HUNTING IN GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA

The Tonto National Forest, Arizona, embraces almost 3 million acres of rugged and spectacularly beautiful country, ranging from Saguaro cactus-studded desert to pine-forested mountains beneath the Mogollon Rim. This variety in vegetation and range in altitude (from 1,300 to 7,900 feet) offers outstanding recreational opportunities throughout the year, whether it's lake beaches or cool pine forest.

As the fifth largest forest in the United States , the Tonto National Forest situated primarily in Gila County, Arizona is one of the most-visited "urban" forests in the U.S. (approximately 5.8 million visitors annually). Its boundaries are Phoenix to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian reservations to the east.

Arizona’s Hunting reputation is world renowned, and much of that has to do with Gila County and its rugged yet beautiful landscape.

 

This landscape is made up of 8 wilderness areas.  It is in these wilderness ares that much of Arizona’s most desirable big game reside, such as world-class populations of elk and black bear, bighorn sheep (both desert and Rocky Mountain), white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, mountain lion, wild turkey and javelina. Smaller game, like quail, dove, tree squirrel and cottontail rabbit are also abundant in this area.

Gila County is comprised of 4 Arizona Game and Fish Units: 22, 23, 24A and 24B. These units are part of the Region VI - Mesa Hunting District. In addition to these units Gila County also includes the San Carlos Native American Lands. 

 

In order to hunt in any of these areas you’ll need a hunting license and the appropriate tags or permits for the animal(s) you will be hunting, which you can purchase from Arizona Game and Fish Department. Likewise, to hunt on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, you will need to purchase the appropriate permits and tags for the animal(s) you are hunting from the San Carlos Apache Tribe Recreation and Wildlife Department. In designated areas on the reservation, non-tribal members are also required to hire an Apache guide.

Having a tested guide by your side can make your big game hunt that much more exciting and successful.  Some of the best hunting guides in the world call this region of Arizona home. Trophy hunters come from as far as Europe to hunt with these guides, who may offer decades of experience and may have well over 1,000 hunts under their belt. They know this region and its game better than anyone.

Game Management Unit 22

Species within this Unit:

Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear, Elk, Javelina, Merriam’s Turkey, Mountain Lion, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Tree Squirrel , Quail

Credit:  DJ Craig

Game Management Unit 24B

Species within 24B:

 

White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Javelina, Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Dove, Quail, Rabbits

Credit:  Cameron Davis

Game Management Unit 23

Species within this unit:

Black Bear, Elk, Javelina, Merriam’s Turkey, Mountain Lion, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Band-tailed Pigeon, Dove, Tree Squirrel, Quail

Credit:  Kathy Hunt

San Carlos Apache
Tribal Lands

Species within this region:

 

White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Javelina, Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Dove, Quail, Rabbits

Credit:  San Carlos Tribe

Game Management Unit 24A

Species within this unit:

Javelina, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Elk, Cottontail Rabbit, Tree Squirrel, Quail

Credit:  Wikipedia

White Mountain Apache Tribal Lands

Species within this Unit:

Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear, Elk, Javelina, Turkey, Mountain Lion, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer

Credit:  White Mountain Apache Tribe

Arizona’s Hunting reputation is world renowned, and much of that has to do with Gila County and its rugged yet beautiful landscape.

 

This landscape is made up of 8 wilderness areas.  It is in these wilderness ares that much of Arizona’s most desirable big game reside, such as world-class populations of elk and black bear, bighorn sheep (both desert and Rocky Mountain), white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, mountain lion, wild turkey and javelina. Smaller game, like quail, dove, tree squirrel and cottontail rabbit are also abundant in this area.

Gila County is comprised of 4 Arizona Game and Fish Units: 22, 23, 24A and 24B. These units are part of the Region VI - Mesa Hunting District. In addition to these units Gila County also includes the San Carlos Native American Lands. 

 

In order to hunt in any of these areas you’ll need a hunting license and the appropriate tags or permits for the animal(s) you will be hunting, which you can purchase from Arizona Game and Fish Department. Likewise, to hunt on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, you will need to purchase the appropriate permits and tags for the animal(s) you are hunting from the San Carlos Apache Tribe Recreation and Wildlife Department. In designated areas on the reservation, non-tribal members are also required to hire an Apache guide.

Having a tested guide by your side can make your big game hunt that much more exciting and successful.  Some of the best hunting guides in the world call this region of Arizona home. Trophy hunters come from as far as Europe to hunt with these guides, who may offer decades of experience and may have well over 1,000 hunts under their belt. They know this region and its game better than anyone.   Find a guide - Click Here

Game Management Unit 22

Species within this Unit:

Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear, Elk, Javelina, Merriam’s Turkey, Mountain Lion, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Tree Squirrel , Quail

Credit:  DJ Craig

Game Management Unit 24B

Species within 24B:

 

White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Javelina, Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Dove, Quail, Rabbits

Credit:  Cameron Davis

Game Management Unit 23

Species within this unit:

Black Bear, Elk, Javelina, Merriam’s Turkey, Mountain Lion, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Band-tailed Pigeon, Dove, Tree Squirrel, Quail

Credit:  Kathy Hunt

San Carlos Apache
Tribal Lands

Species within this region:

 

White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Javelina, Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Dove, Quail, Rabbits

Credit:  San Carlos Tribe

Game Management Unit 24A

Species within this unit:

Javelina, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Elk, Cottontail Rabbit, Tree Squirrel, Quail

Credit:  Wikipedia

White Mountain Apache Tribal Lands

Species within this Unit:

Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear, Elk, Javelina, Turkey, Mountain Lion, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer

Credit:  White Mountain Apache Tribe

ARIZONA HUNTING RESOURCE CENTER

Provided by the Arizona Game & Fish Department
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GILA COUNTY REGIONAL HUNTING UNITS

Region VI - Mesa Hunting District

FIND A LOCAL HUNTING GUIDE

Are you looking for a professional hunting guide in Gila County who knows the secrets to locating, hunting, and harvesting the largest and highest scoring big game animals in Arizona?  If so we have you covered.  Check out some of the best in the businesses.

Photo Courtesy - Herrera Outfitters - Payson, AZ

GILA COUNTY HUNT FORUM

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