-seductive. "Keep blowing that thing and there will be no rutting action for you." This is what he remembers now, with his cheeks all puffed up like a balloon ready to pop, trying to gather his composure, and call back to the bull. He takes in three deep breaths, pulls his thoughts in straight, and blows into the mouthpiece. The thought of his wife's voice vanishes when the bull immediately replies. Pat is standing in a small clearing on the trail full of hoof prints. He looks around for a place to take a possible shot from and scurries over to some junipers. He drops to his knees and sits on the heels of his feet, slipping a small flat mouth call into the roof of his mouth. An arrow is nocked, his release aid hooked, when green juniper branches begin to sway. Antlers move across the treetops, this bull is hot. He screams as his brown body emerges into plain view from the sea of trees. His walk is not slow but a fast stride. Pat is already at full draw. He wishes now he had a 10-yard sight pin, but places the red 20 behind the moving front shoulder. His outstretched bow arm moves like the second hand of a clock, in perfect stride with the elk. As fast as a shooting star the arrow leaves him, only visible but for the moment before disappearing. The bowstring snaps, the bull takes off at a full gallop, kicking up dust from its path. Pat blows what remaining air his lungs are willing to cough up. The sound that emerges, from the call glued to the roof of his mouth without spit, screeches something fierce only a hawk could understand. The bull is gone. He sits for ten minutes. The wait pulls at his insides, slow, like watching ice melt. He gets up to go find evidence, reassurance of what he thinks his mind saw. He's looking for drops of blood; instead, he finds his arrow spray-painted from end-to-end, a wet crimson red. He walks in the Arizona Elk Society 25 direction of the bull. Between the trees with branches broken and hanging limp. Another small opening appears. Yellow flowers cover the rocky area, a field of dreams, and a sleeping bull elk. It is a warm afternoon. Pat can feel the complexity of the task at hand, flowing through him like the rays of sun warming his back. He cuts open the elk. A rush of warmth steams his face, as he removes the insides to cool the cavity. He uses a stick to hold the incision open while the bull lies on its side. He skins the hide off one side, laying it on the ground to help cool the meat off even more. While he works, he asks himself, Why? Why did he shoot this bull? It is not huge. Did I just loose my patience? He thinks he is worthy of a larger bull. I'm a better hunter than this. The questions go unanswered as he doubts himself and remembers the words of his taxidermist when he took his first bull in for mounting, "Any hunter would be proud to have this bull," the man had said. Still he feels unrest. He marks the location of the bull on his gps, heads back down off the mountain to his truck, and drives back to camp. Up on the mountain, Tom watches as the hunter walks out of the forest, across the meadow, and drives away. He wonders why he is leaving the area so early in the evening. He continues to glass, finding small groups of cows, eating and moving towards known water holes. He sees a single bull, then bulls with one or more cows with them. Today in total, he has seen 25 bull elk; still he sits and glasses, patiently waiting. Stories have circulated, and he has seen, a Goliath 7x7. A heard bull with antlers so large they would straddle the sides of a truck. He knows the bull is in the area. This is why he sits and waits, and watches all that moves. A game of chess, matching man and bull. Thirty minutes pass and Tom sees the same brown truck that left, drive back up. The truck does not park in the same spot but drives across the meadow, backing up with its tailgate pointing towards the base of the mountain, before parking. The hunter has an empty pack frame on his back, a lantern in his hand, and begins walking back up into the woods. The sun sinks below the mountaintop somewhere far in the west. Tom scans the forest, the meadow, as long as he can see. At dark, he packs up his spotting scope and removes a small l.e.d. flashlight out of his pack to guide his walk down off the mountain. It is pitch dark when he arrives at his truck. He removes his backpack, stows it carefully away with his bow and drives off into the night. Pat is busy quartering his bull. He sets the lantern close so he can see what he is cutting. He has one front, and one rear quarter removed, along with one back strap. They lye cooling in game bags in the crux of a tree. The crickets are making noise, humming a 26 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 musical tune that fills the night air. The lantern is glowing bright. Its burning gas hisses in sync to form a rhythm Pat seems to be skinning too. He pulls at the hide, slicing it free to reveal red meat. He starts humming a song, "La, la, laaa, yeah," he cannot remember. His toes thump up and down inside his boots, his feet wanting to dance, but he has work to do. It is during this sort-of slow dance, with hide in an outstretched left arm, knife in a tucked-right waltz position, that he hears the crack of wood, the distinct compression of footsteps from behind him. The thought of bear claws swiping across his back, blinks through his mind. Then visions of hungry wolves challenging him for meat; forcing him to the ground, rain fear into what he cannot see. He drops the hide and squeezes tight his grip on the bloody knife. He spins around to see a silhouette moving towards him. From the darkness, he hears, "Good evening." A small dim l.e.d. flashlight waves a ray of light. A man walks up to Pat as if appearing out of nowhere. He is unshaven, wearing camouflage clothing, a hunter no doubt, and wearing an empty pack frame. One that looks exactly like the extra one he left in the back of his truck. The man walks up to the hissing lantern and extends his hand, "Hi, I'm Tom." Both men shake hands, sharing elk blood in their grip. "Pat Weise." "I saw you back your truck up earlier," says Tom, "So I thought I'd come give you a hand, I'm parked next to you now. I would have been here earlier but I got lost in the dark. I had to find a thin enough pine tree to climb so I could find your light." "You have got to be kidding me," says Pat. "Well," says Tom, "I saw that you were by yourself, so I thought I'd lend a hand. Besides, I wanted to see your elk." "Wow, thanks," says Pat, "I don't know what to say." "Your welcome will do," says Tom, "Let's finish getting this guy cut up and get him out of here." The two become quick friends, sharing small talk as they cut together, around bone and through meat. Pat tries to explain, how he tried to hold out for a larger bull, "Passed on five smaller ones," he says, "Don't know what happed here." He is shaking his head, as if ashamed for taking this Arizona Elk Society 27 beautiful bull, "I saw white tipped antlers cutting through the green trees. I was sure he was going to be big. I had passed on so many already. It just felt right. I had to shoot him." Pat could see Tom grin through the murky yellow hue the lantern lit across his face. "He's a nice bull," exclaims Tom. Sometimes hunting is like a box of chocolates. You look at them all, different colors and shapes, trying to decipher if you'll be happy with your choice. Finally, you choose, you take that bite. They're all good, but you never know what you are going to get until you take it. Pat nods his head, agreeing with what Tom said. They make three trips back and forth, from elk to truck by the light of the lantern, until the moving of elk is complete. Back at the trucks, they talk a little more, and then shut down the hissing lantern. The night becomes black again, and they feel small, standing in the unlimited vastness. Two men, new friends, in the middle of nowhere. In the meadow, out in front of them, bulls scream as if they own the night. Both Tom and Pat's heads turn to look at each other, as if to say, Did you hear that? But it is too dark to see expressions on a face, so together they just stand and listen, like sentinels under a star filled sky. An Arizona native, Patrick Weise has been living and breathing elk since his first arrowed bull in September of 2000. He sleeps in the Phoenix metro area, most nights, but his home lichens outdoors, somewhere north, between the dry desert floor and a pine tree canopy. Arizona sportsmen for Wildlife conservation conservation license plate By purchasing this plate you will be making a contribution to Arizona's wildlife and wildlife habitat. Seventeen dollars ($17) of each twenty-five ($25) special license fee will go to AZSFWC's Wildlife Conservation Committee (WCC). The WCC will review and approve all grants from the special license plate program revenues. These grants will fund important outdoor recreational and educational opportunities and on-the-ground wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement projects. These plates can be purchased online and can also be personalized. To order an AZSFWC Conservation License Plate go to: www.servicearizona.com 28 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 Reprinted with permission from Pope and Young Magazine Arizona Elk Society 29 ArizonA elk society founding members Founding Associate Members Douglas Sr & Donna Obert Founding Life Members Ken Alexander+ Michael J Anderson Ernest Apodaca, Jr+ David Baril+ Randy Beck Keith Berger Esther Cadzow John Cadzow Harry Carlson Randy A Cherington+ Pete Cimellaro Steve Clark Todd A Coleman Richard Currie Don Davidson Kay Davidson Larry Day Sharon Eichelberger Ron Eichelberger Peter Ekholm Daron Evans Will & Fran Garrison* Ed Hightower Michael Horstman+ James Johnson Earl C Johnson Edward E Johnson Richard Johnson+ Mitchell Jones Sandra G Kauffman Richard E Kauffman, Sr Bill Kelley Peter S Klocki+ John Koleszar+ James Lara Tim Littleton James Lynch Jr+ Don Martin Russ McDowell William D Meredith Anthony Nichols Cookie Nicoson Walt Nicoson* Mark Nixon Donna Obert Douglas Obert, Sr* Shawn Patterson Jan Purdy Forrest Purdy Mark Raby+ Mel Risch+ Rick Schmidt+ Tom Schorr Gregory Stainton Douglas Stancill Vashti "Tice" Supplee+ Dan Taylor John Toner Corey Tunnell Rick Vincent, Sr Don Walters, Jr 30 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012 Dee White Larry White+ Mark Worischeck Joseph Worischeck Chuck Youngker Founding Sustaining Members Everett & Joyce Nicoson Founding Couple Members Bridgid & Ron Anderson John & Patty Anderson Denny* & Paula Bailey Robert F & Shirley J Banks John & Taina Beaty Robin & Billie Bechtel Brad & Shelley Borden Philip* & Jamie Brogdon+ Mark & Shanna Brooks Shawn & Lisa Carnahan Kim & Lynn Carter, Sr Danny R Cline & Pat Thompson Tim & Patti Garvin W Hays & Suzanne Gilstrap Don & Gwen Grady Steve & Bobi Hahn Igor & Christy Ivanoff Daniel & Danny Johnson Glen & Tracey Jones Richard & Wendy Kauffman Bill & Mary Keebler Mark & Lynda Kessler Mel & Diane Kincaid Richard & Christine Krantz Dick & Nancy Krause Eric & Wendy Krueger Ron & Lisa Lopez+ Gary & Lin Maschner Shane & Tiffany May Kevin & Donna McBee Roger & Micaela Mellen Denny & Pat Moss Robert & Diana Noel Richard Oberson & Bonnie McAuley* William & Vera Rezzonico Clarence Rodriquez MD Richard & Anna Schmidt David Scott & Rosemarie Nelson Bruce & Lisa Snider Macey & Becky Starling Ed & Ace Stevens Tim & Ellena Tanner Craig & Susan Thatcher Tom & Kristel Thatcher Marvin & Margo Thompson+ Jim & Shellie Walker+ Keith & Lois Zimmerman Founding General Members Kendall Adair Gary R Anderson Jim Andrysiak Denny Ashbaugh Ron Barclay Cal Bauer John F Bauermeister Robert Baughman Manny Bercovich Dr Tom Boggess, III Tom Brown Tom Carroll Steve Cheuvront Carolyn Colangelo Mike Cupell Jack Daggett Kyle Daggett+ Bob Davies Gary A Davis Nathan Day John W Decker* Chris Denham Neal E Dial Craig Dunlap Jennifer Evans Bobby Fite Chris Flanders Lorenzo A Flores Roger Gibson Courtney Gilstrap Floyd Green Jon Hanna Douglas Hartzler Art Hathaway Dean Hofman David J Hofman Norma E Hook* Russ Hunter David Hussey Rick Johnson Mike Jones Doug Jones Todd Julian Charlie Kelly Charles A Kerns John Krause Joseph M Lane Robby Long Aaron Lowry Rick MacDonald Joe Makaus Daniel Martin Michael L Mason Mike McCormick Donald Meakin James O Meeks Jason Mercier Jim Mercier Tracey Miner Ken Moss Ronald J Nadzieja Mike N Oliver Craig Pearson Kenneth B Piggott Bethena Pugh Carlos Quihuis Robert L Read Neal Reidhead* Kyle Sanford Craig Sanford Tony Seddon Arnold Shelton Dennis Shipp Tom Sisco Bruce Sitko M Scott South Carl Staley Randy Stout Kenneth K Stringer John W Stuckey Dave Swayzee* Troy Tartaglio Gary TeBeest Todd Thelander Charles B Thompson Stan Thompson Thom Tokash Brian Van Kilsdonk Rick Vaughn Kathy L Vincent Rick Vincent II Don R Walker Douglas Watson Vince Watts Todd Weber Donald D Weber Jr Tom Wooden Douglas Woodward Founding Junior Members Tyler Getzwiller Kevin H Knight Daniel Raby Nathan Raby James Rawls Sheena Smith Blake Tartaglio Alexandra Tartaglio Alexis Tartaglio Travis Thatcher Clayton Thatcher Nathan Thatcher Wayne Thatcher Taylor Thatcher Alexandra Vincent Emma C Vincent Justin M Vincent Prior to March 17, 2002, AES Founding Memberships were available. These individuals and couples came forth to show their support for the AES in it's early stages of development. During the formation of the AES, administrative funds were needed to pay for organizational costs that led up to the first fundraising banquet on March 16, 2002. Founding Members paid a premium membership fee to help make the first year a success. For their support and dedication, the following Founding Members will receive permanent recognition by the AES. + Membership upgraded * Deceased Habitat Partners of Arizona With the rapid loss of open space to development, wildlife habitat is being reduced at a rate of 7 square miles per day. Arizona's elk herds are loosing traditional migration corridors, calving grounds, forage meadows and other important habitat. The new "Habitat Partners of Arizona" program is designed to help protect that land. The main focus of this program will be to preserve land and prevent the rapid decline of Arizona's elk habitat. HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP: Become a Habitat Partner with your tax deductible donation starting at $2500 ($1000 for 17 and under). Payment Plan Available: $500 minimum commitment per year. You will be recognized for a donation level once your payments reach that level for each level you attain. All program participants that reach the $2500 level and above ($1000 for youth) will be recognized in literature and on the AES website and will receive a plaque at each level. If you are interested in donating property or a conservation easement, the AES will work with you to designate the appropriate level based on the value of the donation. DONATION LEVELS: Legacy Partner $500,000 Habitat Guardian $250,000 Monarch Partner $50,000 Imperial Partner $25,000 Royal Partner $10,000 Supporting Partner $5,000 Sponsor Partner $2,500 Spike Partner (17 & under) $1,000 FOR MORE INFO AND TO DONATE: You can find more details and the donation form at www.arizonaelksociety. org. Walt and Cookie Nicoson Royal Partner Arizona ELk Society Sponsor Partner Stephen Clark Habitat Partners Harry Carlson Imperial Partner Sponsor Partner Cabela's Sharon and John Stuckey Royal Partner Ron and Sharon Eichelberger Sponsor Partner Sponsor Partner Sportsman's Warehouse Sponsor Partner Sponsor Partner Bass Pro Shops Pacific West Representatives Supporting Partner Tom & Janet Bowman Arizona Elk Society 31 P.O.Box 190 Peoria, AZ 85380 CHANGE SERVICES REQUESTED NON-PROFIT US POSTAGE PAID Phoenix, AZ Permit No. 5572 events & kudos Aes elk clinic July 28 FOP #2, 19th Avenue AES member John Toner has been selected as artist inductee to the 2012 Outdoor Hall of Fame! The award honors those who have made significant contributions to the preservation of Arizona's outdoor heritage. John has donated so much of his artwork and time for conservation, it's great to see him be recognized. Aes AnnuAl meeting August 16 Upstairs at Cabela's unit 6A jr elk hunt cAmp October 11-14 Happy Jack Lodge c o n g rAt u lAt i o n s j o h n! Check us out at www.arizonaelksociety.org or "Like" us on Facebook to stay up-to-date. 32 The Tracker - 2nd Quarter 2012