“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
Idaho Anglers are Reminded that 2022-24 New Fishing Regulations Take Effect

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 01/04/22
The Backcountry Press
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News # 14692
In November, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved the 2022-24 Fishing Seasons and Rules, and anglers will see about 23 changes that took effect on Jan. 1.

Steelhead bag limits have been modified for spring 2022 seasons, which are not reflected in the printed version of the 2022-24 Fishing Seasons & Rules booklet because commissioners set the default steelhead seasons and bag limits for three years, but those may be modified depending on run sizes and other factors. The spring 2022 steelhead bag limits are available in the online steelhead seasons and rules. 

The 2022-24 Seasons and Rules brochure is available online and in printed booklets at Fish and Game regional offices and license vendors. 

Here’s a summary of changes in effect:

  • Pend Oreille River Boundary: Boundary changed for the Pend Oreille River boundaries to include: from Highway 95 bridge at Sandpoint downstream to Idaho-Washington border, including tributaries and sloughs to the edge of flat water
  • Lake Pend Oreille Creek Mouths: The 100-yard fishing closure removed at the mouths of Gold, North Gold, Granite and Trestle Creeks on Lake Pend Oreille

  • Tolo Lake: The “electric motors only” restriction removed.
  • Fall Chinook Salmon seasons: The fall Chinook Salmon seasons and limits for the Snake, Salmon and Clearwater Rivers are included in the 2022-24 seasons and rules booklet.
  • Coho Salmon Seasons: Clearwater and Snake rivers seasons will be incorporated into the updated seasons and limits booklet.
  • Snake River Steelhead Catch and Release Season: The catch-and-release steelhead season in the Snake River was extended by opening the season one month earlier on July 1
  • Clearwater River Basin Steelhead Seasons and Limits ; New season schedule provides better opportunities for catch-and-release and harvest-oriented steelhead anglers. Anglers will be able to fish during each of the two runs of steelhead that use the Clearwater River and will provide a time (September 10 through October 14) when steelhead, fall Chinook salmon, and Coho salmon could all be harvested at the same time
  • McCall Area Alpine Lakes: Brush, Crystal, Lake Rock, Long, Serene and Tule lakes reverted back to general fishing seasons and limits (6 trout bag limit, no length limit)

Southwest – Nampa
  • Dick Knox Pond: Trophy bass regulations adopted where bass limit is 2, none under 20 inches

Magic Valley
  • Anderson Ranch Reservoir Kokanee daily bag limit reduced from 25 to 15
  • Baker Lake Minimum length and bait/barbless hook restrictions removed, but maintained the 2-trout limit

  • Southeast Idaho “No Motors” Restrictions: “No motors” restrictions removed on Bannock Reservoir, Winder Reservoir and Dike Lake
  • Southeast Idaho “Electric Motors Only” Restrictions: “Electric motors only” restrictions removed at Foster Reservoir
  • Weston Reservoir Boating Restrictions: Boating access restrictions will be posted locally at the reservoir as a condition of access through private property, and will not appear in the fishing regulations
  • Kokanee Creek Fishing Closure: Existing fishing closures on Kokanee Creek removed
  • Portneuf River: Open fishing on the section near Lava Hot Springs from the Center Street Bridge upstream to the East Main Street Bridge
  • Bannock Reservoir, Edson Fichter Pond and Montpelier Rearing Pond: General fishing seasons and limits adopted, increasing the trout limit from 2 to 6 per day
  • Blackfoot Reservoir: Size, bag and possession limit restrictions removed for bass
  • Bear Lake: Harvest of either adipose fin-clipped (hatchery origin) or unclipped (wild origin) Bonneville cutthroat trout allowed. The 2-trout daily bag limit remains the same.
  • Snake River (section from Eagle Rock to American Falls Dam): Simplified seasons and limits by changing gamefish harvest, bait and barbless hook restrictions as follows:Oct. 16 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend – limit is 0 for trout, catch-and-release. Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Oct. 15 – trout limit is 2

Upper Snake
  • Henrys Lake: Current fishing season extended from Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Feb. 14 (the trout limit is 2), and adopted a new catch/release season from Feb. 15 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend (the trout limit is 0, catch-and-release)

  • Lemhi and Pahsimeroi rivers: The 14-inch minimum length limit on trout was removed, but maintains no harvest of cutthroat trout
  • Stanley Lake: The lake trout daily bag limit was reduced. Of the 6-trout bag limit, only 2 may be lake trout.