Arizona GMU’s 15A & 15B are 2 units that are in my backyard. As you might guess, I have hunted these units a time or two. These units are not on any top units to hunt, but they do hold hunting opportunity. Mule Deer, Elk, Pronghorn & Desert Bighorn Sheep can all be found in these units. Back in the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s you could look at the map & basically expect to be able to hunt ANYWHERE outside of the town of Kingman, but today that’s all changed…
The map on the right will show you how everything that has changed. The green is all subdivided private land & lots of it is checkerboard private & public land. The black represents areas that have access issues & are closed to public access. We have a lot less land open to the public to hunt in these units & it’s similar thesis across the west.
the Average Median Hunter will adapt or die.
The average hunter of the 1970’s probably hunted extremely close to town & didn’t spend a lot of effort or money trying hunt. They probably didn’t have binoculars & they shot their rifle the day before season. This hunter probably found some success or at least probably found several mature animals while just hunting the weekends. Perhaps, they even had a spot all to themselves…
The average hunter today probably scouts & travels an hour or more from their home. They have invested in a set of decent optics & shot their rifle a dozen times before season. They take a week off of work, pull their travel trailer out & hunt for the entire deer season. They have to hunt hard all week, perhaps only to see a few, if any mature animals. Meanwhile, they spent a fair amount of money & time while trying to do so.
The average hunter in 20 years will probably be someone that applies for several states, because they value a quality experience & the wait is too long in their home state. They waited a long time & spent a lot of money, while gearing up for their hunts. They have great optics & other new hunting gear because they really value this long awaited experience. They realize it may be awhile before they have another opportunity to have such a quality hunt.
I believe the term “average hunter” will continue to evolve. Hunting is something you will have to truly have to value in the future & you must adapt to new challenges & obstacles or simply die.