Time is running out for California hunters to apply for the 2017 Big Game Drawing. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is accepting applications for elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and deer tags as well as fundraising random drawing tags. Applicants must complete the sales transaction before midnight June 2, 2017. Applications may be submitted anywhere California hunting licenses are sold.
The following resources are available to assist hunters in applying for the 2017 Big Game Drawing:
2017 California Big Game Hunting Digest – Includes proposed seasons, application instructions and drawing statistics. The digest is available online at wildlife.ca.gov/publications/hunting-digest.
Big Game Tag Quotas – Approved 2017 tag quotas can be viewed on the species webpages located at wildlife.ca.gov/hunting. Severe winter weather resulted in high mortality of deer in the Eastern Sierra. For this reason, 2017 tag quotas were significantly reduced for the X9a, X9b, X12 zones and archery hunts A16, A17 and A20. Before applying, hunters should check access restrictions to hunting areas since some roads were washed-out due to winter storms.
Online Licenses Sales and Service – Purchase licenses, apply for the big game drawing, review your existing applications and preference points, or find a license agent near you at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales.
Telephone License Sales – Purchase licenses and submit drawing applications by telephone at (800) 565-1458.
Any hunter who is under 18 years of age on July 1, 2017 qualifies for a junior hunting license. Junior hunters who are 12 years of age or older on July 1, 2017 may apply for apprentice deer, elk and pronghorn antelope hunts. Hunters must be at least 16 years of age on July 1, 2017 to apply for bighorn sheep tags.
Fundraising Random Drawing Opportunities
Any person who will be 12 years of age or older on July 1 may apply for fundraising random drawing tags, except that applicants for bighorn sheep tags must be 16 years of age on July 1. Applicants may apply as many times as they wish. The application fee is $5.97 per entry. Applicants do not need a valid hunting license to apply, but a hunting license must be purchased prior to issuing the tag. Fundraising tags will be issued at no additional cost. For 2017, four fundraising random drawing tags will be available:
Open Zone Deer Tag
The 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.
Owens Valley Tule Bull Elk Tag
The elk tag is valid in all elk zones within the Owens Valley, with any legal method of take. The hunt dates are from July 29, 2017 to Aug. 27, 2017.
Northeastern California Pronghorn Tag
The pronghorn tag allows the hunter to hunt in any of the northeastern pronghorn antelope zones (Mount Dome, Clear Lake, Likely Tables, Lassen, Big Valley and Surprise Valley) with any legal method. The hunt dates are from July 29, 2017 to Sept.17, 2017.
Marble/Clipper and South Bristol Mountains Bighorn Sheep Tag
The bighorn sheep tag is valid only in the Marble/Clipper and South Bristol Mountains hunt zones. If drawn, the hunter must attend a mandatory orientation to receive the tag. The hunt dates are from Nov. 4, 2017 to Feb. 4, 2018.