California’s spring turkey season opens statewide March 30 and extends through May 5, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering 86 special hunts this year on public and private land to help hunters bag a tom.
Young hunters have additional opportunities. Junior Hunting License holders can hunt March 23-24, the weekend before the general opener, and the two weeks after the general season closes, May 6-19, using shotguns or any other legal method of take. CDFW is offering 25 special turkey hunts reserved just for Junior Hunting License holders.
California’s archery-only spring turkey season runs from May 6-19. New this year, CDFW is offering a drawing for seven, archery-only hunts throughout the general and archery seasons near Millerton Lake in Madera County.
CDFW’s SHARE Program, which provides public hunting access to private properties, is offering drawings for spring turkey hunts on two private ranches in Tulare County, the 722-acre River Ridge Ranch and the 975-acre Hart Ranch. Both properties are new to the SHARE program for the spring turkey season.
With growing populations of wild turkeys in almost every part of the state, the spring turkey season has become one of the most anticipated events on the upland bird hunting calendar.
Shooting hours for spring turkeys are from one half-hour before sunrise to 5 p.m. Both a hunting license and an upland game bird stamp validation are required to hunt wild turkeys, although an upland validation is not required of Junior Hunting License holders.
Nonlead shot is required when taking wild turkeys with a shotgun anywhere in the state except when hunting on licensed game bird clubs. These regulations apply to both public and private land, including all national forests, Bureau of Land Management and CDFW properties. For