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Shutdown adding new challenges for Arizona hunters

PHOENIX — Arizona’s fall elk rifle hunting season just began but hunters are finding some new challenges because of the government shutdown.

Steve Clark with the Arizona Elk Society said hunters can still get into Bureau of Land Management and United States Forest Service land, but finding a place to camp is a bit of work.

“Some of the guys who use developed campgrounds are having issues,” he said.

Those campgrounds have been closed because of the shutdown.

Clark said hunting is not permitted on National Park Service land and closure of roads is making it difficult for some hunters to get into their favorite spots.

“Park Service land is locked up. Cones are up and you can’t get past the gates.”

And in some cases, the closures will put a strain on hunters because they will have to pack their elk out at a greater distance than they would usually have to do during hunting season.