Category Archives: Hunter Education

2017 Youth Essay Contest Offers Chance To Earn Lifetime Hunting License

 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California Wildlife Officers Foundation are again co-sponsoring the annual “Passing on the Tradition” essay contest for young hunters.

The California Wildlife Officers Foundation will recognize one grand-prize winner with a lifetime California hunting license that is valued at more than $600. Second and third place winners will also be selected and prize packages will be awarded.

This year’s contest invites entrants to share how hunting has influenced or affected their lives.

“Youth hunters learn invaluable lessons about safety, ethics and conservation when they team with their mentors,” said CDFW Hunter Education Program Administrator Capt. Robert Pelzman. “This year’s essay topic promises to provide plenty of heartfelt examples of how their varied experiences in the field have had a beneficial impact on their individual lives.”

The contest is open to all junior hunting license holders, as well as youths under 18 who have earned a hunter education certificate. Entrants should submit an essay of 500 words or less.

Entries should be submitted via email to Lt. John Nores at john.nores@wildlife.ca.gov and must be received on or before Friday, Dec. 15 at 5 p.m. On their essay, applicants must also provide their date of birth, place of residence and a contact telephone number and email address.

Essays will be reviewed and scored by CDFW wildlife officers and other CDFW representatives. The winners will then be notified by telephone. For additional information, please contact Lt. John Nores at (408) 591-5174.

AWARD CEREMONY: The grand prize will be awarded during a special ceremony at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) show scheduled in Sacramento on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. The contest winner must be present and accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For information on becoming a Hunter Education Instructor to help “Pass on the Tradition” to others, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunter-education.

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Media Contacts:
Lt. John Nores, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (408) 591-5174
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

Sonoma County Couple Named Hunter Education Instructors of the Year

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) named Sonoma County husband and wife Tom and Sharon Henderson as 2017 Hunter Education Instructors of the Year. This is the first time the honor has been awarded to two instructors.

“The Hendersons are an amazing team who have dedicated so much to the Hunter Education Program. It would have been impossible not to recognize them both,” said Lt. Bart Bundesen, who coordinates California’s Hunter Education Program on the North Coast.

The Hendersons teach an average of 25 classes a year at the Rancho Adobe Fire Department in Cotati. In 2016 alone, they taught 633 students. Those students and their parents offer frequent accolades about the instructors.

“I get a regular stream of compliments about the job that the Hendersons do,” Bundesen said. “Their ability to help younger students understand the important lessons of the course is one of their greatest assets.”

CDFW Wildlife Officer Tiffany Wolvek said, “Without them, many would likely not make it out to the field as they would struggle to find a class. More importantly, I have confidence in the students who have taken their class to become ethical, conscientious hunters.”

The Hendersons have mentored many new instructors and they take the time to ensure those instructors leave confident in their ability to teach a class. They are an incredible asset to new hunters and CDFW.

CDFW is always recruiting new instructors. If you have a passion for California’s outdoors and passing on the hunting tradition, please visit CDFW’s Become A Hunter Education Instructor webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunter-Education/Become-an-Instructor and check out the hunter education instructor recruiting video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4ezEs7jT5g.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Learn to Make Wild Game Sausage at New CDFW Hunter Education Clinic

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program is sponsoring an Introduction to Wild Game Sausage Making Clinic on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 in San Diego County. This is the first time CDFW is offering a clinic on this topic.

The clinic will be taught by Steve Shaw, a veteran Hunter Education Instructor whose family tradition of making sausage goes back four generations. This clinic will cover proper preparation, cooking and storage techniques, as well as family recipes. All supplies and equipment will be provided on-site.

The clinic is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon at Trident Gunsmithing Shop in Mira Mesa. The cost is $25 per student, payable by cash or check the day of class. Youths 17 years and younger are free, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Online preregistration is required, at www.register-ed.com/events/view/106757. Space is very limited, so participants are encouraged to register early.

Trident Gunsmithing is located off Interstate 15, near Miramar Airfield.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Alan Gregory, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (209)-274-9923
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Young Hunters, Mentors Enjoy Successful Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

Nearly 1,000 young hunters took to the fields on Feb. 4-5 this year, as Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days opened to clearing skies and the ducks and geese were plentiful. These special two days of waterfowl hunting were open only to junior license holders age 17 or younger, and their non-hunting adult mentors.

Various hunts were conducted on 21 wildlife areas and national wildlife refuges where the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) operates waterfowl hunting programs. Private waterfowl clubs and conservation organizations, including the California Waterfowl Association and individual chapters of Ducks Unlimited, hosted twice this number of young hunters statewide.

The main objective of Youth Waterfowl Days is to provide young hunters with a special opportunity to learn more about waterfowl hunting and provide a mentored experience.

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Colby Fritter, 11, earned his hunter education certificate and bought his license on the first of two Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days.

“This year CDFW staff worked at opening previously flooded areas like the Little Dry Creek Wildlife Unit, since Grizzly Island and Yolo Bypass Wildlife Areas were closed due to flooding,” said Craig Stowers, an environmental program manager with CDFW’s Wildlife Branch Game Management Program. “Not only did the young hunters have some great experiences, but they also did very well, averaging nearly three birds each on Saturday.”

One of the top-producing areas was Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, where young hunters averaged 5.4 birds on Saturday. On many of the other state-managed properties, such as Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, youths averaged approximately three birds each. Numerous private duck clubs and organizations with waterfowl properties throughout the state opened their doors to young hunters as well. Some, like the Cameron Duck Club in East Nicolaus, provided guided hunts for youths.

Eleven-year-old Colby Fritter of Chico completed his Hunter Education Course on Saturday. He secured his license at 3 p.m., just in time to go to a private duck blind for an afternoon shoot. On his first hunt, with his first shot, he took a Canada goose with his Youth Model Remington 870 20-gauge.

“He lit up like a Christmas tree,” said his father, Scott Fritter. “He worked and studied hard to pass the hunter education course and exam and it really paid off. It was an experience and opportunity of a lifetime.”

At the Little Dry Creek Unit in the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area, staff cleaned up flood debris to prepare for the 63 youth hunters who hunted the first day.  Each of the young hunters was directed to a blind or free-roam area deemed safe to hunt. Upon completing their hunt, they were invited to dine on hot dogs, chips and bottled water. It was the first time the unit was open since Jan. 7, and provided exceptional opportunities for the young hunters.

Waterfowl hunting results, including results for each state-managed Youth Hunting Days hunt, are available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl#877772-hunt-results.

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Media Contact:
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478

Applications Now Available for 2017 Joice Island Pig Hunts

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering pig hunting opportunities in March and April at Grizzly Island Wildlife Area in Solano County.

CDFW will be holding the limited-entry, permit-only hunts to control a small population of wild pigs on the Joice Island Unit of the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area. Joice Island is a 2,150-acre wetland area consisting of thick cattails, tules, some brush and standing water.

Three hunters will be drawn for eight consecutive weekends, for a total of 24 hunters. The first weekend, March 4-5, will be reserved for apprentice hunters (ages 12-17 with Junior License) only. The following seven weekends (March 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26, and April 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23) are open to both adults and apprentice hunters.

This is the first year that applications must be submitted online. Applications can be found at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/dfgspecialhunts/default.aspx. Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The drawing will be held the morning of Feb. 15.

Permits with maps and additional information will be emailed to successful applicants.

Permit holders may bring one non-hunting partner. Hunters may only use shotguns with nonlead slugs or archery equipment. Dogs and bicycles will not be allowed.

CDFW reserves the right to cancel this hunt and close the area to the public without prior notification, in the event of unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.

For more information, please contact CDFW at (707) 425-3828.

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Orlando Rocha, CDFW Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, (707) 425-3828
Larry Wyckoff, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5542