arizona small game hunting

Allows the taking of small game, fur-bearing animals, predatory animals, nongame animals, and upland game birds. However, with the outbreak and spread of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2 (RHDV2) earlier this year, some areas of the state (particularly southern Arizona) may not have as many rabbits as expected. Quail hunters are likely to encounter cottontails most anytime but especially along desert washes and thickets. Small Game Hunting Tips By Randall D. Babb. Crippled birds will run down mammal burrows, into packrat nests, or hide in most any suitable cover. If they are using the tank, they will generally show up before 9 am. Also consider using a quail call and listen for coveys to answer; this will save walking and time. Snipe are classified as an upland game bird and steel shot is not required for hunting them. After a morning duck hunt, hunters should walk nearby marshy areas or other flooded vegetation. Work the bottoms and slopes of draws covered with abundant grass cover and a canopy of 30% or more love oak, pinion, juniper, or pine. Walk thick cover such as tumbleweeds, before you finish your morning hunt. Quietly walk along logging roads and search for squirrels on the ground and in the trees. Use a 12-410ga shotgun with improved to modified chokes shooting shotshells with 9-7 ½ sized shot. enjoy fantastic hunting, we experience sporadic shooting at best. Re-print a License Coveys are typically smaller than our other quail; 6-8 birds. Use 12-28ga shotguns with full to improved cylinder chokes shooting 7 ½ – 6 sized shot and scoped 22cal rifles. Arizona gray squirrels are a bit harder to come by and can make for a challenging hunt. There is also a state-wide lottery, which determines the lucky individual who can own an Arizona hunting permit. Pointing dogs are preferred but close working flushing dogs also work well. Remember to hunt the late season, when there are still a lot of mourning doves and fewer hunters. Learn more. I recently obtained a new book written by Randall Babb titled An Introduction to Hunting Arizona’s Small Game.This book is a comprehensive look at the many small game species that we have in Arizona and includes detailed information about habitat, hunting opportunities, tactics, field care, and recipes. Observations of dead animals suggest that RHDV2 affects jackrabbits more severely than cottontails and that females are more susceptible to the virus than males. This will translate to fewer lost birds and more game in the bag. Yes. Hunting in September usually provides more opportunity before birds move into dense fir stands at higher elevations. An Introduction to Hunting Arizona’s Small Game by Randall Babb. Flights of mourning and white-winged doves have been increasing recently. The virus does not affect the quality of rabbit meat. When searching for singles work the area toughly letting your dog do the work. Yes, fishing is also a form of hunting. The 2020 monsoons have been infrequent, spotty, and relatively weak this year across southern Arizona. For example, a grain field that has lots of doves feeding in it will have a few spots that will offer the best shooting. All of these spots can often provide excellent shooting. 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. This way you can make sure you’ve worked the covey thoroughly. The Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2 (RHDV2) kills rabbits quickly so the odds of shooting an infected animal are slim. 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. We have enjoyed two consecutive winters with above-average precipitation. Young birds hold better so it is worth the effort to find those areas that experienced better hatches. Book your hunt today! One or more of these species occur in virtually all vegetation types throughout Arizona, from the highest mountains to the lowest plains; forests, wetlands, and deserts; and farmlands, cities, and wilderness. Cast over dead birds and reel them in. 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. Shots are often within 15 yards or less so open chokes are an advantage. Quail will often hold closely in inclement weather. PHOENIX – This is the time of year Arizona’s small game and waterfowl hunters have been waiting for. Knocked down birds seldom run far but are extremely difficult to locate in the tall grass. Decoys will prove useful on central Arizona lakes, rivers, and ponds. Watch tree lines, washes, canals, field corners, or other structural features that birds may follow. Predatory Fur-bearing Mammals include Coyote, Skunk, Fox, Bobcat, & Raccoon. Montezuma (Mearns’) Then work the area for singles. By Randall D. Babb. If birds are holding tightly it is not unusual to cover the same ground many times and still flush birds. Set out your decoys and build your blind while it is still dark so you will be situated at legal shooting time. They usually come to water early in the morning (after feeding) so check stock tanks at higher elevations early. Gambel Quail and Scaled Quail: Use 12-28ga shotgun with improved cylinder to modified chokes and shooting shotshells with #7 ½ -6 sized shot. On private lands, no shooting is allowed within ¼ mile of any occupied structure or from or across a road or railway. This may be done by sending an email to lharding@azgfd.gov or through regular mail to the Department’s main office: attention Terrestrial Branch-Small Game. If you do hunt some place with thick vegetation try to choose your shots so birds fall into open areas. Look for birds on ridgelines and near water. Hunting in Arizona. Cottontail 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. But what does it mean for Gambel’s quail? Use 12-20ga shotguns with improved cylinder to modified chokes shooting shotshells with 7 ½ to 8 sized shot and 22cal rifles. [Guy J Sagi] Home. Their numbers should be increasing. Small game hunters must wear a blaze orange hat while hunting on wildlife management areas with a firearm. Some areas will likely have less than others simply because of where and how quickly the virus spread. An Introduction to Hunting Arizona's Small Game by Randy Babb, An Introduction to Hunting Arizona's Small Game. Unburned habitat on the Kaibab Plateau is flush with tall grass cover for dusky grouse. But in good years they can number more than 15. There should be plenty of young birds this season so running birds will likely not be a problem this season. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE AZ SMALL GAME CHALLENGE! Groups of closely growing shrubs, shallow draws lined with dense vegetation, or low thickets, should be investigated. Ducks tend to congregate in backwaters, slow runs on rivers, and sheltered areas on lakes such as coves and the mouths of rivers and creeks. 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. Once a covey is located be ready for some very challenging shooting. Geese generally fly a little later than ducks but you’ll still want to be prepared by first light. Have your decoys set and your blind built before legal shooting time comes. 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. Here's a look at what I carry when I'm out small game hunting. Next. Small Game Species 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). With some scouting you will discover that though there may be several likely spots that are used by ducks, there is one or a few spots that they prefer. Squirrel hunting should definitely be better this year. The Department would like to better survey chukar hunter participation and success. Resist the temptation to shoot at additional birds once a bird has been downed. 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