“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
Illinois 2021 Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Available Online

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 08/09/21
The Backcountry Press
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News # 14457
Illinois 2021 Controlled pheasant hunting opportunities will be available at 18 DNR sites during the 2021-22 hunting season.  Dates and permit reservation information are now available online.

Sixteen of the sites are operated by the IDNR, while two other sites continue to be operated in a public/private partnership arrangement between the IDNR and concessionaire T. Miller, Inc.

The online permit reservation system for IDNR-operated controlled hunting sites opened Monday, Aug. 2, and permit information, season dates, and other information are now available. Detailed information is also available for the two sites operated by T. Miller, Inc.  Hunters should always review the application instructions, season information and regulations accessible online prior to applying.

Online permit reservations for the first lottery period on IDNR-operated sites will be accepted Aug. 2 until 1:00 p.m. Aug. 9.  Two additional one-week lottery periods are scheduled thereafter.  Hunters should always review the application instructions and season information on the controlled pheasant hunting website prior to applying at https://dnr2.illinois.gov/controlledhunt/

On IDNR-operated sites, the daily fee for permits acquired online for controlled pheasant hunting is $30 for resident hunters and $35 for nonresident hunters.  The daily permit fee applies to each hunter.  Hunters are required to pay for permits acquired online in advance over a secure system using an American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit card. The credit card account is billed when hunters apply.  A transaction fee of $1.00 for a single hunter or 2.25% of the permit fee for multiple hunters will be assessed for each application, except for applications submitted for the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt.

The controlled pheasant hunting areas operated by T. Miller, Inc. are Chain O’Lakes State Park in Lake County and Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area in Kendall County.  Information about controlled pheasant hunting at these sites is available on the concessionaire’s website at www.tmillerinc.com or via a link on the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov.

Of the 16 sites operated by the IDNR, six provide only the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt opportunity for young hunters between the ages of 10-17.  Those six sites are the Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area in Tazewell County, Clinton Lake State Recreation Area in DeWitt County, Edward Madigan State Fish and Wildlife Area in Logan County, Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey County, Sangchris Lake State Park in Christian and Sangamon Counties, and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Randolph County.

Nine sites provide lengthy seasons for hunters, as well as additional special hunting days for young hunters under the age of 18.  Those nine sites are Johnson Sauk Trail State Recreation Area in Henry County, Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area in Will County, Kankakee River State Park in Kankakee County, Iroquois County State Wildlife Area, Moraine View State Recreation Area in McLean County, Sand Ridge State Forest in Mason County, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass County, Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area in Clinton County, and Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area in Jefferson and Franklin Counties. 

Green River State Wildlife Area in Lee County provides 15 days of controlled pheasant hunting during a season that extends from early November until mid-December. 

At Des Plaines, Moraine View and Eldon Hazlet, hunting opportunities are available for hunters with disabilities, where special vehicles are provided to assist with the hunt.

Standby hunting will be limited this year.  Only a few permits may be available daily at each site.  Daily standby drawings will occur immediately at the conclusion of the regular check-in time.  Standby permits will not be issued after that at most sites.  Exact procedures and end of check-in time will be posted at each individual site run by the IDNR and on the website under Hunting Areas Information.  To ensure enough pheasants are released each hunting day, all hunters are strongly encouraged to access IDNR-operated controlled pheasant hunting sites by using the online permit reservation system.  Online permits are available up until 9:00 a.m. the day prior to the hunt.

Special note for the 2021-22 hunting season:  Hunters will continue to be required to use non-toxic shotshells when hunting at the Des Plaines SFWA, Horseshoe Lake SP, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA, Mackinaw River SFWA, Silver Springs SFWA, Chain O’Lakes SP, Eldon Hazlet SRA, Green River SWA, Johnson Sauk Trail SRA and Wayne Fitzgerrell SRA.  Hunters are reminded when hunting at any of these sites that only non-toxic shotshells may in possession while hunting.

For complete details, check the controlled pheasant hunting website at https://dnr2.illinois.gov/controlledhunt/ or the T. Miller, Inc. website at www.tmillerinc.com.