This edition of Arizona Wildlife Trophies contains the first definitive history of the transplant efforts for eight of the eleven big game species addressed in the trophy books.
When the decision to move animals is made, there is one fact that remains inevitably the same with each and every transplant: it involves work…a lot of work! From the planning, the capture, transport and release,and the follow-up monitoring, transplanting wildlife is a major endeavor.
An often unacknowledged element in transplant exercises is that sportsmen, specifically those who hunt the target species, are frequently at the forefront of translocation projects both in providing funding and actual physical help. Efforts of the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society and the Arizona Antelope Foundation are examples of this trend. Those who passively encounter these animals on a road trip or astroll through the landscape rarely match the hunter’s passion that leads them to volunteer their time andmoney to benefit favored species. Hunters remain the backbone of North American wildlife and habitat conservation efforts.
Thus, what we now call the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation has become the foundation of wildlife management in the U.S. and Canada. In Arizona it works very well. Taxes on firearms, ammunition, and hunting gear purchased by hunters are used to fund research and the state’s managementprograms, including wildlife transplant projects. These funds, along with license and permit fees paid by hunters, are the foundation of all wildlife management activities.
The relationship between the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the state’s hunters stimulated thetheme of this edition of Arizona Wildlife Trophies. The first series of chapters summarizes the species that have been systematically transplanted in Arizona. This is followed by a series of hunting tales written by those who have benefitted from wildlife management actions like species transplants. These tales are in alanguage universally understood by hunters…with only the slightest editorial touch so the style and idioms used to convey the excitement of the hunt are preserved.