Juniors can bag turkeys early, late

Written by The Union Democrat Sports Department April 08, 2012 09:48 pm

By LEN ACKERMAN

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 p.m.
    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 www.dfg.ca.gov/publications/docs/turkeyguide.pdf. 
    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.