Wmat Outdoors

White Mountain Apache Tribe

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White Mountain Apache Tribe Fishing

The days are getting longer. The sun is starting to heat things up, the snow is melting, and the creeks are flowing. Animals are stirring, the grass is starting to turn green. The trees sprout new leaves, and everything starts to change colors. Spring is here, and soon spring will melt into summer. It will not be long until everyone is walking around asking each other “is it hot enough for you?”. There are very few saying in the world more annoying than that obvious statement. So do yourself a favor and beat the heat, the crowds, and the annoying questions. Head out to the >White Mountain Apache Tribe, and get a line in the water!

Known for its world class hunting, it is easy for the fishing to be overshadowed. After all people simply do not know about the joys hidden within this jewel. With plenty of options to keep the angler happy and engaged. Personally one of the greatest parts of this region is the trout fishing. Typically trout fishing does require being high up in the hills, where the air and the water is cooler. You see trout love colder water, its why they live at higher elevation. So if you can find trout, you can find shade, cool waters, cool breezes, and a chance to get away from that burning orb in the sky.

The trout fishing is spectacular. With species ranging form the Rainbow, Brooke and brow trout. They can get fairly big sized, and while these are not like fly fishing the Blue Ribbon trout streams of Montana but you will not be able to tell the difference or care when you are out slaying these beautifully colored trout. There is also a species of trout only native to this region in Arizona. They are known as the Apache Trout. The Apache Trout is one of only two trout native to Arizona. Designated as Arizona’s State Fish, the Apache trout was historically found only in the headwaters of the White, Black and Little Colorado rivers above 5,900 feet. Once nearing extinction, Apache Trout has been restored to much of their historic range in the White Mountains after decades of cooperative protection and recovery efforts. Apache Trout have an olive-yellow body, with a yellow or golden belly. They can grow up to 20 inches long, but most grow only to 9 inches because of the smaller streams in which they live.

If the trout fishing is not enough for you, or maybe you would enjoy chasing after another predatory game fish. Talented anglers (or lucky ones) can find small mouth bass to hook into. Hurricane lake offers great lake fishing. In fact the state Record for Apache trout was caught on this very lake by a 9 year old with a bobber and a worm. So if you want to kick back, throw a line in, toss back a few cold beverages and beat the heat…you cannot beat lake fishing. There is an abundance of lakes in the White Mountains, and most of the lakes are restricted to what kinds of watercraft may go on them. Most have banned the used of gas powered motors. Only allowing folks with manual powered boats or electric motor boats. So you won’t have to worry about people water-skiing by and making tons of noise, or hearing the constant sound of boat motors. Fishing for most is about peace and quiet, both of which you will find fishing on these wonderful lakes.

The nearby Salt River also has Catfish opportunities. You can ask 10 people and each one of them will tell you a different kind of fish they like to eat and catch, and some folks are just kitty cat fishing crazy. It is hard to blame theme. These feeders of opportunity like the warm water and become the most active just around dark and into night. So having the chances to do some night angling, out of the heat and the sun is a great option. They are great fighters and will put you and your gear to the test. It is well worth it for these tasty fish!

Be sure to look up one of the many local outfitters to ask the right questions. If you are chasing a particular specifies or just want to see and specific area these people will know. Many may offer guide services if doing it yourself is more than you want to deal with. Going with a guide or outfitter generally puts you in the best place to catch what you want, and also ensures that you are within the laws and regulations of the areas. They can be confusing and a good rule to apply to all regulations involving the outdoors, ask. If you do not know, ask. There are phone numbers and plenty of contact information to make sure you are legal. Guides just take out a lot of the headache and guess work.

Clearly there is more than meets the eye going on at the White Mountain Apache Tribe. The fishing is bigger and better than it gets credit for. Just make sure when you that you ensure that you have your ducks in a row. Paperwork, licenses, and fees. Make sure you pay and cover them all. This is a highly regulated area for the betterment of the tribe, the ecosystem, and for future generations to enjoy. Just remember when on the reservation you are a guest, and act accordingly.

White Mountain Apache Tribe Camping

Spending the entire day fishing can really take it out of you. Sure its fun and relaxing but you are up and about all day. You are on your feet, in the sun, and burning a lot of energy. Perhaps you have been hiking all day, or simply driving around and site seeing. No matter what you will not want to leave the area, least not to sleep. So thankfully the White Mountain Apache Tribe has you covered, with plenty of camping options to suit everyone. Be sure to check out all the opportunities availabprle, there will be something for everyone. Make sure you check the rules and regulations out as well, there are some areas along rivers that require special permits and don’t forget to carry a satellite messenger with you in case of an emergency. They are well worth the effort!

Camping is without a doubt one of the best ways people can spend their time off and away from work and the rat race of life. Spending just a few days outdoors living has a number of positive effects on the mind and body. Some folks like to camp as primitive as possible, pushing themselves and getting as close to nature as possible. To others the idea of camping without satellite TV and internet is a basically a war crime. They need a nice soft bed, but don’t necessarily want to stay in a hotel. They still want to be out “in it” without having to leave behind the 21st century. Both are great examples of how you can camp while staying in this region. Both are available to you at the White Mountain Apache Tribe. So there are no excuses to not visit, RV or Primitive they have a place for you to lay you head at night under a blanket of stars.

There is an ABUNDANCE of campgrounds situated on pristine lakes that give you a tranquil and peaceful view of one of Arizona’s best kept secrets. We are not kidding when we say this is a secret, even during peak season and during Holidays there are vacant campground spots. Horseshoe, Reservation, A-1, Sunrise, Pacheta and Drift Fence Lakes (all are lake Campgrounds) are often have vacancies even during the 4th of July weekend. Reservations to camp are fist come, first serve. There is no way to reserve a place beforehand, so leave early if you want to get the ‘perfect’ spot.

These campgrounds offer services like garbage cans, vault toilets, and a camp host. Camp hosting opportunities are also available for the long-term RV type camper. From Memorial to Labor Day the campgrounds will be under the care of hosts. They will see to refuse pick up, and the cleaning of the bathrooms and other services. They also can help point you in the right direction to the recreational activities available in the area. After Labor Day people are still allowed to camp at the campground, they are just required to pack in and pack out what they bring with them. Taking advantage of the off season camping is a great way to enjoy an even more tranquil experience in an already serene area. After all less campers, means less noise. Less noise means more peace.

If peace if what you are after, there are also opportunities for primitive camping. The White Mountain Apache Tribe defines primitive camping areas as: those remote and secluded areas on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. In Primitive Camping Areas are not serviced, which means there are no toilet or garbage facilities. All campers are required to pack in/pack out all camping and fishing refuse and debris (including trash and human waste). These areas include the Black and Salt River, the entire stretch from the eastern boundary of the reservation to the western boundary. (This is a special permit area). The Bonito Prairie Stock tanks, Big Bonito creek (¼ mile downstream on route T55 to the Black river Confluence. Also a special permit area). Campsites in these areas are not designated and guests must pack in and pack out what they take with them. Leave no trace. Seriously. If people do not follow these rules and regulations these areas will be closed off to camping. These areas often require special permits so make sure you have the right paperwork in order.

Camping in the White Mountain Apache Tribe is probably one of the best parts of being in this area. Say what you will about the hunting, fishing, hiking, and water sports. They are all great in their own right and are probably what people will claim as one of their number one reasons for being in the area. When the sun sets, the moon comes out and the endless blanket of stars is hanging low above you. A distant coyote yips and the crackling of the fire as you relax on the banks of a river, or the beach at the lake, you will know why you came here. It was for this moment in time right here. Camping heals the soul. Come heal at the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Come camp. When you leave you will be able to face the rat race recharged and refreshed. You will have spent time in the wild playing and getting back to who we are as humans. So RV, car camping, pop-up, pull behind campers, backcountry hikers, backpackers and vagabonds of all walks of life! Be SURE to check out the endless camping opportunities at the White Mountain Apache Tribe!

Elk hunting WMAT

People come from ALL over the world to the state of Arizona for the Elk hunting. Boasting some of the largest Boone and Crockett record setting bulls it is no wonder at all for this pilgrimage. This region does not have the predator problems that others have and as such the elk here grow with relative impunity. That is to say they do not have much pressure and therefore they can grow and thrive into massive animals. They also are rugged and well adapted to the mountains where they find their home. There is no better place in a state FULL of great places for Elk, than the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Here you will be able to find exactly the kind of big game trophy Elk hunt in Arizona you have already dreamed of!

The elk in the White Mountain Apache Tribe are managed and protected by the local Native American tribe. The White Mountain Apache pride themselves on what they have accomplished by making fair chase hunting opportunities for non-tribal members that produce trophy Bulls. They are skilled in wildlife management as well as conservation. They manage the numbers of hunters that are allowed in the region and control what animals are taken. They also encourage and take part in their own predator controlling methods to including hunting and trapping. (There is also predator hunting options as well for hunters and they are highly encouraged).

You are not just getting a hunting experience when you go there as well. You are also getting to see pristine wilderness areas almost totally unspoiled by man. See the suns rise of the surrounding peaks as it cuts through the treeline. Spend the day hiking over hill and dell on the quite literal dusty trail of trophy sized bull Elk. The White Mountain region is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled in Arizona. With rivers, valleys, snow capped peaks, and clear blue mountain lakes. Bring a camera or at least a phone that can take pictures. After all there will be plenty to shoot with a camera while you are hunting what you can shoot with your rifle or bow.

There are few ways one can approach Elk hunting with the White Mountain Apache tribe. You can go at it on your own and get tribal permission, pay the licenses and fees. Then you can go on your own to the designated areas and have your own Do-it-yourself, Fair chase Western Elk hunt. This is a bucket list dream for many hunters so hunting in the White Mountain region gives you more opportunity to cash in as successful bucket list hunt. Now this option is a good one for the seasoned and experienced hunter or for someone looking for a challenge. Just because there are a lot of opportunities does not mean you will be successful. That is why they call it hunting.

If success if your game and trophy bull Elk are your aim then you can go with the second option. A guided Trophy hunt. The White Mountain Apache Tribe has hunting guides that will give you a leg up over a do it yourself hunt. After all these native guides have lived in the White Mountains their entire lives and know where the Elk generally are. A guided hunt does not mean a 100% success rate but it does tilt the odds substantially in your favor. The guides will also help you process and carry out your kill, which personally is worth the coin. If you have ever had to make several pack trips up and down the same ridge you start to question a lot of decisions. One of them being “Wish I brought more people with me…” or “I could have paid someone for this…”. This option of course like the Do-it-yourself option is solely dependent on what you the hunter want to experience.

Both of those options can deliver on a bucket list dream of tracking, finding, and bagging a trophy Elk. Now the hunting regulations, fees, and licenses. As well as guide fees and requirements are ever changing. Conservation laws are ever evolving and are fairly flexible so here is the best place to stay up-to-date on what you need to know to legally and ethnically hunt on the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Be sure to reference that page often to keep up to date on the regulations, licenses and fees so you can plan your trip accordingly.

If you go with the guided option most of the headache of “what do I need to do?” will be taken care of for you by local experts that do this every year for folks. Peace of mind comes with a cost but it is well worth it for those that wish. The Do-it-yourself option is a great way to personally challenge yourself and you can still employ help from the White Mountain Apache Tribe who will help ensure you stay in the right direction. They want you to be legal, ethical and successful regardless. So do not discount non-guided services just be aware that the guided hunt will most likely be the easiest for those willing to spend.

If you have chosen to Elk hunt on the White Mountain Apache Tribal lands then you have already made the right choice on where to hunt, there really is no wrong choice on how. Guided, or non-guided the experience is going to be one you refer back to for many years. The sights, sounds, smells, and overall adventure will forever be emblazoned on your memory. That is something you cannot put a price on.

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