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3rd Quar ter 2019

Photo by George Andrejko, Arizona Game & Fish Department


A E S L I F E M E M B E R S Mike Abramovich Dan Adler Christopher Agnone Hector Albarran Ken Alexander John Anderson Michael Anderson Patti Anderson John Anton Ernest Apodaca, Jr. Steve Armstrong 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 John Bingham Jason Bluhm Tom Bobo Jr. Tom Bowman Janet Bowman Tish Bradford Dan Bradford Richard Briskin Stephen Brown, MD Gary Bryans Jr 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 Nick Celenza Joe & Marisa Cerreta Randy Cherington

Pete Cimellaro Richard Clark Steve Clark Gerad Claseman McAllen Coalson Bob Cockrill, Jr. 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 Brian Delgado Jim DeVos 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 Tim Evans Daron Evans Shane Faulkner Scott Fisher Jeffrey Fleetham Randy Foote David Forbes Mark France Tom Franklin Douglas Fritz Will Garrison Mark Giebelhaus

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John Girvin Walt Godbehere Richard Goettel 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 Todd Ingersoll Don Irwin Wayne Jacobs Kyle Jenkins Brian Johnsen Gary Johnson James Johnson Earl Johnson Edward Johnson Richard Johnson Rick Johnson Adam Jones Jim Jones Mitchell Jones Scott Jones Bruce Judson Andrew Kap Sandra Kauffman Richard Kauffman, Sr. Jim Kavanaugh Bill Kelley Denise Kennedy

Chuck Kerr 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 Lawhorn Dylan Lechter Michael Lechter Jeffrey C. Lehrer Justin Leitner Skylar Lempinen Jorge Leon Steve Leone Ruben Lerma Scott Lewis Kevin Libsack Bob Litchfield Tim Littleton 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 Fletcher Nichols Logan Nichols Brandon Nichols Anthony Nichols Cookie Nicoson Walt Nicoson* Paige Nicoson 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* Steve Remige Jim Renkema Robin Renowden Armon Rheaume Keith Riefkohl Mel Risch* Travis Roberts Aaron Ruiz Roy Ruiz Todd Sabin Mike Sanders Michael Anderson Michelle Schaefer Steven Schaefer Rick Schmidt Barry Schmitz Tom Schorr Scott Schuff

DeAnne Schuff Nathaneal Schulz Kurt Schulz Shannon Schulz Terry Schupp Peter Schwan 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 Dan Taylor Amos Terrell Jr. Todd Thelander Pete Thomas Nick Thompson Billy Thrash Donald Tirpak John Toner Corey Tunnell Lee Turner Bill VenRooy Rick Vincent, Sr. Carl Walker Kathleen Walp William Walp Peter Walters Don Walters, Jr. Bill Wasbotten Dale Watkins Paul Weaver Jerry Weiers Dee White

Larry White Kevin Widner 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

* deceased


The cover photo is by George Andrejko, a photographer with the Arizona Game & Fish Depar tment. Thank you George for your amazing wildlife images!

OFFICERS President - Peter Schwan Vice President - Tice Supplee

ARIZONA ELK SOCIETY MISSION STATEMENT

Treasurer - Christopher K. Lutzel Secretary - Greg Godbehere Executive Director - Steve Clark

The mission of the Arizona Elk Society is to benefit elk and other wildlife

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

by generating resources for habitat

Wayne Bouton

conservation and restoration,

Richard Moraca Andrew Kap Glen Jones Bob Swisher Steve Schaefer Pat Weise Jim Warren

and to preserve our hunting heritage for present and future generations. The Arizona Elk Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) wildlife organization.

PAST PRESIDENT

Past President - Rich Williams You may send a message for any officers, board members or committee chairs to stevec@arizonaelksociety.org

Visit us online at

www.arizonaelksociety.org www.facebook.com/arizonaelksociety

Arizona Elk Society 3


PRESIDENTS’ MESSAGE

experience another season in Arizona’s backcountry. I am aware this fall more than most years, the passage of time and our obligation to preserving Arizona’s wildlife habitats for future generations. Give some

Fall is in the air in Arizona. There is a definite briskness to the morning air. After enduring the long Arizona summer, we are being rewarded with a steady decline in temperatures. Monsoons have rolled in and out and we are ready for arguably the best season in the desert. This is the season I wait for all year long and I am sure I’m not alone. Planning for fall scouting and hunting excursions are in full swing. I am excited for the hunt, the camaraderie of fellow sportsman, the great food my wife will prepare, and the opportunity to

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thought to the fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles or friends who introduced you to the beauty of the outdoors. Take time to introduce a child to the outdoors and a lifelong love of nature. This summer I lost my father, the one who instilled in me a deep respect for the outdoors. This season I will remember my father for his love of the wilderness and for teaching the art of stewardship that I proudly pass to my children and grandchildren.

Until next time,

Peter Schwan, President Arizona Elk Society


I N

T H I S

I S S U E

2

4

6 -11

AES Life Members

President’s Message by Peter Schwan

Wapiti Weekend 2019 by Erica Swisher

12

13

14 -15

My Will by Ron Huddleston

Congrats’ Tice Long Valley Meadow Erosion Repair

Kansas Earnshaw Gold Award Project by Kansas Earnshaw

16 -19

20-21

22-23

6th Annual White Mountain Chapter Banquet by Jim Warren

White Mountain Chapter 3rd Quarter Activities by Jim Warren

Working Together for Wildlife by Steve Clark

26-29

30

31

Solo Archery Hunt by Cory Stangle

AES Founding Members

AES Habitat Partners

Arizona Elk Society 5


by Erica Swisher On July 26-28, 2019, the Arizona Elk Society, held our Summer Wapiti Weekend session for 115 kids. This event was took place in the cool pines of Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, at Camp Raymond Boy Scout Camp. Wapiti Weekend is a 2-day weekend program teaching kids, aged 5-16, about the outdoors and outdoor skills. Outdoor skills classes included, archery, marksmanship, gun safety, wildlife identification and game calling, gold panning, outdoor survival, first aide, kayaking, leather work, fly casting, and much more. The genuine excitement on the kids’ faces – and parents too – was a sight to see. Watching the kids learn new skills, hit the bullseye, catch the fish (or the frog ), show off their gold, dream catcher and leatherwork, all while embracing the outdoors – makes this event completely worthwhile. These kids go away with an understanding that there is much more to the outdoors and they learn many new things that they can practice and participate in for the rest of their lives. Our goal at each event is to get the kids interested in the outdoors and while they get to participate in the fun events, we also spend some time teaching them about wildlife conservation and becoming stewards of the animals and the environment we all live in. Coming up is Wild in the City, February 22, 2020. The event will be held at Ben Avery Shooting Range, 30 minutes north of downtown Phoenix. Kids will have a fun-filled, 1 day event with lots of fun for the kids to learn about the outdoors and the skills they need to enjoy it. 6 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2019


Arizona Elk Society 7


As with any of our AES events, it takes a small army of volunteers to allow us to offer such a positive learning experience to our young people, their siblings, and especially their parents. This summer’s Wapiti Weekend had a tremendous volunteer team with over 100 folks offering their time and expertise in the name of AES and educating our future outdoorsmen and women along with our gracious sponsors. Thank you to our AES Board Members and Corporate Sponsors – Sportsman’s Warehouse, Cabela’s, Vortex – for all you do to help fill goodie bags for each participant. A special thanks to Steve Ortiz at Sportsman’s Warehouse for his generous donation to our Youth Raffle, Ranger Rick and the Raymond Foundation for letting us enjoy such a beautiful piece of land, Phoenix Varmint Callers, AZ Fly Casters, Gold Prospectors of America, AZ Game and Fish Department, and the amazing cook team who burned the candle at both ends to serve 1,700 meals in 48 hours! Finally, a warm and heartfelt Thank you to ALL the volunteers who took the time to mentor our kids about the outdoors. We really could not do these events without you! This article is dedicated to our very own Ken Turer. For the last 5 years, Ken has dedicated his time and energy to Wild in the City and Wapiti Weekend. Ken Turer was an amazing mentor to me for both events and more. Ken and I spent many hours together to ensure I had all the tools I needed to fill in his shoes. Ken has made a huge impact on the lives of our youth over the years, and I only hope to be able to do the same. Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do Ken! You are appreciated! 8 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2019


Arizona Elk Society 9


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MY WILL

I have a will. Two months ago I couldn’t say that. It took the death of a close friend to wake me up. Now I’m wondering why I procrastinated so long. Let me tell you about my will.

My will reflects my wishes. Instead of the courts appointing an executor (personal representative), my son will handle this, and without bond. My will makes provision for family members in a way state statutes would not do. My will establishes a trust to benefit my spouse and reduce estate taxes. My will lets me disburse money to my children and grandchild in an orderly and prolonged manner. My will identifies several charities to receive special bequests. In short, my will allocates my assets according to my desires. My will is legally valid. I went to an attorney who specializes in estate planning. She knew the right questions to ask and the best way to accomplish my goals. I was tempted to take a short cut and use one of those will documents you can get online. I even thought of just sitting down and writing out my will on a piece of paper, a sort of do-it-yourself project. I’m sure glad I didn’t fall into that trap. After all, why do a will and then spend the rest of your life wondering whether it is truly valid? My will is up-to-date. This is because I only recently created it and it reflects my current situation. But life never stays the same. Within a few years, new estate laws may arise. Family members may develop different needs. The composition of my estate may change. As my attorney says, “An out-of-date will could be as harmful as having no will at all.” My will can be amended. It is not set in concrete. I can change it easily, either by adding a codicil or by simply having it redrafted. The important thing is that I have a workable will in place – now. My will is safely stored. I have a copy of my will in my files at home, but I keep the original in a bank safety deposit box. I don’t want to lose this important document through fire or theft. I also made sure my personal representative knows how to find my will. But he doesn’t know what’s in it. My will provides peace of mind. For years I lived with a nagging apprehension about what would happen if I died without a will. Those feelings are gone. I now have a sense of well-being about these matters, an inner calmness. It took a little time and effort and it cost a few dollars, but it was well worth it all. If you do not have a current, valid will or comprehensive living trust, we at the Arizona Elk Society urge you to care for this very important matter. Not only will such planning benefit your loved ones, we believe you will want to remember the Arizona Elk Society as well. And if you do, we’ll enroll you in our Legacy Society – now, and you’ll get the recognition you deserve while you’re still living. We can assist you by providing information about wills and charitable bequests. If would like help to find a qualified attorney feel free to call me at (623) 444-4147. As always, we urge you to consult with an estate planning attorney or other qualified advisor regarding a will, a living trust or whatever else may best suit your needs. Sound, professional help will contribute to your peace of mind – and that of your family’s.

Ron Huddleston Life Member Arizona Elk Society

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If you wish to learn more about various methods of estate planning, please call me, Ron Huddleston, at (623) 444-4147. I look forward to hearing from you soon. There is no cost or obligation.


Congrats’ Tice! AES Vice President, Tice Supplee (left in photo), received an award from Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) for her 22 years of volunteering for the organization. You can learn more about BOW at azwildlife.org/bow.

LONG VALLEY MEADOW EROSION REPAIR

Volunteers were on hand at Long Valley to continue our work fixing the riparian meadow and creek channels in September. Runoff is creating erosion in these meadows and the Arizona Elk Society volunteers have been hard at work building rock structures to stop the erosion. Thank you volunteers!

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Kansas Earnshaw

GOLD AWARD PROJECT by Kansas Earnshaw

Working to receive the Girl Scout Gold Award is no small feat. It is equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Project. The Girl Scout Gold Award requires multiple interviews and endless amounts of paperwork. When it came to choosing a project, the decision came easy. My family and I are avid hunters and we have seen what vehicles can do to the forest and landscape when others have not been considerate of the environment. I have always wanted to make sure that wildlife and the surrounding landscape remain as natural as it possibly can. I wanted a project that was unlike any others. With this being said, I was required to think outside the box and do something new and different in comparison to any other Gold Award projects. After doing a little research, I came across the Arizona Elk Society and their website advertising programs and volunteer projects that had to do with protecting our beautiful Arizonan forests and wildlife habitat. I immediately fell in love with the idea of building fences to protect riparian meadows and hopped to getting in contact with the organization and finding out more. I was almost immediately invited out in the summer of 2018 to help a Boy Scout looking to complete his project. There I became completely enamored and just could not wait for my turn in building the log fences. Over the course of my project, my team of 20 and I ran into two problems. The first issue was simply the force of 14 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2019

nature. I planned on completing my project this summer of 2018, however, Arizona high country was going through a massive drought and the National Forest Service did not want to risk starting forest fires and had closed the forest. At the beginning of this summer, 2019, we had planned the project again, but three days before the project date a forest fire started nearby, and the smoke had begun to get so bad that you couldn’t see 50 feet in front of you. For the third time, the project was re-scheduled and mother nature finally cooperated with us. Our second issue was minor compared to our first. Near the edges of the meadow, it is covered with thick groves of trees that we had to build around. The day of the project was cooler than most Arizonan summer days. My team worked hard from 8 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. In that time, we completed over 300 feet of fence and assisted a Boy Scout, who was building 500 feet of log fence to complete his Eagle Project. In addition to the two fence lengths equaling 800 feet, we drove to one of the original log fences built to protect another riparian meadow. There we placed 12-inch log feet underneath 700+ feet of log fence to stop the continuation of the log decay from making contact with the ground. Over the course of a seven-hour day, my team of 20 and the Boy Scout team of 15 completed over 1500 feet of log fence. The day was long, but our teams worked hard. After two years of planning and hard work, my Gold Award Project


was finally completed and I could not have possibly done this without my amazing team, but most importantly, the Arizona Elk Society. Without them, none of this would have been made possible and I will be forever grateful for them making my goals a reality.

From the Arizona Elk Society: Kansas, thank you very much for wanting to do your project to help the wildlife. These meadows are important to all the wildlife in the area. Off-road travel is one of the most destructive things the public does. It ruins the forage the animals eat, the streams that provide water and chases off the wildlife that depend on these meadows. You did a fantastic job, you were organized and brought a great bunch of volunteers that were willing to take your orders. Congratulations on completing your Girl Scout Gold Award project. We hope to see you in the future, we need young leaders like yourself to become stewards of our forests and wildlife habitat.

Arizona Elk Society 15


TH

White Mountain Chapter

6 ANNUAL BANQUET by Jim Warren

The White Mountain Chapter held their 6th annual banquet on June 29, 2019 at the Show Low Elks Lodge, #2090. 341 people attended making it the Chapter’s largest event yet. As always there were live and silent auctions, raffles, games and a “blitz” to keep the attendees involved.

Photo: Anne Groebner

Photo Greg Godbehere

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The live auction featured hunts in Africa, South America, a Texas hog hunt and a spring turkey hunt on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. A bidding war erupted over which university supporting group would pay the most for beautiful sets of pewter glassware embossed with either the University of Arizona logo or the Arizona State logo. As in the past, ten “key” items were available to bid on. Each winning bidder got to select from 10 keys, one of which would unlock a handsome Yukon gun safe donated by Sportsman’s Warehouse and which held 3 outstanding firearms. Farmer’s Insurance agency owner Troy Merrill of Eagar had the magic key! Attendees came from Tucson, the Valley of the Sun, Springerville, Eagar, Vernon, Snowflake, Taylor, Nutrioso and other smaller communities of the White Mountains. They were treated to an outstanding prime rib dinner, Dan Priest, founder of Arizona Outdoor Adventures, was honored with the President’s Award for his excellent work

over the years bringing our youth from around Arizona into the high country to experience, camping, fishing, kayaking, horseback riding and sitting around the campfire learning about conservation and nature in general. He was also presented with a check from the Arizona Elk Society for $5,000 to support these camps. Photo: Anne Groebner

Morgan and Vanessa Zimmer of Patriot Precision, LLC were recognized as the Business of the Year for their support of numerous wildlife and other organizations in the area by handling all of the firearms at their events. Recently retired Show Low Police Sergeant Jason Spear was recognized for his 20 years of service to the community. Recently graduated Blue Ridge high school senior, Dominic Hoffmeyer, was provided a $1,000 scholarship to attend Northland Pioneer College for his pursuit of a career in fire science.

Four photos above: Greg Godbehere

Arizona Elk Society 17


Photo: Anne Groebner

Youths from both the Show Low High School football team and the Blue Ridge High School team were hired to assist on both the morning room setup as well as the evening’s activities. Many other volunteers from around the mountains pitched in to set up and run the banquet. Without their help, the banquet would not have been possible nor successful! A huge “Thank you” goes out to all of them as well as the many guests who made the banquet a big success! If you would like to assist in planning future banquets, please contact the Arizona Elk Society.

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Photo: Anne Groebner

Photo: Anne Groebner

Photo: Anne Groebner

Photo: Anne Groebner

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Since our 6th annual banquet on June 29, the White Mountain Chapter was busy bringing the Society’s numerous

THIRD QUARTER ACTIVITIES

programs to Eastern Arizona.

White Mountain Chapter

by Jim Warren

EAGAR DAYS On August 3rd, the Chapter attended “Eagar Days” in the Round Valley Dome and donated $650 to the event to bring an indoor fishing tank full of bluegills for kids of all ages to enjoy. The younger set lined up 20-30 deep to try their hands at catching sometimes their fish-ever fish. Dads held toddlers in their arms and everyone delighted in seeing their faces when they brought in a fish. The AES had a large banner directly behind our table which was next to the tank and, in addition, we were recognized on the large sponsorship banner behind that tank.

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STAND DOWN On August 10th, we participated in the annual “Stand Down” for White Mountain area veterans to learn about programs which are available to them. Numerous veterans attended and inquired about our Heroes Rising Outdoors/Hunts for Heroes programs and took applications to send in for consideration of their eligibility.

ELK HUNTING WORKSHOP On August 17th, Dan Adler of Diamond Outfitters brought his popular Elk Hunting Workshop to Show Low for the second year. Some 100 hunters, both new and experienced, from around the tate enjoyed 4 hours of Dan’s program featuring numerous PowerPoint slides and detailed discussions on strategies for hunting both the early rut hunt as well as the later post-rut seasons. This was almost double the number who attended last year. Also attending to offer their advice were the Arizona Game & Fish Department, Chris William’s Trappers Den Taxidermy and White Mountain Meat Packing. The attendees were treated to a delicious Mexican buffet provided by the Show Low Elks Lodge #2090. If you need a guide for any hunt in North America, Dan can be reached at www.DiamondOutfitters.com or www.ZeroOutfitters.com Photo: Anne Groebner

WHITE MOUNTAIN NATURE SOCIETY’S OFF ROAD/OUTDOOR EXPO On Saturday, September 21st, we attended the 2019 White Mountain Nature Society’s Off Road/Outdoor Expo which was held to launch the “Be Connected Partner Community for Navajo/Apache/Gila Counties in Support of our Northeast Veterans”. This organization has grants and raises funds to support the hiring of area veterans by local businesses. We passed out numerous Heroes Rising Outdoors/Hunts for Heroes applications to veterans who attended the event. We also were able to acquaint many state and local veterans organizations and agencies with AES’s efforts on behalf of Arizona veterans. For more information about “Be Connected Arizona”, contact Adam Gerrard at 928-532-4345.

Photo: Anne Groebner

In the 6 years since its formation, the Chapter has been very successful in increasing the residents of the White Mountains’ knowledge of AES’s programs offered not only in the mountains, but around the State. Arizona Elk Society 21


WORKING Together FOR WILDLIFE Around September 15, diesel fuel or gasoline was deliberately poured into a water catchment northeast of Flagstaff. Catchments provide water for all wildlife when natural sources are not available. The AES has a long history with this catchment. From the moment we heard the news, we and a band of good people started the ball rolling to get it fixed back up. We waited for the green light from the Forest Service, and Annmarie and James from 310 Dust Control stepped up to help out. When James and Annmarie showed up, Roger and Ilene, of the Arizona Elk Society Water for Wildlife Crew, were ready to roll with full tanks of water. Only 24 hours later to DONE – the catchment was drained, cleaned and filled up with fresh water for the animals. Thank you to all involved: Ron Nixon with Broadhead nation, National Emergency Water, Tribal Waters Custom Pools and more. If you have information, please call AZGFD vandalism hotline at 1-800 VANDALS (826-3257). Callers can remain anonymous. Callers should reference case #19-003149.

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“The amount of manpower that AES brings to a project gives agencies like the US Forest Service an opportunity to do so much more work in one weekend that would take several years with our relatively small work force.� Tom Runyon, Hydrologist US Forest Service

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Arizona Elk Society 25


SOLO ARCHERY HUNT

by Cory Stangle

This was finally my year; this year I was fortunate enough to draw an elk tag. The points have added up and the odds finally favored me. I had traditionally applied for a rifle tag but after accompanying a friend on an archery hunt during the rut two years ago I picked up a bow and have never looked back. I had my September Archery Bull Elk tag! Since I had waited so long for a tag I was determined to make this opportunity count. The previous 6 months were spent learning, practicing and scouting. I read forums, bought gear, watched hunting shows trying to gain as much knowledge as possible. The plan was to set up a spike tent and hunt from that location allowing me to pick up and move as easily as possible. The problem I face in Arizona with this plan is the lack of water, especially since the monsoon was virtually nonexistent this year, so I had to pack in my own drinking water to each camp. And let me tell you, water weighs a lot. Monday morning I hiked into a new area and set up camp. After setting up camp I took off on an exploratory hike that took me about a mile and a half from camp. Finding a spot overlooking a large drainage I began cow calling. Having hunted primarily silent so far I decided it was time to start using calls to see if I could get them talking. After 45 minutes of cow calling at random intervals I started getting a couple responses, these easily could have been other hunters because I had only heard 1 bugle over the last 7 days, a young bull 20 yards from my tent at midnight on opening night. After hearing a couple bugles the weather moved in. First it started with a light rain that soon turned to hail then back to rain with

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lightning and thunder. Once the storm broke I gained some more elevation looking to move deeper into the mountains to where I thought the elk would be. The rain came back and didn’t look like it would break, so I decided to head back to camp. Once at camp my clothes were soaked so I changed and got into the sleeping bag in my tent. The rain continued picking up in intensity and then the winds started. I found a few leaks in my tent and while dealing with those the wind blew out the trekking poles holding up the ends of my tent. With the rain and wind at full force I was running around in my long johns propping up the trekking poles and anchoring the tent stakes with rocks. Finally the weather and rained stopped and with it the mountain came alive with Elk bugles. It’s as if the elk were hibernating just waiting for the right moment to wake up, and the weather was their cue. I counted 15 bugles within ear shot. With dinner waiting to be eaten, I put back on my wet clothes and tried to call in an elk before sunset. No luck, they weren’t ready to play just yet.

The condensation was building on the inside of the tent and every time a gust of wind shook the tent water would fall on my face. It’s 2am and I have barely slept. The elk continued to bugle sometimes as close as 100yards from camp. So with maybe 3 good hours of sleep I put my wet clothes back on and ventured out of my tent at 5:30am. I had made up my mind early on that whatever came across my arrow I would take a shot at, I just wanted to provide my family with meat. I was chasing bugles ascending the mountain trying to cut them off. They were responding to cow calls by bugling but not interested enough to come closer. With an arrow nocked I finally caught up to 2 spikes, one about 50yrds directly in front of me and one on a shelf about 80yrds up hill. They both seemed interested but wouldn’t get close enough to give me a clear shot. They began to move up hill and I sounded off with a bugle followed by a couple cow calls. 30 seconds later I hear a

Arizona Elk Society 27


rustle to my right to look and see an elk staring straight at me from 20 yards. I freeze, with no cover out in the open still out of breath from the uphill hike trying to catch my original spikes, I try to remain as still as possible. The elk moves to try and locate the bull and cow I imitated, as he goes behind a tree I attach my release and draw my bow. He catches a glimpse of my movement and stops with his body behind the tree and only his head in view staring at me. I go through my shot checklist waiting for the shot to present itself, guesstimating the yardage at 25 I gap my pins, he steps out from behind the tree and without hesitation I let the arrow fly. My yardage guess was perfect at 25, the hours and hours of practice definitely helped, the arrow hits its mark with a loud crack. As he runs off the doubt begins to set in. Did I hit the shoulder? Maybe I missed completely? What was the loud crack? Man there is a bull bugling in the direction he ran off, is that him? After 10 minutes I walk up to check for blood or an arrow, neither can be seen. But I look up the hill and I see something that sticks out from the dark wet soil of the forest. It’s my elk! It looks like the arrow hit to the left a little more than I would have liked and deflected off a rib and hit his stomach or intestine, the exit hole is a nasty color. I must have hit the vitals though since he made it only 150 feet before collapsing. As they say now the real work begins. The pack out took all day I felt like I was carrying at least 100+lbs on each of my 3 trips, plus I had 28 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2019


to pack out camp. When I dropped him off at Casey’s processing it weighs in at a total of 137lbs, man I’m glad he wasn’t any bigger. This was by far one of the most awesome experiences of my life. The planning, practicing, learning, the immersion in nature, the weather, the success, and the adventure as a whole of this Solo Archery Elk Hunt will definitely be hard to beat. Cory is a writer/photographer for RemberYourHunt.com a service that documents your Once-in-a-Lifetime hunting adventure. As a father of 2 boys, an entrepreneur, a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the Executive Director at Az4Kids.org he keeps his life busy with worthwhile pursuits and is always looking for the next adventure. *Photographing your own hunt is difficult; these photos are cellphone photos only and do not accurately reflect the professional work of RememberYourHunt.Com.

FIND IN

WHAT YOU NEED OUT

HERE

THERE HUNTING

FISHING

CAMPING

RELOADING

CLOTHING

FOOTWEAR

All the brands you know and trust. These and many more.

Phoenix . Tucson . Mesa . Flagstaff . Show Low

Arizona Elk Society 29


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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 30 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2019

* 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.

David Baril Sponsor Partner

Bass Pro Shops Sponsor Partner

Tom & Janet Bowman Sponsor Partner

Cabela’s Sponsor Partner

Harry Carlson Imperial Partner

Pacific West Representatives Royal Partner

Stephen Clark Sponsor Partner Ron & Sharon Eichelberger Sponsor Partner

Walt and Cookie Nicoson Royal Partner Sharon & John Stuckey Imperial Partner

Sportsman’s Warehouse Sponsor Partner

Arizona Elk Society 31


7773 W. Golden Lane Peoria, Arizona 85345

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See website for details on events & more at www.arizonaelksociety.org 32 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2019

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