Hunting in Arizona

Arizona Hunting at Glance

Arizona is an excellent state for big-game hunting, with many huntable species, including pronghorn antelope, black bears, bison, desert bighorn sheep, elk, javelina, Merriam turkeys, Gould’s turkeys, mountain lions, mule deer, and Coues white-tailed deer. The world-record typical elk, which scored 442 5/8 B&C points, came from Arizona. Bird hunting is also outstanding in Arizona, which has three species of quail (Gambel’s, scaled, and Mearns’), mourning doves, white-winged doves, Eurasian collard doves, band-tailed pigeons, blue grouse, and a wide variety of ducks and geese.

The majority of Arizona’s big-game hunting permits are drawn in a lottery. The number of permits available per species is determined and updated yearly based on surveys and research results.

An application for a hunt permit, or tag, must be submitted during the drawing period in order to participate in an Arizona hunting expedition.

There are also a few hunting licenses available over the counter in Arizona, including archery deer hunts in some units and mountain lions and bears in certain regions.

Arizona ranks #27 in the nation for hunting license per capita and has a strong hunting culture with over 4.2% of the population classified as registered hunters.

Key Insights

  • Arizona is a good state for big-game hunting, with a variety of huntable species including elk, deer, and bison.
  • Bird hunting is also popular in Arizona, with a variety of quail, doves, pigeons, and ducks.
  • A few hunting licenses are available over the counter, including archery deer hunts in some units and mountain lions and bears in certain regions.
  • 44.74% of Arizona’s total land is huntable public land, and 27.31% is tribal land.
  • For accurate information on hunting seasons and requirements, hunters should check with the Arizona DNR.

Table of Contents

Hunters (Based on Hunting Licenses)
Population: 7,151,502
Hunters 300,363
Hunter % 4.20%
Hunters Rank 27
Land Types (Acres)
Acres % Rank
Total 72,730,900
Huntable Public 32,539,000 44.74% 7
Private Land 13,885,810 19.09% 48
Tribal Land 19,866,200 27.31% 2

Arizona ranks #48 for the percentage of private land vs total acres and number 2 in terms of acres of tribal land.

Arizona Hunting Seasons & Requirements

For the most accurate information on Arizona Hunting Seasons, along with the state’s requirements for tag and bag limits, it’s a good idea to check with the Arizona DNR.  We’ve provided their contact information below, along with links to helpful resources, including licensing.

Arizona DNR

5000 W. Carefree Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000

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Popular Game to Hunt in Arizona

Arizona is well-known for its abundance of big game animals, and hunters from all over the country come to the state in search of a trophy . It is also home to a variety of small game, making it a popular destination for hunters of all types.

Small Game Hunting in Arizona

Arizona offers some of the best small game hunting in the country. The most popular species include dove, quail, duck, pheasant, and turkey. Dove season usually opens in September and runs through early November, with a second season opening in mid-November and running through December. Quail season typically begins in late October and runs through early February. Duck season usually starts in early November and runs through late January. Pheasant season typically opens in late November and runs through early February. Lastly, turkey season typically begins in mid-April and runs through late May. Arizona’s diverse landscape provides ample opportunity for hunters to pursue their favorite game. Whether you’re looking to bag a limit of doves or turkeys, or just enjoy a day in the field chasing quail, Arizona has something for everyone.

Big Game Hunting in Arizona

While there are many different types of big game to hunt in Arizona, the most popular species are mule deer, elk, javelina, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep. Mule deer are widely distributed throughout the state, and offer a challenging hunt for experienced hunters. Elk can be found in the mountainous regions of Arizona, and are prized for their large size and challenging trophy potential. Javelina are relatively small compared to other big game animals, but are a popular target for hunters due to their abundance and interesting appearance. Pronghorn can be found in the desert regions of Arizona, and provide a unique hunting opportunity due to their speed and agility. Bighorn sheep are perhaps the most coveted big game animal in Arizona, as they inhabit some of the most remote and difficult-to-reach areas of the state. As a result, they offer an unparalleled hunting experience for those who are willing to venture into their rugged homeland.

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Where are the Best Areas to Hunt in Arizona

Arizona offers great hunting opportunities across the state, both on public and private land. We’ve included some of the best areas for public hunting below and as we have access we’ll be adding more private land too.

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Popular Public Hunting Land in Arizona

According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the most popular areas for hunting on public land are the Chiricahua National Monument, Gila National Forest, Kaibab National Forest, Prescott National Forest, and Tonto National Forest. Each of these areas offers a unique hunting experience, and all offer a variety of game to pursue. The Chiricahua National Monument is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including deer, elk, javelina, and quail. The Gila National Forest is known for its abundant populations of deer and elk, as well as its challenging terrain. The Kaibab National Forest is home to both mule deer and white-tailed deer, and is a popular destination for hunters looking for a scenic setting. The Prescott National Forest offers a variety of game species, including deer, elk, quail, and turkey. The Tonto National Forest is one of the most popular hunting destinations in Arizona, with a wide variety of game species available to pursue.

1. Chiricahua National Monument
2. Gila National Forest
3. Kaibab National Forest
4. Prescott National Forest
5. Tonto National Forest

Hunting Private Land in Arizona

Since the majority of Arizona is private land getting access for hunting can be very appealing. When you hunt private land, it’s not only less crowded, the animals also tend to be less skittish and this means you’ll have a better day out in the field.  Traditionally, accessing private land for hunting has been complicated and expensive.  You either needed to join a club, hire a guide, or start knocking on doors.

Fortunately Wing It is simplifying this for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of all types. We’re adding new land every day and if we have some in your area, you’ll see some options great below.

More Private Hunting Land

• 80 acres •
  • Hunting
  • Others activities
    • Woodchuck and rabbit hunting
  • Hunting
  • Others activities
    • Woodchuck and rabbit hunting
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