Arizona Unit 5B ranks # 1 for trophy antelope potential for the 2013 season
In my previous post I listed what I thought were the Top 3 Arizona Pronghorn Units for the 2013 season. I also listed a few "sleeper" units. Those units listed were based on my previous scouting and what I know about the units and what I've been told about the units. Now with this post I'm going to unveil my official rankings for every unit in the state based on statistical research and centered around trophy potential.
Each year in Arizona it seems that a few units are always towards the top of everyones list for trophy antelope, but the units do change from year to year and sometimes quite drastically depending on the unit. I wanted to create a ranking system that would change each year based on the factors that we know to affect horn growth.
These rankings are based on several factors including:
Fawn recruitment and health
These rankings do not take into account being able to access private land or population numbers.
Units like 19A, 19B, 18B, 17B, and 18A have quite a bit of private land. You will either have to pay a trespass fee to hunt, book with an outfitter who has leased land, or simply be SOL if the landowners choose to deny you access. Some of those units do have public land, but you may be hunting alongside others in a confined area if you choose to forego the private land. Unless you're familiar with these units I'd advise against applying for them.
Both publications list 13B and 13A as good units. These units are ranked 16th and 19th on my list.
Eastman's Journal has 15A/B listed as a unit with "excellent" trophy quality. 15A/B is ranked 21st for trophy quality on my list.
The Huntin' Fools Top 4 Units are all very good though my list has Unit 9 ranked only 11th. Personally I like Unit 9 more than that.
The last peculiar thing, at least to me, is my list's ranking of 5A as the 4th best trophy unit. In 2007, 2008, and 2009 I think I would have agreed with that ranking. In 2010 and 2011 the unit took a nosedive because the fawn recruitment was so poor in the years prior. I'm slightly skeptical of this ranking, but I'll diligently scout 5A this year and see if there's any merit to it.
It will be fun to compare my list to what we actually find in the units, what we see taken, and what other hunters say about the units during the 2013 season. If the list is well received I'll be sure to get out the 2014 rankings in time for all of you to use them for your applications.
Arizona's Top Antelope Units for 2013 Ranked by Trophy Potential
Rankings if using statistics before 1998 (should be less accurate as I don't have harvest data before 1998)