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Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl HuntingThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is pleased to announce the tenth annual public waterfowl hunt on the South Stone Lake Unit of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. This is not a California Department of Fish & Wildlife hunt. All draws for all blinds will be conducted through the Refuge, and all applicants MUST submit the Refuge Waterfowl Application Form 3-2355 for each hunt date.

2014 / 2015 Waterfowl Hunt Season

Now Accepting Applications

The 2014-15 waterfowl hunt season at Stone Lakes NWR will continue to see a reduction due to budget constraints and the drought.  This reduction is being implemented to compensate for operational impacts incurred from a decrease in base funding, staffing restrictions, and water conservation and restrictions.  In an effort to ensure quality hunting opportunities for the public, the core of the season will remain unaffected by reducing the number of hunt days during the early portion of the season when migratory waterfowl are at their lowest numbers.  To accommodate the budget reductions, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will tentatively operate the waterfowl hunting November 15 through January 24, 2015.
 

 

 

General Rules

“RESERVATION ONLY” hunts for the general public will be conducted on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This is a random drawing. Seven blinds total will be drawn. ALL blinds will be available as first pick status per reservation drawn except disabled blind which is pre-assigned.

Check Station
All hunters must present a valid CA hunting license and appropriate stamps at the check station. All hunters must check-in and check-out at the check station and report hunting results. Check-in time to claim reserved pick status is 5:00 a.m.  Shoot time ends at 12:00 p.m. (noon), and all hunters must have checked back in by 1:00 p.m.  Youth hunters get first pick on Saturdays. All licensed hunters in a blind may participate in hunt (exceptions for 'Youth Blind' and 'Youth Only Hunt' in the post season hunt; see details below). Unlicensed hunters may accompany a licensed hunter but may not hunt. An unlicensed hunter counts as a 'person' in the blind just as a licensed hunter. Licenses and stamps are NOT sold at the check station or refuge headquarters!

This is a small, high quality hunt that offers well spaced blinds and an opportunity to enjoy a normally restricted area with a natural lake and restored riparian and wetland setting. Unsportsman-like, unsafe or illegal conduct will not be tolerated and may result in loss of hunting privileges to this area. 

NO waiting line ("backfill / sweatline"). NO prior access to hunt area; area is closed to general public. Please do not ask for access; requests will be refused and you may or will be cited for trespassing in a closed area.  

 

DFG Regulations, Licenses, & Additional Hunt Rules  
Licenses and stamps are NOT sold at the check station or refuge headquarters! Please use the California Department of Fish & Game website to locate where to purchase your license and stamps. All State regulations apply to Refuge hunts.

2014 / 2015 California Department of Fish & Wildlife Regulations

DFW License Sales Office

Additional Hunt Rules for Stone Lakes NWR

 

Blind Information

Blinds
All licensed hunters in a blind may participate in hunt (exceptions for 'Youth Blind' and 'Youth Only Hunt' in the post season hunt; see details below). All hunters must hunt from blinds; NO free-roam. Blinds consist of either a concrete pit blind or a platform blind. Chest waders are needed to get to blinds. Please see links below for blind conditions and locations. Only overall running season averages will be posted; individual blind averages will NOT be posted! Hunters are responsible for bringing additional camouflage as available natural cover may be limited at individual blinds, or 'brushing' may deteriorate as the season progresses. Due to cost of maintenance and upkeep, Boat-to-Blinds are no longer available.

Season Averages

Blind Conditions

Sun River Hunt Blind Map   2.7 MB pdf

 

Applicants may apply for one of the three hunt blind draws:

General Blind
2-person
6 blinds Wednesday; 6 blinds Saturday; Only hunters 16 or older may apply


Youth Blind
3-person
One adult and up to two youth hunters; see 'Youth Blind' description below for more details
1 blind Saturday only; Only licensed youth 15 or younger may apply


Disabled Blind
2-person
Pre-assigned; floating pontoon blind that may be moved in lower half of assigned wetland unit
1 blind Wednesday only; One disabled accompanied by one able-bodied hunter; Only licensed disabled hunter may apply

 

 

 

Blind Draw

Wednesday

    Saturday  

General Blind

6

6

Youth Blind

0

1

Disabled Blind; pre-assigned, see map

1

0

 


One Disabled blind Wednesday; One Youth blind Saturday;
Six General blinds both Wednesday and Saturday

 


Youth Blind
One blind is reserved for youth on Saturday and will have the first pick. Only youths may apply for youth blinds. Adults may NOT apply for youth blinds. Youth blinds are 3-person max. All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.  Up to two youth hunters accompanied by one adult in the youth blind.  The accompanying adult may hunt.  Or, one youth hunter and one adult hunter, accompanied by one non-shooting guest, regardless of age, may be in the blind. If there are two adults in the blind with one youth, only ONE adult may hunt. Youths are individuals 15 years or younger at the time of the hunt. Juniors who have turned 16 are not eligible to apply for the Youth Blind or the post-season 'Youth Only Hunt'. Only youth may hunt in the 'Youth Only Hunt' during the post season. 

Disabled Blind
One pre-assigned blind is reserved for disabled on Wednesday. To qualify as disabled, the applicant must possess a DMV placard identification card/receipt with the applicants name listed and must show at check-in station. Only disabled hunters may apply for the disabled blind. Able-bodied hunters may NOT apply for disabled blinds. Licensed able-bodied hunters accompanying disabled hunter MAY hunt. Disabled blind is pre-assigned; it is a floating pontoon blind that may be moved within the lower half of designated wetland unit.

 

Application Procedure

This is a non-fee hunt. All applications for all blinds must use the FWS Form 3-2355 printed on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of regular #20 typing paper. Faxes, letters, emails, and postcards will NOT be accepted and will be disqualified from the drawing. Applicants may only apply once per hunt day. No fee required to submit applications, and applications for each hunt day may be submitted in one envelope with proper postage. Applications must be sent through the U.S. Mail or dropped off during refuge office hours: M - F, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Applications MUST be received on or before the appropriate application due date as listed below. Hunt days for Youth blind is Saturday and Disabled blind is Wednesday. Youth hunter gets first pick on Saturday. Disabled blind is pre-assigned. All successful applicants will be selected by a random drawing and notified via reservation postcard at least ten days prior to hunt. Reservations are non-transferable and the selected applicant must be present and participating in the hunt. Repeat "no-shows" will be eliminated from the drawings.

Please do not call about selections! Successful applicants will receive a reservation card via U.S. Mail. As per policy, successful applicants will not be posted on the website. General staff answering phones do not have the reservation list and cannot give out personal information.

A separate application must be submitted for EACH hunt date! You will only be entered in the drawing for the 1st Choice Date indicated on each application. Multiple applications with the same date will be disqualified.

Be sure to SIGN your applications; Unsigned applications will be disqualified.

FWS Form 3-2355; General Blind   170 KB pdf  Only hunters 16 or older may apply for the General Blind.

FWS Form 3-2355; Youth Blind   170 KB pdf  Youth age MUST be filled in, and BOTH the youth and guardian MUST sign the application. Only youth 15 or younger may apply for Youth Blind. Applicants 16 or older must apply for General Blind.

FWS Form 3-2355; Disabled Blind   170 KB pdf  Only disabled hunters may apply for the Disabled Blind.

 

2014 / 2015 Hunt Application Due Dates

To accommodate budget reductions and the drought, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will tentatively open waterfowl hunting November 15 through January 24, 2015.

 

    Saturday  
Hunt Date
 

    Application  
Due Date 

    Wednesday  
Hunt Date 

    Application  
Due Date

11-15

10-29 11-19 11-03
11-22 11-05

11-26

11-10
11-29 11-12 12-03 11-17
12-06 11-19 12-10 11-24
12-13 11-26 12-17 12-01
12-20 12-03 12-24 12-08
12-27 12-10 12-31 12-15
01-03 12-17 01-07 12-22
01-10 12-22 01-14 12-29
01-17 12-31 01-21 01-05
01-24 01-07    
01-31 YOUTH
ONLY HUNT
01-12    

 

 

 

Mail or Drop-off Applications to:

Stone Lakes NWR Hunt
1624 Hood-Franklin Road
Elk Grove, CA 95757
Office Hours: M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Closed Saturday, Sunday & Federal Holidays

 

Successful applicants will be selected by a random drawing and notified via reservation postcard at least ten days prior to hunt.

 

 

Page Photo Credits — Waterfowl Hunting / USFWS
Last Updated: Sep 11, 2014
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