Fire Restrictions May Impact Deer Hunters

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The U.S. Forest Service has implemented fire restrictions on the San Bernardino National Forest, and is considering similar actions for the Angeles, Cleveland, and Los Padres National Forests. The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has announced that these restrictions may impact deer hunters with tags for zones D11, D13, D14, D15, D16, and D19. Additional and Area-specific Archery Hunts within these zones may also be impacted.

Refunds for unused deer tags (for zones A, B, C, D, AO#1, and AO#2), bear, antelope, elk, and bighorn sheep tags may only be requested prior to the opening of the earliest season for which the tag is valid. Deer tags for X zones, Additional Hunts, and Area-specific Archery Hunt tags are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Zones A, B, C, D, and archery-only tags may be exchanged if the following conditions are met: 1) the earliest season for the tag being exchanged has not yet opened; 2) tags are still available for the zone or hunt requested; and, 3) payment of a nonrefundable $6.50 exchange tag processing fee.

The DFG is recommending that hunters seriously consider the consequences of requesting refunds. Moisture conditions could change at any time, allowing the reopening of the forests in time for a portion of the season to occur. Additionally, funding for deer management activities which result in the establishment and implementation of future deer seasons and quotas may be negatively impacted if too many tag refund requests are received by DFG.

Hunters with M6, M7, J11, J13, J14, A31 and A32 tags, which open later in the season, are encouraged to keep their tags in anticipation of a change in the weather which could lead to the lifting of the fire restrictions being considered or currently in effect.

For further information regarding the status of the fire restrictions please contact the Forest Service direct at the following numbers:

Angeles National Forest: (626) 574-1613

Cleveland National Forest: (919) 674-2901

Los Padres National Forest: (805) 968-6640

San Bernardino National Forest: (858) 382-2637

Information regarding the status of these restrictions is also located on DFG’s website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hunting/deer/fireinfo.htm. Links to the individual U.S. Forest Service websites are also provided at this location.