If you are an archery hunter, then mid-December through the entire month of January is your opportunity to hunt deer in the northern half of the state below the Mogollon Rim.
This generous 45-day season is lengthy enough to allow for numerous planned trips, as well as those spur of the moment decisions to go sit in a tree stand for an hour or two.
Local archer, Jed Nitso, had one of those days on Dec. 27 in Unit 23. He was using the glass-and-stalk method, which means that you use your binoculars to find the buck and then devise a plan to get close enough for an archery shot.
After locating a dandy 5x7 mule deer buck, he began the laborious stalk, which can take all day to get into position.
He then began closing the distance to 40 yards, making a clean shot and the trophy was his.
As with most archery deer hunters, he had made previous stalks during the season that came up empty because of all the variables that come into play.
Nitso said the toughest factor for him was the changing wind currents, which always tip off a trophy buck.
Along with this mule deer buck, he has also taken an antelope, bull elk and a javelina with his bow during the Arizona hunting seasons.
Jed graduated from Payson High School about 20 years ago and is currently employed as a heavy equipment operator for the Arizona Game and Fish in the Developmental Branch of Construction.
When not hunting, Jed also enjoys bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake, just a few miles from home in Tonto Basin.
This weekend enjoy the Arizona outdoors, God's creation.