Monsoons make hunting local elk difficult | Kingman Daily Miner

The 2022 elk archery expeditions will end tomorrow, and for most hunters this year, above-average monsoon rains up north this summer have really affected the results of many elk hunts in Arizona.

Right now, in all of the elk-hunting units in northern Arizona, their earthen water tanks have been refilled, and there’s lush green grass and bushes everywhere you look.

I recently spent nearly a week in Unit 7W and Unit 8, helping out some friends, and the abundance of water and feed has obviously changed the way hunters need to hunt elk this year.

I went out with my friend Jessica who is a disabled vet, on day two of her bull hunt at 7W. This was her first elk shooting game. Jessica received the mark from Eddy Corona at the organization Outdoors Experience Four All (OEAA). Jessica didn’t have an SUV, and torrential torrents hit the unit. I couldn’t stay long, but I wanted to show her some of the places we’ve been successful in the past.

We found the elk scattered, and the oxen made no noise. I took Jessica to many of the dirt tanks we’ve hunted successfully in the past that were full of water, but the elk trails were few and far between. With water in every low spot, trench, and even in the way, there was no reason for the elk to go into any standing water.

It was obvious that she would be slick and stalked. Bulls weren’t “calling,” so glass-feeding elk was the only technique she could try.

As it turned out, Jessica had to leave after only four days in the field. It was raining almost every day, elk were not “talking”, and not having an SUV made things really difficult.

I’m back in Unit 8 to help out my friend and colleague John Schmidt, a Hunter Education teacher, who is battling a rare form of cancer. John is 75 years old and has drawn an elk with no archery horn. A relative was supposed to go on the hunt with him, but he backed off. I decided to go and help Schmidt.

John was only able to sit in the blind, as his ability to walk long distances had been compromised.

We didn’t see many elk while I was there. I’ve never heard a horn, and despite the fact that there were 250 bull signs and 50 hornless cards issued for this hunt, we never saw a single elk taken by hunters in the many camps we passed.

I felt bad for John, because he really enjoys hunting, but this time Mother Nature won the “game”.

And it was not only in Unit 8 or 7W that the elk scattered and it was clear that the success of the hunt was affected by the rain,

Shooting hunters in Units 6a, 9 and 10 reported on social media that they weren’t very lucky in those units either.

Unit 8 elk hunters typically have a success rate of just under 30%. Hornless anglers have had 20-22% success in the past few years.

I can’t wait to see this year’s results for Unit 8 shooting hunters. I suspect there will be a huge drop in hunting success.

For most shooters, 2022 will be a very difficult year.

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