Learning to hunt can be daunting.

That’s why California Waterfowl provides an array of programs that go beyond the basic hunter education required for getting a hunting license.

Most of our hunter training programs include shooting instruction, with a strong emphasis on safe gun handling. We often have loaner guns available for those who have not yet purchased a firearm for hunting — a good opportunity to try before you buy.  Many workshops and clinics include sessions on hunting skills, as well as on game processing and cooking. For events that include hunts, we often have loaner gear.

Looking to buy a shotgun but don’t know how to get started? We’ve got tips here.


Shelter-in-place restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic have put a damper on many of our group educational events, but there are still things you can do to learn and stay sharp:

Hunter education

Our staff has developed Online Hunter Education Resources!

Looking to keep kids learning about waterfowl and wetlands?

Be sure to check out our Parent Resources page!

Staying sharp

The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports has created these three guides for use during lockdown – click on the images to open PDFs:

When we are able to do group events, we have two types for new hunters of all ages:

Hunter education events, such as Level 1 camps, include the hunter ed class and exam that’s required to get your hunting license in California. Some hunter education events include hunts — a great chance to give hunting a try with a minimal investment of money and time.

Find events

Hunter development events are designed for new hunters who have already completed hunter education, but still need help getting the hang of things. We have a variety of mentored hunts.

Find events

2020 schedule (PDF)

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman


This program is the gateway to a wide variety of outdoor pursuits for women. Courses are taught in highly supportive and safe environments. It’s ideal for women who feel intimidated learning in a mixed environment, or who simply enjoy women’s outings.

BOW has hunter ed events, mentored events and fishing trips, too.

Learn more

Kayaking at Hunter Conservation Camp

Summer camps for kids


California Waterfowl offers 5-day summer camps that are focused on teaching hunting and fishing skills in additional to traditional summer camp fare.

We have Level 1 camps that include hunter education, Level 2 camps for youth who already have a season of hunting under their belts, and a 4-day Level 3 camp for youth with multiple seasons of hunting experience. All camps serve kids ages 10 to 17.

In late summer, we also offer a 3-day “Family Camp,” which parents can attend with their kids. This camp includes hunter education.

Learn more

Waterfowl 101 


This event is designed for new or novice hunters and is held at our Grizzly Ranch property in the Suisun Marsh.

Participants take a one-day course in September that includes Hunter Education and practice with shooting and hunting skills. In November, they will return for an overnight stay and guided hunt in the marsh followed by game preparation and cooking demonstrations.

Hunting gear can be provided.

A guide unloads a strap of ducks at California Waterfowl's Duck Camp.

Duck Camp (3-day)


This three-day workshop at CWA’s Grizzly Ranch in the Suisun Marsh is designed to help new and beginner waterfowl hunters age 10+ (with adult supervision if under 18) with hunting skills including calling, decoy spreads, shot selection, waterfowl ID, and much more.

Lodging and meals are provided. Participants will hunt both Saturday and Sunday mornings with volunteer mentors. Loaner gear is available but hunting licenses and duck stamps are required prior to attending.

Are you ready to support the organization that helps new hunters?