Winter Offers Desert Archery Hunting

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

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The month of January brings on a new fishing and hunting year, which means it's time to buy that 2006 Arizona combination fishing and hunting license. January is also the middle of winter, with most big game seasons well over and fishing is on the back burner until springtime.

Well, if you look at your regulations printed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, there is an over-the-counter archery deer season going on in many desert units.

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Matt Powers (right) and his father, John Sr., are both avid archery hunters who have experienced considerable success.

With a little preplanning you could also be doubling up to hunt archery javelina at the same time. The planning takes place by having filled out an application in the fall and waiting to see if your application number was chosen in the lottery.

Brothers Matt and John Powers both put in, and John was fortunate to draw, an archery tag for javelina, while his brother Matt did not. However, both could hunt different big game in the month of January with their bows. They are avid archers who enjoy the outdoors and each other's company. They were both successful in their January hunting pursuit.

Winter conditions in the lower elevation Arizona desert provide cool mornings and comfortable midday and afternoon hunts.

Probably the most effective method of taking a javelina would be by glassing from a good vantage spot then locating the animals and making the long stalk to get within archery range. It is usually possible to stalk these little critters because their eyesight is not as acute as deer, elk, or antelope.

A javelina does have a good sense of smell, so a downwind stalk is essential. That is, when you are approaching the game, always have the wind or breeze blowing at your face. Archery javelina hunting is a great way to be introduced to the sport of bow and arrow hunting.

The double bonus for January is the over-the-counter archery deer season also taking place in most desert units. The bucks are in rut, which does make them more vulnerable at this time of year. They are moving a little more all day long because of being in rut and cooler daytime temperatures. The only drawback to this January hunt is if you place your tag on a deer you may not apply for some of those coveted rifle deer tags in the fall.

With the mild January weather, you might consider this hunt for another opportunity to be outdoors in Arizona. If you missed the draw for archery javelina hunting, keep October in mind for the deadline next year and you too can be hunting two big game animals of Arizona on the same trip to the outdoors.

This weekend enjoy God's creation.

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