Don’t know the nuances of turkey hunting? Attend this seminar

By: George deVilbiss/Special to Gold Country News Service
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There are hunting clubs and, well, there are hunting clubs. Some might be just a few guys getting together, pooling their available funds and leasing some land only they have access to that generally is for a single specie, such as waterfowl.

Other hunting clubs are major conglomerates, comprising thousands of acres offering opportunities for just about anything that walks, crawls or flies.

Wilderness Unlimited falls into the latter group. It’s a large organization, but it offers its membership game hunting opportunities of every type, somewhere.

And sometimes, it offers something to the general public.

One annual offering is a turkey hunting seminar. California’s spring turkey hunting season runs from March 26 through May 1. It’s a long, liberal season, and the seminar – slated for Saturday, March 5 – couldn’t be more timely.

Wilderness Unlimited teams up with the National Wild Turkey Federation to sponsor the event, which is held on Wilderness Unlimited property, about a mile east of the town of Williams off Highway 20. The seminar will be hosted by two of the state’s premier and highly experienced turkey hunters, Terry Knight and Ryan Mathis.

Do you need full-blown information or just want some of the finer points honed? Whether you’re a novice or an experienced turkey hunter, there will be something useful to everybody who attends.

Topics that will be covered include turkey habits, calls, how to call, shotguns, ammo, patterning your gun, camo, blinds, archery and hunting on public land, including DFG-managed wildlife areas and Bureau of Land Management properties.

The seminar will start at 10 a.m., and it’s strongly recommended that you register immediately, as space is limited and a reservation is required to attend.

The seminar is free. A hot lunch will be served, however, and a $10 donation for the grub is suggested.

To register, you can contact Wilderness Unlimited at (877) 611-4868 or If you e-mail, be sure to include contact information.

You can’t beat the deal. Go, and learn how to turkey hunt.

Current fishing
Lake Pardee:
Gates open Thursday, finally allowing the public access to set up camp, kick back and relax before getting up at oh-dark-thirty Friday morning to kick off the fishing season. Have the rain gear along, as forecasts are predicting varying amounts of precipitation. Rain, however, won’t stop the fish from biting, nor will it inhibit lake management planting more fish during opening weekend. Just don the raingear and get lakeside.

Action generally is fast and furious. Find the right spot and some anglers limit quickly. Especially early in the season, the Rec Area Cove should be stuffed with recently planted trout, so you don’t need to haul a boat there to get into the action. You can get away from the often shoulder-to-shoulder conditions by hiking across the dam at the end of the cove and getting on the east side. I’ve done well on that side. Just about anything you throw at them should get you bit, lure or bait.

San Pablo Bay: Chances of nailing a keeper sturgeon have never been better. Sturgeon will bite better with a tide movement. Watch the tide book, as the outgoing tide will always be the better tide to stir up things and get sturgeon actively feeding. Just about anywhere you drop anchor in the bay can provide you with a sturgeon roaming in search of grub. If you have a good finder, you can actually see them on and near the bottom. Guess where to drop anchor then?

Folsom Lake: The long period of gorgeous weather did wonders for the fishing. Those drop-shotting a crawdad pattern plastic were finding a good bass bite by working rock piles and as far down as 40 feet.

Or, you can plant your folding chair around Granite Bay, the boat ramp region to Beak’s Bite, dunk eggs or Power Bait off a sliding sinker, and there are planters roaming around. If you take your boat, troll your line down 15 feet. A good old threaded night crawler should guarantee getting bit by either a trout or king salmon.

Rollins Lake: With the great weather pattern, boaters have been venturing out, which may come to a screeching halt with winter-type storms returning. The lake was planted by the Department of Fish and Game a couple of weeks ago, and reports are just a few have been caught. That means fish are still there. Give it a try, and you should get lucky.

Stumpy Meadows: This lake can be tricky to get to in the mid-winter with icy roads leading out of Georgetown to the lake, but with all the good weather we’ve had, access has been no problem. Storms coming in could again make the road iffy. Those slinging eggs, Power Bait and crawlers from shore and even trollers hauling a crawler or small Rapala behind blades have found decent action on rainbows.

Contact George deVilbiss at