New Buffalo Population Management Hunts May Be Used

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The Arizona Game and Fish Department may soon dip into the "hunter pool" and initiate its first population management hunt to control buffalo straying from the Raymond Ranch Wildlife Area.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission approved the population management seasons on April 12. This new concept involves having a pool of applicants available to draw upon should a population management hunt become necessary.

Game and Fish Department biologists say there are some buffalo repeatedly leaving the wildlife area. The department may use a population management hunt, possibly in July, to control these animals rather than continuously herding them back.

"These animals do not stay on the wildlife area and are straying onto adjacent private land," says Arizona Game and Fish Game Specialist John Goodwin. "The population management hunts were developed to allow hunters to harvest animals in this type of situation when traditional means have been ineffective."

Hunters interested in hunting buffalo at Raymond Ranch Wildlife Area need to complete a Supplemental Hunter Pool application and mail it with a $5 application fee to Arizona Game and Fish Department, attention Drawer FAB, 2221 W. Greenway Road, Phoenix AZ 85023-4312. The applications are found in the 2003-2004 Arizona Hunting Regulations booklet and can be printed off of the Game and Fish Department Website at azgfd.com. Several quality bulls may be available for these hunts.

When the department director approves a population management hunt, individuals who are in the hunter pool and have been selected to receive a permit will be contacted by phone. For hunters who elect to participate in a population management hunts, it is likely that they will need to arrive in the field to hunt within a few days of being contacted. If randomly selected for the hunt, individuals are required to pay the normal license and tag fees for that species. The one-in-a-lifetime bag limit will be in effect for this hunt.