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Arizona Guided Hunts Checklist

of Items to bring on your Hunt

Make sure your hunt is paid in full at least 21 days prior Hiking Boots (w/good traction and ankle support)
Print your Hunting License AND bring Permit Tag Thermal Underwear (late Oct through May turkey)
Weapon and Ammo or Arrows Camo Gloves (Cold Hunts)
Weapon-related Gear (sling, release, bipod, bow sling) Camo Ball Cap
Backpack or Daypack Packable Rain Jacket or Pancho
Binoculars (10x recommended) Archery Wind Detector Powder (archery hunts)
Harris Bipod mounted on rifle (9-13" prone or 13.5-23") Face Net (turkey and archery hunts)
Portable field cushion (e.g.- HS Bunsaver) Beanie (Cold Months to sleep in)
Sleeping Bag (cold months: 20º rating, hot: 50º) TWEEZERS, Field First Aid Kit, Mole Skin (for blisters)
Small Camping Pillow or a pillow case to stuff w/ clothes Your Personal Medications
Travel Toiletries (soap, shampoo, t-brush, paste, etc.) Snacks/Trail Mix/Energy Bars for your daypack
Trash bag for dirty clothes, etc. Ear Plugs (in case other hunters snore!)
Unscented deodorant Cell phone USB charger and/or cell power bank
Medium-sized Towel/washcloth Hiking or trekking pole or monopod (Pole Cat)
TP or wipes for daypack OPTIONAL ITEMS BELOW:
Small flashlight/headlamp Cooler w/ICE (to transport game to tax./butcher)
2L Bladder {try Big Zip} or hiking Bottles Alcoholic beverage, Beer (BYOB)
Camera Snake Gaiters (Aug - early Nov)
Hot Months (Aug-Oct): Bug Repellant and/or head net Rangefinder
Pocket Knife Grunt tube, calls, rattlin horns, etc.
Camouflage Clothing and Jacket Magazines, books, games, etc. for down time
Belt Unscented or Sportsmans sunscreen
Wool-blend Hiking socks (recommend 1 pair per day!) Cash for gratuity
Batteries for electronics Flip Flops or slippers for night trip to potty

Also Please Note:

- Field items should be as lightweight as possible, so you can enjoy the hunt to the fullest.  The mountain terrain is no place for heavy gear!

- Hunters driving their own vehicle from home should bring a good cooler with ice, especially on warm weather hunts.  We are sometimes hours away from any store. If you get something, you will need to keep it cool when at camp and/or while transporting your game when you leave. Sizes: 50qt for deer, 150qt elk

- If using our butcher, you might need a UPS account so he can ship the meat.

- Gratuity: Hunting outfitters/guides rely upon gratuity as part of their income.  It is a common practice to tip your guide to show your appreciation.  For people who are unfamiliar with tipping of guides, 15% of the hunt rate is customary.

- It is nice to relax around the campfire with a "cold one" after a day's hunt.  Alcohol is allowed, but due to the law and liability, we cannot provide your alcoholic beverages.  If you drink, please bring your alcohol with you - BYOB in a cooler.  Your alcohol shall only be consumed after legal hunting hours!

 

Packing for the flight: Please don't ask to ship your luggage, etc., to our homes prior to the hunt.  The best way to pack is to buy an extra large rolling duffel bag instead of a suitcase. A normal sized sleeping bag will fit nicely into one of these duffels and will provide plenty of room for your clothing and other gear. Bring carry-on items in your hunting backpack.

  

 

Equipment Recommendations, Brand Names, and Other Info

Each season I am asked by many hunters which brand or type of a certain item I recommend.  As with anything, it is important to buy the highest quality equipment that you can afford.  This eliminates having to purchase that item again or more often than you would like.  I also strongly recommend buying items of minimal weight.  This cuts back on fatigue while in the field, allowing you to go that extra mile.  It is not essential to your hunt that you have these particular brands, but below are several things I have tried in the field and recommend.

Note: I am not trying to change anyone's opinion or debate any methods or items.  This is just basic info that is intended to hopefully increase your odds of going home with something other than "shattered dreams." 

 

  • Binoculars - If you are to own only one set of binoculars, the 10X42 would be the best all-around size.  Binocular sizes that work well for open country hunts (such as coues, mule deer, antelope, bear, sheep) would be: 10X42, 12X50 or 15X56.  For forest hunts (such as archery elk and turkey): 8X30, 10X32, or 10X42.  Swarovski, and Leica are superior European glasses that bring in much light and detail.  I highly recommend them.  If you don't want to spend $1200-$3200 on a pair of these fine European optics, the higher end models of Vortex (such as Razor, Vipor, Talon, Kaibab, $500-$1400) are great binoculars.  

  • Riflescope - European optics companies produce great binoculars, but my recommended riflescope is the Great Ol' American brand Leupold.  The reason is due to them being extremely lightweight and their ability to take a beating!  These are tough scopes and will usually not lose zero with a bad mishap.  I have seen Leupolds take a tumble down a mountain, end-over-end, after which the hunter picks up the weapon only to kill an animal at nearly 500 yards!  I have witnessed this event with every other brand, even the $2500 European scopes, and I cannot say the same for them.  Scopes with variable power settings are a must.  A 6.5-20X is recommended and a 4.5-15X scope should be minimum for western hunting.  A 3-9X is horrible for long-range Southwest hunting!  If you have ever looked at an animal over 250 yards on 9 power, you know what I mean.  Leupold Model Vari-X III in 6.5-20X or 4.5-14X will suit your needs for any species at any distance.  Please note: a scope sunshade often helps when shots are uphill or towards the sun.  Also, always sight in and practice with your variable power scope on the highest power setting! 

  • Bipod - It is highly recommended that you mount a bipod on your rifle.  Don't skimp and buy an "off the wall" brand thinking they are all the same.  I have used most bipods on the market.  Most cheap brands are designed poorly and wobble or they come apart after a few uses in the rugged mountains.  Any "play" or wobble is magnified down range.  Buy a Harris Bipod in either of these two models: 9-13" or 13.5"-23".  Both are low enough to use a rear rest and are very lightweight.  The 13.5-23" version (model 1A2) is good for those of you who complain about a kinked neck while shooting in the prone position.  But, remember that the longer or higher up from the ground the bipod is, the more shake and wobble it creates. The 6-9" benchrest model bipod is not recommended.  Harris Bipods can be purchased online at Amazon.com, ebay, or MidwayUSA.com.

  • Sleeping Bag -  All hunters need to bring a sleeping bag.  We do not supply sheets, blankets, pillows, or sleeping bags.  However, we do supply a cot with a cot pad for each hunter to sleep on.  Sleeping bags come in all shapes and sizes (I prefer a rectangle as opposed to the mummy), but what is important is the thermal rating and compactness (packing in your luggage for the plane ride).  Our cold month hunts in November through April may be spent in wall tents or Kodiak canvas tents.  Depending upon which type of hunt you are coming on, the outside nighttime temperatures may get as low as 10 degrees with inside tent temperatures around 50 with the heater on.  If the heater goes out in the middle of the night (and it more than likely will), you need to be prepared.   I recommend a 20 degree rating for those cold weather hunts.  During mild weather hunts in August through October, I recommend a 50 degree rating.  If flying, a backpacking sleeping bag is your best option.  Slumberjack, Eureka, REI, Kuiu, and Cabelas have a line of compact backpacking sleeping bags at various temperature ratings that fit nicely into your luggage.  Also, don't forget a small travel pillow or Coleman camp pillow.  These stuff into a sack to save room for luggage packing.  If trying to save even more room in your luggage, you can instead bring an empty pillow case and stuff it with your hunting clothes to act as a pillow.  

  • Beanie - A beanie is great for keeping your head warm while sleeping during cold weather hunts.  It eliminates the need to bury your head under your sleeping bag and it actually keeps your whole body warmer while sleeping.

  • Tweezers - Every plant in the desert will either poke, stick or jab you, often leaving stickers and thorns throughout your body.  Tweezers are essential in getting these thorns out if they happen to occur, especially the fine cactus needles.  It seems like the most favorable activity for our hunters during downtime is to sit around camp and pull out thorns...

  • Blisters - For those who are prone to blisters, mole skin is a great remedy.  Also, the small pads for corns and callous by Dr. Scholl's work well around blisters too. There are also gel-type blister bandages on the market.  Many hunters have quit hunting or gone home early because of severe blisters.

  • Snake Gaiters - If you are coming on a hunt during August through early November, there is a slight chance that you will see rattlesnakes (they are usually dormant during any other hunting month).  Rattlesnakes usually are not a threat if you don't bother them, but snake gaiters can give you the "piece of mind" you need while hiking through their habitat.  The lightest and most versitile brand is Turtle Skins, but there are also some less expensive versions on Amazon.

  • Daypack - If you are a frail person, a fanny pack will be fine to haul your essentials.  Info for the rest of you: Most hunters come with packs too small.... One reason to have a good-sized pack is to handle all the layers of clothing that you will be peeling off during the day.  Remember that mornings are often 40 degrees cooler than noontime temps, which means you will be layering.  Another reason to have a decent sized pack is for water and field gear transport.  A third major reason is that, if you tag an animal, you might need to put the guide's gear into your pack (and they have a lot of stuff) as he packs out the game.  If it is a large animal such as a bear, elk, sheep or mule deer, you might need to help pack out the game.  You do not need a giant 7-day backpack/packframe, but a good daypack with a waste strap for putting the weight above the hips and not all on the shoulders.  A mid-sized pack with a capacity around 2500 - 4000cu-in should work fine.  One good backpack manufacturer that is a bit expensive, but has strong, ultra lightweight designs are the packs by Kuiu. These are by far the most reliable and most thought-out hunting packs on the market! The frame is lightweight carbon fiber and stronger than steel!  There are various Kuiu backpack configurations to choose from, but I use the Kuiu Ultra 4000 for most day hunts and the Ultra 7000 for big animal packing such as elk. They are only 3 to 5 pounds empty!  Visit www.Kuiu.com.  Another good backpack manufacturer is Eberlestock. Their backpacks are about twice the weight, but they allow you to slide your gun into a pouch or scabbard and also secure a bow on the pack.  This eliminates fatigue from carrying a weapon on your shoulders or in your hands on a long hike through rough, canyon terrain.  There are many Eberlestock configurations to choose from, but you don't need anything larger than 4000 cu-in.  The Eberlestock X1A1 or X1A2 or X1A3 models are perfect for any Western hunt.  The Eberlestock J34 model is a bit larger and heavier, but also a great pack.  The Eberlestock X2 with addition of a side scabbard works great as well.  Visit www.eberlestock.com.  Cabelas has a couple economical, yet fair backpacks, as well.  Turkey hunters can bring a turkey vest instead of the backpack, if they choose. 

  • Water Transport - Several Dozens of people die in the Arizona desert per year due to heat stroke caused by severe dehydration.  Having enough water in your pack is very important in this arid environment, especially after the kill.  Once you kill, you just doubled or even tripled your water requirement in order to help pack out the extra weight.  THIS IS THE DESERT!  There are typically no streams to drink from if you are out of water.  If coming during our warm months of August through October, a minimum of two liters should be taken into the field at all times, even if you don't think you need it.  I don't mean two little drinking water bottles that you buy in the case, but two LITERS.  We provide bulk jugs of drinking water so that you can fill your 2 Liter bladder or your hiking bottle.  Another trick is to bring an empty "Smartwater" bottle, since they are less bulky and shaped perfectly for a backpack.  The number one recommended water bladder is the "Big Zip" by Platypus.  It's special features include: a very large opening for easy refilling, a quick-release hose, a shut-off valve, and because it is made of a special plastic, there is absolutely no bad taste that you get with other brands. It also has an anti-microbial that eliminates mold/mildew growth.  Camelback brand bladders are less-to-be-desired and often have a bad, plastic taste that never seems to go away.  To keep away dirt and grime, make sure to buy a cover or cap for the bite valve of your water bladder, as most do not come with one.  Anyways, we have seen many hunters dump out all their water while hiking because it became too heavy.  Also, many hunters say, "I didn't drink all my water that I packed yesterday, so I'm only bringing half today."  These are big mistakes!  On several occasions I have rescued hunters and even guides in the early stages of heat stroke or severe dehydration.  It's hard for the rescuers to land a helicopter in the steep terrain that we hunt!  Your extraction could cost tens of thousands of dollars!  This can be prevented by staying hydrated and packing enough water.  The humidity in Arizona is typically 5-15%, which can dry you out in minutes!  Some don't even know they are dehydrated until it's too late.  If you are worried about the added weight of water, try to shave off a few pounds elsewhere. 

  • Hiking Boots - Most AZ terrain is very rocky.  Get a boot with good ankle support, deep traction lugs and a good heel.  Lowa offers the best long-lasting, yet most comfortable hiking boots on the market.  A few boots to look at are Lowa Tibet or Lowa Baffin Pro models.  Lowa's breathable, Hot weather model (for hunts Aug - Oct) is the Baffin Pro LL.  It is leather lined so your feet can breath.  The models with Gortex will make your feet sweat in hot weather.  If you don't have much time for break-in, my top suggestion are the more flexible, lightweight Meindl Ultralight Hunters, Danner Pronghorns, Lowa Renegade or Lowa Ticam.  Cabelas and Rocky also offer quality boots.

  • Hiking Socks - Wool blend socks, whether hunting in the hot months of August/September or the cold of January, are essential in keeping your feet from being too moist and helps to eliminate blisters.  SmartWool Hike Ultra Light socks are good for hot hunts.  The SmartWool Hike Medium weight sock is great for most other hunts.  Cabelas has an economical wool sock version.  Please, for the sake of the other hunters in your tent, bring one pair per day

  • Hiking or Trekking Pole - A walking stick, trekking or hiking pole will help to stabilize you on the loose ground or steep slopes and keep you from falling.  Most models are compact, lightweight and telescopic, collapsing to under 25".  Make sure to use the rubber tip, as the metal tip clanking on the ground scares away game on a regular basis. Some hiking poles have a V-yoke to act as a shooting rest.  This can be a very useful tool when getting a "surprise" offhand shot.  Pole Cat Tall is one such shooting monopod. A very lightweight, sturdy trekking pole is Black Diamond Carbon with the addition of a rubber tip.  You can buy a pack of Black Diamond rubber tips from Amazon and they will fit on most hiking poles.  

  • Clothing - There are many brands on the market, but what is important is the material they are made of.  High performance hunting clothing is not 100% Cotton.  Try a polyester/cotton blend or, better yet, a 100% poly material.  Long underwear is recommended on any hunt from mid November through the April turkey season.  These also come in poly materials, which will actually pull sweat away, keeping you drier and warmer than cotton.  If you want a really good set of hunting clothes for our desert hunts that will repel water, will not fade, and will last more than one hunting season, Kuiu and Sitka Gear are my recommendations.   www.kuiu.com or  www.sitkagear.com.  

  • Camouflage Pattern - The Camo pattern to bring depends upon which type of hunt you will be on; either a desert hunt or a forest hunt.  Desert hunts such as bighorn sheep, bear, deer, javelina, and antelope require lighter camo patterns like Natural Gear, Mossy Oak Brush, King's Desert Shadow, Kuiu Verde and Vias patterns, or Sitka Gear's Optifade Open Country or Subalpine.  Most colors in the desert during hunting season are light shades of gray/brown with some green.  Stay away from the really bright "prairie" patterns though.  You'll stand out like a sore thumb using the prairie patterns.  Forest hunts such as Elk and Turkey require darker camo patterns like Mossy Oak New Break-Up or Real Tree AP and even Kuiu Verde. Sitka produces a good camo pattern for our Ponderosa pine forest hunts (elk, turkey) called Subalpine. Their Open-country and Subalpine pattern is great for our desert hunts.  Kuiu's Verde pattern seems to be very versatile and can work well for both forest hunts and desert hunts. 

  • Portable Field Seat Cushion - This may not sound too important, but when you are glassing and sitting on a cold, jagged boulder for hours, it is invaluable.  The comfort a foam pad brings to your buttox will help you be more patient.  Make sure it is not too big or it will be cumbersome to carry in or on your pack.  Try Hunter's Specialties Bunsaver brand.  Don't bring a field chair unless you don't mind carrying the added weight or bulk.

  • Cell Phone Power Bank or Charger - WE DO NOT HAVE 110v WALL PLUGS IN THE DESERT OR MOUNTAINS!!! Our guide's trailer is not hooked up to an RV park either.  If you need to re-charge your cell during the hunt, please bring a cell phone power bank and your phone's USB plug.  The guides will also let you plug into their vehicle or 12 volt trailer battery when you need charging.  I recommend turning off your cell phone until you need to make a call.  We don't hunt near towers and typically have poor reception.  If you keep the phone on during the daytime, it will search for a tower, thus, drain your battery within hours.  Note: Some areas where we camp have no cell phone service unless you hike to the top of a mountain or drive several miles from camp.  If you are concerned about this issue, please ask us prior to the hunt.   

  • Rifle Caliber Selection - Our big game hunts often present long distance shooting where the bullet needs plenty of energy to do its work when it hits the animal. The following is a range of cartridges to use for each big game species we hunt:    Javelina - Minimum of .257 up to .300 WSM;    Coues Deer, Mule Deer, Sheep, Antelope - Minimum of .25-06 up to .300 Magnums;    Cow Elk - Minimum of .270 up to .300 Magnum;    Bull Elk and Bear - Minimum of 7mm Magnum up to .338 Magnum.  We do not recommend anything smaller than the minimum because it typically results in wounded and/or lost game.  Note: There is no such thing as "overkill" on a big game animal.  It is either dead...or it is not dead.  Also, choose a cartridge that you can handle and shoot accurately without flinching.  If that means getting a muzzlebrake installed, than do it!  We have nothing against the use of big magnums, but many magnum users miss everything they shoot at because they flinch and are afraid of the gun.  Again, a muzzlebrake will do wonders!  Our guides are totally aware of loud muzzlebrakes and would rather see you shoot accurately.  Another important point that I must mention is that you should have a weapon that is as lightweight as possible.  Rifles with heavy varmint or target barrels might be nice from a bench or while prairie dog shooting, but the mountains of the Southwest are no place for a heavy weapon!

  • Ammunition - Just like anything, don't buy the cheapest ammo.  Good loaded rifle ammo usually costs over $50.00 per box.  The more expensive Federal Premiums, Remington Premier or Winchester Supreme loaded ammunitions are very accurate and precise.  They can be found online at Cabelas or MidwayUSA.  I recommend a bullet with a high ballistic coefficient.  Nosler Ballistic Tips, Berger Hunting VLD, Hornady SST are very accurate, high ballistic coefficient bullets that have excellent terminal performance (hydrostatic shock value) for deer, sheep, antelope, and javelina.  Guides like them because the animal is usually DRT (dead right there)!  The Barnes Tipped Triple Shock X Bullet or Hornady GMX have nearly 100% weight retention and superior penetration, which is an excellent choice for elk and bears.  Nosler Accubonds and Hornady Interbond or ELD-X are also good bonded, polymer tipped bullets designed for long range performance and also have great weight retention for elk and bears.  Important: Sight-in with the ammo you will be using on the hunt.  I see many hunters buy a cheap box of ammo to sight-in their gun and use a totally different load on the hunt.  All ammo shoots differently and is magnified at long ranges!  

  • Bullet Weight - For long range hunting, you want to get the best combination of velocity, trajectory and energy transfer for the cartridge you are shooting, which often means choosing the correct bullet weight.  If you look at the charts of the offered bullet weights for a particular cartridge, the middle weight will typically give you the best combination of velocity, trajectory and energy transfer to the animal at long range.  More than likely, you will not get a close shot while on your hunt.  The key is terminal performance (killing the animal with hydrostatic shock value) at long range.  For instance:  a .25-06 should get the best long range performance with a 115-117gr bullet, a 6.5 Creedmoor should get the best long range performance with a 130-140gr bullet, a .270 should get the best long range performance with a 130-140gr, a 7mm Magnum should get the best long range performance with a 150-160gr, a .30-06 should get the best long range performance with a 165gr, a .300 Winchester Magnum or .300 Short Magnums should get the best performance with a 165-180gr, a .300 Remington Ultra Magnum should get the best long range performance with a 180-190gr, a .325 Magnum should get the best long range performance with a 200-220gr. I must emphasize that your success often relies upon knowing the ballistics of the round you are shooting.  Calculate and tape a bullet drop chart to your stock (if you are not using another system like laser engraved yardage turrets).  It amazes me how many hunters do not have a bullet drop chart taped somewhere on their rifle (if they aren't using laser engraved or CDS turrets). Obviously, you will be most successful if you place the bullet precisely into the animal using your chart, than just guessing and launching a round that ends up at the animal's feet! 

  • Archery Broadhead Selection -  Two types of broadhead designs to choose from are the fixed blade and the expandable.  Our guides and staff personally use mechanical two blade broadheads (mostly Rage Trypan) because of what we have witnessed in the field.  The topic of Fixed Blade vs Expandable is a highly debated subject and the conclusion will never be "Written in Stone"...The ideal broadhead flies like a field point at long distance and produces a massive wound channel when it hits.  If you are having trouble getting the fixed blades to fly well at long distances, try fletching your arrows with a helical twist or try a mechanical. Two-blade mechanicals with 2”+ diameter blades, such as RAGE HYPODERMIC or TRYPAN, NAP Killzone or Spitfire, Swhacker, etc., are very popular here in the Southwest where long distance shooting is the norm.  Besides these heads being very accurate, if the animal is hit poorly, which happens more often than not on long-range shots, there is a higher chance for recovery. We do not recommend a 3-blade mechanical though!  If you don’t feel comfortable using a 2-blade mechanical, stick to what you know best...As stated earlier, Fixed Blade vs Expandable is a highly debated subject with No Conclusion “Written in Stone!” Note:  It is okay to use 2-blade mechanicals on an archery elk hunt, but we have found that mechanical heads are usually only beneficial when the bull is shot mostly broadside or only slightly quartered. Another tip, a lighted nock (like Lumenok or Nockturnal) is highly beneficial in tracking arrow flight and recovery of game.  An alternative is the highly visible blaze orange vanes combined with blaze arrow wrap.

  • All Guides and Outfitters "cringe" when they see a client using a GPS app on their phone.  The guide will be with you while in the field, which eliminates the need to "find your way back" with a GPS.  If you are afraid that your guide will get you lost (highly unlikely), you should have one for emergency purposes only.  Please refrain from using a GPS or GPS App while on your hunt.  Marking our spots will make your guide paranoid and you might soon find yourself in a less-desireable hunting area.  It is unethical to return to a guide's hard-earned hunting spots or tell others of their location.  Just think, if you booked a hunt with me and someone that I guided from the previous season showed up in a spot that you were supposed to hunt. You would be very disappointed!  Or, you showed your favorite fishing hole to someone, they brought a bunch of buddies and fished out the hole. You see them show up year after year crowding out your spot.  You would have every right to be upset.  Please be an ethical hunter and refrain from telling others or showing up to our spots after the hunt. Unethical behavior affects our income.

  • Please turn off your location services for your phone's camera and photos! When you take a photo with a Smart Phone, the gps location of the image is imprinted in the file with the photo.  If you text that photo to a friend or post it on social media, the photo's exact location will be sent or posted with it.  We prefer not to have the whole world knowing our secret spots.  Please turn off your location services on your phone's camera.  If you do not know how to do this, we can help.

  • Weight of Gear - I strongly urge big game hunters to bring field items that are LIGHTWEIGHT, without compromising quality of course.   If you can save a few ounces on each item, it can add up to pounds and will be felt (or not felt) at the end of the day. Bringing items into the field like: rifles with varmint/target barrels or heavy wooden stocks, big spotting scopes, big tripods, field chairs, sand bags, video cameras, big SLR cameras with telephoto lenses, sidearms, multiple boxes of ammo, giant Rambo knives, axes, saws, bricks, tire irons, etc., are common mistakes.  You can easily reduce the weight of most modern rifles (especially Rem 700) by 1 to 2.5 pounds by doing the following: use a lightweight riflescope (most Leupolds are very light), use Talley machined aluminum scope ring mounts, replace the steel bolt shroud with an aluminum bolt shroud, replace the steel magazine follower with an aluminum follower, a poly or nylon sling, and of course, an ultra light synthetic stock.  Bell and Carlson makes a lightweight stock around 2 pounds or McMillan makes an ultra lightweight stock around 22 ounces!  If you are looking to buy a new lightweight mountain rifle weighing around 6 pounds, the Tikka T3 Lite or T3X Superlite are economical, yet very accurate options.  A couple other lightweight mountain rifles are the Kimber 8400 Montana or the Kimber Ascent, but they are relatively expensive.  Since mountain rifles are so light, having a muzzlebrake installed is highly recommended.  Have the gunsmith install a KDF or Gentry muzzlebrake.  Also, after the first hike, you will figure out that there are things in your pack that you don't need.  Unfortunately, it always takes that first hike for people to figure this out.  If there is anything in your pack that you don't really need (within reason), then leave it behind.  Saving weight reduces fatigue while in the field, allowing you to go that extra mile, thus, increasing your odds of harvesting a real trophy and having a more enjoyable hunt! 

  • Temperature/Weather - The climate in Arizona is very arid and dry with the humidity often being around 5%.  There is nothing to hold in the heat.  This means the fluctuation between morning and afternoon temps could be drastic.  Morning temps, as a general rule, are usually 35-40 degrees different from afternoon temps.  That means if it is 65 degrees as a daytime high, the nighttime low will usually drop to about 25 or 30.  The sun is intense during the day, but once the sun goes down, it could get quite bone chilling and happen very quickly.  Therefore, we recommend layering.  Also, the wind will typically blow about 10-30mph for at least half of your hunt, so expect temps to feel cooler than they really are.  Rain and snow are not normal, but could happen on your hunt.  Also, don't expect the forecast for any of the 3 major cities (Tucson, Phoenix or Flagstaff) to be the same as our hunt area.  There are no forcasts for our mountain hunting areas.  Mountains have a different microclimate than the lowland cities. There is no way to get an accurate forecast for where we hunt since there are usually no cities nearby.  But, if it calls for rain in either of the 3 cities, just assume it will rain (warm months) or snow (cold months) in the mountains.  Below is an average temperature table for the particular species/season you will be hunting (wind chill is not factored into these numbers):

Month/Species Low High
January Javelina/Deer 20 60
February Javelina 30 70
April Turkey 30 70
May Turkey 50 85
August Bear 60 90
Sept Archery Deer 60 90
September Prong 55 85
September Elk 40 75
October Bear 50 85
October Deer 50 85
October Elk 35 70
Nov. Deer 45 75
Nov. Elk 20 60
Dec. Elk 10 50
Dec. Deer 20 60
Dec. Sheep 30 65

 


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