Spring Hunt Application Deadline

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The deadline to apply for the spring 2005 hunts is Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. MST in Arizona Game and Fish Department offices. Postmarks don’t count: applications must be received in Game and Fish offices by then.

Avoid using your 2004 hunting license number when applying for 2005 hunts. You can apply for a hunting license when applying for the spring hunts, either by the department’s Web site at azgfd.com or via the printed application form.

You can obtain a copy of the spring regulation supplement at any license dealer in the state, or you can download a copy online at azgfd.com.

Department biologists say javelina populations, especially in central Arizona, have still not recovered from the prolonged drought. “Javelina numbers are still relatively low throughout the region,” says Jon Hanna, a biologist in the Mesa regional office.

Hanna says the late September rains and corresponding late-season green-up could provide plenty of forage for javelina on the hillsides, thus providing easy glassing opportunities for hunters for the 2005 javelina hunts in January and February. “However, as the season draws nearer, javelina could be spending much of their time in drainages where they can find good forage, cover, and pockets of water, making forays along open hillsides unnecessary,” Hanna says.

A good strategy is to spend plenty of time in the field scouting beforehand – possibly with shotgun in hand while hunting quail starting Oct. 8. Maximize your time afield. Many of the most productive uplands for quail could prove to be good areas for javelina as well. Try quail hunting those areas where you are hoping to get drawn for javelina. Keep note of areas with good green-up and plenty of prickly pear cacti. Take your binoculars along and glass hillsides and bottomlands for javelina. Archery hunters may also want to scout for deer at the same time.

Keep in mind that conditions and javelina behavior patterns can change by the time the season arrives, but if you have done your homework, it makes it easier to figure out new patterns.

“As usual, the best strategy is to be flexible. If hours of glassing in javelina habitat are unproductive, change your hunting strategy and concentrate on drainages with hiding cover because that’s where the javelina could be finding all the food and water they need,” Hanna advises.