2019 Spring Turkey Hunting Info and Hunting Maps California & How to Hunt Turkeys
2019 Spring Turkey California Hunting, How to Hunt Turkeys and Hunting Ranches and Clubs California & Oregon
Update: Nonleaded ammunition is now required statewide when hunting wild turkeys with a shotgun for the upcoming spring wild turkey season. Leaded gasoline is still OK if you have a flamethrower.
California 2017 Spring wild turkey season opens on last Saturday in March through April . The archery season is May 1, to May 14,.
The spring sun is shining, greengrasses are growing, snow melt is swelling streams andturkeys are talking in California!And that means it’s time to get ready for the popular springturkey hunt which begins Saturday, March 25, 2017 and laststhrough Sunday, April 30th, 2017. Only bearded birds may be taken during the spring hunting season, when shooting hours are from one-half hourbefore sunrise to 4 p.m. each day.
These hours give huntersthe best opportunity to call toms which are most active in theearly morning hours, yet it enables the birds to have a breakfrom hunting pressure in the afternoon.
Wild turkeys can be found in 37 counties in Californiawith the largest populations located in San Luis Obispo,Mendocino, Yuba, Nevada, Butte, El Dorado, Calaveras,Tehama and Shasta counties. Scattered populations have also reside in Lassen, Mono, Alpine, Siskiyou and Kerncounties.
In these latter counties, although mainly a creatureof the foothill belt, ﬂocks have been located at high elevations, apparently adapting to habitat mixtures of pine, oak,juniper and wet meadows.
Much of California foothills are privately owned andpermission is required to hunt on such property. (We have over 200 ranches and hunting clubs in California and Oregon, see our web sites below).
Turkeys wereinitially planted on private property throughout the state in1970, and much of the best hunting can be found on privatelands today. But the Rio Grande strain has adapted so well inCalifornia that they have spread out onto public lands, creating some excellent hunting opportunity.
Counties like San Luis Obispo and Monterey are loadedwith birds, but unless you have access to a private ranch, it’sdarned difﬁcult to find a place to hunt.
San Luis ObispoCounty has moreturkeys than anycounty in thestate, yet it doesn‘trank among thetop six counties asfar as harvestgoes . That‘sbecause huntingpressure is relatively light and access difficult so few birds are taken.
Counties that shot themost turkeys last year were, in order, Shasta,Tehama, El Dorado,Placer, Butte andMendocino.us aretaken.Public access is good in mostof these counties, so we recommend hunting them.How do you ﬁnd turkeys in these counties? Scouting isthe most important factor in bagging a bird. Look for turkeysin these foothills between 500 and 2,500 feet elevation, wherestands of oak and hardwoods mix with grasslands.
By drivingback roads before the spring season and checking for tracks inthe dirt, hunters can get clues to where turkeys reside.
Once a set of tracks has been located, get out and walk thearea. Note the topographic composition. Turkeys requirewater daily and leave signs around springs, stock ponds orstreams. A secluded grassy seep at the bottom of a steepravine, surrounded by oaks and digger or ponderosa pine, canprovide ample food and escape cover.
Shasta County offers some of the best public access forturkeys in the state, thanks to the Shasta National Forest.Shasta County is the best public hunting ground in thestate. (See our Shasta Lake Hunting Map blog listed on the right side of this page)
Top areas can be found on the ridgesabove Shasta Lake. Big Backbone, Pit River, McCloud Riverand Squaw Creek are all productive.Tehama County has fair hunting available on the TehamaWildlife Area, but better hunting can be found on privateproperty. Dye Creek, Mill Creek and Paynes Creek all havebirds in the eastern half of the county. The west side has birdstoo, and ﬂocks are already being spotted in the foothills fromRosewood south to Plakenta.
The west slope of the Sierra Foothills – from Butte toFresno County — all have birds available and ﬁnding them isa matter of ﬁnding a public place to hunt. The SpencevilleWildlife Area in Yuba County allows public hunters.
Lake Sonoma Wildlife Area has some public huntingavailable this year and ranches from Cloverdale down toSebastopol have plenty of turkeys on tap.South of San Francisco, the best hunting can be found inthe Diablo Range around Hollister.Birds are available in Monterey, San Benito and San LuisObispo counties, but you’ll have to get access to private land.
Los Padres National Forest has turkeys.The mating season for wild turkeybegins in late February, lasting throughJune. Gobblers use clearings in the forest for strutting grounds, gobbling to attract hens.In March and April, dominance begins the pecking order for individual ﬂocks take place in glades atmeadows.
When the spring breakup occurs,hens will leave the ﬂocks and form theirown bands. That drives gobblers crazy,so they head out wandering around,searching for mates to breed. Problemis, hens are out building nests so gobblers spend their time calling hoping toget a response. That’s when hunters canuse their calls to lure lovesick toms!Listening from a good vantage pointwhen turkeys are talking — usuallydawn and dusk — is another way ofdetermining if there are birds in thearea.
Blow a crow or owl call and listenfor a response.Hunters should be in the ﬁeld before sun-up when the season opens. If a gobbler sounds off, move carefully towithin 200 yards of its approximatelocation and start off with a series ofhen yelp-calls from a well-concealedstand. Be patient.
Another thing hunters should takenote of during the spring season is the weather. A lot of long sunny days can induce hormonalchanges in big toms through stimulation of their pituitary glands. As theseason winds down, the effects of thesechanges can become quite pronounced,making a wary gobbler more susceptible to artiﬁcial hen calls than earlier inthe season.
ln fact typically thebest hunting occurs during the last twoweeks of the season when temperaturesare warmest and hens are sitting onnests.The last two tothree weekends are much better. Earlyon, , the gobbler hasall his hens, but later in the season whenthe hens are bred and on the nests, thegobbler spends more time calling andlooking for his ﬂock.
We are your source for Hunting in California and Oregon, public and private. Our sites include FREE maps for access for Turkey Hunting, as well as FREE contact info for 100’s of Turkey Hunting ranches, clubs, and Public lands. Our network of Hunting ranches is exclusive, available nowhere else, sourced from our long years of ranch land sales. We help our old customers keep their lands, and you get to benefit, with properties from 1000 to 40,000 acres in size.
Deer Hunting zones with hunting properties are shown, and, in addition, Pig Hunting ranches, Duck Hunting Clubs, Duck Hunting refuges, all with FREE maps. We list Pheasant Hunting clubs for planted and wild upland birds with FREE phone contacts. We have broken our Turkey Hunting info into hunting guide operations, or those that are self guided.
Our first map below is general in information, but for maps of properties listed county by county, so you can get something close to your home. if you log on to www.ranchhuntandfish.com
HOW TO DECOY TURKEYS
Spring gobblers have supernatural vision. They don’t have eyes, they have dual 400-power spotting scopes Turkeys also seem to know your human form better than your own mother knows it, and can pick you out of indecently heavy cover. What’s needed is something to divert the gobbler’s attention from your position while he approaches the sound of your call. Decoys are about the greatest boon to spring tur- key hunting since the box call.
Decoys preform two important functions They are attractors: once you have called a gobbler into view of that decoy, he will fall instantly in obsessive, possessive love with that decoy. The decoy really brings in the toms close.
With a decoy, gobblers frequently hang up and get reluctant at 50 to 100 yards out After all, they are used to having the hens come to them. Decoys bring them in close — close enough to get right on top of that deke! Decoys also divert attention away from the hunters; when he’s looking at the decoy, he can’t be looking at you. That really takes a lot of the pressure off.
Here are a few tips from turkey guides on decoying spring gobblers in the North State:
1. Place the deke in a clearing, with good brush cover for the hunters behind it
Make sure there is a good clear field of vision of 100 yards or so along the avenue from which the gobblers are most likely to approach. The sooner they spot your decoy, the better.
2. Place the caller a bit off to the side from the decoy, not directly behind
3. Place the hunter on the ﬂanks of the caller, so they don‘t have to move much to get a likely shot.
Start calling when you are set up in your blind — but stop calling once that tom sees that lane. He‘ll take it from there. Only if he loses interest should you use a soft coaxer. I The best dekes have their necks down, not up. Down necks on a hen communicate a kind of submissive, come-hither sex message. Heads up mean danger – look out.
Make sure hunters wear full camo, keep still and sit in position with shotguns resting roughly in the direction you expect the birds to be coming from. Plot a shot grid around the deke so you know your range. It’s easy to get excited about a 70-yard shot that looks like 40 yards Pace off some distances so you know your shot grid. Use these decoying tactics in your favorite turkey hunting area and you’l1 score! Try Shasta, Tehama, Butte, Yuba, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Mendocino and Monterey counties!
California hunting and fishing maps of hunting clubs, hunting ranches, public and private fishing.
Click on a county for Hunting Clubs & Private Ranches:
As we indicated, our site for Turkey hunting, etc. has hunting properties listed county by county, so you can get something close to your home. All our sites can be used to find hunting contacts for Duck Clubs, pheasant hunting for both Wild and Planted upland birds, and even private Fly Fishing properties….All at no charge, we only ask you take a youngster hunting or fishing sometime soon.
For a comprehensive list of all TurkeyHunting opportunities where you live, try out
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