Duck Hunting in California

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  • A
  • 929,800

    Duck Statewide Harvest

  • 229,700

    Goose Statewide Harvest

  • 47,500

    No. Waterfowl Licenses Sold Annually

  • 21.1

    Ducks Per Hunter

  • 7.2

    Geese Per Hunter

  • $54

    Cost of Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $34.56

    Cost of Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

  • Season $188.74; one-day license $25.92; two-day license $54

    Cost of Non-Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $34.56

    Cost of Non-Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

Duck Hunting Nation Knowledge

California is a good-news/bad-news proposition for waterfowlers.

The good news concerns the number of birds, which outnumber stars in the sky. The state has a wide variety of species, too, including mallards, pintails, wigeon, shovelers, gadwalls, and green-winged and cinnamon teal, plus clouds of specklebellies and Canadas. The bad news, if you can call it that, concerns access or, specifically, competition from other hunters. With more than 47,000 active duck hunters, reserving a blind at a refuge can be as tough as saving a table at a Chucky Cheese grand opening next to a middle school; tough, if not impossible.

Still, the Golden State holds a vast array of possibilities, including six refuges in the Sacramento Valley. Throw in such legendary wildlife management areas such as Mendota, Imperial, Los Banos, Grizzly Island and Grey Lodge, and it becomes easy to see that the bad news might not be all that rotten. Keep in mind that three consecutive years of drought have severely affected water conditions and potential opportunities here.

— Compiled and written by M.D. Johnson

Photo © Martin_Pelanek/Shutterstock

Season Dates and Bag Limits