Woman dressed warmly in camouflage and standing in marsh reeds aims a shotgun into the air

While desert bighorn sheep may be the most famous game species on this refuge, hunters don't need to draw a bighorn tag to experience incredible hunting here. The Gambel's quail hunting on this huge refuge could rank among the best quail hunting in the country. With liberal bag limits and a long hunting season, a hunter prepared for a lot of walking can find large coveys of quail scattered throughout the Sonoran Desert landscape. Quail numbers are dependent on spring precipitation, and in wet years the bird numbers can be tremendous. Quail hunters use 200 miles of roads to access the 650,000-acre refuge, much of which is wilderness. Many hunters use dogs, but the landscape can be rough on canine companions. The small spines of the cholla cactus can be particularly painful on paws, so hunters are advised to put leather boots on their dogs. Hunters without dogs should listen for quail calls and then try to approach the covey. In dense vegetation, the quail hold quite well. In open areas, they often run, so refuge managers suggest hunters be prepared for a lot of exercise. In this wilderness, hunters should also bring plenty of water and food, a reliable vehicle and spare tires.