“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
TPW Emergency Action in Effect for Laguna Madre Spotted Seatrout
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 04/05/21
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These changes will take effect on April 1 and are valid for up to 120 days, but may be extended another 60 days if warranted. The Laguna Madre encompasses two bay systems, Upper and Lower Laguna Madre. It ranges from south of the JFK causeway near Corpus Christi (including the adjacent beachfronts from Packery Channel) to the Rio Grande river in south Texas. The emergency action will be reevaluated once additional data is gathered by Coastal Fisheries biologists during the spring sampling season. This information will provide a better indication of the freeze impact to fish populations.
“I am confident that our spring sampling will help us get a better picture of the impacts to fish populations since the February fish kill event. In the meantime, the Commission took the action to help conserve the fish we have now and accelerate recovery,” said Coastal Fisheries Division Director Robin Riechers.
Biologists expect this type of management action to result in an increase in population numbers since more mature fish are left in the water to spawn during the spring through summer spawning season. This coupled with spotted seatrout production at TPWD coastal fish hatcheries will accelerate recovery.
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. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission recently took emergency action to change the bag and size limits on spotted seatrout in the Upper and Lower Laguna Madre due to the coastal freeze and subsequent fish kill in Feb. 2021.
The new regulations for spotted seatrout in the bays and beachfronts of the Laguna Madre include:
- a minimum size length of 17 inches
- a maximum size length of 23 inches and;
- no fish over 23 inches may be retained.