Free elk workshop on Oct.1 at Sipe Wildlife Area

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will offer an elk life history workshop on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area near Eagar. The workshop will be begin at 3 p.m. and include presentations on the life history and management of elk in Arizona with an opportunity to view elk nearby. A new addition to the workshop this year will be TJ McMichael, a natural storyteller, who will give a historical presentation on elk. Spotting scopes and binoculars will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own if they have them. Late September to early October is the best time of year to view elk because it is breeding season (rut). The bulls will bugle as they try to intimidate each other and gather females into harems.

The workshop will be limited to 20 participants. A $20/person refundable registration deposit (payable by check only) is required to hold each reservation. Deposits will be refunded if cancelled within seven days prior to the workshop or when participants arrive at the workshop. Children must be 12 years old to participate.

There will be a break between the informational session and the wildlife viewing. This is an opportunity to see the visitor center, enjoy a picnic dinner, or explore Sipe on your own. Sipe Wildlife Area is also home to mule deer, pronghorn antelope, turkey, coyote, beaver, and many other small mammals. There are also excellent birding opportunities.

Directions to Sipe: Take Highway 191 south to Eagar towards Alpine; you’ll see the turnoff signs just two miles outside of Eagar. Follow the graded dirt road, suitable for passenger cars, about five miles to the property.

Please wear long pants and hiking/comfortable shoes. Participants might be walking distances of a ¼ mile or more in lowlight conditions. Be prepared for a cool night and possible rain; layering would be best. Also, try to wear dark or camo clothing. White or bright clothes will alert wildlife when we are near. You will also want to bring a headlamp or flashlight, binoculars or spotting scope if you have one, a camera, picnic dinner and water.

For more information or to register, call the Arizona Game and Fish Pinetop Office at (928) 532-3680.