What’s New for 2017?

California Bird Hunting

Expansion of the Lands Pass Program

Currently, Lands Passes are required at six California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) properties. With the passage of recent legislation and regulations, this requirement expands to a total of 42 wildlife areas and ecological reserves by no later than January 1, 2018. Participating properties are listed on pages 46 and 52. (Subsections 551(w) and 630(c) Title 14, California Code of Regulations). There will also be signs about the Lands Pass Program posted on the properties that are included. Where required, a Lands Pass must be obtained and carried by each visitor, 16 years of age or older, unless they are carrying a valid hunting or fishing license in their own name. School groups and organized youth groups are exempt from the requirement, and are encouraged to contact the Department to arrange group visits. Instructions on how to purchase Lands Passes appear on page 24.

Management of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) lands is funded primarily by hunters and anglers. The Lands Pass Program began in 1988, and is expanding to provide an opportunity for all visitors to contribute to the management of the properties they enjoy and appreciate.

New Drawing Process for Special Upland Game Wild Bird Hunts

Drawing application for the specially managed wild upland game bird hunts is now conducted through the Automated License Data System (ALDS). Hunters must be successfully drawn through this random drawing application to participate in pheasant, chukar, quail, wild turkey and dove special hunts. To apply hunters must have a valid California hunting license. Adult hunters must also purchase an Upland Game Bird Stamp to hunt upland game birds.

Applications may be purchased online, at retail agents or by calling (800) 565-1458. A non-refundable $2.42 application fee will be charged for each hunt applicant. Hunters may select their top three choices, and may only apply once for each available hunt date for each area. For additional information and hunting opportunities go to http://wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Upland-Game-Birds/Hunts

The Apprentice Pheasant Hunts for beginning hunters will continue to be applied to at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/ApprenticeHunts/Default.aspx

Pintail Bag Limits

The pintail bag limit has decreased to 1 per day for the 2017-2018 season. The 2016 breeding population estimate was 2.62 million, a decline of 14% from 2015 and a 41% total decline since 2011. The last time the limit was 1 per day was 2008. The waterfowl hunting regulations are established based on the previous year’s breeding population estimates.


Having your e-mail address and mobile number will enable the CDFW to send you information you can use, such as license sales dates, harvest report card deadlines and other hunting information as it becomes available. When purchasing a license from a license agent or online, you may update your profile by providing your e-mail address and mobile number. Fish and Game Code, Section 1050.6, and California Government Code, Section 11015.5, prohibit the CDFW from selling or sharing your personal information with any third party.

Report Upland Game Bird Disease

Band-tailed pigeons are susceptible to Avian Trichomonosis, a disease caused by a protozoal parasite. Sick birds often resist flying and may appear to be panting or gulping. CDFW makes an effort to document the occurrence of this and other avian diseases.

While this specific disease is not transmissible to humans, CDFW recommends hunters thoroughly cook all wild game.

If you observe more than 5 sick or dead birds in the same location you can report your findings to the CDFW Wildlife Investigations Lab at (916) 358-2790 or online: