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Old 10-21-2020, 09:54 PM   #1
Anthonysince94
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Default Arizona otc mule deer help

I'm planning on trying to take down a mulie with a bow this year. I'm green when it comes to any kind of western hunting. I'm looking for a unit that's forgiving for beginners and not flat. Were planning on hiking in far from the beaten path and camping for a few days.
For you guys that have done this hunt or something similar even can you share your tips and experiences? I'm struggling to find good information to select a unit.

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Old 10-21-2020, 10:00 PM   #2
svbubba
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unit 27 .........on the az/new mexico line........is the place .....far from any major cities {phoenix }...........
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:08 PM   #3
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unit 27 .........on the az/new mexico line........is the place .....far from any major cities {phoenix }...........
Can you give me some more details about it?

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Old 10-22-2020, 10:55 AM   #4
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Can you give me some more details about it?

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I'm shocked that you got a Unit out of someone! lol!
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:15 AM   #5
diamond10x
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Get you an AZDFG booklet and start reading on different units.

Your plans of hiking in a good ways off the beaten path may change no matter where you go in Arizona. Unless you plan on carrying a ton of water, water sources will dictate where you can camp. Since you’re doing the otc, the rut will be going on so deer will be moving and getting off the beaten path might not even be something you need to do.
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:49 AM   #6
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I'm shocked that you got a Unit out of someone! lol!
Exactly. When the sentence started I assumed it would end in sarcasm.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:01 PM   #7
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Get you an AZDFG booklet and start reading on different units.

Your plans of hiking in a good ways off the beaten path may change no matter where you go in Arizona. Unless you plan on carrying a ton of water, water sources will dictate where you can camp. Since youíre doing the otc, the rut will be going on so deer will be moving and getting off the beaten path might not even be something you need to do.


^^^^Haha this!!! Take an good 4 wheel drive truck or utv with ground clearance use topo maps to hone in on good glassing locations and spend most of your time there you will find deer if you put in that time. There are deer in every single unit, just gotta spend the time looking.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:14 PM   #8
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Jay Scott podcasts are worth their weight in gold on this topic.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:25 PM   #9
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Man I appreciate all the info. My search on tapatalk wouldnt pull up anything. Can you guys point me in the direction of what kind of tent or other necessities I may not have thought of?

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Old 10-22-2020, 12:56 PM   #10
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Jay Scott podcasts are worth their weight in gold on this topic.
Add to this Remi Warren.

Good luck OP, should be a fun hunt. GoHunt, onX maps, and the HuntTalk forum are good places to start. However, if you ask that same question over there, you will get crickets.
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:17 PM   #11
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help eachother out
I gladly give out my colorado otc spots, you gotta earn the animal where I go so Im not worried about joe blow getting in my area its such stupid tough terrain
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:04 PM   #12
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We hunted unit 20A in Jan of 2020.

Near Hillside AZ. You can drive it.. but I wouldnt. We used a guide service since it was our first trip. One had a older blazer and one had a mule.

We drove to the base of a good sized hill.. hiked up and glassed.. once we spotted one to go after the guide brought up a map and we set out a plan for a stalk once the buck bedded.

We stayed in Prescott/prescott valley and it was 30min drive to where we parked each day

We are planning to go back in Dec. Not sure if we will go to the same unit or try a different one. We saw plenty of deer and put in stalks every day just didnt connect.

Matt

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Old 10-22-2020, 03:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingranch View Post
help eachother out
I gladly give out my colorado otc spots, you gotta earn the animal where I go so Im not worried about joe blow getting in my area its such stupid tough terrain
Might not affect OTC but I know some areas in Wyoming that having a few thousand folks reading a thread about good hunting somewhere will really screw the draw odds. Most states give limited tags to NR and blasting info out online can affect the draw odds for those limited tags.

Most are willing to give some info, PMs work best for specifics, imo.
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:41 PM   #14
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Can you give me some more details about it?

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https://www.azgfd.com/hunting/units/pinetop/27/
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:44 PM   #15
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If this is your first year doing this hunt I would consider seeing deer a win. Plan to get your butt kicked because you donít really know what you are doing. Donít worry about hiking in a long ways and camping, itís not Colorado or some draw unit in Wyoming. As far as gear, there are hundreds of threads on this topic and itís about like asking someone what vehicle they like. There are tons of options, just make sure whatever you choose as far as a sleep system can handle the elements you will be hunting in. Last year it got down to 2 degrees at night. Without a stove it would have been terrible.

Most people with a good otc spot wouldnít tell you for anything in the world. Go find you a good spot on your own and it will mean you same to you as it does to them. Last year we saw 3 deer over 26Ē wide and one was a legit 180Ē buck. Iíll help you with gear and making sure you are safe but Iíll never tell you my unit.

Manage your expectations for your first time out. With all due respect
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:50 PM   #16
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Finding deer isn’t the hard part. It’s getting into bow range on a buck that’s surrounded by does he’s chasing. 10 sets of eyes and noses make it very difficult.
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:50 PM   #17
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Can you give me some more details about it?

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He has given you a unit that is pretty much all public land and your options are endless. It's approx. 13 hrs away from Dallas; you can leave in the evening with a friend or 2 and be setting up camp by daylight. Then hunt all day.

As for gear, "take whatcha got and go". If you need something on the fly, use Wal-Mart so you don't break the bank. Consider it a small rental fee until you dial in the gear you like/want.

Most of all, go. You will have fun and learn. Have zero expectations with the exception of: learn something.
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Old 10-22-2020, 04:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLank View Post
He has given you a unit that is pretty much all public land and your options are endless. It's approx. 13 hrs away from Dallas; you can leave in the evening with a friend or 2 and be setting up camp by daylight. Then hunt all day.

As for gear, "take whatcha got and go". If you need something on the fly, use Wal-Mart so you don't break the bank. Consider it a small rental fee until you dial in the gear you like/want.

Most of all, go. You will have fun and learn. Have zero expectations with the exception of: learn something.
Good info and advice given.
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Old 10-22-2020, 04:35 PM   #19
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If you are chasing a "trophy" I would recommend renting high end Binos & tripod. 12x50 or 15x56 swaro's for $20.00/day.
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Old 10-22-2020, 04:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingranch View Post
help eachother out
I gladly give out my colorado otc spots, you gotta earn the animal where I go so Im not worried about joe blow getting in my area its such stupid tough terrain
What's your unit?
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Old 10-22-2020, 04:45 PM   #21
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What's your unit?
And trailhead; I'd like a hard hiking trip.
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Old 10-22-2020, 04:51 PM   #22
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It took me and a buddy driving 4 days in Arizona to find the unit we liked. Lot of hiking and glassing all day then at night we would drive to the other area. We finally found a spot and saw tons of deer and a few really nice ones. We hunted it 3 out of 4 years. There seems to be lots of road hunters in January. We didn't have a bunch of stuff for camping the first year. We liked to froze our butts off. We gathered gear and knowledge every year.

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Old 10-22-2020, 05:16 PM   #23
jaker_cc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingranch View Post
help eachother out
I gladly give out my colorado otc spots, you gotta earn the animal where I go so Im not worried about joe blow getting in my area its such stupid tough terrain

This is BS, there are more people going in deep and steep now than there has ever been. Give out your spots if you want to but expect company
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Old 10-22-2020, 06:18 PM   #24
Anthonysince94
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My Hope's are high more so for my first western hunt and the excitement of seeing what I'm up against. I dont have expectations to take a giant and at the end of the day horn size is not what I'm after.
The questions I have are really more toward what I would need and the little things I may need that I wouldnt think of.

And honestly I'd be more than happy to do a complete right up and I'd be willing to drop pins of where I camped or saw deer. I want others to experience success and I am an open book about hunting.

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Old 10-22-2020, 06:39 PM   #25
jaker_cc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthonysince94 View Post
My Hope's are high more so for my first western hunt and the excitement of seeing what I'm up against. I dont have expectations to take a giant and at the end of the day horn size is not what I'm after.
The questions I have are really more toward what I would need and the little things I may need that I wouldnt think of.

And honestly I'd be more than happy to do a complete right up and I'd be willing to drop pins of where I camped or saw deer. I want others to experience success and I am an open book about hunting.

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You will have fun with that attitude for sure. It really is a great opportunity to get out in the field and hunt. Good glass from up high and let the optics do the work is my advice. Make camp as comfy as you can because the days arenít very long that time of year
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:16 PM   #26
crc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthonysince94 View Post
My Hope's are high more so for my first western hunt and the excitement of seeing what I'm up against. I dont have expectations to take a giant and at the end of the day horn size is not what I'm after.
The questions I have are really more toward what I would need and the little things I may need that I wouldnt think of.

And honestly I'd be more than happy to do a complete right up and I'd be willing to drop pins of where I camped or saw deer. I want others to experience success and I am an open book about hunting.

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Good glass, tripod, and a fluid camera head is definitely needed.
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Old 10-23-2020, 11:17 AM   #27
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Good glass, tripod, and a fluid camera head is definitely needed.
I use this head and put on an old tripod I had. However, if you also get a tripod just make sure this head can screw onto it.

If you call Camera Land, tell them you are a Rokslide member and you can get 10% off. If you buy head and tripod together, it'll be over $150 and you will also get free shipping.

https://cameralandny.com/shop/promas...iation=1854190
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Old 10-23-2020, 01:53 PM   #28
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I appreciate all the information fellas!
Any recommendations on tents?


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Old 10-23-2020, 01:58 PM   #29
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I appreciate all the information fellas!
Any recommendations on tents?


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Are you legit going to be packing it up every morning and carrying with you?

Or more than likely camping back at the truck?
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Old 10-23-2020, 01:59 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthonysince94 View Post
I appreciate all the information fellas!
Any recommendations on tents?


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What are you looking to spend on a tent?? There are tons of options that range from 150-1800
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:02 PM   #31
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Buy a set of 15s and a good tripod


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Old 10-23-2020, 02:11 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLank View Post
And trailhead; I'd like a hard hiking trip.
The silence speaks volumes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthonysince94 View Post
I appreciate all the information fellas!
Any recommendations on tents?


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Gohunt has really good MSR tents. my buddy loves his. I have a Hilliberg. Unless you are camping in snow, it's probably overkill. A tipee is a good set up as well, and our other hunting buddy got a treking pole tent that was sub $50 that worked really well this year. Stone Glacier also has some really nice tents.

I always shoot for light weight over anything else.
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:16 PM   #33
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This hunt probably isnít the best hunt to run a tarp or a lightweight 3 season tent. It gets COLD some years.
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:12 PM   #34
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I'm planning on hunting below the rim so I know it can be very cold. As far as price goes I'd like to stay under 500 if that's realistic.

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Old 10-23-2020, 03:13 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by MLank View Post
Are you legit going to be packing it up every morning and carrying with you?



Or more than likely camping back at the truck?
I was thinking we would trek in and make camp hopefully somewhere close to water and set out from there every morning.

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Old 10-23-2020, 03:44 PM   #36
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I can't find the link, but Alps lynx 1 man tent is my backpacking tent.
It's a 3 season tent, they're almost impossible to find. It's one of the most popular "economic" backpacking tent on the market.
Swapping out the stakes for ultra light makes the tent/poles/rainfly/stakes come in right at 3.1lbs.

Personally I would spend my money on getting a high quality pad with a high R value, and extra $$ on a good zero degree down or synthetic down sleeping bag.
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:57 PM   #37
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I was thinking we would trek in and make camp hopefully somewhere close to water and set out from there every morning.

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Nice. I like the Alps mentioned above; mostly bc it is a budget friendly tent and you have more money for pad and bag.
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:58 PM   #38
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Thatís my OTC Arizona buck from 27


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Old 10-23-2020, 04:18 PM   #39
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I wouldn’t worry a whole lot about gear. You might hunt this one time and decide the western style of hunting isn’t for you. Just make sure you have these items:

-a good, warm, comfortable sleeping pad
-quality sleeping bag
-10x binos
-comfortable boots
-warm clothes

The rest the stuff is comfort items. It takes time, money, and experience with different stuff to dial in your gear to what works for you. I’ve been hunting out west every year since I was 14, trust me when I say don’t worry about buying all the expensive gear, most of it you won’t even use on the trip. The best thing you can do is point that truck west and JUST GO HUNTING.
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Old 10-23-2020, 04:20 PM   #40
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Thatís my OTC Arizona buck from 27


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i am from texas been in AZ over 35 yrs........ unit 27 is a great unit for mule deer ....... far from tucson-phoenix .....all the snowbirds will be in zona after thanksgiving.....hunting around these two cities ......i mean Alot of folks winter in zona....... this unit is rough in places but good hunting ...AWAY from people ......... jdh in AZ
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Old 10-23-2020, 04:57 PM   #41
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You guys are great. I never thought of a sleeping pad. I'm in between on what binos to go with as far as 10x or 12x. I was looking at the badlands 2200 pack but I think I need to go bigger.

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Old 10-23-2020, 05:02 PM   #42
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You guys are great. I never thought of a sleeping pad. I'm in between on what binos to go with as far as 10x or 12x. I was looking at the badlands 2200 pack but I think I need to go bigger.

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A pad is going to be uber important to keep your body heat in. Do a quick research on it. It doesn't have to be expensive, but you need something.

If you are doing like you say, yeah, go bigger on pack. I bet 3500 would work, 5500 for sure.

I'm enjoying this thread; thus, many comments.
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Old 10-23-2020, 05:24 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by MLank View Post
A pad is going to be uber important to keep your body heat in. Do a quick research on it. It doesn't have to be expensive, but you need something.



If you are doing like you say, yeah, go bigger on pack. I bet 3500 would work, 5500 for sure.



I'm enjoying this thread; thus, many comments.
What's your thoughts on binos?

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Old 10-23-2020, 05:39 PM   #44
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Thatís my OTC Arizona buck from 27


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If I seen some like this I'll be happy. I'll need some luck to throw an arrow at one.

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Old 10-24-2020, 09:17 AM   #45
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What's your thoughts on binos?

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What do you have?

I’m still using what I have, 10x leupolds; I think the important thing is clear and crisp glass to prevent eye fatigue

Last edited by MLank; 10-24-2020 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:42 AM   #46
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None right now

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Old 10-24-2020, 12:43 PM   #47
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Go check out the backcountry gear thread, look at JayScott Outdoors podcast for Arizona mule deer episodes. Be prepared to be mobile, if you set up in one spot and there aren't deer, you'll want to move. Tons of quail, predator, small game and javelina hunting opportunities as well (you need a tag for javi). Get the best binos and a tripod that you can afford, let your eyes do the walking and cover ground for you. You're going to want a stove to keep warm in your tent, or a Mr Buddy heater at a minimum. Last January we experienced temps ranging from 10-65 degrees with some days getting above freezing for just an hour or so. Think about what items and gear you'll need to effectively/comfortably sit still and glass when its 15* and snowing.
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Old 10-24-2020, 07:46 PM   #48
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Snow chains. Learn how to put them on and take them off before you need them. They also come in handy in the mud as the desert can get nasty in a hurry with a little rain. Fill up your gas tank at the last possible town so that you can run your heater if you get stuck on the road.

Check the regs as the otc units are not all open at the same time. Your tag is good for a calendar year so you need two if you hunt through New Years. Many otc units hunt right after or coincide with rifle hunts so you can expect the deer to be educated.

If you hunt south of I10 expect to see more boarder patrol than deer.

The weather will ultimately play a significant role in the outcome of your hunt.


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