We set out to create the most simplified guide to California hunting seasons for 2023.
Want to find out season dates, learn about regulations and bag limits, understand license requirements, and get access helpful links?
Then you’ll love the info outlined in today’s guide. Let’s dive right in.
In the largest state in the U.S. with a diverse ecosystem ranging from high mountain tops, sandy coastlines and forests in between there isn’t much more to ask for when outdoors in pristine conditions closer to nature and connecting with the wild then thought possible before.
There are many ecological reserve areas starting with San Diego and leading to Santa Cruz.
Bear: Concurrent with general deer season through Dec. 26 Archery Aug 21- Sep 12
Pronghorn: General Season Aug 7-Sept 13 Apprentice hunts Aug 21-29
Elk: General Season Aug 19-Dec 5 Archery July 31-Nov 14
Bighorn Sheep: Aug 21-Sept 26 and Dec 4-Feb. 6
Big Game: Deer, Bear, Pronghorn, Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Wild Pig
Small Game: Tree Squirrel, Rabbits, Varying Hare, Jackrabbit
Bird: Waterfowl, Upland Game Birds, Greater Sage, Grouse, Sooty, White Tailed Ptarmigan, Wild Turkey, Dove Band tailed pigeon, Snipe
Deer General Season: Aug 14- Nov 7
Deer Archery: July 10 - Oct 2
California Deer Archery/Bowhunting 2023:
General Deer Season
Archery/Falconry: Aug. 7 - Sept. 10
General: Sept. 11 - Jan. 30
Rabbits and Varying Hare
General: July 1 - Jan. 30
Falconry: Jan. 31 - March 20
Jackrabbit: Open season
See the map below for a breakdown of California's hunting zones:
Bag limits vary wildly by animal, weapon, zone and you will have to check the official website at https://wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting.
You can buy a license at https://wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Online-Sales
Identification is required for a hunting license for any bird or mammal. Hunters who purchase a license for the first time must provide their proof of hunter education. You will need the following:
A law has been passed that every purchase of a deer tag, reports their harvest even if they were unsuccessful or if they did not hunt.
Official State Site: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting
California's general deer hunting season starts as early as Aug 14 and goes as late as November 7 but dates will vary depending on the zone.
California's archery deer hunting season starts as early as July 10th but varies by zone.
General deer season ends Nov 7th but can vary depending on the zone.