Unit 22 North Bull Elk Hunt in AZ

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by jeffro, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. jeffro

    jeffro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    I just found out I got a late Nov Bull hunt in unit 22 north in AZ. I have never hunted this unit for elk, and was just wondering if any one could share some wisdom on good places to start. I will be taking scouting trips, and doing my homework, but was just looking for ideas of where to start. Im not looking anyones honey holes just some help.

    Thanks.
     
  2. 22nelk

    22nelk New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Area 22 North is full of good resident bulls. I hunted there for cow elk last October and most of the elk I saw were bulls Lots of rag horns But a good amount of 280 to 340 class bulls. I also drew for bull in early december of 09 in 22 north. My father in law was a forest service ranger in that area for 32 years so i guess we kind of have an edge. Good luck to you. Any other questions just ask
     

  3. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,829
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    If you want a whopper you may concider hunting the wilderness areas. Wilderness areas in AZ are only accessible by foot or horse. NO motorized or mechanized vehicle access allowed. This takes 90% of the hunters out of the scene. The rest will hunt more accessible land of which there is pleanty.

    Buckhead mesa used to be good but is very flat and thick. This will make a non bugle hunt tough. Other areas like hardscrabble mesa are good also. The control road between HWY87 and HWY260 is a sure bet for the hunter who isnt picky about how big a bull he will take.

    There are 2 things (IMHO) that will hurt you on this hunt.

    1: Unit 22 isnt as good as it used to be. Quality is way down from previous years.

    2: The locals that live around and in unit 22 go after elk like there is no tomarrow. There are some really good hunters that live in Payson, Pine, Strawberry and other areas. You will have very tough competition for good bulls.

    My advice is scout ahead of time. There are lots of flat brushy areas in 22 but there is also some mountainous, hilly and canyonous terrain, rimrock and low valleys. Youre best bet is glass, glass and when youre sick of glassing glass somemore. Did I mention glass hard? Oh yeah, glass hard.

    Unit 22 isnt neccesarily a unit that you will get out of it what you put into it. Albiet, the harder you work the better chances youll have.

    Best of wishes and please let us know how you did!

    :)
     
  4. jeffro

    jeffro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Thanks for the info. I plan on scouting it hard, that way I have a few different plans. This is the first Bull tag that I have ever got, so it should be fun. Thanks for the places to start. All your suggestions are very helpful.
     
  5. alexzand

    alexzand New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    i also got drawn for unit 22N November archery and have no clue about this unit,
     
  6. Chief1942

    Chief1942 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Okay, I'll share what I can as you are lucky to have even drawn a NR tag for elk in Arizona. I live in Pine and Unit 22 is my stomping ground. This year I drew the 22 Archey rut tag for Sept 11-24. Nothing like hunting in your backyard during the rut:D.

    Alexand, with that archery tag in November, you are going to have your work cut out for you. Try to locate some of the more remote waterholes and brush up. Remember to keep scent control paramount in your mind. That means paying attention to the wind also. It will be frustrating due to all the other hunters (300) about and all the "road hunters" on their ATV/UTV's scouting ahead of time for the rifle hunt following your hunt. I think "courtesy/consideration" is a thing of the past. If there is a road to the tank you are sitting I can almost guarantee someone will drive right up to the tank while you are sitting it. If you park your ride where it can be seen that may help, but no guarantee. If you decide on a tank, scout ahead and try to locate the heavily used trails leading to the tank and set up an ambush 2-300 yards from the tank along the most heavily used trail. The bulls will usually let the cows preceed them quite a ways so wait them out. If you spook the cows the bulls will take note and you'll never see them. Good Luck on your hunt.

    Jeffro, I've helped hunters on your hunt for the last 3 years. Will be assisting a hunter from Montana this year. Your biggest issue is going to be the number of hunters (400) crammed into the 22N area. Most will be hunting just below the rim north and south of the Control Road. If you use your maps and are willing to bust through some brush, you might want to consider the Little Diamond or LoveLady Ranch area. The Wilderness areas off Hardscrabble Mesa is where the big herd bulls from those herds will head after the rut. Make sure you account for the Deep/Steep canyons you'll be hunting in and keep in mind that you will have to get him out if you put him down. Find a high spot and glass, glass, glass. Once located plan a stalk if you need to get closer with primary attention to the wind which will be swirling around in those canyons. If you are a competent Long Range shooter then that will give you a huge advantage not having to try and stalk in close on these big guys. Doping the wind in those canyons will be the key along with a corrected range for incline/decline.
    We had our monsoons early this year (May & June) and the browse quality and quantity is about as good as it has ever been. The antler growth should be phenominal this year (already seeing some big 7X7's and a couple of 8X8's) but those guys , if they survive the rut hunt, will be hard to locate in November.
    Don't want to throw any cold water on your enthusiasm but the November hunts are always hard due to all the previous and present hunting pressure. The only thing not in short supply is hunter numbers but then it seems AZG&FD has responded to those who want more opportunity to hunt as opposed to those that want a better quality hunt. That's about it. Good luck to you both and let us know how you do.
     
  7. alexzand

    alexzand New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    THanks, Are there any areas in 22 that are closed to ATV/vehicles like a wilderness area??

    Trying to avoid all the road hunters.
     
  8. Chief1942

    Chief1942 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Alexzand,
    There are a couple of wilderness areas in the north and western portion of 22N. Your best access would be Fossil Creek Road through Strawberry to the 428 road turn-off. Then to the Twin Buttes road (FR 194) west. When the Twin Buttes road deadends adjacent to some private property, it is wilderness beyond that point. If you get a topo map it should show you where the wilderness areas are and there are no vehicles allowed into those areas. But do be cognizant that those are some of the "honey holes" for any locals that may have drawn the same tag you have. One place you might want to check out is Saddle Ridge Tank, not Saddle Ridge Pasture Tank. Saddle Ridge tank is inside the wildernesss area to the south of Twin Buttes and if there is water in it, that would be a good archery spot for that time of year. Again get a topomap of the area and locate Saddle Ridge tank on it. Triangulate the long and lat and put that into a GPS and it should take you right to it. It's not an easy tank to get to, that's why I think it might work for you if you can beat others to it. You can also look at that area on Google Earth as it shows the tanks by name and most of the roads in the area. Good luck.
     
  9. HUAINAMACHERO

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,080
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Jeffro,
    Congratulations on your future UNIT 22 NORTH BULL ELK HUNT IN AZ.
    It must be very exciting knowing you have a tag for it.
    Please keep us posted on your progress on this hunt. How your scouting developed, animals seen and stuff. Good luck with it!!!
     
  10. Chief1942

    Chief1942 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Well, I finally put a tag on my first archery bull. Rut started late but it seems to be picking up now. Need to help a buddy get him one. Not a long range rifle kill but thought you'd like to see some of what Arizona has to offer. Good luck to all the rest of you folks out there after these guys.[​IMG]
     
  11. ricasdad

    ricasdad New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Chief1942 Very nice bull. Thank you for being so generous with information on the 22N Hunt. I hunted 13 years with a recurve bow up in unit 5BS and 7 but I lost my hearing and had to stop hunting, that was 10 years ago. I recently got a cochlear implant and a GPS so I am back at it. My 80 # recurve does not want to pull back like it used to so I have been fishing for a rifle tag. I got a rifle tag this year 22N late bull hunt along with 470 other hunters. Do you know of anyone in the 22 unit that will pull an elk off the mountain with horses? Maybe even pay some one to pack me in deep away from the rest of the yahoo's for a week and then come pack me out?
    Thanks and what a great bull
     
  12. Chief1942

    Chief1942 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    ricasdad,
    I appreciate the hearing issue. After 30 years as a firefighter, what with all the air horns and sirens, my hearing loss is significant. I have been using a Walker's Game Ear and that helps but it doesn't supply any directional hearing, just the sound itself.
    As to your other question, I really can't be of service. I know there are a lot of folks here abouts that are really into horses and some have pack mules, but I don't know if they provide the type service you are seeking. Might check with the USFS Office in Payson and see if they have any suggestions. Good luck.
     
  13. marioq

    marioq Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,681
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    I know this is an old thread. I got a 22N late archery tag and wanted to see if anyone has any info of the current situation there. Any advice will be great!

    Thanks

    Mario
     
  14. ofdscooby

    ofdscooby Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    I got a 22S late tag but rifle I can't wait all I can do is hit the maps though and Internet scout I tore my Achilles and im ridding the couch for a couple months. Good luck on your hunt.