Desert Bull Scouting and Map Services
Arizona Archery Elk Hunting
An early season archery Elk hunt in Arizona is one of the greatest experiences that a bowhunter can have.
The hunts in most units are during the rut which typically starts in late August to early September and can last until mid October. The hunts themselves get going in early September and generally last two weeks. There are some hunts in unit 6A that are split up into two separate one week seasons.
Because the tags are issued only through the draw system, they can be difficult to obtain. But to the persistent hunters that put in their applications every year, the wait will finally pay off in the form of a very coveted Arizona Bull Elk tag.
As you might expect, calling is the most popular way to hunt rutting Elk. When the Elk are in a full frenzy, they can be called in amazingly close. Their survival instincts seemingly on vacation, the bulls will rush in with reckless abandoned to try and defend their harem of cows. That is how it always goes according to the videos and magazine article huh? As you can probably guess, it is seldom that easy.
Hot weather will be the archers worst enemy. Above average temperatures can leave the bulls listless and uninterested in the mating ritual. What bugling and rutting that does occur is usually limited to very early morning and late evening and often only at night.
An effective method for locating bulls is to drive the roads at night and listen for bugling, then be back at the same spot well before first light. The Bull will more often than not still be in the general area.
During years in which the temperatures are hot, sitting in a blind or tree stand overlooking a trail leading to water is very popular and very rewarding Elk hunting strategy. Elk need to drink a lot of water, and here in the desert southwest, water can be very limited.
Starting in 2001, Arizona instituted a "Limited Opportunity" Elk hunt. What this means is that these hunts are in areas that typically do not contain a large population of Elk. If you think you are up to the challenge, there are some really nice Bulls to had in some of these areas. Some of the so called trophy units of today were once considered fringe areas also.
The advantage to these hunts is that offer better odds of drawing a tag. But the word is quickly spreading on these hunts, you better hurry! The key to success on these Elk hunts is scouting, scouting, and more scouting. The Elk in these fringe units are typically found in small pockets near some type of permanent water source.
For those that just want to come to Arizona and experience a fantastic hunt and bring home a truck load of meat and great memories, there are cow Elk archery hunts that are very easy to draw and have good success rates. Most archery cow Elk hunts are held in the fall. Hunt and draw success is very high and non-residents are not subject to the ten percent rule.
If you need help with the application, advice on which units fit your needs, maps of areas that hold Elk, or you would like have your units scouted by knowledgeable and experienced hunters, give Desert Bull Hunting Services a call or send an e-mail. We will be glad to help you plan your next great hunt.