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October 11, 2019

Today we are so overwhelmed with technology that we tend to not practice some of the skills that all hunters should possess as hunters and outdoorsmen. Global Positioning System (GPS) both hand held and dash mounted have taken over the outdoor industry and I would never tell you to leave your GPS at home anymore than I would tell you to leave your toilet paper at home because you know if you do that it will be the day you really need it. Most people can read a map and look at a compass but can they really read a map, and can they really use a compass? Do they know a depression from a valley or a spur from a ridge? Can they name the five basic colors of a map and know what they actually mean? Do they know grid north from true north and magnetic north? Can they measure the distance of a winding road or trail on a map? How about this very important skill, can they pick up their compass and shoot two or three azimuths and then determine within about 20 feet where they are on your map? Most...

September 16, 2019

Hunting Upland birds in California such as dove, quail, pheasants, and chukar can be a difficult task, especially if you are attempting to hunt them on public land. In this blog I will be addressing locations and tactics for hunting on public land and some private land that may help you locate these birds and be a successful hunter. You would be surprised at the amount of huntable land within driving distance of where ever you may live in California. To tell the truth until I became a bird hunting addict I didn’t know either, but over the years I have found some wonderful places to hunt that I will share with you.

Norcal Hunter Upland Bird Hunting in California

Its that time. Time to start planning the best year of upland bird hunting that anyone could ever have in California. You can approach this in several ways, you can tell yourself that Upland Bird hunting California sucks and there is no reason to go. I hear this all the time and I call B.S. on that! Going hunting is like going to...

September 16, 2019

Dove Hunting

                                                                                                     

Dove season opens September 1st, 2019 and goes through September 15th, 2019. You can shoot 15 doves a day (read your regulations before you go out). Of which only 10 can be white winged doves. There is no limit on spotted doves, ringed turtle doves and Eurasian doves, but before you decide to go over your 15-bird limit make sure you study some photos online of the various doves, so you don’t accidentally get a ticket for going over your limit.

Dove season in California is a split season. You have the early season in September and then season opens again on November 10, 2019 and goes to December 24, 2019. There are several varietie...

September 16, 2019

Pheasant in California

The truth is in California there are two types of areas to hunt Pheasants. The first area is public lands the second is private property. The good news is there are plenty of pheasants to hunt if your willing to travel. But I will admit, the old days of pheasant hunting in California have somewhat dried up. There are fewer birds and they are harder to locate.

Your  First Option, Public Land

If you are looking for public land for pheasants, you can find them on several of the wildlife areas. Sacramento National Wildlife Area, Delevan and Gray lodge and Shasta Valley all have plenty of Birds they are Type A and Type B Wildlife Areas. And for the first week of pheasant season you can hunt them almost every day. But unfortunately, you still have to fork out some money. During the 2019 season a day pass for a wildlife area was about $22.00 a day or you could buy a Season pass for about $168.00 a year. The season pass is actually a good deal because its good all year for...

September 16, 2019

Band-tailed Pigeon

We talked about hunting grouse and pigeon at the same time so let’s talk about identification of Band-tailed Pigeons. There are several varieties of pigeons flying around California most of them are just feral pigeons not wild Band-tailed pigeons. Band-tails are easy to identify once you see one up close or in the wild (the mountains not the city park). Band-tails are a blue/gray color and have a distinct ring around their neck. They also have a very distinct band on the end of their tails and for that reason they have earned the name Band-tailed Pigeon. They are much larger than a dove and live in the wild only occasionally roosting in a town for the night as they pass through on their migration.

Band-tails eat berries, acorns seeds and other nuts and grain. You will not find them in your city park eating bread and taking handouts. These birds are very skittish and shy and keep their distance from humans. They are very fun to hunt and taste very good. They are all dar...

September 16, 2019

Sooty or Blue Grouse and Ruffed Grouse

The first upland bird season to come upon us is Archery Season for Sooty or Blue Grouse and Ruffed Grouse season. I know many people who have hunted California for years and never even seen a ruffed grouse. They are hard to find but once you find them they are consistent about staying in the same areas and habitat year after year, so if you find them there one year you can usually find them there again the next year and so on.

During the 2018 season in California, Sooty or Blue Grouse and Ruffed Grouse (Not Sage Grouse) Archery Season opens on August 18, 2018 to September 7, 2018. And shotgun season opens September 8, 2018 to October 8, 2018. You can only shoot two a day (read the regulations before you go out).

These grouse are very seclusive any other time of the year, but they are very active during the early archery season, primarily the first week of the season. These birds are mostly in the forested areas of Northern California near the “wet sp...

September 16, 2019

Sage Grouse 

If you’re a Sage Grouse Hunter or aspiring to be a SGH California is a tough place to start, considering California Department of Fish and Wildlife has kept their sage grouse season closed for at least the last two years. And in the past when it has been open it has been nearly impossible to get a permit to hunt sage grouse. Both California and Oregon along with most western states require a person to apply for and then draw a sage grouse permit. But in California out CDFW waits until midway through August to decide if they are going to have a sage grouse hunt. This is done after they have gathered all their information from grouse counts and other gathered information. Then after they announce that they are going to conduct the drawing and when the deadline and then wait for you to put in for the hunt. Then after the deadline they announce that they are canceling sage grouse season due to low grouse numbers or wildfires in the grouse habitat. The truth is CDFW has been try...

August 4, 2019

Whisheytown Lake

Whiskeytown Lake is a wonderful lake for fishing and boating {no personal watercraft allowed} and just about anything outdoors, except hunting. Believe it or not you can actually hunt Whiskeytown Lake in certain areas. But here’s the deal, it's a federal park, and there is so much confusion over where you can hunt and where you can't hunt that I don’t want to provide you with any information on it. I was at the visitor center one time and I asked the lady running it where the hunting areas were, before she could answer a lady about 50 years old standing next to me piped up (very loud and boastfully) and said that she was a retired game warden and had worked the area for years and that there was absolutely no hunting on a federal park ever. The lady running the visitor center quickly corrected her in front of everyone and told her that hunting was allowed on the park but in certain areas, and provided a detailed map. The retired warden was surprised and set back on her h...

July 1, 2019

Grace Lake and Lake Nora

If you are in the Redding area and just looking for a good place to catch planted trout either by bait or on the fly, Grace Lake and Lake Nora are just east of Shingletown, from Hwy 299 in Shingletown take Wilson Hill Road (in the middle of town, look for totem pole) traveling south till you see the sign, maybe 2 miles.

Grace Lake is stocked almost weekly and during the summer there is always a significant amount of very catchable and hungry trout. Because this lake is heavily stocked I would not worry about catch and release fishing or anything like that. There are plenty of them here and most people fishing here are trying to catch a limit for dinner. 

This is also a great lake to take the kids and grandpa. They have easy access to the lake and they can easily cast to the fish, they only need to be about 10 to 15 feet out to catch trout. The dirt road to the lake is somewhat smooth and you can take a sedan to the parking area.

There is an old restroom on the eas...

July 1, 2019

Northern California is a fly fishing paradise. If you are just getting started or if you have been at it for years, maybe I can provide you with some new locations and tips to make your next adventure a little more satisfying. If you’re not from the area and you’re planning a trip to the Northern California area you may find my information helpful and avoid the pitfalls of driving from stream to stream and fly shop to fly shop trying to pick the right fly on the right stream, at the right time. Give me a chance to save you some gas money and avoid spending way too much money on the “hot fly” of the day that the local fly shops are  pushing and provide you with real tips not just sales talk. I want you to be successful and go home happy and not broke.

Fly Fishing in Northern California and General fishing information for Northern California

I would like to say that I am not a guide or biologist or a self declared “expert” when it comes to fishing. But I am good at gathering information fo...

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