The Arizona Game and Fish Department will conduct its annual public wildlife-viewing basics workshop on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area located in eastern Arizona, seven miles south of Eagar. This popular program is designed to help people find, observe and enjoy many of the state’s wildlife species on their own.

The program begins at 2 p.m. with an information program that focuses on wildlife viewing in Arizona, giving suggestions on how and where to find wildlife. Department staff will also discuss natural history and behavior of one of Arizona’s most recognized wildlife species, the Rocky Mountain elk. Participants will go into the field that evening on the Sipe property, applying viewing principles and techniques to find and observe some of Arizona’s majestic elk up close.

“We’ve designed this workshop to provide people with sufficient information for them to have a quality, firsthand experience in the outdoors, and to be able to regularly find and watch wildlife on their own,” says Bruce Sitko, spokesman in the department’s Pinetop office. “If you’ve never heard a bull elk bugle in the rut, you’ve missed one of nature’s most awesome sounds. This will be an excellent opportunity to see and hear elk.”

Because of the necessity to maintain small groups once in the field, the clinic is limited to 30 participants. The workshop is free, but pre-registration and a refundable deposit of $20 per person are required to ensure that spaces aren’t blocked off and then not used. The deposit will be returned to those who attend.

Registration can be done at the Pinetop Game and Fish office at 2878 E. White Mountain Blvd., or by calling the office at (928) 367-4281 and giving a name, contact phone number and the number of people attending to one of the customer service representatives. Participants will be given instructions at that time for mailing in the refundable registration deposit.

“Arizona is a state rich in wildlife resources,” Sitko notes. “More than 900 different species of fish and animals can be found here. We highly encourage folks to pause and discover not just the visual beauty of Arizona’s settings, but also to learn to find, view and appreciate the different creatures that live in and about our state’s diverse landscapes.”

Image courtesy of the Arizona Game and Fish Department

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