Category Archives: Hunting

CDFW Recognizes National Hunting and Fishing Day, Celebrates California’s Original Conservationists

National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, Sept. 24. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds Californians of the plentiful opportunities to enjoy hunting and fishing in the state and commends them for their commitment to conservation.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. thanked California’s hunters and anglers for their conservation legacy and encouraged their continued support and dedication to conserving the state’s natural resources in a commemorative letter.

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In 2015, over 2 million licensed hunters and anglers contributed approximately $90 million toward fish and wildlife management and conservation activities in the state. Fish and wildlife management and conservation activities have resulted in numerous success stories over the years in California. For example:

Tule Elk
1874: Thirty were remaining in California in one herd in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
2015: 4,200 animals distributed in 22 herds across California.

Desert Bighorn Sheep (Nelson)
1915: They were nearly extirpated in the state.
2014: There are approximately 2,000 in California.

Wild Trout Fisheries
1970: No designated wild trout sport fisheries.
2015: 51 designated wild trout waters, encompassing 1,400 miles of streams and 14 lakes.

Landlocked Sal 654 mon
1993: No landlocked salmon sport fisheries.
2015: Twenty-one reservoirs support sport fishing for Kokanee salmon and 12 reservoirs support sport fishing for landlocked Chinook salmon.

For more information on hunting and fishing opportunities in the Golden State, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov. 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 http://www.nhfday.org/.

Media Contact: Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

Wildfire Awareness Still Necessary as Additional Deer Seasons Open Sept. 24

California’s 2016 deer season continues with the opening of the D3-D5, D8-D10, X8 and X10 Zones on Sept. 24. Drought and dangerous fire conditions persist in many areas of the state, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) urges hunters to be mindful of wildfires and forest closures that could affect the area where they plan to hunt. CDFW does not refund tag fees due to wildfire closures.

CDFW does not close or open areas due to fires, but leaves that authority to incident commanders with CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service.

Current information on forest closures can be found at the following links:

Hunters are encouraged to check these links frequently in order to obtain the most up-to-date information.

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Media Contacts:
Stuart Itoga, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3652
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Private Lands in Solano and Merced Counties Open for Public Hunts This Fall

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Now is your chance to hunt on private property usually off-limits to the public in the Fairfield and Merced area. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program is offering public access for wild pig, waterfowl and upland game hunts this fall.  

SHARE will offer eight wild pig hunts from November through February at Rush Ranch in southern Solano County. Two permits per period will be randomly drawn for each period. Each permit will be good for two hunters. SHARE hunters will have access to 1,000 acres of the ranch and will be allowed to camp in a designated area for no extra fee. Rush Ranch is a 2,070-acre open space area bordered by the Suisun Marsh near Fairfield. Method of take for these hunts will be restricted to archery, crossbow or shotgun slugs only.

SHARE is also offering waterfowl, dove and pheasant hunts on the wildlife management area at the Merced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The property is located five miles south of the city of Merced with 300 acres open for hunting. Tucked between sloughs and agricultural fields, the seasonal pond and wetland provide cover and forage for waterfowl, dove and pheasant.

For more information about each SHARE property, the opportunities available and how to apply for the hunts, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share. 

Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/online-sales. A non-refundable application fee of $11.37 will be charged for each hunt selection. Successful applicants for each property will be allowed to bring a hunting partner or a non-hunting partner, depending on the hunt. 

The SHARE Program offers incentives to private landowners who allow wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on their property. Participating landowners receive liability protection and compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities. The goal of the SHARE Program is to provide additional hunting, fishing and other recreational access on private lands in California.

Media Contacts:

Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034

Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072

 

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days Approach for the 2016-2017 Season

As in years past, California’s young hunters will have one weekend to hunt in the Northeastern Zone before the general waterfowl seasons open around the state. The Youth Waterfowl Days in the Northeastern Zone for the 2016-2017 season fall on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.

Beginning with the 2016-2017 waterfowl season, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raised the age to participate in Youth Waterfowl Days to include licensed youth hunters who are 17 years of age or younger at the time of the hunt. All youth hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult who is 18 years of age or older.

In the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Colorado River and Balance of the State zones, Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days will be Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, 2017.

Youth Waterfowl Days are allowed on state wildlife areas, federal refuges and private lands. Federal refuges and state wildlife areas in the Northeastern Zone (with the exception of Willow Creek) will be open for youth hunting on those days. Hunters and chaperones should contact specific areas for details on hunt opportunities.

Youth Waterfowl Days are held in addition to the regular waterfowl seasons and must be held outside any regular duck season, regardless of location. Federal regulations require any waterfowl hunter that is 16 years of age or older to possess a federal duck stamp.

The complete regulations can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

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Media Contacts:
Melanie Weaver, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3717
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

General Deer Seasons to Open in California on Sept. 17

California’s 2016 general deer season will open in zones B1-B3, B5, B6, C1-C4, D6, D7, X9A, X9B and X12 on Saturday, Sept. 17. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds hunters to pay close attention to the occurrence of wild fires in their favorite hunting spots. Current information on forest closures can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/area-alerts.

In addition to monitoring forest closures, CDFW recommends hunters scout potential hunting areas prior to the day of the hunt. Deer can sometimes be difficult to locate, and pre-existing knowledge of deer feeding and bedding areas will provide valuable insight and help maximize chances of success.

Hunters are reminded that as of July 1, 2015 nonlead ammunition is required when hunting on state wildlife areas and ecological reserves. Lead ammunition may still be used to hunt deer on Bureau of Land Management (BLM), national forest and private lands until July 1, 2019.

Deer tags are still available for many of the state’s most popular zones. Hunting licenses and tags can be purchased online, at one of CDFW’s license sales offices or through a license sales agent. For more information on deer hunting zones and seasons, see the 2016 Big Game Hunting Digest. Specific zone maps and information are also available online.

Every purchaser of a deer tag must report their harvest, even if they were unsuccessful. For successful hunters, the report must be made within 30 days of harvesting a deer or by Jan. 31, whichever date is first. Unsuccessful hunters, and those who purchased a tag but did not hunt, must report by Jan. 31. Harvest reports may be submitted online or by U.S. mail to CDFW Wildlife Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94299-0002.

Hunter harvest numbers are an important component of CDFW’s annual population analysis, and are key to ensuring sustainable deer populations and hunting opportunities for future generations. Studies have shown that the most accurate harvest estimates are obtained from hunter-generated reports. Yet historically, only 30 percent of hunters have submitted mandatory harvest reports.

In order to improve hunter reporting rates and collect better hunter harvest data, non-reporting fees were instituted in 2016. Tag holders who fail to report will be charged a non-reporting fee of $21.60, which will be added to license purchases beginning with the 2017-2018 season.

The sale of hunting licenses and tags provides approximately $25 million every year to CDFW to fund research and management of California’s wildlife, including the enforcement of fish and wildlife laws, crucial habitat conservation, post-wildfire forest restoration and wildlife migration and population studies.

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Media Contacts:
Stuart Itoga, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3652
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988