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How About Making an Outdoors New Year’s Resolution?

Saturday, January 2, 2016 5:09
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Arizona Game and Fish offers 10 ideas for a better 2016

Game and Fish offers 10 ideas for a better 2016Game and Fish offers 10 ideas for a better 2016 Arizona Game and Fish DepartmentArizona Game and Fish Department

Arizona  -( Time is running out on 2015. As we reflect on the changes we want – or need – to make in the new year, how about adding an outdoors resolution to the list?

The Arizona Game and Fish Department offers 10 simple resolutions, any one of which should be easy for an outdoors enthusiast to stick to:

  1. Fish local. Make it a point to wet a line this year at one (or more) of 37 waters in the Community Fishing Program. With lakes and ponds in 17 Arizona communities that are seasonally stocked with channel catfish, bluegill and rainbow trout, there’s always a hotspot close to home. This is a great way to introduce a youngster to a fun, lifelong sport. Your reward? Hearing that youngster squeal with delight while pulling in his or her first fish.
  2. Support wildlife. Wildlife lovers can put their money where their heart is by becoming a member of the department’s “I Support Wildlife” program. Your $25 annual dues provide much-needed funding to sustain important wildlife and habitat conservation projects.
  3. Take a youngster outdoors. Look for animal tracks together and identify the critter that made them. Armed with only a bird identification guide, embark on a “hunting” expedition and see how many species you can find. A day in the field will create memories that last a lifetime – for both of you.
  4. Pick it up. Vow to clean up not only after yourself, but those who aren’t as considerate. Take an extra trash bag along on your next outing and spend a few minutes picking up those empty cans, cigarette butts or campsite trash. After all, respected access is open access.
  5. Be a wildlife watcher. Arizona provides some of the best wildlife-viewing opportunities in the nation, with more than 800 species of wildlife. It’s a fun, inexpensive activity the entire family can enjoy.
  6. Invest in good optics. Most hunters know that success in the field begins with a quality pair of binoculars or spotting scope. Don’t skimp. Better to buy the best you can afford that fits your needs than settle for a middle-of-the-road piece of equipment and be forced to upgrade later.
  7. Be a conservationist. It’s difficult to imagine what our wildlife populations might be like today without the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation. For a presentation from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, produced by Arizona Game and Fish, visit
  8. Explore “Expo.” Save the date – April 2-3 – and experience the great outdoors at the department’s 2016 Outdoor Expo at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. There will be plenty of hands-on activities, wildlife presentations/educational demonstrations, and the opportunity to meet with outdoors groups, agencies and exhibitors. Admission and parking are free.
  9. Hunt something new. Don’t let the odds of being selected in the random draw keep you from applying for what could be the hunt of a lifetime. If you’ve always dreamed of hunting bison, pronghorn or bull elk, then get in the game and fill out an application. Also, don’t overlook small game or other species that can be hunted year-round.
  10. Enter the AZGFD Customer Portal. The portal lets you create a secure account where you can view and manage your licenses, draw results, bonus points and memberships in your own personal “My AZ Outdoors” section. Just click on the “Sign in to Account” button in the upper right-hand corner of the home page and then select the “Create an Account” option, and you’re on your way into a world of wildlife!


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