MyOutdoorBuddy Hunting News Regional Directory
New Feature

Click on Columnists  to access travelogues, field reports, advice, humorous tales and answers to your Q’s! 


Website of the Week


Hunt Fall Turkeys Now

hroughout the year I spend a great amount of time in the presence of turkeys, most of which are the feathered kind. I hunt real turkeys in the spring and fall, photograph them throughout the year and observe them almost daily. I hunt them with a passion born more than 40 years ago during the first spring turkey hunt ever held in California. I believe I was the first outdoor writer ever to hunt turkeys in this state, and while that’s not much of a claim to fame it has given me something to write about repeatedly. My output includes dozens-- heck hundreds--of stories about turkey hunting and two books on the subject. They are Hunting Wild Turkeys in the West (published in 1990) and Successful Turkey Hunting (published in 2014).

But that’s enough about me. In this column I simply want to point out that the annual fall turkey season is now up and running. It started on November 12 and will go until December 11. The limit is one turkey of either sex per day, two per season.

I do not believe that fall turkey hunting in this state draws as much attention as the spring season does. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, there are several other hunting seasons that are open now, including waterfowl and upland game. By contrast, in the spring, turkeys are the only game on tap unless you count wild pigs which are hunted all year. Spring hunting is also somewhat different than hunting in the fall, and some hunters would say it’s more exciting, although that’s open to debate. During the spring breeding season the goal is to lure tom turkeys into take home range. Normally that’s done mainly by reproducing some of the sounds turkeys with different calls made specifically for that purpose.

Turkey toms and hens, by John Higley
In the fall season hunters can take both hens and toms. Pictured here are hens photographed recently in Shasta County. Photos by author.

Fall turkey hunting is a bit different in that either sex can be taken and calling, while useful in some circumstances, is not as effective. In the fall, finding the turkeys in the first place is a chore. Because they are in winter flocks they are not as widespread as they are in the spring. Several adult hens with nearly grown young females, and, perhaps, a few jakes (young toms) will gather in large groups. There will also be smaller bachelor bands of adult toms. Meanwhile, jakes that are not with the hens will also be on their own.

John Higley with turkey, by John Higley
Author Higley with a young tom turkey he got during the fall season last year.

The hens and their nearly grown young of the year are obviously smaller than the toms. However, they are more numerous, and my guess is they make up most of the harvest. My own preference is to take a young tom or adult hen instead of a big tom at this time of the year. The smaller birds fit nicely on the barbecue, and I’d rather call in a big tom during the spring. But that’s just me.

adult toms, photo by John Higley
Although they do not come to a hunters’ calls as readily adult toms like these are part of the fall hunting experience.

As I indicated earlier in this piece, fall flocks are not as prone to come to calling as springtime birds are. However, the turkeys will answer calls on occasion and give their location away. When that happens I try to get set up along their travel route and wait. Because I can’t resist, I usually call a little, which I believe helps to keep the birds coming in my direction.

I’m fortunate to have a couple of places to hunt during the fall, and in-between storms you can bet that’s what I’ll be doing. I’ve talked to a few other hunters who are determined to take a fall bird. If they’ve done their homework, and know where there are some turkeys at the present time, chances are at least fair that they’ll succeed.

Remember the second phase of the coming Iead ammo ban in California went into effect in July. In part, it requires that non lead shot be used for turkey hunting. Before you go, make sure the shot you plan to use meets the new requirement and that it’s safe to shoot through whatever type of choke you have on your shotgun.

In closing, I talked to a lady the other day at the Sportsman’s Warehouse store in Redding and she said she hoped to get a fall turkey for Thanksgiving. I hope she does too. If I get one it will be after the so-called turkey day and that’s all right. Wild turkeys are good table fare anytime and the holiday season is upon us. Let's see, how about a Christmas turkey or New Years or-----.

Author and writer John Higley is a resident of Palo Cedro. His articles have appeared in outdoor magazines hundreds of times and his columns appear regularly at Higley has written four books the latest of which “Successful Turkey Hunting” was published in May, 2014 by Skyhorse Publishing in New York. This hard cover, full color book is being sold at Barnes and Noble Book Stores and on Amazon. Autographed copies are available direct from John Higley, P.O. Box 120, Palo Cedro, CA 96073. Cost is $28.95 postage paid.

More Hunting News

Conservation Key to Future of Hunting

11/14/16 -- At its core, conservation seeks sustainability of wildlife and wild places. Ethical hunters want wild animals to flourish in their natural habitat as much as possible, and will act on their behalf in order to protect and conserve... Full Story

​I Was an Indoor (Outdoor) Slave

Don Webster, author badge,
04/07/16 -- I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all those kind folks who sent me "get well" cards and flowers during my recent, self-imposed stay at the Broken Antlers Rehabilitation Clinic. I'm especially indebted... Full Story

Nash Buckingham

Don Webster, author badge,
Theophilus Nash Buckingham (1880-1971) was an American author and conservationist from Tennessee. He is known for being an avid shotgunner and wingshot, and a best-loved outdoor writer of his time... Full Story

How much venison do hunters harvest?

Venison Bourguignon (Venison Stew), photo by Daniel Bledsoe,
06/17/15 -- The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) intends to find out. A study launching in 2015 will measure the actual amounts of venison and other wild protein harvested annually in North America. Researchers will assess the nutritional... Full Story

Pups & Partridges on the Calapooia Prairie

Liesl, 11 month old pudelpointer, photo by Gary Lewis
By Gary Lewis
02/18/15 -- They say a great pointing dog only comes along once or twice in a hunter's lifetime. Some dogs don't have the heart or the desire. Others don't seem to have the nose or the brain. We brought home our pudelpointer in... Full Story

DSC convention goers raise $1M in 1 minute

01/19/15 -- Responding to a heartfelt appeal for youth outdoor education, DSC convention goers on Saturday night raised $1 million in about 60 seconds. The fast flurry of fundraising was a highlight of the 2015 DSC convention and expo... Full Story

It’s Not over Till the Lady Sings

mountain lion on rocky edge, photo courtesy of UDWR and Carrie Wilson, CA DFW
By Gary Lewis
01/19/15 -- If you want to avoid being attacked by a mountain lion, conventional wisdom says, you should travel in groups. If you encounter a mountain lion by yourself or with children, stop and make yourself look as big as possible... Full Story

The buck we didn’t get and two we did

Tyler Low with his 3x4 buck shot at 100 yards with a Weatherby Vanguard .300 Winchester Magnum. Photo by Kyler Olson
By Tyler Low
08/10/14 -- “Can you see him? He is just below the sky line to the left of the big live oak.” The respectable three-point stood only 500 yards away, but my hunting partner, Kyler Olson, couldn’t quite get an eye on him... Full Story

Where Are All the Pheasants?

Sacramento Valley Pheasant, Steven T. Callan, Where Have All the Pheasants Gone
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
The other day a neighbor stopped by my house after two days of hunting pheasants in the Orland area. He said that he and his golden retriever, Milo, had probably walked ten miles and only flushed three birds. Knowingthat I had grown up... Full Story

Ham on the Hoof

Article and photos by Gary Lewis
12/17/13 -- We were climbing a steep gravel ranch road in Charlie’s Toyota when we saw it, as big as a full-grown bear and on a dead run. Charlie hit the brakes and switched off the engine. There was no time to load the rifle. The shaggy, gray... Full Story

Never say never

Never say never, rifle buk, Francisco Garcia,
By Francisco Garcia
Most of you have heard the saying, patience is a virtue, and I would say persistence is a virtue. If you want to fill your deer tag each season you have to put your time in. If you don’t give in and hunt hard you should be... Full Story

Hunting trip gone bad

Deer holding tight in cover during times of heavy hunting pressure as I was about to find out. Francisco Garcia hunting story.
By Francisco Garcia
If you asked me what I’d rather be doing, most of the time I would emphatically say, deer hunting. For me nothing gets the juices flowing and the imagination spinning like the arrival of bow or rifle season for deer. When... Full Story


Your outdoor adventures have only just begun
Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports


So many places to visit and so little time, but if you scan
these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
Buddy Photos

You are there! Towering mountains, vast valleys, unique shorelines. Land, water and air bursting with life. Opportunity presents itself. Llghting is right. Click! An image is captured for the ages.

Photo Galleries,

Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

Come back to for more Northern California and Southern Oregon fishing, hunting and outdoor news, reports, information, opinions and photos.


A friend to all who love the outdoors since 2006

Website Design Photo Credits: thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Website Design by Anders Tomlinson

©Copyright 2005-2015 by Frank Galusha, Editor and Publisher. Articles and photos are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the publisher and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of same who reserves all rights. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any MyOutdoorBuddy content, graphics and photos without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited.