California Disabled Hunter Laws for Accommodations

Accommodations for disabled hunters during the California hunting seasons

On this page, you’ll find our summary of California disabled hunter laws. We cover accommodations for hunters with visual and mobility impairments, as well as disabled veterans and recovering service members. Accommodations are related to the use of boats, blinds, crossbows, motor vehicles, muzzleloader scopes, and other accommodations. We include info about discounted or free hunting licenses, as well as special permits. We identify special hunting opportunities for pheasant, waterfowl, deer, and other species. Finally, we cover procedures for hunting on public land, including the use of lotteries, reservations, and waiting lists.

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Archery

See Disabled Archer Permit in our Section for Permits below.

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Big Game Hunting

See Disabled Archer Permit in our Section for Permits below. Also see Visually Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permit in that Section.

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Licensing

Disabled Veteran Hunting License

Accommodation Letter

If you’re a disabled veteran of the U.S. military, you may qualify for a reduced-fee license. It’s called the Disabled Veteran Hunting License.  To qualify, you need to submit a letter from the VA with the information below. See FGC § 3033(c)(1) and (e).

  1. That you were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces.
  2. That you have a 50% or greater service-connected disability.

Submission

To apply, you need a copy of your ID* and accommodation letter. You can apply in person at any CDFW License Sales Office. If it’s not your first time applying, you can send the info by email to LRB@wildlife.ca.gov. You can also fax it to (916) 419-7587. On the application, provide the info listed below.

  1. Address.
  2. Height.
  3. Weight.
  4. Eye color.
  5. Hair color.
  6. Gender.
  7. Date of birth.
  8. Telephone number.
  9. Proof Hunter Education or that you bought a California Hunting License after 2011).

* ID’s include your GO ID from a previous hunting. You can also use a fishing license, CA Driver’s License, or military ID.

Applications

If you’re a first-time applicant, you must purchase your license from  time a CDFW License Sales Office. Otherwise, you can get it from an Independent License Agents or Online by using a copy of your license from the previous year.

Fees

The CDFW is required to offered a Disabled Veteran Hunting License at a reduced fee. In 2015-2016, it was only $7.50. See FGC § 3033(a)(1).

Purchasing

Warning shot!!!  You won’t be able to purchase your license until after receiving notice from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) that your record has been updated.

Tagging Requirements

Warning shot!!! Even with a Disabled Veteran Hunting License, you must comply with any and all tagging requirements.

Validations

Warning shot!!! Even with a Disabled Veteran Hunting License, you must comply with any and all validation requirements. See Waterfowl and Upland Game Hunting & Department Lands Public Use Regulations.

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Mobility Impaired Disabled Persons Motor Vehicle License

If you’re a mobility-impaired hunter (MIH),  you may qualify for a Mobility Impaired Disabled Persons Motor Vehicle Hunting License.  MIH is defined as a person who has one of the pieces of evidence listed below.

  1. California disabled hunter laws for the use of motor vehicles.
    MIH Motor Vechile License Application

    Disabled Veteran License Plate.

  2. DMV Disabled License Plate, but a registration certificate required.
  3. MIH Disabled Persons Motor Vehicle Hunting.
  4. Permanent Parking Placard ID Card.*

California disabled hunter laws for Disabled Placards* Warning shots!!! The blue plastic “Disabled Parking Placard” may NOT be substituted for the ID Card.  A red temporary disability placard (pictured right) does NOT qualify a person as a MIH.

Certification

To qualify for a MIDPMVL, you need certification from a physician. It must state that a motor vehicle is required to pursue game because you have one of the conditions listed below.

  1. Permanent or full confinement to a wheelchair.
  2. A single or double amputee above the knee.
  3. Double amputee below the knee.
  4. Dependence upon the aid of a walker, crutches, etc. to walk.

Fees

The License is free.

Nonresidents

The License is available to residents and nonresidents of California.

Purchasing

The license can ONLY be purchased Online from the License and Revenue Branch of the CDFW.

Vehicles

The motor vehicles listed below may be used to hunt with the License. See 14 CCR § 251(b) [fix link on that page__].

  1. Air or land driven motor vehicles.
  2. Airboats.
  3. Motorboats.
  4. Sailboats.
  5. Snowmobiles.

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Recovering Service Member Hunting License

If you’re a recovering service members of the Armed Forces, you may qualify for a Reduced-Fee Hunting License. This also applies to members of the National Guard or a Reserve. See FGC § 3033(c)(2) and (f).

Applications

Applications for a Recovery Service Members Hunting License are available Online from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.  Warning shot!!! You need proof that either you’ve completed Hunter Education or have a copy of a Hunting License from the prior year.

Certification

To qualify for the License, you have to submit a letter from either your Commanding Officer or a military medical doctor.  They have to verify that you’re eligible as a recovering service member. Include your expected recovery date. Also have them certify that you’re recovering from a serious injury or illness related to your military service. Finally, have them include that you’re receiving one of the treatments below.

  1. That you’re receiving medical treatment.
  2. That you’re recuperating.
  3. That your’e in therapy and in an outpatient status.

Send a copy of your ID* and letter to LRB@wildlife.ca.gov. You can also fax it to (916) 419-7587. You can also mail or apply in person at any CDFW License Sales Office. Include the information listed below.

  1. Address.
  2. Height.
  3. Weight.
  4. Eye color.
  5. Hair color.
  6. Gender.
  7. Date of birth.
  8. Telephone number.
  9. Proof Hunter Education or that you bought a California Hunting License after 2011).

* ID’s include your GO ID from a previous hunting. You can also use a fishing license, your CA Driver’s License, or military ID.

Fee

The fee for a Recovery Service Members Hunting License for the 2015-2015 season was $7.30. See FGC § 3033(a).

Purchasing

Applications are available Online from the CDFW. They’re either discounted or free. See fees and descriptions.

Renewal

Depending on your recovery date, the License may be renewed without submitting another Certification.

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Permits

Disabled Archer Permit

California disabled hunter laws for Archery and CrossbowsDisabled Archer Permits allow hunters with certain disabilities to hunt during archery season. They can use a crossbow or other device to draw and hold a bow in a firing position. See 14 CCR § 354(j). Also see our summary for California Archery Laws.

Applications

Disabled Archer Permits are available from the License and Revenue Branch of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW).  Click here, to submit your application online.

Certification

Your application must include a certification of your disability. The certification must be from a physician. Except for permanent disabilities, it must include your expected date of recovery. To qualify, your disability must substantially impair one or both upper extremities. It must prevent you from drawing and holding a bow in a firing position. It must also cause one of the disabilities listed below.

  1. Permanent loss.
  2. Significant limitation.
  3. Diagnosed disease or disorder.

Except for permanent disability, your certification must be renewed each hunting season.

Fees

Disabled Archer Permits and applications are free. See 14 CCR § 702(c)(T).

Non-Residents

Disabled Archer Permits are available to residents and nonresidents of California.

Season

Disabled Archer Permits are valid ONLY during archery season.

Tags

While hunting with a Disabled Archer Permits, you still have to comply with archery tag requirements for the species. See 14 CCR § 354(j)-(k).

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Disabled Hunter Permit

If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forced and in a medical facility, you may qualify for a Disabled Hunting Permit. If you qualify, you get this instead of a regular hunting license. First, you need to be at least 70 percent disabled. Second, you have to apply to the CDFW. You just need to provide the CDFW with a certification from your C.O.

If you get one, you can hunt Birds and Mammals. You’ll either be provided any hunting tags that are necessary or the CDFW will endorse the permit so you don’t need any. The permit remains valid as long as you’re in the medical facility with the disability.

Organizations can apply to the Fish & Game Commission for a permit to taking stateside servicemen and veterans on special hunts. If granted, the organization must comply with the terms and conditions of the permit.

 See FGC § 317 and  FGC § 3038.

Visually Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permit

Visually Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permits allow hunters with certain visually impairments to hunt Deer with a muzzleloader scope.

Applications

These Permits are available from the License and Revenue Branch of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW).  Click here, to submit your application online.

Certification

California disabled hunter laws for muzzleloader scope permits.Your application must include a certification of your disability. The certification must be from a physician or optometrist. Except for permanent disabilities, it must include your expected date of recovery. To qualify, your disability must substantially impair your vision. It must prevent you from viewing and aligning the sights of a muzzleloading rifle with the target in order to hunt deer. It must involve one of the disabilities listed below.

  1. Permanent loss.
  2. Significant limitation.
  3. Diagnosed disease or disorder.

Except for permanent disability, your certification must be renewed each hunting season. 

Fees

These Permits and applications are free. See 14 CCR § 702(c)(U).

Renewal

These Permits may be renewed with a copy of a previously issued Permit.

NonResidents

These Permits are available to residents and nonresidents of California.

Scope

Your muzzleloader scope must include ONLY one power.

Tags

While hunting with a these Permits, you still have to comply with requirements for muzzleloading Deer Hunt Tags. See 14 CCR § 353(k)-(l). __fix links on that page.

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Pheasant Hunting

California disabled hunter laws for pheasant hunting.In this Section, you’ll find special hunting opportunities for mobility-impaired hunters (MIH). They’re offered by California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW). Click here for our hunting rules and procedures for hunting pheasant in California, including crossbows.

Madera County

The CDFW is offering a special pheasant opportunity for MIH on private property. T’s located near the town of Chowchilla in Madera County.

  1. The application deadline is Tues., Nov. 4, 2015.
  2. It’s located in Madera County.
  3. Pheasant hunting is allowed.
  4. Hunt dates are on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015.
  5. There’s a 25 hunter limit.
  6. Note: This hunt can accommodate hunters limited to wheelchairs.
  7. There’s no costs. The landowner will waive all fees for this hunt, which is typically $18.

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Waterfowl Hunting

California disabled hunter laws for waterfowl hunting.In this Section, you’ll find waterfowl hunting opportunities for disabled hunters on public and private land. For our summary of waterfowl hunting rules, including the use of a crossbow, link to Ducks and Geese.

Accommodations

If a National Wildlife Refuge or Wildlife Area has restricted access (e.g. ONLY by foot), consult the Area Manager about an accommodation.

Boats

The following areas have ADA boat access for mobility-impaired hunters (MIH).

Blinds

The following areas have MIH blinds.

Juniors

MIH hunters can take two (2) Juniors to the Little Dry Creek Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area.

Lottery

If an MIH blind is available after Reservations are processed, vacancies may be filled by an onsite drawing.

Opening Weekend

At least a couple of areas have MIH blind reservations that are available on opening weekend of waterfowl season.

  • Kern National Wildlife Refuge has at least one ADA bling on opening day. It’s available by reservation or separate drawing. The drawing is held two hours before shoot time on the morning of the hunt.
  • Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge has two boat-in blinds available by reservation from the Visitor Center. However, availability depends on water supply.

Permits

Applications for MIH are available online from the CDFW. You can also get them from a National Wildlife Refuge or State Wildlife Area. See fees and descriptions.

Reservations

California disabled hunter laws for Reservations and Award Odds
Reservations and Awards

There are at least 18 applications for mobility-impaired hunting opportunities. On the application, enter the hunt code for the desired site. The drawing is held by the CDFW’s License and Revenue Branch. Warning shot!!! You will be disqualified for applying for any other reservation draw for that area on that date.

Waiting List

Sometimes, MIH blind are available after permits are issued through Reservations and Lottery cards. Vacancies are filled by hunters on the disabled-only Waiting List. That line is first-come, first-served.  Warning shot!!! MIH who enter from that list may NOT enter on any other first-come, first-served Waiting List.

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