Many of you know I live in Arizona and some of you know I have been following precipitation for over a decade, with regards to it’s influences on antler growth and elk rut timing. I am certain precipitation has huge impacts on both and we will publish some hunting unit/area precipitation data for Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico & Utah soon.
The first 30 days of the 2014 Monsoon have flown by!!! Some areas like 44B and 18A have received 200-300% of their normal precipitation, while other units such as 15C and 16A have seen 5%. This is very typical of the summer monsoon pattern.
Arizona Elk Units & Rut Timing!
Most of the elk units are running from 75-150%, but I would expect to see the soonest rutting activity in Unit 27 & Unit 1. The Hualapai Nation, White Mountain Apache & San Carlos Apache should all be going before most of the state hunting units. We were in a big hole going into the summer, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the elk rut timing and intensity play out.
Arizona Strip Deer & Kaibab Units
The Arizona Mule Deer Units North of the Grand Canyon tend to follow the Arizona Elk Antler Growth timing. Typically, the Monsoon comes too late to have direct influences on their antler growth, but this year the initial storms hit sooner. It definitely couldn’t have hurt their antler growth and the Strip seems to producing bigger population of better bucks this year.
Arizona Mule Deer & Coues Deer Units South of the Grand Canyon
Unlike, their Northern relatives, the deer South of the Ditch benefit greatly from a strong early monsoon, with regards to antler growth. The areas with the earliest and heaviest rains will help the mature bucks develop bigger antlers for the 2014 season. This doesn’t mean the drought stricken areas won’t produce big bucks, it just means they probably won’t really hit their MAX antler growth potential.
Hopefully, this map answers some questions and helps save you a little scouting time.