“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
CDFW Accepting Applications for 2021 October Deer Hunts in Cosumnes River Preserve

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 09/13/21
The Backcountry Press
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News # 14524
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is expanding the public hunting opportunities available within the Cosumnes River Preserve in southern Sacramento County to include, for the first time, three deer hunts this October.

While CDFW has provided popular wild turkey hunting and dove hunting opportunities at the preserve over the years, deer hunting has never before been available. CDFW is now accepting applications for a limited number of deer hunting access permits for the CDFW-owned Cosumnes River Ecological Reserve (CRER) within the Cosumnes River Preserve. This is not a special hunt, but rather a drawing to provide limited public access to property that has never before been open for public deer hunting.

Access permits will be issued for three separate, one-week hunt periods in October for parties of one or two hunters (six hunters total for the three hunts). Only archery equipment or shotguns with solid, nonlead slugs may be used. Rifles, pistols and muzzleloaders will not be allowed for any of the hunt periods due to safety concerns.

The specific location of the hunt is the Dillard Unit within the CRER (PDF). Hunters must possess a valid California hunting license along with a valid Archery Only deer tag or valid D3-5 deer tag at the time of their hunt. The deer hunting access permits could provide hunting opportunities for some D3-5 tag holders who otherwise have lost public hunting ground as a result of the Caldor Fire, general wildfire conditions and national forest closures. Depending on hunter success, satisfaction, compliance with access rules and the quality of the overall experience, additional deer hunting periods and access permits may be added in 2022 and beyond.

Hunters can download the hunt application online at wildlife.ca.gov/Lands/Places-to-Visit/Cosumnes-River-ER. Hunters can also request an application by calling CDFW’s North Central Region office at at (916) 358-2900 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Applications may be submitted via email to [email protected] or mailed to CDFW’s North Central Region office at 1701 Nimbus Road, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670.

Only official applications will be accepted and must be received before 3:00 p.m. on October 4, 2021. Reservations will be selected by a computerized drawing. Successful applicants will be notified by email, phone or text message within two working days of the drawing and will receive additional information, including maps and special instructions, prior to the hunt. Drawing results will not be given over the phone.

Up to two people may apply for the hunt as one party by including all required information on the application form. Junior license holders who are 12 years of age or older may also apply if accompanied by an adult hunter. Applicants may apply for a seven-day access permit during one hunt period only. An individual’s name may appear in the drawing only once and additional or duplicate applications will be disqualified from the drawing.

CDFW encourages all hunters to get their harvested deer tested for Chronic Wasting Disease. For more information, please visit: wildlife.ca.gov/CWD.