pheasant

Applications for Upcoming Game Bird Apprentice Hunts Due in October

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. Below are the hunts with October application due dates:

Wednesday, Oct. 14:

  • Lassen County: A women’s pen-raised pheasant hunt will be held Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Ash Creek Wildlife Area. This is an afternoon hunt that can accommodate 30 hunters, with a maximum hunting party size of two.
  • Sutter County: Four pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held on Oct. 31, Nov. 1, Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 (one hunt each morning) at the Nelson Slough Unit of the Feather River Wildlife Area. These are combined women’s and junior’s apprentice opportunities. Each hunt can accommodate 25 hunters. (Note: The deadline for juniors to apply for the Nov. 7-8 hunts is Oct. 21.)

Wednesday, Oct. 21:

  • Shasta County: Four junior pheasant pen-raised hunts will be held the weekend of Nov. 7-8 (one morning and afternoon hunt each day) at the Mouth of Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area. Each hunt can accommodate 15 hunters.
  • Lassen County: Two junior pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held Saturday, Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 8 at the Ash Creek Wildlife Area. Each is a morning hunt that can accommodate 25 hunters, with a maximum hunting party size of two.
  • Plumas County: Two junior pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7 in the Sierra Valley at the Green Gulch Ranch. Each hunt (morning and afternoon) can accommodate 20 hunters. Dogs will be provided.
  • Fresno County: Two junior pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Mendota Wildlife Area. Each hunt (morning and afternoon) can accommodate 25 hunters, with a maximum hunting party size of two.
  • Riverside County: One junior pen-raised pheasant hunt will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area. This is a morning hunt that can accommodate 65 hunters.
  • Imperial County: One junior pen-raised pheasant hunt will be held Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Imperial Wildlife Area. This is a morning hunt that can accommodate 25 hunters. Dogs will be provided, or hunters may bring their own.

Wednesday, Oct. 28:

  • Tehama County: Two junior pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Sacramento River Bend, south of Redding. This land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Each hunt (morning and afternoon) can accommodate 30 hunters.
  • Butte County: A family pheasant hunt will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 at the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area, Little Dry Creek Unit. This is a morning wild bird hunt that can accommodate 30 hunters.
  • Madera County: Several pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22 near Chowchilla. The Saturday hunt is open to mobility-impaired hunters and two hunts on Sunday (morning and afternoon) are open to families. These hunts can accommodate a total of 75 hunters.
  • Kern County: Two family pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, and two women’s/juniors’ pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held Sunday, Nov. 15 on private land near the city of Bakersfield. The Saturday family hunts (morning and afternoon) can accommodate 100 hunters total, and the Sunday women’s/junior hunts (morning and afternoon) can accommodate 50 hunters total. Please note that successful adult applicants will be charged an $18 fee the day of the hunt (there is no fee for juniors).
  • Los Angeles County: Two family pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 at Peace Valley. Each hunt (early morning and mid-morning) can accommodate 18 hunters, with a maximum party size of four. Hunting dogs will be provided, or hunters may bring their own.

Please note that many 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.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting. There is no charge to apply. Please note that additional hunts in November, December and January are listed on the website and are also open for registration. Only the hunts with applications due in October are listed above.

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 current 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.

The full upland game bird hunting regulations and a summary for 2015-2016 can be found on CDFW’s website.