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Feature Article: Jim Matthews Dove Seminars

Seminar series helps bird hunters find public land places to hunt doves, quail and chukar

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jul 30, 2014

VENTURA — Do you have enough good places to hunt doves, quail, and chukar on public lands in Southern California? Do you know where the guzzlers are located in our local deserts and mountains? Are you positive you are hunting on legal hunting ground when you go out? Do you believe there are more good places to hunt gamebirds than there are upland hunters left in the region?

If you answered “no” to any or all of these questions, Jim Matthews, a long-time WON writer and editor of the highly-acclaimed Western Birds newsletter, is doing a series of 20 seminars from Ventura to San Diego in August and September to help beginning, intermediate, and even veteran hunters find more places to hunt game birds and help them be more successful in the field.


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MATTHEWS’ SEMINARS ARE designed to open up this bird hunting mecca to all hunters. The classes give hunters the tools to find literally hundreds of public land spots in this region. Each session covers what maps to use so hunters know they are hunting legally. They provide information on how to find desert water sources – from springs to stock tanks to game bird guzzlers.


Matthews started his where-to-go, bird hunting newsletter and this series of seminars because he was frustrated about the lack of information available on public land hunting and wanted to help hunters get into more birds and cash in on the region’s bird hunting bounty.


“The number one question I field at outdoor shows, seminars, and over the telephone is a simple one: ‘Where can I go hunting for doves, quail, or chukar?’ There are variations on the question, but the theme is the same. Hunters want to find places where they have a chance of finding birds on public land where they know it’s legal,” said Matthews.


“The question comes from beginning hunters who are just starting out and don’t have a clue where to find game birds. And it comes from veteran hunters who have lost their spots to urban sprawl or just want a few new places to try,” said Matthews.


The questions have been peppering Matthews for years. So in 1996, he started the bird hunting newsletter, which is a detailed scouting report, giving precise, where-to-go information for hunters. But he still wasn’t getting the word out, so he’s begun giving a series of detailed seminars at Turner’s Outdoorsman stores throughout the region, Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, Mike Raahauge Shooting Enterprises in Corona, Faith Armory in Temecula, and the Riverside Indoor Shooting Range. These sessions are designed to give hunters that “where-to-go” information.


“The most-often spouted lament I hear – often from veteran hunters who should know better – is that there’s no place left to hunt in Southern California anymore or that the hunting isn’t as good as it was 10, 20, or 50 years ago. That is simply laughable. I like to say there are far more good places to hunt upland birds in Southern California than there are bird hunters today. When we have good hatches – and unfortunately it’s not looking like this was one of those years – but when we do have good hatches our hunting can be as good as any place in the United States – and far better than most places.


“For example, I helped out a couple of bird hunting guides from Wisconsin three years ago. They hunt hard in Wisconsin for ruffed grouse and woodcock, and then move to Kansas for bobwhite quail and pheasants, and then finish the season in Arizona hunting for Mearn’s quail, scaled quail, and Gambel’s. They wanted to shoot their first mountain quail.


“What they did was set a personal daily record for number of birds moved, seeing literally hundreds of birds – valley quail, mountain quail and chukar in canyons draining the east side of the southern Sierra Nevada. They said it was arguably the best hunting they had ever had – and these are veteran hunters with well-trained bird dogs who hunt some of the best bird country in the United States. The best bird hunting they’d ever had was here in California, and it’s all right here in our backyard,” said Matthews


Matthews’ seminars are designed to open up this bird hunting mecca to all hunters. The classes give hunters the tools to find literally hundreds of public land spots in this region. Each session covers what maps to use so hunters know they are hunting legally. They provide information on how to find desert water sources – from springs to stock tanks to gamebird guzzlers.


They direct hunters to specific locations where Matthews has found good bird numbers. And he shares a lifetime of hunting knowledge and tactics gathered in this region. All of this information can optimize hunter’s scouting time and make him a more successful bird hunter.


The first seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Fountain Valley Turner’s Outdoorsman store, and that will be followed with another 10 a.m. to noon session on Sunday, August 10, at the Oxnard Turner’s Outdoorsman. The seminars continue thought October 4. There is a complete list of times, dates, and locations on Matthews’ website, www.OutdoorNewsService.com.


Cost for each seminar is $50 per family (all members in the same household), and it includes a trial two-issue subscription to Matthews’ Western Birds hunting newsletter, which he calls the “most detailed scouting report published in the world.”


For more information about the seminars or the Western Birds newsletter, call Matthews at (909) 887-3444 or go to his website at www.OutdoorNewsService.com.




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