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Arizona Quail Hunting Guide

MIKE CROSS

Tucson, AZ                 (520) 240-0050            mikecrosstucson@gmail.com

arizona hat trick grand slam of quail

Hunt Gambel's Quail, Scaled Quail, and Mearns' Quail

Waterfowl and Doves

Licensed Arizona Guide, Mike Cross, is pleased to offer guided quail hunts in Southeastern Arizona near Tucson.  Mike is a Wildlife Biologist by profession and works as a Consultant during the off season and between hunts.  Mike is an active member of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and trains/tests some of his dogs through the NAVHDA system. Quail hunting with dogs, or any bird hunting for that matter, is Mike's passion! 

The hunting areas are located within diverse habitats throughout Southeastern Arizona. The primary species hunted is the Gambel's quail, characterized by the male's black mask and black tassel on top of its crown. Gambelís quail  are found primarily in the Sonoran Desert, consisting of low grass, prickly pear cactus, brush covered hills, and mesquite-filled washes. Scaled quail, commonly referred to as blue quail or scalies, can be found along with Gambelís quail in semi-desert grassland habitats.  The iconic Mearns' quail are hunted in the oak woodlands within Southeastern Arizonaís higher elevation ďsky islandsĒ.  Due to a longer drive to the hunt areas, the Mearns' package is offered at a slightly higher rate than the other two species.  All quail hunted are wild, native birds.  In season, hunters have the option of adding an afternoon dove shoot and/or morning puddle- jumping for ducks to their package. 

 

These are typical quail hunts utilizing well-trained pointers. Mike currently has five gun dogs; a Brittany, an English Setter, a German shorthair pointer, and two German Longhaired pointers.    

 

Kiki on pointK9ís Sipping Tequila (call name KiKi) is a seven -year old female Brittany and is Mikeís  most experienced dog. A small, energetic dog who really burns up the field, KiKi has earned the nickname "pocket rocket" from Mikeís hunting buddies. She points, is steady to wing and shot, and retrieves on both land and water. She was raised on a pheasant shooting preserve and run in field trials before being acquired as a two-year old finished gundog. In addition to being used extensively on all three species of Arizona quail, Kiki fetches the occasional duck, is hunted on doves and blue grouse, and also makes an annual trip to Nebraska for wild pheasants and bobwhites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schotzy is a seven-year old female German shorthair pointer. She was raised in Phoenix and professionally trained at a pheasant club in central Arizona. Unfortunately, her elderly owner became disabled and could no longer hunt her. Mike obtained her as a four-year old finished gun dog. She is an intense hunter with dive and stamina. She is especially adept at recovering cripples and is Mikeís best tracker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tug is a five-year old male English Setter who's field trial career was cut short due to a minor flagging (tail wagging on point) problem.  Although trial judges frown on flagging, Mike does not care as he is a bird finding machine!  He usually does not even flag on wild birds anyway.  Tug is fully train, is steady to wing and shot, and retrieves to hand.  A happy and biddable dog, Tug is a medium to wide ranging hunter who glides across the field and is a joy to watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

quail Betty on pointBatamote Vom Caraschatten (call name Betty) is a German longhaired pointer who will be 3 and Ĺ  years old at the beginning of the 2012 season. Her Mother, Cora Vom Illertal (call name Kaylee) was once called "the best longhair in North America" by a visiting German field trial judge at an American hunting test. Her father is a Danish import who has excelled as both a hunter and show dog in Europe.

With very little formal training and lots of exposure, Betty has become an exemplary gun dog. She retrieves to hand on both land and water, locates and points her own birds, and will follow a fresh track line. During her first hunting season when she was only 6-10 months old, she hunted over 100 days. During that time she independently pointed and retrieved over 200 quail, 30 wild pheasants, and few blue grouse. She also retrieved over 300 doves 70 ducks, and a few snipe. In April of 2010 when she was 11 months old, Mike and Betty traveled to California for a NAVHDA Natural Ability (NA) Test. In order to pass the NAVHDA NA test, a dog must point live game birds, demonstrate that it is not gun-shy, complete two water retrieves, and track a wing clipped pheasant. Betty was the youngest dog entered who passed, earning a Prize I with a perfect score of 112/112 points!  Mike still has the pheasant that now lives in a pen with his training ducks and pigeons. Being a versatile gun dog, Betty will work upland game birds, waterfowl, and furred game. In addition to working as a quail dog, Betty is used extensively on ducks and doves and will track, tree, and retrieve squirrels for Mike and his eight year old daughter Molly. She is also in training to become a blood-tracking dog to aid in the recovery of wounded big game. 

 

 

Henriqua Hubertus, call name Riqua, is Mike's second German longharied pointer. She will be 7 months old at the beginning of the 2012 quail season and by mid season will be tagging along on a few hunts. She already is an accomplished retriever and recovered approximately 40 doves during Arizona's 2012 early dove season. A strong swimmer, Riqua has already fetched numerous training ducks from ponds as well as pointed and retrieved a number of planted pigeons during training sessions.

dove hunting

Five month-old Riqua and Mike's 10 year-old daughter Molly with their first limit of doves!

 

Hunt Basics: The typical daily quail hunt starts in the morning before the sun rises and ends mid-afternoon (about 2-3pm).   Non-resident quail hunters will provide their own lodging at a hotel.  The closest or most convenient places to stay can be recommended.  Hunters may transport themselves to the edge of town where they will be met by the guide or can be picked up at their hotel and taken to the field.  Hunters can choose to hunt for only one day or up to three.  

Hunters should bring the following items on their daily hunt:  hunting license, migratory bird stamps (if required), shotgun, ammo (#7Ĺ or #6 shot), bird vest, quality hiking boots, hat, sunscreen, water bottle, camera, a packed lunch, snacks and drinks.  

Please note that these hunts may require long hikes in hilly terrain, so be prepared physically.

 

Licenses: Hunters must buy a license and any required migratory bird stamps before meeting the guide.  They can be purchased at most Arizona sporting goods stores or Walmart.  Only a valid Arizona Hunting License is needed for quail.  In addition to the hunting license, special stamps are required to hunt doves and waterfowl.  Non-resident hunting license - $20.00 per day for short term hunting license, $160.00 for the calendar year, all Youth hunter hunting licenses (Residents or Nonresidents 14 to age 19) are $5.00.  Resident adult hunting license - $37.00. 

 

Quail Seasons: Gambelís and Scaled, 1st Friday of October through 2nd Friday of February; Mearnís Season is the 1st Friday of December through the 2nd Friday of February.  Hunts usually fill fast, so if you are really interested in a certain date, please book early.

$ 2014  RATES $

Quail Hunt Package

Duration

Rate

1 hunter per guide

Sunrise till mid-afternoon

$350.00/person/day**

2 or more  hunters sharing a guide*

Sunrise till mid-afternoon

$300.00/person/day**

  *If choosing 2 on 1, you must bring the other hunter to share the guide with.  A junior hunter 17 and under who has completed a hunter safety course may accompany a parent or guardian for $150/day.  Additional Junior hunters may hunt for $100/day.  The parent or guardian must pay the normal daily rate.

 

**Mearns' Quail Hunt:  Add $50/person/day (there is no additional charge for Juniors)

 Afternoon dove shoot:  Add $75/person/day

 Early morning jump-shooting for ducks:  Add $75/person/day

All-Day Combination Hunt for ducks, doves, and quail:  $400/person/day for adults, $150 for Juniors. Mearnís hunters add $25 (There is no additional Mearn's charge for Junior hunters participating in an all day hunt)

A minimum 50% non-refundable deposit is required to book a hunt.  

Successful Bird Hunting Photos

  

bird dogs in arizona

Tug and Schotzy on point

  

arizona quail hunting

Scott Heinemann of Nebraska took 9 Gambel's Quail over points, with only 11 shots!

  

mexican ducks

A brace of Mexican ducks is a rare thing and Wayne Merricks of VA got his the same day he achieved the Arizona Grand Slam of Quail

  

mike and his dogs

Mike, Tequila, and Betty with a cock Mearn's quail and a hen Gambel's

  

quail hunt

Betty with Mike and his daughter Molly at the NAVHDA hunt test.  Betty earned a Prize 1 with a perfect score of 112/112 points!

  

  

If you are interested in a Southern Arizona Quail Hunt, Email Mike or call 520-240-0050.

  

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