Category Archives: Hunter Education

CDFW Magnifies Efforts to Recruit Hunters and Anglers

In an effort to get more Californians involved in fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is partnering with the recreational fishing and hunting communities, state and federal agencies, and others to address barriers and opportunities to hunting and fishing in the state.

“Our goal is to support and encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy California’s wild places,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “The fishing and hunting opportunities in this state are unparalleled, they belong to all Californians and should be utilized by all of us. This effort is to make sure Californians know that.”

CDFW has formed an executive-level task force, hired a full-time coordinator to head-up the effort, hired a research scientist, and finalized a statewide recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) action plan. A staff-level working group is working to increase hunting and fishing participation by collaborating with diverse stakeholders to transform barriers to participation into opportunities. Some of the barriers CDFW will look at initially are access and opportunity challenges, public perception of fishing and hunting, and license structure and pricing. The effort will also focus on encouraging more adults to take up hunting and fishing for the first time.

Research shows spending time outdoors improves physical, mental and social well-being. Many hunters and anglers say the reason they participate in these activities is to enjoy the quality time with family and friends and to bring home great memories and healthy food.

California is home to some of the nation’s most diverse hunting and fishing opportunities, but participation in these activities has declined significantly since the 1970s and 1980s. Hunters and anglers play a crucial role in managing natural resources by regulating wildlife populations to maintain ecological and biological diversity, participating in wildlife surveys for scientific data collection, and reporting wildlife crimes. Hunters and anglers also help sustain a multi-billion-dollar outdoor recreation industry and provide the primary funding source for state-level fish and wildlife conservation in California. The decline in participation poses an ever-increasing threat to wildlife conservation, the state’s long-standing hunting and fishing heritage, and Californians’ connection to the outdoors in general.

“The fishing and hunting community has rallied around CDFW, and we are now poised to tackle the challenges before us,” Bonham said.

To get involved or learn more about the state’s R3 efforts, please contact Jennifer.Benedet@wildlife.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
Jen Benedet, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 903-9270
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

CDFW to Sell Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Answer Questions from the Public and More at Annual Sportsmen’s Show

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is returning to the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) at Cal Expo in Sacramento Jan. 17-20. This is the largest hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation show of its kind in northern California.

Wildlife officers, fisheries and wildlife scientists, hunter education instructors, license agents and other CDFW staff will be available during the show to answer questions and provide information regarding fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the state. CDFW’s license sales booth will be located in the Pavilion Building (adjoining spaces 3700 and 3822) and licenses, tags, report cards and warden stamps will be available for purchase. Customers may pay by credit card or check.

For the sixth year, CDFW’s top leadership – including Fisheries and Wildlife Division Deputy Director Stafford Lehr, Fisheries Branch Chief Kevin Shaffer, Wildlife Branch Chief Kari Lewis and Deputy Director/Chief of Law Enforcement David Bess – will hold a panel discussion about topics of interest to California’s hunters and anglers. The open-forum panel will be held at noon on Saturday, Jan. 19 in the California Sportsmen’s Theater in the Pavilion Building. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions of the panel. Immediately following will be the Youth Essay Contest award presentation (see below for additional information).

“We look forward to speaking directly to our constituents about department operations as we have for the past five years,” said Bess. “We welcome direct conversation both at the panel discussion and with our many staff at our other booths in the venue.”

Additional CDFW booths and highlights include:

  • Hunter Education Program — Located in the Youth Fair Expo Center, wildlife officers and hunter education instructors will be available to answer questions and provide information about basic, advanced and bowhunter education. Interactive training materials, including a free laser-shot hunting simulator, will also be available.
  • K-9 Teams — CDFW K-9 wardens and their wildlife officer handlers will be available for questions and interactions. Look for them at CDFW booths.
  • Wildlife Officer Recruitment — CDFW’s Law Enforcement trailer will be on display outside of the Pavilion Building, featuring a display of taxidermy and a free enclosed laser-shot hunting simulator. Wildlife officers will be on hand to answer questions about employment opportunities.
  • CDFW Youth Fair Exhibit — Explore the salmon life cycle and try your luck on the Salmon Survival Spin. Play a round of salmon bingo, learn to cast or view the new Mobile Fish Exhibit.
  • Keep Me Wild Booth — Information about black bears will be available at the Youth Fair. Youths can make a bear track and help a black bear find the way to its cave. CDFW also has information about how to vacation safely in bear country.
  • 2019 Warden Stamps — At the main booth, CDFW will be offering and promoting this year’s stamp. Proceeds from the $5 stamp support wildlife officers and K-9 teams, and help fund the purchase of necessary law enforcement equipment.
  • Online Harvest Reporting — Tag holders can view their online profile and complete all tags that require reporting. The tag holder will receive a report confirmation number that should be written in the space provided on the report card. The harvest report card will not have to be mailed in physically. CDFW encourages all tag holders to use this online service to meet their harvest reporting requirements.
  • Outdoor California — Free copies of CDFW’s award-winning magazine will be available (as supplies last) at the main booth.
  • Youth Essay Contest — CDFW and the California Wildlife Officer Foundation will be awarding this year’s contest winner, 16-year-old Noah Lo of Stockton, a lifetime hunting license for his outstanding essay emphasizing the theme, “The Positive Impact of Hunting on Your Life.” Lo and the second- and third-place contest winners will be honored on Saturday, Jan. 19 at approximately 12:45 p.m. at the California Sportsmen’s Theater in the Pavilion Building. Stop by to congratulate them and get information on how to become the next youth contest winner.

The Cal Expo State Fairgrounds are located at 1600 Exposition Blvd. in Sacramento. ISE show hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $16 for adults (tickets may be purchased in advance online). Youths age 15 and under are free. There is a $10 charge to park on the grounds.

For additional information and schedules, and to purchase tickets, please visit www.sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento.

###

Media Contacts:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 825-7120
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692

 

2018 Essay Contest Invites Young Hunters to Opine on Hunting Benefits

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and California Wildlife Officer Foundation are again co-sponsoring the annual “Passing on the Tradition” essay contest for young hunters. The grand prize winner will receive a lifetime hunting license, valued at more than $600.

This year’s contest invites entrants to share their thoughts about how hunting has positively influenced or affected their life.

“Today’s youth hunters are the conservationists of the future,” said CDFW Hunter Education Program Administrator Capt. Robert Pelzman. “We are looking forward to hearing about the lessons they’ve learned in the field that have made the strongest impressions upon them, and in what ways hunting has benefited them.”

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.

The California Wildlife Officer Foundation will recognize one grand prize winner with a lifetime California hunting license. Second and third place winners will also be selected and prize packages will be awarded.

Entries should be submitted via email to Capt. Robert Pelzman at robert.pelzman@wildlife.ca.gov no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. Applicants must provide their date of birth and a contact telephone number.

Essays will be reviewed and scored by CDFW wildlife officers and other CDFW representatives. The winners will be notified by telephone.

For additional information, please contact Capt. Pelzman at (916) 653-9727.

AWARD CEREMONY: The grand prize will be awarded during a special ceremony at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) in Sacramento, January 17-20, 2019.

To find a hunter education course or information about becoming a Hunter Education Instructor, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunter-education.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Capt. Robert Pelzman, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 653-9727
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

CDFW Celebrates National Hunting and Fishing Day, Ramps Up New Hunter and Angler Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation Efforts

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, by recognizing the longstanding commitment to wildlife conservation from hunters and anglers and the abundant fishing and hunting opportunities available in the state.

Unfortunately, participation in hunting and fishing has been steadily declining in California and nationally since the 1980s. The decline in these activities poses an ever-increasing threat to conservation of our natural resources. CDFW is ramping up statewide efforts to improve recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) of hunters and anglers to curb this threat. Currently the project is in the planning stage with implementation planned for early next year. If you aren’t an active California hunting or fishing license holder, consider helping by signing up to take a hunter education course, visit the CDFW website to learn more about participating in fishing and hunting opportunities, or reach out to your local CDFW office to seek guidance on getting started.

Last year, California’s hunter and anglers generated more than $125 million to support fish and wildlife conservation efforts. By participating in hunting and fishing, Californians have the ability to help keep the American legacy of public land conservation alive and fund the ever-growing need to manage our wildlands and wildlife in the face of human encroachment and urbanization, wildlife diseases, a changing climate and other challenges.

California is the third largest state in the nation and about half of its land is publicly owned. That translates into millions of acres of excellent outdoor recreation spaces across the state. Many hunting and fishing seasons are currently open and provide opportunity to acquire wild, lean, antibiotic-free protein sources such as trout and other fish, deer, bear, dove, tree squirrel, rabbit and hare, and other upland game.

“In an era where so many competing interests exist for our time, Californians are losing their connection to the outdoors. Kids are spending less time playing outside, families aren’t hunting and fishing like they used to, and connections to public land are diminishing,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “CDFW encourages all Californians to help reverse this trend by getting outdoors on National Hunting and Fishing Day.”

For more information on hunting and fishing opportunities in the Golden State, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov. For information on Hunter’s Education, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunter-education. For information on how to purchase a hunting or fishing license, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/online-sales. For more information on National Hunting and Fishing Day, please visit www.nhfday.org.

Media Contacts:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

Registration Now Open for Waterfowl Hunting Clinic in Merced County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program is offering a Waterfowl Hunting Clinic on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in Los Banos. The clinic hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and there is no cost to attend.

Hunters of all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, will take something away from this clinic. Topics that will be covered include hunter safety, duck calling, decoy placement, blind design, ballistics, game care, regulations, and hunting opportunities available at state and federal waterfowl management areas.

The clinic’s lead instructor will be Lt. Shawn Olague of CDFW’s Hunter Education Program. Olague is a veteran wildlife officer and lifelong waterfowl hunter with years of experience hunting in the grasslands area around Los Banos.

Participants can register for the clinic online or contact Lt. Alan Gregory at alan.gregory@wildlife.ca.gov for more information.

####

Media Contacts:
Lt. Alan Gregory
, CDFW Law Enforcement, (209) 274-9923

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958