What’s new in turkey hunting?

by Carrie Wilson

Question: It has been a few years since I have been hunting but I hunted turkeys this past weekend with a friend and I’m glad he was with me because he told me there were new regulation changes for turkey hunting. Most important one was the need to use nonlead ammunition. Am I missing anything else? (Anonymous)

Answer: First of all, we’re happy you’re back! It is incumbent upon all hunters to review the laws and regulations any time before they return to the field, but especially if it is after a few years’ absence. Consulting with a friend can help, but going to the source is the best way to bring yourself up to date. The 2017-2018 Waterfowl and Upland Game Hunting regulations book is the place to start (see page 20) or go online.

There have been two significant changes over the past few years that should be highlighted: First, shooting hours for spring turkeys are now from one-half hour before sunrise to 5 p.m. Second, 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 properties and CDFW properties. For more information on nonlead ammunition regulations, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Nonlead-Ammunition.

Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at [email protected].

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