California hunters, check this out!

Tominator

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3) Texas has the highest turkey population of any state with close to 580,000 birds. California has the least with 1,200 (1995 figures).

Jamus Driscoll worte this in an article. Please tell me this is false.
Tominator
 

spectr17

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Hello Tominator,

That may be a typo. I've tried to pin down our state turkey biologist Scott Gardner to a number and the best he'll venture is 100,000 to 200,000 depending on the hatch and where we are in rainfall over the state in a certain period of time. Here is a brief history of California turkey hunting from the DFG turkey guide.

The modern turkey is not native to the Golden State, but does have ties back to prehistoric times. The extinct California Turkey (Meliagris californica) is the second most common species of bird found in the asphalt deposits of Rancho La Brea. Remains of more than 700 individuals have been recovered, including the remains of very young birds. The California Turkeys probably nested locally and may have provided a source of food for many of the carnivorous animals inhabiting Rancho La Brea. However, they went extinct during the last ice age, following climatic changes that resulted in dramatic changes in their habitats. The vast deserts that formed to the east in Nevada and Arizona probably prevented the reestablishment of the modern wild turkey in California.

Turkeys were initially introduced to California in 1877, when about 40 birds imported from Mexico were released onto Santa Cruz Island. From then through the early part of the 20th century several attempts were made to establish wild turkeys in California, but none of these were deemed a success. In 1928, the Department of Fish and Game began releasing game farm stock and continued this program through 1951. Several hundred releases were attempted in 23 counties statewide, but this program was only successful in establishing marginal wild populations, primarily along the central coast.

The majority of the game farm era releases were unsuccessful largely because game farm birds had not learned the skills they needed to survive and successfully reproduce in the wild. In 1959, the Department began an experiment with 59 wild trapped Rio Grande turkeys from Texas. These birds were immediately successful in establishing wild populations, and the Department adopted a program using wild-trapped turkeys to expand populations statewide. In 1970, an estimated 5,000 wild turkeys could be found in California, and today about 100,000 turkeys roost in 57 of California's 58 counties. Only urban San Francisco County is void entirely of wild turkeys.

The first hunting season in California was in 1968, with a one-day fall hunt in San Luis Obispo County. By 1978, seasons had opened statewide, and approximately 7,600 hunters bagged 2,800 turkeys. In the 1990s, wild turkey hunting became more popular than ever, with about 20,000 hunters bagging about 16,000 turkeys annually. Spring is the more popular season with 16,000 hunters in 1997, 28 percent higher than in 1996. Fall hunting is almost as popular, and has remained steady this decade  with about 10,000 hunters per year.

Through expeditious wildlife management conducted by state and federal wildlife agencies and by the National Wild Turkey Federation, populations were restored in 43 states, and quickly expanded to 2 million turkeys in the country by 1980.
 

Rattler

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T'nator,
It's a typo.  We have at least that many birds in San Diego County  (A coastal desert) alone. Wish I could hunt SC.  Best - Rattler
 
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