“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
Oklahoma 2021Quail Hunting Opens Nov 13

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 11/08/21
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News # 14625
Oklahoma Quail season will open Nov. 13, 2021, and run through Feb. 15, 2022. Hunters may harvest 10 quail daily. 


Regionally, the northwest, southwest, and north-central regions showed an increase over the 2020 counts (Table 1). In August, only two regions of the state were up over 2020’s survey numbers. However, in October, three of the six regions are up going into the season. Figures 4-10 below show the average survey results for 1990-2021. 

When we break down the statewide numbers by ecoregion, we are able to see what areas are producing better or worse year-to-year (Table 2/Figure 3). On an ecoregion basis, the Rolling Red Plain had the largest increase. By analyzing the data this way, we can also see that there are primarily three ecoregions driving the statewide average: Southern High Plain, Rolling Red Plain, and Rolling Red Prairie.


2020 brought several challenges beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. While the eastern half of the state was seeing normal rainfall, the western half was battling drought. In February 2021, Oklahoma received a harsh winter storm with ice, snow, and severely cold temperatures. Due to that storm, we expected that our population going into spring was lower than normal. However, timely rains allowed for an outstanding crop of insects and forbs, and this allowed for a great nesting season. Even with those timely spring and summer rains, much of the state is currently battling some level of drought (Figure 13). The late winter storm also seems to have delayed spring wildlife activity; this was observed in pheasant and quail. According to data from the Game Brood Survey App created by Oklahoma State University and ODWC, it appears quail nesting season started in early June and carried on throughout the nesting season.


This year, ODWC is again collecting quail wings from public land birds to better evaluate our quail population. If you harvest a bird from a Wildlife Management Area that has a wing deposit box, please take the time to place one wing from each harvested quail (whichever is least damaged as long as only one wing per bird), fill out the envelope, and then place it in the box. The WMAs that will have boxes are Beaver River, Canton, Cooper, Cross Timbers, Kaw, Packsaddle, Pushmataha, and Sandy Sanders. Your participation in this data collection effort provides vital information about nesting success and timing, and helps improve the management of these game birds.

In summary, hunters taking to the field will likely find patches with fair quail numbers where reproduction was not as severely impacted by weather, and where habitat remains in favorable condition. Hunting will not be what it was at the last observed peak in production in 2016, but we expect hunters to find birds throughout the state. 

For more detailed information on the outlook for 2021 quail hunting see; 2021-quail-season-outlook-statewide

For more regulations and other information, consult the Oklahoma Fishing and Hunting Regulations online at http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/hunting, on the Go Outdoors Oklahoma mobile app, or in print wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.