Some popular hunting units no longer open to over-the-counter tag holders
PHOENIX Archery deer hunters are advised that some game management units formerly open to over-the-counter archery permit-tags will now require a permit issued through the big game draw application process for the 2008-09 hunting season.
Pursuant to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission hunt orders approved on April 19, 2008, archery deer hunts in the following units are now allocated through the big game draw:
- 1 White Mountains / Big Lake area
- 3A and 3C Heber-Overgaard, Show Low, Snowflake and Holbrook areas
- 7 Areas north and west of Flagstaff
- 12A North Kaibab
- 12B North Kaibab
- 12B West North Kaibab
- 13A Arizona Strip
- 13B Arizona Strip
Archery hunters interested in hunting deer in these units will need to apply through the big game draw application process. The deadline to apply is June 10 by 7 p.m. (MST) postmarks do not count. Applications will be accepted by mail or may be hand delivered to a department office there is no online application process.
The reason for this significant first-ever change is to allocate the harvest among deer hunters that is proportionate to the demand for that weapon choice. In some management units, the harvest proportion for certain weapon types exceeded the demand, states Brian Wakeling, big game management supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Under the new formula, in game management units where there is a single archery season and if the archery harvest exceeds 20-percent of the combined total harvest by both firearms and archery hunters, the commission established the need to allocate archery tags through the big game draw process to keep harvest by weapon type proportionate with demand, Wakeling added.
Hunters who purchased a 2008 archery season nonpermit-tag in the fall of 2007 are reminded that you are now required to adhere to the new 2008-09 hunting regulations, which will eliminate these units from your available hunting areas (although these tags are valid in many other open units). Hunters are also advised that some season structures (dates) have changed, which includes the lengthening of seasons in some units.
To download a copy of the 2008-09 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations and to learn how to apply through the draw process, visit www.azgfd.gov/draw. If you have additional questions, call your local department office.
Nonpermit-tag holders: Mandatory harvest reporting is still required by archery deer hunters with an over-the-counter nonpermit-tag. Please call (866) 903-3337.
Permit-tag holders: Archery deer hunters with hunt permit-tags obtained through the draw process are NOT required to call the harvest hotline. However, you will receive a hunter questionnaire in the mail. Please return your questionnaire.
Regardless of hunt permit-tag type, all successful archery hunters are encouraged to participate in the voluntary chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling program. Hunters who are successful in Game Management Unit 12B are especially encouraged to submit heads. Because this unit borders Utah, deer from this area of the state have the greatest potential for initial detection of CWD. To submit a sample, heads can be brought to any Game and Fish Department office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will be notified of the results of this test and there is no charge for this service. Lab tests from the sampling during the 2007-08 season found no presence the disease in Arizona (Read the full story here).