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AZontheRocks

Late Rifle Bull Unit 10 - First Hunt in AZ

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Hi Everyone,

I'm new to AZ hunting...grew up bow hunting in Northern California (Klamath Area mostly); its been years, and this is my first rifle hunt.  My family is hyped at the prospect of a freezer filled with Elk meat. Now focused and determined to make this Unit 10 hunt as successful as possible.  I've heard that this group on here is top notch, and hopefully I can share as I go through the process.  I've got my Flatline Map ordered and Google Earth Pro...going to get OnX or GoHunt apps (or both), just not sure which one is better suited for that hunt.  NorCal hunting is very different that Unit 10...setting up to scope and stalk with plenty of trips to learn about Unit 10 (water, scope spots).  I was considering an outfitter, but I think if I put in the work, I can be successful on my own.  

New Setup I'm looking at...

Rifle (I'm LH):  Christensen Arms Ridgeline TI 300 win mag.  (5.8 lbs)------or---------Christensen Arms Ridgeline 300 win mag (6.3 lbs)

Scope options: Swarovski v6i 2.5-15 x56  BT 4A-I reticle ------or------- V5i 3.5-18 x44. BT 4W-I reticle-------or--------Vortex HD LHT 3-14 x42

I'm looking forward to the journey over the next 6-7 months.

I appreciate any advice you can offer (especially your honey holes ;-), and if it's in DM, any info will stay private...THANKS!

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Welcome. I've had that tag but it was about 10 years ago and took a broken 5x5.  Lot's of people hunt the Big Bo, https://www.azgfd.com/landowner-compact/big-boquillas-ranch-access/

 

I'm not a Vortex fanboy and run an older Swarvo 3.5x18 on a 700 7Rem Mag that I had in a Manners stock and am switching it out to a McMillan. Plenty of areas to hunt north of Williams. Nights can get down into single digits so plan accordingly.

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Second the not a vortex fan.I just sent back 2 of 4 new scopes because they wouldn't hold zero.I don't hunt unit 10 but have had several unit 6a muzzleloader tags in November and it can get cold enough to freeze the water in a trailer tank no problem.The weather can get screwed and be warm today and freezing tomorrow.The later hunts the elk have been pressured and there are a lot of busted up bulls .You might need to get off the beaten path and get into the thick stuff to find them.Set yourself a reasonable goal on the bull your after and if its good enough on the last day it should be good enough on the first.

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2 hours ago, PRDATR said:

Welcome. I've had that tag but it was about 10 years ago and took a broken 5x5.  Lot's of people hunt the Big Bo, https://www.azgfd.com/landowner-compact/big-boquillas-ranch-access/

 

I'm not a Vortex fanboy and run an older Swarvo 3.5x18 on a 700 7Rem Mag that I had in a Manners stock and am switching it out to a McMillan. Plenty of areas to hunt north of Williams. Nights can get down into single digits so plan accordingly.

Thanks PRDATR...looks like I will be going with the Swarovski based on you and CrazyMonkey.   Would love to just hunt north of Williams, but feel like I need to learn the entire unit...its a HUGE unit.  Really looking forward to simply getting out in the country and exploring.  Pressure from other hunters seems like a legit issue, but while a trophy elk would be nice, antlers are not the main goal, only a bonus.  As with the draw, maybe luck will be on my side too.

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3 hours ago, Crazymonkey said:

Second the not a vortex fan.I just sent back 2 of 4 new scopes because they wouldn't hold zero.I don't hunt unit 10 but have had several unit 6a muzzleloader tags in November and it can get cold enough to freeze the water in a trailer tank no problem.The weather can get screwed and be warm today and freezing tomorrow.The later hunts the elk have been pressured and there are a lot of busted up bulls .You might need to get off the beaten path and get into the thick stuff to find them.Set yourself a reasonable goal on the bull your after and if its good enough on the last day it should be good enough on the first.

Thanks Crazymonkey.  The weather will be crazy for sure, which I hope will be a benefit becuase I am not a truck hunter and plan to walk miles.  Looking to make sure those miles are smart and  in the right spots. 

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Go up in September thru October and all you will have to do is listen for bugles to find them.

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a few years back there were lots of campers stuck in the snow on those late hunts...............I'm sure you remember! 

Plan accordingly.......could be dry could be snow but I guarantee it will be cold. 

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Last and only time in 10, it was cold enough to freeze the water tank in my trailer. It was 10* the morning we went out to retrieve my bull. Had a blast on the hunt though. 

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33 minutes ago, AZ_SAWBUCK said:

a few years back there were lots of campers stuck in the snow on those late hunts...............I'm sure you remember! 

Plan accordingly.......could be dry could be snow but I guarantee it will be cold. 

Over 2 feet of snow. My toy hauler spent an extra month before I could retrieve it. Good times!

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On 4/13/2022 at 3:56 PM, firstcoueswas80 said:

Last and only time in 10, it was cold enough to freeze the water tank in my trailer. It was 10* the morning we went out to retrieve my bull. Had a blast on the hunt though. 

Congrats on the Success firstcoueswas80.  I figure cold is better than heat for many reasons, and if you body is freezing, you aren't dressed appropriately and that's our own fault 🕵️‍♂️

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On 4/13/2022 at 3:56 PM, firstcoueswas80 said:

Last and only time in 10, it was cold enough to freeze the water tank in my trailer. It was 10* the morning we went out to retrieve my bull. Had a blast on the hunt though. 

I'm curious firstcoues...did you put in a lot of hiking or scoping, or both? 

 

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3 minutes ago, AZontheRocks said:

I'm curious firstcoues...did you put in a lot of hiking or scoping, or both? 

 

Not much hiking. A little, but not much. 

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