The majority of hunters will take to the blinds Oct. 19 in most zones. Specific opening and closing dates vary by zone. Detailed information about daily bag and possession limits can be found on the Fish and Game Commission website. Most season dates and bag limits remain similar to last year with the exception of pintail, which has increased to two birds per day. In addition, the Klamath Basin Special Management Area was created to maintain all goose hunting days during the general season while the Northeastern Zone has an extended late season for white and white-fronted geese.
BALANCE OF STATE ZONE
Ducks: October 19, 2019, through January 31, 2020.
Geese: October 19, 2019, through January 26, 2020.
Scaup: November 7, 2019, through January 31, 2020.
Brant special management areas: Northern Brant, November 8, 2019, through December 14, 2019. Balance of State Brant, November 9, 2019, through December 15, 2019; 2 per day.
North Coast Special Management Area: Canada geese, November 6, 2019, through January 31, 2020, and February 22, 2020 through March 10, 2020 (no large Canada geese allowed during late season).
Special Youth Hunt Days: February 8 and 9, 2020.
Early large Canada goose season: September 28, 2019, through October 2, 2019, (except in the North Coast Special Management Area).
Late white-fronts and white goose season: February 8, 2020 through February 12, 2020 (except Sacramento Valley Special Management Area, where white-fronts are closed).
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7, which may contain 7 mallards of which only 2 can be female; 1 pintail; 2 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 30, which may include up to 20 white geese and up to 10 dark geese.
Early large Canada goose season: 10 large Canada geese
Sacramento Valley Special Management Area: No more than 3 white-fronts may be taken from October 19, 2019, through December 21, 2019.
North Coast Special Management Area: Canada goose limit: No more than 10 per day, of which 1 may be a large Canada goose (no large Canada geese may be taken during the late season).
Possession limit ducks and geese: Triple the daily bag limit.
Quality public hunting access can be found on more than two dozen national wildlife refuges and wildlife areas and ecological reserves managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Please note that nonlead ammunition is now required when hunting all species on CDFW wildlife areas and ecological reserves. For more information, please see the CDFW nonlead ammunition webpage.
It is also common for waterfowl hunting areas to close periodically throughout the season due to safety concerns caused by flooding. Areas that most commonly experience flood closures include Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Delevan National Wildlife Refuge, Little Dry Creek and Howard Slough. Hunt dates and applications for Sutter National Wildlife Refuge have not yet been finalized due to uncertainty of water availability. Please call (530) 934-2801 for up-to-date information. Hunters should keep informed about current reservation and quota numbers, which are expected to fluctuate frequently. Reservations for state-operated wildlife areas that are closed due to flooding will not be accepted at other hunting areas, and refunds will not be issued for applications submitted to areas that are closed or where reservations are not available.
Hunters can follow the Twitter tag #cawildlifeareaclosures for updates on state-operated wildlife area closures.
A valid California hunting license, appropriate validations and a signed federal waterfowl conservation stamp or an electronic federal waterfowl conservation stamp must be obtained before entering the field. In addition, a wildlife area pass is required to hunt on many state-operated wildlife areas. Licenses, validations and passes are not sold at wildlife areas, so hunters must purchase these items in advance.
California hunters are required to complete a hunter education training course before purchasing a hunting license for the first time in California. Approximately 30,000 students complete this requirement annually.