Deer Hunting in Arizona Game Management Unit 35A

Mature bucks also can be found throughout the population, but their numbers are low so hunters will have to hunt harder and be diligent if they are going to bag a trophy.

Game Management Unit 35A

Scores


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
56
 
56
Success
16
 
16
Trophy Potential
0
N/A
Public Access
56
 
56
Ease of Terrain
93
 
93
Room to Breathe
44
 
44
Opportunity
28
 
28
Convenience
43
 
43
Ease of Effort
56
 
56
60
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Beginning on the U.S.-Mexico border at the San Pedro River; west along the border to the Lochiel- Canelo Pass-Elgin road; north on this road to AZ Hwy 82; easterly on AZ Hwy 82 to the San Pedro River; south along the San Pedro River to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Access routes from these main roads onto secondary forest service roads can be located by purchasing a USFS map. Additionally, state land maps along with topographical maps are helpful. It is unlawful to travel off road with any motorized vehicle. This law includes washes, which are not part of an existing road.

The Coronado National Memorial administered by the National Park Service is located at the Southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains.

It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment, must be cased, unloaded, and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial. For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS, contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5900 S.

Highway 92, Hereford, AZ 85615. Phone (520) 378-0311.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within the unit. Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Some areas within the San Pedro Riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636. Phone (520) 458-3559.

Located just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in the southern portions of Units 35A/B is the San Rafael Cattle Company, shown on most maps as the San Rafael De La Zanja. This parcel is made up of private and Arizona State Parks lands and is currently closed to hunting.

Hunting on forest service lands outside this parcel is allowed.

Even though these units are made up predominantly of public lands, private property can be encountered. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with your hunting area before venturing afield. The best way to accomplish this is by obtaining and studying USFS, topographic and state land maps of all interested areas.

Take I-10 to Hwy 90, south to Sierra Vista.

Access points can be found along the east side of the Huachuca Mts. with Carr Cyn. being the only road traversing the mountain. To gain access to the south and west side of the Huachuca Mts.

take I-10 to Hwy 83, south to Sonoita. Continue south toward Parker Canyon Lake. Numerous roads will take you to the base of the Huachucas. The primary access routes are Brushy Cyn., Sunnyside Cyn., Ida Cyn., and Copper Cyn.

County

Santa Cruz, Cochise

Size

646 Square Miles (413,629 Acres)

Land Ownership

51% Private, 49% Public, 31% USFS, 7% BLM, 5% Wilderness, 2% NPS, 2% Other

Latitude/Longitude

31.5073, -110.3512

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 3 hotels, 3 campgrounds, and 4 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Deer Notes


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Mule deer hunting throughout the unit is good. Hunting this species is limited to archery and muzzleloader hunts at this time. The hunts allow for any antlered deer to be harvested. Since whitetail occupy the entire range of the mule deer, this allows the hunter an added opportunity.

Due to fair habitat conditions during 2006-07, fawn survival for the units remained stable.

This will produce a fair population of 1-2 year old bucks, which should aid harvest success. Mature bucks also can be found throughout the population, but their numbers are low so hunters will have to hunt harder and be diligent if they are going to bag a trophy. Having the ability to see deer before they see you is important to a successful hunt. Therefore, quality optics and the ability to use them are imperative.

Reaching a high vantage point before daylight and glassing your hunting area will increase your success.

During the middle of the day and before dark, glass thickets and arroyos looking for bedded deer. During the December and January hunts, mule deer are in rut and bucks can be observed with does most of the day.

Rather than mule deer being found throughout the unit, populations are located in areas where typical mule deer habitat is located. Usually these areas include grasslands or desert habitat types, which allow the mule deer adequate visibility. During years when acorns are available, mule deer can be concentrated in the oak woodlands.

Many of these areas are located on private property but permission may be granted if the landowner is contacted prior to hunting.

Other areas where mule deer can be found are along the Mexico/Arizona border, and scattered populations throughout the Canelo Hills. Additionally, the San Pedro River, east of Sierra Vista contains mule deer but much of this area is closed to the discharge of firearms.

The range of the mule deer overlaps that of the whitetail. Every year some hunter accidentally harvests the wrong species.

Therefore, it is important to accurately identify the buck to species prior to shooting. The only reliable means of identification is the tail. The mule deer tail is narrow, and black tipped at the end. The whitetail is broad, long and gray/brown in coloration.

When alarmed, whitetail will sometimes lay their tail on their back, or flag, showing a white underside and a white rump. It is important to note that not all whitetail will flag. Therefore, if not absolutely sure of which species you are looking at, do not shoot. Also, remember that one characteristic alone is not a totally reliable means of identifying a whitetail from a mule deer.

For further information along with illustrations identifying differences between whitetail and mule deer, please review the 2007-2008 Arizona Hunting Regulations.

Take I-10 to Hwy 83, south to Sonoita. Take Hwy. 82 east to Mustang Mts. or turn off at Elgin Rd., south to Babocomari Ranch.

Take Hwy 82 at Sonoita to Patagonia, south to the Mexico border. Take Hwy. 83 south from Sonoita to the Canelo Hills.

Access routes from these main roads onto secondary forest service roads can be located by purchasing a USFS map. Additionally, state land maps along with topographical maps are helpful.

It is unlawful to travel off road with any motorized vehicle. This law includes washes, which are not part of an existing road.

NOTES: The Coronado National Memorial administered by the National Park Service is located at the Southeast end of the Huachuca Mountains. It is closed to hunting and the taking of any wildlife species. Additionally, all weapons, including archery equipment, must be cased, unloaded, and incapable of being readily discharged while traveling through the memorial.

For further information phone (520) 458-9333 or 366-5515.

The possession or use of motorized vehicles off forest system roads and trails is prohibited. For further information concerning this or any other laws administered by the USFS, contact the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District at 5900 S. Highway 92, Hereford, AZ 85615. Phone (520) 378-0311.

Prior to accessing or hunting lands owned by the Babocomari Ranch, contact the ranch manager at (520) 455-5619.

The National Audubon Research Ranch is located within the unit.

Much of this is private and closed to hunting. For further information call (520) 455-5522.

Some areas within the San Pedro Riparian area are closed to the use of firearms. For information relating to BLM lands along the San Pedro River contact the BLM Sierra Vista office: San Pedro RNCA, 1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636.

Phone (520) 458-3559.

Located just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in the southern portions of Units 35A/B is the San Rafael Cattle Company, shown on most maps as the San Rafael De La Zanja. This parcel is made up of private and Arizona State Parks lands and is currently closed to hunting. Hunting on forest service lands outside this parcel is allowed.

Whitetail Deer



Whitetail hunting throughout the unit is good. Habitat conditions during 2006-07 allowed fawn survival to remain stable.

Therefore, the number of 1-2 year old bucks entering the population should be quite high, resulting in good harvest success. At this writing, summer monsoon moisture has been below average resulting in stressed habitat conditions. Even though the overall whitetail population has declined, due to drought conditions, over the past 9-10 years, bucks are still available in good numbers throughout the Huachuca Mts., Canelo Hills and Mustang Mts. Trophy quality bucks are still available, but hunters must be persistent and patient if they expect to harvest one of these elusive animals.

Area: Take I-10 to Hwy 90, south to Sierra Vista allowing access to the east side of the Huachuca’s’.

I-10 to Hwy 83 to Sonoita, east on Hwy 82 to Mustang Mts. or south on Hwy 83 to Canelo Hills and west side of Huachuca Mts.

Access can be obtained by purchasing USFS maps. Additionally, state land and topographical maps are helpful. As with all hunting, scouting is important to a successful hunt.

With whitetail hunting, scouting is a prerequisite if one wants to put the percentages in his favor. If a mature buck is your goal, any hunt can produce a trophy but knowing the area and the habits of your buck are paramount to success.

The range of the mule deer overlaps that of the whitetail. Every year some hunter accidentally harvests the wrong species. Therefore, it is important to accurately identify the buck to species, prior to shooting.

The only reliable means of identification is the tail. The mule deer tail is narrow and black tipped at the end. The whitetail is broad, long and gray/brown in coloration. When alarmed, whitetail will sometimes lay their tail on their back, or flag, showing a white underside and a white rump.

It is important to note that not all whitetail will flag. Therefore, if not absolutely sure of which species you are looking at, do not shoot. Also, remember that one characteristic alone is not a totally reliable means of identifying a whitetail from a mule deer. For further information, along with illustrations identifying differences between whitetail and mule deer, please review the 2007-2008 Arizona Hunting Regulations.

Hunting the Coues whitetail entails owning a quality pair of optics and knowing how to use them.

Whitetail, inhabit all habitat types found throughout the units, particularly the oak-juniper woodlands. They do not venture long in open areas. Rather, they remain secluded in the woodlands. Therefore, it is imperative for the successful hunter to locate an adequate vantage point and glass diligently for long periods of time.

The adage of glassing more than you walk is paramount in successfully locating whitetail. Look for parts of the deer rather than the entire animal while glassing. It is also helpful to arrive at your vantage point well before first light and remain in the field until dark. Whitetail, are active at first light and at dusk but also can be found feeding and moving to shaded bed sights during the middle of the day.

During the early archery season glass from high vantage points at first light looking for feeding bucks.

Observe, until the buck beds and air currents stabilize, then attempt a stalk. Unlike their eastern cousins, Coues whitetail do not pattern well, but water holes and deer trails can be productive, particularly during dry periods.

The October general firearm hunt usually finds the whitetail in the lower elevations and foothills. Active periods are early, middle and late in the day, as temperatures are still fairly warm.

The November hunt will usually find the bucks moving out of the bottoms and working up the mountains, preparing for the rut. Weather conditions vary from warm in the day to cold at nights.

The December hunt finds weather conditions more to the deer’s liking, and as the rut nears, they become more active for longer periods of time.

The younger bucks are the first to accompany does. The mature bucks will be in the vicinity, but do not venture far from thick cover. Harvesting a mature buck takes luck, skill and determination.

The January archery hunt is the ideal time to locate mature bucks chasing does, since the peak of the rut begins sometime during the middle of the month. Since the bucks are constantly on the move, chasing or looking for does, it is often times difficult to locate the buck during the final stalk.

During this time, grunt calls and rattling can prove effective.

HuntScore Tip

The quality of your hunt depends on you. Preseason scouting, preparation for the environmental conditions, and physical conditioning are important factors. The success and quality of your hunt will likely increase with the distance from your vehicle and roads.

Other Species in Unit

Pronghorn, Black Bear, Javelina, Turkey,

Photos and Terrain Notes


The elevation in this area ranges from 4,200' along the San Pedro River to 9,466' at Miller Peak in the Huachuca Mountains. The terrain at low elevations consists of desert flats cut by washes, and at high elevations steep, rocky mountains and deep canyons. Vegetation is predominately oak/juniper woodland or Madrean forest at higher elevations, and desert scrub at lower elevations.

Deer Over The Counter Hunts (2020)


There are 1 OTC hunts in this unit. Go Pro to view the details!

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Deer Drawing Stats (2020)


Total Quota
1,510
Licenses Drawn
1,426
Licenses Surplus
84
Resident Quota
1,510
Nonresident Quota
149
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
0
57.2%
Overall Unit
1st Choice Draw Odds
Choose a hunt below to take a deeper dive into quotas, drawing odds, drawing trends, and harvest data. Arizona hunt codes change annually but don't fret! HuntScore makes AZ draw codes easy to read. Read our article on HuntScore AZ draw codes here
Stats Apply For Sex Manner Season Type Draw Odds HuntScore Notes
1133
M
ALL
G
LL
100%
78 2020 Hunt Code: 1132
1188
E
M
M
LL
58.8%
76 2020 Hunt Code: 1186
1189
E
M
M
LL
42.9%
77 2020 Hunt Code: 1906
35A_D_6_M_ALL_G_LL_CD
M
ALL
G
LL
79.5%
79 2020 Hunt Code: 1905
1135
M
ALL
G
LL
100%
81 2020 Hunt Code: 1133
35A_D_4_E_M_M_LL_NA
E
M
M
LL
75%
74 2020 Hunt Code: 1902
35A_D_2_E_ALL_G_Y_NA
E
ALL
G
Y
50%
74 2020 Hunt Code: 1901
1134
M
ALL
G
LL
100%
82 2020 Hunt Code: 1904
1136
M
ALL
G
LL
100%
77 2020 Hunt Code: 1134
35A_D_5_M_ALL_G_LL_CD
M
ALL
G
LL
11.2%
62 2020 Hunt Code: 1135
35A_D_3_E_M_M_LL_NA
E
M
M
LL
7.2%
55 2020 Hunt Code: 1187
1169
E
ALL
G
Y
73.1%
80 2020 Hunt Code: 1168
HuntScore Tip: A Loyalty bonus point can also be earned per species, if an applicant submits a valid application at least once a year for a hunt permit-tag or bonus point for that species consecutively for a 5­year period. An applicant retains the loyalty bonus point once accrued as long as the applicant continues to submit a valid application for that species at least once a year.

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Deer Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
1,282
Total Harvest
541
Harvest Male
541
Harvest Female
0
42.2%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Deer Species Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
ALL
G
LL
M
CD
69 36
36
0
0
ALL
G
LL
M
CD
82 67
67
0
0
ALL
G
LL
M
CD
56 24
24
0
0
ALL
G
LL
M
CD
294 101
101
0
0
ALL
G
LL
M
CD
326 111
111
0
0
ALL
G
LL
M
CD
318 127
127
0
0
ALL
G
Y
E
N/A 10 10
10
0
0
ALL
G
Y
E
N/A 66 39
39
0
0
M
M
LL
E
N/A 9 9
9
0
0
M
M
LL
E
N/A 9 7
7
0
0
M
M
LL
E
N/A 36 10
10
0
0
M
M
LL
E
N/A 7 0
0
0
0
HuntScore Tip: Ever hunt a unit with a 100% success rate and not see any animals? If you're nodding your head to any of these scenarios then you're one of the people who knows that statistics are a good guide, but they aren't a guarantee.

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Weather Insights


Weather can vary by elevation. See how weather varies by elevation within a unit by selecting an elevation range. Elevation ranges are based on weather stations in or near the unit. Not all weather elements are available within the unit.

Average Temps

Use temperature ranges to plan and prepare for your hunt. Large swings indicate a good layering system should be used. Be sure to make note of the extreme temperatures as these often pose the greatest risk to hunters. If you plan on hunting in higher elevation, as a rule of thumb, expect the tempture to decrease roughly 5° for every 1000' in elevation gain.

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