Small game hunting season in Arizona began Friday, Oct. 9 for many species, including cottontail rabbits, which can be hunted through June 30, 2021. (Photo by VJAnderson, cc-by-sa-4.0, https://bit.ly/36DDYNs)
PHOENIX – This is the time of year Arizona’s small game and waterfowl hunters have been waiting for.
In addition to the start of tree squirrel and band-tailed pigeon seasons Friday, Oct. 9, hunters can pursue dusky (blue) grouse through Nov. 8 and chukar until Feb. 7, 2021. The season for cottontail rabbits runs through June 30, 2021, and the Gambel’s and scaled quail seasons starts Oct. 16.
Johnathan O’Dell, small game biologist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department and an avid squirrel hunter, expects even better hunting this season than in 2019.
“The second year in a row of wet winters – and not all of it snow in the high country – means that acorns and pine cones should be abundant this fall and provide excellent resources for Abert’s squirrels,” O’Dell said. “They are still rebounding from previous years, but squirrel numbers are turning around quickly in many areas.”
Both the Arizona gray and Mexican fox squirrel populations should also be improving due to the recent wet winter conditions, O’Dell said.
For more information about hunting Arizona’s small game, see AZGFD’s small game forecast at https://bit.ly/33xyCBt.
Applications for spring tags due Oct. 13
Applications for spring turkey, javelina, bison and bear hunts must be received no later than Tuesday, Oct. 13. To apply, visit www.azgfd.gov/hunting/draw.
Information provided by Arizona Game and Fish Department