Brought to you by the Arizona Game and Fish Department Region IV offices and our Yuma Community Partners.
Hunting within Municipalities (SB 1334)
On April 29th, 2011 Governor Brewer signed into law Senate bill 1334 permitting the discharge of a firearm within the limits of any municipality while lawfully taking wildlife during an open season established by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.
The Yuma Police Department and the Arizona Game and Fish Department have a long standing partnership on hunt areas within Yuma's municipal boundaries so the law has little affect in the City of Yuma. Our goal has always been to maintain a hunter friendly city and provide sportsmen and women opportunities in areas where it is safe and appropriate. Because of the changes to hunting within municipalities introduced in SB1334 we will no longer provide City maps highlighting municipal areas open to dove hunting, however, please remember the following;
If you have any questions or need additional information please contact the regional Arizona Game and Fish office in Yuma at 9140 E. 28th Street, call 928-342-0091, or submit your question through the "contact us" tab on this website.
National Wildlife Refuges
National Wildlife Refuges in Arizona provide hunting opportunities in designated areas. More information, including refuge-specific regulations and maps, should be obtained by phoning the refuge at:
Kofa NWR 928-783-7861
Imperial NWR 928-783-3371
Cibola NWR 928-857-3253
Yuma Proving Ground
The U.S. Army Proving Ground is open to hunting in accourdance with U.S. Army regulations to properly licensed hunters holding a valid Yuma Proving Ground permit. Restricted areas are closed to the taking of wildlife. Hunting is allowed only in designated hunting areas. Hunting access permit holders are required to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement and complete a Range Safety Briefing. Occasionaly, due to military activities, some affected hunting areas my be temporarily closed. For more information call toll-free 1-877-788-HUNT or visit their website below YPGHunting
Hunting on Tribal Lands
Tribal lands in the Yuma area require separate permits for hunting dove.
Permits for hunting on the Cocopah Reservation cost $60 and go on sale at the Cocopah Gift Shop located at the Cocopah Hotel and Casino and also at Sprague's Sports.
For more information please contact the Cocopah Adminstrative office at (928) 627-2102 and visit their website www.cocopah.com.
The Quechan Tribal Fish and Game Office can be reached at (760) 572-0544.
DOWNLOAD THIS MAP HERE
The Island Unit - The Arizona Island is an eight square mile area that lies on the California side of the Colorado River Northeast of Downtown Yuma. It is typically accessed via the Colorado River Levee heading East, directly south of Paradise Casino.
Approximately three of the eight square miles are tribal lands belonging to the Quechan Indian Tribe and would require a tribal permit to hunt. This area is a mix of citrus and riparian desert habitats and at times can be very productive if grain crops nearby in California are still present.
The nearby Colorado River also provides for some good pass shooting due to roosting citrus on the Island side and nearby grain processing facilities on the Arizona side.
Gila Valley - The huntable portions of the Gila Valley are located in the large Valley north of the Yuma area, roughly lying East of the Colorado River, North of Interstate 8, West of Highway 95 and South of Mittry Lake and the Laguna Mountains. Primary access points to the valley include:
From the South- Highway 95 and the Gila Gravity Canal (just west of the traffic light at Highway 95 and Fortuna Road) OR From Foothills Blvd (Exit 11 off I-8). Travel North on Foothills Blvd. It will turn into a dirt road called “Hank’s Highway” by locals providing access to Fortuna Wash.
From the East- Highway 95 turn West along the Wellton-Mohwak canal (just south of the Gila River and Highway 95) OR From Highway 95 west along a dirt road just on the south side of the Gila River
From the West- There are a variety of dirt/farm roads accessing the Gila Valley along 7E north of Highway 95. The primary road being the big levee road that runs east and west along an irrigation canal. Look for a brown sign with white letters directing you to Fortuna Pond. This sign marks the “big levee road”. Another access point would be along County 6th, look for a brown sign with white letters pointing to Redondo Pond. If you pass the pond and continue east, you will intersect the Gila Gravity Canal that runs through the heart of the Gila Valley. Access can also be obtained by turning east County 5th Street and continuing past the landfill to the intersection of the Gila Gravity Canal.
From the North- From Imperial Dam Road just east of Hidden Shores there is a dirt road running south along the west side of the Gila Gravity Canal. This road is marked by a brown sign with white letters directing you towards Mittry Lake. This road will eventually intersect the Laguna Dam Road south of Mittry Lake and will then turn into 7E.
Yuma County maps are available for a nominal price (approximately $4.00) that show all of these roads and more at various gas stations around town. They are almost always available at the Barney’s Gas Station on the NW Corner of Fortuna Road (Exit 12 off of I-8) and the North Frontage Road.
South County/Mesa – The Mesa and South Mesa areas South of Yuma are best characterized as the land lying between County 5E to the East, Ave A to the West, County 12th Street to the North, and County 22nd to the South. This area is a mix of citrus, alfalfa, and circular (pivot) crops planted in hay, cotton, and grains. The mixture of good roosting habitat in the citrus and nearby pivot fields planted in grains can provide for sustained hunting opportunities when crops are conducive.
When no standing grain is available finding roosting sites and positioning yourself between the trees and a nearby water source can also provide for some nice pass shooting first thing in the morning.
Yuma Valley – The Yuma Valley is a broad area West and Southwest of Yuma and lies in the Colorado River floodplain. It is primarily comprised of agricultural fields used for growing produce such as lettuce and other leafy greens. 95 percent of the land is private yet access is generally accepted as long as postings are observed and hunters don’t intrude into the fields themselves.
There are extensive canal systems throughout the valley and these can provide good water sources that can draw birds. Additionally there is a ‘Drain’ system that moves water away from the fields that is heavily grown with brush that provides food, water, and cover for migratory birds.
East County – There are many dove hunting opportunities on private farms, but each farmer would want to make that decision as you would, if someone wanted to come on to your property. The County extends east along interstate 8 to exit 78, Spot Rd., offering many dove hunting areas. While you may not be able to hunt on someone’s farm, there is a good probability you can find a dove flyway coming from public lands. In addition, many remote stock tanks and wildlife guzzlers provide excellent dove hunting opportunities away from crowded fields.
Be aware, a year-long general hunting season for javelina is currently in effect through December 2013. Over the counter tags can be purchased at any dealer outlet or the AGFD Yuma Regional Office. Visit www.azgfd.gov for more information where you can hunt javelina in the Wellton-Mohawk Valley.
While exiting at Exit 78 head south, several farms are surrounded by BLM and State land. Immediately south of the Double Diamond Ranch is the Barry M. Goldwater Range and access into this area is restricted.
At exit 73, Aztec, you’ll see a dairy operation that attracts many doves. There are shooting opportunities north and south of Interstate 8. Explore for flyways from surrounding washes on BLM lands. If traveling north, turn east along the frontage road to explore for flyways coming from the drainages and don’t shoot towards the highway.
Exit 67, Dateland, travel south to the Gila River bottom. In addition, you can travel south to the Hyder Rd. (Plamosa- Antelope Rd.) about 14 miles and turn east for about 4 miles and turn north on the BLM 25 Rd. You can find flyways leading into the Whitewing Farm.
Exit 54, Mohawk Mountain Pass, travel north on 52E Ave to the Gila River levee rd. (BLM 4277 Rd.) about 5.5 miles and turn east and along the Gila River bottom. Note: north of the levee rd. primarily comprises of agricultural fields used for growing produce such as lettuce and other leafy greens. Access is generally accepted as long as postings are observed and hunters don’t intrude into the fields themselves. If you turn west along BLM 4277 Rd. you can find many dove roosts and flyways along the way back to Yuma.
Texas Hill, on County 1st St and 55E Ave, the area provides food, water, and cover for migratory birds. Many different farms operate in the area; observe posted areas. There is an abundance of public lands surrounding the farms.
Exit 42, Tacna, travel north about 2.5-3 miles and turn west into the Quigley Wildlife Area (see below for more information). If you past County 5th St, you have gone too far.
Travel along the north frontage rd. (Old Hwy 80) west about 3 miles and you’ll see a citrus orchard between 39E Ave and 38E Ave. Scout the surrounding area for homes and do not shoot within a ¼ mile of homes or into the orchard. That orange may be the one you eat down the road someday.
In addition, travel south on 38E Ave over the Mohawk Canal and past the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation Drainage District’s overflow drainage has good flyways coming in from the desert. Avoid hunting the overflow drainage; there are several homes and businesses immediately south.
Exit 30, Wellton, travel north to BLM 4253 Rd. turn east or west. Many desert drainages (BLM) provide excellent opportunities to find flyways leading to the southern farm fields. If you travel east or west along the Gila River levee road, observe farm postings and homes.
Dome Valley - Very much like Yuma Valley, it is primarily comprised of agricultural fields used for growing produce such as lettuce, citrus, and other leafy greens. A large percent of the land is private yet access is generally accepted as long as postings are observed and hunters don’t intrude into the fields themselves.
Form Interstate 8, Exit 21 (Ligurta) and travel east about 1.5 miles to 20E Ave and turn north about a mile. At the Wellton-Mohawk Canal levee road or just past that the Gila River levee road, turn east or west to find dove flyways leading to the surrounding farms. Be aware many farms, shops, and homes are adjacent to these levee roads. Observe farm postings and don’t intrude on the farm fields.
From SR.95, travel about 8 miles north from the Fortuna Rd. junction turn east on County 3rd St. You’ll see the Muggins Mountain range (primarily BLM) immediate east of Dome Valley. This range provides cover for dove in the drainages leading into the valley. You pick up the BLM 4253 Rd. also known as County 8 ½ St. heading east at 22 E Ave and County 8th St.
From the Fortuna Rd. junction, travel north about 6.5 miles to the Wellton-Mohawk Canal north or south levee rd. and travel east. This route will parallel the Gila River to the 20E Avenue junction.
Remember there are many dove hunting opportunities on private farms, but each farmer would want to make that decision as you would, if someone wanted to come on to your property.
Quigley Wildlife Area - The Quigley Wildlife Area is a 612-acre property managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Dept. and located within the Gila River floodplain approximately 40 miles east of Yuma (north of I-8 exiting at Ave 40E). In 2015 parts of the typically idle farmland on the property were planted with grain crops which could provide an excellent opportunity for dove hunters if they're willing to travel the short distance from Yuma.
Cibola Wildlife Refuge - The best dove hunting areas in 43A are along the Colorado River and in Cibola. There are a lot of birds along the Oxbow Road between Ehrenberg and Cibola, with the heaviest concentrations starting around 10 miles north of the Cibola Bridge (approximately 8 miles south of Ehrenberg and the I-10). Many dove are flying back and forth across the river between CA and AZ around the Cibola (Farmer’s) Bridge.
There are still dove using the wheat fields on the CVCWA off of Baseline Road, but not the really high concentrations we have seen in the past years. I would rate the dove hunt on the CVCWA as good. This field is labeled Phase 7 on the attached map. There will be signage directing hunters which roads vehicles are permitted, and where to park. The farm road to the west of Phase 7 will be closed to vehicles, and there will be a parking area on the northeast corner of Phase 7. There will also be plenty of room on Baseline road to park and walk in. Hunters should be aware that the areas of the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge immediately to the south of Baseline Road are closed to hunting of any kind. There are other areas of the Refuge that are open to dove hunting and hunters should consult refuge maps and regulations to determine these open areas.
As far as the dove hunt on the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge is concerned, it’s looking about average on the Farm Unit II, and the Island Unit is looking pretty good. The Island unit had been closed for repairs due to damage sustained in a wildfire in August 2011, but those repairs are now complete and the Island Unit will be open for the dove hunt. There is sunflower on the Farm Unit II, with a decent amount of birds still using the area. Please remember that the entire refuge is non-toxic shot only.