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Fri, Nov. 15

Youth elk, deer and javelina hunts offer lots of opportunities for young sportsmen

Last weekend was the start of the juniors-only elk hunt. (Adobe Images)

Last weekend was the start of the juniors-only elk hunt. (Adobe Images)

Last weekend was the start of the juniors-only elk hunt in Game Management Unit 10, and 225 tags were issued for the hunt. That hunt is open Oct. 11-20.

Arizona is “youth friendly” when it comes to big game tags. In Region 3, kids get a lot of opportunity as this year, in addition to the antlerless elk tags, there were 40 deer and 75 javelina tags issued for the unit.

The juniors’ deer and javelina hunts both opened on Oct. 4 and closed on Oct. 13.

What that meant was those kids who drew all three tags were able to take a deer, javelina or antlerless elk in that unit.

The juniors-only elk season will close on Oct. 20, which just happens to coincide with the only weekend that sportsmen who have early antlerless tags will have.

Some local sportsmen believe that the juniors’ elk hunt should not overlap this general antlerless elk hunt in Unit 10. The general hunt, with 725 permits, opens on Oct. 18 and closes on Oct. 24. This is not something new. According to AZGFD’s Erin Butler, the overlap of the juniors/general hunt has occurred for several years now.

It appears that Region 3 will take action to prevent the juniors’ only antlerless elk hunt in Unit 10 from being in conflict with the general antlerless season in the future.

“We are aware of this overlap; it only occurred last year and this year due to not knowing the fall break (for schools) before we did the elk recommendations two years ago. It should overlap the youth deer hunt and will be shifted back to a week earlier when we do recommendations this fall.”

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