Category Archives: upland game

East Side of Knoxville Wildlife Area Reopens Following 2018 County Fire

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce the reopening of the east side of the Knoxville Wildlife Area in Napa County on March 1, 2019.

The July 2018 County Fire consumed approximately 6,000 acres of the wildlife area and forced the closure of the entire east side. This winter’s vegetation regrowth over the burned area has helped stabilize hillsides allowing the public to once again enjoy the recreational opportunities the 21,500-acre wildlife area has to offer.

Media Contact:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

CDFW Offering Drawings for 86 Spring Wild Turkey Hunts on Public, Private Land

California’s spring turkey season opens statewide March 30 and extends through May 5, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering 86 special hunts this year on public and private land to help hunters bag a tom.

Young hunters have additional opportunities. Junior Hunting License holders can hunt March 23-24, the weekend before the general opener, and the two weeks after the general season closes, May 6-19, using shotguns or any other legal method of take. CDFW is offering 25 special turkey hunts reserved just for Junior Hunting License holders.

California’s archery-only spring turkey season runs from May 6-19. New this year, CDFW is offering a drawing for seven, archery-only hunts throughout the general and archery seasons near Millerton Lake in Madera County.

CDFW’s SHARE Program, which provides public hunting access to private properties, is offering drawings for spring turkey hunts on two private ranches in Tulare County, the 722-acre River Ridge Ranch and the 975-acre Hart Ranch. Both properties are new to the SHARE program for the spring turkey season.

With growing populations of wild turkeys in almost every part of the state, the spring turkey season has become one of the most anticipated events on the upland bird hunting calendar.

Shooting hours for spring turkeys are from one half-hour before sunrise to 5 p.m. Both a hunting license and an upland game bird stamp validation are required to hunt wild turkeys, although an upland validation is not required of Junior Hunting License holders.

Nonlead shot is required when taking wild turkeys with a shotgun anywhere in the state except when hunting on licensed game bird clubs. These regulations apply to both public and private land, including all national forests, Bureau of Land Management and CDFW properties. For more information on nonlead ammunition regulations, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/nonlead-ammunition.

Applications for CDFW’s special spring turkey hunting opportunities must be made through CDFW’s Automated License Data System. Hunts are grouped into four separate drawings: Junior Hunts, General Opening Weekend Hunts, Archery-Only Hunts and Balance of Season Hunts. There is a $2.42 application fee and only one application per hunter is allowed for each drawing. Applications allow hunters to select their top three hunt choices in order of preference. Hunters may only be drawn once per application. The application deadline for these hunts is as follows:

  • Junior Hunts: Saturday, March 2, 2019
  • Opening Weekend General Season Hunts: Saturday, March 9, 2019
  • Archery-Only Hunts: Sunday, March 10, 2019
  • Balance of the Season Hunts: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

To apply, please visit CDFW’s online sales site, sign into your account, select the “Purchase Licenses” link and select “2018 – Hunting” from the menu on the left side of the page. The spring turkey hunt application items will be available under the “Drawings” section on the right side of the page. After submitting your application, checking out and completing payment, you will be able to download a receipt confirming your entries into the drawings.

For more details and descriptions of these hunts, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/turkey-hunts.

Hunters will also find the “SHARE Hunts Multi Choice Application” available in the same location online after signing into their accounts. The application fee for the Tulare County private ranch turkey hunts is $11.62 per hunt with all of the proceeds returned to participating landowners to pay for these hunts and additional opportunities.

For more details and descriptions of these SHARE hunts, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share#51518483-general-hunts and select the links for the River Ridge Ranch and the Hart Ranch.

Indiana Artist Repeats as Winner of California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest

A painting of a pair of white-tailed ptarmigans has been chosen by a panel of judges as the winning entry in the 2018-2019 California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest. The painting was created by Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind.

Sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the annual contest determined the official design for this year’s California Upland Game Bird Stamp. Klinefelter also captured the top spots in the 2011-12 and 2017-18 Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contests, as well as the 2009-10 California Duck Stamp Contest.

Upland Game 2018-2019 second place with ribbon

Artists submitted an original depiction of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura). This smallest of North American grouse species exhibits a dramatic change in plumage from a mottled or a barred brown-yellow during breeding in spring to a pure white during the winter months, allowing this chameleon of the bird world excellent camouflage on the ground year-round in its alpine habitat. The individual artists determined the setting and details, but paintings had to include at least one white-tailed ptarmigan and accurately represent the species’ natural habitat in California if a background was included.

Upland Game 2018-19 third place with ribbon

The entries were judged recently by a panel of experts selected for their knowledge in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing. Designs were judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.

The panel cited the anatomical accuracy of Klinefelter’s painting in a setting depicting the white-tailed ptarmigan’s habitat, with one judge praising its “overall quality and attention to detail.” Klinefelter explained that his decision to depict the white-tailed ptarmigans when they were changing color added a degree of difficulty but paid off in the end.

Upland Game 2018-19 honorable mention with ribbon

“I could have gone with when they are all white but I thought it was more interesting when they are transitioning,” Klinefelter said. “When you paint a bird that is molting, the details of the feathers are a lot harder to paint, but I think it turned out fairly decent.”

Broderick Crawford of Clayton, Ga., placed second, Erik Fleet of Julian (San Diego County) placed third and Michael Carmickle of Eugene, Ore. received honorable mention.

An upland game bird validation is required for hunting migratory and resident upland game birds in California. The validation replaces the stamp through CDFW’s Automated License Data System, but the stamp is still produced and available to hunters upon request. Monies generated from upland game bird validation sales are dedicated solely to upland game bird-related conservation projects, hunting opportunities and outreach and education. CDFW annually sells about 170,000 upland game bird validations and distributes approximately 17,000 stamps.

Any individual who purchases an upland game bird validation may request their free collectable stamp by visiting www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps. An order form is also available on the website for collectors who do not purchase a hunting license or upland game bird validation, or for hunters who wish to purchase additional collectible stamps.

Media Contacts:
Scott Gardner, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 801-6257
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

 

CDFW Magnifies Efforts to Recruit Hunters and Anglers

In an effort to get more Californians involved in fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is partnering with the recreational fishing and hunting communities, state and federal agencies, and others to address barriers and opportunities to hunting and fishing in the state.

“Our goal is to support and encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy California’s wild places,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “The fishing and hunting opportunities in this state are unparalleled, they belong to all Californians and should be utilized by all of us. This effort is to make sure Californians know that.”

CDFW has formed an executive-level task force, hired a full-time coordinator to head-up the effort, hired a research scientist, and finalized a statewide recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) action plan. A staff-level working group is working to increase hunting and fishing participation by collaborating with diverse stakeholders to transform barriers to participation into opportunities. Some of the barriers CDFW will look at initially are access and opportunity challenges, public perception of fishing and hunting, and license structure and pricing. The effort will also focus on encouraging more adults to take up hunting and fishing for the first time.

Research shows spending time outdoors improves physical, mental and social well-being. Many hunters and anglers say the reason they participate in these activities is to enjoy the quality time with family and friends and to bring home great memories and healthy food.

California is home to some of the nation’s most diverse hunting and fishing opportunities, but participation in these activities has declined significantly since the 1970s and 1980s. Hunters and anglers play a crucial role in managing natural resources by regulating wildlife populations to maintain ecological and biological diversity, participating in wildlife surveys for scientific data collection, and reporting wildlife crimes. Hunters and anglers also help sustain a multi-billion-dollar outdoor recreation industry and provide the primary funding source for state-level fish and wildlife conservation in California. The decline in participation poses an ever-increasing threat to wildlife conservation, the state’s long-standing hunting and fishing heritage, and Californians’ connection to the outdoors in general.

“The fishing and hunting community has rallied around CDFW, and we are now poised to tackle the challenges before us,” Bonham said.

To get involved or learn more about the state’s R3 efforts, please contact Jennifer.Benedet@wildlife.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
Jen Benedet, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 903-9270
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

SHARE Program to Offer Wild Pig, Waterfowl, Turkey and Quail Hunts on Three New Properties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program will provide public access for hunting on three new properties in Plumas, Tehama and Tulare counties this winter.

For the first time, SHARE will offer waterfowl hunts in Sierra Valley, Plumas County. The Feather River Land Trust is opening 500 acres of the Sierra Valley Preserve to 10 SHARE hunters during five hunts from November through January. CDFW will randomly draw one permit (good for two hunters) for each hunt period.

SHARE is also offering four turkey and six quail hunts at River Ridge Ranch in Tulare County. The 722-acre ranch is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills and includes oak woodland and the Tule River. Camping and cabins are available on the property through Hipcamp. CDFW will randomly draw one permit (good for two hunters) for each hunt period.

Lastly SHARE will offer two fully guided wild pig hunts at Dye Creek Preserve in February and March 2019. Dye Creek Preserve is 37,540 acres of blue oak woodland, volcanic buttes and rolling fields located in Tehama County. Western Wildlife Adventures will provide guide services, two nights of lodging, food and transportation for each hunt. CDFW will randomly draw one permit (good for two hunters) for each hunt period.

Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply for these hunts through the Automated License Data System (ALDS). An $11.62 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt choice. Application deadlines are 17 days before each hunt.

To apply for these hunts, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales, log in to your account and select Purchase Licenses. Then select 2018 – Hunting, 2018 – SHARE Hunts Multi Choice Application, then choose specific hunt periods.

These opportunities are made possible by the SHARE Program, which offers private landowners 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. For more information about SHARE opportunities, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

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Media Contacts:
Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824