2019 California Duck Hunting Report Refuges and California Duck Hunting Clubs, Blind leases

2019 California Duck Hunting Refuge Report

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  Bottom of page is the NWS Refuge Hunt results for the last week!

2015 California refuge hunting results, sacramento, delevan, colusa,grey lodge, dry creek,

Good news! Local ducks have made a come back …There was a three-year decline in California home grown mallards and overall  duck populations but the CDFW 2016 survey has shown a increase this year.
Mallards increased to 52 percent and total ducks increased 32 percent over 2015. But, we are still around 30% below the long term average.

Keep in mind, most of California’s ducks are from breeding areas in Alaska and Canada..

There is, indeed, reason for  optimism for a decent duck season in California  this year. Why? Good populations of resident mallards and pintails despite a long-term  drought  that has dried up many  wetlands, leaving the ducks with exposed nests  and eggs  hungry  foxes, skunks and what have you…But a wet spring helped greatly.  As a result, duck numbers are in fact on the rise in the Pacific Flyway.
While national duck numbers continue to  decline, recent history has shown local waterfowl populations continue to  rise or remain stable.  Mallards and pintail continue to nest in increasing numbers at wildlife areas and refuges through- out the Golden State.
The fact remains that 70 to 90 percent of the  mallards shot in this state are home-grown birds,  and there are lots of ducks on state, federal and are in  duck hunting areas right now!  MALLARDS are plentiful this year in California,  particularly in the Sacramento and San Joaquin  valleys where production was rated fair to good. California Duck Hunters can shoot 7 mallards a day, but only two can be a hen. Two Pintail, two canvasback, and two redheads a day.
California Wildlife Commission adopted the federal regulations so  duck hunters can enjoy their sport starting Saturday, Oct.10 in northeastern zone.  Oct. 24th is the opener for the balance of the state.
Let’s take a look at some of the best  public duck huntings in the state. First,  the national wildlife refuges.
A-B. Lower Klamath-Tule Lake  refuges, located in northeastern  Siskiyou County, east of Dorris.
The refuge reports there are lots of  mallards, pintails and spoonies on the  refuge. Best hunting is located on the  flooded fields at Lower Klamath and in  the marsh units at Tule Lake. Reservations are not necessary, and hunting is  allowed seven days a week. Shooting  time ends at 1 p.m. daily. Refer to our Klamath Refuge Duck Hunting map
C. Modoc Refuge  is located a few miles south of  Alturas in Modoc County. lt lies at  4,300 feet in elevation at the base of the  Warner Mountains. The refuge consists  of 6,283 acres, of which 2,130 is open  to hunting. The area is open to hunters  on a first-come, first-served basis on  Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  There are spaced blinds available, but  most hunters set out decoys along the  river. Duck hunting is fair, but Canada  goose hunting can be excellent in  December  hunting Honey Lake until storms  bring water which will attract birds.
1. Delevan Refuge 3,969-acre refuge is located 7  miles south of Willows. lt offers excellent hunting for mallard, pintail, teal  and wigeon, as well as good whitefront  and snow geese hunting. www.freehuntfishmaps.com has decent refuge map for Delevan Refuge.
2. Gray Lodge   Hunters will find 6,000 acres of ponds,  fields and marshes open to duck hunting. Gray Lodge is located near Gridley  in Butte County, and it offers some of  the best duck hunting of any state-regulated wildlife area. Plan on shooting  pintail and mallard here. You need a  Type A reservation. Hunt days are  Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.  Shooter capacity is 400. There are no  blinds, but hunters who wear chest  waders and set out decoys score well.  There are approximately 200,000 to  300,000 ducks on the area and early-  season prospects are excellent, but goose hunting is rated fair at  Gray Lodge. . www.freehuntfishmaps.com has decent refuge map and refuge report for Gray Lodge Refuge.
3. Sutter Bypass Refuge   This area is located in the Sacramento  Valley near the town of Sutter. It’s  mixed with farmlands and private lands  that include Colusa Bypass, Butte  Slough, Sutter Basin and Tisdale Weir.  Hunting will be best in the second split  of the season. . www.freehuntfishmaps.com has decent refuge map and refuge report for Sutter Refuge.
4. Spenceville:  Spenceville and Oroville wildlife areas  are located in Yuba and Butte counties.  Both offer fair to good hunting along  the Feather and Yuba rivers. The best  hunting is done by floating the rivers,  although some prefer to jump shoot.  Spenceville offers the better duck hunting of the two. .
5. Napa Marshes   There are 16,000 ducks in the Napa Marsh area.  Boat to the most productive areas is a must, luanch off Skaggs Spring Road, or at Napa River Resort off Highway 12.

The San Joaquin Valley Los Banos Refuge Complex

The San Joaquin Valley Los Banos Refuge Complex
LOS BANOS — Okay, duck season opens Oct. 24 in the  balance of the state, so you’ve got to make some  choices on where you’re going to hunt opening day.  Obviously, you want to hunt an area that has a lot of birds,  plenty of water, lots of feed, good blinds and a shot at bagging  a four-bird limit.  S0 where are you going to go? Mendota? Sacramento?  Gray Lodge? Those are all good choices, but hunters who  enjoy playing the law of averages should head to the Los  Banos Complex, which traditionally offers some of the highest hunter success in the state on opening day.
The San Joaquin Valley Los Banos complex is comprised of Los  Banos Wildlife Area, Volta Wildlife Area, San Luis National  Wildlife Refuge, Merced National Wildlife Refuge and Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge.  Volta generally offers the highest success rate of any of those hunting areas and the brightest  part of the duck  hunting picture in  California is mallards.  California produces anywhere from 60 to 75 percent of the  mallards shot in  the state, and that  should make for  slightly better  hunting this year.
One of the  most productive  and popular areas  to hunt mallards is  the the Los Banos  WA and the San  Luis NWR are  generally the  most productive  areas for mallard  hunters, but mallards are hunted  on all five locations.
  Los Banos WA: This area is currently hosting a considerable: number of cinnamon, green~winged teal, gadwall and Mallard. Green-winged teal tops the list of birds harvested on  Los Banos WA. In fact, it’s Numero Uno throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Last year at Los Banos, green-winged teal made up 39  per cent of the harvest, mallard 28 percent. www.freehuntfishmaps.com has decent refuge map and refuge report for Los Banos Refuge.
Loss Banos has three hunting areas. There is a free-roam  that when fuly flooded will accommodate 80 to 100  duck hunter.Hunters can set up their own blinds, and hunt anywhere they choose within the free-roam area.  In addition, there are two zones with assigned blinds. Zone  14 blinds, each one can hold up to three hunters. Zone 7  four blinds. This zone is designed to provide junior  only  on a limited number of Saturdays, and each hunter must  accompanied by a junior licensed hunter.   Los Banos has been flooding their fields for  ast couple of weeks and should be close to or fully  ed by opening day. You will need hip boots, but the  doesn’t get much deeper than 16 inches. A dog is a real  Hunting days are Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from  one-hour before sunrise until sunset.
San Luis NWR: Like Los Banos, this area is popular  mallard hunters. San Luis has a reputation for good  mallard hunting. All of the hunting is free  roam. When fully flooded, San Luis will accommodate up to  110 hunters and flooding began several weeks ago. At press  time there were cinnamon, green-winged teal, gadwall and  mallard on the refuge.  Last year Green-winged teal made up the bulk of the  harvest with 51 percent, mallard was next with 29 percent,  and shovelers made up 8 percent.  Chest waders or hip boots are recommended, and a dog  will make it easier to retrieve downed birds Hunting days are  Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday, from a half-hour before  sunrise until sunset.
Volta WA: A free-roam area that when fully flooded  will accommodate up to 150 hunters It generally has one of  the highest averages in the state – particularly on opening  day. Volta has a higher percentage of pintail in the bag on  opening weekend than the other areas.  Opening weekend at Volta is usually excellent, often times  it hosts the best public shooting in the entire state.  The No. 1 bird harvested was green-winged teal with  46 percent, mallard came in at 17 percent, and pintail made up the balance,
Kesterson NWR: Like Volta, hunting at Kesterson is all  free roam and when fully flooded, can accommodate up to 66  hunters There are some blinds in the free-roam area and they  are filled on a firsticome, first-served basis. The area has lots  of water, and in the Big Lake portion it can get fairly deep.  Hip waders are a must, but chest waders are probably a better  choice. A dog is very helpful here.  Kesterson is open every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday  during hunting season, from a half-hour before sunrise until  sunset.
Merced NWR: Merced offers the most limited hunting  opportunity of the five areas.  There are nine barrel blinds available on a  reservation basis, each will accommodate two hunters. There  are also two goose hunting blinds available which can acco modate up to three hunters each.  Hunters at Merced averaged 1.22 birds per gun, down  from 2.17 in previous year. Green-winged teal made up the bulk of  the harvest, shoveler and mallards were next 0n the hit list.  Hunting on all five of these areas is restricted to steel shot,  and you are allowed only 25 shot shells in the field. .  Reservations are. recommended for all five areas, particularly if you are interested in hunting from an established  blind. Reservations at free-roam areas are also recommended  since they guarantee you access
  There is hunting on a first-come, first-served basis –  the  sweat line – which forms at the check in station prior to the  hunting timer Hunters are allowed in if there are spaces  available or no-shows. In addition, hunters are let in as people  leave. The cost for adults is $20 per day,

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