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Anyone’s Hunt: Arizona Mule Deer + Packing List

Hunting photographer Steven Drake talks “Anyone’s Hunt” and breaks down his gear list for the Arizona mule deer hunt.

“Anyone’s Hunt” shares lesser-known, over-the-counter hunting opportunities available to the DIY hunter. In this Arizona mule deer hunt, Connor Gabbott, Jordan Gill, Zach Sandau and Steven Drake document their experience hunting a late archery deer season. From gear information and packing up to managing logistics in the desert, follow along as the team chases mule deer in the unforgiving desert terrain.

The series chronicles an archery hunt for Arizona mule deer, with a season starting mid-December and running through the end of January. The majority of the state is public land, and the over-the-counter deer tag is good for almost the entire state. In short, the hunting opportunities are endless!

Man watches deer through phone scope while hunting in Arizona.

For a non-resident an Arizona general hunting license is $160 and a deer tag is $300. To keep costs down the team truck camped, sleeping on cots under the stars and keeping a running tally of deer sighted on the dusty back window of a truck topper. With clear weather and mild temps ranging from 30F at night to 60F during the day, Arizona proved to be a great getaway from the snowy northern climes of Montana.

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Steven has shared his gear list for the hunt, answering one of the most popular questions an outdoor photographer receives: What do you pack? Give it a read, and then leave us a comment and let us know what always makes it into your pack before a trip.

Hunter marking hash marks on the back of a dirty truck while hunting in Arizona.
Hunter in camo excited while looking through scope, hunting in Arizona for mule deer.

Jess McGlothlin

Before taking the role of onX Communications Writer, Jess McGlothlin worked as a freelance photographer and writer in the outdoor and fly-fishing industries. While on assignment in the past few years she’s learned how to throw spears at coconuts in French Polynesia, dodge saltwater crocodiles in Cuba, stand-up paddleboard down Peruvian Amazon tributaries and eat all manner of unidentifiable food.