Storm cycles needed to boost waterfowl season
The Sportsman’s Report
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By Bill Hanson  October 25, 2013 12:00 am

There are so many things to do in the wild right now, it is hard to pick one, let alone six. The duck season opener was slow after the waterfowl hunters got in their blinds and had to put on sunscreen. 

This is not good for web-foots, as they fly very, very high in blue sky. Honkers open on Halloween this year, but it may be a no-show until the weather changes. 

That takes waterfowl off the table until the storms cycle in.

Hunting, fishing seasons

Crab season opens kind of early this year – Nov. 2 for most of our end of the state. In the past, the opener was just in time for Thanksgiving. Get your crab traps out of storage, move out the spiders and get your gear tuned up.

Salmon season is kaput in the ocean, but the North Coast big rivers are doing fine. There are lots of salmon in the Trinity and Klamath, even though flows are very low just now.

Upland bird hunting for fall turkey begins on the second Saturday in November and runs 30 days. Take a ride to scope out your favorite flocks, test a couple of spots by sitting in cover and see what happens. 

You only get two gobblers per season, so make it count. 

Pheasant season also opens the same day and runs 44 days. The quail opener was last weekend and runs to the last Sunday in January. I noticed there is an archery section in the regulations. In my opinion, shooting a quail with an arrow to put on the table may result in significant weight loss. I can barely hit the buggers with a shotgun.

Mushrooms need precipitation

Mushroom season is upon us and is also in need of some precipitation. I was invited to go out south of Petrolia, where my friend there tells me the Coccora are coming up in abundance. It will be worth the drive just to go on foray for the tasty Amanita. If you have read anything on mushroom identification, you already know that the deadliest family is the Amanita. So, be very sure of your identification. A slip up can cost you your liver…not a good thing.

The king bolete are trying to make it work, but the dry, warm days are not helping matters. Let’s hope for a normal rain, dry spell, rain and a cold cycle to kick the mid-winter mushrooms into sprouting. It may also stimulate the sought-after Matsutaki, a November – December sprouter during normal weather years.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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