12B WestContributors to this thread:
I'm flying out this week to help my cousin who lucked out and drew 12B West late hunt. I'm in Wisconsin (grew up in Phoenix), so I obviously haven't scouted the unit. It's his hunt and so I was kind of relying in him to figure it out, but he's a little less type A than I am and hasn't done much research other than asking a few buddies at work. He did drive up a few weeks ago and drove/hiked around to get a feel for the unit, which is a start, but not much of one. It's a migration and weather-dependent hunt and from what I've heard, they haven't had much weather yet so far this year, so it could be slow. Just thought I'd check on here to see if anyone has any suggestions on general places to start looking. We've got big glass and are used to sitting for hours covering country through the binos hunting coues in January down in southern AZ, just don't have any experience on the Kaibab during this time of year.
Feel free to PM me. Thanks in advance!
I had the hunt some 12 plus years ago. There are resident deer, but you are correct in that it will take some weather to move the Kaibab or Paunsegaunt deer into the area. It has been real warm and dry, find the guzzlers and tanks. My buddy had over 50 deer hit one tank in a single afternoon. No giants but some younger bucks. There are a couple trick tanks up there that are off the beaten track that are good if you can find them. The majority of the deer will be in the Buckskins and can be found in the chained areas at first and last light , but there are some bigguns in the canyons off the edge. Weather can change quick, We went from hot and dry in t shirts to a full blown blizzard wtih 14 degree temps before windchill in 5 days. Froze every liquid in camp except beer in the cooler. I passed a heavy, high, mature 4x3 on the second day that I should have shot, thinking I could do better. Biggest deer we saw.
The north side of the Buckskins has some good glassing points, just watch the Utah state line on your GPS. Good luck!
Thanks! It’ll just feel good to finally have my boots back in the AZ soil again!!
The results! Awesome hunt.
Disclaimer: yes, it was a rifle hunt, but at 40yds it was bow-range!!!
beautiful deer. Did you notice any rutting behavior while you were hunting? Congratulations.
Looks like his neck was ready for the rut!
Rutting behavior?! Holy cow!! The bucks were all running around absolutely stupid chasing does. It was the most amazing hunt I have ever been on. Mornings were the best and we'd look over 25-30+bucks trying to find one worth shooting. It was like shopping for deer. Granted, most of those bucks were smaller, but there were also plenty that I wouldn't have passed up in most other AZ units. This was definitely the biggest we saw, but we only hunted for a day. We hunted up high in the Buckskins and saw very few hunters. I guess most guys go down to the south end of the unit. We caught this buck right at dark chasing a doe and it bought him a ride in the back of the truck. It was an awesome experience but now I'm ruined for life seeing what it COULD be like. Bummer is that since I'm now a non-resident (and yes, I'm an idiot for not buying the lifetime license before I left), I'll never draw that tag.
Dayum Nice Buck! I never saw one that big on my hunt!
Great buck, congrats!
Shopping for deer, what a great description! Sounds like an awesome hunt. Glad AZ treated you guys right on your return visit. Outstanding buck!