Where in Arizona/ New mexico to retire

FEENIX

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I've lived in Az. my entire life except for college in Montana. I'm retired like you and would think infrastructure would be most important in selecting an area to live. The Prescott area appeals to me due to the availability of hospitals, healthcare, shopping, year around climate and small town feel. The elevation is around 5000+ which means an occasional small dusting of snow in the winter, usually around an inch. Tons of elk within 1-2 hrs and mule deer and antelope can be seen right in town. Lots of javelina close by also. A growing area about an hour southeast of Coues deer too. Hunts are had via the draw with a cow elk tag the easiest followed by a decent mule deer tag with just a few bonus points. I've seen Antelope tags drawn from 5-15 points for good areas. You can take the Az hunters ed class which earns you a permanent annual bonus point for all species. There is a species loyalty point also. Good luck and hope you're happy with your selection.
Excellent point! I was stationed in Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson from from 1992-1996. Hunted muleys, javelina, gamble quail by the Biosphere area, elk in the Hannagan Meadows, and javelina in Sierra Vista area. I enjoyed it then but on our last visit 2014, the population have grown significantly. If the OP can put up with the crowd, not a bad place if he's looking for a more conducive weather for his condition. I've always like the Prescott area too.

in 1996-2000, I was stationed at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM. I enjoyed my assignment and it is similar to Tucson but slightly higher in elevation.

Hunting opportunities for both are pretty similar. OP might want to look into the crime for the area too. I know it was high for both back then.
 

sean30ber

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Jun 2, 2018
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Arizona
Living in Arizona, and being a Law Enforcement Officer and avid hunter, my recommendations are Prescott and Sierra Vista. Both areas the game abound and access to anything is a hop, skip and a jump. Prescott area is more temperate but SV has its pluses. Great shooting Clubs in both areas also.
 

Buckshotaz

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Jan 6, 2019
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Arizona
I live in Az and the state is way different depending on where you are at from Flagstaff to Gila Bend. I assume you want hunting opportunities close by because you are posting here so I would suggest somewhere centralized like Globe or Rosevelt unless you are wanting to be in a big city?
 

valleysnyper

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Southwest Wisconsin
I don't want to live in a big city, just be an hr to an hr and a half away. And yes, hunting is one of the main reasons along with health. Does anyone know about the Cottonwood or Kingman area ? weather? hunting ? Thanks, Gary
 

Buckshotaz

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Arizona
Cottonwood would be better as far as hunting options close to home. I like Kingman but it is a long way from any Coues deer, my favorite

On the other hand, Kingman will have far more fishing opportunities and casinos in Navada are close by
 

Bob Wright

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Jan 23, 2018
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Litchfield Park, Az.
Dont care about casinos, looking at good medical care. Elk mulies and antelope I would like to hunt
I live in AZ, 62 years. So, forget about antelope tags. The draw odds are 1%-2%. Im not sure how many hunting years you have left. Elk, you could expect every other year for a cow tag, bull rifle tags every 5-10 years. Mulies, every year depending on hunt unit is 100% draw and Kaibab in unit 12 and 13 is extremely low percentage <1% because of trophy potential. Muzzle loader for all species is a difficult draw. Archery has a lot of opportunity depending on unit/species.
Health care: Phoenix has the best, followed by Flagstaff and Tucson for anything heart related is world class.
Flagstaff is 7000 feet, cold in winter. So I think you need to look at proximity to Phoenix or Tucson. Plenty of rural areas there to not be in city but close enough to medical. Kingman may not have the best medical like level 1 in the other three cities. You should do a lot more research there. So, first priority is house and health care, followed by hunting opportunity. Both Tucson and Phoenix has great deer opportunity, elk are 2.5 to 3.5 hour drive from either.
Did I mention forgetting about an antelope tag? I have had 4 antelope tags over a 40 year timespan, the last one took 19 years to get. Go to Wyoming or New Mexico for antelope.. They are more populous in WY than people there, no kidding either.
Good luck!
 

valleysnyper

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Southwest Wisconsin
I hear ya about Wyoming and antelope, drove through this year on way to Colorado Elk hunting. I think I better look at New Mexico, hopefully its better odds for tags than Arizona. Where I live we can buy a tag for almost any game animal that resides in Wisconsin over the counter. Except black bear, but that only takes a handful of years. Its def turned into a moneymaker for the states limiting tags.
 

LVJ76

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Tucson, Arizona
Payson AZ is a nice little town at around 5,000 ft above sea level. Great summer weather and winters are also nice. It's sorrounded by Mulies and Elk, literrally, and some really good trout fishing. About an hour and a half from Phoenix and half hour from the Rim Lakes.
 

CatfishKev

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Mar 16, 2016
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Sierra Vista, AZ
Depends on how hot you want. I live in Sierra Vista and love it. 10 to 15 degrees cooler here then in Phoenix and Tucson. Payson and Prescott are a little cooler then here but not frigid cold like Flagstaff. If you want warmer but not scorching check out camp verde and cottonwood.
 

A/C Guy

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Nov 16, 2008
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Apache Junction, Az
Unit 12 rifle, Ramah NM Landowner tag with Outfitter Keith Williams. The bull in my avatar was shot there three years ago.
I just purchased 5 acres in Ramah for $13k total. Land is cheap there. I live near Phoenix and the plan is to build a retirement home for the summers in NM and keep the Az house for the winter. There are areas east of Phoenix that you can still buy a house for under $200k, some areas are under $125k. I would recommend that you consider the snowbird lifestyle.
 

Steve gavette

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Glendale, AZ
Sierra Vista is a popular retirement Area. It is not overpopulated, but due to it being retiree-dense, has built up good amount of health care compared to other smaller locales. But no elk or fishing in the area. Great weather, wineries, deer, javelina. Kingman area is very economical and good weather. Deer, (some) elk, javelina, sheep, fishing on the river. Central AZ area (Prescott, Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Cordes Junction) has great weather, deer, javelina, fishing, elk a little drive. It is getting quite populated, Prescott proper is flat out expensive. California retirees drove the prices sky high over the last 20 years. Arizona is a big state, unlikely to not find some place you like if you look long enough.
 

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