Hunters should be aware that the Arizona Game and Fish Department is involved in ongoing negotiations with the landowner and lessee of the Big Boquillas Ranch that may impact hunters planning to hunt in Game Management Unit 10.
Located near Seligman, the Big Boquillas Ranch, one of the 25 largest ranches in the country, makes up more than half the huntable area in Unit 10.
The Big Boquillas is checker-boarded private and State Trust Land. While the Navajo Nation is the private landowner, Cholla Livestock LLC is the lessee. Game and Fish is working with them to find a solution that would help the ranch offset expensive maintenance of roads, gates, and other costs attributable to the impact of recreational activities and the cost of supporting wildlife conservation on the property while maintaining access for hunters.
Possible changes may include recreational impact fees required to access the ranch, decreased access points to the ranch and rules that need to be followed while on the ranch. Regardless of the final outcome of negotiations, hunters will continue to be able to access portions of Unit 10 outside of the Big Boquillas Ranch for recreational activities.
In addition to the private ranching enterprises on the Big Boquillas, the area provides critical habitat for big game and wildlife conservation efforts such as the Black-footed Ferret Reintroduction Project and annual raptor migration surveys.
Current efforts to maintain access on the ranch are focused on providing hunters a place to go and the ability to continue critical wildlife management efforts on this significant piece of property.
Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department