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Public Lands Closures Affecting Hunters

Waterfowl Hunting Areas

It is common for waterfowl hunting areas to close periodically due to safety concerns caused by flooding. Areas that most commonly experience flood closures are: Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Delevan National Wildlife Refuge, Little Dry Creek and Howard Slough. Reservations for State-operated wildlife areas that are closed due to flooding will not be accepted at other hunting areas. Refunds will not be issued for applications submitted to areas that are closed or if reservations are not available. Closed areas may reopen later in the season if safety conditions improve.

CLOSED wildlife areas / refuges:               

  • Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is closed until further notice due to flooding. Call (530)757-2461 for information.
  • Sutter National Wildlife Refuge is closed until further notice due to flooding. Call (530)934-2801 for information.
  • The Grizzly Island Wildlife Area Complex, except for Gold Hills and Island Slough, is closed to all public use, including fishing, due to overtopping levees. This includes the following units: Grizzly Island, Joice Island, Hill Slough, Peytonia, and Goodyear Slough.   Call (707)425-3828 for information.


link opens in new windowSTATUS OF POPULAR WILDLIFE AREAS (which are open or closed) (PDF)

Check Twitter tag #cawildlifeareaclosures for updates on State-operated wildlife area closures.

Big Game Hunting Areas

Due to current fire conditions, fire closures and/or restrictions on public lands are expected for the 2016 hunting season.

If you plan to hunt USFS or BLM lands this year, it is important that you monitor the individual forest and/or resource area websites for updates on potential closures. For your convenience, we have provided links to the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Incident Information System (which lists all fires):

CDFW Closures

  • None at this time

Tag Refunds / Exchanges

  • Deer tag fees are nonrefundable, regardless of closures due to fire, weather or any other conditions (CCR T14-708.5).
  • Premium deer hunt tags cannot be exchanged.
  • Restricted and unrestricted deer hunt tags may be exchanged if all of the following conditions are met:
    • The earliest season for the tag to be exchanged has not yet opened (In most cases this is archery season; however check season dates for confirmation);
    • The tag quota for the tag to be exchanged has not filled;
    • Tags are still available for the zone to be requested; and
    • The exchange fee of $10.04 for the exchange tag accompanies your request.
  • Deer tag exchanges are only processed at CDFW license sales offices.