“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
Texas Confirms Chronic Wasting Disease in Lubbock County
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 03/08/21
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“Although a new CWD discovery is always concerning, it’s important to realize that CWD is still not widespread in Texas,” said John Silovsky, Wildlife Division Director for TPWD. “The years of work and vigilance by our staff and partners and the help of hunters and landowners, continue to be well worth the effort. It remains vital that we keep on task to protect our native deer, which are important for our outdoor heritage and the economy across our state.”
TPWD conducts CWD sampling efforts statewide throughout the year. Quick detection of CWD can help to determine the presence of the disease among herds in a given area and further mitigate the spread. During this sampling season TPWD collected more than 13,000 samples across the state and confirmed CWD in 11 free range mule deer and 5 white-tailed deer, all in previously identified containment or surveillance zones.
CWD was first recognized in 1967 in captive mule deer in Colorado. CWD has also been documented in captive and/or free-ranging deer in 26 states and 3 Canadian provinces.
In Texas, the disease was first discovered in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer along a remote area of the Hueco Mountains near the Texas-New Mexico border, and has since been detected in 213 white-tailed deer, mule deer, red deer and elk in Dallam, El Paso, Hartley, Hudspeth, Kimble, Lavaca, Medina, Uvalde and Val Verde counties, 148 of which are connected to deer breeding facilities and release sites.
CWD is an always fatal neurological disease in deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family, known as "cervids,” that commonly results in altered behavior because of microscopic changes that occur in the brain of affected animals. An animal may carry the disease for years without outward indication, but in the latter stages, signs may include listlessness, lowering of the head, weight loss, repetitive walking in set patterns, and a lack of responsiveness. To date there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk to humans or non-cervids. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend not to consume meat from infected animals.
TPWD and TAHC are analyzing existing data to define containment and surveillance zones and will soon begin reaching out to the Buffalo Springs and Ransom Canyon communities, as well as neighboring landowners, in a public forum to provide awareness and education on CWD, best management practices and how to mitigate this insidious disease.
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. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) recently confirmed Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a free-ranging 8 ½-year-old mule deer in Lubbock County, marking the first positive detection of the disease in the county. In coordination with the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is working to develop a containment & surveillance zone in the area.
The tissue samples were gathered as part of routine deer mortality surveillance and revealed the presence of CWD during testing at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in College Station on Feb. 26th.
Because eradication is thought to be impossible once CWD becomes established in a population, it is imperative that TPWD work with landowners, hunters and other agencies to contain the disease within a limited geographic area and prevent it from spreading further among Texas deer populations.