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Game Management Unit 20B
 
Additional Hunting Unit Report pages
- Region I - Pinetop
- Region IV - Yuma
- Region II - Flagstaff
- Region V - Tucson
- Region III - Kingman
- Region VI - Mesa
 

Species within this unit:

 
Unit Boundaries
Beginning at the Hassayampa River and U.S. Hwy 93 (in Wickenburg); northeasterly along the Hassayampa River to the Kirkland Junction-Wagoner-Crown King-Cordes road (at Wagoner); southerly and northeasterly along the Kirkland Junction-Wagoner-Crown King-Cordes Rd. to I-17 (Exit 259); south on the southbound lane of I-17 to the New River Road (Exit 232); west on the New River Road to State Highway 74; west on AZ Hwy 74 to the Junction of AZ Hwy 74 and U.S. Hwy 93; northwesterly on U.S. Hwy 93 to the Hassayampa River.
 
Species Information back to top
Species Information: To learn more about the life history of the species featured, log onto azgfd.com and go to the hunting & fishing link, then choose big game species and select from the list of big game species you are interested in.     
 
Javelina (Collared Peccary)

Javelina inhabit the entire unit, but herd densities differ geographically. Javelina are more abundant at elevations between 2500 ft. and 4500 ft.  Javelina are small in comparison to many other big game animals and they blend in very well with their surroundings.  Javelina spend a majority of their time resting and feeding and tend to utilize thick brush and caves or overhangs for bedding areas. When feeding, javelina prefer succulents such as prickly pear, barrel and hedgehog cactus.  They will also take advantage of early winter and spring green-ups in the bottoms of drainages and open slopes.  

When searching for javelina, you should spend a majority of your time looking for them with binoculars from a good glassing point where you can see a large basin, canyon or drainage with food, water, and cover within close proximity to one another.  Concentrate your glassing to sunny hillsides and slopes in the early morning and evenings. 

The proximity of 20B to a growing Phoenix metropolitan area makes it a very popular destination for a number of outdoor recreational activities.  The further one can get from some of the more popular and used roads into the unit will increase hunt success and should provide for a higher quality hunting experience.  As always, hunters are strongly encouraged to make pre-season scouting trips into the unit. 
During pre-season scouting trips, concentrate your efforts around water sources such as springs, potholes, stock tanks, and game catchments to check for recent javelina activity. You do not necessarily have to locate the herd itself, but if you locate the herds feeding, bedding, and watering areas you will increase your chance of harvesting a javelina during the season.

Suggested areas to hunt include: Wickenburg Mts., Swallow Mt., Silver Mt., Buckhorn Mts., Black Canyon Creek, and Bumblebee Basin.
 
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Mountain Lion

Mountain lions inhabit all portions of the unit.  Although overall prey species populations are down, the unit has a stable mountain lion population. Because of low deer densities, many lion scats found, have shown an increased prey on javelina, indicating that javelina are supporting the mountain lion population.  Until deer populations increase in Unit 20B, the trend will likely continue.   

Sport hunting of lions in the unit does not have the participation, as do units to the north and east (Units 20A, 17A, 21, 22, and 23).  The unit is very steep, rough and because there are many areas with limited road access, it is difficult for houndsmen to retrieve hounds on short duration hunts. The southern half of the unit is usually hot by midday and has an abundance of cacti, which is not favored by houndsmen.

Harvest of mountain lions in the last decade has ranged from one to six lions and has been made up primarily of males. Livestock operators do report depredating lions in most years, but many of the livestock depredating lions are handled through permitted sport hunting.  With the low sport and depredation harvest of lions, it is expected that habitat, prey species availability and adult male lions are regulating the population in Game Management Unit 20B.

Hunting Tips
There are very few perennial waters in Unit 20B, but where they do exist; lion sign (tracks, scat, scrapes) is usually found.  Whether you are looking for a place to start your dogs or predator calling, these water sources are excellent places to begin.

Suggested areas to hunt include: Poland Creek, Turkey Creek, Black Canyon Creek, Ryland Creek, Walker Gulch, Horsethief Basin, Slim Jim Creek, and King Solomon Wash. 
 
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Mule Deer

Overview:
Mule deer numbers appear to be stable to slightly decreasing.  A new survey method has been implemented in 20B, and should result in more accurate population estimates and trend data over time.

Mule deer are found unit wide, however, deer densities are higher in the mid-elevation deserts to the Ponderosa Pine forests in the northern portion of the unit. 

2009 presented several problems for deer in 20B including one of the hottest summers recorded in Arizona history and a disappointing amount of rain from the monsoon.  For the short  term, habitat was lost as a result of the Lane 2 fire in the Bradshaw Mountains.  Although re-growth will provide long term benefits to deer herds.

As el nino returns, it is expected to produce a 2009/2010 winter with higher than average precipitation which will be needed to help offset the previously dry season.       


Hunting Tips: 

The proximity of 20B to a growing Phoenix metropolitan area makes it a very popular destination for a number of outdoor recreational activities.  The further one can get from some of the more popular and used roads into the unit will increase hunt success and should provide for a higher quality hunting experience.  As always, hunters are strongly encouraged to make pre-season scouting trips into the unit. 

During these pre-season scouting trips, concentrate your efforts around water sources such as springs, potholes, stock tanks, and game catchments to check for recent deer activity. You do not necessarily have to locate the deer, but if you locate where the deer are feeding, bedding, and watering you will greatly increase your chance of harvesting a deer during the season.  When searching for mule deer, spend a majority of your time looking for them with binoculars from a good glassing point where you can see a large basin, canyon or drainage with food, water, and cover within close proximity to one another.  Concentrate your glassing to sunny hillsides and slopes in the early morning and evenings.  During the day, mule deer generally favor ridges that afford escape routes, favorable visibility and scent-carrying thermal currents that will help alert them to possible danger.   

Suggested areas to hunt include: eastern edge of the Castle Creek Wilderness, Hells Gate Wilderness, Silver Mtn., Lane Mtn., Buckhorn Mtns, Bumblebee Basin, Walker Gulch, and Morgan Butte.

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Black Bear

Overview:
Life history- cubs are born during January in winter dens, usually in pairs, but larger litters are not uncommon. The cubs are very small and helpless at birth. Cubs emerge from the den in April and stay with their mother through the first summer and fall, denning with her their second winter. Female black bears in Arizona usually reach reproductive age in their fourth year, and usually breed every other year. Normal reproductive cycles in Arizona black bears may be adversely effected by drought and resultant poor physiological condition. Black bears are relatively long lived animals, with some individuals exceeding 20 years of age. The low reproductive potential of this species is becoming an increasingly important management consideration.  Black bears are characterized as shy, secretive animals possessing considerable curiosity and displaying high levels of intelligence and exploratory behavior. Black bears are generally active in the early morning and late evening; they may alter their activity pattern to exploit sources of artificial food, becoming nocturnal at camp grounds and dump sites. Nuisance activities are nearly always associated with artificial food sources (campgrounds, beehives, garbage sites)

Unit 20B has a healthy, but localized bear population that inhabits the northern most portion of the unit. Black bear sign (tracks, scat, etc) can be found south of Crown King around the Horsethief Basin Recreation Area and associated drainages that connect the ponderosa pine habitat type to the interior chaparral habitat type.  The lack of adequate precipitation in 2006 and 2007 has resulted in poor mast crop production of preferred bear foods such as manzanita berries, juniper berries, annual grasses, acorns, and cacti fruit.  Harvesting a bear in Unit 20B is challenging as the better bear habitat in the unit is in rough terrain with dense vegetation. 

The Arizona Game and Fish Department relies on accurate reporting by responsible dedicated hunters to ensure the best wildlife management possible and that hunting opportunities for bear remain in Arizona.  Hunters are responsible for checking to see if the hunt is still open by calling 1-800-970-BEAR (2327).  Hunters are also required to contact the Arizona Game & Fish Department in person or by phone at the same number within 48 hours after taking a bear.  In addition, the hunter shall present the bears skull, hide, and attached proof of sex for inspection within 10 days of taking a bear.  If a hunter freezes the skull or hide before presenting it for inspection, the hunter shall prop the jaw open to allow access to the teeth and ensure that the attached proof of sex is identifiable and accessible.

Hunting Tips: Hunters would have the best chance of harvesting a black bear by calling with a predator call or by pursuit with hunting dogs.  Other methods include glassing open slopes where bears are foraging or still hunting a water source that bears are known to use.


 
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Dove
Overview: Dove numbers have steadily increased in the unit over the past few years. Feeding and nesting activity has expanded northward and it is now common to observe white-wings at the extreme north-end of saguaro distribution during the time of fruit production.  As is often the case, many of these white-wings are moving south by the time the season begins.

Areas: Although most of the hunting activity has occurred in the agricultural areas south of the unit, there is fair hunting to be had away from these high hunter density areas.

The natural desert areas adjacent to the CAP canal can be very productive during years when there is available seed in the desert for doves to feed on.  Dove flyways also exist adjacent to the Agua Fria and Hassayampa Rivers and around stock tanks and springs north and south of Highway 74. 

Pre-season scouting is recommended to become familiar with recent land status changes (privatization, annexation, etc) that may have occurred.  Be respectful of private property and livestock around water sources.
 
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Quail

Overview:
Although walking is rough, the foothills of the Bradshaw Mts. offer some of the better quail hunting in the unit.  Concentrate your efforts near permanent water sources (springs, rivers), stock tanks and washes.

Suggested areas to hunt include: Bumblebee Basin Rim, foothills of the following mountains: Buckhorn Mts., Hieroglyphic Mts., Silver Mt. Wickenburg Mtns. and the south and east sides of the Bradshaw Mtns. Prior to hunting in Lake Pleasant Regional Park, check the current hunting regulations under Commission Rule R12-4-301 for restrictions.

Maps are available from the Bureau of Land Management that (Phoenix Field Office) indicate land status (private, State Trust, US Forest Service, etc).
 
Waterfowl

Overview: The coves near the north end of Lake Pleasant hold fair numbers of waterfowl and is conducive to  setting up decoys and calling.  Prior to hunting in Lake Pleasant Regional Park, check the current hunting regulations under Commission Rule R12-4-301 for restrictions and access changes to the north end of Lake Pleasant off Table Mesa Road.  Desert stock tanks also are excellent places to search for migrating ducks that utilize desert stock tanks as resting and feeding areas.  Be respectful of posted private property as many stock tanks in Unit 20B are located on posted private lands that prohibit trespassing.

 
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Unit Summary
Primary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)
Mule Deer September-January
Javelina January-February
Secondary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)
Quail October-February
Waterfowl October-February
Average # permits in past 5 years
Mule Deer 350, Muzzleloader 150
Javelina 650, HAM 600, 550 Archery
 
Climate Information
Month Ave. Temp Ave. Rainfall Ave. Snowfall
January Max 42°/Min 15° 0.6" 16.0"
February Max 45°/Min 18° 0.4" 14.0"
March Max 49°/Min 21° 0.5" 19.4"
April Max 58°/Min 27° 0.7" 9.9"
May Max 67°/Min 34° 0.7" 2.1"
June Max 75°/Min 41° 0.4" 0.0"
July Max 79°/Min 48° 2.5" 0.0"
August Max 76°/Min 48° 2.9" 0.0"
September Max 72°/Min 40° 1.7" 0.2"
October Max 63°/Min 20° 1.1" 0.9"
November Max 50°/Min 22° 1.0" 6.8"
December Max 42°/Min 15° 0.4" 15.2"
Other Pertinent Climate Information
As the Unit's elevation goes from 1,400 feet to more than 7,000 feet the temperatures and rainfall vary greatly and averages would be is leading. Game Management Unit 20B has a weather pattern that resembles the Mohave Desert. Summer monsoons often produce low average rainfalls and extended droughts are common. Flooding during the winter is common and can greatly influences access to hunting areas.
 
Cities, Roads & Campgrounds
Major Cities and Towns in or Near Game Management Unit and Nearest Gas, Food, and Lodging
The Phoenix Metropolitan area is just south of 20B. Wickenburg is the nearest service area west of the unit. Black Canyon City and Cordes Junction provide service east of the unit.
Major Highways and Roads Leading To
From the East: Interstate 17 at Table Mesa Jct. and Bloody Basin
From the West: Wickenburg and Morristown
From the North: Bloody Basin Interchange
From the South: Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Developed Campgrounds
Horse Thief Basin Recreation Area Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Undeveloped Campgrounds
Camping is allowed is most of the hunt areas on U.S. Forest Service and BLM administered lands.
 
Brief Description of Terrain, Elevation, and Vegetation
The unit is well known to be very step and rocky. The Old Cordes area has a very limited desert grassland; the remainder of the unit consists of palo verde-cacti, interior chaparral, pinyon, juniper, ponderosa pine, and limited mixed conifer habitat types.
 
Government Agencies and Phone Numbers
Arizona Game and Fish Department, Region VI - 480-981-9400
Prescott National Forest - 928-771-4700
Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix District - 602-780-8090
 
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Downloads [More]


Hunting, Trapping & Fishing Regulations, Season Dates & Draw Information

Detailed information on all rules, regulations and seasons

  • New! 2014-2015 Arizona Hunting Regulations [PDF, 6mb]

  • Hunt Permit-Tag Application Form [PDF]
  • New! 2014 Antelope & Elk Hunt Draw Regulations
    [PDF, 4mb]

  • 2014 Spring Hunt Draw Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-2014 Waterfowl & Snipe Regulations [PDF]

  • New! 2013-2014 Dove & Band-tailed Pigeon Regs [PDF]

  • 2013 Sandhill Crane Regulations [PDF]

  • Hunt Arizona 2012: Survey, Harvest and Draw Data
    [PDF, 6mb]

  • 2013-2014 Trapping Regulations [PDF]


  • 2014 AZ Fishing Regulations
    [PDF, 7mb]
  • 2014 Urban Fishing Guidebook
    [PDF, 9mb]
  • 2014 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-14 Raptor Regulations [PDF]
  • Arizona Residency Requirements [PDF]
NOTE: The above files are PDF's and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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