For general and Refuge-specific rules and regulations, link to the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. On this page, you’ll find:
- Unit-specif rules and regulations for hunting
- Maps (e.g. check stations, driving directions, hunt area, and the other Units)
- Links to definitions and other relevant summaries
Warning shots!!! Look for additional rules and instructions on Unit signs and kiosks.
I. Regulatory Summary
Authorized species: geese, ducks, coots, and moorhens
- Location: Salt Slough Unit of CDFW’s North Grasslands Wildlife Area. From Hwy 152 in Los Banos, turn north on Hwy 165 and proceed 6.5 miles north, turn right onto Wolfsen Road and proceed one mile. The checking station is on the left side of the road (Google map)
- Lottery: held at the check station the evening before each hunt day; see “Lottery” below
- Permits: issued at the check station the morning of each hunt day; see “Permits” below
- Reservations: called at the check station; see “Reservations” below
- Waiting list: if you don’t have a reservation and didn’t enter the lottery, you may be added to the fill-in list at the check station; see “Waiting list” below
Hunt Area: hunt ONLY within assigned zone except to (a) retrieve/shoot downed birds, (b) place decoys or (c) travel between blind and assigned hunter parking area
Hunter access: unit may be accessed from Parking Lot #2 of the San Luis Unit or Parking Lot #7 of the West Bear Creek Unit (Google map)
Hunt Map: pic. right
Juniors: may enter the lottery if accompanied by a responsible adult; see “Lottery” below
Lottery: Hunters without reservations may register for a lottery drawing to establish the order of issuance of permits to fill vacancies after reservation holders on the morning of the hunt
- Registration: in person at the check station between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. the evening before each hunt day (potential hunting partners do not have to present during registration or enter the lottery). Warning shot!!! Register only once or you will be disqualified from the drawing and NOT allowed to hunt that day.
- Drawing: results are posted at the checking station shortly after 9:00 p.m.
- Parties: each lottery number ensures entry of up to three (3) persons. Warning shot!!! All parties must use the same hunting assignment
- Location: issued at the check station
- Time: issuance begins two and one-half (2 ½) hours before shoot time. Warning shot!!! No permits are issued after shoot time begins
- Order: reservation holders are called first, followed by lottery holders and then the first-come, first-served list
- Return: permits must be returned to the check station by 3:00 p.m.
- Check station: present to check station, which begins calling them two and one-half (2 ½) hours before shoot time
- Parties: each reservation ensures entry of up to three (3) persons. Warning shot!!! All parties must use the same hunting assignment
- Expiration: expire one hour before shoot time
Unit Capacity: a daily maximum capacity of 18 hunters or six (6) parties of three (3)
Waiting list: hunters without a reservation or lottery number may sign in at the check station and be added to the “fill-in” list on a first-come, first-served basis. Warning shot!!! All parties must use the same hunting assignment
II. Unit-Specific Rules and Regulations
Warning Shots!!! For general and Refuge-specific rules and regulations, link to the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. Additional conditions may be posted at the Refuge and/or Unit.
San Luis National Wildlife Refuge
A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of goose, duck, coot, moorhen, and snipe on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations subject to the following conditions:
9. We restrict hunters in the spaced zone area of the East Bear Creek Unit to their assigned zone except when they are traveling to and from the parking area, retrieving downed birds, or when shooting to retrieve crippled birds.
San Luis NWR Hunt Program
Goose, duck, coot, and moorhen hunting is permitted on designated areas of the Refuge Complex subject to the following conditions or as may otherwise be posted.
Access to individual blinds and zones may be limited to those holding location-specific permits. This includes Kesterson and Freitas pheasant zones, pond assignments within West Bear Creek, East Bear Creek, Lonetree, the San Luis River Unit, and within the spaced blind areas of Merced, Blue Goose, and Kesterson Units. Hunters are restricted to their assigned blind or zone, except to retrieve downed birds, place decoys, or to travel between the blind and the assigned hunter parking area.
CDFW Hunting Regulations Booklet
2013-2014 Waterfowl and Upland Game Hunting & Department Lands Public Use Regulations
§552. REGULATIONS FOR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES WHERE HUNTING PROGRAMS ARE ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME.
Note: In addition to the following State regulations, Federal regulations prohibit littering and the possession of alcohol while hunting on national wildlife refuges. The consumption or possession of an open container of alcohol, within public areas of the refuges, is prohibited. Medical marijuana cards are not valid on National Wildlife Refuges.
(a) The power to control entry on the federally owned areas listed in subsection 551(a)(2) is at the discretion of the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The following lands owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are open to hunting by the public under control of the California Department of Fish and Game.
(6) San Luis National Wildlife Refuge.
Type A Area.
Bear Creek Unit (Includes both the West and East Bear Creek Units).
Location and Access: West Bear Creek Unit is approximately 15 miles north of the town of Los Baños, on Highway 165. Hunting assignments for East Bear Creek will be through either the West Bear Creek Unit or the San Luis Unit. Hunting permits are issued at the Department of Fish and Game’s, Salt Slough Unit checking station on Wolfsen Road. From Highway 152 in Los Baños, turn north on Highway 165 and proceed 6.5 miles north, turn right onto Wolfsen Road and proceed one mile to the checking station on the left side of the road.
Reservations: Available during waterfowl season. For East Bear Creek, each reservation will ensure entry of up to three persons.
Checking Station: Permits for reservation holders will be issued starting two and one-half hours before shooting time. Reservations must be presented at the checking station by one hour before shooting time. Reservations will expire after this time. Hunters without reservations may register in person at the checking station between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. the evening before each hunt day for a lottery drawing to be held shortly after 9:00 p.m., to establish the order of issuance of permits to fill vacancies after reservation holders on the morning of the hunt. Each potential hunter including juniors (if accompanied by a responsible adult) must register in person to participate in the lottery. A hunting partner does not have to be present for the registration, nor be a lottery participant. For “free roam” areas, each lottery number may allow entry of up to six persons including the person that was issued the valid lottery number. No more than two may be hunters who have an adult license. For East Bear Creek, each lottery number will allow entry of up to three persons. If a person’s name appears more than once in the drawing, he will be eliminated from the draw and will not be allowed to hunt that day. Persons arriving after the 9:00 p.m. lottery registration deadline will be added to the list on a first-come, first-served basis. Persons signing in on the first- come, first-served list must sign in as a party or as an individual. All hunters entering on the same reservation, lottery number, or when signing in as a party, on the first-come, first-served list must use the same hunting assignment.
Daily Hunter Capacity: 36 maximum on the West Unit and 18 (6 parties of up to 3 persons in assigned cells) maximum on the East Unit. No permits will be issued for the East Unit after shooting time. Permits must be returned to the checking station by 3:00 pm.