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Hunting in California: 5 Things to Know Before Applying for a Hunting Permit for Adults

By    |   Saturday, 16 May 2015 11:52 AM

California has a broad spectrum of game animals available for hunting. While opportunities for big game animals are generous, hunting licenses and permits are not cheap and can add up. Before heading out to purchase that license and hire a professional tracker, or prior to packing for a trip to that friend's cabin for bear season, there are a few points to consider.

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1. Safety First, Safety Last, Safety Always

Each person wishing to obtain a hunting license must successfully complete a hunter education course and present the completion certificate to a licensing agent for validation. While permits can be purchased online, this initial step of registering with the California DFW cannot be completed online. There are no exceptions to this requirement, although certificates from hunter education and safety courses in other states are accepted as valid. Regional offices also offer equivalency testing in California, but not all states accept these certificates as a valid alternative.

2. Preferential Treatment

The residency requirement for the purpose of hunting permits is six months or more immediately prior to the date of application. Non-resident permits are more expensive than those for California residents, so it's worth determining whether waiting to satisfy this timeframe will make a difference.

3. Welcome Home

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Disabled veterans (50 percent or greater) and recovering service members are eligible for discounted licenses. California DFW defines "recovering service members" as those who are undergoing outpatient medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy while recovering from a serious injury or illness related to military service. They are not available through standard licensing agents, but can only be purchased through a California DFW License Sales Office.

4. Commitment Discounts

California offers lifetime licenses to hunters of all ages. These drastically discounted licenses are based on the age bracket of the applicant. These licenses require annual renewal at a licensing agent in order to acquire valid tags and permits for the current season.

5. Luck of the Draw

Tags for big game, including deer, are allocated to applying hunters by drawings. The number of available tags for a given hunting area is based on population control measures and population levels for the species. The exception to this is wild pig, which can be hunted year round in any zone without limit so long as the hunters have sufficient tags for the animals taken. For most, however, purchasing a permit doesn't guarantee a hunter the tag. There are also limits on the number of tags a hunter can acquire for a certain species. For Bighorn, it's one per hunter per lifetime. It's worth considering other factors, like the potential health of the herd population in a given year, before purchasing a permit for a tag that might result in disappointment.

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California has a broad spectrum of game animals available for hunting. While opportunities for big game animals are generous, hunting licenses and permits are not cheap and can add up.
hunting, california, permit
Saturday, 16 May 2015 11:52 AM
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