1. If I have a Big Boquillas ranch permit associated with any of the big game permitted hunts can I also hunt small game or predators?
Yes, if you have any of the permits associated with any of the big game hunts – including a Hunter Assist Permit – you are allowed to take small game, predators and mountain lion as long as all rules and regulations are followed as outlined in the most current AGFD hunting regulations. The only exception would be in the Aubrey Valley – in the pastures designated for that week’s prairie dog hunters, you could not take prairie dogs.
2. Why are you not allowing on the ranch trail cameras, blinds, tree stands or hunting within 100 yards of a water source?
In the past, this has been a major problem affecting the ability of cattle to use our various water sources. Cattle may be domesticated, but still have the same prey instincts as wildlife. The cattle on this ranch are worked mostly on horseback and seeing humans on foot at a watering facility, can and will scare them off from the water. They may leave and have to travel several miles to another water source. Pounds lost are considered value lost. Additionally, this will eliminate hunter conflicts that can ensue over who gets to sit at a particular water. The less human impact around water, the better it is for cattle and wildlife. There is no gray area on this *We do not allow any type of blind, tree stand, surveillance camera anywhere on the ranch, or hunting within 100 yards of a water source.
Just remember that it is the hunters’ responsibility to know, understand and comply with all Ranch Rules in addition to the AGFD Regulations.
3. Why is there no aerial scouting allowed on the ranch?
The ranch, at certain times, uses a helicopter to help gather cattle. We do not want any other low flying aircraft around for obvious safety reasons. Another concern is that cattle that have been gathered by helicopter become conditioned to move when other low flying aircraft get near them. This is a very undesirable situation. Also, our hunting concept is to make the hunting experience on the Boquillas Ranch fair for everyone. By limiting technology, hunters will have to actually “HUNT” like we did 20 or 30 years ago. We think this will be a good thing, especially for the youth hunters by developing skills and ethics as a hunter.
4. I have young children that I would like to bring with me when I am scouting or maybe hunting. Do I have to buy them a hunter assist permit?
No, children under the age of 16 are free.
5. Why are horses, mules, or any equine not allowed on the ranch?
Most of the cattle work done on the ranch is accomplished by horseback, and the ranch has a very large herd of saddle horses. There is significant potential that an outside horse could introduce a contagious disease. The ramifications of this scenario could be disastrous. This is a risk the ranch is unwilling to take.
6. I have an elk down and plan to follow the Ranch Rules, making a “one time” trip, driving off road to retrieve it. What is considered too muddy to drive off road?
We hope that you will respect the land and use good judgment in that decision. An example could be if the vehicle is leaving visible ruts deep enough for water to run and cause erosion, this would be considered too muddy. Just use good judgment.
7. Is target shooting allowed on the ranch?
No. If you are hunting and damage your rifle or scope, you can re-site it in; otherwise, no target shooting is allowed while on the ranch.
8. Why do you have walk-in areas only, and will they change during the hunting season?
The walk-in areas are usually areas where the ranch is gathering large numbers of cattle into the shipping pastures to ship the calves or wean them. The disruption caused by a large number of vehicles, or a gate being left open can result in a negative economic impact. These areas can change depending on where the ranch is working; any change will be updated on this website. In the future we may look at designating some walk-in areas for hunters who prefer this type of hunting.
9. Are all roads open except in the walk-in areas?
Yes, unless otherwise posted. There are numerous wildcat roads that we will be closing at some time. The roads, as we close them, will have a closed sign at their beginning point.
10. What does the rule “cattle have the right-of-way at all times” mean?
It means, you do not disrupt whatever the cattle are doing, whether they are grazing, traveling to and from water, etc. A good example would be: there are many ranch roads that go directly to a livestock watering facility, water troughs, dirt tanks, etc. If the cattle are present and are watering or laying around the watering area, do not stop your vehicle to look for elk tracks, etc. as it will scare the cattle away from the water. Simply slow down, drive by, and leave the cattle undisturbed. Just use good judgment.
11. If I have drawn a unit 10 antelope permit and a late rifle permit for elk, do I have to buy a ranch permit for both hunts?
Yes, you do have to buy a ranch permit for both hunts. If you only have an antelope permit you must exit the ranch 48 hours after that hunt has ended. If you have purchased your late rifle permit for elk at the time of your antelope hunt, you may stay on the ranch and scout for your late elk hunt after the antelope hunt has ended. Each Hunt Permit will include the specific AGFD Hunt Number and Species to Hunt.
12. If I have drawn a unit 10 permit for any of the fall hunts, antelope, elk, or deer, and I purchase a Big Boquillas ranch permit for that hunt, when can I start scouting?
When the ranch opens – August 5th 2022.
13. Why are ATVs and UTVs not allowed on the ranch?
ATVs and UTVs have not been allowed on the ranch for many years. Most of the wildcat roads, on the ranch, are from previous, illegal use of ATVs. Several university research studies have documented that 50 to 60 percent of ATV users will not stay on the roads, even when designated. This is a significant problem in many states. The ranch uses a few UTVs for ranch operations like putting out salt, fence repair, and water line maintenance. These vehicles are exempt under Arizona law as agriculture use.
14. Can I spotlight if I do not have a loaded weapon in my vehicle?
No. There is no spotlighting at any time on the Big Boquillas Ranch.
15. I am a guide, can I buy the outfitters and guides permit to scout the ranch before I book a hunter?
No, you must have a hunter contracted or booked for a specific hunt for antelope, elk, or deer in AGFD game management unit 10, before you can purchase a Commercial Guides and Outfitters permit. After you purchase your permit from the Director of hunting operations-hunt manager you may access the ranch on or after August 5, 2021. The Outfitters and Guides Permit cannot be purchased on this website.
16. I am an archery hunter that would like to hunt the non-permit archery deer hunt in unit 10 that opens August 19, 2022 and closes September 8, 2022 and December 9 – 18, 2022. Can I buy a ranch permit if I want to hunt on the Big Boquillas ranch?
Yes you can. Just purchase the Hunter Permit and adhere to all of the instructions and rules on the permit. In the box where you would otherwise enter your hunt number, simply enter “unit 10, non-permit archery deer”, and the season dates. Note: unit 10 is now subject to harvest limits for archery deer. If AZGFD harvest limit is not met in August/Sept the Ranch will allow the purchase of OTC deer access permits for the first 10 days ( Dec 9 -18) of the December season or until the OTC deer Harvest limit is met whichever comes sooner. After Dec 18 the Ranch is closed for the winter to all recreational access.
17. Can I pick up shed antlers on the ranch?
If you have purchased any of the ranch permits, you can pick up shed antlers incidental to your hunt or while scouting. There are no permits sold specifically for shed antler hunting. Prairie dog hunters must remain in the grassland portion of the Aubrey Valley and are not permitted to access other areas of the Ranch including the Aubrey Cliffs and Robber’s Roost.
18. If I buy the Hunt Permit but I am not sure who, or how many people will be assisting me, what do I list on the permit?
List as many of the people as you can that could be assisting you. We will be cross checking permits for hunters and their hunter’s assistants. Do not let someone that you do not know sign on with you as an assistant. Antlerless elk hunters must identify the recipient of their one (1) complimentary Hunter Assist Permit at the time they purchase their Hunter Permit.
19. Will there be any other recreational use allowed on the ranch such as sightseeing or camping?
No. All access during the time the ranch is open will be for hunting related activities within the structure of the permits that are listed. Written permission must be granted for any other kind of access.
20. If I buy the ranch access permit can I setup a hunt camp on the ranch during my hunt? Can I bring an RV or camp trailer?
Yes, If you have purchased a ranch access permit you may camp on the ranch during your permitted hunt. Yes, RV’s and camp trailers are permitted for camp use during your hunt.
21. Is bighorn sheep hunting allowed on the ranch?
Yes. If a bighorn sheep hunter would like to hunt on the ranch, they must contact the Director of hunting operations-hunt manager and make arrangements. The Hunter access permit cost is $110.
22. While I am on the ranch scouting or hunting and I observe someone without a ranch permit or breaking Ranch Rules, or committing a G&F violation, who do i contact?
Call 1-800-352-0700 (operation Game Thief) or contact ranch personnel, or hunt manager. G&F and Ranch Rule violations are usually easy to identify. If you suspect or know someone is on the ranch without a ranch permit, we want to know who they are. We call them permit poachers. Just remember you have purchased a permit and you are obeying all the rules. The individual that is on the ranch and does not have a permit or not obeying G&F or Ranch Rules is taking away from your hunt and opportunity.
Never confront a violator, but get a good description or picture of the person or persons involved, along with vehicle description and license plate number. We are considering implementing a reward program that would give a individual a free ranch permit the next time they have a permitted hunt on the ranch if they are instrumental in helping us catch and convict a serious and blatant violator.