Along with bringing cooler weather to California, the arrival of October also sees an abundance of hunting, fishing and educational/recreational activities offered through the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife.
All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the changing conditions and guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing. For information on how to get vaccinated in California, visit myturn.ca.gov.
Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfires or wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.
On Oct. 2, several seasons opened: California spiny lobster recreational fishing season; general duck and goose season in the northeastern waterfowl zone; early Canada Goose season in the balance of state waterfowl zone.
Also, general deer season is now open in Zones D19, X1, X2, X3a, X3b, X4, X5a, X5b, X6a, X6b, X7a and X7b; Archery-only deer season is open in Zone D12. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.
California spiny lobster commercial fishing season opened statewide on Oct. 6. For more information regarding commercial lobster management, visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/commercial-regulations.
Saturday, Oct. 9 — General deer season opens in Zones D11, D13-15 and D17. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.
General bear season opens in the remaining X zones. General bear season opens in deer hunting zones X1, X2, X3a, X4, X6a, X6b, X7a and X7b in areas open to bear hunting. The general bear season will remain open until Dec. 26, or until CDFW determines that 1,700 bears have been taken. All hunters must get their tag validated and present the bear head for tooth extraction by CDFW personnel. Current bear hunting regulations, in-season updates and general black bear information can be viewed at wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear.
Early archery-only season for pheasant opens (extending through Oct. 31). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.
Thursday, Oct. 14 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, time to be determined. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, visit fgc.ca.gov.
Saturday, Oct. 16 — General deer season opens in Zone X9c. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.
16 — General season for all quail opens in Zone Q1 and Zone Q3; General season for chukar opens statewide; General season for snipe opens statewide; all three season extend through Jan. 30, 2022).
Also featured on Saturday, Oct. 16 will be Garden Days at Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Learn about native plant gardening and help the reserve maintain its new demonstration gardens. Participants will spend time exploring topics in native plant gardening and then spend time working in the gardens. Work changes with the season and may involve weeding, planting or collecting native seeds. All ages and abilities are welcome, but everyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more details and to register, visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/garden-days-221016.
Thursday, Oct. 21 — Monitoring Monarchs: A Community Science Story, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Join local community scientist Connie Masotti to learn about monitoring monarch butterflies in the Monterey Bay area. Find out more about these unique insects and learn what you can do to help the population in California. To register for this free virtual event, visit the events calendar at www.elkhornslough.org/calendar.
Saturday, Oct. 23 — General duck and goose season opens in the balance of state, Southern San Joaquin Valley and Southern California and Colorado River Waterfowl Zones. General deer season opens in Zone D16.
Sunday, Oct. 31 — Last day of recreational ocean salmon season. For more information, visit the ocean salmon webpage at wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/salmon or call the CDFW Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825.
From October through June, join in the monthly Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Tour from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis. Yolo Basin Foundation offers monthly tours, the first Saturday of each month, at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. These tours are appropriate for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts and birders. View seasonal and permanent wetlands, native grasslands and young riparian forests. Depending on the season, look for migrating and resident waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, raptors and wading birds. Registration is required to attend. For more information and to register, visit www.yolobasin.org/wetlands-tours. There is a suggested donation of $10 per adult for tours. Donations support the wetlands education programs.