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3 rd Quar ter 2013

Photo by George Andrejko of Arizona Game & Fish Department

Arizona Elk Society 1

L i f e

m e m b e r s

Russell Coover Lonnie Crabtree William Cullins Richard Currie Patrick Curry B. Todd Curtis Kay Davidson Don Davidson William Davis Bill Davis Larry Day Jim DeVos Steven Dodds William Dorsey Paul Durbin Ron Eichelberger Sharon Eichelberger Peter Ekholm Tim Evans Daron Evans David Forbes Tom Franklin Douglas Fritz Will Garrison Walt Godbehere Richard Goettel Edna Gray Carl Hargis Dan Hellman R. Todd Henderson Terry Herndon Joe Herrero Ed Hightower Paul Hodges III Jim Holleran Mel Holsinger Scott Horn Michael Horstman Timothy Hosford Bryan House Danny Howard Wayne Jacobs Brian Johnsen Gary Johnson James Johnson

Earl Johnson Edward Johnson Richard Johnson Rick Johnson Jim Jones Mitchell Jones Bruce Judson Andrew Kap 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 Kevin Lawhorn Michael Lechter Justin Leitner Jorge Leon Steve Leone Ruben Lerma Tim Littleton James Lynch, Jr. Bob Mallory Don Martin Karl Matchinsky Gary Matchinsky Russ McDowell Steve McGaughey Angela McHaney Kelly McMillan William Meredith James Mingus Matt Minshall James Mullins Matt Mullins Robert Murry DVM



Mike Abramovich Christopher Agnone Hector Albarran Ken Alexander John Anderson Michael Anderson Patti Anderson John Anton Ernest Apodaca, Jr. Pete Baldwin James Ballard Leo Balthazor Lee Banning David Baril Ron Batz Randy Beck F.K. Benbow David Bennett Keith Berger Tom Bobo Jr. Tom Bowman Janet Bowman Tish Bradford Dan Bradford Richard Briskin Stephen Brown, MD Kurt Buckwald Mike Burr Esther Cadzow John Cadzow Cindi Carlson Lupe Carlson Harry Carlson Kenneth Carney Steve Casterton Joe & Marisa Cerreta Randy Cherington Pete Cimellaro Richard Clark Steve Clark Bob Cockrill, Jr. Todd Coleman Barbara Cook James Cook Frank Cooper

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Gregory Naff Annette Naff Keith Newlon Mark Nicholas Fletcher Nichols Logan Nichols Brandon Nichols Anthony Nichols Cookie Nicoson Walt Nicoson Paige Nicoson Kathi Nixon Mark Nixon David Nygaard Donna Obert Douglas Obert, Sr. Bob Olds Martin Paez Sallie Page Pete Page Duane Palmer Everett Palmer Marlin Parker Don Parks Jr. Dale Parrish Shawn Patterson Art Pearce Paul Piker Forrest Purdy Jan Purdy Mark Raby Jim Renkema Keith Riefkohl Mel Risch Travis Roberts Mike Sanders Rick Schmidt Barry Schmitz Tom Schorr Scott Schuff DeAnne Schuff Nathaneal Schulz Kurt Schulz Terry Schupp Bill Shaffer

Steven Shaffer Howard Shaffer William Shaffer, Jr Lonzo Shields Terrence Simons Charlene Sipe Robert Spurny Connor Stainton Gregory Stainton Randy Stalcup Douglas Stancill Mark Stephenson Shane Stewart James Stewart Vashti “Tice” Supplee Al Swapp Debbie Swapp Bob Swisher Dan Taylor Amos Terrell Jr. Pete Thomas John Toner Corey Tunnell Bill VenRooy Rick Vincent, Sr. Kathleen Walp William Walp Don Walters, Jr. Bill Wasbotten Dale Watkins Jerry Weiers Dee White Larry White Richard Williams Matt Windle Cory Worischeck Mark Worischeck Joseph Worischeck Robert Younger Richard Youngker Chuck Youngker Scott Ziebarth


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presidents’ message

To the Membership of the Arizona Elk Society, As the summer draws to a close, I look forward to one of my favorite times of the year. Not only do I look forward to the cooler weather but also hunting season. I want to wish all of you who were fortunate enough to draw a fall tag, a happy and prosperous hunt. I look forward to the time in the woods with family and friends. We had another productive annual meeting of AES in August. I would like to update the membership on some of the committee changes approved by those in attendance. In an effort to try and slim down on some of the committees specified in the previous AES ByLaws, we combined duties of select committees. The objective is that by having one committee take on a few more duties they can be more effective and efficient. The new committees are as follows: Finance

Development/ Banquet Governance


Youth & Education Scholarship Projects

If you are a member looking to become more involved, one great way is to join a committee. There are several issues that the AES are actively working on including the Mexican Wolf and Motorized Travel Management Plan. You can read more about these and other topics on our website at As hunters and conservationists, staying informed and getting involved in issues is the best way to ensure our forests and wildlife are managed for future generations. If you would like to get more involved with the AES we would love to have you. Also, if you are not a member or haven’t renewed, please seriously consider signing up. We have added new membership benefits which include weekly drawings and discounts. You can find out more about the AES and memberships by visiting our web site at Yours in Conservation, Carl Hargis, President Arizona Elk Society

Photo by Maria DelVecchio 4 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

In This Issue

Executive Board Executive Director.................. Steve Clark

President’s Message by Carl Hargis....................................................................... 4

President....................................Carl Hargis Treasurer.................................Annette Naff

Buck Springs Allotment Annual Project by Steve Clark..............................6 -13

Secretary................................... Laila Wood Past President........Sharon Eichelberger

“BB”’s Column: The Rest of the Story by John Koleszar................................14 -15

Board of Directors Ken Alexander, Ron Eichelberger, Walt

Forest Utilization and Fire Risk Reduction by Larry Voyles, Director, Arizona Game and Fish Department.............................. 16 Braggin’ Board......................................................................................... 17

Godbehere, Jim Mullins, Matt Mullins, Gregory Naff, Cookie Nicoson, Rick Schmidt, Tom Schorr, Bill Walp

Committee Chairs The George Knox Memorial Boot Camp by Ken Eaton....................................... 18 Summer Golf Tournament Benefits Youth by Maria DelVecchio................. 20- 23 Rut Crazed by Patrick Weise...........................................................................24- 28

Banquet..................................Gregory Naff Membership.................................Carol Lee Projects..................................... Tom Schorr Newsletter.................... Maria DelVecchio Website.................................Leo Balthazor Wapiti Weekend...................Shelly Hargis

Upcoming Events & Projects.............................................................................. 29

Scholarship..................... Wendy Norburg

Founding Members.................................................................................. 30 Habitat Partners of Arizona...................................................................... 31

The cover photo is by George Andrejko of the Arizona Game & Fish Department. Thank you George! We appreciate the use of your fantastic images showing the precious wildlife and resources we have here in Arizona.

You may send a message for any officers, board members or committee chairs to

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.

AES WEBSITE Arizona Elk Society 5

Buck Springs Allotment Annual Work Project by Steve Clark

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Since the time that the Buck Springs allotment was acquired by the Arizona Elk Society (AES) and waived to the Forest Service for conservation purposes, an annual work project has been coordinated by the AES. The 2013 project weekend took place July 12 – 14. After extensive coordination with Mogollon Rim staff (Forest Service) and with persons from the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), four project areas were selected for this year. Included were:



Placement of EROSION CONTROL features in riparian areas.




Cutting and piling of smalldiameter pines to help RETURN ECOLOGICAL FUNCTION to several wet meadows on the allotment.

What made this work project unique was the number of partners and organizations that participated. Participants were from Salt River Project, Boy Scouts, AES, Forest Service, Friends of Northern Arizona Forests, and AZGFD. Due to broad solicitation of volunteers by AES, a number of interested individuals assisted.

The following volunteer effort was expended on the Buck Springs allotment: 170 Registered Volunteers 2,254 Hours Worked

1,186.5 Hours Travelled

27,287 Miles Driven

} } }

Value $14.14/hour = $31,872

Value $14.14/hour = $16,777

Value $0.445 mile = $12,143

TOTAL PROJECT VALUE = $60,792 The number of volunteer hours above exceeds the normal hours attributed to one full-time equivalent of labor. The following summaries outline each of the primary activities completed.

Riparian Restoration One of the unique features of the 2013 Project was the diversity of volunteers that helped.

This portion of the project was primarily completed as part of two Boy Scout projects where the lead Arizona Elk Society 7

Fences in this condition are not only unsightly for forest visitors but pose a risk to wildlife. person was completing the steps necessary for advancement to the status of being an Eagle Scout. All of these activities were completed within the Buck Springs Meadow where AES and the Forest Service have extensive plans to improve flow mechanics in such a fashion as to greatly reduce soil erosion and increase meadow water storage capacity. The youth leaders helped direct a crew of volunteers with shaping the scour pool and lining the area with stone to dissipate energy and facilitate the healing of the erosion scar. 8 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

Even with experienced leadership from Tom Runyon, a little headscratching was happening as the crew determined how to lay all of the stone in a fashion to maximize benefit from the project. In addition to the rock features, the Eagle Scout project included placing logs in scoured areas to help reduce water velocity. This portion of the project was made more successful as a sawyer from AES was there to custom cut each log to fit together in a tight pattern to help eliminate headcutting and facilitate soil deposition to help restore the meadow. In total, the youth-led project placed three new erosion control features in Buck Springs.

Fence Removal Fence removal has been one of the key activities that the AES has undertaken at Buck Springs. Over time, many of these fences have become delapidated and serve no purpose, but pose substantial risk to both wildlife and to the recreating public. As an example, several elk have been found dead after becoming tangled in the downed wires of the fences and being unable to extricate themselves. The wire had to be hand-rolled for removal. Prior to being able to roll the wire, each clip had to be cut so that the wire could be rolled and removed.

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Sub Commercial-Sized Pine Removal

Post pullers (manual labor) were used to pull T-posts from the ground.

Although there are a variety of factors that contribute to the degradation of the “sponge meadows� in the region, one of the most important has been the proliferation of small-sized ponderosa pines in the meadows. At one time, the open meadow conditions were maintained by high soil moisture content and more frequent fires, however, these conditions have been modified by human actions and encroachment on the meadows has been substantial. Removal of these invading trees is an essential management step to not only meadow restoration, but these small trees use great amounts of water that would help restore soil moisture in the meadows and associated riparian areas. Once the trees are cut into smaller length logs by AES sawyers, volunteers stack them in piles in the meadow so they can be burned when environmental conditions are proper for burning. Previous to removal, each tree was using large amounts of water before they were cut and stacked. In addition to the AES sawyers, crews from the Coconino National Forest also fell a large number of trees. Throughout the Holder Cabin Meadow, thousands of small trees were removed, opening the meadow for wildlife and for people to use and enjoy.

Exclosure Repair With a combined crew from the Friends of Northern Arizona Forests and AES volunteers, the fence that excludes grazing from the upper portion of the Buck Springs Meadow was completely rehabilitated. This entailed removal of old fencing in disrepair and installation of a number of support poles and thousands 10 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

In total, volunteers removed about 2.5 miles of fence. To accomplish this, all fencing material had to be hauled from the woods to the nearest road for removal.

Even with experienced leadership from Tom Runyon, a little head-scratching was in order as the crew determined how to lay all of the stone in a fashion to maximize benefit from the project.

of feet of wire. To help maintain the meadow qualities, AES sawyers removed hundreds of small-diameter ponderosa pines.

Special Recognition Projects such as this would not be possible without the help and volunteer labor of a great many people. Of particular note was the assistance given during the months leading up to the project by Forest Service hydrologist Tom Runyon. Tom aided in finding a tremendous number of worthwhile projects for 2013 and beyond. Polly Haessig was helpful in facilitating our camp at Buck Springs and with the preparation of all the required Forest Service documentation. There were about 25 willing volunteers from Salt River Project who came and worked at all of the different work items that we completed.

The youth leaders helped direct a crew of volunteers with shaping the scour pool and lining the area with stone to dissipate energy and facilitate the healing of the erosion scar.

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Two crews of young people helped the two Boy Scouts complete their required activities to advance to Eagle Scouts. As a result of the effors of these young people, three new riparian protection devices are in place in Buck Springs Meadow. Friends of Northern Arizona Forests – Aspen Team. The decline in aspen and other broad-leafed trees in the Buck Springs area has been a key management issue. For the last two years, members of the Aspen Team from FONAF have worked with AES and the Forest Service to refurbish a total of five exclosures to better protect both aspen and Bebb’s willow.

We appreciate the efforts of all of the project’s volunteers. In total, 170 people gave freely of their time and energy to help the AES advance our mission of protecting habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species.

Throughout the Holder Cabin Meadow, thousands of small trees were removed, opening the meadow for wildlife and people to use and enjoy. 12 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

In addition to the rock features, the Eagle Scout project included placing logs in scoured areas to help reduce water velocity.

Join us & help restore Arizona’s meadows! Arizona Elk Society 13

the rest of the story...

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“BB”s COLUMN by John Koleszar

The morning sun was slowly beginning to heat up the forest and I was busy trying to finish skinning out my elk before it became too warm. I paused in my work and set down my Havalon knife to once again admire the beautiful animal that lay before me. I am always amazed at the huge size of a mature bull and this one was no different. The forest seemed to have a magical quality as I went about performing the ritual that had played out for so many generations before me. As I was thinking about my part in this life cycle a voice from directly behind me shattered the stillness. “Damn boy, that’s 3 for 3 out of this here unit for you!” I darn near had a heart attack from the scare as I whirled to see my old friend “BB” staring at us from the top of the hill. “Damn “BB”, don’t sneak up on me like that. You scared the crap out of me!”“BB” started chuckling and moved down the hill toward me. He carefully looked at the animal at my feet and pronounced, “He was a darn fine bull. A couple more years and he would have been a real contender for being top bull on the reservation side of the fence.” Now my curiosity was hiked up by that statement. “What the heck are you talking about “BB” I asked? “BB” took a few strides away from the bull on the ground and began a string of grunts and bugles. After thoroughly screaming and spraying darn near everything in sight, he turned around and started his lecture. “It’s like this boy. We have a select group of bulls that get to the Reservation boundary every morning just before daylight. We raise a little hell during the night, get into some kick butt fights and then get back to the safety of the Reservation fence line before folks like you come traipsing around with those puny sticks that you throw at us. There is one particular qualification though to getting to the safety of the Reservation fence line. You have to be at least a 375 inch bull to be in the club.” I suppose saying I was stunned would be an understatement. I must have had an incredulous look on my face because “BB” started that damn chuckle of his. “Don’t you pay any attention boy? How many years have you been hugging this fence line with that silly look on your face? You think we let every bull get to the Reservation each morning? Hell no! We know that all you guys and gals are going crazy hearing us bugle like we do. So, we have a set of rules. Any bull that scores under 375 inches has to stay on this side of the fence during the hunts. The bigger bulls get to have all the fun at night but then get to the safety of the Reservation. We call it survival of the smartest.” By this time I was shaking my head and hoping that I was dreaming. “You mean to tell me that there are rules about

which bulls get to the Reservation side of the fence? How the hell do you manage that?”“BB” stared at me and had a look of disgust. I knew he was keeping something from me so I said “Okay, tell me all about this select club.” With a big sigh and a grunt, “BB” slowly began to expound on the “club”. “It goes like this boy. We all belong to the BBPS. You have to score at least the 375 inches to belong and we have annual dues each year. It lets us older, smarter bulls keep getting older and smarter.” By now my head was spinning, “What the hell is the BBPS?” With a smirk, “BB” took a furtive look around and started a hoarse whisper. “Big Bull Preservation Society dummy. We can’t talk about it publicly because there would be hell to pay, but with all the younger bulls running around on this side of the fence, we feel that the smartest bulls make it to that 375 mark and the rest…well, they become trophies like this bull here is to you.” I slowly started nodding my head. I had about driven myself half nuts during the hunt with all the big groaners and buglers who were always just over the other side of the fence. It had felt a little too coincidental that every deep resonating bugle or groan had always come from that side of the fence. I had heard them during the night and in the pre-dawn darkness each morning on my side of the fence, but magically, each first light had them on the safety net of the Reservation side of the fence. “BB” started another chuckle “Yep, now you know the rest of the story boy. Those that get to be my size get clearance for the Reservation. Those that aren’t…well, they’d better get their skills going quick because there sure as hell are a lot of you guys all poking around up here.” I slowly started looking “BB” over. “Just what did you score this year “BB”? You have to be close to that 375 mark.”“BB” shuffled his hooves and started pawing the ground. “See this here kicker on the right side? It put me over the top again this year. Just so you know, it is gross, not net. Officially, I am listed at 379 and 5/8. So, I made the clearance again this year. That makes 5 years in a row that I would qualify. It makes me feel pretty proud to be on the Reservation side each rut.” We both looked at the bull that I had been working on. “I hope you eat well all winter on him boy. He should give you and family and friends a lot of good meals.” I nodded my head thinking of all the recipes that would be used and all the conversation he would bring to my dinner table. “He will not be wasted and I will think of him proudly each meal “BB”. It was a good hunt and I have many great memories once again.”“BB” nodded and started slowly walking away. “Keep in touch boy, the weather is getting ready to turn and the snow will be flying soon. Let’s meet down in Unit 23 later this year where the winds don’t blow so hard.” I went back to work on my bull and pondered all that had been revealed. The truth had finally been spoken by none other than “BB”. For all of us who hugged the fence line and hoped against hope, there is a real reason for it…and now you know the rest of the story!

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Forest Utilization and Fire Risk Reduction by Larry Voyles, Director, Arizona Game and Fish Department

In a recent editorial “We Must Thin the Forests or Lose Them”, the Arizona Republic described the reality that faces Arizona. Forest Health Management is not an option; forest fuel loads will be thinned through active forest management or be removed through catastrophic fire. We have lost approximately 40% of Arizona’s Ponderosa Pine forests since 2000 due to catastrophic wildfires and there is no reason to expect this unimaginable rate of loss to change. It is clear what must be done to save our forests, but what was noticeably missing from the editorial is – how do we pay for the work that is needed? To answer that critical question it is necessary to understand the fiscal foundations of America’s Conservation Systems. Forest thinning can cost as much as $1,000 per acre. With four million acres of forests, the price tag in Arizona alone could be measured in trillions of dollars. Can the taxpayer afford that? America loves her natural resources, but the national will to support this level of conservation through taxation and funding from the federal treasury, has never been up to this level of the conservation challenges. Fortunately, conservation pioneers such as Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, Aldo Leopold and the likes, envisioned conservation systems in which the beneficiaries of the use of our natural resources help pay for the conservation of those 16 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

resources. For example, hunters and anglers are the primary financial supporters of the states’ wildlife conservation agency machines which annually puts nearly 4.5 billion dollars of wildlife conservation efforts on the ground. Public lands grazers contribute to the conservation of rangeland resources through the assessments of grazing fees. And, prior to the 1990’s the public lands timber industries contributed to forest conservation through timber sales and sound silvicultural practices. These timber industries collapsed in the 1990’s under the effects of over-harvest and environmental litigation. With the collapse of the southwest timber industry the ability to provide for widespread forest health management was lost. Just as the loss of the hunter and fisherman would lead to a collapse of our wildlife conservation system, the loss of the timber industry in Arizona led to the collapse of forest conservation. Is it a coincidence that all of Arizona’s mega-fires have occurred since the 1990’s? The four forest restoration initiative (4FRI) is the first landscape scale effort to revive an industry that is essential to forest health management and in spite of the daunting challenge of trying to create an industry, it shows promise. How much better off would our forests be, if in our zeal to save the forests, we would have first sought to save and preserve our system of forest conservation funding? The ecological clock is ticking. We must respond! It is time.

BRAGGIN’ BOARD Nate M cMull en fro Payso m n with his fir Coues st Deer B uck.

first CJ Hargis with his . successful Elk hunt more October 2013. Many to come.

Show it off! Send your submissions for the Braggin’ Board to Steve Clark at

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein Arizona Elk Society 17

The George Knox Memorial Boot Camp by Ken Eaton Phoenix Varmint Callers, Inc.

This year’s boot camp was even better than the last. We had 124 attend the camp – 30 junior novice predator hunter, 38 adult novice predator hunters, 18 hunting mentors, 15 volunteers supporting the camp and 23 family members who did not hunt. This was an increase of 30 novice hunters over last year. The camp officially started on Saturday August 11th, but we fed dinner to anyone who showed up on Friday. Saturday morning, some novices were taken out at sunrise for several stands, my two novices and myself called in 2 coyotes on 3 stands but missed them both. After breakfast, served by Youth Outdoors Unlimited, a 5 hour predator seminar was presented to all. This included safe hunting practices, predator hunting basics, a talk on wolf conservation given by Mike Godwin, a talk on fur trapping by Southwest Fur Harvesters, and a presentation by Ken Clay on Unit 4A and coexisting with ranchers. After the seminar, we broke out and matched mentors with novices. This was a challenge as we had 30 more novice hunters this year than we did last year and we were short mentors! 18 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

Saturday afternoon was spent having the novices practice what they had learned that day. Two coyotes were called in by novices and harvested that afternoon. Dinner was served as the novices bragged about their success, followed by a prize giveaway for every junior present. Knives made by John Toner of Continental Knives were given away, one to a lucky junior novice hunter and another raffled to anyone who worked as a mentor or support staff. Sunday morning was devoted to predator calling, with one coyote called by a mentor and harvested by a novice. The camp ended with breakfast after the hunting. The partnership that made this camp possible consisted of Phoenix Varmint Callers, Inc., Youth Outdoors Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation(azsfwc), AZ Elk Society, AZ Game and Fish Department, SWFH, Cabella’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Randall’s, Continental Knives, Orion Calls, and Circle Signs. All provided support, grants, donations, and more!

Walt Nicoson Memorial Scholarships $1000 High School Senior •

$750 High School Senior •

$1000 College Student Application deadline: January 21, 2014 Need more information? Please visit our website at or contact Wendy Norburg at

Arizona Elk Society 19

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Perfect weather; beautiful scenery; friendly folk and the challenge of golf: all the makings of a hugely successful 1st AES Golf Tournament! On August 3, we had 88 golfers along with volunteers, friends and family gather for a fun even that is sure to be repeated. The main event was the golf tournament itself held at Silverlake Golf Course in beautiful Show Low, Arizona.

Arizona Elk Society 21

To add to the fun, there were raffles, games and auctions which all contributed to helping earn funds so Arizona’s youth can get familiar with the outdoors and our hunting heritage. AES members Mel and Diane Kincaid organized the event which helped to raise money for the AES Youth Programs. A special thanks goes out to the event volunteers (Ron and Sharon Eichelberger, Maria, Jenna and Cole DelVecchio, Paul Durbin, and Dave Laird),

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the participants and the hole sponsors Hospice Compassus, Show Low; Woodland Building Supply, Springerville; Ron Swartz Construction, Peoria; Reis Chiropractic, Lakeside; Silver Creek Electric, Show Low; Kara Jensen Realty, Phoenix; R.K. Masonry, Chandler. If you didn’t make it to this event, join us next year!

Arizona Elk Society 23

story/photos Patrick Weise I was hiding out around a water tank when the bull came in. He was all alone, weary, and thirsty. He slurpedup his fill of water and looked around. When his head was turned the opposite way, my bow string came to full draw. I watched the orange fletchings of my arrow deposit deep inside his chest before he ran. I heard the crash. He didn’t run far, 70-yards or so. I didn’t waste any time. I gathered up my pack and walked right over to him. He was a beautiful 6x6 bull, but his hide was covered in thick dried mud. His underbelly was wet and rank, stinking of urine. I knew that bull elk liked to wallow in mud, but why? Bull elk love to wallow for the same reason as men shower, shave, and lather-up with cologne. Men want to feel clean, look groomed, and smell masculine. We advertise our 24 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

worthiness before we take our wives or girlfriends out on a date. Bull elk do the same thing only a little bit different. Instead of getting clean, elk get dirty. Let me explain how bulls showers-up. When the rut approaches, a bull’s hormones change. His urine becomes saturated with testosterone. This pheromone concoction becomes his homemade cologne. Now for the shower. The bull finds a small water hole. Any small pool of water can become a date-night dressing room to ready himself for those pretty ladies. The bull will walk into the water and paw at it with his hooves, splashing around like a kid. Next he uses his antlers to blend things around in this newly created mud-pit. Now the pool is ready for his special contribution. The bull urinates into the muddy water and lies down into it. But he does not just lie there, Oh no. Most bull roll over on their sides and flop around, sometimes like a fish out of water. This is his showering way of getting his pheromone all over his hide. He may continue spraying urine throughout this wallowing process. Arizona Elk Society 25

Bulls like to rub the sides of their face and neck on the edge of the wallow. They may be depositing scent from their preorbital glands, or just having bathtub fun. When a bull is finished, he will stand up and walk out of the wallow. More often than not, he will scream-out a bugle to advertise his fitness, warn other bulls to stay away, and announce his readiness to fight. When finished, he may lower his head close to the ground and spray a stream of urine onto his underbelly and onto his mane. This process is repeated so often during the rut that the long underbelly hair darkens even more from urine than its natural black color. Once finished, the bull may walk over to a tree and rub his muddy neck against the trunk. Bulls like to return to the same wallow daily if possible, sometimes resting for long periods of time. Like wallowing, bulls like to rub smaller trees with their antlers. These de-barked and broken trees are called rubs. We’ve all seen the aftermath of 26 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

this on destroyed saplings. This horning of vegetation, is a more aggressive display of dominance displayed by rutting bulls due to soaring testosterone levels. When not using its antlers, a bull may scrape a tree trunk with its teeth, leaving bite-like marks. He will also rub the side of his face in the same area and sniff the bark. The rubbing of the face deposits scent from his preorbital glands located in front of his eyes. So why does all this all this wallowing take place? Well hormonal forces are working their magic in both male and female elk. Female elk (cows) are the ones who choose their mates. Before they come into heat, they look for the strongest, most dominant bull to breed with. This is why bull elk advertise so much. Since bulls are fewer in numbers than cows, a polygamous mating system occurs. A bull will gather up as many cows as he can to form a harem. Cows only come into estrus (heat) for less than 24 hours. If a cow is not bred during this time, the bull will have to wait until she enters her second estrus cycle, about 20 days later. During Arizona Elk Society 27

the waiting period of coming into estrus, cows have the opportunity to watch and observe bulls. They listen to the bull’s bugle, picking up cues of maturity. They watch bulls fight, with the loser leaving the area. And when the timing is right, only the most competent bull will be allowed to mate her. Wallowing, raking, rubbing and bugling are all part of the advertisement process bull elk perform in their getting-ready for the hot date. Maybe this is where the phrase “dirty old men,� came from.

Patrick Weise, a self-confessed elk nut, loves the wapiti. He continues to search for them, high and low.

in memoriam John Cadzow

Victor Hicks

Ronald and Barbara Lee S a n d i d e Vo s 28 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

Mary Lee Hayes


Wild in the city @ ben avery indoor archery range 3/22

AES annual banquet MESA convention Center Visit us at or LIKE us on FACEBOOK to stay up-to-date! 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 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

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

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

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

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.

Walt and Cookie Nicoson Royal Partner

Stephen Clark

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

Arizona ELk Society

Habitat Partners

Sponsor Partner

You can find more details and the donation form at www.arizonaelksociety. org.


Sponsor Partner

Sharon and John Stuckey Royal Partner

Ron and Sharon Eichelberger

Harry Carlson

Sponsor Partner

Imperial Partner

Bass Pro Shops

Pacific West Representatives

Sponsor Partner


Royal Partner

Sportsman’s Warehouse Sponsor Partner

Tom & Janet Bowman Sponsor Partner

Arizona Elk Society 31

7558 W. Thunderbird Rd., Ste. 1-465, Peoria, AZ 85381


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We have some great ways for you to

help youth & wildlife! Help Restore a Water Tank!

Assist with Wild in the City 2/15!

Volunteer at the Banquet!

Join us! Go to and click on “Get Involved” in the main navigation. 32 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2013

Tracker Third Quarter 2013  

The quarterly magazine of the Arizona Elk Society (AES) with articles involving Arizona Elk...