Shooting Hours for Mammals

Desert Bighorn Rams at SunsetOn this page, you’ll find our summaries of shooting hours for hunting/taking mammals in California, including the general rule and any exceptions related to:

Warning shots!!!  Shooting times are (a) further restricted some Wildlife Areas, (b) meant to be legal California time for the date specified–i.e., if the date is on Pacific Daylight Saving Time, then Pacific Daylight Saving Time; if the date is on Pacific Standard Time, then Pacific Standard Time is intended–and (c) based on sunrise and/or sunset at the location of the hunter. (Reference 14 CCR § 250.5.)


Big Game Mammals

Image of Black Bear hunting

Bear Black Hunting

Big Game includes Black Bear, Deer, Elk, Nelson Bighorn Sheep, Pronghorn Antelope, and Wild Pig.  Shooting hours are

  1. Starts: one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise
  2. Ends: one-half (1/2) hour after sunset

[14 CCR § 352]


Furbearing Mammals

California rules and regulations for hunting raccoon on national wildlife refuges, State wildlife areas, and/or State ecological reserves

Raccoon Hunting

Furbearers include badger, beaver, gray fox, mink, muskrat, and raccoon:

  1. General Rule: any time day or night
  2. Exception: only from one-half hour before sunrise to  one-half hour after sunset in the area closed for taking nongame mammals at night; see Section 474(a) for details

[14 CCR § 466]


Nongame Mammals

Sika Deer Hunting

Sika Deer Hunting

Nongame mammals are those occurring naturally in California which are not Game Mammals, fully protected mammals, or Furbearing Mammals, are nongame mammals, including Bobcat, coyotes, 0possum, moles, rodents, skunks (spotted and striped), and weasels (long and short-tailed).

  1. Areas Closed to Night Hunting: see Section 474(a) for description
    1. Starts: one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise
    2. Ends: one-half (1/2) hour after sunset
  2. Deer & Goats: Fallow deer, axis deer, sambar deer, sika deer, aoudad, mouflon, tahr and feral goats are the same as above [14 CCR § 474(c)]
  3. Privately-Owned Property Outside of Areas Closed to Night Hunting:thefollowingpeoplemayalsotakenongame mammals at night
    1. Landowners
    2. Landowners’ agents
    3. People with written permission from the landowner or tenants; see § 474(b) for details

[14 CCR § 474]


Resident Small Game Mammals

Image of fox squirrel for hunting in California.

Tree squirrel

Resident Small Game Mammals include Tree Squirrels and Rabbits

  1. Starts: one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise
  2. Ends: one-half (1/2) hour after sunset

[14 CCR § 310]


Regulations

FGC § 3000

Methods of Taking. It is unlawful to take any bird or mammal, except a nongame mammal, between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise of the following day at the place of taking, except as otherwise provided in this code or under such regulations as the commission may adopt. The commission may adopt regulations prohibiting the taking of any nongame mammal between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise of the following day at the place of taking.

14 CCR § 250.5

Shooting Time. In these orders whenever a specific clock time is mentioned, such time is meant to be legal California time for the date specified: i.e., during the days when California is on Pacific Daylight Saving Time, Pacific Daylight Saving Time is intended; when California is legally on Pacific Standard Time, Pacific Standard Time is intended. When reference is made to sunrise or sunset time, such reference is to the sunrise or sunset time at the location of the hunter.

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