:us: Memorial Day Blowout Sale :us: Major Price Cuts and Free Shipping on top calibers. Shop now – sale ends May 28th!

Arizona Hunting Seasons

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of the American Southwest, Arizona beckons hunting enthusiasts with its diverse wildlife and well-regulated hunting seasons. From majestic big game species to elusive upland birds and waterfowl, this captivating state offers a plethora of hunting opportunities year-round. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the different animals you can hunt in Arizona, their corresponding hunting seasons, the best calibers for each species, and the essential steps to obtain permits if needed.

1. Big Game Hunting

Arizona Mule Deer Hunting Season

  • Season: Typically runs from late August to early December.
  • Best Calibers for Deer: .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC.
  • Permits: Arizona conducts a draw for mule deer tags, and the application period usually begins in the spring. Hunters must apply online through the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) portal.

Arizona White-tailed Deer Hunting Season

  • Season: Usually spans from late August to early December.
  • Best Calibers for Deer: .270 Winchester, .30-30 Winchester, .243 Winchester.
  • Permits: White-tailed deer tags are available through the draw process. Apply through the AZGFD portal during the designated application period.

Arizona Elk Hunting Season

  • Season: Seasons vary depending on the hunt unit but generally run from early September to early February.
  • Best Calibers for Elk: .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum.
  • Permits: Elk tags are highly sought after and allocated through a draw system. Submit your application during the specified application window.

Arizona Bighorn Sheep Hunting Season

  • Season: Seasons vary by hunt unit and typically fall in the fall and winter months.
  • Best Calibers for Bighorn Sheep: .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum.
  • Permits: Bighorn sheep tags are limited and allocated through a lottery draw. Hunters must apply through AZGFD and pay a non-refundable application fee.

Arizona Pronghorn Antelope Hunting Season

  • Season: Usually from late August to early October.
  • Best Calibers for Pronghorn Antelope: .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester.
  • Permits: Pronghorn tags are available through a draw system. Apply online during the designated application period.

Arizona Bison Hunting Season

  • Season: Season dates vary by zone. Usually around October 13-26 and November – December 31.
  • Best Calibers for Bison: 30-06 Springfield, 45-70 Government, .308 Winchester, 338 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag.
  • Permits: Bison tags are available through a draw system. Apply online during the designated application period.

Arizona Black Bear Hunting Season

  • Season: Generally runs from early August to late December.
  • Best Calibers for Black Bear: .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum.
  • Permits: Arizona offers over-the-counter tags for black bear hunting, making it accessible to both residents and non-residents.

Arizona Mountain Lion Hunting Season

  • Season: Open year-round.
  • Best Calibers for Mountain Lion: .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum.
  • Permits: To hunt mountain lions, you must obtain a hunting license and a mountain lion tag, which is available over-the-counter.

Arizona Javelina Hunting Season

  • Season: Generally runs February – March.
  • Best Calibers for Javelina: 300 Blackout, 223 Remington, 6mm, 22-250.
  • Permits: Permits for hunting Javelina are available through a draw system. Apply online during the designated application period.

2. Upland Game Birds

Arizona Quail Hunting Season

  • Season: Generally from early October to early February.
  • Recommended Shotgun Gauges: 20-gauge, 12-gauge. Recommend #6 or #7.5 Shot.
  • Permits: Hunting quail in Arizona requires a federal migratory bird stamp and a valid hunting license.

Arizona Chukar Hunting Season

  • Season: Typically from early October to early February.
  • Recommended Shotgun Gauges: 20-gauge, 12-gauge.
  • Permits: Hunting Chukar in Arizona requires a federal migratory bird stamp and a valid hunting license.

Arizona Grouse Hunting Season

  • Season: Usually from early September to late November.
  • Recommended Shotgun Gauges: 20-gauge, 12-gauge.
  • Permits: Hunting Grouse in Arizona requires a federal migratory bird stamp and a valid hunting license.

Arizona Dove Hunting Season

  • Season: September 1 – September 15
  • Recommended Shotgun Gauges: 12-gauge, 20-gauge. Recommend #6 Shot or #7.5 Shot.
  • Permits: Hunting Dove in Arizona requires a federal migratory bird stamp and a valid hunting license.

Arizona Turkey Hunting Season

  • Season: Turkey hunting is broken up into two seasons, from April to May and October
  • Recommended Shotgun Gauges: 12-gauge, 20-gauge. 3″ – 3-1/2″ Shells. Recommend using #3 Shot, #4 Shot or #5 Shot using a full choke.
  • Permits: Permit tags are required with a yearly draw.

3. Waterfowl Hunting

Arizona Ducks and Geese Hunting Season

  • Season: Split into different zones, with seasons generally from late September to late January.
  • Recommended Shotgun Gauges: 12-gauge, 20-gauge. Recommend 3″, 3-1/4″, 3-1/2″ Shells,
    • Small Ducks, 15-40 yards – #4 Shot, #5 Shot or #6 Shot
    • Large Ducks, 15-40 yards – #BB Shot, #1 Shot, #2 Shot, #3 Shot.
    • Geese 10-45 yards – T Shot, BBB Shot, BB Shot, #1 Shot, #2 Shot.
  • Permits: Hunting Ducks and Geese in Arizona requires a federal migratory bird stamp and a valid hunting license.

Permit Requirements

To hunt in Arizona, you’ll need a valid hunting license. Resident and non-resident hunting licenses can be purchased online from the Arizona Game and Fish Department website or authorized vendors. For big game species, bighorn sheep, and limited-entry hunts, you must apply for a specific tag through the draw system. The draw application period typically opens in the spring. Non-residents are eligible to apply for tags and permits, but some hunts may have limited availability.

Conclusion

Arizona’s hunting seasons offer a mesmerizing tapestry of opportunities for hunters to experience the untamed beauty of the Southwest. From the challenge of stalking majestic big game to the thrill of upland bird and waterfowl hunts, Arizona’s diverse landscapes have something to offer every outdoor enthusiast. Always prioritize safety, ethical hunting practices, and compliance with regulations to contribute to the preservation of Arizona’s precious wildlife heritage. So, gear up, prepare your hunting gear, and embark on unforgettable adventures in the heart of Arizona’s wilderness!

(Note: Regulations and permit availability may change each year, so make sure to check the Arizona Game and Fish Department website for the most up-to-date information before planning your hunting trips. Happy hunting!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *