2016 California Game Warden Stamp Now Available

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announces the 2016 edition of the Warden Stamp is now available. With the change in name from Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Fish and Wildlife the DFW officially calls their Wardens “Wildlife Officers” now, and it even states such on this year’s stamp, but most hunters and fisherpersons still call them “Wardens” and the DFW is still calling this the “Warden Stamp”.

The new Warden Stamp, for 2016 is now available for purchase in person from any CDFW regional or licensing offices or by filling out and sending in the CDFW Warden Stamp form with a check or credit card info to your closest CDFW office. You may also purchase Warden Stamps via the CDFW online license services (ALDS).

If you’re going to mail in the form the addresses for the DFW offices are found on page two of the Warden Stamp form. To find the form, a list of CDFW Offices selling the stamp over the counter or the link to the ALDS to buy the form online click the link below:


Next to the picture of the Warden Stamp is a list of links to either buy the stamp online, find a list of CDFW offices selling it over the counter (if you want to walk in and buy one) or a link to the mail-in form to purchase through the mail.

The Game Warden Stamp isn’t really a “stamp” for your license, such as your federal duck stamp is, as the name might lead you to believe, but rather it’s a roughly 3” x 3” decal.

The 2016 version of the stamp is a blue background with a Warden’s badge and the silhouettes of two big horn sheep. (See picture below)


The DFW still has their entire series of Warden Stamps available. If you like a prior year’s design better then this year’s, or would like to collect the entire series, they are all still available, from the first one in 2010 up through this year’s stamps.

The 2010 version is a green shield with an elk silhouette on it. The 2011 version is a light blue background with a silhouette of a trout or salmon on it. The 2012 version has a dark brown background and a silhouette of a California quail on it. The 2013 version has a gold background with a silhouette of a duck landing on it. The 2014 version has a red background and a silhouette of a lobster on it. The 2015 version of the stamp has a wood grain background with the shadow of a bear on it and a depiction of the DFW Wildlife Officer’s badge. (see pictures below). If you like them all you could buy one, or more, of each if you want to.


2014 Warden Stamp_bid



2011 Warden Stamp

2010 Warden Stamp

The stamps are $5 each and the funds go into a special account. The money is used to provide our Game Wardens with additional equipment, training and new programs, such as new communications and surveillance devices, protective equipment, training in specialized areas, new law enforcement programs to assist them in their duties.

Due to State budget cuts, non-hunting / fishing politicians feel that the DFW is a “painless” way to cut back on the budget by giving the DFW less to do more with.

Quoting the DFW web site on the Warden stamp:

“The Warden Stamp Program was initiated in 2010 to address the need for better equipment and training for the state’s wildlife officers and to provide funding for special law enforcement programs.

Wildlife crimes are on the rise and becoming more complex to solve. With approximately 400 wildlife officers in the state patrolling 159,000 square miles of natural habitat, the job is extremely demanding. Officers must perform a number of roles including catching poachers, eradicating illegal marijuana grows, responding to oil spills, providing public safety, educating the public and much more. Every day is a new challenge.

Wildlife officers protect more than 1,000 native fish and wildlife species, 6,300 native plant species and 360 threatened or endangered species. Wildlife officers patrol about 400 square miles of land per officer. Wildlife officers keep watch over 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers. Wildlife officers patrol on foot, by plane, boat, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and even on horseback. There is approximately one wildlife officer for every 100,000 Californians.”

Now – back to me…

As I’ve said every year that I’ve written about the Warden Stamp, the important point here, in my opinion, is getting the money to the “boots on the ground”. If your $5 (or more, if you can afford it) results in some equipment, training or what have you that helps catch a poacher in your area the payoff may be more game or more fish for you and yours to legally harvest. And, the bottom line is, that’s what’s important. As for the “stamp”, stick it on your truck, ammo box or tackle box, stick it in a drawer, throw it away if you want, do whatever you want with it. The important thing is to help give our Wardens the tools they need to protect our hunting and fishing heritage.

Now, as I do every year, excuse me while I pull up the ALDS on my computer and order this year’s warden stamps.

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