How To Go Public Hunting In California

Need to know how to go public hunting in California? While most hunters prefer to hunt on private land, excellent gaming opportunities also exist for those who want to go public hunting. In California, a number of hunting sites are open to the public. The secret is to be armed with the right information on finding a prime spot. Learn how to go public hunting in California by following a few simple steps.

  1. Obtain a license to hunt in California. The first step when public hunting in California is to obtain a hunting license. First time hunters living in California are required to take a ten-hour course in hunter safety education. After the class, students must pass a test in order to be issued a hunting license. Out-of-state hunters with a valid hunting license are not required to obtain a California-specific hunting license. Contact the California Department of Fish and Game for up-to-date licensing regulations.
  2. Apply for California game tags or stamps. Decide on the type of game you want to hunt. Check with the California Department of Fish and Game for details. Each game type has a different open season, application procedure and set of regulations. For example, hunting big game (such as deer or elk) in California requires a draw tag. Applications are usually due in early summer, with results posted in late June. Be patient! Wait times for acquiring a big game tag can take years, depending on hunting demand.
  3. Research the right public land in California for your hunt. There are many sources available online for those who want to go public hunting in California. Finding the right site is crucial to a successful hunt. The Bureau of Land Management lists public hunting land in California. Certain wildlife refuges also allow public hunting in California. You can network with fellow hunters for suggestions on possible hunting areas on public land. Scour hunter forum websites for recommendations.
  4. Physically scout potential public land hunting areas. Obtain topographical maps of potential locations and seek out areas that are hard to get to. This will help you to avoid overcrowded hunting areas. If you are local to the California area, spend the time to hike and scout prospective hunting land. Befriend local rangers and ask for tips on where the least amount of hunting occurs.
  5. Invest in safety gear. When hunting on public land in California, having the proper safety gear is imperative. It’s difficult to gauge how many active hunters are in a specific space at the same time you are. This makes gun and hunter safety vital to a safe and productive hunt. Always wear orange safety apparel when hunting on public land in California. An orange vest and hat alerts other hunters of your location and helps prevent hunting accidents.

A hunt on public land in California can be a fruitful and enjoyable outing, for those who are prepared. When private land is scarce or unavailable, hunting on public land can be just as enjoyable.

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