By MICHAEL GRAHAM
For the Tucson Citizen
For most deer hunters, preparation for tomorrow’s opening day of the general hunt is in the bag.
Rifles have been sighted in, backpacks packed and drawn units scoured for signs of deer.
But for those procrastinators who failed to scout their drawn units, or for those who scouted and didn’t find signs of deer, Jesse Lim of Saguaro Guide Services offers the following advice for units in southern Arizona:
- Unit 33 – Probably one of the best areas for trophy whitetail deer. Best hunts in the Santa Catalina Mountains are in Beuhman Canyon, Oracle Ridge and Peppersauce Canyon. In the Rincon Mountains, try the Chiva Falls area and Happy Valley. For mule deer, hunt the Redington Pass area.
- Unit 32 – In the Galiuro Mountains, hunt near Gamez Road and Wildcat Canyon areas for whitetail deer. In the Winchester Mountain range, Reiley Canyon is a good spot for whitetails.
- Unit 30A – Excellent whitetail deer hunting in the Dos Cabezas, Chiricahua, Swisshelm and Pedregosa mountains.
- Unit 29 – For whitetail deer, hunt the Chiricahua Mountains near the towns of Portal and Paradise. Mule deer can be found in the lower country.
- Unit 30B – This is excellent mule deer country, especially in the flats of Mule Mountain north of Bisbee. Also, hunt the flats at the base of the Dragoon Mountains and the rolling hills east of Tombstone. Another good location is west of Tombstone near the town of Fairbanks. Be sure to concentrate on the lower ravines.
- Unit 35A – Good whitetail and mule deer can be found in the San Rafael Valley. Also, hunt south of Sonoita in the lower mountain ranges for mule deer. Canelo Pass, northwest of Parker Canyon Lake, is an excellent place to hunt.
- Unit 35B – This unit is whitetail deer country. Outside the towns of Harshaw and Duquesne is very good. Don’t overlook the Patagonia Mountains, south of Patagonia.
- Unit 34B – Good whitetail and mule deer hunting west of Benson near Kartchner Canyon. Apache Canyon on the west side of the Whetstone Mountains is a good area, but be prepared for some serious hikes. The lower Empire Ranch area off Marsh Station Road is a good mule deer area, as are the Cienega Creek and Davidson Canyon areas.
- Unit 34A – Mount Fagan is an excellent area for whitetail deer, as are Gardner, Josephine and Box canyons. Good concentrations of mule deer can be found in the flats of Rosemont Junction and the lower section just north of Madera Canyon.
- Unit 36B – Excellent whitetail deer hunts in the Atascosa and Tumacacori mountain ranges, as well as the Rio Rico area and south of Ruby. The northeastern section of the unit is good for mule deer.
- Unit 36A – The higher elevations of the Cerro Colorado Mountains are excellent for whitetail deer, as well as near the McGee Ranch settlement.
- Unit 36C – Hunt the base of Baboquivari Mountains for mule deer. Good access through King Anvil Ranch and Elkhorn Ranch Road.