Don McDowell (www.huntingfishing.com), is a practicing advocate of ethical hunting and Fair Chase
Too get a sense of the dry conditions, photos from a HPC project tour on June 18th with two of your WM’s and the V-V Ranchers are included on the drinkers and dirt tanks off the FR 618C.
What I’ve uncovered the week of July 3rd from being in the field in GMU 6A is an OTC elk hunter hauling his own water in GMU 6A on the V-V allotment. Due to this process the hunter had lured three bull elk coming in to drink, having set up an ambush situation, now there is only one elk remaining. He and his wife have both killed elk off the baited water, one last Friday (July 3rd photos attached) morning and one Monday (July 6th) evening. A third bull has been reported taken down on July 13th.
I’ve discussed this with Mr. Findley, and more in-depth with Scott, Region 2 supervisor. I was told that they were aware of this going on, the individual doing the hauling and that it does NOT infract the Baiting Rule as described below.
I strongly disagree with rule as written with clarifications and suggest the ADA commence efforts to have the rule revised to include WATER as an ingestible substance to be illegal and included in the baiting language clarification. The department is pushing “Fair Chase” and being an ethical hunter of which this behavior this is neither. It’s the same concept as putting out 400 lbs. of corn, putting out 400 gallons of water fits within the same concept. It’s baiting, certainly unethical and sure as hell is not Fair Chase.
Please be prepared to share your thoughts at the annual board meeting. I believe a letter to the Commission is in order on this issue, to revise the clarification as written to include water being hauled into a drought stricken area as an ingestible substance being illegal. Drought stricken area will also have to be defined, easy.
The specific area here is GMU 6A, west of FR618 on the west end of the FR 618C. The area has had no water since April, minimal to no precipitation. The only well in the area operated by the V-V Ranch runs from January to April, 6 GPM 24/7 and is shutoff early April when the livestock is removed from the allotment. I was in the area in May and the drinkers and dirt catchments, tanks, (5) where dry. Making the area an excellent choice to haul water and entice wildlife to water for the purpose of ambush and harvest.
As a personal comment, I’m a practicing advocate of ethical hunting, Fair Chase and support the department’s efforts on both, not only from a personal stand point but from a media stand point as prompting all the good works of the Commission and department and not airing this type dirty laundry, so speak. I have a concern that this behavior will become known through social media and start a pandemic of various hunting groups doing the same thing, i.e. bow hunters etc. impacting our wildlife take, souring ethical hunting practices and ignoring Fair Chase.
AZ Deer Association
Article 3 amendments were effective June 1, 2019. Please read carefully
Definition of “Baiting”
7. A person shall not use edible or ingestible substances to aid in taking big game. The use of edible or ingestible substances to aid in taking big game is unlawful when:
a. A person places edible or ingestible substances for the purpose of attracting or taking big game, or
b. A person knowingly takes big game with the aid of edible or ingestible substances placed for the purpose of attracting wildlife to a specific location2020-2021 ARIZONA HUNTING REGULATIONS 103
Page 80 (then you have to go back to page 80 to find a clarification)
R12-4-303 7, page 102 Using edible or ingestible substances, other than water, salt or salt with trace minerals produced for the livestock industry, to aid in the taking of big game is unlawful.