A New Place to Hunt
Thanks to DFG and CDA

Hunters have a new place to hunt in California, thanks to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and the California Deer Association (CDA). It's called the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER).

BCCER is located in the hills east of Chico, California. It provides hunting opportunities for deer hunters who have C4 and G1 deer tags. It also provides excellent quail hunting in addition to some spring turkey hunting opportunities.

BCCER was created when California State University at Chico, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and CDA provided the funding to purchase this private property so it could be preserved from development. The University uses BCCER for research plus it is available for hiking. The DFG and CDA provide resources for wildlife management and a hunting program.

BCCER's hunting program is managed by the DFG which allows access based on a lottery style drawing for the available hunt periods. If you haven't heard about this hunting opportunity before, it is because this is a new type of program for the DFG so they are moving slowly to make sure they do a good job putting the hunting program in place without making mistakes.


You must have a C tag in order to hunt the BCCER. The reserve is located in the C4 Zone. While deer do migrate onto this property in the fall, locals will tell you the biggest bucks are the resident ones who hide out in the canyons of the reserve. This means hunters who have C4 tags can take some big bucks without needing those latest season G1 tags. Hunters took seven bucks there last year, including some very nice 3 and 4 pointers.

There are three deer hunt periods for C tag holders and one for G1 tag holders. Fifteen hunters will be drawn for each period. The hunt periods for C tag holders are two-day hunts, either a Friday and Saturday or a Sunday and Monday. The hunt period for G1 tag holders is the entire G1 season. Here are the dates for the hunt periods this year:

C Tags
Period 1 - September 21,22
Period 2 - September 26,27
Period 3 - October 3,4

G-1 Tags
October 25 - November 2

If you are drawn for these hunts, you will be given complete information on hunting the BCCER. Eric Petlock, hunt administrator for the BCCER, provided the following information to help you in making a decision about whether to apply for these hunts.

• If you like to road hunt, don't apply. Hunters must park their vehicles in a parking area and hunt on foot. No ATVs are allowed.

• Access to the different hunting areas areas require a truck or SUV-type vehicle — forget the family car.

• If you want to be a successful hunter, pre-scout. Most of last year's bucks were taken by those who pre-scouted. Pre-scouting on the reserve must be done on foot.

Special Deer Hunting Opportunity

As a means of fundraising for the reserve, the University Research Foundation will be selling a limited number of trespass permits for the G1 deer season. These will be in addition to the regular public lottery permits. These permits will allow hunters to hunt the entire G1 season. Any hunter who has a G1 tag may apply to purchase one of these permits. Application will be made with a sealed bid. The minimum bid will be $500. There are seven of these permits available. Please refer all inquires to the California Deer Association (e-mail to CDAproject@aol.com). All proceeds will be donated to the reserve for improving and expanding the public hunting program. The deadline for the silent auction permits will be sometime in September. E-mail CDAproject@aol.com for exact date.
Send bids to:

California Deer Association
Chico Chapter
Special Hunt Bid
P.M.B. 211/236 W. East Ave. Ste. A
Chico, CA 95926


The quail hunting is rated as excellent. There are seven hunt periods beginning on December 1 and going until the end of quail season in late January. While you have two days to quail hunt, you can do that during a seven-day period so winter weather doesn't wash out your chances to get in your hunt. There is a $35 fee for those who are drawn for a hunt.

Deadline Dates

August 15th is the deadline for drawing applications for the C4 and G1 deer hunts as well as quail. All applications received after this date will be rejected from the drawing.

On August 25th a public drawing for deer and quail hunts will be held at the BCCER. Successful applicants will be notified by mail.

Information on spring turkey hunts will be available later in the year.

The Hunter Information phone number for BCCER is (530) 891-1065.

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