California Bird Hunting Rules for Hunters, Landowners, Taxidermists, Club Owners, and More

California bird hunting regulations.
California bird hunting regulations.

Here, we fetch up California bird hunting rules for all species and varieties of birds. In addition to hunting, we get them for bird possession, transport, preservation, and more. We bring them back with DefinitionsTopics, and Summaries, and drop links to the Regulations and our pages with related topics and useful resources.

Warning shots!! Also, see our pages with hunter-friendly summaries of additional rules applicable only to Game BirdsUpland Game BirdsMigratory Game BirdsWaterfowl, and individual Species. Second, there might be other rules and regulations that apply, like criminal laws from the Penal Code and county ordinances. Third, always check the Fish & Game Commission website for any updates or additional rules. While the contents of this page is not legal advice, feel free to ask our Legal Labrador for help.


Definitions

In this Section, we fetch up links to definitions for California bird hunting rules used on this page, including adultbag and possession limitsbag limitbird or birdscommercial preservation facilitygame birdsin the fieldjuniorsmethods of takemigratory game birdsnongame birdsnonresidentspersonal abodepossession limitsresidentresident game birdsresident small game, seasons, shooting times, and take. For more, see our page for Hunting Definitions.


Menu of Topics

Topics for California upland game regulations.
Topics for California bird hunting rules.

Archery EquipmentBag & Possession LimitsBuying & SellingCallsClubsCrossbowsDisabled HuntersDomestically-Reared Game BirdsFirearmsGuidesInjuries & AccidentsIntoxicationLicensesLights & Night VisionMilitaryNetsOnline ShootingPoisonous SubstancesPossessionPrivate PropertyPublic LandRestricted BirdsSeasonsShooting HoursTaxidermistsTraps, and Vehicles.

  1. Archery Equipment (allowances, requirements, and restrictions relating to arrows, casting distance, disabled archer’s permit, firearms, lighted nocks, shooting, and vehicles) [also, see Private Property].
  2. Bag & Possession Limits (prohibition against excess during open and closed seasons, and exceptions for properly tagged game birds relating to commercial services).
  3. Boats, kayaks, and canoes [see Guides and Vehicles].
  4. Bounties [see Private Property].
  5. Buying & Selling (restriction against purchase or sale of wild birds, and inedible parts of domestically reared game birds) [also, see Restricted Birds and Taxidermists].
  6. Calls (prohibitions against electronic or mechanically-operated calling, and sound-reproducing devices (e.g. recordings and imitation sounds, and nongame bird exception).
  7. Clubs (requirements and exceptions relating to commercial hunting clubs  [also, see Licenses and Private Property].
  8. Crossbows (allowances, requirements, and restrictions relating to archery seasons, bolts, casting distance, disabled archer’s permit, firearms, lighted nocks, shooting, and vehicles.
  9. Disabled Hunters [see Archery Equipment, Crossbows, and Licenses].
  10. Domestically-Reared Game Birds [see Buying & Selling].
  11. Firearms (prohibition against lead ammunition) [also, seeArchery Equipment and Intoxication].
  12. Guides (definition of “guide boat”).
  13. Herding [see Vehicles].
  14. Identification [see Possession].
  15. Injuries & Accidents (requirement to aid others).
  16. Intoxication (prohibition while hunting with a weapon).
  17. Licenses (requirements and fees for licenses relating to residents, nonresidents, juniors, lifetime, disabled veterans, recovering service members, disabled members of the armed forces, free hunting days, possession in the field, and commercial hunting clubs).
  18. Lights & Night Vision (general prohibition against night hunting and use of night vision equipment, and exceptions for flashlights, etc.) [also, seeArchery Equipment].
  19. Military [see Licenses].
  20. Nets (general prohibition against using nets, and exceptions relating to property damage, CDFW permits, and nongame birds).
  21. Online Shooting (restrictions against online shooting, computer-assist remotes, operation of sites, creation of websites, and import, export, possession, or confinements of birds for online shooting or taken in such manner).
  22. Poisonous Substances (general prohibition against use or possession of birds taken with poison, and exceptions relating to nongame, property damage, and depredation permits).
  23. Possession (requirements for bird identification and exceptions relating to personal abode, consumption, and preservation, and theft of birds belonging to another person) [also, see Bag & Possession Limits].
  24. Private Property (restrictions and exceptions relating to bounties, private land management areas, and property damage) [also, see Clubs, Lights & Night Vision, Nets, Poisonous Substances, and Traps].
  25. Public Land (restrictions relating to Colorado River (District 22), ecological reserves, national wildlife refuges, and wildlife areas).
  26. Restricted Birds (restrictions and exceptions relating to import, export, disposal, sales, transport, or use, and possession of live restricted birds)
  27. Seasons (definitions of open and closed seasons, and restrictions against excess possession) [also, see Bag & Possession Limits].
  28. Shooting Hours (definitions of shooting time, sunrise, and sunset).
  29. Taxidermists (requirements for records, CDFW inspections, and sale of skins).
  30. Theft [see Possession].
  31. Transport [see Bag & Possession Limits, Online Shooting, and Restricted Birds].
  32. Traps (restrictions relating to cages, pounds, set lines or wires, and traps, and exceptions for nongame birds, landowners, and depredation permits).
  33. Vehicles (restrictions relating to pursuit, driving, and herding, and exceptions relating to landowners, CDFW permits, agriculture, disabled hunters, and boats) [see Archery Equipment].

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Summary of Bird Hunting Rules

Summary of California bird hunting rules.
Summary of California bird hunting rules.

Archery EquipmentBag & Possession LimitsBuying & SellingCallsClubsCrossbowsDisabled HuntersDomestically-Reared Game BirdsFirearmsGuidesInjuries & AccidentsIntoxicationLicensesLights & Night VisionMilitaryNetsOnline ShootingPoisonous SubstancesPossessionPrivate PropertyPublic LandRestricted BirdsSeasonsShooting HoursTaxidermistsTraps, and Vehicles.

Archery Equipment

In the subsections below, there are California bird hunting rules relating to archery arrows, casting distance, disabled archer’s permit, firearm possession, lighted nocks, roads & highways, and vehicles. Also, see our pages for Archery Seasons and Regulations.

Arrows

California bird hunting rules for bird archery seasons, bag limits, possession limits, and more.
California bird hunting rules for archery.

For taking game birds14 CCR § 354(c) prohibits arrows with

  1. An explosive head,
  2. Poisonous substance, or
  3. Tranquilizing substance.

In addition, the Section requires flu-flu fletching for taking pheasant and all migratory game birds except waterfowl sitting on the water from a boat per Section 507(a)(2). Other than that, the Section allows any other type of arrow.

Casting Distance

When using a bow, 14 CCR § 354(e) requires minimum casting distance of 130 yards except with flu-flu fletching arrows.

Disabled Archer’s Permit

For disabled hunters, 14 CCR § 354(j) provides the procedures for obtaining a Disabled Archer’s Permit to use a crossbow (see the Section for Crossbows below.

Firearms During Archery Seasons

During any archery season or when hunting with an archery-only tag, 14 CCR § 354(g) prohibits possession of firearm. Also, see our page for Firearm Regulations.

Lighted Nocks

When using a bow, 14 CCR § 354(i) allows lighted nocks that don’t emit a directional beam of light. NOTE: This is an exception to the general restriction in Section 2005.

Roads & Highways

When using a bow, 14 CCR § 354(d) prohibits shooting an arrow across public roads and highways.

Vehicles With Bows

When in or on a vehicle, 14 CCR § 354(h) prohibits possession of a bow in a ready-to-fire position.

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Bag & Possession Limits

During an open seasonFGC § 2001(a) prohibits taking a bird or mammal in excess of bag and possession limits. While in possession of birds, 14 CCR § 251.7(a) generally prohibits more than a daily bag and possession limit. The Section provides an exception for properly tagged game birds held for:

  1. Transportation,
  2. Cleaning,
  3. Shipment,
  4. Taxidermy, or
  5. Storage.

For migratory game birds in particular, 14 CCR § 251.7(d) prohibits possession of more than a possession limit after the season closes. For bag and possession limits, see our page for each Species. Also, see our pages for Common Carrier Laws, Food Preservation Laws, and Taxidermy Laws.

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Buying & Selling Wildlife

In general, FGC § 3039 prohibits the purchase or sale of any bird or mammal found in the wild. In addition, it prohibits the purchase of sale of  inedible parts of domestically reared game birds. There are exceptions, but they relate to handicraft items and products made from mammals (e.g. antlers). Also, see the Section for Restricted Birds.

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Calls

In general, FGC § 3012 prohibits taking any bird or mammal using electronic or mechanically-operated calling, and sound-reproducing devices (e.g. recordings of sounds or imitation sounds). There are exceptions for nongame birds and nongame mammals. Also, see our page for Nongame Bird Hunting Regulations.

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Crossbows

Crossbows are propulsive devices and not considered “archery equipment.” In the subsections below, there are California bird hunting rules relating to archery seasonsarrowscasting distancedisabled archer’s permitfirearm possessionlighted nocksroads & highways, and vehicles. Also, see our page for Crossbow Regulations.

Archery Seasons & Crossbows

Except with a Disabled Archer’s Permit (see below), 14 CCR § 354(f) prohibits use of a crossbow during archery seasons for game birds (and game mammals).

Bolts

For taking game birds14 CCR § 354(c) prohibits bolts with

  1. An explosive head,
  2. Poisonous substance, or
  3. Tranquilizing substance.
California bird hunting rules for crossbows, including flu-flu fletching for pheasant.
California bird hunting rules for crossbows.

In addition, the Section requires flu-flu fletching for taking pheasant and all migratory game birds except waterfowl sitting on the water from a boat per Section 507(a)(2). Other than that, the Section allows any other type of bolt.

Casting Distance

When using a crossbow, 14 CCR § 354(e) requires minimum casting distance of 130 yards except with flu-flu fletching.

Disabled Archer’s Permit

For disabled hunters, 14 CCR § 354(j) provides the procedures for obtaining a Disabled Archer’s Permit to use a crossbow.

Firearms

During any archery season or when hunting with an archery-only tag, 14 CCR § 354(g) prohibits possession of firearms. Also, see our page for Firearm Regulations.

Lighted Nocks

When using a crossbow, 14 CCR § 354(i) allows lighted nocks that don’t emit a directional beam of light. NOTE: This is an exception to the general restriction in Section 2005.

Roads & Highways

When using a crossbow, 14 CCR § 354(d) prohibits shooting a bolt across public roads and highways.

Vehicles

When in or on a vehicle, 14 CCR § 354(h) prohibits possession of a crossbow in a ready-to-fire position.

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Clubs

In addition to the subsection below, also see our page for Game Bird Club Regulations.

Commercial Hunting Clubs

See Licenses below about requirements and exemptions for a commercial hunting club license.

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Disabled Hunters

See the Sections for Archery Equipment and Crossbows [Disabled Archer’s Permit] and Licenses [disabled members of the US Armed Forces].

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Domestically-Reared Game Birds

See Buying & Selling about inedible parts of domestically-reared game birds and Clubs about commercial hunting club license requirements and exemptions. Also, see our page for Game Bird Club Regulations.

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Firearms

In addition to the subsections below, also see our page for Firearm Regulations.

Archery

Also, see the Section for Archery Equipment.

Lead Ammo Ban

When taking birds or mammals, 14 CCR § 250.1 generally prohibits use or possession of lead ammo with a firearm. Also, see our pages for Firearm Hunting Ammo Regulations and Restrictions

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Guides

For more rules on guiding, see our page for Guides.

Boats

For licensed guides using a boat to help another person take a bird or mammal, FGC § 46 defines “guide boat” as one being less than 25 feet long.

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Injuries

For accidents and injuries that a hunter causes with a weapon, FGC § 3009 requires the hunter to offer reasonable aid and assistance. “Weapons” include, for example, a firearm, bow and arrow, crossbow, spear, slingshot.

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Intoxication While Hunting

While intoxicated, FGC § 3001 prohibits use of a firearm, bow and arrow, BB gun, or crossbow while taking any bird or mammal.

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Licenses

In general, FGC § 3007 and 14 CCR § 700 require immediate possession of license to take any bird or mammal. Possession of the appropriate license grants the privilege of taking birds and mammals. In general, licenses are valid from July 1 to June 30 of current license year (see FGC § 3037). For more details, see our pages for Hunting Licenses.

Regular Prices

For regular pricesFGC § 3031 establishes the fees for annual pass for residents and juniors, and a one-day or two-day license for nonresidents. The Section also requires adult supervision of juniors under the age of 16. For a lifetime licenseFGC § 3031.2 establishes the fees and privileges of having one.

Military Discounts

For disabled veterans and recovering service membersFGC § 3033 provides for reduced fees and qualifications. For a disabled members of the US Armed ForcesFGC § 3038 provides for a hunter permit, which eliminates requirements for a license and any tag, and is valid as long as the member is in a medical facility and disabled.

Free Hunting Days

For unlicensed hunters, FGC § 3040 provides the qualifications to participate in “Free Hunting Day’s” which are at CDFW’s discretion.

Commercial Hunting Clubs

A “commercial hunting club,” as defined in FGC § 3240.5, is a property where people pay to hunt birds or mammals. In general, the Section requires a commercial hunting club license. It provides exceptions when the fee is either less than $100 to enter or $1,000 for an annual membership. The Section also exempts people with either a license for a domesticated game bird hunt club, domesticated migratory game bird shooting area, or other hunting club program. Also, see our page for Game Bird Club Regulations.

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Lights & Night Vision

In general, FGC § 3000 prohibits night hunting for any bird or mammal. In addition, FGC § 2005(c) generally prohibits use or possession of night vision equipment (e.g. infrared) to take any bird or mammal. For more details, see our page for Night Hunting Regulations. There, you’ll find exceptions relating to certain people (e.g. agricultural land owners) and equipment like:

  1. Flashlights,
  2. Lamps,
  3. Lanterns, and
  4. Vehicle headlights.

Also, see the Section for Archery Equipment and our page for Night Hunting Regulations.

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Military (Including Veterans)

See Licenses above, which is about reduced fees for disabled veterans and recovering service members, and permits for disabled members of the US Armed Forces.

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Nets

In general, FGC § 3005 prohibits use of a net to take any bird or mammal. It also prohibits possession of any bird or mammal taken in such a manner. In addition to others, exceptions related to nongame birds, landowners trying to prevent property damage (e.g. crops), and with a “depredation permit” from the CDFW. Also, see our pages for Nongame Bird Hunting RegulationsDepredation Permits and Landowner Tags.

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Online Shooting

When taking any bird or mammal, FGC § 3003(a) prohibits “online shooting or spearing,” which is the use of computer-assist remote discharge of a weapon, e.g. firearm, bow and arrow, spear, slingshot, or other projectile device (e.g. crossbow). Second, it prohibits the operation or creation of an online site or website designed for that purpose. Third, it prohibits import, export, or confinement of animals taken in such a manner or held for that purpose. Finally, it allows the CDFW to seize birds or mammals taken in such a manner or held for that purpose.

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Poisonous Substances

In general, FGC § 3005 prohibits use of a cage, net, pound, set line or wire, or trap to take any bird or mammal. It also prohibits possession of any bird or mammal taken in such a manner. In addition to others, exceptions related to nongame birds, landowners trying to prevent property damage (e.g. crops), and with a “depredation permit” from the CDFW. Also, see our page for Nongame Bird Hunting RegulationsDepredation Permits and Landowner Tags.

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Possession

Bag & Possession Limits

See the Section for Bag & Possession Limits above.

Identification of Species

California bird hunting rules for species identification, including attached head and/or wings.
California bird hunting rules for species identification.

While in possession of a bird, 14 CCR § 251.7(b) generally requires that a fully-feathered wing or head remains attached–except that doves only require a wing to remain attached. The Section provides exceptions for a personal abode, preparation for immediate consumption, and commercial preservation facilities. Also, see our page for Food Preservation Laws.

Theft

When a bird or mammal is “in possession” of a hunter, FGC § 2011 prohibits another person from taking or destroying it. “In possession” means the hunter wounded the animal, is in “hot pursuit,” or has taken physical possession of it.

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Private Property

Bounties

In general, FGC § 2019 prohibits any person from authorizing, offering, or paying a bounty to take any bird or mammal. There is landowner exception on his or her private property.

Clubs

See Clubs above commercial hunting clubs, domesticated game bird clubs, and domesticated game bird shooting areas. Also, see our page for Game Bird Club Regulations.

Nets

See the Section for Nets above.

Night Hunting

See the Section for Lights & Night Vision above.

Poisonous Substances

See the Section for Poisonous Substances above.

Private Land Management Areas

For properties under the CDFW Private Lands Management (PLM) Program, FGC § 4307 the Fish & Game Commission can require hunters to put either a tag or seal on any bird or mammal taken in a wildlife habitat enhancement and management area.

Traps

See the Section for Traps below.

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Public Land

In addition to the subsections below, also see our page for Public Hunting Laws & Locations.

Colorado River (District 22)

In general, FGC § 308 prohibits the take of any bird or mammal in the Colorado River, in District 22, and within one-eighth mile of a “gallinaceous guzzler.”

Ecological Reserves

When visiting an ecological reserve, 14 CCR §§ 550550.5, and 630 provide general use and reserve-specific regulations areas for hunting birds and mammals, and other activities like use of archery equipment, bicycles, boats, campsites, dogs, falcons, firearm, motor vehicles, species, and traps.

National Wildlife Refuges

When visiting a National Wildlife Refuge the CDFW designates as a “wildlife area,” 14 CCR §§ 550550.5, and 552 provide general use and reserve-specific regulations areas for hunting birds and mammals, and other activities like use of archery equipment, bicycles, boats, campsites, dogs, falcons, firearm, motor vehicles, species, and traps. Also, see our page for National Wildlife Refuge Laws & Locations.

On approximately 130 posted acres of the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge14 CCR § 625 prohibits the take of birds and mammals on about 130 posted acres of the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge. Note:  The area is owned by the State, and is located near the Sutter Bypass between the hunter check station and parking lot on the north.

Wildlife Areas

When visiting a State wildlife area, 14 CCR §§ 550550.5, and 551 provide general use and reserve-specific regulations areas for hunting birds and mammals, and other activities like use of archery equipment, bicycles, boats, campsites, dogs, falcons, firearms, motor vehicles, species, and traps. Also, see our page Wildlife Area Law & Locations and General Use Regulations.

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Restricted Birds

For live restricted species of birds and mammals, 14 CCR § 671 generally prohibits import, transport, and possession of live restricted species of birds or mammals. The only exception is with a permit from the CDFW. In addition, 14 CCR § 671.1 the prohibits the export, sale, disposal, or any use of such birds. Also, see our page for Common Carrier Laws.

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Seasons

Open Seasons

Seasons” or “open season” is the time of year when hunting regulations prohibit the take of a bird or mammal. See FGC § 62. During an open season, FGC § 2001(a) prohibits take in excess of Bag & Possession Limits.

Closed Season

Closed season” is the time of year when hunting regulations prohibit the take of a bird or mammal. See FGC § 29. During a closed season, FGC § 2001(a) prohibits the take of any bird or mammal.

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Shooting Hours

For bird and mammal shooting hours, 14 CCR § 250.5 defines “shooting time” as legal California time for the date specified. It also defines “sunrise” or “sunset” as the time at the hunter’s location.

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Taxidermists

For taxidermists of a bird or mammal, FGC § 3087 requires them to keep records for CDFW inspection, and might allow them to sell skins. Also, see our page for Taxidermy Laws.

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Traps

In general, FGC § 3005 prohibits use of a cage, pound, set line or wire, or trap to take any bird or mammal. It also prohibits possession of any bird or mammal taken in such a manner. In addition to others, exceptions related to nongame birds, landowners trying to prevent property damage (e.g. crops), and with a “depredation permit” from the CDFW. Also, see our page for Nongame Bird Hunting RegulationsDepredation PermitsLandowner Tags, and Trapping Regulations..

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Vehicles

In general, California bird hunting rules prohibit use of any motorized vehicle to pursue, drive, or herd a bird or mammal. Vehicles include, for example, a truck, powerboat, or airplane. There are exceptions, in FGC § 3003.5 and 14 CCR § 251, relating to:

  1. Landowners trying to prevent private property damage,
  2. Depredation permits from the with a CDFW per 14 CCR § 251.2,
  3. Pursuit of agriculture,
  4. Mobility disabled persons motor vehicle license, and
  5. Boats if the motor is shut off, there is no forward momentum, and the boats is either drifting, beached, moored, anchored, or being paddled (e.g. kayaks and canoes).

For more details, see the Section for Archery Equipment and our pages for Depredation PermitsLandowner Tags, Hunting Licenses, and Navigable Water.

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List of Regulations

California bird hunting rules and regulations for game birds.Her, we fetch up  California bird hunting rules from the Fish & Game Code (FGC §) and Title 14 of the Code of Regulations (14 CCR §).

  1. FGC § 29 defines “closed season” as when the regulations prohibit the take of birds or mammals.
  2. FGC § 46 defines “guide boat” as less than 25 feet long that a licensed guide uses to help another person take a bird or mammal.
  3. FGC § 62 defines season and “open season” as when regulations allow the take of birds or mammals.
  4. FGC § 308 generally prohibits take of birds or mammals in the Colorado River, in District 22, and within one-eighth mile of a “gallinaceous guzzler”.
  5. FGC § 2001(a) prohibits take of a bird or mammal (a) out of seasons or (b) in excess of bag or possession limits.
  6. FGC § 2005(c) prohibits use or possession of night vision equipment (e.g. infrared) for hunting a bird or mammal except as it provides for (i) handheld flashlights, (ii) lamps and lanterns, (iii) headlights, (iv) scouting without a firearm or weapon, (v) landowner’s and employee of agricultural land, and (vi) landowners protecting property from furbearing mammals per Section 4180.
  7. FGC § 2011 prohibits take or destroy a bird or mammal lawfully in “in possession” of the hunter, and defines it as physical possession, the animal is wounded, or the hunter is in “hot pursuit.”
  8. FGC § 2019 generally prohibits any person from authorize, offer, or pay a bounty for a bird or mammal except a landowner on his or her private property.
  9. FGC § 3000 generally prohibits night hunting for any bird or mammal.
  10. FGC § 3001 prohibits hunting a bird or mammal with a firearmbow and arrowBB gun, or crossbow while intoxicated.
  11. FGC § 3003 (a) prohibits people and businesses from shooting a bird or mammal devices (e.g. guns) via Internet connection or for that purpose (i) operating an online site, (ii) creating a website; (b) prohibits, in violation of the above, (i) importing or exporting a bird or mammal killed that way, (ii) confining a bird or mammal for that purpose; (c) allows the CDFW to seize such birds or mammals; and (d) defines “online shooting or spearing” to mean computer-assist remote discharge of a weapon, e.g. , bow and arrowspearslingshot, or other projectile device (e.g. crossbow).
  12. FGC § 3003.5 generally prohibits use of motorized vehicle (e.g. truckpowerboatairplane) to pursue, drive, or herd a bird or mammal except (a) to prevent private property damage, (b) with a CDFW permit, or (c) in pursuit of agriculture.
  13. FGC § 3005 generally prohibits use of a cage, net, poisonous substance, pound, set line or wire, or traps–and possession of a bird or mammal so taken–except (a) lawfully taken furbearing mammals, nongame birds, nongame mammals, and mammals causing property damage (e.g. crops) or (b) with a CDFW permit.
  14. FGC § 3007 generally requires hunting license to take a bird or mammal.
  15. FGC § 3009 requires hunters to help others he or she injures with a weapons (e.g. firearmbow and arrow, crossbowsspearslingshot while hunting a bird or mammal.
  16. FGC § 3012 generally prohibits hunting a bird or mammal using calls or sounds with a recording of or electronically amplified imitation of a bird or mammal, except as regulations allow for nongame birds and nongame mammals.
  17. FGC § 3031 sets uses fees for hunting license, granting privilege of taking birds and mammals to residents, juniors, and nonresidents, and requires adult supervision of juniors under the age of 16.
  18. FGC § 3031.2 provides for lifetime hunting license and fees for the taking of birds and mammals.
  19. FGC § 3033 provides for reduced fee license for “disabled veterans” and “recovering service members,” as it defines, for taking of birds and mammals.
  20. FGC § 3037 provides that the duration of a hunting license for taking birds and mammals is from July 1 to June 30 of the license years.
  21. FGC § 3038 authorizes a hunter permit for taking birds and mammals to disabled member of the US armed forces (instead of license and tags), valid as long as the member is in a medical facility and disabled.
  22. FGC § 3039 generally prohibits purchase or sale of any bird or mammal found in the wild or inedible parts of domestically reared game birds except (a) as allowed in Sections 3087 and 4303; (b) handicraft items and products made from (i) furbearing mammals, (ii) nongame mammals, (iii) shed antlers, (iv) antlers from domestically reared animals–but not whole antlers, heads, mounted antlers, or antlers in velvet.
  23. FGC § 3040 provides qualifications for unlicensed hunters to participate in any “Free Hunting Days” offered by the CDFW at its discretion, presumably for taking birds and mammals.
  24. FGC § 3087 requires taxidermists of a bird or mammal to keep records for CDFW inspection, and might allow them to sell the skin.
  25. FGC § 3240.5 defines “commercial hunting club” to include properties to hunt birds or mammals, and requires a commercial hunting club license except (a) where the entrance fee is less than $100, (b) the annual membership is less than $1,000, (c) holders of license for a (i) domesticated game bird hunting club, (ii) domesticated migratory game bird shooting area, or (iii) other hunting club program. [add to topics]
  26. FGC § 4307 authorizes the Commission to require identification markers (e.g. tag or seal) on any bird or mammal taken in a wildlife habitat enhancement and management area, which is under the CDFW Private Lands Management (PLM) Program.
  27. 14 CCR § 250.1 prohibits use or possession of lead ammo while taking “wildlife,” which includes birds and mammals, with a firearm at specific locations.
  28. 14 CCR § 250.5 defines (a) shooting times as legal California time for the date specified and (b) “sunrise” or “sunset” means the time at the hunter’s location, presumably for birds and mammals.
  29. 14 CCR § 251 generally prohibits use of motor-driven air, land, and water vehicles (e.g. airplanes and trucks) to pursue, drive, herd, or take a bird or mammal except (a) boats, kayaks, or canoes with the motor off and and no momentum and is drifting, beached, moored, anchored, or being paddled; (b) landowners preventing private property damage; (c) with a CDFW permit, or (d) a mobility disabled persons motor vehicle license, as it provides.
  30. 14 CCR § 251.2 subject to conditions it provides, allows CDFW to issue a permit that allows a landowner to pursue, drive, herd, and take birds and mammals with or from motor-driven vehicles (e.g. truckboat, and airplane).
  31. 14 CCR § 251.7 (a) prohibits possession of a bird in excess of daily bag and possession limits except game birds with proper tags, as it provides, held for (i) transportation, (ii) cleaning, (iii) shipment, (iv) taxidermy, or (v) storage; (b) requires a fully feathered wing or head on all birds in possession or transport until (i) reaching the hunter’s “personal abode,” (ii) being prepared for immediate consumption, or (iii) delivered to a commercial preservation facility, except doves only require the wing; (c) requires a declaration of entry per FGC § 2353 when importing a migratory game bird; (d) prohibits post-season possession of more than a possession limits of migratory game bird.
  32. 14 CCR § 354 (a) defines “bow” and excludes crossbows from definition of “archery equipment;” (b) restricts arrow and bolt sizes for hunting big game, (c) allows any arrow or crossbow bolt for taking migratory game birds, resident small game, furbearers, and nongame mammals except no arrow or bolt (i) with an explosive headpoisonous substance, or tranquilizers on any animal or (ii) without flu-flu fletching for taking pheasant or migratory game birds unless to take waterfowl sitting on the water from a boat per Section 507(a)(2); (d) prohibits shooting across public roads and highways; (e) requires minimum casting distance of 130 yards (except flu-flu fletching arrows); (f) prohibits crossbows for game birds and game mammals during archery seasons except with a Disabled Archer’s Permit; (g) prohibits possession of firearm while hunting during any archery season or with an archery-only tag; (h) prohibits ready-to-firearm bows and crossbows in or on a vehicle; (i) allows use of lighted nocks without directional be of lights as exception t o Section 2005; and (j) provides procedures for Disabled Archer’s Permit.
  33. 14 CCR § 550 provides for Wildlife Areasecological reserves, and some National Wildlife Refuges, including requirements, conditions, and restrictions relating to hunting birds and mammals, and other uses like use of archery equipment, bicycles, boats, campsites, dogs, falcons, firearms, motor vehicles, species, and taps.
  34. 14 CCR § 625 prohibits take of birds or mammals on about 130 posted acres of the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, which is State owned land near the Sutter Bypass between the hunter check station and parking lot on the north.
  35. 14 CCR § 670.5 identifies endangered or threatened birds and mammals.
  36. 14 CCR § 671 prohibits import, transport or possession of live restricted species of birds and mammals, as it lists, except with a CDFW permit.
  37. 14 CCR § 671.1 prohibits importexport, transportsale, disposal, or use for any purpose the live restricted birds and mammals that Section 671 identifies.
  38. 14 CCR § 700 requires immediate possession of license to hunt any bird or mammal.

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FGC § 3010

It is unlawful for any person to take any pheasant within 300 yards of any vehicle from which pheasants are being released into an area for hunting while such pheasants are being released.

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FGC § 3500

(a) Resident game birds are as follows:

(1) Doves of the genus Streptopelia, including, but not limited to, spotted doves, ringed turtledoves, and Eurasian collared-doves.

(2) California quail and varieties thereof.

(3) Gambel’s or desert quail.

(4) Mountain quail and varieties thereof.

(5) Sooty or blue grouse and varieties thereof.

(6) Ruffed grouse.

(7) Sage hens or sage grouse.

(8) Hungarian partridges.

(9) Red-legged partridges including the chukar and other varieties.

(10) Ring-necked pheasants and varieties thereof.

(11) Wild turkeys of the order Galliformes.

(b) Migratory game birds are as follows:

(1) Ducks and geese.

(2) Coots and gallinules.

(3) Jacksnipe.

(4) Western mourning doves.

(5) White-winged doves.

(6) Band-tailed pigeons.

(c) References in this code to “game birds” means both resident game birds and migratory game birds.

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FGC § 3501

It is unlawful to use any powerboat, motor vehicle, or airplane to drive any game bird toward another person with the intent that the other person shall take the bird. game birds

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FGC § 3660

It is unlawful for any person to have in his possession the carcass, in such condition that the sex or species cannot be easily determined, of any pheasant while in the field or forest or while upon any highway, train, car, boat, or other conveyance when returning from any hunting trip with gun or other hunting equipment.

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FGC § 3683

Upland game bird species include both of the following:

(a) All of the following resident game birds:

(1) Doves of the genus Streptopelia, including, but not limited to, spotted doves, ringed turtledoves, and Eurasian collared doves.

(2) California quail and varieties thereof.

(3) Gambel’s or desert quail.

(4) Mountain quail and varieties thereof.

(5) Sooty or blue grouse.

(6) Ruffed grouse.

(7) Sage hens or sage grouse.

(8) White-tailed ptarmigan.

(9) Hungarian partridges.

(10) Red-legged partridges including the chukar and other varieties.

(11) Ring-necked pheasants and varieties thereof.

(12) Wild turkeys.

(b) All of the following migratory game birds:

(1) Jacksnipe.

(2) Western mourning doves.

(3) White-winged doves.

(4) Band-tailed pigeons.

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FGC § 3700.1

See FGC § 3700.1 requirements and exceptions about possessing a State Duck Stamp to hunt most migratory game birds.

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14 CCR § 251.7

Possession, Transportation and Importation of Game Birds

(a) No person may possess any birds taken in this state in excess of the daily bag and possession limits. The exception to this is for the purpose of transportation, cleaning, storage (including temporary storage), shipment, or taxidermy services, where an individual may possess game birds taken by another hunter provided that they are tagged by the hunter who has lawfully taken them. The tag must contain the hunter’s name, address, hunting license number, kinds and numbers of game birds taken, date and location of kill, and signature.

(b) All birds, including migratory game birds, possessed or transported within California must have a fully feathered wing or head attached until placed into a personal abode or commercial preservation facility or being prepared for immediate consumption. Doves must have a fully feathered wing attached.

(c) Migratory game birds imported into California shall be accompanied by a declaration of entry as prescribed in Section 2353 of the Fish and Game Code.

(d) Only one possession limit of migratory game birds may be possessed per individual after the close of the season for that species.

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14 CCR § 310.5

Shooting Hours for Upland Game Birds.

The shooting hours for all upland game birds, except for pheasants and the spring wild turkey season, shall be from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The shooting hours for pheasants shall be from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. The shooting hours for the spring wild turkey season shall be from one-half hour before sunrise to 5:00 p.m.

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14 CCR § 257

Resident Small Game Defined.

Resident small game” means the following resident game birds: Chinese spotted doves, Eurasian collared-doves, ringed turtle-doves of the family Columbidae, California quail and varieties thereof, Gambel’s or desert quail, mountain quail and varieties thereof, sooty grouse and varieties thereof, ruffed grouse, sage grouse (sage hens), white-tailed ptarmigan, Hungarian partridges, red-legged partridges, including the chukar and other varieties, ring-necked pheasants and varieties, and wild turkeys of the order Galliformes; and the following game mammals: jackrabbits and varying hares (genus Lepus), cottontail rabbits, brush rabbits, pigmy rabbits (genus Sylvilagus), and tree squirrels (genus Sciurus and Tamiasciurus).

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14 CCR § 311

Methods Authorized for Taking Resident Small Game.

Only the following may be used to take resident small game:

(a) Shotguns 10 gauge or smaller using shot shells only and incapable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. If a plug is used to reduce the capacity of a magazine to fulfill the requirements of this section, the plug must be of one piece construction incapable of removal without disassembling the gun.

(b) Shotgun shells may not be used or possessed that contain shot size larger than No. BB, except that shot size larger than No. 2 may not be used or possessed when taking wild turkey. All shot shall be loose in the shell.

(c) Muzzle-loading shotguns.

(d) Falconry.

(e) Bow and arrow (see Section 354 for archery equipment regulations).

(f) Air rifles powered by compressed air or gas and used with any caliber of pellet, except that wild turkey may only be taken with a pellet that is at least 0.177 caliber.

(g) In addition to the methods listed in (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) above, firearm rifles and pistols may be used for taking rabbits and squirrels only; except in Los Angeles County where rifles and pistols may not be used.

(h) In San Diego and Orange counties only, rabbits may be taken at any time during the open season by means of box traps. Such traps shall not exceed 24 inches in any dimension, shall be tended at least once every 24 hours, and shall show the name and address of the trap owner. All rabbits taken under this section shall be immediately killed and become a part of the daily bag limit.

(i) Electronic or mechanically-operated calling or sound-reproducing devices are prohibited when attempting to take resident game birds.

(j) Coursing dogs may be used to take rabbits.

(k) Archers hunting during any archery season may not possess a firearm while in the field engaged in archery hunting during an archery season.

(l) The use of live decoys is prohibited when attempting to take resident game birds.

(m)Pistols and revolvers may be used to take sooty and ruffed grouse in those counties only and for the season described in Section 300(a)(1)(E).

(n) Crossbows, except for provisions of Section 354(d) and (g).

(o) Dogs may be used to take and retrieve resident small game.

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14 CCR § 311.8

Prohibition Against Shooting Resident Small Game from Boats. [Repealed]

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14 CCR § 313

Upland Game Bird Hunting Validation.

California bird hunting rules for validations and stamps.
California bird hunting rules for validations and stamps.

Any licensed hunter taking resident game birds including Chinese spotted doves, ringed turtle doves, of the family Columbidae; California quail and varieties thereof, Gambel’s or desert quail, mountain quail and varieties thereof, sooty, ruffed, and sage grouse, white-tailed ptarmigan, Hungarian partridges, red-legged partridges including the chukar and other varieties, ring-necked pheasants and varieties, and wild turkeys of the order Galliformes; and migratory game birds including common snipe, western mourning doves, white-winged doves, and band-tailed pigeons must have a current state upland game bird hunting validation in possession. Any person hunting under the authority of a valid junior hunting license is exempt from this section.

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While we try to fetch up all California bird hunting rules, we might miss a few or make a typo. If so, leave a comment or question in the reply box below.

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