Spring Turkey Camp: Recap!



As the last weekend of general turkey season approached, a group of 11 braved variable spring weather in search of bearded birds. The California Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), which seeks to protect North America's public lands, water, wildlife, and outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, convened a group of excited hunters for a weekend of chasing birds. 


Led by Board members James Fey and Nick Rizzo, the group gathered for BHA’s second annual California Spring Turkey Camp at Cowboy Camp, near the Cache Creek Wildlife Area. Experienced and new hunters alike came out to recreate on our public lands, celebrate the expansion of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, and share camaraderie around the campfire.


Lee Scheffler offered practical turkey-taking tips throughout the weekend and provided an education in biology, habitat, recipes, and safety. His generosity included bringing a wall-tent to give the group a communal space to shelter in place during a hailstorm on Saturday, as well as a veritable buffet of delicious wild game including hog, duck, and turkey. CDFW Wardens attended the event to provide answers on hunting regulations and myth-bust legality questions. Having a safe space to ask candid questions meant a lot and we commend CDFW on their willingness to join us!


After a morning full of rain and turkey hunting 101 lectures, hunters set out to explore the Cache Creek Wilderness, and surrounding areas of BLM and Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. Beyond the excitement of pursuing turkey, there was a sense of celebration in the air. Earlier that week, due in part to the efforts of BHA and partner organizations, President Biden announced the 13,696-acre expansion of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, further expanding protections to our public lands.


The event was a resounding success in raising awareness among participants about our hunting heritage on public lands, the importance of community and supporting new hunters, and the power of the Antiquities Act to protect public lands for hunters and non-hunters alike. The group managed to take several Jack Rabbits and Turkeys this year, furthering their appreciation of the wild table fare our public lands offer.



“As someone who had never hunted before, I didn’t know what to expect when I came to camp other than a cold, wet night,” said Adam Thai, BHA Member. “However, what I found was an amazing group of people whose love and knowledge of the outdoors warmed me up to become a permanent member of BHA. I learned much with the members of BHA, both in hunting strategy as well as the legal strategies for preserving the precious nature we enjoy for generations to come. As an organization dedicated to getting the hunting curious into the great outdoors I cannot recommend BHA enough, not just for teaching me how to hunt, but also the reasons for why we do.“


A central theme of the event was community and tradition. By bringing together a varied group of individuals, including mentors and mentees, we fostered an experience where traditions and values were shared and strengthened. This unity empowers us to collectively advocate for the protection and access to our public lands.


If you would like to get more involved, check out some of BHA’s upcoming events!



About Joel Weltzien

Joel grew up backpacking and river running in rural Montana, and as an adult began hunting and fishing every chance he got. As California's Chapter Coordinator, Joel seeks to advance diverse coalitions in support of BHA's mission in the Golden State.

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