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AZ Game and Fish partners with sportsmen for first-time hunter clinics

From the Arizona Game and Fish Department
 
-- Parents who want to see kids take a break from video games can help their kids learn how to hunt in a safe, mentored environment.

Then Arizona Game and Fish Department has partnered with dedicated sportsmen groups to offer first-time hunters dozens of mentored, hands-on, how-to hunting and shooting opportunities this fall.

For the majority of these events, all the participant has to do is show up and the mentors take care of the rest, including food and equipment. For others, participants must bring basic outdoor camping gear, and some hunts may require a hunting license and appropriate tags or stamps.

“Hunting in Arizona is very safe and it provides a healthy experience for the body, mind and soul,” said Arizona Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles. “Not only is it fun and challenging, but hunters play a critical role in modern wildlife conservation through harvest, funding, habitat restoration, advocacy and more.

A national survey in 2008 reports there is overwhelming public support for hunting. One method identified by the study to increase hunting participation is to provide new hunters with a mentored experience to teach them the skills needed to foster their self-interest.

Therefore, in teaching this valuable tradition in the 21st century, the department is taking on an approach like that of organized sports. The department’s Mentored Hunting Camp Project connects experienced sportsmen organizations with interested new hunters into a setting that teaches them the basic skills, ethics, and how-tos in a safe and positive environment to foster those who have an interest in hunting but have no means with which to get started.

Funded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) Hunter Heritage Grant Program, the Arizona Game and Fish Department created a pass-through grant program to local nonprofit organizations for the Mentored Hunting Camp Project.

Voyles noted, “The NSSF Hunter Heritage Grant Program provided our agency an invaluable opportunity to develop a new program with our sportsmen’s groups for recruiting the hunter-conservationists of the future.”

The types of hunts, time of year and location can accommodate nearly any schedule, and include

•Sept. 26, 5-Stand and Sporting Clays Camp; host, Mohave SCTP at Seven Mile Hill Shooting Range in Kingman. To register, call (928) 758-2355.

•Fall 2009 (date pending), Small Game Hunting Camp; host, Northeastern Arizona Sportsman’s Association at Vernon. To register, contact (928) 337-3768.

•Oct. 3-4, Trophy Squirrel Camp; host, Chandler Rod and Gun Club at Forest Lakes east of Payson on the Mogollon Rim. To register, e-mail
info@chandlerrodandgunclub.com.

•Oct. 8-11, Antlerless Elk Camp; host, Outdoor Experience 4 All at Mormon Lake, south of Flagstaff, in unit 6A. Special hunt for children with a life-threatening illness (Open to those already issued an elk tag). For information, contact (480) 529-8340.

•Oct. 8-12, Junior Deer Hunting Camp; host, Arizona Deer Association at the Colcord Ridge Campground for units 3A, 3C, 22, and 23. Open to those already issued a deer tag. For information, call (623) 866-8919 or
azace@cox.net.

•Oct. 15-18, Juniors Elk Hunt Camp; host, Arizona Elk Society at Bear Springs near Overgaard for units 3C and 4A. Open to those already issued an elk tag. For information, call (480) 720-2393.

•Oct. 15-18, Junior Elk Hunt Camp; host, Arizona Elk Society at Happy Jack Lodge for unit 6A. Open to those already issued an elk tag. For information, call (623) 594-7074.

•Oct. 15-19, Junior Elk Hunt Camp; host, Arizona Deer Association, location to be determined, for unit 3A and 3C. Open to those already issued an elk tag. For information, call (623) 866-8919 or
azace@cox.net.

•Nov. 19-22, Junior Deer & Javelina Hunt Camp; host, Arizona chapter of the Safari Club International at Marley Ranch south of Tucson for units 36A and 36B. Limited javelina tags still available, deer tags already issued. For information, call (520) 490-8367.

•Nov. 19-22, Junior Deer Hunt Camp; host, Arizona Deer Association, location to be determined, for unit 20C. Open to those already issued a deer tag. For information, call (623) 866-8919 or
azace@cox.net.

•Nov. 26-29, Bull Elk Hunt Camp; host, Arizona Deer Association at Bar D Ranch for unit 6A. Open to those already issued an elk tag. For information, call (623) 866-8919 or
azace@cox.net.

•Dec. 5-6, Predator Hunting Seminar and Camp; host, Huachuca Gould’s chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, at Rose Tree Museum, Sierra Vista. To register, contact (520) 508-4272.

•Dec. 5-6, Small Game Hunting Camp; host, Chandler Rod and Gun Club at Gold Canyon. To register, e-mail
info@chandlerrodandgunclub.com.

•Dec. 11-13, Junior Waterfowl Hunting Camp; host, Southwest Habitat Partnership at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. To register, e-mail
getoutsideaz@gmail.com.

•Dec. 18-21, Junior Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Camp; host, Mohave Sportsman Club at Cain Springs in unit 16A (Open to those already issued a deer tag). For information, call (928) 758-2355.

•December (date pending), Shotgun Shooting Camp; host, Northeastern Arizona Sportsman’s Association in St. Johns. To register, call (928) 337-3768.

•Jan. 16-17, Quail Hunting Camp; host Cochise Bird Dog Club at Empire Ranch near Sonoita. To register, call (520) 458-1584.

•Jan. 21-24, Juniors Javelina Hunting Camp; host, Arizona Deer Association, location to be determined, in unit 20C. Apply for javelina tag before Oct. 13, Hunt No. 5039. For information, call (623) 866-8919 or
azace@cox.net.

•Jan. 21-24, Javelina Hunting Camp; host, Arizona Deer Association, location to be determined, in unit 23. Apply for javelina tag before Oct. 13, Hunt No. 5040. For information, call (623) 866-8919 or
azace@cox.net.

•Jan. 22-24, Junior Jack Rabbit Hunting Camp; host by Arizona chapter Safari Club International at Altar Valley. To register, contact (520) 490-8367.

•April 15-18, Youth Turkey Hunting Camp; host, National Wild Turkey Federation, location to be determined, in Unit 6A near Flagstaff. Turkey tag required, available at any license dealer. For information, call (928) 848-4549.

•April 15-18, Youth Turkey Hunting Camp; host, National Wild Turkey Federation at Colcord Ridge Campground for units 3, 4, and 23. Turkey tag required, available at any license dealer. For information, call (928) 848-4549.

•April 15-18, Youth Turkey Hunting Camp; host, National Wild Turkey Federation at Alpine for units 1 and 27. Turkey tag required, available at any license dealer. For information, call (928) 848-4549.Several other events made available by the grant program have already occurred (see list below). However, many are annual events and worth noting:

•August, Christian Hunting and Shooting Camp; host, Grace Community Church Group at Nowell Tree Farm.
•September, Junior Dove Hunt; host, Chandler Rod and Gun Club and Arizona Game and Fish Department at department’s Robbins Butte Wildlife Area.
•September, Junior’s Fall Turkey Hunting Seminar; host, Huachuca Gould’s chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation in Sierra Vista.
•September, Beginner’s Dove Hunt; host, Chandler Rod and Gun Club and Arizona Game and Fish Department in the East Valley.
•September, Trap Shooting Camp; host, Mohave SCTP at Seven Mile Hill Shooting Range in Kingman. To register, call (928) 758-2355.

To learn more about hunting, how to get a big game tag and other programs, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Web site at www.azgfd.gov/hunting under Mentored Hunting.

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