2023 California Game Warden Stamp Available Late November

Yup! It’s that time of year again. If you’ve followed SoCalHunt for any time more than a year you’ve seen this before. However, I’m going to say it again.

Once more the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announces the 2023 edition of the Warden Stamp will be available starting late November. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the desert somewhere or something for the last nine years, you’re probably aware that the Department of Fish and Game changed its name on January 1st, 2013 to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. With that change our brave and dedicated Game Wardens were designated as “Wildlife Officers”, and it even says so on the Warden Stamps since 2014, but most hunters and fisherpersons still call them “Wardens” and the DFW is still calling this the “Warden Stamp”.

The new Warden Stamp, for 2023 will be available for purchase online via the CDFW online license services (ALDS) beginning in late November. To purchase the new Warden Stamp, on or after the release date in November just follow the link below to purchase via the ALDS system.

Click on the below link to go to the Warden Stamp page and follow the instructions to buy it online:


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

The 2023 version of the stamp is a green background and features the
CDFW wildlife officer badge and a depiction of a Lingcod. (see picture below)

The DFW still has their entire series of Warden Stamps available. If you like a prior year’s design better than 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 2022 version of the stamp is a yellowish-brown background and features the
CDFW wildlife officer badge and a profile of an American Bald Eagle’s head. The 2010 version is a green shield with a Warden’s badge and an elk silhouette on it. The 2011 version is a light blue background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a trout or salmon on it. The 2012 version has a dark brown background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a California quail on it. The 2013 version has a gold background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a duck landing on it. The 2014 version has a red background with a Warden’s badge and a silhouette of a lobster on it. The 2015 version of the stamp has a wood grain background with a Warden’s badge and the shadow of a bear on it. The 2016 version has a blue background with a Warden’s badge and the silhouettes of two bighorn sheep on it. The 2017 version of the stamp is a green background with a Warden’s badge and drawing of a sturgeon. The 2018 version of the stamp is an orange background with a Warden’s badge and a drawing of a Warden K9. The 2019 version of the stamp is a dark blue background with a Warden’s badge and a drawing of two snow geese flying. The 2020 version of the stamp is a deep blue background with a Warden’s badge and a drawing of a Dorado on it. The 2021 version of the stamp is a dark green background and features the sesquicentennial CDFW wildlife officer badge and silhouettes of California conifer trees along with the CDFW bear that has been used on badges and department logo shields for decades.

(See pictures below). If you like them all you could buy one, or more, of each one if you want to.

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 website on the Warden stamp:

” The Warden Stamp is a decal that can be proudly displayed on vehicles or other items. All funds raised from the sales of the stamp go to procure vital equipment, protective gear and training for wildlife officers and enhance our Law Enforcement Division’s K-9 program, all of which will increase an officer’s ability to combat the illegal take and commercialization of wildlife, the destruction of habitat, and enhance officer safety.

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.
By purchasing this special stamp you can show your support for the important work wildlife officers do.

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.

So, In late November, as I have done every year since 2010, I’m signing on to the DFW ALDS on my computer and ordering this year’s Warden Stamps.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 216 other subscribers


%d bloggers like this: