Arizona Field Report

An aerial survey in the Chiricahua Mountains by Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists shows high survival rates for the Gould’s turkeys released in early April.

Fourteen of the 39 released turkeys were radio-tagged. The radio-tagged turkeys were located in three distinct flocks. Only a single mortality signal was detected.

Post-release turkey survival has been higher than that observed in many past Gould’s releases. The habitat immediately surrounding the release site has good water and roosting habitat. Predation has not been an issue yet.


Wildlife Manager Brian Anthony released a rehabilitated bear in the Mount Ord area. The bear came from the Southwest Wildlife Center. Two other bears captured this past summer will not be ready to go until this fall. One little bear tested positive for valley fever.


Wildlife Officer Heather Jaramillo met with Bullhead City Animal Control about a dead beaver that had washed up on the shore of the Colorado River. The beaver had its tail cut off. The tail was found on the porch of a residence along the river. It was determined that a boat propeller killed the beaver.


Game and Fish biologists Mike Sumner and Bob Henry conducted pheasant surveys in the Yuma Valley. The results from the pheasant surveys are not extrapolated to give a population estimate but rather are used as an indicator of the population trend.

Each of our two routes in the Yuma Valley was run twice. They averaged about 20 and 12 pheasants heard. This is on par with previous year's data, thus suggesting a stable population. Permits for next season should stay the same at 80 general permits (two tags each) and 20 juniors permits (also two tags each but juniors may take any pheasant).


The Willow Lake pronghorn herd near Prescott continues to concentrate on the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Reservation. However, bucks are dispersing to grassland patches among the residential housing and golf courses. Fawning should start anytime.


Game and Fish personnel are working with the Kaibab National Forest, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Tusayan Sanitary District to provide a pipeline to 12 wildlife waters on the west side of Unit 9. The delivery system to the wildlife waters will rely on treated effluent.


Officer John Millican coordinated the spring turkey surveys in Unit 35A in southern Arizona. The number of turkey sightings appears to be lower than last year. As a side note, the special Gould's turkey tag holder already took his gobbler, a 25 pounder with a 14-inch beard.


A homeowner in a southern Arizona community has been feeding vegetables from the food bank to javelina. His neighbors complained. A wildlife officer gave the man the department's new urban wildlife videotape and attempted to educate him about the dangers of feeding javelina and other wildlife. Wildlife officers explained to the homeowner that by feeding javelina, he is putting his neighbors in danger. However, the man did not commit to discontinue feeding the wild animals.

When the wildlife officer was leaving the residence, he saw four javelinas feeding around the home and chased them off. The situation will be monitored. Officers will also be working with Santa Cruz County officials to possibly establish a nuisance wildlife feeding ordinance.


A department officer responded to an Operation Game Thief call north of Prescott where an individual allegedly had a bull elk in the back of a truck. Investigation revealed that the person, who is a Forest Service employee, was actually transporting an old set of deer antlers mounted on a wooden plaque.

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