The Department of Fish and Game, through its Game Bird Heritage Program, the Tejon Ranch and the Millerton Lake State Recreation Area are offering free spring wild turkey hunts. Providing hunter opportunity and hunter access are major goals of the Game Bird Heritage Program.
Tejon Ranch Hunt
Tejon Ranch is located south of Bakersfield in the Tehachapi Mountains. Five free guided hunts are scheduled for April 21, 25, 28, and May 2 and 5, 2001. Hunters must be 18 years of age or older to apply or participate as a guest in this special hunt. The Department released the Merriam’s subspecies of wild turkey on the Tejon Ranch in 1989. They have adapted well to the habitat, and large flocks now populate the ranch. Tejon Ranch also provides surplus birds for stocking on public lands to provide for increased hunting opportunities.
Millerton Lake State Recreation Area Hunt
The Millerton Lake State Recreation Area Hunt is located on the Fresno County side of Millerton Lake. This hunt is not recommended for the novice or inexperienced hunter. Hunting wild turkeys with archery equipment is considered extremely difficult, even by experienced archery turkey hunters. There are six archery only hunts. The first hunt is scheduled for opening weekend, March 31-April 1, 2001, and is a two-day hunt only. Hunters drawn for this hunt will be allowed to scout one week prior (March 24-30, 2001). The remaining hunts are one-week long and are scheduled for April 2-8, April 9-15, April 16-22, April 23-29, and April 30-May 6, 2001). Hunters under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (18 years or older).
All hunters selected for this hunt will be required to attend a mandatory safety and orientation meeting on March 24, 2001, at 1:00 p.m., at the Millerton Lake District Office. A special limit of one bearded turkey per hunter will be in effect during this special hunt. The hunting area has both walk–in and boat–in access. Hunters will be required to pay a $3.00 State Parks and Recreation Area entrance fee per day (waived in lieu of a $35.00 annual State Parks pass).
How to Apply
Hunters will be selected for both hunts by a random computerized drawing and allowed to bring one guest to participate in these special hunts. When applying for the hunts, provide the following information for yourself and your guest:
daytime and evening telephone numbers,
2000-2001 hunting license number and
hunt location (i.e., Tejon),
and date in order of preference. Hunters may apply only once for each hunt area and date. Applying for the same hunt more than once will disqualify you from the drawing.
Applications must be mailed to:
Game Bird Heritage Program Turkey Hunts
Department of Fish and Game
1234 East Shaw Avenue
Fresno, California 93710
Applications must be received by Friday, March 9, 2001, at 5:00 p.m. to be eligible for the drawing. Only successful applicants will be notified. For additional information about the hunts, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Game Bird Heritage Program at (559) 243–4005, extension 132 or 133. The Game Bird Heritage Program, Tejon Ranch and Millerton Lake State Parks and Recreation Area are pleased to offer these special hunts to the public.