“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 2021 Pheasant Hunting Opens

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 12/03/21
The Backcountry Press
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News # 14658
Oklahoma’s ring-necked pheasant hunting season opened Wednesday, Dec. 1, and hunters planning to pursue this exotic species might find slightly better bird numbers in the field this year, based on results from annual roadside surveys conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. 

“I anticipate numbers to be equal to or slightly improved over 2020, depending on the area, but still below the 10-year average,” said Tell Judkins, Upland Game Biologist for the Wildlife Department. 

This year’s crow count survey suggested fewer cock pheasants in the field compared to last year. The brood count provided generally the same numbers that were seen in 2020. For details from both surveys, check out the 2021-22 Pheasant Season Outlook online at wildlifedepartment.com

“February's severe winter storm combined with the spring hail events led to fewer adults going into the nesting season than normal. However, rainfall throughout the spring allowed for a great crop of forbs and insects, which allowed for better brood success in some areas over others,” Judkins said. 

Hunters seeking places to hunt pheasant are reminded that the Department’s OLAP (Oklahoma Land Access Program) offers many walk-in hunting opportunities across the pheasant’s range in the state. For details, go to the OLAP webpage. 

The Wildlife Department conducts two pheasant surveys: a count of the number of crowing male birds heard per mile along 20-mile routes during April and May, and a count of the number of broods seen per mile along 20-mile routes during late August. The surveys are conducted in Alfalfa, Beaver, Cimarron, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Major, Noble, Texas, Woods and Woodward counties. 

Results are reported as an index for all the counties combined, but also for a subset of counties that traditionally has the highest pheasant densities: Alfalfa, Beaver, Cimarron, Grant and Texas counties. The indexes provide insight into the pheasant population over entire regions, and not necessarily for localized areas. 

During crowing count surveys in spring, biologists drive county roads and listen for crowing cocks in search of mates. The number of crows heard yields an idea of how many adult males will enter the breeding season.  

Pheasant hunting season will run through Jan. 31, and the daily bag limit is two cock pheasants only. Hunters must wear daylight fluorescent orange clothing when required.  

Areas open to pheasant hunting are Alfalfa, Beaver, Cimarron, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Major, Noble, Osage, Texas, Woods and Woodward counties, as well as the portions of Blaine, Dewey, Ellis, Kingfisher and Logan counties north of State Highway 51. Seasons on public lands may vary from the statewide season; for details on public areas you plan to hunt, check the Special Area Regulations online. 

For complete information and license requirements, consult the current  Oklahoma Fishing and Hunting Regulations  found online at  wildlifedepartment.com, on the Go Outdoors Oklahoma free mobile app for  Apple  or  Android  devices, or in print across the state wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.