Unit 16A – Arizona
Overview: This unit can be difficult to hunt due to the disjunct sheep habitat. Sheep are located in isolated mountain ranges separated by flat desert. Hunters should plan on several scouting trips to cover all of the possible hunting areas. Unit 16A is not traditionally known for producing exceptionally large sheep. Several hunters have taken rams in the 150- to 160-inch range.
Areas: Mohave Mountains: This range lies just east of Lake Havasu City. Access points are Lone Tree Mountain Road and Havasu Heights on the north side and Standard Wash on the south side. Access on the east side is from Franconia Road off I-40. The north end of the Mohave Mountains has some of the highest concentrations of sheep in the unit. There are numerous water developments in the range that should be scouted prior to the hunt.
Bill Williams/Little Black Mountains: This area lies just north of the Bill Williams River and southeast of the Mohave Mountains. The main access into this area is via Planet Ranch Road, but access can also be gained by taking Standard Wash to Mohave Wash. This area rivals the Mohave Mountains in number of sheep observed. This area was formerly closed to vehicle traffic, but that closure is no longer in effect. The Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge is at the southern end of this range. Hunting is not allowed on the refuge and hunters should be aware of the boundaries.
Skull Mountain: This complex is located north of the Little Black Mountains. Access can be gained via Standard Wash to Mid-Mohave Wash or by going north in Mohave Wash from Planet Ranch Road. There is a water development in this range that is frequented by sheep in the hotter months.
Aubrey Peak Wilderness: This isolated range lies south of the McCracken Mountains between Planet Ranch Road and Alamo Road. This is one of the more scenic ranges in the unit and holds a fair number of sheep. Because the entire range lies within a wilderness area, access is limited to foot and horse only. There are two water developments in the range, one at the east end and one at the west end.
Rawhide Mountains: This range lies north and west of Alamo Lake. Access can be obtained from Alamo Road and Gem Acres Pipeline Road. This is a large range with limited access. Hunters might want to start looking in the Mississippi Springs and Tinajas Dos Pecos areas.
People’s Canyon: This complex has recently had an increase in the population with older age class rams beginning to appear. These sheep cross Highway 93 between Unit 16A South and Unit 18B from Kaiser Spring south to the Santa Maria River. Access can be gained off Highway 93 near Nothing, AZ and just south of the turn off to Bagdad.
Overview: The Unit 16A elk herd is unique in that it is located on a sky island, the Hualapai Mountains. It is estimated there are 40-to-60 elk in the range with approximately 20-to-25 bulls. A number of elk reside within Mohave County Park lands where they cannot be hunted.
The terrain inhabited by elk in the Hualapai Mountains is steep, rugged, and unforgiving. Vegetation is very thick and if the elk are not calling they can be difficult to locate. Anyone drawing a 16A elk tag should be prepared to work hard on both scouting and hunting trips. This unit is not known for producing large bulls, though elk in the 300-inch or larger range are occasionally taken.
Hunt success in 16A, especially for archers, depends greatly on the timing and intensity of the rut. Due to the thick vegetation, spot and stalk hunting are not generally effective, as it is impossible to move quietly. If bulls are not responding to calls the next best thing is to set up on a water source or a well-used trail.
Areas: It is important to note that, by Commission Order, hunting is prohibited on Mohave County Park lands. Park maps and boundaries can be obtained from the ranger station on Hualapai Mountain Road in the park or by calling (928) 757-3859.
Dean’s Peak: This is actually a series of peaks just north of the county park. Access is directly across from the park entrance or via two access roads which come off Blake Ranch Road on the east side of the mountains. The road across from the park entrance is blocked part way up so it is necessary to walk the last mile or so. Once to the top, hunters will find a large stand of ponderosa pine interspersed with open meadows. There are also trails that drop off to the east toward Yellow Pine Spring.
Wild Cow: This area southeast of the park on Flag Mine Road has a large Ponderosa pine stand and a couple of water sources often used by elk.
Sugarbowl Tank: This tank lies in upper Timber Wash and is generally a reliable place to locate elk. Access is via New Year’s Cabin Spring and Antelope Wash roads.
Unit 16A tag holders should be prepared to do a lot of scouting. The areas above are just starting points. Elk are spread in low densities throughout the Hualapai Mountains and hunters should look for sign in and around any of the Ponderosa stands.
Over-the-counter non-permit tag holders for the Alamo Lake Hunt Area:
Alamo Lake Hunt Area- That portion of Unit 16A south and east of the following: beginning at Bill Williams River and Planet Ranch Road, north on Planet Ranch Road to the Yucca-Alamo Road, southeast along the Yucca-Alamo Road to Chicken Springs Ranch Road, northeast of the Chicken Springs Ranch Road to US Highway 93; and that portion of Unit 44A north of the Alamo-Wickenburg/US Highway 93 and west of US Highway 93.
These elk can be difficult to locate. Small populations exist on the north and south shores of Alamo Lake where water can be found in the draws and washes; and north towards Wikieup but south of the Chicken Springs Ranch Road. A few elk have been removed from the herd, but it persists. It is highly recommended that hunters due to scouting in the area before pursuing these elk.
Overview: Unit 16A has a high diversity of habitat types and the density of javelina within the unit varies in conjunction with these habitats. The southeastern portion of the unit consists of large canyons and rolling hills covered in prickly pear, classic javelina country with a healthy population. Good numbers of javelina can also be found in often-overlooked habitats. A good percentage of javelina can be found in Chaparral type vegetation in the foothills of the Hualapai Mountains at 4,000-5,000 feet in elevation. There has been an increase in javelina densities in the more open deserts and grassland habitats.
Scouting is the key to success in 16A. Look for tracks in washes and signs of rooting on the hills and in canyons. Javelina do not have large home ranges, so once good sign is located, have patience and cover the area well; the javelina will still be in the vicinity. In thicker areas calling can be productive. It is difficult to see very far or walk silently through the thick Chaparral where many herds can be found and proper use of a predator call or specialized javelina call can bring the animals to the hunter.
Areas: Hualapai Mountains (East Side): Javelina inhabit the foothills of the Hualapai Mountains from the northern portions near I-40 to the very southern end. Densities seem to increase south of McGary’s Wash: Look in the canyons on both sides of Blake Ranch Road. The areas that combine scrub oak and open prickly pear slopes are the best place to start. Cedar Wash and Blue Tank Wash are also good places to look. Some of these areas are on the Cane Springs Ranch. Hunters must sign in at one of two locations on Blake Ranch Road in order to gain access to the ranch and a ranch pass must be displayed in all vehicles on the ranch. Farther south, the area between Cedar Mine Road and Chicken Springs Road has a good number of javelina.
Hualapai Mountains (west side): Hunters should check out areas off Boriana Mine Road and the Bar I-L area at the northern end. Javelina can be also found scattered throughout the western foothills of the Hualapai Mountains all of the way south of Chicken Springs to the Devil’s Canyon area. The flats between Alamo Road and the mountains may hold some javelina, but chances of finding them increase in the foothills closer to the main mountain range. All hunters entering the Bar-S Ranch must sign in at either of the access points on Alamo Road or Chicken Springs Road. A ranch access pass must be displayed in all vehicles.
Big Sandy River: Access is off Highway 93 south of Wikieup, via 17-Mile Road and Signal Road on the east side of Alamo Road to Signal Road from the west. This riparian corridor holds a good number of javelina, but they tend to stay in the thick brush in the river bottom. Predator calling may be the most effective method for locating them. There are several parcels of private land along the river near signal. Please stay off posted lands and respect private property rights.
Poachie Mountains: There are several two-track roads running west of Highway 93 in this stretch between the Santa Maria River and 17-Mile Road that give access to good javelina country. People’s Canyon Road is a good starting point. It can be found directly across from the junction of Highway 93 and Highway 97 and leads to the Arrastra Mountain Wilderness Area about three miles in. This area has large prickly pear flats that are home to many herds of javelina. Hunters should not hesitate to check out any of the other roads leading west of Highway 93 in this vicinity.
Overview: Mountain lion hunting opportunity is good in the Hualapai Mountains and many other ranges within 16A. Methods vary from incidental take in conjunction to other hunting activities to predator calling, glassing likely locations, and hunting with hounds. Hunting behind hounds is generally the most effective way to hunt lions. Deer and javelina hunters are encouraged to buy a lion tag before heading out on their hunt to be able to take advantage of incidental sightings.
When hunting lions the key is to hunt in places lions are likely to be. Large rock piles make ideal places for lions to den up during the day. When it is cold out, lions sun themselves on the rocks and as the weather warms they can hide out in shaded crevices. Another key is to find areas where the lion has food available. Lions prefer deer, so focus on areas with good deer populations.
For predator callers, be prepared to spend at least an hour calling from the same location. Lions do not generally come running to a call. It is more likely they will stalk the call slowly, often using cover or watching from a high point. The hunter may not see the lion until it is very close.
Areas: Lions can be found in just about every mountain range in 16A. In the Hualapai Mountains check out Dean’s Peak and Wheeler Wash at the northern end. Heading south from there, Flag Mine Road gives access to many good areas from Moss Basin to Wabayuma Peak. None of the major canyons or basins in the Hualapai Mountains should be overlooked. The Arrastra and Artillery Mountains in the southern end on the unit also have good lion populations.
Overview: Fawn production and the amount of deer observed have been low for the last few years. Hunt success dropped the past couple of years, so the amount of tags has been decreased. Though deer numbers have not returned to historic levels, there are still a good number of deer available in 16A, including some larger mature bucks. As with any unit, scouting is the key to locating deer.
In 16A a large number of the hunters concentrate on the east side of the Hualapai Mountains. This area has historically held high densities of deer, but the recent drought has impacted this herd and numbers are not as high as they once were. Hunters might want to consider some of the areas described below to more evenly spread hunting pressure and perhaps increase their chances of taking better than a yearling buck.
Areas: Hualapai Mountains: The Hualapai Mountains and surrounding areas contain the highest density of mule deer in the unit and therefore generally see the greatest hunting pressure. Some areas to consider include the foothills and ridges on the north and east side. Access roads include Old Highway 93 and Blake Ranch Road. In the higher elevations the BLM has conducted controlled burns in a few of the basins in the last couple of years. These areas offer greater visibility than unburned areas and palatable new growth that attracts deer. The west side of the Hualapai Mountains is drier than the east side and consequently deer densities are lower. Look in the major canyons from Walnut Canyon south. Because this area is drier, hunters should key on water sources. On the south end, deer can be found from Cane Springs Wash all of the way south of Chicken Springs Road.
McCracken Mountains: This small range located west of Alamo Road holds a fair number of deer. Some older age class bucks have been surveyed throughout the range.
Poachie Mountains: This range in the southeast portion of 16A includes the Arrastra Mountain Wilderness Area and is composed of open grassy areas, prickly-pear flats, and large canyons. There are many springs in the vicinity that often attracts deer. Access is via People’s Canyon Road or any of the smaller roads that lead west of Highway 93 between Santa Maria River and 17-Mile Road.
Artillery Mountains: Running along the west side of the Big Sandy River from Signal Road to Alamo Lake, the Artillery Mountains are home to a low-density deer herd. Because of the arid nature of this range hunters should scout. Water sources are good place to start when looking for deer. Access is primarily via Brown’s Crossing Road off Alamo Road.
Southwest: The Mohave Mountains and Mohave Wash area can be accessed from Standard Wash on the west side or Planet Ranch Road on the east. A few herds of deer are scattered throughout the area and often forage and bed in the larger washes. Again, this is a very arid area so it is critical to find water sources if the hunter is to be successful.
Overview: Unit 16A has both mourning and white-wing dove spread throughout the unit with numbers that increase toward the southern end. Since there are no agricultural areas in the unit, the best place to find concentrations of birds is around water sources, especially in the morning and evening. Dove numbers fluctuate annually depending on the current year’s recruitment rate and other factors.
Areas: Just about any source of water will attract doves. Hunters should scout potential spots, especially dirt tanks, prior to the hunt to verify they are still holding water. Along Alamo Road, there are a number of livestock drinkers and windmills. The McCracken and Mohave Mountains both have several wildlife water catchments that should be considered.
Hunters should note a shotgun shell is litter. Pick up all empty shells and other trash. When hunting around livestock drinkers, do not stand or park your vehicle in a manner that denies cattle access to the water. Above all, act courteously and with respect in order to maintain access.
Overview: In 16A hunters will find Gambel’s quail spread throughout the entire unit, though not all habitat types hold high densities. Quail populations are heavily dependent upon the proper timing and amount of winter rainfall for reproduction.
Areas: Hualapai Mountains: The east side of the mountain range can be accessed from Blake Ranch Road. This area is comprised of long ridges running west to east toward Highway 93. The south facing slopes along these ridges are good places to locate birds in the morning and evening. During warmer times, birds can be found down in the washes between these ridges. At higher elevations there are good numbers of birds in the chaparral-type vegetation. At the southern end of the range hunters will find the drier Sonoran Desert-type vegetation. Birds can often be found in the many washes running down from the mountains. There are many access roads off Highway 93 from approximately milepost 113 to Chicken Springs Road in Wikieup.
Hunters who venture onto the Cane Springs or Bar-S ranches should sign in at any of the kiosks at the entry points to the ranches and display a ranch pass in their vehicle at all times. Please pick up your empty shells and respect ranch property.
Alamo Road: The northern end of Alamo Road has been subdivided and many new homes have been built in the area. Hunting opportunities are limited north of Planet Ranch Road. There are still some roads that lead east of Alamo Road at the northern end that will give access to the foothills of the Hualapai Mountains where good quail populations exist. Hunters are urged to use caution and remember that discharging a firearm within ¼-mile of an occupied structure is unlawful. Access improves below Planet Ranch Road. Quail can be found just about everywhere along Alamo Road south to Alamo Lake.
Poachie Mountains: Access to this range is via any number of roads from Signal Road south to the Santa Maria River. The habitat varies from low desert to scrub oak and junipers closer to the Arrastra Mountain Wilderness. Quail are prevalent throughout the area.
Mohave Mountains: This range east of Lake Havasu City can be accessed from Franconia Road off I-40. The eastern slope has large washes that run out toward Dutch Flat that are home to several coveys. In addition, many of the grassy basins up in the mountains have good numbers of quail.