Pheasant opener

NewmanCA

Member
My hunting partner cant make it over for the first. Anyone looking for a hunting partner let me know. I am hunting the state wildlife refuges in central california. I currently put in for four reservations at China Island, Los Banos, Salt Slough, and Los Banos
 

qwerksc

Member
Robert, I may be able to pull it together. I was planning an afternoon at China, hit the outer cutties. Trying to get my house on the market, so working a bunch. I’ll be up for a few field sweeps for sure, this season.
 

NewmanCA

Member
Robert, I may be able to pull it together. I was planning an afternoon at China, hit the outer cutties. Trying to get my house on the market, so working a bunch. I’ll be up for a few field sweeps for sure, this season.
Cool. I wanted to go scout it out but they are keeping it closed for duck season. There is no water out there. Because of state water cutbacks they aren't going to start pumping water in until pheasant season opener. There is going to be no water and alot of open land on the opener. I am hoping we get a decent amount of rain before the opener which will slow the birds down or the birds are going to make fools of us.
 

qwerksc

Member
I was out there a few times during first season dove, there is water, just not very much. I’ll have a better idea of my plan in the next few days.
 

qwerksc

Member
Robert, gonna stick to my original plan, noon at China, my wife and oldest son wanna walk the bush. We will be there.
 

NewmanCA

Member
Robert, gonna stick to my original plan, noon at China, my wife and oldest son wanna walk the bush. We will be there.
Ok, you might wanna look at the edges. The birds are going to be scattered by noon. depends on how many people are out there
 

qwerksc

Member
I like scattered, gonna slow down and pick through the cutties, the dogs don’t care much, they just wanna get a whiff of em.
Keep in touch, we’ll get after it this season.
Good luck!
 

NewmanCA

Member
They started flooding yesterday, canal is full and rushing, water starting to show in some spots by 3:00
How did you do? I flushed one hen. A few birds were caught but everyone i talked to said it is worse this year. It will get better with more water.
 

NewmanCA

Member
Killed one on Sunday, going back Wednesday. Maybe Banos.
You did good. A lot of people got nothing the first day including me. I made the mistake of working a lot of big fields. They were just running on me. I am probably going to take a week off and get some work done in the orchard and then make another try the Saturday after Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks.
 

NewmanCA

Member
True story back in the early 80s when there was alot of birds everywhere. We used to hunt an this family's asparagus fields. They had maybe 100 acres total. Their fields were dirty inside and the pheasants loved it. We did well there. We probably got 30 roosters that year all season. We happen to be there when they were cutting the asparagus. There were only a few rows left and we stood and watched them cut the remaining rows. We must have seen 100+ pheasants scatter from the field during the cutting at the end of the season. It is quite amazing what you don't see while hunting during the season.
 

jackrabbit

Active member
Knowing nothing of California pheasant hunting, are these wild birds you are all talking about or some sort of state released bird program?
 

NewmanCA

Member
Knowing nothing of California pheasant hunting, are these wild birds you are all talking about or some sort of state released bird program?
Wild birds. Pheasants used to be everywhere in agricultural areas in the 70s and 80s. There was a rapid decline in the wild population in the 1990s. Almost nonexistent now even in areas that had the best numbers.
 

jackrabbit

Active member
Wild birds. Pheasants used to be everywhere in agricultural areas in the 70s and 80s. There was a rapid decline in the wild population in the 1990s. Almost nonexistent now even in areas that had the best numbers.
I'm sure I can look this up online, but how many people pheasant hunt in California? How many birds are harvested? Is pheasant hunting a popular thing? What are your expectations when you go out (hope to just see a rooster or hen?, hope to maybe get 1 rooster??
 

NewmanCA

Member
I'm sure I can look this up online, but how many people pheasant hunt in California? How many birds are harvested? Is pheasant hunting a popular thing? What are your expectations when you go out (hope to just see a rooster or hen?, hope to maybe get 1 rooster??
I don't know how many go pheasant hunting specifically. All I know is that hunting has declined in California generally as California has become more of an urban culture and there are less places to go on private property. I think more people go Duck and Dove hunting than pheasant especially now since wild bird populations on private lands are scarce or non-existent in almost every part of the state. Pheasant hunting mostly confined to public wildlife areas. Idk how many birds are harvested. Haven't tracked specific numbers but overall the numbers have been down in recent years. My pheasant hunting is now confined to local state wildlife refuges. I happen to live where the largest continuous wildlife system exists in the United States. I guess I am lucky that way. One thing however when it comes to management of the wildlife areas pheasant habitat takes a back seat to ducks. I was told that was because pheasants are a non-native species. I don't have any specific expectations. There are quite a few birds at the refuges, they are just hard to get. I've been lucky where I hit the right field. Three years back a hunting buddy and I hit the right spot and got the limit quickly but the last three years, the early season has been tough. This year I was only expecting to catch a bird at most as our local refuge had very little water on the opener.
 

qwerksc

Member
Good dogs, lots of time wearing out boots and good shooting when the opportunity presents itself, helps.
You gotta go to know.
 

NewmanCA

Member
I live five minutes away from China Island and not much of a drive to Los Banos. It is easy to go and it gives both me and my dog good exercise. If I had to drive over an hour to get there I wouldn't go.
 
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