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14 elk points for AZ
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hunted Unit 1 archery in 2003 and 2016- successful on nice bulls both times( solo, non-guided). Would be happy to swap info with you as I am in line to draw Colo unit 61 in the next few years
Thanks for your reply nm386elk. I gained my hunters ed point this year so I now have 15 points for next year's draw. I sent you a PM
I’d wait for 2021 when the archery season is scheduled to be the last tow weeks of September
Thanks BOHNTR. Certainly worth considering.. How did you come across the 2021 season dates? I looked but could not find it. There's a good chance I want draw in 2020 anyways.
BOHNTR, I looked at those season structures. So do I understand it correctly? In 2021 there will be an Early General Bull season starting on 10 Sep which means Muzzleloader or rifle a week before the early Archery season? Or will the Early General Bull season occur on 24 Sep during the early archery season? Either way it does not seem like a good deal for a bow hunter. Thanks for your help
I believe archery season will be week 38 that year.
Yea I saw that. But my question is when the early general elk season will occur. I believe that will be either a muzzleloader or rifle hunt correct?
No way on 8. If I were you I’d highly consider 3c, 1, and 27. I’d also look hard at unit 10. Look at the size of the unit. Ten is absolutely huge and full of elk from top to bottom.
Figure out what you can draw first, which eliminates all but 2 units mentioned so far, and go from there. Toprut has the nr point pools and number of tags issued per pool.
Further thought since you said you wanted to draw next year..... I’d look at 5b south, 3b, 5a.....
The way I read it the early archery bull hunts start on the Friday of the 37th week of the year. 9/11 in 2020, 9/10 in 2021, 9/9 in 2022. The calander will shift in 2023 and the 37th Friday will be a week later. The exception will be 5b in 2020. The early firearm will start on week 37 and archery will start the 38th Friday. The exception will be unit 22 in 2021. I have 16 points so I have a good Idea what units you probably wont draw in the bonus point round with 14 ponts. 9,10, 23 ,1, 3A/3C, 27, 7W . between 10 and 20 points is limbo for non residents
I would give a strong consideration to 7 West with 15 points. This unit borders 9 & 10 and last look needed at least 15 for a NR to draw. Given it looks to be a good moisture year and good public land with easy access could work in your favor.
Another that strong consideration would unit 27. NR Min to draw was also 15, a little more rugged but a good hunt for 320-350 with some bigger taken each year.
elkhuntinnut, Thanks for your post. 7w is one of the units I did apply for. According to the draw odds I looked at I'm far from a lock on an early season tag even with 15 points.