Arizona Hunting Laws & Regulations

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Don't go hunting in Arizona without first familiarizing yourself with Arizona hunting laws. This article will help you get started.

Arizona Hunting Laws and Regulations

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Open season is just a few weeks away for most of the United States. It's an exciting time of year for veteran hunters and beginners alike. But before heading out on your first hunt, make sure you're familiar with Arizona hunting laws.

Hunting laws evolve on an almost yearly basis, mainly to address public safety for the benefit of the hunter and the hunted. It's a must to keep up to date on Arizona hunting laws before heading out on your first hunt.

Studying your state's hunting laws might be a bit time-consuming, and we know you're impatient to get out there and start shooting. But breaking the law and having to pay a fine can put a serious damper on hunting season.

Keep reading to learn about Arizona hunting laws including dates, which animals you’re allowed to hunt, which weapon you're allowed to use, how to get a hunting license, and much more.

The State of Arizona provides more or less 10 big-game species and rich small-game selections, which include waterfowl. The hunting opportunities are said to be the best, and most unique, in the nation. Let’s focus on the three most popular species: deer, ducks, and black bears.

Deer Hunting in Arizona

Deer are said to be the most popular, numerous, and widespread big-game species in Arizona.

Deer Hunting in Arizona | Arizona Hunting Laws & Regulations

There are three distinct types of deer present in this state:

The Mule Deer

Mule deer are the most abundant deer in Arizona. This type of deer can be commonly found in rugged country sometimes on sparse, low deserts to high forested mountains.

The White-Tailed Deer

White-tail deer have a preference for woodlands of oak, pine, and chaparral with interspersed clearings. They can be most commonly found in these terrains.

It is of very important to know which deer is legal to hunt according to antler point restrictions.

For additional details on white-tailed deer, click here.


This species is one of the largest of the deer family and should not be confused with the Moose, which is much larger.

They mostly inhabit the summer range as high as 7,000 to 10,000 plus feet.

To learn more about elks, click here.

Hunting Season

The general hunting season ranges from mid-August to the end of January.

This depends on the type of hunt (meaning the type of firearm being used) and the areas you will be hunting in.

Legal Weapons and Ammo

  • Modern guns
  • Centerfire Rifle
  • Centerfire Handgun
  • Muzzleloading Rifle
  • Other Rifle Shooting Black Powder or Synthetic Black Powder
  • Black Powder Handgun
  • Crossbow
  • Archery

For more specific details on the types of firearms and ammo that one can use to hunt deer, click here.

License, Special Licenses, and Permits

Acquiring a license will depend on your specific needs as a hunter, be it a regular license, a special license, or various permits for hunting, even disabled veterans’ licenses.

For specific details regarding licenses, and permits just click the following word: licenses, special licenses, and permits.

Duck Hunting in Arizona

There are about 15 species of waterfowl in the state of Arizona.

Hunting Season

The open season generally starts in October and ends in January.

Hunting for ducks is divided into two seasons which are as follows:

General Waterfowl Seasons:

October 21, 2016 – January 29, 2017

October 7, 2016 – January 15, 2017

November 5, 2016 – January 29, 2017

October 22, 2016 – January 15, 2017

Youth-Only Waterfowl Seasons:

February 4 – February 5, 2017

October 1 – October 2, 2016

To learn more about the possession limits and other details, click here.

Legal Guns and Ammo

Shotgun, crossbow, bow and arrow, or falconry as prescribed in R12-4-304.

For details on the hunt zones, shooting hours, bag limit, and licenses required.

Black Bear Hunting in Arizona

Of the three North American bears, this species is the most common and widely distributed. It can be found foraging around oak woodland, chaparral pine forests, woodland habitats, and aspen-fir pine forests.

Black Bear Hunting in Arizona | Arizona Hunting Laws & Regulations

To learn more about black bears’ hunting history and behavior.

General Hunting Season

The open season starts as early as August and ends on December 31.

For a detailed view of the black bear hunting season, turn to pages 57-59.

Legal Weapons and Ammo

Arizona Hunting Laws Legal Methods Big Game
General Hunt: Any firearm, pre-charged pneumatic weapon, crossbow, or bow and arrow as prescribed in R12-4-304 (page 126).

Archery Hunt: Bow and arrow as prescribed in R12-4-304(page 126) and R12-4-318(page 129), or crossbow if you possess a crossbow permit as prescribed in R12-4-216 (page 124).

For other details on weapons allowed by law.

Animals Year-Round Hunting in Arizona

If you want to enjoy hunting in Arizona without being restricted to the hunting seasons, there are four animals that you can hunt all year round. These animals are mountain lions, coyotes, rabbits, and buffalo.

For more details, click here.

License Information

Every hunter and fisherman is required to have a valid license in Arizona. For additional details on how to get a license and other valuable information, click here.

As long as you are knowledgeable about the hunting laws in the state of Arizona and abide by them to the letter, you and your hunting buddies will surely enjoy every minute of hunting. Hunt safe and hunt proudly!

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Arizona Hunting LawS

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 5, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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