Little Dry Creek Unit

On this page, you’ll find a consolidation of unit-specific information gathered from Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, the CDFW website, the California Hunting Regulations manual, public maps, and all other known sources, including:

  1. General information about the WLA
  2. Authorized activities
  3. A summary of area-specific rules and regulations
  4. Hunting maps
  5. Driving directions
  6. Other useful information and links
  7. Excerpts of applicable rules and regulations

Warning shot!!! Go to the introduction page for links to summaries of other relevant rules and regulations, e.g. Migratory Bird Treat Act and general State law.  Remember that there may be additional rules located at the Wildlife Area (e.g. check station, information kiosks, permits, reservations, road signs, etc.)

A. General Info

  • Authorized Activities:

    Upper Butte Valley WLA in California for hunting migratory game birds, waterfowl, ducks, geese, snipe, etc.

    Directions

  1. Waterfowl hunting: geese, ducks, coot & moorhen
  2. Upland game bird hunting: dove & snipe (and fall Turkey at the regional manager’s discretion)
  3. Small game hunting: rabbits
  4. Sport fishing: common species, ___
  5. Other activities: birdwatching and sightseeing
  • Check station: (see our Google map) Ten miles west of the town of Gridley on the Gridley Colusa highway just before reaching Butte Creek. Then north at the area entrance half a mile to the check station.
  • City: approx. 11 mi. W. of Hwy 99 on Hwy 162
  • County: Butte
  • Habitat: wetland, upland and riparian habitats
  • Phone: (530) 982-2169
  • Recreational use: Type A
  • Region 2: Map
  • Size: 3,762 acres
  • Waterfowl Zone: Balance of State WF Zone
  • Website: Upper Butte Basin WLA

B. All Hunting

  • Access:

    Little Dry Creek Unit

    Little Dry Creek Unit

  1. Boats: NOT allowed
  • Bicycles: NOT allowed during WF season
  • Camping & trailers: ONLY in checking station parking lot during WF season (including motor homes)
  • Closures: CLOSED if Christmas Day falls on Sat./Sun./Wed. but OPEN on New Year’s Day
  • Conduct: NO unsportsmanlike conduct (violators may be ejected from the area)
  • Dog hunting: allowed (see our summary of dog hunting/training restrictions)
  • Dog leashes: required in designated parking lots
  • Enter/Exit: ONLY at designated points of access (see our Google map)
  • Ejection: violators may be ejected from the area
  • Horses:NOT allowed
  • Hunter capacity: 96 adults with re-fills ONLY in free roam
  1. 51 adults in general blinds (17 blinds w/3 adults each)
  2.  9 adults in the ADA blinds (3 blinds w/3 adults each)
  3. 36 adults in free roam
  • Passes: hunting requires a Type A pass (daily, 2-day or season pass), which must be purchased in advance—NOT sold at checking station
  • Shotguns: 

    Shotgun restrictions

    Use of shotguns

  1. Gauge: 12-gauge or smaller (e.g. 20-gauge)
  2. Shells: 25 max. while in the field during WF season
  3. Shot size: T or smaller
  • Weapons: NO rifles, pistols or archery equipment—ONLY shotguns (per DFG webpage)

C. Waterfowl Season

  • Waterfowl Map for the Upper Butte Basin, Little Dry Creek Unit, for hunting migratory game birds, waterfowl, ducks, geese, snipe, etc.

    Waterfowl Map

    ADA blinds: at least one blind is available for “mobility-impaired hunters”* (per CDFW webpage)

  1. Availability: 3 mobility-impaired blinds, which are available by ADA reservation and ADA lottery, and then to general public on a first-come, first-served basis
  2. Hunt area: ONLY from the blind except to retrieve downed birds
  3. Parties: a disabled hunter may be accompanied by 2 adults or 2 juniors
  4. Requirements: a DMV identification card is required for a “rezzy” or lottery number

* A “mobility impaired hunter” is defined as any person who has been issued a Department of Motor Vehicles ‘‘Disabled License Plate”; “Permanent Parking Placard Identification Card”; “Disabled Veteran License Plate”; or valid “Mobility Impaired Disabled Persons Motor Vehicle Hunting License” (FG form 1460). The blue plastic “Disabled Parking Placard” may not be substituted for the required “Identification Card” which bears the name of the mobility impaired person. Disabled hunters must provide the registration certificate for DMV issued disabled license plates.

  • Bicycles: NOT allowed during waterfowl season
  • Blinds:
  1. Availability: seventeen (17) general spaced blinds, plus three “ADA blinds” (see above)
  2. Spaced blinds: if assigned a spaced blind, hunt ONLY from the blind except to retrieve downed birds
  • Boats: NOT allowed

    Image of campers, trailers and tents.

    Use of Campers, trailers and tents

  • Camping & trailers: ONLY in checking station parking lot during WF season
  • Check stations:see “Lottery,” “Passes,” “Permits,” “Reservations” and “Waiting list” above and below
  • Cleaning birds: picking feathers in the field or parking area is discouraged
  • Hunt area:
  1. Blinds: there are seventeen (17) general blinds and three (3) ADA blinds
  2. Free roam: for 36 people
  • Hunt days: Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday during WF season
  • Lottery: for hunters w/o a reservation, there is a drawing held at each check station to determine the order of entry after reservations are called
  1. Attendance: required to register for the drawing
  2. Choices: choose ONLY one of three units
  3. Drawing: results posted shortly after registration closes
  4. Party size: 3 people per lottery cared (each must be present)
  5. Registration: sign up on the evening before b/n 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Warning shot!!! Bring your hunting license
  • Permits: to enter the WLA, each person must obtain a “daily entry permit” from the check station and return it completed prior to leaving the area
  1. Hours: issued from 2 hrs. before shoot time until 3:00 p.m. Warning shot!!!  Must be carried in the field, along with your hunting license
  2. Priority: Reservations,” then the “Lottery,” followed by the “Waiting list” (see above and below)
  3. Return: if leaving prior to 3:00 p.m., complete and return the permit to the check station; otherwise, complete and deposit it in the “iron ranger” or “drop box”
  • Reservations:
  1. Applications: purchase at least 17 days in advance from the CDFW (link to purchasing info). Successful applicants will be notified by mail (but you can also check online for results)
  2. Parties: must hunt the same assignment ___
  3. Party size: each “rezzy” assures entry of three (3) people [§ 551(x)(24)]
  4. Passes: see “All Hunting” above
  5. Permits: see “Permits” above
  6. Priority: processed in numerical order beginning w/ Reservation #1
  7. Processing: begins at the check station at least two (2) hours before shoot time and continues until one and one-half (1 1/2) hours before shoot time, at which time reservations expire [§ 551(x)(23)]
  • Shoot hours: from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until sunset
  • Shooting: NO high shooting or “sky scraping” (allow birds to work decoys)
  • Shotguns:
  1. Gauge: 12-gauge or smaller (e.g. 20-gauge)
  2. Shells: 25 max. while in the field during WF season
  3. Shot: ONLY steel or other non-toxic shot approved by the USFWS
  4. Shot size: T or smaller
  • Vehicles:
  1. Equipment: NO “dumping”(i.e. dropping off before the parking area)
  2. Passengers: NO “dumping”(i.e. dropping off before the parking area)
  3. Stopping: NO stopping b/n designated parking areas
  • Waiting list: hunters w/o a reservation or lottery number will be assigned first-come, first served numbers at the check station beginning two (2) hrs. before shoot time.  Party size is three (3) people.

D. Deer Season

California black-tailed deer hunting

Black-tailed deer

  • Hunt days: ONLY during the Little Dry Creek Apprentice Deer Hunt
  • Reservations: enter the drawing for a special permit
  • Tag: Allowed only with a J-9 apprentice tag from the big game drawing

551(s)(26)]


E. Dove Seasons

Dove hunting in California

Dove Hunting

  • Hunt area: ONLY allowed east of Little Dry Creek
  • Hunt days:
  1. Early season: DAILY during the early season in Sept.
  2. Late season: ONLY on WF and pheasant seasons
  • Shoot hours: from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until sunset
  • Shotguns:
  1. Shot: lead is allowed

F. Pheasant Season

Pheasant hunting in California

Pheasant hunting

Warning shot!!! Regulations are silent ___.


G. Rabbit Season

Rabbit hunting in California

Rabbit hunting

  • Hunt days: same as “Dove”
  • Shoot hours: from 8:00 a.m. until sunset
  • Shotguns:
  1. Shot: lead is allowed

H. Snipe Season

California rules and regulations for hunting snipe on national wildlife refuge, California wildlife areas, and California ecological reserves

Snipe Hunting

  • Hunt days: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during waterfowl season
  • Shotguns:
  1. Shot: lead is allowed
  • Shoot hours: silent ___

I. Sport fishing

Sport fishing in California

Sport Fishing

  • Boats: NOT allowed
  • Camping & trailers: camp ONLY in check station parking lots–NO trailers during waterfowl season
  • Passes: hunting requires a Type A pass (daily, 2-day or season pass), which must be purchased in advance—NOT sold at checking station
  • Fishing days: DAILY
  • Fishing hours: sunrise to sunset except closed from 2 weeks before until one week after waterfowl season
  • Vehicles–Park ONLY at designated lots

J. Non-Hunting Activities

  • Closures:
  1. Waterfowl season: NO non-hunting activities two (2) weeks before until one (1) week after WF season.
  2. Nighttime: NO public entry from sunset to sunrise except with written permission.
  • Dogs: ONLY allowed for hunting

K. Regulations

(39) Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area

California rules and regulations for the use of boats while on national wildlife refuges, California state wildlife areas, and California ecological reserves while hunting for ducks and geese (scaup, brant, Canada geese, dark geese, snow geese, white-fronted geese, specklebellies, white geese); migratory game birds (doves, pigeon, snipe, waterfowl) resident small game birds (grouse, pheasant, ptarmigan, quail, turkey), resident small game (jackrabbit, rabbit, squirrel), big game (antelope, bear, deer, elk, pig, sheep), non-game (coyotes, crow, fox, raccoon) and fishing (bullfrogging, commercial fishing, crayfishing, crawfishing and sport fishing)

CA. Hunting Rules & Regulations

Type A Area9,375 acres

Location and Access: Howard Slough Unit: Approximately eleven miles west of Highway 99 on Highway 162. checking station is on Road ZZ, one mile north of Highway 162. Little Dry Creek Unit: Ten miles west of the town of Gridley on the Gridley Colusa highway just before reaching Butte Creek. Then north at the area entrance half a mile to the check station. Llano Seco Unit: North of Highway 162, north on Z Road, which will become 7 Mile Lane, check station is west of the intersection of 7 Mile Lane and Nelson Road. Daily Hunter Capacity: Little Dry Creek Unit: (96 adults) 17 blinds, 3 mobility impaired blinds, 36 free roam; Howard Slough Unit: (81 adults) 9 blinds, 2 mobility impaired blinds, 11 assigned fields, 15 free roam , Hunters will be issued permits for either the north or south side of Highway 162. If hunters want to switch from the north to the south or from the south to the north once they have been issued their permit, they must return to the check station to check availability and be issued a new permit. From opening day of pheasant season through the second Sunday of pheasant season, all areas designated as assigned fields will be operated as free roam (NOTE: During this time, the quota for north of Highway 162 is 30 individuals and 6 individuals south of Highway 162); Llano Seco Unit: total 78 hunters; NOTE: From the opening day of pheasant season through the second Sunday fo pheasant season all areas designated as assigned shooting zones will be operated as free roam and the area quota will be 30 hunters plus the blinds during this time 5 blinds, 21 assigned shooting zones. Reservations: Available during the waterfowl and pheasant season for all three units of Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area. reservations ensure entry of three individuals. Hunter Processing Procedure: Daily hunter quotas will be filled by the following order: 1) reservations, 2) lottery numbers, 3) first- come, first- served numbers. For the Little Dry Creek Unit and the Howard Slough Unit, hunters without reservations may register at the checking station between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the evening before each hunt day to participate in a drawing that will be held at 8:00 p.m. All hunters wishing to participate in the lottery draw must be present to sign up for the lottery. The checking station will open two hours before shoot time and begin processing reservations in numerical order. Hunters without reservations or lottery numbers will be assigned first-come, first served numbers beginning two hours before shooting time. The Llano Seco Unit will have a lottery sign up starting at 4:00 a.m. on the hunt day and the lottery will be held at 4:30 a.m. On all Units during the waterfowl and pheasant season, no permits will be issued after 3:00

p.m. Permits returned after 3:00 p.m. shall be filled out and deposited in “iron ranger” or “Drop box” before leaving area. For information call (530) 982-2169.

(A) Ammunition Restrictions: A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shotgun shells while in the field during the waterfowl season.

(B) Hunt Days: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and snipe: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open season during waterfowl season. Pheasant: Every day during the first five days of the season, and on waterfowl hunt days during the remainder of the pheasant season. Doves and rabbits: Daily during the September dove season, and on waterfowl or pheasant hunt days during the late dove season. Deer: Only during the Little Dry Creek Apprentice Deer Hunt under special permit issued by drawing.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, dove, pheasants, and rabbits.

(D) Camping: Overnight Camping, including trailers and motor homes, shall be permitted only in checking station parking lots.

(E) Special Restrictions: Closed to all non-hunting uses from two weeks before waterfowl season to one week after waterfowl season. Public entry is allowed only from sunrise to sunset, except by written permission. Horses are prohibited. Dogs are allowed for hunting only. Within the assigned blind areas at the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area units, hunters must hunt from assigned blinds, except to retrieve downed birds.

(F) Special Apprentice Waterfowl Hunts in Zone 7 of the Howard Slough Unit: Special apprentice waterfowl hunts will be conducted on Wednesdays and Saturdays of the waterfowl season in Zone 7 of the Howard Slough Unit commencing on the first Saturday after December 15. These hunts will commence at legal shooting time and close at 12:00 noon. A junior hunter must be accompanied by one adult hunter. Not more than one adult hunter and two junior hunters may occupy each blind. Hunters must remain in their blinds except to retrieve downed birds. All hunters must return to the Zone 7 parking lot by 1:00 p.m. Hunters will be selected from the Howard Slough reservation line. Hunters may be selected from the first-come first-served line after the Howard Slough reservation line is depleted.

(G) Bicycles: Not allowed during waterfowl season.

(H) Hunters may enter or exit only at designated locations. Stopping vehicles between designated parking areas to drop off passengers or hunting equipment is prohibited.

 

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