Hunting Licenses and Big Game Drawing Applications Available Now
It's time to get serious about the 2017 big game hunting season
Hunters may now purchase a 2017 hunting license and apply for the 2017 Big Game Drawing. The deadline to apply for the drawing is June 2, 2017
(applicants must complete the sales transaction before 11:59:59 p.m.).
Big Game Hunting Digest
Proposed seasons, tag drawing application instructions and drawing statistics can be found in the redesigned 2017 California Big Game Hunting Digest. The book is available online and at license agents, and will be mailed to 2016 Big Game Drawing applicants and tag holders.
2017 BIG GAME DIGEST
Random Drawing for Dream Hunts
Fundraising random drawing applications are available for some of the most sought-after hunts in California. Hunters may apply as many times as they wish for California's most coveted tags. These tags generate dedicated funding for wildlife management programs that benefit big game species. In 2016, fundraising random drawing tags generated more than $300,000 for big game management in California.
Hunters Report 2016 Deer Tags in Record Numbers
CDFW would like to thank all of the dedicated deer hunters who correctly reported their 2016 deer tags by the January 31 deadline. Approximately 85 percent of tag holders reported their tags. That is up from 50 percent in 2015. Deer tag report information helps CDFW biologists estimate deer populations and make decisions on season dates, harvest quotas and new hunting opportunities. Thank you!
CDFW Conducting Annual Waterfowl Breeding Population Survey
The annual CDFW waterfowl breeding population survey is scheduled for April and May. CDFW has conducted this survey since 1992 and it is used to inform the federal duck hunting framework in the Pacific Flyway, along with similar surveys conducted in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. The survey is conducted using CDFW pilots and fixed-wing aircraft covering a majority of suitable duck nesting habitat in the Central Valley and northeastern California.
Hunter Dollars at Work: Lower Sacramento River Deer Assessment
Deer in the section of the lower Sacramento River corridor from the town of Red Bluff south to Colusa are currently causing extensive damage to crops adjacent to the river. To alleviate the crop damage and provide additional hunter opportunity, an antlerless special hunt program is being pursued by CDFW in cooperation with county fish and game commissions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and private land owners. In order to derive a level of deer harvest that is sustainable, scientifically defensible and adheres to responsible resource management, hunter dollars are funding the collection of baseline and follow-up population data vital to the effort.
Nonlead ammunition is now required for all hunting on CDFW wildlife areas and ecological reserves and when taking upland game birds with a shotgun, except for dove, quail, snipe and any game birds taken in licensed game bird clubs. In addition, nonlead shot is required when using a shotgun to take resident small game mammals, furbearing mammals, nongame mammals, nongame birds and any wildlife under the authority of a CDFW depredation permit.
Although full implementation of the nonlead ammunition requirement for big game hunting does not go into effect until July 1, 2019, CDFW urges California hunters to start acquiring and practicing with nonlead ammo well before 2019.