Thursday, March 9, 2017

2017 Spring Turkey Hunting Info and Hunting Maps California & How to Hunt Turkeys

2017 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 2017 spring wild turkey season. Leaded gasoline is still OK if you have a flamethrower. Big yuck.
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California 2017 Spring wild turkey season opens on March 25, 2017 and through April 30, 2017. The archery season is May 1, 2017 to  May 14, 2017.
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The spring sun is shining, green  grasses are growing, snow melt is swelling streams and  turkeys are talking in California!  And that means it’s time to get ready for the popular spring  turkey hunt which begins Saturday, March 25, 2017 and lasts  through Sunday, April 30th, 2017.  Only bearded birds may be taken during the spring hunting season, when shooting hours are from one-half hour  before sunrise to 4 p.m. each day.
These hours give hunters  the best opportunity to call toms which are most active in the  early morning hours, yet it enables the birds to have a break  from hunting pressure in the afternoon. 
Wild turkeys can be found in 37 counties in California  with 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 Kern  counties.
 In these latter counties, although mainly a creature  of 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 and  permission 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 were  initially planted on private property throughout the state in  1970, and much of the best hunting can be found on private  lands today. But the Rio Grande strain has adapted so well in  California that they have spread out onto public lands, creating some excellent hunting opportunity. 
Counties like San Luis Obispo and Monterey are loaded  with birds, but unless you have access to a private ranch, it’s  darned difficult to find a place to hunt. 

San Luis Obispo  County has more  turkeys than any  county in the  state, yet it doesn‘t  rank among the  top six counties as  far as harvest  goes . That‘s  because hunting  pressure is relatively light and access difficult so few birds are taken.

 Counties that shot the  most turkeys last year were, in order, Shasta,  Tehama, El Dorado,  Placer, Butte and  Mendocino.us are  taken.   Public access is good in most  of these counties, so we recommend hunting them.  How do you find turkeys in these counties? Scouting is  the most important factor in bagging a bird. Look for turkeys  in these foothills between 500 and 2,500 feet elevation, where  stands of oak and hardwoods mix with grasslands.

By driving  back roads before the spring season and checking for tracks in  the dirt, hunters can get clues to where turkeys reside.
 Once a set of tracks has been located, get out and walk the  area. Note the topographic composition. Turkeys require  water daily and leave signs around springs, stock ponds or  streams. A secluded grassy seep at the bottom of a steep  ravine, surrounded by oaks and digger or ponderosa pine, can  provide ample food and escape cover. 
Shasta County offers some of the best public access for  turkeys in the state, thanks to the Shasta National Forest.  Shasta County is the best public hunting ground in the  state. (See our Shasta Lake Hunting Map blog listed on the right side of this page)

Top areas can be found on the ridges  above Shasta Lake. Big Backbone, Pit River, McCloud River  and Squaw Creek are all productive.  Tehama County has fair hunting available on the Tehama  Wildlife Area, but better hunting can be found on private  property. Dye Creek, Mill Creek and Paynes Creek all have  birds in the eastern half of the county. The west side has birds  too, and flocks are already being spotted in the foothills from  Rosewood south to Plakenta. 
The west slope of the Sierra Foothills - from Butte to  Fresno County — all have birds available and finding them is  a matter of finding a public place to hunt. The Spenceville  Wildlife Area in Yuba County allows public hunters.
 

 Lake Sonoma Wildlife Area has some public hunting  available this year and ranches from Cloverdale down to  Sebastopol have plenty of turkeys on tap.  South of San Francisco, the best hunting can be found in  the Diablo Range around Hollister.  Birds are available in Monterey, San Benito and San Luis  Obispo counties, but you'll have to get access to private land. 
       
Los Padres National Forest has turkeys.  The mating season for wild turkey  begins in late February, lasting through  June. 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 at  meadows.
 When the spring breakup occurs,  hens will leave the flocks and form their  own bands. That drives gobblers crazy,  so they head out wandering around,  searching for mates to breed. Problem  is, hens are out building nests so gobblers spend their time calling hoping to  get a response. That’s when hunters can  use their calls to lure lovesick toms!  Listening from a good vantage point  when turkeys are talking — usually  dawn and dusk — is another way of  determining if there are birds in the  area.
Blow a crow or owl call and listen  for a response.  Hunters should be in the field before  sun-up when the season opens. If a gobbler sounds off, move carefully to  within 200 yards of its approximate  location and start off with a series of  hen yelp-calls from a well-concealed  stand. Be patient.
Another thing hunters should take  note of during the spring season is the weather. A lot of long sunny days can induce hormonal  changes in big toms through stimulation of their pituitary glands. As the  season winds down, the effects of these  changes can become quite pronounced,  making a wary gobbler more susceptible to artificial hen calls than earlier in  the season.
 
ln fact typically the  best hunting occurs during the last two  weeks of the season when temperatures  are warmest and hens are sitting on  nests.  The last two to  three weekends are much better. Early  on, , the gobbler has  all his hens, but later in the season when  the hens are bred and on the nests, the  gobbler spends more time calling and  looking 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 

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HOW TO DECOY TURKEYS



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 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:
 
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 Click on a county for OREGON Hunting Clubs & Private Ranches:
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 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 Turkey Hunting opportunities where you live, try out


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You can go to our Free Map Site, just click below for our Sister site, www.freehuntfishmaps.com , get hunting access to over 500 ranches, and  hunting clubs. Some have pig hunting guides, other are not guided. Many Public lands for pig hunting are also listed. 
Always free with no strings attached,  and even devoid of advertising or trying to sell you decoys or something, our sites will help keep the outdoor world we love preserved for generations
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