Spring rains

quail hound

Moderator
It should be a lot better than the last few years. The foothills are still green and the grasshoppers and lady bugs have been unbelievable. I was fishing the delta today and could hear 5 roosters crowing in the first spot we fished and another 3 or so in the next spot. We should be seeing some broods anytime I'd think.
 

enzinn

New member
You guys seeing the broods in the Coast Ranges and San Joaquin Valley now? Once the rains stopped it became drier than a popcorn fart here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Brood sizes near where I live are okay, not horrible and not wonderful. I have to say, I was amazed at how quickly the soil dried out and the vegetation died here in Santa Cruz. I think we are still recovering from the drought and this past winter's precipitation was just a good start, not a panacea for the drought.
 

NewmanCA

New member
You guys seeing the broods in the Coast Ranges and San Joaquin Valley now? Once the rains stopped it became drier than a popcorn fart here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Brood sizes near where I live are okay, not horrible and not wonderful. I have to say, I was amazed at how quickly the soil dried out and the vegetation died here in Santa Cruz. I think we are still recovering from the drought and this past winter's precipitation was just a good start, not a panacea for the drought.
On the private lands around me, the pheasants are almost non-existent except for around the duck clubs. Haven't heard yet about the pheasant numbers in the State Wildlife Refuge. I have been so out of hunting mode this summer trying to get caught up with the orchard but dove hunting is almost here. I will have to look into it. The precip here has not been bad. Even though state wide we are still in a drought, in our area we have experienced above normal rainfall the past couple of years and we did have late rain which should help. It is hard to get good info these days.
 

enzinn

New member
On the private lands around me, the pheasants are almost non-existent except for around the duck clubs. Haven't heard yet about the pheasant numbers in the State Wildlife Refuge. I have been so out of hunting mode this summer trying to get caught up with the orchard but dove hunting is almost here. I will have to look into it. The precip here has not been bad. Even though state wide we are still in a drought, in our area we have experienced above normal rainfall the past couple of years and we did have late rain which should help. It is hard to get good info these days.
Thanks Newman. That is interesting about the late rains and the private lands observation. I guess it doesn't really matter in the end, since I only have a few refuges in which to hunt in the vicinity of Los Banos anyway. I am glutton for punishment, so I will likely be applying boot leather to the ground in the refuges looking for the last wild pheasant regardless of the hatch after I return from my North Dakota and Montana hunt.

I get a bonus trip this year to eastern Kansas, where a friend that owns a ranch there is going to be my local "guide". I have to go there for business purposes, so a portion of my gas, food and lodging will be deductible for that trip!

We never did run into each other last season. I'll make an effort to message you in advance when I head out to the Grasslands refuges this season. It would be fun to meet in person and see how we both approach the self-immolation of Grasslands pheasant hunting.
 

quail hound

Moderator
I've been seeing some very good valley and mountain quail broods in the central foothills and mountains and though I never got out to check I expect the grasslands had a decent hatch as well. There was no shortage of birds last season and I'm thinking it will be a bit better this season.:cheers:
 

enzinn

New member
I've been seeing some very good valley and mountain quail broods in the central foothills and mountains and though I never got out to check I expect the grasslands had a decent hatch as well. There was no shortage of birds last season and I'm thinking it will be a bit better this season.:cheers:
I hope you are right. Although a poor hatch has never deterred me before. The bad hatch years are when I prove to myself that the hunting is about the time afield and the process, not the killing.

Not that I don't mind a full game bag though.
 

NewmanCA

New member
Thanks Newman. That is interesting about the late rains and the private lands observation. I guess it doesn't really matter in the end, since I only have a few refuges in which to hunt in the vicinity of Los Banos anyway. I am glutton for punishment, so I will likely be applying boot leather to the ground in the refuges looking for the last wild pheasant regardless of the hatch after I return from my North Dakota and Montana hunt.

I get a bonus trip this year to eastern Kansas, where a friend that owns a ranch there is going to be my local "guide". I have to go there for business purposes, so a portion of my gas, food and lodging will be deductible for that trip!

We never did run into each other last season. I'll make an effort to message you in advance when I head out to the Grasslands refuges this season. It would be fun to meet in person and see how we both approach the self-immolation of Grasslands pheasant hunting.
That sounds like fun. One day I would like to try South Dakota. Send me a PM when you are hunting this way. I probably will end up at China Island again for the opener. Looking forward to hunting season and a break from farming work.
 

enzinn

New member
That sounds like fun. One day I would like to try South Dakota. Send me a PM when you are hunting this way. I probably will end up at China Island again for the opener. Looking forward to hunting season and a break from farming work.
I went dove hunting at Salt Slough a few weekends ago. The dove hunting was terrible (my fault for not properly scouting), but I enjoyed the hell out of watching the sun set on a relatively cool and windy evening. I heard several different roosters crow and the cover actually looked pretty damn good there for it being September.

Once I am back from my North Dakota pheasant hunting pilgrimage in early October, I will make a point of contacting you and trying to meet up with you for Grasslands refuge pheasant hunt.
 

NewmanCA

New member
I went dove hunting at Salt Slough a few weekends ago. The dove hunting was terrible (my fault for not properly scouting), but I enjoyed the hell out of watching the sun set on a relatively cool and windy evening. I heard several different roosters crow and the cover actually looked pretty damn good there for it being September.

Once I am back from my North Dakota pheasant hunting pilgrimage in early October, I will make a point of contacting you and trying to meet up with you for Grasslands refuge pheasant hunt.
Hi Enzinn, you should have come up to my place to shoot doves, lol. It has been a two weeks of almost nonstop shooting during the evenings. The majority of birds are Euro this year though at my place. About 50 to 60 euros have been hanging out in the walnut orchard bordering my property. They shot the hell out of them last Sunday.

I drove to China Island Wednesday but vehicle access is limited to the upper parking lot during dove season. Looks like good cover as always. They haven't started flooding for ducks yet. I am buying a mountain bike hopefully tonight and then I am going to scout it during duck season. There is more water available this year compared to last so I expect they will be opening up the west section for ducks this season. I've been having good luck finding pheasants in the grain fields below the past couple of years. Yes, PM me when you come back.
 

enzinn

New member
Hi Enzinn, you should have come up to my place to shoot doves, lol. It has been a two weeks of almost nonstop shooting during the evenings. The majority of birds are Euro this year though at my place. About 50 to 60 euros have been hanging out in the walnut orchard bordering my property. They shot the hell out of them last Sunday.

I drove to China Island Wednesday but vehicle access is limited to the upper parking lot during dove season. Looks like good cover as always. They haven't started flooding for ducks yet. I am buying a mountain bike hopefully tonight and then I am going to scout it during duck season. There is more water available this year compared to last so I expect they will be opening up the west section for ducks this season. I've been having good luck finding pheasants in the grain fields below the past couple of years. Yes, PM me when you come back.
I kind of went dove hunting on a whim anyway. The dog needed to just get out and roam and it was cool (80 degrees) with a wind, so I just jumped in the Jeep and drove to Salt Slough.

I have never shot a Euro. Are they just as tasty as Mourning Dove?

A fellow pheasant hunting friend of mine hunted China Island for doves and said he heard some crowing there. Of course, we will never know what the situation is until we hunt it. Although California pheasant hunting will be anticlimactic after Montana and North Dakota, I still look forward to it. There is certain familiar comfort to the masochism of California pheasant hunting.
 

NewmanCA

New member
I kind of went dove hunting on a whim anyway. The dog needed to just get out and roam and it was cool (80 degrees) with a wind, so I just jumped in the Jeep and drove to Salt Slough.

I have never shot a Euro. Are they just as tasty as Mourning Dove?

A fellow pheasant hunting friend of mine hunted China Island for doves and said he heard some crowing there. Of course, we will never know what the situation is until we hunt it. Although California pheasant hunting will be anticlimactic after Montana and North Dakota, I still look forward to it. There is certain familiar comfort to the masochism of California pheasant hunting.
We don't shoot the Euros. We shot one last year. My father said it tasted more like pigeon. Observing them, they seem much more domesticated than mournings. Mourning Doves after a couple of days of shooting are flying high and fast. These guys around my property have been banging the Euros up good. Even after all the shooting the'll fly low and slow and land in a tree not too from from where people are shooting. On our Patterson property, they come real close to us like you would observe with city pigeons.

I have a feeling the pheasants will be better this year. What we have been missing the past few years is good early season rains and some wetness to slow them down a bit. It has been so dry down there for the opener the past few seasons.
 
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