To legally hunt in Arizona all hunters must have an active and up-to-date hunting license. Licenses can be obtained online at the Arizona Game and Fish Website, or from participating license dealers (Walmart, Sportsmans Warehouse, Cabelas). Be sure to buy your AZ hunting license prior to applying for tags/hunts and in order to draw a tag during the open application periods. You will also need a current AZ hunting license to purchase an over-the-counter (OTC) tag. OTC Deer Tags are available online when they go on sale In 2023 November Second was the day to purchase your tag. Contact us for more details.
A hunters education certificate is not required to hunt in Arizona but it is HIGHLY recommended. Not only do we recommend it for safety purposes but hunters that have completed an AZ hunters education class also receive a permanent bonus point towards tag draws for all species in the state.
If you encounter any difficulties or have any questions regarding the process, please feel free to contact JP Vicente at 928-925-9395 or use our contact form and we can provide information and will help walk you through the entire AZ license, application, and draw process.
Almost ALL big game hunts in AZ require the hunter to apply for hunts during the specific open application periods for each species and then draw a tag through the AZGFD lottery system. Whether you are looking for a TROPHY archery/rifle mule deer hunt, trophy elk hunt, antelope hunt, or ANY sheep or bison hunt, then you will need to apply for the draw and be awarded a tag through the lottery system in Arizona. However, Arizona does offer OTC (over-the-counter) hunting opportunities for mule deer, coues deer, and elk.
Arizona's tag drawing system works with accumulating preference points. For each year you aren’t drawn for an individual species, you will accrue a “bonus point” and the more bonus points you have, the better your chances are that you will draw a tag. The specific species and tags you apply for will determine the level of difficulty and amount of time it will take to draw. Some tags can take 15-20+ years of building bonus points in order to eventually draw. Remember, you must apply for both the license and the tags prior to the deadline for each species. NO EXCEPTIONS.
To apply for a draw hunt in Arizona visit AZGFD and click on “Apply for a Draw.”
The initial cost to the online applicant is a nonrefundable application fee ($13 for Arizona residents, $15 for nonresidents) and the license fee ($37 for resident, $160 for non-resident). License fees are only if the hunter doesn’t already have an active AZ license, and they are nonrefundable whether or not an online applicant is drawn to receive a hunt permit tag. The cost of the hunt permit tag will only be charged if the online applicant is drawn for that species in the lottery.
Tag prices vary per species and resident or non-resident status. (See AZ Hunting Regulations for updated pricing)
Arizona is unique in that it offers some of the nation's top archery hunts for trophy mule deer with over-the-counter (OTC) tags for both resident and nonresident hunters. Tags will be on sale the first part of November.
If you hunt with a bow, you can purchase Mule Deer & Coues Deer licenses and tags “over-the-counter", which means no application is needed and no tag draw is required. Simply buy the tag at any participating tag distributor (Walmart, Sportsman’s Warehouse, AZGFD offices, etc.) and hunters are fully legal to hunt in any open unit during any of the open seasons for archery hunts. (Be sure to check AZGFD rules/regs to determine open units and open dates)
Arizona OTC hunts take place the 3rd week in August through the 2nd week in September, and mid-December through January 31st. January hunts offer ideal weather conditions for hunting rutting trophy muleys!
All through in January most units are open statewide and in some areas, you can hunt Coues deer and Mule deer on the same tag. The cost for a nonresident OTC mule deer tag in Arizona is $160 for the hunting license and $300 for the OTC tag. Prices may fluctuate slightly but this is one of the best-priced mule deer hunting opportunities in the nation!
Arizona recently opened up previously draw-only units to over-the-counter elk hunts. What does this mean? You can now hunt elk with any weapon in Arizona, all with an OTC tag. Big Chino Outfitters is excited to be offering these guided AZ OTC elk hunts on over 90,000 acres of private land in great elk hunting units.
Getting your OTC elk tag is similar to OTC deer tags, except that the elk tags allow you to use any weapon instead of being limited to archery-only. If you have questions about these hunts or the seasons and tags, visit our OTC elk hunting page or contact us.
2024 Arizona Draw Deadline
The 2024 fall hunt draw deadlines for AZ February 6, 2024 Midnight Elk -0Antelope- June 4, 2024 Sheep, Deer, Fall Bison.
Arizona Fish & Game will accept tag applications for big game as soon as the applicable year’s hunt information is available on the Department’s Web site (www.azgfd.gov), or from any Game and Fish Department office or license dealer, unless otherwise noted in the Hunt Permit-tag Application Schedule.
Big Chino Outfitters Hunts the following Units in Arizona.
Early and late season units- 1,3a/3c,5a/5b,6a, 7w/7e,8,9,10,23,27
Limited opportunity - 17,18,19,20 -Zeniff Hunt Area 3A - Dry Lake Hunt Area 4B
Early and late season units-3A-3C-3B-7-8-9-10-12A/12B-13A/13b-17-18-19-20-40-41-42-43-44
Early and late seasons units - 6-8-21-23-27-28-29-30-31-32-34-35-36