Welcome to our guide on California Hunting Seasons for 2023-2024! This article provides important information on dates, limits, and regulations for different hunting seasons and games in California.

Let's learn about the upcoming hunting opportunities in California, so you can be well-prepared for a successful and responsible outdoor experience.

California Deer Season 2023-2024

Zone Date Bag Limit
Zone A Aug. 12 - Sep. 24, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone B Sep. 16 - Oct. 22, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone C-1 Sep. 16 - Oct. 15, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone C-2 Sep. 16 - Oct. 22, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone C-3 Sep. 16 - Oct. 22, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone C-4 Sep. 16 - Oct. 1, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone D 3-5 Sep. 23 - Oct. 29, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone D-6, 7 Sep. 16 - Oct. 29, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone D-8, 9, 10  Sep. 23 - Oct. 22, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone D-11 Oct. 14 - Nov. 12, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone D-12 Nov. 4 - Nov. 26, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone D-13, 14, 15  Oct. 14 - Nov. 12, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone D-16 Oct. 28 - Nov. 26, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone D-17 Oct. 14 - Nov. 5, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
Zone D-19 Oct. 7 - Nov. 5, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
X-1~7 Oct. 7 - Oct. 22, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
X-8 Sep. 23 - Oct. 8, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
X-9a, 9b Sep. 16 - Oct. 9, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
X-9c Oct. 21 - Nov. 12, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
X-10 Sep. 30 - Oct. 15, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag
X-12 Sep. 16 - Oct. 9, 2023 One buck, forked horn or better, per tag

 

General Method Hunt Date Total Tag Quota
G1 Oct 28-Nov 5, 2023 2710
G3 Dec 2-Dec 17, 2023 25
G6 Dec 2-Dec 10, 2023 50
G12 Sep 16-Sep 24, 2023 30
G13 Oct 28-Nov 19, 2023 300
G19 Sep 23-Dec 31, 2023 25
G21 Nov 11-Dec 3, 2023 25
G37 Nov 25-Dec 3, 2023 25
G38 Oct 21-Nov 5, 2023 300
G39 Oct 28-Nov 12, 2023 2

 

Muzzleloading Hunts Date Total Tag Quota
Code M3 Nov 18-Nov 26 20
M4 Oct 28-Nov 5 10
M5 Oct 28-Nov 5 15
M6 Dec 16 -Dec 31 80
M7 Nov 25-Dec 10 150
M8 Oct 28-Nov 5 20
M9 Oct 28-Nov 12 15
M11 Nov 11-Nov 26 20
MA1 Nov 25-Dec 10 150
MA3 Nov 25-Dec 10 150

 

 

Apprentice Hunts Date Total Tag Quota
Code J1 Nov 4 -Nov 5 25
J3 Nov 25-Nov 26 15
J4 Nov 25-Dec 3 15
J8 Dec 2-Dec 31 15
J12 Dec 2-Dec 17 10
J15 Nov 25-Dec 3 10

California Free Hunting Days

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Saturday, April 13, 2024

California Beer Season

General bear season date: October 14 - December 31, 2023

Opening zones: X1, X2, X3a, X4, X6a, X6b, X7a, and X7b.

 

Archery bear season date: August 19  - September 10, 2023.

Bag limits:

One adult bear is allowed per hunting license. Cubs and females accompanied by cubs are not allowed to be taken.

⚠️Note: The bear season may close before December 31, 2023 or earlier if a total of 1,700 bears have been reported harvested by the Department, including those during the archery season.

Tree Squirrels Season

Date: September 9, 2023 - January 27, 2024

Bag limit: 4 squirrels per day, 4 in possession

 

Brush, Cottontail and Pigmy Rabbits

Date: July 1, 2023 - January 27, 2024

Bag limit: 5 per day, 10 in possession

 

Jack Rabbits, Black-Tailed and WhiteTailed

Date: Open statewide all year

Bag limit: No limit

 

California Hunting License Fee

HUNTING LICENSE FEES (JULY 1, 2023 - JUNE 30, 2024 ) Resident $58.58
Nonresident $204.69
Disabled Veteran & Recovering Service Member $9.46
Lifetime License Ages 10-39 $1,054.25
Ages 40-61 $949.75
Ages 62+ $644.50

Frequently Asked Questions

When are the hunting seasons in California?

The general deer hunting season starts in early August and ends in early December.

Do you need a hunting license to hunt on your own property in California?

Yes. You will need a hunting license to hunt on your own property. A Hunting License is required for any person who hunts any game animal within the California state.

Is baiting deer illegal in California?

Yes. It is illegal to bait deer in California and you can not bait or feed any deer during hunting.

Can I use dogs to hunt in California?

There are some regulations on using dogs for California hunting:

  1. During the archery seasons for deer or bears, using dogs is prohibited.
  2. It is not allowed to use dogs to take bears, bobcat, elk, bighorn sheep, and antelope.
  3. Hunters are limited to using one dog per hunter in the area of general deer season.
  4. In specific dog control zones, it is not allowed to use dogs for chasing or hunting mammals or for training purposes. This restriction applies from the first Saturday in April until the day before the general deer hunting season begins.

Do I need my identification when purchasing a license?

Yes. When you purchase a license, you are required to provide identification or a previously issued ALDS license to show an accurate record of your license history.

Do I need to report my deer tag for an unsuccessful hunt?

Yes. You still need to report your tag by the regulatory deadline of January 31 or report it late.

Or there will be a non-reporting penalty of $21.60 when you purchase the 2024 deer tag.

What can I hunt for with a 2-Day Nonresident California Hunting License?

With a 2-Day Nonresident Hunting License, you can only hunt migratory game birds, small game mammals, wild pigs, fur-bearing mammals and non-game mammals. This Hunting License is not valid to hunt bighorn sheep, bears, deer, elk, or pronghorn.

Do I still need to have my license in possession when hunting?

Yes. You need to carry your license, validation, report card, or tag with you when you are hunting.

Where can I obtain hunting maps for deer zones?

You can find the general maps for individual zone or deer hunt boundaries at CDFW’s website here: wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Deer.

Conclusion

The dates and limits may be subject to change over time, so it is suggested to stay updated with the latest information here. We have wrapped up the details on California's hunting seasons for 2023-2024 for you, and remember to stay compliant, respect nature, and hunt ethically afield. Happy hunting

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