Yuma Sun

Quiet moves important when hunting

- Outdoors Column Jean Wilson

If you are a beginning hunter, chances are you haven’t learned yet what ‘quiet’ on the trail means – how important it is for putting that meat on the table.

Fast movements won’t work to your benefit.

Our wildlife have great hearing and eyesight

– they count on both. Without those, chances are they couldn’t survive a hunt season. That is why when a hunter is walking the trail, for either scouting to find where the animal might be as well as on the actual hunt, we (you and I) must be quiet in everything we do, from avoiding dry objects (loose – noisy – wood, even twigs, rocks, etc. in your path) that would sound out for those wildlife animals you search to leave quickly resulting in you never being able to get your shot in to harvest your animal. The same for talking, even a laugh needs to be quieted. A soft whisper is a absolute must. No running, just quietly placing one foot after the other without any noise whatsoever. It’s the same with our body movements that would give us away in a second. It’s a “must to be slow and easy and ever so quiet in everything we do on any hunt.

Now that the archery elk and pronghorn antelope hunt is darn near a reality and the same for javelina, taking advantage of hints you can get from other hunters or from Game and Fish (at your hunt area) even from reading about hunting) in the area you plan to hunt is a plus. Try anything and everything, at least give it a good attempt. Whatever you undertake will teach you something that could very likely turn out to be a plus the next time you try.

Hopefully you have practiced your chosen firearm or bow and arrow enough to have a good plan to make a killing shot. Merely wounding any animal is not being a good sportsman or woman and causes misery to your animal. It takes plenty of practice to become a good shot to harvest your animal quickly and efficientl­y to where pain is minor. A good idea to give the animal time after the shot to expire, then follow your animal to be sure it’s dead and ready to field dress, then get it back to camp and hung to remove the pelt, clean it thoroughly to remove any dirt or bloody parts, ready for a game bag and the trip home where you’ll either take it to a butcher or debone the meat

– it works well to debone your animal in the field – makes the job of hauling it back to camp much easier and lighter than working with the whole animal while packing it back to camp. Good idea to keep a ground cover and bags in your backpack to put the meat in. Having extra water along to keep the meat as clean as possible for the trip home in a cold ice chest. Think clean and cold. You want your meat ready for cooking and that great eating when you want it at your final destinatio­n.

Reminders worth repeating are:

When planning your hunt, be sure to take along enough warm clothing to keep you comfortabl­e at camp as well as on the hunt trail. Don’t forget to add a poncho to keep close to you at all times because rain, snow and sleet are unpredicta­ble and you don’t want to get caught in the middle of your hunt area without being able to stay dry. It helps prevent hypothermi­a – that’s one thing you don’t want that can ruin your hunt. The second pair of boots is also a good idea.

Always be able to build a fire either for cooking or for warmth when you’re away from camp – be sure to have ‘dry’ matches, or a lighter that’s dependable to help start the fire.

Always keep binoculars with you as well – they do a great job of locating your animal – then take some sitting time while your,e hunting to put the bino’s to work for you.

Remember too that a hat or cap in the winter will keep you warm – in hot weather it’ll help keep you a bit cooler than you would be without it.

Good luck and good hunting.

Hunt happenings

ARIZONA HUNTER EDUCATION: If you or your wife or youngster need to take the Hunter Ed Class or Field Day, call the Game and Fish Department Region IV office at 342-0091 to learn when the next class will be and get registered to take the class. Sprague’s Sports Shop also conducts Hunter Education Classes as well as other Training Classes for learning how to shoot, basic firearms maintenanc­e, Refuse to be a Victim as well as Active Killer Survival Training. The Armed Women of America AWA-YUMA AZ Chapter also holds their meetings at Sprague’s as well if you might be interested. Call 726-0022 with your questions or to learn when classes are held.


(name changed from HAHWG – Hunting & Angling Heritage Workgroup) held their winter meeting to make plans for a Festival coming up in the summer of 2024, the Mentor Recruitmen­t Trivia & Pint Night coming back this year, one event in Tucson and the other in Phoenix Metro. 15 unique organizati­ons/24 people attending shared what they are focused on priorities, challenges and history – by doing so offered some great insight at the diversity of our OSN Partnershi­p and why our R3 efforts are nationally recognized, a super valuable worksessio­n. If any outdoors man or woman might want to learn more about it and possibly attend the Summer meeting (probably in the Flagstaff area) or ask questions, contact Doug Burt, manager of recruitmen­t, retention & reactivati­on (R3) at 623-236-7487 (Mobile: 602-531-7578 or email dburt@azgfd.gov.)


Fundraiser Raffle Tickets are again being sold by the club to have enough money to take care of youth events and the

Dove Barbecue coming up in Sept. Wouldn’t it be great to have your ticket number drawn and go home with $5,000, $3,000 or $1,000 for the $20 ticket price. Sprague’s has tickets handy to sell in case you,re interested. Club members may be selling tickets or contact Pat Headington – visit him at 585levy@gmail.com.

Our club’s yearly event card should be available soon to know when some great hunting and fishing events are taking place including the youth mini fishing clinics when plans include giving kids rods and reels along with tackle boxes to assist them in learning how to fish at Yuma’s Community Ponds stocked with fish by our Region IV Game and Fish Dept. Other events for our youngsters also planned with camping and hunting – fishing as well. Another golf tournament, open to anyone who plays golf and would like to get into the competitio­n is being planned – a great day coming up. I’ll have the details soon.

Check here later to learn how the March 4 Youth Archery Event at Adair Park turned out. Registrati­on with Region IV Game and Fish office is full so if you are late in getting signed up, get that done when you first hear about another event being planned.


Ladies interested in firearms and hunting meet every 3rd Thursday each month at Brewer’s off Ave. B & 24th St.

Ladies from all walks of life are always welcome to come to meetings to learn about the club, about firearms and archery as well as hunting along with wildlife and outdoors conservati­on – all interested ladies are welcome to join the club to get in on all the fun and to put their learning to work. Call Catherine Thompson at 928-580-9012 with Questions you might have.


Leslie Boggs, the new club tournament chairman planned the March 11th Bass Derby to launch out of Fisher’s Landing with another coming up March 15th at Mittry Lake launching at the boat dock. All tournament anglers will earn points for fishing in competitio­n to be a winner as well as competing for Angler of the Year. Pre-registrati­on required: If you want to fish get signed up at The Hideaway prior to fishing. Other Bass Derby’s will be March 25th at Mittry Lake, April 15th at Fisher’s Landing, May 13 at Fisher’s, then the June 3rd Big Bass Dinner at VFW Post 8242, the June 17th Big Bass Derby launching out of Fisher’s Landing and the July 8th-9th Season Finale with fishing Day 1 at Fisher’s Landing, Day 2 at Mittry Lake,

Sign up at The Hideaway / Tournament Chairman Leslie Boggs.pre- Registrati­on required – Entry fee $40 per boat, $5 Big Fish, $5 2lb Pot totaling $5. Questions? Call Boggs at 928-580-9966.


Don’t miss ABA’S March 4th Bass Tournament at Martinez Lake followed by the final tournament on April 22nd until fall. Call Tracy Purtee at 928-9783659 for details. Fishing bass tournament­s earn points toward Angler of the Year Awards. When fishing don’t forget about the $1,000 8-pound pot (a 8 lb or over Biggest bass caught during each tournament.

Shooting sports 4-H SHOOTING SPORTS:

The latest schedule – Feb 26 -9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Ware Farm/ 928-978-3659, March 12

– 9 a.m. 10:30 a.m. Muzzleload­er, .22 & shotgun End of Year Competitio­n at Ware Farm/dome Valley; March 20 – 9 a.m. This is Sunday at Ware Farm/ Dome Valley. Ask about Archery and Air Rifle competitio­n. Touch base with Stanley Gourley at stan_marsha@q.com.


Winter Hours (now THRU APRIL) Open Matches are Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to Noon, Tuesdays member fee $5 per round. Annual dues $30. Available shooting fields – Field 1&2 – Skeet, Field 3 – Wobble Trap, Field 4&5 – Trap. Eye and Hearing Protection Required. VMX

– 1 shoot 1300-1900. YYG pracctcice 6 p.m. Wednesdays with a Saturday 2/18 practice at 12:30 p.m.questions? Call William H. Mcnutt at 928-580-0918.


Benchmark 50 yd. matches – alternatin­g Tuesdays plus a 100 yd schuetzen. Begin shooting at 8:30 a.m. Muzzleload­er matches

1st and 3rd Saturdays at 9 a.m. with targets at 50 & 100 yds. 3rd Saturday Nov. 19, Turkey Shoot match with club meeting at 9 a.m. prior to shooting turkeys. Matches are $5 each. Anyone wanting to sell something to shooters is asked to shop at the club first. Call Glenda Graves at 928 580-0915 with questions. Informatio­n on the 2023 YTLR long rifles 2024 Rendezvous in January of next year will be forthcomin­g.


Welcome back to another season of shooting in Yuma AZ. We are ready to begin regular matches on Fridays with target set up at 8 a.m.. starting at 9 a.m.; Our Wednesday long range .22 matches will start now as well with target set up at 8 a.m. We will also set up swingers for anyone needing to get sight settings for the Friday matches. You are welcome to come out and get some practice on the swingers at the east end of the range. For anyone needing to get some practice on those. When targets are set up we’ll sign up for the match and get equipment set up to start shoot at 9 a.m. All matches will have a $5 fee, Glenda Graves, Secretary 928-580-0915.


Visit hprifleyum­a.com – check new informatio­n next week.

YUMA MATCHMASTE­RS: Monthly matches PRACTICAL USPSA, 2nd Sunday, COWBOY SASS, 4th Sunday COWBOY FAST DRAW, 3rd Sunday, STEEL post them to our site. Email the club at info@southwestb­owhunters.net. Call Rick at 928-750-6279. MULTI-GUN/ PPC Matches 1st Sunday, NATIONAL RIFLE LEAGUE (NRL) .22 on 2nd Saturday. Check Yuma Matchmaste­rs.com on Facebook, or call Irene Snyder at 920-613-4598.


Sunday Archery Shoots 7-10 a.m. Held all year long at the archery range with 2-day invitation­al archery shoots off and on during the year, all held at the Adair Park archery range. All shoots are open to the public and shoot fees are reasonable. The SWBH is proud to support other club’s bowhunters.

e-mail your news to southwestb­owhuntersc­lub.net or call rick at 928-750-6279 – we will gladly post your event informatio­n to our site.

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