Game Management Unit 24A
Species within this unit:
Javelina, Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Elk, Cottontail Rabbit, Tree Squirrel, Quail
Beginning on AZ Hwy 177 in Superior; southeasterly on AZ Hwy 177 to the Gila River; northeasterly along the Gila River to the San Carlos Indian Reservation boundary; easterly, westerly and northerly along the reservation boundary to the Salt River; southwesterly along the Salt River to AZ Hwy 288; southerly on AZ Hwys 288 and 88 to U.S. Hwy 60; southwesterly on U.S. Hwy 60 to AZ Hwy 177.
The major mountain ranges within 24A include the Dripping Springs Mountains and the Mescal Mountains in the southern portion of the unit, the Pinal Mountains south of Globe, the Apache Mountains north of Globe, and the Timber Camp Mountains northeast of Globe. The northern portion of the unit, from the Dripping Springs Road north, is a mix of private property and Tonto National Forest land. The southern portion of the unit is a mix of State Trust Land, BLM land, and private property.
Access through most of Dripping Springs, Horseshoe Bend (Forest Road 219) , and Nugget Mesa (Forest Road 580) is a privilege and therefore can be denied due to the private property sections along the road. Please sign into our AZ Game and Fish Sign in boxes at these locations. The sign in box program is a Landowner Access agreement we utilize to allow recreational users to cross through private property without having to contact the landowner each time for permission. By signing in it allows the landowner and LE officials know who is lawfully accessing the property otherwise individuals who fail to do so are in violation of criminal trespass.
ATTENTION: Large portions of Unit 24A have recently been affected by major wildfires. If hunting these areas look for pockets of unburned habitat as well as new recovery green ups.
Javelina are distributed throughout Unit 24A. However, the elevations with the most concentrations of Javelina are in the lower to mid elevations ranging from 1,500-5,000 feet. Lower Sonoran desert habitat to juniper grassland habitat types hold the most Javelina. When weather patterns are cold, Javelina move relatively late in the day when the weather warms up. They have very little body fat and their pelage does not adequately keep them warm, you may therefore find them bunched up and laying on each other during very cold mornings or not moving around to feed until the sun warms the hillside into late morning. During cold temperatures Javelina may feed throughout the day. During hot weather, Javelina will move early and late in the evening to feed, and may continue moving in the coolness of dark.
A good pair of binoculars with a steady rest or tripod will greatly enhance your chances of a successful Javelina hunt. Scouting for Javelina and locating several different herds will also increase your chances of a successful hunt. Locate springs and water holes and scout a 360-degree circle around that water source of approximately 1.5 – 2 miles from the source. Because Javelina are very territorial, it is a good practice not to hunt the same herd year after year, but to hunt several different herds. This will allow the herds a chance to recuperate especially if several hunters harvested Javelina from the same herd. Special care should be taken to observe the Javelina herds and avoid if possible harvesting sows with young piglets or “Reds”. Most piglets will stay close to their mother’s heels, but can be as far as 20 yards away.
Some Javelina sign is relatively easy to locate. When scouting look for signs of Javelina rooting around various plants, grasses, bushes, and cactus. Javelina will eat prickly pear cactus more during the fall winter months and it will appear very shredded at the bite location. Cattle and rabbits leave more of a clean bite mark on cactus. Javelina will also eat hedgehog cactus and it will appear as if the cactus was laid open and the inside of the cactus was scooped out with a spoon. Also look for Javelina scat, it looks similar to dog scat but dries up quickly, turns white and falls apart. Javelina scat generally brakes up very quickly in the environment and does not last long unlike deer pellets. If it is green, you are right on top of them and the Javelina are using the area. Also check rocky overhangs, caves and under trees where Javelina might bed. During spring and early summer, Javelina will graze on green grasses and new forbs and their sign of rooting or cactus chewing will not be as evident.
Dripping Springs Wash: Turn west/northwest on the dripping springs wash road off of Hwy 77 about 15 miles south of Globe. There are several open desert ridges in this area that lend themselves well to glassing.
Horseshoe Bend: Take the Wheatfield’s exit east of Forest Road 219 to the east off of old Hwy 88 just past the HE Ranch. Forest road 219 junctions with FR 220, which travels to Richmond Basin and FR 223, which leads to Shute Springs. Both these areas have javelina and good open slopes for glassing.
7-Mile Wash: There is less density of javelina in the 7-Mile Wash area in relation to other areas in the unit, however the area still provides fair hunting opportunity. To access this area, go north of Globe on Hwy 77 to Forest Road 303. The low rolling hills on both sides of the road in 7-Mile, all the way to the Salt River can hold javelina.
El Capitan: Forest Roads 1036, 527, and 2670 have great open slopes to glass javelina. Explore both sides of Hwy 77, south of Globe.
Overview: Mule deer are found scattered in the lower elevation areas of 24A, and can also occur with white-tailed deer in this unit, so be sure of your target before you shoot. Much of this area can be easily observed from a high point with a good set of binoculars. Find a spot, sit down and start looking. Like most wildlife, mule deer are often seen in the early mornings or late afternoons. Make sure you get to your spot early and stay late for the best opportunity to spot these deer.
Areas: A popular place to find mule deer is in the 7-Mile Wash Road area (Forest Road 303) at the north end of the Apache Mountains. Glass the lower elevation rolling hills for mule deer. Mule deer can also be found in the Dripping Springs wash area. To access this area one can turn west/northwest off State Route 77 about 15 miles south of Globe onto the Dripping Springs Road. Another good area for mule deer is off the Horseshoe Bend Road (FR 219) on the west side of the Apache Mountains. Take the Wheatfields exit from Hwy 188 north of Globe across Pinal Creek and past the HE Ranch to the 219 Road. Forest Road 219 junctions with FR 220 that travels to Richmond Basin and FR 223 that leads to Shute Springs, both areas have mule deer and good open slopes for glassing. Access to these areas is provided across private property so you must sign in and out as you cross private property. If you plan on hunting the northeast portion of 24A, be aware of the San Carlos Indian Reservation Boundary. Hunting on tribal land is not permitted with an Arizona Game and Fish permit.
Overview: Whitetail deer can be found in all habitat types occurring in Unit 24A, from the semi-desert grassland areas through the ponderosa pine forests in the Pinal Mountains. However, most of the whitetail population occurs in the zones above 3,500 feet in elevation.
Much of this area can be easily observed from a high point with a good set of binoculars. Find a spot, sit down and start looking. Like most wildlife, white-tail deer are often seen in the early mornings or late afternoons. Make sure you get to your spot early and stay late for the best opportunity to spot these deer.
Areas: The Pinal Mountains are a popular location to look for white-tailed deer. The area is rugged and steep and deer are seen primarily in the drainages below the mountain summit and on most slopes of the Pinals, but glassing is difficult on the north side due to thick conifer and chaparral and high hunter concentrations.
The high elevation areas of the Dripping Springs Mountains located south of Globe also provide good opportunity. The Dripping Springs road can be accessed south of Globe off of Hwy 77 across milepost 154. There are many roads that run north and south along the ridges that provide good glassing opportunities. Forest Roads 248 and 899 are two-trackers leading to the north of Dripping Springs road, and both of those will take you to good deer areas. Any of these roads are likely to lead you to whitetail deer. Be aware that mule deer also occur in these areas; so be sure of your target before you shoot.
If hunting the northern portion of the unit, white-tailed deer can be found in the areas of Timber Camp Mountain, Regal Canyon, Phillips Canyon, and Chrysotile Mine Area. Forest Roads 2334, 360 and 304 access these higher elevation grassland and chaparral habitats where white-tailed deer have been increasing in numbers over the past several years.
Another area is off the Horseshoe Bend Road (FR 219) on the west side of the Apache Mountains. Take the Wheatfields exit from Hwy 188 north of Globe across Pinal Creek and past the HE Ranch to the 219 Road. FR 219 junctions with FR 220, which travels to Richmond Basin and FR 223, that leads to Shute Springs. Both these areas have whitetail and good open slopes for glassing. Travel by foot or horseback to access the upper slopes of the Apache Mountains for a better chance at older age class white-tailed buck.
Overview: During the fall hunts, bears range widely in search of acorns, juniper berries, manzanita berries, and prickly pear cactus fruit in order to prepare their bodies for winter. Bears are crepuscular meaning they’re active early morning and late afternoon into the evening. Remember that dogs are not allowed in the spring hunt, but are allowed in the fall. Also, baiting bears is illegal regardless of the season.
Areas: Some scouting options include the Pinal Mountains, Apache Peaks, and Timber Camp Mountain. Areas near Timber Camp include the southern slopes found along F.R. 303 and the northern hills F.R. 304. The different canyons, drainages, creek bottoms, and saddles can provide opportunity in those areas. One access point to Apache Peaks is to take the Wheatfields exist east of Hwy 188 and follow the road until you see Hicks Rd on the east side of the road. Take it and follow it until you pass HE Ranch on the west side of the road. Take the road to the junction of FR 219 and FR 220 (Richmond Basin rd) on the east side of the road. You can follow this road (FR 220) to the south slopes of the Apaches Peaks and glass the slopes, saddles, and drainages.
The season dates are valid only until the female harvest objective is reached, after which time the season closes at sundown on the Wednesday immediately following. Hunters are responsible for checking to see if the hunt is still ongoing before they go afield. Season status must be checked 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, a physical check-in must be done for each bear taken by a Arizona Game & Fish Department qualified employee within 10 days after contacting the Department.
Overview: The mountain lion population in this unit appears to be stable, with lions immigrating and emigrating to and from the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. Hunting with dogs is recommended to increase success. However, if you use a guide be sure they are licensed with the state and that they have the proper permits for guiding on Federal Land.
Areas: Mountain lions are found throughout the unit wherever prey is plentiful. Lions are primarily nocturnal and prey on species such as deer, domestic livestock, javelina, and other small game. Glassing lions will be a challenge in its own due to the rough areas they live in such as rugged canyons and dense ridges. Lion tracks and sign can be located along forest roads and trails, as they seek easy walking when moving from location to location.
Overview: The elk hunt in this unit is a Limited Opportunity hunt and is managed entirely as a Limited Population Management Zone. A large portion of the population in the unit is influenced by immigrating and emigrating elk from the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.
Areas: Due to very low populations in the unit, the best places to consider would be Timber Camp Mountain, Carol Spring Mountain, and the Apache Mountains. To access Timber Camp Mountain and Carol Spring Mountain from Highway 60, head north on the N77/E60 (Show Low Highway) for about 25 miles. Once you top out, Carol Spring Mountain is on the east side of the road and Timber Camp is on the West. To access the Apache Mountains, head north on N77/E60 (Show Low Highway) for about 10 miles and most of the access roads on the west side for a few more miles lead to the base of the Apaches. All of these areas are North/Northeast of Globe. Scouting is highly recommended due to very low numbers of elk.
Overview: Hunters can find cottontails just about anywhere in the unit from the pine forest on the Pinal Mountains to the deserts in the southern portion of the district. However the deserts in the southern portion of the district will have higher densities. The northern area of the district does have rabbits but the dense underbrush may keep the hunter from being successful in his or her attempts to harvest rabbits.
Areas: A couple of suggestions in the desert include the area east of Superior and the area of Drippings Springs should provide the hunter the best chances to take some rabbits home. As always early mornings and late evenings provide the best time to see and harvest rabbits.
Overview: There are very few tree squirrels in Unit 24A. However, . the top of the Pinal Mountains south of Globe supports a small population of Abert’s squirrels, and is the only place where a hunter can find squirrels with any success. There is a small population of Abert’s squirrels in the Pinal Mountains South of Globe. The top of the mountain is the only place where a hunter can find squirrels with any success. Prospective hunters should be aware that the presence of several homes, USFS campgrounds, and mountaintop radio towers with often-occupied buildings can make finding an area to hunt beyond the one-quarter mile limit challenging. Hunters should also be aware of their proximity to the road to avoid shooting towards or across it.However, due to the presence of several homes, USFS campgrounds and mountaintop radio towers with often-occupied buildings, finding an area to hunt beyond the one-quarter mile limit can be challenging.
Prospective hunters should also learn the main road to keep from shooting towards or across a road.
Overview:Unit 24A has a viable population of Gambel’s quail.
Areas: Gambel’s quail can be found anywhere within Unit 24A. Some suggested areas to consider include Drippings Springs south of Globe, Horseshoe Bend North of Globe, and 7-Mile Wash North of Globe. The Dripping Springs area has a high density of cholla cactus, which can be hard on dogs and hunters that have not hunted this type of vegetation before.
Look for quail in canyon bottoms and in areas near springs and waterholes, especially in arid habitat.
Discover Gila County – near Globe and Miami, Arizona
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|Primary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)|
|White Tail Deer||October-December|
|Secondary Game Species/ Hunting Month(s)|
Average # permits in past 5 years
|Month||Avg. Temp||Avg. Rainfall||Avg. Snowfall|
|January||Max 56°/Min 30°||1.48″||1.4″|
|February||Max 60°/Min 33°||1.31″||0.8″|
|March||Max 66°/Min 38°||1.32″||0.6″|
|April||Max 75°/Min 43°||0.61″||0.0″|
|May||Max 84°/Min 50°||0.31″||0.0″|
|June||Max 94°/Min 68°||0.37″||0.0″|
|July||Max 96°/Min 66°||2.53″||0.0″|
|August||Max 93°/Min 65°||2.78″||0.0″|
|September||Max 88°/Min 58°||1.25″||0.0″|
|October||Max 78°/Min 48°||1.11″||0.0″|
|November||Max 65°/Min 37°||1.02″||0.1″|
|December||Max 55°/Min 30°||1.80″||0.9″|
Other Pertinent Climate Information
Climate data are from Globe. At higher elevations in the unit, an average of 2 to 4 inches of snow falls during the months of January, February, and December.
Cities, Roads & Campgrounds
Major Cities and Towns in or Near Game Management Unit and Nearest Gas, Food, and Lodging
Major Highways and Roads Leading To
From the East: U.S. Hwy 70
From the West: State Hwy 88
From the North: U.S. Hwy 70
From the South: U.S. Hwy 60, State Hwy 77
Tonto National Forest administers Sulfide del Ray (elev. 6,000′),10 miles southwest of Globe; Pinal Mountain (elev. 7,500′), 15 miles southwest of Globe, drinking water available May-Nov.; Pioneer Pass (elev. 6,000′), 9 miles south of Globe; Icehouse CCC (elev. 4,000′), 6 miles south of Globe, barrier-free access; and Jones Water (elev. 4,500′), 17 miles northeast of Globe, barrier-free access.
Brief Description of Terrain, Elevation, and Vegetation
Elevation ranges from 2,000′ to 8,000′. Terrain is mountainous and characterized by very steep slopes. Vegetation varies from Sonoran Desert palo verde to mixed conifer, but is primarily thick stands of scrub oak and manzanita.
Scouting is a must in this unit. The steep terrain and thick vegetation make traversing the unit and finding game extremely difficult. The unit is not recommended for inexperienced hunters.
Keep in mind that the suggested areas above are just suggestions about the unit to scout. There are other areas in the unit one can try, but scouting and research is recommended.
Government Agencies and Phone Numbers
Arizona Game and Fish Department, Region VI Mesa Office – 480-981-9400
Tonto National Forest, Globe Ranger District – 928-402-6200
Arizona State Land Department, Phoenix Office – 602-542-4631
Bureau of Land Management, Tucson Office – 520-258-7238