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New CA Hunter

archer88

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2022
Messages
1
Hey all, new CA hunter here. Just got my license and gear together and looking for a good first spot in northern cali (placer/nevada county area) for small game (squirrel/rabbit) hunting. I have a Ruger 10/22 and looking for a decent spot to find some rabbits/squirrels.

I've called around to a few places and done some research on the fish and wildlife site but the information is convoluted and conflicting. When I finally found a spot in the Auburn State Recreation Area, I was told that small game hunting is off limits (no where on any site did it say this - it was only when I called the ranger station for more info was I told that)

In short, I am a new hunter with a .22 and looking for a decent spot (preferably BLM land) to hunt small game like rabbits and squirrels but I cant seem to find a definitive answer on where is legal without breaking some rule.

Any help/tips/resources for searching good areas is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

utah400elk

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
889
Location
Sterling, VA
Call your local game warden. I am sure they can point you in the right direction. CA game and fish offices might be useful. Just a hint to a new hunter. Calling and asking for hunting locations does not go well IMO. I usually ask for the type of food sources an animal will be focused on during the hunting seasons and then looking for the concentration areas for their preferred feed.
 

gouch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
1,153
Location
SW Oregon
The Tahoe National Forest takes up most of Placer and Navada counties and I think there is a little BLM land in Placer County. That is a lot of public land, and it is almost all open for hunting. Go to the Forest service headquarters or any ranger station, get a map and go exploring. Or there are plenty of phone apps that show public land.
Good luck.
 

Rzrbk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
583
Welcome from NM. Tehama Wildlife area has lots of space and some quail, rabbits. BLM lands around Susanville seemed decent although I'd prefer to carry a shotgun.
 

sureshotshane

Active member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
48
Location
CA
Hey all, new CA hunter here. Just got my license and gear together and looking for a good first spot in northern cali (placer/nevada county area) for small game (squirrel/rabbit) hunting. I have a Ruger 10/22 and looking for a decent spot to find some rabbits/squirrels.

I've called around to a few places and done some research on the fish and wildlife site but the information is convoluted and conflicting. When I finally found a spot in the Auburn State Recreation Area, I was told that small game hunting is off limits (no where on any site did it say this - it was only when I called the ranger station for more info was I told that)

In short, I am a new hunter with a .22 and looking for a decent spot (preferably BLM land) to hunt small game like rabbits and squirrels but I cant seem to find a definitive answer on where is legal without breaking some rule.

Any help/tips/resources for searching good areas is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

I've spent some time a little south of you in Amador, El Dorado, Alpine, and Calaveras Counties. Gray squirrels are practically anywhere where there is forests. If my focus is on squirrels I like to target big oaks and pines with sparse understory. Practically any lower elevation (below 4K feet) National Forest land in the Sierra's will have gray squirrel, not that they can't be found a bit higher.

There are jack rabbits all over but I'll assume you are talking about the much more delicious cottontail rabbit. They can be hard to find on public land in the foothills. Unless you luck into some private land with them in the valley you'll probably have to drive over to the Eastern Sierra's. If you PM me I can give you one of my go to spots, but it is a little bit of a drive for you.

As mentioned above - you'll need non-lead ammo. I switched over to a 17 HMR because the copper ammo for the 22 LR was the worst ammo. The copper ammo for the 17 is great, I shoot for the head. Once you get a little experience I suggest getting a shotgun and it will open up some good opportunities because there are plenty of quail and grouse on public land.

Again, feel free to PM me and I can definitely point you in the right direction.
 

Redmt

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
1,411
Location
San Antonio Valley California
Welcome to HT . There's lots of good information here, all you have to do is ask. Switching to a ,17 will be a huge help. The 10/22 is a good little rifle but the non lead ammo is about as accurate as throwing rocks. Look for a bolt action.17
 
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