by Karen Mehall Phillips - Thursday, January 27, 2022
If you hunt in Arizona, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) needs to hear from you by Sun., Jan. 30. As reported by the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) yesterday, the AZGFD is accepting public comments for its proposed hunting guidelines for the Fall 2023 through Spring 2028 black bear, mountain lion and bobcat hunting seasons. As expected, animal rights extremists across the Grand Canyon State are using this opportunity to ask the department to restrict or eliminate the hunting of those species. Those who track the news on issues through this NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum website will remember these same extremists were defeated in their push for a cat hunting ban in 2017.
Ignoring the need for science-based wildlife management to help keep species at carrying capacity is nothing new for those trying to end all hunting. The AZGFD currently has no such bans or restrictions so extremists hope to change that.
The AZGFD needs to hear from hunters like you. Politely remind it to continue making decisions regarding wildlife management on sound science, not misguided emotion.
As suggested by outdoor columnist Don Martin in The Miner, a local newspaper covering Arizona’s Kingman, Arizona and Mojave counties, be sure to read the statements from anti-hunting groups such as the Mountain Lion Foundation, Humane Society of the United States and the Center for Biological Diversity for the truth about what they seek to accomplish.
“It seems that those groups have sent in a lot of letters and comments outlining how they want the AZGFD to manage lions, bears and even bobcats,” wrote Martin. “And, of course, while they say they want to limit the hunting of these animals, the truth is that they would prefer to see hunting stopped on all of those species.”
Like the rest of the hunting community, Martin believes in managing all wildlife—predator and prey species alike—based on science rather than emotion and that state agencies should be the wildlife management authority. Important to note, not engaging in this issue could lead to the AZGFD giving anti-hunters their way, which we saw happen in Arizona with the state’s recent trail-camera ban last summer. As Martin wrote, “The battle is for real, folks. Now it is up to you to get involved.”
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