Unit 15C – Arizona
Overview: 15C is split into two sub-units: 15C North and 15C South. Cottonwood Road is the boundary between 15C North and 15C South. When hunting any area it is important to know the boundaries of the unit. Consult the hunting regulations for exact boundaries.
15C North: In this unit, bighorn sheep is the premier species. Sheep can be found throughout the unit. For a successful hunt, a good set of binoculars and spotting scope are essential.
A large portion of this unit is in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (LMNRA). Hunting is allowed in the LMNRA, except those areas posted as no hunting zones. Target shooting is prohibited throughout the LMNRA. Please obey all signs. Hunters and other visitors need to stay on the marked roads while driving. Off-road travel is prohibited. The Park Service has maps available that show the network of approved backcountry dirt roads. All approved roads are signed with a yellow arrow. The black number in the center designates the road number. Vehicle camping is permitted at designated backcountry campsites. Vehicle camping along the roads is not permitted. If hiking, you may camp anywhere in the backcountry. These campsites must be at least 500 feet off designated roads. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended to access these areas. These areas do not have a lot of roads, so be prepared to do a lot of hiking in rugged, remote terrain. As always, help keep these areas clean by packing out what you pack in.
Areas: Mount Perkins. Take Highway 93 to Cottonwood Road and turn west. At Golden Door Mine Road, turn north until you get to the hunter access sign. Follow the hunter access road until you find an area you want to hunt.
Fire Mountain off of Highway 93 at either milepost 28 or 31 and head west. MP 31 is the Eldorado power line road and MP 28 is Gold Bug Mine Road. These will both take you to Fire Mountain Road. Four-wheel drive is strongly recommended. Remember Fire Mountain is in the LMNRA, so camp and drive accordingly.
Malpais Flattop Mesa: Located off Highway 93. At the Willow Beach turn off, head west. When you reach the bottom of the hill turn south on Jumbo Wash Road. This road will give you several options. This area is also in the LMNRA.
White Rock Canyon: Located off of Highway 93. You can use Cranes Nest Road at Milepost 8 or at MP 4 use the White Rock Canyon parking lot. This area has lots of day hikers, so be extra careful if you chose this area to hunt. This part of the unit is very narrow with the river on one side and Highway 93 on the other. As always, be sure of what is behind your target. This area is all in the LMNRA.
15C South: Rugged canyons throughout the unit are excellent places to locate sheep. Access can be gained from the west side of the Black Mountains off Katherine Mine Road. Areas include: Union Pass, Cane Mountain, and Burns and Rhyolite springs.
Burns and Rhyolite springs can be accessed from the east side of the Blacks from Highway 68 west of Kingman (Golden Valley). Take Estrella Road north about four miles to Jurassic Road. Turn left on Jurassic Road and head west (USGS-Burns Springs).
Portland Mine is accessible from the east side of the Blacks from Highway 93 northwest of Kingman. Take Cottonwood Road west approximately eight miles, turn left on a good condition dirt road to the Lost Cabin Springs Well and continue down the road to the mine (USGS – Grasshopper Junction). The surrounding area from the Well to the mine is an excellent area for sheep due to lots of water catchments.
Tips: A good pair of optics (binoculars/spotting scope) is recommended for locating and classifying bighorn sheep. When glassing for sheep, concentrate your efforts around rim rock overlooking canyons, ridge tops, and benches among craggy rocks and areas of shade under cliffs where sheep may be bedded down after the morning feeding. Have a comfortable pair of hiking boots and extra water, as you will probably spend a fair amount of time hiking in this rugged country once you have spotted your ram.
Notes: Bighorn sheep often silhouette themselves on ridge tops. Remember, it’s not a safe shot unless you know your backstop. Most of the sheep in this unit are found on the western slopes of the Blacks from the top to the alluvial fans during the hunting season. There is little vehicle access to the western slopes, which can be translated into lots of hiking, but larger overall rams.
Overview: Unit 15C (south) has a low-density mule deer population with relatively low use by hunters. This unit is part of a multi-unit muzzleloader hunt. Hunters (archers/muzzleloader) should concentrate their efforts around permanent water sources. Archery hunters have an excellent opportunity to harvest a buck in late August when the temperatures are still very warm and deer are concentrated around water sources (springs, stock tanks).
Areas: Locations can be found on United States Geological Survey (USGS) quadrangle maps. Union Pass, Burns Spring, Twin Wells, Cottonwood Spring, and Lost Cabin catchments.
Tips: Deer can be difficult to locate in this desert unit. Pre-season scouting and glassing is critical. Concentrate around waters and north facing slopes that have stands of junipers and oaks.
Overview: Scouting will help ensure that when you go hunting you will find quail. Be sure to pick up a copy of the hunting regulations to verify bag and possession limits, season dates, and legal shooting hours.
Some of the areas to hunt quail are in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (LMNRA). While in the LMNRA, drive on approved roads only. These roads are signed with a yellow arrow with black numbers in the center indicating the road number. A map is available from the Park Service showing all of the backcountry-approved roads.
Areas: Detrital Valley area: Take Highway 93 until you come to Detrital Valley. Access can be gained at several gates. There is private property in this valley; obey all no trespassing signs and be aware of no shooting within 1/4-mile of an occupied structure.
Cottonwood Road: Take Highway 93 to Cottonwood Road. Follow Cottonwood Road until you find a wash area that you can walk. Wide wash areas are found in this area; they may take a while to find but it will be worth the effort.
Cottonwood Spring and Kemple Spring: These springs are both south of Highway 93 in the Black Mountains. Access is from Highway 93 at various spots.
There are many more areas that have quail. It may take a little exploring and perseverance to find them, but there are few people that use this area. Consider this area to get away from the crowds.