Arizona North Kaibab Early Rifle Deer Hunt: 12AW

JD Kammerzell

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Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
39
Location
Gilbert, Az
Finally drew a Kaibab deer hunt in 12AW: been 30 years since my last rifle tag in this unit! These tags are not easy to draw, & I'm looking forward to the upcoming season. Putting together a hunt plan for the last week of October. Information has been hard to find.

A lot has changed in this area with the major fires in 2019 & 20. Reached out to AZ Game & Fish for baseline information, found out the Unit Wildlife Biologist retired this year & his replacement is pending. Information that I'm looking for is the elevation bands the deer hang out in prior to the rut in November. Found good information in Hefflefinger's book "Deer of the Southwest". What I haven't been able to find is when the acorns drop in the fall in this area. Should I be focusing on the oaks during this early hunt? Baseline info on Game & Fish website is helpful regarding the pinon/juniper areas. Appreciate any info from your experiences in this area.
 

TheTone

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Sep 14, 2002
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I don’t have any info but will say good luck! That’s a tag I’ve heavily considered using my points for as I don’t really have a desire to wait for the strip
 

JD Kammerzell

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
39
Location
Gilbert, Az
I don’t have any info but will say good luck! That’s a tag I’ve heavily considered using my points for as I don’t really have a desire to wait for the strip
Thanks... Understand to reluctance to compete for tags that are near impossible to draw. Had 4 BP going into this draw as a resident. Odds were at 20%, & this was my first choice. Feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to do this hunt again. Am spending a week in September, scouting. Will post the outcome.

Jeff
 

rustednuts

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Apr 7, 2018
Messages
659
Jay Scott has a some great episodes with bundy outfitters about the strip tags. You’ll have to dig around for them but they spill the beans on deer feed habits for that area.
 

old270hunter

Active member
Joined
Jun 4, 2022
Messages
172
Location
Bat Sh!+ Crazy, California
Finally drew a Kaibab deer hunt in 12AW: been 30 years since my last rifle tag in this unit! These tags are not easy to draw, & I'm looking forward to the upcoming season. Putting together a hunt plan for the last week of October. Information has been hard to find.

A lot has changed in this area with the major fires in 2019 & 20. Reached out to AZ Game & Fish for baseline information, found out the Unit Wildlife Biologist retired this year & his replacement is pending. Information that I'm looking for is the elevation bands the deer hang out in prior to the rut in November. Found good information in Hefflefinger's book "Deer of the Southwest". What I haven't been able to find is when the acorns drop in the fall in this area. Should I be focusing on the oaks during this early hunt? Baseline info on Game & Fish website is helpful regarding the pinon/juniper areas. Appreciate any info from your experiences in this area.
Congrats on that tag. It will be far easier to find a shooter than it was to draw the tag. Tried for 20+ years to draw that and never did. Just gave up.
 

JD Kammerzell

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
39
Location
Gilbert, Az
Thanks... hope you're right.

Archery hunted back in the early to mid 90's, when it was still over the counter. Have put in for either the early or late hunt rifle tag, first choice the last 30 years as a resident. My last rifle tag up there was in 89.

AS I siad before... It's a hard tag to draw.
 

JD Kammerzell

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
39
Location
Gilbert, Az
Hunt update... been a busy fall, in a good way. Early Kaibab rifle deer hunt was certianly an adventure. We had 3"-4" of snow day after the opener, & Sunday wasn't your typical AZ early deer hunting weather. Wind blew all day 40-50 MPH.

Temps Monday morning dipped below 10 degrees, generator decided to crap out in the middle of the night. (Gas cap iced up). It was a good thing I had an good sleeping bag & a down comforter. Slept warm & cozy, had to use the stove to take the chill off the trailer that morning.

Ended up shooting a smaller buck than planned on Sunday morning. Report at the check in station was that alot of hunters had taken smaller bucks, & bailed due to the storm.

Anyay adventure aside it was good to be back in the Kaibab after so many years.
 
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