California Badger Trapping Seasons, Laws, and Hunting Locations

California badger hunting seasons and trapping, including California shooting hours and California badger trapping

Here, we fetch up laws, locations, and seasons for California badger trapping. Also see our page for badger hunting.


  1. Seasons.
  2. Bag limits.
  3. Shooting / trapping hours.
  4. Hunting methods.
  5. Hunting license.
  6. Hunting areas.
  7. Trapping.
  8. Buying and selling.
  9. Live Badgers.
  10. Violations.
  11. Definition.

Definitions for California Badger trapping

Definitions for California Badger trappingFor California badger trapping, a badger is defined as a Furbearing Mammals.  Warning shot!!!  Rules for Mammals apply, but rules for Big Game Mammals, Resident Game Mammals and Nongame Mammals” do not apply. See FGC § 4000.


Hunting License for California Badger trapping

To hunt badger during the California badger trapping, you must have a Hunting License from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.  To trap badger, and all other Furbearing Mammal or Nongame Mammals, you also need a Trapping License.


California Badger Trapping Seasons

The California badger trapping for hunting and trapping are from November 16 through the last day of February, Statewide (11/16 – 2/28, 2017). See 14 CCR § 461(a).


Possession and Bag Limit  for California Badger Trapping Tules

During the California badger trapping, you can Take and possess as many as you want. See 14 CCR § 461(a).

Warning shot!!!  If you injure or trap one during the California badger trapping, you have to kill it and add it to your daily bag limit. See 14 CCR § 251.5(c).


Live Badgers

Under very limited circumstances, you may possess a live badger.  However, you have to meet minimum facility and caging standards for housing them at a permanent facilities. See 14 CCR § 671.3(a)(10).


Hunting Methods for California Badger trapping

In this section, you’ll find info about methods of hunting and trapping during the California badger trapping: archery, property damage, contests, dogs, firearms, harassment, herding & driving, infrared, lights, live animals, poison, and traps.

Any Manner

If you’re a landowner or tenant, and badger is causing property damage, you can kill it any time, day or night, and in any manner.  If someone else does it for you at night, they’ll need your written permission before using more than 9 volts of artificial light. After it’s killed, you have to notify the closest CDFW office. In the alternative, the CDFW might be willing to send an employee to kill if for you too.

Warning shot!!! If you kill a badger in this manner, you can’t sell the raw fun. If traps are used, they have to be checked and emptied daily.  See FGC § 3005(d)FGC § 4180FGC § 4181, and 14 CCR § 264.5.


Bow and Arrow

In general, you can take / kill Furbearing Mammal, including badger, with a bow and arrow. See FGC § 4002 and 14 CCR § 465.



In general, it’s illegal to capture and confine Furbearing Mammal.  There are limited exceptions for injured or diseased animals. See FGC § 3005.5



In general, you hold a badger hunting or trapping contest, tournament, or derby. However, it’s illegal to offer participants any kind of prize or reward. See 14 CCR § 465(b).



In general, you can use dogs to hunt and trap Furbearing Mammal, including bader, during the California badger trapping.  Warning shot!!!  This rule does not apply in areas closed to dogs. Link to our summary for dog-related rules, and see FGC § 4002 and 14 CCR § 465.



In general, firearms are allowed for hunting Furbearing Mammal, including badger, during the California badger trapping. Warning shot!!! You can only use nonleaded ammo. See FGC § 400214 CCR § 250.1, and 14 CCR § 465.



In general, it’s illegal to Harass Furbearing Mammal, including badger. See 14 CCR § 251.1.


Herding & Driving

In general, it’s illegal to herd or drive Furbearing Mammal, including badger. See 14 CCR § 251.1.



In general, you can use lights to hunt and trap Furbearing Mammal, including badger, but it depends on your location.


Zones 1 and 2

In the Zone 1 and Zone 2, you can use lights of any size or voltage but:

    • First, you can’t use them during the general deer season,
    • Second, you can’t use them from a moving vehicle or with the motor on, and
    • Third, you can’t use them if the vehicle is on a public road or highway.

See 14 CCR § 264 for zone descriptions.


Balance of State

Outside of Zone 1 and Zone two, you can still use lights with the restrictions listed below.

    • First, the batteries have to be nine volts or less (hand-held and headlights are okay).
    • Second, you have to be on foot.
    • Third, you cannot use them from a vehicle.
    • Fourth, they can’t be powered from any other source.

There is another exception when badger are causing property damage (see “Any Manner”).


Poison Permit

In general, a permit is required to take Furbearing Mammal in California with poison.  Applications are available from the CDFW.  It must indicate the kind of poison desired to be used and the time and place of use. See FGC § 4002FGC § 4003, and 14 CCR § 465.



See “Trapping” below.


In general, trapping is allowed for Nongame Mammals and Furbearing Mammal, includes badger. See FGC § 4002 and 14 CCR § 465. In this section, you’ll find info about the topics listed below.

    1. Trapping license.
    2. Legal traps.
    3. Conibear traps.
    4. Body-gripping taps.
    5. Trap identification.
    6. Trap placement.
    7. Trap checking.
    8. Animal removal.
    9. Reports.


A Trapping License from the CDFW is required for trapping Nongame Mammals and Furbearing Mammal, including badger during the California badger.  To get the license, you have to pass a test.  It’s available to residents and most nonresidents of California.  There is a junior hunting license for youth under the age of 16.

The license is good from July 1 through June 30.    To renew a license, you’ll have to submit a sworn statement to the CDFW showing how many you took during the previous year.

See FGC § 4005FGC § 4006FGC § 4007FGC § 4008, and FGC § 4009.

Cage traps, box traps, nets, suitcase-style live bear traps, and common rat and mouse traps may be used for recreation or commerce.  Also see “Conibear Traps” below, and FGC § 3003.1 and 14 CCR § 465.5(c).

Conibear Traps

You can only use conibear traps in certain areas, which depends on the size and location of trap.  If the jaw opens more than 6 by 6 inches,* you can only use them (a) in water OR (b) within 100 feet of (1) permanent water or (2) marshes, pastures, ag land, or floodways with standing or running water.  There’s another exception for beavers in wooded areas.

If the conibear trap is used on public land, you have to put a sign at every entrance and exit to the property.  You have to put at least four signs within 50 feet of the trap, on the north, south, east, and west boundaries. There has to be a warning on the signs. The letters have to be at least three inches. At minimum, the sign has to say, “Danger! Traps Set For Wildlife. Keep Out.” You have to check on the signs every day.

Warning shot!!!  There are areas where conibear traps are NOT allowed. See FGC § 4004(e) and (f) and 14 CCR § 465.5(g) [applies if jaw opens more than 8 x 8 inches].

Body-Gripping Traps

Body-gripping traps are almost always illegal.  They include traps that grip the mammal’s body or body part. Examples are listed below.

    1. Steel-jawed leghold traps.
    2. Saw-toothed traps.
    3. Spike-jaw traps.
    4. Padded-jaw leghold traps.
    5. Conibear traps.
    6. Snares.

Steel-jawed, leg hold traps are only allowed in extraordinary circumstances in order to protect human health and safety. Even then, only certain government employees can use them. Warning shot!!! It’s illegal to buy, sell, or barter raw fur from animals taken with body-gripping traps. See FGC § 3003.1FGC § 4004(a) and (b), and 14 CCR § 465.5(c) and (d)

Trap Identification

When traps are legal, you have to use traps numbers registered with the CDFW. It has to be clearly stamped on the trap or on a metal tag attached anywhere on the trap. See FGC § 4004(c) and 14 CCR § 465.5(f)(1).

Trap Placement

In general, traps are not allowed within 150 yard of a place where someone lives, even temporarily. The only way you can do it is if it’s your property or you have the owner’s written consent. See 14 CCR § 465.5(g)(3) and “Conibear Traps” below.

Trap Checking

When traps are legal, you have to check it every day. If you’re not the one checking the trap, the person must carry written statement from you that’s it’s okay for him or her to check your traps.

Animal Removal

If there’s something in the trap, it has to be killed or released immediately. Warning shots!!!  Only kill it in an area where it is allowed under local laws and by the landowner, and where it can be done safely. You are not allowed to kill it by any of the methods listed below.

    1. Intentional drowning.
    2. Injection with any chemical not sold for the purpose of euthanizing animals.
    3. Thoracic compression, commonly known as chest crushing (except for tapping beaver and muskrat with conibear traps).

See FGC § 4004(d) and (g) and 14 CCR § 465.5(g)(1) and (2).


If you have a trappers license, you have to file a report with the CDFW.  The report includes a sworn statement of how many Furbearing Mammal and Nongame Mammals you killed, where you killed them, and the name and mailing address of who you sold them to, if any. The report is due by July 1st.

If you don’t report, the CDFW can suspend your tappers’ license and deny your application for renewal. If you need help with this, contact our Attorney for a free consultation. See 14 CCR § 467.


Shooting & Trapping Hours for California Badger trapping

Furbearing Mammals may be hunted at any hour of the day or night except that they may not be taken between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise in the area described in Section 474(a) of these regulations. See 14 CCR § 466.


Purchase and Sale

In general, it’s illegal to buy or sell birds and mammals taken from the wild. There’s an exception for Nongame Mammals and Furbearing Mammals, which includes badgers trapped during the California badger trapping seasons.  You can buy and sell handcrafted items made from the badger, including the carcass. See FGC § 3039(b).

If you killed the badger with a trapping license, you can also sell the raw fur.  If you’re in the business of buying, selling, trading, or dealing raw fur, you’ll need a dealer license. If you’re a domesticated breeder, you don’t need a dealer license. See summary for Buying and Selling Birds and Mammals; and FGC §§ 403040344036, and 4042.


Violations for California Badger trapping

If you get charged with a potential hunting violation, we’re here to help. Contact our Attorney for a free consultation.

If you get convicted of a hunting violation, you could loose your Trapping License.  You wouldn’t be able to trap any Furbearing Mammals or Nongame Mammals for up to three years. In fact, it would be illegal to even apply for a trapping license during that time. See FGC § 12156.

If you misuse Lights during the California badger trapping, you could be arrested by a peace office. See FGC § 12156 and 2005(e).

If you break a Trapping Law, you could be fined up to $2,000 and go to jail for up to one year. See 14 CCR § 465.5(h).


Hunting Areas for California Badger trapping

In this section, you’ll find public areas where you might find badger during the California badger trapping.

In general, it’s illegal to take any mammal from a game refuge unless it’s specifically allowed.   Trapping is specially allowed on all “Type C” wildlife areas. Warning shots!!!  Make sure you follow all the rules for California badger trapping and any special rules at the wildlife area, like closures and firearm restrictions. See FGC § 10500 [generally not allowed]14 CCR § 550(ee)14 CCR § 551(o)14 CCR § 551(r), and CDFW’s trapping law handout.

Here are a few wildlife areas where the CDFW indicates that you can find badger:

    1. Cinder Flats Wildlife Area
    2. Cleveland National Forest
    3. Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area


While we try to fetch up all laws, locations, and seasons for California badger tapping, we might miss a few or make a typo. If so, please leave a comment or question in the reply box below.

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