That's one of the major problems with most Arizona elk hunting units. There are roads everywhere in most units, so it's very difficult to get away from the idiots, their toys and their friends. The harder it becomes for residents to draw tags, the more friends want to go on the hunt when anyone they know gets drawn, just to have something to do. Unfortunately, it's getting worse and worse on all of those things statewide.
14 elk points for AZContributors to this thread:
dirtclod Az. 07-Feb-19
Castle Oak 09-Feb-19
I'm Tony and a long time member of bowsite. Before I ask my questions I would like to say that I would be willing to give info on a premier elk unit in Colorado "GMU 61". I was hoping some AZ residents, or anyone who has elk hunted AZ, would be willing to chime in on my questions. I'd like to try to draw a quality trophy unit next year with 14 points. According to the odds Ive been looking at I would have less than than a 1% chance of drawing 9, 10, or 23. My question is this? Would unit 8 be worth burning my points on? It looks like my odds of drawing early archery in unit 8 would be pretty good. What other units do you think would be better than 8 but still have a good chance of drawing? Thanks in advance for any constructive opinions or advise.
I hunt 8 and wouldn't think of burning 14 points on it. We kill bulls but sometimes I wonder if dealing with all the crowds is worth it. It's not just hunters but lots of people out there just enjoying the outdoors. Having said that it is not a bad elk unit and there are some very good bulls. And you don't always have to get into hard to hunt places. I usually don't have more than 4-5 bonus points going into the draw. My choices are almost always 5BS and then 8. Good luck in whichever direction you go.
From: dirtclod Az.
Go for1...Once in a lifetime.
Thanks to you both Creed and dirtclod. Yea 1 is very enticing and I will put in for it but I'm still about 2-3 years out for it to be a sure draw for me. Dirt clod you are the 3rd person to tell me about 8 having lots of roads and people. I imagine I will steer clear of it
I would second creed. I would think 8 would be a mid-range unit..maybe even upper, mid-range. It is close to Williams and Flagstaff, so you will get people around...but that's everywhere really. Not sure if I'd burn 13 there. Maybe wait a couple years, get your hunter ed point and go for maybe a 3a/3c or even 10.
Im shocked at the number of early archery tags the state gives out. For example it looks like they give 300 for unit 1 which seems like an awful lot of tags for one unit I see now why 9 and 10 or so coveted as they only give out 100 for those units.
9&10 can turn into a circus with all the guides, hunters, and their support. And the worse hunt of any kind I ever had was in 10. Many apply exclusively for those 2 units but I know several that have hunted them and would never do it again. I guess that just leaves better odds for those that do want the tags.
Yeah, i'm a resident with 13 and am probably going for 1/2B/2C to get the monkey off my back. I've been waiting too long. Yeah, 300 is alot and has me thinking. Success rates are better than most though.
I think you are more like 12-13 years out for 1 to be a sure draw for you. Maybe more if people going for 9 bail, maybe less if a bunch ahead of you draw some random tags or get too old.
From: Castle Oak
I hunted 8 in 2015 along with several hundred other people. It was a circus. UTV's from Friday to Sunday every weekend with many ignoring the closed road signs. Herd scouting, as in a herd of folks scouting for one tag holder. One guy would fill his cooler with beer and scout all night long. We were working in on a bull when another hunter came running by us to get to them first. Of course, he busted the whole group. I got stalked by one of the 50 cow tag holders and I finally had to scream at him I was a human as he was about to draw his bow. We dumped 11 points on this hunt but never again.
Hunt during the week and you won’t see a soul. :)
AZ8, I don't think that's true anymore. I don't really notice any change during weekdays, like there once was, especially in the more premium units. When it takes as many years as it does to draw now, people appear to be hunting far more days since they don't know when they'll get to go again.
StickFlicker, you might be right. All my elk hunts have been in what people call mid-tier units. After the weekend, it seems I pretty much have the unit to myself, sans the hardcore guys. Guess I’m spoiled. :)
I hunted Unit 8 the last two early archery elk seasons. In 2018, AZGFD increased the number of archery tags from 200 to 275. Won't think it make a difference but it was huge in the number of people you bumped into while out in the woods. I won't burn 14 points on Unit 8; on the other hand after you have burned your points it would always be one of my two top choices...you will see 375+ bulls if you hunt the entire season.