The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) would like to remind hunters that California’s fall general big game hunting seasons are right around the corner.
The upcoming California general deer and bear seasons are some of the most popular hunting opportunities in the state.
With weather cooling off and leaves starting to turn color, autumn in California is a great time to be in the wilderness.
General season opening and closing dates vary by zone and can be found at https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting .
Californians enjoy some of the widest ranges of habitat and hunting conditions in the nation. Hunters can pursue black bears in the redwood forests of Humboldt County, or mule deer in the high desert of San Bernardino County and everything in between.
While California has its fair share of privately-owned land, there are vast swaths of national forest, timber lands, state wildlife areas and other lands accessible to the public that provide excellent hunting opportunities.
CDFW also offers hunts on private lands through its SHARE Program and Private Lands Management Program.
In addition to big game, fall upland game seasons include quail, pheasant, wild turkey and grouse. The California Fish and Game Commission also recently adopted regulations opening a year-round hunting season with no bag limit for the invasive Eurasian collared dove.
California also offers coveted pronghorn antelope, elk and bighorn sheep hunts through a drawing system. Hunting for wild pigs is growing in popularity and can be done year-round.
A valid California hunting license and appropriate tags for each species pursued must be obtained before entering the field. Buy a hunting license and tags online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/ or find a CDFW license agent at https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/OutletSearch/FindOutlet .
California hunters are required to complete a hunter education training course, pass a comprehensive equivalency test, or provide a valid hunter’s safety certificate before purchasing a hunting license for the first time in California. Each year approximately 30,000 students complete the state’s hunter education course.
Hunters always have the responsibility to be familiar with state game laws before entering the field. Regulations can be found at https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regulations .