Game Management Unit 10
Species within this unit:
Antelope, Bighorn Sheep,Black Bear,Elk, Javelina,Merriam's Turkey,Mountain Lion,Mule Deer,White-tailed Deer
*Note regarding changes to Big Boquillas Ranch access
Hunters, particularly Unit 10 hunt permit-tag holders, should be aware of decisions made by the Big Boquillas Ranch regarding access beginning with the 2013 fall hunting season. These changes include implementation by the ranch operator of new “Ranch Rules” that charge a $60 recreational impact fee for most adults and govern allowable hunter activities. The Ranch Rules went into effect on Aug. 22, 2013. Read more.
Beginning at the junction of AZ Hwy 64 and I-40; westerly on I-40 to Crookton Road (AZ Hwy 66, Exit 139); westerly on AZ Hwy 66 to the Hualapai Indian Reservation boundary; northeasterly along the reservation boundary to the Colorado River; easterly along the Colorado River to Havasu Creek in Cataract Canyon; southeasterly along Havasu Creek and Cataract Creek in Cataract Canyon to Island Tank; easterly on the Island Tank-Valle road to AZ Hwy 64; south on Arizona Hwy. 64 to I-40; except those portions that are sovereign tribal lands of the Havasupai Tribe.
Unit 10 is approximately 51 percent private land, 30 percent state land, and 8 percent National Forest Service, with the remainder being National Park and Indian reservation that is not open to hunting. Maintaining access is critical. Treat all land entered as if it were your own. No cross-country travel, no littering, no leaving gates open, no camping too close to waters, and respect all private ranching operations. Several ranches in Unit 10 are already closed to public access.
The Boquillas Ranch/Diamond A Ranch will be implementing new ranch rules and requirements within the ranch boundaries. Ranch rules and requirements went into effect August 22, 2013. Please visit www.huntbigboranch.com for more information.
The Perrin Ranch (LO Flat) allows access, but has implemented several road closures on the ranch. A map with designated open roads can be found at the sign-in boxes at the access points of the ranch. Access points can be found west of Coxcomb Hill and Espee Road. Within the Perrin Ranch are several designated camping areas and dispersed camping is not permitted.
The Babbitt Ranch (Espee) allows access to hunting. Hunters must follow the ranch rules: do not litter, do not camp ¼ mile from water, stay on roads/trails, keep gates closed, and no trail cameras on private property sections.
The Kaibab National Forest has implemented its Travel Management Rule that designated a system of roads, trails, and areas for motorized use, and to prohibit all motor vehicle use off the designated system. Please visit www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab for more information on the Travel Management Rule.
Access problems are increasing with the proliferation of remote real estate subdivisions. Pay attention to where you are and where development is occurring.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has created a Game Management Unit 10 map to help hunters navigate the unit. The map can be purchased at any Arizona Game and Fish Department Office.
Overview: If you want to hunt a record-book antelope, this is the place. Antelope densities fluctuate from year-to-year based on climatic conditions and the amount of predation exerted upon the herd by the plentiful number of coyotes.
Scouting and heavy-duty glassing are the methods to find big bucks. The ability to crawl for long distances helps. The special auction tag holders and their guides always visit Unit 10 and generally find record-book bucks.
Antelope inhabit the wide-open grasslands all across Unit 10, but even a small grassy opening in the junipers should not be overlooked. Antelope are sometimes found in areas of relatively dense juniper cover. Just keep looking and don't pull the trigger too soon.
Areas: The Coconino Plateau, the north end of Unit 10, is a favorite location for big-buck hunters. This is flat to rolling country with a lot of roads and a lot of roadless areas. It is big country. Dedicated hunters who put in their time will locate mature bucks.
The Bishop Lake Plateau, the Aubrey Valley, Red Lake, and the Williams corner have all produced a number of big bucks. No single area in Unit 10 should be overlooked.
Overview: An overview is exactly what you will have when you hunt desert bighorn sheep in Units 9 or 10. You will most likely be on the rim of Cataract Canyon looking down … a long ways down. Watch that first step.
There is a small permanent population of desert bighorn in the Cataract Canyon area. This is a naturally occurring population and not a transplant.
Hunting sheep in Cataract Canyon is usually not a simple affair. A hunter should walk the rim of the canyon and look down. If sheep are above the rim the hunt could be over quickly. However, if they are below the rim, things get interesting. If they are on the middle bench, the hunt becomes more difficult, but they are still huntable. If the sheep are on the bottom talus slope or the bottom of the canyon, a lot of difficult hiking is in the hunter's future. This is "real" Grand Canyon sheep hunting.
Areas: Sheep are most commonly observed in the northern portion of the hunt area along Cataract Canyon. Driftwood Canyon, Disquiba Canyon, and the main stem of Cataract Canyon itself as far south as the area around the Carlson Pothole catchment are the best locations. Sheep do use the entire canyon area and have been observed all the way south to the Box K area. The Havasupai Reservation is off limits to sheep hunters.
Overview: Black bears are not common in Unit 10, but they do either live here or travel through on a regular basis. It is not terribly uncommon to find a bear track at or near water from late spring through the fall hunting seasons. More bear sign is observed during or immediately following severe drought periods.
Areas: The southeast corner of Unit 10 near Williams close to I-40 is usually the best area, although bear sign has been found around Mount Floyd, Trinity Mountain, Red Lake, and the Aubrey Cliffs.
Overview: Unit 10 is a great elk unit. Trophy quality elk are here and can be impressive. There are usually a few 400-point bulls here in years of good precipitation and range conditions. All you have to do is draw a permit, work hard, and be lucky. Don't shoot the first bull you see, unless it is a real monster. Scouting is important. Respect other hunter's opportunities. Scouting for the early bull hunt during the archery hunt should be as unobtrusive as possible. Someone else's hunt of a lifetime hangs in the balance. Scouting and hunting from hilltop observation points with powerful optics is highly recommended. Unit 10 elk still respond to "calling" and this method of hunting can be as exciting as it gets. Pick out several different elk calls – cow calls and bugles – and practice until you sound like an elk. Instructional videos or cassettes can be helpful, but hearing real elk will also help. Vary your use of different calls and calling sounds to keep the elk on edge. Remember, elk don't usually sound as good as champion elk callers. When a bull is worked up, almost any call will get his attention. Waterhole hunting from blinds or good hiding places can be a good method of hunting elk in the warmer times of the year. Please respect other hunter's hunting blinds and just don't plan on using one you didn't put up. "Blind jumping", similar to "claim jumping" with miners has become a problem in recent years. Hunting antlerless elk can be easy or challenging depending on your luck and existing conditions during your hunt. Again, glassing from good vantage points and watching water can be good ways of locating elk. When elk are located at a distance, aggressive hunting tactics are likely in order. A herd of elk can feed along at a relatively fast rate and can easily out-distance a stalking bow hunter. Rifle hunters have more of an advantage, but one still needs to get close enough for a good shot before the elk feed into cover.
Early-season hunting is usually done during warm weather. Make sure proper care is taken with meat.
Areas: The Kaibab National Forest portion of Unit 10 is a good location to hunt elk. The central part of Unit 10 from Mount Floyd north to Long Point, the Bishop Lake Plateau, the Aubrey Cliffs, Robber's Roost, and Cataract Canyon all hold huntable populations and trophy bulls. The Coconino Plateau holds a good population of elk right out in the open ‘antelope’ country far from the trees. Find an area to your liking and put in your time.
Overview: Unit 10 is not a hot javelina unit, but the population has been growing. Most successful hunters have found and harvested javelina around the unit’s many waterholes. Several of the hunters checked scouted prior to the hunt by driving around and checking for tracks at many of the waterholes.
Areas: Javelina are not easy to locate in Unit 10. There are several herds that use the Aubrey Cliffs, mostly around Chino Point and Rhodes Canyon. There are several herds in the Ash Fork area and along Welsh Road. Javelina have been seen in the Ponderosa pine country near Williams. Other herds are scattered across the unit. Scouting is important for hunting javelina in this unit. Check for tracks at waterholes and look for signs of rooting.
Notice: The fall hunting season is a limited weapon shotgun-shooting shot season only. There is a fall archery-only over-the-counter permit hunt available in the fall.
Overview: Units 8 and 10 are hunted on the same permit both spring and fall. There are also juniors-only limited weapon-shotgun shooting hunts for both seasons, too. An archery-only hunt in the fall is available with an over-the-counter permit tag. Calling, glassing, and sitting at water holes are the preferred methods of hunting turkey in this unit.
Areas: The best turkey hunting in Unit 10 usually takes place in the Ponderosa pine country on the Kaibab National Forest within 5-7 miles of Williams. The only other area where turkeys are located in Unit 10 is in the Ponderosa pine country on the north half of the Aubrey Cliffs north of Pica Camp. Turkey population fluctuates greatly depending on climatic conditions. Hunt the pine stringers and cliffrose hillsides nearby. Glassing is important in this area.
Overview: Unit 10 has a healthy mountain lion population. The mule deer population exhibits signs of a high level of predation by lions and coyotes.
The best time to hunt lions is on fresh snow, but hunters with good dogs can work lions on dry ground as well. Varmint callers have had luck calling in lions from time-to-time. You just have to be in the right place at the right time. Look for lion tracks around waterholes. If a concentration of tracks is found, it is likely there may be a kill nearby. Staking out a waterhole or calling near a kill may net a lion sighting. Never leave home without your lion tag; sooner or later you will run into one.
Areas: All of Unit 10 is worth hunting. The Williams corner and the Aubrey Cliffs areas hold the most mule deer and correspondingly the most lions on a year-round basis. Dedicated lion hunters should also check around Long Point, Black Tanks, Cataract Canyon, Paradise Ridge and many points in between.
Overview: Mule deer occur unit-wide with the exception of wide-open grassland areas. Population densities range from low-to-medium with the higher densities generally occurring in the Williams corner and the Aubrey Cliffs areas.
Glassing, spotting-and-stalking, still hunting, and sitting water are all popular and effective ways to pursue mule deer. Unit 10 is not a trophy unit per se, as is the Kaibab or the Strip, but decent bucks are taken here on a yearly basis. If looking for a larger buck, pass on the smaller ones. Most of the larger bucks checked come from rather dense Pinyon-Juniper country.
Areas: As mentioned above, the Williams corner, including the Kaibab National Forest, and the Aubrey Cliffs areas on the Boquillas Ranch hold the highest mule deer population densities in the unit. These are the best areas to hunt if you want to see deer and have a chance of harvesting one.
Other areas in Unit 10 also hold mule deer, but population densities are generally low and hunting will be more difficult. The area north and west of Round Mountain, Bishop Lake, Long Point, Paradise Ridge, and Cataract Canyon are all in this category.
Mule deer in Unit 10 do not appear to be migratory. These are almost all resident deer. Archery hunting is good in the same areas as discussed for general-season hunts.
Overview: Unit 10 is not a white-tailed deer hotspot. There are a few whitetails scattered across the unit and they are legal game during the general season as well as during archery hunts. Unit 10 is on the fringe of whitetail habitat so I wouldn’t specifically plan a whitetail hunt here.
Areas: There are a few whitetails near the Aubrey Cliffs immediately northwest of Seligman. The mountains, hills, and canyons from Ash Fork Hill (Welsh Road exit I-40) east to Williams hold a few whitetails too.
|Primary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)|
|Secondary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)|
|Month||Avg. Temp||Avg. Rainfall||Avg. Snowfall|
|January||Max 51°/Min 45°||0.97"||3.3"|
|February||Max 55°/Min 47°||0.97"||2.9"|
|March||Max 61°/Min 52°||1.00"||1.8"|
|April||Max 69°/Min 61°||0.52"||0.4"|
|May||Max 78°/Min 70°||0.37"||0.2"|
|June||Max 87°/Min 80°||0.35"||0.0"|
|July||Max 91°/Min 84°||1.82"||0.0"|
|August||Max 88°/Min 81°||2.07"||0.0"|
|September||Max 84°/Min 76°||1.10"||0.0"|
|October||Max 74°/Min 66°||0.71"||0.1"|
|November||Max 62°/Min 55°||0.69"||1.2"|
|December||Max 53°/Min 47°||0.94"||2.8"|
Other Pertinent Climate Information
Most of the unit is accessible throughout the year, but winter storms and sudden summer thunderstorms make a 4-wheel-drive vehicle almost a necessity. Be prepared with extra food, water, gas, and perhaps a second spare tire. Most of the unit is private property that is open to public access, but closed to off-road travel. Please respect private property and help to keep the unit open to public access.
Cities, Roads & Campgrounds
Major Cities and Towns in or Near Game Management Unit and Nearest Gas, Food, and Lodging
Ash Fork, Seligman, Williams, Valle
Major Highways and Roads Leading To
From the East: I-40, U.S. Hwy 180
From the West: I-40, State Hwy 66
From the North: State Hwy 64
From the South: U.S. Hwy 89
Cataract Lake and Kaibab Lake campgrounds, near Williams, managed by the U.S. Forest Service (928-635-2633). Cataract Lake Campground near Williams, managed by Coconino County Parks and Recreation (928-774-5139).
None, but dispersed camping is generally allowed throughout most of the unit. Bring your own water and haul out all of your garbage.
Brief Description of Terrain, Elevation, and Vegetation
The unit is a mix of flat to rolling grassland prairie and rolling to mountainous pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine-Gambel oak habitat types. The Grand Canyon and Cataract Canyon form the unit's truly spectacular northern and northeastern boundaries. Elevations range from less than 2,000' along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon National Park at the unit's north end to more than 7,600' on the Three Sisters just northwest of Williams in the southeastern part of the unit. Elevations run near 5,500' to 7,000' across most of the unit.
Government Agencies and Phone Numbers
Arizona Game and Fish Department, Region III – 928- 692-7700 Kaibab National Forest, Williams Ranger District – 928-635-2633 Arizona State Land Department, Flagstaff – 928-774-1425