“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.

Finally, hunters should check out O’Dell’s techniques for field-dressing quail at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gRwZAcWzzk.   


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
North America Sportshows
Idaho 2021 Sage Grouse and Sandhill Crane Tags on Sale Aug 1st

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 07/29/21
The Backcountry Press
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News # 14433
Idaho hunters wanting to hunt sage grouse or sandhill cranes can buy tags starting at 10 a.m. MDT on Aug. 1, and both will be available in limited numbers on a first-come, first served basis. Hunters can buy tags at Fish and Game offices  during normal business hours, at license vendors, with a credit card through the online vendor, by calling (800) 554-8685, or with the new Idaho Fish and Game app. NOTE: Because Aug. 1 falls on a Sunday, Fish and Game offices will be closed on that day. 

Sage grouse and sandhill crane tags cost $22.75 each for residents and $74.25 for nonresidents. 

Sage grouse
For the first year, sage grouse hunters in 2021 will have to buy a tag (or tags) designated for 12 zones, and a total of 1,950 tags will be available. 

Sage grouse season runs Sept. 18 through Oct. 31. Hunters must choose a single zone to hunt in, but the season has been expanded by more than a month in some zones. Each hunter can buy up to two tags depending on the zone, but eight zones are limited to one tag per hunter.

Hunters will first select a Sage Grouse South or  Sage Grouse North with Interstate 84 being the dividing line. 

  • Sage Grouse South includes zones 1, 2, 3A and 3B. Daily bag limit is 2.
  • Sage Grouse North includes zones 4A, 4B, 5B, 6E, 6W, 7A, 7B, and 8. Daily bag limit is 1.

The sage grouse tag system is designed to limit harvest to less than 10 percent of the estimated fall population in each of the 12 reporting zones. Hunters can exchange tags between zones before the season starts if tags are available. An updated seasons and rules brochure is available online the sage grouse webpage.

Sandhill cranes
There will be 610 sandhill crane tags available for six hunting areas in Eastern Idaho. 

Season runs September 1–15 or September 16–30 depending on tag type, which is determined by hunt area and season dates. Sandhill crane hunters are also required to purchase a Migratory Bird (HIP) Permit. 

For seasons and rules for sandhill cranes go to page 14 on the sandhill crane webpage.  


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