Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is pleased to announce the fourteenth 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 for each hunt date.

2019 / 2020 Waterfowl Hunt Season

Applications Closed


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.  


DFW 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 & Wildlife website to locate where to purchase your license and stamps. All State regulations apply to Refuge hunts.

California Department of Fish & Wildlife Regulations

DFW License Sales Office

Additional Hunt Rules for Stone Lakes NWR


Blind Information

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.

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
6 blinds Wednesday; 6 blinds Saturday; Only hunters 18 or older may apply

Youth Blind
One adult and up to two youth hunters; see 'Youth Blind' description below for more details
1 blind Saturday only; Only licensed youth 17 or younger may apply. California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations consider a junior hunter as less than 18 years of age at the beginning of the license year (July 1).

Disabled Blind
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



General Blind



Youth Blind



Disabled Blind; pre-assigned, see map




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 less than 18 years of age at the beginning of the license year (July 1). Only youth may hunt in the post season 'Youth Only Hunt'. 

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 new FWS Form 3-2439 (see below) 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 if mailed. 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 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.

Application Forms - NEW forms for the 2019/20 season

 A separate application must be printed, filled out and submitted via mail (or dropped off) for EACH hunt date! You will only be entered in the drawing for the 1st Date indicated on each application. Multiple applications with the same date will be disqualified. 

License Number: Your hunting license number is NOT the GO ID number!  Your hunting license number is the "Document Number" on your printed license. You can find your hunting license number either under the bar code or listed as "Doc No: D-**********-*"

Be sure to SIGN your applications. Unsigned, incomplete, or old application forms will be disqualified.


  •  General Blind Hunt Application (192 KB PDF);  Only non-youth hunters may apply for the General Blind. 

  •  Youth Blind Hunt Application (192 KB PDF);  Youth age MUST be filled in, and BOTH the youth and guardian MUST sign the application. Only youth may apply for Youth Blind. Youth Blind is available for Saturday hunts.
  •  Disabled Blind Hunt Application (192 KB PDF);  Only disabled hunters may apply for the Disabled BlindDisabled Blind is available for Wednesday hunts.



2019 / 2020 Hunt Application Due Dates

To accommodate water conservation and staggered staging of waterfowl habitat, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will host waterfowl hunting November 16 through January 25, 2020. 
*Notice: the season has been extended by an additional day, and the Youth Only hunt is the second Saturday of February.

Hunt Date

Due Date 

Hunt Date 

Due Date



01-1812-1801-22 12-18
01-25 01-0201-2901-02
 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 2 weeks prior to hunt.