Last week in this column I wrote about a number of proposals that will be voted on by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission when they meet here at the Board of Supervisors meeting room May 4.
In my opinion, these rules, if passed as proposed, will change the way that sportsmen in Arizona will be allowed to operate for at least the next five years.
This week, I will comment on more of the proposals that are listed as part of a 50-page document that I encourage all of you to read. If you feel strongly for or against any the proposals, send in your comments. Written comments will be accepted until April 15.
Go to https://www.azgfd.com/agency/rulemaking/ to see the proposals and your comments can be sent in via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Jay Cook, (email@example.com) the Region 6 Supervisor who is the lead on this project.
Ceramic broadheads will be allowed
Currently archers must use metal broadheads with at least a 7/8 inch cutting edge on their arrows.
Under a proposal being brought forward, ceramic or ceramic coated broadheads will be allowed as it has been showed that they can be as effective as traditional metal broadheads.
Depredation bears and lions
Currently livestock operators, landowners, and lessees whose livestock were attacked or killed by bears or lions were not allowed to keep any lions and bear taken under the depredation law.
Under the new proposal, persons who take a depredating bear or mountain lion will be able to retain the carcass provided the person has a valid hunting license and the carcass is immediately tagged with a non-permit tag. According to the information provided by the Department, “This change prevents the animal from going to waste.”
Buffalo check out rule to change
Currently a person who legally takes a buffalo with a permit is required to produce the bison to the Department for inspection.
“The Commission proposes to amend the rule to allow the hunter to check out either in person or by telephone to reduce the burden and costs on persons regulated by this rule.”
Reducing the age of trapping license requirements
Under current Arizona law, trappers under the age of 14 were not required to have a trapping license or submit a trapping report to the Department. Under the new proposal all trappers 10 years or older will need to be licensed and will need to submit a required trapping report.
Clarification of rule requiring daily trap inspections
Trappers today are required by rule to check their traps every day. Trappers had asked if they were to use an interactive camera at the location, if that would meet this requirement.
The Commission is willing to allow live interactive cameras to be used by trappers; however they would still be required to physically check the trap every day.
In Arizona only live catch traps (box traps) can be used. No leg hold traps are permitted to be used on public lands.
Clarification of Level 1 fingerprint clearance for volunteers
Under Arizona Revised Statutes 17-215, every employee and volunteer who has contact with children or vulnerable adults as part of their regular duties must have a valid fingerprint clearance card issued pursuant to ARS 41-1758.07 or provide the Department documentation of the person’s application for a fingerprint clearance card.
The Commission proposes to amend the rule to allow a person to provide documentation of the person’s application for a fingerprint clearance card as prescribed under ARS 17-215 to reflect statutory requirements.
Muzzleloader handguns and pneumatic weapons allowed on HAM hunts
The Commission will move to clarify what a muzzleloader handgun is by definition. They will also propose to amend the rule for HAM (Handgun-Archery-Muzzleloader) hunts that will allow a person to use a single shot pre-charged pneumatic weapon discharging a single projectile of .35 caliber or larger, as a lawful method of taking wildlife during a HAM hunt.
Use of Drones
“The Commission recognizes the availability and use of drones has increased significantly.” The Commission proposes to amend R-12-4-319 to clarify drones are considered to be aircraft and are not lawful to use for the purpose of locating or assisting in locating wildlife.
Pickup and possession of wildlife carcasses or parts
The Commission proposes to amend this rule to allow a Department employee or agent to assist in determining whether an inspection by a law enforcement officer is required to reduce the burden on the Department and persons regulated by this rule. In the event a law enforcement officer is not available, a department employee or agent who has experience in determining whether an animal died from natural causes may conduct the inspection.
Next week, I’ll finish up with the posting of other proposed changes. But in the meantime I encourage you to read through these proposals and make sure you are in attendance of the Commission meeting May 4.