From one extreme to the other, it’s time to take advantage of two opportunities. Both Alaska and Arizona should be on your radar this time of year:
Apply For Hunts in Alaska
First, the permit application period for Alaska opened in November. The deadline to apply is December 16, 2019. Whether it’s a fall hunt for moose or caribou in 2020 or a spring black bear hunt for 2021, now is the time to submit your Alaska hunting applications.
If you’re a nonresident, you may not hunt Dall sheep, mountain goat or brown/grizzly bear without the service of a guide. However, Alaska has great opportunities for DIY hunters. Moose, caribou and black bear offer outstanding non-guided hunts.
Here at Caribou Gear and Hunting Gear Outfitters, we’re passionate about DIY hunting in Alaska. Keep an eye out for future seminars and information to begin planning your own Alaska hunting adventure.
Go Hunting in Arizona
Need a break from the freezing cold weather and snow? This December or January, go hunting in Arizona! No applications are required. Arizona offers over-the-counter (OTC) archery tags for Coues deer and Mule deer.
Just because these are OTC tags, doesn’t mean they’re in sub-quality units. In fact, quite the opposite. A rifle tag in these same units would require years of applying. But you can do it on an archery tag anytime. You simply buy a hunting license for the current year and buy your tag over the counter.
December and January are a great time to hunt deer in Arizona because it’s during the rut in the Sonoran desert. That means the big bucks are visible and active. In northern states, when the rut is over and the snow is getting deep, things are just getting fired up in Arizona! You could find yourself hunting in mild weather during the rut for Mule deer and Coues deer.
Gear for the Adventure
If you’re thinking about a Sonoran archery hunt in the next couple months, don’t leave home without the right gear.
Game Bags for Deer
For game bags, consider the Muley Pack from our High Country Series. These are perfect if you’re backpacking and going light. Otherwise, we’d recommend the Magnum Pack for deer-sized game. The larger Magnum Pack includes slightly larger bags for increased air circulation, plus a cape bag, a camp meat bag, and more.
Boots for Rocky Terrain
On a trip to the desert, the thorny, rocky country will chew up and spit out boots that aren’t the highest quality. We’d recommend Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Non-Insulated boots. These boots are tough as nails and will hold up under serious abuse in the rugged desert terrain. They are lightweight and offer a comfortably stiff design that will protect your feet on steep and rocky ground. The waterproof-breathable membrane will keep your feet dry, while the non-insulated design allows your feet to stay comfortable in mild temperatures.
Fuel For the Journey
Stay fueled with a lightweight cook system for the backcountry and hot, calorie-rich meals for hunting hard. We highly recommend Jet Boil Cook Systems that are lightweight and perform in any conditions. Then, add hot water to a great meal from Mountain House or Peak Refuel for a fast option without cleanup or dishes. Between meals, keep your body powered and hydrated with Wilderness Athlete supplements.
By Ryan McSparran
Ryan is an outdoor writer based in Colorado, and is proud to be a part of the team at Hunting Gear Outfitters.