“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
Apply for CDFW Special 2021 Golden Opportunity & Open Zone Deer Tags by June 2
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 05/03/21
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“The hunting public truly has some amazing opportunities this year to win a dream hunt for the price of just a few dollars,” said Stafford Lehr, CDFW Deputy Director for Wildlife and Fisheries. “COVID-19 disrupted the operations of many of the conservation organizations we partner with to help sell these tags and raise critical funds for wildlife. As a result, we have some very special deer hunts to add and offer up through our fundraising tag raffle this year.”
In 2019, the auction of five Golden Opportunity deer tags collectively raised $241,000 for conservation. The auction of five Open Zone deer tags in 2019 generated a combined $50,000.
Applications for both the Golden Opportunity and Open Zone Deer Tags are on sale now through June 2, 2021, and are available at CDFW’s Online License Sales and Services website and at retail agents statewide that sell California hunting and fishing licenses.
The tags are available to both California residents and nonresidents. There are no limits on application purchases. Winners are awarded the tags at no additional cost. Preference points do not apply. They are neither lost nor gained as part of the drawing.
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.
For the first-time ever, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will raffle off two “Golden Opportunity” fundraising deer tags to the general hunting public. These rare tags allow hunters to take any legal buck by any legal means anywhere in the state beginning July 10, 2021, through the end of the year.
CDFW’s Golden Opportunity tags typically are sold at auction by partnering, nonprofit wildlife conservation organizations to raise funds for big game management, habitat and scientific research in California. In 2019, Golden Opportunity tags brought an average price of $48,200 each. Two of these once-in-a-lifetime tags are now available to the hunting public through CDFW’s 2021 Big Game Drawing for a $7.05 application fee.
Along with the Golden Opportunity tags, CDFW is also announcing additional chances to win a coveted “Open Zone Deer Tag.” These fundraising tags allow hunters to hunt in any deer zone of their choice during its open season and are likewise mostly sold at auction. Four Open Zone Deer Tags will be available to hunters in CDFW’s 2021 Big Game Drawing for a $7.05 application fee. This is an increase from one Open Zone Deer Tag offered in the drawing in previous years.