Bird hunting season now open

This bald eagle was documented during the 2013 Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. (JOHN WEST/Courtesy)

This bald eagle was documented during the 2013 Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. (JOHN WEST/Courtesy)

Now that most of the Arizona big game seasons are over, Arizona sportsmen have the opportunity to turn their attention to the many small game that include hunting for rabbits, quail, doves and waterfowl.

The season for cottontail rabbits in Arizona is open year long. Hunters can take 10 cottontail rabbits per day.

The late dove season is open now for mourning doves and the season is open until Jan. 8.

The limit is 15 doves per day, with 45 in possession,

For those who can find Eurasian Collared doves, there is no limit on these feral exotics.

Hunters generally use a shotgun of either 12- or 20-gauge to hunt these speedy flyers. Hunters must leave a feathered wing on the birds until they reach the hunter’s home.

Quail season is also open in most parts of the state. Hunters can pursue Gambel’s, Scaled, Mearns’ and California quail until Feb. 12.

The daily bag limit for all species except Mearns’ quail is 15 per day. The limit for Mearns’ quail is eight per day.

Waterfowl season is now open throughout the state.

Hunters in the desert zone can pursue ducks and geese from now through Jan. 29.

The daily limit is 7 for ducks, with a limit of 10 for white geese, including snow geese, and four for dark geese (Canada).

Consult the Arizona migratory bird regulations for specifics on limits and species that may be taken.