Pandemic shouldn't affect hunting seasons
California hunters can now purchase hunting licenses for the 2020-21 season, as well as apply for the Big Game Drawing online. The current COVID-19 pandemic is not expected to lead to the closure or delay of any hunting seasons, according to a press release from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The deadline to apply for the Big Game Drawing is June 2, at 11:59 p.m. The 2020 California Big Game Hunting Digest, which includes information about hunts, tag quotas, season dates and the Big Game Drawing, can be downloaded online at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=178428&inline. Printed copies will be mailed to all those who applied to last year’s Big Game Drawing. California Department of Fish and Wildlife website is the most reliable source for the Big Game Digest.
New this year, per Fish and Game Code, a resident or nonresident must be under 16 years of age on July 1 in order to be eligible for a 2020-21 Junior Hunting License. The previous law, which allowed youth up to 18 years old to purchase a Junior Hunting License, has sunset, the release states.
“Now more than ever, we understand the public’s need to enjoy the benefits of nature. Spending time in the outdoors is beneficial to our overall health and wellness, but it’s everyone’s responsibility to practice physical distancing,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “This means avoiding crowded trails, parking lots and campgrounds. If you find that your favorite hunting spot is crowded, do not risk your health and the health of others. Please remember all seasons, limits, license, private property restrictions, and other laws and regulations still apply. Be smart and stay safe.”
CDFW also reminds hunters of the change that went into effect on July 1, 2019 requiring nonlead ammunition when taking any wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California. Nonlead ammunition is now required for all hunting in California.
Due to changes in the penal code regarding the purchase or transfer of ammunition, CDFW recommends purchasing ammunition well in advance of hunting and practicing with it in order to ensure firearms are sighted-in appropriately before heading into the field.