The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reminds game hunters that wild turkey is one of the healthiest birds to serve for Thanksgiving dinner. The California 2015 wild turkey hunting season opens statewide on November 14 and extends through December 13. The season opens just in time for Thanksgiving. However, hunters are limited to a bag limit of one turkey (either gender) per day and no more than two for the season.

"Wild turkey is a very healthy alternative to store-bought turkey, as it's low in fat and has no additives. You can't get much more natural than that," said Scott Gardner, manager of the CDFW. "It's harder to hunt it than buy one in a store, but any hunter will tell you it's worth the extra effort."

Wild turkeys are found in most counties in California, with the top five for fall harvest being Placer, El Dorado, Shasta, Sonoma and Tehama. Both a hunting license and upland game bird stamp are required to hunt turkeys, although an upland stamp is not required for hunters with junior licenses.

Today the statewide population of wild turkeys is estimated at about 250,000 birds. The fall season is open statewide for wild turkeys and CDFW estimates that about 20,000 hunters bagged about 10,000 turkeys last fall.

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