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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time hunting unit 28 on a draw. Been hunting the since Friday. Been up and down day mine road north of fort Thomas. Saw one doe. Haven’t heard any shots for a couple days moved over to Haeckel rd been glassing for hours. Loving every minute of it. Not looking for any honey holes. Just looking for some advice. And how everyone’s seasons going. Cannot thank this state enough for this wonderful opportunity. Thank you to everyone that can help.
 

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Haekel sucks. You’re looking for mule deer? Look up water catchments, seen tracks there. I hear all the mule activity is on the opposite end of that mountain close to the NM border, following the Gila River.
I’ve seen deer in the canyons throughout the Black Hills/Old Safford Byway, folks have told me that going further behind Ft. Thomas, up to that range, has some mulies too.
 

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Start with G&F web page and where to hunt. Then go to your unit and see what the game manager has to say about the unit and deer. i hope you were out scouting prior because just driving around and looking won’t get you much.
 
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BTW welcome to AHF.
 

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It’s not a good unit for road hunting. I’ve never seen much while driving.

Get on those aforementioned hills, if I had a tag for your unit I’d spend all my time hiking /exploring the black hills. Lots of valleys, canyons, draws, prime Mule deer territory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Awesome thank you for all the reply’s. I think I might check out over north/west of three way. And yes definitely been out of the pickup and hiking. I just feel like I’m missing them or not looking in the right places. Thank you for everything.
 

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Awesome thank you for all the reply’s. I think I might check out over north/west of three way. And yes definitely been out of the pickup and hiking. I just feel like I’m missing them or not looking in the right places. Thank you for everything.
deer and elk lime shade, almost any time of year. Check north/northwest slopes and pockets with thick brush during the late morning. Check open/feeding areas at the first and last hours. Good luck
 

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Overview: Unit 28 is quite large and covers approximately 2400 square miles. Because of the open terrain, unit 28 typically has a high hunter success.
Areas: The Gila Mountains north and west of Safford have relatively low numbers of mule deer with a few areas of higher concentrations of deer. Some good places to look in the Gila Mountains are Day Mine Canyon, Oliver Knoll, Solomon Pass, Bonita Creek, Turtle Mountain, the Fishooks Wilderness Area and the Diamond Bar Ranch.
The area around Guthrie Peak, between Hwy 191 and the Gila River offers many canyons to hunt mule deer. This area is east of Safford. The BLM has dedicated a road into this area called the Back Country By-way. It can be accessed from Hwy 191 and there are signs to indicate were to turn.
The Whitlock Mountains are another area commonly hunted for mule deer. The Whitlocks are east of Safford and to get there travel east out of Safford on Hwy 70. The mountains are accessible by turning south onto Haekel Road or Hackberry Ranch Road. Haekel Road provides access from the west side of the mountains and Hackberry Ranch Road from the east.
The Peloncillo Mountains run along the east edge of unit 28 from highway 70 south. Hunters should obtain a map and look for such names as Ash Peak, Woods Canyon, Poppy Canyon, Gillespie Canyon, Sands Draw, Tule Wells, Antelope Canyon and McKenzie Ranch. There are many good areas that a BLM map should be obtained and explored for specific access. At present time, most areas are open.
The outlook for the mule deer hunt in unit 28 is good. It is very important that the first time hunter in the unit spend some time scouting. The unit is quite large and some country is hard to hunt or may contain low deer numbers.

White-tailed Deer
Overview:
Unit 28 offers limited whitetail deer hunting. Approximately 10-12 whitetails are taken in Unit 28 each year.
Areas: The majority of whitetails are harvested in the northeastern part of Unit 28, south of Hwy 78. The habitat is very thick with brush and can be difficult to hunt. A few deer are also taken on Turtle Mountain. This area is northeast of Safford and lies between Bonita Creek and lower Eagle Creek north of the Gila River. Four-wheel drive is recommended for this area and depending on the conditions, can be a must. The Fishhook Wilderness Area in the northwest portion of Unit 28, along the San Carlos Reservation, can also hold pockets of whitetail. To be successful on a whitetail hunt it is highly recommended that detailed maps be obtained and that time is spent in the preseason scouting. This will help you become familiar with the area and possibly locate where the deer (bucks) are running.
 
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