Categories: adjustable buttstock, Airguns of Arizona, camo clothing, cold weather hunting, compact guns, Small Game Hunting, Small game in winter, Squirrels, Winter hunts | Leave a comment Going for the Squirrel Grand Slam: Get that Black Squirrel First! Remember only non-toxic or steel shot may be used for ducks and geese. Also mark downed birds carefully and walk directly to the spot and retrieve the bird. The determining factor controlling small game numbers in Arizona is the quality and quantity of habitats, which in turn often reflects climatic variations. Our Hunting Area is #1 & #27. Watch tree lines, washes, canals, field corners, or other structural features that birds may follow. Abert’s and Kiabab squirrels are inhabitants of ponderosa pine woodlands while Arizona gray squirrels utilize riparian corridors and red squirrels spruce/fir forests. They tend to travel along ridge lines, canyon edges, and often fly through saddles in mountain ranges. Most elk and antelope hunting can be found in northern and north central Arizona, near Flagstaff and the Mogollon Rim. By now, you should know the State of Arizona provides more or less 10 big-game species and rich small-game selections, which includes waterfowl. Jackrabbits were also impacted by the RHDV2 outbreak this year. Scaled Both the Arizona gray and Mexican fox squirrel populations should also be improving due to the recent wet winter conditions. Arizona gray squirrels are a bit harder to come by and can make for a challenging hunt. Ducks will tend to move more in inclement weather so shooting often lasts longer on these days. A valid tag or stamp is required for the taking of big game animals and migratory game birds. Jackrabbits are often overlooked and not only provide excellent sport but good eating. Squirrel hunting should definitely be better this year. grass, shrubs, etc.). Know that the virus can be spread through contact with infected rabbits, their meat, fur, or materials having contact with those items, so scavengers and even insects may spread RHDV2 via contact with infectious material. Roosting sites composed of mesquite or tamarisk thickets, orchards, or groves of trees often make for good shooting and should be watched for. Flights of mourning and white-winged doves have been increasing recently. The hunting opportunities are also said to be the best, and most unique, in the nation. This can be a problem in years of poor production as the hunter is faced with pursuing older “educated” birds. Categories: Airguns of Arizona, bird hunting, bullpup, Daystate, Destinations, Hunting Accessories, Hunting Guns, Optics, shooting sticks, Small Game Hunting, turkey | 1 Comment. But in good years they can number more than 15. For example, a grain field that has lots of doves feeding in it will have a few spots that will offer the best shooting. Start your hunt early in the morning when squirrels are most active. Looking for hunting opportunities in between your big game hunts? Crippled birds will run down mammal burrows, into packrat nests, or hide in most any suitable cover. McDowell Sonoran Preserve. I booked a hunt through Pete Reyes on his property about 80 miles south of San Antonio, with the plan to hunt Javalina with my .308 centerfire and bring a selection of airguns for coyote, bobcat, raccoons, hogs and whatever small stuff came my way. You may be surprised to hear that, though limited, there are hunting … Puddle ducks are generally plentiful in shallow water habitats found throughout the season in Arizona, but diving ducks usually show up later in the winter at our big deep water lakes. The Department would like to better survey chukar hunter participation and success. Doves establish flight patterns and follow them. Snipe are classified as an upland game bird and steel shot is not required for hunting them. Extremely wet winter conditions around the Grand Canyon and ever-expanding cheatgrass on the Arizona Strip continue to benefit chukars. In the desert state of Arizona hunting is more than just a hobby for many people. All of these spots can often provide excellent shooting. Young birds hold better so it is worth the effort to find those areas that experienced better hatches. Snipe prefer marshy habitats along rivers, lakes, and flooded agriculture areas. So the birds are likely to be abundant in pockets that received good precipitation this summer. Harvest five of the seven small game species in Arizona while in season according to the AZGFD Hunting Regulations. So while states north of us (Utah, Nevada, etc.) AZGFD manages a variety of small game species, including five only found in the Southwest–Montezuma (Mearns’) quail, Gambel’s quail, scaled quail, Abert’s squirrel, and Kaibab squirrel. Decoys will prove useful on central Arizona lakes, rivers, and ponds. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. I was back out in Central Texas on a hog hunt last week, and had four days, so also planned to get in some small game and predator hunting. Quail calls may be purchased at most sporting goods stores. Bring a pair of binoculars to help you to spot squirrels in treetops. From guns and outdoor gear to photography and trail cams, we have the information you need. The chapter has generously offered to match hunter registration fees dollar for dollar to enhance and improve small game species and … Resist the temptation to shoot at additional birds once a bird has been downed. Mearn’s quail are not nearly as vocal as Gambel’s or scaled quail and the only way to locate them is get out an walk. Some of the state's top game include: Elk and Antelope. Desert water holes can often provide spectacular evening and late morning shooting during both seasons, and in the late season is a great way to combine dove and quail on a hunt. For those of you who are long-timers in Arizona, this is something we haven’t seen in a long time. Good winter precipitation also fell in scaled quail country, and we’ve received several good reports on the hatch this spring and summer. Use 12-28ga shotguns with full to improved cylinder chokes shooting 7 ½ – 6 sized shot and scoped 22cal rifles. All of the long-term quail survey routes in southern Arizona reported at being 1.5 to 2 times the recent 10-year average. If the downed bird is not found immediately take the time to carefully search the surrounding area within about a 15 yard, or more, radius. Pointing dogs are preferred but close working flushing dogs also work well. Avoid shooting near thickly vegetated areas such as alfalfa or cotton fields to minimize the number of lost birds. Quail are starting to pop up in places they haven’t been seen in a while. After a morning duck hunt, hunters should walk nearby marshy areas or other flooded vegetation. 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. Knocked down birds seldom run far but are extremely difficult to locate in the tall grass. Airguns are used extensively for hunting in many parts of the world, especially in regions where citizens are prohibited … Geese generally fly a little later than ducks but you’ll still want to be prepared by first light. Once again a little scouting will be a big help in finding a productive shooting spot. It should be noted that regulations change from time to time and wise hunters will BE SURE TO CHECK CURRENT REGULATIONS FOR CHANGES FROM LAST YEAR AND SEASON DATES. Arizona's Official Fishing Guide: 181 Top Fishing Spots, Directions & Tips by Rory Aikens Paperback $20.44. Snipe flush similar to quail and usually make distinctive “scipe” call on take off. Mearns’ quail depend on monsoonal moisture, and timing and location of rainfall also influence their nesting success and population numbers. The AZFD (Arizona Game and Fish Department) designated regions for hunting. Use a 12-410ga shotgun with improved to modified chokes shooting shotshells with 9-7 ½ sized shot. Warm winters with little snow often set the stage for good squirrel hunting the following season. Processing utensils (knives, blades, scissors), boots, gloves, and outer clothing worn while hunting and processing rabbits should be cleaned and disinfected (using a 1:10 dilution of household bleach to water works well) before returning to the field. Teriyaki marinated and grilled jackrabbit back-strap is excellent fare…no kidding! Taking everything into account, this will be a great season compared to what we have experienced in the last 15 or more years. Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has teamed up with the Valley of the Sun Quail Forever Chapter to host the Arizona small game challenge. Hunting Small Game in Arizona Paperback – May 1, 1993 by Guy Sagi (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating. Check agricultural areas for cut grain fields or fields that may be cut in the near future and feed lots. Price New from Used from Paperback "Please retry" $24.95 — $19.00: Mass Market Paperback "Please retry" … This item: An Introduction to Hunting Arizona's Small Game Paperback $29.95. On a typical duck hunt, shooting is usually over by 10 or 11 am. But when they did locate them (a bit lower in elevation than expected), they found lots of broods and good brood sizes. Attempt to read the cover and terrain to predict where birds may be hiding. Snipe offer a great plus for duck hunters. Waterfowl breeding populations at northern latitudes are still above their long-term numbers. Montezuma (Mearns’) If you consider yourself a sportsman or outdoor enthusiast, Arizona Hunting Today is your place to discuss hunting (big and small game), archery, bird dogs and even fishing. The 2020 monsoons have been infrequent, spotty, and relatively weak this year across southern Arizona. Airgun hunting by specific game: Choose any state, and click on the species name you want, and it will highlight all the states where that particular species can be legally hunted. Scaled and Gambel’s quail both can hold very tightly and this is where a dog can come in handy to locate these close holding birds. Gambel’s Mearn’s quail are a tropical species and rely on summer precipitation to for reproduction. Depending on the season we are able to include trapping with our predator and small game hunts and some times our javelina hunts. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE AZ SMALL GAME CHALLENGE! If you do come across recently deceased rabbits in the field with no obvious signs of cause of death (e.g. We recommend wearing rubber or disposable latex gloves while handling and cleaning rabbits. With an expected high carry-over of juveniles from last year, birds should be plentiful in some areas and numbers will be more mediocre in other areas receiving less rainfall. Wearing drab clothing will also make the hunter less conspicuous. Region 1 is in Pine Top. With all of the good winter precipitation, we expected to see a lot more cottontails this year. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or touch your face while handling animals, and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap or disinfectant. The licensee shall carry the license when participating in hunting or fishing or other form of take. Their numbers should be increasing. A common problem we experience in Arizona, despite nesting success, is warm winter weather. Direct offers from outfitters with a Best Price Guarantee. Arizona hunting guides and outfitters offer trips for a variety of animals. Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has teamed up with the Valley of the Sun Quail Forever Chapter to host the Arizona small game challenge. Official 2020 Nevada Small Game Hunting rules & regulations. In Arizona we have a diversity of wildlife species. On birds that want to run ahead of you, put pressure on them by unloading your firearm and trotting after the birds until you have flushed the covey enough times for the birds to be sufficiently scattered to hold. Hunting in Arizona. Thankfully, the disease doesn’t seem to cause as much mortality in young rabbits as it does in adults, so you may still see a good number of young animals out in the field. For desert quail to hold (not flush at a distance too far for the hunter to shoot at them) there must be adequate ground cover for the birds to hide in (e.g. Minimize your frustration while hunting these birds by choosing areas that have good ground cover in the way of grasses and shrubs. Walk ridge tops in the early mornings and late afternoon, using binoculars to search for rabbits in the washes below. The zig-zag flight of these birds makes for a challenging target. Walk thick cover such as tumbleweeds, before you finish your morning hunt. Quail will often hold closely in inclement weather. General Hunting. Set out your decoys and build your blind while it is still dark so you will be situated at legal shooting time. If you do not have a dog, kick or toss rocks into likely clumps of shrubs to flush birds. Hunting and fishing, which are regulated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, are allowed on public and private lands with landowner consent. After a reasonable winter, we anticipate that grouse numbers are up this year. Big & Small Game Hunting. Birds can often be spotted by the hunter prior to entering an area by glassing the water’s edge with binoculars. Use a 12-28ga shotgun with improved cylinder to modified chokes shooting shotshells with 7 ½ – 6 sized shot. It is also very important to remain motionless while birds are working the decoys or coming in. Do your part to limit the spread of the virus by burying the entrails and the carcass deep enough to discourage scavengers after you take the meat, or take the entire animal home and properly dispose of the remains in garbage bags (check your local ordinances about disposal of game carcasses). Unburned habitat on the Kaibab Plateau is flush with tall grass cover for dusky grouse. Arizona offers a variety of small game to hunt, of which can provide excitement for any hunter. Hunting in September usually provides more opportunity before birds move into dense fir stands at higher elevations. So, as quail numbers increase, so do cottontail numbers. They may also be found in feeding in dense stands of gamble or other oak species. Once a covey is located be ready for some very challenging shooting. You contribute to conservation in Arizona by purchasing a license with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Estimate the number of birds on a covey rise and keep count of the number of single birds that are flushed while working for singles. Arizona Small Game Challenge was developed to encourage hunters to learn more about these and additional small game opportunities as they explore some of the most scenic country in our state. A valid Arizona license is required for taking wildlife (including fish) in Arizona. Look for birds on ridgelines and near water. Arizona's small game species include cottontail rabbits, tree squirrels, upland game birds (quails, chukar, grouse, and pheasants), and migratory game birds (ducks, geese, swan, sandhill cranes, coot, gallinule, common snipe, mourning and white-winged doves, and band-tailed pigeon). Hunting Airguns There has been a sustained growth in the North American airgun market over the last several years, which can be attributed to the growing popularity of airguns for small game hunting and pest control. It is not uncommon to walk into an area, stop for a few seconds, and have a bird flush right behind you after you resume walking. Cast over dead birds and reel them in. Simply put, many migrating waterfowl species go no farther south than they have to. The Apache or Chiricahua fox squirrel also uses riparian corridors and adjacent pine woodlands in the Chiricahua Mountains of the southeastern part of our state. With many easily accessible hunting spots and abundance of small game, such as rabbits, doves, quail, and many more, this state is perfect for any passionate hunter. Add an uphill incline and you have the makings of a cardiac arrest. We continue to see larger numbers of American wigeon pushing into the state. The canyons under the Mogollon Rim are a good place to try for gray squirrels and you’ll probably pick some Abert’s there up too. Red squirrels are found in spruce/fir habitat and most easily found by listening for their “wurring” call. It costs $37/year and is available only to Arizona … There is also a state-wide lottery, which determines the lucky individual who can own an Arizona hunting permit. SPEND TIME SCOUTING; a few reconnaissance trips can pay off in great hunting. Mid to late November is usually when waterfowl hunting in the desert areas really picks up. Be and sure to ask landowners before hunting on private land and to pick up all spent shells and shell boxes. Airgun hunting by state: Simply click on the state, and it will list all the species that are allowed to be hunted in that state. By Randall D. Babb. Hunters will likely find bandtails concentrated in areas with acorns or other mast or fruit crops such as pinyon or elderberries. On the first morning I decided to go after rabbits with one of my all time favorite small game guns, the Brocock Compatto, since hog hunting … Continue reading » Began you hunts about 9 or 10am after birds have moved off the roost, usually located on the slope of a draw, and have laid down enough scent for the dogs to locate them. Be ready to shoot before they disappear over the edge into steep canyon country. Consider a hunt for the Arizona big 5 (Abert’s, Kaibab, Arizona gray, Apache fox, and red squirrels). Arizona has more different species of tree squirrels than any other state. Waiting can be as important as walking in areas where there is good cover and where you know there are birds. The Department would like to better survey dusky grouse hunter participation and success. [Guy J Sagi] Home. Doves tend to concentrate in areas for feeding such as feed lots, desert weed fields, vacant fields, and agricultural areas and thickets, orchards, or groves of trees for roosting. 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. Wildlife includes all wild mammals, wild birds, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans and fish. To do this, we are asking grouse hunters to provide an address or email to the Small Game Program Manager so they can be surveyed directly after the end of the season. Observations of dead animals suggest that RHDV2 affects jackrabbits more severely than cottontails and that females are more susceptible to the virus than males. Search. Habitats are similarly healthy for grouse on the San Francisco Peaks, and hunters searching areas above 8,500 feet in a mix of aspen and fir containing wild raspberry and vetch will have greater success in locating grouse. Use a 12-20ga shotgun shooting shotshells with 8-9 sized shot. Dove hunters should watch for rabbits along field edges while hunting. This way you can make sure you’ve worked the covey thoroughly. If you prefer to jump shoot ducks, snipe are common visitors to stock tanks. The four individual challenges recognize the diverse landscapes and rewards associated with small game hunting throughout Arizona. Ducks have excellent eyesight and color vision, keep this in mind when hunting them, camouflage is recommended. How late these birds stay around in the fall is largely dependent on how good the acorn crop is. But what does it mean for Gambel’s quail? Migratory game bird and Turkey season info. Typically the best shooting is in the first couple of hours of the day so it is important to be ready by legal shooting time because the ducks my only fly for a short period on any given day. Mornings after big winter storms and severe cold snaps are often an excellent time to check desert stock ponds for ducks. PHOENIX – This is the time of year Arizona’s small game and waterfowl hunters have been waiting for. Cottontail If a hunter has a partner, develop a game plan and move through an area about 20 to 30 yards apart covering the area thoroughly. If the hunter stands still or sits or stands next to some sort of cover (a ditch, shrub, tree, telephone pole) birds will be less likely to shy away from them. Stay versatile in how and where you hunt, and you should be able to fill your bag in what promises to be another above-average year. Another above-average wet winter pushed much of the dove-breeding activity into the prime season in the desert, producing an abundance of doves across the state. These birds like to loaf in pine snags and can occasionally be found in these trees at mid-day along ridge tops. Be prepared for surprise flushes as the dogs have a difficult time locating recently flushed Mearn’s in dry conditions. In sparsely vegetated areas quail tend to run and flush at excessive distances. These are numbers not seen since the 1990s. The newer routes in the central and northwestern portions of the state reported their highest numbers yet, with most being twice as high as what has been recorded in the past five years. 2020-21 Arizona Hunting Regulations This annual booklet includes season dates, bag limits, hunt types, open areas, rules, regulations, drawing application details, and other requirements for the hunting of most big game, small game and other wildlife in Arizona. 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