Avid hunters and outdoorspeople often dream of having a private reserve for their own enjoyment and for that of their friends and family. And it’s a dream that can become reality thanks to the availability of large parcels of ranchland available in Northwest Arizona. Teeming with wildlife, and close to other public lands and waters where they can practice their sport, these properties are also surprisingly affordable – the perfect combination.
With no requirement to build and very low ongoing costs, people who want the land for occasional recreational use make up a large number of owners. What brings them joy is the solitude, the expansive views, and the abundant wildlife.
For them, nothing is better than heading out in the RV or loading up their tent and camp kitchen, getting out onto the land and getting in some good hunting, fishing or target practice.
There is no thrill quite like finally sighting your quarry after long, patient waiting or tracking, and finally realizing you have a good shot. That moment brings together all your planning, practice, preparation and skill in one instant of anticipation and action.
With your own private hunting ground, you can hunt how and when you want within season and with an appropriate license.
The wildlife of northwestern Arizona includes pronghorn (commonly called antelope), mule deer, elk, and javelina (which resemble wild pigs). Bighorn sheep and mountain lion roam the higher altitudes. Upland bird hunters can find grouse and dove, with pheasant and quail in some areas.
If fishing is your sport of choice, there are plenty of places to get a line wet in northwest Arizona. While most of the ranchland available doesn’t have permanent water features, owners visiting their land are only a short drive from a range of popular fishing areas.
The Colorado River borders the northwestern corner of Arizona, where there are a number of lakes for fishing and recreation including Lake Havasu, Lake Mohave and Lake Mead. Here anglers can catch largemouth bass, striped bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish.
The crackling of a campfire. The clear, bright stars overhead. The sounds of wind and wildlife. Camping in these remote areas can be one of the most enjoyable benefits of visiting your property. The skies at night are so dark, the horizons so distant, and the silence so absolute that no other camping experience compares.
It’s a landscape that rewards those who are experienced and prepared. As a landowner, you can choose and prepare your favorite campsite however you like. Some people even build small structures to store some of the equipment they like to use. RVs and campers allow visitors who want to enjoy some of the comforts of home to get into the wild, while tent camping lets owners hike into even more remote areas of their property.
Just be sure to be prepared – visitors need to bring all of their water in with them, be prepared for the expected weather and have supplies and gear to sustain them in the case of the unexpected – there may not be anyone else for many miles around and communications can be challenging so far from the nearest town. But the views, the peacefulness, the wildlife and the chance to enjoy your land on your terms make camping on your own land worth the effort.
The beauty of hunting and camping on your own land is obvious – it’s your private place in the world. For hunters, there still are licenses and permits required to help your state manage its wildlife and ensure safe, sustainable hunting for generations.
To learn more about hunting and fishing opportunities in Arizona, visit the website of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.