CHANGES TO ARIZONA ARCHERY OTC HUNTS – Arizona provides a wonderful opportunity for archery hunters. Historically, they have provided over-the-counter (OTC) hunts to both residents and non-residents alike. In a recent press release, the Arizona Game and Fish Department announced changes to their OTC archery hunts for 2023.
The newly announced changes will limit OTC hunts for non-residents. The number of archery OTC deer tags will be have a capped percentage of allotted tags in the state. That cap is now set at 10%, which equals 2,890 non-resident OTC deer tags.
These tags will be given at a first-come-first-serve basis, and can only be purchased online. They can be purchased at OtcArcheryDeer.azgfd.gov . Once the quota number of tags have sold, no more tags will be given.
Hunters that are residents of the state of Arizona will have no cap on the number of tags issued. Residents can also obtain their OTC deer tags from any department office across the state.
Other Important Items
All hunters, non-resident or resident, must report their harvest online. There is no need to have the harvest physically checked. The reason for this mandatory reporting is due to the open season areas. Once the quota is met in these open season areas, the unit will be closed until the following August.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department also issued the following bullet points for hunters:
- Season dates for over-the-counter, nonpermit-tag archery deer seasons vary by unit and may be: Aug. 19-Sept. 8, 2022; Dec. 9-31, 2022; and/or Jan. 1-31, 2023. Not all units are open for all time frames; hunters should check the status of harvest limits online (www.azgfd.gov/ArcheryDeerReport). The harvest limits have been reached in some units and these units are closed until the August 2023 season. Archery deer hunters are responsible for checking if their desired hunt unit is still open prior to hunting.
- The bag limit is one deer per calendar year. If a hunter harvests a deer during the over-the-counter archery season, that hunter may not take another deer (archery or general hunts) during that calendar year.
- A physical inspection is not required of a harvested animal taken during the over-the-counter archery deer season.
- AZGFD is strictly enforcing all changes, including failure to report a harvest and hunting in a closed unit.