The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a number of special hunt opportunities for young hunters, women, families and mobility-impaired hunters this fall and winter. All hunt opportunities are now listed on CDFW’s website. Applications for all October hunts are due by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30.
October hunt opportunities for juniors (under the age of 18 as of July 1, 2015) and women include the following:
- Del Norte County: Two junior pheasant hunts will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Lake Earl Wildlife Area. The morning and afternoon hunts can accommodate 16 hunters each.
- Lassen County: Two junior pheasant hunts will be held on the weekend of Oct. 17-18 at the Honey Lake Wildlife Area, Fleming Unit (Saturday) and Dakin Unit (Sunday). Each day’s hunt will accommodate 25 hunters. An additional women’s hunt will be held on Saturday morning, Oct. 17 at the Fleming Unit. This hunt can accommodate 30 hunters.
- San Luis Obispo County: A junior wild quail hunt will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve. The hunt can accommodate 10 hunters and maximum hunting party size is two. This is considered an advanced hunt and is recommended for hunters with previous practical experience in the field. Hunting dogs will be provided.
- Kern County: Two wild quail and chukar hunts will be held the weekend of Oct. 17-18 at the Canebrake Ecological Reserve. The Saturday opportunity is for juniors only, while the Sunday opportunity is a general hunt. Each can accommodate 10 hunters.
- San Diego County: A wild quail hunt will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Oakgrove sub-unit of the San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area. The hunt will accommodate 24 hunters total, and applications may include up to four hunters. Dogs are allowed but will not be provided.
Please note that all of these opportunities will be held on state wildlife areas or ecological reserves. As of July 1, 2015, nonlead ammunition is required when hunting upland game birds on these properties. For more information please see the CDFW nonlead ammunition page.
CDFW’s Upland Game Bird Special Hunts are intended for beginning hunters or those with limited experience. All hunts include gun safety review, easy-to-hunt topography, a high ratio of volunteers to hunters, experienced dog handlers and clay shooting for practice.
Hunters can find more information and apply for any of these hunts online at www.dfg.ca.gov/hunting. There is no charge to apply. Please note that additional hunts in November, December and January (including those for families and mobility-impaired hunters), are listed on the website and are also open for registration. Only the applications for the October hunts listed above are due on Sept. 30.
New hunters can use their Hunter Education Certificate number for priority registration for apprentice hunts. Applicants with priority will be automatically placed in a hunt before the random drawing takes place.
Hunters must carry a valid California hunting license. Adult hunters (18 or older) must also have an upland game bird validation. Proper clothing and safety gear, including blaze orange, is required for department-sponsored hunts.