The Union Democrat Sports Department


The Union Democrat

Wild Turkey season opened last Saturday and avid hunters of the big birds have until May 6 to bag a Thanksgiving dinner.

Junior licensed hunters (those under 16 years of age) were allowed one weekend prior to the regular opener and they will be allowed to hunt 14 days after the regular season closure.

This is one of the opportunities to get more young people involved.

Junior hunters are also not required to have an Upland Game Bird Stamp.

Archery hunters are also given a late advantage by being allowed to hunt for 51 days after the March 31 opener.

Wild turkeys have progressed well in Calaveras and Tuolumne

counties and are seen in many foothill locations. To hunt on private

property requires written permission from the landowner. A few days

ago, this writer had to stop on the Twain Harte grade to allow a flock

of turkeys to cross the highway.

There is a limit of one bearded turkey per day and three per season

and legal shooting hours are from one-half-hour before sunrise to 4


For tips on where to hunt and hunter safety the Dept. of Fish and

Game (DFG) recommends hunters refer to "Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys

in California" on the DFG web site at

The lake level has only risen about a foot in the last two weeks at

New Melones but the surface temperatures are beginning to come up

slowly and are now at 53-to-58 degrees.

As the temperatures rise, the trout and kokanee should become more

active. Last week, young Nicholas Collins-Yarnell boated a limit of

rainbows by trolling a Cripplure near the dam. There is still some

shore fishing activity, although it has slowed somewhat as the trout

begin to move out to deeper water.

Shore fishing off Glory Hole Point produced a Big Fish contest

winner at Glory Hole Sports for Sven Camenzind who brought in a

3-pound, 8-ounce rainbow.

In the catfish division, David Walsh was the winner with an

8-pound, 3-ounce cat. Local area guide Gary Burns, of Take it to the

Limit Guide Service, has been finding a mix of rainbows and kokes

upriver between the two bridges by trolling Shasta Slingblades trailed

by Glitterbug Pink Hootchies tipped with garlic scented corn at

13-to-30 feet deep.

Don't forget next Saturday's Fishing Seminar (April 14) at Glory

Hole Sports where you can learn all about fishing our local lakes from

experienced local area guides.

A California Youth Shooting Sports Association (CYSSA) trap

shooting match will be held tomorrow at the Mother Lode Gun Club. It

will most likely be a day-long event involving several teams from

throughout the area. There wil be no regular trap shooting that day.

The local branch of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) will

hold a Conservation Banquet on April 14 at the Sonora Elks Club. For

more information, call 533-2917.