“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
Apply for Texas 2021 Trinity River Alligator Gar Harvest Starting Sept 1st
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 08/31/21
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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will begin the Alligator Gar Harvest Authorization drawing application process on September 1. From Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, anglers holding a valid license-year or year-from-purchase fishing license can enter the drawing for an opportunity to harvest one alligator gar over 48 inches from a section of the Trinity River using the My Texas Hunt Harvest mobile app or online. Anglers can choose to apply as an individual or as part of a small group. Winners of the random drawing will be notified by Oct. 15. Harvest authorizations will be valid from the date issued through Aug. 31, 2022. Anglers can use any legal means or method to take an alligator gar over 48 inches day or night from a section of the Trinity River from the I-30 bridge in Dallas downstream to the I-10 bridge in Chambers County, including Lake Livingston and the East Fork of the Trinity River upstream to the dam at Lake Ray Hubbard. This includes the following counties: Anderson, Chambers, Dallas, Ellis, Freestone, Henderson, Houston, Kaufman, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Navarro, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker.
“This segment of the Trinity River has become one of the most popular destinations in the world to catch a large alligator gar, but concerns have been raised about the potential for overharvest and its risks to fishing quality,” said Craig Bonds, Inland Fisheries Director at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “With this drawing system, we are able to give 150 anglers the opportunity to harvest the fish of a lifetime while also meeting our management goal to conserve this unique resource for current and future generations of anglers.”
In addition, all alligator gar harvested, including those harvested using a harvest authorization, from public freshwater and saltwater waterbodies (other than Falcon International Reservoir) must be reported to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department within 24 hours of harvest on the My Texas Hunt Harvest mobile app or online.
“In order for us to manage our alligator gar populations among growing angler interest, it is crucial to know how many are being harvested in Texas,” Bonds said. “By gathering data on alligator gar harvest through the My Texas Hunt Harvest app and online, our fisheries management team gains a better understanding of this species’ distribution, sizes, and numbers and can use that information to help manage for quality fishing in the future.”
Other Trinity River alligator gar regulations that remain in effect include a 48-inch maximum length limit for alligator gar from the I-30 bridge in Dallas downstream to the I-10 bridge in Chambers County, including Lake Livingston and the East Fork of the Trinity River upstream to the dam at Lake Ray Hubbard (see above for list of affected counties). Additionally, a ban on the take or possession of an alligator gar by means of lawful archery equipment or crossbow is in effect on the same section of the Trinity River between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise (unless using a harvest authorization through the drawing system).
A one-fish-per-day bag limit remains in effect for alligator gar statewide except for Falcon International Reservoir, where a daily bag limit of five fish and possession limit of 10 fish remains in effect. The My Texas Hunt Harvest app can be downloaded free from the Apple App Store and Google Play. For more information about alligator gar fishing regulations, visit The Outdoor Annual online.