Local hunters bring home the venison

When it comes to hunting for elk in the multi-hunt units of 15A-15B and 18A, this can be one of the toughest that you can go on.

There are only 25 general rifle tags given for this hunt by the Arizona Game & Fish Department. From what I've learned, locals got almost 50 percent of those tags this year.

But for a number of local sportsmen and women, this year they seem to have done quite well on their hunts.

This hunt is not for those that don't know the unit.

The Arizona Game & Fish Department notes in their regulation booklet that, "Elk occur in low numbers in these non-traditional areas. Success may be very low to no success."

With that admonition, you would wonder why anyone would even apply for a tag there.

But the reality is that while elk numbers are definitely low there, local sportsmen seem to know where and how to find them.

With the season open until Thursday, there is a good chance that many of those who have tags will fill them.

So far, at least eight local sportsmen/women have filled their tags.

Taking a good bull was Mike Baxter, who reportedly got an 8X7 on his hunt. Baxter was hunting with his wife, Paula, and good friend Charlie Brown. They also have tags.

Others who have filled tags there include Dawn Schmitt, who got a 6X5; Aden Dunton, who got a 340 class 6X6; Nick Schmitz, a Kingman police officer who was on his first big game hunt and bagged a 6X6; Hunter Allen, who bagged a 7x7; and Kylie McGee, who got a bull that had 6 points on one side, but had a broken main beam on the other.

Scott Snay only saw one herd of elk in 12 hard days of hunting in Unit 18A, but he made the most of it, taking a beautiful 6X6. Tara Sherwood reportedly bagged a 330 class 6X6.

What is interesting is that other non-local hunters in the unit didn't seem to fare as well.

Brandon Carley, Game & Fish wildlife manager for Unit 18A, said he had heard of just one harvest of a bull from sportsmen not from this area.