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  1. Default Arizona 7E elk population

    Hi guys with the draw almost here I want some quick input on the elk population in 7E. Is it really as low as people say that it is or are those people just not looking hard enough/playing the wind right. Even game and fish says the elk numbers are down but then why do they still issue that many tags? Just looking from either someone from Arizona or someone with experience in the area. If you don't want to share on here feel free to PM me. Thanks in advance guys!

  2. #2

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    Yes, I believe the population is way down. They did it on purpose to appease the usfs and save aspen trees on the peaks. I admit to not complaining when I drew a rut rifle hunt when they first started the process, but they’ve knocked the hell out of that unit. There are still elk and you could have a good hunt. That said, even though it’s one of the units I know best, I applied elsewhere.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    12,716

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    I had the tag last year. I would concur that compared to other AZ units, elk numbers are down. It was by design. A huge fire came through in 2011(?). Elk were hammering the aspen that was regenerating, so the USFS and AZ G&F got together to design season types that would reduce elk numbers to a point the aspen could regain a foothold. It started with aggressive cow hunting, which will always work to reduce numbers. They added some bull tags along the way, mostly for opportunity.

    When I talked to the biologist prior to my hunt, he told me the numbers were where they needed to be for the aspen. Now the aspen is regenerating like crazy and the elk are having any impact. Thus, they are going back to normal season types to get the elk numbers back up in the coming years.

    This was more like a high country elk hunt in MT, ID, CO, or WY. Lower elk densities and far rougher country than where you will normally find Arizona elk.
    My name is Randy Newberg and I approved this post. What is written is my opinion, and my opinion only.

    "Hunt when you can. You're gonna run outta health before you run outta money."

  4. Default

    Thanks for the input guys really appreciate it going to have to keep that in mind as I get ready to put in my app. Would the population of 7W be similar?
    Last edited by NYSKIER; 02-10-2018 at 12:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Arizona, Colorado
    Posts
    106

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYSKIER View Post
    Would the population of 7W be similar?
    Nope. 7E and 7W are managed separately. The herds in each unit have different summer and winter ranges and don’t cross over much at all. I hunted 7W this year and the elk numbers in 7W are booming comparatively.

  6. #6

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    Agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wannakillabigbull View Post
    Nope. 7E and 7W are managed separately. The herds in each unit have different summer and winter ranges and don’t cross over much at all. I hunted 7W this year and the elk numbers in 7W are booming comparatively.
    Do you feel 7W is getting hammered these last couple years?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Arizona, Colorado
    Posts
    106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dieseldog View Post
    Do you feel 7W is getting hammered these last couple years?
    They've certainly increase tags recently. If you go back to say 2014, in total they had 525 bull tags and 850 cow tags. In 2017 they increased tags to 730 bull tags and 950 cow tags. And this coming year they're adding another 50 late rifle bull tags but decreasing the October rifle cow tags by 100. The elk are definitely hunted harder than they were four years ago.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gilbert, Arizona
    Posts
    509

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    We've had disabled veteran hunters in both 7E and 7W the past couple years. I have personal experience hunting and helping on hunts in 7W over the years. Friends have had tags in 7E. 7E might be the tougher unit, but 7W is no slam dunk tagging out. What are your expectations? Whether you apply for archery hunts vs. rifle hunts will change your experience as well. Neither unit should be considered a premium unit. I worry mainly about getting drawn, always looking at the draw odds (and I'm a resident). Good luck whichever way you go ...
    Lv2hnt

    "Every man dies --- not every man really lives."

  10. Default

    I'm looking for a late archery hunt I'm new to the points game in Arizona so I was looking for somewhere that may give me a slight chance to draw but I wanted to make sure it wasn't a needle in a haystack type hunt. I put in 100 percent on all my hunts and try to go with the motto that if you don't get anything at least you had a great camping trip but I wanted some outside hunttalker input

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