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Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club
By Jonny Fugate, legislative liaison
How did your group get started?
About 70 years ago, it is said that a group of local farmers in Yuma County got together to have a “Big Bass Fishing Derby” and a “Big Deer Contest” amongst themselves. From those beginnings, the Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club (YVRGC) became incorporated in 1939 and began expanding its activities, both for the membership and the community. The club added a fishing derby for fathers and their kids and a river cruise for physically challenged children, and those events, along with the big bass derby and big deer contest, have occurred annually for more than half a century.
What is the purpose of the YVRGC?
Since 1936, the purpose and mission of the Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club has been:
- The conservation of wildlife, habitat and natural resources.
- Education of the public to include conservation issues and firearm safety.
- Support of the second amendment of the United States Constitution.
- Provide recreation and organized activities to members and the public and participate in charitable and other community services activities, especially those related to conservation and sportsmanship.
What does the YVRGC do?
The YVRGC now holds over 28 events annually. Along with our events, the YVRGC has become a very dedicated conservation partner with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, working to ensure that wildlife, wildlife habitat and wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation remain as the department’s major management focus. The YVRGC has aggressively assisted the department with many wildlife conservation activities, especially providing water for wildlife. In southwestern Arizona, our goal is to assist and support the department in redevelopment of more than 100 existing water catchments over the next decade to ensure that wildlife, particularly mule deer, has water to drink. Since 1995, the YVRGC has assisted the department in construction of over 30 new catchments in Region IV, which have operated basically maintenance-free and required very minimal water hauling, if any. Due to these efforts, the YVRGC is now honored to be an affiliate member of the Arizona Deer Association and looks forward to assisting ADA in accomplishing their mission of enhancing habitat for deer in Arizona.
The YVRGC is also very involved in the hunter education program, holding at least five classes per year. The class size is 30 students per class and free to all participants.
While the conservation spotlight is shining on YVRGC, what would you like to say?
In support of wildlife conservation in Arizona, the YVRGC has always been very politically involved at the local, state and national levels. Because of attempts by some groups to reduce and/or eliminate wildlife management and wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation, the YVRGC continues to aggressively protect this heritage for all children and their children. We have become a strong voice for the sporting community, ensuring that sportsmen and women across Arizona have the right to enjoy the outdoors. The YVRGC is well respected by the federal land managing agencies, as well as the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
How many members do you have?
Today the YVRGC is over 500 members strong.
How can people reach you?
You can contact the Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by U.S mail at P.O. Box 6500, Yuma, AZ 85366. Our monthly meetings are the first Wednesday of every month at the American Legion Post 19, 2575 W. Virginia Dr., Yuma.