The holiday season began early for many hunters as pheasant, wild turkey and the second dove season opened up Nov. 9. 

Ring-neck Pheasant

“The pheasant opener on the second Saturday of November remains a strong tradition for many families,” read a press release issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The flush of a wild, cackling, rooster pheasant is one of nature’s most thrilling moments.”

According to the release, several federal wildlife refuges are popular destinations for pheasant hunters, including the Colusa, Delevan, Sutter and Sacramento national wildlife refuges. These refuges are open to pheasant hunting on their regularly scheduled Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday waterfowl hunt days during pheasant season. These national wildlife refuges will also be open to a special pheasant hunt in their spaced waterfowl blind and assigned pond areas the first Monday of pheasant season, Nov. 11. 

The 2019 general pheasant season runs from Saturday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 22. and shooting hours are from 8 a.m. to sunset. According to the California Fish and Wildlife Department, the daily bag limit is two males per day for the first two days of the season and three males per day thereafter. The possession limit is triple the daily bag limit. 

Wild Turkey

The fall season runs from Saturday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 8, and both males and females may be taken, unlike in the spring season. Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

According to the California Fish and Wildlife Department, the daily bag limit is one turkey of either sex with a season and possession limit of two birds.

“Turkey hunters have several new opportunities in 2019 as the Sutter, Sacramento, Delevan and Colusa national wildlife refuges will open to fall turkey hunting for the first time,” read the release. 

According to the California Fish and Wildlife Department, turkey hunting will be permitted in the waterfowl free roam and pheasant hunting areas only at the refuges during their normal Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday waterfowl shoot days during the turkey season.

Doves

California’s second dove season runs from Saturday, Nov. 9 through Monday, Dec. 23. and shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

According to the California Fish and Wildlife Department, limits remain the same as the early season: Mourning dove and white-winged dove have a daily bag limit of 15, up to 10 of which may be white-winged dove and the possession limit is triple the daily bag limit. According to the release, there are no limits on spotted dove and ringed turtle dove and hunting for Eurasian collared dove is legal year-round and there is no limit. 

Additional requirements

According to the California Fish and Wildlife Department, both a valid hunting license and upland game bird validation are needed to hunt pheasant, turkey and dove. 

An upland game bird validation is not required for junior license holders, but all hunters are required to have a Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation when hunting migratory game birds such as mourning dove and snipe. A wildlife area hunting pass is required for adults to hunt on a Type A state-operated wildlife area and national wildlife refuge. Please check with the individual property for specific details and regulations on each area.

California Fish and Wildlife Department noted that nonlead shot is now required when taking any wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California and advised hunters to plan accordingly. 

For more information, visit the California Fish and Wildlife Department website at www.wildlife.ca.gov.

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