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Hunt Guidelines and Hunt Recommendations Process

 

Proposed fall hunt recommendations now available for review

Open houses to be held in early April

The proposed 2014 fall hunt recommendations for deer, bighorn sheep, turkey, javelina, buffalo, bear, mountain lion and small game animals are now posted for review by the public.

The proposed hunt recommendations will also be made available for public review at several regional open houses scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday, April 3, from 3-5 p.m. at the Tucson regional office, 555 N. Greasewood Road
  • Tuesday, April 8, from 6-8 p.m. at the Flagstaff regional office, 3500 S. Lake Mary Road
  • Tuesday, April 8, from 3-5 p.m. at the Kingman regional office, 5325 N. Stockton Hill Road
  • Wednesday, April 9, from 3-5 p.m. at the Pinetop regional office, 2878 E. White Mountain Blvd.
  • Wednesday, April 9, from 3-5 p.m. at the Yuma regional office, 9140 E. 28th Street
  • Wednesday, April 9, from 3-5 p.m. at the Mesa regional office, 7200 E. University Drive

Each year, the department makes recommendations to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission regarding the management of game species for the annual hunting and trapping regulations, which establish the seasons, dates, bag limits, open areas, and hunt permit-tag allocations based on the framework of the hunt guidelines set by the commission every two years.

The hunt recommendations will be presented to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission for consideration during its April 12 meeting in Phoenix.

Overview

The Arizona Game and Fish Department follows a multi-tiered process for setting hunting season structures, hunting season dates, hunt permit allocations, and other controlling elements for regulating hunting of game animals.

The Department's Game Branch is responsible for this task and their mission is to protect and manage game wildlife populations and their habitats to maintain the natural diversity of Arizona, and to provide game wildlife oriented recreation opportunities for present and future generations. This is done by using science-based methods to assure wildlife is managed within the biological limits of each species, management strategies are also developed to consider social acceptability and responsibilities.

That process includes:

 

  • Hunt Guidelines - which are set every two years;
  • Survey & field data - hunter harvest reporting & game surveys (collected annually);
  • Hunt Recommendations - which happens three times annually;
  • Commission Orders - approved by the Commission and published in the hunting regulations.

 

While this is no simple task, a guiding principle requires continually refining the process through better science-based management and extensive public involvement.

The public process used by the Department to develop this system contributed to a “Showcase in Excellence Award in 2008” from the Arizona Quality Alliance – the organization that recognizes total quality management principles and organizational excellence.

Public involvement is critical for two reasons. In North America, wildlife is held in the public’s trust and belongs to all citizens, unlike in other countrries where access is restricted by financial or social class. Law regulates hunting and that too is a public process - both are core principles of the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, founded by hunters and conservationists more than 100 years ago.

Evolution of Hunting Laws, Enforcement and the Commision System

Recommendations (annually)



 

With the guidelines in place, and survey data in hand, wildlife managers and game specialists propose the permit allocations on a unit-by-unit basis resulting in the proposed Hunt Recommendations. After the public comment period and once approved by the Commission, the recommendations are incorporated into the hunting regulations. This is done three times a year, starting with the main fall Arizona Hunting and Trapping regulations, followed by the Spring Turkey, Javelina, Buffalo and Bear supplement and then the Pronghorn Antelope and Elk supplement. Each of these regulations contains all the information needed for applying for a hunt permit-tag through the draw, what hunts are over-the-counter nonpermit-tags, open areas and season dates, and youth hunting opportunities.

HUNT RECOMMENDATIONS PROCESS TIMELINE & PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
(Annually three times a year based on the 3 hunting regulation booklets - The main Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations in June; Spring turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear supplement in October; and the pronghorn antelope and elk supplement in January)

 

FALL HUNTING REGULATION RECOMMENDATIONS
(Set at the April Commission meeting)
Deer, fall turkey, fall javelina, bighorn sheep, fall buffalo, fall bear, mountain lion
   
February - Department regional staff begins formulating recommendations based on game surveys, hunter questionnaire data and the hunt guideline package.
March - Regionally hosted public meetings to solicit public comment, announced by news release, website and other department communications.
Late March - Release final draft recommendations to the public and Commission for review.
Early April - Regionally hosted public open houses for public review and hear reasoning for recommendations (not designed as public input mechanism)
Mid-April - Final recommendations presented to the Commission for approval - public input is permitted via blue slip.
Late April - Final Commission approved Recommendations are incorporated into the Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations and posted on the Department's website.
Mid-May - Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations available at Department offices and license dealers statewide.
June - Application deadline is anticipated second Tuesday of June.
   

 

SPRING HUNTING REGULATION RECOMMENDATIONS
(Set at the August Commission meeting)
Spring turkey, spring javelina, spring buffalo and spring bear
   
June - Department regional staff begins formulating recommendations based on game surveys, hunter questionnaire data and the hunt guideline package.
Late July - Release final draft recommendations to the public and Commission for review.
Late July/Early August - *Regionally hosted public open houses for public review and hear reasoning for recommendations (not designed as public input mechanism).
Early August - Final recommendations presented to the Commission for approval - public input is permitted via blue slip.
Late August - Final Commission approved Recommendations are incorporated into the spring regulation supplement and posted on the Department's website.
Mid-September Spring regulation hunt draw information booklet available at Department offices and license dealers statewide.
October - Application deadline is anticipated second Tuesday of October.
  *Note - To date public meetings have not been offered for the spring recommendations.
 

PRONGHORN ANTELOPE & ELK HUNTING REGULATION RECOMMENDATIONS
(Set at the December Commission meeting)
Pronghorn antelope & Elk Hunts
   
September - Department regional staff begins formulating recommendations based on game surveys, hunter questionnaire data and the hunt guideline package.
October - Regionally hosted public meetings to solicit public comment, announced by news release, website and other department communications.
November - Release final draft recommendations to the public and Commission for review.
December - Regionally hosted public open houses for public review and hear reasoning for recommendations (not designed as public input mechanism)
Early Dec. - Final recommendations presented to the Commission for approval - public input is permitted via blue slip.
Late December - Final Commission approved Hunt Orders posted on the Department's website.
Mid-January - Pronghorn and Elk regulation hunt draw information booklet available at Department offices and license dealers statewide.
February - Application deadline is anticipated second Tuesday of February.
   
Guidelines (every two years)

 

It all starts with the Hunt Guidelines. Every two years, on odd numbered years, the department revises the guidelines for the Commission to approve. The public's input is encouraged. The Hunt Guidelines provide the biological and social parameters that make up the “recipes” used by wildlife managers to formulate the annual hunt recommendations (season dates, permits allocated, etc.) in which sportsmen participate. The Commission approves the guidelines at its public meetings.

Examples of ideas from the guideline process that have been incorpated include:

  • "Have the draw earlier for antelope & elk hunts."
  • "Create a bonus point system for the draw."
  • "Increase juniors-only hunting opportunities."

Other information

GUIDELINES PROCESS TIMELINE & PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

(every two years - during odd numbered years, 2009, 2011, 2013..)
   
Anytime - Collect and compile comments from the public for the next guideline review.
April - Formally solicit public input via news releases, website and publications.
May - Formally solicit public input via news releases, website and publications.
June - Present draft guidelines at public meetings statewide.
July - Compile public input from meetings and finalize guidelines for executive staff review.
August - Release final draft guidelines to the public and Commission for review.
September - Final draft presented to the Commission for adoption of guidelines at it's public meeting - public input is permitted via blue slip.
October - Final Commission approved Hunt Guidelines posted on the Department's website.
   

Species Management Plans

 

 
 
 

 
Hunt Recommendation
Process Chart

Hunt Guidelines
Process Chart



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

Detailed information on all rules, regulations and seasons

  • New! 2013-2014 Arizona Hunting Regulations [PDF, 6mb]

  • Hunt Permit-Tag Application Form [PDF]
  • New! 2014 Antelope & Elk Hunt Draw Regulations
    [PDF, 4mb]

  • 2014 Spring Hunt Draw Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-2014 Waterfowl & Snipe Regulations [PDF]

  • New! 2013-2014 Dove & Band-tailed Pigeon Regs [PDF]

  • 2013 Sandhill Crane Regulations [PDF]

  • Hunt Arizona 2012: Survey, Harvest and Draw Data
    [PDF, 6mb]

  • 2013-2014 Trapping Regulations [PDF]


  • 2014 AZ Fishing Regulations
    [PDF, 7mb]
  • 2014 Urban Fishing Guidebook
    [PDF, 9mb]
  • 2013 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-14 Raptor Regulations [PDF]
  • Arizona Residency Requirements [PDF]
 
 
 

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