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Arizona Unit 13B

Mule Deer Antelope Desert Bighorn Sheep

Overview

Snapshot

Known as the Arizona Strip, this remote region is home to arguably the largest mule deer in the world along with huntable numbers of antelope and desert bighorn sheep. The state manages deer so that bucks get old enough to attain trophy size. More than 90% public, this unit has great access via numerous backcountry roads. 

Buzz

Trophy mule deer hunting is incredible, but the chances of drawing a tag are virtually zero unless you have the maximum number of bonus points. This unit is a great destination for hunters seeking the Nelsoni classification of desert bighorn. Antelope numbers are low.

General Size Trophy Potential
Mule Deer 180" – 190" 190"+
Antelope 60" – 70" 75"+
Desert Bighorn Sheep 150" – 165" 165"+

On the ground

Terrain

The unit includes the BLM Arizona Strip District, part of the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and part of the Grand Canyon National Park.

  •  Roughly 3,134 square miles
  •  3% private land 
  •  Elevations from 1,200-7,300 feet
  •  Bounded by Utah, Nevada and the Colorado River
  •  The most unpopulated area in Arizona

Vegetation

Most of the unit is in the middle part of its elevation range, consisting of rolling hills and canyons with sagebrush, cliffrose, bitterbrush, pinyon pines and junipers. Two parts of the unit are mountains and high mesas that have juniper, oak and some ponderosa pines. The lowest elevations are desert canyons with cactus and some grasses.

Access

Public backcountry roads access much of the rugged terrain of the Arizona Strip and because more than 90% of the Strip is public land, there is no problem getting to hunting areas. Several remote areas require hikes of well more than a mile. Hunting is permitted on state and BLM property as well as the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and the Arizona part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Grand Canyon National Park is closed to hunting.

  • ATVs helpful but not necessary
  • Most areas accessible by 4x4 pickup
  • Foot traffic only in Paiute and Grand Wash Cliffs Wilderness areas

Camping and Lodging

Much of unit 13B is far from towns. St. George, Utah is near the northern border, and Mesquite, Nevada is near the western border. Lodging is available in both towns, but driving to most deer hunting areas from either city is long and difficult. Sheep hunters might stay in town, but most deer hunters camp along roads. Camping is permitted on BLM land. Only one developed campground exists in 13B.

  • Sheep hunters might consider Virgin River Gorge Campground off of Interstate 15
  • No camping is allowed within ¼ mile of any established water source

Historical Temperature

Historical Precipitation

Month 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
January 3.76 in 2.21 in 0.96 in 0.24 in 0.98 in
February 1.41 in 0.37 in 1.01 in 0.43 in 0.35 in
March 0.45 in 0.68 in 1.49 in 0.39 in 0.50 in
April - 1.74 in 0.38 in 0.39 in 0.24 in
May - 1.12 in 1.95 in 0.37 in 0.22 in
June - 1.21 in 1.27 in 0.00 in 0.00 in
July - 1.25 in 2.40 in 3.89 in 2.34 in
August - 3.51 in 2.93 in 4.73 in 2.87 in
September - 2.61 in 1.17 in 2.73 in 2.44 in
October - 0.53 in 2.56 in 0.38 in 0.50 in
November - 0.68 in 0.82 in 0.20 in 0.85 in
December - 3.33 in 0.72 in 1.40 in 0.43 in
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Species within this Unit

This unit is home to some of the world's largest mule deer. An enormous unit with miles of great habitat, 13B has low numbers of deer. Nonresidents who do not have the maximum number of bonus points have virtually no chance of drawing a permit. Bucks are active before the rut during rifle season and several bucks taken near roads. During dry conditions, hunt over or near water.

  • Average Quality 180" – 190"
  • Trophy Potential 190"+
  • Buck:Doe 50:100

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Archery

Aug 19 – Sep 8, 2016

This tag must be drawn and cannot be purchased over the counter. Bow season typically runs from late August through mid-September.  The first bow season was in 2008. Many bucks are harvested by hunters using ground blinds and tree stands near water during dry conditions. If the weather is wet, spot-and-stalk techniques can be effective, but killing a buck that way is difficult. 

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Rifle

Nov 11 – Nov 20, 2016

Typical rifle season is 10 days beginning in early November. Bucks are nomadic as they cover miles of ground in search of does. Bucks become docile during the early rut. Glassing from high vantage points can produce good results, but be prepared throughout the day as many bucks are shot near roads. In dry weather hunting near water can be effective.

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There are about 100 to 125 antelope in the entire unit and the herd has experienced flunctuating trophy quality since the original hunt in 1989. The eastern part of the unit holds most of the herd.

  • Average Quality 60" – 70"
  • Trophy Potential 75"+
  • Buck:Doe 38:100

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Rifle

Sep 8 – Sep 17, 2017

This is the only antelope season offered in unit 13B. Most tag holders hunt in the eastern part of the unit, centering on Diamond Butte. Most antelope live along the Hurricane Rim from Mount Trumbull (Bundyville) north to the Utah line. The state has transplanted pronghorns several times to augment the herd, causing trophy quality to fluctuate. Rifle season typically lasts 10 days in early September.

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There are two separate subunits in this unit: North and South with better trophy quality in 13B North. There are very few high scoring rams in 13B South.There is the potential of a nonresident tag in 13B North since Arizona issues more than one tag.

  • Average Quality 150" – 165"
  • Trophy Potential 165"+
  • Ram:Ewe 35:100

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13B South Rifle

Nov 16 – Dec 31, 2016

Rams in 13B South are difficult to find. Numbers are low and it is not uncommon to cover several miles to locate rams. It is recommended to bring along extra gas and water. Not an easy hunt. Rams are not as big as 13B North.

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13B North Rifle

Dec 1 – Dec 31, 2016

In 13B north most of the sheep are in the Virgin River Gorge area and canyons in the northwestern part of the unit. Glassing is critical to finding a big ram. Hiring an outfitter or bringing friends will help to locate rams. Good choice for a mature ram.

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2 Comments

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Brayden F. - posted 5 months ago on 10-30-2016 03:13:44 pm

What does a non resident tag cost?

brandon_1
Brandon E. - posted 5 months ago on 11-02-2016 03:35:24 pm
goHUNT Team

@ Brayden F.

A permit for this unit has to be drawn through the state, the deadline to apply is mid-June. To apply you must purchase the nonresident hunting and fishing license that is $160 and then if you are successful drawing a permit it cost $315. Answers to this and many more questions are found in INSIDER. If you are looking for information on western hunting, it's invaluable.