“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
AZGFD Offers New Big Game Hunting Opportunities

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 11/23/21
The Backcountry Press
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News # 14646
The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is offering new hunting opportunities that will provide all hunters with a chance to draw an additional elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer permit-tag, while generating revenue to support wildlife conservation efforts across the state.

The initial draw for these unique and special hunts will open Monday, Nov. 29 and close at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 (Arizona time). Check back on AZGFD’s website (www.azgfd.gov) and social media channels for a link to apply. Applicants who are drawn for a limited-entry permit-tag will be contacted by the department (during the week of Dec. 6), at which time payment will be required before the permit-tag can be mailed. NOTE: It is the responsibility of each applicant to provide accurate contact information to avoid missing an opportunity to receive the permit-tag for which they were drawn.    

These opportunities should not be confused with the annual draws that are conducted by the department in February, June and October. A limited-entry permit-tag application does not preclude a hunter from applying for any other hunts throughout the year or impact bonus points. Animals harvested during limited-entry permit-tag seasons are excluded from annual bag limits.

In addition:
  • This is discretionary. The objective is to generate revenue in order to maintain current operations and limit or eliminate the need to increase license and hunt permit-tag fees.    
  • The issuance of a specific number of limited-entry permit-tags will not adversely affect management objectives for a species or area. These hunts will not impact the number of  permit-tags made available for the annual draws. The related harvest will have an insignificant impact on wildlife populations. 
  • A valid Arizona hunting (or combination hunt and fish) license is not needed at the time of application; it is required if a customer has been drawn for a limited-entry permit-tag. 
  • Applicants can select up to six limited-entry permit-tag hunts on one application. Multiple applications will not be accepted.   
  • At the time of application, a customer shall submit the required application fee ($13 for Arizona residents, $15 for nonresidents) for each selected hunt number.
  • Each customer must apply individually. Applicants cannot apply as a group, unlike the annual draws.
  • If a customer enters inaccurate information during the application process, or attempts to enter the draw for a hunt more than once, all applications will be deemed invalid. 
  • After an application has been saved, a customer cannot begin a new one. A customer may return to their application to make changes as long as the draw is open, however. When an application has been completed through the payment process, a customer can no longer make changes or apply for additional hunts.

A total of six limited-entry permit-tags (two for each of the three species) were recommended for this initial draw: 
  • Elk (any elk): Dec. 20, 2021-Feb. 15, 2022. Open areas: Game management units 1, 27.
  • Elk (any elk): Dec. 20, 2021-Feb. 15, 2022. Open areas: Game management units 9, 10. 
  • Mule deer (antlered): Dec. 20, 2021-Feb. 15, 2022. Open areas: Game management units 10, 17A, 17B, 19A, 19B, 20A.
  • Mule deer (antlered): Dec. 20, 2021-Feb. 15, 2022. Open areas: Game management units 39, 40A, 40B, 41, 42, 43A, 43B, 44A, 44B, 45A, 45B, 45C. 
  • White-tailed deer (antlered): Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2022. Open areas: 29, 30A, 30B, 31, 32, 33, 34A, 34B, 35A, 35B, 36A, 36B, 36C.
  • White-tailed deer (antlered): Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2022. Open areas: 21, 22, 23, 24A, 24B.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission, during a public meeting Aug. 6 in Williams, voted 5-0 to approve Commission Order 30: Limited-Entry Permit-tags, which establishes initial seasons and season dates, permit numbers, and open areas for elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer.