PHOENIX, Ariz. – Duck and goose hunters who have been hibernating during the 100-degree heat can start thinking about blustery weather now that the 2011 Arizona Waterfowl and Snipe Regulations are posted at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s website at www.azgfd.gov/rules.
The general waterfowl season is set to open on Oct. 7 in the Mountain Zone and runs through Jan. 15, 2012. There is a shortened season for scaup ducks. The Desert Zone opens two weeks later and then closes Jan. 29, 2012.
“Nationally, duck numbers are the highest we have seen in decades and if we get the right conditions we could see a good waterfowl season in Arizona this year,” said Migratory Game Bird Supervisor, Mike Rabe. “Once the season gets going, the conditions hunters should look for are cold fronts and freezing conditions in states like Utah and Nevada to bring new birds through our state.”
Seasoned hunters will notice some changes to the annual regulations. The seasons are structured in chronological order by date, then zone, then special species. There are also many added notes to the notes section that incorporate the new law changes that opened up hunting in many areas that have been closed.
Because duck hunting is limited to shotguns shooting shot, hunters will be able to take advantage of these new open areas. Before heading out, be sure to thoroughly read the notes section of the regulations, and the details on open and closed areas at www.azgfd.gov/rules.
Duck hunters ages 16 and older are reminded that a federal duck stamp and an Arizona waterfowl stamp are required. Besides being a legal requirement, both of these stamps help fund wetland habitat conservation to benefit ducks and geese. This year Arizona is offering two artwork choices, one by a seasoned artist of a lone bufflehead, and the other, a wood duck by a 5-year-old entrant selected from the Federal Junior Duck Stamp art contest.
Printed copies of the 2011 Arizona Waterfowl and Snipe Regulations are now being circulated to Game and Fish offices and license dealers statewide.
To learn more about duck hunting, duck identification, and areas to hunt, go to www.azgfd.gov/hunting and click on the “waterfowl hunting” link on the left side.