Saturday, 04 February 2023

Officials share safety reminders ahead of hunting season

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. — Hunting season is fast approaching, and hunters are curious to know if their favorite hunting spots are open.

At this time, all public land in the Mendocino National Forest is open to hunting, with the exception of the Sheet Iron Mountain State Game Refuge, located north of the Snow Mountain Wilderness. The State Refuge is closed to hunting.

Several trails and campgrounds remain closed, and new closures can occur at any time if there are wildfires or other hazards. Hunters should know before they go and check the forest’s website for alerts or warnings.

Fire danger remains high on Mendocino National Forest, and fire restrictions are in effect. Fire restrictions include prohibitions on campfires or stove fires outside of designated fire-safe recreation sites or wilderness areas. Smoking outside of buildings or enclosed vehicles, welding, the use of explosives, or the operation of a motor vehicle off national Forest System roads is also prohibited.

Forest visitors may use firearms if they carry and use them in a safe manner, and if the users comply with state and county laws.

• Do not use trees, signs, cans, or glass objects for targets.

• Never discharge a firearm from a road, across a road, across a body of water, or within 150 yards of a campground or private residence.

• Always exercise proper caution when handling firearms: keep in mind that other visitors, crews, private landowners, or others could be nearby, even if they aren't visible.

Hunters should take safety precautions before heading to their destination:

• Check the weather forecast.

• Assess current weather conditions in the forest.

• Let someone know where you are going and when you should be back.

• Be aware of the hazards of recreating in a burned forest.

• Set up your camp away from dead trees or hanging limbs.

• Practice “Leave No Trace” and carry out all trash.

Hunting is permitted during hunting seasons designated by the California State Department of Fish and Wildlife, or CDFW. Licenses are available online, at any CDFW License Sales Office or License Agent.

Information about the 2022 California Deer Hunt Zones is available on the CDFW website. The Mendocino National Forest falls within parts of the A1, B1, B2, B3 and B5 deer zones. Please make sure you have the appropriate deer tag on you for the deer zone you are hunting in.

For additional questions, please email the office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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