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Oil up those squirrel rifles and make sure you have enough shotgun shells for quail – the Oct. 2 opening of tree squirrel and general quail seasons is rapidly approaching, advise Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists.
“It’s shaping up to be a decent year for tree squirrels, especially in the spruce and mixed-conifer areas for both tassel-eared and red squirrels,” Ron Day, the department’s small game biologist. “Also try hunting the transition zone between the ponderosa pine forest and the mixed conifer one.”
Don’t forget that the squirrel season remains open until the Dec. 31, providing more opportunities to take the youngsters out during the holidays.
But on the quail side, the outlook is not as promising. “We had pretty good Gambel’s quail reproduction last spring, but the dry hot summer may have taken its toll,” Day said. “Hunters should still be able to find some pockets of decent quail hunting.”
Day added that there is also a good population of cottontail rabbits in the low and mid elevation habitats again this year. “It’s always a good idea to mix in a little rabbit hunting with your quail outing, but you might even want to grab the trusty .22 and discover the joys of rabbit hunting.”