CDFW Accepting Applications for Special Draw Deer Hunt on Knoxville Wildlife Area in Napa County

buck lying in tall grass

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting applications for a limited, lottery draw deer hunt scheduled for opening week of the A-Zone general deer season, August 14-20, on the Knoxville Wildlife Area in Napa County.

The 21,000-acre Knoxville Wildlife Area is located approximately 1.5 miles north of Lake Berryessa and is a Type C wildlife area. This special lottery draw deer hunt was created to limit the number of hunters on the wildlife area during opening week and to improve the hunting experience.

Because the Knoxville Wildlife Area was heavily impacted by the August 2020 LNU Lightning Complex Fire and habitat recovery has been slow, only 120 hunt permits will be issued for the special lottery draw. The hunt permit is valid for the single hunt period, August 14-20, 2021. The Knoxville Wildlife Area will be closed to all other users during the hunt period.

For more information and to apply for the lottery draw, please visit https://wildlife.ca.gov/Regions/3/Hunts/Knoxville-Deer-Draw

Applications are being accepted until June 20, 2021.

Successful applicants will be selected through a random computerized draw and will be notified by email four weeks prior to the hunt. Up to four hunters may apply as one party by including all required information on the online application. Multiple applications from any hunter will result in disqualification from the drawing. Substitutions of hunt party members will not be permitted, and non-hunters and guests will not be allowed to accompany drawn hunters. Junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult hunter in the hunt party.

Hunters must possess a valid 2020-21 California hunting license prior to applying for the lottery draw.

Deer hunt preference points will not be considered for this lottery draw, nor will preference points be affected if drawn for this special hunt.

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Media Contacts:
Ken Paglia, CDFW Communications, (916) 825-7120

CDFW Offering Hunts of a Lifetime

Drawings for ‘Golden Opportunity,’ Open Zone Deer Tags
to Benefit Wildlife Conservation

For the first-time ever, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will raffle off two “Golden Opportunity” fundraising deer tags to the general hunting public. These rare tags allow hunters to take any legal buck by any legal means anywhere in the state beginning July 10, 2021, through the end of the year.

CDFW’s Golden Opportunity tags typically are sold at auction by partnering, nonprofit wildlife conservation organizations to raise funds for big game management, habitat and scientific research in California. In 2019, Golden Opportunity tags brought an average price of $48,200 each. Two of these once-in-a-lifetime tags are now available to the hunting public through CDFW’s 2021 Big Game Drawing for a $7.05 application fee.

Along with the Golden Opportunity tags, CDFW is also announcing additional chances to win a coveted “Open Zone Deer Tag.” These fundraising tags allow hunters to hunt in any deer zone of their choice during its open season and are likewise mostly sold at auction. Four Open Zone Deer Tags will be available to hunters in CDFW’s 2021 Big Game Drawing for a $7.05 application fee. This is an increase from one Open Zone Deer Tag offered in the drawing in previous years.

“The hunting public truly has some amazing opportunities this year to win a dream hunt for the price of just a few dollars,” said Stafford Lehr, CDFW Deputy Director for Wildlife and Fisheries. “COVID-19 disrupted the operations of many of the conservation organizations we partner with to help sell these tags and raise critical funds for wildlife. As a result, we have some very special deer hunts to add and offer up through our fundraising tag raffle this year.”

In 2019, the auction of five Golden Opportunity deer tags collectively raised $241,000 for conservation. The auction of five Open Zone deer tags in 2019 generated a combined $50,000.

Applications for both the Golden Opportunity and Open Zone Deer Tags are on sale now through June 2, 2021, and are available at CDFW’s Online License Sales and Services website and at retail agents statewide that sell California hunting and fishing licenses.

The tags are available to both California residents and nonresidents. There are no limits on application purchases. Winners are awarded the tags at no additional cost. Preference points do not apply. They are neither lost nor gained as part of the drawing.

For more information, please visit CDFW’s Fundraising Random Drawing Tags web page.

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Media Contact:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 215-3858

November 2020 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Fire danger is extreme in California currently. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

Various Days — Nimbus Fish Hatchery Free Public Webinars, 9 to 9:45 a.m., Nov. 5, 12, 19 and 25 via Zoom. These free public webinars will be broadcast live from the Nimbus Fish Hatchery for all ages to enjoy from a safe social distance. Because the Visitor Center is currently closed, we are offering everyone the opportunity to connect with wildlife and our hatchery experts. Information on each webinar and a link to register (required) will be posted to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nimbushatchery. For additional information, please contact stephanie.ambrosia@wildlife.ca.gov  or call (916) 358-2884.

Saturdays — Swan Tours, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Yuba County north of Marysville in privately owned rice fields. Led by CDFW naturalists, this is an excursion into a prime Pacific Flyway overwintering grounds. Tours focus on the majestic and ancient tundra swan, but participants are sure to see an assortment of geese, ducks, shorebirds and raptors. Sign up on Eventbrite. Tours have been modified to meet health and safety guidelines. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/swan-tours or email genelle.treaster@wildlife.ca.gov.

1 — First Day of No Depth Limit for Recreational Boat-Based Groundfish Fishing, California-Oregon State Line to Point Arena (through Dec. 31). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/groundfish-summary.

1 — General Deer Season Closes in Zones D3-D7, D17 and D19. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.  

7 — Recreational Dungeness Crab Season Opens Statewide. Health advisory information will be posted at wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/health-advisories. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/crabs.

7 — General Deer Season Opens in Zone D12. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.  

7 — Canada Goose Season Opens in the North Coast Special Management Area (extends through Jan. 31). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

7 — Scaup Season Opens in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Colorado River and Balance of State Zones (extends through Jan. 31). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

7 — White Goose Season Opens in the Imperial County Special Management Area (extends through Jan. 31). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

7 — Weaving Yesterdays: A Live History Series Virtual Event, 1 to 1:30 p.m. Reserve naturalists and historians will host a Facebook Live series exploring the cultural heritage of Elkhorn Slough. At 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month, participants will hear the backstory of a new location around the area. Please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/weaving-yesterdays-a-live-history-series to view the series schedule and find recordings of previous installments. 

7 — Teachers on the Estuary Workshop, 9 to 11:30 a.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). The reserve presents a hands-on estuarine science workshop for middle and high school teachers through a combination of virtual lessons and field work. Teachers will learn from reserve scientists, engage in inquiry-based lessons and take home new hands-on activities. For the full workshop schedule and to register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/education-program/teacher-development.

8  Last Day of Recreational Ocean Salmon Season from Horse Mountain to Pigeon Point. Recreational ocean salmon fishing closes statewide. For more information, please visit the ocean salmon webpage at wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/salmon or call the CDFW Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825.

8 — General Deer Season Closes in Zones D11, D13-D15 and X9c. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

10 — California Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee Meeting, 9 a.m. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020.

14 — Fall Wild Turkey Season Opens Statewide (extends through Dec. 13). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

14 — General Pheasant Season Opens Statewide (extends through Dec. 27). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

14 — Late Season Dove Hunting Opens Statewide (extends through Dec. 28). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

15 — 2021 Sport Fishing Licenses Available. The 2021 sport fishing licenses become available at various sites. For more information or to purchase a license online, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing.

15 — Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery South of the Sonoma-Mendocino County Line (Central Management Area) Scheduled to Open. The opening date may be delayed in some or all of this area due to elevated marine life entanglement risk or human health concerns from domoic acid. Should there be a change to the season opening date due to entanglement risk, information will be made available at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/whale-safe-fisheries and sent out through the CDFW Whale Safe Fisheries email listserv. More information on domoic acid and the crab fishery can be found at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/crabs.

16 — California Fish and Game Tribal Committee Meeting, 1:30 p.m. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov.

18 — Brant Season Opens in the Northern Brant Special Management Area (extends through Dec. 14). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

18 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, 10 a.m., via Microsoft Teams or teleconference. Public comment will be accepted per the agenda. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

19 — Brant Season Opens in the Balance of State Brant Special Management Area (extends through Dec. 15). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

22 — General Deer Season Closes in Zone D16. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

29 — General Deer Season Closes in Zone D12. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

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Media Contact:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907

October 2020 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Fire danger is extreme in California currently. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

Various Days — General Bear Season Opens in Select Deer Zones. General bear season opens concurrently with general deer season in the A, B, C, D, X8, X9a, X9b, X10 and X12 deer hunting zones. The general bear season will remain open until Dec. 27, or until CDFW determines that 1,700 bears have been taken. Tooth collection is not required this year, but all hunters must present their bear head and get their tag validated by CDFW personnel. Current bear hunting regulations, in-season updates and general black bear information can be viewed at wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear.

3 — California Spiny Lobster Recreational Fishing Season Opens Statewide, 6 a.m. For more information regarding lobster and lobster management, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/lobster.

3 — General Duck and Goose Season Opens in the Northeastern Waterfowl Zone. For more information about regulations, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.  

3 — Early Canada Goose Season Opens in the Balance of State Waterfowl Zone. For more information about regulations, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

3 — General Deer Season Opens in Zones D19, X1, X2, X3a, X3b, X4, X5a, X5b, X6a, X6b, X7a and X7b. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

3 — Archery-Only Deer Season Opens in Zone D12. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

3 — Weaving Yesterdays: A Live History Series Virtual Event, 1 to 1:30 p.m. Reserve naturalists and historians will host a Facebook Live series exploring the cultural heritage of Elkhorn Slough. At 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month, participants will hear the backstory of a new location around the area. Please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/weaving-yesterdays-a-live-history-series to view the series schedule and find recordings of previous installments. 

3-4 — Early season Junior Hunt for Quail in the Mojave National Preserve. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

4 — Last Day of Recreational Ocean Salmon Season from Pigeon Point to the U.S./Mexico Border. All recreational ocean salmon fishing south of Pigeon Point will be closed for the remainder of the year. Recreational ocean salmon fishing remains open between Horse Mountain and Pigeon Point. For more information, please visit the ocean salmon webpage at wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/salmon or call either the CDFW Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825.

7 — California Spiny Lobster Commercial Fishing Season Opens Statewide. For more information regarding lobster and lobster management, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/lobster.

10 — General Deer Season Opens in Zones D11, D13-15 and D17. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

10 — General Bear Season Opens in the Remaining X Zones. General bear season opens for the remaining deer hunting X zones. The general bear season will remain open until Dec. 27, or until CDFW determines that 1,700 bears have been taken. Tooth collection is not required this year, but all hunters must present their bear head and get their tag validated by CDFW personnel. Current bear hunting regulations, in-season updates and general black bear information can be viewed at wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear.  

10 — Early Archery-Only Season for Pheasant Opens (extending through Nov. 1). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

14 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov.

15-30 — iNaturalist Wildlife Scavenger Hunt. Join CDFW’s Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in a biodiversity scavenger hunt in Butte, Yuba or Sutter counties. In celebration of the Virtual Yuba-Sutter Farm Day 2020, this activity offers kids a way to have outdoor fun while learning about the wildlife in their communities. It targets third graders, but all are welcome to join. Participants will follow clues while observing wildlife, capturing images and using iNaturalist to record what they find. Information and guidance will be posted in the iNaturalist “Journal.” Due to the pandemic, this is a self-led activity. Please visit www.inaturalist.org/projects/yuba-sutter-farm-days-2020-gray-lodge-wildllife-area?tab=about for more information and to sign up.

17 — General Deer Season Opens in Zone X9c. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

17 — General Season for All Quail Opens in Zone Q1 and Zone Q3 (extending through Jan. 31, 2021). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

17 — General Season for Chukar Opens Statewide (extending through Jan. 31, 2021). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

17 — General Season for Snipe Opens Statewide (extending through Jan. 31, 2021). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

23 California Wildlife Conservation Board Lower American River Conservancy Program Advisory Committee Meeting, 1 to 3 p.m., via Microsoft Teams Meeting. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

23 — General Duck and Goose Season Opens in the Colorado River Waterfowl Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

24 — General Duck and Goose Season Opens in the Balance of State, Southern San Joaquin Valley and Southern California Waterfowl Zones. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

24 — General Deer Season Opens in Zone D16. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

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Media Contact:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907

Snow geese at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. CDFW photo/Travis VanZant.

Watch out for Wildlife Week Educates Drivers about Increased Animal-Vehicle Collision Risk

Every autumn, as Daylight Saving Time concludes, the number of vehicle-wildlife collisions on California roadways increases. As drivers adjust to less daylight during the evening commute during the first week of November, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Caltrans issue a reminder to be alert and aware of animals on the roads and highways. This year, Watch Out for Wildlife Week also falls during a historic fire season, adding additional urgency to the message.

This is the time of year that deer, elk, bears and other animals are typically on the move for migration, mating or foraging – but wildlife has 3 million fewer acres of forest to call home due to numerous fires around the state. It’s even more likely that displaced animals will be using or crossing roads and coming near traffic.

“Currently, people may be seeing diverse species of wildlife displaced due to fire,” said CDFW Conflict Programs Coordinator Vicky Monroe. “Drivers should be especially cautious driving in areas with known habitat disturbance or fire damage and be aware of wildlife that may be active near roads, such as deer, black bears, bobcats, mountain lions, birds of prey and more.”

Vehicle collisions involving wildlife can be both dangerous and costly.  According to the California Highway Patrol, in 2019, three people died and 390 people were injured in 2,204 collisions with animals on state, county and local roadways throughout California.  The UC Davis Road Ecology Center estimates the total annual cost of animal-vehicle conflicts in California to be at least $307 million in 2018.

“Safety remains our foremost priority,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This includes doing our part to alert motorists of potential environmental hazards by installing flashing animal crossing warning signs and building larger culverts for safer wildlife passage over and under our roadways.”

Standard driving safety tips carry even more significance in light of habitat loss to the 2020 wildfires. These include:

  • Be extra alert when driving near areas wildlife frequent, such as streams and rivers, and reduce your speed especially around curves.
  • Don’t text and drive! Leave your phone alone; it can wait.
  • Pay extra attention driving during the morning and evening hours when wildlife are often most active.
  • If you see an animal on or near the road, know that others may be following.
  • Don’t litter. Trash and food odors can attract animals to roadways.
  • Pay attention to road shoulders. Look for movement or reflecting eyes. Slow down and honk your horn if you see an animal on or near the road.
  • Respect wildlife. California is their home too.

For any additional information on Watch out for Wildlife Week, or the messaging for California drivers, please contact either the California Department of Fish and Wildlife or Caltrans.

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Media Contacts
William Arnold, Caltrans Public Affairs, (916) 654-3633
Tim Daly, CDFW Communications, (916) 201-2958