DECEMBER 31, 2014

Make memories during your holiday break: Take your child small game hunting

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PHOENIX – Cure your child’s holiday boredom and restlessness with a small game hunting experience which costs only $5 for a hunting and fishing youth combination license. Small game hunting can often be found close to home and offers opportunities for novices to experts. Even better, it can create holiday memories your children will remember for a lifetime.

From quail and rabbit in the desert to squirrels and ducks in the high country, fall hunting represents outdoor recreation at its best.

hunterQuail and rabbit can be hunted in the open spaces of the lower desert up to the rolling hills of scrub oaks and manzanita bush of the mid-level desert. Squirrel hunting provides the perfect reason to escape to the crisp air of the ponderosa pine forests in the mountain region during the beautiful fall colors. And if you’re a waterfowl hunter, look for above-average duck numbers this year.

Small game and waterfowl hunting offer affordable, healthy outdoor recreation, exciting hunting pursuits, and the original organic table-fare.

Best yet, the equipment needed to hunt small game is minimal, requiring a general Arizona hunting license (for waterfowl hunting, you’ll also need an Arizona migratory bird stamp and a federal duck stamp), shotgun (.410- to 12-gauge), plenty of No. 7 ½ or 6’s upland shot shells, or No. 2’s, 3’s or 4’s for waterfowl hunting, and a good pair of boots.

With the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s new simplified license offerings, buying a license is easy and a great value. Hunting licenses are now good for 365 days from the time of purchase rather than just for the calendar year, offering small game hunters more flexibility in timing their license purchase. Youth licenses for ages 10-17 are only $5 and include the Arizona migratory bird stamp (although youths age 16 and older still must buy the federal duck stamp if they want to hunt waterfowl).

Each species is a challenging quarry and hunting them will take you to just about anywhere you would like to go in Arizona – a great excuse for exploring and enjoying the outdoors.

Want to get great hunting tips, seasonal outlooks, hunting dates, recipes and more? Visit and choose “small game outlook.”

For regulations on small game, visit For regulations on waterfowl, visit