“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.

Tips For Tying Knots Of Any Kind  
Learn how to type all types of knots for fishing, hunting & boating. The Arbor Knot below is the FIRST knot to learn for fishing. It's used to tie new line to the reel. The Bowline (Listed under Marine Knots) is a very versatile knot used for both marine boating & hunting. It is the ultimate knot for joining together ropes, lines, and straps of different diameters. . 
The Backcountry Press
There are a large variety of knots for the outdoors including hunting, fishing or boating and each knot has specific properties and suitability for a range of tasks. Some knots are well-adapted to attach to particular objects such as another rope, cleat, ring, or stake. Other knots are made to bind or constrict around an object. Choosing the correct knot for the job at hand is one of the most fundamental aspects of using knots well. (Some Video Instructions are Included)
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  • Practice. For fishing: Take a length of fishing line, a hook with the point cut off or buried into a cork, and practice. Practice until you can tie each knot correctly. For hunting or boating take a length of rope and use a chair or tree.

  • For fishing: Always wet your knots with saliva as you pull them tight. This prevents damage to the line and allows the knot to pull tight.

  • Trim knots closely with a nail clipper. A good knot, pulled tight, will not come loose. Close trimming prevents the knot from catching snags or weeds. Do not burn the tag end—heat damages the line and knot.

  • When you're learning knots, the "tag end" (sometimes called the "working end") is the end of the line used to tie the knot. The "standing end" is that part of the line coming from your fishing reel.

  • Line is cheap. Always leave a foot or more of the tag end for tying knots so that you can tie them properly.

  • Pull up all ends when tightening the knot. With some knots this will be only the standing end and tag end; with other knots it might be three or four ends.

  • Once you find a rig that's working (a combination of weights, hooks, swivels or floats used for a particular type of fishing) don't lose it. 

  • Replace the line and retie your rigs at least every year.

Your First Knot to Know:
The Arbor Knot 
The Arbor Knot is used to tie new line to the reel. It's the first knot you need to learn. It doesn't have to be that strong. And it's easy to learn. That makes it a pretty good knot to start off with. 

Run the line around the spool hub (arbor), then take the tag end around the standing part of the line and tie an ordinary, everyday, overhand knot. Tie a second overhand knot in the tag end as close as possible to the first one. Pull on the standing part of the line and jam the two knots together against the spool of your reel.