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Unit 36 A/B/C Rifle Coues Whitetail: Hunt Overview

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Unit 36A: Desert valleys as low as 2,500′ are dominated by Sonoran Desert grassland and upper Sonoran desert scrub. The 6,200′ summit of Keystone Peak in the Sierrita Mountains is the highest in the unit. The upper reaches of the Sierrita Mountain range is oak woodland and chaparral habitat. In the Cerro Colorado and Las Guijas mountains, along the southern edge of the unit, is a mix of ocotillo, mesquite, oaks, and many cacti. Coues Whitetail deer live on every set of mountains and foothills in the 36A, and in lower densities exist throughout the flats between ranges.

Unit 36B: The largest concentrations of Coues deer in 36B are located in the Atascosa, Pajarito, San Luis, and Tumacacori mountains in oak grassland and canyons. Dense ocotillo thickets, mesquite, and cat claw shelter bucks. Atascosa Peak at 6200' is the highest point and the rolling mesquite hill country descends to around 3000'. As with most whitetail areas, deer favor steep terrain with good access to water and protected locations. The Pajarita Wilderness lies along a segment of Nation Forest on the US-Mexico border.

Unit 36C: In this unit, most Coues Whitetail favor the western edge, along the unit boundary in the Baboquivari Mountains. The Altar Valley is predominately arid mesquite and grassland as low as 3000'. Drainages and ridges ascending towards to top of the Baboquivaris transition into dense ocotillo and pockets of oaks on northern exposures. The Tohono Oʼodham tribal lands border the unit to the west, along the crest of the south to north trending mountains. The Baboquivari Wilderness encompassed the area northeast of the summit on BLM controlled land.

*Check out our Deer Hunt Application Picks page for info on our preferred draw choices for the year.*

What does it take to draw a rifle unit 36 Coues Deer tag?

Draw odds for the four rifle seasons are similar for units A, B, and C. The late December timeframe is the only hunt requiring multiple Bonus Points to draw. First, Second, and Third season rifle tags are frequently drawn with no accrued points even for non-residents.

1st season October "Opportunity": Residents 0-3 BPs Non-Residents 0-3 BPs

2nd season November "Opportunity": Residents 0-3 BPs Non-Residents 0-3 BPs

3rd season November "Opportunity": Residents 0-3 BPs Non-Residents 0-3 BPs

4th season December "Mid-Tier": Residents 5-7 BPs Non-Residents 5-9 BPs

How do the 36s Coues hunts compare to others?

The Southern Arizona units offers some of the highest Coues Whitetail densities in the state. As a result, they have ample tag numbers and relatively easy to acquire tags. All of the unit 36 hunts provide a great opportunity to chase Coues Deer without having to wait long for a tag and have high success rates. If you're in it for the experience, of seeing dozens upon dozens of deer and hunting moderate country, 36 is a great option. With high tag numbers comes greater public land hunting competition. This is consideration is balanced out by the overall quantity of deer and real estate to hunt. December seasons have dramatically less permits and more frequently allow for the hunting of better quality bucks.

A, B, or C?

From a deer quality standpoint, the sub-units are all very similar. The major differences come down to access, terrain, and animal density distribution.

36B has the highest whitetail density and the largest percentage of ideal mountain whitetail habitat. Most of 36B is within the Coronado National Forest or the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge both of which are open to public access and hunting. In our opinion B is most preferred.

36A has more arid whitetail habitat and isolated mountainous regions. Coues here frequently occupy traditional Mule Deer habitat in the grass and mesquite rolling washes and flats. State Trust Land, BLM, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, and many accessible private lands comprised unit 36A. There is some restricted access around the mines in the eastern portion of the unit. A is second in our ranking.

36C has he most restricted access and smallest percentage of coues habitat. Most of the ideal terrain for whitetail is limited tot the western edge, up to the unit boundary along the reservation. Accessing areas on foot is nearly a requirement if you want to get into the best deer spots and away from hunters, true in all units this is especially significant in 36C. Of the 36s, C is third.

The Arizona Deer Draw Deadline is always the second Tuesday in June. You can't hunt if you don't apply! To book a hunt or for more information, contact Dillon Currie at (623) 606-3364 or


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