No Elk on A Late-Season Arizona Hunt


Published: June - 2012

Mark Mills (Report 8679) is unhappy with an elk hunt in Arizona handled for him by Darin Collins and Tom Sissom of Double D Outfitters. This was a late-season hunt in December in Unit 18A. Mills says he was told the elk would be in their winter range on a private ranch of 100,000 acres. He hunted eight days, doing lots of glassing and walking to find elk but says he never saw any. The reason he was given for the lack of game was the 12 to 16 inches of fresh snow that fell the second day of the hunt. "We tried all the areas that they had seen and taken elk in previous years with no success, and with the fresh snow, we never even saw an elk track!" he says. He also says the ranch was a checkerboard of private and state land and that he saw other hunters every day hunting the same areas. "This hunt was very disappointing and expensive," he says, reporting a cost of $17,000. He says the outfitter refunded him $4,250 and offered to guide him for free on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, where the permit is $18,000 and the next opening is not until 2014. "The offer sounded good at the time, but I don't feel an elk hunt is worth another $18,000 and would rather go back to Africa," says Mills. Despite his dissatisfaction with the hunt itself, Mills is very happy with the effort of his guide, Monty Lightfoot, and says he would hunt with him again. In a rebuttal letter, Collins and Sissom acknowledge that the late-season elk hunt can be very challenging, but say that they have maintained a high success rate over the last nine years on this hunt, with many 400-plus bulls taken. Sissom says they had four hunters on this hunt in 2011 but that Mills was the only one that did not connect on an elk. He attributes the failure to bad luck. "As Mark stated, we got over 16 inches of snow, which really makes this hunt even more difficult," he writes. "But we tread on to make........(continued)
 
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