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Arizona seeking input on game management guidelines

From the Arizona Game and Fish Department

-- Public comments are now being accepted for improving Arizona's hunt guidelines to continue sustainable management of the state's game animals while providing as much hunting recreation as possible.

Comments may be submitted through the end of May by email to azgamebranch@azgfd.gov or by mail to Hunt Guidelines, Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.

"This is a citizen's opportunity to get involved in the bi-annual process," said Brian Wakeling, game management chief.  "We are seeking ideas, comments, concerns or observations on how to meet the many demands by our varied hunting public, as well as fostering new opportunities for continuing our hunting heritage for future generations."

The hunt guidelines provide the biological and social parameters that make up the recipes used by wildlife managers to formulate the annual hunt recommendations such as season structures, season lengths, season dates, permits allocated, and results in the hunts in which sportsmen, women and children participate.

However, wildlife biologists note that while wildlife is held in the public's trust, and hunting opportunity is important, using science-based principles in shaping the guideline process remains paramount to assure healthy, sustainable, and diverse wildlife populations in perpetuity.

After all the comments are reviewed, and processed, the department will host 11 public meetings across the state to  present the proposed revisions, answer questions, and to collect any further public input. A final draft will then be prepared and posted at the department's website prior to being presented to the Game and Fish Commission at its Aug. 26-27 meeting in Phoenix.

The public meetings run from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 6 in Flagstaff, June 7 in Page, June 9 in Phoenix, June 13 in Pinetop,  June 14 in Payson, June 15 in Mesa, June 16 in Yuma, June 20 in Prescott, June 21 in Tucson, June 22 in Sierra Vista, and June 23 in Kingman.

Current hunt guidelines, details about the guideline review process and meeting addresses are available online at www.azgfd.gov/huntguidelines.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department does not receive general funds from the State of Arizona. The conservation and management of the state's game animals is made possible by funding generated from the sale of hunting licenses, tags, and matching funds from the Wildlife Restoration Act, a federal excise tax that hunters and manufacturers pay on guns, ammunition and other hunting/shooting-related equipment.

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