California hunting regulations

California Hunting Regulations

California is loaded with great hunting, especially for waterfowlers. Big game hunters have deer, elk, antelope and bighorn sheep to pursue. Small game is abundant in some areas as well. You can find all kinds of cool terrain with steep mountains in the Sierra’s, Tule elk living in wetlands and everything between.

California Hunting License Fees

Resident:

  • Hunting Base – $47.01
  • Junior Hunting – $12.45
  • Disabled veteran – $7.30
  • First Deer Tag Application – $31.06
  • Second Deer Tag Application – $38.62
  • Elk, Antelope, Bighorn sheep application – $8.13 each
  • Bear Tag – $45.62
  • Elk Tag – $446.40
  • Antelope Tag – $149.86
  • Bighorn Sheep Tag – $408.50
  • Wild Pig – $22.42
  • California Duck Validation – $20.52
  • Upland Game Bird Validation – $9.46
  • Federal Duck Stamp – $25

Non-resident:

  • Hunting base – $164.16
  • One Day Hunting – $22.42
  • Two Day – $47.01
  • First and Second Deer Tag Application – $276.85 each
  • Bear Tag – $291.55
  • Elk Tag – $1364.90
  • Antelope Tag – $459.80
  • Bighorn Sheep – $1511.75
  • Wild Pig – $75.60

California Hunting Application Dates

June 2 each year – Bighorn sheep, elk, deer and antelope applications due. Results typically announced June 17.

Point Systems – Points are straightforward for California hunts. You accumulate a point for each species every time you apply and do not draw (first choice for deer). When you do pull a tag, your points are cleared for that species and you start fresh.

General Regulation Info:

Party Tags – You can apply as a party for deer tags in California. The first party member to apply becomes the group leader then each individual has to apply separately. The order each person applies does not effect the

Small Game:

  • Tree squirrel – 4 daily and 4 in possession. Sept 9 – Jan 28 general season.
  • Rabbits – 5 daily and 10 in possession. July 1 – Jan 28 general season.
  • Jackrabbits – open all year, no limits

Birds:

  • Pheasant – 2 males/day first 2 days of season. 3 males/day after. Nov 11 – Dec 24
  • Quail – 10 daily, triple the limit in possession. Oct 21- Jan 28 Zone Q1, Sept 30 – Jan 28 Zone Q2, Oct 21 – Jan 28 Zone Q3
  • Chukar – 6 daily, triple that in possession. Oct 21 – Jan 28
  • Blue and Ruffed Grouse – 2 daily. Sept 9 – Oct 9
  • Fall Turkey – 1 either sex, 2 per season total. Nov 11 – Dec 10
  • Spring Turkey – 1 bearded daily, 3 per season total. Mar 31 – May 6 general. May 7 – May 20 archery.

Waterfowl seasons change a bit and the California hunting regulations divide season dates by the zone. The most productive waterfowl areas are found in central and northern California. There is some amazing duck and goose hunting in the state with public and private land opportunities.

An additional hunt to consider is wild pig. The season is open all year and there is no limit on pigs. Just get your hunting license and pig tag before heading out. Pigs are most abundant in Northern California.

Elk licenses are rare but well worth the wait. The state also has some excellent deer hunting. Quality blacktails and mule deer occupy many regions in the state. Check the full regulations and unit descriptions here –┬áhttps://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting.

 

Want to check more state regs? Head back to the state listings.