Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is pleased to announce the sixteenth 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.


2020 / 2021 Waterfowl Hunt Season

 Now Accepting Applications


 
 

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 successful drawn applications will be sent a reservation confirmation postcard via U.S. Mail.  Blind pick will be conducted the morning of the drawn hunt in order of the assigned pick number on the reservation confirmation postcard, except disabled blind which is pre-assigned. No sweat lines.

Check Station

The Service is following federal, state, and local public safety guidelines to provide continued access to recreational opportunities on public lands. Any entry onto Service property during this period is at the visitor’s sole risk. Check station will conduct hunter check-in outside of the building, and each hunting party must wait in the parking area until called up for blind pick. When visiting Stone Lakes NWR, please ensure public health and safety by following guidance from the CDC, state and local public health authorities. All persons during check-in and check-out must adhere to Sacramento County health and safety guidelines.

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', 'Youth Only Hunt' and 'Veterans 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.

 

 

 

Blinds

All licensed hunters in a blind may participate in hunt (exceptions for 'Youth Blind', 'Youth Only Hunt', and 'Veterans 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.

 

Applicants may apply for ONE of the three blind options per hunt day:

General Blind

  • 2-person
  • 6 blinds Wednesday; 6 blinds Saturday
  • Only hunters 16 or older with a general license may apply
  • Blinds are up to 2 persons: Up to two hunters, OR, one hunter and a non-shooting guest, regardless of age, may be in the blind

Youth Blind
  • 3-person
  • One adult and up to two youth hunters
  • One blind is reserved for youth hunters on Saturday and will have the first pick. Only hunters with a junior license may apply for youth blinds. California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations consider a junior hunter as less than 16 years of age at the beginning of the license year (July 1)Hunters with a general license may NOT apply for youth blinds. All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.  Youth blinds are up to 3-persons: Up to two youth hunters accompanied by one adult (shooting or non-shooting adult) in the youth blind, OR, one youth hunter with one shooting adult, 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 16 years of age at the beginning of the license year (July 1). Only hunters with a junior license may hunt in the post season 'Youth Only Hunt'  

Disabled Blind
  • 2-person
  • Pre-assigned floating pontoon blind reserved for disabled hunters on Wednesdays, which may be moved in lower half of assigned wetland unit via human power
  • 1 blind Wednesday; One disabled hunter accompanied by one able-bodied person (shooting or non-shooting); Only licensed disabled hunter may apply
  • 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; blind is a floating pontoon boat that may be moved within the lower half of designated wetland unit via human power

 

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

 

Application Procedure

All applications must be sent through the U.S. Mail. This is a non-fee hunt. All applications for all blinds must use the 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 all together in one large envelope with proper postage. No drop-offs.

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.

Please do not call about selections!
 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. As per policy, successful applicants will not be posted on the website, and general staff answering phones do not have the reservation list and cannot give out personal information. If you cannot attend your hunt day, we kindly request notification via email of your cancellation so we may refill that draw. For questions or to cancel your drawn reservation, email:stonelakes@fws.gov
 
 

Application Forms

A separate application must be printed, filled out and submitted via U.S. mail 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/expired application forms will be disqualified.

  •  General Blind Hunt Application (217 KB PDF);  Only non-youth hunters may apply for the General Blind.
  •  Youth Blind Hunt Application (223 KB PDF);  Youth age MUST be filled in, and BOTH the youth and guardian MUST sign the application. Only youth hunters with a juniors license may apply for the Youth Blind. Youth Blind is available for Saturday hunts.
  •  Disabled Blind Hunt Application (218 KB PDF);  Only disabled hunters may apply for the Disabled BlindDisabled Blind is available for Wednesday hunts.

 

Special Post-Season Hunts

Youth Only Hunt
The first Saturday of February is a Youth Only Hunt. Only youth with a valid junior license may apply for the hunt. Please use the Youth Only Hunt Application (see below) and both the youth and guardian must sign the application. All blinds will be up to 3-persons: Up to two youth hunters with one non-shooting adult, OR, one youth hunter with two non-shooters, one of which must be an adult. Only youth may hunt.

  • Youth Only Hunt Application (271 KB PDF);  Youth age MUST be filled in, and BOTH the youth and guardian MUST sign the application. Only youth hunters with a juniors license may apply for the Youth Only Hunt. 

 

Veterans Only Hunt *NEW* 
The second Saturday of February is a Veterans Only Hunt. Only qualified Veterans may apply for the hunt. Veterans (as defined in Section 101 or Title 38, United States Code) and members of the Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves on active duty (other than training), may participate. Persons participating in this special hunt must possess and present upon demand verification of eligibility to participate in this hunt. Verification includes: Veteran's ID Card, or Military ID Card for active duty, or a State-issued driver's license or Identification Card with Veteran Designation. Please use the Veterans Only Hunt General Application or the Veterans Only Hunt Disabled Application to apply (see below).  All blinds will be up to 2-persons; there are six general blinds and one disabled blind available for this hunt. Blinds may have either two Veteran hunters, OR, one Veteran hunter with a non-shooting guest as the second person. Only Veterans may hunt. 

 

2020 / 2021 Hunt Application Dates 

To accommodate water conservation and staggered staging of waterfowl habitat, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will host waterfowl hunting November 21 through January 30, 2021. 
*Notice: The special Youth Only hunt is the first Saturday of February and the Veterans Only Hunt is the second Saturday of February. Only Youth and Veterans respectively may hunt on those days.

     Hunt Date     

    Application  
Due Date 

11-2110-26
11-2511-02
11-2811-02
12-0211-09
12-0511-09
12-0911-16
12-1211-16
12-1611-23
12-1911-23
12-23 11-30
12-26CLOSED
12-3012-07
 01-0212-07
01-0612-14
01-0912-14
01-1312-21
01-1612-21
01-2012-28
01-2312-28
01-2701-04
01-3001-04
02-06 
YOUTH
ONLY HUNT
01-11
02-13  
 VETERANS
ONLY HUNT 
01-19
 
 For questions or to cancel your drawn reservation, please email:  stonelakes@fws.gov

All applications must be sent through the U.S. Mail. Applications for each hunt day may be submitted all together in one large envelope with proper postage. No Drop-offs.

Mail Applications to:
 

Stone Lakes NWR Hunt
1624 Hood-Franklin Road
Elk Grove, CA 95757
 
Successful applicants will be selected by a random drawing and notified via reservation postcard at least 2 weeks prior to hunt.