Arizona Memories: A little bit of everything

April 16, 2012

As we continue to celebrate Arizona’s 100th year as a state, we asked you to share your favorite memories of living here. Tice Supplee moved here almost 40 years ago, and has spent decades studying the state’s wildlife. She originally came to take a job at the University of Arizona. 

Supplee when she worked as a game ranger on muleback Supplee when she worked as a game ranger on muleback, preparing to track Javelina. (Photo courtesy of Tice Supplee)
Supplee's view from a raft running the Colorado River in 1975 Supplee's view from a raft running the Colorado River in 1975. (Photo courtesy of Tice Supplee)
Tice Supplee Tice Supplee today. (Photo by Nick Blumberg)

I was working on their aquaculture project. We were raising saltwater shrimp in raceways in Tucson. That always gave people pause! 'You're growing shrimp in the desert?'

I was hired by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and became a research assistant. We were studying javelina, also studied black bear and mule deer.

We were putting radios on black bear, and I have a wonderful recollection of us coming up to the site where we had a snare trap. We had used foam rubber so that the bear wouldn't feel the ground give way. As we got close, we watched the foam rubber flying through the air from one side to the other. That's odd ...

As we get closer, we see two bear cubs -- and they're playing toss with the foam rubber! As we get a little bit closer, there was this big 'WOOF!' Mama bear sticks up her head and the two little guys go right up the tree.

Mama had been snared. We were there very early in the morning, so that she wasn't in there very long. We sedated her, put the radio on her, and the little guys watched us the whole time! We let her go, and we got to see them again later and the family was intact. That was a great memory.

Having grown up in the East, most of my family and friends couldn't figure out why I never came back, but you can't replace the diversity that is Arizona. I tell folks, we don't have a lot of anything, and we have a little bit of everything.

You can have a wonderful lifestyle here. I wouldn't replace it. I've really enjoyed being a resident of this state, and feel blessed that this has been my home.

We met Tice through the Public Insight Network. To learn more, click here.

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