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What’s New for 2017?

Hunting Regulations Icon California Hunting

New Law To Deter Poaching of California’s Trophy Class Wildlife

Fish and Game Code (is law that As of July 1, 2017, there is an increase in penalties associated with poaching a trophy class deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep or wild turkey. The law, FGC section 12013.3, increases the punishment for a conviction of poaching the trophy while taking out of season, spotlighting, baiting, waste of meat, or take without a tag. The fine for a poaching conviction related to trophy deer, elk, antelope, or bighorn sheep shall be not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000), nor more than forty thousand dollars ($40,000), and with wild turkey, a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both that fine and imprisonment. For trophy characteristics defined, go to California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, section 748.6.

The California Fish and Game Commission has developed regulations to define trophy characteristics. Commissioners worked with the Department and outdoors, conservation and hunting organizations to define the characteristics in California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, section 748.6.

T14 Section 748.6 (a) For purposes of implementing the penalty enhancements set forth in Fish and Game Code section 12013.3, the following are designated as trophies:

  1. In deer hunting zones A, B1-B6, D10, D11, D13, D15, and D16, any deer with four or more points on either antler (excluding eye guards) or with an outside antler spread of at least sixteen inches. In all other deer hunting zones (all X zones, all C zones, and zones D3-D9, D12, D14, D17, and D19), any deer with four or more points on either antler (excluding eye guards) or with an outside antler spread of at least twenty-two inches.
  2. Any elk with five or more points on either antler (including eye guards);
  3. Any pronghorn antelope with a horn that is at least fourteen inches in length;
  4. Any bighorn sheep ram defined as a male bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) having at least one horn, the tip of which extends beyond a straight line beginning at the front (anterior) edge of the horn base, and extending downward through the rear (posterior) edge of the visible portion of the eye and continuing downward through the horn. All reference points are based on viewing the ram directly from a 90-degree angle from which the head is facing.
  5. Any wild turkey with either a spur that is at least one inch in length, or a beard (measured by the longest strand of one or more beards) that is eight or more inches.