Elk Hunting in Arizona Game Management Unit 21

Elk are primarily found along the Black Hills that make up the Verde Rim from I-17 to the Bloody Basin road. Forest road 732 accesses the area around Squaw Peak. Forest road 68G accesses Tule Mesa, and forest road 68 access the Pine Mountain Wilderness

Game Management Unit 21

Scores


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
12
 
12
Success
28
 
28
Trophy Potential
0
N/A
Public Access
93
 
93
Ease of Terrain
91
 
91
Room to Breathe
100
 
100
Opportunity
0
 
N/A
Convenience
32
 
32
Ease of Effort
55
 
55
65
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Beginning on I-17 at the Verde River; southerly on the southbound lane of I-17 to the New River Road (Exit 232); east on New River Road to Fig Springs Road; northeasterly on Fig Springs Road to the Tonto National Forest boundary; southeasterly along this boundary to the Verde River; north along the Verde River to I-17.

Size

952 Square Miles (609,250 Acres)

Land Ownership

7% Private, 53% Public, 78% USFS, 11% BLM, 4% State

Latitude/Longitude

34.1437, -111.8950

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 2 hotels, 12 campgrounds, and 1 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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Elk sightings in Unit 21 began in the early 80’s. A small number of elk reside in Unit 21. It is believed that elk move back and forth to and from Units 6A, and 19A. The elk habitat in this unit is extremely rugged.

The roads that access most of the elk country are terrible and motorized big game retrieval is not an option. Successful elk hunters should be prepared to pack the animal using friends with backpacks or pack animals. Temperatures during the early season hunts can be in the mid 90’s during the day, so hunters should plan on having help to pack out meat before it spoils, and hunters need to have lots of ice on-hand. It is unlawful to allow any edible portion of a game animal to go to waste.

Quality optics are a must for Unit 21 elk hunters, and the use of a tripod is highly recommended. The elk normally hang out in the large, steep canyons that run off the Verde Rim, but can sometimes be found on the ridge tops. Elk are dispersing more and more as time goes by and can occasionally be found south of the Bloody Basin road.

HuntScore Tip

Be aware that it is not legal to locate animals, and then use a vehicle to make a pursuit; this is considered hunting from a motor vehicle.

Management Plan

Elk Management Plan

Other Species in Unit

Pronghorn, Black Bear, Deer, Javelina, Turkey,

Photos and Terrain Notes


Bounded on the north and east by the Verde River and on the west by I-17. Varied terrain ranging from desert plains and low rocky mountains in the south, to extensive mesas in the west, the steep mountains of the Black Hills in the northeast, and the Verde River valley in the east. Elevations range from about 1,200′ in the southern river valley to 6,814′ on Pine Mountain in the northeast. Vegetation is Sonoran Desertscrub in the south, semidesert grasslands on the mesas, riparian woodlands/marshlands along creek sides and riverbanks, and pinyon-juniper, gambel oak, and ponderosa pine on the mountains.

Elk Over The Counter Hunts (2020)


There are 3 OTC hunts in this unit. Go Pro to view the details!

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Elk Drawing Stats (2020)


Total Quota
55
Licenses Drawn
55
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
55
Nonresident Quota
19
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
0
12.6%
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
3024
M
ALL
G
LL
27.9%
70 2020 Hunt Code: 3024
3054
F
ALL
G
LL
13.6%
79 2020 Hunt Code: 3054
3113
M
M
M
LL
1.4%
66 2020 Hunt Code: 3113
3156
M
A
A
LL
8.1%
61 2020 Hunt Code: 3156
HuntScore Tip: There are 3 phases to the Big Game Drawing – the Bonus Point Pass, the First-Second Choice Pass, and the Third-Fourth-Fifth Choice Pass. Before each of the three passes in the drawing, each application is processed through a random number generator program. One random number for the application plus an additional random number for each group bonus point (which includes the Hunter Education and Loyalty bonus points) is generated for that application. The lowest random number generated for an application is used in the drawing process. An application receives a new random number for each Pass of the Big Game Draw.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
47
Total Harvest
15
Harvest Male
9
Harvest Female
6
31.9%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
LL
M
4 1
1
0
0
ALL
G
LL
F
12 6
0
6
0
ALL
G
LL
M
21 5
5
0
0
M
M
LL
M
10 3
3
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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