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180ls1

How bad is the southeast getting? (hunting pressure)

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I am looking at switching areas from the west side of the state to the southeast. However, it seems like every OTC hunt I see (youtube) is always in the southeast corner. However, it seems to hold the most deer. Has it turned into a zoo making it not worth it or should I still check it out? I'm perfectly content to hike and don't mind higher pressure areas if the game is there.

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Depends on what you’re calling southeast. Around Tucson (36s, 34s) I think there are a lot more OTC hunters, especially from out of state. But that’s not the southeast corner either…I hadn’t really noticed any you tubers specifically over in the southeast corner but I haven’t watched a lot either. 

I think it depends on the specific area. Based on the 36s there are places I used to hunt that I won’t bother anymore because there are now several outfitters with out of state clients and not a lot of spots there to really hike into. Other areas you could hike over a couple of hills and not see anyone. 

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18 minutes ago, bigorange said:

Depends on what you’re calling southeast. Around Tucson (36s, 34s) I think there are a lot more OTC hunters, especially from out of state. But that’s not the southeast corner either…I hadn’t really noticed any you tubers specifically over in the southeast corner but I haven’t watched a lot either. 

I think it depends on the specific area. Based on the 36s there are places I used to hunt that I won’t bother anymore because there are now several outfitters with out of state clients and not a lot of spots there to really hike into. Other areas you could hike over a couple of hills and not see anyone. 

Thanks for the reply. I was looking at units 28-30. I imagine most of the people coming from the midwest or east will stop there or close. Its tough because I'll invest years into a spot and don't want it getting crushed by the pressure. Luckily the 40's are still very low pressure. However, there are not a lot of deer and that gets old haha.

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Some years yes and some no. But there is a lot of "extraterrestrials" walking around those units these days. 

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I live in Safford and get out into each of these units fairly regularly. I can honestly say that if you are looking for decent numbers of mule deer to hunt, it’s not there. Numbers have been down for a while and don’t see that changing anytime soon. I saw more OTC hunters last winter than I ever have before in 28,29,&31. It was beyond frustrating. 

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Not to mention the poaching. BUT reports from a lifelong resident. 

Probably more shots during non hunting hrs. , than normal hunting hrs.

Specifically along the eastern border farming/ ranching areas of unit 29. 

Some newbie mideastern  and California landowners think they can shoot anything on their property.

Herds get thinned out rather quickly

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On 7/16/2021 at 10:43 AM, 180ls1 said:

Thanks for the reply. I was looking at units 28-30. I imagine most of the people coming from the midwest or east will stop there or close. Its tough because I'll invest years into a spot and don't want it getting crushed by the pressure. Luckily the 40's are still very low pressure. However, there are not a lot of deer and that gets old haha.

I'll take the less deer and less people over more deer and more people personally. The 40's units don't have any big bucks anyways. People shouldn't even consider them. 🤣

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On 7/19/2021 at 10:02 PM, Yuma Outdoorsman said:

I'll take the less deer and less people over more deer and more people personally. The 40's units don't have any big bucks anyways. People shouldn't even consider them. 🤣

Have you hunted the southeast?

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On 7/23/2021 at 1:55 PM, 180ls1 said:

Have you hunted the southeast?

No I have not. What is funny is that we think we see a lot of pressure in certain areas we hunt but when I come on here and read report, it sounds like our pressure is minimal in comparison. Like you said though, we have far less deer in these 40 units than other units in the state. 

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On 7/17/2021 at 5:08 AM, mc68 said:

I live in Safford and get out into each of these units fairly regularly. I can honestly say that if you are looking for decent numbers of mule deer to hunt, it’s not there. Numbers have been down for a while and don’t see that changing anytime soon. I saw more OTC hunters last winter than I ever have before in 28,29,&31. It was beyond frustrating. 

There only one thing better than getting drawn for unit 28. And that’s not getting drawn at all. Hunted it a few times. Lack of game and way to many hunters.

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The western desert units are not the highlighted units you see on your favorite social media hunting channels there are many more deer in southern/ southeast even more central Az .. go hunt it and you will see .you may get extremely lucky and have spotty success or most likely you will leave with an eye opening experience and a plate humble pie! Good luck either way . 

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