If you are only interested in big game hunting then California is not the place to go. Upland game bird hunting seems to be the normal in California since it is so hard to get picked for a BG tag. There are a lot of duck and pheasant clubs in California if your into that sort of thing. In the Owens Valley (Lone Pine, Big Pine, Independence and Bishop cites) the land there is owned by the Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles. You can hunt quail and dove in that area and an occasional Chuckar (Red Legged Partridge). Chuckers are normally found further south near the town of China lake (Highway 395 south of Lone Pine).
I now live in New Mexico and since you do have until 2015 to before your trip, check out the department of game and fish for NM. (NMDGF
). A non-resident of NM has a better chance at getting picked for Bull Elk than a resident. Units 52, 16A and 16B are nice. The only problem with NM is that the Land Owner has the right to land lock you out of the BLM area. Of course once in a lifetime Oryx Hunts on a base are nice too. But I am sure you have been to Africa to hunt already.