“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.   

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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
State Directory for FREE Fishing Days (Continued) -- 2020

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Oregon -- President’s Day Weekend Feb 13-14 -- First Weekend in June, June 5-6 -   Labor Day weekend  Sept 4-5 - Thanksgiving Weekend, Nov 27-28 

Pennsylvania -- Sunday before Memorial Day May 30 -- Independence Day July 4th

Rhode Island -- First Weekend in May. (Freshwater Fishing only) May 1 – 2

South Carolina -- For residents in freshwater only - Memorial Day, May 31 -- Independence Day, July 4th

South Dakota -- Third weekend in May.  May 21 – 23

Tennessee -- Saturday of the first full week in June. June 12

Texas -- First Saturday in June. June 5

Utah -- First Saturday in June every year. June 5

Vermont -- Fourth Saturday in January -- Second Saturday in June, June 12

Virginia -- First full weekend in June. June 5-6

Washington -- first weekend after the first Monday in June. June 11 – 12

West Virginia -- Second Saturday and Sunday in June. June 12-13

Wisconsin -- Winter Free Fishing weekend - Third weekend in Jan -- Summer Free Fishing weekend - First Sat and Sun in June, June 5-6

Wyoming -- First Saturday in June. June 5



During National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW), all states (and Washington, DC) offer free fishing days. These are days – some states even offer free fishing weekends – where anglers can go fishing without a license on public bodies of water. Free Fishing Days activities vary by state. For free fishing day Texas, the state releases hundreds of catfish to help beginners catch a bite. Free fishing day California is known for the many varieties of fish made available. Check out the Free Fishing Days 2021 activities in your state to see how your state celebrates this fun-for-all-ages event.

NFBW is a national celebration of fishing and boating, an event that highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing in enhancing our quality of life and preserving our country's natural beauty. This year the event will take place on June 5th, 2021 to June 13th, 2021. Learn more about National Fishing and Boating Week.

Stock Image 
Article resource courtesy of US States &  https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/how-to-catch-fish/free-fishing-days/
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These are days – some states even offer free fishing weekends – where anglers can go fishing without a license. Check out the next free fishing days in your state.

Free fishing days are a perfect opportunity for beginners to try out fishing for the first time. If you already have a fishing license, consider taking a friend or family member who has never been fishing, out on the water for the day.

This directory is a collaboration of TBC Press and Takemefishing.org