Well, it’s finally here—the season opener for the notorious and mysterious Montezuma Quail, aka Mearns Quail. Well, don’t get too excited too quickly. It’s likely going to be a tough season.
Despite having a great Monsoon this year, there weren’t many birds to start with, and much of the rains came a little late. Having a few dry monsoons leading up to this year makes it extremely tough for these birds to have any good hatch.
With the help of Dr. Nancy Solver, a retired Climatologist from ASU, we were able to calculate this summer’s rainfall. In fact, according to our research, The 2021 monsoons rain averages were nearly double the amount of precipitation in Means country over the last five summers. That’s a lot of rain! While this is good news, but not so much for this season but hopefully the following.
Randy Babb, a new friend, and a retired biologist with Arizona Game and Fish, recently offered some insight. He shared how it’s essential to have two to three consecutive wet summers before we expect to see any suitable number of Mearns quail on the ground. Currently, there is dense undergrowth all over the state. Some hunters have reported the carry-over birds are fatter and faster this year! They are older, wiser, and smarter. As well, you could likely see some young birds on the ground too. Some of these birds may be nearly too small to hunt.
So what’s this all mean for Mearns hunting in Arizona? It means that you’ll likely be better off hunting Scaled Quail, which could have made better use of the Monsoon rains.
If you would like more free information about quail hunting, tips and techniques, check out our website. Suppose you are interested in going to the next level and becoming a Do-It-Yourself AZ Quail Hunter. In that case, we offer paid coaching services for education on everything you need to know about hunting quail in Arizona! Spots are all filled for this season, but ask about the 10% off deals for the post-season discounts!