I hope you enjoy this issue of the Tracker featuring the two Arizona Elk Society banquets.
We are already planning for the next banquet here in the Valley, so stay tuned for the dates. We hope to have our banquet in the White Mountains this coming summer as well. I cannot thank enough all the banquet volunteers for making the two events—in Mesa and Flagstaff—huge successes. AES received an awesome gift from the Applegate Estate—this issue has an article telling the story.
I was so thrilled when it finally started to rain, and rain, and rain some more. It was actually too much rain for my archery elk hunt as I mud-bogged around and finally conceded my season to the elk. Water hauling was no longer need at the feverish pace of the spring and most of the summer. Here is hoping we get a decent snowpack.
With all things there is a cycle of life and death. A great Arizona wildlife biologist and naturalist passed on—David E. Brown. Dave was an inspiration and mentor to 100’s of wildlifers and students. I refer to his vegetation maps of Arizona and the southwest on a regular basis. His books, some 30 plus, range in topics from waterfowl and squirrels to grizzly bear, jaguar, and imperial woodpeckers. Dave knew about Arizona and the Southwest wildlife and the habitats they relied on more than most anybody. He was actively studying white-sided jackrabbits in the Avra Valley up until the illness that took him from us. Dave always let you know where he stood, and conservation of elk was not a high priority.
When I was overseeing game management in Arizona he urged me to increase permits and get the elk population in balance. Looking at the land today, I think we succeeded through a combination of harvest strategies and habitat improvement projects. The habitat work that Arizona Elk Society helps fund and our volunteer’s projects, including water developments, are really important for the health of Arizona elk herds and other wildlife.
My heartfelt holiday wishes and may you and yours be safe and enjoy the Arizona winter outdoors!
Yours in Conservation,