Hunting in Arizona – Laws & Regulations to Know

You cannot just go ahead and hunt in Arizona, and you need to get a license for it. The permit is mandatory if you want to take wildlife (fish doesn’t make an exception) in Arizona. Anyone getting the permit will have to have the license on him/herself on every hunt/fishing.

Taking game includes any hunting, pursuing, shooting, fishing, trapping, capturing, killing, netting, or snaring wildlife. Wild birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, fish, mollusks, and wild mammals are considered to be wildlife. Scroll down for hunting in Arizona in 2019-2020.

When should you get a license?

Any Arizona resident and non-resident ten years and up has to achieve an available hunting license to hunt in Arizona. Even children under ten can capture anything but wildlife without having a permit. However, they need to go with a person older than 18, and there shouldn’t be more than two unlicensed children together with one license holder.

If you want to hunt big game, you must to complete a Hunter Education Course and be at least 14.

What are the types of licenses in Arizona?

You may go to an Arizona-approved dealer or purchase the license through the Arizona Game and Fish Department website.

Here are the types of licenses:

  • Arizona resident- A person living in Arizona for six months is considered to be an Arizona resident, including active-duty military members. Arizona residents have to be ten or older and must own a hunting license
  • Non-resident- Any non-resident age ten and up has to achieve a non-resident hunting license.
  • Youth hunting license-Arizona, both residents and non-residents under the age of 10 can hunt without possessing a license, but they must go along with a licensed person age 18 or up. Arizona resident and non-residents ages 10 to 17 must purchase a Youth Combination Hunting and Fishing license as well.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, who won the highest awards within their organization, can enjoy the reduced-fee high Achievement Scout License. They need to be Arizona residents, nevertheless.

  • Senior hunting license- Any Arizona resident older than 70years and living in Arizona for 25 years can obtain a free Pioneer License.
  • Disability License- You cannot get a hunting license for disabilities in Arizona unless you’re a resident veteran with 100% disability
  • Military and Veteran License- Any active-duty military member that is stationed in Arizona can buy a resident hunting license. Moreover, active-duty military members that are also Arizona residents but are stationed in another place may also obtain a resident hunting license. A resident that struggles with a 100% service-related disability and living for at least one year in Arizona may obtain the free Disabled Veteran License.

What are the requirements for Migratory waterfowl?

Should you plan to hunt migratory waterfowl, you need to be at least 16 and to buy the Federal Duck Stamp. As for the Arizona Migratory Bird Stamp, you need to be 18 and older.

Also, you have to own proof that you took the Harvest Information Program (HIP).

Be aware that hunting licenses are only available for 365 days from the date of buying, but Arizona residents may buy a lifetime hunting license.

Are you planning to hunt deer? Here are the requirements!

Anyone owning a valid hunting or combination license can hunt deer. Should you have a short-term Combination Hunt and fish or Apprentice Hunting License, you cannot go after deer.

In terms of tag, you need permit-tag through application and drawing process, as stated in R12-4-104 and R12-4-114.

Unless you are Archery-Only deer, you need to obtain a non-permit-tag from a licensed dealer, according to R12-4-114. Bear in mind that no permit tags are good for just one calendar year, and you also need to obtain hunt numbers.

An antler completely erupted through the skin and able to be shed, according to R12-4-101, is considered to be Antlered. You may only have one deer per the calendar year, but there are exceptions stated in R12-4-120.

You need a good hunting or combination license and a deer tag for hunting deer in Arizona. For General, Muzzleloader, Youth-Only, and Archery, the Only season, you need to make an application for the draw for a hunt permit-tag.

Anyone applying for Youth-Only hunt and regular hunt on the same application has to pay higher for the tag fees. If you’re a youth hunter and have your 18th birthday after the opening day of the “youth-only” hunt, you can still be part of the “Youth-Only” designated hunt. Anyone between and 10 and 13 has to complete the Hunter Education Course. Visit or call 623-236-7239 for more details.

Returning the hunter questioner is essential.

What are the general rules when hunting turkey?

Anyone owning a license or valid hunting and combination license can hunt turkey. A short-term combination Hunt and Fish, along with Apprentice Hunting Licensee, make the exception.

Check R12-4-104 and R12-4-114 for check rules on tags and draw process. There are hunt numbers needed when applying for big game hunt permit tags, and you have to use the hunt numbers.

R12-4-318 includes details on the shotgun shot, whereas R12-4-216 includes details on crossbow and crossbow permit. You cannot use muzzleloading rifles, centerfire rifles, and handguns for taking a turkey.

With the exceptions stated in R12-4-120, you can only take one turkey per the calendar year. If you want to hunt turkey during the Limited Weapon-Shotgun Shooting Shot season, you have to apply for a hunt permit-tag, through a draw.

The Department also provides “Youth-Only” designated hunts, in which people can be part of hunting up until the 18th birthday. A youth hunter turning 18 after opening day of “Youth-Only” special hunt, may still be part of the hunt. The same rules as for deer hunt apply for turkey for children aged from 10 to 13.

Would you like to hunt javelina in Arizona?

You may hunt javelina if you own a valid hunting or combination license. Still, it’s not possible if you only own a short-term combination hunt and fish or Apprentice Hunting License. Check R12-4-104 and R12-4-114 for tag and hunt permit-tag.

Firearm, pre-charged pneumatic weapons, crossbow, or bow and arrow are legal to use when hunting javelina. Muzzleloading handguns, handguns, crossbows, muzzleloading rifles are also described in R12-4-318.

For the bag limit, you should know that you can take two javelins per the calendar year, and the exceptions are stated in R12-4-120. However, you cannot take more than one javelina per open area, as described in every hunt number. Only one permit-tag may be issued for a hunter with the initial draw.

You also need a valid hunting or combination license and a javelina tag in Arizona. Hunting in General javelin requires you to get a hunt-permit tag through the draw.

As for the Youth-Only, the requirements and permits are the same as for previously mentioned games.

Hunting Bighorn sheep- what are the general rules?

Anyone owning a valid hunting and combination license may hunt bighorn sheep. It’s not possible if you have an Apprentice Hunting License or a short-term combination hunt and Fish license.

You need to get the tag hunt permits, only through the drawing process and draw. You may use pre-charged pneumatic weapons, firearms, bow, and arrows for taking bighorn sheep. Male bighorn sheep, but no male lambs, are defined as a legal animal.

You can only take one desert bighorn sheep in a lifetime, and check the exceptions in R12-4-120. You can also take one Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in a lifetime.

To hunt bighorn sheep in any season, you need to request and obtain a hunt permit-tag through the draw. Some areas may have low-density bighorn populations, which can lead to difficulties and limited access.

Is it legal to hunt bison in Arizona?

Anyone wanting to hunt bison in Arizona needs good hunting or combination licensed and bison tag. The exceptions are short-combination hunt and fish and Apprentice Hunting Licensee.

You can use crossbow, bow and arrow, centerfire rifles, centerfire handguns, and muzzleloading rifles. Other guns with black powder for hunting bison in Arizona are also legal. You cannot use a crossbow, bow and arrow, and centerfire handguns when hunting the Raymond Wildlife Herd.

You can only hunt one bison in a lifetime in Arizona, and a bison tag is required. During the House Rock herd hunts, a big part of the herd has to go through the Grand Canyon National Park, where hunting is forbidden.

The House Rock bison hunt is one of the most challenging pursuits in Arizona, as bison can be tricky to locate. You may have to plan to spend the whole season hunting if you’re determined to succeed. Prepare to walk for very long walks every day, on rough surfaces, with primitive conditions. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are legal for hunting.

There are many challenges related to bison hunting, so do due diligence about it.

What are the general rules for hunting bear in Arizona?

If hunting bear in Arizona sounds appealing to you, keep in mind that you need a valid hunting or combination license, but also a bear tag. Once again, short-term combination hunt and fish and apprentice hunting license owners make the exceptions.

You may use a crossbow, pre-charged pneumatic weapon, firearm, and bow and arrow for hunting bear. The bag limit is one bear per the calendar year. Anyone wanting to hunt bear in any season has to get the non-permit-tag from a licensed dealer. You cannot hunt bear in spring bear season.

There are some rules to highlight when it comes to bear hunting:

  • You have to call 1-800-970-BEAR (2327) before to make sure that the hunt unit is open
  • You need to call an Arizona Game and Fish Department office or call at 1-800-970-BEAR (2327) 48 hours after you took a bear. You have to report the hunting license number, your name, the sex of the bear, taken, tag number, management unit where you took the bear, and your telephone number.
  • You can keep the carcass under A.R.S 17-302 when the season is closed by attaching the bear non-permit tag. Use the harvest check-in procedures as guidance.

What rules to follow when hunting a mountain lion?

Anyone interested in hunting mountain lion in Arizona has to possess available hunting or combination license, and a mountain lion tag. You need to achieve a hunt non-permit-tag from a licensed dealer for hunting a mountain lion legally in any season.

The pre-charged pneumatic weapon, any firearm, crossbow, and bow and arrow are legal to use for taking mountain lion.

Some special regulations are to follow when hunting mountain lion, so here are some of them:

  • Call 1-877-438-0447 to see if the mountain lion management areas are closed
  • You need to report information on your harvest to the Arizona Game and Fish Department or by telephone. You have 48 hours after taking it to make the report

When hunting mountain lions, you may run into animals wearing radio collars, which means that they’re part of ongoing research projects. Should you harvest any of them, you need to return the collar and other marking devices to the Department office or officer.

Can you hunt tree squirrel in Arizona?

Any hunter younger than 10 has to have a reliable hunting/combination license or needs to go together with an adult that owns permits as such. Hunters of 10 and up need to have available hunting or combination licenses, but if you hunt in Falconry-Only season, you need to have a Sport Falconry License.

Check R12-4-24, R12-4-318, and R12-4-422 for details on limited weapon shotgun shooting shot hunt. The bag limit is five tree squirrels per day, and the possession limit is fifteen.

Are there any special regulations on cottontail rabbit hunt?

Hunters younger than 10 need to have a proper hunting/combination license or have to go with an adult owning the valid hunting/combination license. Look in R12-4-422 or R12-4-407 for details on Falconry-Only season when a Sport Falconry License is mandatory.

You cannot use some rifled firearms in some areas and go over R12-4-301 and R12-4-304 for the proper methods of the general hunt.

The bag limit is ten cottontail rabbits per day, but no more than thirty cottontail rabbits.

What about predatory and fur-bearing mammals?

Should you be younger than 10, you have to own a reliable hunting/combination license. Otherwise, you have to go with an adult that has a proper hunting/combination license. The lawful methods are detailed in R12-4-301 and R12-4-304, whereas the limited weapon-shotgun shooting shot hunt is noted in R12-4-304 and R12-4-318.

You can go on a “pursuit-only” season with dogs for pursuing and not killing/capturing the quarry. The bag limit is unlimited, and you cannot kill nor capture a mammal during the “pursuit-only” season.

Which requirements to follow for birds&mammals hunting?

Anyone younger than 10 needs a valid hunting/combination license for hunting birds and other mammals. He/she can also go together with an adult that is hunting/combination licensee.

Go over the legal methods and the shot hunt regulations. The bag is unlimited, and the coati makes an exception (you can only take one per the calendar year). House sparrows, European starlings, and mammals part of the Orders Rodentia (but not muskrat, black-tailed prairie dog, beaver, tree squirrel, or porcupine) and Insectivora may be taken alive and kept in captivity.

What are the regulations for pheasant hunts?

Once again, hunters younger than 10 need to go together with an adult owning hunting/combination license when they don’t possess a license of their own. Crossbow, bow and arrow, pneumatic weapon, and shotgun shooting shot are legal but look for the details in R12-4-304 and R12-4-318.

The bag limit is two pheasants per day, and six for archery-only possession limit, but not more than two in one day.

What’re the general rules for quail and chukar partridge hunting?

Should you be younger than 10, you have to have a proper hunting/combination license when taking quail and chukar partridge. When you don’t, you have to go together with an adult owning any of the licenses.

The bag limit for quail is 15 per day, whereas for chukar is five. The possession limit is 24 for quail, with no more than eight in one day, whereas for chukar is 15 and no more than 15 per day.

Anyone carrying/possessing quail has to attach a complete feather head/feathered wing or leg with foot attached.

Pay attention to jaguars while hunting in Arizona!

With Mountain Lion Hunters Jaguars noted as endangered in the U.S. under the Endangered Species Act, it makes sense that you need to be aware of jaguars when hunting.

If a jaguar is chased and/or treed by dogs, you must call the dogs off the trail. Report all jaguar sighting the moment you see it. Make sure you learn about the differences between the mountain lion and the jaguar, especially since scats resemble a lot.

The Arizona Houndsmen offers a reward of up to $5,000 to anyone giving information that helps the arrest/conviction of anyone intentionally killing a jaguar.

When and where can you hunt in Arizona?

Luckily for hunters, National Wildlife in Arizona offers hunting possibilities in particular regions. Here are some rules to guide you when hunting in Arizona:

  • It’s not legal to discharge a firearm unless it’s for taking the legal game
  • All vehicles and operators must be licensed, registered, insured, and equipped correctly when traveling on highways and roads.
  • Permanent blinds, stands, pits, scouting and trail cameras, and baiting is prohibited in Arizona
  • You must remove any temporary blind, hunting equipment, boat, decoys after the everyday hunt.
  • It’s prohibited to use/possess any alcoholic beverage while hunting
  • There are many areas where hunting is not permitted so check for further details
  • It’s forbidden to take wildlife from a watercraft or aircraft, motor vehicle, except as allowed by Commission Order.
  • It’s not legal to use a shot gun that holds more than three rounds when hunting migratory game birds.
  • It’s illegal to use spotlights from a vehicle when you also have weapons in your car.
  • It’s also forbidden to use artificial light sources and lighted sight pins to extend legal shooting hours.

Hunt hard, hunt fair!

Hunting should to ethical, with sportsman and lawful pursuit taking free-range wildlife so that it doesn’t provide the hunter/angler unfair advantage over the game.

Even though hunters can use new technology, there are plenty of situations where the technology is seen as an unfair advantage:

  • The smart rifle due to the laser-supported sighting system
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles are aircraft
  • Any technology/practice that helps the hunter/angler identify and take game without achieving other hunting/angling skills or abilities
  • Technology or practice that lets the hunter pursue or take wild animals without even being present or pursuing game in the field.