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Arizona’s waterfowl, quail seasons flying by

PHOENIX — There’s still time for Arizona hunters to take aim at some of the best wing-shooting opportunities the state has to offer — but the clock is ticking.

The general waterfowl season in the “Mountain Zone” (Game Management Units 1-5, 7, 9, 11M, 12A, and those portions of Units 6 and 8 within Coconino County) runs through Sunday, Jan. 12. The general season in the “Desert Zone” (Game Management Units 10 and 12B through 46B, and those portions of Units 6 and 8 within Yavapai County) closes Sunday, Jan. 26.

Ducks, including mergansers, coots and common moorhens (gallinules); white geese (snow, blue and Ross’); and dark geese (Canada and white-fronted) are legal wildlife in both zones. Scaup can be harvested in the Mountain Zone through Sunday, Jan. 12, and in the Desert Zone through Sunday, Jan. 26.

Quail hunters have until Sunday, Feb. 9, to get out and chase the state’s three main species — Gambel’s, scaled and Mearns’. The general bag limit is 15 quail per day in the aggregate, of which no more than eight may be Mearns’ quail. The general possession limit is 45 quail in the aggregate, of which no more than 15 Gambel’s, scaled or California quail in the aggregate may be taken in any one day. The 45-quail possession limit may include 24 Mearns’ quail, of which no more than eight may be taken in any one day.

As a reminder, all hunters 10 and older must possess a valid Arizona hunting or combination license. Those 18 and older also must possess an Arizona Migratory Bird Stamp ($5) to hunt waterfowl. Also, hunters 16 and older must possess a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp to hunt waterfowl. Licenses and state migratory bird stamps can be purchased on the department’s website at www.azgfd.com/License/.

All hunters play an important role in conservation. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) funds are comprised of excise taxes collected on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment (including 11 percent on ammunition), the benefit of which comes right back to Arizona for habitat improvements, shooting ranges, boating access and more.

For more information about hunting in Arizona, visit www.azgfd.com/Hunting/.