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Game Management Unit 6B

 
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

 

New USFS Travel Management Rule: The Coconino National Forest has implemented new travel management rules resulting in changes to motor vehicle access on national forest lands. These changes include motorized big game retrieval, road closures and camping restrictions. Travel Management Rule only allows motorized use on designated roads, trails and areas as identified on a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). These maps are available for free at Forest Service offices and at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/landmanagement/projects/?cid=stelprdb5356224 . Because of the Forest rule changes, only motorized retrieval of elk is permitted in Game Management Unit 6B. Motorized retrieval of all other wildlife, including all other big game species, is not permitted on national forest lands in Game Management Unit 6B. For further information regarding the Travel Management Rule, please contact the Coconino National Forest.

Unit Boundaries
Beginning at mp 188.5 on I-40 at a point just north of the east boundary of Camp Navajo; south along the eastern boundary of Camp Navajo to the southeastern corner of Camp Navajo; southeast approximately 1/3 mile through the forest to the forest road in section 33; southeast on that forest road to FR 231 (Woody Mountain Road); easterly on FR 231 to FR 533; southerly on FR 533 to 89A; southerly on 89A to the Verde River; northerly along the Verde River to Sycamore Creek; northeasterly along Sycamore Creek and Volunteer Canyon to the southwest corner of the Camp Navajo boundary; northerly along the western boundary of Camp Navajo to the northwest corner of Camp Navajo; continuing north to I-40 (mp 180.0); easterly along I-40 to mp 188.5.
 
Species Information  
Antelope

Overview: Game Management Unit 6B supports limited pronghorn numbers, which occur in two subpopulations.

6B North Hunt Unit- Archery Only
This herd occupies the upland meadows (Fry Park, Yellow Flat, and Rogers Lake) and intervening ponderosa pine forest southwest of Flagstaff. These pronghorn antelope are a herd element of the Garland Prairie population.
Areas: Rogers Lake - Yellow Flat/Mill Park - Fry Park: This area can be accessed by Forest Road 231 (Woody Mountain Road) from Flagstaff. The pronghorn may be difficult to locate because they spend much time in forested areas that are more typical habitat for elk and deer.

6B South Hunt Unit- General
The other group inhabits desert grassland and savanna habitat in the Verde Valley.
Areas: Wheatfield - Duff Flat- Windmill Flat: This area can be accessed by FR 525 (Red Canyon Road) and FR 131 (Sycamore Canyon Road) north and northeast of Clarkdale. These pronghorn can also be difficult to locate when they are occupying the juniper-pinyon savanna habitat.

Rogers Lake County Natural Area is open to hunting but closed to vehicle access. Hunting is not permitted within a ¼ mile of any occupied building, wildlife viewing platform, picnic area, or developed trailhead.

 
Black Bear

Overview: The canyon habitats and adjoining chaparral and forested slopes support a high density of black bears. Major canyon systems in Unit 6B include Sycamore Canyon, Oak Creek, West Fork of Oak Creek and Secret Canyon. Bears are opportunistic foragers, eating mast crops when they are available. Acorns, berries and prickly pear cactus provide favored food sources when abundant. Bears tend to invade trash receptacles when natural food sources are limited. Securing containers inside a garage or storage building or treating them daily with a dilute chlorine bleach solution are useful strategies to avoid habituating bears into garbage foraging patterns. A bear that consistently forages in garbage presents a risk to humans and frequently must be destroyed. A person who encounters a potential bear threat should assume as intimidating a profile as possible: make yourself seem as large as possible by waving arms or a coat and use sticks, rocks or anything available to scare the bear.

Look for bears by glassing lower elevation canyons. In the fall, bears move around a lot, trying to find food and gain weight for the winter. Bears like just about anything edible, including prickly pear fruits and bugs. They find bugs by turning over logs and rocks. Remember that bear baiting is illegal in Arizona.

Areas: Sycamore Canyon - Casner Mountain: This area can be accessed using Woody Mountain Road (FR 231) from Flagstaff or Red Canyon Road (FR 525) from Sedona. Most of the bear habitat is in National Forest wilderness. Bears can be observed on open slopes with stands of cactus when the prickly pears are ripe.

West Fork of Oak Creek: The north and south rims of the canyon offer bear observation opportunities. This area can be accessed by using Forest Road 535 and Woody Mountain Road (FR 231).

East Pocket - Bear Sign Basin: The upland portion of this area can be accessed by Woody Mountain Road (FR 231). The basin portion, part of the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, must be accessed by foot or horseback from Dry Creek Road-Vultee Arch Road northwest of Sedona. Dense chaparral and cypress dominate the basin.

Other Concerns: All hunters must contact the Arizona Game & Fish Department within 48 hours of taking a bear. Within 10 days of taking a bear, the hunter shall present the bear’s skull, hide, and attached proof of sex for inspection by a Department representative. If a hunter freezes the skull or hide before presenting it for inspection, the hunter shall prop the jaw open to allow access to the teeth and ensure that the attached proof of sex is identifiable and accessible. A premolar tooth will be removed during the inspection. The meat must be salvaged, as it is unlawful to allow game meat to go to waste.

When the harvest objective for female bears has been reached, the unit will be closed to bear hunting at sundown on the following Wednesday. It is the hunter's responsibility to be sure the unit is still open. You can do so by calling 1-800-970-BEAR.

If the Annual Female Harvest Limit is met during a calendar year, the unit will close to bear hunting for the current and future bear seasons during that calendar year.

Rogers Lake County Natural Area is open to hunting but closed to vehicle access. Hunting is not permitted within a ¼ mile of any occupied building, wildlife viewing platform, picnic area, or developed trailhead.

 
 
Elk

Overview: The northern half of the unit provides quality elk habitat. The vertical escarpment of the Mogollon Rim west of Sedona divides the upland forested plateau from the Verde Valley. In the spring-summer-fall period elk tend to concentrate in the open meadows at Fry Park, Mill Park and Rogers Lake. The elk tend to winter in adjoining canyon habitat at lower elevations. These canyon habitats feature dense chaparral and juniper pinyon woodlands mixed with small savannas. Extreme wet road and soil conditions during the elk season may require local or general restrictions and/or road closures that reduce access to the unit for hunting.

The unit includes a diversity of access options. Sycamore Canyon Wilderness and Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness feature spectacular rugged canyon topography. Access in wilderness is limited to foot or horseback travel. Camp Navajo, operated by the Arizona National Guard, allows limited civilian access to permitted big game hunters. Woody Ridge Quiet Area in the northeast quarter of the unit restricts access by motor vehicles, although ongoing timber harvest currently necessitates vehicle intrusion. Bicycles are legal in the Quiet Area but are illegal in wilderness.

Elk can be located throughout the conifer forests of the plateau during the September-October period. Disturbance during a hunting season can temporarily relocate specific herd units into the many minor canyon systems and the Quiet Area. As the breeding season ends and snow begins to accumulate many of the bulls move to winter habitat along the rim of Sycamore Canyon and into the canyon itself. Cow and calf herds follow the bulls into winter habitat in response to increasing snowfall accumulations.

Areas: Fry Park - Harding Point - Howard Pocket: These areas are located north of the West Fork Canyon and can be accessed from Forest Road (FR) 535. The areas contain canyon and dry meadow habitat and produce elk observations throughout the fall hunt period.

L.O. Pocket - Sliker Hill - Dutton Hill: This area is located in the northwest quarter of the unit and can be accessed by FR 231 (Woody Mountain Road) from Flagstaff. Many elk from Camp Navajo utilize this general area when snow accumulation displaces them from summer habitat on the military base.

Woody Ridge: This area is accessed from FR 231 and offers an alternative to high hunter densities and vehicle disturbance factors especially during the archery season. (See note in Overview relative to timber action)

Sycamore Canyon - Casner Mountain: This area is located along the western boundary of the unit. The terrain is very rugged and recovery of a downed elk is difficult. Horse and/or mule assistance is recommended. The wilderness area provides high quality hunting during the general bull season. Heavy snow accumulation can make vehicle access to the canyon rim trailheads difficult. Several outfitter/guides service hunts into the area.

Rogers Lake County Natural Area is open to hunting but closed to vehicle access. Hunting is not permitted within a ¼ mile of any occupied building, wildlife viewing platform, picnic area, or developed trailhead.

 
 
Mule Deer

Overview: Mule deer utilize habitat throughout Unit 6B. The upland conifer forest north of the Mogollon Rim supports a higher density of deer, but older and larger bucks are observed with greater frequency in the chaparral and juniper-pinyon habitats in the Dry Creek and Spring Creek basins of the Verde Valley.

Successful Archery season deer hunters must contact an Arizona Game and Fish Department person or by telephone (1-866-903-3337) within 10 days of taking a deer unless the deer has been checked through a mandatory deer check station.

The unit includes a diversity of access options. Sycamore Canyon Wilderness and Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness feature spectacular rugged canyon topography. Access in wilderness is limited to foot or horseback travel. Camp Navajo operated by the Arizona National Guard allows limited civilian access to permitted big game hunters. Woody Ridge Quiet Area in the northeast quarter of the unit restricts access by motor vehicles, although ongoing timber harvest currently necessitates vehicle intrusion. Bicycles are legal in the Quiet Area but are prohibited in the wilderness.

Areas: Turkey Butte - East Pocket: This area is located on the plateau north of the Mogollon Rim. The forest in the area is diverse, including Gambel oak/ponderosa pine stands and mixed conifer stands. Many mule deer utilize this area during the fall, especially in years with an abundant Gambel oak acorn crop.

Harding Point - Howard Pocket: This area is located on the north rim of West Fork Canyon. High densities of Gambel oaks intersperse with the dominant ponderosa pine. Mule deer find this area attractive during the fall, especially if acorns are available.

Brins Mesa - Soldiers Pass: This area is located north of Sedona and can be accessed from Dry Creek Road. The land status is Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness, so access is limited to hiking and horseback. This area usually has a high density of general hikers. The vegetation consists of high-density chaparral and cypress, limiting vision to short distances or hilltop-to-hilltop glassing opportunities.

Casner Mountain: This area is located on the west edge of the unit and can be accessed by Red Canyon Road. Most of the area is wilderness status with a narrow corridor along the powerline that crests the mountain that can be accessed by quads, motorcycles and bicycles.

6B South: The portion of GMU 6B generally west of Dry Creek and south of Boynton Pass (see description on page 45, footnote 27 of the 2011-12 AZ Hunting and Trapping Regulations) opens for a January archery hunt. Locations to scout for this hunt include Windmill Mountain, Anderson Butte, and Bradshaw Knoll.

Rogers Lake County Natural Area is open to hunting but closed to vehicle access. Hunting is not permitted within a ¼ mile of any occupied building, wildlife viewing platform, picnic area, or developed trailhead.

 
 
White-tailed Deer

Overview: The canyon systems and Mogollon Rim area of Unit 6B feature chaparral and mixed conifer forest habitats preferred by whitetail deer. Major canyons such as Sycamore and the West Fork of Oak Creek provide good opportunities to observe whitetail, especially along the rims and upper slopes. Isolated mountains along the Rim such as Wilson Mountain, East Pocket, Bunker Hill, Bear Mountain and Secret Mountain also offer opportunity. Most of these areas are located in either the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness or Red Rocks-Secret Mountain Wilderness. Wilderness access is limited to hiking and horseback modes. Mule deer share all of these areas with whitetail deer, especially during the winter. One must be careful to properly identify the species before shooting. Extreme wet road and soil conditions during the deer season may require local or general restrictions and/or road closures that reduce access to the unit for hunting.

Successful Archery Season deer hunters must contact an Arizona Game and Fish Department  person or by telephone (1-866-903-3337) within 10 days of taking a deer unless the deer has been checked through a mandatory deer check station.

Plan on spending many hours glassing. Quality optics are a must. Good spotting scopes and binoculars can save you many miles of walking. If you climb to a high point to glass, you should spend several hours at that location looking for movement.

Areas: Mogollon Rim: Road access to most of these areas must come from the upland side via FR 231 (Woody Mountain Road) from Flagstaff. December access often is limited by heavy snow accumulations. Wilson Mountain and Bear Mountain trailheads can be accessed from lower elevation near Sedona.

Sycamore Canyon: The upper end of Sycamore Canyon (L O Pocket) can be accessed from Garland Prairie via FR 141 and FR 527. The dense vegetation here makes glassing for whitetail difficult.

6B South: The portion of GMU 6B generally west of Dry Creek and south of Boynton Pass (see description on page 45, footnote 27 of the 2011-12 AZ Hunting and Trapping Regulations) opens for a January archery hunt. Locations to scout for this hunt include Windmill Mountain, Anderson Butte, and Bradshaw Knoll.

Rogers Lake County Natural Area is open to hunting but closed to vehicle access. Hunting is not permitted within a ¼ mile of any occupied building, wildlife viewing platform, picnic area, or developed trailhead.

 
 
Merriam's Turkey

Notice: The fall hunting season is now a limited weapon-shotgun shooting shot season only. There is still a fall archery-only over-the-counter permit hunt available in fall, and Juniors-only over-the-counter permits available in the spring hunt.

Overview: The vertical escarpment of the western Mogollon Rim divides Unit 6B into a northern upland half and a southern valley half. The upland half features ponderosa pine forests with smaller areas of meadows, mixed conifer forest, and pine-oak forest. Merriam turkeys inhabit all of the upland habitat types. Both spring and fall hunt opportunities are offered in the unit. Extreme wet road and soil conditions during the spring turkey season may require local or general restrictions and/or road closures that reduce access to the unit for hunting.

The unit offers a diversity of access opportunities. Sycamore Canyon Wilderness and Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness both contain turkey habitat available by hiking or horseback. Woody Ridge Quiet Area in the northeast part of the unit restricts vehicle access (current timber harvest necessitates vehicle intrusion) but can be accessed by bicycles. Camp Navajo, operated by the Arizona National Guard, generally restricts access but does offer a limited permit opportunity. The spring hunts are limited to shotguns shooting shot.

Areas: Harding Point - Howard Pocket: This area can be accessed by Forest Road 535. Snow depth can limit access during the early spring hunting season. Turkeys favor the ridge and canyon complexes that develop off of drainages feeding the West Fork of Oak Creek.

South Pocket - Turkey Butte: This area can be accessed by FR 231 (Woody Mountain Road) from Flagstaff. Snow depth can limit access during the early spring hunting season. The ridge and canyon complexes that characterize the upper drainages in this area provide good turkey habitat.

Dutton Hill - Mooney Mountain: This area can be accessed by FR 231 or FR 141 from Parks. Turkey favor the areas around the hills, especially during the spring.

Woody Ridge: This area can be accessed during all seasons because Highway 89A parallels the east side of the area.

Concerns: Never wear black, red, or blue when hunting nor should you make noises that may identify you as being a turkey. Never stalk up to noises you believe are a turkey, it could be another hunter.

In the spring, call turkeys to you by imitating the sounds of a hen. There are many quality calls on the market. If you're a beginner, try a box type call with a plunger device and invest in a turkey calling tape. Remember that shotguns shooting shot are the only legal weapons for the spring and fall hunt.

Rogers Lake County Natural Area is open to hunting but closed to vehicle access. Hunting is not permitted within a ¼ mile of any occupied building, wildlife viewing platform, picnic area, or developed trailhead.

 
 
Javelina
Overview: Javelina occupy the southern half of Unit 6B in moderate density, and are occasionally observed in the upland ponderosa pine forest habitat of the northern half of the unit. The vertical escarpment of the Mogollon Rim west of Sedona separates the upland and valley areas of the unit. City ordinances prohibit hunting within the city limits of Sedona. State statute prohibiting hunting within ¼ mile of any occupied residence applies to firearms hunting. Feeding of javelina, either inadvertent or intentional, often aggravates the nuisance problem in a neighborhood. Seed spilled from a bird feeder frequently attracts javelina. Javelina particularly enjoy Halloween because they find jack-o-lanterns very palatable.

Areas: Sycamore Pass: Sycamore Pass occupies a saddle between Black Mountain and Casner Mountain on the east edge of Sycamore Canyon Wilderness. The pass is accessed by Red Canyon Road (Forest Road 525). Vegetation in the pass is a mix of dense chaparral, juniper-pinyon woodland and desert grassland. Javelina are more observable in the desert grassland, especially on the mountain slopes, than in the dense brush.

Soldier Pass: This area borders on the northwest city limits of Sedona. Most of the area outside of the city limits is located in the Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness, so access is limited to hiking or horseback. Vegetation is dense cypress and chaparral but javelina can be located by tracking techniques after a winter storm.
 
 
Unit Summary
For hunt information, contact Arizona National Guard at www.campnavajo.com and select Hunting.
 
Climate Information - High elevations
Month Ave. Temp Ave. Precip.
January Max 42°/Min 15° 2.04"
February Max 45°/Min 18° 2.09"
March Max 49°/Min 21° 2.55"
April Max 58°/Min 27° 1.48"
May Max 67°/Min 33° 0.72"
June Max 78°/Min 41° 0.40"
July Max 82°/Min 50° 2.78"
August Max 79°/Min 49° 2.75"
September Max 73°/Min 41° 2.03"
October Max 63°/Min 31° 1.61"
November Max 51°/Min 22° 1.95"
December Max 43°/Min 16° 2.40"
Other Pertinent Climate Information
The western extension of the Mogollon Rim divides the unit into an upland north half and a valley south half. There are no secondary public roads connecting the valley and upland areas, so all winter access to the upland half is vulnerable to blockage by snowdrifts. Forest Service roads 231 (Woody Mountain Road) and 535 are the primary access routes to the upland portion. FR 152 (Dry Creek Road), 525 (Red Canyon Road), and 761 (Bill Gray Road) are the main access routes to the valley half. Extreme wet road and soil conditions during some seasons may require local or general restrictions and/or road closures that reduce access to the unit for hunting.
 
Cities, Roads & Campgrounds
Major Cities and Towns in or Near Game Management Unit and Nearest Gas, Food, and Lodging
Sedona, Flagstaff, Cottonwood/Clarkdale
Major Highways and Roads Leading To
From the East: I-40
From the West: I-40
From the North: State Hwy 89A
From the South: I-40, State Hwy 89A, 260
Developed Campgrounds
Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, open year-round; Manzanita, Bootlegger, Cave Spring, and Pine Flat campgrounds in Oak Creek Canyon operated by private contractors for the Forest Service. Pine Flat season extends into fall/winter; the other Forest Service campgrounds are open during warm season only.
Undeveloped Campgrounds
Dispersed camping is prohibited on some Forest Service lands within unit. Contact ranger district office for closed areas.
 
Brief Description of Terrain, Elevation, and Vegetation
Upland (north half) elevations range from 6,500' to 8,000+'. Vegetation dominated by ponderosa pine forest with several large dry meadows (Fry Park, Mill Park, Yellow Flat) and a sizable wet meadow (Rogers Lake). The plateau is deeply dissected by four large canyon systems: Sycamore, Oak Creek, West Fork of Oak Creek, and Secret. Northern aspects in the canyon and rim complex support mixed conifer habitat. Ponderosa pine/gambel oak associations are widespread in upland habitat. Valley (south half) elevations range from 3,500' to 6,500'. Terrain features colorful cliffs and sandstone formations of the western Mogollon Rim country. Vegetation is a mix of juniper-pinyon savanna, dense stands of Arizona cypress and juniper, and interior chaparral dominated by turbinella oak and manzanita.
 
Government Agencies and Phone Numbers
Arizona Game and Fish Department, Region II - 928-774-5045
Coconino National Forest, Sedona Ranger District - 928-282-4119
Coconino National Forest, Peaks Ranger District - 928-526-0866
Arizona State Land Department - 928-774-1425
Dead Horse Ranch State Park - 928-634-5283
Slide Rock State Park - 928-282-3034
 
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