Hunter Reviews Arizona Desert Mule Deer Hunt On Private Land


Published: June - 2010

Subscriber Charles Butler is generally pleased with an Arizona desert mule deer hunt he took this past November near Gila Bend with Grand Canyon State Outfitters. Unlike most Arizona hunts, where tags are tough for nonresidents to draw, hunters have a 70 to 75 percent chance of drawing a mule deer tag for this hunt in Unit 39. According to Ben Boone of Grand Canyon State Outfitters, the reason is that this hunt is conducted on 50,000 acres of private land and his company fills out all draw applications for clients to ensure everything is done correctly and on time. Butler notes, however, that a hunting partner who was supposed to hunt with him failed to draw a tag.

Butler says this was more like a stand whitetail hunt than your typical spot-and-stalk mule deer hunt. Hunting involved glassing the farm fields in the morning from high ground, hoping to make a stalk if a good deer presented itself (which, unfortunately, did not happen.) But in the evenings, he hunted from a ground blind in a proven area, and this is how he shot his deer. "We also tried to walk into the salt cedar scrub to see if we could find some bedded deer," he says. "While we found a skull and some sheds, we did not see any deer while walking."

Bulter says this is not a particularly strenuous hunt, although the area is capable of offering some hard spot-and-stalk hunting. It's just much less effective. If you have mobility issues, he says this hunt would be a really good choice. "They can adjust the difficulty of the hunt to your physical condition," says Butler, who describes himself as "overweight but able to walk well."

Faced with unusually hot weather (daytime temperatures into the 90s), Butler says he saw as many as 50 to 75 different mule deer (mostly does). But the bigger trophies he had expected to see (160- to 170-class bucks) were nowhere to be found. He reports taking an older 3 x 2 buck in the 150-class. Boone says the........(continued)

 
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