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Game Management Unit 35B
 
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, Dove, Quail, Rabbit, Ducks, Tree Squirrel, Predators and Furbearers
 
Unit Boundaries
Beginning at Grand Avenue (U.S. Hwy 89) at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales; east along the U.S.-Mexico border to the Lochiel-Canelo Pass-Elgin road; north on this road to AZ Hwy 82; southwest on AZ Hwy 82 to Grand Avenue; southwest on Grand Avenue to the U.S.-Mexico border.
 
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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 over the past 5 years 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 the past years and offers sportsman good hunting opportunity.  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 6 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) 455-5507.

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 outside this parcel is allowed.


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: The black bear population in unit 35B is good.   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. 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 2008hunt 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 poor due to the continued drought-like weather pattern affecting southeastern Arizona. The winter, spring of 2007 produced below average rainfall amounts, and summer rains have been below average at this writing.

The western end of the Canelo Hills and the Patagonia Mts. make up this unit. Even though this unit is comprised of oak-juniper woodlands it also has its fair share of desert habitat. Red Rock Cyn., Lampshire Cyn., Harshaw Cyn., and the entire west side of the Patagonia Mts. are areas described as desert habitat. These areas have good javelina populations, public access, and relatively high visibility, which is an asset when hunting javelina.

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 these 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.

Area: Take I-10 to Hwy 83, south to Sonoita. Take Hwy 82 from Sonoita to Patagonia. From Patagonia drive southerly along Harshaw Rd. to gain access to Red Rock, or Lampshire Cyns. Proceed on Hwy 82 toward Nogales to gain access to the west side of the Patagonia Mts. The major access points are 3-R, Paloma and Providencia Canyons.

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.

NOTES: 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.

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, Arizona State Parks lands and is currently closed to hunting.

Prior to hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5507.

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 these units is good. Hunting this species is limited to archery and muzzleloader hunts at this time. The hunt allows 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 during 2006 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) 455-5507.

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 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. Unfortunately, the winter and spring of 2006 resulted in below average precipitation causing below average habitat conditions.  Yet, summer monsoons have been above normal resulting in good grass cover.  Even though the overall whitetail population has declined, due to drought conditions, over the past 9-10 years, quality bucks are still available throughout the Patagonia Mountains and Canelo Hills. Bucks in the upper age groups are also available, but in low numbers. Therefore, if you are looking for a trophy you must hunt hard and be patient.

The Patagonia Mts. and western end of the Canelo Hills make up unit 35B. The area is predominantly made up of oak-juniper woodlands with areas of thick manzanita. Unlike unit 35A (the exception being the Mustang Mts.), this unit does possess desert habitat types, which allows the hunter more visibility. The more popular areas include the west side of the Patagonia Mts. (3-R Cyn., Paloma Cyn. and Providencia Cyn.), Red Rock Cyn. Lampshire Cyn., and Harshaw Canyon.

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 during 2006 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: Take I-10 to Hwy 83, south to Sonoita. Take Hwy 82 to Patagonia. Exit Patagonia, south to Harshaw Cyn (FS Road 58) or continue on Hwy 82 toward Nogales. From Hwy 82, 3-R Canyon can be accessed off of FS Road 215 or 235. Providencia Cyn. is accessed by FS Road 61. Access can be obtained by purchasing USFS maps. Additionally, state land maps and topographical maps are helpful.

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 when 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 form high vantage points at first light looking for feeding bucks. Observe until the buck beds and air currents stabilize, then attempt a stalk. Also, water holes and deer trails can be productive.

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 to 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 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.

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.

NOTES: 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.

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 achieved. 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 5900 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ 85615. Phone (520) 378-0311.

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.

Prior to hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5507.
 
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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) 455-5507.

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 average rainfall amounts.  At this writing, monsoon moisture has been below average, which may adversely affect habitat conditions for Mearn’s quail.  The spring moisture may assist 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 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) 455-5507.

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 2007-08 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) 455-5507.

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 August-January
Mule Deer August-January
Javelina January/February
Secondary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)
Antelope September
Quail November-February
Average # permits in past 5 years
White-tailed Deer 1150
Mule Deer 125
Javelina 300
Antelope 12
 
Climate Information
Month Ave. Temp Ave. Rainfall Ave. Snowfall
January Max 42°/Min 15° 0.6" 16.0"
February Max 45°/Min 18° 0.4" 14.0"
March Max 49°/Min 21° 0.5" 19.4"
April Max 58°/Min 27° 0.7" 9.9"
May Max 67°/Min 34° 0.7" 2.1"
June Max 75°/Min 41° 0.4" 0.0"
July Max 79°/Min 48° 2.5" 0.0"
August Max 76°/Min 48° 2.9" 0.0"
September Max 72°/Min 40° 1.7" 0.2"
October Max 63°/Min 20° 1.1" 0.9"
November Max 50°/Min 22° 1.0" 6.8"
December Max 42°/Min 15° 0.4" 15.2"
Other Pertinent Climate Information
Prepare for extreme weather conditions. Due to elevation ranges, temperature levels and weather conditions can change quickly at any time of year. Summer monsoon storms can cause water levels to rise rapidly in washes and streams. Be careful when crossing washes. Pack extra clothing, water, and food.
 
Cities, Roads & Campgrounds
Major Cities and Towns in or Near Game Management Unit and Nearest Gas, Food, and Lodging
Nogales, Sierra Vista, Patagonia, Sonoita, Tucson
Major Highways and Roads Leading To
From the East: State Hwy 82
From the West: State Hwy 82
From the North: State Hwy 83
From the South: Mexico/U.S. Border
Developed Campgrounds
None in Unit 35B; Parker Canyon Lake campground off Hwy 83 in Unit 35A; Patagonia Lake State Park, north of Hwy 82, in Unit 34B.
Undeveloped Campgrounds
Dispersed camping is allowed on Forest Service administered lands throughout unit. Major camping areas: Harshaw Canyon, south of Patagonia on Forest Road 58; Providencia Canyon, southwest of Nogales off Hwy 82.
 
Brief Description of Terrain, Elevation, and Vegetation
Terrain is characterized by the gently rising slopes of the Canelo Hills, dropping to rolling hills in the San Rafael Valley, and rising to rocky mountains cut by steep canyons throughout the Patagonia range. Elevations range from approximately 4,200' at Nogales to 7,220' on Mt. Washington in the Patagonia Mountains. Vegetation is characterized by oak-juniper woodlands at the higher elevations, bordered by rolling plains grasslands in the San Raphael Valley, and upper Sonoran Desert along the western slopes of the Patagonia Mountains.
 
Government Agencies and Phone Numbers
Arizona Game and Fish Department, Region V - 520 628-5377
Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista District - 520 378-0311
Patagonia Lake State Park - 520 287-6965
Sonoita Creek Preserve - 520 394-2400
Ramsey Canyon Preserve - 520 378-2785
 
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Downloads [More]


Hunting, Trapping & Fishing Regulations, Season Dates & Draw Information

Detailed information on all rules, regulations and seasons

  • 2014-2015 Arizona Hunting Regulations [PDF, 6mb]

  • Hunt Permit-Tag Application Form [PDF]
  • 2014 Antelope & Elk Hunt Draw Regulations
    [PDF, 4mb]

  • 2014 Spring Hunt Draw Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-2014 Waterfowl & Snipe Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-2014 Dove & Band-tailed Pigeon Regs [PDF]

  • 2013 Sandhill Crane Regulations [PDF]

  • Hunt Arizona 2012: Survey, Harvest and Draw Data
    [PDF, 6mb]

  • 2013-2014 Trapping Regulations [PDF]


  • 2014 AZ Fishing Regulations
    [PDF, 7mb]
  • 2014 Urban Fishing Guidebook
    [PDF, 9mb]
  • 2014 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-14 Raptor Regulations [PDF]
  • Arizona Residency Requirements [PDF]
NOTE: The above files are PDF's and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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