“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
Three State Agreement to Manange Grizzly Bears

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 12/23/21
The Backcountry Press
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News # 14679
Idaho Fish and Game Commission recently approved an updated “Memorandum of Agreement” between Idaho, Wyoming and Montana regarding state grizzly bear management commitments in support of delisting the bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Wyoming and Montana’s commission have also approved the MOA. 

The MOA defines the process by which the three states will “coordinate the management and allocation of discretionary mortality of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to ensure the long-term genetic health, viability, and sustainability of the GYE grizzly bear population.”

The MOA updates a similar 2016 agreement by adding language to protect genetic diversity within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by moving at least two grizzly bears from outside the GYE into the GYE by 2025, unless migration from outside the ecosystem is detected in the interim. 

Genetic monitoring of the Greater Yellowstone’s population will continue, and genetic diversity and effective population size will be reassessed at least every 14 years, which is one grizzly generation. If migration is not detected, the states will continue to move additional bears into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

The MOA also sets different management strategies for limiting mortality based on ranges of population estimates above a minimum of 831 bears in identified suitable habitat within ecosystem. The agreement includes a sliding scale of allowed discretionary mortality, such as hunting, management actions, etc., with greater allowances when the population in suitable habitat is higher, and fewer when the population is lower. 

The states agreed to management objectives for suitable habitat based on recently updated population estimates for the time period between 2002 and 2019. At less than 831 bears, no public hunting would be allowed. At more than 1,033 bears, total mortality would not exceed 22 percent annually for males and 10 percent for independent (without cubs) females. 

The Yellowstone grizzly population has met federal population recovery goals since the early 2000s, but a series of lawsuits has prevented the bears from being removed from the Endangered Species list. 

Idaho contains around 8 percent of suitable grizzly bear habitat in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Wyoming contains around 58 percent of suitable habitat and Montana around 34 percent. Grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem were delisted in 2007 and again in 2017, but were relisted through court orders, most recently in 2018. The three states agreed to revisions to continue to support grizzly bear delisting.