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Joined: 07/28/2010
Posts: 1
Arizona 6A-Elk

I have drawn a late season (Dec) elk tag for Arizona unit 6A and have never hunted this area. Has anyone hunted this area and where would be my best chance given weather conditions, etc.

azelk's picture
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Joined: 06/11/2007
Posts: 21
Late Season

Hike up Mormon Mountain

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
That's a popular unit, but I

That's a popular unit, but I have only been in there once with a friend for Elk later in the season, and only for a day to visit. He happened to be hunting an area going in from near Clint's Well off hwy 87 if you have a map (small store, gas, food stop). There was a lot of fresh snow at the time, making tracking easier, and I saw plenty of Elk, mostly cows and lesser bulls though; but again I was just there a day. If near enough, you can also drop your Elk off at two different meat companies for processing if you want, that usually take up residence at/near Clint's Well during the Elk seasons. Great little restaurant there too if you get tired of eating nuts and berries at camp, LOL.

Anyway, just in case you hadn't seen it, I got this below from the Game and Fish website at azgfd.com under the hunting/"where to hunt" link. Good luck to you.  

 

Elk

Overview: Approximately 20 % of Arizona's elk hunting opportunity is found in Unit 6A. Older age "mature" bulls are taken on a regular basis. The secret to harvesting an elk is spending time scouting just prior to the hunts opening. Scouting months in advance does little good, as elk move around quite a bit. Elk are found throughout the Unit, with the exception of the southernmost areas. Elk are even observed in the Camp Verde area. Although there are many access roads in the Unit, the key is getting out on foot or horseback away from those roads. Keep in mind it is unlawful to operate motor vehicles cross country during a hunt, with the exception of doing so to recover an animal that is down and tagged. ATV's have become very popular with hunters over the past few years, but recognize that animals key into the noise of motor vehicles and avoid areas where they hear them. It is estimated that an elk can hear a quad from up to a half mile away.

Look for areas that afford a decent view of the surrounding country and glass for them at sunrise. Of course, this means you need to be at that location prior to the sun coming up! Even the cheapest pair of binoculars allows you to see much better than the naked eye. It often surprises me how many hunters I encounter in the field that do not have binoculars with them. Maybe it is because they feel elk are big and therefore easy to see, but I can assure you quality optics will greatly enhance your chances of harvesting an elk.

Areas: The Unit has been divided into three sub-units for some of the hunts. Make sure to consult the regulations and your permit so you don't find yourself in the wrong area. These sub-units were created to help better manage the elk and distribute the harvest pressure.

Bear in mind that nobody "owns" the stock tanks, or the hunting rights to those tanks. Remember that we are all part of a group that enjoys the outdoors, and we must stick together to enjoy these activities in the future. In the past, hunters have been charged with crimes as serious as aggravated assault as a result of conflicts over "who's hunting where". Erecting permanent tree stands and damaging trees by putting spikes in them is illegal.

General Seasons: I often hear hunters refer to the antlerless hunts as being easy. In my mind, that is simply not true. The only reality to this issue is that there are more antlerless elk out in the woods than there are antlered elk, by a ratio of about 3 to 1. Elk are found throughout the Unit during the general season hunts. For the late hunt, weather can be a factor. In this part of the State, elk don't normally migrate due to snowfall. When temperatures get below freezing at night for extended periods, the grasses go dormant, and elk work their way down to lower elevations in search of more palatable foods.

High points are where you want to be, before the sun comes up. Glass for elk with good binoculars. This is generally easier in the pinon-juniper areas because you can see farther. Often in the ponderosa pines, all you see is trees. Add to this the fact that pinon-juniper grows in lower elevations (where it is warmer) and you can see why I recommend it. I like to find areas where few roads exist, hike to the high points and glass in the mornings, and record these locations on my GPS. That way when hunting season starts a week or two later, I can walk right to them in the dark and be ready to start glassing when the sun comes up.

Elk like to feed up on the flats at nighttime, and work their way to the drainages when the sun comes up. Then they tend to bed down during the day. Look for the larger canyons, then concentrate of the smaller drainages that feed into the big canyons.

All Hunts: There are two places in Unit 6A where vehicles are not allowed for any reason, including recovering game. These are great spots because animals like to be in places where they are not disturbed. These areas are the Pine Grove and Rattlesnake Quiet Areas.

The Pine Grove Quiet Area is especially good during the earlier seasons. The boundary is from Upper Lake Mary south along Lake Mary road to the Mormon Lake road. Head west on the Mormon Lake road to the 132 road. At the junction of 132 and 132D, take the 132D road back towards Upper Lake Mary. Note: The 132D road is very rough.

The Rattlesnake Quiet Area is located west of Stoneman Lake. It begins at the Stoneman Lake exit at Interstate 17, north to the Rocky Park exit. Then travelling south down the 80 road to the 239 road. From the 80/239 junction, head east to the 665 road, then south to the junction of roads 665 & 213. This area always has elk in it. But it is a rough place to hunt. You will need horses/mules or a pack frame to get your elk out.

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