I live in Hanford which is about 25 miles directly south of Fresno on highway 43 and about 40 miles directly east of Coalinga on 198 and there is alot of dove as usual in the area. I have not seen to many safflower fields down here yet but the dove hunting looks as good as ever up here.
I've been at State for 4 years, but am new to hunting the area. I work at the sports authority in river park and, after talking to my coworkers, the best deal is to talk to landowners in the area around willowcopper. Unfortunatly, there has been a lot of expansion there and the huntable land is pushed ever north. Madera is also a great place for dove. Just look for solitary canals by food sources and ask landowners for permission. If you ask they are more likely to be receptive to you hunting on their land because they know that you are legitimate and respectful. Otherwise, you may get peppered by rocksalt and that is the worst insult of all.
Hey RB, good to see some more Fresno area dudes joining the board here. I live in the Woodward Park area near your job and I often go into the Sports Authority in River Park. Next time I'm in there, I'll ask if the JHP dude is there! Have you hunted quail up at the Squaw Leap BLM Recreation Area near Auberry before?
Unfortunatly, I haven't hunted around here. If I go, I go to the south valley (usually around Taft and Carizzo Plains). I'd love to find some nice quail hunting around here! Is the Squaw Leap area good for quail?
Squaw Leap holds tons of quail. But they wise up pretty fast on opening weekend. The easy walking side east of the river gets pretty good pressure on opening weekend. If you take the foot trail over the bridge to the west side of the river, there are few hunters. You can hear and see quail at Squaw Leap through the entire season. People have to work for them, so they never go away. It's only 45 minutes from the River Park area, so a couple hours in the morning is easy to do. You have to be able to get off a shot real fast, due to the height of the vegetation and the birds habit of keeping the veggies between you and them!