Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Making A Difference For Kids

Arizona Sportsmen For Wildlife Conservation Does Just That

In October, the Arizona Deer Association held a youth camp. I was privileged to be part of that event and it certainly proved to be eye opening for a lot of kids under the age of 18.

Through the big-game-draw system here in Arizona there are tags that are allocated specifically for youths under the age of 18. In many instances, these are first-time hunters and in some instances, they do not have a mentor or knowledge of the area where the hunt is being held.

Courtesy of a grant from Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation, the Arizona Deer Association was able to serve over 700 meals during the four-day event. We also raffled off prizes to those kids who registered at the camp and participated in the hunt.

Serving over 700 meals, getting up at 3:15 a.m. every morning and getting to sleep well after 9:30 at night is a tough task. The volunteers from the Arizona Deer Association did a great job, but all of it started with having the funds to do such a large event.

Trout In The Classroom

A new program called TIC (Trout In the Classroom) is up and running in Phoenix this year. What TIC does is to install an aquarium in a classroom where the kids get to raise rainbow trout from eggs to fry size. TIC is a science-based, hands-on learning opportunity for kids to learn about the trout life cycle, while learning about our native cold water species in Arizona and their effects on the ecosystem.

It is a great opportunity for students to be responsible for data gathering and recording, tank and water chemistry maintenance and can be tied into any subject from science to art. Funding for this program was through a grant from the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife conservation.

Bill Luke Bass Days

Bill Luke Bass Days is an annual event geared for the whole family. Kids have their own division and they get awards and prizes for the kids division. Concerts in the evenings, amusement park rides for the kids and various exhibits from all types of outdoor organizations can all be found at Lake Pleasant each year in mid-March.

While the adults are fishing in a tournament atmosphere, the emphasis is based around family and getting people outdoors. While the Bill Luke dealership on west Camelback road and I-17 funds a majority of the event, the kids' portion is supplemented by the funding from the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation.

So, who is Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation and how do they get all this money? They are a group of sportsmen whose mission is to educate and inform sportsmen, wildlife conservation organizations throughout Arizona and the public at large on important issues related to wildlife and wildlife habitat. Currently 24 member groups are part of the AZSFWC and the represent a broad spectrum of outdoor conservation organizations from all across Arizona. Each month the group meets to discuss issues affecting sportsmen in Arizona and to review grant applications from all types of organizations and events that need funding. The money however is the key. If you have been driving around town for any length of time you have undoubtedly seen all types of different Arizona License plates. There is one that really stands out however, as it has all types of beautiful wildlife surrounding the edge of the plate. The Wildlife Conservation plate is one of many that you can choose to buy when you renew your license plate each year. For an annual fee of $25.00 the state of Arizona will send you a conservation plate. From that fee, $17.00 is forwarded to the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation and the process of funding worthy and needed events begins. If you have any desire to help fund either events or projects think about getting a conservation plate the next time your renewal comes up. You get to have a great looking plate and know that you are contributing to a very worthy cause. JK


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 07/24/2024 07:27