AZ Waterfowling

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AZ Waterfowling

Postby Wings and Waters » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:06 pm

I'd like to start by saying you all will help me more than I will help you. However, if any of you archery hunt or fly fish, we may be able to swap info. :thumbsup: !

I moved to AZ from the Midwest last August and have not hunted anything in over a year. This Fall and Winter I plan on letting loose and having some fun. I have always been inamoured with Waterfowling, however, coming from the Midwest and having such a liberal archery season, I did not find much time to hunt waterfowl as I was always in a treestand somewhere. After moving here and looking at all of the big game and quail opportunities, I am excited, I think. The seasons and where they fall, may allow me to hunt more often and more species out here. Thus, I was really excited to think I may be able to start getting serious about waterfowling. However, from what I have seen, it almost does not seem worth the effort in this state :no: .

If anyone out there can tell me, yes there are birds here and they are worth hunting, my spirits may be lifted a bit (so much so, I may forego Quail this year and try to hunt Ducks)! Anyone with any information on Arizona Waterfowling, please guide me and give me hope. If it helps, I live north of Phoenix and would drive to New Mexico or Nevada or up to Utah. Basically the entire northern part of this state is open to me. Also, I do not have a duck boat, nor a bird dog. However, should I find something worth while, the new Lab would be the next purchase! :yes:

Thanks in advance to anyone who may shed some light into this.


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Re: AZ Waterfowling

Postby rcdinaz » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:01 pm

I have lived in AZ all my life but only been hunting ducks for 2 years now but will tell you what I know in general about where birds can be found.

The best place is going to be along the Colorado River on the west side of the state, this the major flyway for the west coast. Look at Yuma on the map and you will see all the water. There are a fair number of guides also in this area, lots of geese and ducks.

After that you really have to do some work to find your spots. There are a ton of small lakes around Flagstaff and up on the Rim in the Eastern part of the state. Another one of the flyways for geese and ducks although smaller is the Eastern part of the state. On the map this will be all of the small lakes and rivers north of Morenci all the way up to Springerville. You will notice the season for geese is different hear since there are some breeding grounds for geese (area 1 and 27). Another thing about the northern lakes is you have to be careful there are usually a few fishermen that show up and in my experience they have no clue about decoys, shotguns, or ducks. Last season after an hour of setting up I had 3 boats come across the lake to check out the decoys. One boat just sat out about 100yds from me, anchored and chose that spot to fish after that all the birds sat at the opposite end of the lake and never moved again.

Closer to the valley all the large lakes have ducks some times more than others, as well as the Gila and Verde rivers, a few areas along the Salt River as well. Roosevelt Lake probably has the most birds but it is rather large and you would need a boat with a good size motor to cover enough ground to find birds. Canyon, Saguaro, and Pleasant are tough because there are usually too many people.

Another area but a bit more expensive would be the Indian Reservations, San Carlos, and White Mtn. The season and rules match those posted by the AZ Game & Fish. Most of this will be small lakes and a lot of tanks/ponds. Certain times there are a lot of birds moving around and I have seen some of these ponds seemingly in the middle of nowhere packed with ducks and even some geese.

The last option would be jump shooting the same tanks you see in the desert when you are out quail hunting. Not really my cup of tea but a lot of guys enjoy this and find birds.

There are some lakes in the southern part of the state as well but I have no experience in this part of the state.

I used to think duck hunting was about like watching paint dry until I tried it and have since learned it is probably the most addicting & challenging outdoor activity I have found.

Hope this helps, please check back in and let us know what you learn and how the season goes. Only three months left to start scouting and pick your spots!
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Re: AZ Waterfowling

Postby AZhunter79 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:15 am

Colorado River / Topock Marsh has some birds flying currently. Not the best time of the season from what I've seen yet and from what I've been told.

I moved here 4 years ago from Michigan and this is the first season since I've been out hunting. Not use to this slow of action but I've been told that mid to late November is when all the new birds start flying in in the area and the season improves and is more enjoyable.
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