We welcome the 2012 Spring Training baseball season at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and the many visitors who come to visit the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. I know many people ask why the Rangers are talking about Spring Training, because as baseball season starts so do a lot of our other favorite things: camping, hiking, fishing and hunting. The weather is still cool enough to get out and hike. I enjoy seeing our youngest colts and fillies on the range land. There is a lot of green grass to enjoy all around us. Our horses our very healthy and can be seen anywhere in the Community.
As for fishing, the fish are biting all around us. The Verde River provides a lot of opportunity from Pole 1 through Pole 4. I have to remind everyone that the bald eagles are nesting in the area, so we should use caution while visiting these areas. For fishing the river, I recommend PowerBait or a good light lure to hit the surface and avoid the grass growing in deeper waters. If you prefer to fly-fish, a good woolly or mosquito fly has never failed me on a river.
Community members often ask me whether they can hunt in the Community and/or bring their friends to hunt in the Community. The answer is yes, any Community member can hunt in the Community. The No. 1 key factor is to have respect for whatever you use to hunt, whether it’s a pistol, rifle, shotgun, bow and arrow, muzzle loader or slingshot. Safety is Job 1.
Everyone must also follow the SRPMIC Code of Ordinances as they relate to hunting and firearms, including the provision that a firearm shall not be discharged within a quarter-mile of any residence. If a non–Community member wants to hunt with a Community member, they must have a Special Use Permit signed by the SRPMIC Administration. The permit must be in their possession, and the guest must remain with the Community member at all times. The firearms being used must be authorized, permitted and registered (according to SRPMIC Code of Ordinances) through the Salt River Police Department, which can issue a SRPMIC Firearms Permit. Otherwise, there are no hunting seasons in the Community and no major regulations unless a firearm is involved.
With springtime coming quickly, wildlife is getting very bold in coming closer to our residences. The main animal I am speaking of is the coyote. I have been asked by various residents of our Community what to do with the coyotes coming in or around houses. My answer is to keep your distance and do everything safely so as to ensure your own animals maintain a safe distance from this wild animal. Unfortunately, the Rangers do not actively trap coyotes and do not have the tools to safely remove them without harm.
A reminder: Please remember to leave your area cleaner than you found it. No matter what you enjoy doing outside, lighten our footprint so our lands remain for the future generations to enjoy. Please contact the Salt River Police Rangers through SRPD Communications at (480) 850-9230 if you have any questions or to report any illegal activity.