Most long-term subscribers to US Hunting Report are familiar with the high-end hunts offered by the Apache Indians and with the skyrocketing cost of mule deer and elk hunts throughout the West. The end is nowhere in sight, and the simple truth of the matter is that many hunters are simply being priced right out of the market. Often, however, a little judicious investigation will uncover some little-publicized, reasonably priced hunting opportunities which fly in the face of the megabucks trend. Enter The Navajo Nation. Located generally in the northeast corner of Arizona, the Navajo Indian Reservation will astound you with its size. A look at a Navajo Hunting Proclamation map will show game management units spreading from the vicinity of Flagstaff, Arizona, north to Page, thence eastward through Lake Powell and the San Juan River region to the Colorado border just west of Cortez, Colorado, thence southeasterly to a point near Albuquerque, New Mexico, thence westward through the Zuni and Winslow areas of Arizona back to Flagstaff! (Note: Excluded are the lands of the Hopi Indian Reservation and some "checkerboard" areas of federal, state and private lands which are contained within the borders of The Navajo Nation.) Lest I begin to sound like a land surveyor, suffice it to say that this is one big chunk of real estate.
Within this immense region are located no fewer than 16 game management units. At various times in fall and winter, the Navajos offer 45 - read it again, 45! - big game hunts for black bear, mule deer, elk, and antelope. Depending on the hunt code selected, hunters may opt to use rifle, muzzleloader or archery equipment. The bad news is that in some units deer densities are very low, with animals tending to occur in isolated pockets. Elk densities throughout The Navajo Nation also are low. The good news is, some absolutely staggering mule deer bucks have been taken by hunters on this reservation, including several with 34-, 37-, 39-, 41- and 44-inch antler spreads! And on occasion, some enormous elk have been taken when the conditions were right. I have viewed numerous photos........(continued)