Arizona Mule Deer

cambo0420

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
111
Location
NorCal
Hey everyone. Didn’t think I’d be drawing anything this year with 1 point but my credit card got hit for AZ and I got my Unit 21 rifle mule deer tag in the mail today. It’s the October 29- November 4th hunt dates. Haven’t done much deer hunting in 21 but I did some coyote hunting and horseback riding with my cousin a few years back. Haven’t done any other hunting in AZ besides predator so desert deer will be a new experience I’m excited for. Any tips for glassing mule deer in central AZ? When does mule deer rut activity start in central AZ? My cousin lives in flagstaff I’ll be makin 1 trip to scout before hand in a few weeks and he will help me out and do some footwork for me. Just wanted to get some general information on 21. How’s the mule deer population been? How’s water and feed looking this season? Saw the monsoons have been pounding Arizona and the southwest so that should probably help with horn growth. Is there more coues in this unit? Are Mule deer found throughout or in certain areas of the unit? Just looking to get a good starting point before I drive out to start scouting. Planning to hunt October 26- Nov 4 and to do one last quick 3 day scouting mission before season opens on the 29th. Hopefully getting in a few days early will Help me get a better lay of the land and locate those bucks. My gut wants me to hunt north close to flagstaff where I’m more familiar but for some reason I keep getting drawn to the lower portion north of cave creek. Going to be hunting Sonora Mexico January so I’m hoping this will give me a good idea of what 10 days hunting in the desert is like. Never hunted the desert much so I’m
Excited to check out and hunt a new landscape. My dad was born in 1959 in Flagstaff and lived there for 20 years. Excited to hunt his home state where he learned to hunt. He never hunted unit 21, mainly northern AZ so this will be a new experience for the both of us. Love making memories with my pops on the outdoors doing what we both love.

Also how’s the bear hunting in 21? Worth having a tag in my pocket during the fall?
 

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Tbonespop

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
57
I've predator hunted north of the 7 Springs area and got into some animals. The closer you are to Cave Creek and that area, you are going to get into a ton of ATV/UTVs. I've hunted in the Cave creek area around Wildcat OHV and still saw a fair amount of mule deer (even with ATvs galore), got within 80 yards of a nice 8 pointer (archery) but couldn't close the last 30-40 without scaring him. You can see plenty of deer up around 7 springs. There will still be ATV/UTVs up there, but it will be considerably less than Wildcat OHV. Just get out as far away from people as possible. There's a ton of terrain up in that area to hunt - plenty of high ground and open areas to glass. Go north and west of 7 springs creek. Water has been the best year in +100 years with the summer monsoon being so strong this year. I'm a believer in 2-3 days of scouting is as or more beneficial than 4 days of hunting. If you can go out an additional few days before your hunt starts and do a ton of scouting, that's what I would recommend. While scouting, get in some predator hunting for fun. I've not seen any bear in that area personally. Wouldn't surprise me if they were there, I've just never seen them. I've seen coyote, bobcat, and foxes - but no bear in that area. Enjoy your hunt and good luck.
 

AZ_Hunter_2000

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
1,194
There are bear in the unit. AZ bear hunts are based off a female harvest limit. Before buying a tag, verify that the hunt is still open. Could be worth grabbing a lion tag; just check to ensure the hunt is still open as well.

Use the info from Game and Fish to get started for scouting.
 

Shea

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
32
Hey everyone. Didn’t think I’d be drawing anything this year with 1 point but my credit card got hit for AZ and I got my Unit 21 rifle mule deer tag in the mail today. It’s the October 29- November 4th hunt dates. Haven’t done much deer hunting in 21 but I did some coyote hunting and horseback riding with my cousin a few years back. Haven’t done any other hunting in AZ besides predator so desert deer will be a new experience I’m excited for. Any tips for glassing mule deer in central AZ? When does mule deer rut activity start in central AZ? My cousin lives in flagstaff I’ll be makin 1 trip to scout before hand in a few weeks and he will help me out and do some footwork for me. Just wanted to get some general information on 21. How’s the mule deer population been? How’s water and feed looking this season? Saw the monsoons have been pounding Arizona and the southwest so that should probably help with horn growth. Is there more coues in this unit? Are Mule deer found throughout or in certain areas of the unit? Just looking to get a good starting point before I drive out to start scouting. Planning to hunt October 26- Nov 4 and to do one last quick 3 day scouting mission before season opens on the 29th. Hopefully getting in a few days early will Help me get a better lay of the land and locate those bucks. My gut wants me to hunt north close to flagstaff where I’m more familiar but for some reason I keep getting drawn to the lower portion north of cave creek. Going to be hunting Sonora Mexico January so I’m hoping this will give me a good idea of what 10 days hunting in the desert is like. Never hunted the desert much so I’m
Excited to check out and hunt a new landscape. My dad was born in 1959 in Flagstaff and lived there for 20 years. Excited to hunt his home state where he learned to hunt. He never hunted unit 21, mainly northern AZ so this will be a new experience for the both of us. Love making memories with my pops on the outdoors doing what we both love.

Also how’s the bear hunting in 21? Worth having a tag in my pocket during the fall?
Congrats on the tag! Good luck
 
OP
C

cambo0420

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
111
Location
NorCal
I've predator hunted north of the 7 Springs area and got into some animals. The closer you are to Cave Creek and that area, you are going to get into a ton of ATV/UTVs. I've hunted in the Cave creek area around Wildcat OHV and still saw a fair amount of mule deer (even with ATvs galore), got within 80 yards of a nice 8 pointer (archery) but couldn't close the last 30-40 without scaring him. You can see plenty of deer up around 7 springs. There will still be ATV/UTVs up there, but it will be considerably less than Wildcat OHV. Just get out as far away from people as possible. There's a ton of terrain up in that area to hunt - plenty of high ground and open areas to glass. Go north and west of 7 springs creek. Water has been the best year in +100 years with the summer monsoon being so strong this year. I'm a believer in 2-3 days of scouting is as or more beneficial than 4 days of hunting. If you can go out an additional few days before your hunt starts and do a ton of scouting, that's what I would recommend. While scouting, get in some predator hunting for fun. I've not seen any bear in that area personally. Wouldn't surprise me if they were there, I've just never seen them. I've seen coyote, bobcat, and foxes - but no bear in that area. Enjoy your hunt and good luck.
Just saw this reply. Hadn’t logged on in a bit. Thank you so much for all the useful information. Just scouted the yellow jacket mesa area and it looks promising. Going to give 7 springs a try since I have a polaris too.
 

Mark Lardy

Newbie
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
1
Hey everyone. Didn’t think I’d be drawing anything this year with 1 point but my credit card got hit for AZ and I got my Unit 21 rifle mule deer tag in the mail today. It’s the October 29- November 4th hunt dates. Haven’t done much deer hunting in 21 but I did some coyote hunting and horseback riding with my cousin a few years back. Haven’t done any other hunting in AZ besides predator so desert deer will be a new experience I’m excited for. Any tips for glassing mule deer in central AZ? When does mule deer rut activity start in central AZ? My cousin lives in flagstaff I’ll be makin 1 trip to scout before hand in a few weeks and he will help me out and do some footwork for me. Just wanted to get some general information on 21. How’s the mule deer population been? How’s water and feed looking this season? Saw the monsoons have been pounding Arizona and the southwest so that should probably help with horn growth. Is there more coues in this unit? Are Mule deer found throughout or in certain areas of the unit? Just looking to get a good starting point before I drive out to start scouting. Planning to hunt October 26- Nov 4 and to do one last quick 3 day scouting mission before season opens on the 29th. Hopefully getting in a few days early will Help me get a better lay of the land and locate those bucks. My gut wants me to hunt north close to flagstaff where I’m more familiar but for some reason I keep getting drawn to the lower portion north of cave creek. Going to be hunting Sonora Mexico January so I’m hoping this will give me a good idea of what 10 days hunting in the desert is like. Never hunted the desert much so I’m
Excited to check out and hunt a new landscape. My dad was born in 1959 in Flagstaff and lived there for 20 years. Excited to hunt his home state where he learned to hunt. He never hunted unit 21, mainly northern AZ so this will be a new experience for the both of us. Love making memories with my pops on the outdoors doing what we both love.

Also how’s the bear hunting in 21? Worth having a tag in my pocket during the fall?
nick work
 
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