Arizona Elk Antler Growth 2011??? La Nina!!!

Elk & Deer Antler Growth in Arizona is always a HOT TOPIC.  Predicting or examining antler growth is not an exact science, it’s an educated guess. It’s KIND OF LIKE THE WEATHER FORECAST…
November 2010  AZ Drought Monitor
As we look over the most current drought monitor image, we notice Arizona appears to be doing pretty well.  The only real drought issues are going on in the high deserts of the Navajo Nation.
Check-out the link on page 50 in the  2010-11 Outdoorsman’s Resource Guide. 
November 2010 AZ Drought
The image to the left is from last year during the same time period.  So as you can see Arizona is doing pretty dang good.  During the winter of 2009 we experienced El Nino conditions, which lead to record setting snowfall across much of Arizona.  The snowfall helped our drought conditions & antler growth, but it also may have had some negative effects on some elk antler growth. 
A month ago I contacted Jay Scott from Jay Scott Outdoors.  Jay is a well known Arizona Guide & he is an elk guru!  Jay was hunting in a unit near the Mogollon Rim & he said he saw a ton of mature bulls with small back-ends.  I was hunting in a unit in Western Arizona & I saw several bulls with great back-ends.
February 2009 in Alpine, AZ.  DEEP SNOW!!!
the Theory…
Western Arizona is generally a warmer climate than that of Central or Eastern Arizona.  We tend to get less snowfall & the snow generally melts pretty quick.  Temperatures remained very cool throughout Eastern & Central Arizona, which did not allow for an early green up.  During the winter of 2009 we were experiencing El Nino conditions.  Many places from Flagstaff east received RECORD breaking amounts of snowfall.  This snow hung around for months!  Deep snow will cause animals to work harder, thus burning more calories than they would during more normal conditions. 
Get to the point!!!
There was a ton of big bulls taken out of Western Arizona during the 2010 Season, but we haven’t heard of really any huge bulls from areas on the Eastern side of the state. The Arizona Strip has produced some HUGE deer this year. The reports we have been hearing from the Arizona Strip, have been Mule Deer antler growth was off the CHARTS this year!
NOAA is predicting La Nina conditions for Arizona’s 2010-11 Winter. La Nina conditions basically mean, less precipitation & less snowfall.  This is just a prediction, it’s not fact.  So with less snowfall amounts being predicted because of La Nina, 2011 might just be a great year to apply for elk in Units 1, 3A&C, 21-23 or 27.

Can La Nina & El Nino predictions be used as another tool to help us predict antler growth??? 

Two Huge Bulls taken out of Western Arizona during the 2010 Archery Elk Season!

Does El Nino produce HUGE bulls in Western Arizona?
Check out this slide show:  La Nina Arizona 2010

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