Special Events

Big Lake Howliday Campout Weekend 2019

Morning bird walk at Big Lake 2013 photo by Jean Ossorio
August 9, 10, & 11, 2019

Join the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project for a fun-filled weekend learning about and celebrating the return of Mexican wolves to the wild. This year marks the 21 year anniversary of the first releases of Mexican wolves back into the wild in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.

Where: Apache Trout Campground Fir Group site at Big Lake in the Apache National Forest, Arizona.


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When: Friday, August 9th, 2019 starting at 3:00 pm through Sunday, August 11th at noon.

Online Registration and More Details to come soon!

Please contact Emily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would be interested in helping to sponsor this great campout!

Help End Wildlife Killing Contests in Arizona!

Public Comment Period is now open through May 12, 2019

Help us End Arizona's Cruel Wildlife-killing Contests by Sending One Email Today!

Cruel wildlife-killing contests are proliferating in Arizona. Over the past two years at least 40 of these contests have been held in the state — mostly on our public lands. Cash and prizes are given to those who kill the most, largest or smallest animals. With coyotes, foxes and other innocent animals in the crosshairs, we must put an end to these brutal "games."

Fortunately, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission is proposing to adopt a rule that would prohibit using any lethal method of take during a hunting contest for predatory and fur-bearing animals, as defined under Arizona Revised Statutes 17-101. In a public meeting March 15, the commission unanimously approved a Notice of Rulemaking Docket Opening and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (also posted at www.azgfd.gov/rulemaking).

The Notice was published in the Arizona Administrative Register on April 12, opening a 30-day comment period for the public to provide feedback. All public comments received from April 12 to May 12, 2019 will become part of the official record for this proposed rulemaking. There are two ways to submit comments:

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
U.S. Mail: Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn.: Rules Section, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.

All public comments will be evaluated before a Notice of Final Rulemaking is taken to the commission for its consideration. If approved, the final rule would be reviewed by the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (GRCC). The commission’s intent in adopting this rule is to address social concerns associated with hunting contests that award prizes to participants who kill the largest number or variety of predatory or fur-bearing animals.

Arizonans are speaking up and telling our elected leaders that we want immediate action. In the past few months, with the help of wildlife advocates like you, the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County have passed resolutions opposing killing contests in our area. The Flagstaff City Council agreed that "predators, including coyotes, bobcats and fox, are an integral part of the ecosystem and play a critical role in maintaining a healthy balance of plants and animals in the ecosystem..." And a recently passed Coconino County resolution "strongly encourages the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to engage in rulemaking to prohibit hunts which engage in prizes or compensation."

Please respectfully submit your personalized comments in support of the rule change to amend Article 3, R12-4-303
Note: You MUST write your own comments in your own voice in order for them to count as individual comments received during the comment period.

Some talking points for you to consider:

  • I support a rule to make wildlife killing contests illegal, including contests for predatory, fur-bearing, and non-game animals in Arizona.
  • Ending these killing contests is important to me, because . . . . For example, “I hike with my dog on public lands and I am concerned about the danger posed to me and to my dog by these killing contests.”
  • Wildlife killing contests are not “wildlife management tools” and are not driven by science.
  • Wildlife killing contests are in violation of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and serve no legitimate purpose.
  • Wildlife killing contests promote indiscriminately killing as many animals as possible for prizes.
  • Wildlife killing contests are an unethical "blood sport."
  • Wildlife killing contests violate the public trust doctrine that wildlife belongs to all people and all future generations
  • Wildlife killing contests are a danger on our public lands - contests encourage many teams of people with guns and powerful spotting scopes to go out and kill a lot of animals in a short period of time in a particular area.
  • This puts other people and domestic animals at risk if they happen to be out recreating in the area of the killing contests.
  • Wildlife killing contests are not hunting! The contest participants do not eat the animals they kill, but typically dump the bodies after they have been checked in for prizes, and often times they use electronic call devices or attractants to lure in unsuspecting animals in to be shot. These contests are unsporting and not the same thing as people who hunt following the principles of fair-chase for subsistence hunting for food.
  • Wildlife killing contests can put other species of wildlife at risk, including endangered Mexican gray wolves here in the Southwest - as more wolves, and especially uncollared wolves, are dispersing. Killing contests encourage people killing as many coyotes and the biggest coyotes that they can without much thought about whether or not their target is an endangered Mexican wolf!
  • It is important to develop a rule that is meaningful without a bunch of loopholes.
  • If you live out of state, you may also submit written comments for the official record but it is especially important to personalize your email or letter. Consider discussing how you do not wish to spend tourism dollars in a state that allows wildlife killing contests.

We need your help TODAY urging the Commission to vote YES to prohibit wildlife killing contests in Arizona.
Thank you for speaking up for wildlife and the important role of predators!

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