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Hunters set sights on Lodi area

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Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 11:30 am, Sun Jul 4, 2010.

Hunting opportunities abound in the Lodi vicinity. To the east, shrubs and grassland surround the lakes of the foothills, making them th perfect territory for hunting duck, quail, chukar, wild turkey, cottontail rabbits and jackrabbits. To the west, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta is a haven for waterfowl, varmint and pheasant hunters.

Hunting season:

Hunting in this region is generally limited to game birds, waterfow and small mammals. Waterfowl hunting season begins in early October and runs until the last week in January.

Quail and chukar season is from mid September to mid October. Varmint hunting is open year-round.

Regulations and fees:

State hunting licenses can be obtained from the Department of Fish and Game. For California residents the cost is $41.20; non-residents $143.35; juniors under 16 years old $10.75; disabled veterans $6.25.

California Department of Fish and Game regulations regarding bag limits vary depending on when and where you are hunting. It's a good idea to check out their Web site before any hunting expedition: www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations or call 916-358-2900.

Hunting hot spots:

Camanche Hills Hunting Preserve

Encompassing 1,500 acres of prime fowl hunting land, Camanche Hills Hunting Preserve is situated on the north side of the Camanche Reservoir near Ione. This private hunting reserve offers a wide variety of birds that are periodically replenished to maintain a healthy population. Pheasant, chukar, valley quail and ducks are plentiful.

Quail hunts start at $225 for 15 birds while chukar runs $300 and pheasant is $375. Sporting clay shoots start at $22 for 50 targets. Hunting dogs are also available for rent.

Getting there: Take Highway 88 east to Ione then south on Curran Road Call 800-870-2447.

New Hogan Lake

Located in the oak and brush-covered foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, New Hogan Lake has more than 50 miles of shoreline open to hunters. Upland game is plentiful here with wild turkey, quail and dove as the main attractions. The area also offers a small variety of ducks and geese.

Hunting locations are generally found outside of developed recreation areas on the south and east sides of the lake. Hunting is limited to bows and shotguns.

Getting there: Take Highway 12 east to Valley Springs then south on Hogan Dam Road. Call 209-772-1343.

Birds Landing Hunting Preserve

Situated on a 1,200-acre swath of Delta marshland between Fairfield and Rio Vista, Birds Landing Hunting Preserve is a prime hunting spot in the Delta. A wide variety of waterfowl call this region home throughout the hunting season. The preserve also offers some of the finest pheasant hunting in the state.

Chukar hunts start at $260 for a 15-bird release and sporting clay are $22 for 50 targets. Dog and guide rentals are available as well.

Getting there: Take Highway 12 West to Rio Vista then take Collinsville Road to Birds Landing. Call 707-374-5092.

Delta Island Hunting Program

Since 1993 the Department of Fish and Game has offered a free, limited permit pheasant hunt on state lands in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. The program offers a Delta experience on state-owned property that is normally off limits to hunters.

Shoot days are typically scheduled for Saturdays and Wednesdays. Call 209-948-7800 to apply for the program.

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