Contributors to this thread:
Do you take the waitlist tag?
Got a call from AZ today that I was next on the waitlist for my first choice archery tag. I have an OTC tag for Idaho already to hunt with my brother. This will be his second archery elk hunt and I wanted to help him get a bull. It's 15 days till the AZ opener and I havent given AZ much thought until today.
The wildlife manager says it is a good year for moister and amazing green up happened in a burned out area of the forest. Except the FS has closed the burn area due to concerns over flash flooding. Gotta figure the locals and guides have been and will be in there anyway. Don't have a game plan and will lose my points and eat my ID tag. My brother will probably hunt with a friend but likely come back early cause he doesn't know the area and based on last year (first year out) can't call worth a lick. Solo hunt AZ in a good zone, in a good water year with good horn growth or stick with original game plan and head to ID OTC?
Gonna make up my mind tomorrow.
What unit and how many points? Will you be guaranteed to draw next year?
They would take my 11 points if I take the tag this year. Then I would have to start accumulating them through the draw. No guarantee to draw next year. It is 7W. 175 tags in 2016 with 40% success. I got good reports from my contacts and will get more info from the Unit game manager tomorrow.
The ID unit has typically has a low number of hunters and last year had 35% success with 36% 6x6 or better. I figured it would be a good place to get some chances at bulls for my broham.
My expectations are that I would have an opportunity at 320-350 bulls in AZ. But I would be hunting alone and sitting water doesnt sound like an option as they have had plenty of rain to spread the elk and I heard they go nocturnal after the first couple of days of guys stinking up the water holes.
I have a climbing tree stand but would probably spot and stalk with or use locator calls and sneak in.
I figure I would have 7 1/2 or 8 days max to hunt AZ but would have 3 days to scout before the opener. ID is open now and we would have 12-13 days of hunting. I gotta return to work on the 25th.
I'd take that tag in a NY minute. I wouldn't sit water though.
What are your Idaho hunt dates?
Many of us hunt two states for bow elk year in---year out.
Take your bro to Az and then up to Idaho or vice versa...
Enjoy whatever you decide
Good luck, Robb
AZ, good moisture year, 7W, you can hunt Idaho next year.
I understand your dilema, tho. Half the fun would be the preparation and anticipation of a great AZ hunt and changing plans would affect your brother's hunt. Tough decision.
Take the tag in AZ and go hunt. You may want to look at hunting the last 10 days of the Arizona season. When does Idaho open? Any way you can do both? Early help for your brother in ID then drop back to AZ for your hunt. It's only gonna get better as the season moves along.
I'd start in 7W crawlin & callin. I'm sure you can get some decent bulls to play.
That's the thing if I had known earlier I would have scheduled my vacation to hunt the entire AZ season but as it is we have scheduled a bunch of meetings around my vacation and I'm expected to be back on the 25th. AZ season is 15th - 28th which means I will miss the 24th thru 28th or five days. ID season is from 8/30 thru 9/30. The plan was to drive up 9/8 and be back by 9/24. I have had good luck in the early to mid parts of September. I am thinking that the memories of hunting together with my brother will be just as sweet as being in an elk rich zone with lots of potential. We'll see, I have to talk to a few folks today, just hope my puppy like excitement of hunting in AZ keeps me from making a wise decision. LOL...
That AZ unit is going to be the real deal year in and year out. You have enough points to reasonably expect to draw it in the coming year or two. Personally on a great tag like that I'd want to have time to plan and scout, etc. Personally I would go with my brother to ID, make some great memories with him and then make more great memories with him when he helps me in AZ in a year or two on a great tag.
I'm with Brotsky. I like planning and giving a premium tag due diligence. Hunt with your brother show him the ropes and hunt Arizona when you have more than two weeks to work out the details. That said it would also be very hard for me to turn the tag down.
Brosky, you are saying the same thing my woman says. Good points.
I appreciate all the responses and am leaning that way. Still want to talk to the FS and Unit Manager one more time. Cheers, Ed
That Az tag is a great tag but the best of the hunt is going to be the last week, not the first. Really feel for you in this situation. It would kill me to be stuck in meetings when the hottest part of the rut is in full swing. good luck to you in whatever you decide to do.
In that case stay with your original plan. With 11 points 12 next year your gonna draw. Then you can plan accordingly.
For me a large part of a premium hunt is the anticipation in the months before. I also like Brotsky's plan. I hunted Arizona last year and the rut action did not really get going until the 21st. I would not miss the last few days.
Agreed...if you can't hunt the whole season in AZ, go to Idaho!
Since you can expect to draw it in the near future I would keep the points and hunt Idaho. That kind of tag deserves a summer full of planning and vacation scheduled around it.
I'd take it....2015 I got the call from Utah DNR two weeks before the season started and still had an incredible hunt. Az limited elk tags for the most part are phenomenal.
I say go with your brother and plan for AZ next year.
I would wait myself. You will get the tag at some point and be able to do it right.
Thanks everyone for your insights. I just got off the phone with AZ and I decided to pass on the tag this year and keep my points. I'm sure we will have a blast in Idaho.
The key points are missing out on a hunt with my brother who has been looking forward to our trip all summer and not being able to hunt the entire season in AZ. I think I could have figured out the unit with a few days of boots on the ground so even though I didn't have the time advanced planning that was less of a concern. The anticipation for Idaho would have been lost too. I hope to see some photos of great bulls on Bowsite that got taken out of 7W this year.
So that's it. Cheers, Ed
Good luck making memories with your brother and good hunting.
Cool. Imagine how excited the next guy on the list is today?? You made someone's day. Good Karma and good luck in ID.
Good decision. Have fun and make lots of memories in ID.
I hope AZ found someone who will be excite about the opportunity and enjoy the hunt. Maybe that is good Karma for us? No matter what there will be memories in the making. Good luck all.
Good decision IMO. Best of luck in Idaho!
IMO you did the right thing. Hunt with your bro this year and get lined out for AZ in 18.