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Help with Arizona Hunting - Elk or Antelope

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by GeorgiaGlockMan, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. GeorgiaGlockMan

    GeorgiaGlockMan Aggie in Exile.

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    I am going to be working on a project for a client this summer and fall in Phoenix, AZ.

    I'll be in and out of Phoenix pretty regularly, but wanted to hear what I need to do NOW to apply for either and Elk or Antelope hunt.

    My preference would be for archery Elk, but I'd take what ever I can get.

    I've been to the AZ Game and Fish Website and have downloaded the 2005-2006 regs. I'll pour over them later this week.

    Would I have a better chance drawing elk or antelope?

    Archery or Rifle? (I don't know that I'd be super interested in archery hunts for antelope, but again I'd try to draw what ever would be the best chances.

    What are the best areas for each?

    How many applications for drawings can you submit?

    Any details or input would be very much appreciated since I am starting at square one.

    I'd also entertain the idea of traveling to neighbor states for a 4-5 day trip if I thought it would be a much better set-up than AZ could provide.

    I've never hunted with a guide but would consider it if they came highly recommended. I'd probably be by myself or with one friend.

    I am going to do this this year and wanted to make it as worth while as possible since I don't get many chances to hunt (or even experience the outdoors) much when I am out of state.

    I am primarily a white-tail guy, but generally a hunt-nut.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
     
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    Well you're in a unique spot being an out-of-stater. See a couple years back some momo outfitter sued the state of AZ. He said that there weren't enough out of state tags being handed out. The old rule was 90% in state 10% out of state. Well the guy won his case. To make it 'fair' the G&F handed out no out of state tags! They have since changed the system again and again and to be honest I'm not altogether sure what the hand out is anymore or what it will be for next fall.

    April is normally the time when the new regs and drawing applications start. The following is all depending on if it is the same as last year.

    - Tags and licenses need to be paid up front. If you aren't drawn you will be refunded in full the price of the tag. The license is non-refundable.

    - You can apply for up to 5 areas (picked in order) for each hunt.

    - You can apply for as many species as you want.

    For success rates in both drawing and hunts, check the back of the regs. They list everything out per species, hunt type and area. Elk will be your better chance, but I would put in for both if you can swing the no interest loan to the state.

    If you don't get drawn you still have bear, lion and archery deer you can get nonpermit tags for and you license will allow you to also hunt coyote, bobcat, fox, rabbits, quail and doves (doves also need a $3 bird stamp).

    I know a few guides around the state. The guys I know really well and would highly recommend stick mainly with bear and lions. I don't know many of the elk guides and the only fella I know who does deer and antelope does so in Old Mexico because he's a G&F officer and can't guide in the state. If you'd be willing to take a trip, he could run you down into Sonora for mule or cous deer.

    Expect to have your wallet open for either elk or antelope in AZ. A rough estimate would be $250-$500/day plus trophy fee on a successful hunt ranging from $1500-$3000. Some guys charge flat fees irregardless of success. In any case it's not exactly cheap to hire a guide. It's not exactly cheap to be a guide either. Trucks, trailers, horses, tack, food, gas, etc. My buddy charges $200/day + $1500 trophy fee for bear and he doesn't make much at all even with me as free labor. If you're looking for a big trophy elk or antelope start thinking $7000 and look up.

    I'm not to sure where to point you for areas if you want to go it alone. Areas 22 North, 22 South and 23 are all good elk areas, but they don't come in 'til December. Which is a great time to hunt there. The Mazatzal area in unit 22 is in late October, but it's impossible to hunt elk there without horses or mules. It's all wilderness area and the closest you can get your truck is about 14 miles away at the base of the mountains. You can pack a deer out of there, but it's not easy. Which is why the hunting is so good. You'd have to be an idiot (*raises hand) to hunt that on foot. :)

    I've seen antelope around the state, but I only know one guy who has ever gotten drawn.

    Another thing to keep in mind is early Fall is still pretty warm around here. An early September hunt is nuts in some places. Even mid October is still too warm in certain areas. Unless you can rush your meat to a cooler, you'll probably lose it. That's kind of hard to do when you're 10 miles from your truck over rugged terrain. I think a lot of the hunts are scheduled too early.

    Hope this helps.
     

  3. GeorgiaGlockMan

    GeorgiaGlockMan Aggie in Exile.

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    That is a big help.

    Thanks, I really appreciate the time you put into the post.
     
  4. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    No problem at all. I understand fully how hard it can be sometimes to plan a hunt in other states.

    If I can help later, just holler.