Species within this unit include Elk, Antelope, Javelina, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Mule deer
Beginning at Seligman; westerly on AZ Hwy 66 to the Hualapai Indian Reservation; southwest and west along the reservation boundary to AZ Hwy 66; southwest on AZ Hwy 66 to the Hackberry road; south on the Hackberry road to U.S. Hwy 93; south on U.S. Hwy 93 to Cane Springs Wash; easterly along Cane Springs Wash to the Big Sandy River; northerly along the Big Sandy River to Trout Creek; northeast along Trout Creek to the Davis Dam-Prescott power line; southeasterly along the power line to the west boundary of the Prescott National Forest; north and east along the forest boundary to the Seligman-Prescott road (FR 6); northerly on this road to Seligman and AZ Hwy 66; except those portions that are sovereign tribal lands of the Hualapai Indian Tribe.
Overview: The Unit 18A antelope population rose spectacularly in the early 1990s and spiraled downward during the last half of the decade. During the banner years as many as five or six record-book bucks were taken each year. Real estate subdivision is taking a bite out of available hunting area. The Mormon Peaks, Chino Wash, Markham Well Flat, Echeverrias Flat, the Aubrey Valley and Antelope Valley subdivision areas are all being negatively affected. Most areas are still huntable, but extreme caution and knowledge of your location are mandatory. As of summer 2005, fawn survival is again exhibiting an upward trend. If this trend continues, hunting opportunities may increase in the near future.
The most productive hunting strategies are generally glassing and stalking. Pre-season scouting is important to serious antelope hunters. Hunters will learn where to hunt, maybe even for a specific trophy buck, and where not to hunt to avoid potential conflicts with subdivision holdings or restricted private lands.
Areas: Markham Well and Echeverrias Flats, collectively known as the 74 Plains on USGS topographical maps for this area have traditionally been hotspots for big bucks. Some are still here, but numbers are down like elsewhere across the unit. Subdivision development has really increased in this area in recent years. Watch out for houses or other developments. Truxton Flat has given up some good bucks in the recent past and will do so again. This is public land (BLM), where hunting is open to all comers. The Mormon Peaks/Chino Wash areas near Seligman have always been decent in the past. Hunting will soon be more limited here even if antelope numbers improve due to an increase in subdivision activity. As always, know where you are hunting and respect private property developments.
Overview: Black bears are not common in Unit 18A, but they do either live here or travel through on a regular basis. This is not a hot bear unit, but there is an opportunity to harvest a bear or two most years. Several years ago, one lucky hunter who found bear tracks at a dirt tank, returned and sat there on the opening weekend of bear season and harvested a mature bear.
Areas: Check water holes or creek bed areas in the west half of the unit. The Willow Ranch area along Knight Creek and the edge of Truxton Flat along Wright Creek are two of the best places to look. Isolated water holes in the central part of the unit should be checked to see if tracks are present.
Overview: Unit 18A is presently being hunted for elk in combination with Units 15A, 15B, 17A, 17B, 18B, and 19B. Please check the annual hunting regulations for the correct unit combinations by season. Archery, early rifle, and late rifle hunts are included. Tags are issued for "any elk" or for "antlerless elk." "Any elk" tags are legal for the taking of cows, calves, and bulls while "antlerless" tags are legal only for taking cows or calves. Many hunters use "any elk" tags as if they were issued for bulls only and refuse to take cows or calves while hunting for trophy bulls. "Any elk" tags are intended to allow hunters to harvest a cow or calf even if they can't find a bull while at the same time helping to control the elk population. "Antlerless elk" tags are intended to affect population control while allowing hunting opportunity.
Scouting is very important to locate elk in this unit because elk are not evenly distributed. Hilltop glassing and checking waterholes are prime methods for scouting and hunting. Elk may be called during the early seasons.
Areas: Anvil Rock Road, Black Mountain, Denny Ranch, Willow Ranch, the state land portion of the X-1 Ranch, and Truxton Flat areas all hold elk. Fort Rock Ranch and the private land portion of the X bar One Ranch also holds elk, but are closed to public access. Guided hunts are offered on the X Bar One.
Remote real estate subdivisions are common all across Unit 18A. Extreme caution is necessary when choosing a location to hunt. Be respectful of private land developments and the wishes of remote area residents.
As stated above, scouting is mandatory. Elk are located in pockets across the unit and do move from year-to-year. Hunt hard where you find elk or elk sign and be persistent.
Overview: Javelina are relatively plentiful across Unit 18A, but can be difficult to actually get a look at during the February general season. They are much easier to find during the January archery hunt. Many of the herds observed during winter wildlife surveys are located in the higher elevations, frequently in relatively dense Pinyon-Juniper country. Hunters need to pre-season scout areas to learn where javelina are present. Check as many water holes as you can. You will likely find sign around them even in the winter. Set up and hunt nearby. Depending on the vegetation type in the areas you hunt, glassing can be vital to success. Tracking javalina is another method that can get you close to a herd. Sitting on a water hole with plentiful sign can also be productive. Random calling with a predator or Javelina call will sometimes produce a shot. If you don't find sign in any particular area just keep looking.
Areas: Javelina are spread all across Unit 18A from the lower desert country on the west end to the higher Pinyon-Juniper country and grassland fringe on the east side. The Knight Creek drainage is usually good as are the Trout Creek, the Big Sandy, and Wright Creek areas. The Willow Creek drainage contains many herds, some in higher Pinyon-Juniper country as well as along I-40. There are javelina throughout the Cottonwood Cliffs. Cross Mountain, the Juniper Mountains and Black Mountain are all good for javelina. The Denny Ranch area holds many javelina as well. Extreme care should be exercised in picking hunting locations as much of this unit is subdivided and remote housing is common.
Overview: Unit 18A has a healthy mountain lion population. The mule deer population in this unit is in a real slump partly due to a high level of predation by lions, coyotes, and other factors. Any lion harvest here will help reduce mortality to the deer population. It is best to hunt lions on a fresh snow, but those hunters with good dogs can hunt on dry ground as well. Good snow conditions are more rare here than some other areas, especially in the lower elevations. Don't leave home without your lion tag. Sooner or later you will come across a lion. Hunters calling for coyotes and bobcats will occasionally call in lions. Callers who want to call specifically for lions should call from one location for at least 30 minutes to one hour or more. Many lion tracks around a water hole may indicate a nearby kill and the lion may still be near. Call nearby. It would not be uncommon for a hunt for another species to turn into a lion hunt with the location of a heavy amount of fresh lion sign.
Areas: Dedicated mountain lion hunters should hunt wherever and whenever they can. The Truxton Flat/Walkover Mine area, Jolly Road and Juniper Mountains are all worth checking out. Watch out for remote real estate developments.
Overview: Mule deer are found all across Unit 18A with the exception of wide-open grassland areas. Population densities are relatively low. Hunt success is poor. Much of the unit is in remote real estate subdivision with areas in this category increasing yearly. Most of the unit is still huntable, but care must be exercised where one is to hunt. The Fort Rock and the private land portion of the X bar One ranches are closed to public access.
Much of Unit 18A is covered with dense stands of Pinyon and Juniper trees. Glassing is possible in some of the country, but still-hunting (creeping through ‘the cedars’) and sitting at waterholes can also be productive. Mule deer bucks rivaling the Kaibab or the Strip occasionally come out of Unit 18A, but they are few and far between.
Areas: The Truxton Flat-Walkover Mine area in the northwest corner of Unit 18A is mostly public (BLM) land. Deer densities are low, but the area is huntable and a number of bucks come out of this area yearly. State land sections and undeveloped private lands across Unit 18A are generally open to hunters who are careful and mindful of private land developments and ranching operations. The Juniper Mountains, the Nelson area, Mormon Peaks, Black Mountain, Cross Mountain, Willow Ranch and the Cottonwood Cliffs areas all have been good areas to hunt mule deer in the past. Real estate development in these areas has reduced available hunting acreage. Scouting for areas to hunt is almost as important as looking for deer.