Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, California Waterfowl currently owns six wetland properties comprising more than 5,000 acres from the Tulare Basin to the Butte Sink.
These properties are first and foremost places where we employ wetland management techniques that maximize the properties' value to wildlife, providing areas for feeding, loafing, nesting and brood-rearing.
Two properties — Grizzly Ranch and Denverton — feature prominently in our education programs, hosting K-12 school programs and hunter training events. And with the 2018 acquisition of the Sanborn Slough duck club in the Butte Sink, we will be able to expand mentord hunts to the Butte Sink.
We offer hunts to the public on all six properties through our Hunt Program. We know this is critical to the future of hunting because lack of places to hunt is one of the leading causes of hunters dropping out.
All of these properties used to be privately held duck clubs. Now, because their owners trusted California Waterfowl with these precious assets, these properties are serving the greater good.
To discuss how donating your duck club can affect the future of waterfowl and hunting in California, as well as provide potential tax benefits, please call 916-648-1406.
GRIZZLY RANCH — Suisun Marsh, 982 acres
CWA’s flagship property features facilities for summer hunter conservation camps and school field trips where kids learn about waterfowl and wetlands, a challenging sporting clays course where CWA holds fun shoots, and both breeding habitat and wintering habitat, which provides top-quality hunting through the Hunt Program.
It also includes a training field for the California Retriever Training Association.
The property was purchased in 2012 with state and private grants—including funding from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Joseph & Vera Long Foundation. And a portion of the property’s operation and maintenance costs are supported by a very generous donation from the Bechtel Foundation that helped create a quasi-endowment.
BUTTE CREEK ISLAND RANCH — Butte Sink, 110 acres
This 2016 addition to California Waterfowl's portfolio is small but mighty, with outstanding habitat for mallards and wood ducks.
Located between Butte Creek and Sanborn Slough, the property is bracketed by riparian habitat where wood duck nest boxes help contribute to California's thriving wood duck population.
The property was donated to California Waterfowl by Diamond Benefactor John Simmons in 2016. We began offering hunts on the property in 2017 through the Hunt Program, and it quickly became a top-performing property.
Together with the Sanborn Slough duck club, which CWA acquired in 2018 (see below), Butte Creek Island Ranch is part of the new Butte Sink Hunting, Conservation and Education Center, where CWA will offer not only public hunting, but our extraordinary suite of educational programs, both for hunters and the general public.
SANBORN SLOUGH — Butte Sink, 260 acres
Sanborn Slough represents a bold step for California Waterfowl: It is the first duck club that California Waterfowl has purchased outright – all other properties were either donated to CWA or purchased using money donated for that purpose.
We took this extraordinary step because this club is located adjacent to Butte Creek Island Ranch. When combined, the two clubs provide the hunting and lodging capacity to bring to the Butte Sink some of the hunter training events that have previously offered only on our properties in the Suisun Marsh.
This two-club powerhouse – called the Butte Sink Hunting, Conservation and Education Center – is key to meeting some of CWA's top priorities: improving access to huntable land to reverse hunter attrition, and helping train the next generation of hunters in California with hunter training and mentorship programs. Both are vital if we hope to keep hunting strong in California.
This property also has a robust wood duck nest box program to support California's breeding population of wood ducks.
Public hunting through the Hunt Program began at Sanborn Slough in the 2018-19 waterfowl season, and wetland restoration efforts began in 2019.
DENVERTON — Suisun Marsh, 936 acres
This property features a clubhouse that can be used for overnight guests and camps, a training field for the California Retriever Training Association, both breeding and wintering waterfowl habitat, and public hunting through the Hunt Program.
The property was purchased in 2012 with state and private grants—including funding from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Joseph & Vera Long Foundation. And a portion of the property’s operation and maintenance costs are supported by a very generous donation from the Bechtel Foundation that helped create a quasi-endowment. In 2020, when the property through which Denverton is accessed was threatened with a sale that could have led to development, CWA was able to purchase the property using funds donated for that purpose.
In 2018, this property played an extremely important role for ducklings in the Suisun Marsh - read the story of a duckling that traveled FIVE MILES with its mother in search of a safe place to grow up, and found it at Denverton.
QUIMBY ISLAND — Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, 789 acres
This Delta Island is accessible by boat only, which limits how extensively it can be used for CWA programs. But it features lush habitat for both breeding and wintering waterfowl and we do offer limited hunting there through the Hunt Program.
This island was a 2015 gift from CWA Diamond Benefactor Ellis Stephens, who also gave CWA a $2.2 million quasi-endowment to care for the property.
GOOSE LAKE — Tulare Basin, 2,175 acres
This holding includes two properties – the Houchin and Badger Almond units – in the historic Tulare Basin, which CWA is pleased to help restore.
The property features wintering habitat, as well as some of the only brood-rearing (summer) water in the area, provided with the help of partners including the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Audubon and the Nature Conservancy.
It features spectacular dove hunting, as well as waterfowl and upland hunting, all offered to the public through the Hunt Program.
The property was purchased in 2013 with state and private grants—including funding from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. And a portion of the property’s operation and maintenance costs are supported by a very generous donation from the Bechtel Foundation that helped create a quasi-endowment.