There are two kinds of hunters — those who hunt the same area they, their fathers and grandfathers have always hunted, and those who try a different hunt unit every year. Whichever category fits you, “Hunt Arizona” is a must.
Published every year by the Arizona Game and Fish Department online and in printed form, “Hunt Arizona” contains information on every big and small game species in the state. Whatever species you seek, in “Hunt Arizona” you will find out which game management units have the highest hunt success. You also can see which ones have the narrowest buck-to-doe ratios and offer the best chance of getting drawn.
The key word is “useful” — “Hunt Arizona” is neither a colorful book nor a promotional text. The first four pages are devoted to bonus points and how to increase your odds of getting drawn for a hunt permit. Group application for hunts with low numbers of permits are discouraged, as is putting in with people who have fewer bonus points. You also want to avoid units having recent cuts in permit numbers. Why? This book will tell you.
A profile, photo and distribution map is given for each of Arizona’s huntable species, including those classified as furbearers and nongame animals. Each vignette is followed by a statewide history of the survey data for that species, including each year’s buck-to-doe-to-fawn ratios. What follows is a unit-by-unit comparison of the most recent five years of survey data.
Next comes a statewide summary of hunt data by species, followed by five-year comparisons of the number of permits, first-choice applicants, hunter days, animals harvested and hunt success for each unit according to hunt type (whether it be the general firearms season, a muzzleloader hunt, a juniors-only hunt or an archery season).
There is a lot of history in this book. One can plot long-term trends in game populations and harvests. Deer information, for example, goes back to 1946 when the statewide harvest was less than 6,000 bucks. Today’s hunters will be amazed to learn that 35,500 deer were taken in 1961 when hunt success was 39 percent, and that the number of deer hunters reached a high of 395,000 prior to the initiation of the permit system in 1971.
“Hunt Arizona” is not something you read once and put on your bookshelf. It’s a reference book to be used often and kept next to your desk.
“Hunt Arizona 2008” is available at www.azgfd.gov/publications or at all department offices.
–David E. Brown
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