Arizona, affectionately known by its greatest landmark and dubbed “The Grand Canyon State,” offers opportunities for hunting year-round.
The state's hunting regulations determine which species of game animals are in open season, bag limits for the in-season species, and a draw system that determines how many hunters are allowed to take a specific species each year, in addition to other state laws and regulations.
While some species are restricted to only being hunted during certain months, the following list includes four animals that are in season year-round for hunting in Arizona.
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1. Mountain Lion
The Arizona Game & Fish Department lists the mountain lion as open for hunting
year-round in Arizona. While it was once restricted to all but the summer months, hunting mountain lions has recently been extended to all year because of rising numbers, which is largely dependent on the increasing population of deer, the mountain lion’s main source of food. While mountain lions are capable of reproducing year-round, kittens are typically born at higher rates in the summer months. Hunters may only take one mountain lion per year, and any hunter who does take one must present it to the Arizona Game & Fish Department for inspection following the hunt.
Although coyotes may be easily mistaken for dogs or wolves, the Arizona Game & Fish Department provides tips for differentiating among the species
. Coyotes breed in late winter and can weigh as much as 35 pounds. For the past 10 years, approximately 13,000 hunters have participated in hunting coyotes, with the total take ranging between 30,000 and 40,000 animals. While trappers used to take as many coyotes as hunters, coyote pelts are no longer as valuable, and the state has outlawed foothold traps on any public hunting land.
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In Arizona, cottontail and jackrabbits may be hunted year-round, according to the Arizona Game & Fish Department
Hunters often associate rabbit hunting with other small game, like doves and quails, but rabbits never go out of season when hunting in Arizona. Because the three species of cottontail rabbits in Arizona do not have stable or predictable population numbers, the annual take has ranged from as low as 45,000 in 2002 to as high as 850,000 in 1979.
Restricted to the wildlife areas known as Raymond and House Rock, the buffalo is a major big-game dream hunt available for hunting year-round in Arizona. The Arizona Game & Fish Department states that this large animal may weigh
more than a ton and travels in large herds, producing offspring in the late summer months. Because the buffalo was nearly wiped out years ago, the state requires a special permit to hunt this massive animal.
A more comprehensive list of species for hunting each month and season in Arizona can be found on the Arizona Game & Fish Department website
This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.
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