Arizona Elk Hunt

Hello! Welcome to Arizona Elk Hunt!

This site was designed to help the typical hunter make an informed decision about their Arizona elk hunt.  This blog is not owned by any type of hunting business so it’s designed to offer an unbiased opinion for those looking to hunt Arizona.

If you are one of the many hunters looking for an awesome Arizona Elk Hunt experience, you have come to the right place.  Arizona hunting is truly a unique experience of a lifetime.  You’ll see all kind of big game and wildlife including mule deer, black bear, coyote, turkey and maybe even a mountain lion!

Best GPS For Hunting

Tips on Picking a Guide Service

Arizona features some of the finest elk hunting in this country. The extreme bulls are here and more big bulls are harvested here annually than any other Western state. For those of you who have hunted in Arizona previously, you understand the wide range of wildlife available to the hunter. The Arizona hunt with its diverse natural habitat provides unbelievable hunting possibilities for the sport enthusiast.

If this will be your very first time hunting in Arizona, you will be taking part in an unforgettable adventure.  The elk hunting in Arizona is well known for producing gigantic elk attributable to the outstanding genetics in addition to the Arizona bull management system for older age class bulls. The trophy bulls are definitely available in Arizona.  Whether you are an archery hunter, muzzleloader or you prefer to hunt the late rifle season, a fully guided hunt is truly a North American hunting experience.

But, why a guided hunt?  Whether you are an experienced hunter or a beginner you will learn a lot by hunting with a professional guide.  You will be hunting with an expert who is very knowledgeable about the game and the terrain you will be covering.  On a fully guided hunt you will become familiar with hunting in ways you never imagined.

In addition to the many things you will learn from your guide you will also benefit greatly from their knowledge of the particular area that you will be hunting in.  They know which units are producing good results and have spent the weeks before your hunt scouting those areas.  This greatly increases your chance for a successful hunt!

Usually a guide service has different packages you can choose from priced at different levels.  Sometimes you can choose to bring your own accommodations or stay in the facilities that the guide offers.  If you stay in the accommodations provided by the guide service, they will more than likely provide all your meals also.  Who doesn’t like getting back to camp to find dinner ready?  This can be money well spent when you have put in a hard day of hunting.

But wait, there’s more!  After an exhilarating hunt and a successful kill, what’s the part most of us don’t really look forward to?  Packing out the elk…..but on a fully guided hunt your guide will field dress, skin and cape your elk.  They will even make sure it gets to the nearest processor in a timely manner!

Most importantly, though, this site will help you find a guide service that knows how to locate the big Arizona bull elk! You don’t want to rely on just your good luck. If you have saved your points for years to draw an Arizona Elk Hunt, the last thing you need is to trust your elk hunt to an amateur guide service.


Tips On Picking A Guide Service

Preparing for an Arizona elk hunt typically starts a year prior to your actual hunt.  Your job as the hunter (besides preparing physically) is to find a guide service that is reputable, trustworthy and able to provide you with testimonials of other successful hunts.  Hunting videos showing live hunts can also really help you to make your decision.

Make sure your equipment is in order

If you are taking your ATV or using one provided by the guide service,check to see that you have a carry-all to organize your equipment.  Also it is a good time to get your outdoor clothing, sleeping bags and other accessories ready to go.

Whether you are archery or rifle hunting, now is the time to prepare your hunting equipment.

Start out by deciding on an area or a state that you may possibly want to hunt in.  Take into account how big the elk herds are in that area and the rate of success for the hunter.  If you are looking to take a bull elk that could land in the record books, Arizona has been the top spot over the last twenty years.  An additional factor in making your decision could be how close you happen to be to a particular area or state.  And if you are considering hunting Arizona, more licensing information can be found here:

Big Game Drawing Process

Once you have picked your state, it is time to decide which type of hunt you would like to go on.  In some states guides offer a bare bones package that may include a place to stay near the hunting area, and recommendations by the guide about the best hunting spots. But you are left to hunt on your own without the knowledge of an experienced guide.  This is your least expensive option.

The next step up in guide packages is drop camp choice.  Your outfitter will usually provide you with a rigged up backcountry camp.  At this primitive home away from home your outfitter shows you the place you will begin the actual hunt and then leaves you to hunt without assistance.

He may provide a guide who can drop in on you every day or so to find out if you need anything.  The guide might also help you pack out your game, if necessary.  This can be an affordable option if you and your buddies are pretty familiar with elk hunting.  This type of hunt is generally about half the cost of the standard hunt.  However, you need to realize that you will not have the wealth and knowledge of the guide with you on the actual hunt.

Another option available to the hunter is the guided only hunt.  In this option you are receiving all the benefits of having an experience guide with you while you are hunting but you provide your own tent or camping rig.  This package can also save you some money.

The fully outfitted hunts are the ultimate choice for many hunters.  This fully guided hunt option encompasses everything.  You are given a place to stay near the hunting location and typically all your meals and transportation are included also.  Before you ever arrive your guide service will have scouted the area many times to ensure you the best chance at harvesting your elk.

In most cases the outfitter will also field dress your game and also skin and cape it. Choosing a fully guided hunt will cost you more, but with the expertise of your guide the success rate is considerably higher.

Because you are investing a great deal of time and money in this elk hunt, it is definitely worth your while to check out your outfitter, call him on the phone, ask him questions, get some referrals, watch the  hunting videos and make an informed choice.

Preparing For Your Archery Hunt:  Make Every Shot Count


North American Elk

Elk in North America during days gone by were the most broadly dispersed member within the deer family.  They were found across the continent everywhere with the exception of the Great Basin desert as well as the Southern coastal plains.  Their unique population was determined to total approximately 10 million prior to the arrival of European man.  These elk stood up against the affects of western settlement better by comparison than the buffalo simply because they inhabited tougher terrain.

The significant decline in elk quantities is thought to be the result of market hunting and growing agriculture across the country.  In 1922 the elk population reached its lowest point of 90,000 animals.  Of these animals, 40,000 resided within Yellowstone National Park.  Yellowstone’s herds managed to become the foundation breeding stock of the North American elk.

Somewhere between 1912 and 1967 upwards of 13,500 elk ended up being transplanted out of Yellowstone Park.  In 1913, 83 elk were distributed in Cabin Draw near Chevelon Creek.  As a result of these transplants, the elk population that began with 83 elk has now grown to nearly 35,000 animals!

The North American hunting enthusiast seeks to preserve wildlife habitats so that the Arizona elk and all North American elk will continue to have a place to thrive.

Bull Elk – Magnificent Majestic Beauty

By Dennis N. Darger

Elk are members of the deer family which comprises ( from largest to smallest ) moose, elk, caribou and deer. The bulls weigh from six hundred to eight hundred pounds or more. Elk have eyes on the sides of their head which lets them see in about any direction except behind them. Elk are large ungulates found in Europe, North America, New Zealand, and the Far East. They are highly flexible, prospering in a large range of environments. Elk now live as far east as Pennsylvania, where they were reintroduced in the early 1900s, and now more than seven hundred elk wander thru forests in the north-central part of the state. Elk populations are also growing in other states where they had virtually vanished.

Elk can be pale grey, tan, or brownish to reddish in color, depending on the species. Bulls have a tendency to be lighter colored than cows. The pale rumped American elk called “wapiti”, which is Shawnee for “white rump”, are found in the woods, mountain meadows, foothills, plains, swamps, and coniferous forests of western North America. Elk are powerful and muscular. Bulls are some twenty five percent bigger than cows at maturity. Elk are one of the largest land animals in North America, and are the most common larger mammal found in Yellowstone National Park. They are herbivorous animals who can find lots of food in places where deer typically can’t. They consume an average of 20 pounds of food every day. Elk are ruminant animals, similar to cows, and therefore regurgitate their food and remasticate to help in digestion.

Elk grow antlers that provide a method of defense, as does a powerful front-leg kick, which is performed by either sex if incited. Antlers are made from bone which can grow up to one inch each day. Antlers that are in the growing stage are soft and workable and covered with hairy skin, which is called velvet. Elk shed their antlers starting in late February for the largest males, extending to late April and even early May for the younger ones. Every year they start growing new antlers again in summer. These antlers can weight up to 40 pounds and be up to 5 feet wide.

Elk also lose and replace their hair twice yearly, once in the spring and again in the autumn. They often roll in mud wallows to loosen their dead winter coats and help dislodge annoying parasites. Elk are best viewed at a distance, using binoculars or a spotting scope for close-up viewing.

Elk are primarily crepuscular, most active early in the morning and late in the afternoon. They are timber-oriented animals, preferring to be in the cool shade. Elk are social creatures. They live in summer herds with as many as four hundred others. Elk can live twenty years or longer in captivity, but average 10 to 14 years in natural habitats. Bulls often don’t live as long as cows, seldom exceeding twelve years.

Starting in the second autumn of their lives, cows generally give birth to a single fawn 8 1/2 months after mating. Calves are precocial, walking right after birth. They are born in late May or early June, and weigh between thirty and forty pounds when born, and 225 to 275 pounds when weaned about six months later. Calves are born with a protecting coloration of light spotted areas on the back which act as camouflage. They grow quickly and lose their spots by summer’s end. Cows often leave their newborn calves vulnerable while they go off to feed, and they fall prey to bobcats, coyotes, and the like.

The Rut
Elk are generally passive animals and though human attacks are rare, they do happen. Elk are big, wild animals and can be deadly, particularly during rut. Antlers are an indication of strength and dominance among males and are used to lure females in the breeding season. Bulls are only territorial during the mating season and are otherwise not assertive toward other elk. Bulls pack on the weight in summer, then show small interest in feed and lose up to 40% of their body weight during the rut. Bull elk that enter the rut in poor condition are less certain to make it thru to the peak conception period or have the strength to survive the severity of the approaching winter.

Bull elk are only capable of breeding from about August to January, and the cows cycle only in that same period. Bulls do not enter actively into the rut till they are about three years old, although they can breed for the 1st time as yearlings, at roughly sixteen months of age. Elk are harem breeders and can mate with as many as 50 cows in a season. There is some evidence that the females select the male. Elk by nature are gregarious at all seasons, but in spring and summer the old bulls often are solitary or in bachelor herds, and typically live apart a lot of the year.

Elk are the noisiest member of the deer family in North America. Bulls have a loud vocalization composed of screams known as bugling, which can be heard for miles. They vie for dominance through bugling, sparring, and chasing wannabe rivals away.

Elk Hunting
Elk are hunted as a game species, and are often subject to limited, legal sport hunting. Hunting has been utilized as an elk management system to keep the amount of elk in balance with their habitat. Hunting license charges make a contribution to elk research, and the acquisition of additional vital elk habitat.

Elk Farming
Although elk are regarded as pests by many farmers, some farmers raise them commercially for hunting, meat production, and velvet collection. The beef for meat production is leaner and higher in protein than meat or chicken, but is typically tougher requiring marinating, grinding, or stewing. Bulls produce velvet each year with an average two-year-old male producing 9 pounds of velvet. The velvet is considered by some cultures to be an aphrodisiac. Western North America, and New Zealand are the home of many commercial elk farmers.

Whether you relish hunting them, eating them, or simply enjoying their majesty, magnificence, and beauty, all must admit that they add depth of appreciation to our lives.

Visit Wet Jet Precision for Wildlife silhouettes, pictures and additional information.

Dennis N. Darger at Wet Jet Precision can be reached toll free (888) 707-5077 to discuss “Wildlife Silhouette Art” cutting costs for your gift giving needs. Services are nationwide. View their work at and/or email Dennis at Copyright 03-05-10. Article may be reprinted if it is reprinted in its entirety.

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