Chapter Update -10-02-2017

A quick update to let folks know what is going on with your chapter in Southern AZ.  Gambel’s and Scaled Quail seasons open on Friday.  It will still be warm, recommend you get out early and take plenty of water for your dogs and you and don’t push it too long.
We are working to keep our webpage and Facebook current.  If you see an issue let Dave Brown or I know.
Volunteer opportunities:
-We still need a couple more to help man the AGFD check stations in NW Tucson at Willow Springs and Freeman Rd Sat and Sun (Oct 7 and 8) with G&F personnel.  The data from these stations is important in assessing the overall health of the quail populations.
-Our banquet is planned 3 Feb at the Sonoita Fairgrounds.  We will have our first banquet planning committee meeting in November.  Please let me know if you can volunteer or can help with donations for the banquet.
-We are always looking for more board members – we will elect a new slate next spring and have openings now.
Chapter meetings:
-Our first meeting of the season is planned 16 Nov at Steakout in Sonoita.  Social starts at 6:30 with formal meeting start at 7:00.  Speakers include Nick Besenick and myself talking hunting/survival electronics, Dr Alberto Macias who will provide an update on our Mearns Quail diet study being done by State University of Sonora and an update from AGFD.
-The second meeting will be 14 Dec as the 3rd Thursday would be too close to Christmas.
-If you have ideas or volunteers for speakers please let me know.
-Membership drive opportunity.  Jim Littlejohn and I participated in the Peppersauce Roundup 23 Sep near Oracle.  We had a 10×10 space to set up a table to sell hats and handout membership info.  It turned out the crowd did not include many sportsmen and we were not very successful.
-Scaled Quail/Ornate Box Turtle count 30 Sep/1 Oct.  Wade Zarlingo from AGFD led the 3rd annual covey count near Bonita northeast of Wilcox.  The purpose of this effort is to assess the impact of AGFD habitat improvement in the area.  We had several volunteers from our chapter and Valley of the Sun chapter with dogs along with other organizations including NAVHDA.  We did find several coveys of Gambel’s and Scaled Quail.  Turtle count participation has grown since the first year since we found the dogs often point the turtles.  Each of the dog handlers teamed with turtle people for the count of all species.  We had a great cookout the night before and camped to get an early start before it got warm.
-Habitat projects.  Border 2 Fuels Reduction and Mearns Quail Habitat Improvement Project is tracking.  We are still working on the White Mountain Mearns project proposal and not ready to commit to it yet.
-Hunting habitat.  Both the areas for desert and mearns quail are looking great as monsoon winds down.  Better desert quail hunting than last year may take some hunting pressure off mearns.
-Sonoita fires.  The areas around Sonoita hit with fires are looking great now after the monsoon rains.  Except for the folks that lost homes, the fires have been good for habitat.
-Hog and Adobe Canyon access.  The homeowners and AGFD are still working agreements that will prevent the FS from closing the access.  Access is open at this time.
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Zack May
Southern AZ Quail Forever
Chapter President
Cell 520.301.8135