The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a drawing for more than a dozen special dove hunts in five counties for the 2018 dove season, the first half of which runs from Sept. 1-15.
The special dove hunting opportunities will take place at the Cosumnes River Preserve in Sacramento County, the China Island and Salt Slough units of the North Grasslands Wildlife Area in Merced County, the Los Banos Wildlife Area in Merced County, the Pilibos Wildlife Area in Fresno County, the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve in San Luis Obispo County and the Oak Grove Unit of the San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area in San Diego County.
Other dove hunting opportunities are also available on CDFW wildlife areas without reservations.
The special dove hunt descriptions and application instructions are available at CDFW’s Upland Game Wild Bird Hunts webpage. Hunters need to apply through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) for these opportunities as well as other special wild upland bird hunts for quail, chukar, pheasant and turkey as they become available later in the fall.
A non-refundable $2.42 fee will be charged for each application. Hunters may select their top three hunt choices per application and may apply in parties. Hunters may only apply once for each available hunt date. Duplicate entries will be disqualified.
All hunters must abide by California’s nonlead ammunition regulations. Currently, nonlead ammunition is required when hunting doves on any CDFW wildlife area or ecological reserve, but is not required when hunting doves on private property or other public lands. Starting on July 1, 2019, nonlead ammunition will be required when taking any wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California.
The purchase of an Upland Game Bird Stamp/Validation supports these special dove hunting opportunities. The stamp/validation is required for all upland game bird hunters except those with Junior Hunting Licenses.
CDFW photo of father and son dove hunters Dylan and Matthew Miller by Peter Tira.