California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Frequently Asked Questions about Hunting Licenses

General Licensing Questions

Q: I noticed some of my license items this year were printed on green paper. For the last few years the licenses have been blue. Is a license printed on the green paper still valid?

A: Yes the green license you received is printed on official license stock. Historically, CDFW used to change the color of license stock every year. With the new automated system, this became unnecessary. However, as improvements to printing technologies emerge, CDFW may change the color of the license paper from time to time. During 2014, the old blue stock will be used up while the new green stock is phased in. Both blue and green licenses are valid for the dates specified on the license.

Q: Who needs a hunting license?

A: A California hunting license is required for any person taking birds or mammals. Hunters must carry licenses and be prepared to show them on request. Fish and Game Code, Section 86defines “taking” as hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill.

Q: How long is a hunting license valid?

A:An annual hunting license is valid from July 1 through the following June 30. If the license is purchased after July 1 it is valid for the remainder of the license year.

Q: What do I need to do to get my hunting license?

A: Resident, nonresident, and junior hunters must present ONE of the following when applying for an Annual California Hunting License or Two-Day Nonresident Hunting License as proof of meeting California's hunter education requirements:

  • Evidence of an Annual California Hunting License issued in any prior year;
  • A Two-Day Nonresident California Hunting License issued after the 1999/2000 license year;
  • A California certificate of hunter education completion or equivalency with a unique number imprinted on it (for example: AA00000) or a California hunter education certificate with no unique numberimprinted and a California hunter education validation stamp affixed;
  • A certificate of successful completion of a California-approved hunter education course from any state or province; or
  • Evidence of a current hunting license or a hunting license being issued in either of the two previous years from any state, province, European Country or South Africa.

Q: What is the minimum age requirement to purchase a hunting license?

A: There is no minimum age requirement for purchasing a hunting license if the applicant can show proof of hunter education. However, hunter education instructors generally ask that students be at least 10 years of age. Students must be able to read, write and understand the questions given on the written test required to complete the course. Check with a Hunter Education Instructor in your area for his/her minimum age requirement.

Q: Where do I purchase a hunting license?

A: Hunting licenses are available at any license agent, a CDFW license sales office or online.

Q: Can I purchase a hunting license online?

A: Yes, hunting licenses are available online.

Important: In order to purchase hunting items online, hunters must have proof of hunter education or a prior year California hunting license on file in ALDS. All hunters who have purchased hunting items via ALDS and most hunters that have applied during the last five years in the annual Big Game Drawing will have proof of hunter education on file.

Q: What type of hunting licenses, tags and validations are available or required?

A: See the Hunting License Fees and Descriptions page.

Q: What can you take with a Two-Day Nonresident Hunting License?

A: Two-Day Nonresident Hunting License are available to any nonresident, 16 years of age or older, for taking resident and migratory game birds, resident small game mammals, nongame animals and furbearers for two consecutive days. A Two-Day Nonresident Hunting License is not valid for hunting deer, bear, antelope, elk, bighorn sheep or wild pig.

Q: Can I laminate my license?

A: No. Licenses should never be heat laminated as this will destroy the license. If exposed to extreme heat, licenses will darken and become discolored. However, a discolored license is still valid as long as the text and signature are still readable.

Q: Can I purchase a Lifetime Hunting License?

A:  California residents may purchase a lifetime hunting license. You can find information about the lifetime license application process online at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/lifetime or any CDFW license sales office.

Q: How do I replace a lost or destroyed current hunting license issued from ALDS?

A: You may obtain a Duplicate Hunting License any license agent or CDFW license sales office and pay the appropriate fee. If you lose any additional validatons or tags, they must be purchased at a reduced fee. (Fish and Game Code, Section 1053b).

Q: Can I purchase a hunting license for my friend?

A: Yes. You must show your friend's California hunting license from any previous license year or his/her hunter education certificate as proof of meeting California's hunter education requirements. Your friend must sign the license before hunting (Section 700.3, Title 14, of the California Code of Regulations (CCR)).

Q: Do I have to complete a Harvest Information Program (HIP) Survey?

A: Yes. If you plan to hunt migratory game birds (ducks, geese, coots, dove, band-tailed pigeon, snipe, gallinules or black brant) you must complete a HIP survey and a FREE HIP validation must be printed on your California Hunting License. HIP surveys and validations are available at any license agent, CDFW license sales office or online. Hunters may be cited for hunting migratory game birds without a HIP validation printed on their license.

Q: Is there a reduced-fee hunting license?

A: Yes. If you are a disabled veteran, you may be eligible for a reduced-fee hunting license, which is available only at CDFW License Sales Offices for your initial application. After you have been approved and your profile has been updated, you may purchase your disabled veteran hunting license at any license agent, CDFW license sales office or online. To qualify for this license, you must submit BOTH of the following:

  • A letter from the Veterans Administration verifying that you have a 50 percent or greater service connected disability and were honorably discharged from the United States armed forces (Fish and Game Code, Section 3033); and
  • Evidence of meeting California hunter education requirements (Fish and Game Code, Section 3050); or
  • A previous year Disabled Veteran License.

Q: How do I replace a lost Disabled Veterans Reduced-fee Hunting License?

A. You may obtain a Duplicate Hunting License any license agent or CDFW license sales office and pay the appropriate fee. If you lose any additional validations or tags, they must be purchased at a reduced fee. (Fish and Game Code, Section 1053b).

Q: Is there a reduced-fee hunting license for senior citizens?

A: No.

Q: Is there a free hunting license?

A: No.

Q: What “resident small game” species can I hunt?

A: Section 257, Title 14, of the CCR states, “Resident small game" means the following resident game birds: Chinese spotted doves, ringed turtledoves of the family Columbidae, California quail and varieties thereof, gambel or desert quail, mountain quail and varieties thereof, blue grouse and varieties thereof, ruffed grouse, sage grouse (sage hens), white-tailed ptarmigan, Hungarian partridges, red-legged partridges, including the chukar and other varieties, ring-necked pheasants and varieties, and wild turkeys of the order Galliformes; and the following game mammals: jackrabbits and varying hares (genus Lepus), cottontail rabbits, brush rabbits, pigmy rabbits (genus Sylvilagus), and tree squirrels (genus Sciurus and Tamiasciurus).

Q: What “big game” species can I hunt?

A: Section 350, Title 14, of the CCR states, “big game"means the following: deer (genus Odocoileus), elk (genus Cervus), pronghorn antelope (genus Antilocarpa), wild pig (feral pigs, European wild pigs and their hybrids (genus Sus), black bear (genus Ursus) and Nelson bighorn sheep (subspecies Ovis canadensis nelsoni) in the areas described in subsection 4902(b), of the Fish and Game Code.

Q: What “nongame” species can I hunt?

A: Section 472, Title 14, of the CCR states, except as otherwise provided in Section 478, Title 14, of the CCR and Section 485, Title 14, of the CCR, and subsections (a) through (d) below, nongame birds and mammals may not be taken.

  1. The following nongame birds and mammals may be taken at any time of the year and in any number except as prohibited in Chapter 6: English sparrow, starling, coyote, weasels, skunks, opossum, moles and rodents (excluding tree and flying squirrels, and those listed as furbearers, endangered or threatened species).
  2. Fallow, sambar, sika, and axis deer may be taken only concurrently with the general deer season.
  3. Aoudad, mouflon, tahr, and feral goats may be taken all year.
  4. American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) may be taken only under the provisions of Section 485 and by landowners or tenants, or by persons authorized in writing by such landowners or tenants, when American crows are committing or about to commit depredations upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, livestock, or wildlife, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance. Persons authorized by landowners or tenants to take American crows shall keep such written authorization in their possession when taking, transporting or possessing American crows. American crows may be taken only on the lands where depredations are occurring or where they constitute a health hazard or nuisance. If required by Federal regulations, landowners or tenants shall obtain a Federal migratory bird depredation permit before taking any American crows or authorizing any other person to take them.

    American crows may be taken under the provisions of this subsection only by firearm, bow and arrow, falconry or by toxicants by the Department of Food and Agriculture for the specific purpose of taking depredating crows. Toxicants can be used for taking crows only under the supervision of employees or officers of the Department of Food and Agriculture or federal or county pest control officers or employees acting in their official capacities and possessing a qualified applicator certificate issued pursuant to Food and Agriculture Code, Sections 14151-14155. Such toxicants must be applied according to their label requirements developed pursuant to Sections 6151-6301, Title 3.

 

Hunter Education Requirements

Q: I lost my California Hunter Education Certificate. How can I get a copy?

A: Duplicate hunter education certificates can be issued to any person who completed and passed a hunter education class after 1989. If the student took the class after that date, they should contact their nearest CDFW License Sales Office to obtain a duplicate.

CDFW does not have records prior to 1989. If the class was completed prior to 1989, the hunter should contact the original instructor, club, or organization where the course was taught to obtain a duplicate. If the hunter is unable to obtain a duplicate through these means, they will have to repeat the course.

Q: Who must show proof of hunter education when applying for a California hunting license?

A: California requires hunter education training for ANYONE who has not formerly held a California hunting license, who does not have a hunter education certificate of completion, or who does not have a current, valid, hunting license or a hunting license issued in either of the two previous years from any state, province, European Country or South Africa.

Q: Where can I find information about Hunter Safety/Education classes?

A: Visit CDFW's Hunter Education page or call your nearest Hunter Education District Staff.

Q: How old do you have to be to take a hunter education course?

A: There isn't a minimum age requirement to take the course, but young children may find the course demanding. A Hunter Education Instructor may be able help you decide whether your child is old enough to take the course.

Q: Can I take a hunter education course online?

A: Yes and no. California does have an on-line course, however, the on-line course will not get you a valid hunter education certificate. There are currently three options for the you. Hunter-Ed.com, Huntercourse.com and the International Hunter Education Association. These sites have an on-line course that you can run through at your own pace. Once you have completed one of the above on-line courses, you will still need to attend a 4 hour follow-up class with a certified hunter education instructor. The benefit of taking the on-line course is having the ability to study at a pace that works for you and to only have to take a 4 hour follow-up classroom session versus a 10+ hour class. A list of home study/on-line instructors is located on our website. Classes are listed by county. Class Schedule

Q: I don't have time to take a California Hunter Education course. What can I do?

A: CDFW offers a comprehensive equivalency testing program at CDFW Offices. You may request information on this method of testing from the regional offices. There is a non-refundable, administrative fee required to take the examination. If you fail the examination, you must take a hunter education class to become certified. Warning! Not all states accept the equivalency certificate as proof of hunter education. All states will accept the certificate of completion that is awarded upon completion of a hunter education class.

Q: Will you accept a Hunter Education Certificate from another state?

A: Yes.

Q: I have a hunting license from another country. Why won't you accept it as proof of hunter education?

A: CDFW's Hunter Education Program Administrator determines which countries provide acceptable hunter education training. You may contact him by email at Roy.Griffith@wildlife.ca.gov or by telephone at (916) 653-1235 for more information.

Q: What will I learn in the Hunter Education Course and how long will it take?

A: The Hunter Education Course consists of a minimum of 10 hours of classroom, homework, and field instruction in the following areas: firearms safety and handling, sportsmanship and ethics, wildlife management and conservation, archery, black powder, wildlife identification, game care, first aid, and survival. After a student has successfully completed the course of instruction and passed the final examination, they are awarded a Certificate of Completion. Parents are encouraged to participate with their children in the course and its related activities. There is not a minimum age requirement to take the course, but young children may find the course demanding.

A fee may not be charged for an instructor's service; however, fees may be used to cover the purchase of training aids such as slides, flip charts, targets, and other training aids. The Hunter Education Instructor makes the final decision in determining whether a student is qualified to receive a Certificate of Completion. A student who is unsafe, or fails to demonstrate good sportsmanship will not be issued a Certificate of Completion.

Q: Are senior citizens exempt from having to take a hunter education course?

A: No.

Q: Is a law enforcement officer (active duty, reserve or retired military) required to take a hunter education course even if he/she had firearms training?

A: Yes. All first time California hunters must successfully complete a hunter education training course or pass an equivalency exam. Visit the Hunter Education page for more information.

Refunds and Exchanges and Transfers

Q: If I cannot use my hunting license can I get a refund?

A: No. Hunting license fees are nonrefundable.

Q: Why are hunting license fees nonrefundable?

A: Hunting licenses may be used for hunting any legal game bird or mammal. The purchase of hunting licenses and tags is an investment in the continued existence of California's hunting heritage. Funds raised from the sale of these items are used to conduct surveys and research, perform habitat maintenance and improvement projects, and meet the administrative requirements necessary to conduct all hunting seasons. Any reduction in this funding impacts CDFW's ability to perform these duties.

Q: I have a general deer zone tag (Zones A, B, or a non-premium D tag) that I want to exchange but the archery season has already begun, can I still exchange it??

A: No. Once the earliest season for that tag has begun, you cannot exchange it. You will have to purchase a Second Dear Tag. (Section 708.4, Title 14 of the CCR)

Q: Can I get a refund if the specific area where I hunt has been closed because of fire?

A: No. Refunds will not be issued for emergency area closures due to fire, weather or other natural disasters. (Section 708.2(b), Title 14 of the CCR)

Q: I cannot use my hunting license or tag. Can I give them to someone else?

A: No. By law you cannot transfer a license or tag to another person (Fish and Game Code, Section 1052(a)).

Deer Tags

Q: What is the minimum age to purchase a deer tag?

A: Applicants must be at least 12 years of age on or before July 1 of the license year for which they are applying or at the time of application if they are applying after July 1 (Section 708.2(a)(2), Title 14, of the CCR).

Q: Why is there a non-refundable processing fee added to deer tag applications?

A: A processing fee has been added to the application fee to help offset the cost of issuing tags and allows a greater portion of the application fee to be used for wildlife management and habitat projects.

Q: What do I need to go deer hunting?

A: A hunter will need to purchase an annual resident, nonresident or junior hunting license and a deer tag for the zone or hunt area they plan to hunt in before they go hunting.

Q: Can I buy a deer tag with a Two Day Nonresident Hunting License?

A: No, a Two Day Nonresident Hunting License is only valid for small game such as migratory game birds, resident small game mammals, nongame animals and furbearers for two consecutive days.

Q. How many deer tags can I purchase each year?

Hunters are allowed to purchase two deer tags per license year, using a first-deer tag and a second-deer tag. (Section 708.1(a)(1), Title 14 of the CCR)

Q: What is the difference between an A and an A1 deer tag?

A: An A tag is valid for archery and general season hunting only in the A zone. An A1 tag is an Area-Specify Archery Hunt tag valid only in the archery season of the C, zones. Note: In 2012, the A1 tag quota filled on July 2, 2012, therefore in 2013, the A1 tag will be a premium deer hunt tag. Hunters will need to apply with a First-Deer Tag Drawing Application in the Big Game Drawing for A1 as their first choice tag. Applications must be submitted by June 2, 2013.

Q: What is the difference between a G1 and a C4 deer tag?

A: A G1 tag is valid for the late season hunt in the C4 zone only. To hunt in the C4 zone during the general season the tag to apply for is the C zone tag, which is valid for ALL the C zones during the general season. The G1 and C zone tag are premium deer tags and are issued through CDFW's annual Big Game Drawing.

Q. I obtained an A tag on my first deer tag. I want a D6 tag. Do I need to wait until August 2nd to apply for a D6 tag?

A. No. Regulations limit you to one restricted deer hunt tag before August 2nd. A restricted deer hunt tag can be your second deer tag, if you do not have a pending drawing application, have not been issued a premium deer hunt tag or restricted deer hunt tag as your First-Deer Tag.

Q. Why do I have to apply for C, D12 or D17 through the drawing?

A. Regulations state when a hunt is filled on or before the first business day after July 1, in the previous year, the tag will be issued in the Big Game Drawing the following year. In the 2012 Big Game Drawing, the tag quota for D17 filled in the first round and the tag quota for the C and D12 tags filled in the second round of the drawing.

Q. Why are A1, A22 and A31 premium deer hunt tags which are issued through the drawing?

A. Regulations state when a hunt is filled on or before the first business day after July 1, in the previous year, the tag will be issued in the Big Game Drawing the following year. In 2012, the A1 tag quota filled on July 2, 2012, the A22 tag quota filled on June 29, 2012 and the A31 tag quota filled on June 26, 2012.

Q: Where can I get a leftover premium deer tag after the drawing?

A: Leftover premium deer tags which do not fill through the drawing are issued at CDFW license sales offices, license agents and online on a first-come, first-served basis. If available leftover premium deer tags will be issued on July 2, 2013 at 8:00am.

Q: Are A18, A19, A22, and A32 premium tags?

A: These tags are not premium deer tags in 2013. You may apply for these tags on a first-deer or second-deer tag on first-come, first-served basis.

Q: Do I need to return my deer tag to CDFW if I do not get a deer?

A: No. You only need to return the report card in if you have taken a deer Section 708.5, Title 14 of the CCR. You may also report online.

Q. Do I still have to punch tags and fill out the report card since they're now part of my ALDS license?

A. Yes. All requirements for tagging, identifying and verifying take still apply.

Q: How do I replace a lost deer tag?

A: Complete a Duplicate Big Game Tag Affidavit (PDF) and submit it to any CDFW License Sales Office with a duplicate tag fee. CDFW license sales office will verify that a tag was issued to you and will reissue you a duplicate tag for the same zone. Only 1 duplicate big game tag (such as deer, bear, antelope, elk, bighorn sheep) will be issued per year Section708.17, Title 14 of the CCR.

Q: How are the quotas for the deer zones determined?

A: Quotas adopted by the Fish and Game Commission are based upon recommendations made by CDFW's Wildlife Branch. Tag quotas are based on individual deer herd management plans.

Q: Who can validate deer tags?

A: CDFW employees, forest rangers, park rangers and others as listed in Section 708.6(c)(1), Title 14, of the CCR.

Q: If I have additional questions regarding deer, where can I go on your website to get additional information?

A: See CDFW's Deer Management Program page.

Bear Tags

Q: What is the minimum age to purchase a bear tag?

A: Applicants must be at least 12 years of age at the time of purchase and possess a current California resident, nonresident or junior hunting license (Fish and Game Code 4751).

Q. How many bear tags can I purchase each year?

A: Hunters are allowed to purchase one bear tag per license year. Section 708.12(a)(4), Title 14, of the CCR.

Q: Can I buy a bear tag with a Two Day Nonresident Hunting License?

A: No, a Two Day Nonresident Hunting License is only valid for small game such as migratory game birds, resident small game mammals, nongame animals and furbearers for two consecutive days.

Q: Why is there a non-refundable processing fee added to bear tag applications?

A: A processing fee has been added to the application fee to help offset the cost of issuing tags and allows a greater portion of the application fee to be used for wildlife management and habitat projects.

Q: Do I need to return my bear tag to CDFW if I do not get a bear?

A: Section 708.12(e)(2), Title 14, of the CCR requires all bear tag holders who are unsuccessful in taking a bear to return the report card portion of the tag to CDFW by February 1 of the current license year.

Q: How do I replace my lost my bear tag?

A: Download or contact any CDFW License Sales Office to obtain a Duplicate Big Game Tag Affidavit (PDF), complete it and mail it the office you mailed your original application to and a duplicate tag may be issued.

Q: How is the quota for bear tags determined?

A: The quota is adopted by the Fish and Game Commission and based upon recommendations made by CDFW's Wildlife Branch.

Q: Who can validate bear tags?

A: Only CDFW employees may validate bear tags. Also, the bear head must be presented so that the molars can be extracted for biological study. (Section 708.12(d), Title 14, of the CCR)

Q: I am not sure if I returned my last year's bear tag, may I purchase a bear tag application this year?

A: Regulation requires any person legally taking a bear immediately have their bear tag validated by a CDFW employee. The tag may be presented to a CDFW employee or returned through the United States Mail as specified in Section 708.12(e)(1), Title 14, of the CCR. These regulations also require all bear tag holders who are unsuccessful in taking a bear to return the report card portion of the tag to CDFW by February 1 of the current license year. Hunters with questions or concerns regarding return of their bear tag report card should contact CDFW's Wildlife Branch at (916) 445-3565.

Q: Can I hunt with archery equipment during the general season for bear?

A: Yes. You may use archery equipment during the general season as specified in Fish and Game Code 353.

Q: If I have additional questions regarding bear, where on your website can I find additional information?

A: See CDFW's Bear Program page.

Big Game Drawing

Q: When is the deadline to submit applications for the Big Game Drawing?

A:. Applications for premium deer, elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep tags must be submitted through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) at any license agent, a CDFW license sales office, online or by telephone sales at (800) 565 - 1458. To qualify for the big game drawing, the application must be submitted and the sales transaction completed before midnight on June 2, 2014.

Q: When are hunting licenses and big game drawing applications available to purchase at local license agents and CDFW license sales offices for this year's Big Game Drawing?

A: On April 15, 2014 at 8:00 am you may purchase your hunting license and big game application(s) for the Big Game Drawing at any license agent, a CDFW license sales office, online or by telephone sales at (800) 565-1458.

Q: How does the Big Game Drawing work?

A:

  • CDFW will run the draw within 10 business days of the application deadline.
  • After the application deadline, when all applicant information has been entered, the computer assigns each person (or party) a unique random number. Hunters who apply as a party receive the same random number as the party leader.
  • Party applications are not split to meet the tag quota if the number of party members exceeds the number of available tags (Section 708.15(a)(2), Title 14 of the CCR). Therefore, when there are fewer tags available than the number of members in a party, the computer bypasses the party and draws the applicant with the next lowest random number to fill the tag quota.
  • The preference point value for party applications entered in the Big Game Drawing is determined by averaging all party members' deer preference points (total preference points of the party divided by the number of party members). Preference point averages are not rounded up or down (Section 708.14(e), Title 14 of the CCR).
  • Just prior to the drawing, the computer sorts all applications according to first tag choice, preference point totals, and random number.
  • The computer begins awarding first tag choices to applicants with the most preference points, in random number order (starting with the lowest random number to the highest random number).
  • After the preference point round is completed, unsuccessful applications are resorted by hunt choice and random number order (starting with the lowest random number to the highest random number), and the computer begins awarding tags based on applicant's first-choice without consideration of accumulated points, until all draw-by-choice tag quotas fill or until all applications have been processed.
  • All remaining unsuccessful applications are then sorted by second tag choice, in random number order (starting with the lowest random number to the highest random number) and the computer conducts a second round of drawings for any zones and hunts with tags remaining without consideration of accumulated points.
  • If tags remain after second tag choices have been processed, applications are sorted once again by third tag choice, in random number order (starting with the lowest random number to the highest random number), and any remaining tags are awarded without consideration of accumulated points.
  • For applications not drawn in the third round hunters will be notified of available tags so they may reapply.

Q: What are the Tag Quota Splits?

A: Premium Deer Tags (Excluding Apprentice Deer Tags) (Section 708.15(a)(3), Title 14, of the CCR)

  • Ninety percent (90%) of the individual zone or hunt tag quota shall be awarded using a Preference Point drawing.
  • Ten percent (10%) of the individual zone or hunt tag quota shall be awarded using a Draw-by-Choice drawing.
  • For zones or hunts with quotas less than 10 tags, one tag shall be awarded using a Draw-by-Choice drawing.

Apprentice Deer Tags (Section 708.15(3)(E), Title 14, of the CCR)

  • Fifty percent (50%) of the hunt tag quota shall be awarded through a Preference Point drawing.
  • Fifty percent (50%) of the hunt tag quota shall be awarded through a Draw-By-Choice drawing.

Elk, Pronghorn Antelope and Bighorn Sheep Tags (Section 708.15(b),(c) & (d), Title 14, of the CCR)

  • For quotas of one, the tag shall be awarded using a Draw-By-Choice drawing.
  • For quotas of two, one tag shall be awarded using a Preference Point drawing, and one tag shall be awarded using a Draw-By-Choice drawing.
  • For quotas of three, two tags shall be awarded using a Preference Point drawing, and one tag shall be awarded using a Draw-By-Choice drawing.
  • For quotas of four or more, seventy-five percent (75%) of the quota shall be awarded using a Preference Point drawing. The remaining portion of the quota shall be awarded using a Draw-By-Choice drawing.

Q. Why can't I submit the same hunt choice more than once on my deer tag drawing application?

A. If you were not drawn for a tag in a previous round, then there were no tags remaining at the end of that round; therefore, there is no chance of being drawn for that tag in the next round of the drawing.

Q: How and when can I find out find out if I was drawn for a tag in the Big Game Drawing?

A: On June 20, 2014, the drawing results will be available online or by contacting CDFW License Sales Offices.

Applying as a Party for Deer Tags

Q. How can we apply as a party for drawings in ALDS?

A. There are two ways to apply as a party:

  • Members of a party can apply in the same sales transaction at a CDFW license sales office, online or license agent and the sales clerk, upon request, can link the applications together as a party; or
  • If applying in separate transactions, the first party member will become the party leader. The party leader's Big Game Drawing Receipt will have the Party Identification Number printed on it. The party leader can give this number out to the other members of his/her hunting party. When other members apply, they will provide the Party Identification Number. When the Party Identification Number is entered in the drawing application ALDS screen, it will bring up the hunting party and link the members to the party. The members will be assigned the same tag choices in the same order as the party leader and you will all be in the drawing together. Party applications may be made up of transactions submitted through the Internet, CDFW license sales office and license agents.

Q. Can my hunting party apply online as a party?

A. Yes. Members of a party can apply online in separate transactions, but not in the same transaction. Online sales can only process one customer per transaction. The first party member will become the party leader. The party leader's Big Game Drawing Receipt will have the Party Identification Number printed on it. The party leader can give this number out to the other members of his/her hunting party. When other members apply online, they will enter the Party Identification Number in the drawing application screen; it will bring up the hunting party and link the members to the party. The members will be assigned the same tag choices in the same order as the party leader and you will all be in the drawing together. Party applications may be made up of transactions submitted through the Internet, CDFW license sales office and license agents.

Q. I am the party leader and am applying for deer tags and an elk tag? Do I give the same Party Identification Number to the other party members?

A. No. You will have Party Identification Numbers for each species. Your Party Identification Numbers are printed on your Big Game Drawing Receipts. Make sure you give the deer Party Identification Number to members of your deer hunting party and give the elk Party Identification Number to the member of your elk hunting party.

Q. I am a member of a party applying for deer tags. Can any party member apply first?

A. Yes. A party leader is the first person in the party to apply and is assigned a Party Identification Number. The party leader can give the party number to other applicants, so they can join his/her party.

Q. I don't have my party leader's Party Identification Number. Will the license agent be able to join us together?

A. No. You must have the Party Identification Number to join another hunter's party. This is done to ensure that only hunters that the party leader allows may join his/her party. The CDFW license sales offices and license agents cannot provide you with another hunter's Party Identification Number, only the party leader or members of the party can provide you with their party number.

Q: Can a member of my party be a nonresident or junior hunter?

A: Yes, for deer drawings as long as they possess a valid California annual hunting license and the junior must be at least 12 years old as of July 1 of the license year for which they are applying, or at the time of application if they are applying after July 1.

Q: Can one of our party members choose a different zone or hunt as their second or third tag choice?

A: No. All party members' tag choices must be the same. The computer cannot separate party members' half-way through the drawing process. (Section 708.14(b)(8), Title 14, of the CCR)

Q: I am applying in the deer drawing and have the maximum number of points. If I apply as a party with my hunting partner who does not have any points, are my chances of getting a tag less than if I applied alone?

A: Yes. The preference point value for party applications entered in the Big Game Drawing is determined by averaging all party memebers' points (total preference points of the party divided by the number of number of the party members, (Section 708.14(e), Title 14, of the CCR). Your party's preference point total will be 4 (8 total points divided by 2 party members). If you applied alone, your preference point value would be 8 (8 total points divided by 1 party member). If you applied as a party with a hunter with 0 points, your application will not be processed in the preference round of the drawing until all applications with greater than 4 points have been processed. For many hunts, there are more maximum point applicants than there are premium tags, so your odds of drawing a premium tag would be very low. However, there is always a chance your party could get drawn in the random portion of the drawing where success is determined strictly by your random number and the number of available tags.

Q: The deer drawing statistics indicate that a hunter with one preference point was drawn for an X9A tag. I applied as a party and our point total was 1.67. Why didn't we receive a tag?

A: Party applications are not split when there are fewer tags available than the number of members in a party (Section 708.15(a)(2), Title 14, of the CCR). Therefore, there may be party applications with a higher point value that did not receive a tag. For example, when the final X9A tag was awarded, there were several party applications with greater than 1 point. However, since there was only one available tag, these applications were bypassed.

Preference Points

Q: What is a Modified Preference Point System Drawing?

A: Under a Modified Preference Point System drawing, tag quotas for each hunt are split into two portions: one portion awarded by preference point drawings; the other portion awarded in draw-by-choice drawings. Quota splits vary, depending on the species, total number of available tags, or other special criteria (such as those for junior deer hunts).

Q: What is the maximum number of preference points for the 2014 Big Game Drawing?

A: Going into the 2014 Big Game Drawing the maximum number of preference points a hunter can have for any species is 12.

Q: When did CDFW start tracking preference points?

A: CDFW started tracking preference points in 2002.

Q: How do I earn preference points?

A: You may earn one preference point per year, per species, as follows: Deer – Earn one preference point if you apply for the premium deer tag drawing but are not drawn for your first tag choice. Elk, Pronghorn Antelope and Bighorn Sheep – Earn one preference point for each species if you apply for the drawing for that species but do not receive a tag.

Q: When do I lose preference points?

A: You lose all accumulated preference points for a species, as follows:

Deer – You lose all accumulated preference points when you are drawn for a premium tag as your first choice.

Elk, Pronghorn Antelope and Bighorn Sheep – You lose all accumulated preference points for a species if you receive a tag for that species.

You also lose all accumulated preference points for any species if you do not participate in the drawing for that species for five (5) consecutive years. Applying late is considered the same as not applying.

Q: I moved out-of-state. Will I lose my preference points?

A: No.

Q: Can I transfer my preference points from one species to another?

A: No Preference points are earned for a particular species and cannot be transferred to any other species (Section 708.14(c), Title 14, of the CCR).

Q: Can I transfer my preference points to another hunter?

A: No. Preference ponts are not transferrable to another person (Section 708.14(c), Title 14, of the CCR).

Q: How will CDFW notify applicants if they earned a preference point?

A: Each fall hunters can view their current preference point totals online.

If you have questions regarding your preference point totals you must contact the License and Revenue Branch, 1740 N. Market Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95834 in writing or email them at Point@wildlife.ca.gov.

Q: How does CDFW track my preference points?

A: CDFW tracks preference points for current and future drawings using your GO ID.

For CDFW to accurately track your preference points, you must use the same GO ID number to apply in the drawing each year. If you have changes or corrections to your name, mailing address, date of birth or identification number, such as a driver’s license number, you must notify CDFW in writing at License and Revenue Branch, 1740 N. Market Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95834 or by email at Point@wildlife.ca.gov (Section 708.14(g), Title 14, of the CCR).

Q: I do not wish to apply for a premium deer hunt this year. How can I earn a preference point?

A: Purchase a California hunting license and the First Deer Tag Drawing Application through the license sales terminal at a license agent, CDFW license sales office or by telephone sales at (800) 565-1458.  Inform the sales clerk the code to earn a preference point for deer is PD.

If applying online, select the “2014 Hunting” tab and “add to the cart” a California hunting license and in the “Drawing” menu, add the First Deer Tag Drawing Application and enter the preference point code PD to earn a point for deer. 

To earn the preference point, the transaction must be completed before midnight on June 2, 2014.

Q: If we apply as a party and are unsuccessful in the drawing, do we each earn a preference point?

A: Yes. Each party member will earn one preference point.

Q: I am a junior hunter. If I submit two applications for premium deer tag drawings, how are my preference points earned or lost?

A: Junior hunters will earn one preference point if they are unsuccessful on their first choice hunt for both applications (only one preference point will be awarded, not one preference point for each application). Junior hunters will lose all their deer preference points if they are drawn for their first tag choice on either their first-deer or second-deer application.

Q: If I am successful in the premium deer drawing for my second or third choice, do I earn a preference point?

A: Yes. If you are not drawn for your first choice premium tag, you earn one preference point, even if you are drawn for a premium tag as your second or third choice.

Q: I am unable to hunt this year. Can I still earn a preference point for elk, pronghorn antelope or bighorn sheep?

A: Purchase a California hunting license and drawing application through the license sales terminal at a license agent, CDFW license sales office or by telephone sales at (800) 565-1458.  Inform the sales clerk you are also applying for the 2014 Big Game Drawing and provide the correct preference point only code for elk, pronghorn antelope or bighorn sheep.

If applying online, select the “2014 Hunting” tab and “add to the cart” a California hunting license and in the “Drawing” menu, add the Elk Tag Drawing Application, Pronghorn Antelope Tag Drawing Application or Bighorn Sheep Tag Drawing Application and enter the correct preference point code for each species.

To earn the preference point, the transaction must be completed before midnight on June 2, 2014.

Q: Do I earn a preference point if my application is received after the deadline?

A: No. You will not earn a preference point after the deadline.  If it is after midnight on June 2, 2014, the sales items: First Deer Tag Drawing Application, Elk Tag Drawing Application, Pronghorn Antelope Tag Drawing Application and Bighorn Sheep Tag Drawing Application will not be available in the menu screen to purchase and apply for the drawing.

Q If I am drawn for my first choice tag for a premium zone or hunt that does not fill in the drawing, do I still lose my preference points?

A: Yes. If you are drawn for your first choice premium tag, you lose all your deer preference points, whether or not the tag quota fills for that zone or hunt.

Q: If I am successful in the premium deer tag drawing for my first choice and I am unable to hunt, can I return my tag and have my preference point reinstated?

A: Any applicant who was drawn for the applicant's first deer tag choice in the big game drawing and can not hunt for any reason may submit a written request to retain the accumulated preference point total and earn one preference point for deer for that year. Applicants shall return the tag to the department's License and Revenue Branch before the season starts for which the tag is valid for the department to consider the request. If the request is granted the applicant shall retain the preference point total the applicant accumulated prior to the big game drawing and earn one preference point for deer. The department shall not refund the fees paid for a resident deer tag application.

Q: If I am drawn for an elk, pronghorn antelope or bighorn sheep tag, pay for the tag but I am unable to hunt, what happens to my preference points?

A: Any applicant who was awarded an elk, antelope, or bighorn sheep tag in the big game drawing and can not hunt for any reason may submit a written request to retain the accumulated preference point total and earn one preference point for elk, antelope or big horn sheep for that year. Applicants shall return the tag to the Department's License and Revenue Branch before the season starts for which the tag is valid for the department to consider the request. The applicant shall submit the nonrefundable processing fee with the request. If the request is granted the applicant shall retain the preference point total the applicant accumulated prior to the big game drawing and earn one preference point for elk, antelope or big horn sheep. The department may refund the tag fee.

Q: If I am drawn for an elk, pronghorn antelope or bighorn sheep tag but do not purchase the tag, do I lose my preference points for that species?

A: No. If you do not purchase the tag, you will not lose your preference points for that species.

Q: My application for a premium deer tag was received after the drawing deadline. I will not receive a preference point for this year. Will I lose my points from previous years because my application was not received on time?

A: No. However, a hunter's preference points are reduced to zero when they have not applied for five (5) consecutive years. Applying late is considered the same as not applying (Section 708.14(h), Title 14, of the CCR).

Applying for Antelope, Elk and Sheep Tags

Q: When is the deadline to apply for the elk, antelope and bighorn sheep drawings?

A: Application(s) must be submitted through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) at any license agent, a CDFW license sales office or online. To qualify for the big game drawing, the application must be submitted and the sales transaction completed before midnight on June 2, 2013.

*Please note: The June 2, 2013, deadline falls on a Sundrday this year and CDFW license sales offices are closed on weekends. CDFW license sales offices are open Monday thru Friday during normal business hours.

Important: In order to purchase hunting items online, hunters must have proof of hunter education or a prior year’s California hunting license on file in ALDS. All hunters who have purchased hunting items via ALDS and most hunters that have applied during the last five years in the annual Big Game Drawing will have proof of hunter education on file.

Q: Can I apply for an elk, antelope and bighorn sheep tag with a Two Day Nonresident Hunting License?

A: No, a Two Day Nonresident Hunting License is only valid for small game such as migratory game birds, resident small game mammals, nongame animals and furbearers for two consecutive days.

Q: Can nonresidents apply for antelope and elk hunts as a party?

A: No, not more than one antelope or elk tag can be awarded to a nonresident, therefore they may not apply as a party.

Q: Who can apply for an antelope tag through the Big Game Drawing?

A: Any person (resident or nonresident) who is at least 12 years old as of July 1 of the license year for which they are applying with a valid annual California hunting license.

Q: If I was drawn for an apprentice antelope hunt last year, may I apply again this year for another apprentice antelope hunt?

A: Yes.

Q: Who can apply for an elk tag through the Big Game Drawing?

A: Any person (resident or nonresident) who is at least 12 years old as of July 1 of the license year for which they are applying with a valid annual California hunting license.

Q: Who can apply for a Nelson bighorn sheep tag through the Big Game Drawing?

A: Any person (resident or nonresident) who is at least 16 years old as of July 1 of the license year for which they are applying with a valid annual California hunting license.

Q: How many nonresidents may be drawn for antelope, elk or a bighorn sheep tag?

A: Only one nonresident per license year may be drawn for each species (antelope, elk and bighorn sheep) (Section 708.9(b)(10), 708.10(b)(8), 708.11(b)(8), Title 14, of the CCR).

2014 Fund-Raising Random Drawings for Deer, Elk, Antelope and Bighorn Sheep

Q. How do I apply for Fund-raising Random Drawing tags?

A. You can purchase your 2014 Fund-raising Random Drawing tag application from any license agent, CDFW license sales office or online through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) for $5.97.

Q. Do I need to have a 2014-2015 hunting license to apply?

A. Applicants are not required to possess a valid 2014-2015 California hunting license at the time of application.. However, the successful tag holder shall possess a valid 2014-2015 California hunting license before the tag is issued.

Q. Is there a limit on the number of times I can apply?

A. No. You may apply as many times as you want for each tag.

Q. How much does it cost to apply for a Fund-raising Random Drawing tag?

A. The application fee is $5.97 per hunt choice.

Q. What is the deadline to apply?

A. The deadline to apply is before midnight on June 2, 2014, the application must be submitted and the sales transaction completed before midnight on June 2, 2014.

Q. Can I verify the tags I applied for?

A. Yes, you may access your customer profile online and view all of your drawing selections at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/CustomerSearch/Begin. The information is also printed on your Big Game Drawing Receipt when you apply in person at a license agent or CDFW license sales office.

Q. What are the requirements to apply for the Fund-raising Random Drawing tags for big game?

A. You do not need a hunting license to apply, but you must purchase one to obtain the tag if you are drawn. There is no limit to the number of applications you can submit for Fund-raising Random Drawing tags.

  • For deer, elk, and antelope, any person who will be age 12 or older as of July 1, 2014 can apply for the fund-raising random drawing tags.
  • For bighorn sheep, any person who will be age 16 or older as of July 1, 2014 can apply for the fund-raising random drawing tag.

Q. If I am drawn for a Fund-raising Random Drawing tag, will I lose my preference points?

A. No. Preference points are not part of the fund-raising random draw tag process. Preference points are only earned and applicable towards the general big game tag drawings.

Q. If I am drawn, how much are the fees for Fund-raising Random Drawing deer, elk, antelope and sheep tags?

A. If you are drawn for a Fund-raising Random Drawing deer, elk, antelope and sheep tag, the tag will be provided at no additional charge.

Q. If I apply in the Big Game Drawing and receive a premium deer zone tag, can I still receive the Fund-raising Random Drawing Open zone deer tag?

A. Yes, you would receive both.

Q. If I apply for the Open Zone Deer Fund-raising Random Drawing and win, but already have two deer tags, can I still get the Fund-raising Random Drawing tag?

A. Yes, however, hunters are restricted each year to no more than two deer tags. In this case you would have to surrender either your First-deer or Second-deer tag prior to issue of the Open Zone Deer Fund-raising tag.

Q. If I am successful in the Big Game Drawing for an elk tag and for the Fund-raising Random Drawing elk tag, may I get both tags?

A. Yes, hunters are eligible to win in both drawings. However, hunters may not have two elk tags for the same zone, so you may not obtain a general or archery elk tag for Northwestern, Northeastern, Marble Mountains, Siskiyou, and La Panza, through the big game drawing and the Multiple Zone elk fund-raising tag. Given these zones are all within the boundaries of the Multiple Zone fund-raising random draw zone tag zone, technically, hunters must surrender one of their tags should they be drawn for both. If you choose the Fund-raising Random drawing tag, your preference points would be reinstated for the big game drawing. You can decide which tag to claim after the drawing.

Q. If I am successful in both the Big Game Drawing and Fund-raising Random Drawing for antelope, may I keep both tags?

A. No, current regulations stipulate only one antelope per zone. Given the current general antelope zones are all within the boundaries of this Northeastern California fund-raising tag zone, technically, hunters must surrender one of their tags should they be drawn for both. If you choose the Fund-raising Random Drawing tag, your preference points would be reinstated for the big game drawing. You can decide which tag to claim after the drawing.

Q. If I am successful in both the Big Game Drawing and Fund-raising Random Drawing for sheep, may I keep both tags?

A. No, you may only receive one sheep tag. If you choose the fund-raising random draw tag, your preference points would be reinstated for the big game drawing. You can decide which tag to claim after the drawing. Note: For 2014, there will not be a Fund-raising Random Drawing Sheep tag.

Private Land, Military and Cooperative Hunting Permits

Q: How do I apply for a PLM tag or find out more information about the PLM program?

A: If you would like information about hunting on PLM areas or making your land a part of the PLM program, contact the CDFW's Wildlife Branch at Victoria.Barr@wildlife.ca.gov.

Q: What are cooperative deer hunting areas?

A: Provisions of Section 554, Title 14, of the CCR, allow an owner/ title holder of not less than 640 acres of critical deer habitat within a deer quota zone which requires a drawing to apply for a cooperative deer hunting area permit. Applications must be submitted to the appropriate CDFW Regional Office prior to the first Friday in August.

Q: Does the Department offer special deer hunting opportunities for military personnel?

A: In cooperation with military installations, CDFW offers a limited number of tags for the public and military personnel in additional hunts G8 (Fort Hunter Liggett Antlerless), G9 (Camp Roberts Antlerless) and J10 (Fort Hunter Liggett Junior Either-sex). The public tags are issued through CDFW's Big Game Drawing and military personnel must apply by sending their applications directly to the Base. G7 (Beale Air Force Base Either-Sex Hunt), G10 (Camp Pendleton Air Force Base Either-Sex Hunt), and G11 (Vandenberg Air Force Base Either-Sex Hunt) are for military personnel only and must apply by sending their applications to the Base. There are no public tags for these hunts

Wild Pig Tags

Q: What do I need to hunt wild pig?

A: A valid annual California hunting license and a wild pig tag.

Q: What is the minimum age to purchase a pig tag?

A: The hunter must be 12 years of age and older.

Q: How many pig tags may I purchase?

A: There is no limit on the number of tags a person may purchase, but pig tags are nontransferable and nonrefundable.

Q: If I have additional questions regarding pig, where on your website can I find additional information?

A: See CDFW’s Wild Pig Management page.

Bobcat Tags

Q: What do I need to hunt bobcat?

A: A valid annual California hunting license and bobcat tags.

Q: What is the minimum age to purchase bobcat tags?

A: Since bobcats are nongame animals, no minimum age is required.

Q: How do I purchase bobcat tags?

A: Bobcat tags are available at CDFW License Sales Offices, License Agents or Online.

Q: How many bobcat tags can I purchase?

A: Bobcat tags are sold as a booklet of five tags, a hunter can only purchase one booklet per license year.

Waterfowl and Upland Game Bird Hunting

Licenses, Validations and Stamps

Q: What kind of license do I need to hunt waterfowl?

A: To hunt waterfowl in California, you need a valid

  • A California hunting license,
  • a California Duck Validation (not required for anyone who possesses a junior hunting license)
  • a Federal Duck Stamp (not required for hunters under age 16)
  • free Harvest Information Program (HIP) stamp (required for anyone hunting migratory game birds (ducks, geese, coots, moorhen, brant, dove, band tailed pigeon, and snipe)

Q: Can I affix the Federal Duck Stamp to the back of my hunting license?

A: Yes. You must sign your Federal Duck Stamp. You can affix it anywhere on the back of your hunting license, or you can carry it separately from you license.

Q: What kind of license do I need to hunt upland game birds?

A: To hunt upland game birds, you need a valid:

  • A California hunting license,
  • a California Upland Game Bird Validation (not required for anyone who possesses a junior hunting license)
  • free Harvest Information Program (HIP) stamp (required for anyone hunting migratory game birds (ducks, geese, coots, moorhen, brant, dove, band tailed pigeon, and snipe)

Q: Does a junior hunter need a California Duck Validation, Upland Game Bird Validation or Federal Duck Stamp?

A: Any person hunting under the authority of a Junior Hunting License is not required to possess a California Duck Validation or an Upland Game Bird Validation. However, once that hunter turns 16 years of age, a Federal Duck Stamp is required to hunt waterfowl.

Q: Where can I buy a California hunting license, California Duck Validation and Federal Duck Stamp?

A: California Hunting Licenses and Duck Validations are available at CDFW license sales offices, license agents and online. Federal Duck Stamps are available at U.S. post offices and some license agents.

Q: I purchased a California Duck Validation and an Upland Game Bird Validation. How can I obtain my free collectible California Duck Stamp and/or Upland Game Bird Stamp?

A: You can claim them online at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/collectorstamps.

Waterfowl Hunting Passes

Q: What are waterfowl hunting passes?

A: Some Wildlife Areas require advance purchase of a waterfowl hunting pass. The pass grants the holder hunting access to the wildlife area, if space is available. The Department classifies wildlife areas into three types: A, B and C.

  • A Type A Pass is required to hunt on Type A Wildlife Areas. Reservations are drawn for Type A wildlife Areas.
  • A Type A or Type B Pass is required to hunt on Type B Wildlife Areas. Reservations are drawn for the opening day on some Type B Wildlife Areas.
  • Type C Wildlife Areas allow hunting without a pass or a reservation.

Q: What waterfowl hunting passes are available?

A:

  • Type A Season Pass (Accepted at Type A and B Wildlife Areas)
  • Type B Season Pass (Accepted at B Wildlife Areas)
  • Type A Two Day Pass (Accepted for two days or two hunters at Type A Wildlife Areas only.)
  • Type A One Day Pass (Allows a hunter to hunt one day at a Type A Wildlife Area only.)

Waterfowl Hunting Reservations

Q: What is a waterfowl reservation?

A: CDFW operates waterfowl hunting programs at about 35 State-Operated Wildlife Areas and National Wildlife Refuges throughout the state. The CDFW issues reservations for hunting at many of these areas.  A reservation secures access to the wildlife area at the specified time.  A reservation can also be used to hunt pheasants on many of these areas during waterfowl season.

Q: Who can apply for a waterfowl reservation?

A: Any person with an annual California Hunting License can apply for a waterfowl reservation.  Short term licenses cannot be used to apply for waterfowl reservations.

Q: How are reservations issued?

A: Reservations are issued by computerized, random drawings which are performed throughout waterfowl season.

Q: How do I apply for a reservation to hunt waterfowl at a State-operated wildlife area?

A: You can submit reservation drawing applications anywhere licenses are sold.  When you visit a license agent, CDFW license sales office or log in online license service, two types of applications can be used to apply for reservations:

  • Season-Long Reservation Application (Available in September) The season-long application can be submitted at license agents, CDFW license sales offices or online. The season-long application may be used to apply for every available Saturday, Sunday or Wednesday shoot date.
  • Multiple-Choice Reservation Application (Available in September) A new multiple-choice application replaces the one- and five-choice reservation applications and can also be submitted at license agents, CDFW license sales offices or online. The electronically submitted, multiple-choice application will allow a hunter to select hunt areas and choose any combination of hunt dates from a calendar of hunts.

Q: When is the deadline to apply for a waterfowl reservation?

A: Applications must be submitted via ALDS at least 17 days before the selected shoot date.

Q: Can I submit more than one reservation application?

A: Yes. You can use any combination of applications as long as you do not submit more than one application for an area on the same shoot date.

Q: What determines my chance of being drawn?

A: Your chance of being drawn depends on the number of reservations available and the number of people in each drawing competing for those reservations. If you apply for a high demand area such as Delevan, Sacramento, or Kern, it will be tough to draw a reservation. But if you apply for Grizzly Island, Mendota, or Gray Lodge, the odds of being drawn are much better.

Q: If I'm drawn for two areas on the same day, will I get both reservations? Or will the computer cancel my applications after I draw the first reservation?

A: If your applications are drawn at two or more areas on the same day, you will receive a reservation to hunt at each area. That means that you make the choice of deciding where you want to hunt that day, instead of CDFW determining for you. For example, if you were drawn on the same day for reservation number one at Howard Slough, and reservation number three at Little Dry Creek, you probably would not want us to cancel your Little Dry Creek reservation because your Howard Slough reservation number was lower. You can choose which area you want to hunt (probably Little Dry Creek) and someone in the "sweat line" at the other area (Howard Slough) will be happy that you didn't show up that day.

Q: How will I be notified if am drawn for a reservation?

A: You will receive a reservation letter from CDFW with your name, GO ID number, hunt area, and reservation number. Present the letter at the check station for admission to the hunt area.

Q: Are the waterfowl drawing results available online?

A: Yes, log in to the Online License Service to view your submitted applications and drawing results. Drawing results are posted at least seven days before the hunt.

Q: Can I still hunt at a waterfowl area if I am not drawn for a reservation?

A: Hunters who do not receive a reservation can enter the lottery for leftover spaces or the first-come, first-served line at most State-operated areas. However, the Northeastern Zone Type B areas (Ash Creek, Butte Valley, Honey Lake, Willow Creek, and Shasta Valley) are open only to reservation holders on opening weekend of waterfowl season. Honey Lake units are also open only to reservation holders on opening weekend of pheasant season.

Q: On some areas, the regulations provide for pheasant hunting on certain days during the first week of pheasant season. How do I apply for these dates?

A: For Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday shoot dates, apply through the normal reservation application process. Otherwise, when hunting is allowed on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, access is granted through the local lottery or first-come, or on a first-served basis.  For more information, contact the area you wish to hunt.