California Duck Stamp & Validation

Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge California Duck Stamp for hunting waterfowl.

A California Duck Stamp is typically required to hunt waterfowl, which includes ducks and geese in California. In the past, hunters had to buy the actual stamp and stick it on their hunting license.  Today, the stamp is printed onto your hunting license and formally referred to as a “California Duck Validation.”

If you want an actual stamp, though, all you have to do is ask the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).  It’s free if you buy the validation or $10 for everyone else. (Click here to request your stamp and here to see the hunting rule).

All the money raised from stamp sales helps with waterfowl projects all over California. (Click here to see the law about the types of projects supported.)

Who Needs a California Duck Stamp?

In general, everyone has to have a California Duck Stamp to hunt ducks and geese in California.  To be legal, you’ll need to purchase a California Duck Validation, which will be printed onto your hunting license.  Youth hunters, known as “juniors,” under the age of 16 don’t have to have one. (Click here to read the law.)

Where Do You Buy a California Duck Stamp?

You can buy a California Duck Stamp from the CDFW. Even though it’s referred to as the California Duck Validation, it’s mandatory for hunting geese too. You can order it online, or buy it from a license office or license agent. You can also call 800-565-1458.

In general, people pay the annual fee, which was $20.52 in 2015.  If you have a lifetime license, the fee is $210 and you never have to buy it again. Click here for current fees and here to see the law.

Warning Shot

Warning shot!!!  Don’t forget that you have to carry your hunting license and California Duck Validation while in the field hunting ducks and geese. (Click here to read the rule.)

Other Validations

In addition to a California Duck Validation, you’ll also need to complete the HIP Survey, buy a hunting license, and put a Federal Duck Stamp on it.  If you plan to hunt Upland Game Birds, you’ll also need an Upland Game Bird Validation.

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