The January schedule of events has been provided through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, with programs for outdoors enthusiasts of all ages.
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.
Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11.50 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.
Various Days — Discover the Flyway School Program, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis. Discover the Flyway is an outdoor education program for kindergarten through 12th grade students that meets Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards. Its goal is to offer children a meaningful outdoor experience that will give them an appreciation for the wetlands, agriculture and wildlife of the Central Valley and contribute to a lifetime of healthy outdoor activities and development of a land stewardship ethic. This school year, Yolo Basin Foundation is offering teachers three options: the chance to bring students to a field trip to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, the opportunity to have educators and docents bring the program to their classroom or the option to participate from school or home in a live, virtually led activity. Teachers can learn more and register at www.yolobasin.org/schoolprograms.
Weekends — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Volunteers lead walks highlighting the natural history of the Elkhorn Slough every Saturday and Sunday. Capacity is limited due to physical distancing requirements and individuals must sign up on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups of six or more should call ahead at (831) 728-2822 to reserve a tour. For more information, visit www.elkhornslough.org/esnerr/tours.
Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley. This hour-and-a-half tour will stroll a third of a mile to an elevated viewing deck where participants will have a bird’s-eye view of wildlife. Visitors often encounter hawks, rabbits, herons, turtles, cormorants, swallows and much more. This is one of the premier birding spots in northern California, as migratory ducks and geese usually take the spotlight. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and associated fee-for-use requirement. There is no additional cost for the tour. To sign up, visit Eventbrite. To purchase a Lands Pass, visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. There is a limit of 12 people per tour. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed, which may include masking and/or physical distancing. Come prepared and be respectful of other visitors. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email email@example.com.
Saturdays — Swan Tours. Celebrate the bird migration on the Pacific Flyway this fall and winter. CDFW’s free and popular Swan Tours are set for selective Saturdays in January. Held in partnership with Mathews Rice Operation, the tours transverse flooded rice fields north of Marysville. This area boasts the largest overwintering population of tundra swans in the Central Valley, as well as abundant geese, ducks, shorebirds and raptors. Mandatory health and safety protocols are in place. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, Jan. 12 — Duck Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Thursday, Jan. 13 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee 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.
Friday, Jan. 14 — White and White-fronted Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Saturday, Jan. 15 — 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 those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more details and to register, visit www.elkhornslough.org/calendar.
Saturday, Jan. 15 — Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Pop-up Information Booth, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Parking Lot A, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis. Every third Saturday of the month, Yolo Basin Foundation will have a pop-up information booth in Parking Lot A of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. It is a great time to visit since volunteers will be present to hand out maps of the auto tour route and hiking trails, provide information about what to keep an eye out for and answer questions as visitors set out to explore local wildlife. Come visit the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area during this time of magical migrations. Waterfowl, geese, swans and more are making their way south along the Pacific Flyway. For more information about the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, visit www.yolobasin.org/yolobypasswildlifearea.
Sunday, Jan. 30 — Goose Season Closes in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Quail, Chukar and Snipe Seasons Close. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.
General Tree Squirrel Season Closes. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.
Rabbit and Varying Hare Seasons Close. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.
Monday, Jan. 31 — Duck Season Closes in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Duck and Goose Season Closes in the Colorado River, Southern San Joaquin and Southern California Zones. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 20). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.
Deer Tag Reporting Deadline. Deer tag holders must submit a harvest report for any 2021 deer tag by the Jan. 31, 2022 deadline. All tag holders must report even if they did not hunt or they hunted unsuccessfully. Tag holders who do not report by this deadline will be charged a $21.60 non-reporting penalty fee when purchasing a 2022 deer tag drawing application or deer tag. To report your harvest online, visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting#9941260-tag-reporting.