The Arizona antelope and elk permits for the fall have already been mailed out to those hunters who were fortunate enough to draw a tag. But, there is another deadline coming June 8 for the very popular deer, turkey, sheep and buffalo hunts. The two drawing dates were created so that a hunter could plan for other hunts if they knew they already had an elk or antelope tag.
The new system has been well received, but one has to pay attention to the calendar so you won’t miss another opportunity at hunting other species of big game. The most popular hunts are for whitetail or mule deer, which are numerous from mid-October through the end of November.
The Arizona hunting regulations booklet and applications can be obtained at most sporting goods stores, Walmart or one of the Game and Fish’s six regional offices. The application process is very simple for first-time users, with pages 18-19 in the booklet providing step-by-step instructions for filling out the application.
When choosing a deer unit, it would be wise to study the drawing odds chart on pages 46-47, which might increase the chance of hunting deer in the fall.
The standard “rule of thumb” is to make the first choice the most desired hunt where the odds are low for receiving a tag, then the second or third choices should be a unit where the odds greatly increase on drawing that tag.
Over the years, I have drawn my third, fourth, and fifth choices, which have turned out to be some of my most memorable Arizona deer adventures in places that I have never hunted before. The southern and western portions of Arizona have some great whitetail and mule deer in mountain ranges that require some preseason scouting for hunters new to the unit.
Once the application is completed, it is a good idea to review it a second time and make sure all the necessary information is printed on the correct line. Don’t forget to sign the application and make out the check for the right amount. Page 14 of the hunting regulations booklet has all the necessary information on the cost of the various hunts and tags.
If you haven’t filled out those applications, there is still enough time to get them in the mail and not have to hand deliver them on June 8.
Enjoy this Memorial Day weekend and remember those who valiantly fought to preserve our American freedoms, which includes the right to keep and bear arms. Have a barbecue on the deck and take in the panorama of the Rim Country, God’s creation.