Arizona offers some
of the best hunting in the nation. If you
have hunted in Arizona before, you know
of the diversity of wildlife and habitat
that provide extraordinary hunting opportunities.
If this is your first time hunting in Arizona,
you are in for a memorable experience.
Whether you bag a 6x6 bull
elk, a spike deer, a limit of dove, or go
home empty-handed, the times spent in the
field with your friends and family are some
of the best times you will ever have.
believe that the future of hunting, as well
as the conservation of natural resources,
is irrevocably tied to the recruitment of
our youth to these time-honored traditions.
And if you’re lucky enough to go on
a hunt with your children, and sleep out
under the stars together, the experience
will provide lasting memories. What better
way to know your children than around a
campfire with none of the distractions of
our daily lives.
will find the information needed to start planning your next hunting adventure.
/ YOUTH HUNTERS: The Arizona
Game and Fish Department supports
and promotes introducing children
to the American tradition of hunting.
It is important that the next generation
learns how hunting plays a significant
role in the conservation and management
of wildlife. The Department offers
a wide variety of juniors-only hunting
and shooting programs. These programs
are designed to get children in the
field with a parent, guardian, or
mentor who can focus completely on
the child, and provide the guidance
needed to teach the next generation
of hunters and stewards how to be
responsible and ethical conservationists.
GAME HUNTING: Arizona is also
recognized for its abundant small
game species. Upland hunters can pursue
three species of quail (Gambel’s,
scaled and Mearns’), mourning
dove, white-winged dove, Eurasian
collared-dove, band-tailed pigeon,
blue grouse, five types of squirrel,
cottontail rabbits, as well as ducks
and geese. Open country provides endless
field time for hunting predators and
fur bearing mammals as well. A general
hunting license is typically all that
is required, with exception to any
appropriate stamps for migratory and
HUNTING: Arizona is well known
throughout the country and abroad
for it's quality big game hunting
opportunities. There are 10 big game
animal species in this great state,
all of them accessible through public
land pursuit. Game species include
antelope, black bear, buffalo, desert
bighorn sheep, elk, javelina, turkey
(Merriam's and Gould's), mountain
lion, mule deer, and white-tailed
(Coues') deer. The country where these
species can be found also runs the
spectrum, from the dry rugged Kofa
Mountains to the world renowned Kaibab
Strip and all the country in between.
Arizona offers every variety of hunting
SAFETY: Hunter education is not
mandated in Arizona, with one exception
for youth ages 10 through 13, who are
required to have a valid hunter education
certification from Arizona or other
approved program to participate in a
big game hunt (10 is the minimum age
to hunt big game).
However, all hunters are encouraged
to wear “hunter orange”
in all hunting situations - except
spring turkey season - and to remember
Arizona’s safe hunter’s
slogan: tab plus one (T.A.B. +1):
Treat every gun as if it were loaded; Always keep your muzzle pointed in
a safe direction; Be sure of your
target and beyond; +1 Keep your finger
outside the trigger guard until ready
to shoot. Safety is no accident.
ETHICAL OUTDOORSMAN RECOGNITION: This program provides outdoorsmen and women the opportunity to recognize their peers for responsibile stewardship of Arizona's public and private lands, ethical behavior in the outdoors, or selfless acts of sportsmanship.
IS THE DRAW?: The draw is a
lottery-style process for allocating
the limited number of Arizona big
game and other limited species hunt
permit-tags to applicants. The department
typically receives far more applications
than there are available permits.
Permits available per species are
determined and adjusted annually from
the results of science based studies,
surveys, and management goals for
maintaining healthy, sustainable wildlife
populations and habitats.
To apply for a hunt permit-tag, an
application must be submitted during
the "Draw". Refer to the
current hunting regulation for hunt
numbers, application procedures and
more. All current regulations are
downloadable from the right side column
on this page.
SCHEDULES: The department conducts
three (3) big game 'Drawings'. The
application deadline dates are set
each year by the Arizona Game and
Fish Commission, however they typically
occur as follows:
– for pronghorn antelope and
for fall hunts of deer, turkey, javelina,
bighorn sheep, buffalo, bear and mountain
– for spring hunts of turkey,
javelina, buffalo and bear;
are many opportunities to go hunting
that do not require hunters to submit
an application for a hunt permit-tag
via the Draw.
Referred to as over-the-counter
tags, these permits are available
for purchase from department offices
and in many cases from license dealers.
Species and hunts available
are: archery-only deer (some unit
restrictions); limited opportunity
elk; mountain lion; bear; archery-only
javelina and juniors-only turkey (shotgun
TAG TRANSFER PROGRAM: Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S. 17-332), there are circumstances where a big game hunt permit-tag can be transferred. Should you be unable to use your big game tag, the Department is unable to reimburse you for your fees or reinstate your bonus points.
Circumstances where a tag can be transferred or donated are:
Transfer from a parent, grandparent or guardian to their minor child or grandchild. A parent, grandparent or legal guardian holding a big game tag may allow the use of that tag by their minor child or minor grandchild pursuant to the following requirements:
- The minor child is 10 to 17 years old on the date of transfer;
- The minor child has a valid hunting or combination license on the date of transfer;
- A minor child less than 14 years old has satisfactorily completed a Department-approved hunter education course by the beginning date of the hunt;
- The parent or guardian must accompany the child in the field or, if a grandparent allows a minor grandchild to use the grandparent’s permit or tag, the grandparent, parent or the child’s guardian must accompany the child in the field. In either case, the adult must be within 50 yards of the child when the animal is taken.
Note: There is a $4 fee for the big game tag transfer to cover the administrative costs for processing the transfer and producing an additional tag. See more info. Once a tag is transferred at a Department office, the original permittee may no longer use it.
Donation to a qualifying organization for use by a minor child with a life-threatening medical condition or permanent physical disability. You may donate your tag to a qualifying nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides hunting opportunities to children with life-threatening medical conditions or qualifying permanent physical disabilities. There is no tag transfer fee for making the donation. Please contact the organization directly to arrange for a donation.
Some organizations include:
New in 2014: Donation to a qualifying organization for use by a military veteran with a service-related disability. A tag transfer to a disabled veteran’s 501(c)(3) organization requires a big game tag transfer affidavit of voluntary donation and the tag. Contact the individual 501(c)(3) organization to obtain the transfer affidavit. There is no tag transfer fee for making the donation.
A U.S. veteran of the Armed Forces who has a service-connected disability is defined in law as one who has "a permanent physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities requiring the assistance of another person or a mechanical device for physical mobility."
The following organization is a qualifying organization for disabled veteran tag transfer:
We are currently working with other organizations and will post the names of those organizations as they become available.
AMERICAN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION MODEL: Regardless
of whether one chooses to actively
participate in hunting or angling,
people interested in wildlife and
its future should understand the conservation
role sportsmen play.
Hunting and angling
are the cornerstones of the North
American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
These activities continue to be the
primary source of funding for conservation
efforts in North America. Through
self-imposed excise tax on hunting,
angling and shooting sports equipment,
hunters and anglers have generated
more than $10 billion toward wildlife
conservation since 1939.
Concepts of Conservation
- Wildlife is Held in the Public
- Regulated Commerce in Wildlife
- Hunting and Angling Laws are
- Hunting and Angling Opportunity
- Hunters and Anglers Fund Conservation
- Wildlife is an International
- Science is the Basis for Wildlife
EVOLUTION OF HUNTING LAWS, ENFORCEMENT AND THE COMMISSION SYSTEM: Members of the public often express an interest in Arizona’s hunting laws and how they were developed, how violations of wildlife laws are enforced, the tradition of outdoor ethics, and how the Arizona Game and Fish Commission system came into being and what role it plays today.