September is the transition month where you put the fishing equipment in the corner and pull the hunting equipment out of storage.
I wouldn’t store the angling gear yet, because the fall fishing for trout, bass, and crappies can be nothing short of spectacular. Living in Arizona with the mild climate, we can have the best of both for a few more months.
The archery hunting seasons for a variety of big game started in the fourth week of August as permit holders were stalking antelope in the grasslands of Arizona from Prescott to the New Mexico border. While this is going on, you can purchase over-the-counter archery deer tags for the generous early three-week season for much of the northern half of the state.
With the warm weather and the unusually dry monsoon season, water again is the key. Anywhere there is a spring or cattle stock tank, deer are also close by. The Coues Whitetail will go to water any time during the day, while a mule deer has a tendency to water late in the afternoon just as the sun is setting.
A ground or tent blind can be almost unbearable with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees. A hunter must prepare with plenty of water and lightweight clothing, then be ready to wait. Archery hunting is a waiting game for that one perfect broadside shot, so a hunter must be in the field and committed for the entire day. But when it happens, it is worth the wait.
Avid archer, Brian Goble had been planning a deer hunt for his grandson for months. This included lengthy scouting trips with miles of hiking trying to find a water source for the late August hunt. Many water sources had been going dry since mid-summer with the lack of rain so his scouting in the Tonto was getting more extensive, then he found his bonanza. It was a stock tank with enough water and plenty of big deer tracks.
After a lengthy hike, they set up camp for the next day’s hunt. The excitement of the hunt and being with his grandson, Nate, 14, made all the preseason scouting worth every minute of the experience. They waited patiently for his grandson to get a shot and it happened during the heat of the day as a fine three point with double eyeguards stood broadside at 34 yards.
He released the arrow; it was the perfect shot, and Nate harvested his first archery buck after three years of near misses. There were plenty of hugs and congratulatory hand shakes as grandfather and grandson waited in the pop-up blind for about 30 minutes before they left to retrieve his trophy. The Goble family will converse about these kinds of family hunting and fishing experiences for years to come.
This weekend, take a family member fishing or hunting in the Arizona outdoors, God’s creation.