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Small Game Season Is Here

Have you been in the field yet?


October 15, 2014


Cooler temperatures signal the arrival of fall, and Oct. 3 marked the season opener for many of Arizona's wild pursuits. From quail and rabbit in the desert to squirrels and ducks in the high country, fall hunting represents outdoor recreation at its best.

Quail and rabbit can be hunted in the open spaces of the lower desert up to the rolling hills of scrub oaks and manzanita bush of the mid-level desert. Squirrel hunting provides the perfect reason to escape to the crisp air of the ponderosa pine forests in the mountain region during the beautiful fall colors.

For Waterfowl Hunters

And, if you're a waterfowl hunter, look for above-average duck numbers this year. The general waterfowl season in the mountain zone started on Oct. 3; the season in the desert zone started on Oct. 17.

Small game and waterfowl hunting offer affordable, healthful outdoor recreation, exciting hunting pursuits, and the original organic table-fare.

Best yet, the equipment needed to hunt small game is minimal, requiring a general Arizona hunting license (for waterfowl hunting, you'll also need an Arizona migratory bird stamp and a federal duck stamp), shotgun (.410- to 12-gauge), plenty of No. 7 ½ or 6's upland shot shells, or No. 2's, 3's or 4's for waterfowl hunting, and a good pair of boots.

New, Simplified Licensing

With the Arizona Game and Fish Department's new simplified license offerings, buying a license is easy and a great value. Hunting licenses are now good for 365 days from the time of purchase rather than just for the calendar year, offering small game hunters more flexibility in timing their license purchase.

Youth licenses for ages 10-17 are only $5 and include the Arizona migratory bird stamp (although youths age 16 and older still must buy the federal duck stamp if they want to hunt waterfowl).

Gambel's Quail

Each species is a challenging quarry and hunting them will take you to just about anywhere you would like to go in Arizona - a great excuse for exploring and enjoying the outdoors.

Want to get great hunting tips, seasonal outlooks, hunting dates, recipes and more? Visit and choose "small game outlook."

For regulations on small game, visit For regulations on waterfowl, visit

Did You Know?

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has trust responsibility for managing more than 800 native wildlife species – the most of any inland state – for current and future generations of Arizona citizens.


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