Take advantage of a special program, available through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The ‘Discover the Flyway’ school program is offered at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis. Discover the Flyway is an outdoor education program for kindergarten through 12th grade students that meets Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards. Its goal is to offer children a meaningful outdoor experience that will give them an appreciation for the wetlands, agriculture and wildlife of the Central Valley and contribute to a lifetime of healthy outdoor activities and development of a land stewardship ethic. This school year, Yolo Basin Foundation is offering teachers three options: the chance to bring students to a field trip held at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, the opportunity to have educators and docents bring the program to their classroom or the option to participate from school or home in a live, virtually led activity. Teachers can learn more and register at yolobasin.org/schoolprograms.
Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area will return later this month, Saturdays at 12:30 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley. Beginning Saturday, Oct. 23 and continuing on weekends, this 90-minute tour will stroll 1/3 mile to an elevated viewing deck. Here you will have a bird's-eye view of wildlife. We often encounter hawks, rabbits, herons, turtles, cormorants, swallows and much more. As one of the premier birding spots in northern California, migratory ducks and geese usually take the spotlight. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and associated fee-for-use requirement. There is no additional cost for the tour. To sign up, please visit Eventbrite. To purchase a Lands Pass, visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. There is a limit of 12 people per tour. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed, which may include masking and/or physical distancing. Be prepared for your visit and respectful of other visitors. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email Lori.Dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.
Weekends — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Volunteers lead walks highlighting the natural history of the Elkhorn Slough every Saturday and Sunday. Capacity is limited due to physical distancing requirements and individuals must sign up on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups of six or more should call ahead at (831) 728-2822 to reserve a tour. For more information, visit www.elkhornslough.org/esnerr/tours.
General black bear season will open concurrently with the general deer hunting season in deer zones A, B, C, D, X8, X9A, X9B, X10 and X12 and extend through Dec. 26. Please note these deer zones have varying opening season dates. CDFW shall close the season earlier if 1,700 bears have been reported taken. For daily updates on reported bear harvest, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear or call toll-free (888) 277-6398. Visit fgc.ca.gov/regulations/current/mammalregs for a description of the current mammal hunting regulations. All hunters must get their tag validated and present the bear head for tooth extraction by CDFW personnel.
The Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) access permit application deadline for hunting opportunities is approaching and hunters are encouraged to apply now. The SHARE program is offering new wild pig hunts on the east shore of Lake Berryessa. Deer, pig, bear, waterfowl and upland game hunting are also available this fall through SHARE. An $11.50 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.