Reminder that Nonlead Ammunition is Required When Hunting on CDFW Properties This Year

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds hunters that nonlead ammunition is required when hunting on CDFW properties for the upcoming hunting seasons. Lead ammunition may still be used on national forest, Bureau of Land Management and private lands.

All the wildlife areas have signs posted notifying hunters of the nonlead ammunition requirement. CDFW law enforcement will be strictly enforcing the regulations during the hunting seasons.

In April 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted CDFW’s proposed regulations, which will implement the nonlead requirement in the following three phases:

Phase 1 – Effective July 1, 2015, nonlead ammunition will be required when taking Nelson bighorn sheep and all wildlife on state wildlife areas and ecological reserves.

Phase 2 – Effective July 1, 2016, nonlead shot will be required when taking upland game birds with a shotgun, except for dove, quail, snipe and any game birds taken at licensed game bird clubs. In addition, nonlead shot will be required when using a shotgun to take resident small game mammals, furbearing mammals, nongame mammals, nongame birds and any wildlife for depredation purposes.

Phase 3 – Effective July 1, 2019, nonlead ammunition will be required when taking any wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California.

For more information on the phase-in of nonlead ammunition for hunting in California, please visit

Media Contacts
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Communications, (916) 651-7824