California Hunting Season 2023: New Dates, Regulations, Limits & Complete Guide

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California Hunting Seasons 2023–2024 is an exciting time for avid hunters as they prepare to go out into the woods searching for deer, bears, and other wildlife. California has several hunting seasons depending on the animal being hunted—the seasons for quail and deer run from August to January and August to November. Since California’s hunting rules are amended yearly, hunters must remain updated on the most recent changes. It may be challenging to keep track of the precise hunting seasons for various species, but this page intends to provide readers with a thorough review of California’s hunting seasons and the knowledge they need for an enjoyable and successful hunting trip.

California Hunting Season
California Hunting Seasons

California Hunting Season 2023-2024

Content Highlights

California is home to a broad variety of game animals, including deer, black bears, elk, ducks, and the more specialized bighorn sheep and pronghorn.

California Deer Season 2023-2024

Early hunters have an edge in California since it has one of the nation’s earliest deer hunting seasons. But during the early part of the season, hunters should be prepared for difficult circumstances owing to high temperatures, dry weather, and fire threats.  By zone and weapon type, the season changes. The archery season may start as early as July 10 and go until around November 7. This gives archers a head start. The A zone for firearms hunting in northern coastal California begins on August 12. Other zones, however, have fewer tags and a later opening time. The northeastern region’s desired X zones call for the use of a drafting method. The middle and southern areas are covered by the B, C, and D zones, which provide a variety of topography.

General Deer Season

CA General Deer SeasonZonesStart DateEnd Date
General AZone: A12-Aug-2324-Sep-23
General B (Part 1)Zone: B1, B2, B3, B5, C2, C326-Sep-2322-Oct-23
General B (Part 2)Zone: B426-Aug-231-Oct-23
General B & CZone: B6, C116-Sep-2315-Oct-23
General CZone: C416-Sep-231-Oct-23
General D (Part 1)Zone: D3, D4, D523-Sep-2329-Oct-23
General D (Part 2)Zone: D6, D716-Sep-2329-Oct-23
General D (Part 3)Zone: D8, D9, D1023-Sep-2322-Oct-23
General D (Part 4)Zone: D11, D13, D14, D1514-Oct-2312-Nov-23
General D (Part 5)Zone: D124-Nov-2326-Nov-23
General D (Part 6)Zone: D1628-Oct-2326-Nov-23
General D (Part 7)Zone: D1714-Oct-235-Nov-23
General D (Part 8)Zone: D197-Oct-235-Nov-23
General X (Part 1)Zone: X1, X2, X3a, X3b, X4, X5a, X5b, X6a, X6b, X7a, X7b7-Oct-2322-Oct-23
General X (Part 2)Zone: X823-Sep-238-Oct-23
General X (Part 3)Zone: X9a, X9b16-Sep-239-Oct-23
General X (Part 4)Zone: X9c21-Oct-2312-Nov-23
General X (Part 5)Zone: X1030-Sep-2315-Oct-23
General X (Part 6)Zone: X1216-Sep-239-Oct-23

Archery Deer Season

CA Archery Deer SeasonStart DateEnd Date
Zone: A (South Unit 110 and North Unit 160)8-Jul-2330-Jul-23
Zone: B-119-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: B-219-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: B-319-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: B-422-Jul-2313-Aug-23
Zone: B-519-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: B-619-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: C1, C2, C3, and C48-Jul-2330-Jul-23
Zone: D-319-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: D-419-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: D-519-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: D-619-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: D-719-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: D-819-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: D-919-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: D-1019-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone: D-112-Sep-2324-Sep-23
Zone: D-127-Oct-2329-Oct-23
Zone: D-132-Sep-2324-Sep-23
Zone: D-142-Sep-2324-Sep-23
Zone: D-152-Sep-2324-Sep-23
Zone: D-162-Sep-2324-Sep-23
Zone: D-172-Sep-2324-Sep-23
Zone: D-192-Sep-2324-Sep-23
Zone: X1, X2, X3a, X3B, X4, X5a, X5b, X6a, X6b, X7a, X7b, X8, X9a, X9b, X9c, X10, X128-Jul-2330-Jul-23

Area-Specific Archery Deer Hunts

Hunt NameHunt CodeSeason Start DatesSeason End Dates
C Zones Archery Only Hunt (Zone C-1 Season)A-119-Aug-233-Sep-23
C Zones Archery Only Hunt (Zone C-2 Season)A-119-Aug-2310-Sep-23
C Zones Archery Only Hunt (Zone C-3 Season)A-119-Aug-2310-Sep-23
C Zones Archery Only Hunt (Zone C-4 Season)A-119-Aug-233-Sep-23
Zone X-1 Archery HuntA-319-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-2 Archery HuntA-419-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-3a Archery HuntA-519-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-3b Archery HuntA-619-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-4 Archery HuntA-719-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-5a Archery HuntA-819-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-5b Archery HuntA-919-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-6a Archery HuntA-1119-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-6b Archery HuntA-1219-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-7a Archery HuntA-1319-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-7b Archery HuntA-1419-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-8 Archery HuntA-1519-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-9a Archery HuntA-1619-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-9b Archery HuntA-1719-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-9c Archery HuntA-1819-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Zone X-10 Archery HuntA-1919-Aug-233-Sep-23
Zone X-12 Archery HuntA-2019-Aug-2310-Sep-23
Anderson Flat Archery Buck HuntA-2111-Nov-2324-Nov-23
San Diego Archery Either-Sex Deer Hunt (Split season)A-222-Sep-2315-Oct-23
San Diego Archery Either-Sex Deer Hunt (Split season)A-2218-Nov-2331-Dec-23
Monterey Archery Either-Sex Deer HuntA-2414-Oct-2312-Nov-23
Lake Sonoma Archery Either-Sex Deer HuntA-257-Oct-2330-Oct-23
Bass Hill Archery Buck HuntA-2618-Nov-2310-Dec-23
Devil's Garden Archery Buck HuntA-2728-Oct-2312-Nov-23
Covelo Archery Buck HuntA-3011-Nov-2326-Nov-23
Los Angeles Archery Either-Sex Deer HuntA-3123-Sep-2331-Dec-23
Ventura/Los Angeles Late Season Archery Either-Sex Deer HuntA-3211-Nov-233-Dec-23
Fort Hunter Liggett Late Season Archery Either-Sex Deer Hunt (Hunt Day Restrictions)A-337-Oct-2311-Nov-23
Archery Only TagAOValid during the archery and general seasons in the A, B and D Zones and Hunt G-10 (Archery Methods Only); NOT valid during any C or X Zone season or hunt.No Quotas

Additional Deer Hunts

Hunt NameHunt CodeSeason Start DatesSeason End Dates
Late Season Buck Hunt for Zone C-4G-110/28/202311/5/2023
Goodale Buck HuntG-312/2/202312/17/2023
Kern River Deer Herd Buck HuntG-612/2/202312/10/2023
Beale Either-Sex Deer Hunt (Military Only)G-78/19/202311/12/2023
Camp Pendleton Either-Sex Deer Hunt (Military Only; Hunt Day Restrictions)G-109/2/202312/3/2023
Vandenberg Either-Sex Deer Hunt (Military Only)G-118/25/202310/1/2023
Gray Lodge Shotgun Either-Sex Deer HuntG-129/16/20239/24/2023
San Diego Antlerless Deer HuntG-1310/28/202311/19/2023
Sutter-Yuba Wildlife Areas Either-Sex Deer HuntG-199/23/202312/31/2023
Ventana Wilderness Buck HuntG-2111/11/202312/3/2023
Anderson Flat Buck HuntG-3711/25/202312/3/2023
X-10 Late Season Buck HuntG-3810/21/202311/5/2023
Round Valley Late Season Buck HuntG-3910/28/202311/12/2023
Doyle Muzzleloading Rifle Buck HuntM-311/18/202311/26/2023
Horse Lake Muzzleloading Rifle Buck HuntM-410/28/202311/5/2023
East Lassen Muzzleloading Rifle Buck HuntM-510/28/202311/5/2023
San Diego Muzzleloading Rifle Either-Sex Deer HuntM-612/16/202312/31/2023
Ventura Muzzleloading Rifle Either-Sex Deer HuntM-711/25/202312/10/2023
Bass Hill Muzzleloading Rifle Buck HuntM-810/28/202311/5/2023
Devil's Garden Muzzleloading Rifle Buck HuntM-910/28/202311/12/2023
Northwestern California Muzzleloading Rifle Buck HuntM-1111/11/202311/26/2023
San Luis Obispo Muzzleloading Rifle/Archery Either-Sex Deer HuntMA-111/25/202312/10/2023
Santa Barbara Muzzleloading Rifle/Archery Buck HuntMA-311/25/202312/10/2023
Lake Sonoma Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-111/4/202311/5/2023
Tehama Wildlife Area Apprentice Buck HuntJ-311/25/202311/26/2023
Shasta-Trinity Apprentice Buck HuntJ-411/25/202312/3/2023
Daugherty Hill Wildlife Area Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-812/2/202312/31/2023
Little Dry Creek Apprentice Shotgun Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-99/16/20239/24/2023
Fort Hunter Liggett Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-10Sep 30, Oct 1, Oct 7-9-
San Bernardino Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-1111/18/202311/26/2023
Round Valley Apprentice Buck HuntJ-1212/2/202312/17/2023
Los Angeles Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-1311/18/202311/26/2023
Riverside Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-1411/18/202311/26/2023
Anderson Flat Apprentice Buck HuntJ-1511/25/202312/3/2023
Bucks Mountain/Nevada City Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-169/23/202310/29/2023
Blue Canyon Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-179/23/202310/29/2023
Pacific/Grizzly Flat Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-189/23/202310/29/2023
Zone X-7a Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-1910/7/202310/22/2023
Zone X-7b Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-2010/7/202310/22/2023
East Tehama Apprentice Either-Sex Deer HuntJ-219/16/202310/29/2023

Elk Season

Due to the limited availability of draw tags, there are few possibilities to hunt elk in California. But the state’s elk population has been gradually growing in recent years. Due to their favorable numbers, Northern California, western Central California, and the Inland Deserts are suggested areas for elk hunting.

CA Elk Season (Type)Hunting Start DatesHunting End Dates
Archery (Rocky Mountain)30-Aug10-Sep
Archery (Tule)4-Nov12-Nov
Archery (Tule)29-Jul6-Aug
Archery (Tule)9-Sep24-Sep
Archery (Tule)12-Aug20-Aug
Apprentice (Rocky Mountain)7-Oct15-Oct
Apprentice (Roosevelt)13-Sep24-Sep
Apprentice (Tule)6-Sep17-Sep
Apprentice (Tule)14-Oct29-Oct
Apprentice (Tule)19-Dec31-Dec
Apprentice (Tule)15-Aug18-Aug
Apprentice (Tule)17-Aug20-Aug
Apprentice (Tule)14-Oct5-Nov
General (Roosevelt)6-Sep17-Sep
General (Roosevelt)6-Sep17-Sep
General (Roosevelt)6-Sep28-Sep
General (Roosevelt)6-Sep28-Sep
General (Roosevelt)6-Sep28-Sep
General (Roosevelt)6-Sep17-Sep
General (Roosevelt)11-Oct22-Oct
General (Roosevelt/Tule)20-Sep1-Oct
General (Rocky Mountain)13-Nov24-Nov
General (Rocky Mountain)13-Sep24-Sep
General (Rocky Mountain)2-Sep1-Oct
General (Rocky Mountain)2-Sep1-Oct
General (Tule)14-Oct22-Oct
General (Tule)14-Oct22-Oct
General (Tule)14-Oct29-Oct
General (Tule)21-Oct5-Nov
General (Tule)7-Oct5-Dec
General (Tule)7-Oct5-Dec
General (Tule)2-Sep28-Sep
General (Tule)2-Sep28-Sep
General (Tule)22-Nov30-Nov
General (Tule)19-Dec31-Dec
General (Tule)11-Nov3-Dec
General (Tule)11-Nov3-Dec
General (Tule)9-Sep24-Sep
General (Tule)7-Oct15-Oct
General (Tule)21-Oct29-Oct
General (Tule)15-Aug18-Aug
General (Tule)14-Sep17-Sep
General (Tule)19-Sep22-Sep
General (Tule)21-Sep24-Sep
General (Tule)26-Sep29-Sep
General (Tule)17-Aug20-Aug
General (Tule)7-Sep10-Sep
General (Tule)12-Sep15-Sep
General (Tule)7-Oct15-Oct
General (Tule)7-Oct15-Oct
General (Tule)21-Oct29-Oct
General (Tule)21-Oct29-Oct
General (Tule)14-Oct5-Nov
General (Tule)14-Oct5-Nov
General (Tule)11-Nov3-Dec
General (Tule)11-Nov3-Dec
General (Tule)6-Sep15-Sep
General (Tule)25-Sep4-Oct
General (Tule)7-Oct15-Oct
General (Tule)7-Oct29-Oct
General (Tule)9-Sep24-Sep
General (Tule)7-Oct15-Oct
General (Tule)21-Oct29-Oct
Muzzleloader/Archery (Roosevelt)28-Oct5-Nov
Muzzleloader (Tule)9-Sep24-Sep

Pronghorn Season

ZonesHunting Dates
General Seaason
Zone 119-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23
Zone 219-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23
Zone 3 (Period 1)19-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23
Zone 3 (Period 2)2-Sep-23 - 10-Sep-23
Zone 4 (Period 1)19-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23
Zone 4 (Period 2)2-Sep-23 - 10-Sep-23
Zone 519-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23
Zone 619-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23
Archery
Zone 25-Aug-23 - 13-Aug-23
Zone 35-Aug-23 - 13-Aug-23
Zone 45-Aug-23 - 13-Aug-23
Zone 55-Aug-23 - 13-Aug-23
Zone 65-Aug-23 - 13-Aug-23
Apprentice
Zone 3 (Period 1)19-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23
Zone 4 (Period 1)19-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23
Zone 519-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23
Zone 619-Aug-23 - 27-Aug-23

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn SheepHunting Season Start DateHunting Season End Date
Zone 1 Marble/Clipper Mountains2-Dec4-Feb
Zone 2 Old Dad/Kelso Peak Mountains2-Dec4-Feb
Zone 3 Clark and Kingston Mountain Ranges2-Dec4-Feb
Zone 4 Orocopia Mountains2-Dec4-Feb
Zone 5 San Gorgonio MountainsN/AN/A
Zone 6 Sheep Hole MountainsN/AN/A
Zone 7 White Mountains19-Aug24-Sep
Zone 8 South Bristol Mountains2-Dec4-Feb
Zone 9 Cady Mountains2-Dec4-Feb
Zone 10 Newberry, Rodman and Ord Mountains2-Dec4-Feb

Bear Season

Typically beginning in late August or early September and lasting until late December, or when the harvest quota of 1,700 bears has been met, is the bear hunting season in California. Black bears are known to live in large numbers in the California border region, providing several possibilities for bear hunting. It’s essential to remember that the bear hunting season lasts longer than the deer hunting season. Sometimes, both seasons fall in the same year, enabling hunters to pursue both species at once.

California Bear ZonesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag Limit
A, B, C, D, X830-Aug-2331-Dec-231 adult
X9A, X9B, X10, X1230-Aug-2331-Dec-231 adult
X1, X2, X3a, X414-Oct-2331-Dec-231 adult
X6a, X6b, X7a, X7b14-Oct-2331-Dec-231 adult
All bear zones19-Aug-2310-Sep-231 adult

Squirrel Season

Squirrel SeasonSeason Start DatesSeason End DatesBag Limit Possession Limit
General Season9-Sep28-Jan44
Archery/Falconry Only5-Aug8-Sep44

Rabbit Season

Rabbits & Varying HareSeason Start DatesSeason End DatesBag Limit Possession Limit
General Season1-Jul28-Jan510
Archery/Falconry Only29-Jan17-Mar510
Jackrabbit1-Jan31-DecNo limitNo limit

Upland Birds

Turkey Season

Spring Wild Turkey SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag LimitsPossession Limits
Fall Wild Turkey Season
General11-Nov-2310-Dec-231 either sex2 per season
Spring Season
General30-Mar-245-May-241 bearded3 per season, combined
Archery Only30-Mar-2419-May-241 bearded3 per season, combined
Additional Junior23-Mar-2424-Mar-241 bearded3 per season, combined
6-May-2419-May-241 bearded3 per season, combined

CA Dove Season

CA Dove SeasonZonesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag LimitsPossession Limits
Mourning Dove and White-winged DoveStatewide1-Sep-2315-Sep-2315, including 10 white-winged doves.3 times daily bag
Mourning Dove and White-winged DoveStatewide11-Nov-2325-Dec-2315, including 10 white-winged doves.3 times daily bag
Spotted Dove, and Ringed Turtle DoveStatewide1-Sep-2315-Sep-23No limitNo limit
Spotted Dove, and Ringed Turtle DoveStatewide11-Nov-2325-Dec-23No limitNo limit
Eurasian Collared-doveStatewide1-Jan-2331-Dec-23No limitNo limit

Pheasant Season

MethodHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesNote
Archery Only14-Oct-235-Nov-23
General11-Nov-2324-Dec-23Statewide
25-Dec-2321-Jan-24
Falconry19-Aug-2329-Feb-24Hawking hours are from dawn till dusk.
Pheasant Bag Limits
Pheasant Season Bag LimitsDaily LimitPossession Limits
General• Two days, two males each day
• After the first two days, three males every day.
3 times daily bag
Archery Only• For the first two days, two pheasants every day.
• After the first two days, 3 pheasants every day.
• One female pheasant, at most, may be found in the daily archery bag.
3 times daily bag
Falconry• For the first two days, two pheasants every day.
• After the first two days, 3 pheasants every day.
• Birds of either sex may be included in the daily falconry bag.
3 times daily bag

California Quail Season

The quail hunting season in California runs from September through January in a number of hunting areas. It normally begins in October and lasts through January in zones 1 and 2. It starts in zone 2 in September and lasts through January. The season officially begins in other zones between September and October, and it ends in January. Hunters are permitted to possess up to 30 California quails, with a daily bag limit of 10. In addition, the Mojave National Preserve offers an early season for those with junior hunting licenses in October, giving younger hunters the chance to participate.

CA Quail ZonesTypeHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag LimitsPossession Limits
Zone Q1Mountain Quail Only9-Sep-2320-Oct-231030
Zone Q1All Quail21-Oct-2328-Jan-241030
Zone Q2All Quail30-Sep-2328-Jan-241030
Zone Q3All Quail21-Oct-2328-Jan-241030
Mojave National Preserve (Early Season for Junior Hunters)7-Oct-238-Oct-231030
Archery Only19-Aug-238-Sep-231030
Falconry19-Aug-2329-Feb-241030
CA Quail Regulation

California quail hunting requires a license and upland game bird stamp. The same hunting license costs $54 for locals and $188.74 for non-residents. One-day licenses cost $25.92 and two-day licenses $54. To guarantee prudent and legal hunting, sportsmen must get a license and follow California Department of Fish and Wildlife bag restrictions and other laws.

Chukar Season

Chukar Hunt Hunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag LimitsPossession LimitsZones
General21-Oct-2328-Jan-24618Statewide
Archery Only19-Aug-238-Sep-23618
Falconry19-Aug-2329-Feb-24618

Grouse Season

Grouse SeasonZonesHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesBag LimitsPossession Limits
Sooty (Blue) / Ruffed GrouseGeneral9-Sep-239-Oct-232; All of one species or mixed6
Sooty (Blue) / Ruffed GrouseArchery Only19-Aug-238-Sep-232; All of one species or mixed6
Sooty (Blue) / Ruffed GrouseFalconry19-Aug-2320-Feb-242; All of one species or mixed6
Greater Sage-grouse (Permit Only)GeneralClosedClosed0 permits adopted for all four hunt zones
Greater Sage-grouseArchery / North Mono Zone onlyClosedClosed0 permits adopted for all four hunt zones
Greater Sage-grouseFalconryClosedClosed0 permits adopted for all four hunt zones

White-tailed Ptarmigan Season

White-tailed Ptarmigan HuntGeneral & ArcheryFalconry
ZonesStatewideStatewide
Hunting Start Dates9-Sep-2319-Aug-23
Hunting End Dates17-Sep-2320-Feb-24
Bag Limits2 per day2 per day
Possession Limits2 per season2 per season

Band-tailed Pigeon Season

Band-tailed PigeonSeason Start DatesSeason End DatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit
North16-Sep-2324-Sep-2326
South16-Dec-2324-Dec-2326

Snipe Season

Snipe SeasonSeason Start DatesSeason End DatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit
General / Statewide21-Oct-234-Feb-24824

Waterfowl Season

California Duck Season

Duck SeasonHunting Dates
NortheasternOct 7 - Jan 17
Southern San Joaquin ValleyOct 21 - Jan 31
Southern CaliforniaOct 21 - Jan 31
Colorado RiverOct 23 - Jan 31
Balance of StateOct 21 - Jan 31

Scaup Season

Scaup SeasonHunting Dates
StatewideOct 7 - Dec 3
Dec 21 - Jan 17
Southern San Joaquin ValleyNov 7 - Jan 31
Southern CaliforniaNov 7 - Jan 31
Colorado RiverNov 7 - Jan 31
Balance of StateNov 7 - Jan 31

Coots & Moorhens Season

Coots & Moorhens Season SeasonHunting Dates
NortheasternOct 7 - Jan 17
Southern San Joaquin ValleyOct 21 - Jan 31
Southern CaliforniaOct 21 - Jan 31
Colorado RiverOct 23 - Jan 31
Balance of StateOct 21 - Jan 31

Geese Season

Geese SeasonHunting Dates
Northeastern Zone
Canada Geese (Regular Season)Oct 7 – Jan 14
White and white-fronted geeseOct 7 – Dec 3
Jan 4 – Jan 17
White and white–fronted geese (Late Season)Feb 7 – Mar 10
Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone
GeeseOct 21 – Jan 31
Southern California Zone
GeeseOct 21 – Jan 31
Colorado River Zone
GeeseOct 23 – Jan 31
Balance of State Zone
Large CAGO only (Early Season)Sept 30 – Oct 2
Regular SeasonOct 21 – Jan 28
CAGO (Late Season)Feb 17 –18
Whitefronts and White geeseFeb 17 – Feb 21
Klamath Basin (Special Management Areas)
Canada geeseOct 7 – Jan 14
White and White-fronted geeseOct 7 – Jan 19
Sacramento Valley (Special Management Areas)
White-fronted geeseOpen concurrently with general goose season through Dec 21
Imperial County (Special Management Areas)
White GeeseNov 4 – Jan 31
Feb 1 – 2
Feb 5 – 9

Feb 12 – 20

Waterfowl Bag Limits

SpeciesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit
Statewide
Coots & Moorhens25/day75 in possession
Northeastern Zone
Ducks7/day, which may include: 7 mallards (no more than 2 females), 1 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads, 2 scaup3 times daily bag
ScaupPossession limit: triple the daily bag3 times daily bag
Geese30/day, which may include: 20 white geese, 10 dark geese (no more than 2 Large Canada geese)3 times daily bag
Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone
Ducks7/day, which may include: 7 mallards (no more than 2 females), 1 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads, 2 scaup3 times daily bag
ScaupPossession limit: triple the daily bag3 times daily bag
Geese30/day, which may include: 20 white geese, 10 dark geese3 times daily bag
Southern California Zone
Ducks7/day, which may include: 7 mallards (no more than 2 females), 1 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads, 2 scaup3 times daily bag
ScaupPossession limit: triple the daily bag3 times daily bag
Geese23/day, which may include: 20 white geese, 3 dark geese3 times daily bag
Colorado River Zone
Ducks7/day, which may include: 7 mallards (no more than 2 females or Mexican ducks), 1 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads, 2 scaup3 times daily bag
ScaupPossession limit: triple the daily bag3 times daily bag
Geese24/day, up to 20 white geese, up to 4 dark geese3 times daily bag
Balance of State Zone
Ducks7/day, which may include: 7 mallards (no more than 2 females), 1 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads, 2 scaup3 times daily bag
ScaupPossession limit: triple the daily bag3 times daily bag
Geese30/day, which may include: 20 white geese, 10 dark geese3 times daily bag

Special Management Areas

Special Management Areas - Regular SeasonZonesSeasonDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit
All Canada GeeseNorth CoastOct 7 – Dec 22just one large Canada geese out of ten every day3 times bag limit. Large Canada geese are closed during the Late Season
All Canada GeeseNorth CoastFeb 12 – Mar 10just one large Canada geese out of ten every day3 times bag limit. Large Canada geese are closed during the Late Season
All speciesHumboldt Bay South SpitClosed during the season for Brant
Canada geeseKlamath BasinOct 7 – Jan 1420 white geese, 10 dark geeses, (only 2 may be a Large Canada goose)3 times bag limit
White and White-fronted geeseKlamath BasinOct 7 – Jan 1920 white geese, 10 dark geeses, (only 2 may be a Large Canada goose)3 times bag limit
White-fronted geeseSacramento ValleyOpen simultaneously with regular goose season till Dec 213/day3 times bag limit
All speciesMorro Bayonly accessible in specific placesWaterfowl season opens concurrently with brant season3 times bag limit
All speciesMartis Creek LakeClosed until Nov 16
Black BrantNorthern BrantNov 18 – Dec 142 per day3 times bag limit
Black BrantBalance of State BrantNov 19 – Dec 152 per day3 times bag limit
White GeeseImperial CountyNov 4 – Jan 3120 per day3 times bag limit
Feb 1 – 220 per day3 times bag limit
Feb 5 – 920 per day3 times bag limit
Feb 12 – 2020 per day3 times bag limit

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Season

Youth Waterfowl Hunting SeasonSeason Start DatesSeason End Dates
Northeastern Zone23-Sep24-Sep
Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone3-Feb4-Feb
Southern California Zone3-Feb4-Feb
Colorado River Zone3-Feb4-Feb
Balance of State Zone3-Feb4-Feb

Veterans and Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunt

Veterans and Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunt Season Start DatesSeason End DatesNote
Northeastern Zone20-Jan-2421-Jan-24Ducks only
Balance of State Zone10-Feb-2411-Feb-24Ducks only
Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone10-Feb-2411-Feb-24similar to the regular season
Southern California Zone10-Feb-2411-Feb-24similar to the regular season

Falconry Season Waterfowl

Ducks including Mergansers, Geese, American Coots, and Common Moorhens

Falconry (Ducks including Mergansers, Geese, American Coots, and Common Moorhens)SEASONSBag LimitPossession limitNote
Northeastern ZoneOct 7 – Jan 113 per day9Similar as the regular season
Balance of State ZoneOct 21 – Jan 313 per day9Similar as the regular season
Feb 3 – 43 per day9Similar as the regular season
Feb 17 – 18, Feb 243 per day9Similar as the regular season
Southern San Joaquin Valley ZoneOct 22 – Jan 313 per day9Ducks only
Feb 3 – 43 per day9Ducks only
Feb 17 – 18, Feb 243 per day9Ducks only
Southern California ZoneOct 21 – Jan 31 &3 per day9Similar as the regular season
Feb 3 – 43 per day9Similar as the regular season
Feb 17 – 18, Feb 243 per day9Similar as the regular season
Colorado River ZoneOct 23 –Jan 313 per day9Ducks only
Feb 1 – 43 per day9Ducks only

California Hunting Zones

California hunting zones
California hunting zones: Map Credit-wildlife.ca.gov
CA Zone TypeHunting Zone Names
A ZonesA-Zone, A-North Zone, A-South Zone
B ZonesB-1 Zone, B-2 Zone, B-3 Zone, B-4 Zone, B-5 Zone, B-6 Zone
C ZonesC-1 Zone, C-2 Zone, C-3 Zone, C-4 Zone
D ZonesD-3 Zone, D-4 Zone, D-5 Zone, D-6 Zone, D-7 Zone, D-8 Zone, D-9 Zone, D-10 Zone, D-11 Zone, D-12 Zone, D-13 Zone, D-14 Zone, D-15 Zone, D-16 Zone, D-17 Zone, D-19 Zone
X ZonesX-1 Zone, X-2 Zone, X-3a Zone, X-3b Zone, X-4 Zone, X-5a Zone, X-5b Zone, X-6a Zone, X-6b Zone, X-7a Zone, X-7b Zone, X-8 Zone, X-9a Zone, X-9b Zone, X-9c Zone, X-10 Zone, X-12 Zone
Area-Specific Archery HuntsA-1, A-3, A-4, A-5, A-6, A-7, A-8, A-9, A-11, A-12, A-13, A-14, A-15, A-16, A-17, A-18, A-19, A-20, A-21, A-22, A-24, A-25, A-26, A-27, A-30, A-31, A-32, A-33
Additional HuntsG-1, G-3, G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9, G-10, G-11, G-12, G-13, G-19, G-21, G-37, G-38, G-39, M-3, M-4, M-5, M-6, M-7, M-8, M-9, M-11, MA-1, MA-3
Apprentice HuntsJ-1, J-3, J-4, J-7, J-8, J-9, J-10, J-11, J-12, J-13, J-14, J-15, J-16, J-17, J-18, J-19, J-20, J-21 (Excludes Alpine County)

California Hunting Regulations

Here are a list of California’s hunting regulations.

  • California hunters can’t use lead bullets. Projectiles can’t contain more than 1% lead.
  • Deer hunting is half-hour before sunrise and after sunset.
  • No motorized vehicle may be utilized to pursue, herd, drive, or catch a deer. You may safely retrieve a deer from the water if the boat is not moving and the engine is off. This regulation exempts disabled hunters with a valid Motor Vehicle Hunting License.
  • Never feed or bait deer.
  • Artificially lighting or luring deer is banned.
  • In California, bucks and does are identified differently by antlers. Antlerless deer have unbranched antlers no longer than 3 inches.
  • While bow hunting is allowed, using dogs to hunt deer is not. Some California counties allow it during deer season.
  • Hunters must always consider their safety while utilizing firearms. Use a hunting weapon carefully and know your destination. Know what’s beyond your concentration as well.

If you’re not cautious, you may shoot the wrong sex or two at once. Hunting from a tree stand or other elevated site requires special care. Use a safety strap if you feel unstable. Falls cause more hunting injuries than guns.

California Hunting License Fees

All California hunters need a license. A hunter education course is required to get a hunting license, regardless of age. The following hunting license prices are correct as of the date this article was published; however, fees are subject to change and often rise yearly.

For several species, you’ll also need a hunting tag. Most tags require buyers to be 12 or older.

Hunting License TypeFeesAvailable From
Resident Hunting - LicenseUSD 54.00
Nonresident Hunting - LicenseUSD 188.74
Junior Hunting - LicenseUSD 14.30
One-Day Nonresident Hunting - LicenseUSD 25.92
Two-Day Nonresident Hunting - LicenseUSD 54.00
Disabled Veteran Reduced Fee Hunting - LicenseUSD 8.24 CDFW Offices
USD 8.64 License Agents
Recovering Service Member Reduced-Fee Hunting - LicenseUSD 8.24 CDFW Offices
USD 8.64 License Agents
Duplicate Hunting - LicenseUSD 11.88Licenses may be purchased online or at any CDFW - License Sales Office or - License Agent.

Buy Hunting Licenses

You may purchase the above licenses from the below mentioned points subject to license types.

CDFW License Sales Offices

CA Online Hunting License Sales

Hunting License Agents

Hunting license & Permits

  • Hunting in California requires a valid license. Anyone who doesn’t live in California must purchase a non-resident hunting license.
  • Before getting a license, you must provide proof of hunter education. This course may be taken in-person or online. It’s not necessary if you’ve taken a related course in another state.
  • Youth and military veterans get discounts on lifetime hunting licences.
  • Disability parking permits are available. Disabled Archer allows crossbows, Muzzleloader Scope Permits enable scopes on muzzleloading rifles, and a Mobility Impaired, Disabled Persons Motor Vehicle Hunting License allows car hunting.
  • Deer hunting requires a Deer Tag. Locals and tourists may buy “First-Deer Tags” and “Second-Deer Tags.” Get one via a state-authorized agent, by phone, or online.
  • Open, restricted, and premium tags are available each zone. Tags are sold in limited quantities annually. Open and closed tag categories are distributed first-come, first-served.
  • Tags may be utilized in various regions and seasons (archery or general). Restricted tags are only usable at specific times of year (like archery tags) or in a given place.
  • Only application and random selection provide premium tags. Apply by early June!
  • The California Big Game Hunting Digest lists online hunts. You can’t purchase a Second-Deer tag until you’ve received your First-Deer tag. Additional rules govern a second deer tag. Check out the CDFW Hunting Guide for further information.
  • Each tag is good for one deer. Junior deer hunts, military land hunts, and special equipment hunts are all separate tags.

Hunting Violation and Fines

In California, stealing a deer, especially a “trophy,” may lead to serious punishment.

16 or 22-inch-wide deer are prizes. Illegal trophy hunters may be fined between USD 5,000 and USD 40,000.

If convicted, you must pay for your own legal counsel and legal expenses.

You must hunt legally and know the rules before you go. Lack of knowledge or understanding cannot justify a costly blunder.

California Hunting Contacts

California Department of Fish and Wildlife,

Inland Deserts Region (Region 6)
3602 Inland Empire Boulevard, Suite C-220
Ontario, CA 91764
(909)-484-0167
Website

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the hunting seasons in California for the 2023-2024 season?

Depending on the kind of animal being hunted, several hunting seasons apply in California. Quail season, which runs from August to January; deer season, from August to November; and bear season, from late August to December, are a few significant seasons.

When does the California deer hunting season 2023 begin and end?

CA Deer Season 2023

The California deer hunting season for the year 2023 begins and ends on different dates depending on the hunting zone. The General Season starts on August 12 and ends on November 26, 2023, while the Archery season runs from July 7 to October 29, 2023.

When does the D7 deer season for 2023 begin and end in California?

The D7 deer season for 2023 in California begins on August 19, 2023, for archery hunting and ends on September 10, 2023. For general hunting, the D7 deer season starts on September 16, 2023, and concludes on October 29, 2023. Additionally, there is a quota of 9,000 tags available for this particular zone, indicating the maximum number of deer permits issued for hunters during this season.

What are the dates for the D3-5 deer season in California for the year 2023?

The D3-5 deer season in California for the year 2023 spans from August 19, 2023, to September 10, 2023, for archery hunting, and from September 23, 2023, to October 29, 2023, for general hunting. These dates are applicable for Zones D-3, D-4, and D-5, and there is a total quota of 33,000 tags available for hunters in these zones, indicating the maximum number of permits issued for the designated season.

When does the A zone deer season take place in California?

The A zone deer season in California occurs in two segments: for archery hunting, it runs from July 8, 2023, to July 30, 2023, while for general hunting, it takes place from August 12, 2023, to September 24, 2023. These dates apply to both the South Unit 110 and North Unit 160 within the A zone, providing hunters with specific timeframes to engage in deer hunting activities in these regions. The season has an allotted tag quota of 65,000 permits available for hunters during this period.

What are the start and end dates of the B zone deer season in California for 2023?

The B zone deer season in California for 2023 has distinct start and end dates depending on whether it’s for archery or general hunting. For archery hunters in the B zones (B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, B-5, and B-6), the season begins on August 19, 2023, and ends on September 10, 2023. However, for general hunting in the B zones, including B-4 and B-6, the season starts on September 16, 2023, and concludes on October 22, 2023, except for B-4, which extends until October 1, 2023. These dates provide specific timeframes for hunters to participate in deer hunting activities in the designated B zones, with a tag quota of 35,000 permits available for each zone.

When does the D6 deer season for the year 2023 start and end in California?

The D6 deer season in California for the year 2023 begins on August 19, 2023, and concludes on September 10, 2023, for archery hunting. For general hunting in D6, the season starts on September 16, 2023, and ends on October 29, 2023. Hunters have these specific timeframes to participate in deer hunting activities in Zone D-6, with a tag quota of 10,000 permits available for the season.

What are the California archery deer season 2023 dates?

The California archery deer season for 2023 varies depending on the hunting zone. It begins as early as July 8, 2023, in some zones, like Zone A, and ends around September 10, 2023, in many zones, such as B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, D-3, D-4, D-5, D-6, D-7, D-8, D-9, D-10, D-13, D-14, D-15, D-16, D-17, and D-19. However, in Zone D-11, it extends until September 24, 2023, while Zone D-12’s archery season begins on October 7, 2023, and ends on October 29, 2023. Additionally, Zone C1, C2, C3, and C4 have an archery season from July 8 to July 30, 2023.

Can non-residents participate in the hunting season in California?

Yes, non-residents are welcome to take part in the California hunting season. They must, however, get the proper permits and tags, which can vary from resident hunters’ requirements and costs.

What are the hunting regulations for bears in California?

There are precise rules governing the locations and hunting seasons for bear hunting in California. The Northern Sierra Nevada and the Klamath Mountains are the only places in California where bear hunting is permitted. Additionally, bear hunting is allowed only during the archery season, which runs from August 1 to December 31. Different start and finish dates are specified in the hunting laws for individual bear zones. The hunting season starts on August 30 and finishes on December 31 in zones A, B, C, D, X8, X9A, X9B, X10, and X12. The bear hunting season in zones X1, X2, X3a, X4, X6a, X6b, X7a, and X7b begins on October 14 and lasts through December 31. It’s crucial to remember that there is a one-adult bear bag restriction for bear hunting in every zone. Additionally, bear hunting is permitted briefly from August 19 to September 10 in all bear zones.

Are special hunting days or seasons dedicated to specific groups, such as youth or military personnel?

In California, several organizations do indeed have exclusive hunting days. Active Military & Veterans Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days, as an example, and Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are also available. Youth and military people have special possibilities to engage in the hunting season on certain days, subject to specific rules and restrictions.

John Lewis

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