Category Archives: Youth

Hunting and Fishing Licenses Make Fine Father’s Day Gifts

Father and son with fishIf you’re looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift this year, consider giving the gift of California’s outdoors. Giving a hunting or fishing license is a wonderful way to show your appreciation of Dad or Grandpa and to make wonderful memories for many months to come.

California is the third-largest state in the nation and about half of its land is publicly owned. That translates into millions of acres of public property accessible to hunters. Fishing opportunities abound in the more than 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,172 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers in California. The state also features more than 1,100 miles of coastline that is home to hundreds of native fish and shellfish species.

“The gift of fishing and hunting licenses provides endless opportunities to enjoy California’s unmatched wild places with family and friends,” said Charlton H. Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Hunting and fishing licenses are both available for purchase from more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state. Licenses can also be purchased online and printed via CDFW’s website. If a fishing license purchaser does not have all of the licensee’s personal data, a sport fishing gift license voucher will be issued. Hunting license gift vouchers are not available. The fishing license voucher can be redeemed at any license agent location but cannot be redeemed online. To purchase a license online, find a local sales agent or a CDFW sales office, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.

A 2015-2016 California resident hunting license costs $47.01 and is valid from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016. A 2015 California resident sport fishing license is $47.01 and is valid Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015.

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Media Contact:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Communications, (916) 651-7824

Student Archers in CDFW State Competition Hit the Mark

The California National Archery in the Schools Program (CalNASP), hosted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), has concluded its fifth annual Virtual State Archery Tournament. Young archers from around the state wrapped up the season with some impressive scores.

Genesis compound bows
Genesis bows. Photo by Greg Workman.

“We would like to congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s Virtual State Archery Tournament, particularly the top boy and girl shooter,” said Lesa Johnston, CalNASP Coordinator. “This year’s results were proof of how hard these young people have worked throughout the school year.”

Wyatt Vaineharrison, a ninth grader at Gracious Trail Academy in San Diego County, came in as the top male shooter and top overall shooter in the state competition. He earned a score of 296 points out of a possible 300, which is the highest score of any student in the history of the state tournament. Wyatt received an honorable mention in last year’s tournament. He is also a dedicated Eagle Scout and loves wildlife and spending time outdoors.

Melissa Osorio, a tenth grader from Kearny High School in San Diego County, is the top female shooter. She earned a score of 286 out of a possible 300 and ranked second as overall shooter in the tournament. Melissa competed last year, but has pushed her scores up by 30 points, taking the number one spot over all the other girls in the tournament. When Melissa is not practicing archery, she enjoys spending time with her friends, playing tennis or taking in a movie.

Both shooters will receive a new Genesis Special Edition compound bow donated by the manufacturer.

The Virtual State Archery Tournament is designed to give students the opportunity to challenge their mastery of the sport in a supportive environment in which they can compete with other students statewide without traveling. Students compete at their own school, either in a gymnasium or an outdoor range, and their scores are posted in a national database that ranks not only the state scores, but national scores as well.

Honorable mentions to other students throughout the state go out to Skyler Rosenberg, who won third place overall state shooter and rank one in the Boys’ Middle School Division, Manly Arvizo , who tied at third place for overall state shooter and rank two in the Boys’ High School Division, Aislynn Haywood, second overall girl shooter and rank two in the Girls’ High School Division, and Elissa Spaeth, third place overall girl shooter and rank three in the Girls’ High School Division. Both boys attend Bullis Charter School in San Diego County, while the girls attend Sultana High School in Hesperia.

Archery is a sport that can be enjoyed by students of all abilities and sizes – it can be enjoyed outdoors and encourages students to lead a more active lifestyle. For more information about the CalNASP, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/calnasp.

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Media Contact:
Lesa Johnston, CalNASP Coordinator, (916) 322-8933

Youth Poster Contest to Help Launch Inaugural California Invasive Species Action Week

Media Contacts:
Valerie Cook Fletcher, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 654-4267
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8858

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is holding a new “Race to Protect Your Favorite Place” Youth Poster Contest. The contest is being offered by CDFW’s Invasive Species Program as part of California Invasive Species Action Week, Aug. 2-10.

There are three age divisions, for youths in grades 2-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Participants should create an original poster that shows an invasive species that threatens their favorite outdoor place and how they can take action to help protect it.

The top three winners in each division will receive awards and have their posters displayed on CDFW’s Invasive Species Action Week webpage.

The deadline for poster entries is June 20. Completed posters and entry forms should be sent to:

CDFW Invasive Species Program
1416 Ninth St., Suite 1260
Sacramento, CA 95814

The entry form and a scan of the poster may also be emailed to Invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

The goal of California Invasive Species Action Week is to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

According to CDFW environmental scientist Valerie Cook Fletcher, many people don’t realize the potential implications of very simple acts. For example, that the planting of certain non-native ornamental plants can ultimately end up destroying the quality of our waterways and lands, or that the release of non-native crayfish used as bait during fishing trips has likely resulted in the decline of California’s native crayfish, and impacted other species dependent on the habitat. Action Week provides an important opportunity to educate adults and children about such invasive species.

“California’s greatest asset in invasive species management is an informed public,” said Cook Fletcher. “The public’s knowledge and collaboration is vital in preventing introductions of new invaders and stopping the spread of those that are established. Our goal is to get people out into the environment, show them the severity of what these species do, help them understand how those impacts can affect the environment and ultimately engage them in helping prevent or reduce impacts.”

Action Week activities will include presentations on aquatic and terrestrial invasives, guided outings to observe and assess infested areas, invasive species removal efforts, habitat restoration projects and the announcement of the winners of the youth poster contest. Opportunities for youths and adults to participate or volunteer will be available across the state through participating agencies, organizations and volunteer groups, with information and details to be provided on the Action Week webpage.

Please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/ActionWeek/ for contest details and more information on how to participate in Action Week.

The mission of CDFW’s Invasive Species Program is to reduce the impacts of invasive species on the wildlands and waterways of California. The program is involved in efforts to prevent the introduction of these species into the state, detect and respond to introductions when they occur and prevent the spread of those species that have established.

 

 

Student Archers in CDFW State Competition Score Big

Media Contact:
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

Three student archers take aim at targets
Students compete in a National Archery in the Schools Program international tournament. NASP photo

The California National Archery in the Schools Program (CalNASP), hosted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, has concluded its fourth annual Virtual State Archery Tournament and the students achieved impressive archery scores.

“We would like to congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s Virtual State Archery Tournament, especially the top boy and girl shooter of the tournament,” said Lesa Johnston, CalNASP coordinator. “These young people are taking on a sport that requires dedication and focus in order to be proficient as a competitor. On the other hand, archery is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. It is a very accessible sport.”

Kaden Dewitt, a seventh grader at Excelsior Middle School in Contra Costa County, came in as the top boy shooter and top overall shooter in the state competition with 23 shots achieving the maximum of 10 points computed into his score.

Kally Norvell, an eighth grader from Gracious Trail Academy in San Diego County, is top girl shooter with 14 shots achieving the maximum of 10 points computed into her score. She came in as fifth overall shooter in the state competition.

Both shooters will each receive a new Genesis Special Edition compound bow donated by the manufacturer to the schools. Their new bows will be presented to the winners by their coaches.

The Virtual State Archery Tournament is designed to give students the opportunity to showcase their mastery of the sport in a supportive environment where they can compete with other students statewide.

Students compete in their own gymnasium and their scores are posted in a national database. The database ranks the state scores and coaches can get national scores to report to students.

Honorable mentions go out to Matthew Guerra from James Madison High School in San Diego County, who took second place overall and rank one in the Boys’ High School Division; Wyatt Vaineharrison from Gracious Trail Academy in San Diego, who took third place overall and rank two in the Boys’, Middle School Division; Nashmi Avilez from James Madison High School, who ranked as second overall girl shooter and rank one in the Girls’ High School Division; and Cassidy Reiman from Excelsior Middle School in Contra Costa County, who ranked third place overall girl shooter and rank two in the Girls’ Middle School Division.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Hosts Youth and Families

Junior hunters and their mentors lined up like flocks of ducks at 5 a.m. at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area check station waiting to sign in and go hunting on Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days Feb. 1 and 2. Only hunters 15 years of age and under accompanied by a non-hunting, mentoring adult can hunt waterfowl on these dates.

By 6:30 a.m. they were scattered across the marshlands of Gray Lodge Wildlife Area ready to hunt. They averaged a little over four ducks each by day’s end.

Corey Macintyre took his 10-year-old son, Alex, and 12-year-old daughter, Kate, to Gray Lodge. The Macintyres recently took up hunting and are learning the skills of duck hunting on public lands. Alex shot a Gadwall duck banded in northeast Oregon in 2007. While Gadwall ducks are very common at Gray Lodge, harvesting a banded one is rare.

“This is our first full season of duck hunting and it is a blast but there is a lot to learn,” Cory Macintyre said. “Learning to hunt under drought conditions and understanding the work that went into planning this event teaches kids an important message about conservation.”

A successful hunt depends on habitat and in the case of wetlands that means water. Water was significantly limited this year and all irrigation deliveries to Gray Lodge ended in late December. As drought conditions took hold and no rain fell for longer than 50 days, wildlife managers had to make tough decisions on when and where to put water to maintain wetlands for wildlife.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area’s 9,182 acres provide feeding and roosting habitat for hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese throughout the migratory season, and nesting habitat for resident ducks during the spring and summer. With 95 percent of California’s historic wetland and riparian areas lost, Gray Lodge is vital to waterfowl and provides habitat to a vast array of native California species, both plant and animal.

“It was a real challenge this year to utilize our limited water resources,” said Andy Atkinson, CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist. “Our efforts resulted in providing critical habitat for more than one million ducks and geese that stayed on and in the vicinity of the area for the vast majority of the season and resulted in excellent hunting and waterfowl viewing opportunities.”

Safety standards are of paramount consideration when establishing the number of young hunters accompanied by their mentors that can hunt on a wildlife area. Wildlife managers try to give mentored hunters more room to hunt by increasing the ratio of huntable acres per hunter. This spreads the mentored hunters out more, reduces competition and increases the likelihood of success.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days provide a unique opportunity for mentored hunts for young hunters. Statewide an estimated 20,000 out of 68,000 California waterfowl hunters purchased passes

Media Contacts:
Andy Atkinson, CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist, (530) 846-7500
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478

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Deadline Quickly Approaching for March Turkey Hunting Clinic

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program is offering a turkey hunting clinic on March 1 at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area near Gridley.

Prospective hunters must register by 5 p.m. Friday, February 14.

Experienced instructors will instruct this exciting clinic on how to successfully hunt wild turkey. Topics to be covered are concepts of decoy placement, blind design, ballistics, calling, equipment, game care and cleaning, cooking tips and safety.

The clinic is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 1 and costs $45. Space is limited and registration is required so hunters are encouraged to apply early. Youths 16 years and younger are free but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment.

Registration forms are available online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/advanced/index.aspx. After registering, participants will receive an e-mail with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is located, approximately 60 miles north of Sacramento.

Media Contact:
Lt. Dan Lehman, Advanced Hunter Education Program Coordinator, (916) 358-4356
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Wild Turkey

CDFW to Reach Out to Youth Archery Enthusiasts at Stockton Outdoor Event

Media Contact:
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will host an archery booth Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Stockton Trap and Skeet Club, as part of the “Youth Outdoor Experience” series of outdoor skills events held in cities across the western United States. The event is intended to introduce target archery, skeet and trap shooting, hunter education and conservation principles to youth from elementary to high school age.

“Target archery is making a comeback in physical education classes and is quickly becoming a favorite among young people,” said Lesa Johnston, CDFW’s state coordinator for the California Archery in the Schools Program (CalNASP). “Youth who sometimes do not excel in other sports find they can do well in archery.”

The club will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, and all activities that day are free. CDFW’s archery booth will offer information about the CalNASP and will coincide with the California Bowman Hunters/State Archery Association operated outdoor archery range.

Additional trap and skeet shooting clinics only (no archery) for youth and adults will be held on Sunday. There is a charge for the Sunday clinics, which will be instructed by members of the Team USA Olympic shooting teams.

The USA Youth Education in Shooting Sports Foundation (USAYESS) has organized this weekend event with the help of conservation groups including the California Waterfowl Association and Pheasants Forever. For a complete list of sponsors and more information about the paid skeet and trap clinics, please visit www.usayess.org. For information about the CalNASP program, please contact Lesa Johnston at (916) 322-8933 or lesa.johnston@wildlife.ca.gov.

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Application Approaching for San Diego County Dove Hunt

The application deadline for dove hunting in the at Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve is approaching quickly and hunters are encouraged to apply immediately. Only 20 hunters will be allowed to participate.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Upland Game Bird Stamp Program manage this unique opportunity to hunt for dove in the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve in San Diego County. Applications are due Wed. Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. and are available on the CDFW website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hunting/.

The dove hunt is Sat. Sept. 7, from 6 a.m. to sunset at the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve in east San Diego County, between the towns of Jamul and Dulzura. The selected hunters will have access to the reserve from check-in time to sunset and may hunt in parties up to four people. Use of dogs is optional but dogs much be kept on a leash and in the owners immediate control at all times. CDFW will not be providing dogs for the hunt.

All hunters must have a valid 2013 hunting license and the proper hunter safety equipment in order to participate and will be allowed to take a maximum legal limit of dove. CDFW wildlife officers will be on hand to check equipment and ensure compliance with hunting laws and regulations.

For more information contact Nick Bechtel, CDFW Region 5 at (805) 965-3059.

Applications are available http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hunting/, for questions regarding application process please call (916) 445-3565.

Media Contacts:
Nick Bechtel, CDFW Region 5, (805) 965-3059
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Looking for Family Activities This Summer?

Get Outdoors and Do Something Wild!

Media Contact:
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8933

11-year-old girl on riverbank holding the striped bass she caught
Kate Macintyre caught a striped bass on the Sacramento River. Kirsten Macintyre photo

School is out and parents everywhere are thinking about how to keep their kids from becoming couch potatoes this summer.  Families will also be seeking recreational activities and trying to plan a quality outing on a budget.  Those willing to venture outdoors in the Golden State will find lots of things to do – kid-friendly and pocketbook-friendly, too.  If you are looking for creative summer boredom-busters, look no further than the Youth and Families in the Outdoors Program (YO!) hosted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

“It’s amazing how many outdoor opportunities are available in every corner of the state,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “From fishing lessons to guided nature tours, each of these events serves to encourage a deeper understanding of our wildlife and natural resources and cultivates a desire to learn about them.”

YO! maintains a calendar of kid- and family-friendly summer events around the state, including those sponsored by organizations and nonprofits unaffiliated with CDFW. To find the perfect summer opportunity, please check out the calendar at www.dfg.ca.gov/yo.

Just a few of the opportunities currently listed include:

  • Humboldt County: Discovery Museum (Eureka), PAL Camp “Water Week.” Summer camp for ages 5 to 12, July 9-13. Explore all of special water features in the Humboldt area – oceans, rivers, creeks, rain and more – and learn how water is essential to life. Lots of fun by way of water games and activities. For more information, please visit www.discovery-museum.org.
  • Tehama County:  Beginning Hunting Camps are for girls and boys ages 10 to 14 who wish to obtain their hunter education certificates. Various dates in June and July. Youth will also spend time outdoors learning to become ethical, safe and skilled anglers, shooters, archers and wildlife conservationists.  For more information, please visit www.mykosc.org.
  • Butte County:  Family Preschool Workshops for parents and children ages 3 to 5. Various dates in June and July. Offered by the Chico Creek Nature Center to give young children their first introduction to nature through games, crafts, group discussion and up-close observation. Both children and adults will enjoy learning about nature.  For more information, please visit www.bidwellpark.org.
  • Alameda County:  Camp of the Wild for girls and boys ages 9 to 12, July 8-12. Kids will spend time outdoors learning survival skills, such as how to build an outdoor shelter. One of many events offered by East Bay Regional Parks. For more information, please visit www.ebparks.org.
  • Fresno County:  Fresno Chaffee Zoo, “Young Naturalist: Sierra Field Biology” field trip for kids ages 11 to 17. July 30-August 3 (Friday Field Trip.) Discover the wonder of how animals, plants and humans are intertwined in the conservation of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains.  For more information, please visit www.fresnochaffeezoo.org.
  • Orange County:  Free Kid’s Fishing Clinic. Every Sunday from noon to 12:30 p.m. Come to the dockside at Dana Wharf and ask the experts all about fishing the deep blue sea. No reservations needed and fishing gear is provided. Follow up the clinic with a fishing trip from 12:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. One free child admission with a paid adult. For more information, please visit  www.danawharf.com.

The calendar will be updated regularly so please check back throughout the summer months.

YO! is a collaborative effort between CDFW and a number of outdoors-oriented foundations and organizations around the state. Its purpose is to facilitate the conservation, enhancement and restoration of our fish and wildlife and habitats through the education and participation of our youth in California’s outdoor heritage.

If you know of a family or youth-friendly outdoor event that is not listed on the calendar, please contact YO! at (916) 322-8933.

San Diego Students Take Top Honors in State Virtual Archery Competition

Media Contact: Lesa Johnston, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8933

For the second year in a row, two students from Kearny High School in San Diego won top honors in the California National Archery in the Schools Program (CalNASP) statewide virtual archery competition. Elementary, middle and high schools from throughout the state participated in this year’s tournament, which is hosted annually by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

“We would like to congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s tournament, and we would especially like to commend the top male and female shooters from Kearny High School,” said Lesa Johnston, CDFW CalNASP coordinator. “The great thing about archery is that it teaches dedication and focus yet can be enjoyed by students of all abilities. It also encourages students to lead a more active lifestyle and get outdoors.”

Robert White, a junior at Kearny High School, came in as the top male shooter and top overall shooter in the state competition. D’Layna Hickman, a freshman at Kearny High School, is ranked the top female shooter and came in third in the High School Division of the competition. Each will receive a new Genesis Special Edition compound bow donated by the manufacturer.

The virtual state archery tournament is designed to give students the opportunity to challenge their mastery of the sport in a supportive environment in which they can compete with other students statewide without traveling. Students shoot in their own gymnasium and their scores are posted in a national database that not only ranks the state scores, but also allows students to see where they rank at a national level.

Honorable mentions were awarded to Wyatt Vaineharrison, from Gracious Trail Academy in San Diego, who came in as the second-place male overall shooter and rank-one in the male Middle Division; and Anthony Perez from Kearny High School, who ranked third-place male overall shooter and rank-one in the High School Division.

Kally Norvell from Gracious Trail Academy was the second-place female overall shooter and rank-one in the female Middle School Division. Rachel Landro from Excelsior Middle School in Discovery Bay located in Contra Costa County was third-place female overall shooter and rank-one in the female Middle School Division.

The CalNASP is a school-based archery program that both teachers and students enjoy and is quickly gaining popularity among public and private schools. Those interested in implementing archery into a school curriculum can contact CDFW for additional information at www.dfg.ca.gov/nasp.