Arizona Seasons Set For Waterfowl And Spring Hunts

Arizona Seasons Set For Waterfowl And Spring Hunts

Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona Game and Fish Department

Arizona –-( This may be summer, but there is an interesting way to have autumn and spring on your mind.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission on Aug. 1 approved the hunting regulations for the upcoming waterfowl season and the spring hunts for 2010.

So fire up your computers on Aug. 21, which is when both regulations should be available online at Although it is always possible that the regulations could be posted a few days early if the stars and ducks align.

Waterfowl and snipe

For general waterfowl and snipe, the overall general season will be a liberal season, 101 days in each of the state’s two zones.

The season begins Oct. 9 in the mountain zone and Oct. 23 in the desert zone. The mountain zone season ends Jan. 17 while the desert zone ends Jan. 31. However, for scaup ducks, the season is only 86 days, with a delayed start but ending at the same time in each of the zones.

There are two other changes, canvasback ducks are legal to take this year (last year was closed) and the bag for pintail has been increased from one to two.

Included in the regulations are two juniors-only hunts. There is an early season junior hunt Oct. 3-4 in the mountain zone, and then a late season junior hunt Feb. 6-7, 2010 in the desert zone. Both hunts are great opportunities for kids, 17 and under, to have the field to themselves.
While it may come as a surprise, Arizona offers a number of good duck hunting opportunities across the state from jumping stock tanks in the desert to decoying and calling ducks over lakes, streams, and marshes.

Water conditions throughout the state are good to average, which is the key to holding ducks that migrate from the northwest. As the season progresses, keep your eye on the weather forecasts for Idaho and Utah. When those states experience freezing weather and cold fronts, Arizona will typically see new ducks arriving shortly after. To get started in duck hunting all you need is a shotgun and some non-toxic shot. However, hip waders are a great asset. After that, it is just plain addictive. There is nothing like sitting on the edge of a marsh, while the sun rises and listening to the whistling wings of ducks coming into your decoy spread.

All waterfowl hunters 14 and older need a general hunting license (those younger must be accompanied by a licensed adult). Additionally, a state waterfowl stamp and a federal duck are required for those 16 and older. For those hunting snipe, coots and moorhens a state migratory bird stamp is required for those 16 and older. New this year is an alternate duck stamp using a youngster’s artwork from the federal duck stamp contest; however, it is only available at the Phoenix Game and Fish office. Regular Arizona duck stamps are available at most retailers who sell licenses.

To learn more about waterfowl hunting, visit and select “Waterfowl Hunting.”
2010 Spring Turkey, Javelina, Buffalo and Bear

Spring Hunts
It might be easier than you think to wrap your mind around spring even though the heat of summer is still making you sweat. It won’t be long before the 2010 spring hunt regulations are posted and you can begin applying.

Many of these hunts require a hunt permit-tag allocated through the drawing process. Hunters can submit an application as soon as the regulations are posted on the department’s Web site.

Applications must be received by U.S. mail or hand delivered by Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. (MST) and postmarks do not count. There is no online application system. For more details about applying for a tag through the draw, visit

The good news is the commission continues to offer hunts not tied to the lottery process. There are many nonpermit-tags for direct purchase over-the-counter at any license dealer, including the juniors-only spring turkey season, the archery-only javelina hunts in metro units, as well as general and archery-only spring bear seasons.

First introduced in the spring of 2009, the over-the-counter juniors-only turkey hunt is a big success, with excellent participation and an overwhelming support from the sportsmen’s community.

To facilitate the new program, the department partnered with many organizations and hosted a couple of mentored hunting camps to encourage beginning young hunters to get involved. These camps were so successful that there will be three camps during the opening weekend in the spring of 2010.

If you’re a new hunter, you can find out more about these event and more like them at and check out the “Mentored Hunting & Juniors-only Events 2009-10 Season” feature on the right side of the page.

Kids 14 and under interested in getting started in hunting big game, such as javelina, turkey, deer, and are required to take an Arizona certified hunter education course.

The department offers a variety of courses from the introductory course, combo course to the latest online self-paced course. Each offers plenty of lessons in addition to hunter and firearm safety.

If you are planning a hunt in the spring, now is the time to get your hunter education completed. To find a class near you that suits your schedule, visit and select “Hunter Education.”

Upcoming hunting season opening dates
(For detailed season dates, bag limits and laws, check the appropriate regulations at

Year-round: Rabbit season (cottontail and jackrabbits)
Sept. 1: Dove season
Sept. 5-6: Robbins Butte juniors-only dove hunt
Oct. 2: Squirrel season
Oct. 2: Quail season (excluding Mearns’)
Nov. 20: Dove late season
Nov.27: Mearns’ quail season

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.