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Outdoor Writer

AZGFD Wildlife News -- Nov. 22, 2019

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Nov. 22, 2019
Arizona Game and Fish Department  
Late dove season underway
Arizona dove hunters will get a second shot at wing-shooting with the start of the state's “second” dove season today (Friday, Nov. 22). Unlike the 15-day early season that begins Sept. 1, the late season lasts 45 days and runs through Jan. 5, 2020. There still is a 15-bird daily bag limit, all of which must be mourning doves. The possession limit remains 45 mourning doves after opening day, of which no more than 15 may be taken in any one day. As always, there is an unlimited daily bag and possession limit for the invasive Eurasian collared-dove. Read more.

Nonresident OHV decal sales off to strong start
Seasonal residents and visitors who brought an off-highway vehicle into Arizona are reminded they must now purchase a nonresident OHV decal prior to heading out on trails. The new decal is required under a 2019 law that was supported and carried by the riding community to allow nonresidents to lawfully ride within the state while funding trail maintenance, education and law enforcement efforts. Cost is $25 (same as the resident decal) plus a small processing fee, and the decal is valid for one year from date of purchase. Read more.
Arizona boaters: prepare to clean, drain and dry
Boaters are reminded to “clean, drain and dry” – and especially decontaminate –their watercraft and equipment before exiting listed waters containing aquatic invasive species (AIS). This reminder is particularly important for out-of-town visitors who moor their boats at AIS-affected waters and are preparing to head out of state. Read more.

Endangered Mount Graham red squirrel population sees 4 percent growth
Arizona’s embattled Mount Graham red squirrel population grew 4 percent in 2019, providing proof that the endangered squirrel continues its fight back two years after nearly being wiped out by a devastating wildfire. The stabilization of the population over the past year comes after much of the territorial squirrel’s habitat was severely damaged in 2017 by the Frye Fire in the Pinaleño Mountains in southeastern Arizona. In September, the annual survey found a minimum estimate of 78 squirrels, which is in line with the 75 squirrels found in 2018. Read more.

Deadline to apply for shooting range development grants is Jan. 15
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is accepting applications for up to $100,000 in annual grant funding from nonprofit organizations and government agencies that are committed to the development and improvement of public shooting ranges. Grants will be awarded through a competitive application process. Grant packets and forms can be accessed at https://www.azgfd.com/Shooting/RangeGrants/. All completed applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Jan. 15, 2020. Read more

Frye Creek fish stocking: Gila trout restoration in Mt. Graham area gets major boost
Gila trout, one of two trout species native to Arizona, are being restored to the Mt. Graham area. A major step was taken early this month when AZGFD, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and volunteers from Trout Unlimited and the University of Arizona backpacked 250 Gila trout into Frye Creek. All Gila trout in this area were lost during the aftermath of the 2017 Frye Fire, a major setback to a recovery effort that began in 2009. The creek remains closed to fishing. See a video of the stocking effort. 

Proposed hunt recommendations available for review
The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s proposed recommendations for 2020 and 2021 pronghorn, elk, fall turkey and population management hunts, and for 2021 and 2022 spring turkey hunts, are available for review at www.azgfd.gov/huntguidelines

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