Look for this truck on the road headed to our water and habitat improvement projects!
A big thanks goes out to all of our members, raffle ticket buyers and banquet attendees for making this happen.
Your support will make it easier for us to improve wildlife waters all over Arizona!
Dear Mr. Brett Halfpop,
It is a bit concerning that you choose the word “news” instead of “Op-Ed” for your one-sided August 19 article titled “Horse Auction,”. I am the contractor who gathered the unauthorized livestock and put on the event on August 10 in Holbrook to auction the unhandled livestock. I have 30 years’ experience gathering, transporting, handling, training, and own several horses that have been removed from the landscape. My horses participate in a variety of horse-related recreational activities, which include participating as a therapy horse for disabled individuals. My background also includes teaching vocational agriculture, equine science, equine feeds and feeding, equine anatomy and physiology, and captive animal behavior.
The auction of the unhandled livestock was a silent auction, which I chose for the safety and welfare of the unhandled livestock. Below is a list of corrections in response to your article that appears to be based on solely upon the opinions of individuals who have an agenda that does not support the best interest of the horse post removal from the landscape.
1. The silent auction, requirements at registration, and facility allowed control of the amount of people and activity from being directly in front of the holding pens to reduce the always present potential of accidents with unhandled livestock.
2. ID was required for those wishing to bid on horses with their intent of being to purchase and provide a home for unhandled livestock. Ms. Houser and Ms. Reidhead, both of whom you quoted in your article, falsely represented themselves as bidders and therefore were allowed a bidder number and admitted as bidders.
3. A sign was placed for no photographs and no videos as a suggestion. This suggestion was posted because it is a known frequent practice for horse activists to attend these events with the sole intent of exploiting the livestock and the workers in a poor light on social media. This behavior of the horse activists is clearly supported by the picture that you chose for this “news” article. Those who asked to take pictures we allowed to do so. This includes Ms. Houser, who stated that she wanted to take photos for a person she was there to bid for. Ms. Houser and Ms. Reidhead did not bid on any unhandled livestock.
4. The venue for the event was chosen to provide more than adequate holding pens for unhandled livestock and allowed them to be in pens for viewing instead of the “typical auction” where unhandled livestock is moved quickly into an auction ring for viewing and them moved quickly again back to holding pens. The unhandled livestock were not turned loose in an arena. They were separated into pens in groups and provided with clean water and hay.
5. No unhandled livestock was whipped. Flags were used to separate and load unhandled livestock into the approved trailers of winning bidders. There was no need to add panels for loading as the approved stock trailers had the ability to back completely up to the existing corral system to load unhandled livestock safely.
6. Local law enforcement was present to ensure the safety and welfare of the people attending and working the event. The amount of law enforcement presence was determined by law enforcement agencies, who make those decisions based on past experience, research, and reports provided of the recent behavior of the likely attendees.
It is in my opinion and experience, the reason for the low attendance by quality buyers was due to the activist groups, who promote this activity as a contentious emotional topic and attend these events.
Livestock auctions take place daily across the U.S. Given the choice of which one to attend, people are going to choose the one where they do not have to consider the consequences of their picture being posted to social media and slandered as a "kill buyer" or followed home so that an activist further exploits them.
I want to thank Simone Netherlands of the Salt River Wildhorse Management group for attending and purchasing some of the unhandled horses with the intent of providing a positive outcome for them.
While we may not all agree, Ms. Netherlands showed that there are horse advocates willing to step up and come to the table regardless of individual opinions for the betterment of the horse.
Thank you in advance of taking the corrected information into consideration before publishing part two of your coverage of the Holbrook horse auction.
Rail Lazy H
The Arizona Deer Association (ADA) presented the Jamison Conservation Award to Kurt Davis at their 2022 Fundraising Banquet in Chandler, Arizona.
This award is not given annually, but only when a worthy individual is selected by the ADA Board. The last award was presented in 2015.
The Jamison can be awarded for an individual’s volunteer conservation work, political advocacy for wildlife or wildlife management, or professional management that has benefitted wildlife, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor Avocations.
Kurt Davis has served on the AZ Game & Fish Commission for the last 10 years. During that tenure, he has focused on preserving the Arizona Game and Fish Department, its mission, and with preserving the Commission system itself.
He worked to ensure that the North American Model of Wildlife Management, which has successfully driven this country’s wildlife management programs for more than 100 years, continues to be the guiding force in managing, conserving and insuring wildlife’s future.
His vocation in life has put him in the unique position of being one of the most effective individuals to ever hold the position of Commissioner. He has been there to help educate House and Senate members, counsel Governors and their staff members, coordinate with our federal representatives and maintain close watch over those who would like to see hunting and fishing removed from being legitimate activities which millions of Americans participate in and have enjoyed for the last two centuries.
His focus has always been on these Big Picture issues that wildlife managers, and sportsmen and women face. He wants to keep professionals managing wildlife, not those who would bring about a stop to that by utilizing the ballot box; and he wants to keep hunters and anglers involved in Conservation and the field or on the water.
The Arizona Deer Association thanks Mr. Davis, and his family, for these last 10 years of service and a lifetime of being a hunter, angler, and conservationist.
As you can see in the map above, Arizona one of the few states without a confirmed case of Chronic Wasting Disease. Through 2019, The Arizona Game and Fish Department has tested more than 1,200 samples provided by hunters, taxidermists and game processors. The Arizona Deer Association, along with many other conservation organizations, supports the Department's efforts to keep CWD out of Arizona.
To learn more about CWD, this link will take you to an article on HuntingFishing.com.
To see a list of CWD-related regulations for Arizona and other states, along with a list of recommendations if you are hunting in a known CWD area, download "Know Before You Go" below.
The Arizona Deer Association is set to offer the 2021 Hualapai Tribe Special Scholarship Elk Tag! Depending on the COVID situation, this coveted tag will be auctioned at an event or online in early 2021. The high bidder can choose any consecutive 16 days, from August 1st – December 31st, 2021 and will have 1 million acres of prime elk habitat to hunt. Meals and lodging are included for the hunter and one guest. This tag also includes the assistance of an experienced tribal guide.
ADA President Don McDowell says, “ADA is honored to work with the Hualapai Game and Fish Department to auction this special tag, benefiting the Tribal Youth Scholarship Fund. The Hualapai is known for huge Elk and this tag is the pinnacle for any avid Sportsman. This is truly the hunt of a lifetime.”
There are only two of these special elk tags available each year from the Hualapai Game and Fish Department, where in 2018 the two auction tags resulted in 450” and 433” Bulls! The Hualapai boasts some of the best elk habitat in country and their herds are managed for older/mature bulls.
The Arizona Deer Association (ADA), founded in 1995, Arizona’s premier Wildlife Conservation Organization for Mule and White Tailed Deer applauds the current efforts of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) to monitor the CWD outbreak and halt the spread from neighboring states into our deer and elk general populations.
The current efforts of the AZGFD will be greatly enhanced and improved by the proposed grant for the media outreach programs to our hunting and general sporting populations to further define facts and state regulations about CWD and the methods of transmission, proper game carcass care, transporting and disposal. Tutorial methods of testing and how the hunting population can assist the department in proper sampling and symptomatic reporting in CWD management practices will be invaluable in gathering scientific data from the field.
We stand ready to assist the AZGFD in manner we can to help the process of education in the hunting and wildlife community.
The White Mountain Independent published an extensive article detailing the process that brought two Arizona poachers to justice.
"The individuals in this case are thieves, stealing wildlife from all of us. They were motivated by greed, notoriety and personal gain."
Gene Elms, Law Enforcement Branch Chief.
"The Department has demonstrated tremendous success with this RCPP, it only makes sense to extend it and maintain its benefit for wildlife and producers. This Project fits the ADA board’s criteria of benefiting all species of wildlife, not focusing on a single species. If this RCPP is selected for an extension, the ADA will vigorously support providing a minimum $25,000 per year from the revenue generated through the Big Game Special Tag fund over the course of the project’s five years.
The ADA is proud to be a cooperator in concert with our Mule Deer Foundation and Department counterparts and other partners on this outstanding long term, multi-phased project for the betterment of Northern Arizona."
Arizona Deer Association Supports Expanded Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges in Arizona
We at the Arizona Deer Association, located in the State of Arizona, founded in 1995 as Arizona’s premiere wildlife conservation organization, are writing to applaud the efforts of President Donald J. Trump and Secretary of the Department of the Interior David L. Bernhardt to open the Cabeza Prieta, Buenos Aires, Cibola and Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuges located in southern Arizona to recreational hunting opportunities.
We feel the opening of the noted NWR’s is important to sportsmen-women and families plus the economic impact to Arizona, to have the ability to hunt big game species, other than Big Horn Sheep, to include but not limited to antelope, mule and white tailed deer, mountain lion, coyote, bobcat, badger, ringtail cat, kit and gray fox, spotted skunk, cottontail rabbit, black-tailed jack rabbit, Gambel’s and Mearns quail, mourning, white-winged and Eurasian collared dove, as well as, other various species as identified by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
ADA President Don McDowell talks about the importance of supporting the proposed expanded hunting opportunities on the Cabeza Prieta and other US Fish and Wildlife managed lands in Arizona.
In a letter to Arizona Forestry Program Supervisor John Richardson:
I am writing to you in regards to the Department of Forestry and Fire Management’s 2020 Hazardous Fuels Reduction Grant. The Arizona Game and Fish Department staff formally presented this project to the Arizona Deer Association (ADA) on August 20th 2019. At the conclusion of their presentation, the motion was made and accepted by the ADA Board of Directors to adopt the Project as an ADA premier habitat enhancement project.
This Project fits the ADA board’s criteria of benefiting all species of wildlife, and restoring ecosystem health. Many of the acres being treated through this project will reduce hazardous fuel loads and reduce the wildfire risk to homes, ranches, and the fences and waters that they need to operate. The ADA has reached out to District 4’s Congressman to provide additional support for this project.
The ADA is proud to be a cooperator in concert with our Mule Deer Foundation and Department counterparts and other partners on this outstanding long term, multi phased projects for the betterment of some 50,000 acres.
Yours in conservation,
Arizona Deer Association
Dear U.S. Forest Service, NEPA team specialists for the Heber Wild Horse Territory Management Plan,
We appreciate the opportunity to submit comments and support the proposed action to develop a Heber Wild Horse Territory (HWHT) Management Plan (Plan). The Plan must ensure the herd is managed to maintain a self-sustaining population of healthy animals within the designated territory, in a thriving natural ecological balance with other uses and the productive capacity of their habitat. This includes achieving the desired conditions to have forage and cover available to prey species and big game species to maintain healthy
populations, vigorous desirable forage species, functioning riparian habitats and satisfactory soil and watershed conditions.
However, there are significant issues not fully considered or lacking in the proposed action that may cause social or economic harm and place rural communities, local governments, hunters, outdoor recreationists, grazing permittees, and private land inholdings within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests at risk. There are
also issues not considered that may cause harm to localized wildlife and other species. These issues are provided in the following comments, supported by pertinent references or additional information submitted electronically as attachments with this comment letter.