Federal Youth Waterfowl Days Provides Exceptional Opportunities in California

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The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced that many DFG-managed wildlife areas and refuges will be open for the federally designated Youth Waterfowl Days. The two-day waterfowl hunt Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 provides an opportunity for hunters 15 years of age accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older. The northeast portion of the state held the Federal Youth Waterfowl Days earlier in the fall and that area is now closed. The California Waterfowl Association (CWA) will provide hunter education activities, refreshments and giveaways at several DFG wildlife areas and the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

“This is an excellent opportunity for qualified hunters to enjoy an exceptional day outdoors and participate in educational activities,” said Dan Yparraguirre, DFG State Waterfowl Coordinator. “Federal rules that require direct adult supervision during this opportunity create a very good way to train these apprentice hunters. The rules and regulations for waterfowl hunting can be complex for beginners, having knowledgeable mentors on hand makes the experience top-notch”

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area near Gridley offers excellent opportunities for Youth Waterfowl Days and coordinates closely with CWA. Last year 90 hunters killed, on average, 3.8 waterfowl the first day of the hunt. CWA members set up educational activities at the wildlife area that included waterfowl identification, range estimation, review of regulations and conservation information on the life history and needs of waterfowl.

Bob McLandress, CWA President, said, “Our members and organization view Youth Waterfowl Days as an opportunity to help educate and inform both the hunters and their mentors about the conservation responsibilities and values of waterfowl hunting.”

On January 31, joint outreach programs with CWA will be conducted at several locations, including the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area and the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Hunters interested in finding out which wildlife areas and refuges are involved in Youth Waterfowl Day activities can call DFG regional offices or wildlife areas. A listing of wildlife areas and the regions in which they are located is on the Web at www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa.