“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
Colorado Selects Specific 2021 Deer/Elk Hunts for Mandatory CWD Testing 

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 10/04/21
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News # 14562
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has selected specific deer and elk hunts for mandatory chronic wasting disease testing in 2021 to inform how and where to fight the spread of CWD.

Beginning in early October, CPW will be sending letters to Colorado rifle season hunters who have been selected for mandatory CWD testing. CPW will require mandatory submission of CWD test samples (heads) from all elk and deer harvested during rifle seasons from specific hunts to better evaluate the infection levels of CWD in herds. There will be no charge for mandatory testing. Find the hunt codes selected for mandatory testing of deer on pages 22–32 and elk on pages 41–52 of the 2021 Colorado Big Game Brochure.
CWD testing locations
A complete list of CWD testing submission sites along with hours and locations can be found here: CWD Testing and Submission Information. CPW is continuing the use of temporary CWD submission sites to assist those who are hunting in remote locations.

Where has CWD been found?
The results of mandatory testing are yielding new insights into varying infection levels in deer herds throughout Colorado. As of May 2021, CWD has been detected in 40 of 54 deer herds, 16 of 43 elk herds, and 2 of 9 moose herds. The estimated proportion of sampled animals that are infected (or disease “prevalence”) appears to be rising in many Colorado herds. Click here to read the 2020 Chronic Wasting Disease Annual Report.

Testing in 2020
  • 32 deer herds were included in mandatory testing
  • Over 7,500 samples tested statewide (includes all species)
  • CWD disease prevalence exceeds the 5% in 22 deer herds
  • 9 herds have disease prevalence between 5-10%, 6 herds have disease prevalence between 10-20%, and 7 herds have disease prevalence that exceeds 20%. When disease prevalence is 20%, it means 1 out of 5 adult males are infected
  • Data collected from mandatory testing shows disease prevalence is 2-3 times higher in male deer than female deer

What is CPW doing to address CWD?
CPW is working to ensure long-term health of deer, elk and moose herds. Over time, this means minimizing the number of animals that get infected and die from this disease. To date, management actions have been prescribed for 27 deer herds that intend to reduce infection levels to below 5%. More information about our plan to manage CWD is available in the Colorado Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan.
What are the health risks to humans?
CWD is a prion disease that affects Colorado’s deer, elk and moose. The disease course generally lasts 2 - 3 years and is always fatal. Although there has been no evidence that CWD has yet been transmitted to humans, the Center for Disease Control, along with CPW, recommend that hunters not eat the meat of a CWD-infected animal.

More information about CWD is available on CPW’s website.

More information on prion diseases is available on CDPHE’s website