Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Cottonwood woman receives $500 gift card

Hunting 'newbie' credits spouse for applying early online

PHOENIX – The last thing Jenni Rice expected Wednesday was to get a call from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The Cottonwood woman had been randomly chosen to receive a $500 gift card to Sportsman's Warehouse, an incentive to use the department's online service to apply early for 2015 fall hunt permit-tags.

Rice was among almost 30,000 hopeful hunters who applied online before the 11:59 p.m. (MST) June 2 incentive deadline and was automatically entered into a random drawing for the gift card, donated by Wildlife for Tomorrow. The offer did not apply to those who submitted paper applications, or employees of the department and Wildlife for Tomorrow, and their children, parents and spouses.

"This is so awesome," said Rice, who hasn't decided what to buy with the gift card. "It's a very big surprise. And you know what? My husband applied online for both of us -- and right before the midnight deadline, too."

This year marks the first time Rice has joined her husband, Chris, a Cottonwood firefighter, in the application process. The mother of four is new to hunting – in fact, her anniversary gift this year was a compound bow.

Good fortune seems to be following Rice. In addition to receiving the $500 gift card, she recently won a guided elk hunt in Colorado. In August, she and Chris will find out if they were successful in the Arizona draw for deer and fall turkey.

"I'm still blown away that it's even real," she said. "I'm feeling so blessed."


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