“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
Iowa 2021 Dove Hunting Season Begins Sept 1st
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 08/21/21
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Iowa’s sunflower and wheat fields will be popular places on Sept. 1, when thousands of hunters slip into the standing flowers and field edges in the early morning darkness for the opening day of dove hunting season.
Fast paced and fun, dove hunting can be done by nearly everyone regardless of skill level or mobility. It doesn’t require expensive equipment to participate, only clothes that blend in to the background, a bucket and plenty of shells. There’s a lot of action with a steady stream of doves coming in.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) includes a list of wildlife areas at www.iowadnr.gov/doves where dove plots were planted and identifies the access point nearest the plot. Hunters are encouraged to do some preseason scouting to see if the sunflower planting was successful or was damaged from the summer hail storms and to see which areas the doves are using.
“It really comes down to getting out there and looking at the area to check the condition of the dove field, then scout it a day or two ahead of the season to see if and how the doves are using it,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife research biologist with the Iowa DNR. “Doves are starting to show up in larger numbers. Success will depend on how many remain here on opening day and that depends on how many cold nights we have between now and the opener.”
Hunters looking for Plan B may want to focus on private land silage or hay fields, or where farmers harvested small grain fields, grazed pastures or feedlots.
Dove plots are getting increasing busy on opening day and hunters are encouraged to be courteous to one another, to pick up their spent shell casings and other trash and leave the field in good condition. Dove hunting is a good opportunity to introduce someone new to the sport because there is often a lot action.
Dove season is Sept. 1-Nov. 29. Shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to sunset. Daily bag limit is 15 (mourning or Eurasian collared) with a possession limit of 30.
Hunters are reminded that their gun must be plugged to hold no more than three shells. If hunting public areas north of I-80, hunters should check to see if nontoxic shot is required. The Iowa online Hunting Atlas at https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Places-to-Hunt-Shoot identifies all county, state and federal land open to hunting, zone information and nontoxic shot requirements. All dove hunters are required to register with the Harvest Information Program (HIP). It’s free, fast and the information is used to help determine participation and harvest. Register by following the instructions at www.iowadnr.gov/doves or by calling 1-855-242-3683.
DNR advising hunters to look for a change in HIP registration **Next Year**
Beginning Dec. 15, 2021, when the 2022 hunting licenses go on sale, all hunters who pursue migratory game birds will be required to register for HIP either through the Go Outdoors Iowa app on their smartphone, through a link at www.iowadnr.gov/waterfowl or at www.gooutdoorsiowa.com. Migratory game birds mean more than ducks and geese; in Iowa; it includes ducks, geese, coots, doves, woodcock, rails, and snipe.
Once registered, hunters will need to write a confirmation number on their license, print an updated copy of their license with the confirmation or take a screenshot of their confirmation on their phone to show proof of registration. Requiring a confirmation number will allow the DNR to better track migratory bird hunters – a federal requirement.
The change was necessitated because registering through license vendors at the time of purchase has been inconsistent.
Nontoxic dove loads hard to come by
While shotgun shell manufacturers are ramping up their production of nontoxic shotgun shells, supplies of #6 steel shot commonly used for mourning dove hunting is not as conveniently available as in the past. Hunters are encouraged to not wait until the last minute if in need of this size of steel shot. This is not an Iowa or Midwest issue but is part of a national shortage.