Arizona offers some of the best hunting in the nation. It’s far beyond just the arid deserts that some people assume the state is made up of – Arizona offers deer, bighorn, bison, bear, and even mountain lion seasons that those looking to bag a big animal will want to consider. Combine these opportunities with some of the most gorgeous scenery and natural beauty in the nation, and it’s not hard to see why so many people decide to hunt in Arizona. 

And while the 2018 season is winding down, 2019 isn’t all that far away. It’s never too early to plan out your hunting trip, and a few key things are well worth knowing so you can ensure that you have the right variables in place to have a great hunt. 

Anyone is allowed to hunt in Arizona as long as they purchase a license. Those who are hunting with kids should remember that only those over the age of ten is allowed to take big game, and those under 14 can only take big game if they’ve completed a hunter education course. For big game hunts, you must apply for a permit-tag. This includes hunting any of the following animals: 

  • Mountain lion
  • Mule deer
  • White tail deer
  • Desert bighorn sheep
  • Elk
  • Turkey
  • Javelina
  • Antelope
  • Black bear
  • Buffalo 

These applications must be filled out, and only one application per type of animal may be submitted. Each genus of wildlife you are applying for must have its own application, and license fees must be included with each application. Once the applications are accepted, they are entered into one of three draw cycles – one in February one in June, and one in October. The date of your draw depends on the type of game involved in your hunt. 

The state of Arizona doesn’t send out notifications. Instead, you must visit the Arizona Game and Fish website or call the automated service number found on their page, then follow the instructions. If you weren’t one of the lucky hunters to get a spot drawn for the season, your license fees will be refunded entirely. 

Hunting seasons vary depending upon the type of animal being hunted, but you may only legally shoot game during the daylight. Moonlight or artificial light hunting is illegal. Keep these basic tips in mind and you’ll be able to properly apply for your hunting permits and take the first step towards a great 2019 hunting season.