Above: 2017 gohunt.com Article on Arizona OTC deer tags.
The “Gohunt” Effect and Arizona OTC Late Season Archery Deer Tag Sales
By Mountain Pursuit
While the number of hunters in the United States is declining with the corresponding decline in rural America, the interest, media attention and marketing of western state big game hunting has exploded in recent years.
This increased attention and marketing, driven by hunting brands (clothes, weapons), hunting-related internet companies (Onx Maps, GoHunt), and even western state game and fish departments, the “Gohunt” effect after gohunt.com, a subscription-based website created in 2013 to help nonresident do-it-yourself hunters find and apply for big game tags in the western states.
In a previous article we noted the significant increase in nonresident elk tag applications across four western states, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Colorado between 2013 and 2018 and it’s link to the “GoHunt Effect.”
Today we take a narrower look at one specific tag - Arizona Late Season Over-The-Counter (OTC) Archery-only Deer Tags. These late season tags, offered in December and January of each year, were little known until the “GoHunt Effect’s” marketing efforts and media attention kicked in.
Based on records from the Arizona Game & Fish Department, overall Arizona late season OTC archery-only deer tag sales have increased 45% since 2014. The vast majority of the OTC tags are sold to resident Arizonans, but the largest increase by a percentage basis over that time period has been among nonresidents.
Resident OTC late season deer tag sales have increased 39.8% from 2013 to 2018. Nonresident tag sales have increased 143% during that same period.
A quick, google.com search for “Arizona Over The Counter Deer” revealed 22 articles, 10 Podcasts and 5 professionally made youtube movies all on Arizona’s late season OTC archery-only Mule Deer hunting.
DYI Over-The-Counter Arizona Mule Deer, DYI Bowhunter
Where the Mule Deer Are, Part 2, Hunting Report
Arizona’s Best Over-The-Counter Mule Deer Units, Montana Decoy
5 Great Last Minute DYI Hunts, Petersen’s Outdoors
Our Picks for Top Mule Deer Opportunities in 2017, Epic Outdoors
Top 10 Western DYI Hunts, Outdoor Life
January Archery Deer and Javelina Season Open, Payson Roundup
Obtaining a License in Arizona, Tripsavvy.com
No Date Articles
Mule Deer Hunting: Tags, Applications and Budget, Pnuma Outdoors
Coues Deer Information, Huntin Fool
3 Things You Should Know about Arizona Deer Hunting, Antler Canyon Outfitters
OTC Late Archery Combo, Arizona Trophy Hunters International
Top 5 States for Over the Counter, Wide Open Spaces
Over The Counter Coues Deer Opportunities, Sportsmans Warehouse
Where OTC Tags Are, “Where It’s At,” Dialed In Hunter
Public Land Mule Deer, Mule Deer and More Mule Deer, Hunt Talk Podcast
Cactus Conservation, Right to Roam
Arizona Hunt Opportunities You’re Missing Out On, Gritty Bowman
Arizona Coues Deer Hunting, Highlander Hunting Podcast
Arizona Spot & Stalk Mule Deer, John Stallone Podcast
Arizona Mule Deer, John Stallone
Arizona Mule Deer, Epic Outdoors Podcast
DYI Arizona Mule Deer, Interviews with the Hunting Masters Podcast
“Anyone’s Hunt” Arizona Mule Deer, (5 Episodes), Onx Maps
Over-The-Counter Mule Deer Hunting in Arizona, Outdoors International
Public Land, Over the Counter Arizona Mule Deer, The Mountain Project
Mule Deer Hunting in Arizona, Jay Scott Outdoors
Because of the “Gohunt Effect” Mountain Pursuit recommends eliminating all non-resident big game OTC tags in the western states. One issue is the inability of management agencies to manage the nonresident OTC tag sales year to year, and the pervasive and increasing marketing of these tags by the hunting industry.
Looking forward, we’ll research historical OTC nonresident tag sale data for Idaho, Montana and Colorado - all of which offer nonresident OTC tags for various species.
Mountain Pursuit represents the western-state, resident, subsistent hunter and strongly favors resident preference for western state hunting tags. At issue with OTC tags in Arizona and other states is not only wildlife management, but also the hunting experience for resident hunters for hunts heavily marketed to nonresident hunters by the hunting residents.