Category Archives: Hunting

Federal, State Rules Differ for Junior Hunters

California junior hunters have enjoyed a new benefit that took effect at the beginning of the 2015-16 hunting season. AB 1709, signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown in 2014, amended Fish and Game Code, section 3031, by extending the eligibility period for a junior hunting license by two years. Under the recent change in law, any person who is under 18 years of age on July 1 of the license year qualifies for a junior hunting license, regardless of whether that person applies before or after July 1 of that year. The change allowed for an extension of hunting benefits for junior hunters including reduced fees, exemption from some endorsement requirements and access to special junior hunt opportunities. However, there remain special circumstances and exceptions to the new rule, which are particularly important to understand during waterfowl season.

The change to the age definition affected only California state law, and did not change the federal regulation definition of a youth hunter. Because waterfowl are migratory, the waterfowl hunting regulations fall primarily under the jurisdiction of the federal government. For this reason, waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older must possess a federal waterfowl endorsement stamp.

In addition, the federal age definition of a youth hunter remains the standard for some special hunt opportunities, particularly those hosted, held or sponsored by federal agencies or on federal lands, and all youth-only waterfowl hunting days. For the upcoming post-season youth hunt weekend and future youth-only waterfowl hunting days, participants must be 15 years of age or younger and must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older.

CDFW is pleased by the new opportunities created for junior hunters with the change to the California state regulations, but reminds the public to be aware of and follow the federal regulations as well.

To read the complete language of AB 1709 and Fish and Game Code, section 3031, please see


Media Contacts:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Fishing, Hunting Report Card Data for Many Species Due Jan. 31

Media Contacts:
Glenn Underwood, CDFW License and Revenue Branch, (916) 928-5841
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds anglers, divers and hunters that Jan. 31, 2016 is the due date for turning in steelhead, sturgeon, abalone and north coast salmon report card data, as well as unfulfilled deer tag report cards (a new requirement for this year).

Information collected from sport fishing report cards provides CDFW biologists with important data necessary to monitor and manage California’s diverse recreational fisheries, including preparing recommendations for sport fishing seasons and limits that allow for sustainable levels of take. This science-based management helps to ensure healthy populations of fish for future generations.

Any person who fails to return or report a salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or abalone report card to the department by the deadline may be restricted from obtaining the same card in a subsequent license year or may be subject to an additional fee for the issuance of the same card in a subsequent license year.

There are two ways to meet the mandatory angler reporting requirement. Online reporting ( is easy, fast and free. Online reporting includes instant confirmation that the report has been received and accepted. Please note that license sales agents cannot accept report cards. More information about report cards is available at

Sport fishing report cards may also be returned by mail to the addresses listed below:

North Coast Salmon Report Cards CDFW – Klamath River Project 5341 Ericson Way Arcata, CA 95521-9269

Abalone Report Cards CDFW – Abalone Report Card 32330 N. Harbor Drive Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554

Steelhead Report Cards CDFW – Steelhead Report Card P.O. Box 944209 Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Sturgeon Report Cards CDFW – Sturgeon Report Card P.O. Box 944209 Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Anglers and divers are required to report even if the report card was lost or they did not fish. Cards should be reviewed carefully for accuracy before submission.

Also, every purchaser of a deer tag must now report their harvest, even if they were unsuccessful or did not hunt. CDFW uses this data to understand harvest rates and to build population estimates and future hunt quota recommendations for the state’s deer herds. 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 or those who did not hunt must report no harvest or did not hunt, respectively, by Jan. 31. Starting with the upcoming 2016 deer season, tag holders who do not report will be charged a non-reporting fee of $20, which will be added to hunting license purchases beginning with the 2017 season. Harvest reports can be submitted online at or by mail to the address printed on the tag.

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

Media Contacts:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, Division, (916) 651-9982
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is returning to the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) at Cal Expo in Sacramento from Jan. 21-24. 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 many other CDFW staff will be available during the show to answer questions and provide information regarding fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the state. A full-service license booth located in the Pavilion Building (space 3700) will sell all licenses, tags, report cards and warden stamps.

For the third year, CDFW’s top leadership will also hold a panel discussion about topics of interest to California hunters and anglers. The open-forum panel will be held in the California Sportsmen’s Theater in the Pavilion Building on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 1-2 p.m. Members of the audience are encouraged to ask questions of the panel.

“We look forward to meeting with hunters and anglers face to face and talking with them about topics of particular interest and concern to them,” said Charlton H. Bonham, CDFW’s Director. “We welcome questions and critique from those who share our passion for wildlife conservation.”

Additional CDFW booths and highlights include: 

  • Online Harvest Reporting kiosk — Tag holders can log onto their online profile to view and complete all tags that require reporting. The tag holder will receive a report confirmation number that must 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.
  • Wildlife Officer recruitment — CDFW’s Law Enforcement trailer will be on display outside of the Pavilion Building, featuring an impressive display of taxidermy and a free enclosed laser-shot hunting simulator game. Wildlife officers, including statewide recruiting Lieutenant Specialist Chris Stoots, will be on hand to answer questions about employment opportunities.
  • Wildlife Officer Jerry Karnow and patrol horse Modoc — On Saturday, Jan. 23, stop by to meet Warden Karnow (from the TV show Wild Justice) and his patrol horse Modoc. Get an autograph, have your photo taken with Modoc and hear stories of their adventures.
  • Youth fishing — Bring your child to the Youth Fair Expo Center to fish for beautiful rainbow trout supplied by CDFW. Each child who participates will go home with a California Fishing Passport book, an official stamp and a fish identification book containing pictures and information about 150 different species of California fish!
  • Learn How to be “Bear Aware” — CDFW staff will demonstrate how to keep a campsite safe from unwanted ursine visitors.
  • 2016 Warden Stamps – At the main booth, CDFW will be offering and promoting this year’s stamp, which features a bighorn sheep. Proceeds from the $5 stamp support wildlife officers and K-9 teams and help fund the purchase of necessary law enforcement equipment.
  • Outdoor California — Free copies of CDFW’s award-winning magazine will be available (as supplies last) at the main booth. Yearly subscriptions may also be purchased for $15.
  • CDFW’s First Trout Planting Truck — This beautiful 1925 Dodge pickup was the first truck used for planting trout. The fish were transported in big milk cans. It has been completely refurbished and will be on display near the Youth Fair Expo Center. It still runs and it looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor.
  • Youth Essay Contest – Sunday Jan. 24 at 3:30 p.m., CDFW and the Wildlife Officer Foundation will be awarding this year’s contest winner, 13-year-old Brian McCoard of Cool, a lifetime hunting license for his outstanding essay emphasizing the theme of “Passing on the Tradition.” Stop by to congratulate McCoard 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 $15 for adults (door sales are cash only, although tickets may be purchased in advance online). Youths under age 16 are free. There is a $10 charge to park on the grounds.

For additional information, schedules and to purchase tickets, please visit the ISE webpage at


CDFW Offers Pig Hunting Opportunities at Grizzly Island Wildlife Area

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be holding limited-entry, permit-only hunts to control a small population of wild pigs in Solano County. The hunts will be held the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area on the Joice Island Unit, a 2,150-acre wetland area consisting of thick cattails, tules, some brush and standing water.

A total of 24 two-day permits will be issued over the span of eight weekends. The first weekend, March 5-6, is an apprentice hunt for junior license holders only. Junior license holders must be at least 12 years old to participate in this hunt.

The following seven weekends – March 12-13, March 19-20, March 26-27, April 2-3, April 9-10, April 16-17 and April 23-24 – are general hunts, for which both adults and juniors may apply.

Three hunters will be drawn for each weekend. Permit holders may bring one non-hunting partner, and must purchase a California pig tag prior to the hunt. Please note, dogs and bicycles will not be allowed on the property, and hunters may only use shotguns with slugs or archery equipment.

Please note that as of July 1, 2015, nonlead ammunition is required when hunting on all state wildlife areas and ecological reserves. Please plan accordingly. For more information please see the CDFW nonlead ammunition webpage.

All applicants must have a valid California hunting or junior hunting license. Applications must be received by close of business on Monday, Feb. 8. The drawing will be held on Feb. 11.

To apply for a permit, please mail a standard-size postcard to:

Grizzly Island Wildlife Area
Joice Island Pig Hunt
2548 Grizzly Island Road
Suisun City, CA  94585

Applicants must include the following information:

  • Hunter’s name (applicants for the apprentice hunt must also include the name of an adult chaperone)
  • Hunting license number
  • Mailing address and phone number
  • Desired hunt date

Each hunter may apply only one time and for only one date. Applications will be accepted for parties of up to two hunters, but the card must contain all information for both hunters. Incomplete cards and multiple entries will not be accepted. Successful applicants will receive their permit, a map and additional information in the mail.

CDFW reserves the right to cancel this hunt and close the area to all public users without prior notification in the event of unforeseen circumstances, dangerous conditions or emergency situations.

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


Media Contacts:
Patrick Graham, CDFW Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, (707) 425-3828

Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW Offers Junior Apprentice Waterfowl Hunt at Grizzly Island Wildlife Area

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a special junior apprentice duck hunt at Grizzly Island Wildlife Area on Wednesday, Dec. 30. Spaced blinds on Pond 11 and the Crescent Unit of the wildlife area will be closed to the general public and available only to junior apprentice hunt participants and their chaperones.

An adult chaperone (18 years of age or older) is required to accompany and supervise each junior apprentice hunter. The adult may hunt with the junior apprentice hunter and must possess the required 2015-2016 California hunting license, the California Duck Validation, federal waterfowl stamp and the free Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation. Junior license holders between the ages of 16 and 18 must have a Federal Waterfowl Stamp and the free HIP validation to hunt waterfowl.

All available blinds can accommodate two persons. Non-toxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required for waterfowl hunting. A minimum of 12 duck decoys are required at all blind sites and chest waders are recommended.

To apply for a reservation, please mail a standard-sized post card to:

Grizzly Island Wildlife Area
Junior Apprentice Duck Hunt
2548 Grizzly Island Road
Suisun, CA 94585

Applicants must include the following information:

• Junior Apprentice hunter’s name
• Junior hunting license number
• Mailing address and phone number
• Name of chaperone

Each hunter may apply only once. Application cards must be received by close of business on Friday, Dec. 18. Junior apprentice hunt reservations will be filled by a random drawing conducted on Monday, Dec. 21. There will be 23 reservations issued for this date. All successful applicants will be notified by mail or email. Grizzly Island Wildlife Area will also accept junior apprentice hunters on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the hunt to use the free roam areas and to fill any no-shows from the reservations. As a reminder, all chaperones who wish to hunt must have either a Type A One-Day, Two-Day or Season Pass, and these must be purchased prior to arriving at the check station through either a license sales agent or a CDFW license sales office, or online at (please allow two weeks’ mailing time if ordering online).

CDFW would also like to encourage use of the West Family Unit, which is available only to junior apprentice hunters. Hunt days are Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the open season. The gate will be opened approximately two hours before shoot time. An adult chaperone is required and five double blinds, including one mobility-impaired blind and one three-person blind, are available. The unit is north of Benicia on Goodyear Road; from Highway 680 take the Marshview Road exit and turn right onto Goodyear Road from the off-ramp. The hunt area will be on the left.


Media Contacts:
Patrick Graham, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 425-3828
Orlando Rocha, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 425-3828
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988