Hunt Guidelines and Hunt Recommendations Process
The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Proposed Hunt Guidelines for the Fall 2023 through Spring 2028 Hunting Seasons. All pubic comments and Arizona Game and Fish Department responses, will be compiled into a single document then posted by March 18, 2022 on this web page. The final proposed hunt guidelines will be presented to the commission for consideration during its April 1 meeting in Phoenix.
Arizona Hunt Recommendations – Fall 2023 and spring – File amended 4/10/23
Hunt Guidelines 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.
AZ Hunt Guidelines for Fall 2023 through Spring 2028
Hunt Guidelines comments Jan 1-30 and AZGFD responses
The Department’s big and small game program’s are responsible for setting hunt guidelines, 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 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.
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 countries 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.
Guidelines and Recommendations Process Details
Find the information here all about how we go about forming these guidelines.
It all starts with the Hunt Guidelines. Every five 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.
- Article – Changing Seasons, Hunting seasons, that is by Jim Heffelfinger & Brian Wakeling
Guidelines process timeline & public involvement
Annual – Public outreach on hunt guidelines and hunt recommendations.
Anytime – Collect and compile comments from the public for the next hunt guidelines or hunt recommendation cycles.
Jan 2022 – Initiate hunt guidelines review process; Informal public input via news releases, website and publications.
Feb-May 2022 – Collect public input; Agency Review Team evaluates comments.
June 2022 – Present draft guidelines and potential changes via a webinar and public meetings across the state.
June 2022 – Commission provides direction on proposed guidelines.
July 2022 – Formal public comment on proposed hunt guidelines.
Late August 2022 – Release final proposed hunt guidelines for Commission and public review.
September 2022 – Final proposed hunt guidelines presented to the Commission for adoption at its public meeting.
– Public input accepted via blue slips
– Commission approved hunt guidelines posted on Department website
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. Hunt recommendations are now approved for two years. The commission has the ability to amend hunts prior to the second year, if they determine it is necessary. The hunting regulations contain 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.
- Hunting regulations and draw information
- Article: The Hunt ‘Wreck’-ommendation Process by Brian Wakeling
Hunt recommendation process timeline & public involvement
The hunt recommendations process now occurs during two cycles every two years. The approved hunts are then published in the three hunting regulation booklets – The main Arizona Hunting Regulations in June, Spring turkey, javelina, bison and bear supplement in September, and the pronghorn, elk and fall turkey supplement in January – February.
Once annually, the Department will host a webinar and public outreach to solicit input on game species management, all hunt recommendations and hunt guidelines.
Want to Go Hunting in Arizona?
Find ways to experience big game and small game hunting or find a mentored hunt camp.
buy your hunting license
Arizona residents and non-residents 10 years and older need a valid hunting license to hunt in Arizona.
find a mentored hunt camp
The award-winning Outdoor Skills Network is your source for public, hands-on, “learn how to hunt” events.