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Old 01-12-2019, 01:34 PM   #1
Vermin93
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Default Arizona elk

It's application time again and I'm looking for some advice.

I have been building points in most western states over the past few years and now have 6-8 elk, mule deer and pronghorn points in AZ (8), CO (6), NV (6), UT (7) and WY (7). I just turned 48 and have never hunted elk, mule deer or pronghorn, let alone killed one. I've decided it's time to stop buying points and actually try to draw some good hunts.

Now that the Arizona elk draw is open, I've started doing some research. It seems that I am still many years away from being able to draw the premier units (7W, 8, 9, 10, 23) in the bonus points pass. I could get lucky in the Pass 1 & 2 draw, but chances are very slim considering there are so few nonresident tags. So....I'm thinking the best strategy for me at this point is to apply for some 2nd tier units (for example: 5B North, 5B South, 6A, 6B, 7E). If I had 5 points or less I'd be willing to apply for 3rd tier units, late season, etc., but since I'm up to 8 points I feel like I should try for a better unit in the early season.

My preference is early archery, which doesn't help the draw odds.

I was hoping to get some application advice from someone that can relate to my situation. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:53 PM   #2
trophy8
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I’ve been buying points for area 7 Wyoming. Wagon Hound ranch. You should draw with 7 points. They’ll put you on a nice bull if you’re looking at using an outfitter.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:54 PM   #3
trophy8
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Iíve been buying points for area 7 Wyoming. Wagon Hound ranch. You should draw with 7 points. Theyíll put you on a nice bull if youíre looking at using an outfitter.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:07 PM   #4
DavidH44
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Since Arizona is a bonus points system I’d try for a top unit like the ones you mentioned and hope for the best. You are a sure thing for a Wyoming general tag. There are general units in that state with 30% success statistics.

Another option is buy a subscription to Gohunt and you’ll have a really good idea of what your odds are and for what unit. It would be a good investment since you are already spending so much on points.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:42 PM   #5
Jon B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trophy8 View Post
Iíve been buying points for area 7 Wyoming. Wagon Hound ranch. You should draw with 7 points. Theyíll put you on a nice bull if youíre looking at using an outfitter.
I hunted area 7 years ago. Up near the Windy Peaks ranch. Saw a lot of nice bulls and elk were everywhere. Too bad I was toting a cow tag. Filled it. First elk with a bow.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:52 PM   #6
TradAg02
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Personally Iíd go to an otc unit to gain some experience in mule deer and elk country prior to burning points. Antelope are like hunting whitetail if you hunt over water so the lack of experience doesnít really mater.

With the exception of getting an outfitter and hunting wilderness in WY (hunting with wolves and grizzlies pose their own challenges) you really donít have enough points yet to hunt ďtrophyĒ units in the states you listed, outside of just getting lucky, anyhow.


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Old 01-12-2019, 05:00 PM   #7
Vermin93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidH44 View Post
Since Arizona is a bonus points system Iíd try for a top unit like the ones you mentioned and hope for the best. You are a sure thing for a Wyoming general tag. There are general units in that state with 30% success statistics.

Another option is buy a subscription to Gohunt and youíll have a really good idea of what your odds are and for what unit. It would be a good investment since you are already spending so much on points.
I bought a gohunt Insider subscription last week. That's what made me realize it's going to take a secular miracle for me to draw an early season bow hunt in one of the top units.

I think I'll just pick a couple of mid-tier units and see what happens.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:18 PM   #8
Passthrough
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Even AZ’s “mid tier”units are better than anything you’d experience in any OTC Unit in CO! They kill nice bulls in every unit in AZ. Good luck....I’m sitting at 6 PP’s myself. Can’t wait to get back!
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:15 PM   #9
Hardcortex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermin93 View Post
I bought a gohunt Insider subscription last week. That's what made me realize it's going to take a secular miracle for me to draw an early season bow hunt in one of the top units.

I think I'll just pick a couple of mid-tier units and see what happens.
Did you get your picks in? I have been applying for several years and have not had any luck for elk. I have been drawn twice for mule deer and hunted 6A and 6B and gotten to know the areas pretty good. Saw lots of elk this past November while hunting mule deer, hoping to get drawn and go back!
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:46 PM   #10
diamond10x
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AZ has some of the best elk hunting. If you’re dead set on holding out for a top tier unit then hold out. In my thoughts there’s 2 ways I would go with the points you have in the states you listed.

1. Burn your Colorado points this year, next year burn Wyoming, then that puts you at 10 in Arizona (possibly 11-12 points if you’re not already adding the bonus bonus points), save up Utah and Nevada as long as you can as they manage many units for 7+ year old bulls.

2. BuRn Arizona now for a middle tier unit, as this will be the easiest physically, than Colorado and parts of Wyoming. Getting your feet wet there and then going on to other states in their top tier units. Hold out on Utah and Nevada another 6-8 years.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TradAg02 View Post
Personally Iíd go to an otc unit to gain some experience in mule deer and elk country prior to burning points. Antelope are like hunting whitetail if you hunt over water so the lack of experience doesnít really mater.

With the exception of getting an outfitter and hunting wilderness in WY you really donít have enough points yet to hunt ďtrophyĒ units in the states you listed,


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Old 02-12-2019, 10:08 PM   #12
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5 B South would be my pick......... 300-400 class bulls live in this unit........
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:12 PM   #13
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I would burn Colorado this year. With the point creep that state has, I would try to drW a mid tier unit. If that didnít work out, I would buy an OTC in Montana. I think Montana is a much better OTC state for elk than Colorado when it comes to animal quality in those units. I know it isnít as convenient, but good things rarely are.

Hold out on Arizona. Give yourself 4-5 more years to creep towards the great units, and do your point spend in other states (Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana). And if you are willing to put in for mid tier units in New Mexico, you should draw every 3-4 years or so there as well.

Randy Newberg has great info on all of this. Check out his blog and his YouTube videos.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:49 PM   #14
Hockley
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Definitely get some experience in other states before you start burning points. I hunted OTC in CO for two years and got drawn for NM my third year. I felt that I still lacked a lot of elk knowledge, but I didnít burn points so no big deal. You will regret not gaining experience first.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:06 PM   #15
MooseontheLoose
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Depends on the experience you are looking for. Are you just wanting to go hunt elk, or do you specifically want to hunt elk in Arizona? If you are just looking for elk, some good advice in this thread about looking and gaining experience elsewhere first.

That said, Arizona has some of the best elk country in the world, and getting a tag would be like hitting the lotto. Have to play to have a chance. I have a point situation similar to yours and I put in for the draws in some of the best areas just hoping to get lucky but not expecting anything. AZ is in a handful of states that are in my long-term plan.

You could draw some good opportunity areas in WY and CO with your points. For your first time you could hire an outfitter or do a drop-camp type hunt and have a decent shot at being successful. Colorado OTC is a good back-up plan if you strike out everywhere else.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:48 AM   #16
Vermin93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardcortex View Post
Did you get your picks in? I have been applying for several years and have not had any luck for elk. I have been drawn twice for mule deer and hunted 6A and 6B and gotten to know the areas pretty good. Saw lots of elk this past November while hunting mule deer, hoping to get drawn and go back!
Elk and pronghorn apps are in. GoHunt says I have less than 1% chance of drawing the units I applied for. But....that's still better than no chance. Fingers crossed!
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:03 AM   #17
Homer75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texas shag View Post
I would burn Colorado this year. With the point creep that state has, I would try to drW a mid tier unit. If that didnít work out, I would buy an OTC in Montana. I think Montana is a much better OTC state for elk than Colorado when it comes to animal quality in those units. I know it isnít as convenient, but good things rarely are.

Hold out on Arizona. Give yourself 4-5 more years to creep towards the great units, and do your point spend in other states (Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana). And if you are willing to put in for mid tier units in New Mexico, you should draw every 3-4 years or so there as well.

Randy Newberg has great info on all of this. Check out his blog and his YouTube videos.
Iím not sure if Montana is really any better than CO, wolves and grizzlies have been working the heck out of the elk. I do believe you have a great chance at a decent elk either locations. I use to hunt Paradise Valley and west of Absarkee, Montana is a haul and your still going to pay a grand for tags. I would definitely get a wolf tag if you go to Montana, some locals will actually open their place if you tell them you want to get a wolf.
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