Southern AZ Quail Forever will hold our last regular membership meeting of the season at Steakout in Sonoita 16 March with social starting at 6:30 and meeting ay 7:00. The subject of this meeting is the path forward for the chapter. We have made several changes over the last year and gotten quite a bit done but we want to take a little time to look at ourselves and see what we can do better. We should have a few potential projects ready for review on habitat and quail science. We have more money for projects this year but want to make sure we use it towards worthwhile work.
I am sure several of you have already headed north since the end of the season, we want your input also.
Some questions from the board to think about before the meeting. For those that can’t attend a written response would be appreciated. It can be anything between you are doing great or you need to start over to individual answers to each question or highlights of issues to work. For those providing a written response please provide by 15 March.
-Do we need any changes to our mission statement and by/laws? These are available on our website saquailforever.com
-How are we doing on communication to members? We typically send 3 emails a month and sometimes more; are we spamming you or is this about right?
-What is your preferred method to receive information; meetings, email, web, Facebook or a combination?
-What would you change with our meetings? Speakers, location, times, etc. We are working to upgrade acoustics at Steakout but no promises yet.
-Your thoughts on our habitat and science work?
-Are you getting enough info on chapter financials?
-What would you do different with the banquet? Banquet committee lessons are pasted below to see what we are already considering
-How are we doing with our interaction with AZGFD? How about other government agencies?
-What should we do to attract more board members?
-What should we change in our youth program?
We have entered memberships since the banquet – thought you might be interested in the breakdown of our members by state/province:
Up until this year,”Van” was a constant figure on Mearns Quail Hunting Scene in Patagonia AZ. Van and his Wife Karel wintered here to get out of the Nebraska cold.Van was a founding member of S.A.Q.F..He will be missed.
We had 36 people attend including three from AZGFD. Social started at 6:30 with formal meeting start at 7:00.
-Treasurer; $29,359 in bank, no outstanding issues.
-Schedule; schedule for 17-18 hunt season provided and attached below.
-Banquet; Banquet results provided. Banquet sold out with 177 paid attendees. Banquet made nearly $21,000 for the chapter. Lesson have been collected by the committee to improve future banquets. Will increase attendance cap to 200 next year. Member attendee (not including spouses/guests) breakdown: out of state 41, Tucson region 43, Phoenix and northern AZ 14 and southern AZ 17.
-Habitat; Tom provided a slide show of the completed water for wildlife project and discussed potential options for new projects.
-Mearns Quail Study; Linda provided an update on recent work completed on the diet study. It is on track.
-Hog and Adobe Canyons update; Ron Walp provided an update on the status of the potential closure of the roads leading into the canyons from Highway 82. The Crown C association has elected a new president who has provided the Forest Service a letter indicating they will work sign issues and work an agreement with AZGFD to ensure continued access. This all looks favorable but it is not done until it is done.
-Youth hunt; Nick provided update on youth activity planned 4 Mar at Maternity Wells site at Empire Ranch. Nick Besenick will be soliciting volunteers to help.
-New chapter board member; Ron Walp was nominated and elected to a new Community Relations board position where he will continue to lead our highway cleanup effort and ensure our out of state members interests are considered. Congrats to Ron who has worked hard to support this chapter, the wildlife of AZ and pay back for many years of enjoying the outdoors. We still have other board positions open, please let me know if you are willing to help.
Kirby Bristow Research Biologist from Arizona Game and Fish Department will present Quail Hunting Arizona. His presentation will provide information on Gambels, Scaled and Mearns Quail including habitat where they are found, what they eat, breeding info and how to best hunt them. His presentation will be put on our website.
Wade Zarlingo our AZGFD partner discussed the new license requirements for those wishing to train their dogs using pen raised game birds. The new rules require a new license for every 10 day period and each location you plan to train. I will forward these rules and a form to use if you wish to challenge AZGFD on this policy. Wade lives in northern AZ and had a nearly 4 hour drive home after the meeting. We really appreciate Wade’s support to the chapter.
Mearns Quail Barrel results; Brittany Oleson our local game warden reviewed the results of totally the inputs from the Mearns quail barrels. She will get formal results out to us but overall the barrels showed about 1 bird a day decrease compared to last year. We had several chapter members assist with the count which was done earlier this week. She also passed out quail wings to those wanting to use them for dog training.
New actions: none.
Meeting adjourned at 8:35.
Future chapter events;
4 Mar 17 Youth Hunt Sonoita contact Nick Besenick for information or to volunteer
16 Mar 176:30-9 PM Chapter Meeting Steak Out Sonoita Subject – Future Direction of Chapter
Summer Highway Cleanup TBD
Aug/Sep 17 Youth Event TBD
Sep 17 TBD Dove Season Opens
Sep 17 TBD AZGFD Scaled Quail Flush Count Survey
6 Oct 17 Gambels and Scaled Quail Seasons Open
Nov Highway Cleanup TBD
16 Nov 176:30-9 PM Chapter Meeting Steak Out Sonoita Subject – Dog and Survival Electronics
8 Dec 17 Mearns’ Quail Season Opens
14 Dec 176:30-9 PM Chapter Meeting Steak Out Sonoita Subject TBD
18 Jan 186:30-9 PM Chapter Meeting Steak Out Sonoita Subject TBD
Feb Highway Cleanup TBD
3 Feb 18 Annual Banquet
11 Feb 18 Quail Seasons Close
15 Feb 186:30-9 PM Chapter Meeting Steak Out Sonoita Subject TBD
3 Mar 18 Youth Hunt
15 Mar 186:30-9 PM Chapter Meeting Steak Out Sonoita Subject TBD
Southern Arizona Quail Forever will hold our January meeting Thursday 19 Jan at Steakout in Sonoita 6:30-9:00
-We have two speakers:
1) Dr Heather Connally a critical care specialist will discuss some of the major dangers to our four-legged hunting partners including rattlesnake bites, gila monster attacks, Colorado River toad toxicity, animal attacks, cactus encounter, allergic reactions, and heatstroke. She will cover what to watch for, what (if anything) can be done prior to transport to the emergency room at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson, and what (if any) preventive measures can be taken.
2) James Copeland the District Ranger for Coronado National Forest has kindly agreed to meet with us to discuss the proposed new road management plan for the forest which could potentially close access to Hog and Adobe Canyons from Highway 82.
-Banquet planing for 4 Feb at the Sonoita Fairgrounds is going well. We have received several great donations that will be auctioned or raffled and can be bid on early via our website www.saquailforever.com/2017-dinner-and-auction/ . If you have not signed up, please do so by 31 Jan using the attached reservation form. Bring a friend and a youth. We have a youth model Remington870 shotgun that Sportsmans Warehouse has generously provided that will be raffled to a youth in attendance (a parent or guardian will actually take possession).
Mearns hunting has been pretty decent so far but as typical they are forcing you to climb more and shoot around trees as the season ages. Gambels and Scaled Quail have continued to be elusive.
Our next meeting is Thursday 19 Jan at Steakout 6:30-9:00. Dr Heather Connally from Vet Specialties of Tucson has agreed to speak on desert hazards to dogs.
Dave Brown and the banquet committee has made significant progress on banquet planning. Banquet is planned 4 Feb at Sonoita Fairgrounds. He will be looking for help to line up donations and sponsors. For those that may not have a designated driver and want to partake in adult beverages, you might want to consider a room at Sonoita Inn before they fill up. Please get your reservation into Linda Pfister no later than 31 Jan and encourage your friends to come. A form is attached if you have lost yours. We are still looking for sponsors and donations.
Our water for wildlife project has made great progress with Tom Sullivan leading. We are planning to complete this phase on 18 and 19 Jan with Pima County. Ron Walp will lead another highway cleanup in Feb. Both Tom and Ron indicate they have enough volunteers lined up. Thanks for your help. Our Mearns diet study with Dr Alberto Macias of Sonora State University is also progressing with a report due from him later this spring. Our Youth Hunt is planned for 4 Mar contact Nick Besenick to volunteer or is you know of a youth or novice that would like to participate.
We have received a donation of 5 great shotguns from a member. We are assessing options to convert their value into future projects for the chapter.
Give us your feedback of website at www.saquailforever.com . We are working to keep it current and meet your needs.
Please drop me a line or give me a call if you have ideas or want to help. Give me your ideas on future guest speakers that can talk hunting, dogs, land access or other subjects you believe other members would enjoy.
There were 27 people present plus these board members shown above.
Guests: Wade Zarlingo and Rana Tucker –AZ Game and Fish
A sign-in sheet was used and Zack explained that anyone not wishing to have their email address info shared (only within the chapter) for better communications should contact secretary Ron Funk. No one requested no sharing.
Agenda: Was shown on the Projector
Yes the new a/v equipment worked well.
Minutes from Nov 17 Chapter meeting were published by Zack.
Banquet and gun raffle expenses yet to be accounted for.
Good position for banquet expenses.
No other concerns
Water for Wildlife:
Tom reported that the panels had been made and that Mike Lyons was integral in getting this done. A thorough explanation of the details for the project and purpose was shared.
Also check website for more info and pictures.
Zack reported several good new member contacts in Tucson area were made as part of the gun raffle.
Contributions and sponsors being contacted, Dave Brown and crew are making good progress.
Date is Feb 4 at Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Sonoita. Contact Linda for sign up.
Several registrations forms were handed out by Linda.
There was a long discussion on the US Forest Service from Nogales ruling that Hog
Canyon road and Adobe Canyon roads will be closed and made impassable. The chapter has been aware of this action and many have submitted comments.
Now it is in next stage where only those who first submitted comments will be able to
comment further to try to reverse this decision. Kurt Bohati shared insights and advised that a letter of concern can still be submitted to senators and other decision makers. Zack was to provide details for mailing lists to the chapter along with a draft of a letter to use.
Publicity in the Nogales newspaper is also pending.
Only political pressure may be able to change the USFS District Official’s decision.
A team of 8 members cleaned the section of 82 on Nov 30.
Next cleanup set for Feb 17 (tentative date) per Ron Walp.
Nick reported on efforts to expand the youth involved while still focusing strongly on safety and gun knowledge. Date is Mar 4. Signup sheet was passed out for volunteers. Plans are to have a Friday evening event the night before as a new activity.
Rana Tucker gave very involved and thorough explanation of the Landowner Relationship management process. Wade Zarlingo was also thanked for including an email input on the AZGFD Quail Wing check stations. Several questions were raised and we received this follow up.
It was very nice to meet all of you, and see the kind of work you’ve been doing! You guys are very busy, and I look forward to partnering with you on some quail habitat projects.
I found out this morning that our Access agreement with the Babocomari was only for big game hunters, although it seems that they may be letting some folks on to hunt small game too, but that is at their discretion. It does state that Access is granted for Big Game permit holders only, when you click on the ranch on the AZAccessMap (found here: https://raa.azgfd.com/map.html), then follow the link to our Compact Agreements page (found here: https://agfdlandownerrelations.com/babacomari-ranch-access/). I know that’s a lot of steps to follow to get that information, but I suspect if folks call the number on the sign, as instructed, to get permission to hunt, they’ll find out from them too.
I will speak with Al at some point about how to better convey this information to folks out in the field (I know not everyone is technology-savvy); I can see where it could get confusing for folks if they see an Access Sign , which means we’ve worked with the landowner to gain access, but the type of access isn’t the same all across the board because we have to make our agreements flexible.
I did notice that the photo I had of the sign-in box was an older one; the phone number has since changed, and we changed the sign to match, but someone may have called the old number before we got the sign changed, which would explain why there was no answer.
Anyway, that was the best we could do at the time that agreement was written. I let our program manager, Al Eiden, know of the issues folks are having, and he said he will try to address the desire to hunt small game if/when they want to renew their current agreement.
I’ll get a map of the wing barrel locations to you by the end of the year, if not the end of the week.
Best regards, and have a merry Christmas!
Zack presented Jacob Young with a plaque for appreciation of his hard work over the last few years in starting the chapter.
Motion made and seconded to purchase a reasonable number of QF hats to use as acknowledgment for service. Passed. Zack to take action
Motion made and seconded to purchase pick up stick tools for use by the highway cleanup crew. Passed. Linda to take action.
Alternate meeting place in Tucson area was briefly discussed. Secretary Ron Funk has a tentative plan for Jan 25 or 26 at a Tucson location. Request feedback from Tucson and Green Valley members – should we focus on connecting members to car pool to Sonoita or have a secondary meeting in Tucson with the understanding attendance would be more limited? Please contact Ron Funk and Zack May with your input.
Regular chapter meetings are set for Jan 19, 2017; Feb 16, 2017 and Mar 16, 2017 all at the Steak out in Sonoita.
To help highlight our Water for Wildlife Habitat Program ,Habitat Committee Chairman Tom Sullivan and his Wife Sherry went to work on an appropriate logo that The Chapter can use to help showcase the Project and at the same time raise awareness for the Chapter.They “pinned it”.Sherry Sullivan hand drew a rough logo that Tom submitted to Pima County who is the major Partner in The Water for Wildlife Program.Thanks to The Sullivans’ and Pima County for the work and insight that went into to this.