“Our added winter moisture and active calling period led to a very long nesting and hatching season, starting in late April and extending into early summer, with chicks hatching as late as early July,” O’Dell said. “From a population standpoint, we are out of a deficit for the first time since 2001-2002. Quail are starting to pop up in places they haven’t been seen in a while.
“If you’ve never had the chance to experience what Arizona quail hunting built its name on, then this would be the year to get out and enjoy it.”
Meanwhile, hunters should note that the season for Mearns’ quail doesn’t begin until Dec. 4. It’s summer rainfall that plays a key role in nesting success and population numbers of this species. After a spotty and relatively weak monsoon across southern Arizona, these birds are likely to be abundant only in pockets that received sufficient precipitation this summer.
A valid Arizona hunting or combination hunt and fish license is required for all hunters 10 and older. Those hunters under 10 must either have a valid hunting or combination hunt and fish license, or be accompanied by an adult who possesses a valid hunting or combination hunt and fish license. Licenses can be purchased online or at license dealers statewide. A youth combination hunt and fish license (ages 10 to 17) is $5.
The general bag limit is 15 quail per day in the aggregate, of which no more than eight may be Mearns’ quail (when the Mearns’ season opens Dec. 4). The general possession limit is 45 quail in the aggregate after opening day, of which no more than 15 Gambel’s, scaled or California quail in the aggregate may be taken in any one day. After the opening of the Mearns’ season, the 45-quail possession limit may include 24 Mearns’ quail, of which no more than eight may be taken in any one day.
More quail-hunting information can be found on the department’s website at https://www.azgfd.com/Hunting/. Another resource for both new and experienced hunters alike is “An Introduction to Hunting Arizona’s Small Game.” Written by Randall D. Babb, the 196-page, full-color book covers where and how to hunt small game birds (like quail), squirrels, rabbits, ducks and geese. It also includes how to prepare and cook your harvest, with illustrations and recipes. The book can be ordered for $16.95 at www.azgfd.gov/publications.
Publishers Notes: OUT OF STATE HUNTERS, FISHERMEN & OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS; Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, there could be limitations for OUT of STATE hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts to include a 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative. Please check with the State's Department of Natural Resources BEFORE you travel or apply for the 2020 Fall Hunts.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of TBC Press
At its December meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a draft rule amendment that continues the FWC’s work to protect Florida’s deer populations by reducing the risk of chronic wasting disease spreading into the state. The draft rule amendment would prohibit importing or possessing whole carcasses or high-risk parts of deer, elk, moose, caribou and all other species of the deer family originating from any place outside of Florida.
The draft rule would allow people to import into Florida de-boned meat; finished taxidermy mounts; antlers; hides; and skulls, skull caps, and teeth if all soft tissue has been removed. In addition, the draft rule change would allow an exception for deer harvested from a property in Georgia or Alabama if such property is bisected by the Florida state line and is under the same ownership.
Currently, FWC Executive Order 19-41 prohibits importing or possessing whole carcasses and high-risk parts from all members of the deer family from any place outside of Florida except for deer originating in Alabama or Georgia, provided certain requirements are met.
FWC Approves Draft Rule Amendment Related to CWD
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 12/21/20
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Under EO 19-41, people may import into Florida de-boned meat; finished taxidermy mounts; antlers; hides; and skulls, skull caps, and teeth if all soft tissue has been removed.
The FWC has been testing deer for CWD since 2002 and the disease has not been detected in Florida. CWD has been detected in 26 states and three Canadian provinces and is one of the most serious diseases facing state wildlife agencies. This infectious disease of the brain and central nervous system is always fatal for members of the deer family, and there’s no known cure or effective vaccine. Currently, there is no scientific evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans. The abnormal proteins or prions that cause CWD can be transmitted through direct animal-to-animal contact as well as indirectly through contact with the saliva, urine, feces, blood and carcass parts of an infected animal. It can even spread through soil. Leaving CWD infected carcasses or carcass parts on the land can contaminate the soil and the CWD prions are capable of infecting other deer for years. Learn more about CWD.
These draft rule changes are another step in an ongoing effort to reduce the risk of CWD being introduced into or throughout Florida. The FWC implemented its CWD surveillance program in 2002 and in 2005 prohibited importing into Florida whole deer carcasses and high-risk parts from states where CWD has been detected. Importing live members of the deer family was prohibited in 2013 and, in 2019, EO 19-41 prohibited importing or possessing carcasses and high-risk parts of all members of the deer family originating from any place outside of Florida with exceptions. The approved draft rule amendment does not include the permit option to import whole deer or high-risk parts from other properties in Georgia or Alabama.
FWC staff worked with numerous stakeholder groups to develop the proposed rule changes. Stakeholders are invited to provide their input on the draft rule changes throughout the rulemaking process via an online commenting tool at MyFWC.com/Deer. The changes approved today will be brought back to the Commission in February for final consideration.
Publishers Notes: Our country is still battling COVID-19. To avoid the spread of this virus and continue to enjoy outdoor activities, ALL outdoor enthusiasts (man, woman, child) should follow the guidelines set by nps.gov. These guidelines include; social distancing, the Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.