Deer Hunting in Arizona

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  • B
  • 95,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 65,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $58

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $315

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 144 1/8"

    The top-scoring Coues whitetail was taken by Ed Stockwell in Pima County in 1953, currently ranked No. 1 of all time.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 378

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 196 2/8"

    The top Coues nontypical was taken by an unknown Native American in Graham County prior to 1971 and is currently ranked No. 1 of all time.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 121

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Arizona is home to a healthy population of Coues whitetails.

Season Dates (2021)

Season dates vary greatly by unit and species. Check regulations for specifics. 

The Grade: B

Solid numbers of mule deer and Coues whitetails are found in the Grand Canyon State. The latter are spread across the central and southeastern regions of the state — most on public ground. This makes them the perfect quarry for DIY deer hunters.

A coveted Arizona mule deer tag can take years to draw in some areas, but whitetails are often overlooked, making the odds of getting a tag much easier. For now, it isn’t unheard of to hunt Coues deer every year, situation depending. While it isn’t as good as our A states, it certainly supports a B grade.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

A typical Coues whitetail buck must score 110 inches B&C to make the all-time list, and the nontypical  minimum is 120 inches. Arizona has both No. 1 spots in the typical and nontypical categories. Plus, with a rut that starts in late December and runs through January, this is an excellent choice for the hunter looking for a late-season hunt.

Coues deer are commonly hunted from 3,500 to 7,500 feet. Some of the best (and most successful) units for these cagey deer include Units 22, 24A, 29, 31, 33, 34B, 35A, and 35B. Rough terrain is more attractive to these reclusive animals than spots that are easier to navigate. Because of that, the famous Jack O’Connor labeled this wily subspecies as one of the most difficult to hunt big-game species.

Finally, hunters should know that 2021 is the last year you can use trail cameras for deer hunting in Arizona.

Arizona Harvests

  • Nathan LaCost

    Phoenix, Arizona

  • Nathan LaCost

    Globe, Arizona

From the Realtree Trophy Den