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Game Management Unit 36A
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: Javelina, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Cottontail Rabbit, Dove, Quail,
Unit Boundaries

**New Closure** See below Access restricted map

Beginning at the junction of Sandario Road and AZ Hwy 86; southwesterly on AZ Hwy 86 to AZ Hwy 286; southerly on AZ Hwy 286 to the Arivaca-Sasabe road; easterly on the Arivaca-Sasabe road to the Arivaca Road (at the town of Arivaca); then north east on the Arivaca road to I-19; north on I-19 to the southern boundary of the San Xavier Indian Reservation boundary; westerly and northerly along the reservation boundary to the Sandario road alignment; north on Sandario road and AZ Hwy 86.

Laws and Regulations
Please read here about OHV licensing and decal requirements. For questions on hunting laws, please review Arizona Revised Statute Title 17 here.


Species Information  

Overview: Unit 36A has a fair population of javelina. Javelina are found throughout the unit from the low country to the tops of the mountains. They have a home range a little larger than one square mile and these home ranges generally do not change. Home ranges are found near permanent water sources. Hunters that have hunted the unit before and have seen javelina herds will usually find them in the same general area where first found them.

Most of the javelina in this area are found in the mountains, rolling hills and washes. These areas are also most popular with the hunters so expect big crowds around these areas.

The lower country or "flats" also has javelina in good numbers but your visibility is limited because of the dense mesquite, cactus, shrubs and palo verde trees. With some preseason scouting, the lower country can be hunted effectively because of the relatively small home range size of the javelina; they will not be far from where you saw them during your scouting trips and they usually do not wander too far from water sources.

This unit has javelina in all three mountain ranges and throughout the entire area. The best way to find them is by using binoculars. Find a highpoint and glass as much as possible. Javelina blend in well with their surrounding so look for movement. Preseason scouting is recommended for a successful hunt.

*Please read special note at the bottom of this hunt unit report regarding Undocumented Aliens in this hunt unit.

Mule Deer

Overview: Unit 36A supports a fair number of desert mule deer. Hunters have the most success finding the mule deer in the foothills and the lower hills throughout the unit as well as the deeper ravines and canyons in the central portion of the unit. These areas allow the hunters to get some elevation and have a better field of view of the area. These areas are where 80% of the hunters will most likely be.

Some trophy mule deer will be found from time to time in those areas that are easier to hunt, but most trophies will be found in the lower rolling flats away from the mountains, during most of the hunting seasons. These areas have an abundance of mesquite and visibility is limited. The best hunting in these areas would be to still-hunt along the larger washes.

In the foothills as well as in some of the desert areas both mule deer and white-tailed deer can be found together. The occurrence of white-tailed deer in lower elevation has increased for the past ten years. These desert areas will usually, but not always, have ocotillo present similar to those found between the Sierrita, Cerro Colorado, and Las Guijas mountains. Make an extra effort to be sure you know which species of deer you are shooting in this unit.

*Please read special note at the bottom of this hunt unit report regarding Undocumented Aliens in this hunt unit.
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White-tailed Deer

Overview: Unit 36A supports a good population of white-tailed deer. White-tailed deer are found on every mountain range in the unit, even the small sets of mountains adjacent to the flats.
White-tailed deer seem to like the more rugged and steep slopes of the mountains in the unit. They are also found in some of the lower desert that most hunters would consider mule deer country. In the foothills as well as in some of the desert areas, both mule deer and white-tailed deer can be found together. The occurrence of white-tailed deer in lower elevations has increased for the past decade. These desert areas will usually have ocotillo present similar to those found between the Sierrita, Cerro Colorado, and Las Guijas mountains.
White-tailed Deer have been nicknamed the “gray ghost” because of their ability to remain concealed. They are relatively small and hard to find. Glassing them is the best way to find them. It allows the hunter the opportunity to find the deer before the deer finds him and plan a stalk. White-tailed deer are very fast and once they are spooked they clear out of the country without hesitation.

*Please read special note at the bottom of this hunt unit report regarding Undocumented Aliens in this hunt unit.
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Cottontail Rabbit

Overview: Unit 36A is good for hunting cottontail rabbit although the density of rabbits depends on winter rainfall. Cottontails can be found pretty uniformly throughout the unit.
The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is open to cottontail rabbit hunting from August 20 through May 30. Contact the Refuge for details as season dates may change according to Refuge policy and for specific regulations that apply to the Refuge at 520-823-4251.
This unit also has a good population of black tailed jack rabbits and a fair population of antelope jack rabbits. Jack rabbits can be found throughout the area from the lower elevations to the rolling hills. Jack rabbits are a great species to get the younger hunters out and teach them how to hunt small game. Every March there is a Junior Jack Camp hosted in 36A. Click here for more info. This camp fills quickly, so register the juniors early!

*Please read special note at the bottom of this hunt unit report regarding Undocumented Aliens in this hunt unit.
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Overview: Unit 36A is a marginal dove-hunting unit. Mostly Mourning Doves are found around the stock tanks throughout the unit. The hunting should be fair near these waters just after sunrise. If the September season is dry, do not stay around the waters for more than a couple of hours at a time, this will allow the cattle access to the water. Remember there is no camping within a quarter mile of the waters.
If there is a good grass seed crop in the grassland during the late season there should good hunting. These grasslands are found in the southern portion of the unit. If not, hunting the waters in these areas would be the best locations for finding dove.

*Please read special note at the bottom of this hunt unit report regarding Undocumented Aliens in this hunt unit.
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Overview: Unit 36A is primarily a Gambel’s quail unit, but you can also hunt a decent population of Scaled quail and even a few Mearn’s quail.
Gambel’s quail are best hunted in the grasslands, foothills and in the flat desert scrub country throughout the unit. The best hunting will be by working out away from waters and along larger washes found throughout the unit. Scaled quail are found primarily in the grasslands and foothills. The Mearns’ quail are found on all of the mountains in the unit. In some of the foothill areas, coveys of all three species are intermixed so be sure you are shooting at the right species.
SPECIAL NOTE: It is unlawful to hunt quail on all portions of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in order to protect the endangered Masked Bobwhite Quail. Contact the Refuge for regulations and more information at 520-823-4251.

*Please read special note at the bottom of this hunt unit report regarding Undocumented Aliens in this hunt unit.
36A Access

*** See for an online mapping system for access! ***
The gate at the Batamote Ranch house has been legally locked and no vehicular access is permitted through that gate.

Closure mapGenerally, access in 36A is very good. Most of the unit is State Trust Land mixed with some private land. From the East, access is now most easily obtained off of McGee Ranch Road through a gate about 4 to 4 ½ miles west of Mission Road. This road will take you into the low country on the northeast side of the Sierrita Mountains. There are several roads that go out to the east towards Mission road but they are hard to follow and they are not on maps.

There is a locked gate going into a half section of state land at the west end of Pima Mine road. This road is a deeded road and is private property running through the state land and is legally locked.

From the Northeast you can enter from Ocotillo Ranch road off of Mission Road. This route is tricky because you will need to travel southwest through the subdivision to the power line road. Once on the power line travel west to the State land fence. From this Point you can either travel west along the power line or you can travel southwest toward the Sierrita Mountains and McGee Road. There is no longer access through the Navarro Ranch, Indian Kitchen, or the Ruby Star Area. It may be easier to access this area from the McGee Road.

The Sierrita mountains are found in the center of the hunt unit and are the largest and the highest mountain range in the unit. These mountains have no public vehicular access to the top of the mountain. The main roads on the east and west sides are legally locked on private property. Foot access is allowed into this area.

Access to the northwest side of the Sierrita mountains can be obtained be taking Ajo road, HWY 86, west out of Tucson to Sierrita Mountain road and then south on Sierrita Mountain road to the end of the pavement. Continue south on the dirt road though a cattle guard and staying on the main traveled road that will veer to the left (follow signs for Cysco Ranch). This road will take you to the base of the mountains as well as having several roads that leave it. These roads will also take you to different part of the valley giving you access to different parts of the mountains.
This area is constantly being developed and many of the roads run across private property. When the landowners start construction at their site, they sometimes put up a fence and lock off the road. There is no right away across these private lands and they can close the roads.

Access to the north end of the Sierrita mountains can be obtained be taking Sierrita Mountain road to the end of the pavement. The paved road turns west and is called Diamond Bell Road. Take the dirt road to the east about three quarters of a mile and go through the gate. As you travel Northeast in this area it borders the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation so pay attention to signs on fences. The Reservation is not included in 36A and if you are trespassing or hunting on Tohono O’Odham Land you are subject to Tribal Laws.

Access to the southeast corner of the Sierrita mountains can be obtained by taking the Canoa road exit off Interstate 19. Take frontage road to the north and then the first road, which is Calle Tres. Go to the end of the pavement, where there is a gate about 40 yards south. This road will allow access to the area to the east of the Caterpillar property.

The second route to access this area is to go south on the frontage road to the first gate south of the rest area. This road will allow access to the southeastern portion of the unit and the area south of the Caterpillar property.

The Caterpillar Proving Grounds is currently closed to all hunting including archery. The Caterpillar Proving Grounds property line is well marked and includes a southern parcel of 4,620 acres purchased from State Land in December of 2011. This newly closed parcel includes the Tinaja Hills. Maps of the closed area are available at the Tucson AZGFD office at 555 N. Greasewood Rd.
Freeport McMoRan mine purchased 8,300 acres of State Land in July, 2012. Most of this area was land that they previously leased. Contact the mine for hunt information.

The southern portion of the Sierrita Mountains used to be, in part, accessed by the road going north next to the Marley Cattle Company's barn. This has been legally locked by the Marley Ranch. Access to the southern portion of the Sierrita mountains can be obtained by taking Batamote Road off Arivaca Road at milepost 17.6. This will provide access to the southwest portion of the mountain.

The Cerro Colorado mountains are in the south central portion of the hunt unit. They are the most rugged of the unit’s mountains. Access around and into these mountains can be acquired off Arivaca road from most of the roads that go north off Arivaca road from milepost 17.6 to the road about a half-mile west of milepost 9.

The Las Guijas Mountains run along the southwestern portion of the unit from the town of Arivaca to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Access to this mountain range can be gained from any of the roads north off Arivaca road from milepost 9 through Arivaca to five miles east of Sasabe highway or Hwy 286.

Access to the north side of the Las Guijas mountains is obtained from the east by taking either of the roads near milepost 9 or 7 north off Arivaca road then go west on the road to the Montana Ranch house. Access can also be gained off of mile posts 5 and 3 but these roads are not traveled as much. There are several roads going north and south off this road. Access can also be obtained from the west by taking the Secundino road at milepost 16, turn east off of HWY 286 and continuing east off the refuge.

Access to the western portion of the hunt unit can be obtained from Sasabe Hwy (286). There are numerous roads going to the east off the Hwy. Many of these roads will take you to the base of the mountains with some of the roads taking you all the way around the mountains coming out on Arivaca road or even Interstate 19.

The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in the southwest portion of the unit is open to hunting (except quail and predators) and camping. The Refuge also has stricter regulations regarding the use of OHV’s and carrying loaded firearms in vehicles. Contact the Refuge for specific regulations that apply to hunting and camping on the Refuge at 520-823-4251.

The best maps to get for this unit are the USGS Topographic maps. These maps will give detailed information on the location of most of the roads and waters, as well as the terrain features of the unit. They are available from map and survey supply stores as well as some outdoor equipment supply stores. Maps depicting the land ownership are available from the State Land Department here. The BLM map is also good to have, as it has a larger scale so all of the area is on one map. You will need the “Sells” map for this area.

Unit Summary
Primary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)
White-tailed Deer October-January
Javelina January, February
Mule Deer October/November, January
Secondary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)
Quail October-February
Average # permits in past 5 years
White-tailed Deer 1000
Javelina 800
Mule Deer 800
Climate Information
Month Ave. Temp Ave. Rainfall Ave. Snowfall
January 63° 0.95" 0.7"
February 66° 0.68" 0.4"
March 69° 0.76" 0.5"
October 82° 0.80" 0.1"
November 72° 0.50" 0.2"
December 64° 1.32" 0.4"
Other Pertinent Climate Information
Mild Temperatures in winter; extreme heat in summer. Always take along plenty of water. Summer monsoon storms cause flash floods in washes; travel can be difficult.
Cities, Roads & Campgrounds
Major Cities and Towns in or Near Game Management Unit and Nearest Gas, Food, and Lodging
Tucson, Green Valley, Amado, Arivaca, Three Points/Robles Jct.
Major Highways and Roads Leading To
From the East: I-19
From the West: Hwy 286
From the North: Hwy 86
From the South: Arivaca Rd
Developed Campgrounds
RV parks in Tucson, Green Valley, and Arivaca.
Undeveloped Campgrounds
Camping is allowed on Bureau of Land Management lands throughout the unit. Camping is allowed on State Trust lands with a hunting license or a recreation use permit. Camping is allowed at designated sites on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.
Brief Description of Terrain, Elevation, and Vegetation
Elevations range from 2,500' near Three Points to approximately 6,200' on Keystone Peak in the Sierrita Mountains. Vegetation in the south is upper Sonoran Desert grassland and upper Sonoran desert scrub with oak woodland and chaparral in the Sierrita Mountains and oak woodland in the Cerro Colorado and Las Guijas mountains.
Government Agencies and Phone Numbers
Arizona Game and Fish Department, Region V - 520-823-4251
Arizona State Land Department, Tucson Office - 520-628-5480
Bureau of Land Management. Tucson Field Office - 520-722-4289
US Border Patrol, Tucson Sector, 1-877-872-7435
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Hunting, Trapping & Fishing Regulations, Season Dates & Draw Information

Detailed information on all rules, regulations and seasons

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  • 2014-2015 Trapping Regulations [PDF]

  • Revised 2015-16 AZ Fishing Regulations
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  • 2015 Urban Fishing Guidebook
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  • 2015 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-14 Raptor Regulations [PDF]
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