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Unlawful Action

Hunting Regulations Icon California Hunting

These are not complete regulations. Some sections are abbreviated. For a complete interpretation, refer to CCR-T14 or visit the Fish and Game Commission website at

It is unlawful to do the following:

  • Fail to exhibit on the demand of a Wildlife Officer, all licenses, tags, fish, or wildlife taken or otherwise dealt with under the Fish and Game Code, and any device or apparatus designed to be, and capable of being, used to take fish or wildlife. FGC 2012.
  • Take game birds, game mammals or furbearing mammals except as permitted by regulations. CCR T14-250.
  • Hunt big game without a valid hunting license and tag. FGC 1054.2.
  • Hunt with a crossbow during archery season (except with a Disabled Archer Permit). CCR T14-354(g).
  • Possess a firearm while hunting during archery season or while hunting during the general season with an archery-only tag. CCR T14-354(h).
  • Take spike buck. CCR T14-351(c).
  • Pursue, drive, herd, or take any bird or mammal from any type of motor-driven air or land vehicles, motorboat, airboat, sailboat, or snowmobile, except when the motor is off and/or the sails furled and it is drifting, beached, moored, resting at anchor, or is being propelled by paddle, oar or pole. CCR T14-251.
  • Knowingly feed big game mammals. CCR T14-251.3.
  • Take game birds and mammals within 400 yards of any baited area. This does not apply to the taking of game birds and mammals on or over standing crops, croplands, or grains found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural operations or procedures. CCR T14-257.5.
  • Take bears within 400 yards of any garbage dump or bait. CCR T14-365(e).
  • Take more than two deer per license year. CCR T14-708.1.(a)(1).
  • Intentionally discharge a firearm or release an arrow or crossbow bolt from a bow or crossbow upon or across any highway, road or other way open to vehicular traffic. CCR T14-354(e), FGC 3004(b).
  • Nock or fit the notch in the end of an arrow to a bowstring or crossbow string in a ready-to-fire position while in or on any vehicle. CCR T14-354(i).
  • Hunt with bow or crossbow that will not cast a legal hunting arrow, except flu-flu arrows, a horizontal distance of 130 yards. CCR T14-354(f).
  • Hunt big game from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. CCR T14-352.
  • Use dogs for pursuit/take, or for dog training, during the archery seasons for deer or bear. CCR T14-265(a)(1).
  • Use dogs to take, bear, bobcat, elk, bighorn sheep and antelope CCR T14 265 (a)(2).
  • Use dogs for pursuit/take of, or for dog training on, mountain lions (except under authority of a depredation permit). CCR T14-265(a)(3).
  • Use an artificial light to assist in taking any game bird or game mammal. FGC 2005(a).
  • To deposit, permit to pass into, or place where it can pass into the waters of the state, or to abandon, dispose of, or throw away, within 150 feet of the high water mark of the waters of the state, any cans, bottles, garbage, rubbish, or the viscera or carcass of any dead mammal, or the carcass of any dead bird. FGC 5652.
  • Fail to send a complete written report to the Department within 48 hours after killing or wounding while hunting, any human being, or domestic animal belonging to another, or after witnessing such killing or wounding. FGC 12151.5.
  • Use of a shotgun larger than 10 gauge for the taking of any game bird or game mammal, or a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. FGC 2010; CCR T14-311 and 353(b).
  • Possess a short barreled shotgun (Barrel less than 18 inches), or a short-barreled rifle (Barrel less than 16 inches) PC 33215.
  • Possess in any State Game Refuge any bird or mammal or part thereof, or any weapon capable of taking any bird or mammal. FGC 10500. However, possession of firearms or bows and arrows by persons traveling through game refuges on a public highway or other public thoroughfare or right of way is permitted when the firearms are taken apart or encased and unloaded, and the bows are unstrung. FGC 10506. (National Parks and Monuments have special regulations regarding the possession of weapons, game and the running of hunting dogs. Check with federal officials before entering these areas.)
  • Hunt any game bird or mammal without having the required licenses, tags and/or stamps in possession; FGC 1054.2.
  • Transfer, use, possess or alter any license, tag, stamp, permit, application or reservation. FGC 1052.
  • Damage another’s property or injure livestock while hunting. FGC 2004.
  • Sell or barter game taken under the authority of a hunting license. FGC 3039.
  • Possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in any vehicle or conveyance or its attachments which is standing on or along or is being driven on or along any public highway or other way open to the public. FGC 2006.
  • A rifle or shotgun shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes of this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell in the firing chamber but not when the only cartridges or shells are in the magazine. FGC 2006
  • The provisions of this section shall not apply to peace officers or members of the armed forces of this state or the United States, while on duty or going to or returning from duty. FGC 2006.