Statewide, 38,600 deer tags were authorized-the lowest allocation on record. The low number is a result of long-term drought, adverse habitat changes and increased levels of predation. Late-winter precipitation was good, but it was only the beginning of the long-term recovery necessary to restore deer populations. If you’re looking for trophy mule deer and high success your best bet is Arizona Strip (units 13A/B) and the famed Kaibab Plateau (12A/B). Top Coues units will be 36A/B/C, where success could reach 30 percent. Archery tags can be purchased over the counter. Contact: Arizona Game and Fish Department (602-942-3000; www.azgfd.com).
Deer Forecast 2003