Parties agree on rules for 2014 elk and pronghorn hunts on Arizona National Guard facility
After working together for more than a year, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Department and the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) have agreed on rules for the 2014 elk and pronghorn hunting seasons at Camp Navajo, a secure military installation west of Flagstaff operated by the Arizona Army National Guard. The agreement meets the security and operational requirements of Camp Navajo, honors the service of men and women in the military, achieves wildlife management objectives, and provides for participation by the general public.
Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Flagstaff Regional Supervisor Craig McMullen said, “Game and Fish and the Arizona National Guard have agreed on new rules that allocate the majority of 2014 hunting opportunities at Camp Navajo to uniformed military and honorably retired veterans from all branches of the armed forces, disabled veterans and Wounded Warriors. Part of the opportunity is still retained for the general public. Both parties believe this model provides a win for wildlife management, the military, and the general public.”
The agreement clarifies the eligibility qualifications for the 2014 elk and pronghorn hunts and tag allocations, and represents a change from previous years. Elk and pronghorn tags will be offered in the following categories through the upcoming elk and antelope draw:
- “Wounded Warrior” — Purple Heart recipients and enrollees in the Military’s Wounded Warrior program
- “Disabled Veteran” (DAV) — Requires a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs certification of a service-connected disability of 50 percent or greater, or an Arizona Game and Fish Department Disabled Veteran’s hunting license (requires 100 percent disability)
- “Military” — Uniformed active duty and honorably retired personnel from all military services and components, but not civilian employees on a military facility who do not otherwise meet these criteria
- “Other” — All eligible applicants, including civilians, military, disabled veterans, Wounded Warriors, members of the National Guard, and any other applicant who is eligible to hunt in the state of Arizona.
Distribution of elk tags for the 2014 season was established in the agreement as follows:
- 12 Wounded Warrior tags
- 25 Disabled Veterans tags
- 88 Military tags
- 30 Other tags
The Commission also approved four “archery only” buck pronghorn antelope tags that will be available for the Military category only.
“All pronghorn hunting opportunity is offered archery only to the military because the pronghorn spend all their time in an area of Camp Navajo where civilians are not allowed and where archery is the only weapon type authorized,” McMullen said. “This is an example of the effort by both agencies to strike a balance between security, wildlife management, and the appropriate allocation of hunting opportunity.”
Offered for the first time at Camp Navajo, the 2014 Wounded Warrior elk tag honors the service of veterans who have been injured or have become ill as a result of their service but may not qualify as Disabled Veterans. The Military category of tags is also new for 2014 as a way to expand Camp Navajo’s longstanding tradition of specific hunting opportunity for members of our armed services.
Hunters wishing to apply for a Camp Navajo elk or pronghorn tag will need to visit the National Guard’s website to see security and access restrictions and to get access to hunt numbers for the 2014 elk and pronghorn hunts. Because Camp Navajo is an active military installation, hunts may be cancelled whenever military necessity dictates. Currently under construction, the new website for 2014 Camp Navajo hunts, http://www.azguard.gov/CampNavajo.htm, will be available to hunters after January 1, 2014.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department appreciates the dedicated work and professionalism of the more than 8,000 Arizona Army and Air National Guard members in the state, and the critical services they provide to the nation and the citizens of Arizona. Since 2001, more than 10,000 Arizona Guardsmen have deployed in support of overseas contingencies.
Camp Navajo is the secure training destination for the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA). The Arizona Army National Guard operates under DEMA. Established in 1942, this military installation is located west of Flagstaff on more than 28,000 acres of diverse terrain that includes modernized weapons ranges, land navigation courses, an air operations drop zone, more than 200 miles of tactical road networks, and 38 miles of rail. Camp Navajo is situated to meet Arizona’s military requirements for full-spectrum operations.
Logo courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department