Montezuma Quails Revenge: Mearns' Hunting In Az Is What The Doctor Ordered.
Fresh rains should make scenting conditions fantastic this weekend
PHOENIX – -(OutdoorWire.com)- Bird lovers: Forget the turkey. The day after Thanksgiving is the Mearns' quail hunting season opener.
“This will probably be one of the best Mearns' seasons in my lifetime,” Randy Babb, an ardent quail hunter and the Information and Education Program Manager for the Game and Fish Department's Mesa regional office.
Nov. 28 kicks off a season that looks to be one that will go down in the record books report Game and Fish biologists. Last year's season (2007-08) was one of the best in years; combine that with all the well-timed seasonal rains this summer and the result should provide superb back-to-back seasons.
“The amount of coveys we encountered last year on any given day of hunting was easily in the double digits, depending on how long we hunted,” said Babb.
Babb says the rainfall that came in spring and summer of 2008 should provide all the ingredients for excellent reproduction from the healthy holdover populations of last season.
“Hunters should keep their eyes open for cottontails while they hunt the rolling scrub-oak covered grasslands in southern Arizona,” adds Babb. “Their numbers are up due to the excellent conditions and they make a tasty addition to any quail dinner.”
The season runs from Nov. 28, 2008 until Feb. 8, 2009. The daily bag limit for this challenging polka-dotted game bird is eight. A general hunting license is required for hunters 14 and older. Hunters are reminded that a 2009 license is required to hunt beginning Jan. 1, 2009. Licenses are available at all department offices and over 300 license dealers statewide. The 2008-09 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations can be found at www.azgfd.gov/rules.
The southern Arizona country where Mearns' inhabit will be very active this time of the year with other outdoor enthusiasts including rifle deer season. Hunters are encouraged to wear “hunter orange” when taking to the field to make their presence visible to all other users in the field.
For more information about small game hunting, visit www.azgfd.gov/hunting under the small game outlook.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD's programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Deputy Director, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Deputy Director as listed above.
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