Tag Archives: Turkey

CDFW Launches Automated Application Process for Upland Game Wild Bird Hunts

California hunters can now apply online for specially managed upland game bird hunting opportunities on private and public lands.

Starting with the 2017 fall hunting season, hunters will need to apply through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) for special hunt drawings for pheasant, chukar, quail, wild turkey and dove. The new, automated application process replaces the Special Hunts Application process for wild bird hunts.

Applications for apprentice pheasant hunts will remain in the current location at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/DFGSpecialHunts/Default.aspx. For updates and information on wild upland game bird hunts, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Upland-Game-Birds/Hunts.

All hunt applicants must have a valid California hunting license and adult hunters must also have a valid Upland Game Bird Stamp to hunt upland game birds.

A non-refundable $2.42 fee will be charged for each application. Hunters may select their top three hunt choices per application and apply in parties, but may only apply once for each available hunt date. Duplicate entries will be disqualified.

Applications may be purchased:

All hunters must abide by California’s nonlead requirements. Currently, nonlead ammunition is required for hunting doves on any CDFW-managed property, but is not required to hunt doves on private property or public lands not managed by CDFW. Starting on July 1, 2019, nonlead ammunition will be required to take all wildlife anywhere in California.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Karen Fothergill, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 716-1461

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Nonlead Ammunition Required Statewide for 2017 Spring Wild Turkey Season

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding hunters that nonlead ammunition is now required statewide when hunting wild turkeys with a shotgun. The upcoming 2017 spring wild turkey season will be the first hunting season with significant participation for which nonlead shot will be required statewide.

These regulations apply both to public and private lands (except for licensed game bird clubs), including all national forests, Bureau of Land Management properties and CDFW lands. Private landowners or anyone authorized to hunt on private land must also comply with these regulations.

California’s 2017 general spring wild turkey season opens statewide on March 25 and extends through April 30. The archery-only season will follow immediately afterward, running from May 1-14. Hunters who have a current junior hunting license may also hunt the weekend before the opener (March 18 and 19), and the two weeks following the general season (May 1-14), using shotguns or any other legal method of take.

Hunters are encouraged to practice shooting with nonlead shot in order to ensure their shotguns are patterned appropriately before heading into the field.

For more information on nonlead ammunition regulations and the implementation process, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/nonlead-ammunition.

 ###

Media Contact:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

 

Spring Turkey Hunting Season and Hunt Application Deadlines Approach

California’s 2017 general spring wild turkey hunting season opens statewide on March 25 and extends through April 30. The archery-only season will follow immediately afterward, running from May 1-14.

Hunters who have a current junior hunting license may also hunt the weekend before the opener, (March 18 and 19), and the two weeks after the general season (May 1-14), using shotguns or any other legal method of take.

Shooting hours for spring turkeys are from one-half hour before sunrise to 5 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 a possession limit of no more than three turkeys during all spring seasons (general, archery and junior) combined.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering spring turkey hunt opportunities throughout the state. Please see the Special Hunts webpage to view and apply for hunts in Butte, Sutter, El Dorado, Fresno, Sacramento, Sonoma, Santa Clara and Yuba counties. The application deadline for these hunts is Friday, Feb. 17. There is no fee to apply.

Additional opportunities will be offered through the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Program, which offers incentives to private landowners who allow wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on their property. Three SHARE Access Permits will be distributed via random drawing for two-day hunts on Sleepy Creek Ranch and Jones Ranch in northern Santa Barbara County. The hunts will be held on various dates in April. Successful applicants for each property will be allowed to bring a hunting partner or a non-hunting partner. A $10.50 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt choice. To apply for these hunts, please go to www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/online-sales. To learn more about the SHARE Program, please see www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

The statewide population of wild turkeys is estimated at 240,000 birds. CDFW estimates about 36,000 hunters bag about 28,000 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 Shasta, Butte, Placer, El Dorado, Tehama, Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada and Lake counties.

For places to hunt turkeys and additional tips and information, hunters should refer to the “Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys in California” on the CDFW website.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Karen Fothergill, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 716-1461
Victoria Barr, CDFW SHARE Program, (916) 445-4034
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Fall Turkey Season Opener Approaches

Upland game hunters statewide are gearing up for the opportunity to bag their Thanksgiving dinner, as California’s 2016 general fall wild turkey hunting season opens statewide on Saturday, Nov. 12. The season extends through Sunday, Dec. 11, with a bag limit of one turkey (either sex) per day and no more than two per season.

“Turkey populations are doing very well in many areas of the state despite recent drought years,” said Scott Gardner, manager of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Upland Game Program. “Not only are they plentiful, but they’re also a very healthy alternative to store-bought turkey. Wild turkey meat is low in fat and has no additives. You can’t get much healthier than that.”

Wild turkeys are found in most counties in California, with the top five for fall harvest being Placer, El Dorado, Shasta, Sonoma and Tehama. 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.

Rio Grande turkeys are the most widespread wild turkey subspecies in California, occupying much of the mixed oak and pine woodlands of the coast ranges, Central Valley, Sierra Nevada and Cascade foothills. Merriam’s turkeys can be found in habitats dominated by pines in northeastern California. The eastern subspecies can be found in isolated pockets along the northern coast and eastern/Rio Grande hybrids from the Midwest inhabit areas along the south coast.

Today, California’s wild turkey population is estimated at about 250,000 birds. CDFW estimates that about 10,000 turkeys are harvested by about 20,000 hunters in the fall.

As of July 1, 2016, nonlead shot is required for wild turkeys statewide, unless taken on the grounds of a licensed game bird club. For more information, please see the CDFW nonlead ammunition page.

Many populations range on private land, but turkeys can be found on public lands administered by CDFW, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. A list of state wildlife areas and ecological reserves can be found on the CDFW website.

For places to hunt turkeys and additional tips and information, hunters should refer to the “Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys in California” on CDFW’s upland game hunting webpage.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Scott Gardner, CDFW Upland Game Program, (916) 801-6257
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Spring Turkey Season Opener Approaches

California’s 2016 general spring wild turkey hunting season will open statewide on March 26 and extend through May 1, with an extended archery season May 2 through May 15.

Hunters who have a current junior hunting license may also hunt the weekend before the opener, March 19-20, and after the general season, May 2 through May 15, using shotguns or any other legal method of take.

Shooting hours for wild turkeys are from 30 minutes before sunrise to 5 p.m. Both a hunting license and upland game bird validation are required, although a validation 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 combined (general, archery and junior).

Hunters strive to be stealthy and frequently wear head-to-toe camouflage due to the keen eyesight and good hearing possessed by wild turkeys. In the springtime, the birds exhibit mating behavior and are more active than in the fall hunting season, making them susceptible to a strategic call made by a hunter.

“Spring is the most popular season for wild turkeys in California, in part because of the opportunity to call in a strutting gobbler,” said Scott Gardner, coordinator of CDFW’s Upland Game Program. “Hunters use calls and decoys, imitating female wild turkeys to call in the males.”

The statewide wild turkey population is estimated at 240,000. CDFW estimates that approximately 36,000 hunters bag about 28,000 turkeys during the spring season each year statewide. Wild turkeys are found in most counties in California, with the top 10 for spring harvest being Shasta, Butte, Placer, El Dorado, Tehama, Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada and Lake counties.

Rio Grande turkeys are the most widespread subspecies of wild turkey in California, occupying much of the mixed oak and pine woodlands of the Coast Ranges, Central Valley, Sierra Nevada and Cascade foothills. Merriam’s turkeys are found in habitats dominated by pines in northeastern California, but are also found in the Transverse Range in Kern County. The eastern subspecies can be found in isolated pockets along the northern coast and eastern/Rio Grande hybrids inhabit areas along the south coast.

Many populations range on private land, but turkeys can also be found on public lands administered by CDFW, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.  A list of state wildlife areas and ecological reserves can be found on the CDFW website. Upland game hunters are reminded that as of July 1, 2015, nonlead ammunition is required when hunting on these properties. For more information please visit CDFW’s nonlead ammunition page.

For more general information, hunters can visit the Upland Game Bird Hunting webpage.

Scott Gardner, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 801-6257
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958