“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
Accomplishing the Turkey Grand Slam on a Budget

Submitted by:  TBC Press
Posted on: 03/02/21
The Backcountry Press
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Article # A21-3000
Avoid the southeast. The birds there are hunted hard, can be tight-lipped, call-shy and hard to tag. Try setting up a hunt in Missouri, the state has a lot of birds and public land.

Rio Grandes
Most people envision hunting in Texas, but Budz prefers Kansas or Oklahoma. Both states have many birds, long seasons and a lot of public land. He also suggests knocking on doors, as many farmers and ranchers don’t care much about turkeys.

South Dakota is the go-to state for Merriam’s. The state has a lot of birds and amazing scenery, but the weather can be unpredictable in the early season. Budz advises hunting there later in the season when the weather is warm.

Filling the Osceola turkey tag may be difficult because the bird only lives in Florida. However, several places in Florida offer over-the-counter tags, and there are some management areas that require a hunter to draw a tag. There always will be hunting pressure, but hunters who hunt hard can tag a bird inexpensively. Hiring a guide with access to private land is an option, but that can be expensive. Budz suggests visiting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website to do some research.

Grand Slams allow people to hunt all over, see a lot of country and meet a lot of interesting people without breaking the bank. Stay positive, hunt hard and you too can be gripping and grinning with a Grand Slam.


The National Wild Turkey Federation recognizes six different slams for wild turkeys, the most popular being the Grand Slam. To achieve a Grand Slam, a hunter must harvest the four most common subspecies of the American wild turkey—the Eastern, Merriam's, Rio Grande and Osceola.

A slam is considered one of the biggest feats in turkey hunting. A hunter must harvest each species or subspecies of wild turkey listed under one of the six recognized slams in turkey hunting to complete a slam. If you want to test your turkey hunting skills and abilities, aim to complete one or all six slams. 

The Slams
  • Grand Slam — All four U.S. Subspecies (Eastern, Osceola or Florida, Rio Grande and Merriam’s)
  • Royal Slam — The Grand Slam plus the Gould’s (found in Mexico and limited areas of the Southwest)
  • World Slam — Royal Slam plus the ocellated wild turkey (found in Mexico and Central America)
  • Canadian Slam — Harvesting the Eastern and Merriam’s in any Canadian province (Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta or British Colombia)
  • Mexican Slam — Rio Grande, Gould’s and ocellated wild turkey harvested in Mexico only
  • U.S. Super Slam — Harvest one wild turkey subspecies in every state except Alaska

The NWTF’s wild turkey records database accumulates records on all wild turkeys currently or previously registered to determine who has achieved Grand, Royal, Mexican, Canadian or World Slams. No additional registration forms or fees are due beyond registering individual birds. The completion of a slam does not require the kills to take place in a single calendar year.

NWTF acknowledge slam accomplishments by sending the following:
  • You will receive a slam certificate(s) for each accomplished slam.
  • You will receive a distinctive wild turkey record slam pin(s) for each accomplished slam.
  • All slams will be published on our official Web site. This listing is updated monthly.

For more information on Slams see; http://www.nwtf.org/hunt/records/slams


Publishers Notes: Our country is still battling COVID-19. To avoid the spread of this virus and continue to enjoy outdoor activities, ALL outdoor enthusiasts (man, woman, child) should follow the guidelines set by nps.gov. These guidelines include; social distancing, the Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.

Jeff Budz of Florida has completed a Super Slam — killing a wild turkey in each of the 49 states. He also has more Grand Slams — an Eastern, Merriam’s, Osceola and Rio Grande — than anyone else (As of July 2015, he had 85 registered Grand Slams.)

Budz isn’t rich and believes everyone should take the time to get a Grand Slam, without going broke in the process. He shares his insight on how to accomplish this realistic goal.

Pinch your pennies and plan hard
Budz explains the key to tagging all four birds without spending much money boils down to focusing your efforts on states with long seasons, over-the-counter tags and ample hunting opportunities on public land.

Accomplishing the Turkey Grand Slam on a Budget