Waterfowl hunting 2019 and bird season starting soon – stock up on ammo


This year, the waterfowl hunting 2019 opens on October 19. Please note that the waterfowl season 2019 has opening and closing dates that vary by zone. Get the latest daily bag and possession limits on the CDFW website.

Waterfowl hunting 2019 on public land is available on more than two dozen national wildlife refuges, state wildlife areas, and ecological reserves managed by CDFW. Since July 1, 2019, non-lead ammo is required to hunt any game animals on private and public land in California.

Waterfowl hunting and other wing-shooting hunts are known for frequent and fast shooting. Waterfowl and other bird hunters go through ammunition like there was no tomorrow. Running out of ammo is, therefore, a common occurrence as any bird hunter knows.

It’s not like hunting boar and feral pigs where you get to shoot less than you have fingers on one hand during an entire weekend – if you are lucky. Usually, it is one shot and you either got your boar or you go home empty-handed.

waterfowl hunting
Waterfowl hunter

Bird hunting, on the other hand, often sounds more like a war zone than a peaceful wilderness area where fox and hare wish each other a good night.

In addition, new and more stringent rules governing the purchase of ammunition that went in effect in 2019 are making ammo purchases even more cumbersome this year.

First and foremost, lead-free ammo is required since July 1, 2019, for all types of hunting in California. Get up to date by reading our various articles on the subject in the California Hunting Post or on the CDFW website.

waterfowl hunting 2019
Waterfowl aplenty

Worse yet and more controversial is the California law that mandates background checks for ammo purchases. However, many hunters have purchased a stockpile of their hunting ammunition before the new law took effect. But what about next year? Just use out of state sources to replenish your hunting ammo or simply abide by California laws.

Besides ammo purchase provisions, a valid California hunting license, mandatory validations, a signed federal duck stamp or an electronic duck stamp are required before you can hunt waterfowl and/or other birds in California. Many wildlife areas also require that hunters also have a hunting pass for the wildlife area. Since licenses, validations and passes are not sold at wildlife areas, hunters must purchase them in advance on the CDFW website or from a licensed and authorized retailer for CDFW.


Waterfowl hunting 2019 may close throughout the season 2019/2020 for safety reasons because of flooding. The following areas are frequently affected by flood closures:

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Sutter National Wildlife Area, Delevan National Wildlife Refuge, and Little Dry Creek and Howard Slough Units of Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area.

CDFW advises hunters to visit the public area status website for current information on closures. The website will be updated throughout the season.

Additional detailed information on waterfowl hunting is available from CDFW here and here. Both websites have the official waterfowl regulations and rules for 2019 with numerous ways to contact CDFW regarding waterfowl related information. These sites are invaluable for waterfowl hunters. They save interested hunters time and frustrating searches for information that may be well hidden under multiple layers of bird and migratory waterfowl hunting data.

Chris P.


Publisher and Editor in Chief at United Seabears
Peter Jaeckle is the publisher and Chief Editor of the California Hunting Post.You can find him also on Google+,Twitter, Facebook and on many other sites. Over the past decades he has written on investments, dogs and dog rescue, economic and on environmental topics.

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