DFG Big Game Hunting Clinic

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Both experienced and novice hunters have only a short time left to register for the Big Game Hunting Clinic run by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The two-day clinic opens May 14 at Wilderness Unlimited RV Park in Williams.

“Whether hunters are new to Big Game hunting in California or have tried it and haven’t been as successful as they’d like to be, this is the clinic for them,” said Susan Herrgesell, DFG’s statewide coordinator for the Advanced Hunter Education program.

Cost for the clinic is $60. General deer season opens in August. California also offers Big Game hunting opportunities for bear, elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep.

DFG will have experts on hand to coach hunters on the best ways to succeed at one of the most challenging hunts across the state.

The two-day clinic offers hands-on information, with a format that incorporates four concurrent sessions - two on Saturday and two on Sunday. The clinic will focus primarily on deer hunting but offer information about other big game species.

• Session A covers hunt preparation, and includes instruction on deer habits and habitat, California hunting regulations, and necessary survival gear. There will also be information on preseason scouting, first aid, and land navigation.

• Session B focuses on firearms, bows, and marksmanship. Discussions will include the most effective rifles, shotguns, pistols, bows, and muzzleloaders. Expert instruction and demonstrations on sighting in a firearm will give every participant an edge in the field. Time will be provided for live-fire training.

• Session C will cover scouting and hunting strategies. Instructors will explain tracking techniques, uncovering animal trails, and how to find tree scraps and rubs. Discussions will explore the advantages of hunting stands and blinds, as well as shoot/don’t-shoot scenarios.

• Session D spotlights on what happens after the shot. Participants will learn how to follow a blood trail, tagging, field dressing, skinning, butchering and cooking. There will be instruction on what to do if taxidermy is a consideration.

Accommodations for the clinic will be camping at the recreational vehicle park or lodging in nearby Williams. Participants are responsible for their own food except for a DFG-sponsored barbeque on Saturday evening (participants provide the side dishes). Various manufacturers have provided raffle items.

A registration form can be accessed at www.dfg.ca.gov/coned/huntclinics, or call (530) 225-2319 to have a brochure mailed. Space is limited.