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Hunting Procedures, Regulations & Bag Limits

Sac Check StationThe open season for each of the species listed below is concurrent with the seasons established by the State of California. Hunting geese, ducks, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasant is permitted. Hunting is permitted in accordance with all applicable State and Federal regulations and is subject to special regulations. Hunters should consult the CDFW hunting regulations. Hunting is permitted on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays only. 


Before You Arrive...
Check Stations DO NOT sell any license items, validations or passes. Hunters must purchase any needed licenses, validations and passes prior to arrival at the Check Station; these can be obtained from a CDFW license sales office, a license agent, or online. Before your arrival, please verify that all members of your hunting party have the following items:

  • California Hunting License
  • Prepaid Type A Pass (not required for junior hunters) - Type A One-day, Two-day or Season Pass (this is like an entry day-pass)
  • Harvest Information Program (HIP) Validation (if hunting ducks, geese, coots or snipe)
  • California Duck Stamp (not required for junior hunters; not required if only hunting pheasants)
  • Federal Duck Stamp (required for all hunters age 16 or older; not required if only hunting pheasants)
  • Upland Game Bird Stamp (required if hunting pheasants; not required for junior hunters)

Hunt Area Admission Process for Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa & Sutter...
There are 3 methods of admission to the hunt areas:

  1. Reservation
    -The daily quota of hunters is filled first by those holding advance reservations
    - You must apply for a reservation at least 17 days in advance of desired hunt day
    - You may apply for a reservation through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife or wherever hunting licenses are sold
  2. Lottery
    - You may enter a lottery drawing at the check station between 6:00-8:00pm the night before you want to hunt
    - Results will be posted at the check station after 8:00pm  
  3. First-Come First-Served
    - You may wait in the "sweat-line" and will be allowed admission that morning after all reservations and lottery holders are admitted 


Click here for further information on:

Filling Vacancies - Vacancies occurring from no-show reservation hunters and from hunters leaving the area are filled in accordance with current CDFW procedures. If you do not get drawn for a reservation, you may enter a lottery the evening before the hunt. Non-reservation hunters may enter the lottery drawing for all of the following: Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa and Sutter Refuges, on any hunt date. After all reservation and lottery number holders have been processed, hunters may enter on a first-come, first-served system.

Check Stations - The check stations at Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa and Sutter will open at 6:00pm Tuesdays and Fridays during waterfowl season.


  • Licenses - All hunters must posses a valid California State hunting license, and a HIP Validation. Hunters 16 years of age or older must also possess a California Duck Stamp, a signed Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp), and an Upland Game Bird Stamp (if hunting pheasants).  See "Before You Arrive" above.
  • Pass required - All hunters must purchase a Type A Pass (one-day, two-day, or season) prior to their arrival at the Check Station. A daily fee is required of all persons 16 years of age or older. Junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult permittee.
  • Check Station - All hunters must obtain a permit at the check station before entering the hunting area.
  • Ammunition - Approved nontoxic shot is required on all refuges. No shot shell larger than 12 gauge and no shot size larger than T is permitted. A 25 shell limit applies.
  • Dogs - In the check station parking area, dogs must be kept in autos or on a leash.
  • Parking - Vehicle parking is allowed only in designated parking areas.
  • Littering and Fires - Please take your refuse with you when you leave; littering is unlawful and can be fined. Open fires are prohibited. 
  • Alcoholic Beverages -The consumption or possession of an open container of alcohol, within public areas of the refuge, is prohibited. This does not apply to vehicles or trailers.
  • Checkout - All hunters are required to check out at the check station, report hunting results, and return their permits before leaving the area.
  • Bicycles - Access to the hunt area is by foot only. Bicycles and other conveyances are not permitted. 
  • Injuries and Accidents - Incidents involving injury or accident occurring on the refuge must be reported immediately to the check station or Complex headquarters at (530) 934-2801.

Sacramento and Delevan Spaced Hunting Area Special Regulations
Hunters are restricted to within 100 feet of their assigned blind or hunt site except for retrieving downed or crippled birds. Firearms must be unloaded while being transported between parking areas and spaced hunting areas.

Upland Game Special Regulations
Pheasant hunting is permitted during the pheasant season on waterfowl shoot days only. Shooting hours for pheasants are 8:00 a.m. to sunset. Approved nontoxic shot is required for hunting pheasants. Except for a special one-day hunt, the first Monday of pheasant season, pheasant hunting is not permitted in the spaced hunting area on Sacramento and Delevan NWRs.

Hunting Season and Bag Limits

Page Photo Credits — USFWS Photo
Last Updated: Nov 03, 2014
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