“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
Twelve Chosen for Arizona's 1st Controlled Bison Hunt Inside Grand Canyon 

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 08/31/21
The Backcountry Press
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News # 14500
The first controlled Arizona bison hunt inside Grand Canyon National Park will happen this fall at the North Rim.

A pool of 45,040 applicants from around the country has been whittled down to 12 skilled hunters who will go through more training to participate.

The goal of the operation which is being managed by the National Park Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department, is to reduce the size of the bison herd at the North Rim.

The park service calls the operation a "lethal removal."  It will take place over four weeks in late Sejptember and late October.

The top 10 states from which applications were received are:
  • Arizona:  6719
  • Texas:  5097
  • Colorado:  3,306
  • Utah:  2,702
  • Washington:  1,215

Three of the twelve applicants chosen are from Arizona.

Hunting bison in Arizona is a rare opportunity.  Arizona Game and Fish uses a lottery system to issue a limited number of bison tags each year.  A tag allows a hunter to pursue bison in a specific area OUTSIDE Grand Canyon National Park.  For the fall 2021 season, 67 tags will be distributed.  A hunter is limited to one bison kill in hi or her lifetime.


The hunt will take place over four week:
  • Sept, 20-24
  • Sept 27-Oct 1
  • Oct 18-22
  • Oct 25-29

Three hunters will take part each week.  They can bring three to five support staff to help field dress the bison and haul it out of the backcountry.

On the first day of each week, all participants will take part in an orientation session.  Hunters will go out into the field on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They will be accompanied by three to five national park supervisors who will help locate bison and dictate what animals to shoot.

Joelle Baird, public affairs specialist for Grand Canyon said female bison will be targeted because they can give birth and are significantly smaller than males, which would make hauling easier. Male bison weigh up to 2,000 pounds and can stand almost 6 feet tall.  Female bison typically weigh 800-1200 pounds and are 4-5 feet tall.

Friday will be a wrap-up day.  Teams will pack up their camps and provide feedback on how the future operations can be improved.

Image Courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park Service (nps)
Article courtesy of the Arizona Republic

  • New Mexico:  1,186
  • Michigan:  1,105
  • Idaho:  1,012
  • Nevada:  945
  • Minnesota:  929
Twelve Chosen for Arizona's 1st Conrolled Bison Hunt Inside Grand Canyon