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ARIZONA ELK SOCIETY 3rd Quar ter 2020


Three Million Gallons & Counting HEROES RISING OUTDOORS

Bison Bound


Hunter Wood

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 John Bingham 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 Brian 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 Jeffrey Fleetham Randy Foote

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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 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 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 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* Steve Remige Jim Renkema Robin Renowden Armon Rheaume

Keith Riefkohl Mel Risch* Preston Riveras Travis Roberts Aaron Ruiz Roy Ruiz Todd Sabin Mike Sanders 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 Dan Taylor Amos Terrell Jr. Todd Thelander Pete Thomas 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. 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

* deceased

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

It takes just three easy steps. 1. Go to 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 you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, 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!

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We officially began autumn on September 21st. Hard to tell with daytime temperatures in the high country in the high 80’s and over 100 degrees in Phoenix metro. What a long, hot and dry summer it has been! I hope you and yours are well and able to enjoy some time outdoors. I spent 2 weeks in Unit 4B with an archery bull elk tag – the elk won this year. I had a single shot opportunity and missed – ah well…I have memories on my trail camera of elk frolicking and drinking water after dark, so I know I was in a good place.

Game and Fish Department and other conservation partners through the Hunting and Angling Heritage Work Group (HAHWG). Remember to get outdoors as much as you can!

Yours in Conservation, T ice Supplee

Our volunteers have been hauling water non-stop all summer and fall, with no end in sight. Check out the AES Facebook Water for Wildlife page for reports from the field at AESWaterForWildlife . A lot of broken springs and axles hauling water to remote sites. Thank you to Dan, Chase, John, Michael, Ted and Reed for tag teaming close to 65,000 thousand gallons in 6 days. Awesome! Heroes Rising Outdoors is taking veterans on donated tag hunts and can always use volunteers at the hunt camps. If you are interested in volunteering, please call 623-444-4147 or visit .

I do hope folks were able to join our Annual Meeting which was online via Zoom this year.

This has been a tough year forcing cancelation of our banquets, large volunteer projects, and youth events. Smaller day and individual projects that meet state requirements for number of people and social distancing are continuing. We are working diligently to plan for next year and hope that the threat of Covid-19 will lessen and/or AES figures out new and innovative ways to offer youth, volunteer, and banquet events. We remain a strong partner with the Arizona

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For more information on volunteering opportunites, scan the QR code using your smartphone’s camera.







Bison Bound by Mike Herbert

Three Million Gallons of Water and Counting! by Steve Clark

Congratulations 2020 Youth Scholarship Recipients by Mel Faux

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A Recipe Meant to be Shared by Francis Cameron

Creativity, Out of the Box, and Adaptation = HAHWG by Edward Cini

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Camera’s Rolling by John Koleszar

Charitable Gift Annuities by Ron Huddleston AES Life Member

AES Founding Members

Volunteer Spotlight: Hunter Wood by Mel Faux

28 Upcoming Events The cover photo is by Mike Pellegatti, with Wild Vision. Thank you for sharing your wonderful elk photo with us Mike!

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BISON BOUND by Mike Herbert It was late March and my work was going as well as possible considering the COVID-19 barrier. Out of the blue my personal phone rang. On the other end was Tom Wagner, coordinator for Arizona Elk Society’s (AES) Heroes Rising Outdoors (HRO) program. I had volunteered before on several HRO hunts so things started out with the typical “Hey, how are things going?” I had no idea the conversation would soon be steered to me and a possible hunt. Tom asked me, “In your wildest dream, if you could choose anything in Arizona, what tag would you want?” My answer slipped right off the tip of my tongue: “Unit 10 archery bull, no question!” Tom’s next words, “I have something better than that.”

Jacoby. I continued to research every article I could find with his name attached to it, coming to the realization that Russ was today’s “Bison Whisperer.”

My initial thought was, “How was that possible?” Tom stated that HRO had received a donated bull bison tag for the House Rock herd on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and that he was offering it to me. This is a oncein-a-lifetime hunt – was he on the money!

We arrived at bison camp that afternoon, set up my tent and kitchen area and settled in. Wake-up time was set for 3 a.m. the next morning; the daily hunt meeting with Russ and his son Jacob for 4 a.m., after which Tom and I would take off for a camouflaged pop-up blind we would end up sitting in for 13 hours that day. Yes, 13 hours! This regimen continued for 4 days as sleep deprivation from short nights set the stage for multiple siestas throughout each drawn-out day. There was even mountain goat training on day three. After that climb I told Tom that was going to be

For days after that call, everything I did in my spare time was geared toward learning about this very special North American animal that I knew next to nothing about. Every hunting article I found included a specific name – Russ

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Tom and I decided to leave Phoenix early Wednesday morning, May 6th. I lived most of my life in the beauty of Montana, but that did not prepare me for the most beautiful landscape I had ever seen in North America. As we made our way closer to the Colorado River, that first view of those vermillion-colored cliffs will forever be enshrined in my memory. During our drive north, I also found out that mattresses, chairs, and stepladders could fly, fuel is precious, and 2-way radios are awesome!

the only time I was hiking up that steep hill! Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Not so much! Very early on the 5th morning we had been in our blind for only 20 minutes when a herd of mule deer sneaked into our setup – close enough for us to see with the naked eye that three of them were destined to be nice bucks once their antlers finished growing. That was quite the experience! As I was resting my eyes not a half-hour later, I glanced up out of the blind and there stood a ghost, appearing seemingly out of nowhere! No sound, no grunting, even quieter than the deer, a bull bison stood sideways right at the salt block. I nudged Tom’s leg and frantically whispered, ”Bison!” It took me just seven seconds to place the .338 Win Mag on the shooting stick, acquire the “Magic Triangle” that the Russ had talked to us about that very morning, and send a round down range. This all happened so quickly that Tom missed out on taking a picture of the bison as it stood broadside just 37 yards away! He still mumbles to himself about that (lol). At the report of the shot, Tom uttered, “Chamber another round!” That wasn’t going to be needed since the bull was hit hard. It swirled quickly and took 3 bounds up a slight incline before tipping over backwards ending up 20 yards from where he had stood just seconds earlier. The Magic Triangle education that morning couldn’t have come at a better time – the 250-grain bullet performed perfectly and I had just taken a truly magnificent animal. Although Russ Jacoby was not present to assist in recovering my bison, there was another Bison Whisperer in camp. Jacob Jacoby, Russ’ very capable son, had things well in hand. Talk about experienced (he’s been helping his dad since he was five), Jacob’s not yet 20 years old yet handles everything with skills that boggle the mind! Bob and Caren Swisher (Tom’s relief volunteers) arrived in camp about noon and pitched right in. By late afternoon my bison was skinned, dressed, quartered, deboned, and in coolers packed with ice. What a team effort! From the delicious food (thanks to Laura Jacoby’s sister Nancy Pool) to the “world class” outfitting of the Jacoby men, this truly turned out to be my hunt of a lifetime. Steve Clark from AES, Tom and Jordan from Heroes Rising Outdoors, Bob and Caren from AES/HRO --- thank you all for an amazing opportunity! Heroes Rising Outdoors has given me the chance to enjoy the outdoors once again --- something that had been missing from my life for quite a while. Spending time in the woods has always brought peace to my soul. This experience was by far one of the best times of my life! From the Bison Whisperers I learned about North America’s most iconic big game animal. I forged new friendships, reaffirmed hope in our younger generation, and branded some truly great memories into my brain. I highly recommend Heroes Rising Outdoors to all disabled Arizona veterans – it’s a program that will impact your life and help you regain focus for your future. There are no agendas other than to allow you some time to slow down and get back in touch with your inner self and the natural ebb and flow of life. There’s no better place to do that than in Arizona’s beautiful outdoors, with some people who appreciate us veterans and our love of country. Get you some! Arizona Elk Society 7

3 Million Gallons of Water & Counting by Steve Clark Thank you Bearizona for providing water!

Water hauling by the Arizona Elk Society Water for Wildlife crew began in March this year. The reprieve we had hoped for during the May rainy season did not happen. The good monsoon season we had hoped for did not happen. What has happened in 2020 is the driest year in many, many years in Arizona. While parts of the state received a little monsoon weather and rain, the high country north and east of Flagstaff was missed completely by any moisture. 8 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2020

Fire season came early and with a vengeance–dirt water tanks dried up very early in the season and elk and other wildlife were depending on the manmade water catchments spread throughout the forest and grasslands of Arizona. Some of these drinkers are small and only hold 1000-1500 gallons–not near enough to support much wildlife, especially elk. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), over the years, has partnered with the US Forest Service to upgrade many of the smaller catchments with 10,000 – 20,000 gallon catchments in areas of high densities of elk and mule deer throughout the state. While these catchments hold more water than the old ones, they were no match for Arizona’s drought. In 2005 the area just south of the Grand Canyon received a 6 tank–a large 20,000 gallon tank catchment on a pipeline. This was part of a project proposed by AZGFD and funded by monies from the auctioning of the Commissioners Elk Tags and donations from the AES and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The water was supplied from the effluent pond at the Tusayan Water Treatment Center which eventually dried up. No open hotels due to the COVID-19 dilemma meant that no one was taking showers and flushing the toilets in Tusayan. Hence the Water Treatment Center was not running at capacity and the effluent water dried up.

When all these things happened AZGFD, AES and a few others stepped up to haul water. AES has hauled over 3 million gallons of water since 2002. We haul water to the catchments that AZGFD Wildlife Managers direct us to with our few trucks and a mixture of trailers and tanks. This equipment along with Arizona’s most dedicated volunteers is the main reason that there was enough water in Northern Arizona for our Elk. The AES takes care of water hauling in Units 8, 7W, 7E, 9 and 5BN. We also help with water in the eastern part of the State in AZGFD Region 1. In addition to hauling the water the AES Catchment Repair Squad restores old Forest Service drinkers spread throughout the forest.

Hauling water is a big job and is all done by AES Volunteers at times with contractors to keep up with the demand. We are always in need of donated trucks and water trailers to keep the water flowing. We also need donations to help defray costs such as tires and repairs to the trailers and trucks. These roads are very rough

Other wildlife besides elk benefit from the water. Arizona Elk Society 9

and with 10,000 – 15,000 pounds of water being hauled over some of the roughest roads, attrition is high. Flat tires, broken springs, broken pumps, snapped axles and you name it. If it can break the rocky roads will make it happen. Our biggest asset are the volunteers that haul water and rebuild old catchments. This is a thankless, lonely and rough task. Long hours filling tanks and driving hours to deliver the water. There are not enough words and kudos that THANK all the volunteers. These guys and gals get up early and drive thousands of miles on some of the roughest roads to haul water. THANK YOU ALL FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO, WITHOUT YOU WE COULD NOT KEEP THIS WATER FLOWING. If you would like to volunteer and/ or donate to the Arizona Elk Society Water for Wildlife program please go to our website, and fill out our volunteer form or go to the store to donate. We are in need of funding and donations of trucks and trailers that can be used in the woods. All donations will be used for the Water for Wildlife program.

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Youth Programs by Mel Faux The AES provides scholarships to high school seniors and college students pursuing a degree in wildlife sciences or other closely related fields. All applicants must exhibit a commitment to wildlife and the outdoors and participate in school-related activities and have a minimum GPA of 2.7 out of 4.0 scale. Our hope is that these students will become the next generation of wildlife conservationists. Congratulations to the 2020 scholarship recipients!

CONGRATULATIONS 2020 YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP White Mountain Habitat Projects RECIPIENTS Chapter Jordan Faux, High School Senior

John Valentine, High School Senior

Hunter Wood, College Student 12 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2020


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Savoring the bittersweet flavor of tag soup may be an acquired taste. Each unfilled tag represents a complex flavor profile seasoned by the hunter’s stage (i.e. Shooting, Limiting-Out, Trophy, Method and Sportsman). Having sampled all the stages myself, let’s just say that the combination of age and experience has afforded me a rather well developed palate. I think it all started for me as a child and really manifested itself through my young adulthood in the practice of collecting “things”. Who knew there were so many interesting rocks? I also collected marbles. Then there was the fleet of Tonka Trucks that never saw dirt but existed in tidy row against the wall of my bedroom. There were coins, old bottles and antlers. Oh yes, antlers…I was especially captivated by the power of antlers. In my young life, all these represented “things” that I loved. That is, until in my junior year in high school when our home burned to the ground and my collection of “things” were forever lost. Our family found ourselves without worldly possessions or a home. But we were safe. It was December, and with no place to go, we braved the winter in our barn until we could break ground in the spring. “Things” suddenly were much less important. This moment in time and a new perspective would forever change me. In the span of the next five years, I married the love of my life, pursued my college education, brought a son and daughter into the world, and began a career. My wife, Teri and I committed ourselves to a life rich with relationships and experiences and “things” were simply a means to that end. Life was moving at hyper speed but hunting remained an important part of me. Hunting served to slow me down and it centered me, still does today. In my mid-twenties, I began to keep my unfilled hunting licenses as a reminder of each hunt. Thirty years have since passed and in that time, I’ve kept all my unfilled tags. They reflect purchases in 10 western states. I consider this collection one of my most prized possessions. It’s prized because of what it collectively represents in grand adventures and life lessons. You can point to any one and I can tell you details of that particular hunt experience. Here are just a few:



So many firsts on this hunt. My first archery elk hunt. My first back-country hunt (Greys River Basin). There were several great elk encounters and one clean miss. I pushed myself physically harder than my head said I could. I came to know that equipment can make you or break you. The beauty of each day’s sunrise and sunset are etched in my mind. It made me think about life’s blessings.

This was an over the counter rifle elk tag in northern Utah. A hunting opportunity never afforded in the past…OTC and in my backyard…are you kidding me? With great anticipation and excitement, I scouted hard for this hunt and had it all figured out before opening day. This was elk nirvana filled with aspen groves, tall grass and water everywhere. I was enjoying the solitude of my tent on the top of a ridgeline until about 4am when headlight after headlight began to pour into my “honey hole”. At daylight, it sounded like a war zone with shots ringing out in every canyon. With my confidence and inner peace disrupted, I went home.

What I learned:

Push yourself. Buy the best equipment you can afford. Stop and count your blessings.

What I learned:

Know the area you’re hunting. Get off the beaten path. Go where others won’t.

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2003 SOUTH DAKOTA TURKEY For several years, I had organized a “Father/Son” turkey hunt in the Black Hills of South Dakota(the country of my youth). We typically hosted about ten hunters. We provided directions for each pair to pursue turkeys in areas they could have to themselves. My son, Cole, was 16 on this trip and had become an accomplished hunter by his own right. Time with him in the outdoors remains one of my favorite things in life. He can hike like a maniac, his senses are keen, his natural instincts drive good decisions. He is everything that you’d want in a person close to you, let alone a hunting partner. In our last set of our last morning’s hunt, I was able to call a good tom right to Cole’s position. With shotgun on his knee, he readied for the shot. I waited in anticipation and then at 18 yards…BOOM! I see the Turkey running in the opposite direction. “What happened?”, I asked. Cole tells me, “I’m not sure, but I missed.” Perplexed, I reassured him it was ok. I didn’t want to shake his confidence and it had been a great hunt. On our drive home, I got to thinking. What if Cole missed that shot on purpose? So I asked, “Cole do you like to hunt?” He immediately replied “Of course, Dad. I love this time with you.” A few more miles passed and I said, “You need to level with me pal, there is no way you missed that turkey at 18 yards.” Then it came…Cole said to me, “Dad, I really love hunting with you, I just don’t want to kill anything.” Whoa…my heart sank…but only for a minute. We talked for the next 6 hours about why he felt that way and how we would approach our hunts together in the future. Cole and I have hunted together every year since. And while he hasn’t held a hunting license, he’s packed some heavy loads out of the backcountry. What I learned:

Time with your kids is essential to a great relationship and you don’t have to pull the trigger to participate in hunting.

2019 WYOMING ELK All these years later and I have learned to play the “points” game pretty effectively. My good friend, Shaun, and I knew we would both draw this tag for the 2019 season. We knew people who had hunted there. We made some scouting trips. We were ready to go. Our intent was to hunt exclusively during the archery season. We did, and it was awesome, except for one really frustrating detail. The checkerboard layout of public and private land lent itself to challenges we did not anticipate. Never have I spent so much time referring to my GPS to ensure I was standing on ground I was able to hunt. While we had opportunities and while we had some really great experiences, the hunt was full of frustration. Yep, I’ll say it…not all rosy and wonderful. While we were restricted by the rules of checkers, the elk really didn’t care. Seemed like anytime they moved, we couldn’t jump ‘em, king ‘em and most of all we couldn’t shoot ‘em. Our archery season ended mostly in defeat. We went home, licked our wounds, and laid plans to return for the rifle hunt. Upon our return, we found ourselves in a different part of the unit. For five more days we played the same game as we did in September. On the drive back the last evening, Shaun and I were spent physically and mentally. To say we were bummed out was an understatement. Then I received a message from my brother, Steele. I’ve acted as his guardian for the last 25 years. He was a rising star in the country music business. At 27 years old, Steele landed a recording contract. One that surely would have made him a household name. But instead, Steele was in a car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury which has required 24 hour care since. Steele’s found happiness but he no longer “gets” to do those things we take for granted. In that moment, I realized how selfish my feelings were. I told Shaun…”We GET to do this…how great is that?” And then we talked about Steele and our attitudes quickly shifted. In fact, we both felt a little guilty. What I learned:

This tag and that hunt shall always serve as a reminder of how fortunate I am for being able to “get to” do so much. 16 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2020

The value in those unfilled tags goes beyond the extraordinary experiences and relationships. They speak of healthy living, sustenance and a connection to something bigger than myself. Hunters have such a great story to tell. But, we first have to overcome negative stereotypes and false perceptions. Far too often, the non-hunting public correlates hunting with field photos of successful hunts (guilty as charged). Harsh judgement is cast and it becomes a misrepresentation of our “why”. We must share our story with the non-hunting community in ways that create hunting advocates. To overcome misconceptions, I find a “Show Me” vs. “Tell Me” strategy works well. Two easy ways to do that are: 1) share a meal of your favorite wild game dish 2) tell them about wildlife conservation and your role in it. If necessary, brush up on your knowledge of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation ( My stack of unfilled tags has come in handy on several occasions to exhibit the money spent in support of that model. It’s a good representation of the general hunting public and

success rates. I always tell people, “if you love wild places and wild things, thank a hunter”. Those who love it, will see that it is protected. Some of you will look at all those unfilled tags and think, “What a waste” or maybe, “That guy must be a terrible hunter” (incidentally, that could be true). I know one thing for certain…The most valuable life lessons have been earned through my failures rather than my successes. Personally, I look at that stack of tags and am filled with great reverence and pride. Consistent with my family’s values, they are rich in experiences and relationships.

Chances are that if you hunt, you’ve got a few unfilled tags. My hope is that a new perspective may help you develop a taste for the bittersweet flavor of tag soup. It’s a recipe meant to be shared…because it’s filled with so much good.

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WANTED CHUCKWAGON TEAM LEADER The Arizona Elk Society–a nationally recognized, premier organization awarded for supporting habitat restoration for elk and wildlife– is accepting resumes for a Volunteer Chuckwagon Team Leader for year-round events throughout the state of Arizona. We are looking for the right “Chuckie” that can make at least a 1-year commitment to facilitate meals for upwards of 150 volunteers and guests during an Arizona Elk Society event. There are usually 8 to 10 events per year, on weekends. You will also: • Supervise, train, and coordinate kitchen staff • Create and budget menus • Hone your culinary skills • Give back to your community through volunteerism • Experience to sharpen your resume

To submit your resume or for a more detailed description of Chuckwagon Team Leader duties please contact Arizona Elk Society at 623-444-4147 or

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PROTECTING OUR LANDSCAPES: Arizona Elk Society / BSA #365 - Have you seen all the Facebook posts of people trashing the forest while camping. Well, someone did something about it, as reported by our WM in our daily agency success stories - I just had to share it. This summer has seen an unprecedented amount of recreation across northern Arizona. Camping activity across the Mogollon Rim has expanded into delicate high elevation meadows and wetlands causing damage to critical wildlife habitat that provide forage and cover year-round for a multitude of species. Arizona Elk Society, Boy Scout Troop 365, Mogollon Rim Ranger District, and Region 2 partnered together to act quickly and install log worm fencing to create a long-lasting vehicle barrier that would aid in meadow and riparian area restoration efforts. The fencing will prevent soil compaction from vehicle activity, slow stream bank erosion, and restore meadow function. The benefit that this habitat provides to wildlife is immense, and we’re excited to be able to better protect it. –Edward Cini, Wildlife Manager Reprinted from HAHWG Newsletter Outdoor Skills, Network, Late Sept Issue. Visit Background photo by Deborah Lee Soltesz, September 2016. Source: U.S. Forest Service, Coconino National Forest. Arizona Elk Society 19



Volunteers play a vital role at The Arizona Elk Society, working alongside partner organizations, agencies, staff members and other volunteers to jointly achieve our goals. Through our Volunteer Recognition Program, we highlight the contributions of our volunteer workforce. Each quarter, we select a Volunteer of the Quarter from those volunteers currently in the field that are performing above and beyond the baseline of excellence. During our annual banquet, we recognize our top volunteers with our Presidents awards. Unfortunately, this year we were not able to have our annual banquet due to COVID-19, however it is still very import that we continue to highlight our volunteers. This quarter we would like to recognize Hunter Wood.

Hunter has been a volunteer with AES for over 15 years. His involvement with AES started when his older sister first went to Wapiti Weekend and since then, the entire family has volunteered for various work projects including fence removal at Big Lakes. In 2015 Hunter attended the 1st AES Sawyer class, but was not able to get his certification because he was 17. Hunter took the class the following year and has been an active certified Sawyer since 2016. Hunter is in his Senior year of college at Northern Arizona University–he will be graduating with a degree in Forestry Management along with a certificate in wildlife. Hunter wants to pursue a career in Federal Wildlife Biology or 20 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2020

Hunter is a great volunteer, and it has been fun watching him grow up and chase his passion for wildlife.

Hunter is well liked, respectful and is always there to help when the opportunity arises.

with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. When I asked Hunter what he liked most about volunteering his response was, “I have grown up doing it my entire life. I do it for the wildlife, but I also like getting more people involved.� Note: Hunter was also the AES 2020 college scholarship recipient. What started as a volunteer opportunity has led to a future and career. Awesome job Hunter! We wish you all the success.

The Arizona Elk Society is fortunate to have passionate and diverse volunteers. Our volunteers’ passions, tenacity, and commitment to the Arizona Elk Society pushes the organization to help more youth, veterans, and increase elk viability. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Arizona Elk Society, please visit the website at or scan the QR code at left using your smartphone camera.

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CAMERA’S ROLLING by John Koleszar

The long awaited day was finally here. Elk hunting season opened the next day! I was thrilled to be in the cool pines. Compared to Phoenix, even 80 degrees seemed cool. I had a voice mail that I assumed was from Big Bull (BB). It said, “10:00 same spot. Don’t be late! I’ve got some hot dates I have to schmooze!” I excused myself from the dinner and card table, simply saying I had an appointment. My son rolled his eyes and said, “Where the hell are you going at 9:00 at night? Even the bars are all locked up tight.” I nodded and told him, “BB sent me a message; I agreed to meet him and it’s a long ride out there.” My son shrugged and said, “Just make sure you get some shut eye; 3:30 rolls around pretty quick.” I thought about his warning but the temptation to have some thought sharing with BB was too enticing. How often had I met with the big guy under weird circumstances? Way too many times, and yet each time I walked away happy I had spent the effort. I figured he would have his usual smart remarks and that his “harem” would be admiring his...odor. I arrived just at the anointed hour and we met about 300 yards from one of his old favorite watering holes. I could smell him from 50 yards away and he was doing his little chuckling just to drive the ladies nuts. He pulled up next to me and growled, “Hey old man, about time you showed up. I got some serious work ahead of me for the next few weeks, so lets be quick about this.” I was in no hurry so I just laughed at him, “It seems you have been busy already BB, you smell just as bad as the last rut and your disposition has not improved much. It must be those crazy 22 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2020

hormones you have.” BB smirked and whispered, “I just do that for the ladies ya know? It keeps them thinking I’m a real tough bull.” As we were talking a series of lights flashed out from the darkness. For a moment I was surprised, but BB quickly dismissed it by saying, “Just trail cameras dude. I won’t go near that waterhole any more. Seems like the hunting community has all gone over to the side of taking photos and trying to pattern us. There’s hardly a single waterhole without a trail camera on it now. It does seem to be a bit unfair for you folks to know every time I come for a drink of water.” I nodded and confessed. “I have a trail camera BB, but I’ve never used it. It’s just a personal thing with me. There are no laws against using one and a lot of people seem to want to have a whole bunch of them. There were almost regulations regarding using them, but a couple of commissioners decided that the department folks who studied what was fair chase and what was not were not...correct. So, my friend, trail cameras are legal, for now.” BB snorted and said, “Let me get this straight– the Arizona Game and Fish Department came up with a study and recommendations to the Arizona Game & Fish Commission and the Commissioners didn’t listen to them?” I decided to be straight up with him and nodded, “Yep, about 14 individuals showed up at the meeting and uhm…pressured the Commissioners to leave trail cameras all around without regulations.” BB sighed and glanced again at the lights going on and off. “Yep, sure seems like fair chase to me when you know damn near every spot I drink water at and when I do it.” I decided to be a bit more diplomatic about this one. “BB,” I said, “just change your

habits to drinking only at night. The hunters can’t be out here at night, you drink your fill and then leave about 30 minutes before daylight.” BB barked out his response, “You ever try and bugle all night and not be thirsty? Hell old man, I need to drink every couple hours with that monster spray thing I do.” I couldn’t help but laugh, “Monster spray thing? Really BB? That’s a little down in the gutter for you isn’t it?” Suddenly, more lights started coming down the road. BB looked at me and asked, “You didn’t tell anyone about meeting me did you?” I told him only my son, but I had the truck, so I knew it wasn’t him. BB whirled around and started pushing his harem out. “You tell the darn Commissioners that they should try and see how it feels to be under a spotlight all the time! It sure as hell ain’t fair chase and you all know that!”

As BB departed into the thick timber, the vehicle that was coming down the road stopped at the water hole. A guy jumped out of his truck and ran over to the trail camera to check on it. I waited patiently until he had left and thought long and hard about both sides of the issue. I knew that Nevada had rules in place for trail cameras and I wondered if Arizona would ever follow suit. I could hear the distinctive sound of BB bugling into the night and I wondered how he would fare this hunting season. Would he fall to a fair chase hunter? Would he be caught at a water hole? I just have to be patient and see if I hear from him again.

Photo Credit: Kaibab National Forest Arizona Elk Society 23

Arizona Elk Society is a proud partner of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. In July of 2020 AES donated a night vision device to Region II in Flagstaff. This donation will assist the Law Enforcement staff in situations such as poaching in their area for many years to come. Pictured above is Luke Apfel from Region II. 24 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2020


by Ron Huddleston, AES Life Member

Did you know that with a charitable gift annuity, you can provide lifetime payments for yourself or a loved one and, as part of your legacy, help ensure the ability of Arizona Elk Society to respond to future needs of students?

How a Charitable Gift Annuity Works

Benefits of a Charitable Gift Annuity

Sample Single-Life Gift Annuity Rates

You make a gift to Arizona Elk Society. We reinvest the assets and agree to pay you, or up to two beneficiaries you name, a lifetime annuity. At the end of the contract, we receive the remaining funds. Annuity payments are backed by reserve funds and are a general obligation of Arizona Elk Society Foundation. Minimum Age:


Minimum Amount:


Assets Accepted:

Cash or marketable securities such as stocks or bonds

Payment Schedule:

Annual, semi-annual, quarterly or monthly

Fixed lifetime annuity at an attractive rate

A current charitable income tax deduction for a portion of your gift

A portion of annuity payments is tax-free in most cases

Annuity backed by reserve funds and the assets of Arizona Elk Society

Capital gains tax savings if you fund the annuity with appreciated securities

The satisfaction of providing long-term support for Arizona Elk Society

Age Rate 65












Arizona Elk Society applies the rates recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities, effective as of July 1, 2020. The table to the left shows sample gift annuity rates. Rates are revised periodically. Please contact us for the specific rate for your age.

To learn more about Arizona Elk Society Charitable Gift Annuities or to receive a personalized illustration showing how a gift annuity could work for you, please contact Ron Huddleston at (623) 444-4147 or The above information is not intended as tax or legal advice, and your tax treatment may vary depending on circumstances. Please consult with your tax advisor.

Arizona Elk Society 25


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 26 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2020

* Deceased

“Your Arizona Elk Society Realtors!”

Arizona’s Essential Realty Team


Michelle: 623.521.6096


Fine Homes & Estates, CDPE, ASP, Realtor®

Conmmercial Specialist, Realtor®

Darrell: 602.497.7746

$1,000.00 Donated to “HEROES RISING OUTDOORS” Program Arizona’s Essential Realty Team has Partnered up with Arizona Elk Society If you are passionate about assisting our Veterans, as we are, take a minute to visit this web site 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 us ”I want to assist a Veteran” or simply send us a message. Together WE will make a difference! For each successful transaction greater than $250,000, whether buying or selling, on residential or commercial, Arizona’s Essential Realty Team will donate $1,000.00 of our personal proceeds to Toma Partners

Toma Partners

“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 or Darrell today. Let’s give our Veterans the support and appreciation they deserve!

Your Family Real Estate Company. We make you feel at home. WWW.TOMAPARTNERS.COM • CENTURY 21 TOMA PARTNERS • 8325 W Happy Valley Rd Suite 120 Peoria Az 85383 Each office is independently owned and operated

Arizona Elk Society 27

7773 W. Golden Lane Peoria, Arizona 85345


CALENDAR CANCELED: JUNIOR ELK CAMP DESERT FANATICS FLAG RUN 11/14, 8AM, Westgate, in support of AES Heroes Rising Outdoors

Volunteer and bring water to wildlife!


More info at 28 Tracker 3rd Quarter 2020

Volunteer at

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