Tracker 4th Quarter 2022

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4th Quarter 2022
HEROES RISING OUTDOORS Celebrates Veterans Day! 14-15 YOUTH 2023 Junior Elk Camp 10-11 Wild for Wild in the City 12-13 HABITAT Fences Mended—Fences Removed 8-9
Photo by Mike Pellegatti, WildVisions, Inc.

Jim Jones

Mitchell Jones

Scott Jones

Bruce Judson

Andrew Kap

Sandra Kauffman

Richard Kauffman, Sr.

Jim Kavanaugh

Sandra Kearney

Bill Kelley

Denise Kennedy

Chuck Kerr

Roger Kesterson

Bill Kiefer

Brian Kimball

Steve King

David Kinman

Donald Kinney

Peter Klocki

Peter Knadler

John Koleszar

Charles Koons

Brian Koziol

Joseph Krejci

Otto Kuczynski

Joseph LaJeunesse

Joseph M. Lane

James Lara

Kevin Lawhorn

Randy Lay

Dylan Lechter

Michael Lechter

Jeffrey C. Lehrer

Justin Leitner

Skylar Lempinen

Jorge Leon

Mike Leon

Steve Leone

Ruben Lerma

Scott Lewis

Kevin Libsack

Bob Litchfield

Tim Littleton

Ryan Lloyd

Megan Lobst

Karen Longo

Jamie Lyons

James Lynch, Jr.

Bob Mallory

John Marriott

Eric Martin

David Martin

Don Martin

Robert Martin

Joseph Masseur

Karl Matchinsky

Gary Matchinsky

Russ McDowell

Steve McGaughey

Brian McGrew

Angela McHaney

Kelly McMillan

James Mehen*

William Meredith

James Mingus

Matt Minshall

Daniel Moore

Richard Moraca

James H. Mullins

James K. 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

Edward Nolte

Nick Novak

David Nygaard

Donna Obert

Douglas Obert, Sr.*

Mark Ogden

James Oldham

Bob Olds

Raul M. Ortiz

Ray Ouellette

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

Bryan Pedersen

Mike Pellegatti

Allen Perez

Guy Phillips

Paul Piker

Jack Poggendorf

Forrest Purdy*

Jan Purdy

AESLIFEMEMBERS Mike Abramovich Dan Adler Christopher Agnone Hector Albarran Ken Alexander John Anderson Michael Anderson Michael J. Anderson Patti Anderson Clair Andrew John Anton Ernest Apodaca, Jr. Steve Armstrong Keith Azlin Tony Baca Pete Baldwin James Ballard Leo Balthazor Lee Banning David Baril Kenneth Barnes Philip Barrett Ron Batz Randy Beck F.K. Benbow Tony Benites David Bennett Joseph Berardi Danny Berg Keith Berger Robert Besst Bruce Bettis John Bingham Jeff Blalock Jason Bluhm Tom Bobo Jr. Rebecca Bouquot Eagle Bowers Victoria Bowers Tom Bowman Janet Bowman Tish Bradford Dan Bradford Roger Briggs 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 Rod Crandell William Crary Philip Cushman William Cullins Richard Currie Patrick Curry B. Todd Curtis Kay Davidson Don Davidson William Davis Bill Davis Jamie Davis Larry Day Kurt Davis Bryan Delgado Anthony DeSiderio Jim DeVos Mike Dirilo Joe Divito Steven Dodds William Dorsey Gregory Doryl 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 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 Steven Harness Nate Harrel Charles Ray Harrison Sean Hatch Steve Havertine Merritt Haynes Richard Heckman Wayne Hedrich 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 Allen James Kyle Jenkins Brian Johnsen Gary Johnson James C. Johnson James Johnson Earl Johnson Edward Johnson Lauren Johnson Lawrence Johnson Michael Johnson Pete Johnson Richard Johnson Rick Johnson Adam Jones
Mark Raby* Kenneth Ramage Kenneth Rankin Gary Reber Steve Remige Jim Renkema Robin Renowden Armon Rheaume Keith Riefkohl Mel Risch* Preston Riveras  Travis Roberts Zach Robertson Richard Roller Aaron Ruiz Roy Ruiz Todd Sabin Mike Sanders Kevin Sargent Michelle Schaefer Steven Schaefer Mark Schepers Rick Schmidt Barry Schmitz Tom Schorr Scott Schuff DeAnne Schuff Nathaneal Schulz Kurt Schulz Shannon Schulz Terry Schupp Peter Schwan Michael Schwindenhammer Bill Shaffer Cindy Shaffer Steven Shaffer Howard Shaffer William Shaffer, Jr John Shereck Lonzo Shields Mark Simon Terrence Simons Charlene Sipe Andrew Smigielski Michael Snyder Thomas Spalding Randy Sparaco Robert Spurny Connor Stainton Gregory Stainton Randy Stalcup Douglas Stancill Ray Steffen Jr Stan Stellwagen Mark Stephenson Arlen Stewart Shane Stewart James Stewart John Stuckey Vashti “Tice” Supplee Nick Swanson Al Swapp Debbie Swapp Bob Swisher James Symonds Tim Talbott Dan Taylor Amos Terrell Jr. Todd Thelander Pete Thomas Kevin Thompson Nick Thompson Billy Thrash Donald Tirpak Bill Tocci Linda Tocci John Toner Richard Trepeta Gregory Trivette Corey Tunnell Lee Turner Sandra Turner Bill VenRooy Rick Vincent, Sr. John Wagner Carl Walker Kathleen Walp William Walp Peter Walters Don Walters, Jr. Caryn Walsh Thomas Walton Bill Wasbotten Dale Watkins David Watts Rick Watts Paul Weaver Jerry Weiers Dee White Larry White Kevin Widner Chris G. Williams Richard Williams Scott Wilt Matt Windle Glenn Wooden Cory Worischeck Mark Worischeck Joseph Worischeck Robert Younger Richard Youngker Chuck Youngker Dave Zibbon Scott Ziebarth Craig Zimmerman * deceased 2 Tracker 4th Quarter 2022

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What a wonderful winter we are having—apart from delighting skiers and snowboarders, the snowpack is rejuvenating elk country. Tanks will be full and the wet soils will be perfect for grasses and forbs to be plentiful. I like many, will be waiting to see if I have an elk hunting tag this fall. Arizona Game and Fish has launched the option for electronic tags. The brave new world has come to hunting. The eTags include the hunt questionnaire—an important piece of information used to determine permit numbers. I hope hunters use this new technology as it should improve the collection of hunter information and also eliminate you or me having panic attacks because we can’t find the paper tag the night before opening day.

AES youth programs are in full swing. A partnership with Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation has given AES a new venue, Mesquite Oasis, on the west side of town near Palo Verde. With new flyfishing partners that are certified fishing instructors fishing at Biscuit Tank was an added activity for Wild in the City. The kids had smiles from ear to ear fishing for blue gill and catfish. We had a lot of new kids at the event and are planning for another. The call is out for volunteers to help at the annual AES Youth Turkey Camp. We can always use turkey callers.

April 1st is our banquet in Mesa. This event is so popular we sell out quickly. My thanks to the new sponsors that help make this a successful event.

After a long pause, our Sawyers are getting certified and re-certified. This very unique volunteer program is highly valued by our US Forest Service partners. We need some new sawyer volunteers. A great way to get started is volunteer for a Sawyer project as a “swamper”. Swampers are essential members of Sawyer teams as they do the follow up after the chainsaw work. An easy way to see what a Sawyer

project is all about and gain some basic experience.

Your AES volunteer board is working very hard in support of our able staff. My thank you to Andrew Kapp, who recently ended two terms on the board. AES depends on members like Andrew to step up and join the board for one or two terms. Bringing in new members keeps fresh ideas and energy coming to the board.

With summer around the corner (yes, already!) check your gear and spend time in elk country!

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At the AES Sawyers certification training, the Coconino National Forest presented an award of appreciation for our volunteer work.


President - Tice Supplee

Vice President - Greg Godbehere

Treasurer - Christopher K. Lutzel

Secretary - Richard Moraca

Executive Director - Steve Clark


Wayne Bouton

Randy Burton

Joe Di Vito

Ron Huddleston

Glen Jones

Steve Schaefer


Rich Williams

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

The mission of the Arizona Elk Society is to benefit elk and other wildlife by generating resources for habitat conservation and restoration, and to preserve our hunting heritage

The Arizona Elk Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) wildlife organization. Visit us online at
for present and future generations.
Arizona Elk Society 5
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16-18 BB in Another Country byJohnKoleszar 14-15 Heroes Rising Outdoors Celebrates Veterans Day! byErvinHansen(USArmy,ret.) 27
12-13 Wild for Wild in the City byLindsayLayton 10-11 2023 Junior Elk
byLoganFosenburg 8-9 Fences Mended— Fences Removed byLoganFosenburg 20 How Wildlife is Thriving Because of Firearms and Hunting 23
visit our website at 26
Arizona Elk Society 7
AES Founding Members
About AES
volunteer opportunites with Arizona Elk Society,
AES Habitat Partners


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The Arizona Elk Society finished off 2022 with two projects in October before the forest closed for the winter. One project was a day trip to Long Valley Work Site, and one was a full weekend campout with an Eagle Scout group. On October 21, with the help of 10 passionate volunteers, AES successfully removed and replaced a damaged willow enclosure at the Long Valley Work Site. The existing fence was torn apart by a fallen tree and the wire fencing was choking the willows, making them an easy snack for the elk. The new willow enclosure has a sturdy frame, with a 6 foot gap between the willows and fence, leaving plenty of room for new growth and out of feeding distance. This same group of volunteers constructed a low-tech rock run down to reduce erosion and promote water distribution at the Long Valley Meadow Site.

With the help of US Forest Service and AZGFD, AES located multiple miles of old fence that needed to be removed

out of unit 5A, specifically around Houston Draw. On the weekend of October 29, AES and Eagle Scout Troop 325 (of the Lost Dutchman district), brought together roughly 40 volunteers to remove three miles of old fencing! Split into multiple groups, the volunteers hiked countless miles to remove, then transport the old material to a pile off the road. The material was then gathered and removed from the forest for recycling and reuse on other important projects. The removal of this fencing helps prevent tangling with wildlife, cutting and tripping hazards, and also removes an eyesore from the beautiful landscape. The weather was great and the weekend was full of hard work, amazing food, smiles, and hiking! Please consider joining AES in the spring of 2023! We have plenty of projects in the works and need YOU to help complete the AES mission to benefit elk and other wildlife by generating resources for habitat conservation and restoration, and to preserve our hunting heritage for present and future generations.

Arizona Elk Society


“The skill, knowledge, patience, and dedication of the AES volunteer team made this weekend unforgettable. AES and all of the participating familes owe each of them an overwhelming amount of gratitude.”

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This year’s annual Arizona Elk Society Junior Elk Camp was a huge success! The event included outstanding guest speakers, mentors, meals, and a lot of hunting achievements! Guest speakers included Mike Miller of Southwestern Processing, representatives from AZGFD, and AES Executive Director Steve Clark. Our Arizona Elk Society camp and kitchen volunteers made the weekend easy on our junior hunters and mentors, providing hot meals, drinks and snacks, before and after life-changing days in the woods.

It was a successful weekend for both the junior hunters and their dedicated mentors. Junior hunters observed elk and an abundance of wildlife while hunting hard for, potentially, their one shot at a harvest. 16-year-old Destynie was the first reported harvest on opening morning. From the looks of it, she had a huge “proud dad” moment and the mentors christened her with some face painting.

11-year-old Brayden earned elk camp bragging rights with his own opening day harvest. Brayden was mentored by Ray from RAK Hunt Outfitters. Ray is a true professional and steps up each year by guiding wounded veterans for our Heroes Rising Outdoors program.

Another special elk camp story was about 3 brothers from the Johnson family. These boys got it done for their family by filling their freezer the weekend after their 11th sibling was born!

A special thank you goes to St. Joseph’s Youth Camp for their continued support and involvement in the Arizona Elk Society Junior Elk Camp.

Arizona Elk Society 11


We had another wildly successful Wild in the City event on November 12th! In case you missed it let me tell you all about it. It was a beautiful blue sky day at Ben Avery Shooting Facility where we hosted 70+ kids ages 5-16. We started out the day with everyone putting on their Wild in the City shirts and dividing into our groups. From there the fun started with 3 sessions before lunch. Our younger campers learned how to shoot pellet guns and our older participants got to experience shooting .22 rifles. Each child gets to bring home their target to show off their skills! We also had gold panning, archery, horsemanship, wildlife identification and fishing. During our lunch time we had a special guest bring in animals from the Wildlife Center from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It was a delight to see the kids’ faces when they saw the Great Horned Owl and snakes! After lunch we had 3 more sessions so each child got to do everything! After a fun filled day each child got to take home a sleeping bag and a drawstring backpack filled with goodies! As a parent myself, I had 2 of my sons participate (9 & 11) and they had a wonderful time and can’t wait to do it again. They also slept like rocks that night!

We wouldn’t be able to hold this event without our faithful volunteers who make it a success every time. If your kids are too old to participate, we would be happy to have them as volunteers or you could volunteer yourself. Speaking from experience, it is very rewarding watching the kids grow their outdoor skills and just enjoy being outside. Our goal is to get kids outside, for them to learn new skills, get them off their electronics and to think about wildlife and conservation. ACCOMPLISHED!

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I believe Richard Louv said it best— every child needs nature—not just the ones with parents who appreciate nature. And not only those of a certain economic class or culture or set of abilities. Every child.

Arizona Elk Society 13


Veterans Day, November 11—a day which all who have served in America’s armed forces hold especially dear to their hearts. I had the distinct pleasure to participate in the 2022 East Valley Veterans Day Parade sponsored by the City of Mesa, Arizona. Tom Wagner, lead coordinator for Arizona Elk Society’s Heroes Rising Outdoors (HRO) veteran outreach program, called me asking if I would head up a parade float so HRO could honor our veterans.

As an active participant of Heroes Rising Outdoors, I’ve found this program to be literally lifesaving. With Tom’s guidance, HRO has changed lives for the better. Not only does the program make sure everyone gets included at whatever level a vet seems comfortable, Tom’s always just a phone call away for all us veterans. Sometimes a listening ear can do wonders for a veteran. He genuinely sees each of us as individuals, not just a name on a folder.

The compassion HRO extends to all its veteran participants via all their events is a breath of fresh air!

Tom and I had gotten to know each other two months before during my archery cow elk hunt east of Mormon Lake. As with all hunts Heroes Rising Outdoors provides to disabled Arizona veterans who’ve been accepted into the program, my elk tag had been donated by someone successful in the 2002 elk draw. During my hunt, I had told Tom about the car club I headed up in the East Valley. It was with that knowledge that Tom tasked me with such an important responsibility for Veterans Day. My son, Marcus, was very helpful in prepping our UTV and trailer with LED lights, American flags, and other patriotic dressing. We were soon ready to roll in the parade, honoring all who served!

Arizona veterans riding on the Arizona Elk Society / Heroes Rising Outdoors parade entry included Jacob Culwell (Marine), Gilberto Mendoza (Army), Kevin Sargent (Army), Homer Valley (Marine), myself-Ervin Hansen (Army), and Tom Wagner (HRO program coordinator).

The parade route through part of downtown Mesa was lined with those who came to see the men and women who willingly served this great country proudly around the globe. The pride that I felt as a participant in the parade was, but for a better description, “Wow!” As we traveled the route and were cheered by the masses sitting and standing at curbside, I was reassured that all those years set aside

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to help protect freedom was worth everything we veterans had sacrificed.

Arizona’s has its own heroes at home—the many who selflessly volunteer their time with Heroes Rising Outdoors—to make sure the lives of our country’s heroes are enriched and continue forward with purpose. They are instrumental in saving those that need it most. As a disabled veteran and a beneficiary of the efforts of those that volunteer their time, I say a most sincere “Thank You!”

Arizona Elk Society


With the clouds hovering low along the Rim, I drove quickly through Forest Lakes and closed in on Heber. My buddy Big Bull (BB) had indicated that he wanted to meet east of Heber near the intersection of the 146 and 300 roads. I was intrigued by his ever-changing location but went with what he suggested. As I drove south on the 146 road I could not help but notice band after band of horses. My frustration with the length of time it has taken to finally reduce their numbers had almost reached a boiling point. Being up on the Rim with little snow but frigid temperatures simply added to my generally bad mood. I had helped a young hunter harvest a cow elk in the morning on a “limited opportunity” hunt. The temperatures had hovered around 8 degrees and I was not in the mood for a long chat with BB.

Sure enough, I saw him grazing by himself a mere few hundred yards from the intersection. I parked the Rav4 and hustled over to him. As I walked over I did my usual inspection of my old friend. His winter coat was in full display but he had a couple of tines that

had been broken off on his left side. Weight wise he seemed to be in decent shape—perhaps a little thin. He swallowed what he had been munching and started in immediately. “You look like crap old man. What the hell have you been doing all day? And you have almost an estrus smell about you.” I simply grinned and responded, “Well BB, your charm as always is so nice to hear. As a matter of fact, about 5 hours ago I helped a young guy harvest his first elk. Yes, it was a cow and she is now in the freezer, so the scent you are picking up is probably her. We were hunting in north 4B, way off the forest in what is called checkerboard land. BB gave me his squinty look and said, “I figured something was up with all that blood on your boots.” I glanced down and saw he was indeed correct. I just don’t often look at my boots while I am hiking or hunting.

I finally got to the point, “Okay BB, why are we here and what’s the news on the forest?” BB shuffled a little bit and motioned for me to follow him. I HATE it when he starts walking away and I have to follow! Surprisingly, he only went about a hundred yards into a little clump

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and laid down. I was absolutely stunned. I had never seen BB lay down ever! Slowly he started to chew his cud. He looked really peaceful. “Old man, this is the last time you and I will meet in this here forest. We met here almost 18 years ago and this was heaven back then. Now, I have to watch people running up and down the roads in all these new rigs, and watch horses steal all of our water and then eat all of the food. I see trash dumped by campers and hear music playing all night long. Mommas can’t keep their babies safe and there are new roads everywhere that weren’t here 18 years ago. I am done with this forest.” I thought about what was here in 2005 and what was here now. BB was right—the forest had changed dramatically. Too many humans want to use the forest in the way THEY want to. The issue of “public” lands always intrigues me. When you have competing interests that butt heads and combine it with unregulated wild/feral horses being born, sooner or later something has to give. I asked BB, “Where are you going to go BB?” He looked at me with his usual smug grin and said, “Follow me.”

“No BB, not another one of your “follow me” jaunts again.” BB grunted his reply, “Don’t get your knickers in a wad old man. It ain’t far.” He strolled and I walked to the intersection of the 300 and 146 roads. I was confused for a minute, and then he kept walking south. We hit the WMAT fence line and he barely broke stride and jumped over. “This here is where I‘m gonna spend the rest of my years old man. There’s a big canyon due south of here; plenty of smaller ones and guess what? No quads, very few roads, no campers, and plenty of food.” Standing on the opposite side of the fence I knew he was right. Just a few feet away was another world, another nation and certainly a lot more safety for BB and friends. BB kept on rolling, “Have you seen any of the elk surveys lately from this unit old man? I know that there are less than half the elk that used to be here. I’ve met some of them on the “other side” and I gotta tell you—life is goooood over here.”

Those thin strands of barbed wire represented a whole different environment for elk and deer. It was a harsh reminder of what could have been versus what is now. Quads are not allowed on the WMAT, horses—well let’s just say some go other places. Campers? Not many want to go through the effort of going through the

process of all of the permits when they can just do what they want within a few hundred yards. Parties? Not happening. BB of course had figured it out. I still had a trump card to play however. “Well BB, each year this area is full of cows and calves; you’ll just have to come back here to breed them.” BB snorted, “You got a screw loose old man? Each year more and more are figuring it out. Jump the fence and stay safe. Go on the other side and get pummeled by horses that outnumber you 5 to 1 and then deal with all of the humans that party like it’s 1999.” I had no rebuttal to BB. The fact of the matter was undeniable. By jumping those few barbed wire strands, BB was in another country. He was also able to rest, have food and water, and not be driven off of his water holes by varying bands of horses.

BB sensed my loss of words and let me have my moment. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a vehicle coming down the 146 road at a pretty good clip. As we were somewhat hidden by ponderosa pines, we both just watched. The truck came into view and it appeared to be some form of government vehicle. Sure enough, they slowly went by my vehicle, looked my car over and then continued to the intersection. The driver turned west on the 300 road and started heading in that direction. With the windows down, I could see that it was a fully armored law enforcement person from the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. He obviously was looking for something or someone. After he had gone down the road and out of view BB asked the question,

Photo: US Forest Service
Arizona Elk Society 17

“I see these guys and they’re here much more than in past years—what’s going on?” I reflected back to all the national news over the past couple of years. “Well, BB, there is someone who is shooting horses in the middle of the winter out here. Over the past 3 years he or she has probably killed over 30 horses.” BB was caught by surprise, “I thought you could only shoot one animal per year, why is he doing that?” I just shook my head, “BB, you know we can’t shoot horses. They are protected!”

BB snorted and said, “Maybe he is feeding his family. Did you ever think of that? While we are talking about horses, you know that horses have less fat content than beef right? Why don’t people eat them? You eat us, cattle, deer, antelope, javalina and turkeys. What makes them so special?” I think I rolled my eyes to the heavens and calmed myself down. “BB,” I said, “there is no valid reason why people do not eat horses. Some countries do! In fact, you cannot even kill a horse in the United States. We have no authorized meat packing facilities, no slaughterhouses, and certainly public opinion would flail all over you if you ever suggested that.”

BB shook his massive head and grumbled, “Stupid humans…all that good protein going to waste. They increase in numbers every year, they aren’t afraid of you humans any more, they drink all our waters, eat all of the food and crap all over the place. Does that make any sense?” I sighed and responded, “BB, if you look at the statistics, almost 80% of the horses in the United States that are owned are either owned or managed by women. I’ll let you do your own analysis from that one.” I doubt that I will ever forget the way his eyes bulged out after that comment. “You mean to tell me that this is all women who are doing this?” I calmly responded back at him, “Try saying that in public and you become a sexist misogynistic cretin. Then no one will listen to you. I’ve pointed out that we put down over 500,000

dogs in the United States each year, and they are supposedly mans’ best friend. But removing horses? No way.” BB snapped back at me, “Fine, let them have the whole forest then. Will that make them happy? A forest where there are no deer, antelope, or elk left?” I gazed at BB and replied, “Yes, that would make them happy!”

It is always interesting when I bum BB out. He certainly was despondent. The writing was on the wall and he knew it. “Well old man, at least for the rest of my time I will live in this here country. If you want to see me we can meet anywhere I choose, but it’s gonna be me on this side of the fence and you on that one. I guess women have more influence that I thought. Killing mans’ best friend but letting the horses destroy our homes and then keep multiplying is okay huh?” Once again I showed patience, “BB, VOTES matter—and the influence just keeps getting more pronounced by those who only see them as these majestic wild west symbols. The emotional outbursts outweigh science and biology every time. Stay on the reservation and we can still meet up. I will keep trying to educate the public and hopefully things will change.” BB turned and slowly walked deeper into the woods. “He turned once, looked back at me and shouted, “This just ain’t fair!” I’ll see you in the spring with my new headgear!” With that he vanished into the pines. It started to snow and I hustled back to the Rav4. I was as sad as he was. What had once been a premier unit for hunting elk has gradually become a horse haven with no signs of that ever changing.

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Michelle: 623.521.6096

$1,000.00 Donated to “HEROES RISING

Michelle Borrelli has Partnered up with Arizona Elk Society....

If you are passionate about assisting our Veterans, as I am, take a minute to visit this web site to learn how YOU can support our Veterans. This important program is specifically designed to benefit our Veterans, the Arizona Elk Society members base and their families. All you have to do is tell me” I want to assist a Veteran” or simply send a message. Together WE will make a difference!

For each successful transaction greater than *$250,000, whether buying or selling, on residential or commercial, Michelle Borrelli will donate $1,000.00 of her personal proceeds to “Heroes Rising Outdoors”

This program affords the opportunity for a veteran to experience nature through AZ Elk Society’s outdoor camps, taking part in Ecotherapy!

Contact Michelle today 623.521.6096

Let’s give our Veterans the support they deserve!

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A tag transfer to a disabled veteran’s 501(c)(3) organization requires a big game tag transfer affidavit of voluntary donation and the tag. Contact the individual 501(c)(3) organization for the transfer affidavit. There is no tag transfer fee for making the donation.

A US veteran of the Armed Forces who has a service-connected disability is defined by law as one who has “a permanent physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and that requires the assistance of another person or a mechanical device for physical mobility.”

Arizona Elk Society/Heroes Rising Outdoors is a qualifying organization for disabled veteran tag transfer:



Both PointGuard Plus and PointGuard from AZGFD provide the same opportunity for an applicant to surrender their hunt permit tag for any reason and retain their bonus points. Learn more about PointGuard Plus and PointGuard.


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Far beyond a game-centric organization, AES operates holistically to address wildlife conservation—from providing boots-on-the-ground restoration work to delivering educational programming to our future wildlife stewards.

As a supporter of AES, you are making a transformational impact on Arizona’s wildlife, habitat, youth, and veterans. Our focus is Arizona; no funds are passed on to national organizations. The tireless efforts of organizations like AES helped restore Arizona’s elk population from 0 to nearly 50,000 strong since their reintroduction to Arizona in 1913.

Your support of AES is used to address our four focus areas:

Habitat Restoration Projects

Healthy watersheds provide erosion/sediment control, increased biodiversity, wildlife movement corridors, water storage, flood control, and recreation opportunities. AES is unique in its mission to benefit all Arizona wildlife species by coordinating large-scale volunteer work projects with the United States Forest Service (USFS), Arizona Game and Fish Department, area ranchers, and other organizations. In addition to watershed restoration, AES volunteers restore important native grasslands and conduct forest thinning work in partnership with the USFS.

Youth Programs

The health of Arizona’s habitats and wildlife populations relies heavily on the next generation of wildlife stewards. Providing youth with an enjoyable outdoor experience as a platform to further their love and passion for the outdoors is imperative to the future of wildlife conservation and ethical outdoor recreation. Educating our youth on the importance of wildlife conservation will ensure our wildlife species are appropriately cared for and managed far into the future.

Water for Wildlife

Tragically, Arizona is losing thousands of acres of wildlife habitat each year. The situation is forecasted to worsen in the coming years. Wildlife water catchments are a critical habitat feature for water distribution to all wildlife species. Since 2001, AES volunteers have hauled over 4,000,000 gallons of water to drought-stricken areas of elk range and restored and maintained more than 400 wildlife water catchments in Northern Arizona for the survival and betterment of all species of wildlife. The maintenance and filling of water catchments for Arizona’s wildlife remain a top priority of AES.

Heroes Rising Outdoors

Connecting with the outdoors helps heal the mind, body, and soul. AES provides an opportunity for veterans to connect to the outdoors through the Heroes Rising Outdoors Program (HRO). HRO provides 125+ outdoor experiences yearly for wounded Veterans. HRO partners with other organizations and volunteers to give veterans outdoor opportunities to assist in their recovery and healing. These programs include hunting, fly fishing, equine therapy, kayaking, fishing, camping, and getting involved in AES’s volunteer wildlife habitat projects.

AES is proud of its efforts, made possible by you, to benefit Arizona’s wildlife.

Our ability to make a difference together is strengthened by your generous support, even in the face of increased population, growth, drought, and habitat degradation.

Arizona Elk Society 23

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Arizona Elk Society 25


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.


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

David Baril

Sponsor Partner

Tom & Janet Bowman

Sponsor Partner

Harry Carlson

Imperial Partner

Stephen Clark

Sponsor Partner

Ron & Sharon Eichelberger

Sponsor Partner

Walt and Cookie Nicoson

Royal Partner

Sallie Page

Pete Page

Sponsor Partner

Sharon & John Stuckey

Imperial Partner

Bass Pro Shops

Sponsor Partner

Cabela’s Sponsor Partner

Pacific West Representatives

Royal Partner

Sportsman’s Warehouse

Sponsor Partner

26 Tracker 4th Quarter 2022


Founding Associate Members

Douglas Sr & Donna Obert

Founding Life Members

Ken Alexander+

John & Patti Anderson

Michael J Anderson

Ernest Apodaca, Jr+

David Baril+

Randy Beck

Keith Berger

Esther Cadzow

John Cadzow*

Harry Carlson*

Randy A Cherington+

Pete Cimellaro

Steve Clark

Todd A Coleman

Richard Currie

Don Davidson

Kay Davidson

Larry Day

Sharon Eichelberger

Ron Eichelberger

Peter Ekholm*

Daron Evans

Will & Fran Garrison*

Ed Hightower

Michael Horstman+

James Johnson

Earl C Johnson

Edward E Johnson

Richard Johnson+

Mitchell Jones

Sandra G Kauffman

Richard E Kauffman, Sr

Bill Kelley

Peter S Klocki+

John Koleszar+

James Lara

Tim Littleton

James Lynch Jr+

Don Martin

Russ McDowell

William D Meredith

Anthony Nichols

Cookie Nicoson

Walt Nicoson*

Mark Nixon

Donna Obert

Douglas Obert, Sr*

Shawn Patterson

Jan Purdy

Forrest Purdy

Mark Raby+

Mel Risch+

Rick Schmidt+

Tom Schorr

Gregory Stainton

Douglas Stancill

Vashti “Tice” Supplee+

Dan Taylor

John Toner

Corey Tunnell

Rick Vincent, Sr

Don Walters, Jr

Dee White

Larry White+

Mark Worischeck

Joseph Worischeck

Chuck Youngker

Founding Sustaining Members

Everett & Joyce Nicoson

Founding Couple Members

Bridgid & Ron Anderson

Denny* & Paula Bailey

Robert F & Shirley J Banks

John & Taina Beaty

Robin & Billie Bechtel

Brad & Shelley Borden

Philip* & Jamie Brogdon+

Mark & Shanna Brooks

Shawn & Lisa Carnahan

Kim & Lynn Carter, Sr

Danny R Cline & Pat Thompson

Tim & Patti Garvin

W Hays & Suzanne Gilstrap

Don & Gwen Grady

Steve & Bobi Hahn

Igor & Christy Ivanoff

Daniel & Danny Johnson

Glen & Tracey Jones

Richard & Wendy Kauffman

Bill & Mary Keebler

Mark & Lynda Kessler

Mel & Diane Kincaid

Richard & Christine Krantz

Dick & Nancy Krause

Eric & Wendy Krueger

Ron & Lisa Lopez+

Gary & Lin Maschner

Shane & Tiffany May

Kevin & Donna McBee

Roger & Micaela Mellen

Denny & Pat Moss

Robert & Diana Noel

Richard Oberson & Bonnie McAuley*

William & Vera Rezzonico

Clarence Rodriquez MD

Richard & Anna Schmidt

David Scott & Rosemarie Nelson

Bruce & Lisa Snider

Macey & Becky Starling

Ed & Ace Stevens

Tim & Ellena Tanner

Craig & Susan Thatcher

Tom & Kristel Thatcher

Marvin & Margo Thompson+

Jim & Shellie Walker+

Keith & Lois Zimmerman

Founding General Members

Kendall Adair

Gary Anderson*

Jim Andrysiak

Denny Ashbaugh

Ron Barclay

Cal Bauer

John F Bauermeister

Robert Baughman

Manny Bercovich

Dr Tom Boggess, III

Tom Brown

Tom Carroll

Steve Cheuvront

Carolyn Colangelo

Mike Cupell

Jack Daggett

Kyle Daggett+

Bob Davies

Gary A Davis

Nathan Day

John W Decker*

Chris Denham

Neal E Dial

Craig Dunlap

Jennifer Evans

Bobby Fite

Chris Flanders

Lorenzo A Flores

Roger Gibson

Courtney Gilstrap

Floyd Green

Jon Hanna

Douglas Hartzler

Art Hathaway

Dean Hofman

David J Hofman

Norma E Hook*

Russ Hunter

David Hussey

Rick Johnson

Mike Jones

Doug Jones

Todd Julian

Charlie Kelly

Charles A Kerns

John Krause

Joseph M Lane+

Robby Long

Aaron Lowry*

Rick MacDonald

Joe Makaus*

Daniel Martin

Michael L Mason

Mike McCormick

Donald Meakin

James O Meeks

Jason Mercier

Jim Mercier

Tracey Miner

Ken Moss

Ronald J Nadzieja

Mike N Oliver

Craig Pearson

Kenneth B Piggott

Bethena Pugh

Carlos Quihuis

Mark Raby*

Robert L Read*

Neal Reidhead*

Kyle Sanford

Craig Sanford

Tony Seddon

Arnold Shelton

Dennis Shipp

Tom Sisco

Bruce Sitko

M Scott South

Carl Staley

Randy Stout

Kenneth K Stringer

John W Stuckey

Dave Swayzee*

Troy Tartaglio

Gary TeBeest

Todd Thelander

Charles B Thompson

Stan Thompson

Thom Tokash

Brian Van Kilsdonk

Rick Vaughn

Kathy L Vincent

Rick Vincent II

Don R Walker

Douglas Watson

Vince Watts

Todd Weber

Donald D Weber Jr

Tom Wooden

Douglas Woodward*

Founding Junior Members

Tyler Getzwiller

Kevin H Knight

Daniel Raby

Nathan Raby

James Rawls

Sheena Smith

Blake Tartaglio

Alexandra Tartaglio

Alexis Tartaglio

Travis Thatcher

Clayton Thatcher

Nathan Thatcher

Wayne Thatcher

Taylor Thatcher

Alexandra Vincent

Emma C Vincent

Justin M Vincent

Prior to March 17, 2002, AES Founding Memberships were available. These individuals and couples came forth to show their support for the AES in it’s early stages of development. During the formation of the AES, administrative funds were needed to pay for organizational costs that led up to the first fundraising banquet on March 16, 2002. Founding Members paid a premium membership fee to help make the first year a success. For their support and dedication, the following Founding Members will receive permanent recognition by the AES.

+ Membership upgraded * Deceased

Arizona Elk Society 27
7773 W. Golden Lane Peoria, Arizona 85345 CHANGE SERVICES REQUESTED Performing to be Preferred. Service. Performance. Every time. 602.454.7800 COGNIZANT, PHOENIX 28 Tracker 4th Quarter 2022
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