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Game Management Unit 35A
 
Additional Hunting Unit Report pages
- Region I - Pinetop
- Region IV - Yuma
- Region II - Flagstaff
- Region V - Tucson
- Region III - Kingman
- Region VI - Mesa
 


Species within this unit: Antelope, Black Bear, Javelina, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Turkey, Dove, Quail, Rabbit, Ducks, Tree Squirrel, Predators and Furbearers
 
Unit Boundaries
Beginning on the U.S.-Mexico border at the San Pedro River; west along the border to the Lochiel- Canelo Pass-Elgin road; north on this road to AZ Hwy 82; easterly on AZ Hwy 82 to the San Pedro River; south along the San Pedro River to the U.S.-Mexico border.
 
Species Information back to top
Antelope

Overview: Pronghorn hunting throughout these units is good. Hunts are limited to archery and muzzleloader only and are held during the rut.

Area: The units contain two separate pronghorn populations. The northern most herd is located southeast of Sonoita and south of Highway 82. The southern most herd is located north of the Arizona/Mexico border with the majority of the population found within the San Rafael Ranch properties. Access, ownership, and landowner management objectives on these two areas have changed from past years. Therefore, it is imperative for hunters to understand these changes and to adhere to the rules set forth by the private landowners.

The pronghorn population located around Sonoita/Elgin has declined due to prolonged drought conditions.  The current population is around 60-70 animals.  For the most part, the majority of the population is located on lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, also known as, and referred to on maps as San Ignacio del Babocomari. Since the property is privately owned, the Babocomari Ranch owners control access and hunting decisions. In past years, the ranch has allowed access and hunting by written permission only. This requirement will continue, but additional decisions have been made by the ownership.

The ranch has also decided to limit vehicle access into a pasture that is bounded by Highway 83 to the west and road 634 to the north and east. In the past, hunters have driven off road in search of pronghorn that has caused an increase in roads, habitat degradation, and conflicts with other hunters. This pasture will be open to hunting, but will be accessed by foot and non-motorized vehicles only.

It should be noted, that since ownership is private, access restrictions are subject to change without prior notice. Therefore, it is imperative that you contact the ranch manager prior to accessing the ranch.

Within this northern section, pronghorn are not only found on lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch. Another isolated population is located south of Highway 82 and is bounded by Highway 83 to the west and the Upper Elgin Road to the east.  This population has increased over recent years.  This pasture, known as the Davis pasture, is state trust land, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Access into the pasture is limited. A few pronghorn can occasionally be found, on public land, east of the Upper Elgin Road, so don't overlook this area.

Throughout the southern end of the district, pronghorn populations found throughout the San Rafael Valley are quite small, with an average of 15 animals observed during the past 5 survey periods. The majority of the population is located on San Rafael Ranch properties, also known and represented on maps as San Rafael De La Zanja. This parcel is made up of private and Arizona State Parks lands, and is closed to hunting.

Hunting on forest service lands outside this parcel is allowed. There are small, isolated populations of pronghorn found scattered throughout public lands, but locating these populations is difficult.

Pronghorn hunting throughout Arizona is becoming more restrictive since many of the populations are located on or near private lands. This requires the hunter to adhere to restrictions that are not found on public lands. Yet, at least for now, hunting is still being allowed and the opportunity of harvesting a quality animal is still available.

Notes: The possession or use of motorized vehicles off system roads and trails is prohibited. Also, off road travel in washes is not allowed unless the wash is part of an existing road.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within unit 35A and borders the Babocomari Ranch to the south. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Located just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in the southern portions of Units 35A/B is the San Rafael Cattle Company, shown on most maps as the San Rafael De La Zanja. This parcel is made up of private and Arizona State Parks lands and is currently closed to hunting. Hunting on forest service lands

Even though, pronghorn can be found on public lands, the majority of the population is located on private lands. Therefore, it is imperative to study maps prior to venturing outdoors. The best way to accomplish this is by obtaining and studying USFS, topographic and state land maps of interested areas.
 
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Black Bear
Overview:  During 2007-08, hunting is allowed in units’ 35A&B for black bear.  The population, in units’ 35A&B, is estimated at 50-60 resident adult bears with an unknown number of transient animals. Rifle hunting is limited to the spring while bears inhabit the high elevations of the Huachuca and Patagonia Mts.

Hunting black bears in the units has proven to be very difficult due to a number of reasons. First, most bears have recently left dens at the upper elevations and do not venture far due to the need to replenish fat reserves and toughen foot pads that are relatively sensitive. This, combined with limited vehicular access into the Huachuca’s because of wilderness designation makes it difficult for hunters to access areas where bears are located.   Access into bear habitat throughout unit 35B is relatively good, but some of the same challenges will affect spring bear hunters.

During the spring bear hunt, after leaving den sites, bears are searching for areas with an abundance of tender grasses. Therefore, look for areas such as wet areas and south exposures where young, green grasses may be found. Also search canyon bottoms for fresh bear tracks and scat. It is also helpful to find a high vantage point from which to glass.

The units (35A&B) also offer an archery only bear hunt, which was instituted in 2001. This hunt was developed to increase hunter participation and to assist in handling nuisance bear problems. So far, this hunt has proved popular and successful with a number of bears being taken since 2001. 

Beginning in July 2006, the Arizona Game and Fish Department instituted a new regulation that makes it mandatory for every hunter harvesting a bear to physically check it in within 10 days of take.  The hunter shall present the bears skull, hide and attached proof of sex for inspection at a regional office or with a Wildlife Manager.  For further information on this regulation review the 2007-08 hunting regulations.  The successful hunter must also contact the Department within 48 hours by calling the Arizona Game and Fish Department at (1-800-970-2327). Since the spring hunt will be closed once two female bears, and the archery only hunt when three females are reported killed, hunters must call the above phone number to determine if the hunt is still open. Since the spring hunt will be closed once two female bears, and the archery only hunt when three females are reported killed, hunters must call the above phone number to determine if the hunt is still open. For further information, please review the 2007-2008 Arizona Hunting Regulations. Since this hunt is held in the spring, interested hunters must obtain a copy of the spring 2008 hunt supplement for updated information pertaining to this hunt. These are usually available sometime in August, with spring applications due in early October.

Area: Take I-10 to Hwy 90, south to Sierra Vista. Access points can be found along the east side of the Huachuca Mts. with Carr Cyn. being the only road traversing the mountain. To gain access to the south and west side of the Huachuca Mts. take I-10 to Hwy 83, south to Sonoita. Continue south toward Parker Canyon Lake. Numerous roads will take you to the base of the Huachuca’s. The primary access routes are Brushy Cyn., Sunnyside Cyn., Ida Cyn., and Copper Cyn.

To access unit 35B take I-10 to Highway 83, head south to Sonoita and either continue south along Highway 83, turning off on Canelo Pass Road, or travel to Patagonia on Highway 82 and travel south along the Harshaw Road. Numerous roads will take you into the Canelo Hills or into the Patagonia Mountains.

Access routes from these main roads onto secondary forest service roads can be located by purchasing a U.S.F.S. map. Additionally, topographic maps covering the Huachuca Mountains, Canelo Hills and Patagonia Mountains are helpful. It is unlawful to travel off road with any motorized vehicle. This law includes washes, which are not part of an existing road.

NOTES: The Coronado National Memorial administered by the National Park Service is located at the Southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment, must be cased, unloaded and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5990 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ 85615, Phone (520) 378-0311.

Even though these units are made up predominantly of public lands, private property can be encountered. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with your hunting area before venturing afield. The best way to accomplish this is by obtaining and studying USFS, topographic and state land maps of all interested areas.
 
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Javelina

Overview: Javelina hunting throughout the unit is fair. Currently, habitat conditions are below average due to the continued drought-like weather pattern affecting southeastern Arizona. The winter and spring of 2007 produced below average rainfall amounts.  At this writing, summer monsoon rainfall has been below normal resulting in stressed habitat conditions.  Over the past 5 years a number of fires have burned nearly 50,000 acres of potential javelina habitat.


The Huachuca Mts., Canelo Hills and Mustang Mts. are located in the unit. Both the Huachuca and Canelo habitat types are predominantly oak-juniper woodlands. The mid to lower elevations contain good javelina populations, but due to the overstory make locating javelina difficult. The Mustang Mts. along with the area south, including the Babocomari River drainage and uplands, is more typical of desert habitat. This area also contains good numbers of javelina and allows for better visibility.

Area: Take I-10 to Hwy 90, south to Hwy 82, west on 82 to entrance of the Mustang Mts. Continue west on Hwy 82 to Elgin Rd., travel south to Babocomari Ranch or continue to Hwy 83 intersection. Head toward Parker Canyon Lake to access west side of Huachucas or Canelos.

Access routes from these main roads onto secondary forest service roads can be located by purchasing a USFS map. Additionally, state land maps along with topographical maps are helpful. It is unlawful to travel off road with any motorized vehicle. This law includes washes that are not part of an existing road.

Locating javelina can be difficult due to their small size and salt and pepper coloration. Finding javelina can be accomplished a number of ways. Using quality optics early in the morning and glassing east slopes and sunny bottoms greatly enhances your chances for success. During evenings, follow the sun to the south and westerly slopes where javelina will feed as they return to bedding sights. During mid-day, javelina can often times be located bedding. Usually, one or two javelina will be moving around while the others are snoozing close by.

Another method of locating javelina home ranges is by walking likely habitat; looking for bedding sites, droppings, tracks, listening for them while they noisily feed, or locate areas where they have recently been feeding. Shredded prickly pear, agave plants, or fresh depressions in the earth can identify feeding sites where they have been rooting up tubers.

The best time for doing this is prior to the season so as not to disturb the herd. Once a herd has been observed, it is possible to locate them year after year since they are territorial animals whose home range averages 1-2 square miles.

Javelina, remain active throughout most of the day during the January season due to cool temperatures. Later, in late February and March they begin to feed early in the mornings, at dusk and even at night due to a rise in air temperature.

Once a herd is located, check wind direction and herd movement. Javelina, have relatively poor eyesight but have excellent noses. Therefore, any whiff of man and they will disappear. If you keep the wind in your face it is possible to move relatively close without being detected.

If successful in harvesting a javelina, tag and field dress as soon as possible. Do not remove the scent gland, located above the hips. Rather, skin the animal (the scent gland will come off with the skin) and wash thoroughly, being careful to remove all loose hair. This hair contains scent and can taint the meat.

If javelina is to be part of your bag this year remember to utilize your optics, locate sign and prescout your hunting area.

NOTES: The Coronado National Memorial administered by the National Park Service is located at the Southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment, must be cased, unloaded and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5990 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ 85615, Phone (520) 378-0311.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within the unit. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Some areas within the San Pedro Riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636. Phone (520) 458-3559.

Even though the unit is made up predominantly of public lands, private property can be encountered. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with your hunting area before venturing afield. The best way to accomplish this is by obtaining and studying USFS, topographic and state land maps of all interested areas.
 
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Mule Deer
Overview: Mule deer hunting throughout units’ 35A&B is good. Hunting this species is limited to archery and muzzleloader hunts at this time. The hunts allow for any antlered deer to be harvested. Since whitetail occupy the entire range of the mule deer, this allows the hunter an added opportunity.

Due to fair habitat conditions during 2006-07, fawn survival for the units remained stable. This will produce a fair population of 1-2 year old bucks, which should aid harvest success. Mature bucks also can be found throughout the population, but their numbers are low so hunters will have to hunt harder and be diligent if they are going to bag a trophy. Having the ability to see deer before they see you is important to a successful hunt. Therefore, quality optics and the ability to use them are imperative. Reaching a high vantage point before daylight and glassing your hunting area will increase your success.

During the middle of the day and before dark, glass thickets and arroyos looking for bedded deer. During the December and January hunts, mule deer are in rut and bucks can be observed with does most of the day.

Both the archery and muzzleloader hunts allow the hunter to take any antlered deer, whitetail or mule deer, so keep alert to whitetail since they inhabit the same area as mule deer.

Currently, the regulations allow for hunters to take any antlered deer during the December archery only hunt. Make note that a regulatory change has taken place for the 2007- 2008 archery hunts. Only antlered deer are legal. Another regulatory change that occurred in 2005 requires that all successful archery hunters contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department either in person or by phone at 1-866-903-3337 within 10 days of taking a deer unless the deer has been checked through a mandatory hunter checking station.

Area: Rather than mule deer being found throughout the unit, populations are located in areas where typical mule deer habitat is located. Usually these areas include grasslands or desert habitat types, which allow the mule deer adequate visibility. During years when acorns are available, mule deer can be concentrated in the oak woodlands. Many of these areas are located on private property but permission may be granted if the landowner is contacted prior to hunting.

Other areas where mule deer can be found are along the Mexico/Arizona border, and scattered populations throughout the Canelo Hills. Additionally, the San Pedro River, east of Sierra Vista contains mule deer but much of this area is closed to the discharge of firearms.

The range of the mule deer overlaps that of the whitetail. Every year some hunter accidentally harvests the wrong species. Therefore, it is important to accurately identify the buck to species prior to shooting. The only reliable means of identification is the tail. The mule deer tail is narrow, and black tipped at the end. The whitetail is broad, long and gray/brown in coloration. When alarmed, whitetail will sometimes lay their tail on their back, or flag, showing a white underside and a white rump. It is important to note that not all whitetail will flag. Therefore, if not absolutely sure of which species you are looking at, do not shoot. Also, remember that one characteristic alone is not a totally reliable means of identifying a whitetail from a mule deer. For further information along with illustrations identifying differences between whitetail and mule deer, please review the 2007-2008 Arizona Hunting Regulations.

Take I-10 to Hwy 83, south to Sonoita. Take Hwy. 82 east to Mustang Mts. or turn off at Elgin Rd., south to Babocomari Ranch. Take Hwy 82 at Sonoita to Patagonia, south to the Mexico border. Take Hwy. 83 south from Sonoita to the Canelo Hills.

Access routes from these main roads onto secondary forest service roads can be located by purchasing a USFS map. Additionally, state land maps along with topographical maps are helpful. It is unlawful to travel off road with any motorized vehicle. This law includes washes, which are not part of an existing road.

NOTES: The Coronado National Memorial administered by the National Park Service is located at the Southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment, must be cased, unloaded, and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS, contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5900 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ 85615. Phone (520) 378-0311.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within the unit. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Some areas within the San Pedro Riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636. Phone (520) 458-3559.

Located just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in the southern portions of Units 35A/B is the San Rafael Cattle Company, shown on most maps as the San Rafael De La Zanja. This parcel is made up of private and Arizona State Parks lands and is currently closed to hunting. Hunting on forest service lands outside this parcel is allowed.

Even though these units are made up predominantly of public lands, private property can be encountered. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with your hunting area before venturing afield. The best way to accomplish this is by obtaining and studying USFS, topographic and state land maps of all interested areas.
 
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White-tailed Deer

Overview: Whitetail hunting throughout the unit is good. Habitat conditions during 2006-07 allowed fawn survival to remain stable. Therefore, the number of 1-2 year old bucks entering the population should be quite high, resulting in good harvest success. At this writing, summer monsoon moisture has been below average resulting in stressed habitat conditions. Even though the overall whitetail population has declined, due to drought conditions, over the past 9-10 years, bucks are still available in good numbers throughout the Huachuca Mts., Canelo Hills and Mustang Mts. Trophy quality bucks are still available, but hunters must be persistent and patient if they expect to harvest one of these elusive animals.

Area: Take I-10 to Hwy 90, south to Sierra Vista allowing access to the east side of the Huachuca’s’. I-10 to Hwy 83 to Sonoita, east on Hwy 82 to Mustang Mts. or south on Hwy 83 to Canelo Hills and west side of Huachuca Mts.

Access can be obtained by purchasing USFS maps. Additionally, state land and topographical maps are helpful. As with all hunting, scouting is important to a successful hunt. With whitetail hunting, scouting is a prerequisite if one wants to put the percentages in his favor. If a mature buck is your goal, any hunt can produce a trophy but knowing the area and the habits of your buck are paramount to success.

The range of the mule deer overlaps that of the whitetail. Every year some hunter accidentally harvests the wrong species. Therefore, it is important to accurately identify the buck to species, prior to shooting. The only reliable means of identification is the tail. The mule deer tail is narrow and black tipped at the end. The whitetail is broad, long and gray/brown in coloration. When alarmed, whitetail will sometimes lay their tail on their back, or flag, showing a white underside and a white rump. It is important to note that not all whitetail will flag. Therefore, if not absolutely sure of which species you are looking at, do not shoot. Also, remember that one characteristic alone is not a totally reliable means of identifying a whitetail from a mule deer. For further information, along with illustrations identifying differences between whitetail and mule deer, please review the 2007-2008 Arizona Hunting Regulations.

Hunting the Coues whitetail entails owning a quality pair of optics and knowing how to use them. Whitetail, inhabit all habitat types found throughout the units, particularly the oak-juniper woodlands. They do not venture long in open areas. Rather, they remain secluded in the woodlands. Therefore, it is imperative for the successful hunter to locate an adequate vantage point and glass diligently for long periods of time. The adage of glassing more than you walk is paramount in successfully locating whitetail. Look for parts of the deer rather than the entire animal while glassing. It is also helpful to arrive at your vantage point well before first light and remain in the field until dark. Whitetail, are active at first light and at dusk but also can be found feeding and moving to shaded bed sights during the middle of the day.

During the early archery season glass from high vantage points at first light looking for feeding bucks. Observe, until the buck beds and air currents stabilize, then attempt a stalk. Unlike their eastern cousins, Coues whitetail do not pattern well, but water holes and deer trails can be productive, particularly during dry periods.

The October general firearm hunt usually finds the whitetail in the lower elevations and foothills. Active periods are early, middle and late in the day, as temperatures are still fairly warm.

The November hunt will usually find the bucks moving out of the bottoms and working up the mountains, preparing for the rut. Weather conditions vary from warm in the day to cold at nights.

The December hunt finds weather conditions more to the deer’s liking, and as the rut nears, they become more active for longer periods of time. The younger bucks are the first to accompany does. The mature bucks will be in the vicinity, but do not venture far from thick cover. Harvesting a mature buck takes luck, skill and determination.

The January archery hunt is the ideal time to locate mature bucks chasing does, since the peak of the rut begins sometime during the middle of the month. Since the bucks are constantly on the move, chasing or looking for does, it is often times difficult to locate the buck during the final stalk. During this time, grunt calls and rattling can prove effective.

Make note that a regulatory change has taken place for the 2007 and 2008 archery hunts. Only antlered deer are legal. Another regulatory change that occurred in 2005 requires that all successful archery hunters contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department either in person or by phone at 1-866-903-3337 within 10 days of taking a deer unless the deer has been checked through a mandatory hunter checking station.

NOTES: The Coronado National Memorial administered by the National Park Service is located at the Southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment, must be cased, unloaded and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. This law is also pertinent to all public lands, as well as, private lands if permission from the landowner has not first been obtained. Off road travel in washes is not allowed unless the wash is part of an existing road. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5990 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ 85615. Phone (520) 378-0311.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within the unit. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Some areas within the San Pedro riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636. Phone (520) 458-3559.
 
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Turkey
Overview: The Gould turkey was introduced into the Huachuca Mountains in the mid-1980s. During that time this subspecies has flourished to the point that the population was utilized to translocate turkeys to the Galiuro Mountains. In 2002, the first Gould turkey hunt was authorized throughout the Huachuca Mountains with 2 tags being authorized. In 2003, 2 tags were authorized, while a total of 4 tags were issued in 2004.  In 2005 an additional 4 tags were issued, with 6 being issued in 2006 and 2007.  These tags are issued to hunters through the general spring draw and are auctioned or raffled off by the National Wild Turkey Federation.  Most of the money received through auction has come back into Arizona to assist in turkey management programs.

During the spring of 2008, a total of 12 tags will be issued.  Six of these tags (3 per hunt) will be issued during the general stratified hunt, 3 will be offered on Fort Huachuca, while the other three will be offered by the National Wild Turkey Federation to assist with ongoing translocations of Gould’s turkeys throughout Southeastern Arizona.

Hunting turkeys throughout the Huachuca Mountains has proved quite successful with hunt success at over 80% over the past 6 years. The overall turkey population is estimated to be around 350-400 turkeys and can be found to inhabit many of the major canyons. No fall hunt is allowed with only bearded turkeys legal to harvest with either shotgun or archery tackle during the spring hunt.

Refer to the spring 2008 hunt supplement to find details regarding hunting Gould’s turkey in unit 35A.

Area: Take I-10 to Hwy 90, south to Sierra Vista. Access points can be found along the east side of the Huachuca Mts. with Carr Cyn. being the only road traversing the mountain. To gain access to the south and west side of the Huachuca Mts. take I-10 to Hwy 83, south to Sonoita. Continue south toward Parker Canyon Lake. Numerous roads will take you to the base of the Huachucas. The primary access routes are Brushy Cyn., Sunnyside Cyn., Ida Cyn., and Copper Cyn.

Access routes from these main roads onto secondary forest service roads can be located by purchasing a USFS map. Additionally, state land maps along with topographical maps are helpful. It is unlawful to travel off road with any motorized vehicle. This law includes washes, which are not part of an existing road.

NOTES: The Coronado National Memorial administered by the National Park Service is located at the Southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment, must be cased, unloaded, and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS, contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5900 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ 85615. Phone (520) 378-0311.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within the unit. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Some areas within the San Pedro Riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636. Phone (520) 458-3559.

Located just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in the southern portions of Units 35A/B is the San Rafael Cattle Company, shown on most maps as the San Rafael De La Zanja. This parcel is made up of private and Arizona State Parks lands and is currently closed to hunting. Hunting on forest service lands outside this parcel is allowed.

Even though these units are made up predominantly of public lands, private property can be encountered. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with your hunting area before venturing afield. The best way to accomplish this is by obtaining and studying USFS, topographic and state land maps of all interested areas.

The department is currently developing a database of turkey locations throughout Southeastern Arizona. If you happen to observe turkeys on your trips afield please note the time, date, specific location, and turkey numbers and sex. At your earliest convenience contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department in Tucson at 520-388-4448, attention Jim Heffelfinger, with the information.
 
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Dove
Overview: Dove concentrations are dependent on summer moisture and timing. If rains occur early enough to produce vegetation consisting of seed heads, and puddles dry up leaving scattered waterholes, then dove concentrations are good throughout feeding and watering areas. Both mourning and whitewing occur, but the majority of whitewings fly south prior to fall hunts. Mourning doves are located around water holes surrounded by mesquite thickets, low lying grassy areas and abandoned or active agricultural fields.

As with all hunting, scouting prior to the season will greatly enhance your success.

Area: Take I-10 to Hwy 90, south to Sierra Vista. Take I-10 to Hwy 83 south to Sonoita. Take Hwy 82 from Sonoita to Patagonia, then south on Harshaw Rd. to the San Rafael Valley. Hwy 82 to Nogales accesses the west side of the Patagonia Mts.

In addition to the half-day hunt, Junior hunters, 15 and under, are allowed to hunt from noon to sunset. Therefore, try hunting early mornings and evenings around stock tanks scattered throughout the units or along abandoned and active agricultural fields located south of Hwy 92 and the San Pedro River. Some areas of the San Pedro are closed to firearms. Contact the BLM, Sierra Vista Office at 458-3559 for areas and dates open to hunting with firearms. Late season opportunities are generally good along the San Pedro River and mesquite thickets later in the day when doves seek these areas for loafing. Hunting is best when walking these areas and flushing roosted birds. These mesquite areas can be located around Sierra Vista and the west side of the Patagonia Mts.

NOTES: Be certain of land status prior to hunting. If private land is involved, obtain permission from landowner before accessing.

The Coronado National Memorial, administered by the National Park Service, is located at the southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment, must be cased, unloaded and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within Unit 35A. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Some areas within the San Pedro riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For more information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636. Phone (520) 458-3559.

Each year the Game and Fish Department receives complaints from landowners and lessees about hunters shooting within one-quarter mile of houses and of livestock ingesting spent shotgun shells. Event though dove concentrations can be located near residential areas, hunters must be aware that the discharge of firearms, in close proximity to houses, and the leaving of litter disturbs homeowners and ranchers. Additionally, the discharge of firearms within one-quarter mile of an occupied residence, and littering, including spent shotgun shells, are violations of Arizona State Law. Sportsmen, landowners, and ranchers need each other's cooperation to keep public lands open to hunting.
 
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Quail

Overview: Drought-like weather conditions continue to plague southeastern Arizona. The winter and spring of 2007 produced below average rainfall amounts. To date, monsoon moisture has been below average, which may adversely affect habitat conditions for Mearn’s quail.  Even though winter moisture was slightly below average, it may have been sufficient to produce a fair hunting season for Gambel and Scaled quail.


The units contain 3 species of quail: Gambel’s, Scaled and Mearns’. The Gambel’s and Scaled populations are mainly located around Sierra Vista and east of Nogales in the lower elevation habitat types. The units are predominantly made up of Mearns' quail populations and can be found anywhere oak-juniper habitat types exist.

Scouting prior to the season will greatly enhance your success. Look for areas that indicate that early summer rains fell, producing adequate vegetational types to support quail populations. Along with scouting, a properly trained bird dog is beneficial when hunting Mearns' quail.

Also remember that the daily bag limit for Mearns’ quail has been reduced from 10 down to 8. Gambel’s and Scaled quail bag limits remain at 15 per day.

Areas: Gambel’s and Scaled quail can be located along the west side of the Patagonia Mts. outside of Nogales, as well as, around Sierra Vista in the desert habitat types and adjacent to the San Pedro River. Caution should be taken along the San Pedro Riparian area since portions of the area are closed to the discharge of firearms. Maps of the closed area can be obtained at the BLM Sierra Vista office. Address: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636; Phone 520- 458-3559.

Mearns' quail populations are found throughout the numerous mountain ranges. The most huntable populations are found in the scattered oak-juniper woodlands at elevations ranging from 5,000 - 6,000 feet. These areas, located around the Huachuca Mts., Canelo Hills and Patagonia Mts., have good concentrations of Mearns' quail. Public access throughout these areas is excellent.

To get good Mearns’ quail habitat, take I-10 to Hwy 83, south to Sonoita. From Sonoita take Hwy 82 east to Sierra Vista or take Hwy 82 west to Patagonia where the Patagonia Mountains or San Rafael Valley can be accessed. To access the Canelo Hills and the west side of the Huachuca Mts. take Hwy 83 south from Sonoita. Take Hwy 82 from Sonoita to Nogales to access the west side of the Patagonia Mts.

Notes: Access information can be obtained by purchasing a USFS map or by contacting the BLM Sierra Vista office at (520) 458-3559.

The Coronado National Memorial, administered by the National Park Service, is located at the southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment, must be cased, unloaded and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS, contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5900 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ. 85615, Phone (520) 378-0311.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within Unit 35A. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Located just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in the southern portions of Units 35A/B is the San Rafael Cattle Company, shown on most maps as the San Rafael De La Zanja. This parcel is made up of private, and Arizona State Parks lands and is closed to hunting.

Even though these units are comprised mostly of public lands, private property is intermixed. Therefore, it is imperative to study maps prior to venturing outdoors. The best way to accomplish this is by obtaining and studying USFS, topographic and state land maps of interested areas.

Some areas within the San Pedro riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636. Phone (520) 458-3559.

Each year the Game and Fish Department receives complaints from landowners and lessees about hunters shooting within one-quarter mile of houses and of livestock ingesting spent shotgun shells. Even though quail concentrations can be located near residential areas, hunters must be aware that the discharge of firearms in close proximity to houses and the leaving of litter disturb homeowners and ranchers. Additionally, the discharge of firearms within one-quarter mile of an occupied residence, and littering, including spent shotgun shells, are violations of Arizona State Law. Sportsmen, landowners, and ranchers need each other's cooperation to keep public lands open to hunting.
 
 
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Quail
Overview:  Drought-like weather conditions continue to plague southeastern Arizona. The winter and spring of 2006 produced below average rainfall amounts.  Fortunately, monsoon moisture began in early July, which may assist habitat conditions for Mearn’s quail.  The lack of winter and spring moisture hurt Gambel and Scaled populations.

The units contain 3 species of quail: Gambel’s, Scaled and Mearns’. The Gambel’s and Scaled populations are mainly located around Sierra Vista and east of Nogales in the lower elevation habitat types. The units are predominantly made up of Mearns' quail populations and can be found anywhere oak-juniper habitat types exist.

As with all hunting, scouting prior to the season should be part of your plan. Make sure to locate areas that appear to have received adequate early summer rainfall, thereby, producing habitat conditions that benefit quail recruitment. Along with scouting, a properly trained bird dog is beneficial when hunting Mearns' quail.

Remember that the daily bag limit for Mearns’ quail has been reduced from 10 down to 8. The bag limit for Gambel’s and Scaled quail remains at 15 per day.

Areas: Gambel’s and Scaled quail can be located along the west side of the Patagonia Mts. outside of Nogales, as well as, around Sierra Vista in the desert habitat types and adjacent to the San Pedro River. Caution should be taken along the San Pedro Riparian area since portions of the area are closed to the discharge of firearms. Maps of the closed area can be obtained at the BLM Sierra Vista office. Address: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636; Phone - 458-3559.

Mearns' quail populations are found throughout the numerous mountain ranges. The most huntable populations are found in the scattered oak-juniper woodlands at elevations ranging from 5,000 - 6,000 feet. These areas, located around the Huachuca Mts., Canelo Hills and Patagonia Mts., have good concentrations of Mearns' quail. Public access throughout these areas is excellent.

To get good Mearns’ quail habitat, take I-10 to Hwy 83, south to Sonoita. From Sonoita take Hwy 82 east to Sierra Vista or take Hwy 82 west to Patagonia where the Patagonia Mountains or San Rafael Valley can be accessed. To access the Canelo Hills and the west side of the Huachuca Mts. take Hwy 83 south from Sonoita. Take Hwy 82 from Sonoita to Nogales to access the west side of the Patagonia Mts.

Notes: Access information can be obtained by purchasing a USFS map or by contacting the BLM Sierra Vista office at (520) 458-3559.

The Coronado National Memorial, administered by the National Park Service, is located at the southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment must be cased, unloaded and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS, contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5900 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ. 85615, Phone (520) 378-0311.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within Unit 35A. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Located just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in the southern portions of Units 35A/B is the San Rafael Cattle Company, shown on most maps as the San Rafael De La Zanja. This parcel is made up of private, and Arizona State Parks lands and currently is closed to hunting.

Even though these units are comprised mostly of public lands, private property is intermixed. Therefore, it is imperative to study maps prior to venturing outdoors. The best way to accomplish this is by obtaining and studying USFS, topographic and state land maps of interested areas.

Some areas within the San Pedro riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636. Phone (520) 458-3559.

Each year the Game and Fish Department receives complaints from landowners and lessees about hunters shooting within one-quarter mile of houses and of livestock ingesting spent shotgun shells. Even though quail concentrations can be located near residential areas, hunters must be aware that the discharge of firearms in close proximity to houses and the leaving of litter disturb homeowners and ranchers. Additionally, the discharge of firearms within one-quarter mile of an occupied residence, and littering, including spent shotgun shells, are violations of Arizona State Law. Sportsmen, landowners, and ranchers need each other's cooperation to keep public lands open to hunting.
 
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Rabbit


The units contain both cottontail and jackrabbits, and they can be located at all elevations.  The cottontail population appears to be doing very good at this time.  It appears that the spring moisture during 2007 improved habitat conditions allowing for an abundance of cottontails.  Currently, anywhere there is greenup of vegetation you can find good populations.  Early mornings and evenings are the ideal times to hunt these very tasty small game animals.

Pursuing rabbits, either cottontail or jackrabbits, is an ideal way to hone your hunting skills in the off-season.  Also, hunting these little critters is a great opportunity to start a youngster in the sport of hunting, and is fun for the entire family.

The daily bag limit for cottontails is 10 per day with a possession limit of 20.  Jackrabbits are considered nongame so there is no bag or possession limit on them.  The season runs yearlong for both species.

Areas: Rabbits can be located at all elevations throughout units 35A&B. Caution should be taken when hunting along the San Pedro Riparian area since portions of the area are closed to the discharge of firearms. Maps of the closed area can be obtained at the BLM Sierra Vista office. Address: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636; Phone - 458-3559.

 

 
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Ducks

Units 35A&B contain huntable populations of ducks.  To successfully locate these migratory species one must first locate available dirt tanks.  This best can be accomplished by purchasing a forest service map.  The long-term drought has affected water availability so it is imperative that the many tanks located throughout the units are scouted before your hunt to make sure that water and ducks are available. 

Due to the varieties of waterfowl that visit southeast Arizona, it is important that you familiarize yourself with identifying ducks on the water and wing since bag and possession restrictions are specific to species.

Also, it is necessary to use steel shot only when hunting and pursuing waterfowl.  No lead shot can be on your person while in the field in pursuit of ducks.  To become better informed of the regulations pick up a copy of the 2006-07 migratory bird regulations.

Another side to hunting waterfowl is the opportunity to pursue various quail species and other small game animals, such as cottontails, while in the field.

 
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Tree Squirrel

The units provide some opportunity for hunting tree squirrels.  Habitat availability is concentrated to many of the major riparian areas that run through the mountain ranges.  Look for mature stands of pine species, cottonwoods, sycamores, and conifer species.  Hunting squirrels will require a lot of patience and the ability to cover many miles in search of these tree dwellers.  A hunter may not be guaranteed the opportunity to shoot a bag limit of squirrels, but he is guaranteed to spend time in some beautiful scenery.

The season opens October 12 and runs through November 25, 2007.  The bag limit is 5 tree squirrels per day with a possession limit of 10.  Check the 2007-08 hunting regulations for legal methods of take.  

 
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Predators and Furbearers

The area has relatively high numbers of predators and furbearers throughout all habitat types.  Coyotes, bobcats, fox and raccoon offer the hunter yearlong opportunities.  Coyotes can be legally hunted yearly while the other furbearers allow for seasonal variations.  Not only does predator hunting hone the hunter’s skills for upcoming big game season, but is an excellent way to scout future hunting areas, become familiar with area landowners, and help in keeping predators in check.  This also is an ideal way of teaching young hunters the many aspects of hunting and marsksmanship, and is fun for the entire family.

The thrill of calling in a predatory animal by imitating its prey is unequalled. The sight of a charging coyote, headed to the dinner bell, is something that will keep you and your family continually heading to the field for more.

NOTES: Be certain of land status prior to hunting. If private land is involved, obtain permission from landowner before accessing.

Access information can be obtained by purchasing a USFS map or by contacting the BLM Sierra Vista office at (520) 458-3559.

The Coronado National Memorial, administered by the National Park Service, is located at the southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment must be cased, unloaded and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS, contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5900 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ. 85615, Phone (520) 378-0311.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within Unit 35A. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Located just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in the southern portions of Units 35A/B is the San Rafael Cattle Company, shown on most maps as the San Rafael De La Zanja. This parcel is made up of private, and Arizona State Parks lands and currently is closed to hunting.

Even though these units are comprised mostly of public lands, private property is intermixed. Therefore, it is imperative to study maps prior to venturing outdoors. The best way to accomplish this is by obtaining and studying USFS, topographic and state land maps of interested areas.

Some areas within the San Pedro riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636. Phone (520) 458-3559.

Each year the Game and Fish Department receives complaints from landowners and lessees about hunters shooting within one-quarter mile of houses and of livestock ingesting spent shotgun shells. Even though quail concentrations can be located near residential areas, hunters must be aware that the discharge of firearms in close proximity to houses and the leaving of litter disturb homeowners and ranchers. Additionally, the discharge of firearms within one-quarter mile of an occupied residence, and littering, including spent shotgun shells, are violations of Arizona State Law. Sportsmen, landowners, and ranchers need each other's cooperation to keep public lands open to hunting.

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Unit Summary
Primary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)
White-tailed Deer September-December
Mule Deer September, November-January
Javelina January/February
Secondary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)
Antelope August/September
Quail November-February
Average # permits in past 5 years
White-tailed Deer 700
Mule Deer 125 Muzzleloader
Javelina 200 HAM, 300 Archery
Antelope 10 Archery, 2 Muzzleloader
 
Climate Information
Month Ave. Temp Ave. Rainfall
January Max 62°/Min 35° 0.89"
February Max 56°/Min 35° 0.64"
March Max 65°/Min 39° 0.61"
April Max 73°/Min 44° 0.24"
May Max 83°/Min 54° 0.15"
June Max 92°/Min 63° 0.37"
July Max 91°/Min 69° 3.64"
August Max 91°/Min 68° 3.48"
September Max 90°/Min 64° 1.80"
October Max 81°/Min 53° 1.06"
November Max 71°/Min 43° 0.62"
December Max 60°/Min 36° 1.21"
Other Pertinent Climate Information
Heavy rains occur during summer monsoon season causing high water in low areas and washes. Day and night temperatures can fluctuate greatly, so prepare for high and low temperature extremes.
 
Cities, Roads & Campgrounds
Major Cities and Towns in or Near Game Management Unit and Nearest Gas, Food, and Lodging
Sierra Vista, Sonoita, Patagonia, Benson, Tombstone
Major Highways and Roads Leading To
From the East: State Hwy 82, Hwys 90, 92
From the West: State Hwy 83
From the North: State Hwy 83, I-10, Hwy 90
From the South: Mexico/U.S. Border
Developed Campgrounds
Coronado National Forest manages campgrounds at Carr Canyon and Parker Canyon Lake; the U.S. Army, Fort Huachuca, manages campgrounds at Garden Canyon and Huachuca Canyon.
Undeveloped Campgrounds
None.
 
Brief Description of Terrain, Elevation, and Vegetation
Elevations range from 4,200' along the San Pedro River to 9,466' at Miller Peak in the Huachuca Mountains. The terrain at low elevations consists of desert flats cut by washes, and at high elevations steep, rocky mountains and deep canyons. Vegetation is predominately oak/juniper woodland or Madrean forest at higher elevations, and desert scrub at lower elevations.
 
Government Agencies and Phone Numbers
Arizona Game and Fish Department, Region V - 520-628-5376
Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista District - 520-378-0311
Coronado National Monument, 520-366-5515
Bureau of Land Management, Sierra Vista Office - 520-458-3559
 
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