The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced that additional waterfowl hunting opportunities will soon be available at Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area. The Llano Seco Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area will open for waterfowl hunting on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Additionally, special hunting blinds for hunters who possess a junior hunting license will open at Howard Slough Unit of Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014.
Entry to the wildlife area is granted first to hunters with reservations, then through a lottery held at the wildlife area, and finally by first-come, first-served list. Applications for reservation drawings are currently available for many hunts on both of these units. For information on how to apply for reservations, visit the CDFW’s website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Waterfowl.
The Llano Seco Unit has been closed to waterfowl hunting due to lack of water, but has recently received enough water to provide habitat for waterfowl and hunting opportunities for hunters. The area will have nine assigned fields (or ponds), five general blinds and one mobility impaired hunting blind. The free-roam section of the Llano Seco Unit remains closed to all entry due to a wildfire that destroyed the cover. Approximately 10 reservations will be drawn for each hunt day at the Llano Seco Unit. Hunters without a reservation can enter the lottery draw on the morning of the hunt. The Llano Seco Unit check station opens at 4 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays. The lottery draw takes place at 4:30 a.m.
In addition, special hunting opportunities will be available for junior hunters at the Howard Slough Unit beginning on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 when the Zone 7 Blinds are scheduled to open to hunters who possess a junior hunting license. Six blinds are available to provide access for junior hunters in flooded rice habitat. These blinds are available only on Wednesday and Saturday hunt days from legal shoot time until noon. Permits must be returned to the check station by 1 pm. Junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult hunter; only one adult may hunt from the blind. An adult hunter may bring up to two junior hunters. The limit is three persons per blind. The Zone 7 hunting blinds are filled first by reservations, then by lottery, and then by first-come, first served list. Hunters without reservations can enter the lottery at the check station on the night before the hunt, from 6 to 8 p.m.
A valid California hunting license, California duck validation, Harvest Information Program validation and a signed federal duck stamp must be obtained before entering the field. Adult hunters must also buy a Type A wildlife area pass. Junior license holders do not need a Type A wildlife area pass or California duck stamp; however, junior license holders who have turned 16 must have a federal duck stamp. Licenses, validations and passes are not sold at wildlife areas. Hunters must purchase these items in advance from a CDFW license agent, a CDFW license sales office or online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Online-Sales.
For more information on these hunting opportunities, please visit CDFW’s website at www.wildlife.ca.gov, or call the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area at (530) 982-2169.
Glenn Underwood, CDFW License and Revenue Branch, (916) 928-5841
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944