San Francisco, CA -(Ammoland.com)- The second weekend of November brings a popular tradition for many families in California – the opening of pheasant season.
Although the overall wild pheasant population has been decreasing in recent years and the number of shoot days has been reduced on some wildlife areas, opportunities are still available on state-managed lands.
The 2016 general pheasant season will open Saturday, Nov. 12 and extend through Sunday, Dec. 25.
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. Shooting hours are from 8 a.m. to sunset.
Native to Asia, the ring-necked pheasant was introduced to California as a game bird species in the late 1800s.
Though they flourished in California for decades, numbers have been dropping since the most recent high in the late 1990s.Total pheasant harvest on public areas in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys declined from a high of 4,828 roosters in 1998 to 629 last year.
In an effort to address the continued decline, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) continues efforts to restore and enhance upland habitat on public areas.
This is in addition to the ongoing collaborative research with Pheasants Forever and the United States Geological Survey to improve our understanding of factors limiting their populations.
A recent article about declines in the Central Valley and more information about ongoing research is available on CDFW’s website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/birds/pheasant.
In 2010, CDFW reduced the number of days that certain wildlife areas will be open for pheasant hunting due to a decline in the number of hunters targeting pheasant and the cost to operate check stations during the first week of the season.
For the upcoming season, hunters should be aware of the following restrictions on wildlife areas:
Non-Lead ammunition is now required when hunting pheasants anywhere in the state, except Licensed Game Bird Clubs. For more information please see the CDFW non-lead ammunition page.
All hunters must carry a current California hunting license in their possession. Adult hunters (18 or older) must also have an upland game bird validation. The full upland game bird hunting regulations and a summary as well as the lands regulations for 2016-2017 can be found on CDFW’s website.
The modifications of the shoot days on Type A wildlife areas are pursuant to the California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 550(i)(1).
About the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW):
The Mission of the Department of Fish and Wildlife is to manage California’s diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.
For more information, visit: www.wildlife.ca.gov.