7W Early Archery Bull Elk: Hunt Overview
Updated: Jan 17
Game Management Unit 7 West is located Northwest of Flagstaff, between the towns of Williams and Valle. The area encompasses much of the western half of the San Fransisco volcanic field, which contains more than 600 extinct volcanoes. The highest peaks within the unit include Kendrick Peak at 10,425 feet and Sitgreaves Mountain at 9,354 feet. The high peaks are covered in largest burned areas, standing aspen, fir, and pine timber. The surrounding areas are dotted with minor peaks, hills, ridges, and mesas. Between them are broken meadows, relatively flat pine forests, and juniper grasslands.
The unit is bordered to the North by unit 9 and to the west by unit 10, both areas known for producing some of the largest elk to come out of the state. 7 West's high peaks create a wetter environment more so than its more famous neighbors. Unit nine has only one notable peak and it primarily dense juniper flats and grasslands bordering the Grand Canyon National Park. The boundary areas of unit ten are similar. As a result elk travel freely back and forth between units. Particularly during drought years elk are often pulled into 7 West out of 9 and 10 because of the reliable water availability. Elk have been documented numerous time spending their summer months across the highway and relocating into 7 West during the rut.
Relative to other units, early archery elk tag numbers are moderate in 7 West. Pressure and competition from others is limited in many areas despite the incredible ease of access to most spots on easily traveled roads. There are no canyons within the unit to restrict direct routes of travel and the volcanic peaks are dotted around the landscape. The reasonable tag numbers and location help the unit to consistently produce quality elk. It's reputation is somewhat of a "sleeper" despite the fact that 350-380 type bulls are taken from the unit during the early hunts year after year.
For the last five years, 7 West early archery elk, which takes place during the rut, has been a 10 point hunt for residents. For non-residents the maximum bonus point level has climbed to16, as of 2019. 10-16 points depending upon your residency status may sound unattainable for some hunters, however because of the way the draw is structured you could reasonably draw a tag as any point level.
Screaming bulls running surround you, elk passing through the trees on all sides. The 7 West archery elk hunt is a top pick for those wanting to hunt some of the biggest bulls in Arizona. If you've drawn an archery tag or would like more information check out our Arizona elk hunting page.