The Arizona Game and Fish Department is reminding sportsmen that Game Management Units (GMU) 27, 29, 34A, and 37A are closed for the any-antlered deer archery hunt from Dec. 14 to Dec. 31.
GMU 27 is northeast of Morenci between the San Carlos Apache Tribal Nation and the New Mexico state line. GMU 29 includes all of the Chiricahua Mountains. GMU 34A is located east of Green Valley and includes the Santa Rita Mountains. GMU 37A is roughly bounded by Marana, Eloy, Arizona City and Coolidge.
The archery deer harvest is generally managed to not exceed 20 percent of the overall harvest in a unit. When the three-year average archery deer harvest for either Whitetail deer or mule deer exceeds 20 percent, the wildlife manager for that GMU may recommend restrictions in archery hunt opportunity to bring the unit back into guidelines.
The guidelines prescribe a series of progressively restrictive season structures to limit the archery harvest to less than 20 percent. This year several units exceeded the threshold of 20 percent, and so the December part of the season was removed.
For example, in GMU 34A over the last three years, archers have harvested more mule deer than the general and muzzleloader hunters combined. In GMU 29, the whitetail harvest taken by archers is increasing and surpassed the 20 percent this year.
Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department