California Big Game Tag Deadline June 2nd

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Hunters who plan to hunt deer, elk, antelope or bighorn sheep have only a few weeks left to turn in an application. Applications must be received at the California Department of Fish and Game's (DFG) License and Revenue Branch in Sacramento by 5 p.m. on June 2. Drawing results will be available by phone and online on June 23.

Information about the drawing and hunting regulations is available in the 2010 California Hunting Digest Big Game book. The book is free and available from all DFG license sales offices and independent license agents.

This year's big game hunt drawing will feature a major change in the way tags are allocated for deer hunt zones C, D-12 and D-17. Due to the high demand, tags for these zones will now be issued through the DFG's drawing system and will no longer be available over the counter on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, hunters may apply for one of these hunt zone tags by submitting a First-Deer Tag Application into the big game drawing. Questions pertaining to these changes may be directed to DFG's License and Revenue Branch at (916) 928-5805, or via e-mail at

The big game drawing also awards tags for "X" zone and special deer hunts, as well as for all elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep hunts. Deer tags for zones A and B, and for the remaining D zones, are available through DFG offices until they are sold out.

Any licensed hunter over the age of 12 is eligible to apply for the chance to participate in more than 200 big game hunts statewide (hunters applying for bighorn sheep tags must be 16 years of age or older). Applications to hunt antelope, elk and bighorn sheep are $7.50 each. Deer tag applications for California residents are $27.85 for the first tag, and $34.65 for the second tag and are available through DFG license sales offices and independent license agents.

This season, DFG continues to offer hunting opportunities for young hunters. Apprentice Hunt instruction is offered at various skill levels. Instruction includes a pre-hunt safety orientation and expert direction and hands-on oversight in the field. Apprentice Hunt participants also are typically accompanied by a non-hunting adult. Participants in any Apprentice Hunt must still be in possession of a valid Junior Hunting License.

For information on how to apply for special deer hunts, and for antelope, elk and bighorn sheep hunt applications, please download DFG's 2010 Big Game Hunting Digest at Copies of the Digest will also be mailed to last year's big game drawing applicants beginning May 18, and will be available at all DFG offices and hunting license agents by May 21.

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