Safety near the AZ/MX border......

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Makintrax73
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Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by Makintrax73 » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:08 am

Considering booking a stay south of Tucson, by myself, for January. Idea being to hit an area that may have all three species of desert quail nearby. Every once in a while I hear or read about horror stories of drug mules and worse running around the border, truck break ins, etc.. Wonder if any of you that have done it have any thoughts on whether a solo trip 20 miles or so north of the border is pushing the limits?

I did Black Gap in TX a couple years ago, and really never saw another person, but I don't think that area is really amenable to crossing because there are no towns near the border.

I could just as easily book my trip for further north, or even New Mexico. Kinda would like a shot at Mearns.

reba
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by reba » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:16 pm

I refuse to answer a question when I don't know where the OP is from.

Yes it makes a difference on how the question is answered.

Makintrax73
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by Makintrax73 » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:06 pm

Chicago collar counties - rural-ish farming/bedroom community

reba
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by reba » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:38 pm

You should find plenty of quail above Interstates 8 and 10 without the dangers of your concern.

Use a steering wheel lock and leave nothing of value the can be seen through the windows.

A red cattle dog on the front seat really helps!!!

Talk to Border Patrol that are driving the back roads so they know you and your truck and where you are going.

There are Mearns above the Interstates. Look for steep dark canyons with oaks, that you really don't want to climb out of. Javelina hate dogs, so bell your dogs to warn the Javelina.

Warning it is easy to get lost in those canyons.

Stay safe.

Makintrax73
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by Makintrax73 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:11 pm

Thanks for the advice. Maybe I'll look at some of the areas a bit further North.

I do carry an Inreach when hunting alone in wilderness areas. Hopefully I'll never need it!

Makintrax73
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by Makintrax73 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:42 am

I'm on the return leg of a nearly 2 week trip, and figured I'd post up a report:


I ended up renting a cabin in the Sulphur Springs Valley of SE AZ, near Pearce AZ. This has easily been the most frustrating hunting trip I've ever done. I had no issues or concerns with other people. What I did find was extremely tough hunting.

The reason I say frustration is because I saw birds _everywhere_, but almost none in areas I could hunt. Driving down roads to get to public land spots you almost always see a covey near the road _right by someone's house where you aren't allowed to hunt_. So basically I picked a very bad area with way more homes than I expected, and combined with AZ 1/4 Mi rule the birds have sanctuary all over the place, and apparently use it. 7 days of hunting I saw 3 coveys while actually hunting and got shots at 2. I also found many roads on the map going to public lane marked as no tresspass private drives only after I spent a lot of time driving to get there. _Extremely frustrating_ when that happens.

I stopped at Sandy Sanders WMA in OK on the way down and my pointer skinned both paws in an hour and a half stretch, leaving me with a heat sensitive setter my only option most of the trip, except short runs with makeshift boots. After hunting him in 4 states since Sept with no issues I didn't expect that. The next day my setter pointed a single bob at Black Kettle in a short hunt, and I pulled stakes to try to drive around a major winter storm in AZ and NM.

I could not find any of the classic Mearns habitat in the Chiri Mountains that is reputed to be there. The big snow storm on the way in left high elevations in bad shape the whole trip.

Long story short if I had it to do over I would change a lot of things I did. Local guide for a day early might have made a big difference IDK. But I got to spend almost 2 weeks on the road with my buddies, see a few birds, take 2 species of quail, and see some beautiful country I never got to see before. Plus AZ winter weather is nice if you don't expect to hunt all day.

Kind of wish I had a camper. Supposed to be single digits in Chicago area all next week. Would be nice to have just stayed birds or no.

Two other hunters I spoke with reported difficulty finding birds despite reports of high bird pops in AZ this year.

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deseeker
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by deseeker » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:14 am

Sorry to hear your trip didn't turn out as good as you wanted. The good thing is, you weren't at work :D

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Garrison
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by Garrison » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:14 pm

Half the battle is knowing where not to hunt. Sounds like you got that out of the way for next year’s trip.
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Dakotazeb
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by Dakotazeb » Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:08 pm

Talked to a guy that was down in that area last week. Hunted 3 days and never saw a bird. Super dry down there and I think with the extremely hot summer in Arizona that it probably really effected the hatch.
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Makintrax73
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by Makintrax73 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:26 pm

Dakotazeb wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:08 pm
Talked to a guy that was down in that area last week. Hunted 3 days and never saw a bird. Super dry down there and I think with the extremely hot summer in Arizona that it probably really effected the hatch.

I talked to one local hunter, and that was his theory also. After I talked to him I looked at the drought monitor maps from summer. Major, major drought there. So that might be lesson #1 from this trip - rely more on drought maps in picking areas. After that I saw the area by Douglas was very slightly less draughty and managed to find the only big covey I saw the whole trip. Unfortunately on a steep hillside with rocks sharp as razors! :lol:


And yes guys, believe me I am not complaining. I feel very blessed to get to spend 2 weeks on the road with my dogs instead of working.

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birdogg42
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by birdogg42 » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:39 am

I HAD A BUDDY GO TO AZ WITH SOME OF HIS CO WORKERS. 4 GUYS TOTAL.
THEY FOUND BIRDS EVERYWHERE AND HARVESTED AROUND 80 IN 4 DAYS. NOT SURE WHERE THEY WERE BUT HE SENT ME A PIC AND I COULD SEE THE BORDER WALL. SAID IT WAS SOO WORTH THE TRIP.

MIKE

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DonF
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by DonF » Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:37 pm

What in the world is so special abut hunting anything that someone would feel the need to ask a question like that?
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Sharon
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by Sharon » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:45 pm

I don't see anything wrong with the question. He's looking for "an area that may have all three species of desert quail" .
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oldbeek
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Re: Safety near the AZ/MX border......

Post by oldbeek » Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:24 am

Bad hatch for Mearns last year. Monsoon rains didn't develop. I found about 50,000 acres of hunt able BLM ground near Sonita in one day. Cattle water tanks every 1/2 mile or so on the ridges, BUT those oak filled canyons are straight up and down and deep. Makes chucker hunting look easy.

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