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. 16-19. 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.

A new addition to ISE this year is the Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) experience, an interactive journey through the show to encourage the public to learn more about hunting, fishing and the shooting sports. Participants will be led to R3 stakeholder booths by map to take part in various hunting, fishing and shooting sport activities at each stop. This pilot effort is led by CDFW’s R3 team and will be housed in the main CDFW booth, where participants will end their R3 journey, take a quick survey and receive an outreach bag.

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 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.
  • 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 Blake Iverson of King City, a lifetime hunting license with a bird hunting privilege package for his outstanding essay emphasizing the theme, “What can CDFW do to get more people involved in hunting? And what can you do, personally, to get more people involved in hunting?” Iverson and the second- and third-place contest winners will be honored on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11:30 a.m. at the Western Bass Aquarium Demo Tank in the Pavilion Building. Stop by to congratulate them and get information on how to become the next youth contest winner.
  • What to Do if You Encounter Them — CDFW staff will provide advice in two hour-long discussions about how to coexist safely with bears. The talks will be held at the Outdoor Product Showcase Theater in Building A on Thursday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2:30 p.m.

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.

Sierra Nevada Bighorn at Pine Creek.

January 2020 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

Various Days — Guided Wetland Tours by Reservation at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). A wildlife naturalist will lead any group, school or organization on a half-mile route through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. General information includes wildlife identification, behavior patterns and conservation efforts. The experience can be customized to include requested information. The minimum group size is 18 people. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. Groups of five or more should please notify staff that they are coming and groups of 10 or more can request a separate tour. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11.88 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

First Through Third Saturdays and Sundays of the Month — Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, 7730 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi (95242). Online registration has begun for those wishing to participate in guided tours, which run October through February. A one-day Lands Pass must be purchased to attend and instructions are available on the same website. Tours fill fast and registration may be done as much as six weeks in advance. To register or for more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

Saturdays — Swan Tours. CDFW will offer free swan tours near Marysville on Saturdays through January. Co-hosted by local rice farmers, the naturalist-led tours will focus on tundra swans in one of the premier locations for viewing swans in California. Tours will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. The driving tours also involve walking a short distance and carpooling is encouraged. Pre-registration is required at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/swan-tours and up to 30 people can register for each tour.  For more information, please call (916) 358-2869 or email interpretiveservices@wildlife.ca.gov.

Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948), 12:30 p.m. The 90-minute walking tour covers slightly more than a half mile through this premier birding spot that highlights migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. No reservations are necessary for groups of fewer than 20 people. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and its associated fee-for-use requirement. For more information on the Lands Pass Program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. For more information on the tours, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

4 — White and White-fronted Goose Season Opens in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

11 — The Highs and Lows of Elkhorn Slough: King Tide Photography Tour, 9:30 a.m. to noon, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Participants can witness one of the highest tides of the year and help scientists document the “King Tide” phenomenon. Reserve naturalists discuss the impacts of sea level rise on the slough and its surrounding coastlines while touring designated “King Tide” sites. Participants should bring cameras to record the tides at each site. The event is free but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/annual-king-tide-walk-2.

12 — Canada Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

16 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee, time to be determined, Aquarium of the Pacific, Pacific Visions Conference Room, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA (90802). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020/index.aspx.

17 — California Fish and Game Commission Tribal Committee, time and location to be determined, Los Angeles area. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020/index.aspx.

17 — Duck Season, White Geese and White-fronted Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

25 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Docent Training, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, (95076). Participants will learn how to join the reserve’s volunteer docent team and aid in the conservation of coastal estuaries. Over a span of five Saturdays (beginning Jan. 25 and concluding on Feb. 22), participants will learn about local natural history while developing strategies for engaging the public. Docent-led tours are offered on weekends throughout the year. Scheduling is flexible and based on individual availability. For more information or to register for training, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/reserve-docent-training.

26 — Goose Season Closes in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

26 — Duck and Goose Season Closes in the Colorado River Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

27 — Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 15). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

28 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 10:30 a.m. to noon, “Wildfires and Water Quality.” Caltrans’ Lorna McFarlane will speak about Caltrans’ collaborative efforts to reduce the frequency and severity of catastrophic wildfires, as well as their negative effects on the landscape and surface water quality. Attendance is free. To register or learn more, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

31 — Duck Season Closes in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

31 — Duck and Goose Season Closes in the Southern San Joaquin and Southern California Zones. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

31 — Deer Tag Reporting Deadline. Deer tag holders must submit a harvest report for any 2019 deer tag by the Jan. 31, 2020 deadline. All tag holders must report even if they did not hunt, or they hunted unsuccessfully. Tag holders who do not report by this deadline will be charged a $21.60 non-reporting penalty fee when purchasing a 2020 deer tag drawing application or deer tag. To report your harvest online, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting#9941260-tag-reporting or call (916) 928-5805.

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

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

2019 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 with a bird hunting privilege package valued at up to $1,250. Second and third place winners will also be selected and prize packages will be awarded.

This year’s contest challenges kids to answer the questions, “What can CDFW do to get more people involved in hunting? And what can you do, personally, to get more people involved in hunting?”

CDFW is actively expanding its efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate anglers and hunters in California. These efforts – known as the “R3 program” – are currently a high priority of the department, and the Hunter Education Program in particular. “It will be interesting to read about the R3 ideas these young hunters present in their essays,” said CDFW Hunter Education Program Administrator Capt. Robert Pelzman.

The essay contest is open to all junior hunting license holders, as well as youths under 18 who have earned a hunter education certificate. Essays should be no more than 500 words, double spaced.

Entries should be submitted via email to Capt. Pelzman at robert.pelzman@wildlife.ca.gov by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13. Along with their essay, entrants 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 be notified by telephone on or near Dec. 24.

AWARDS 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. 18, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. Contest winners 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:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

CDFW Offering Waterfowl Hunts at East Bay Ecological Reserve

One hundred hunters can soon participate in no-fee waterfowl hunts amid restored salt ponds at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER) in Hayward. Access to ELER will be open to 100 hunters on a first-come, first-served basis on the following dates:

2019 hunts:

  • Saturday, Nov. 23: Check-in at 5 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 3: Check-in at 5 a.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 7:Check-in at 5 a.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 12: Check-in at 5 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 17: Check-in at 5 a.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 21: Check-in at 5 a.m.

2020 hunts:

  • Saturday, Jan. 4: Check-in at 5:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 9: Check-in at 5:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 18: Check-in at 5:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 23: Check-in at 5:30 a.m.

“Eden Landing waterfowl hunts are unique in that there are no fees charged and hunting is offered on some Tuesdays and Thursdays when many public waterfowl hunting areas are closed,” said ELER Manager John Krause. ”These hunts produced a three-bird average last season, with northern shoveler and American wigeon being the most commonly taken.”

Improvements have been made to ELER including a boat launch on Mount Eden Creek allowing access to tidal areas. Boaters are advised to consult local tide charts before launching as mud flats can subject vessels to hidden underwater hazards during low tides.

There is a 25-shell limit in the field and nonlead ammunition is required when taking wildlife anywhere in California. A small boat, canoe or other floatation device is highly recommended to access ponds and blinds. A hunting dog is recommended for retrieving birds. Hunters are responsible for avoiding closed areas.

To access ELER from Interstate 880: Exit at Alvarado Boulevard; continue west and turn right on Union City Boulevard; left on Bettencourt Road (look for Union Sanitary District sign); left on Whipple Road, right on Horner Street; right on Veasy Street. Enter at the yellow gate and proceed to the check station.

Adult hunters must have a valid California Hunting License, federal duck stamp, state duck stamp and Harvest Information Program validations. Junior hunters must have a junior license and, if 16 or older, also possess a federal duck stamp. Junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older (hunter or non-hunter).

Formal plans for public access opportunities at the reserve in addition to hunting are being developed as part of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project. More information is available at www.southbayrestoration.org.

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Media Contacts:

Ken Paglia, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

John Krause, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (415) 454-8050

 

 

CDFW Expands Statewide Sampling for Chronic Wasting Disease

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is increasing the scope of its monitoring and testing efforts for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in California’s deer and elk herds.

“While California has never had a report of CWD, increased testing is needed to establish with a high degree of certainty that there are no deer with CWD in California,” said CDFW Wildlife Veterinarian Brandon Munk. “Keeping this disease out of our state is a top priority, both for wildlife managers and for hunters.”

CWD is always fatal to deer and elk, and is an ongoing concern for hunters and managers throughout the country. Once CWD enters a herd, it is nearly impossible to eradicate. Although there are no known cases of CWD being transferred to humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends not consuming meat or organs from any animal that tests positive for CWD.

CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory has set an ambitious goal to test 600 deer statewide during this year’s hunting seasons and increasing that number to 2,000 statewide in the upcoming years.

Continued hunter cooperation will be key to achieving the CWD deer testing goals. CDFW will set up check stations during the various deer seasons, and hunters will be asked to bring their deer in for the quick removal of a lymph node for testing. CWD testing of hunter-taken deer is voluntary, and no meat is taken.

Information about specific locations and times of operation of CWD check stations in each of the state’s deer zones and control hunt areas will appear on CDFW’s website. Hunters can also contact regional CDFW offices to get check station schedules. Some offices may also offer onsite deer testing.

Some professional meat processors and butchers throughout the state are also partnering with CDFW to take samples from deer at the hunter’s request. Hunters who may be unable to visit a check station or CDFW regional office for sampling are encouraged to ask their butcher ahead of time if sampling is available at the time of processing.

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Media Contacts:
Brandon Munk, CDFW Wildlife Investigations Lab, (916) 358-1194
Nathan Graveline, CDFW Big Game Program, (916) 445-3652
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988