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WATER FOR AZ’S WILDLIFE
HEROES RISING OUTDOORS
Photo by Mike Pellagati, WildVisions, Inc.
AES LIFE MEMBERS Mike Abramovich Dan Adler Christopher Agnone Hector Albarran Ken Alexander John Anderson Michael Anderson Patti Anderson John Anton Ernest Apodaca, Jr. Steve Armstrong Tony Baca Pete Baldwin James Ballard Leo Balthazor Lee Banning David Baril Kenneth Barnes Philip Barrett Ron Batz Randy Beck F.K. Benbow Tony Benites David Bennett Joseph Berardi Danny Berg Keith Berger Robert Besst Bruce Bettis John Bingham Jeff Blalock Jason Bluhm Tom Bobo Jr. Tom Bowman Janet Bowman Tish Bradford Dan Bradford Richard Briskin Stephen Brown, MD Gary Bryans Jr Jeffrey Buchanan Kurt Buckwald Robert Bueche Mike Burr Carlton Buscemi Michael Bush Esther Cadzow John Cadzow* Daniel Capote Cindi Carlson Lupe Carlson Harry Carlson* Kenneth Carney Brandon Carr Terry Carson Chris Casper
Steve Casterton Marcus Castro Nick Celenza Joe & Marisa Cerreta Randy Cherington Pete Cimellaro Richard Clark Steve Clark Gerad Claseman McAllen Coalson Bob Cockrill, Jr. Donna Marie Coleman Todd Coleman Francisco Contreras Barbara Cook James Cook Frank Cooper Russell Coover Robert Copeland Mike Coppock Richard Cowen Lonnie Crabtree William Crary Philip Cushman William Cullins Richard Currie Patrick Curry B. Todd Curtis Kay Davidson Don Davidson William Davis Bill Davis Jamie Davis Larry Day Kurt Davis Bryan Delgado Jim DeVos Mike Dirilo Joe Divito Steven Dodds William Dorsey Ray Dresslar Patrick Dugan Thomas Duncan Paul Durbin* Nick Edwards Ron Eichelberger Sharon Eichelberger Brian Eilers Peter Ekholm* Deborah Elliott Nathan Evans Tim Evans Daron Evans Shane Faulkner Scott Fisher
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Jeffrey Fleetham Randy Foote David Forbes Mark France Tom Franklin Douglas Fritz Will Garrison Mark Giebelhaus John Girvin Walt Godbehere Richard Goettel Joshua Grantham Charles Gray Edna Gray H. Alan Hallman, DVM John Hamett Carl Hargis Nate Harrel Charles Ray Harrison Sean Hatch Steve Havertine Merritt Haynes Keith Heimes Dan Hellman R. Todd Henderson Mario Hernandez Michael Hernandez Terry Herndon Charles Herner Joe Herrero Ed Hightower Mike Hobel Paul Hodges III Kevin Hogue Jim Holleran Mel Holsinger Scott Horn Michael Horstman Timothy Hosford Bryan House Danny Howard Ron Huddleston Bruce Hudson John Hull Todd Ingersoll Don Irwin Wayne Jacobs Kyle Jenkins Brian Johnsen Gary Johnson James C. Johnson James Johnson Earl Johnson Edward Johnson Lauren Johnson Richard Johnson
Rick Johnson Adam Jones Jim Jones Mitchell Jones Scott Jones Bruce Judson Andrew Kap Sandra Kauffman Richard Kauffman, Sr. Jim Kavanaugh Sandra Kearney Bill Kelley Denise Kennedy Chuck Kerr Roger Kesterson Bill Kiefer Brian Kimball Steve King David Kinman Donald Kinney Peter Klocki Peter Knadler John Koleszar Charles Koons Brian Koziol Joseph Krejci Otto Kuczynski Joseph LaJeunesse Joseph M. Lane James Lara Kevin Lawhor Randy Lay Dylan Lechter Michael Lechter Jeffrey C. Lehrer Justin Leitner Skylar Lempinen Jorge Leon Mike Leon Steve Leone Ruben Lerma Scott Lewis Kevin Libsack Bob Litchfield Tim Littleton Ryan Lloyd James Lynch, Jr. Bob Mallory John Marriott Eric Martin Don Martin Robert Martin Joseph Masseur Karl Matchinsky Gary Matchinsky Russ McDowell
Steve McGaughey Angela McHaney Kelly McMillan James Mehen* William Meredith James Mingus Matt Minshall Richard Moraca James Mullins James Mullins Matt Mullins Robert Murry, DVM Ronald Nadzieja Gregory Naff Annette Naff Megan Naff Keith Newlon Mark Nicholas Anthony Nichols Brandon Nichols Fletcher Nichols Lance Nichols Logan Nichols Cookie Nicoson Walt Nicoson* Paige Nicoson John Nightengale Kathi Nixon Mark Nixon Nick Novak David Nygaard Donna Obert Douglas Obert, Sr.* James Oldham Bob Olds Raul M. Ortiz Martin Paez Sallie Page Pete Page Danny Palmer Duane Palmer Everett Palmer Chris Parish Marlin Parker Don Parks Jr. Dale Parrish Billy Patterson Shawn Patterson Art Pearce Mike Pellegatti Allen Perez Guy Phillips Paul Piker Jack Poggendorf Forrest Purdy* Jan Purdy
Mark Raby* Kenneth Ramage Steve Remige Jim Renkema Robin Renowden Armon Rheaume Keith Riefkohl Mel Risch* Preston Riveras Travis Roberts Aaron Ruiz Roy Ruiz Todd Sabin Mike Sanders Kevin Sargent Michelle Schaefer Steven Schaefer Mark Schepers Rick Schmidt Barry Schmitz Tom Schorr Scott Schuff DeAnne Schuff Nathaneal Schulz Kurt Schulz Shannon Schulz Terry Schupp Peter Schwan Michael Schwindenhammer Bill Shaffer Steven Shaffer Howard Shaffer William Shaffer, Jr Lonzo Shields Mark Simon Terrence Simons Charlene Sipe Andrew Smigielski Michael Snyder Robert Spurny Connor Stainton Gregory Stainton Randy Stalcup Douglas Stancill Ray Steffen Jr Stan Stellwagen Mark Stephenson Arlen Stewart Shane Stewart James Stewart John Stuckey Vashti “Tice” Supplee Nick Swanson Al Swapp Debbie Swapp
Bob Swisher James Symonds Tim Talbott Dan Taylor Amos Terrell Jr. Todd Thelander Pete Thomas Kevin Thompson Nick Thompson Billy Thrash Donald Tirpak Bill Tocci Linda Tocci John Toner Corey Tunnell Lee Turner Sandra Turner Bill VenRooy Rick Vincent, Sr. John Wagner Carl Walker Kathleen Walp William Walp Peter Walters Don Walters, Jr. Caryn Walsh Thomas Walton Bill Wasbotten Dale Watkins David Watts Rick Watts Paul Weaver Jerry Weiers Dee White Larry White Kevin Widner Chris G. Williams Richard Williams Scott Wilt Matt Windle Glenn Wooden Cory Worischeck Mark Worischeck Joseph Worischeck Robert Younger Richard Youngker Chuck Youngker Dave Zibbon Scott Ziebarth Craig Zimmerman
Shop Amazon Smile & Support Arizona Elk Society! As COVID-19 forces us to do our shopping online, please remember you can provide a free donation in support of Arizona Elk Society when you shop at smile.amazon.com.
It takes just three easy steps. 1. Go to smile.amazon.com If you already have an Amazon account, sign in. You will receive a prompt to select your charity. 2. Search for “Arizona Elk Society”. 3. Confirm your selection. That’s it. Every time you shop at smile.amazon.com you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as amazon.com, with the added benefit that Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the Arizona Elk Society. Don’t forget to tell you friends and family too!
Scan to make AES your Amazon partner!
Arizona Elk Society 3
PRESIDENTS’ MESSAGE Summer is coming to a close and for many, planning has begun for fall hunts and enjoying the cooler days outdoors. Arizona Elk Society has had three successful banquets, Mesa in April, White Mountains in June, and Flagstaff in July. The Elk Hunting Clinic was once again in person and wellattended. I think everyone is enjoying seeing each other in person and spending time together. Our awesome AES team at our headquarters has the banquets down to a high art form, making it so very easy for the volunteers.
An early fire season closed the northern forests for a number of weeks, then the rains came and they are still coming. Folks in northern Arizona, especially around Flagstaff, are coping with the sediment and flooding from the fire scars. A tough spring and summer of extremes. One of our newest employees, Logan Fosenburg, is ably managing our projects and recruiting volunteers. AES is now completing our meadow restoration project in Houston Draw. I joined over 25 volunteers and Logan to move rocks and build rock structures called Zuni Bowls in the eroding head cuts. A simple and amazingly effective technique. I really love the meadow projects. So much wildlife benefits from the restored meadows. We need volunteers for the habitat projects and as kitchen help at all our events and camps. Volunteering for the kitchen is easy and a fun way to get involved with a field project or event. The payoff is everyone appreciates you for feeding them!
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In partnership with the Arizona Antelope Foundation, we have purchased some used trucks (new to AES!) for the water-hauling program. Our water-hauling volunteers have selflessly used their own trucks to pull the water trailers to some rather gnarly locations. They can now use AES trucks! I like the tag line “This Drink’s On Us”. I am looking toward all our programs coming up to full scale in the coming months. We will be revving up youth events with Wild in the City, so look for announcements on our website and e-newsletter. I hope you can spend some time in the woods enjoying herds of elk and bugling bulls.
Yours in Conservation, Tice Supplee
OFFICERS President - Tice Supplee Vice President - Greg Godbehere Treasurer - Christopher K. Lutzel Secretary - Richard Moraca Executive Director - Steve Clark
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Wayne Bouton Randy Burton Joe Di Vito Ron Huddleston Andrew Kap
OUR MISSION STATEMENT The mission of the Arizona Elk Society is to benefit elk and other wildlife by generating resources for habitat conservation and restoration, and to preserve our hunting heritage for present and future generations.
Glen Jones Steve Schaefer
The Arizona Elk Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) wildlife organization.
Rich Williams You may send a message for any officers, board members or committee chairs to email@example.com
Visit us online at
Arizona Elk Society 5
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T H I S
I S S U E
21st Annual Mesa Banquet by Steve Clark
Water for Arizona’s Wildlife by Steve Clark
AES Habitat Partners
BB and the Mouse by John Koleszar
Road to Recovery by John B. Sparlin, USAF (Ret.)
27 AES Founding Members
To learn about volunteer opportunites with Arizona Elk Society, scan the QR code using your smartphone camera.
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ARIZONA ELK SOCIETY BANQUET by Steve Clark This year was our 21st Annual Banquet and the AES Banquet Committee included some improvements such as shortening the start-to-finish time. It was a success—the banquet ended in record time. Several attendees noticed and we received many pats on the back. We have to thank all our wonderful corporate tables and corporate sponsors—THANK YOU—this years’ banquet was an all-around success. All attendees had a great time, enjoyed delicious meals, played games, and many took
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notice that we had moved the tables around so there was a more roomy feel and more comfort. The volunteers—all 90+ of them—did a fantastic job! Setup went super smooth, and the banquet went off without a hitch. Thank you to all the volunteers that work many long hours to make our banquet a success. You are a passionate team that deserves much credit for all your hard work. Last but not least the donors; the hundreds of donors that provide the variety of quality items are the cream-of-the-
crop. Thank you to all our donors, our success is truly a team effort and you, the donors, are an important part of the team. The AES appreciates all your support for not only our banquets but for all the AES programs your donations support throughout the years. If you have never been to our Mesa Banquet you are missing out. The pictures on these pages don’t do it justice. Please put April 1, 2023 on your calendar and watch for the tickets to go on sale. You won’t be disappointed.
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Thank You Volunteers!
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NOLIN FIRE SPRINKLERS INC
JOHN & SHARON
ARIZONA ELK SOCIETY 12 Tracker 1st & 2nd Quarter 2022
THE STEPHENS FAMILY
MT. CARMEL SAFARIS
BELL WILDLIFE SPECIALTIES
ARIZONA ARCHERY CLUB
DIAMONDBACK BILLIARDS & GAMES
AZ BUCK AND BULLS
ARIZONA DISTILLING CO.
ARIZONA GAME & FISH COMMISSION
FAMILY OF USAF VETERAN DAVID GOODRUM
CATENA SAFARIS ARGENTINA
BIG BRAND TIRE & SERVICE
MGW - ARGENTINA URUGUAY
GRAND CANYON PLANNING ASSOCIATES
ARIZONA ELK SOCIETY
BEN BARTO, HORNS FOR HEROES
MT. CARMEL SAFARIS
BLUE ROOSTER RANCH
DAN ADLER, DIAMOND OUTFITTERS OF ARIZONA
BELL WILDLIFE SPECIALTIES
PJ HUNTING SAFARIS
HUALAPAI TRIBE GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT
BOB OLDS / TICE SUPPLEE
JEFF CAROL DAVENPORT
ARIZONA ELK SOCIETY Arizona Elk Society 13
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WATER FOR ARIZONA’S WILDLIFE AES’s volunteer Water for Arizona’s Wildlife workforce has hauled millions of gallons of water with trucks and water trailers. Wildlife water catchments are a critical habitat feature for distribution of water to all wildlife species. AES is the front-runner of organizations that work with state agencies/ landowners to improve water availability during times of drought to ensure that elk, bats, birds, amphibians and other wildlife have access to reliable water distribution that ensures their survival. In addition to water hauling, AES and its volunteers are actively restoring and maintaining water catchments throughout Northern and Eastern Arizona. The AES Water Program supervisor and volunteers rebuild and maintain non-functioning water catchments to provide dependable water for wildlife in dry regions. Since this program started, AES has restored over 250 catchments, cleaned, and sealed over 90 dirt tanks and much more. AES was presented with the Commission Commendation of Achievement Award from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, for their “exceptionally dedicated service and endurance in providing water for wildlife during one of the driest periods on record.”
How You Can Help Deliver Water to Arizona’s Wildlife Donate or volunteer at:
arizonaelksociety.org/water Arizona Elk Society 15
ROAD TO RECOVERY by John B. Sparlin, USAF (Ret.)
I joined the Air Force in October 2000 with the goal of becoming a C-130 crew chief (aircraft mechanic). I was barely into basic training when suicide bombers attacked the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen. Nine months later the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. The stage had been set for continued conflict and uncertainty both in the military and in America from shore to shore. Two years later an aircraft experienced engine problems and was forced to make an emergency landing at DavisMonthan, my home base in Tucson, Arizona. I sustained a major shoulder injury during the incident. Unfortunately, months of post-surgery physical therapy didn’t get me back certified for flight line duty. I ended up leaving the service with a medical discharge—not something I had anticipated! Fast forward to 2018. I was working a civilian job as a traveling service technician when my hips started giving me a lot of pain. My employer okayed a doctor’s visit, which led to x-rays. Severe avasucular necrosis was revealed in both of my hips. This was traced back to steroids given to me to combat an aggressive virus contracted while in the Air Force. AVN cuts off blood supply to bone which subsequently dies (my hips in this case). Immediate surgery was warranted—the bone had developed the consistency of a rotten apple. One false step could see me breaking my hip! The orthopedic surgeon I saw could schedule me for surgery in two weeks (one to two months was the norm). I
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got it—this was serious! Talking to my local VA, they agreed that I needed the surgery, however they could not get me in for at least 4 months. The VA sent me back to the surgeon who confirmed my surgery for 2 weeks later. That was unbelievable—nothing happens in two weeks with the VA! Two hip replacements took place within one month. My recovery went well—I was getting strong again and walking! I made it back to light duty at work even though still experiencing some pain in my hips. It turned out that an infection in my right leg would necessitate further surgery. While all of this was going on, the VA re-evaluated my disability rating and increased it, although they still had not established my hip issues to be service related. I’m so thankful the Arizona Department of Veterans Services then stepped up to the plate solidifying my case! So there I was—40 years old, still 6’3”, and frustrated! I wanted (needed) to do something to help relieve the stress in my life. I got a chance to go on a deer hunt with my brother-in-law. It was great to be back in the outdoors, but I really struggled with the hiking, falling several times while still close to the truck. Even though my brother-in-law got his deer, it was really disheartening for me (I had always seen myself as pretty much unstoppable). A few months later I found out that a friend had gone on a javelina hunt with the Arizona Elk Society’s Heroes Rising Outdoors veteran outreach program. HRO provided everything for the hunt: the donated tag, a camp with a
shot. With only two weeks remaining before we needed to leave for my hunt, I started sighting in my smoke pole. Problems from the get-go (the crosshairs had come loose inside my gun’s scope) so off I went to Riton Scopes in Tucson to buy a new one. What a difference that made! I got the muzzleloader shooting consistently and accurately out to 250 yards! Although I felt ready for the shooting part of my hunt, I was still anxious about what might lie in store for me physically.
cook, volunteer guides in the field, everything. That was his first experience hunting, and he tagged out! My buddy raved about the time he’d had! My friend gave me the link to the application documents I needed to submit to HRO. That summer Tom Wagner, HRO program coordinator, called to offer me an w cow elk hunt for that coming September. That was my first experience with Heroes Rising Outdoors and I ended up putting a couple hundred pounds of organic meat in the freezer. What a great time—the people involved with that hunt are still close friends to this day. I really feel the experience of getting back to the woods and out of my normal schedule of doctor appointments was a game changer in my life! The next year we applied my wife for a cow elk hunt with the sole intention of donating the tag specifically to the HRO program. Amazingly enough, she drew a tag and we were able to donate that elk tag so another vet would be able to experience hunting with HRO. Passing it forward! Late in the summer of 2021, Tom Wagner texted me to call him ASAP. When I reached him, Tom asked if I would be interested in going on a very coveted black powder antelope hunt. I was worried that I would not be able to physically and was reluctant to accept. Tom assured me that he thought he’d be able to get me into the hunting area without too much trouble. After some consideration, I said “yes” and the adventure began. I had a used muzzleloader in my gun safe that I had never
Tom had arranged for us to park my RV at another HRO vet’s property north of Prescott. That turned out to be a real blessing, cutting miles off our daily drive! We arrived a day and a half early, hoping to find a “shooter” buck or two before opening day. Tom had hunted the exact same hunt 5 years previously, and his good friend, Dave Routt, had successfully archery hunted the unit just a few days before my hunt was to start. Tom and I drove around the hunting unit the first afternoon we arrived, eliminating areas we thought less than promising. A few pronghorn bucks we saw late in the day got me excited for what the next day might bring. The next morning we were up early to see if we could find “THE” buck. Tom and I glassed up too many antelope to count. It was a ton of fun watching them, even though we were often over a mile away from them! Tom had told me in the beginning that I would know when I saw a buck I really liked. I had never hunted antelope, and really had no idea how to judge them. While glassing, we found a buck with a few does about 2,000 yards away that looked promising. It was hard to tell though since the heat by then was distorting our view. Our stomachs started growling so we decided to meet up with Dave who was coming to help with the hunt. After grabbing lunch, we all hopped back into the truck to go show him a few of the nicer bucks we had located. We saved a particular buck for last. We had found him late the previous afternoon, and man, were we glad he showed up! Dave and Tom had stumbled, literally, on this antelope earlier that summer while scouting for Dave’s archery hunt. Tom stubbed his toe on a rock and had hit the ground with a loud “thunk!” As Dave offered a hand to help Tom up, Tom whispered “NO!” A mature buck and his four does popped up out of nowhere a little over 100 yards away. The buck
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would have stayed out of sight if Tom’s fall hadn’t sounded the alarm. Crazy!
herd. All of this was going on, and the hunt had not even started yet. I was now officially excited for this hunt!
This was a mature buck that had been hiding in the scrub brush away from the rest of the herds. He still had his four does with him. It seemed that many of the bucks running with big groups of does were younger bucks. Our thought process was correct. He had a big Roman nose, nicelooking symmetrical horns with good mass, and a big body.
Finding “my” antelope had surprised me. I had never been able previously to find my target animal on a hunt before the season started. We headed back to camp where we worked out our game plan over some delicious rib-eye steaks. A bit antsy, we went through our packs, filled up on water, and loaded the truck for the next day. The anticipation made for some serious tossing and turning that night!
Tom was correct. I knew we had found a shooter! We had seen a lot of nice bucks—a LOT—and there was only one other that I felt was comparable. The others did not do it for me though. This guy was stalkable and “THE ONE” for me! When planning the hunt on the phone, Tom had told me one thing that I kind of blew off saying, “Yeah, right, we’ll see.” Tom pointed out that pronghorn hunting was unlike anything else. Once a buck had been singled out, it’s possible for things to be fast and action packed. Keep in mind that lately I had been spending most of my time in doctors’ offices and unable to get out and do any of the things that I truly enjoyed. So the idea that a hunt was going to be that exciting seemed like a long shot. Well, Tom was right. He had hit the nail on the head! I had never experienced anything like it—bucks were chasing does almost into our laps. Bucks were stealing does from other buck’s herds. Does were trying to run from one herd to another. Bucks were chasing does back into their own 18 Tracker 1st & 2nd Quarter 2022
The next morning found the three of us sitting in the truck at the gate at o’dark thirty. We wanted to make sure no other hunters beat us to our destination. Being super early, we had a couple hours to wait before the sun would show itself over the eastern mountains. I closed my eyes and settled down in the seat a bit, visualizing how my hunt would play out. We headed out across the landscape while it was still dark. We could just make out a few other antelope scattered about in the distance. We were being extremely quiet and going slow, partially to not spook anything and partially because that was all I could do. A very slight breeze was in our face. We covered ground and were in place well before the sun came up. The plan had worked out perfectly up to that point—it was approaching shooting light, we were in place, and “my”
buck was just over the ridge from us, just where we had left him the night before. His herd did not know we were there. David, being more agile, crept up the ridge top through the brush and laid eyes on the antelope. Using hand signals, he motioned for me to join him. I sneaked my way up and got into shooting position. Unfortunately, there was a small bunch of bushes between the antelope and me and I could not shoot.
We set off after him again. When we edged up to the top of the next rise, we saw the other buck herding the stolen does away. We continued working our way forward, making sure to stay behind cover. We could not find him anywhere. After scanning the entire area, I finally laid eyes on him. The buck was lying down under a bush 150 yards away. As I worked toward a spot that would offer a follow-up shot, another buck came into view, and off my buck ran, again.
Knowing something was up, the antelope spooked. Fortunately, they only trotted off a short distance. The buck stopped in an opening, quartering to me 125 yards away. It looked like he was about to bolt. As he took a step, I had a clear broadside shot and squeezed the trigger. BOOM! Through the smoke, I could just see him react as the .50 caliber slug found its mark. The does took off running. The buck followed slowly, barely able to walk, moving directly away from us.
We moved forward once more, scanning the bush covered ridge as we went. I finally found him to the south, lying under another bush. We worked our way up to him from a low spot out of his vision. He was lying down on the other side of a bunch of saw grass. I got David and Tom’s attention and pointed him out. They confirmed that it was him. As I moved to my left to get positioned for a shot, the buck struggled to his feet. I instinctively shouldered my muzzleloader and squeezed off a final shot. My antelope hunt was over at 7:30 a.m. opening morning!
He ended up out of range of my muzzleloader. All I could do was watch. Another competing buck came in and stole his does. Being the mature fighter that he was, my buck kept going. Determined to get his does back, he disappeared over the next rise.
I had so many emotions going through my head. I do not think I knew how to react. I stood there for what seemed like an eternity just looking at him. We took all the customary pictures and then got to work.
Tom had stayed back from our stalk. He made his way to us, stating he had heard a solid hit. It was a good hit; I had seen blood on the exit side. We figured the buck wouldn’t go far.
Our work was definitely not over though. After the field dressing was done, we stuffed everything into our packs and made our way the mile and a half back to the truck. Tom called the donor of the tag (a Prescott area resident)
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My antelope hunt was a whirlwind experience with both ups and downs, something not unusual on public land hunts. I’d especially like to thank Dave Routt and Tom Wagner for all of their help on my hunt!
and we met up with him to show off “THE” buck. He was thrilled with our success as I recounted the morning’s events. What a neat experience to share the experience with him! We talked about the hunt and how much the outdoors and hunting mean to each of us. It was icing on the cake! Next, we made our way to a local taxidermist Tom knew, Troy Smith of Authentic Taxidermy. I’d never had an animal mounted before, so Troy and Tom walked me through the process, pointing out important things to consider so I’d end up with a memorable shoulder mount that would do my awesome buck justice. We finally drove back to break camp and make our way back down to the heat and our normal lives.
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Having had time to reflect on my experiences with Heroes Rising Outdoors, it is amazing to me what the Arizona Elk Society’s HRO crew do for our country’s veterans. So many people come together and give of their time, knowledge, and resources to take Arizona’s disabled veterans out into the woods with hopes of a successful hunt. Their motto, “Healing through Hunting,” rings true! It is life changing for so many veterans that would not go hunting, fishing, camping, or just get out of the house if it were not for all these amazing people! It has been such a great experience for me that I am now helping HRO as much as I can. Spreading the word to veterans who do not know about the program, volunteering to help organize hunts here in southern Arizona—in general doing whatever I can to give back so other disabled Arizona veterans can experience what I have. Thank you, Arizona Elk Society!
“Your Arizona Elk Society Realtor!”
Fine Homes & Estates, CDPE, ASP
MB $1,000.00 Donated to “HEROES RISING OUTDOORS” Program Michelle Borrelli has Partnered up with Arizona Elk Society.... If you are passionate about assisting our Veterans, as I am, take a minute to visit this web site michelleborrellirealtor.com to learn how YOU can support our Veterans. This important program is specifically designed to benefit our Veterans, the Arizona Elk Society members base and their families. All you have to do is tell me” I want to assist a Veteran” or simply send a message. Together WE will make a difference! For each successful transaction greater than *$250,000, whether buying or selling, on residential or commercial, Michelle Borrelli will donate $1,000.00 of her personal proceeds to “Heroes Rising Outdoors” This program affords the opportunity for a veteran to experience nature through AZ Elk Society’s outdoor camps, taking part in Ecotherapy! Contact Michelle today 623.521.6096 Let’s give our Veterans the support they deserve! By the way... I am never too busy to assist good people in their new home journey and I appreciate your referrals.
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Arizona Elk Society 21
BB AND THE MOUSE! by John Koleszar
Meadow Jumping Mouse, Public Domain/US Fish and Wildlife Service
The appointed time was drawing near for my meeting with Big Bull (BB). Unfortunately I was mired in traffic after having sat through 45 minutes of a “Horse Rally” at the state capital. The anticipated rally fell fairly flat from what the advocates had posted on their Facebook accounts. The meeting was supposed to start at 1:00 PM on the square between the House of Representatives and the State Senate offices. As 1:00 PM came and went, the assorted individuals gathered for a group photo. By my head count, there were 40 people in attendance. 35 of the attendees were women and the remainder were—old guys. The lack of media presence and the disjointed effort seemed to be a far cry from the rabid involvement that horse advocates can generate. I had envisioned hordes of advocates parading around screaming for justice for the horses—didn’t happen! So after their fearless leader failed to show at her annointed time, I gathered my posters and headed for the mountains. I had a long time to think about the current state of affairs with horses and how BB would be cogitating when we met. I had arranged for a photo to be taken of me armed with posters showing the destruction of habitat in the Apache National Forest. I also had a photo of a New Mexico meadow jumping mouse that I suspected would make BB laugh. The miles flowed by and with each increase in green pine trees my mood elevated. The winds of the past few weeks had brought the dreaded fires to our state and I wondered which area would get hit this year. The dry soils and parched grasses forewarned of the potential losses for all of us. BB had chosen an unusual spot in Unit 4B for the meeting this time. Following his directions, I headed up the 504 road towards Red Knoll. The sun was shining and the sky was the kind of blue that you cannot see in the Valley. As I parked at the base of Red Knoll, I saw no sign of my old friend. I wandered up the hill to one of the best glassing spots in the whole Unit and as I crested the top, there under a cedar tree was BB. I laughed as he casually glanced over at me. “Why in the world are you up here BB?” I asked. BB shook his head and began his usual dissertation on logic. “Well old man, we usually see all kinds of humans up here with their little binoculars and I have always wanted to see what the big deal was. So, I decided to meet you here and have you tell me why humans like the spot.” I turned in a 360 degree circle and shook my head, “BB, if you were hunting humans and we lived here, you’d need 22 Tracker 1st & 2nd Quarter 2022
the highest point to see as far as you can. We don’t have your noses to smell so our vision with the aid of binoculars is how we locate you guys.” BB snorted and then launched into his simple logic, “So, if you didn’t have binoculars and cars and quads and trail cameras you couldn’t find us?” I laughed at his logic and countered with my own, “Well BB, I may drive up on a road, but elk use roads almost as much as I do. I see tracks everywhere and it seems to me that elk use roads as much as I do.” The look on BB’s face was comical—I swear he almost blushed, “Well, we only use them at night and it’s just easier to make your way on those things. So why are you so late today?” I whipped out my cell phone and started explaining the “Horse Rally” to BB and showed him the picture of me with my sign—big mistake!! BB literally jumped to his feet and started hammering me on the pictures, “Why are you holding a sign for a mouse? Why don’t you have a picture of me? I think we’re better looking and lots bigger than a mouse. Aren’t you concerned about elk as well?” It was my turn to laugh. ”Well BB, I hate to go all political on you but the mouse is the key to removing horses—not you. Those little guys are protected under the Endangered Species Act and you are not. There are just a handful of those little guys all across the West, and their home is being destroyed by horses.” It was BB’s turn to speak up, “Well Mr. Politics, my home is being destroyed too, doesn’t that count?” I laughed again and said, “BB yes, you matter, but with only a few hundred New Mexico meadow jumping mice in the whole world, they take more care and treatment than you need. There are still thousands of elk in the West, so—nope, they get a more concerned treatment.”
BB grumbled and looked again at the picture, “Well, I guess he is kind of cute. He sure is tiny though. So do you think the mouse will beat the horses?” I shrugged my shoulders and listed all the reasons why the horses would be removed from the Apache National Forest. As BB listened, he was fascinated by the process and why the Forest Service has been so careful about removing the horses. BB shook his head and looked out over the horizon, “There is a saying that humans have. It goes something like “Man plans and God laughs”. I suspect that you may not live long enough to see done what you consider to be the right thing, but it makes my head hurt to even think about all the things you have to go through. I have to admit it scares me that horses are getting so much attention and nothing else seems to matter. Why are the horse lovers so intent on not removing any horses?” I knew after all my discussions with horse advocates that a simple answer is better than anything else, “BB, horse advocates do not want a single horse killed. With that thought, they try and protect them at all costs, no matter what else suffers. The whole concept is that only horses matter, nothing else.” BB gave a big sigh and strode down to the base of Red Knoll. When we hit the bottom he turned to me and gave me a lopsided grin that has become his hallmark look. “You keep on working on this old man—and try getting more people to understand how dangerous this can be to all wildlife. The rut is just around the corner and we can hook up again, but let’s meet up further to the east. How about Springerville?” I nodded my approval at his choice of locations, “Yep BB, Springerville will be fine with me for the fall. It gets colder earlier up there and I have heard there are more than a few lady elk for you to pursue.” BB nodded his big head and growled out a response, “Oh yeah! I’ll look real good by then!” As I motored down the dreaded 95 road, I contemplated how difficult life has become. The twists and turns of fires, weather, water and wackos just never seems to end. I only hope to see some balance restored before my time comes to and end.
Arizona Elk Society 23
OCTOBER 7-9 Junior Elk Camp, Unit 6A and 5B South NOVEMBER12 Wild in the City, Ben Avery Shooting Range
Visit arizonaelksociety.org for more information.
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Arizona Elk Society 25
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.
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.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP: Become a Habitat Partner with your tax deductible donation starting at $2500 ($1000 for 17 and under).
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
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.
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.
FOR MORE INFO AND TO DONATE: You can find more details and the donation form at www.arizonaelksociety.org.
David Baril Sponsor Partner
Bass Pro Shops Sponsor Partner
Tom & Janet Bowman Sponsor Partner
Cabela’s Sponsor Partner
Harry Carlson Imperial Partner
Walt and Cookie Nicoson Royal Partner
Stephen Clark Sponsor Partner
Sallie Page Pete Page Sponsor Partner
Ron & Sharon Eichelberger Sponsor Partner
Sharon & John Stuckey Imperial Partner
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Pacific West Representatives Royal Partner Sportsman’s Warehouse Sponsor Partner
ARIZONA ELK SOCIETY FOUNDING MEMBERS Founding Associate Members Douglas Sr & Donna Obert Founding Life Members Ken Alexander+ John & Patti Anderson 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 Dee White Larry White+ Mark Worischeck Joseph Worischeck Chuck Youngker Founding Sustaining Members Everett & Joyce Nicoson Founding Couple Members Bridgid & Ron 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 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 Mark Raby* 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 Arizona Elk Society 27
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