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Kaibab Field Notes- Awesome to awful

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Just returned from the Kaibab. It's been a long time since I've hunted there. Here are some notes and questions-

Road 22 closed due to washout gave me hope that the monsoon really came to the area. While there was certainly heavy rain, enough to wash out numerous roads the tanks are very low to empty. Grass and forbes look good now but are showing signs of stress, they need more moisture. Question- what is the chance that this road will be open by November?

Fire devastated the piñon/juniper north of Jacobs lake. Some new oak saplings coming back and a few cactus but a lot of the area is barren. There is quite a few weeds in some places. Roads with gravel washed pretty bad. A lot of ponds empty and most full of ash from the flood. Question- does the monsoon usually fill the water tanks or the winter snows?

Deer mostly on top and look fantastic. They are still brown and ugly but are carrying a lot of weight. Didn't see any fawns yet, maybe still coming or really small. 

Coyotes from top to bottom of unit. They look really healthy and seem quite comfortable with humans. Should have brought a kill stick! Question- do coyotes prey heavily on the deer population in unit 12?

Prepare for high gas prices, $4/gallon in Kanab and $4.40 at Jacobs Lake. Ouch, diesel even higher. I wonder if trying to pack extra fuel is worth the effort or just support the local business?

While tons of people were up at 8,000' and above I didn't see anyone on the winter range. I did see one group of 8 turkey hens and 2 blue grouse. No elk of buffalo spotted. Quite a few moo cows on top and middle levels and they look good. I did see some areas with acorns which was surprised me. Elderberries and gooseberrys in a few places also. The cliff rose was growing well and seed pods were coming off, come on rain.

The weather was hot this weekend and the smoke from California fires darkened the sky most of the time. This was tough on allergies and glassing a long way. Cameras were well represented on the water. Didn't cause me any distress. Everyone I ran into seemed happy to be out and enjoying the forest.

Coming from Kanab, the grass seemed dormant until half way through the flats and then weeds added some green. Dropping off to Marble Canyon was dry from Vermillion Cliffs to Gap. 

I really had a great time and hope this might help those who won't get an opportunity to get up there before their hunt. I have a late hunt and can't wait for the action to begin. Hopefully the questions are not too intrusive.



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Thanks for the report.  Im pretty confident that they’ll have 22 road opened up by November.  Last year I know they had it opened in time for the late hunt (not sure about the early hunt).

 I was hoping honestly that the tanks would be holding pretty good water with the rains that they’ve had up there over the past weeks but it doesn’t sound like it from your report.  

In general, coyotes can be hard on the fawns.  Utah went years ago to a $50 bounty for each coyote jaw brought in; Arizona has never done that but lots of coyotes up there and most deer hunters would appreciate less (along with mountain lions).  You can purchase a mountain lion tag for your hunt - the season starts August 20th and quota for the 12 units is 14 lions (I have no idea how long it takes to reach that quota).  

Hopefully last years burn greens up quickly - would be great for the animals - will be interesting to see how it looks this year and if it alters the deer usually migration significantly.

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