The antelope and elk permits have already been issued for 2013 and those lucky hunters who drew a tag already have a week or two in the fall set aside for the pursuit of big game.
The next lottery drawing is for deer, turkey, fall javelina, sheep and buffalo. Hunting these animals is by permit only, designated by specific hunting units throughout the state of Arizona.
The application process must be completed and returned to one of the seven department offices by 5 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, which is drawing close.
Online applications can be found and completed at azgfd.gov (click on big game permits).
Paper applications can be obtained at most sporting goods stores and mailed in, provided they are in the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s office by the deadline date and time.
Last-minute applications can be hand-delivered to one of the regional offices. Mesa, Flagstaff or Pinetop are within two hours driving time for those last-minute hunters who may have procrastinated a bit in filling out the application or don’t trust the Internet process.
Choosing a unit to hunt deer is often a pondered and studied question. A general rule of thumb approach is to make the first choice the dream hunt that you have been waiting to draw for years, while the second pick is a hunt unit where the odds favor drawing a tag by the lottery. Oftentimes, the third choice should be a unit where the odds of drawing a tag are close to 100 percent.
This information can be obtained by going to pages 49-50 in the newest hunting regulations booklet. The drawing odds and hunter success are both given for each of the specific units within the state. It is important to note many of the units will have several hunts for either whitetail or mule deer and may have numerous week-long hunts.
Careful study is needed in picking the right unit and hunt number, which will help avoid making a mistake and placing the wrong hunt number on the application.
Take your time when filling out the application and double check all the information before sealing the envelope or pressing complete on the AZGF Web page.
The most common errors for rejection of an application are not signing the application, not checking either resident or non-resident, or the correct amount on a check.
It may be wise to have another person double check your application.
Good luck in the drawing and all applicants should know by early August if they drew that special tag they have been waiting for.
I know I am hoping this is the year for that desert bighorn permit.
Enjoy the Arizona outdoors, God’s creation.