How to Get Your AZ Game & Fishing License

Parent and kid fishing in an Arizona lake.

Did you know you can hunt pigeons, mountain lions, or even black bears in Arizona?

Arizona is home to a diverse ecosystem of fauna. While some are endangered and protected species, there are still plenty you can hunt for pleasure. Before you plan your hunting trip, though, you will need to make sure you have your game and fishing license in Phoenix.

The question is, which animals do you need a license to hunt, and how do you get one? The process is straightforward and you’ll be hunting your species of choice in no time.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about getting a game license in Arizona.

Hunting and Fishing in Arizona: What Can You Expect?

If you’ve never considered hunting in the Grand Canyon State, then you might be surprised just how many hunting options you have. Natives joke about how dry and lifeless Arizona may seem. Yet the desert houses a flourishing variety of small and big game.

A large swath of Arizona pertains to the Sonoran desert, which stretches across southern California and northern Mexico. Believe it or not, the Sonoran desert is the “greenest”–and hottest–desert in the entire world! This is the home of the saguaro cactus, that famous standing cactus with large arms.

Authorities in Arizona have worked hard to maintain this gorgeous desert landscape. Take a trip to Phoenix, and you won’t have to drive far to find large stretches of preserved land. Wildlife is plentiful despite how dry it can get.

One of the great things about Arizona is that while it gets blistering hot in summer, winter is temperate. You’ll never need more than a light jacket. That means you can theoretically hunt all year round.

There are a lot more options than your standard elk, white-tailed deer, or dove. Here are just a few of the unique animals you can hunt in Arizona:

  • Bison
  • Javelina
  • Quail
  • Pheasant
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote

Who Needs a License?

Anyone who wants to hunt wildlife in Arizona (or wants to fish) will require a valid AZ hunting license. You need to have this license on you at all times whenever you’re performing any activities related to the hunt. That means you should have that license on your person whether you’re pursuing prey, shooting it, trapping it, or carrying it home.

“Wildlife” in this definition includes it all. Mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and even mollusks and crustaceans. Arizona laws have steep penalties for attempting to bag these species without a license.

To be clear, this must be a valid license. If your license is expired, you will suffer penalties. Make sure to double- and triple-check your license expiration date before you plan a hunting trip.

Arizona Hunting License

You need to be at least ten years old to hunt in Arizona. Non-residents are welcome to hunt as long as they get a license, too.

Children under the age of ten may participate in wildlife hunting without a license. They must come accompanied by someone who is at least eighteen years old and has their own license. However, that license holder can only bring two unlicensed children with them at any given time. 

To hunt big game, children under the age of fourteen should finish a Hunter Education Course. Any children under the age of ten are forbidden from hunting big game in the state of Arizona.

Big game includes some of the following species:

  • Pronghorn antelope
  • Bear
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bison
  • Turkey
  • Mountain lion
  • White-tailed and mule deer

Arizona Fishing License

Same with hunting licenses, anyone ten or older must hold a fishing license valid in Arizona. They may also be a non-resident. This includes water systems that are publicly accessible.

Anyone under the age of ten does not need a license, nor do those who are blind. Here are some of the species you can legally fish for in Arizona:

  • Trout
  • Crappie
  • Gill
  • Catfish
  • Bass
  • Tilapia

Residence Requirements

An Arizona resident is anyone who claims Arizona as their home, whether permanent or temporary. This should be their principal residence throughout the year.

Further, anyone who applies must have lived in Arizona for at least six months prior to the date that they submit their application. This includes when you apply for permits, stamps, and tags. You cannot claim residency in another state when you try for a hunting or fishing license.

Make sure to get your driver’s license as a new resident to obtain further proof of residence. 

Where to Buy a Game and Fishing License in Phoenix

GG&D is the perfect place for you to get your hunting license. We’ll provide you will all the necessary forms when you come into one of our 6 Phoenix-area locations. Just make sure you bring your required documents, and we’ll process your hunting license as fast as we can.

Arizona is trying to modernize its licensing system. That means that beginning January 1st of next year, licenses will no longer be “book” licenses. All licenses will be digital, so you can have them on your phone or printed out.

This means you’ll never lose your license. You can just print it out again, or keep your phone around.

Get Your Hunting License Today

To hunt any wildlife in Arizona, you will need to get a game and fishing license in Phoenix. A game license allows you to hunt some of Arizona’s glorious natural wildlife, such as elk, javelina, and black bear. You will also need a fishing license when you fish in public waterways.

GG&D would love to help you with every step of this process. Find out more about us today at our website.