New Year’S Day Is Opening Day For Archery Deer Season


New Year’s Day for most families revolve around the TV watching parades, football bowl games, and “Law and Order” reruns interspersed with numerous trips to the kitchen table for delicious foods which will be paid for later with some kind of exercise program. The holiday season is almost over!

Believe it or not, it is the opening day of archery deer season in the local units and archery javelina for those who had enough forethought to apply in the early fall. I didn’t, so off to Walmart for an over-the-counter non-permit tag and a chance to launch an arrow at an antlered deer.

There is a very generous season during the entire month of January for those hunters who want to try to outsmart a wily whitetail or desert muley with a string and a stick or more conventional archery equipment.

For the cost of $34.75, one can try their luck at stalking within 40 yards or sitting in a treestand and attempting to stay warm on a cool, crisp, winter morning.

 With the rut in full swing, seeing deer is possible all day long as a doe in estrus is being followed closely by bucks of all ages.  

Observing deer add to the excitement of the hunt, but actually tagging a buck during January is a tough accomplishment with the hunter success ratio being very low. The challenge is intriguing, plus it is an excuse to be outdoors getting a little exercise after the holiday season.

A warm January sun, glassing a desert hillside for a deer or javelina is hard to beat for any outdoorsman who enjoys archery hunting.

When the stalk begins, make sure you are downwind and use the drainages for the approach and maybe there will be a chance for a 40-yard shot or less. There are so many variables which can impact the success of a hunt, and that is the obvious challenge of January archery hunting.

By the way, if you successfully tag a javelina and want to share the meat, give John Ketchem, the principal of Tonto Basin School a call. He is the resident, deep-pit, javelina, barbecue chef of the Payson area.

If you are looking for something to do which might shed a few holiday pounds, buy a 2009 hunting license and deer tag, head for the hills, and try your luck at archery deer hunting. This weekend enjoy the Arizona outdoors, God’s creation.


Tim Barrett 8 years ago

I had the opportunity to hunt Javelina in the late 80's with a bow. I also had a deer tag along just in case. These hunts are the best values for hunters in Arizona, bar none!


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