Scott Gardner, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 801-6257
Janice Mackey, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8908
California’s 2012 general spring wild turkey hunting season opens statewide on March 31 and extends through May 6, with the archery season extending through May 20.
Hunters who have a current junior hunting license may also hunt the weekend before the opener, on March 24 and 25, and the two weeks after the general season (through May 20), using shotguns or any other legal method of take.
Please note that the season is closed to all hunters from March 26 to March 30.
Shooting hours for spring turkeys are from one-half hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. Both a hunting license and upland game bird stamp are required to hunt turkeys, although an upland stamp is not required for hunters with junior licenses. The bag limit is one bearded turkey per day and no more than a total of three turkeys during all seasons (general, archery, junior) combined.
The statewide population of wild turkeys is estimated at 240,000 birds.DFG’s most recent hunter surveys indicate that on average about 24,000 hunters bag about 22,000 turkeys in the spring season each year statewide. Wild turkeys are found in most counties in California, with the top 10 for spring harvest being El Dorado, Mendocino, Placer, Sonoma, Shasta, Yuba, Butte, San Diego, Napa and Lake counties.
For places to hunt turkeys, hunters should refer to the “Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys in California” on DFG’s website at www.dfg.ca.gov/hunting/ (on the right side of the page).
Hunters are encouraged to check DFG’s special hunts website for more information at http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/GameBirdHeritageHunts.