Quail Season AZ 2022-2023 🐦[All You Need to Know!]

Are you looking forward to the upcoming Quail season in Arizona? Then you’ll be delighted to know that the Arizona Game and Fish Department has announced the dates and regulations for the season! This article will discuss all you need to know to make the most of your quail hunting trip, including the season dates, bag limits, and other regulations. So grab your gear and read on to start planning your quail adventure!

Different Quails & their Seasons in AZ

Quail hunting season typically runs from October through February, but the specific dates may vary from year to year and may be subject to local regulations.

Please find below the different types of quail available for hunting in Arizona and their schedule:

California Quail Season in Arizona

California quail, also known as valley quail, is a small, plump bird native to western North America. They are popular game birds known for their distinctive appearance: a round body, a small head, and a short, curved beak. California quail are found in various habitats, including scrub, grasslands, oak woodlands, and agricultural areas. 

AZ Quail SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateBag LimitPossession Limit
California Quail SeasonFriday-October 14, 2022Sunday-February 12, 202315 per day in aggregate with other quail45 possession

Gambel’s Quail Season

Gambel’s quail, also known as desert quail, is a small, plump bird native to the desert regions of the southwestern United States and Mexico. They are named after William Gambel, an American naturalist who first described the species in the 1840s. In Arizona, the Arizona Game and Fish Department regulates the hunting of Gambel’s quail.

AZ Quail SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateBag LimitPossession Limit
Gambel’s Quail SeasonFriday-October 14, 2022Sunday-February 12, 202315 per day in combination with other quail19

Mearns Quail Season

Mearns’s quail, also known as Montezuma quail or spotted quail, is a small, plump bird native to the desert and chaparral regions of the southwestern United States and Mexico. They are named after Edgar Mearns, an American naturalist who first described the species in the 1880s. 

AZ Quail SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateBag LimitPossession Limit
Mearns Quail SeasonFriday-December 2, 2022Sunday-February 12, 20238 per day24 possession combined with other quail

Scaled Quail Season

Native to the grasslands and deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico, the scaled quail is a little, plump bird known as blue quail and cottontop quail. They are named for the distinctive scales on their breast and back feathers, which give them a shimmering appearance.

AZ Quail SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateBag LimitPossession Limit
Scaled Quail SeasonFriday-October 14, 2022Sunday-February 12, 202315 per day when combined with other quail,45 

Other Related Games Species

Blue Grouse Season

The blue grouse, also known as the dusky grouse, is a huge, stocky bird endemic to the woods of western North America and Canada. They got their name from the bluish tinge of their feathers, which give them a blue look. Blue grouse inhabit many forest environments, including coniferous woods, mixed forests, and alpine meadows.

AZ Quail SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateBag LimitPossession Limit
Blue Grouse SeasonThursday-September 1, 2022Sunday-November 6, 20223 per day9

Chukar Season

Chukar, also known as chukar partridge, is a small, fat bird endemic to Asia and the Middle East. They’ve spread to many other places, including the western United States, where they’re often found in rocky, dry settings.

AZ Quail SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateBag LimitPossession Limit
Chukar SeasonThursday-September 1, 2022Sunday-February 12, 20235 per day15

Ring-Necked Pheasant Season

The ring-necked pheasant, generally known as the pheasant, is a big, colorful bird native to Asia that has spread to many other countries, including the United States. Pheasants are popular game birds in the United States and are often hunted for enjoyment.

AZ Quail SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateBag LimitPossession Limit
Ring-Necked Pheasant SeasonThursday-September 1, 2022Thursday-September 15, 20222 roosters6

Quail Season AZ
Quail Season AZ

Rules and Regulations

  • After opening day, a hunter may only capture 15 Gambel’s, Scaled, or California quail in a single day, for a total of 45 quail. Within 45 days after the start of the Mearns’ season, 8 Mearns’ quail are the daily limit.
  • Quail have a daily bag limit of 15, with no more than 8 being Mearns’ quail. The first day of the Mearns’ quail season is December 3rd.
  • As of September 1st, quail may only be hunted with a falcon. There is a daily restriction of three quail that may be captured by falconers, with a total daily maximum of nine quail.

Arizona quail-hunting regions

The state of Arizona is a popular hunting destination due to the wide range of quail species found there. Refer to the locations below:

  • Quail, especially Gambel’s quail, are abundant in Kingman and the Lake Havasu region.
  • The Mearn’s quail population is especially dense in the small towns of Patagonia and Sonoita.
  • Scaled and Gambel’s quail are common in Tombstone.
  • Another good location for quail hunting is the Tonto Basin, located close to Roosevelt Lake.
  • Scaled quail hunting is a prominent tourist attraction in Willcox.

Also refer to the map below by Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Quail hunting map Arizona
Quail hunting map Arizona

Tips for successful quail hunting in AZ. 

To hunt legally and safely in Arizona, you must know the state’s quail hunting laws, including season durations, bag limits, and other limitations. Below are some tips that may help you make your Quail hunting trip memorable.

Quail may be found in several habitats in Arizona, including grasslands, chaparral, oak forests, and agricultural regions. Identifying quail habitat can help restrict your search.

Look for signs of quail activity, such as tracks, feathers, or feeding areas, to help locate them. Quail are commonly located in heavy cover, so look there.

  • Use a hunting dog to detect and flush out quail. Hunting dogs, such as pointers and setters, may be useful.
  • Consider getting boots for your dogs if they aren’t used to cacti since they can have trouble navigating through quail country.
  • Have pliers or a comb nearby to remove pins and spikes from their skin and fur.
  • When hunting quail, it’s necessary to use patience and stealth since they may be timid and may quickly flush.
  • Rattlesnakes may remain active until November or later if the weather remains warm. Training on snake avoidance for people hunting desert birds in Arizona while the weather is still warm.
  • Dress appropriately and wear supportive, comfortable footwear. Quail hunting may be physically taxing.
  • Wear hunter orange at all times, and protect your hearing using earplugs or earmuffs.
  • Keep yourself hydrated by carrying lots of water with you on your trip. Quail hunting in Arizona may be hot and dry.

Quail hunting Methods

  • Quail may be hunted via “flushing,” in which the birds are flushed into the air after being startled.
  • Often, dogs are trained to track down quail because they can point to the birds with their noses and forepaws.
  • Ahead of the dog, the hunter rushes forward, spooking the birds into the air before opening fire.
  • If the hunter doesn’t have a dog, they could attempt to outrun the spotted quail or startle the birds out of hiding.
  • When a quail flushes, the hunter will raise his shotgun to his shoulder, align the front sight with the bird’s flight path, lead the quail in the proper direction, and press the trigger slowly and deliberately.

Gear and Equipment Requirements

Hunting from a height of up to 6,000 feet during October and early February. The weather might turn on you anytime, so be sure you’re ready. Temperatures range from roughly 30 degrees to 60 degrees. Consider the following gears before setting out on a quail hunting expedition.

  • It’s best to dress in layers.
  • Dress for the weather: Bring a lightweight waterproof jacket, pants that won’t get snagged on briars, a warm coat, a brimmed hat, and a pair of sturdy shoes or boots.
  • Protect your hands from the early chill with a pair of shooting gloves.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Wearing a game vest will allow you to carry more water, additional shells, and any birds you may catch.
  • Quail may be shot with 7 1/2 or 8s shots.

Licenses and permits

  • For those 18 and above, hunting in Arizona requires a valid Arizona Hunting License or a combined hunt and fish license.
  • Hunters between the ages of 10 and 17 may get by with only the youth hunting and fishing license.
  • Quail hunting is permitted for children under 10 without a license, but only if a licensed adult age follows them 18 or older. Only two children under 10 may follow one licensed adult hunter.

For detail on the license fees, please visit Arizona Game and Fish Department website https://license.azgfd.com/.

Common mistakes made when hunting quail

Here are some common mistakes that people make when hunting quail in Arizona:

Not scouting the area beforehand: 

It’s important to get a sense of the lay of the land before you start hunting. Look for areas where quail are likely to be feeding, such as near water sources or in fields with a lot of vegetation.

Not staying stealthy: 

Quail are skittish birds and easily spook if they sense danger. It’s important to stay quiet and avoid sudden movements when hunting quail.

Not using proper decoys: 

Decoys can effectively lure quail closer, but it’s important to use the right kind and set them up properly.

Not being prepared for the weather: 

Arizona can have extreme temperature fluctuations, and it’s important to dress appropriately and bring the necessary gear to keep yourself comfortable and safe.

Not being familiar with hunting laws and regulations: 

Ensure you are familiar with the hunting laws and regulations where you will be hunting. This includes obtaining the necessary licenses and permits and following all rules and guidelines for hunting quail.

FAQ related to Quail hunting

What is the best season for Quail hunting?

Mid-October marks the start of the quail hunting season in Arizona, which is often quite hot and snaky. The best time to be ready for an Arizona quail hunt is from mid to late November through February 5th, at the very most, the second Sunday when the hunting season closes.

What time of day is best for quail hunting in Arizona?

Depending on your location and the weather, different times of the day may be optimal for quail hunting in Arizona. Early mornings and late afternoons are peak activity periods for quail since that’s when they eat. During the warmer summer months, quail may be more active in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower. It’s also important to consider the weather conditions and choose a time of day when visibility is good, and the temperature is comfortable for hunting.

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