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Location: Arizona
Joined: 08/01/2005
Posts: 8
AZ Unit 10 rifle Bull Elk, Sept. 30th

Our first elk hunt is over. I made SO many mistakes and learned SO much about hunting elk through these goof-ups. I think my biggest battles were the ones in my head, not so much between me and the elk. Example: I would know which group of trees the animals were within, yet (after a couple hours of watching the trees) I'd start doubting they were there. Then I'd move in too quickly and get made by a cow through the trees/bushes. I learned that I was looking for elk bodies in the trees, more than looking for elk shapes THROUGH the trees, which is how they found me on more stalks than I want to post here.

What a hunt. As an "elk rookie," I found even more respect and understanding of the experienced hunters that have done this for years. Hats off to you guys!

Here are a couple pix...enjoy! Thanks for your help! Thumbs up

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Location: North Eastern Arizona
Joined: 07/03/2005
Posts: 99
AZ Unit 10 rifle Bull Elk, Sept. 30th

iheartoutdoors,

Congrats on the hunt success!! I'd be proud. And don't sweat the mistakes, sounds like you learned a lot from this adventure. Sorry I didn't post sooner, I've been really busy doing some of my own scouting in Unit 27. Thanks for posting the pics too! Definately sounds like a hunt you'll always remember. Yes

AZThunder

Location: Kent, Washington
Joined: 10/08/2005
Posts: 2
Unit 10 Late Bull tag

AZThunder. Good info to say the least. I happen to draw a late bull tag (sorry, I know us out of state guys arn't too popular with the way the draw went the last two years but I keep getting told to apply and obviously got lucky). I happen to be hunting in Colorado for deer two weeks prior to the Arizona bull hunt. My plan was to head down around Nov. 12th and locate a good area for a camp and scout right up to the opener. I've heard that the bulls seem to be in higher elevations once the early season is done? I've also heard that I'll be looking at a lot of broken bulls. With the closure of the Rose well area, what's your thoughts on the possibilities of success given that some of the hunters won't venture far from their vehicle. I don't mind packing elk a ways on foot if it means a greater chance at harvesting a big bull. Also, what's your thoughts on the following? Because of Colorado, I'll have an ATV with me on a trailer. I noticed your post about leave the ATV on the trailer when on the Big Boquillas ranch. Any ideas if they'll denie me access even though it's on a trailer? The letter from game and fish basically said no off road travel. Much apprecaited for any insight to my much anticipated Arizona hunt. Fact is, I've been thinking more about Arizona than Colorado.

Thanks again.

NWbucknbullchaser

AZThunder wrote:
The Unit 10 early Elk hunt is a great and highly sought after tag. One of, if not the best tag in the state. Count your blessings, you are very lucky! Virtually one half of Unit 10 is on the Big Boquillas Ranch, which is owned by the Navajo Tribe. There are no tresspass or landowner fees to pay on the Boquillas. A number of ranches in the eastern portion of the unit are closed for various reasons. Hunter access is allowed on the Boquillas and other small ranches, but they do require hunter's and their parties to register in at various register stations. Pica Camp being the closest at the southern access. (License plate, vehicle description, name, number in party, and hunt license# info is required.) Get caught without registering on the Boquillas and you can expect to get your privileges revoked and/or fined by G&F. Shame on You! You'll also be banned from hunting here, escorted out, and thus your tag will be worthless, and then limited only to Public Lands. Small price to pay to hunt this great unit. FYI, the Rose Well area is still closed to hunter accesss due to environmental issues, and will remain closed until those issues are addressed. Special Unit 10 Access maps are available through most regional G&F offices. I highly suggest obtaining one if this is your first visit.

I just participated as a volunteer on a Trash CleanUp Project sponsored by the Mohave Valley Sportsmans Club. This cleanup is done in co-operation with G&F and the Navajo tribe to preserve the hunting privileges and the 3,000 big-game tags this year. G&F currently has a verbal and renewable 1 yr. agreement with the tribe to keep hunter access open, as long as there's a yearly cleanup. Expect to see G&F WM Tim Pender while here. Great guy, with 30 yrs in the department.

I also highly suggest carrying plenty of spare gas, a good shovel, and a worthy spare tire. Rains and/or snow can make travel in here extremely difficult. A GPS can also be a Godsend, as a few of the smaller ranches may/will be locked, and access back the way you came can be long and cumbersome. Good luck on your hunt.

AZThunder

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Location: North Eastern Arizona
Joined: 07/03/2005
Posts: 99
AZ Unit 10 rifle Bull Elk, Sept. 30th

NWbucknbullchaser,

I personally welcome all out-of-state hunters. If you drew a tag here, then you drew it fair and square. I also wish you much success. I heard reports yesterday that 40+ bulls have been taken out of Unit 10 in the 400 class so far this year. The rifle hunt should be equally productive. Hunt smarter, not harder. As for the quads, I would think as long as they remain on the trailer then there wouldn't be any problem. Remember, half of Unit 10 is public lands and it's there that you'll be able to utilize your quads. I can't see the Boquillas Ranch folks prohibiting you access through the ranch to access public lands pulling your trailer. Perhaps a short visit with ranch personel or AZG&F will help clear the matter?

As for the Rose Well closure and walking in. I'd suspect it would be very worthwhile to give it a good effort. Most hunters won't journey more than a mile from their vehicles. Rumor has it that USO has secured special arrangements and priveldges for vehicular access within the closure area from the Navajo Tibe. Nothing confirmed and what I've been hearing is basically just "hear-say". Again, good luck, and be sure and stop back in with an update and some photos from your hunt.

AZThunder Thumbs up

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/09/2005
Posts: 2
AZ Unit 10 rifle Bull Elk, Sept. 30th

iheartoutdoors,
Glad to hear your hunt went well. How did your father and brother do on the hunt?

My son and I will be hunting 7 west (next to unit 10) for cows this week. It will be my son's first elk hunt.

Location: Kent, Washington
Joined: 10/08/2005
Posts: 2
AZ Unit 10 rifle Bull Elk, Sept. 30th

AZ, thanks again for the info.

40+, 400 class bulls so far??? WOW!!! I knew this was going to be a great year for horn growth with all the moisture you folks have had but that's awesome if the reports are accurate!!!

Am I being realistic to think I might have a chance at a 350 class bull given the fact I pass on alot of animals and am willing to hunt hard as well as smart for it? Any ideas other than the Rose well area would be greatly appeciated as well.

Also, a big thank you for your efforts in the clean-up work party. Too many of us have an oportunity to make the area we hunt a better place but fail to act. Again, a big thanks.

Now for the "going out on a limb" part.... As for the USO rumor, I guess I have to say "that figures!!!" The more I read and understand about this organization the more sour the taste. Although I don't personally desire to hire an outfitter I think the majority of them are a benifit to certain hunters and the USO seems to detract from that industry as a whole. Outfitting should be a viable option for the folks who find it to fit their hunting needs, however, it should be a shared opportunity. If the vehicle access turns out to be akin to a "tresspass fee", then so be it. Sorry, for the digress..... enough said.

Anyhow thanks again for your insight and i'll be sure to post after the season.

Offline
Location: North Eastern Arizona
Joined: 07/03/2005
Posts: 99
AZ Unit 10 rifle Bull Elk, Sept. 30th

NWbucknbullchaser,

My son and I discussed the topic again this evening and he informed me that I was mistaken. He maintains what we were told was that 40+ bulls in excess of 400 have been taken statewide so far, with 18 reportedly being taken from Units 8 and 10. I can't confirm or deny this report, and it was told to us in passive conversation by a guy who devoutly elk hunts Unit 10.

Quote:
Am I being realistic to think I might have a chance at a 350 class bull given the fact I pass on alot of animals and am willing to hunt hard as well as smart for it? Any ideas other than the Rose well area would be greatly appeciated as well.

I think you've got an excellent chance of harvesting a bull in the 350 range. Shoot me an email at thunderdanbnsf@hotmail.com and I'll send you some additional info.

AZThunder

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 08/01/2005
Posts: 8
AZ Unit 10 rifle Bull Elk, Sept. 30th

Ralfus,

Dad had the misfortune of getting very ill the night before opening day, and had to go home. My brother and I hunted hard, but he didn't end up getting a shot. He had to leave a couple days before close, back to work.

One exception was opening morning, when I was calling in a 6 x 6 to my brother, and it was trucking across the hill to us. At the same time he looked to his left, and a spike was staring us down from about 25 feet. Of course he passed on the spike. Bad news was the big bull changed his mind and left. Passing on the spike was the right decision, but he still thinks about it!

We can hardly wait to get another elk hunt someday. I don't think it gets much better than that for me.

Best of luck with your son's hun. My son is 8 and chomping at the bit. Have you hunted 7 before?

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/09/2005
Posts: 2
AZ Unit 10 rifle Bull Elk, Sept. 30th

Sorry about your father getting sick. Make sure he puts in next time and gets himself one.
Opening day (cow tag) I had the most fun of any hunt so far. We were heading to a specific area when a herd of 15-18 crossed the meadow next to us at full speed. There were 4 of us hunting and I wanted my son and brother in law to bag one since they never had before. I managed to figure out what treeline they split up in and I made my first serious attempt at using a cow call. They started appearing but without a clear shot. We kept focusing on that group while 4 more cows appeared to our left at 110 yards. My son shot a niced size cow. Then the original 3 walked out in front of us and my brother in law showed up and bagged his. I placed my crosshairs on 4 others but didn't take one since we had enough work ahead of us already.

Tracking those elk, calling them back in, and 2 first timers filling their tags made it the best hour of hunting I have ever experienced. Big smile Big smile Thumbs up

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Joined: 11/08/2005
Posts: 5
AZ Unit 10 rifle Bull Elk, Sept. 30th

Hey great bull. I hunted my first archery elk hunt a couple of years ago in 6b and found alot of flaws real quick. I actually filled my tag the evening on opening day but I was on bulls all day and seemed to either call to much and be impatient or else not have enough confidence in my shooting skills. I guess I have decided that the only real way to get over any of it is to first of all spend as much time around elk as I can to figure out their tendancies and I have really learned a ton just by talking to guys that have done it for a long time. Most experienced guys are tickled pink when you ask them for tips. Last year I got to talking to an old timer up in Kaibab and he gave me more hot spots that you can imagine. He didnt care if I shot a deer in "his area", he was just happy for me to see some action. Thats what its all about.

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