2019 Hunting Chukar, Quail in California and Oregon Public Land Maps, How to hunt quail, and access Hunting Clubs and Hunting Ranches

  Hunting Chukar, Quail in California and Oregon 2016 Public Land Maps, How to hunt Chukar, Hunting Clubs and Ranches

Most experts expect outstanding  Valley Quail hunting this year due to a mild spring and  be average or a bit better  But even in good years, successful quail hunters pay a price.  They invest the time it takes to do map research to find areas  they can hunt often. They scout for coveys during the off  season. They train dogs, shoot skeet and/or trap and hike their  boots off during the season. Most important, skilled quail  hunters never hunt coveys smaller than six or eight birds, the  minimum needed to survive until the next year. So conserve  the small coveys this season so you’ll have more to shoot next  year!  If you can not or will not work for birds, don’t bother with  Quail, chukar  .

Seasons: The general quail and  chukar seasons for the balance  of the state run from Oct. 17 to  ~ Jan. 31. Chukar season in  Lassen and Modoc counties  ends earlier on Dec. 27. Quail  season on the northern coast  also ends Dec. 27.  Bag limits: Ten quail per day, 20 in  possession, in the aggregate of  all species. Chukar limit is six  per day, with 12 in possession.  Best areas: See map.
 Firearms: recommends 12 or 20 gauge with improved  cylinder choke. You can buy  quail cards or  guided day hunts  at preserves that  offer bobwhites.  “Tame” bobwhite  also offer dog  training over live  birds before and  after public hunting seasons.  Here’s what you  have to do to bag a  limit of quail  come the opener  Oct. l7:  I Find them:  To start, use maps  to find spots of  BLM, national,  state forest  for hunting. Large  scale BLM topo-  graphic maps  offer an excellent  overview. So do  maps  available from  most chambers of  commerce’s.
.  Look for the  least common of  the quail requirements that concentrate birds —  this year it’s water,  but in other years  it can be food or  nesting cover.  Experienced  quail hunters  know it is difficult  to get specific  information about  covey locations  from local hunters  who naturally do  not wish to share  their favorite  spots.. Instead,  they check with UPS, gas company, PG&E, CalTrans and  other workers who are out in the country and able to spot  birds, but may not hunt.  I Improve shooting: Nobody can afford too many misses  when they might only put up a couple of coveys a day. So a  visit to a skeet range that better prepares you for the odd  angles and wild flying birds is a must. If you can, use 21 quail  walk approach and walk towards station 8 while your buddy  tries to wrong-foot you.
 This kind of practice and the use of  portable traps helps field results.  Poor gun mount causes most misses when you rush to get  on birds. So mount your shotgun and, with snap caps or  empty shells in place to protect your firing pins, practice  swinging and dry firing.  I Take your time: Cover as much ground as possible and  you find more birds. Once you find_or flush a covey, take your  time so you don’t miss birds. Of course, reputable hunters  never shoot coveys down past six or eight birds needed as seed  birds for next season.  D0n’t shoot too fast! Valley quail tend to come up in waves  rather than all in a bunch. One or two laggard birds hang  around until you start to reload. So move around a bit before  you rush after pup.  Try to shoot at one bird at a time! If you flock shoot, you  won’! hit much. Some say they wait until birds cross to get two  with one shot or that they only shoot cock birds. These folks      also claim their pups always come when called, and that their        If you or pup are new to valley or mountain quail hunting,  shoot a few bob white on a preserve so you and pup can get up to speed.   you might buy a few  bobwhite from a  trainer and set them out so pup learns about birds. 
When you hunt, look for edges near open grasslands and  cover. Watch for quail around water or dusting on the side of  the road early and late in the day. If you hunt without dogs, try  to kick each and every brush pile you pass. Dogs are highly  recommended!  Look 5 or 6 feet over pup as you move in along his side to  put up birds. Practice reloading without looking down at your  shotgun so you can spot laggard birds that flush.  Mark birds that you can spot landing. Most will move only  a short distance in decent cover and should hold better for  pups ater the second flush.  Consider a call that makes the “Chi-ca-go” of valley quail  or a hawk whistle to freeze birds running ahead of dogs.  Listen after a covey flush and you can hear birds sound their  assembly call. Experienced dogs, like experienced hunters,  key in on this to find birds. With these points in mind you  need only find 21 hunting area. 
 Find areas near home: Four separate areas  Coast  Range North, Coast Range South, North Valley, Foothills  deserve close attention for valley quail. Each has sections that          HUNTERS who do their homework and prescout Saturdays general  opener  should be able to drop limits in areas with good numbers of the fast—flying birds. Hunting the Parkfield foothills range from good to  fabulous — these normally behind fences with  “Keep Out” signs every 50 feet. We have over 100 private ranches and hunting clubs if you would like to increase your chances, see below for more information.
 Coast Range north ‘The early coastal season in Marin, Napa, Sonoma,  Solano, Lake and Mendocino counties offers a chance to  work dogs early Birds mostly on private land are the rule in  the “wine” counties where George Carl of the Napa Valley  Times noted that “quail seem scattered.”  Note: it’s too late this year, but many vineyards have major  problems with rabbits that chew through drip tubing. Quail.  like rabbits, do very well in vineyards. If you help shoot  rabbits you can sometimes get invited to shoot quail.  The most accessible shooting is in the Mendocino  National Forest along the crest of the Coast Range.
While  slopes are often heavily covered with buck brush, working  hunters can score birds by walking creek beds or punching up  through the lower slope to cover to the more open oak and  grasslands on the ridges. Coveys that dust at dusk along roads  in early season move back into the hills after a few days of  hunting pressure.  Wild domestic cats and other ground predators reduce  quail numbers around population centers, but diligent hunters can still find quail in the East Bay Hills and around Mt.  Diablo. Lots of asking is required
Better are the valley slopes of the Coast  Range in Yolo, Colusa, Glenn and  Tehama counties where much unposted  land eases access – lnterstate 5 gets you  there and back fast. The transition zone  from grass to buck brush habitat holds  lots of birds.  Few hunters seem to get more than a  couple of miles from dirt access roads.  The key to action here is early scouting  to find open areas that offer shots. Most  spots feature chest high brush.  
Coast Range south  The South Coast Range scatters  hunting on the ridges in San Mateo and  Santa Cruz counties where map work  can find public property, but permission  to hunt private lands seems tough to get.  Hunting opens up towards Hunter Liggett and Camp Roberts in Monterey County. Regulations, permission and  weekend hunts on the military can be  obtained by calling 408-385-I205.  Further south, the Panoche Hills  Wildlife Management Area and parts of  Los Padres National Forest offers easy  access and decent birds if you walk  away from roads. Old Bums around Big  Sur and on private grazing land:  the coast hold more valley ,quail  most hunters expect. The cool breeze from the ocean beats  sweating up dry canyons further inland early in the season  too.  San Luis Obispo County marks the southern limits for  most Nor Cal hunters. lt has wonderful quail hunting toward  Santa Maria and on mostly private, but largely unposted,  property north of Morro Bay. We hunt unimproved land  around vineyards.
 To the east in the Tremblor Mountains in  Kern County you can expect both valley and mountain quail.  Bring lots of water and watch for snakes!  
Sierra Foothills  The foothills from Gold Country second home areas up  and around Lake Shasta am a checkerboard BLM, national  forest, state park and private lands that require careful map  work. Most areas are dry, with buck brush and other shoulder- high cover to challenge snap shots. Old burns and other areas  where the cover has thinned enough for easier shots work  best. Try to stay away from Auburn, Grass Valley and other  population centers. Smaller public areas and unposted ground  a couple of turnoffs from pavement offer the best action. 

ln the Central Sierra, transition zone brush country in the  l,000~ to 2,500-foot elevation band holds valley quail with  the best shooting concentrated along creeks away from roads.  High elevation lands offer more national forest access: below  1,500-foot elevations BLM maps that show public ownership  seem a must.  Hunters do better on isolated public or, with permission,  private land than on wildlife areas near population centers  that get hammered and, some say “overgrazed” such as  Spenceville or Oroville recreation areas that are marginal  during the week and mobbed on weekends. Especially this  year where cover did not grow as high as usual because of lack  or rain.   

 Above 3,000 feet, mountain quail range overlaps valley quail. Since seasons do not, you need to tell the bobbing  plume of the valley quail from the two long slender strands  that top mountain quail, the largest quail in America.  If you stay on ridges above 4,000 feet during mountain  quail season and drop to lower elevation when gunning  changes to valley quail, you should have fewer problems.

 Experienced hunters with dogs do reasonably well along streams  and around the edges of two- to three-year old burns.   Tehama Wildlife Area is highly recommended if you avoid opening day  weekend and, if possible, hunt during the week.  Calls help nail down these track stars that are not hard to  locate in more remote areas off pavement. Down birds seem  particularly difficult to spot, so a dog is a major aid. 
North state  Shasta, Siskiyou, Modoc, Trinity, Lassen, Tehama and  other north state counties have the best quail hunting in  Northern California. Those who drive up and scout find  birds. ln many areas mountain and valley quail overlap to  extend the hunting season. You can add pigeons on the ridges  and doves along sand bars by the river too.  A mid-August scouting trip west of Red Bluff showed  good numbers of quail on Sacramento  River islands, with access by boat, is a favorite with locals.  
To the east, Tehama Wildlife Area seems one of the best  choices for upland bird hunting around the Central Valley. It  is highly recommended if you avoid opening day weekend  and, if possible, hunt during the week. Tehama County welcomes hunters and fishermen; Red Bluff is a “best bet” as a  spot to stay during the season. Call the Red Bluff-Tehama  Chamber of Commerce for information at 9l6-527-6620.
In Shasta County, Shasta Trinity National Forest offers  total access and reasonably open country. Some drive the  network of dirt roads early and late in the day to find birds.  Dedicated hunters hike along creeks and in other areas with  decent food, resting and nesting cover.  The southern sections of Siskiyou County offer shooting  in the sagebrush between I-5 and Highway 97. There are,  frankly, so many hot spots for quail in this area this year that  you really need only drive up and take a look. As always,  birds do move away from easily accessible spots towards the  end of the season.  

Other options: The great Central Valley of California holds few quail.  Fence-to-fence fanning has eliminated the berry hells, Osage  Orange rows and other cover than once blanketed the valley.  Blackberry bushes seem to signal quail here, but hunters need  to be careful not to shoot birds that will fall in thick stickers.  Tip; carry hedge shears to cut to birds pup can’t retrieve. Most  stack up in heavy cover along rivers. Hunters who float to  hunt islands and unposted spots do well.  The San Joaquin, Feather and Sacramento rivers are best  bets in areas with natural banks instead of riprap.

Other  “aquatic” options worth a try are berms and islands in the  Delta country if you spend considerable time scouting.  Most of these offer bonus pheasant and ducks in season  too. They peak early in the season when dogs need water. Take  fishing tackle and you might take steelhead or salmon.   

California hunting clubs, hunting ranches, public and even private fishing

Hunting private lands in California has several advantages over the public areas. Chief among these are much less hunting pressure, better forage and water supplies and easier vehicle access. It’s a fact of life, and hunting on private ranches is almost a sure thing.
We use a hunting map site that has over 200 private ranches, with or without guides www.ranchhuntfish.com

 It’s free, and get you access to our free map site too. Here is a copy of the home page:
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We have many more hunting and fishing maps, here is a screen shot, but if you want more info, click on this link:


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