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Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Joined: 04/29/2010
Posts: 4
FNG in AZ

Hey all. I am new to Arizona as well as this site.

A little background:
I was born in MD but did all of my growing up in WV. I grew up in the woods and was hunting small game at 10 and went on my first deer hunt with my dad at 15. At 16 I moved to SD and finished my HS there. We hunted deer and pheasants there. I joined the military and unfortunately haven't had a lot of time to hunt, but I am now stationed in Arizona and I'm trying to get active again. I have been in the Air Force for over 16 years now and will be retiring within about 4-6 years.

Anyway, are there any Arizona hunters here that could give me some insight on where to hunt, some general costs of hunting in AZ, and any other info as well would be appreciated. I will most likely purchase a rifle before this fall. I was thinking along the lines of a .270 or 30-06. What do you think? I am living in the Sierra Vista area, so if there are any SE AZ hunters here that wouldn't mind an extra hunting buddy, let me know.

exbiologist's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Re: FNG

Welcome to the site. You're not too late to apply for deer in Arizona this year, but I think you're too late for antelope and elk. However, there should be some leftover elk licenses, usually cows.

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Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Joined: 04/29/2010
Posts: 4
Re: FNG in AZ

Thanks exbiologist. I will look into the deer license. I'll have to get used to the lottery type system for hunting. Where I come from, you just buy a license and the applicable tags.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Re: FNG in AZ

Well, the regs are out right now, just came out today or yesterday I think. Familiarize yourself with the draw process, http://www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/h_f/regulations/HuntingRegulations10-11.pdf. It's not that hard, nonwesterners make too big a deal of how complicated it is. You pick a unit or several, look up the hunt code and fill out the application. Now, picking which units can be another story. You have to decide on a strategy, whether you want only the best trophy areas or if you just want an opportunity to hunt locally. You also should understand the draw odds. Once again, not rocket science, they are on page 46 of the regs booklet. Many units have 100% success for drawing, so you may want to consider one of those as a back up. Also, get your residency requirements straightened out now. Most states allow active duty military members to buy licenses at resident prices (do you want to spend $380 for a resident deer license?)

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Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Joined: 04/29/2010
Posts: 4
Re: FNG in AZ

Thanks again for all of the info. Spent the last hour going through the regs manual. The good thing is down in my area (35A) the draw % is pretty high. So it should be pretty easy. I am checking with post officials to see when and where I can hunt on post as well.

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Joined: 02/09/2008
Posts: 17
Re: FNG in AZ

There are special hunts on Ft. Huachuca for military. Also although you missed the elk draw there are a couple areas you can hunt with over the counter tags. The elk density is very low but if you know where to look - or hire a guide that does - success is possible. Also Apache and Navajo reservations have not had their draw yet. Tag cost is a bit more but cow tags and raghorn bulls are affordable. Good luck and thank you for your service.

Eric

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Joined: 04/28/2010
Posts: 9
Re: FNG in AZ

I'm live in Sierra Vista also. Been deer hunting in this area the last five years. If I can help you out give me a call . 520-249-7602 Thanks, Donnie Hancock

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Moderator
Location: Kentucky/ Colorado
Joined: 06/23/2005
Posts: 1740
Re: FNG in AZ

That is very kind of you Donald, Thanks and Welcome to BGH!

AjoOldTimer's picture
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Location: Ajo, Arizona
Joined: 07/09/2010
Posts: 66
Welcome to big game hunt and

Welcome to big game hunt and thank you for your service. I also shoot a .270 and would pick it over the .30-06. What are you looking to hunt again?

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Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Joined: 04/29/2010
Posts: 4
Thanks Ajo.  I am probably

Thanks Ajo.  I am probably going to just look at hunting deer at this point, whether they are Muleys or Whitetail.  Due to funds and some other things I am putting off my hunting for this season.  So it'll be yet another year of waiting.  Due to life, I haven't really hunted in about 20 years, and really do look forward to getting back into it.  My son is 9 and I'd like to get him started soon too, but I guess I need to polish my skills up. 

I used to hunt in WV, and it was almost too easy.  There was a one buck limit yearly per hunter, with extra archery tags available.  I don't think any one person could take more than 3 deer total per year.  The land had been hunted by my family for years and there were blinds built in the best producing spots that remained there for years.  Unfortunatly, my great uncle had to sell the land about 15 years ago, so we no longer own it.

But I am looking to getting back into it and feel the thrill and adrenaline of seeing that deer in the crosshairs.  I may get into some of the other big game as long as time and money allows.  I've noticed that it's not too cheap sometimes.  Thanks for the welcome.

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
FNG in AZ

A belated welcome to the site, and always glad to meet someone else from Arizona. By now I'm sure you have found the answers to your questions about cost etc. by visiting the Game and Fish dept. etc. It's been a few years now, but I use to hunt the Coues whitetail down your way in 35b when I could, near Patagonia; and still try for the limited Dec. hunt when offered. I think they are tough little critters in comparison to other deer, LOL.

For what it is worth, if you haven't bought the rifle yet, and plan to apply for Elk here, I'd go with the 30-06 between those two if it were me.

Have fun, and take care.

PS- I was in the Air Force as well... long ago though... ;-)