A buck (male deer) in California foothills

Big Game Drawing Deadline Approaches

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding hunters that the deadline to apply for the 2015 Big Game Drawing is June 2, 2015. Applicants must complete the sales transaction before midnight on June 2, 2015. Applications for elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, premium deer tags and fundraising drawing tags may be submitted at any CDFW license agent, CDFW license sales office, by telephone sales or online.

The following resources are available to assist hunters in applying for the big game drawing:

  • Proposed seasons, tag drawing application instructions and drawing statistics can be found in the 2015 California Big Game Hunting Digest. The book is available at www.dfg.ca.gov/publications/digest/.
  • Final 2015 big-game tag quotas can be found on the respective species web page located under the “Hunting” tab at www.wildlife.ca.gov.
  • To find a license agent near you or to purchase items online, visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/.
  • To submit drawing applications by telephone, contact the telephone sales line at (800) 565-1458.

 Junior Hunting License Changes

Junior Hunting License applicants must now be under 18 years of age as of July 1 of the license year. Applicants with a Junior Hunting License will be eligible to apply for the apprentice hunt tags.

Harvest Reporting Now Mandatory

Beginning with the 2015 deer season, all deer hunters will be required to report their deer tags to CDFW. Any person who is issued a deer tag must submit a report for the tag after the hunt, even if they did not hunt, or if they did not harvest a deer. Imposition of the $20 non-reporting fee has been delayed by the Fish and Game Commission until the 2016 season. Failure to report 2016 results will require payment of the non-reporting fee prior to purchasing tags and tag applications in 2017.

Hunters have two methods to submit their harvest reports:

  • Online – Submit an online report for each deer tag you are issued, at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/. When you report online, you receive instant confirmation that your report has been received and accepted.
  • By Mail – Any person who does not report their deer tag online must return the report card portion of each deer tag they are issued to: CDFW – Wildlife Branch, PO Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94299-0002.

D6 Deer Tag Quota Raised

The D6 zone deer tag is classified as a premium deer tag for the 2015 hunting season. Hunters interested in the D6 zone deer tag will need to apply through the annual Big Game Drawing. The D6 zone deer tag quota has been increased to 10,000 tags for the 2015 hunting season, an increase of 4,000 tags from 2014.

Fundraising Random Drawing Opportunities

CDFW’s fundraising random drawing tags are open to any resident or nonresident 12 years of age or older as of July 1, 2015. The cost to enter the drawings is $5.97 per entry, per hunt. Applicants may apply as many times as the wish. The sales transaction must also be completed before midnight on June 2, 2015. Applicants do not need a valid hunting license to apply, but a license must be purchased prior to issuing the tag. The tag will be issued at no additional cost.

The fundraising random drawing tags consist of the open zone deer tag, the multiple zone elk tag and the northeastern California pronghorn antelope tag. This year the program will not include a bighorn sheep tag drawing.

Open Zone Deer Tag

An open zone deer tag allows the hunter to hunt during the authorized season dates of any hunt, using the specific method and meeting any special conditions of the tag for that hunt.

Multiple Zone Elk Tag

The fundraising random drawing elk tag allows the hunter to hunt in any of the following zones: Northwestern, Northeastern, Marble Mountains, Siskiyou and La Panza. Hunters may use any legal method of take. All three subspecies of elk may be hunted, although only one elk may be harvested. The hunt dates open one week prior to the earliest season in that zone and run through the end of the regular season.

Northeastern California Pronghorn Antelope Tag

The fundraising random drawing antelope tag allows the hunter to hunt in any of the northeastern antelope zones (Mount Dome, Clear Lake, Likely Tables, Lassen, Big Valley and Surprise Valley) with any legal method. The hunt dates are from Aug. 1 to Sept. 20, 2015.

Media Contacts:
Lai Saechao, CDFW Big Game Hunting Program, (916) 928-7416
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988