Deer Tags Still Available

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The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) remind hunters to buy deer tags now before tag quotas fill. Due to a change in the start date for issuing second deer tags for certain zones - from Sept. 2 to Aug. 2 - hunters are applying for their first tags earlier this year.

DFG reports an increase in the number of applications received for deer tags issued over-the-counter, up from 31,123 in 2001 to 34,585 in 2002.

Most premium deer tags were issued through DFG's annual drawing in June, but the majority of A, B, C, and D zone deer tags are issued on request at local offices statewide. The only restriction is the delay in issuing second deer tags for C and D zones, and leftover area-specific archery hunt tags, which cannot be issued until Aug. 2.

"The delay gives first deer tag applicants a chance for a tag before quotas in their favorite zone or hunt fills," said Antoinette Lobo, Chief of DFG's License and Revenue Branch (LRB) in Sacramento.

If by Aug. 2, LRB receives more second tag applications than available tags for any zone or hunt, it will conduct drawings to determine which hunters get tags. To be included in possible drawings, Lobo encourages second tag applicants to mail applications now to LRB.

Hunters wanting more information on deer tag application procedures can pick up a free copy of DFG's 2002 Big Game Hunting booklet, available at license agents and DFG offices. Information on hunting seasons and zone boundaries are in the 2002 hunting regulations for mammals and furbearers, also available at agents and DFG offices. For updates on available tags, hunters can call the nearest DFG office or LRB in Sacramento at (916) 227-2177. Information is also available on DFG's web page at www.dfg.ca.gov.