“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
Arkansas 2021 Bullfrog Season is Underway
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 04/23/21
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Froggers will keep the light trained on their prey, dazzling them much like deer in the headlights, and slowly ease within range of the frog to take a quick stab at it. If their aim is true, the frogger needs to act quickly to pull the frog from the gig and place it in a cooler or mesh sack before it pulls itself loose. Mesh bags and wire fish baskets used by bream anglers come in very handy, as they don’t give the frogs an opportunity to escape like a cooler lid being opened.
If the pond is too deep to maneuver along the bank, a small canoe or jon boat works well with an electric motor or paddle, but it’s best to have at least two in the boat. Giggers in boats can take turns keeping the light focused on the frog and paddling or controlling the trolling motor while the other gigger focuses on making a good stab at his prey. Grabbing frogs by the hand is done much the same way except that it requires you to get much closer.
Hook-and-line frog enthusiasts focus their “fishing” attempts during the day, when frogs are focused on flying insects. Using a long cane pole, anglers dangle a small fly in front of the frog, attempting to fool it into thinking it’s an easy meal. Once the frog takes the bait, the angler snatches it up quickly and adds it to their catch.
Bullfrogs can be found across Arkansas, but the heaviest concentrations usually are found along the many ponds, slow-moving streams and fish farms in the eastern half of the state. It may take some door-knocking and asking for permission, but some small private ponds can prove worth the effort once you break out the gigging gear.
Be sure to scan the bushes along the banks before making an approach on any frog. Plenty of spiders set up shop along the shore’s edge to catch their prey, and the webs can be a pain. Snakes also climb into low-hanging branches of brush along the water’s edge. Many tales of men walking on the water during a frog-gigging trip begin with a snake falling into the boat. While most water snakes are not venomous, it doesn’t make it any less frightening when one plops in the boat next to you. Learning what to look for in identifying a venomous snake can set your mind at ease. The
Cleaning the frogs after a night of gigging is relatively simple. Cut it in half just above the waist, then peel down the skin from the legs with a pair of pliers. Snip off the bottom feet and the legs are ready to be grilled or rolled in your favorite breading and fried. The old quote, “It tastes like chicken,” likely originated with a parent getting their child to eat frog legs for the first time. Anyone who’s enjoyed these treats from the swamp will tell you chicken doesn’t compare to the flavor and texture offered by this treat that’s the ultimate in organic, locally sourced protein.
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. Arkansas 2021 bullfrog season opened April 15 and will run through Dec. 31. It may not come with the fanfare of opening day of deer season, and no one’s ever joined a “gigging camp,” but the men and women willing to put forth some effort can be handsomely rewarded for their “legwork.”
In Arkansas, only bullfrogs may be harvested, and a valid fishing license is required. The limit is 18 frogs per day, measured from noon one day until noon the next day. Bullfrogs may not be sold except by fish farmers with a valid commercial bullfrog permit.
Frogs may be harvested with archery tackle (bows and crossbows), hook-and-line, gig or simply snatching them up by hand. By far the most popular method is to use a 10-foot long pole tipped with a barbed gig point or spring-loaded jaw. Wading along the shallows of a pond, scanning the surface of the water will reveal the glowing eyes of the frogs.