The 2018 elk season brought many of the normal challenges to Arizona trophy elk hunters & guides, but perhaps the biggest challenge was finding big bulls that were minimally impacted by the horrible drought. Arizona bull elk antler growth is critically impacted each year by the amount of precipitation the state receives from January to April. Arizona received minimal precipitation amounts during this critical time period in 2018, thus many of the big bulls did not have the proper nutrition to produce their very best antlers.
After scouting & hunting hard with our select group of clients we were able to overcome these challenges on many of the hunts we guided. Here are some of the quality bulls we took last season, despite the horrible conditions!
After 4 days of hunting with Exclusive Pursuit Outfitters in Arizona’s Unit 15D John Barczak was able to lay his hands on an absolute giant of a desert bighorn ram. John’s willingness to push through some challenging obstacles in order to get into a position to shoot his ram was critical. This ram was located on a mountain with steep edges, unreal rock structures, cliffs & chutes.
Amazingly after the 60 day drying period John’s desert bighorn officially grossed scored 174 0/8″ & net scored 173 1/8″. This was the largest ram taken in unit 15d in over 2 years & it was the largest nelsoni desert bighorn sheep taken in the state of Arizona in 2017!
Our good friend Mark B. drew his dream Arizona Mule Deer tag in Unit 13B in 2016. The EPO crew scouted & hunted harder, which turned up several great strip bucks. After 4 days of hunting hard, they looked over this BIG heavy typical & decided it was time to pull the trigger.