Arizona 5B South Archery Elk

elkhunterKohler

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
13
Drew a tag this year for Archery elk for Arizona 5B South. Just looking for anyone who has hunted this unit before and is willing to share any information. It would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Gary
 

Scoot

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
1,128
I'm no help, but I can tell you that you drew my 2nd choice tag!
 

180ls1

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
122
There are literally elk everywhere. Pick the type of country you like hunting and go hunt it. It's also very flat, you can roll a marble across it so walking is easy. There are roads and road hunters everywhere, unfortunately. I lost out on a great bull because of it.
 

mxgsfmdpx

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
2,613
Location
Central Arizona
Lots of elk but lots of hunters there. Get away from the roads as you'll see tons of trucks and ATV's. Don't ignore the grassier flats that don't scream "elky".

Without giving too many details a good spot to scout would be up north in the triangle top, near the 5BN 5BS border. You can get away from some ATV roads and catch some of the bigger bulls pushing down in September looking for cows.
 

180ls1

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
122
Lots of elk but lots of hunters there. Get away from the roads as you'll see tons of trucks and ATV's. Don't ignore the grassier flats that don't scream "elky".

Without giving too many details a good spot to scout would be up north in the triangle top, near the 5BN 5BS border. You can get away from some ATV roads and catch some of the bigger bulls pushing down in September looking for cows.

Good stuff here. Just to be clear, when he says "get away from the roads" it's not all that possible depending on how you define it. You only "kinda" get away from the roads. I would also count on closed roads being trafficked.
 

mxgsfmdpx

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
2,613
Location
Central Arizona
Good stuff here. Just to be clear, when he says "get away from the roads" it's not all that possible depending on how you define it. You only "kinda" get away from the roads. I would also count on closed roads being trafficked.
So very true and frustrating!
 

fmyth

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
1,281
Location
Arizona
Congrats on the tag. I'll be hunting there after Thanksgiving. This will be my first time hunting in 5. I have been over in 5 riding atv's. I'd recommend that you buy a Flatline map: https://www.flatlinemaps.com/arizona-hunt-unit-maps
I have Onx but always take a Flatline map when hunting in AZ. Flatline shows a lot of water tanks that don't show up on Onx.
 

Cmf0403

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2022
Messages
10
Tons of elk and tons of hunters. Very hard to get away from people. Every inch of that unit holds elk.
 

pirogue

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
560
Remember, “Getting away from roads”, in easy terrain, is easy to do for almost everyone.
 

Scoot

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
1,128
12 for me, so I didn't expect to draw... I'm getting there though!!!
 
OP
E

elkhunterKohler

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
13
Congrats on the tag. I'll be hunting there after Thanksgiving. This will be my first time hunting in 5. I have been over in 5 riding atv's. I'd recommend that you buy a Flatline map: https://www.flatlinemaps.com/arizona-hunt-unit-maps
I have Onx but always take a Flatline map when hunting in AZ. Flatline shows a lot of water tanks that don't show up on Onx.
Thanks for the info! Looking on-line, the flatline map looks like a good idea. Do they show all the roads and fairly accurate? Any thoughts on the flatline map app in addition to the map? Looks like the maps are $39.00 and for $49.00, you can get both. I currently have basemap app on my phone, an alternative to Onx.
 

fmyth

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
1,281
Location
Arizona
Thanks for the info! Looking on-line, the flatline map looks like a good idea. Do they show all the roads and fairly accurate? Any thoughts on the flatline map app in addition to the map? Looks like the maps are $39.00 and for $49.00, you can get both. I currently have basemap app on my phone, an alternative to Onx.
I've used Flatline maps for my hunts in 11m and 6a. I found them to be as accurate as Onx and Flatline showed multiple water holes that didn't show up on Onx. The maps are coated with something that makes them waterproof and very durable. I use Gaia on my tablet to navigate the forest roads in my truck and have Onx and Gaia on my phone. I wish Flatline would start offering maps for WY and CO. I prefer having an actual map to spread out on my kitchen table for planning my hunts. When I get to my hunting area I can lay out the map, find my position and get a feel for the area that I do not get from a 3" phone screen.
 
OP
E

elkhunterKohler

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
13
I've used Flatline maps for my hunts in 11m and 6a. I found them to be as accurate as Onx and Flatline showed multiple water holes that didn't show up on Onx. The maps are coated with something that makes them waterproof and very durable. I use Gaia on my tablet to navigate the forest roads in my truck and have Onx and Gaia on my phone. I wish Flatline would start offering maps for WY and CO. I prefer having an actual map to spread out on my kitchen table for planning my hunts. When I get to my hunting area I can lay out the map, find my position and get a feel for the area that I do not get from a 3" phone screen.
Funny you mention 11M and 6A because those are the 2 units I have hunted in the past as a NR. I believe 11M was 7M when I hunted it in 2001, the Flagstaff Metro area. They were good, but I think 5B south may even have more potential? Your thoughts? I will definitely order a Flatline map. Not sure about the app yet?
 

fmyth

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
1,281
Location
Arizona
Funny you mention 11M and 6A because those are the 2 units I have hunted in the past as a NR. I believe 11M was 7M when I hunted it in 2001, the Flagstaff Metro area. They were good, but I think 5B south may even have more potential? Your thoughts? I will definitely order a Flatline map. Not sure about the app yet?
I feel like 5b is where the elk go when all of the 6a hunters leave their camps. I don't use Flatlines digital map.
 

Maverick1

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
879
Drew a tag this year for Archery elk for Arizona 5B South. Just looking for anyone who has hunted this unit before and is willing to share any information. It would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Gary

Congrats on the tag! You are in for a great hunt.

I am not going to give out specific locations, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind....
  • The elk will be found throughout the unit. Lots of them. (Like anywhere else, the elk are where you find them!)
  • Hunters will be found throughout the unit. Lots of them.
  • Hunter-helper/posse's will be found throughout the unit. Lots of them. (For most people that draw this tag, it is either multiple years of points burned or getting lucky in the drawing. There are a lot of people tromping around the woods without tags, acting as lookouts for other tag holders. Don't get discouraged by this!)
  • The Anderson Mesa runs along 5BN/5BS. The winds here can be tricky. On the top/western side of the mesa, the thermals tend to follow the prevailing wind direction, which generally comes from the SW in September. The thermals in the various canyons from the mesa ridge out towards the NE follow the typical rising/thermal patterns you'd expect in the mountains. (Not too many canyons in this particular unit you can hunt, more are found in the surrounding units.)
  • The water holes are going to be crowded. Hopefully the trail camera ban keeps situations like having 8 trail cameras all pointing at one water hole from happening.
  • Some of the roads shown as 'roads' on the FS map aren't really roads at all, they are FS roads, with varying quality; allow 2-3-4x what you think it should take to get from one place to another. An ATV or high clearance vehicle will situate you like almost everyone else out there - they provide no real advantage, other than getting you to a location where everyone else is parked. If you don't have a high clearance vehicle of some sort, you are going to be limited by access points/locations and at a disadvantage.
  • There is a road use map. People will violate the road closure areas. (No, you don't have to like it, and not everyone is a violator, just sharing to set realistic expectations. "I'm going to be 2 miles away from the nearest open road" flies out the window when some jackhole goes flying by on an ATV. It does happen.)
  • If it rains, the roads can change into a clay-like mud-slop. Think Montana Gumbo. Just stay put and wait for the roads to dry out, no sense in making ruts deeper or getting stuck.
  • You can get a Coconino map/app for your iphone, which will show you your exact location. Very helpful when driving or in the field hunting.
  • If you shoot something, off road retrieval is not allowed. This is different than other, nearby units. Reference this map.
  • Don't overlook the open terrain. When pressured, the elk will gather together, with herds up to 200+ moving through the pines and open terrain.
  • Little to no water throughout the unit, other than the well-known water tanks. Bring gallons of water with you, don't rely on the thought that you'll be able to use a water filter or pump.
  • Without a water source, one can go for a swim in Lake Mary, or so I've heard. Not so in Mormon Lake.
  • You can bring gear with to go on an overnight tent/tarp camping adventure, but you are going to not really find that to be much of an advantage, since there are roads pretty close to one another throughout the unit. (That, and you'd have to haul water along with you if doing so for more than an evening/morning. YMMV, obviously. ) Most hunters setup a basecamp or move the vehicle from day to day
  • With the relatively flat terrain, it is somewhat easy hiking in spots. If you locate a herd, there is definitely a possibility of putting on a lot of miles in one day. Your feet will become hot and fatigued. The lava rock on top of the mesa can also really tear the crap out of your boots. Bring several pairs of boots. Prior to the hunt, it would be a great idea to hike frequently over rocky, flat terrain to build up arch/ankle strength and stability.
  • With the relatively flat, open terrain, it is easy to bump into other hunters or hunter posse members regularly. Keep hunting, the elk are out there.
 
OP
E

elkhunterKohler

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
13
Congrats on the tag! You are in for a great hunt.

I am not going to give out specific locations, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind....
  • The elk will be found throughout the unit. Lots of them. (Like anywhere else, the elk are where you find them!)
  • Hunters will be found throughout the unit. Lots of them.
  • Hunter-helper/posse's will be found throughout the unit. Lots of them. (For most people that draw this tag, it is either multiple years of points burned or getting lucky in the drawing. There are a lot of people tromping around the woods without tags, acting as lookouts for other tag holders. Don't get discouraged by this!)
  • The Anderson Mesa runs along 5BN/5BS. The winds here can be tricky. On the top/western side of the mesa, the thermals tend to follow the prevailing wind direction, which generally comes from the SW in September. The thermals in the various canyons from the mesa ridge out towards the NE follow the typical rising/thermal patterns you'd expect in the mountains. (Not too many canyons in this particular unit you can hunt, more are found in the surrounding units.)
  • The water holes are going to be crowded. Hopefully the trail camera ban keeps situations like having 8 trail cameras all pointing at one water hole from happening.
  • Some of the roads shown as 'roads' on the FS map aren't really roads at all, they are FS roads, with varying quality; allow 2-3-4x what you think it should take to get from one place to another. An ATV or high clearance vehicle will situate you like almost everyone else out there - they provide no real advantage, other than getting you to a location where everyone else is parked. If you don't have a high clearance vehicle of some sort, you are going to be limited by access points/locations and at a disadvantage.
  • There is a road use map. People will violate the road closure areas. (No, you don't have to like it, and not everyone is a violator, just sharing to set realistic expectations. "I'm going to be 2 miles away from the nearest open road" flies out the window when some jackhole goes flying by on an ATV. It does happen.)
  • If it rains, the roads can change into a clay-like mud-slop. Think Montana Gumbo. Just stay put and wait for the roads to dry out, no sense in making ruts deeper or getting stuck.
  • You can get a Coconino map/app for your iphone, which will show you your exact location. Very helpful when driving or in the field hunting.
  • If you shoot something, off road retrieval is not allowed. This is different than other, nearby units. Reference this map.
  • Don't overlook the open terrain. When pressured, the elk will gather together, with herds up to 200+ moving through the pines and open terrain.
  • Little to no water throughout the unit, other than the well-known water tanks. Bring gallons of water with you, don't rely on the thought that you'll be able to use a water filter or pump.
  • Without a water source, one can go for a swim in Lake Mary, or so I've heard. Not so in Mormon Lake.
  • You can bring gear with to go on an overnight tent/tarp camping adventure, but you are going to not really find that to be much of an advantage, since there are roads pretty close to one another throughout the unit. (That, and you'd have to haul water along with you if doing so for more than an evening/morning. YMMV, obviously. ) Most hunters setup a basecamp or move the vehicle from day to day
  • With the relatively flat terrain, it is somewhat easy hiking in spots. If you locate a herd, there is definitely a possibility of putting on a lot of miles in one day. Your feet will become hot and fatigued. The lava rock on top of the mesa can also really tear the crap out of your boots. Bring several pairs of boots. Prior to the hunt, it would be a great idea to hike frequently over rocky, flat terrain to build up arch/ankle strength and stability.
  • With the relatively flat, open terrain, it is easy to bump into other hunters or hunter posse members regularly. Keep hunting, the elk are out there.
Maverick1, Thanks for the info! There is a lot there you put out. Thanks for letting me know about the (no motorized game retrieval.) I did not know that. I have hunted 6A where it is permitted. I am somewhat concerned about the many hunters. I know 6A seemed like a zoo when I hunted it. It can't be worse than that. I also know the dates are earlier than many years, opening 9-9 with the full moon on the 10th. Somewhat worried about that. I'm hoping the elk will be somewhat callable (Mainly cow call) I'm guessing they get more educated in this unit. Thanks for all the info. you gave!
 

bowuntr

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
1,005
Location
Prescott, Az
I was there 16 days last year and only ran into a couple hunters while working a bull. Bulls bugled all 16 days and had no problem getting on elk. The last 5 days of the season the woods will be empty... most tag holders only hunt the weekends. You'll have a great hunt. Ed F
 

Latest posts

Featured Video

Stats

Threads
255,818
Messages
2,642,099
Members
61,981
Latest member
tstaulcu
Top