Gambel’s and Scaled Quail 2016-2017 hunting seasons: September 30-February 12

Mearns’ Quail 2016-2017 Season: December 2- February 12

*Visit Arizona Game and Fish for exact hunting seasons

hunting seasonsBag Limits: Fifteen (15) quail per day in the aggregate of which no more than eight (8) can be Mearns’ quail.

Possession Limits: Forty-five (45) quail in the aggregate after opening day of which no more than fifteen (15) Gambel’s, Scaled, or California quail in the aggregate may be taken in any one day. After Mearns’ season opens, the forty-five (45) possession limit may include twenty-four (24) Mearns’ quail of which no more than eight (8) may be taken in any one day.

2016-17 Forecast from AZGFD.com

QUAIL

Gambel’s
With spotty and spread out winter precipitation patterns, hatch dates seem to be spread throughout the late Spring and Summer months. Gambel’s numbers should be about the same as last year with good recruitment locally, but overall no significant change over last year.  At three different locations in Region V (Tucson) Spring call counts were 101%, 54% and 154% of the 10 year average, so get out and do some scouting prior to the opener. Anecdotal, hunters’ reports from recent years do reflect that the number of birds and coveys encountered was variable depending on location.  Expect statewide numbers to be very similar to last years.

Scaled
This year scaled quail had spotty winter rains throughout their range with good monsoon moisture. The southern part of their core range should be a little above average and the northern areas slightly below average numbers based on call counts performed by the local wildlife managers.

Mearns’
The monsoon rain patterns have been consistent for five years straight now which have allowed the Mearns’ quail population to steadily rise again this year. Try hunting some of fringe sky islands in the Southern part of the state to avoid areas that traditionally have high use. This should be an above average year.