Drought Could Make Quail Hunt A Gamble

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Quail season officially opened this morning throughout Arizona.

Game biologists aren't expecting it to be a banner season due to last spring's drought, but hunters will be in the field trying their luck at bagging the state's most elusive game birds.

Some of the best hunting areas in the state for the Gambel's species is located in the high desert plateaus south of Payson near Punkin Center, Tonto Basin and Roosevelt Lake.

Before setting out for a hunt, remember a Class F, G or H license is required. Licenses are available at most sporting goods stores.

The bag limit is 15 birds per day. The possession limit is 30 quail after opening day.

The season continues until Feb. 12, 2001, but hunters who don't take advantage of the early days when birds are a tad less gun-shy usually don't claim their limits.

Spring deadline

The spring hunt application deadline for javelina, turkey and bear is Oct. 17. Arizona Game and Fish officials are urging all who submit applications to be sure their applications are filled out correctly. Last year, more than 2,500 applications were rejected due to four reasons.

They were: missing or outdated hunting license numbers; not enough money with the application; missing or using wrong hunt numbers; and signatures were missing on the application.

Hunters can go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department headquarters in Phoenix or any of the six regional offices throughout the state for help in filling out the applications.

More information is available online at www.azgfd.com.

On to Thunderbird

In a last-minute change of plans, the Payson High School varsity cross country teams will be opting out of today's Snowflake Invitational Meet and instead will travel tomorrow to the Thunderbird High Invitational.

Early this week, PHS coach Chuck Hardt received an invitation to the Thunderbird competition and decided it might be a good change of pace for his charges. The Horn jayvees will participate in Snowflake as originally planned.

The Thunderbird meet will be held at the Cave Creek Recreational Area located off I-17 on Cactus Avenue.

The girls event, a 2.7-mile run, begins at 10 a.m.

The boy's run, also 2.7 miles, is set for 11 a.m.

Hardt will take seven varsity girls and five boys to the meet. More than 40 high schools from around the state will participate.

Diamond camps

The Arizona Baseball Academy has set dates for its next set of Saturday baseball and softball instructional camps. Sessions run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the academy.

All instructions center around teaching young athletes better awareness of the performance absolutes, biomechanics, physical, nutritional and emotional aspects of competition.

Cost of the camps is $25 per session, and the camps are designed for player 7 to 14 years old.

Scheduled camps include: catching Oct. 21; fielding Oct. 28; speed/quickness Nov. 4; hitting Nov. 18; pitching Dec. 2; catching Dec. 9; and fielding Dec. 16.

The Arizona Baseball Academy is at 7615 W. Acoma in Phoenix.. Space is limited, so reserve a spot by calling (623) 978-0585.

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