Skip to main content

Arizona's Hunting Regulations Amended

New rules restrict use of rifles, pistols in metro hunt units for public safety

Arizona's Hunting Regulations Amended
Outdoor Channel
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Hunters rejoice, you now have access to approximately 1 million acres of public and state trust lands within municipal boundaries this hunting season, but there are regulation changes that relate to these new opportunities and public safety that hunters need to know.

These opportunities required amending the 2011-12 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations, as well as the 2011 Pronghorn Antelope and Elk Hunt Regulations because the changes to state law became effective after these publications were distributed.

In an interest of time and as a cost savings measure, Game and Fish will NOT be reprinting the 2011-12 Arizona Hunting and Trapping regulations, or the 2011 Pronghorn Antelope and elk Hunt Draw Information Booklet.

“Basically, because of these law changes, Arizona hunters now have access to the undeveloped lands on the fringes of municipal boundaries that were once off limits, much of it is perfect for safe recreational small game hunting using shotguns, which have a short effective range,” said Chief of Wildlife Recreation, Craig McMullen.

McMullen also expressed, citizens can feel safe because the Game and Fish Commission, a public body, has prohibited the use of long-range firearms like rifles, muzzleloaders, or pistols on private property in city limits and in metropolitan hunt units. In addition, a core area in metro Phoenix was closed to hunting. These restrictions were implemented to minimize conflicts in urban areas and to assure public safety.


Because of these law changes, hunters will need to download and print the amended regulations (changes are indicated in red font), to get the latest legal hunting requirements. Most of the changes are identified in the notes section for each species in the regulations.


Hunters should carefully read these notes to learn about any restrictions to methods of take, and modifications to open areas for most species including, but not limited to elk, antelope, deer, quail, rabbits, predators, and fur-bearing mammals. The latest regulations are available at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s website at www.azgfd.gov/rules.

What changed?

The regulations were amended because of recent law changes to ARS §13-3107 and §13-3108 that transferred the authority to regulate the use of firearms for the take wildlife within municipal boundaries to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. The commission amended the appropriate hunting seasons and regulations at its Aug. 6 public meeting to comply with the new legislation.

While there are many changes to the regulations due to the change of authority, much of these changes are to mimic sensible restrictions that were already in place through other regulations such as overarching state laws, intergovernmental agreements, or other means.


“The good news is, hunters that haven’t heard about these recent law changes and are following the original regulations will not be hunting in city limits, because those originally issued publications do not make specific allowances for hunting within municipal boundaries,” said McMullen.

Before the law change, it was against the law to shoot a firearm, even while taking wildlife, within city limits. Under the new authority of the commission, the hunting regulations have been amended to assure public safety, while also providing as much hunting opportunity as possible.

This is done by implementing seasons that do not permit high-power rifles in certain areas, closing populated urban centers, or through continued communication of the state law that prohibits hunting with a firearm within a quarter mile of an occupied building.


Some of the key changes to the regulations that hunters and the public need to know about, include, but are not limited to:

Closed to hunting – A large portion of the Phoenix metropolitan area is closed to hunting. For boundary description and area map, visit www.azgfd.gov/rules.

Closed to hunting – Golf courses, airports, and posted water treatment facilities are closed to hunting.

Closed to hunting with firearms: Private lands in both the Tucson and Flagstaff metro hunt units (11M and 38M respectively) are closed to all hunting during firearms seasons, including those for shotgun shooting shot. Hunting with a firearm inside city limits in these populated metro units is only permitted on public and state trust lands.

Closed to hunting during “General Firearm Rifle Seasons” – Private property within city limits is closed to all hunting during “general firearm rifle seasons” using any weapon type including a rifle, pistol, muzzleloader as well as bow and arrows. There are some limited exclusions for wildlife management needs.

Open to hunting with restrictions – Generally, county and city parks and preserves are closed to hunting. The Commission opened some county parks in Pima and Maricopa County for hunting. For the Pima and Maricopa County parks and/or preserves that are open to hunting by commission order, further restrictions make it unlawful to take wildlife within a quarter mile of a developed campground, picnic area, occupied building, boat ramp, shooting range, or golf course.

Open to hunting with restrictions – Private property inside city limits not already excluded (i.e. 11M, 38M and Phoenix metro area) are only open to hunting during “limited weapon, shotgun shooting shot seasons.”

Reptile hunting and collection restrictions – Hunting reptiles with a firearm is closed statewide on private property inside city limits, city and county parks and preserves, golf courses, airports and posted water treatment facilities. A limited weapon season, which does not include the use of firearms, was created for taking/collecting reptiles in these areas closed to firearms.

To learn more about these recent law changes, and how Game and Fish has implemented these changes to assure the public’s safety, while still providing hunting opportunity in these undeveloped, uninhabited public lands in municipalities, visit www.azgfd.gov/rules.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Deputy Director, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Deputy Director as listed above.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

Make Your Own Tackle Box with Plano Edge Flex

Make Your Own Tackle Box with Plano Edge Flex

Plano's Charlie Davis and In-Fisherman's Rob Neumann talk about the new Plano Edge Flex as part of the 2020 ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

Engel

Engel's High Viz Drybox Coolers

Versatile boxes available in four sizes; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

Daiwa Dark Water Rods

Daiwa Dark Water Rods

From barracuda to wahoo to kingfish to sailfish and beyond, these new Daiwa saltwater rods rely on HVG technology (that makes them 50% lighter), soft tips to protect leaders as big fish make strong runs, and strong backbones to help anglers crank up hard-fighting species from below.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

Quick look at common, easy-to-catch fish species (video).Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers Other Freshwater

Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers

Game & Fish Staff

Quick look at common, easy-to-catch fish species (video).

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix them.10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems Fishing How-To

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix...

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos Gomez. In this article, Gomez recounts his experiences from his first nighttime poaching bust.Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust Stories

Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 30, 2018

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos...

Crossbows are more popular – and legal – in more places, and statistics show they're not that much more effective than vertical bows.Few Bowhunters Can Ignore This Case for Hunting with Crossbows Stories

Few Bowhunters Can Ignore This Case for Hunting with Crossbows

Patrick Durkin - September 30, 2020

Crossbows are more popular – and legal – in more places, and statistics show they're not that...

Officers face a myriad of incidents in the field; these Texas Game Wardens stories range from the serious to the ridiculous.Bodycam Footage Exposes Naked Hunter: Game Warden Stories Stories

Bodycam Footage Exposes Naked Hunter: Game Warden Stories

Game & Fish Online Staff - November 28, 2017

Officers face a myriad of incidents in the field; these Texas Game Wardens stories range from...

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever seen.The Story Behind Brewster's World-Record Buck Whitetail

The Story Behind Brewster's World-Record Buck

Lynn Burkhead - October 17, 2019

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever...

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now