Overview: The pronghorn population has been relative stable in this unit. Preseason scouting is recommended, as always, especially with the size of this unit. This will aid your hunting success.
Land Status: Most of this unit has a "checkerboard" land status. That is, the land ownership status of alternating sections is different. Some are private and State Trust (State) lands mixed, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and private mixed, and Petrified Forest National Park and State Trust Land mixed. Legal hunting is allowed on all State Trust lands and BLM lands, however, access to these lands is not guaranteed. No hunting is allowed on the Petrified Forest National Park. The National Park has expanded its boundaries, so be aware of where you are (view map).
You must have permission to cross private lands to get to these other lands. Some ranches have been closed to hunting in the past.
Some access points into this unit include Apache County Road (ACR) 6390 from Hwy 180 near milepost 355 and ACR 7230 from Hwy 191 near milepost 345.
It is always recommended that hunters obtain permission to hunt on or cross over private land. This allows for good relationships to be built between the hunters and private landowners, and prevents the hunt from being interrupted by having a landowner ask the hunter to leave their property.
Various maps of the area can be purchased at map stores in Arizona. The BLM has 1:100,000 scale land status maps that are good references when hunting in these units. These maps can be purchased at BLM offices and some general map stores.
Bureau of Land Management Office - Phoenix
222 N. Central
Phoenix, AZ 85004-2208
Bureau of Land Management Office - Safford
711 14th Ave.
Safford, AZ 85546
Areas: Most of the western half and southern part of this unit is pronghorn habitat. The western portion is between a ridge line (starting near the junction of the Salt River Project railroad line and the county road, running from Witch Wells to Navajo, and running mostly southerly to the Stinking Springs Mountains, which are owned by the Zuni Indian Tribe) and Highway 180. The southern part is between the Hardscrabble Wash area and Highway 61.
The western part of the unit has a slightly higher pronghorn density than the eastern portion, which are the areas south of the Petrified Forest National Park to Highway 61 and between the previously noted ridge and Highway 180. There is generally good access to this area off of Highways 61 and 180.
Access to the northern and central parts of the unit is off of County Road 7230 just north of the junction of Highways 191 and 61, near milepost 345 on Highway 191.
Generally, there is limited access into Unit 2A between St. Johns and the above-mentioned county road.
The northeast portion of the unit borders the "New Lands" (the new part of the Navajo Reservation, which is not well posted). There are also about 15 sections of land, or 15 square miles, that are owned by the Zuni tribe in the south-central part of 2A, around the Stinking Springs Mountain area, that has reservation status. Neither the "New Lands" nor Zuni reservation lands are open for pronghorn hunting with a State permit. Neither are well-posted; so please be aware of where you are hunting.
The Petrified Forest National Park is located in the western to northern part of this unit. The Park recently acquired the Hatch Ranch located on its eastern boundary. No hunting is allowed on the Park. If a wounded pronghorn enters the Park or reservation lands, contact the appropriate landowner before entering these prohibited areas.
Concerns: The most common complaints from landowners deal with off-road driving. It is illegal to drive off-road with any vehicle, including ATV's, on State and BLM lands. Also, criminal charges can be filed for damages to private land from off-road driving. Please help us to keep all of these areas open to hunting by respecting both the land and the landowners. Remember, your OHV requires an OHV decal if it weighs under 1,800 pounds and will be ridden on State or Federal lands.
Questions? Contact the Pinetop regional office @ 928-367-4281.