“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
California 2021 Recreational Spiny Lobster Season Opens Oct 2
Submitted by: TBC Press
Posted on: 09/29/21
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California’s recreational spiny lobster season is set to kick off Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at 6 a.m., continuing through March 16, 2022. Last year’s season was particularly active, likely driven by residents looking for opportunities for outdoor activities during COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We saw a record number of lobster report card sales during the 2020-2021 lobster season” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Marine Environmental Scientist Jenny Hofmeister. “Typically, about 33,000 report cards are purchased each season, but nearly 46,000 were purchased this last season. Over half of those were new lobster hunters.”
Season-opening weekend is one of the busiest times on the water, as thousands of lobster divers and hoop netters flock to their favorite lobstering spot. Before heading out to the water, be sure you know all the current regulations.
“No one can attempt to take lobster prior to 6 a.m. on Oct. 2. This includes baiting your hoop net or grabbing lobsters with your hand prior to 6 a.m.,” said CDFW Capt. Eric Kord. “With a sunrise around 6:45 a.m. on the morning of the opener, that means there will be a very short window of time to legally take lobster in the dark, when most lobsters are out.”
A lobster report card is required for all persons fishing for lobster, and individuals 16 years or older must have a valid sport fishing license and ocean enhancement stamp. Hoop netters and divers must fill out the date, location and gear type just prior to fishing. When finished fishing, or when changing locations or gear type, you must immediately record the number of lobsters kept from that location. Last season, over 54,000 lobster trips were reported with an average take of about two lobsters kept per trip. This average has remained relatively stable since 2008. Nearly half of the reported trips occurred during the first month of the season, and eight percent of all reported trips occurred on opening day with divers and hoop netters retaining almost 11,000 lobsters.
Lobster report cards must be returned or submitted online to CDFW at the end of each season by April 30, regardless of whether the card was used or whether any lobsters were caught. If you fill up a lobster report card, you can purchase another, but you must report catch from every card you purchase. Failure to report all lobster report cards by the reporting deadline will result in a nonreporting fee of $21.60 when a lobster report card is purchased next season.
Lobster report cards can be purchased online. Report cards cannot be printed at home, so CDFW recommends allowing 15 days for the report card to arrive in the mail. Alternatively, lobster report cards can be purchased at participating sporting goods stores and other approved license sales agents. The daily lobster bag and possession limit is seven. Any lobster kept must be at least 3 ¼ inches long measured in a straight line on the midline of the back from the rear edge of the eye socket to the rear edge of the body shell. Everyone taking lobster must have a measuring device capable of accurately determining legal length. A diagram illustrating this can be found on CDFW’s website.
Lobster can only be taken with hoop nets or by hand. No other device (such as spears or poles) may be used. No more than five hoop nets may be possessed by a person when taking spiny lobster or crab from a boat, and no more than 10 hoop nets may be possessed aboard a vessel, regardless of how many people are onboard. When using hoop nets on piers, jetties or other shore-based structures, only two hoop nets may be used.
“It is extremely important that fishermen know the location and regulations for each Marine Protected Area (MPA) near where they will be fishing,” said Capt. Kord. “Unfortunately, every year numerous citations are issued to lobster fishermen, both divers and hoop netters alike, for unlawful take in an MPA.”