To be a safe and smart boat operator, you must know some basic rules. Here are a few courtesy of the Arizona Game & Fish Department
• Life jackets and personal flotation device. All vessels except sailboats must have at least one wearable Type 1, 2, 3 or 5 life jacket that is U.S. Coast Guard approved and of the proper size for each person on board.
• Life jackets must be readily accessible, in good and serviceable condition, and sized for the intended wearer. In addition vessels 16 feet or longer, except canoes or kayaks, must have at least one Type IV Coast Guard approved throwable flotation device on board and readily accessible.
• All children 12 years of age or younger must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket or personal flotation device when the watercraft is under way.
The AZGFD also offers safe boating classes. Classes can be taken in person or online. Go to the Department’s boating safety website at www.azgfd.com/education/boating/
On a personal note, two valued members of the Mohave Sportsman Club recently passed away. Wayne Munyon and Art Searles were both members of the MSC and served the club well. Wayne served as the club’s treasurer for many years, while Art was a range officer at the club. On behalf of the club and myself, R.I.P. my friends.
Hunting seasons beginning
The fall big and small game seasons are starting up soon. Archery deer – with over the counter tags available – and archery antelope season for those who drew tags, opens Friday.
On Sept. 1, the first dove season will open. Hunters over 18 years old are reminded they need to purchase an Arizona Migratory Bird Stamp before hunting doves. Youth hunters 10-17 only need a hunting license. Daily bag limit is 15, with no more than 10 whitewings.
The general rifle and muzzleloader antelope seasons will open Sept. 8, in many units across Arizona.
Archery elk hunters will see their two-week long season start Sept. 15.
Starting Sept. 29, those who drew coveted early rifle bull elk tags will start to hunt.
The striper fishing at Lake Mead near South Cove has slowed way down for most local anglers. Where trips that used to result in over a 100 fish a night being caught, the average now had dropped to around 50. One angler and his wife did report that they had caught around 150 fish on Friday night.
David Hughey, the Deputy Maintenance Chief for the Lake Mead National Recreational Area, reported that his agency is responsible for cleaning up the trash around the dumpsters at South Cove, and that the job will be completed this week.
There are three seats available for the next three-day Hunter Education class that will be held on Sept. 15-17. You must register on the AZGFD website. Contact Jim Rich, chief instructor, at 928-444-3397 for more information. Youth ages 10-13 who have drawn Arizona big game tags can only hunt if they have taken and passed a hunter education class in Arizona or any other state.