Category Archives: Hunting

Apprentice Pig Hunts to be Held in Santa Clara County

Conrad Jones, DFG Bay Delta Region, (650) 328-2380

Kyle Orr, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8958

The application deadline is approaching for young hunters who wish to enter the drawing for two guided apprentice pig hunts at South Valley Ranch. The Department of Fish and Game (DFG), in cooperation with the California Deer Association, is providing these hunts for two apprentice pig hunters on March 12 and March 13. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 18 and successful applicants will be notified by March 1.

The 3,000-acre South Valley Ranch, located in eastern Santa Clara County, is approximately 33 miles south of Livermore and 30 miles east of San Jose. It was purchased by the Wildlife Conservation Board in 2007. It comprises chaparral, valley and blue oak woodlands, and annual grasslands representative of the Hamilton Range. Access is only by scheduled events like this one.

For further information about the hunt and instructions on how to apply, please go to

The hunts are open to hunters with a valid Junior Hunting License. An adult chaperone 18 years or older must accompany each young hunter, but may not hunt. Successful applicants must attend a mandatory orientation on the first morning of the hunt and will be guided in the field by a member of the California Deer Association.

DFG Sponsors First Pig Hunts on Private Lands

Harry Morse, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8962

Marc Kenyon, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3515

An unusual partnership between the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and private landowners has created new pig hunting opportunities in Yolo County. Through the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Program, the first state-sponsored pig hunt on private lands was held in December.

The program drew tremendous interest, with more than 1,000 applications received for 64 hunting spots during the 10-day application period. Separate hunting opportunities were available for archers and apprentice hunters with a Junior Hunting License, and general hunts were open to anyone with a valid hunting license. The hunts took place northeast of Putah Creek near Lake Berryessa in an oakwood land setting that is home to a variety of game animals, including wild pigs.

“We saw 13 pigs, six does and one nice four-point buck,” said archery hunter Albert Overhaltzer, of Orland. “In this area, it is 90 percent private property with no access, so the SHARE program really provides a rare opportunity for those of us who hunt.”

Justin Boca, an 12-year-old apprentice hunter from Santee said, “My pig hunt was a great experience for me and my dad. I can’t believe I got a pig!”

Wild pigs are not appreciated by many landowners because of the hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage they cause to agricultural crops, native plants and property each year. The pigs themselves are not native to California – they are decedents of domestic and European wild pigs that were released or escaped into the wild over the past 150 years.

The SHARE program provides a natural bridge between landowners that seek solutions to wildlife-created issues and hunters seeking a place to hunt. The difficulty lies in getting private landowners to open their gates to any hunter because of fears of property damage or possible legal liabilities.

Wild Pig Program Coordinator Marc Kenyon says, “The SHARE Program is a vehicle DFG, hunters and landowners in California can use as one means to help alleviate pig damage on private lands. It also provides hunters with unique opportunity to hunt on privately owned lands.”

The SHARE Program gives landowners a way to receive compensation and liability protection. One key objective of this hunt is to provide a wide range of hunting opportunity including archery-only hunts, apprentice hunts and any legal weapon hunts. SHARE hunts also provide a model for other landowners in California who want to both alleviate pig damage on their lands and generate income.

Funding for SHARE hunts is generated through the sale of pig tags. Each participating hunter must first pass a hunter safety course and purchase a state hunting license and pig tag.

DFG Reminds Dog Owners to Protect Pets From Salmon Poisoning Disease

Media Contacts:
William Cox, DFG Fisheries Branch, (916) 358-2827

Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420

Dog owners in the Feather River drainage area are reminded to take precautions to protect their pets from Salmon Poisoning Disease. Salmon Poisoning Disease can be contracted by dogs that come into contact with fish from infested waters throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the southern Cascades and northern Sierras to the Feather River drainage.

The disease is caused by a bacteria-like organism, Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which is transmitted by the parasitic flatworm (or “fluke”) Nanophyetes salmincola. The fluke affects both trout and salmon in an area roughly north of a diagonal line from Sausalito to Chico, and west of the Sierra/Cascade mountain range. DFG raises fish at three hatcheries where the fluke is present either intermittently or continuously: Darrah Springs, Crystal Lake and Mount Shasta. However, DFG only stocks fish from these hatcheries into waters where the parasites have been present for decades.

Throughout the Pacific Northwest thousands of dogs are infected every year with Salmon Poisoning Disease after eating raw or cold-smoked fish infected with the parasitic fluke. All fish caught or originating from streams in northern California, Oregon and southern Washington could potentially be infected with disease-carrying flukes harmful to dogs.

If your dog has eaten or is suspected of eating raw fish, watch to see whether signs of the disease appear. If signs of the disease appear, promptly take your dog to a veterinarian. Although this disease is relatively easy to cure if diagnosed in time, it will almost certainly kill a dog if left untreated.

Symptoms are similar to distemper and may include some or all of the following: a rise in body temperature, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness and/or rapid weight loss.

Dog owners are advised to be cautious and to keep salmon, steelhead, trout and other freshwater fish carcasses away from their dogs. The parasite cannot survive in cooked fish, is not harmful to humans and does not affect pets other than canines.

DFG Announces Drawing for 2011 Joice Island Pig Hunt

Helayna Pera, DFG Bay Delta Region, (707) 425-3828
Larry Wyckoff, DFG Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5542
Kyle Orr, DFG Office of Communications, (916) 322-8958

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will hold a permit-only hunt to control a small population of wild pigs on Joice Island Unit in Solano County. Joice Island, which is part of the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, is a 2,150-acre wetland area consisting of thick cattails, tules, brush and standing water.

The first weekend of this hunting opportunity has been reserved for apprentice hunters. Two-day pig hunt permits will be issued by drawing only for the following weekends:

  • Apprentice Hunters (12 and over with Junior License):
    • March 5-6
  • General (Adults or Apprentice hunters may apply):
    • March 12-13
    • March 19-20
    • March 26-27
    • April 2-3
    • April 9-10
    • April 16-17
    • April 23-24

Application cards must be received by close of business on Feb.10 and the drawing for the 24 two-day permits will be held on Feb. 11. Three hunters will be drawn for each of the eight weekends, for a total of 24 hunters. Permits with maps and additional information will be mailed to successful applicants. A permit holder may bring one non-hunting partner; additional guests must be approved by DFG. Hunters may use dogs but only shotguns using slugs and archery equipment will be allowed for this hunt.

To apply for a permit, send a standard postcard with the following information: Hunter’s name (apprentice hunters must also provide name of adult chaperone), valid hunting license number, address including city, state, zip code, telephone number and requested 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. There is no fee to apply.

Please mail the application postcard to: Joice Island Pig Hunt, 2548 Grizzly Island Road, Suisun, CA 94585.

DFG reserves the right to cancel this hunt and close the area to all public users without prior notification due to unforeseen circumstances or emergency situations.

Young Hunters Invited to Participate in Youth Waterfowl Hunt

Patrick Foy, DFG Enforcement, (916) 651-2084
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420

One of the best youth hunting opportunities in California is coming up the weekend of Feb 5-6, 2011. For two days, young hunters will be able to hunt waterfowl with no competition from adults. These two days of waterfowl season are only for youth hunters age 15 years old or younger with a junior hunting license.

“The youth waterfowl hunt is about providing an opportunity for kids to develop a passion for hunting,” said Nancy Foley, Chief of DFG’s Law Enforcement Division.

Waterfowl season closes Jan. 30, 2011 for the majority of the state. For the weekend of Feb. 5-6, it will reopen statewide for youth hunters who are accompanied by a non-hunting adult. All usual waterfowl hunting regulations apply.

DFG’s wildlife areas throughout the state provide ample opportunity for the hunt. The hunting is usually excellent on the youth hunt weekend and most areas are vastly underutilized.

While the kids are on school break over the holidays, adults who are familiar with the application system can walk their youth hunters through the reservation application process. The application deadline for the Feb. 5 hunt is Jan. 19, while the deadline for the Feb. 6 hunt is Jan. 20. To learn how to apply, please visit

Youth hunters do not need a reservation if they have legal access to other waterfowl hunting areas such as a private duck club or other area accessible to the public.

“Hunters are a critical component in the future of wildlife conservation,” added Chief Foley. “And these kids are the future of hunting.”