Arizona Game and FIsh Department - Managing Today for Wildlife Tomorrow: Arizona Game and Fish Department

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- Raccoon
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Raccoon   Habitat
This medium sized carnivore is readily identified by its heavy-set body, grizzled brownish-gray appearance, black facial mask, and banded tail. The sexes are similar and measure from about 1 1/2 feet to 2 1/3 feet in length with an eight to 12 inch tail that is alternately ringed in light and dark. Weights range from about 12 to 35 pounds.

A relatively common animal along Arizona's perennial streams, lakes, and reservoirs, raccoons can also be found near some of the larger stock tanks and in rural areas where permanent water is available. Although not often seen in the wild because of its nocturnal habits, the raccoon's distinctive five-toed tracks are commonly observed in mud around stock tanks and along river courses. These animals are adept climbers as well as swimmers.

Raccoons are omnivores, eating whatever food is available - aquatic insect larvae, beetle grubs, fish, frogs, crayfish, wild fruits, and even carrion. In certain areas, these animals can be a nuisance, not only raiding garbage cans, but also committing depredations on poultry houses, corn fields, and fruit trees.

Natural History
Raccoons have been little studied in Arizona, and their life history here is not well documented. The two to five young are presumably born in spring in a den that may be located in a rocky crevice, brush-pile, or hollow tree. The young remain with the female until the fall.

Hunting and Trapping History

Both pursued with dogs as game, and trapped as a fur-bearer, the raccoon is somewhat unique in that it is the only animal in Arizona that can be legally taken with a firearm at night. Because of their limited distribution near water, "coons" have never been important fur-bearers, and annual harvests from trapping have rarely exceeded 1,000 pelts. With the decline in trapping activity over the past 10 years, this take has been reduced to only a few dozen raccoons a year. Although its nocturnal habits make for few incidental takings, the raccoon's status as a game animal appears more stable. Hunt questionnaire data from general license buyers indicate an annual harvest of another 1,200 animals a year. Most of this harvest is undoubtedly by hunters with hounds.

Updated April 2009

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Hunting, Trapping & Fishing Regulations, Season Dates & Draw Information

Detailed information on all rules, regulations and seasons

  • 2014-2015 Arizona Hunting Regulations [PDF, 6mb]

  • Hunt Permit-Tag Application Form [PDF]
  • New! 2015 Pronghorn Antelope & Elk Hunt Draw Regulations

  • 2014 Spring Hunt Draw Regulations [PDF]

  • 2014-2015 Waterfowl & Snipe Regulations [PDF]

  • 2014-2015 Dove & Band-tailed Pigeon Regs [PDF]

  • 2014 Sandhill Crane Regulations [PDF]

  • Hunt Arizona 2014: Survey, Harvest and Draw Data

  • 2014-2015 Trapping Regulations [PDF]

  • Revised 2015-16 AZ Fishing Regulations
    [PDF, 8mb]
  • 2015 Urban Fishing Guidebook
    [PDF, 9mb]
  • 2015 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-14 Raptor Regulations [PDF]
  • Arizona Residency Requirements [PDF]
NOTE: The above files are PDF's and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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