AZGFD Offers 10 Ideas For 2017
February 1, 2017
As many of us reflect on 2016 and think about the changes we’d like to make in this new year, how about adding an outdoors resolution to the list?
From the Arizona Game & Fish Department here are some ideas for current outdoors enthusiasts and some who are new to the joys of participating in it:
1. Buy a hunting, fishing or combo license and head out for some outdoor fun while supporting wildlife. Licenses are inexpensive: Arizona residents pay $37 for a general hunting or fishing license or $57 for a combo hunt/fish license; nonresidents pay $55 for a fishing license or $160 for a combo hunt/fish combo license. Licenses are valid for a year. You can also buy short-term (one-day) licenses at $15 per day for residents, $20 per day for nonresidents. All license purchases help fund wildlife conservation efforts. You can buy them online 24/7 at https://license.azgfd.gov/home.xhtml.
2. Set up a free AZGFD customer portal account. The portal lets you create a secure account where you can view and manage your licenses, draw results, bonus points and memberships in your own personal “My AZ Outdoors” section. Just click on the “Sign in to Account” button in the upper right-hand corner of the http://www.azgfd.gov home page and then select the “Create an Account” option, and you’re on your way into a world of wildlife!
3. Take a youngster outdoors. Look for animal tracks together and identify the critter that made them. Armed with only a bird identification guide, embark on an expedition to see how many species you can find. A day in the field will create memories that last a lifetime – for both of you.
4. Pick it up. Vow to clean up not only after yourself, but those who aren’t as considerate. Take an extra trash bag along on your next outing and spend a few minutes picking up those empty cans, cigarette butts or campsite trash. After all, respected access is open access.
5. Explore “Expo.” Save the date – March 25-26 – and experience the great outdoors at the department’s 2017 Outdoor Expo at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. There will be plenty of hands-on activities, wildlife presentations/educational demonstrations, and the opportunity to meet with outdoors groups, agencies and exhibitors. Admission and parking are free. (See story on page 1 of this issue.)
6. Hunt something new. Don’t let the odds of being selected in the random draw keep you from applying for what could be the hunt of a lifetime. If you’ve always dreamed of hunting bison, pronghorn or bull elk, then get in the game and fill out an application. Also, don’t overlook small game or other species that can be hunted year-round.
7. Be a wildlife watcher. Arizona provides some of the best wildlife-viewing opportunities in the nation, with more than 800 species of wildlife. It’s a fun, inexpensive activity the entire family can enjoy.
8. Fish local. Make it a point to wet a line this year at one (or more) of 38 waters in the Community Fishing Program. With lakes and ponds in 17 Arizona communities that are seasonally stocked with rainbow trout, channel catfish and bluegill, there’s always a hotspot close to home. This is a great way to introduce a youngster to a fun, lifelong sport. Your reward? Hearing that youngster squeal with delight while pulling in his or her first fish.
9. Buy an “I Support Wildlife” membership. Wildlife lovers have another means of supporting wildlife by becoming a member of the department’s ISW program. Your $25 annual dues get you a great online mapping application, a one-year subscription to Arizona Wildlife Views magazine, up-to-date fish stocking reports, and provide much-needed funding to sustain important wildlife and habitat conservation projects. (See story on this page.)
10. Be a conservationist. It’s difficult to imagine what our wildlife populations might be like today without the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. For a presentation from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, produced by Arizona Game and Fish, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE4L9KicSeU.