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Discussion Starter #1
They forecast rain so it was either sit at the reload bench, or drive south and east to comb thru an area had always intrigued me, but knew nothing about.

The Sierra foothills seem more gradual in this area, and while it is 99% private land, maybe I could gain entry at one of the 10 or so places I intended to ask. When I turned the key in the ignition, I noticed that same happy feeling that one gets when going hunting! And why not? For without doing some of this type of hunting, the real hunting will not happen.


I got into this narrow, north/south valley around 10am, and though it looked promising, one side is an old ranch, founded in 1857, that is now a game preserve. On the left, two ranchers were out feeding cows. Turns out they were hired help, and gave me the owners name to call after they return from their trip in January.Mark that one as "possibile". On up the road into those hills, the cover increased, and the only two gates were locked, nobody home. Check them for later. Up near the 4000 ft level, you suddenly see a horse farm. Turns out they breed and raise world champion quarter horses. Absolutely NO HUNTING....thank you!http://www.fairlea.com/

Back down out of the valley heading south and east now, I saw this home, tucked neatly against a backdrop that seems to shout BOBCATS. He farms 120 acres, and said they definitely have them, but knew of no one in the area that allows hunting. I moved on........


At 1 pm, I stopped at a rib place for lunch, and asked a couple guys if they could offer any helpful tips. One said...maybe over on Boswells 44,000 acres. And he pointed a finger toward the south, motioning over the crest of some 2500 ft. tall rolling mountain range covered in brown grass.

I knew the name. Yep, ole J.G. Boswell. The richest farmer in the USA,http://www.nrdc.org/onearth/04win/reviews2.asp but I had always thought he owned cotton farming land near Corcoran, California, but true to his quiet nature, he was also into ranching the foothills, 70 miles east of the farm headquarters. Having read about him, I couldnt wait to get over there and ask. I soon saw the trucks with the trademark blue diamond "<B>" painted on the doors.

Hello, is this the J.G. Boswell ranch?
Yes sir it is
Can you tell me if they would allow a responsible person on the ground to call coyotes?
No, they wont, Im sorry......they are very strict on that. No hunting at all, is the rules.
Thats too bad, it sure looks like ideal habitat.
It is, and we see 'em all the time, just no guns allowed. And here is why.
Unlike other ranchers, Boswell co. has a lot of employees. And if they allow one of their employees to hunt, they would have to allow ALL who asked. Thats why. And they also feel it would not be right to allow a stranger, after telling their employees they could not.
Unfortunately, it made perfect sense, so I shook the mans hand, and waved good bye.
Just to rub it in, I had to wait for this coyote to cross the road, and get up the hill, so I could drive out. Oh, brother!!


To be continued................
 

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Great pics as usual, John. How.....

do the varmints know when you're not allowed to shoot :>)?

Sid
 

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I've spent many days doing "PR" down here as well. Most folks just don't want strangers on their land. The few that I've been able to get permission from don't really have any idea spots for calling.... the good spots are either too close to the house or too swampy to get into and out of without an ATV which I don't have.

Still, I get lucky once in awhile.

I've never been given permission to hunt on any land owned by a medium or large corporation.... Likely for the same reasons you were given.... except they just say "sorry, no hunting".


The paper companies down here used to sell permits for a small fee, but they've all stopped doing that also.

The WMA's will only let you hunt during regular "hunting seasons".... try calling a yote with the area full of deer or turkey hunters..... LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #4
....continued........

He had told me that going east, I would eventually come to some smaller ranches, and he did not know their policy. I asked "how far east"...
oh.....about 11 miles.

When I got to the 13 mile marker, the terrain suddenly changed into something like Ive never seen. And there was a small spot on the side of the hill, looking west 700 feet above the floor, where I took this picture.

It was as though not one of the 36 million people of California had ever touched this earth. It was pure, and stretched for as far as you can see....and in ALL directions. Not only that, but it was candy for this varmint callers eyes. I started figuring out where I would make that first set up. Where the sun would be, what about the evening breeze I was imagining coyotes roaring to the call, running in so fast in their ignorant state of never having been called, that their feet would come off the ground as they cleared the crest of those hills !!..........oh boy, I had to find the owner of this ranch.

But I drove miles around, and never did locate any one. By 3:30 I had stopped at 4 different homes, and two more locked gates, and not rousted a soul. The homes were as quiet as the land itself!! Not one car passed on that paved road in 1 hour and 25 minutes. With nightfall coming soon, I set my sights further south, into the rolling land where orange groves intertwine with enormous cattle ranches, for one last hope.

This is where I at least met a rancher. He was about 45-50, nice fellow, and he knew all about calling coyotes. He and his family did their own calling occasionally, and yet we had a good chat, on his porch for 20 minutes. Names of ranchers I knew, he, of course knew. He asked calling techniques I use, and equipment. He said I sounded like I knew my stuff, and that the best thing to do was to call him periodically, and re-check. As of now, he had 4 other folks shooting squirrels, and the occasional coyote. I thanked him, and drove out slowly. There was this one gap in the hills that looked west, where again, I could see at least 8 or 10 miles without a fence. Amazing land. The ranch is in its fifth family generation of operation now, dating back to 1852.


Then the rain these ranchers have been needing started in at sundown.

A good day, even though not real productive in the "land-access" sense, it makes me appreciate the good people and land that I do already have. Hope they get their Christmas cards I sent on time! ~john
 

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Nice real estate John!

I could live at any one of those ranches. Bet places like that never come up for sale tho`.
Poor folk like me will have to buy land in Noname A, on an ice flow.
Eat seal meat and dodge polar bears....
Thanks for the photo tour, always like being there!
Mike da Bear
 

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Ah man....that is really rubbing salt in the wound, John. Having a coyote cross the road after a turn-down on the hunting. I guess that's why it was there....nobody bothering them. Well, keep pushing. You're very good at getting permission, so I have high hopes for new property for you.
 

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John,

Don't sweat that JGB ranch...I'll tug on a few coat tails and see what happens.

Steve
 

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Sounds like a great way to spend a day

Sorry you didn't get any new ground but getting to see new country and make new friends is never a waste. Hope you have better luck next time.
Have a Merry Christmas!
george
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Always fun to poke around the countryside.

Merry Christmas to you too George,

And CGSteve, I forgot Dad may know the key to the JGB land. Maybe on a temporary, or one-time depredation approach?

Thanks guys, have a good one.
 

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Do you give the ranchers a "Business Card".



I have gained some of my best access from a delayed response. I give out the card when I talk to the ranchers and they typically shove it into their shirt pocket. Later it seems that the find it when they have a stock loss problem.

Also, I demonstrate the calling when I am talking to them. I keep a howler and a rabbit call in my shirt pocket. It invariably attracts the ranch dog.
 

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Thanks for sharing John

I always figured I hunted for towns and shot prairie dogs.Haven't done any hunting lately??? For some reason your post makes me want to get out and hunt.Not that I need any more places to shoot just that I miss the hunt!
Does California or the counties have an ownership atlas? I found that in Mn and S Dakota the counties had an ownership atlas that would give you the name of the owners,how much they owned and where.Montana even has an online site to find this info.I have not done much digging in Wy yet to find this info as there is so much state and BLM land.I'm finding most of the real nice land for calling though is owned,river bottoms and breaks.
Better luck finding a place to hunt next time. V Al's suggestion of business cards sounds like something worth doing,gona give it a try myself!
Thanks for posting,Always thought California was all beaches and ???? Thats some nice country you and Wingman are posting.
 

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Prospecting is important

I like to set a few days of PD time for a 50/50 split between shooting and prospecting. Some landowners seem to be more receptive when they realize you're not looking for an immediate place to shoot and will come back later.

Although I've never used cards, I like Varmint Al's idea of leaving a card. This probably also helps build confidence and trust when you leave a positive identification and contact info.

As always, I enjoy your posts.

A. Weldy
 

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I think I know !!

I think I know where you were today. East on 198 to Yokohol Valley. My hunting partner works for another large ranch that has some cow range next to Boswell's. Tough getting perrmission around there, but there is a good population of predators in the area. I think I see that same coyote every time we pass Boswell"s!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Porterville......and some replies

I think I know where you were today. East on 198 to Yokohol Valley. My hunting partner works for another large ranch that has some cow range next to Boswell's. Tough getting perrmission around there, but there is a good population of predators in the area. I think I see that same coyote every time we pass Boswell"s!!!!!!!!!
Yes, Wingman, that is the area. I eventually worked south of there, but like you say, it seems tough to gain permission. I had not been thru there in 5 or 6 years, and Springville looks all different, more people, more traffic, and property values about 400% higher! Pretty country though. Thanks for the comment, good hunting to you.

Varmint Al....I was sure thinking about you, whenever I shook hands, and thought (this is where Al would hand out his varmint callers card)...:) Good idea, and Ill get some made up. You bring a good point, people talk and think it over, and mention your name to someone else, and if the feedback comes in good, you are IN, and they now have a way to call you, instead of you always bothering them. Thanks.

CJinWY......Dont believe our state has an owners atlas, but for $3.00 you can go to any county hall of records building, and you can search the parcel maps, get their #'s, and then look up who owns them.........OR you can ask for a printed search of ALL properties owned by a certain name. Or name of company. Ive done that, and it not only saves time, but when you do get permission, its important to know where one farm ends, and the neighbors begins, so you dont get a ticket, for trespassing, out of ignorance.
 

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Hey John

Those areas are an absolute piece of varminting heaven! WOW!
I can tell you that leaving a card works! I'm a printer, so I make them up frequently, I keep a pile of them in my wallet and in my truck! They work. Give prospects more than 1 card so they can give them to a friend that might have a problem. You'll be surprised how things will come together. I generally prospect a couple times a year. What a great day you had! Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas! Sam
 

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John, it's a lot harder to find hunting places now,

then It was 10 years ago..here in Redding it is near impossable anymore and a lot of new deer clubs to boot.

HARRY
 
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