Kaibab early rifle!

Alabama

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Feb 18, 2013
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Sweet Home Alabama
I had been having my unluckiest draw year ever until the AZ results came out. I beat the long odds and drew an early rifle tag in 12A East. I know it's not the rut hunt and it's going to be tougher to find a big one, but I'm stoked! This might be one of the best years to draw a tag with all the moisture and I plan to make the most of it by hunting the full 10 day season. I have had no time to research it yet and I know little of the area because I never actually expected to draw it with only 7 points.

Any tips that would accelerate my research would be appreciated. Closest place to get supplies, best access points coming from the east, good camping spots, any recent burns, etc. PM's welcome.

Honey holes and GPS coordinates are welcome too! ;)

Thanks, Wesley
 

JimP

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Don't count on the moisture being a indicator of good antler growth. That moisture needs to happen now and into August while the antlers are growing and not last winter.

For supplies Kanab, Utah will quite possibly be the closest larger town and then there is Page, Arizona. I haven't been in Page in over 40 years so I have no idea of what is there but it is a kicking off spot for Lake Powell and prices will be adjusted accordingly. If you are coming from the south I would suggest stocking up in Flagstaff if not going all the way up to Kanab.

For hunting, if you haven't looked at the "Where to hunt in Arizona" on the AZGF page I would start there.

https://www.azgfd.com/hunting/units/flagstaff/12a/

The late hunts are better in the unit since they depend on deer migrating out of Utah's Paunshaguant unit into Arizona for the winter. But even a early hunt you will have migrating deer into the area. The best thing to do is to do a snow dance so that it snows early in Utah to get the deer moving.
 

muleyfool

Member
Jun 7, 2018
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Congrates on your tag!
Glass, - glass and then glass some more.
Used to bow hunt that country years ago.
 
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Horniac

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Jul 14, 2011
141
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NorCal
Congrats on drawing the tag! Hunt the NF on top near Jacobs Lake. Plenty of places for dispersed camping. Jacobs Lake has a good diner, small store for toppng of supplies, etc., and a Chevron station. You can camp 5-10 minutes from there and be into deer. Lots of hunters, guides, (and tourists) stop in there too so it is a good place to have a late breakfast or lunch and compare notes. They even have lodging if you so desire. The deer will still be on top during your season. Lots of deer so it is a fun hunt. Don’t shoot the first buck you see haha! Good luck!

Horniac
 
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dirtclod Az.

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Jan 26, 2018
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Jim P right on the Money Once Again.Stock up in Flagstaff.
If coming from north Kanab is your last resort. Ran out of beer and
had to drive all the way there from the Kiabab.Good Luck To You! :cool:
 
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Naturebob

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Feb 28, 2016
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phoenix, az.
They have plenty of food ,forage is in great shape.Even with monsoon late this year they allready have the nutrients. Gonna some monsters coming out of everywhere. Good luck................BOB!
 
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Alabama

Veteran member
Feb 18, 2013
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Sweet Home Alabama
Don't count on the moisture being a indicator of good antler growth. That moisture needs to happen now and into August while the antlers are growing and not last winter.

For supplies Kanab, Utah will quite possibly be the closest larger town and then there is Page, Arizona. I haven't been in Page in over 40 years so I have no idea of what is there but it is a kicking off spot for Lake Powell and prices will be adjusted accordingly. If you are coming from the south I would suggest stocking up in Flagstaff if not going all the way up to Kanab.

For hunting, if you haven't looked at the "Where to hunt in Arizona" on the AZGF page I would start there.

https://www.azgfd.com/hunting/units/flagstaff/12a/

The late hunts are better in the unit since they depend on deer migrating out of Utah's Paunshaguant unit into Arizona for the winter. But even a early hunt you will have migrating deer into the area. The best thing to do is to do a snow dance so that it snows early in Utah to get the deer moving.
Thanks JimP, that's just the kind of info I was looking for. From what little I've gathered I will be hunting resident bucks. It seems the majority of the deer from Utah will go into 12A West or 12B.
 

Alabama

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Feb 18, 2013
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Sweet Home Alabama
Congrats on drawing the tag! Hunt the NF on top near Jacobs Lake. Plenty of places for dispersed camping. Jacobs Lake has a good diner, small store for toppng of supplies, etc., and a Chevron station. You can camp 5-10 minutes from there and be into deer. Lots of hunters, guides, (and tourists) stop in there too so it is a good place to have a late breakfast or lunch and compare notes. They even have lodging if you so desire. The deer will still be on top during your season. Lots of deer so it is a fun hunt. Don’t shoot the first buck you see haha! Good luck!

Horniac
Thank You Horniac! I'll be sending you a PM in the future once I do a little more research.
 

Horniac

Member
Jul 14, 2011
141
6
NorCal
Thanks JimP, that's just the kind of info I was looking for. From what little I've gathered I will be hunting resident bucks. It seems the majority of the deer from Utah will go into 12A West or 12B.
Yes you will be hunting resident bucks. They will migrate off the Kaibab plateau at some point when the snow starts flying. In 12AE the lower ground they migrate through is on the east side of your hunt unit...

Horniac
 
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Alabama

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Is it October 25th yet??? I can get a free box of lead free ammo from AZ game and fish but I have no experience with it. Anybody have any experience with copper bullet performance in a 7mm Rem mag?
 

JimP

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All I shoot anymore is Barnes bullets in all of my rifles. I have had zero problems with it but then I also reload.

The problem with them giving you a box is that you then have to go our and purchase 2 more for the hunt
 
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Naturebob

Member
Feb 28, 2016
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phoenix, az.
Jim P , I will have to agree to disagree with you on Antler growth. Its what kinda shape their body was in from last winter and Spring. Everything was great conditions ,Grass greened up great this spring and bodies were in great shape. The Biological start of this year s antlers starts last year. The Kaibab is 9,000 feet high and there was late snow and plenty of feed. Look at whats coming off the Strip in Archery season. Some 250+ inch deer. The early hunt is tough. You need luck or a lot of time to find big ones . They are up High. The early hunt is not easy for big deer. And the migration from Utah is more for 12 B and later. 12 A is mostly resident deer . And there are some res. deer live low year round but hard to find. Alabama i wish You had the late tag. I had it last year was Deadly sick with bad cold and shot this guy 10 before dark opening day. Never could have hunted more, was in bed for a week after.....GOOD LUCK .........BOB!IMG_0803.JPGIMG_0802 (1).JPGIMG_0803.JPG
 
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