Don’t make ’em wait until they’re grown-ups to fall in love with the marsh!

We’ve got two types of special opportunities for youth hunters: Youth Hunt Weekend, which takes place the weekend after the regular duck season closes, and regular season hunts. Either way, these opportunities can help ensure your child becomes a lifelong hunter and conservationist.

To qualify as a youth hunter, the hunter must have been less than 18 years old at the beginning of the license year (July 1). In many youth hunts, adult chaperones are not allowed to shoot-if you’re looking for hunts where you can hunt right alongside your kids, check out our family hunt options.

REGULAR SEASON HUNTS


 

BIRD HAVEN—YOUTH HUNTER CAMP

This camp, held once a year at Bird Haven Ranch in Glenn County, includes hunter education, shooting, archery, hunting skills and a duck hunt on the third day. All gear is provided!

Special conditions: For youth ages 11-17 to have not yet completed hunter education

Date: (2018 event concluded)

ROBBINS RICE BLIND/DNH FARMS

Application type: First-come, first-served

Cost: $25

Dates: Dec. 1 – Jan. 27 (all dates reserved)

DNH Farms has donated a rice blind near Robbins, specifically for families, veterans and women. These hunts are unguided in a fully furnished rice blind. Hunters will be in charge of getting themselves to the blind (stools and decoys are provided). Youth hunters need to be accompanied by an adult chaperone (21 or older). There is a one time $25 fee to reserve a date and attend.

Special conditions: At least one member of the hunting party must be a junior, veteran or woman. May hunt all day.

SOHNREY FAMILY FOODS

Application type: First-come, first-served

Cost: Free

Sohnrey Family Foods has donated a rice blind off Highway 99 and Nelson Shippee Road specifically for families and veterans. These hunts are unguided in a fully furnished rice blind. Hunters will be in charge of getting themselves to the blind (stools and decoys are provided). Youth hunters need to be accompanied by an adult  chaperone (21 or older). There is no fee to reserve a date or attend.

Special conditions: At least one member of the hunting party must be a junior or a veteran. May hunt all day.

Hunt dates: Dec. 1 – Jan. 27 (all dates reserved)

 

 

 

A hunter poses after a hunt with California Waterfowl at Sohnrey Family Farms.

YOUTH HUNT WEEKEND


 

BUTTE CREEK ISLAND RANCH—SACRAMENTO VALLEY

Application type: Lottery

This 110-acre, CWA-owned property sits between Butte Creek and Howard Slough, across from the famed Little Dry Creek unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area. Hunts will take place in either stand-up or pit blinds located in three separate units. Mallards and wood ducks are commonly harvested in the area, as they come into the marsh after feeding on nearby rice. Decoys are provided.

Capacity: One junior and one non-shooting adult chaperone. Three groups of two hunters will be drawn. Groups will draw for blinds before the morning hunt.  

Hunt Date: February 2

Blind/Bird AVG

A boy holds up a banded duck he shot during a California Waterfowl hunt.

 

CLOSED ZONE FARMS—SACRAMENTO VALLEY

Application type: Lottery

This is a 400-acre property situated directly next to some of the largest concentrations of mallard and pintail in the Pacific Flyway. The club sits on the north side of Little Dry Creek unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area and is hunted only once a week. Eighty percent of the club is never hunted, while the remaining 20% is hunt areas that are rotated every few weeks. Opportunities to shoot limits of ducks, along with white-fronted geese as an added bonus, are very common due to location and light hunting pressure. Some of our past junior hunters have limited on all drake mallards.

All blinds are stand-up and well-hidden in natural cover throughout this incredible marsh. Transportation to the blinds is provided by the hosts via UTV. Lunch and refreshments provided. This opportunity is donated by  Larry Gury.

Special conditions: Youth hunters must have prior shooting experience and be very confident handling a gun. Youth hunters must be over 12 years old. Dogs and guides will be provided. Please do not bring a dog. Two groups will be drawn on the hunt date.

Capacity: One junior and one non-shooting adult chaperone

Hunt Date: February 2

DENVERTON—SUISUN MARSH

Application type: Lottery

This is a California Waterfowl-owned property encompassing 762 acres in the Suisun Marsh off Highway 12. Five hunting groups will be allowed each hunt date, giving every group a great chance for a memorable hunt. The hunt area consists of three XFowler floating blinds and three Black Box pit blinds.

Capacity: Two junior hunters and one non-shooting adult chaperone 

Hunt Date: February 2

Blind/Bird AVG

Hunter holding ducks and geese at Denverton in the Suisun Marsh.

FAMILY CLUB—SUISUN MARSH

Application type: Lottery

This 250-acre Suisun Marsh duck club is located adjacent to Highway 680 just north of “Mothball Fleet.” This is one of the premier duck clubs in the Suisun Marsh. The club is primarily open water, which offers great pintail and teal hunting. Due to its location along Goodyear Slough, this club has been known to offer great mallard hunting given the right conditions. Hunters will take a UTV (provided) and walk (about 200 yards) to the blind.

Capacity: One junior and one non-shooting adult chaperone. Three groups will be drawn for this hunt.

Hunt dates: February 2

 Two hunters pose after a hunt at Family Club with California Waterfowl.

 

GOOSE LAKE – WASCO, CA

Application type: First-come, first-serve

This is a California Waterfowl owned property encompassing 2,200 acres located in Wasco, CA roughly 8 miles south of Kern National Wildlife Refuge in Kern County. In 2014, we reconstructed 300-acres of wetlands on the Houchin Unit to improve water use efficiency and promote the growth of waterfowl food plants, such as swamp timothy and watergrass.

Volunteer guides are not provided. Decoys are provided in every blind.

Pheasants will be planted and pheasant hunt will begin at 10:00am. Saturday, February 2nd and Sunday, February 3rd there will be hunting spots available for 7 groups. Each group can consist of two youth hunters and one non-shooting adult or one youth hunter and two non-shooting adults.

Contact Hunt Program Coordinator, Garrett Williams, via email at gwilliams@calwaterfowl.org or call 209-324-8801. Include your name, age, hometown, phone number, hunting experience, as well as how many youth and adults that wish to attend the hunt. Please use the Subject Line: Goose Lake Youth Hunt 2019

Hunt dates: February 2 and 3.

GRIZZLY RANCH—SUISUN MARSH

Application type: Lottery

This is a California Waterfowl-owned property in the famed Suisun Marsh, bordering Grizzly Island State Wildlife Area. Grizzly Ranch is over 900 acres and the wetlands are managed by CWA biologists. Groups will draw for blinds before the morning hunt.

Special Conditions: Decoys and transportation to and from the blinds are provided. Overnight lodging is included.

Capacity: Two junior hunters and one non-shooting adult chaperone. Ten groups will be drawn. 

Hunt Date: February 2

Blind/Bird AVG

A young hunter returns to the blind with a duck at California Waterfowl's Grizzly Ranch.

LITTLE DRY CREEK FARM—SACRAMENTO VALLEY

Application type: Lottery

This property sits across the northwest side from Closed Zone Farms and is a 600-acre property of natural wetlands. The club is lightly hunted – only twice a week – and over one-third of the property is never hunted and holds thousands of mallards. Seventy percent of the birds taken are mallards and limits are very common.

All blinds are stand-up, well-hidden in the tules and accessed by gravel paths. Transportation to the blind is provided by the hosts via UTV. This opportunity is donated by Joe Murphy, Don Ekstrom, and Mark Koller.

Special conditions: Youth hunters must have prior shooting experience and be very confident handling a gun. Youth hunters must be over 12 years old. Dogs and guides will be provided. Please do not bring a dog. Two groups will be drawn on the hunt date.

Capacity: One junior and one non-shooting adult chaperone

Hunt Date: February 2

A father and son smile after a hunt at Little Dry Creek Farms with California Waterfowl.

MOM’S FARMS—SACRAMENTO VALLEY

Application type: Lottery

The south and west side of Mom’s Farms sits next to the closed zone of the Little Dry Creek unit in the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area. The property is entirely natural wetlands with tules, trees, smartweed and watergrass. This beautiful club has a large sanctuary, which provides a great benefit to the entire area as the birds exchange between the club and refuge all day long. Opportunities to shoot limits of ducks, along with white-fronted geese as an added bonus, are very common due to location and light hunting pressure.

All blinds are stand-up, well-hidden in the tules and accessible by boat. This opportunity is donated by Kim and Todd Mageline.

Special conditions: Youth hunters must have prior shooting experience and be very confident handling a gun. Youth hunters must be over 12 years old. Dogs and guides will be provided. Please do not bring a dog. Two groups will be drawn on the hunt date.

Capacity: One junior and one non-shooting adult chaperone

Hunt Date: February 2

 A young hunter poses after a hunt at Mom's Farm with California Waterfowl.

 

MULBERRY—SUISUN MARSH

Application type: Lottery

This 600-acre Suisun Marsh duck club is located adjacent to Highway 680 near the “Mothball Fleet.” The club traditionally holds large numbers of pintail, as well as other ducks, in the 200-acre private sanctuary on the west side of the property. As with most clubs on the marsh, access to the blind is by boat (provided). With recent habitat improvements, this club will offer great teal and pintail hunting. Do not miss this opportunity to hunt a premier Suisun Marsh duck club.

Capacity: One junior and one non-shooting adult chaperone. Two groups will be drawn for this hunt.

Hunt dates: February 2

A young hunter poses with the fruits of her hunt.

NEW-SANBORN SLOUGH

Application type: Lottery

This 260-acre, newly acquired CWA-owned property sits between Sanborn Slough and Cherokee Channel, across from the famed Little Dry Creek unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area. Hunts will take place in stand-up blinds scattered across the wetland unit.  Hunters will boat to selected blinds.

Special conditions: Decoys and boats are provided. Four groups of three hunters will be drawn. Groups will draw for blinds the morning before the hunt.

Capacity: Two junior hunters and one non-shooting adult chaperone

Hunt Date: February 2

STATEN ISLAND—CALIFORNIA DELTA

Application type: Lottery

This California Delta island is 9,200 acres and located roughly 10 miles east of Rio Vista. Staten Island is home to thousands of wintering ducks, geese, swans and cranes. A large population of Aleutian geese winter on the island. Crops consist of corn, triticale, potatoes and hay. Hunters will hunt from stand-up blinds in flooded harvested corn fields. water depths range from 6 to 24 inches. Blind stools and decoys are provided. Note: Walking in the fields can be difficult.

Special Conditions: Hunting will end at 10 a.m. Five groups will be drawn for each hunt. Groups will draw for blinds before the morning hunt.

Capacity: Two junior hunters and one non-shooting adult chaperone

Hunt Date: February 2

Blind/Bird AVG

A hunter smiles during a hunt at Staten Island with California Waterfowl.

TYLER ISLAND HABITAT—CALIFORNIA DELTA

Application type: Lottery

Located in the California Delta, Tyler Habitat consists of over 500 acres of natural habitat. Hunters will shoot out of three-man blinds during the morning. Decoys, lunch and transportation to and from the blinds is provided. Hunters arrive in the morning and will hunt until noon.

Capacity: Two juniors hunters and one non-shooting adult chaperone. Two groups will be drawn for the hunt.

Hunt dates: Check back this fall – 

A young hunter poses with waterfowl she shot during a hunt with California Waterfowl at Tyler Island Habitat.