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It’s time to apply for spring hunting permits in Arizona

Fall hunting seasons may just be getting underway in the Silver State, but it is already time to submit your applications if you want the chance to draw permit-tags for spring turkey, javelina, bison or black bear in Arizona.

The Arizona Game Fish Department began accepting applications for the state’s 2022 spring hunts in early September and will continue to do so until the Tuesday, Oct. 12 application deadline.

Applications must be submitted online at www.azgfd.gov.

Keep in mind that Arizona requires applicants to have a valid Arizona hunting license, or a combination hunting and fishing license, to complete the online application process.

You can purchase your license online, but keep your receipt. Your license number will appear at the bottom, and you will need it during the application process.

Resident and non-resident youth hunters ages 10 to 17 pay the same price for their combination hunting and fishing license. The cost is just $5, but adults must dig a little deeper.

A non-resident combination hunting and fishing license is $160. For residents the cost is $57, or they can purchase a general hunting license for $37. Non-residents do not have that option.

According to the AZGFD, “No one under the age of 14 may hunt big game without having completed a hunter education course.” To hunt big game, anyone 10 to 13 years of age must have their hunter education card, combination hunting and fishing license, and any required permit-tag in their possession when hunting. No one under age 10 may hunt big game in Arizona.

For youth hunters, whether they are residents or non-residents, Arizona’s turkey and javelina permit-tags are both a hunting bargain. For a javelina tag, resident and non-resident youth pay the same fee — just $30. For turkey tags, the cost is $23 for residents and $25 for non-residents.

Non-resident adults can expect to pay $105, $115 and $165 respectively for turkey, javelina and bear permit-tags. Residents pay just $38 per permit-tag for each of these species.

For bison, Arizona offers hunters three hunt options – bull, cow/yearling and yearling only. You won’t get one on the cheap, but the hunt experience is probably worth the price if you can pay it.

A permit-tag for a bull comes in at $5,415 for non-resident applicants while a resident will pay $1,113. There is no price break for youth hunters on this highly sought-after experience. However, there are substantial savings with cow/yearling and yearling-only permit-tags.

Non-resident applicants can expect to pay $3,265 for a cow/yearling permit-tag and $1,765 for the yearling-only option. The cost to residents for these two options is $663 and $363 respectively.

Utah and Nevada both offer spring hunts for wild turkey as well, but their tag application process begins much later than Arizona. First up is Utah’s draw, which is set to begin Dec. 1 with a deadline of Dec. 27. Since it takes place right in the middle of the holiday season, you may want to set a reminder in your cell phone.

The application period for Nevada’s spring turkey hunt generally gets underway in January, with an early February deadline.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for weekend possibilities, you might consider a trip to the Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area. Located about 175 miles north of Las Vegas off State Route 318, the management area provides visitors with the chance to sandwich a few hours of fishing between morning and afternoon dove hunts. Dove season runs through Oct. 30.

Portions of the area’s reservoirs that had been under seasonal closures to protect waterfowl are now open and could hold a lunker or two. Bass, crappie or trout – take your pick.

Freelance writer Doug Nielsen is a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. His “In the Outdoors” column is not affiliated with or endorsed by the NDOW. Any opinions he states in his column are his own. Find him on Facebook at @dougwritesoutdoors. He can be reached at intheoutdoorslv@gmail.com

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