GUEST AUTHOR: Andrew Gillett
Beginning in 2023 AZ will transition to a harvest threshold model of OTC archery deer. This means that OTC tags will remain available but that each unit will have a set harvest quota. When that quota is reached the unit will be closed. This follows the same model that our bear and lion hunts utilize. This will require AZ to utilize mandatory reporting, something that is likely to be expanded to all species at some point. This should provide better data for the state to utilize when planning seasons, as previously only 20-30% of surveys were completed.
Additionally, the commission has directed the department to explore ways to implement a 10% cap on Non-Resident sales of OTC archery deer tags. In 2020 non-residents made up approximately 11% of the total tag sales, the highest it has ever been. This won’t reduce the tags available to NR by much but will prevent the number of NR archery hunters from continuing to skyrocket.