“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
Reminder: CDFW Deadline to Apply for the 2021 Big Game Drawing is June 2
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 05/11/21
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Applications for premium deer, elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep tags must be submitted through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) online, at any CDFW License Sales Offices and License Agents or by telephone sales at (800) 565 - 1458. To qualify for the big game drawing, the application must be submitted and the sales transaction completed before midnight on June 2 of each license year.
In addition to an annual hunting license, tags are required to hunt big game species (deer, bear, wild pig, elk, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep).
To hunt big game (except for bighorn sheep), a hunter must be at least 12 years of age. For bighorn sheep, a hunter must be 16 years of age.
A person can obtain no more than:
- Bighorn Sheep – one tag per lifetime (excludes auction tags).
- Deer – two tags per year. Refer to the Big Game Hunting Digest for restrictions.
- Elk – one tag per year (excludes Private Lands Management Area tags).
- Pronghorn Antelope - one per year (excludes Private Lands Management Area tags).
- Wild Pig – there is no limit on the number of pig tags a person may purchase.
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.
California hunters can now purchase hunting licenses for the 2020-21 season, as well as apply for the Big Game Drawing online. Californians have many options to harvest wild protein, and at this time, the current COVID-19 pandemic is not expected to lead to the closure or delay of any hunting seasons.
Printed copies will be mailed to all those who applied to last year’s Big Game Drawing. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website is the most reliable source for the Big Game Digest.