The desert Southwest offers a unique and incredible black bear hunting experience. The landscape these animals live in is unparalleled in beauty and difficulty. CHASE'N THE KING's Arizona black bear guides hunt on the vast and rugged public lands of Central, Northern, Eastern AZ. We specialize in Over-The-Counter Spot-and-Stalk style Arizona black bear hunting. To hunt black bear with us you DO NOT need to apply in the Arizona Big Game Draw, unlike most other species tags are simply purchased prior to hunting. No dogs, no gimmicks, just dedication and expertise to your hunt. Our goal is to provide an exceptional black bear hunting experience with high quality camps, top shelf food, and the most knowledgable Spot-and-Stalk black bear guides in Arizona.
BLACK BEAR HUNT PRICING
5 Days, 1x1, $4000
All black bear hunts are "fully outfitted" with one guide and one hunter for 5 hunt days. A CHASE'N THE KING fully Licensed and permitted Arizona black bear guide, all meals, non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, lodging, field care of game, camp equipment, and all other items necessary for outfitting this hunt will be provided.
Black bear hunters are responsible for their weapon, tag, license, all personal items, and clothing needed for this hunt. Licenses may be purchased through the AZGFD website. Tags may be purchased at any department office or tag retailer.
Improved hunt options include: a dedicated camp cook, additional spotters, and a dedicated videographer.
Fall: Over-The-Counter Arizona Bear Hunts
Arizona is overlooked and underrated for trophy Black Bear hunts. The Southwest is synonymous with extreme desert climate and rugged and rocky landscapes dominated by rock and cacti. With that in mind the state accounts for a large portion of B&C Record Book class bears when directly compared to the rest of North America. Our state is represented by 80+ entries in the Boone and Crockett Club's "Records of North American Big Game 13th edition." In Arizona, the black bear is found in most woodland habitats, including pinyon-juniper, oak woodland, coniferous forest, and chaparral. With this wide range in habitat and distribution, Arizona presents a unique bear hunting experience unlike any other place on earth.
The vast majority of bears taken in Arizona are taken during the Fall OTC seasons. Color phase bears are predominant in Arizona. More than half of the bears we locate in a given year fall into the color phase category. Black bears come in a variety of colors including two-toned, chocolate brown, cinnamon, blonde, and jet black. This makes AZ a premier bear-hunting destination if you are looking for trophy color phase black bear.
Arizona Bear Season Length
The Fall Arizona Black Bear season is separated into two main hunting timeframes: August and October. We offer Fully Outfitted Spot-and-Stalk style Arizona Black Bear hunts. Our 5-day hunts occur in both August and October (Friday-Tuesday). The earlier August season provides warmer temps and long hunt days with high bear activity on early season food sources. The October season makes for cooler weather and the bear move to late season food sources. August and October are the most productive times to hunt Black Bears in AZ.
Hunts with our Arizona Black Bear guides are booked in 5-day increments with the option to add additional days if the season remains open. High harvest rates in the early season generally restrict the hunt to the minimum allowable days per the AZGFD regulations. Arizona Black Bear seasons lengths are dictated by the individual hunt and annual Female Harvest Limits. When a quota is reached in a Game Management Unit, the Black Bear season for that unit will close the following Wednesday at sundown.
Arizona Bear Country
Open units vary greatly between the seasons. Summer hunts in Arizona's Chaparral country can expect temps in the 90s and high humidity levels due to our annual Monsoon Season. The weather is always a factor to be considered in hunting bears in AZ and will dictate much of what we do and how we do it. Be prepared not only for the heat and possible rain but for the rough country itself. Glassing points are generally not that difficult to access, the bears on the other hand are extremely hard to get to. Being in good physical shape for fast paced Spot-and-stalk style hunting is paramount. Hikes are generally not that far distance wise; the hard part is the elevation change!
Rough would be an understatement when describing most of Arizona's hunts. The areas we hunt in lie in a region known as the transition zone, an area between the Colorado Plateau and the low deserts of the valley floors. Mountains and canyons dominate the landscape in areas that range from 3500-7000 feet in elevation. Backcountry hunts are an option for those prepared and physically capable.
Spot and Stalk Bear Hunting
A good rule for hunting bears is that they live where the average hunter does not want to go, but that’s where we are going to pursue them! It is rough, physically demanding country, so be prepared to do a lot of hiking and glassing. Most hunts are preformed using Spot-and-Stalk methods. We utilize glassing points overlooking active Black Bear corridors and feeding areas. After locating a pursuable and suitable Arizona Black Bear we move to within an ethical shooting distance in order to harvest the animal. Days are long in the early season and glassing opportunities may only present themselves in the dusk and dawn hours. During the mid day lulls we move into the higher elevation Ponderosa Pine forest and set up using calls. Predator calls can be an extremely effect way to hunt Arizona Black Bears, especially when daytime activity is low due to weather conditions. Many bears will live and shelter in the thick dense country during the hottest parts of the early season.
Buy an Arizona Bear Tag
Over-The-Counter Black Bear tags are available at any authorized tag dealer. Tag dealers include all Arizona Game and Fish Department offices and most stores with a sporting goods department. Both resident and non-resident hunting licenses may be purchased online through the AZGFD.
Spring: Draw & Over-The-Counter Arizona Bear Hunts
The Spring Draw for Arizona Black Bear hunts are primarily archery-only. These archery draw tags are in some of AZ's most productive central and southeastern units and offer an opportunity to kill a Black Bear with limited pressure from other hunters. Calling, or sitting over water will be the most effective methods utilized. These hunts run from May through July offering a long hunting window.
Spring Over-The-Counter rifle hunts occur in many units in March and April. Another group of more limited OTC rifle hunts encompasses the entire spring and summer time frame from March through July.
For any of the spring and summer Arizona Black Bear hunting opportunities plan on spending many days in the field. Bear activity generally increases steadily into the warmer months as bears come out of the den and seek high calorie food sources. Bear hunting is extremely difficult due to the characteristics of the animals, their feeding habits, and the unique rough terrain they live in.
Arizona does not allow the use of bait on any bear hunt and does not allow the use of dogs prior the August 1st. These hunts are for the hunter looking for a unique challenge.
Arizona Spring Bear Hunting Seasons
Just like the more popular Fall OTC bear hunts, there is a Female Harvest Limit in effect for all Spring hunts. Because of the low Spring Female Harvest Limits it is important to hunt early in the season. However, if the hunt remains open throughout the season and the FHL is not met, it is usually more productive hunting later. Bear activity generally increases with temperature. On most years the sow quota is not met because of the hunt difficulty and the limited tag numbers.
Spring Over-The-Counter non-permit tags for Arizona Black Bear are also available without the need to apply for the Spring draw. The early spring hunts are typically limited-opportunity as bear activity can be extremely low at this time. The OTC hunt units that run later into the summer months are often more productive. As the season progresses into the warmer months bear activity increases drastically as the Black Bear rut kicks in. The Arizona Black Bear rut can occur from the end on April through early August.
Calling for Arizona Bears
Predator calling is an effective Black Bear hunting technique. The Spring hunts coincide with the dropping on elk and deer fawns leaving Black Bears susceptible to "fawn in distress" predator calls. Calling in bears can be intense and close quarters. It's not uncommon to call bears in to under ten yards. Expect to spend 30-45 minutes at each set up while calling bears.
Hunting Arizona Black Bears Over Water
With lower Spring activity levels sitting blinds over frequented water sources is often going to be the most productive technique for archery hunting. The annual monsoon usually brings rain to black bear country in early July. When conditions are still dry bears may hit water sources multiple times a day. The best method for identifying which water source to hunt is the use of trail cameras.
Apply for Spring Arizona Bear Tags
The draw deadline for the 2020 Arizona Spring Big Game Draw is the second Tuesday of October 2020. This includes Black Bear, Turkey, Javelina, and Bison. Results will be made available via your AZGFD Portal Account. Over-The-Counter tags for Spring rifle season are the same tag used for the OTC Fall hunts and may be obtained in the same manor.
BOOKING YOUR BEAR HUNT
The 2020 season awaits! Arizona Black Bear hunts are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you want to hunt the best seasons and areas, get signed up early. Upon booking a 50% deposit is required to hold your upcoming hunt spot. Tags are available Over-The-Counter at any tag retailer in the state of Arizona. For further information on season dates, openings, and pricing contact us at (623) 606-3364 or Email if messaging us below, please specify which species and hunt you are interested in.