DFG Offers Full Slate of Clinics to Improve Hunters Success
Whatever the wild target - turkey, waterfowl, pig, upland game, or big game - the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) plans a series of 13 clinics to offer hunters a better chance of success in the field - and a better chance of having fun while they’re at it.
DFG’s Advanced Hunter Education program coordinator Susan Herrgesell more than doubled the number of clinics this year due to the enthusiastic response from hunters in 2004. The series, which begins in March, includes sessions on how to hunt turkey, wild pig, upland game, waterfowl, and big game. She has also included clinics on archery, gun dog training, land navigation and survival.
Topics covered in each clinic include types of firearms, ammunition, gauging distance, scouting, tracking, field dressing, shoot-don't shoot scenarios, hunter ethics, landowner-hunter relationships, conservation, and safety.
“These workshops focus on the ‘how-to’ phase of pursuit that offers improved probability for success,” Herrgesell said. “They are intended for hunters who have completed the Department’s mandatory hunter education course. Our intent is to help instill a sense of hunting ethics and cultivate a deeper understanding of the wild game that hunters seek.”
The courses are open to both men and women. Beginning in March, this spring’s line-up includes the Wild Turkey Expo, and clinics for archery, wild pig, and big game hunting.
• Wild Turkey Expo, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church, Fair Oaks, CA. Topics include preseason scouting, locating birds, public land, shotgun selection and patterning, equipment, calls, decoys, archery, hunting blinds, and turkey habitat. Free to the public. Lunch is provided for a $5 donation.
• Bowhunter Clinic, March 19, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Wilderness Unlimited Property, Williams, CA. Led by members of the National Bowhunter Education Foundation, this workshop will benefit anyone interested in archery. Instructors will offer advice on shooting form, equipment, camouflage, scents, stands, blinds, blood trailing, safety, and more. Cost is $40.
• Wild Pig Hunting Clinic, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fort Hunter Liggett, Monterey County. The clinic, in partnership with Pacific Coast Hunter Education Association, will cover biology, hunting considerations and requirements, methods of take, methods for locating wild pigs, hunting techniques, locations to hunt, care of game and wild pig recipes. Cost is $30.
• Big Game Hunting Clinic, May 14 and 15, at Wilderness Unlimited Property, Williams, CA. This unique two-day workshop provides hands-on instruction during four concurrent sessions, two on Saturday, and two on Sunday. Sessions include deer of California, areas and zones to hunt; hunting strategies, scouting, tracking, and recognizing signs; equipment, shot placement, shoot-don’t shoot scenarios; and field dressing, butchering, and transporting. Camping is available on the property but space is limited. Cost is $60.
During the summer, DFG’s Advance Hunter Education Clinics features instruction on gun dog handling (June 4) in Tehachapi; wild pig hunting (June 4) in Martinez; land navigation and survival (June 11 and 12) in Tehachapi, and then again in Colusa County (July 16 and 17); and waterfowl hunting clinic in Crescent City (Aug. 13).
In the fall, workshops will focus on bird hunting with a waterfowl hunting clinic in Butte County (Sept. 10); upland game hunting clinic in Gorman (Sept. 17); upland game hunting clinic in Williams (Sept. 24); and a waterfowl hunting clinic in Williams (Oct. 1).
For complete details on each clinic, visit DFG’s web page at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/coned/huntclinics/index.html, or go to DFG’s homepage at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/.