Field Days, Workshops, and Programs
The Center does not host an annual field day, but rather hosts a variety of educational opportunities throughout the year according to local needs and available resources.
Among the events hosted by the Center are the following:
These trials occur annually at Hopland, usually on Veteran’s Day weekend. The public is invited and welcome to attend and watch these fabulous and amazing dogs in action in the open field. See our calendar for more information!
Sheep Shearing School
Organized by the UC Cooperative Extension office in Mendocino County, the shearing school typically takes place in late April or early May (usually the first and/or second week of May). taught by certified instructors of the National Shearing Program. This 5-day hands-on course, jointly sponsored by the National Sheep Shearing Program and UC Cooperative Extension in Mendocino County, is intended for both the beginner as well as the advanced shearer. The shearing school occurs in years when demand is adequate; this is determined by means of an annual survey, usually initiated in January. If you would like to be on the list to participate in the survey, please click here.
Annual Public Deer Hunt
HOW TO APPLY:
Complete and submit the forms below by June 18, 2019
RESTRICTED HUNT: August 10-11; September 21-22 ($1750/person)
STANDARD HUNT: August 17, 18, 24, and 25 ($165/person)
Hunt Party Form (submit one per party):
Public Deer Hunt Information 2019
Firearm Authorization Form (submit one per hunter): Firearm Authorization Form
Once both forms are completed, print, sign and mail with your hunting license(s) to UC Hopland REC, 4070 University Road, Hopland, CA 95449.
2019 Changes to HREC Deer Hunt
Since 1954 the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) has hosted an annual public deer hunt during the general public hunting season on its 5,358 acres. This program of single day hunts, with slots assigned by lottery to ensure fairness, has been tied to various research projects on the resident herd of Columbian Blacktail Deer, which is by most accounts one of the most studied populations of deer in California. The hunting program, carefully managed by HREC staff under permission from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is integrated into active research projects as part of fulfilling the research mission of the University of California. Currently all hunters must wear a Global Positioning System (GPS) device which tracks their movements on the landscape, including when and where they take deer. This information is then used as part of studies testing methods for estimating deer populations and examining the effects of cross fencing on deer movement. All deer taken from the site are carefully measured, which provides other useful information on the herd characteristics. Other projects are being layered on to these efforts, and historical data from the deer hunt has been used to inform many research projects over the years.
Because of the generally protected nature of the property and limited number of hunters allowed, the chance for success has been much higher that on nearby public lands. For most of the history of the program the price to hunt has been significantly below what the market price would be for a similar opportunity on private lands, which has afforded a wonderful opportunity to those who knew about the hunt. In the recent past few years the price per hunt has increased up to the current $165 for a one-person, one-day hunt. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, HREC must seek new sources of revenue to support its research and extension programs.
HREC is owned and operated by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources division (UC ANR). Besides HREC, UCANR also operates eight other Research and Extension Centers (RECs) across the state, along with a suite of other statewide programs such as UC Cooperative Extension, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), 4-H, Master Gardeners, and Master Food Preservers. As a separate division of the UC, ANR does not have access to tuition revenue like the campuses, and so relies on state and federal funding, grants, county funding, and a variety of cost recovery or revenue generation programs. As governmental funding has stayed flat for years, and costs continue to rise, ANR and HREC must either find new sources of revenue or cut programs.
In line with these efforts to increase revenue to offset stagnant governmental funding, HREC is changing our deer hunt this year. In making these changes we looked at a few factors: ensuring high relevance and minimal negative impacts to research projects: minimizing impacts to our site and deer herd: maintaining accessibility for diverse socioeconomic groups: complying with all regulations and policies: and recovering costs or generating revenue to support educational and research programs. In developing the new hunt model we worked with various stakeholders including current and former UC researchers, advisors with connections to HREC, members of outside organizations, and some local individuals with hunting experience. Their input was then collated, finalized, and passed to upper ANR administrators for review and approval.
Traditionally the first three weekends of the season have been open to up to twenty hunters per day, for a total of 120 individual, one-day hunts. In the new model there will be two types of hunts. Our Standard Hunts will follow the same tradition of one hunter for one day for $165 with spots chosen by lottery. Hunters can arrive before dawn the day of their assigned hunt, hunt the property all day, and finish and leave by dark. There will now be Standard Hunts on the second and third weekends of the season, with 16 hunter spots per day. A new type of hunting spot will be introduced this year, Restricted Hunts. These will occur on the first and last weekend of the season. The charge will be $1750 per hunter and there will be only 6 hunters per weekend. These Restricted Hunters will be able to hunt for the entire weekend (during legal hunting hours) and bring along one designated non-hunter. They will be able to come up for a two day scouting trip before their assigned weekend, and will have a one hour group meeting with an HREC staff member to familiarize them with the property. These slots will also be assigned via lottery from an applicant pool to which anyone can apply.
While we feel this change is a good balance among competing priorities, some people who have hunted the property in the past under the traditional model may be upset, we feel that this is the best compromise we can reach in this challenging financial situation. Here are the main relevant points:
- State and federal funding for UC ANR has been flat or declining for years. This has created budget challenges such that, even in light of cost-cutting measures, we must seek other means of revenue generation or cost recovery to maintain our programs. The funds generated will help us keep education and extension programs viable and affordable, and will also help keep the costs of doing research at HREC lower.
- This change still keeps a low cost option for different income groups. There will still be over 5 times as many standard hunts available as restricted hunts.
- This change reduces the hunting pressure on the herd at HREC, while at the same time increasing research opportunities. All hunters must take a GPS tracking device with them on the hunt, which allows researchers to monitor the effects on our GPS tracked deer population in response to hunter movements. Now we will have two different hunter types and two different rates of daily hunt pressure to study.
We will continue to look at ways to tweak the hunt, and our other programs to meet internal goals and serve as broad a population as possible, including ideas for affordable youth, disabled, or veteran groups.
Please contact us with questions or feedback.
Past Workshops and Programs
On January 29, 2014, HREC in conjunction with UCCE Mendocino County hosted the webinar “Mitigating Drought: Optimizing Pasture, Supplemental Feed, and Managing Risk”. This workshop originated at the Sierra Foothill R & E Center and focused on drought strategies for livestock producers. Attended by more than 25 landowners, this event in Shippey Hall featured a discussion with local resource persons including Katie Delbar (USDA Farm Service Agency) and Carre Brown (1st District Supervisor, Mendocino County). View the agenda from this webinar. To view the individual presentations originating from Sierra Foothill R & E Center, see the SFREC You Tube channel.
Wool Production School
A workshop on wool production, emphasizing management of sheep for optimum wool production in Northern California, was held in Ukiah and Hopland, CA on April 3-5, 1992. Presentations made during this workshop were compiled and published as follows:
Dally, M. R., J. M. Harper, and P. J. Tinnin (Editors). 1992. Wool Production School. Hopland Field Station Publication 103, Univ. of California, Hopland, CA. 93 pp.
Columbian Black-Tailed Deer Workshop
A workshop on the management of Columbian black-tailed deer was held in Kelseyville and Hopland, CA, on April 13-14, 1991, emphasizing deer management strategies pertinent to Northern California. Workshop participants were provided the following compilation of publications and presentation summaries:
Schmidt, R. H., R. M. Timm, G. A. Giusti, and P. J. Tinnin (Compilers). 1991. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer Workshop. Hopland Field Station Publication 102, Univ. of California, Hopland, CA. 274 pp.
Predator Management in North Coastal California
A workshop on predator management, emphasizing native predators of livestock such as coyotes and mountain lions, was held in Ukiah and Hopland, CA on March 10-11, 1990. Presentations made during this workshop were compiled and published as follows:
Giusti, G. A., R. M. Timm, and R. H. Schmidt (Editors). 1990. Predator Management in North Coastal California. Hopland Field Station Publication 101, Univ. of California, Hopland, CA. 95 pp.
Sheep Breeding School
A workshop on sheep breeding, emphasizing optimum breeding strategies for sheep and lamb production in Northern California, was held at Hopland on June 19-20, 1987. Presentations made during this workshop were compiled and published as follows:
Proceedings: Sheep Breeding School (M. R. Dally, Coordinator). 1987. Hopland Field Station Publication 103, Univ. of California, Hopland, CA. 53 pp.