Commission Adopts Big Game Hunting Season and 2013 Big Game Hunting Digest Now Available at Vendor and Online

Media Contacts:
Joe Hobbs, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-9992
Adrianna Shea, FGC Deputy Director, (916) 653-4899
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478

The California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) adopted big game hunting season regulations for 2013 recently in Santa Rosa.

Regulations of each of the big game species and the proposed number of tags available for each were reviewed and approved by the FGC. Most of the seasons adopted were similar to last year’s seasons. There were some reduction in tags in X zones for deer and antelope and harvest levels in two Tule elk hunts were adjusted. FGC adopted a regulation to potentially increase the number of bighorn tags available to non-residents from 5 percent to 10 percent. Each year, tag quotas for all big game species are adjusted in relation to animal population surveys. Applications for big game tags must be submitted and transactions completed before midnight June 2, 2013.

This year 208,880 deer tags are proposed statewide. There are no changes to the A and B zones. In X zones 1, 3B and 12 the number of available tags was reduced due to low population indexes and a low ratio of bucks to does. In X5B the tag numbers were reduced due to fire impact, which may cause hunter crowding. More information on deer harvest, management and tag allocation is available at

“We are appreciative of the Commission’s review and adoption of the big game hunting season package,” said Eric Loft, CDFW Big Game Branch Chief.  “California offers some of the most exciting and challenging hunting opportunities in the nation.”

The full regulation package approved by the Commission will be available at

The FGC actions coincide with the release of the California Big Game Hunting Digest, which is now available at license vendors and via download at

The Big Game Hunting Digest includes information on proposed seasons, how big game drawings work, including tag drawing application instructions for deer, elk, antelope and bighorn sheep and the deadline for applications. A big game drawing worksheet is included to assist applicants in pre-selecting their choices in the big game drawing. Drawing statistics are provided for each big game species, giving applicants a realistic idea of the likelihood they will be drawn on each hunt. New regulations on hunting with hounds are addressed along with other information on bear and pig hunting.

Applicants can now also apply on line at All applications must be submitted and transactions completed before midnight June 2, 2013.

Fundraising random drawings for one of each of the following species will also be held this year: deer, bighorn sheep pronghorn antelope and elk. The drawings are open to anyone 12 years of age or older, for $5.97 per chance, per tag. Applicants do not need a valid hunting license to apply, and may apply for the drawings as many times as they wish. Applications must be submitted and transactions completed before midnight June 2, 2013.

Proceeds from all fundraising tags are deposited into the newly established Big Game Management Account, which is used to benefit antelope, elk, deer, wild pigs, bear and sheep populations. An advisory committee reviews and provides comments to CDFW on all proposed projects funded from the account. Recent activities funded by revenue from the fundraising tags have included helicopter surveys, other deer and bighorn sheep studies and improving both hunting access and water source improvements for sheep and deer.