Applications for apprentice hunts due by Oct. 28

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a number of special hunt opportunities for young hunters, women, families and mobility-impaired hunters this fall and winter.

In Madera County several pen-raised pheasant hunts will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22 near Chowchilla. The Saturday hunt is open to mobility-impaired hunters, and two hunts on Sunday are open to families. These hunts can accommodate a total of 75 hunters. These hunts have an Oct. 28 application deadline.

Hunters can find more information and apply for these hunts online at There is no charge to apply. Please note that additional hunts in November, December and January are listed on the website and are also open for registration.

Please note that many of these opportunities will be held on state wildlife areas or ecological reserves. As of July 1, 2015, nonlead ammunition is required when hunting upland game birds on these properties.

CDFW’s Upland Game Bird Special Hunts are intended for beginning hunters or those with limited experience. All hunts include gun safety review, easy-to-hunt topography, a high ratio of volunteers to hunters, experienced dog handlers, and clay shooting for practice.

New hunters can use their Hunter Education Certificate number for priority registration for apprentice hunts. Applicants with priority will be automatically placed in a hunt before the random drawing takes place.

Hunters must carry a current California hunting license. Adult hunters (18 or older) must also have an upland game bird validation. Proper clothing and safety gear, including blaze orange, is required for department-sponsored hunts.

Details: All hunt opportunities and game bird hunting regulations can be found on CDFW’s website,, (559) 243-4005, ext. 133.