Orvis-Endorsed Wingshooting Guide in Arizona

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Randy Matis

Orvis-Endorsed Wingshooting Guide

Phone icon715-558-1276 Email iconrandy.matis@gmail.com Link iconclassicbirdhunts.com
Elgin, AZ

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

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The Story

Enjoy an unforgettable wingshooting experience in Arizona with Orvis-endorsed guide Randy Matis. The rugged vistas of the cowboy West are home to three species of Arizona quail: the Mearns, the Gambel's, and the scaled or blue quail. The Gambel's and scalies will be found in the desert, in an undulating sea of grass, rocks, cactus, and yucca that is at once harsh and beautiful. You will find it difficult to believe that a dozen or more of these birds could be off the end of a Brittany's nose in cover that couldn't hide an ant. Take that one last step and the air will fill with whirring wings. Mearns, by contrast, will insist that you lace your boots tight, pack a water bottle, and burn a few calories. They inhabit the oak hillsides and washes that are found above 4000 feet. They will make you sweat, they will make you swear, and they will make you laugh, but to hold one in hand, taken on the wing and over a point is to hold the Stanley Cup of quail. You may be a little tired and you may be a little sore, but more than anything you will be ready to find another covey. Hunting Mearns is that good. We have hunted these birds in T-shirts and lunched on the tailgate with an inch of snow crunching under our boots. The contrasts in these hunts are part of what keep folks coming back. There is nothing vanilla about the birds, the cover or the country.

What is Provided:

Lunch and transportation from your lodging are included. If bringing your own dogs you will need to follow in your vehicle. When wet, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is a must. Shells are provided at no cost. Quality double guns are available for your use at no charge, you are just responsible for any damages. Snacks and beverages are provided in the field.

If you choose our all-inclusive package on the Babacomari Ranch meals and lodging are included with your package.

Gear Recommendations:

Comfortable broken in boots are your most critical piece of gear. A 20 gauge, break-action, lightweight gun with more open chokes is recommended. 12 and 16 gauge is a bit of overkill, but still fine. 28 gauge is acceptable if taking shots within good killing range. Most importantly, bring a gun that you are comfortable with and shoot well. Sunscreen, a strap vest, and blaze orange mesh caps are suggested.

What to Bring (Additional):

Binoculars and camera.


Our guiding takes place from early December thru mid-February when all three species are legal targets and the snakes are in brumation.


  • Mearns quail
  • Gambel's quail
  • Scaled quail
  • Doves


Our hunts take place in hilly, rocky terrain. Epic mountain views are a constant. Gambel's are typically found at the lowest elevations in washes with little ground cover. Scalies are mostly found a bit higher with a bit heavier grass. Mearns are up higher, mostly on oak/juniper hillsides with thick grass. The Babacomari Ranch offers the only running water in winter, giving Classic Bird Hunts a distinct advantage.

Typical Weather:

Weather is similar throughout the season, typically with highs around 60 F and lows around freezing. That being said, there will be occasional days with highs in the 70s and even a few days when temps never top freezing. Bring layers that can be easily shed. Rain is also a possibility.

Rates start from: $900/day for two.
You can find all pricing information at: https://www.classicbirdhunts.com/pricing.html


We encourage guests to bring their own dogs and enjoy getting them on birds.

Game cleaning and handling is provided by your guide.

Wireless internet available at lodgings. Cell phone service can be spotty.

Nearest commercial airports TUS, a 65 minute drive, PHX a three-hour drive. Sierra Vista Airport for private planes is just 15 minutes from our headquarters.

Additional Activities:

Dove, duck, and coyote hunts are an option. The area is rich in Native American history. Other area highlights include the Desert Museum in Tucson and Katchner Caverns. Nearby towns Bisbee, Patagonia, and Tubac offer a variety of dining and arts.

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