Early Deer and Bear Hunting Seasons Open This Summer

Media Contacts:
Marc Kenyon, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3515
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988

California’s deer and bear seasons are only months away. Archery deer season starts in the A Zone on July 9 with archery bear seasons commencing Aug. 20. The A Zone general deer season spans Aug. 13 to Sept. 25 with a 65,000 tag quota and an estimated 26 percent hunter success rate. Most of the A Zone land is under private ownership but access is available on Bureau of Land Management and National Forest lands.

Californians enjoy some of the earliest seasons in the nation and the widest range of seasons and hunting conditions from pursuing black bear in the redwood forests of Humboldt County to desert mule deer in the high desert of San Bernardino County. The Coastal A Zone deer and bear seasons are traditionally the first seasons to open for deer and bear in late summer.

Deer and bear hunting seasons with opening dates in July and August are:


Zone                             Archery                                       General Season Dates
A                                    July 9 – 31                                    Aug. 13 – Sept. 25
B1, B2, B3, B5            Aug. 20 – Sept. 11                      Sept. 17 – Oct. 23
B4                                  July 23 – Aug. 14                      Aug. 27 – Oct. 2
B6                                  Aug. 20 – Sept. 11                      Sept. 17 – Oct. 16
D3-10                           Aug. 20 – Sept.11                      Varies; see regulations book
C1                                  Aug. 20 – Sept. 4                        Sept. 17 – Oct. 16
C2, C3                          Aug. 20 – Sept. 11                      Sept. 17 – Oct. 23
C4                                  Aug. 20 – Sept. 4                       Sept. 17 – Oct. 2
X Zones                       Aug. 20 – Sept. (various)      Draw Zones, see regs


Archery bear season opens Aug. 20, 2011 and runs through Sept. 11, 2011.

General bear season opens concurrently with general deer season in the A, B, C, D, X8, X9A, X9B, X10 and X12 deer hunting zones. Please refer to the 2011 California Mammal Hunting Regulations for opening dates. In the remaining deer hunting X zones, bear season begins Oct. 8, 2011.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) shall close the season earlier if 1,700 bears have been reported taken. For daily updates on reported bear harvest, call toll-free (888) 277-6398 or visit www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/bear/harvest.html.

Note: A recent DFG news release incorrectly stated that opening day of bear season is July 9. However, the earliest bear season does not open until Aug. 13 in the A Zone, and is even later in other parts of the state.