Mearns Quail Season gets a lot of folks stoked about Quail Hunting in S.E. Arizona.Reports and findings are that areas are spotty, some places are better than others and some days are good some days can be slow.Typical of wild Bird Hunting.Mearns Quail inhabit an incredible landscape that few venture on to.Get out there and enjoy some Arizona Quail Hunting.
It’s good to be home in Arizona.With that comes a lot of preparation for the up and coming season which equates to driving around the S.E. Corner of the State and doing ‘Taste Tests” better known as Scouting which entails running dogs and seeing what is out there.
Other areas of the State might be better off for Gambels Quail however the claim to fame to this area is the 3 Species that we can hunt which are Mearns,Gambels and Scaled Quail.
Due to really shitty scenting conditions,It’s been day to day,I’m encouraged on the “good “days when we find them however some days its a lot of walking or armed hiking chasing Birds that easily disappear.My observation is we a getting or harvesting young of the year Birds which is always a good sign.Its been hot and dry therefore when we get some rain this week conditions will drastically improve.
The 2018/19Season was all about Mearns Quail,with a few Gambels and Scalies thrown in.We had to work for the Birds but as the saying goes “thats what wild bird hunting is all about”.Our Clients like that and so do we.
S.E. Arizona has had above average moisture over the Winter Months.Thats good news for Arizona Gambels and Scaled Quail !Hunters looking to book trips should do it now.Some weeks are almost sold out.We are confident we will have fair -good Desert Bird hunting this season.It’s still to early tell forecast Mearns Quail as Monsoon Rains where spotty, some areas look ok others not so much.We will be out doing our homework before the season starts.
2019/20 Arizona Quail Season Dates
Gambels and Scaled Quail- 10/18/2019 – 2/10/2020
Mearns’ Quail -12/7/2019 – 2/10/2020
For more information our our Arizona Guided Quail Hunts including The El Coronado Ranch Hunts Click Here.
So far this has been another Season of The Mearns Quail.We are getting into decent numbers of birds which keeps things interesting.Even more interesting is the amazing Landscape which we find them in.We still have openings for January into February.Call Us @800-453-3991 Text us @520-604-2729 or email us email@example.com
The 2018/19 Season was a busy one! Although Desert Quail Numbers where down the Mearns Quail pulled us through the season with many clients enjoying their time chasing this sometimes elusive trophy bird.Thanks to all that made it down to Hunt with us,We appreciate it and sure enjoyed sharing our little part of the world with you.
2019/20 Season Forecast
We are excited about the up and coming season ! S.E. Arizona has received and continues to receive a lot of winter rain which Gambels and Scaled Quail rely on.We are confidently booking the season which is starting to fill up fast.
2019/20 Arizona Quail Season Dates
Hunting Huns and Sharptails can be very demanding from both a shooting and physical standpoint, as a lot of ground has to be covered and the dogs tend to range out to find their quarry, once found, the birds will move away from the point, which to the shooter means long shots at fast targets, for some first timers this type of behaviour leads them to believe that the birds are pressured, which is wrong, hunters should understand that Game Birds are at the very bottom of the food chain and have to contend with a lot of critters, not just hunters.
Gray partridge and Sharptail Grouse evolved out of short grass eco-systems, both like to see what is around them so they tend to feed, loaf and roost on vantage points such as the sides and tops of hills and in some cases with Sharptails in trees, so when a threat approaches they can see and react accordingly to the threat by moving away from it, usually they first run, then flush and fly.
A good dog soon learns how to handle the birds, by pointing from a distance and not crowding the birds even when the dog re-locates on runners, this is something you can not teach a dog, they just learn from experience. Some of the best Hun Dogs I have owned, own or shot over pretty much “ hunker the ground “ when they are pointing and I have seen some dogs actually “Set” or lay down and these dogs were not Setters, all where Brittany’s .The dogs are pointing this way for a reason, they can see the birds and understand that getting to close means flushed birds, which is not welcome, from a Field Trailer’s standpoint this is not pretty, but from a hunter’s standpoint it shows the dog is “Wild Bird Smart” and deserves lots of praise. Hunters have to adjust to, they must aggressively cover the points by moving past the dogs so that they force any running birds to flush, if birds are not moved there is a good chance that they ran out of the Dog’s scent cone, or behind the dog, in either case the dog(s) are released so they can relocate and pin the birds.
If the covey gets up wild or if no birds are shot from the covey, I like to pursue the birds and get on them before they have a chance to covey up again, as there are less sets of eyes on you at this time so the birds will sit tighter for the dogs and hunters.
Windy days or no wind at all can make things challenging for the dogs and hunters as the already skittish birds seem to become a little more paranoid, resulting in wild flushes etc. however the same rules apply, stay on or pursue the covey until they are broken up.
The same tactics hold true for Sharptail Grouse, when approached a lone bird may jump up causing the rest of the dispersed flock to do the same, but by pursuing the birds and forcing those to disperse will result in Dog work and Birds in the bag. Both Huns and Sharptails are creatures of habit and each group or covey usually goes to the same favourite places to feed, loaf, and roost, Knowing the area, the covey’s habits and where they are going fly to after they flush hHelps in the pursuit, but this knowledge is gained only with time, which for most folks is something they don’t have a lot of.
As far as bores are concerned, I am a big fan of 12 and 16 Gauge guns, 20 and 28 are fine but I have witnessed more wounded birds with 20’s and 28s than I have with the larger bored guns.
My personnel favourite for open Prairie hunting is a Belgian made SxS 16 bore, chocked IC and Extra Full with Double triggers, I have shot more doubles with this gun, than any of the others that I own , I also love double triggers as they allow you to quickly select your tighter choked barrel and reach out and touch the birds.
Despite the challenges that prairie hunters face, there are days when the birds “fly up your sleeves” you just have to ready for it when it happens!