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Arizona Hunting Outfitters & Guides
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HUNTING

 

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Elk*Deer*Sheep*Turkey
Arizona Wildlife Outfitters
Don Martin
Ph 928-681-4867
 
Arizona Wildlife Outfitters is a full service outfitter and guide service. We specialize only in Arizona hunts where we guide for Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Antelope, Buffalo, Turkey and Javelina. We also book mountain lion and do predator hunts. Elk hunting in Arizona has for the past 10 years been legendary due to the number of huge bulls that have been taken across the state by sportsmen. Whether you hunt with a bow, muzzleloader or rifle, Arizona has become THE place to hunt on public lands for monster bulls. Getting a tag is always the tough part. There are no private property landowner tags in Arizona, so tags must be drawn. Each year thousands of sportsmen from all over the world apply for Arizona's limited elk tags. Here are some things you need to know before applying for an Arizona elk tag. First of all, Arizona is on a bonus point system for all big game species, including elk. One of the most sought after big game trophies in Arizona is the mule deer. We have two species in AZ, the Rocky Mountain and the desert. At AWO, we hunt in the best mule deer units in northern Arizona, and have years and years of experience in pursuing what is acknowledged as the hardest big game trophy to bag. Here are some of my thoughts about where to hunt for big bucks in Arizona. The Arizona Strip (Unit 13B) is probably the most sought after public lands tag in America. Each year over 6,000 prospective deer hunters apply for a handful of tags in this unit. Arizona doesn't have the largest population of pronghorn antelope in the West, but there is no doubt that when it comes to quality, Arizona is at the top of the list! A check of the record books, including bow, muzzleloader, and rifle will show a large number of entries from Arizona. Arizona offers less than 1,000 tags annually for bow and arrow, muzzleloader and rifle hunts. That means that it can be extremely difficult to draw a tag here. To those who are lucky enough to draw an Arizona desert bighorn sheep permit, they have the opportunity to experience on a true once-in-a-lifetime hunting adventure. You don't hunt sheep, you experience them. 
Elk*Mule Deer*
Bear*Sheep*Antelope*
Turkey*Javelina
Timberland Oufitters
9025 Arroyo Trail
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
Ph 928-607-9380 
We’re proud of the honorable reputation we have earned. TLO has established itself on providing quality over quantity! With a professional commitment and passionate dedication to each of our hunts we have been rewarded with remarkable success rates! With our genuine concern and personal attention given to each hunter and their tags we will continue to provide a world class quality hunting experience for all of our clients and our guides as well. There is no question that Arizona provides some of the best, fair chase, public land hunting in the US. Arizona has 11 big game species distributed throughout incredibly diverse habitat, making it a worldwide hunting destination. Trophy quality in this state is first class. Hard earned tags should not be taken lightly. We hope you will let Timberland Outfitters make your hunting memories all they can be 
Quail*Dove
Mitch Hurt's Wild Bird Hunting
Mitch Hurt
18 Caledonia Road
Livingston, MT 59047
Ph 406-223-4919
 
Southern Arizona in the wintertime is a wonderful placed to hunt Gambles, Scaled and Mearns Quail and doves. When the rains come at the right time the hunting can be exceptional. Spending the day walking the desert in search of birds with pointing dogs makes for a unique hunting experience. 
Elk*Deer*Bear*Lion*
Antelope*Javelina
Sixshootermolly Outfitters and Guide Service
Rick Murphy
Box 396
Ash Fork, AZ 86320
Ph  928-853-4051
We are located in Northern Arizona in the heart of some of the best big game hunting in the world. As you probably already know, Arizona is one of the premiere sites in North America to hunt Trophy Elk, Deer, Antelope, Bear, Lion and Javelina. 
FISHING

Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Whitewater Rafting
Salt River Rafting
James Wilkes
Ph 800 425 5253



By far the most popular trip in the Upper Salt River Canyon, this full day adventure plummets through numerous Class III rapids such as Maytag, Overboard, Exhibition and Mescal Falls. Calm stretches such as the Narrows allow everyone to gather and revel in the beauty of the canyon that towers above, or to enjoy a friendly "out of boating experience" better known as a swim should you be so inclined. On low water years which are mild, scenic and great for families or first timers we have a riverside deli lunch on the river. On "normal water" years we have a grilled lunch of burgers and brats served at our riverside base camp. This is also an excellent trip for first-timers as well as seasoned rafters. The fun, excitement and beauty of the Salt River Canyon has never failed to impress. Sun, Splashes, Scenery and Saguaros are guaranteed!

WhitewaterRafting *Dory Boats
O.A.R.S.
Box 67
Angels Camp, CA
Ph 800-346-6277
Ph 209-736-4677
Fax 209-736-2902




While on a 1977 Tatshenshini River trip in Alaska, O.A.R.S. Founder and President George Wendt, witnessed a vastness even greater in magnitude than the Grand Canyon. It was a profound experience for him to travel approximately 150 miles through territory utterly untouched by human development. The Tat was a very different type of river than he had previously experienced, taking him through lush glacier-carved, U-shaped valleys teeming with wildlife. Walking on a glacier certainly offered a dramatic change from the hot desert southwest where he had spent much of his time. He recognized immediately it was a place he needed to share with others.
Whitewater Rafting
Wilderness Aware Rafting
Jack Gunckle
12600 US Hwy 24/285
Buena Vista, CO 81211
Ph 800-462-723 
Dear River Friends,My wife Sue and I invite you to join us on one of our many exciting river adventures. We have traveled extensively, running rivers throughout the U.S. and the world in search of the ingredients for the perfect river trip. Our degrees in Environmental Interpretation and Wildlife Biology help us to share our love of the wilderness with our staff and guests. Combining our experiences on other rivers and our outdoor education, with the rivers of Colorado’s majestic Rocky Mountains, we work to exceed your expectations of the ideal adventure.Since 1976, Wilderness Aware has set high standards that we are endlessly striving to surpass. We have been recognized as an industry leader, having won the “Colorado Recreation and Tourism Company of the Year” and “Colorado Service Company of the Year” awards, two of Colorado’s most prestigious business honors. At Wilderness Aware we are dedicated to providing you with the best possible rafting experience. Bring your friends and family, share the river with us and create memories for a lifetime
   
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters
Arizona Outfitters


Arizona Hunting Outfitters and Guides Elk Facts

As with many game species in Arizona, elk hunting has had its ups and downs. With native elk having been extirpated, the closed season imposed by the territorial legislature in 1893 was too little too late. The releases of Yellowstone elk between 1913 and 1929 were successful, however, and in 1935 the population was deemed sufficient to support a limited, 266-permit bull hunt. One hundred and forty-five elk were harvested, and hunts were continued every year through 1943. Because of World War II, no season was conducted in 1944 or 1945, but a limited hunt, which included the issuance of the first cow elk permits, was again authorized in 1946. Elk hunting opportunities expanded almost annually as biologists and ranchers feared that Arizona's elk population might now "rise out of control." These concerns culminated in 1953 when 6,288 permits were issued and 1,558 elk were taken-more than 1,000 of which were cows. Because of concerns about the "slaughter," elk permits were greatly curtailed in 1954 and remained below 5,000 until 1965, when more than 6,000 permits were again authorized. By 1967, elk permit numbers were exceeding 7,000, and the annual harvest exceeded 1,500 elk. Once again, elk permits were gradually lowered; although new hunts, including archery hunts, were being initiated.  Elk were at one time the most widely distributed member of the deer family in North America - found everywhere except the Great Basin desert and the Southern coastal plains. The elk population was estimated to total 10 million before European man arrived. Elk withstood the impacts of the western settlement better than the buffalo because they inhabited rougher terrain. The great reduction in elk numbers is attributable to market hunting and agriculture. The population low of 90,000 occurred in 1922, of these, 40,000 were in Yellowstone Park. The Park's elk herds became a reservoir for stocking breeding elk. Between 1912 and 1967 more than 13,500 elk were transplanted from the Park. In February 1913, 83 elk were released in Cabin Draw near Chevelon Creek. From these transplants, the Arizona elk population has grown to nearly 35,000 animals. Summer elk range is typically within a ½ mile of water. Elk winter range is often the limiting factor for elk herds as only about 10 percent of their total habitat is winter range. Elk prefer the summer range, moving to high elevations early and staying until absolutely forced down by snow depth. Summer range varies from 7,000 feet in the mixed conifers to 10,000+ in the spruce fir-sub-alpine belt. Winter range varies from 5,500 to 6,500 feet in Arizona, the pinyon-juniper zone. Elk have distinct summer and winter coats, which they shed in late summer and spring, respectively. In winter the head, belly, neck and legs are dark brown; the sides and back are grayish brown; and the rump patch is yellowish bordered by a dark brownish stripe. While the female elk is usually somewhat lighter, both sexes have heavy dark manes. In summer, the coat becomes a deep reddish brown. There is little to no undercoat, giving the elk a sleek, muscular appearance. Elk calves are born from late May to early June after an 8 to 8 ½ month gestation. Twins are extremely rare. Elk calves average nearly 30 lbs. with males averaging 4 lbs. more than females. The calf is dark russet colored with white spots on the back and sides.


Arizona Hunting Outfitters and Guides Deer Facts

One of the popular Arizona's big-game animals are deer. The state has two distinct species, the mule deer and the white-tailed deer. The most abundant deer in Arizona is the Rocky Mountain mule deer. Mule deer are not limited to any one type of terrain, being found from sparse, low deserts to high forested mountains. Generally mule prefer the more rugged country. The mule deer gets its name from its large ears. Coat color is reddish-brown in summer, turning to a blue-gray in winter. Its forehead is much darker than its face, while its throat, belly and inner leg are white. Mule deer have white rump patches and short, narrow, black-tipped white tails.The mule deer is the larger of Arizona's deer. Adult bucks may weigh in excess of 200 pounds and stand up to 42 inches at the shoulder. Does average 125 pounds. Typical mule deer antler configuration has each side branching equally into two main beams, each may fork into two tines. The size and number of 'points' is dependent on a combination of age, nutrition, and genetic background. The deer antlers grow under a layer of skin called velvet. The velvet supplies blood to the growing deer antlers, which are soft. When fully grown, the antlers harden, the velvet dries, and is rubbed off. Antlers are composed of material similar to that of bone. Each year in the spring, after the breeding season has passed, antlers are shed. It is in preparation for the rut that mule deer grow antlers. Bucks are polygamous and fight for a harem of does during the winter breeding season. After a gestation period of about 190 days, the does give birth to spotted fawns, often twins. Deer fawns are 'dropped' about mid-summer. At higher elevations, the fawns are born early after the last spring storms to allow the young to grow large enough to withstand the winter storms. At lower, drier elevations, drop time is synchronized more with summer rains that bring on new plant growth. A fawn's spots will disappear in about two months and the young will stay with their mother until the following spring. They will become sexually mature in a year and a half. In the wild deer have a life span of about ten years. Arizona's other deer, the Coues, is a subspecies of the white-tailed deer. Coues deer are most common in Arizona's southeastern mountains, but range up on to the Mogollon Rim and into the White Mountains. They are most abundant in areas of predictable summer precipitation. They prefer woodlands of chaparral, oak, and pine with interspersed clearings. The Coues deer is much smaller than most of it's cousins. The Coues white-tailed deer is perhaps Arizona's finest game animal. Wary, and expert at using cover, whitetails deer rarely offer the hunter a standing shot once jumped. Perhaps for this reason, the species has become increasingly important in the harvest. Although the statewide deer take has varied from 1,500 to more than 7,000 whitetails a year, depending on the vagaries of drought and fawn survival, the recent trend has been for this species to constitute an ever greater proportion of the statewide deer harvest. For example, whitetail deer comprised less than 15 percent of Arizona's deer harvest in 1961 but today, they comprise over 40 percent of total deer harvested. When seen at a distance, two distinguishing characteristics between the deer species are evident in their tails and gait. The Coues deer has a flagging white tail and a more natural run. Mule deer on the other hand 'run' using a stiff legged, bounding gait. When at a closer range, other differences include facial markings, ear size, and antler configuration. In addition to physical features, habitat preferences vary. In Arizona's southern mountain ranges whitetail deer are generally found at higher elevations than are mule deer.


Arizona Hunting Outfitters and Guides Bear Facts

Black bear are the most common and widely distributed of the three North American bear. Historically, black bear occurred in all forested habitats in North America, including Mexico. The species has been extirpated from many eastern and mid-western states, but still occurs in 38 states, 11 Canadian provinces, and seven Mexican states. In Arizona, the black bear is found in most woodland habitats, including pinyon-juniper, oak woodland, coniferous forest, and chaparral. An interesting footnote to black bear distribution in Arizona is the absence of any sizeable population of black bear north of the Colorado River. Bear cubs are born during January in winter dens, usually in pairs, but larger litters are not uncommon. The cubs are very small and helpless at birth. Bear cubs emerge from the den in April and stay with their mother through the first summer and fall, denning with her their second winter. Female black bear in Arizona usually reach reproductive age in their fourth year, and usually breed every other year. Normal reproductive cycles in Arizona black bear may be adversely effected by drought and resultant poor physiological condition. Black bear are relatively long lived animals, with some individuals exceeding 20 years of age. The low reproductive potential of this bear species is becoming an increasingly important management consideration. Bear hunting has a long history in Arizona. As late as 1928, bear were classified as predatory animals and could be shot or trapped at any time. In 1929, however, a new "game code" classified bear of all kinds as big game, provided a month-long open season, and prescribed a bag limit of one. Bears could not be trapped, but they could be taken with dogs. Later years were even more restrictive; bear cubs were protected in 1934, and in 1936, the bear season was closed south of the Gila River. Bear regulations became more restrictive, tags were required to take one, and in 1968 the black bear was again classified as big game. This designation was appropriate as hunter interest in the species was increasing. Hunt success varied with weather conditions and population vagaries, but annual bear harvests ranged from 131 to 313 for the years 1964 through 1980. Relatively few bear were taken under the stock-taking clause, most of them being taken by sport hunters. Concern about the bear relatively low reproductive rate caused the Department to monitor the bear harvest more closely. Accordingly, mandatory checkout procedures were initiated in 1980. Other recent changes in regulations have included the authorization of a permit-only spring bear season in select units, the elimination of bear baiting as a method of take, and unit harvest limits in which the season is closed after a certain number of female bear are taken. As of July 2006, bear hunters are required to present their bear to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for inspection. Black bear are characterized as shy, secretive animals possessing considerable curiosity and displaying high levels of intelligence and exploratory behavior. Black bear are generally active in the early morning and late evening; they may alter their activity pattern to exploit sources of artificial food, becoming nocturnal at camp grounds and dump sites. Nuisance activities are nearly always associated with artificial food sources (beehives, campgrounds, and livestock). Black bear are normally solitary animals, except for family groups (mother and cubs), breeding pairs, and congregations at feeding sites. Black bear are known to move long distances (100 miles) to exploit isolated pockets of food. The mobility of black bear sometimes leads them to appear in uncharacteristic habitats and to return from long distances after being moved. Most Arizona black bear hibernate from November through March, during which time they reduce body temperature, heart rate, and metabolic function, while still remaining somewhat alert in the winter bear den.


Arizona Hunting Outfitters and Guides Big Horn Sheep Facts

 

North American bighorn sheep numbers were estimated at 2 million. Desert sheep populations have since fallen to about 20,000 and Rocky Mountain populations are at about 45,000. Arizona’s bighorn sheep population, consisting of both desert and Rocky Mountain races, is estimated at 6,000 animals. The causes for this decline, which occurred primarily between 1850 and 1900, were competition with livestock for food and water and exposure to livestock associated parasites and diseases. Desert bighorn sheep show considerable differentiation between the sexes. Adult males, rams, weigh between 160 and 200 pounds with a maximum weight of 225 pounds. Adult females, ewes, range from 75 to 130 pounds and average 110 pounds. Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep rams can weigh up to 340 pounds; the ewes are much smaller. A full grown male sheep may stand over 3 feet tall at the shoulder. For both desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, the biggest visual difference between the sexes is the horns. Ewe horns are generally 10 to 13 inches long with a circumference of 5 to 6 inches. Ram horns may measure 30 to 40 inches along the outside curl with a basal circumference of 13 to 15 inches. The horn core is honeycombed with chambers, or sinuses, which reduce the weight of the skull. Totally protected by the territorial legislature in 1893, bighorn sheep were not legal game in Arizona until 1953, when it was determined that the limited hunting of trophy desert bighorn sheep rams might be the only way to save these animals. Two limited desert bighorn sheep hunts of 20 permits each were authorized, and 20 desert bighorn were taken. Since then, permit numbers, the number of units open to hunting, the number of sheep taken, and hunt success have gradually increased. In 1984, Arizona began offering Rocky Mountain as well as desert bighorn sheep hunts. Between 80 and 100 hunt permits are authorized each year, mostly desert bighorns, with hunt success ranging between 90 and 95 percent. Bighorn sheep are diurnal animals. Females, with lambs and yearlings, usually travel further then rams because of there being more mouths to feed. Bighorn sheep usually occur in small groups, but have been seen in herds of 50 or more. Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are very social animals, generally separated into two groups. Mature rams stay in one group while the ewes, lambs, and young rams congregate separately (rams stay with the "nursery group" until 2-3 years of age). Ram sheep bands have a social hierarchy established by body and horn size. Dramatic head-butting occurs between mature rams to determine leadership and dominance, but once the hierarchy is established, rams live in the same group with little further conflict. In the wild, grasses are important to the bighorn. Bighorn sheep also feed heavily on jojoba. Pincushion and saguaro cactus provide moisture. Preferred plant species vary with habitat quality, locality, and species availability. Mountain lion, golden eagles, bobcats, and coyotes have all been implicated as predators for bighorn sheep. Bighorn sheep hunters typically select the largest, hence the oldest, rams in the herd.  In 2005, the average age of sheep taken in Arizona was 7 years old, with an average Boone & Crockett green score of 152 3/8.  In Arizona, bighorn sheep are harvested under a general, male-only open season.  Hunters can take only one bighorn sheep of each subspecies in their lifetime and hunters must personally check out within 3 days following the close of the season in accordance with AGFD rule 12-4-308. For the purposes of hunt sheep management, Arizona Game and Fish has long divided the state into a series of Game Management Units.  In the case of the Kofa NWR, the refuge is divided into three GMUs:  Unit 45 A comprises roughly the northwestern third of the refuge, Unit 45B the southeastern third, and Unit 45C the southwestern third.  Other surrounding GMUs contain the remaining sections of the greater Kofa Mountains Complex.  AGFD has issued anywhere from 5 to 17 bighorn sheep permits for the Kofa GMUs since 1960.  The hunter success rate has averaged 89% for bighorn sheep on the Kofa over the last 20 years. Protection for bighorn sheep began in 1893 when the state was still a territory.  Arizona’s first bighorn sheep hunt was in 1953 (AGFD 2006).  Every year three of the statewide tags are distributed to conservation groups such as the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society (ADBSS) and the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS) for auction and raffle to raise money for bighorn sheep conservation.  Since 1984, over five million dollars have been raised through these sales and used specifically for bighorn sheep management and conservation in Arizona.


Arizona Hunting Outfitters and Guides Antelope Facts

Pronghorn antelope are native to the prairies of North America. At one time they numbered in the millions and were found on the open plains from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Mexico to central Canada. With the European settlement of the plains, the population was reduced nearly to extinction. In Arizona, antelope are found primarily in the northern plains. They also inhabit high elevation meadows between forested areas, semi-desert grasslands, and scattered herds are found in the grasslands of southeastern Arizona. The endangered Sonoran pronghorn antelope occurs in Mexico and southwestern Arizona. The name pronghorn antelope comes from the pronged or sharply pointed horn of the male antelope. The females' horns are smaller and more slender. Antelope have true horns in that the horny tissue is composed of fused hairs which form over a bone core. Horns reach their maximum size during the summer and the sheaths are shed annually, usually in the fall. Antelope have exceptional eyesight, often compared to high-powered binoculars, and are one of the fastest animals, being able to run in excess of 60 miles-per-hour. Despite their speed, antelope are reluctant to jump over objects, preferring to go under fences. A conspicuous characteristic of the antelope is the white rump patch. When alarmed, the hair stands erect and appears as a white flash that can be seen for miles. Tan is the dominant body color, with sharply contrasting white markings on the head and neck. The top of the buck's antelope nose is dark and there is usually a triangular black patch below the ear. The antelope doe does not have this black cheek patch. A short mane is present along the top of the neck. Shedding is continuous with the individual hairs being loosely attached making antelope hides worthless as rugs. Since the hairs are hollow and can be erected at will, pronghorns are able to adjust to temperature changes. Adult male antelope weigh 90 to 120 lbs. Females are about 20 lbs. lighter. Antelope are primarily browsers, especially on sagebrush, with grass being only a minor food source. Wild antelope usually reach ages of 6 to 8 years. Then, for reasons that still are not fully understood, pronghorn antelope began to make a comeback. Aided by a closed season, government predator control programs, and the abandonment of numerous homesteads, pronghorn antelope numbers steadily increased until fears were expressed that some northern Arizona populations were in danger of exceeding their food supply. Accordingly, a limited hunt of 400 antelope permits was authorized for northern Arizona in 1941. After a closed season from 1944 to 1948, antelope hunting in Arizona recommenced in 1949. Hunts were liberalized gradually, until 1954 when 1,600 permits were issued and 1,146 bucks were taken. Despite the issuance of a number of antlerless antelope permits between 1961 and 1975, this level of harvest has never again been equaled. Antelope harvests since 1990 have varied between 500 and 700 bucks, with archers taking a proportionally larger percent of the harvest in recent years. Plagued by encroaching subdivisions, increasing highway construction, and other land-use changes, maintaining even the present number of antelope is dependent on citizen involvement and an aggressive translocation program. Approximately 10 percent of the antelope harvest is in areas having reintroduced herds. Antelope are gregarious. They are found in mixed herds most of the year; except in the spring when the bucks are alone or in small groups. In the fall, bucks collect harems up to 15-20 does, which they then defend from other bucks. Antelope breed in August and September and the young are born in May and June. The gestation period for the antelope is the longest for big-game animals in the United States. About eight months after mating, one or two fawns are born. The young are not spotted like the fawns of the deer family, but instead have markings similar to the adults. The fawns remain hidden, with the doe feeding them several times a day until they are strong enough to travel with the adults.


Arizona Hunting Outfitters and Guides Turkey Facts

Arizona is home to three subspecies of turkey Merriam’s, Gould’s, and Rio Grande turkey. Merriam's turkey are found throughout the Western United States primarily in the ponderosa pine forests of Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Arizona. They have been transplanted into the pine forests of Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Gould’s turkey are only found in Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. In Arizona, wild turkey can be found not only in ponderosa pine forest but also other vegetation types in elevations ranging from 3,500 to 10,000 feet. The best populations of Merriam’s, however, occur in the ponderosa pine forests north of the Gila River. The Gould’s occupy the sky island habitats in southeastern Arizona. Gould's turkey are one of Arizona's two native wild turkey species. They are slightly larger than Merriam's turkey. Gould's turkey were once found throughout southern Arizona. Gould's were an important food source for those who settled and worked in the rugged lands of southern Arizona years ago. Between the Civil War and World War I, miners working in southern Arizona harvested Gould's for many of their meals. By the time Arizona had legal turkey hunting seasons in 1929, Gould's Turkey had already disappeared from the scene. Gould's now occupy only a few remote mountain ranges in Arizona. However, these birds are making comeback tracks in the Huachucas and other mountain ranges in southern Arizona. Rio Grande turkey were recently introduced on the Arizona Strip at Black Rock Mountain. This terrain is similar to where the birds were transplanted from in Utah. The Rio Grande subspecies is very similar to the Merriam’s turkey, and it would take a side-by-side comparison to notice the differences. The Rio is slightly smaller and the banded accent tail-feathers are slightly darker. However, most notably are the primary wing feathers, the Rios are mainly black with small white accent bars, while the Merriams are white with small black accents. This turkey subspecies prefers areas with drainages and stream beds in relatively open brush and scrub country up to 6,000 feet in elevation. Wild turkey have been classified as big game since 1913 when the first state legislature established a bag limit of three birds to be taken between October 1 and December 15. Turkey populations appeared to hold up fairly well, at least in northern Arizona, as the season was still a month long and the bag limit was only reduced to two in the new "game code" of 1929. After World War II, however, hunt pressure gradually increased, and hunt regulations became more stringent. Fall hunting was the only turkey hunting allowed, and by 1950 a hunter had to draw a permit to even hunt turkeys. Annual harvests ranged from a few hundred birds to more than 1,300. Turkey populations were fairly robust in the early 1960s, and the permit requirement was dropped in 1963; tag sales jumped from 8,050 in 1962 to 17,479 in 1963, but the turkey harvest only increased from 1,363 to 1,462. The first spring gobbler hunt was authorized in 1965 (100 permits), and by 1969 the annual turkey harvest had climbed to 2,480 birds, with another 138 turkeys taken earlier that spring. Today, fall hunting and spring hunting are by permit-only. In the spring, the number of gobblers taken is equal to or greater than the fall harvest. During winter Merriam's turkey congregate in the pinyon pine-oak habitats at the interface with ponderosa pine. If weather permits they may even winter in the ponderosa pine. Deep snow forces them to move to lower elevations. During spring snow melt, turkey again move up slope following the snow line and breeding activity begins. Toms begin to gobble and form harems. After mating, hens move into denser habitat at higher elevation to lay and incubate eggs. Toms and hens are not usually seen together except during the breeding season which is late March to early June. The remainder of the year they are in similar habitat, but do not flock together.


Arizona Hunting Outfitters and Guides Mountain Lion Facts

Mountain lion breed at any time of the year with the peak period for kitten births occurring in the summer. Litters average three kittens. Young lion remain with the mother for approximately 18 months learning the skills necessary to survive independently. Juvenile males lion tend to disperse much longer distances than juvenile females. Mountain lion are solitary animals with the exception of females with kittens or breeding pairs. Deer, both whitetail and mule, are the primary prey for mountain lion in Arizona, although they will also prey on javelina, bighorn sheep, small mammals and livestock. The presence of mountain lions can be detected by tracks, scat, scrapes (scratches in the ground) or kills. Mountain lion were classified as a "predatory animal" by the territorial legislature in 1919 and were subject to a bounty of $50 dollars. This status continued until 1970 when the mountain lion was classified as a big game animal, and a tag was required to hunt one. In 1982, a mandatory checkout procedure and other reporting requirements were instituted by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. Data from the reporting information indicates that lion harvests have gradually increased over time and range between 250 and 350 animals per year, of which approximately 15 percent are taken by predator control agents. The mountain lion hunting season in Arizona allows unlimited tags with a bag limit of one mountain lion per hunter per year. Occasionally, bag limits are increased in limited areas for the purpose of management or research. As of 2006, lion hunters are required to present their lion to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for inspection. In 2007, the hunt season was shortened from year-long to being closed from May through August. Mountain lion are stalk and ambush predators that hunt primarily at night and rely on ambush to kill their prey. They prefer to stalk from above, using rock ledges and steep terrain. Mountain lion are specialized top predators and consequently do not normally exist in high concentrations. Males and females are highly territorial and often kill other lion found in their territory. Mountain lion kill a large prey approximately once every six to 12 days. Uneaten portions of a kill are hidden or covered with leaves, dirt or other debris. An entire deer can be consumed by an adult mountain lion in two nights.


Arizona Hunting Outfitters and Guides Javelina Facts

The collared peccary, or javelina, evolved in South America and migrated north, only recently arriving in Arizona. Javelina bones are not found in Arizona archaeological sites and early settlers made infrequent references to their occurrence. It's possible that the peccary spread simultaneously with the replacement of Arizona's native grasslands by scrub and cactus. Adult javelina generally weigh 35 to 60 lbs, the male being slightly heavier than the female. New born javelina weigh about one pound. They are tan to brownish in color with a reddish dorsal stripe. They acquire adult coloration at three months. The salt and pepper appearance of adults is due to whitish bands on the black hairs. While javelina have lived to 24 years in captivity, the average life span is closer to seven or eight. Predation on javelina is common from mountain lions and bobcats. Coyotes and golden eagles are effective predators of juvenile javelina. Javelina continue to grow until they reach adult height in about 10 months. At this age, the javelina are sexually mature. Being of tropical origin, peccaries are capable of breeding throughout the year, the only wild ungulate in the western hemisphere with a year long breeding season. This long breeding season, early maturity, and the ability to have two litters in one year gives them the greatest reproductive potential of North American big game.Breeding peaks in January, February, and March. After a 145-day gestation period, most births occur in June, July, and August. This peak corresponds with the maximum rainfall period. Two is the most common number of young. Unlike other animals, the javelina does not lick the offspring at birth, but rolls or tumbles it. The young are precocial, following their mothers shortly after birth and are usually weaned at six weeks.While javelina have lived to 24 years in captivity, the average life span is closer to seven or eight. Predation on javelina is common from mountain lions and bobcats. Coyotes and golden eagles are effective predators of juvenile javelina. Since javelina are found in so many habitats, its natural that their foods should vary. Javelina are opportunistic feeders eating flowers, fruits, nuts, berries, bulbs, and most succulent plants. Prickly pear cactus makes up the major portion of their diet.
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