Arizona Game and FIsh Department - Managing Today for Wildlife Tomorrow: azgfd.gov Arizona Game and Fish Department
  

Phone Number
BUY LICENSES | BIG GAME DRAW | eNEWS | CALENDAR | VIDEO | HUNTING | FISHING | WILDLIFE VIEWING | CONSERVATION | EDUCATION | BOATING | SHOOTING | OHV | SITE MAP | EMPLOYMENT
 
AZGFD Home
expand icon eServices
expanded icon Newsroom
expand icon Hunting & Fishing
   

Hunting

- Rules & Regulations
- Hunt Guidelines
- Big Game Species
- Small Game Species
- Waterfowl Species
- Predator Species
- Furbearer Species
-

Where to Hunt

- Waterfowl Hunting
- Small Game Outlook
Fishing
Resources
expand icon Outdoor Recreation
expand icon Wildlife & Conservation
expand icon Education & Outreach
expand icon Inside AZGFD
Customer Service
 

Game Management Unit 40A

 
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:Bighorn Sheep, Javelina, Mule Deer, Dove, Quail
 
Unit Boundaries
Beginning at Ajo; southeasterly on AZ Hwy 85 to Why; southeasterly on AZ Hwy 86 to the Tohono O'odham (Papago) Indian Reservation; northerly and easterly along the reservation boundary to the Cocklebur-Stanfield road; north on this road to I-8; westerly on I-8 to AZ Hwy 85; southerly on AZ Hwy 85 to Ajo.
 
Species Information back to top
Bighorn Sheep

Desert Bighorn Sheep can be found throughout unit 40A. Past rams harvested from 40AS have scored 145-175+ (Boone and Crockett) and from unit 40AN 150-175+. A pickup was believed to have scored 202 according to B&C standards.  The ADBSS has made several replicas of this pickup and has displayed them in many banquets and expos.

Currently the GMU is closed to bighorn hunting.  The sheep population declined significantly.  The department is taking measures to study the collapse of this population.  The next scheduled survey is 2010.

Area: Unit 40AS is accessible by gates along the east side of S.R. 85 between Gila Bend and Why; the unit includes the Sauceda, Batamote and Sikort Chuapo Mountains. Unit 40AN is accessible by gates along the south side of I-8 between Gila Bend and Stanfield; the unit includes the Sand Tank and Tabletop Mountains. The south and north divider is the Sauceda Wash. The BMGR boundary will be posted and have locked gate entrances. Permits are now available through several federal governmental agencies as follows: BLM at the Deer Valley and Yuma office, Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, Yuma U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

All off road vehicles will be required to meet street legal requirements, i.e. registration, insurance, and specific equipment, prior to entering the range. To access the BMGR, you and all your party members 18 and older will require written permission through the Gila Bend A.F.A.F., range operations 928-683- 6220/6200. Currently, you have to view a video; it is about twenty minutes long.  Thereafter, you'll sign a hold harmless document and obtain a one-year permit from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. The permit is to be presented upon request to any government law enforcement or range security officer. Once these requirements are met, you are required to call range security at 928-683-6220/6200 to coordinate your entry and departure from the range. Note: the Barry M. Goldwater Range is an active tactical U.S. Air Force Range and these precautions are necessary to avoid placing yourself in harm’s way. Tactical ranges where air to surface impacts occurs are closed to public access. Ranges A & B are over flight areas open for recreation generally all year round to the public after meeting the above requirements.

One last note, Area A has been relinquished back to BLM and January 17th, 2001 President Clinton signed the Sonoran Desert National Monument proclamation that includes Area A.  BLM is preparing a comprehensive management plan and has conducted public and inter-agency scoping meetings and a final draft is expected to come out this year.  Additional information can be found in issues of August 1995, May 1997, and November 1997 of the Arizona Wildlife Views
In November, temperatures will range from 80 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the units. Precipitation in November is high for the area, accumulating as much as an inch. December and January weather are similar, with less precipitation.

 
 
back to top
Javelina

Overview: In the month of January, a multi-unit archery javelina hunt is open to units 40A&B and 39. Currently the javelina population has begun to recover, however hunt success is still low.  I recommend early morning scouting and taking time to listen. Javelinas are very social and vocal in the early mornings.

A junior’s archery and muzzleloader hunt has been recently changed to a junior’s general rifle hunt in GMU 39 in the fall.  The hunt was established to target the robust populations of javelina along the Gila River and Robbins Butte Wildlife Area.  For more information contact the Wildlife area Manger Phil Smith or myself.

Areas: accessible by cattle gates along the south side of Interstate 8 between Gila Bend and Stanfield, as well as along the east side of State Route 85 between Gila Bend and Why. The Barry M. Goldwater Range boundary will be posted and have locked gate entrances. Permits are now available through several federal governmental agencies as follows: BLM at the Deer Valley and Yuma office, Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, Marine Corps Air Station (Yuma), and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

All off road vehicles will be required to meet street legal requirements, i.e. registration, insurance, and specific equipment, prior to entering the range. To access the Barry M. Goldwater Range, you and all your party members 18 and older will require written permission. Note the new changes to the BMGR Access Program. Currently, you have to view a video release; it is about twenty minutes long.  Thereafter, you'll sign a hold harmless document and obtain a one-year permit from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. Once these requirements are met, you are required to call a 1-800-number or range security at 928-683-6220/6200 to coordinate your entry and departure from the range.  The permit is to be presented upon request to any government law enforcement or range security officer. Note: the Barry M. Goldwater Range is an active tactical U.S. Air Force bombing Range and these precautions are necessary to avoid placing yourself in harm’s way. Tactical ranges are where air to surface impacts occurs and are closed to public access.  Ranges A & B are over flight areas (the Paradise Valley area is excluded from public access) open for recreation generally all year round to the public after meeting the above requirements. One last note, Area A has been relinquished back to BLM and January 17th, 2001 President Clinton signed the Sonoran Desert National Monument proclamation that includes Area A.  BLM is preparing a comprehensive management plan and has conducted public and inter-agency scoping meetings and a final draft is expected to come out this year. You can be put on a mailing list for updates and scheduled meetings through BLM at 623-580-5500 or the website http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en.html.  Additional information can be found in issues of August 1995, May 1997, and November 1997 of the Arizona Wildlife Views.

Unit 40B is split east and west of the Mohawk Mountains. 40B East is administered the same as 40A on the BMGR. However, 40B East BMGR consist of only tactical ranges and no access will be granted, unless you have official business. Hunting opportunities for javelina are limited to the surrounding Ajo area. Ajo is located 40 miles south of Gila Bend on S.R. 85. The U.S. Marines Corps Air Station, Yuma at 928-341-3318 administers 40B west. If you'd like further information on the west side contact Wildlife Manager Scott Fischer home office (928) 329-6517 or Yuma Regional Office at 928-342-0091. 928-317-9706) or Yuma Regional Office at 928-342-0091.
 
back to top
Mule Deer

Overview: Currently most deer are staying near the Gila River and adjacent to agricultural fields, if you hunt these areas you will increase your chance for success, otherwise finding deer in units 39 & 40A will be difficult. Sonoran desert mule deer during the general rifle hunt can be found along the mountain bases, low rolling hills and throughout the network of desert washes. The general hunter will usually hunt along mountain bases and use the higher elevation to increase visibility. The more adventure some hunter will work the low land washes; the hunter will cut sign in the washes looking for a large trophy buck. Hunting the desert mulie is not an easy challenge; the hunt will test your endurance and persistence to continue hunting after possibly going days without seeing a deer. I find that when hunters congregate in an area the bucks move on to adjacent areas, while the does and fawns are more prone to stay in the area. Mature bucks may be found in small bachelor herds or solitaire during the general season, their visibility is low. However during the rut when the bucks join the does, visibility goes up with more animals to spot. It has been my experience that hunts during the rutting period will increase your odds immensely. These hunts are with primitive weapons usually, for example archery or muzzleloader.

White-tailed deer does not regularly come to mind in the Sonoran Desert; however, there are a few small populations found in unit 40A. I have seen several very nice pickups, too include a pickup that scored roughly 122 1/2. I have known hunting camps from time to time take both a white-tailed and mule deer buck out of the same area.

I personally review a good field dressing video prior to going to the field. This helps me organize my thoughts when the real work begins after the animal is down. Remember before you take your shot beware of your location to your camp and/or vehicle and also take into account the weather.

In December, any antler deer muzzleloader hunt is open in GMU 39/40A&B/ 41/42. For more information on Units 41 & 42 review their perspective mule deer hunt page or contact the regional office at 928-342-0091. Wildlife Manager Joe Sayer (Home office, not assigned yet, main office 928-342-0091) manages in Unit 41 and Wildlife Manager Craig Heath (Home office 623-882-2140) manages in Unit 42.


In December and January, the any antler deer archery hunt is open in a multi-unit hunt too include units’ 39/40A&B. Special note GMU 42 has been dropped from the December multi-unit archery hunt.  December and January archery tags are available over the counter.


Areas: The area encompasses several wilderness areas, Sonoran Desert National Monument and the Barry M. Goldwater Range, (BMGR). The wilderness areas are the Tabletop, Estrella, Maricopa, Woolsey, and Signal Peak Mountains. The Bureau of Land Management, (BLM), administers all these wilderness areas. The Barry M. Goldwater Range is unique, because Luke Air Force Base regulates access and activities on the Barry M. Goldwater Range through its sister base the Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, Gila Bend A.F.A.F.

Unit 39 may be accessed by numerous cattle gates along state route 85, State Route 85, between Gila Bend and Buckeye, as well as along the north side of Interstate 8, between Sentinel and Stanfield.  Access north of S.R. 238/ Maricopa Rd. into the SDNM is closed, as well as the east end of the gas pipeline road north of the North Maricopa Mountain.  Additional information can be found in February 1998's issue of Arizona Wildlife Views.

40A is accessible by cattle gates along the south side of Interstate 8 between Gila Bend and Stanfield, as well as along the east side of State Route 85 between Gila Bend and Why. The Barry M. Goldwater Range boundary will be posted and have locked gate entrances. Permits are now available through several federal governmental agencies as follows: BLM at the Deer Valley and Yuma office, Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, Marine Corps Air Station (Yuma), and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

All off road vehicles will be required to meet street legal requirements, i.e. registration, insurance, and specific equipment, prior to entering the range. To access the Barry M. Goldwater Range, you and all your party members 18 and older will require written permission. Note the new changes to the BMGR Access Program. Currently, you have to view a video release; it is about twenty minutes long.  Thereafter, you'll sign a hold harmless document and obtain a one-year permit from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. Once these requirements are met, you are required to call a 1-800-number or range security at 928-683-6220/6200 to coordinate your entry and departure from the range.  The permit is to be presented upon request to any government law enforcement or range security officer. Note: the Barry M. Goldwater Range is an active tactical U.S. Air Force bombing Range and these precautions are necessary to avoid placing yourself in harm’s way. Tactical ranges are where air to surface impacts occurs and are closed to public access.  Ranges A & B are over flight areas (the Paradise Valley area is excluded from public access) open for recreation generally all year round to the public after meeting the above requirements. One last note, Area A has been relinquished back to BLM and January 17th, 2001 President Clinton signed the Sonoran Desert National Monument proclamation that includes Area A.  BLM is preparing a comprehensive management plan and has conducted public and inter-agency scoping meetings and a final draft is expected to come out this year. You can be put on a mailing list for updates and scheduled meetings through BLM at 623-580-5500 or the website http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en.html.Additional information can also be found in issues of August 1995, May 1997, and November 1997 of the Arizona Wildlife Views.

Unit 40B is split east and west of the Mohawk Mountains. 40B East is administered the same as 40A on the Barry M. Goldwater Range. However, 40B East Barry M. Goldwater Range consist of only tactical ranges and no access will be granted, unless you have official business. Hunting opportunities for mule deer are limited to the surrounding Ajo area. Ajo is located 40 miles south of Gila Bend on State Route 85. The Marines Corps Air Station, Yuma (928-341-3318) administers unit 40B west. If you'd like further information on the West Side, contact Wildlife Manager Scott Fischer home office (928) 329-6517 or Yuma regional office Regional Office at 928-342-0091

In November, temperatures will range from 80 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the units. Precipitation in November is high for the area, accumulating as much as an inch. December and January weather are similar, with less precipitation.
 
back to top
Dove

Overview: 2010 dove flights have been steady and growing.  The introduction of Eurasian doves has increased opportunities to hunt year round.  I am observing more bag limits with Eurasian doves from year to year.  Be a responsible hunter and keep your harvested birds separate from your fellow hunters’ birds.  Eurasian doves are frequent visitors of dairies and municipalities.  Although many dairy men may not allow you to hunt with shotguns around their cows, you may consider using a bow with flu-flu arrows.  Doves can be found throughout the units where open water and/or agriculture operations are located. A common hunting practice is to set up near water or agriculture fields at day break and take your shots as they fly by.  Caution to all hunters about hunting near a baited field; this is a federal violation.  Therefore, hunt fields that follow normal farming operations. It is your responsibility to scout your hunting area to assure it is not baited. Note that in these units during the first dove season (September) is a morning hunt only; this hunt also has a white - winged dove limit. A new change, the first season will include a junior hunt all day for persons up to and throughout the calendar year of their 17th birthday. Junior hunters that participant in the morning are still restricted to the daily bag limit, if they choose to hunt in the evening as well. When the second hunt season (November) starts, you'll note that the hunt is open all day and is restricted to mourning doves only. Junior hunters check with the Arizona Game and Fish Department in Mesa (480-981-9400) or Wildlife Area Manager Phil Smith (602-290-2237) about special dove hunts on the Robbins Butte Farm near the Gila River and S.R.85.

If you what to avoid the congestion of hunters along a farm field, another alternative is to locate a remote stock tank that maintains water year round. These stock tanks provide good to excellence hunting opportunities.

Areas: The area encompasses a wilderness area, the Sonoran Desert national Monument, and the Barry M. Goldwater Range, BMGR. The wilderness area is the Tabletop Mountains and the Bureau of Land Management, BLM, administers this wilderness area. A note, January 17th, 2001 President Clinton signed the areas of the Sand Tank and Tabletop Mountains to be included into the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The BMGR is unique, because Luke Air Force Base regulates access and activities on the BMGR through its sister base the Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, Gila Bend A.F.A.F.

40A is accessible by cattle gates along the south side of Interstate 8 between Gila Bend and Stanfield, as well as along the east side of State Route 85 between Gila Bend and Why. The Barry M. Goldwater Range boundary will be posted and have locked gate entrances. Permits are now available through several federal governmental agencies as follows: BLM at the Deer Valley and Yuma office, Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, Marine Corps Air Station (Yuma), and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

All off road vehicles will be required to meet street legal requirements, i.e. registration, insurance, and specific equipment, prior to entering the range. To access the Barry M. Goldwater Range, you and all your party members 18 and older will require written permission. Note the new changes to the BMGR Access Program. Currently, you have to view a video release; it is about twenty minutes long.  Thereafter, you'll sign a hold harmless document and obtain a one-year permit from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. Once these requirements are met, you are required to call a 1-800-number or range security at 928-683-6220/6200 to coordinate your entry and departure from the range.  The permit is to be presented upon request to any government law enforcement or range security officer. Note: the Barry M. Goldwater Range is an active tactical U.S. Air Force bombing Range and these precautions are necessary to avoid placing yourself in harm’s way. Tactical ranges are where air to surface impacts occurs and are closed to public access.  Ranges A & B are over flight areas (the Paradise Valley area is excluded from public access) open for recreation generally all year round to the public after meeting the above requirements. One last note, Area A has been relinquished back to BLM and January 17th, 2001 President Clinton signed the Sonoran Desert National Monument proclamation that includes Area A.  BLM is preparing a comprehensive management plan and has conducted public and inter-agency scoping meetings and a final draft is expected to come out this year. You can be put on a mailing list for updates and scheduled meetings through BLM at 623-580-5500 or the website http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en.html.Additional information can be found in issues of August 1995, May 1997, and November 1997 of the Arizona Wildlife Views.

 

 
back to top
Quail

Overview: Expectations of this coming Gambel's quail season is looking up. Earlier this year, many coveys were observed. Currently, the area has received some November and January rainfalls and the results have been significantly more observations. Gambel's quail can be generally found along large washes and closely associated closely associated to mountainsides. I recommend you acquire a quail call to assist you in locating coveys, as they call back.

Areas: The area encompasses a wilderness area, the Sonoran Desert national Monument, and the Barry M. Goldwater Range, BMGR. The wilderness area is the Tabletop Mountains and the Bureau of Land Management, BLM, administers this wilderness area. A note, January 17th, 2001 President Clinton signed the areas of the Sand Tank and Tabletop Mountains to be included into the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The BMGR is unique, because Luke Air Force Base regulates access and activities on the BMGR through its sister base the Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, Gila Bend A.F.A.F.

40A is accessible by cattle gates along the south side of Interstate 8 between Gila Bend and Stanfield, as well as along the east side of State Route 85 between Gila Bend and Why. The Barry M. Goldwater Range boundary will be posted and have locked gate entrances. Permits are now available through several federal governmental agencies as follows: BLM at the Deer Valley and Yuma office, Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, Marine Corps Air Station (Yuma), and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

All off road vehicles will be required to meet street legal requirements, i.e. registration, insurance, and specific equipment, prior to entering the range. To access the Barry M. Goldwater Range, you and all your party members 18 and older will require written permission. Note the new changes to the BMGR Access Program. Currently, you have to view a video release; it is about twenty minutes long.  Thereafter, you'll sign a hold harmless document and obtain a one-year permit from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. Once these requirements are met, you are required to call a 1-800-number or range security at 928-683-6220/6200 to coordinate your entry and departure from the range.  The permit is to be presented upon request to any government law enforcement or range security officer. Note: the Barry M. Goldwater Range is an active tactical U.S. Air Force bombing Range and these precautions are necessary to avoid placing yourself in harm’s way. Tactical ranges are where air to surface impacts occurs and are closed to public access.  Ranges A & B are over flight areas (the Paradise Valley area is excluded from public access) open for recreation generally all year round to the public after meeting the above requirements. One last note, Area A has been relinquished back to BLM and January 17th, 2001 President Clinton signed the Sonoran Desert National Monument proclamation that includes Area A.  BLM is preparing a comprehensive management plan and has conducted public and inter-agency scoping meetings and a final draft is expected to come out this year. You can be put on a mailing list for updates and scheduled meetings through BLM at 623-580-5500 or the website http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en.html.  Additional information can be found in issues of August 1995, May 1997, and November 1997 of the Arizona Wildlife Views.

In November, temperatures will range from 80 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the units. Precipitation in November is high for the area, accumulating as much as an inch. December and January weather are similar, with less precipitation.
 
back to top
Unit Summary
Primary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)
Bighorn Sheep December
Any Antlered Deer November
Quail October-December
Secondary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)
Javelina January
Any Deer Archery December/January
Average # permits in past 5 years
Deer (Mule & White-tailed) 150/150
   
 
Climate Information
Month Ave. Temp Ave. Rainfall
January Max 69/Min 38 0.22"
February Max 65/Min 35 0.60"
September Max 103/Min 69 0.71"
October Max 92/Min 57 0.45"
November Max 79/Min 45 0.67"
December Max 69/Min 39 0.93"
Other Pertinent Climate Information
Temperatures will range 30 degrees +/- of the average temperature. Be aware that November rains are not uncommon. Summer climate is extreme and harsh.
 
Cities, Roads & Campgrounds
Major Cities and Towns in or Near Game Management Unit and Nearest Gas, Food, and Lodging
Gila Bend, Ajo, Stanfield, Why
Major Highways and Roads Leading To
From the East: I-8
From the West: I-8
From the North: State Hwy 85
From the South: State Hwy 85
Developed Campgrounds
FAM camp - Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field (Active/Reserve/Retired Military only) - (928) 683-6211 Coyote Howl R.V. Park - Why S.R. 86 - (928) 387-9289 Saguaro R.V. Park - Stanfield I8/mile post 151 - (928) 424-3383
Undeveloped Campgrounds
Barry Goldwater Range Area "A" and "B" (permit required). BLM land surrounds the gunnery range.
 
Brief Description of Terrain, Elevation, and Vegetation
Creosote-Bursage communities are abundant. Saguaro-Paloverde tree communities are concentrated to major washes and mountain foothills. Mountain peaks vary from 2,400' to 3,000'.
 
Government Agencies and Phone Numbers
Arizona Game and Fish Department/Region IV - (928) 342-0091
Resident WM Dan Urquidez, Home Office-928-454-2402
Bureau of Land Management (Phoenix) - (602) 780-8090
Gila Bend A.F.A.F. Range Operations - (928) 683-6258
 
back to top
 
Related AZGFD Info
- Hunter Education
- Shooting Sports
- Economic Impact
- Sign up for AZGFD eNews
- Wildlife Photo Gallery
 
Downloads [More]


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

Detailed information on all rules, regulations and seasons

  • New! 2013-2014 Arizona Hunting Regulations [PDF, 6mb]

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

  • 2014 Spring Hunt Draw Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-2014 Waterfowl & Snipe Regulations [PDF]

  • New! 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]
  • 2013 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.

Mission | Frequently Asked Questions | Web Policy | Send Comments | Employment | Commission Agenda | Office Locations | Site Map | Search | © 2013 AZGFD