Bird Hunting in Arizona

Bird Hunting in Arizona

Temperate, expansive and beautiful — bird hunting in Arizona proves the Grand Canyon State offers so much more.

Don’t let the deserts of Arizona (there are actually four different types of desert there) fool you. They might not be the places you want to build your nest, but they are the places many birds call home. As such, bird hunting in Arizona is alive and well. The great thing about that, too, is how much public land is available for bird hunting. In fact, about 60 percent of Arizona is public land. In addition to that, there is a great deal of private land open for hunting thanks to the Land Access Program. If you want to see what Arizona has in store for you, expect to pay $20 a day for a short-term nonresident combination license. Residents pay $15 for the same license, but can also buy an annual license for $37. 


Dove hunting in Arizona has been around for awhile now. Recently, however, law changes made 1 million acres of open desert accessible for dove hunting. That is a lot more territory to explore for bird hunting in Arizona. There are a few different kinds of doves found in Arizona, but they come under different regulations. White-winged doves, for example, have a daily bag limit of 10. On the other hand, there is no daily bag limit for Eurasian collared doves. 

The season dates for doves runs from September 1 to 15. Late season goes from November 24 to January 7. 


There are three species of quail available for hunting in Arizona: Gambel’s, scaled, and Mearns’. Of the three, Gambel’s is perhaps the most abundant and can be found statewide. Gambel’s is most often hunted in the open desert. As for the scaled quail, you can find them in eastern Arizona. The Mearns’ quail has been known to make its habitat in lower parts of southern Arizona. 

The season for Gambels’ and scaled quail runs from October 6 to February 11, with a daily bag limit of 15. The season for Mearns’ runs from December 8 to February 11. 

Blue Grouse

It might not surprise anyone that blue grouse, also known as dusky grouse, get their name from their color. You can look for them in forests above an elevation of 8,000 feet. Because of this limitation, however, they are found exclusively in the mountains of Arizona like Escudilla and Chuska. Blue grouse are a good option for someone looking to add some difficulty to their bird hunting in Arizona. 

The blue grouse season runs from September 1 to November 12, with a daily bag limit of 3. 

Other Species for Bird Hunting in Arizona 

A select number of other species are available for bird hunting in Arizona. Pheasant can be hunted in Arizona, but it’s limited to area 40B in the Yuma Valley region. There is a further application and draw process as well as separate tags for anyone wanting to hunt pheasant. Chukar season runs from September 1 to February 11, with a daily bag limit of 5. Band-tailed pigeon dwell in some of the conifer and pine forests of Arizona. You can find other populations in oak and evergreens between elevations of 5,000 and 9,000 feet.

Related Conservation and Non-Profit Organizations for Arizona Bird Hunting

Southern Arizona Quail Forever

Pheasants Forever

North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association

The Hunter Safety Course and Dog Training for Bird Hunting in Arizona 

If you want to buy a small game license in Arizona, you will not need to possess a hunter education certificate. Only children under the age of 14 will need to complete the required hunter education courses. Check out the course schedule for Arizona hunter education.

To train your dog for bird hunting in Arizona, you will need to obtain a free special use permit. It will allow you to release and take pen-raised birds specified on the permit, for no more than 10 consecutive days.

The bird hunting season dates, game bird species available, and other information is subject to change. The article may not reflect this. Please visit the website for Arizona Game and Fish Department for the most up-to-date information on bird hunting in Arizona. 

Last modified: August 10, 2018

3 Responses to :
Bird Hunting in Arizona

  1. Jeremy says:

    Maybe do some articles for Utah and Idaho!

    1. A.J. DeRosa says:

      We have them coming Jeremy! Thank you for checking this series out.

  2. Scott L says:

    Some of the suggested locations, such as grouse are on reservations. AZGFD *and* the tribal management office regulations overlap and apply. Reservation regs (usually more strict) overrule AZGFD laws on reservations. Those rules and regs change often without notice. Most importantly, there are delicate cultural considerations to be taken in to consideration when hunting on reservation lands. Some reservations will not allow anyone to possess a firearm on their lands except when on a state or federal funded roadway, only passing through. Usually it’s strongly suggested to hire a guide specializing in hunting on reservations.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: