2012-03-08 / Front Page

Spring wild turkey season starts March 31

The spring hunting season for Mariposa County's wild turkey population starts on Saturday, March 31.

The MARIPOSA GAZETTE is looking for turkey hunters to interview. Hunters can email erik@mariposagazette.com or call 966-2500.

Often seen roaming across highways and hilltops, wild turkeys are not native to California but were first introduced to the state in 1877. They include several subspecies--but most are the Rio Grande turkey. The bird is native to Texas and northern Mexico, but now ranges across wide areas of California.

Bobcat, foxes and domestic dogs prey on the birds. Human consumption of the wild birds is limited, however, with their flesh described as lean and tough as compared to farmed birds. With the right recipe, however, wild turkeys can be turned into "a scrumptious meal," according to the Web site of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Complete information on the spring turkey hunt can be found at the California Fish & Game hunting page, http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hunting/

The length of the turkey season depends on hunting method. The firearm season extends 37 days from March 31. The archery season extends 51 days and the falconry season extends 37 days.

The per-hunter limit is 3 birds per season.

Photo: National Wild Turkey Federation

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