“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
Missouri 2021 Regular Spring Turkey Season Opens April 19 - Youth April 10 and 11
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 04/05/21
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“However, some regions of the state, especially north Missouri and counties along the Missouri River in central and east Missouri, saw significant improvements in production during 2020,” Tyl said. “It’s possible that hunters in those areas with better production last summer might see an overall increase in the number of turkeys on the landscape this spring due to an increase in the number of young birds.”
Considering the prospects for the 2021 spring season, hunters who aim to harvest a gobbler that is two-years-old or older should be prepared to put in a bit more effort to be successful this year.
“When gobbler numbers are down, it becomes even more important to spend time scouting for flocks before the start of the season,” Tyl said. “Hunters should get out to their hunting areas as much as possible to listen for birds gobbling at daybreak.”
Tyl noted that hunters should also take the time to learn where turkeys are spending most of their time after they fly down from the roost.
“Use binoculars to spot turkeys feeding in open areas or look for signs of where turkeys have been feeding in the timber,” she said. “This will help hunters be in the right area when the hunting season gets here.”
Although the prospects for this year’s spring season aren’t encouraging, this isn’t the first-time poor turkey production has reduced turkey numbers in Missouri. After reaching a population peak in the early-to-mid 2000s, Missouri’s turkey population experienced four years of poor production from 2007–2010, causing the population to decline. However, Tyl noted that turkey numbers rebounded following several years of improved production.
“In much of the state, we observed improved production during 2011, 2012, and 2014,” said Tyl. “As a result, turkey numbers increased, and hunters generally had better hunting seasons in the years that followed.”
She added, “We are again in a period of lower turkey abundance on a statewide scale driven by poor production in recent years. However, turkey numbers may start to rebound a bit in those regions of the state with improved production in 2020.”
GET MORE INFORMATION
Buy Missouri hunting permits from numerous vendors around the state, online at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, or through the MDC free mobile app -- MO Hunting -- available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.
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.
Missouri turkey hunters can expect this spring season to be about as challenging as the past few spring seasons according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The spring turkey hunting season starts with a youth-only weekend April 10 and 11 followed by the regular spring season April 19 through May 9.
“A great deal of what makes for a good spring turkey season depends on the hatch two years prior because it affects the number of two-year-old gobblers on the landscape,” said MDC Turkey Biologist Reina Tyl. “These young gobblers are not associated with hens as often as older, more dominant birds and are the most likely to respond to hunters’ calls.”
According to MDC, turkey production was generally poor statewide in 2019. Therefore, hunters can expect fewer two-year-old gobblers available for harvest during this year’s spring hunting season.