Epilogue: FortGrant Fence “Fixed”!
We “endeavored to persevere” and it finally paid off! It took over 2½ years of diligence to get on the ground and make the fence modifications to
the barrier fence on the Fort Grant Road south of Bonita. Finally with the assistance of Game & Fish Commissioners (and AAF members) Bill McLean and Mike Golightly, it came to fruition.
On a chilly morning April 9th, 8 AAF members, 10 Game & Fish folks, and 12 SE AZ Sportsman’s Club members, set to work on the nastiest and sharpest barb wired fence you could
find. The lowest strand might’ve been 6-8 inches off the ground. Have you ever seen rabbit hair on a fence? Pronghorn learned a long time ago that this corridor wasn’t
too friendly, and the lack of sign and tracks bore out those observations.
Without rehashing two years worth of issues, plans were put in place with the approval of the State Land Department and its lessee, Jeff Holmack. In fact Mr. Holmack drove to the site on Saturday,
and all reports were he was pleased with the work and results. The only party involved that didn’t make an appearance was GrahamCounty, they were no where to be found.
On Saturday we modified 4 miles of the fence, and went back on Sunday with a few remaining folks to modify another mile. That left a short expanse to finish, which was going to be addressed by Game
& Fish and SE AZ Sportsmen at a later date.
We saw no pronghorn sign along the way, which was disappointing, but understandable, as the fence had been in place since August of 2003. We think we got the modifications completed ahead of the
fawning, so hopefully the resident herd will learn quickly that this transition corridor is once again open!
Thanks to the following folks for helping us bring this saga to a successful ending! Special thanks to Scott Heap and the SE AZ Sportsmen Club for their fine turnout!
AAF…Jim & Jimmy Unmacht, Dave Laird, Sue Foote (all from Phoenix), Connie Taylor (Mesa), Lance Bemis (Mesa), Larry Audsley (Tucson), Tom Lowe (Douglas)
SE Arizona Sportsmen Club….Scott Heap, Chris, Cade & Chad Kelliher, Sam Turman, Chuck Brooks, Rayburn Smith, Zane & Stephani Poor, Les Wolslagel, Wayne Woodley, and Dale Audilett.
G & F …Gerry Perry, Richard Ockenfels, Joe Hall, John Bacorn, Joel Cantu, Troy Christensen, Jim & Levi Heffelfinger, Gilbert Gonzales, and Duane Aubuchon
Photos by Jim Unmacht and Richard Ockenfels