Dove Hunting Lost My spot

huntducks

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Damn SH!! P!!! the Ranch that I have been hunting doves on at the Sea for 5yrs said no this year drove down last week to get written permission, and the old ranch manager left after 15yrs, so the owner said NO I don't think he wants to deal with it, gave some lame story about the trouble he had last year there were 2 of us and were the onlys one that have been hunting it for 5 yrs that I know of.

I did some scouting and saw tons of doves on open land around sea but don't look forward to the low shooters.

Thanks for letting my vent.
 

Duck Fan

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I had that same thing happen to me years ago at a location in Ontario.  A winery let us hunt their land for years, then it sold, and the new owners said no.

I now live in northern CA and have tried all the refuges and even the DFG Family Hunts.  They all end up too crowded, so this past year ( and this year) I have tried the dove hunts put on by Western Outdoor News.  I will be hunting at the Dye Creek Ranch in Red Bluff area.  Last year my son and I had limits both days - really great.

This year they did add a hunt near Coalinga at Turk's Station.  I hear it is full of doves.  And they limit the hunter numbers so that is what really helps.  Cost is $175-200 per hunter but it was worth it last year just to know I had a great spot all to my self and no one "peppering" us.

I also used to hunt at Wister for doves.  It used to prodcue very well for us.  Good Luck
 

Chris

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Happened to me two years ago at my spot in the Imperial Valley (so cal, near the salton sea).  I hunted there for more than ten seasons, but a couple guys leased the property and brought in "hunters" who had payed to play.  I'm sorry, but if you need to pay someone to hunt doves in the I.V. you're just a shooter, not a hunter.
 

Speckmisser

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Sounds like sour grapes, Chris.  I'm sure you don't mean offense to those of us on this list who are willing to pay trespass fees?  "Paying to play" certainly doesn't make you less of a hunter.  And it's worth it, not to have to get out there in some of the public lands free-for-alls I've seen.

It's the way of the future, I'm afraid.  Private landowners have found out that hunters will pay to access their land, and that makes it a lot more palatable than risking liability for free.  It's also pretty profitable on the short run, if you think about it.  At $200 a head, and put ten or twenty people on a ranch...  not a bad day's take, especially considering you (the landowner) didn't have to do anything.  

But at least they're letting folks hunt.  

There's some really good hunting not too far from me in the Bay Area, but the landowners don't want to deal with hunters, and the associated risks of gunfire on their property.  I have to admit I can't really blame them, especially the nonhunters.  They don't understand our sport, our commitment to safety, or our motives.  All they know is we want to come shoot things.  

Anyway, get used to the access fees.  I think it's something you're going to see a lot more of.  And paying them doesn't impact your hunting ability one bit.
 

rusman66

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I agree with you somewhat speck but 175-200 dollars to shoot dove ?  Yikes,  I will stay home and shoot them off the telephone wire with my bb gun.
 

spectr17

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Try and look at it as motivation to find a new spot. Every time I loose a dove spot I look for a new one and usually find one the same year. One door closes and another one opens, sometimes that new door is better than the last.
 

Duck Fan

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Since I'm the one paying to hunt doves, let me jump in here.....

First off, let me say that "paying to play" has always been around. I have always "paid" an access fee to hunt ducks on refuges.  Buying a season pass or daily pass is "paying to play".  But I will gladly pay it because I really can't afford to join a club - not yet.... and hunting is a part of who I am.

As for $175 to hunt doves:  I love to hunt doves.  I remember it was the first bird my dad took me hunting for over 35 years ago.  We hunted Palmdale/Lancaster area, we hunted Wister and areas around the Salton Sea and Niland.  We hunted the Valley foothills around Fresno, and I have hunted DFG family dove hunts with my brother and son.

A couple years ago, I sent in my reservation card for the dove opener at Salt Slough.  I went out with my family and scouted the area and found a great spot holding a lot of doves.  I made sure we were the first car in the parking lot that year and first to get to that spot.  There were 3 of us all spread out along a "line" that we had watched the doves work previously.

By shooting time, we had about 15 guys surrouding us...not necessarily a bad thing.  These were guys that saw us as they came in and we explained where we were and what we felt would be our "angle" of shots, and asked that we all take safe shots.  I got a lot of head nodding.  But, NOT ONE OF THEM moved past to a safe distance...NOT ONE.  As the birds began to fly we were peppered with shot.  These guys were shooting at low flying birds and just hitting us with shot left and right.  I shot a bird early that landed 30 yards from me in thick bushes.  I walked to pick it up and an older man jumped up from a spot and picked it up.  I said, "thanks..not sure I would have found it".  He said, "what?, it's MY bird".  I was amazed.  HE NEVER even shot his gun!

I told him that if he needed a bird that bad, he could keep it and I walked back to my son who said, "Dad, lets' get out of here, This is not worth it".

Well, let me tell you...hunting IS "worth it" but that type of dove hunting is just plain crazy.

Yes, I would love to go back to the days when my family could easily find public land to hunt and have space to enjoy the hunt and not be worried about getting pelted by shot.  But, what I have found (last year) was a great opportunity to hunt doves on 36,000 acres with only 75 hunters on the entire property.  We will have a wonderful BBQ wild game feast with other hunters and share some great times and build some new friendships.  To me and my son, it is definately "worth it", and we make an entire weekend of it and have had the greatest time (something I also think is "worth it&quot.

So, I hope anyone that may think it is crazy to shell out money to get in a QUALITY opportunty for a hunt will understand my reasons.  P.S.  An adult hunter can bring a junior hunter along for no extra money.  My son is an adult hunter but I know of others that have used that $175 to have a great hunt with their kid...and that's great with me.

Good Luck to all of you Sept 1st.

;-)



(Edited by Duck Fan at 3:23 pm on Aug. 18, 2001)
 

dhodsdon

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Well fellas I have never heard of paying to hunt anything. 175 dollars to hunt dove? Is that cheap? I hunt thirty minutes south of Fresno and never pay to hunt anything. I get birds each time I go out. When guys pay to hunt, how many hunts is it? Do you get a lot of birds? Where do you guys live to have to pay to hunt?
 

BigDog

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I have to say that making the statement "just a shooter, not a hunter" about dove is a pretty silly thing to say. Dove fly the same and are just as wild whether they are on a piece of public property or private property. Do you think they get dumber or slower because they are feeding on private property?

You can say something like that about pheasant clubs, like the one I hunt. And it is true. And it is sad to me also because I am hunting it for the same reasons that Duck Fan listed. To get away from the idiots. I used to hunt the refuges every year for pheasant. I got peppered several times, had birds stolen from me and put up with very rude people that I do not consider hunters. The last straw was when I had to take my dog to the vet to get some pellets taken out. That was the last time I hunted with the idiots. I still get the urge every year but don't because I know it is the same if not worse.
 

rusman66

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I stand corrected Duck Fan,  That sounds like a great time.    
 

Duck Fan

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dhodsdon:  

No, $175 is not "cheap", but I can tell you that it is "worth" the cost.  I am happy for you that you have never been in a position to have to pay money to get a hunting spot.  I live in Pleasanton and when I first moved here in 1985 from southern CA I actually hunted doves with my son about 10 minutes from my home.  There is a creek that used to run at the corner of Doherty and Crow canyon in San Ramon.  We hunted there for 2 years and had a blast.  Then, houses were built and I was left looking once again for a spot that my son and I could ENJOY.  A friend of mine and I looked around the Stockton area and found a rancher in Galt, CA. that allowed us on his land.  For 1 year it was OK, then the area changed from growing feed to raising cattle.  The area changed "over night".  The next 2 years we had nice long walks but saw no birds.  It was sad but what are you going to do.

So I did began to apply for the DFG hunts and had some success but again was met with all the other "hunters" that just wanted to hunt too close.

I think that is why a lot of guys hunt private duck clubs.  The know they have a place and know the people they will be hunting around.  Thats also why so many guys hunt the blinds sites at the refuges versus free roam.  It doesn't make a guy less of a hunter because he prefers a blind site over free raom.  The nice thing is that a person can hunt either way.

For me, hunting a private 36,000 ranch near Red Bluff is a great "investment" in the time I will spend with my son.  He is getting married in October and he has a lot on his plate.  So, having to pay $175 for 2 days hunting and a wonderful BBQ is "nothing". You are allowed to hunt the property for 2 days and allowed your 2 day possesion limit.

Last year - in a driving rain - we both got limits the first 2 days.  That was a first for us (40 doves total).  We had limits on opening day by 10am and we shot a lot of shells.  The second day it took us till noon but we had action all the time.  With a ranch that big, we felt like we were king of the world.  

Like BigDog said, these are wild birds and who knows, this year may be lousy.  But knowing that we can have a great hunting experience - safely - is where is it at for me. I am not paying to get birds in my opinion...I am paying a fee to give myself an opportunity to hunt safely - and with some great hunters.

It would be nice to know some farmers that had huntable land that were willing to allow a guy out on his property, but having 36,000 acres pretty much all to ourselves is very, very nice.  It's not about the money...it's about my son and I.

I hope that better explains my reasoning.  Sure, I would love to spend the $175 on a duck call and other things, but hey - we all do things that aren't necessarily based on dollars and cents.

Good Hunting

(Edited by Duck Fan at 7:06 pm on Aug. 18, 2001)
 

huntducks

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Let me reply to my post, one I would not pay a dime to hunt doves in the salton sea area there is way to much land there to hunt on, the ranch we had was a super easy hunt for a handicapped guy like myself almost no walking, so that is what erks me more then anything I have a 1/2 doz. back up spots already, but none will be as easy a hunt as this was and you never know who the low shooter is near by and there is always one on public land.

Because of my sons job football coach we will only be able to hunt AM or off to Yuma I would go.

Like you said Jesse there is a bunch more spots out there just a matter of finding another one, i'm going to try and run into the old ranch foreman when i'm down there because he now works for CV water, and I know he will have access to something.
 

Greenhead

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For you SoCal guys, when I lived down there I alwauys hunted the guzzlers in the high desert. Amazing number of birds (at times you literally couldn't load you gun fast enough) and we never saw another hunter. While hunting doves, we always noticed these damn birds that stood on top of the ridges and laughed at us. Hundreds of them.

After awhile we figured out they were chukar, and come the middle of October, we would shoot doves and dawn and hike the hills for chukar and quail. Lots of birds in the desert. Just find the water and you've got it made. Hint: Randsburg.
 

Chris

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Wow!  Sorry guys!  Didn't mean to step on anyone's toes.  We've got a ton of dove in the Imperial Valley, and many places to hunt them.  It's probably a bit different in your part of the state, but around here all you need to do is spend half a day scouting and you can find doves.  You're right about it sounding like sour grapes...I'd like my boys to be able to hunt the same spot that my dad, friends, and I hunted for years, but somebody's got a few hundred bucks to make so out I go.  I also didn't mention that I saw these guys drive their clients out to the field, line them up, and practically pull the trigger for them.  It looked a lot more like a shoot than a hunt...hopefully that helps explain my comments, they were not intended to offend.

Paying for hunting access is the future of our sport, but at least in the Imperial Valley you can still hunt for doves.  I'm headed out there next weekend and will gladly share my report if anyone is interested...oh, and for anyone up north who wants to trade a good dove hunt for a good mallard hunt, sign me up!
 

Hunting101

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Hey chris,
Where do u hunt in the Imperial Valley?  Im new in california, and looking for some good spots for the opener.  Anyone who could help me out, that would be great.  Im living in ontario now, but anywhere where theres a good hunt i'll be there.  So any info on good hunting spots would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks and good luck to all on the opener.
 

Fubar

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Hunting101  Welcome to Jesses Forum. If you check Jesses hunting page you will find lots of info in there about dove hunting. There will be a lot of people on openind day in Blythe, Yuma, Crit Indian Reservation and Wister by the Salton Sea. Good hunting can sometimes be found near Holtville and El Centro. If you go to Wister check out the Finney Ramer unit too.             Fubar

(Edited by Fubar at 7:42 am on Aug. 30, 2001)
 

EL CAZADOR

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I'd actually advise against going to Finney-Ramer.  I was there last weekend and with the abundance of birds it would be very difficult to focus on just the one you're shooting at.

I may go there, but only to tell others it's not going to be that good!!

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE
 

Hunting101

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Thanks for the info, Fubar and Fullsack, its greatly appreciated.

Hunting101
 

Hunting101

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Can anyone give me some directions, to a good spot in blythe, coming from LA.  Or to a good spot in Wister.  Thanks.
 

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