Heading to NorCal for the first time

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Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby Duckmansmoon » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:01 pm

Going to be heading up there, Blake's guide service hunt, and was wondering what a 44 year old guy can do during the non-hunting hours. I do like photography and eating and I would hate to miss out on something after traveling so far. I will be coming up the 5 from Riverside county so let me know if there are some things along the way I should stop and see.
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby Tyrtruion » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:20 pm

What exactly do you mean by Northern California?

Bay Area?
Sac valley?
Jefferson state?
Trust me. 8 hours in a pond with leaky waders, to not fire a single shot... Is still better than work.
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby DuckFan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:01 pm

Go to Granzella's Inn in Williams for a bite to eat. GREAT PLACE. Eat in the bar area

Colusa Casino (not my cup of tea....but ?)

Visit Kittle's sporting goods in city of Colusa

Try driving through the auto tours at Sac, or Colusa

Check out the Sacramento headquarters

Try breakfast in Willows at Nancy's Airport Cafe



Hunt and have fun



good luck.






PS. I did Blake's once. 9 hunters in a pit with a guide. I pray you get the birds
Last edited by DuckFan on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby JonD » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:02 pm

I'm pretty sure Blake's guide service operates around Maxwell so for food I would suggest either Granzellas or Louis Cairos in Williams. For photography you could always check out a Refuge. You'll be close to Delevan and Sacramento NWR's
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby ditchbanker » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:32 am

DuckFan wrote:PS. I did Blake's once. 9 hunters in a pit with a guide. I pray you get the birds


:eek:

Nine...oh my...you only went once you say?

Thumps up x2 for the Airport diner :thumbsup:
and the Auto tour route at Sac...good photo ops there :thumbsup:
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby derbyacresbob » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:41 am

You can drive around the refuges on the county roads and take pictures of all of the ducks and geese when you are not hunting.

Granzella's Inn and Restaurant and Deli is a great place to stay and eat.

For the last 3 years or more Blake has had 6 hunters in the pit blind with him. If you get some rain, wind or fog you may do pretty good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyNi1MSKWeM
Check out the above video my son made of our hunt two years ago. We ended up getting 20 geese that day, the wind was blowing.
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby Duckmansmoon » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:42 pm

Thanks everyone for the tips.


Granzella's Inn and Restaurant and Deli is a great place to stay and eat.

That is where I am staying.

For the last 3 years or more Blake has had 6 hunters in the pit blind with him. If you get some rain, wind or fog you may do pretty good.

Got the call today for the 14/15 with fog, rain and wind predicted. I hope it pans out for me
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby derbyacresbob » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:58 pm

Will you be hunting on the West side of I-5?
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby darkwater27 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:59 pm

Go to Chico and visit Sierra Nevada brewing have a bite to eat and the seasonal brew on tap.


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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby coachbob » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:13 am

Granzellas is a must but I can't believe no one mentioned the Maxwell Inn! It is awesome! Also if you are up here on a Wednesday, the Tortilla soup at Kim's deli in Maxwell is the BOMB!!! Best thing in the world after a morning in a cold blind!! Have a great shoot and do enjoy the auto tour at Sac or Colusa NWR.
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby chinogoose » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:45 am

[quote="darkwater27"]Go to Chico and visit Sierra Nevada brewing have a bite to eat and the seasonal brew on tap.


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^^^^^^^^^^^^^X2 on This :beer: I hope you have a great hunt. :thumbsup:
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby Sgtstadanko707 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:52 am

chinogoose wrote:
darkwater27 wrote:Go to Chico and visit Sierra Nevada brewing have a bite to eat and the seasonal brew on tap.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk[/quo

^^^^^^^^^^^^^X2 on This :beer: I hope you have a great hunt. :thumbsup:


Take the tour. It's a must. I live a few blocks from there. I take the tour every few months. You get free beer. What else to say :beer:
Shoot maybe you could tag along and come out to my rice blind if you make it out here.
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby Duckmansmoon » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:29 pm

Thanks for the tips. Granzellas was awesome and they have new beds, the tempedic memory foam type. Staff was awesome and so was the food. I hunted East of I-5 and came away with 3 snows which was awesome for me on my first goose hunt. Have to say that my pit buddies were crazy guys and I even heard swear words that I didn't know were used and I was in the Navy for 6.5 years.

Now I know what you all mean by no water and no weather, big *** difference from hunting in SoCal. I am so hooked on geese hunting that I can't wait till next year. Hopefully I can find a good CD in the 5% range :)
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby derbyacresbob » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:38 pm

Congratulations on getting the 3 snows.

We are booked to hunt with Blake on Saturday February 15th.
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby Gomerking » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:10 pm

Congrats on getting into some snows with very little weather and a big, almost full moon. Looked like there was a big grind not too far away from Blake's set-up so hopefully it helped.

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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby AJCsurf » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:41 am

I was in granzella's friday and saturday night for my first time too. The Gnocchi is so freakin good. Good beers too. :thumbsup:
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby quack-attack » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:09 am

This thread does bring up an interesting point that everyone has different perspectives on what a quality hunt is. I grew up in the area and get to shoot plenty of critters. Paying to sit in a blind with 6 people I dont know who have questionable personal ethics all to shoot 3 snow geese sounds like hell to me and it certainly would not be a hunt I thought worthy of writing about. For a person who does not have the opportunities that many of us have it is a great hunt. Those of us that live and play up here truly are blessed to live in an area full of great sporting opportunities. I think sometimes we lose sight of that.

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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby Duckmansmoon » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:32 am

quack-attack wrote:This thread does bring up an interesting point that everyone has different perspectives on what a quality hunt is. I grew up in the area and get to shoot plenty of critters. Paying to sit in a blind with 6 people I dont know who have questionable personal ethics all to shoot 3 snow geese sounds like hell to me and it certainly would not be a hunt I thought worthy of writing about. For a person who does not have the opportunities that many of us have it is a great hunt. Those of us that live and play up here truly are blessed to live in an area full of great sporting opportunities. I think sometimes we lose sight of that.

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To me it is all about perspective. I was born and raised in Georgia (1969-1987) so I had plenty of critters to hunt. I have a job that allows me to afford the hunt, a wife who supports my choice in hunting, and the good Lord's blessings to be able to hunt. If I had any issues I figured the guide, Blake, would handle it. I didn't but from hanging out with him and hearing the stories, good and bad, makes me believe he is not a man to put up with that nonsense. I am not sure who was more excited me or my pit mates when I got my first geese.

Because of my experience I will book one or two more hunts in 2014 with Blake. Will it be better or worse? Who knows but that is the dance.
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby quack-attack » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:23 am

Duckmansmoon wrote:To me it is all about perspective. I was born and raised in Georgia (1969-1987) so I had plenty of critters to hunt. I have a job that allows me to afford the hunt, a wife who supports my choice in hunting, and the good Lord's blessings to be able to hunt. If I had any issues I figured the guide, Blake, would handle it. I didn't but from hanging out with him and hearing the stories, good and bad, makes me believe he is not a man to put up with that nonsense. I am not sure who was more excited me or my pit mates when I got my first geese.

Because of my experience I will book one or two more hunts in 2014 with Blake. Will it be better or worse? Who knows but that is the dance.

duckman, i hope you did not interpret my post as a shot at you. I am stoked that you had a great time. Anytime someone is out there having a good time chasing birds I am happy for them . I only meant to show that everyone on here has a different idea about what a quality hunt it. I get to hunt almost every day, at a minimum i go 4 times a week. my blind is on my way home from work and i get out of work early. many times i even get to grab my kids as they get out of school and take them with me. I hit the last hour of light a lot. some times I am completely blanked. More often than not though i shoot my two sprig and a speck or two and it s it is my bliss. yes I am spoiled rotten when it comes to hunting. I wish everyone got to have the little sportsmans dream i live.

We hear the stories about Blakes hunting trips and many of them are not expressed with the joy you described. To me it sounds like something i would never want to participate in though i absolutely understand why others do, and it sounds like he has modified things to be a more consistent positive experience. Hope you get many more great hunts in
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Re: Heading to NorCal for the first time

Postby Duckmansmoon » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:35 pm

quack-attack wrote:
Duckmansmoon wrote:To me it is all about perspective. I was born and raised in Georgia (1969-1987) so I had plenty of critters to hunt. I have a job that allows me to afford the hunt, a wife who supports my choice in hunting, and the good Lord's blessings to be able to hunt. If I had any issues I figured the guide, Blake, would handle it. I didn't but from hanging out with him and hearing the stories, good and bad, makes me believe he is not a man to put up with that nonsense. I am not sure who was more excited me or my pit mates when I got my first geese.

Because of my experience I will book one or two more hunts in 2014 with Blake. Will it be better or worse? Who knows but that is the dance.

duckman, i hope you did not interpret my post as a shot at you. I am stoked that you had a great time. Anytime someone is out there having a good time chasing birds I am happy for them . I only meant to show that everyone on here has a different idea about what a quality hunt it. I get to hunt almost every day, at a minimum i go 4 times a week. my blind is on my way home from work and i get out of work early. many times i even get to grab my kids as they get out of school and take them with me. I hit the last hour of light a lot. some times I am completely blanked. More often than not though i shoot my two sprig and a speck or two and it s it is my bliss. yes I am spoiled rotten when it comes to hunting. I wish everyone got to have the little sportsmans dream i live.

We hear the stories about Blakes hunting trips and many of them are not expressed with the joy you described. To me it sounds like something i would never want to participate in though i absolutely understand why others do, and it sounds like he has modified things to be a more consistent positive experience. Hope you get many more great hunts in


I did not take it that way at all and if it was that is OK too I had my big boy pants on :)

Saturday was 100% dry, nothing came close and I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about the Sunday shoot. I believe he has changed and he may change it up this year too. It did open my eyes that you NorCals have way more goose and duck hunting opportunities then SoCal. Now I get the anger of the hunters about the no water issues I read about.

Have a Merry Christmas and may your strap be full with banded ducks!!
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