California Gray Fox Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations

California furbearing mammal regulations for California gray fox hunting seasons, and California gray fox trapping.

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

Topics

    1. Seasons.
    2. Bag limits.
    3. Shooting / trapping hours.
    4. Methods of Take.
    5. Hunting seasons licenses.
    6. Locations for hunting.
    7. Hunting forum.
    8. Trapping.
    9. Buying and selling.
    10. Possession of live gray fox.
    11. Import and Transportation.
    12. Violations.
    13. Regulations.

Hunting Laws for California Gray Fox Hunting Seasons

For California gray fox hunting seasons, there are hunting laws just for gray fox (e.g. seasons, bag limits, and possession limits). Gray fox are more broadly regulated as MammalsFurbearing Mammals, and Wild Animals. The law also refers to them as as “furbearers” and “fur-bearing mammals.” See FGC § 4000.

Hunting laws for gray fox are mostly found in the California Fish and Game Code (“FGC”) and Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations (“14 CCR”).  You can link to current regulations from the Fish and Game Commission’s webpage.

Warning shots!!! When on public lands, like Wildlife Areas, there may be area-specific rules that may further restrict gray fox hunting seasons. Red Rox and Desert Kit Fox are protected and, in general, may not be hunted or trapped. It’s illegal to take any cross fox, silver fox, or red fox for profit making purposes. See FGC § 4012 and 14 CCR  § 460.

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Hunting Seasons Licenses

For California gray fox hunting seasons, you need a hunting license and/or trapping license from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (“CDFW”). There are also licenses for disabled hunters and junior huntersWarning shot!!! You must have your license with you while hunting. 14 CCR § 770(b).

Hunting License

To hunt gray fox in California, you must have a valid Hunting License from the CDFW. Hunting licenses are available to residents and nonresident, who are at least 18 years old. See FGC § 3031(a)(1) and (3).

Junior Hunting License

If you’re under the age of 18 on July 1, you qualify for  Junior Hunting License. If you’re 16 or 17 years old, you can hunt alone on State Wildlife Areas but can’t supervise anyone under the age 16. See FGC § 3031(a)(2) and our page for Juniors.

Trapping License

To trap gray fox, and all other Furbearing Mammals or Nongame Mammals, you also need a Trapping License (see below).

Disabled Hunters

If you’re a disabled and want to hunt gray fox, you can apply for a Recovering Service Member Hunting LicenseDisabled Veteran Hunting License, or Mobility Impaired Disabled Persons Motor Vehicle License.

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Hunting Seasons

General Season

The seasons for hunting seasons gray fox in California are from November 24 through the last day of February (11/24 – 2/28, 2016).

Dog Season

Same as the General Season (see above).

Hunt Area

The general and dog seasons apply to the entire state.

See 14 CCR § 265 and 14 CCR § 461(a).

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Daily Bag and Possession Limits

There is no Daily Bag Limit or Possession Limit for hunting or trapping gray fox in California. See 14 CCR § 461(a).

Warning shot!!! If you legally injure or trap a gray fox in California, you must kill it immediately. See 14 CCR § 251.5(c).

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Live Gray Fox

In general, it’s illegal to import, transport, or possess live foxes. One exception is with a permit from the CDFW and to meet any additional requirements by your city and county. If you’re allowed to possess a live fox, you must meet minimum facility and caging standards for housing them at a permanent facilities. See 14 CCR § 671(c)(2)(K) and 14 CCR § 671.3(a)(10).

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Methods of Take

Methods of hunting during California gray fox seasons
California gray fox hunting seasons methods of take.

In this section, you’ll find info about methods of hunting seasons during the California gray fox hunting seasons. In general, furbearing mammals, including gray fox, may only be taken with a “trap, a firearm, bow and arrow, poison under a proper permit, or with the use of dogs.” See FGC § 4002. However, additional rules and restrictions related to: airplanesarchery, boatscapturecontestscrossbowsdogsfirearmsharassmentherding & drivinginfraredlights, motorized vehiclespoisonproperty damage, snowmobiles, and traps.

Archery

Archery, Bow and arrow during the California gray fox hunting seasons
California gray fox hunting seasons archery.

In general, you can hunt furbearing mammals, including gray fox, with a Bow and Arrow.  Any type of arrow can be used except arrows with (1) lighted nocks with a beam of light, (2) an explosive head, (3) tranquilizers, or (4) poison. The same is true for migratory game birds, resident small game, and nongame mammals and birds.

Warning shots!!!

    1. Don’t shoot from or across any highway, road, or place open to the pubic for vehicles.
    2. Your bow has to be capable of casting a legal arrow at least 130 yards.
    3. In general, you’re not allowed to have a firearm during archery season or with an archery-only tag (the only exception is with a Disabled Archer’s Permit).
    4. Don’t put a bow in your vehicle if it’s nocked or the end of an arrow is fit to the notch.

See FGC § 400214 CCR § 465, and 14 CCR § 354. Also see and our summary of archery-specific regulations and Crossbows.

Boats

See Motorized Vehicles below.

Capture

In general, it’s illegal to capture and confine furbearing mammals, including gray fox, taken from the wild.  There are limited exceptions for injured or diseased animals. See FGC § 3005.5

Contests

It’s illegal to offer a reward for killing furbearing mammals, including gray fox, in an individual contest, tournament, or derby. This rule is an exception to the general rule that those events are allowed for most game birds, fish, reptiles, or amphibians, so long as you have a permit from the CDFW or if the reward is less than $500. See FGC § 2003 and 14 CCR § 465(b) [illegal for furbearing mammals].

Crossbows

Crossbows during the California gray fox hunting seasons
California gray fox hunting seasons crossbows.

In general, you can only hunt furbearing mammals with bow and arrows. However, you can use a crossbow with a Disabled Archer’s Permit. See 14 CCR § 354(j). Any type of crossbow bolt can be used except crossbow bolts with (1) lighted nocks with a beam of light, (2) an explosive head, (3) tranquilizers, or (4) poison. The same is true for migratory game birds, resident small game, and nongame mammals and birds.

Warning shots!!!

    1. Don’t shoot from or across any highway, road, or place open to the pubic for vehicles.
    2. Your crossbow has to be capable of casting a legal arrow at least 130 yards.
    3. In general, you’re not allowed to have a firearm during archery season or with an archery-only tag (the only exception is with a Disabled Archer’s Permit).
    4. Don’t put a crossbow in your vehicle if it’s nocked or the end of an arrow is fit to the notch.

See FGC § 400214 CCR § 465, and 14 CCR § 354. Also see and our summary of Archery Laws.

Dogs for Hunting and Training

Hunting dogs during the California gray fox hunting seasons
California gray fox hunting seasons hound dogs.

In general, you can use dogs to hunt furbearing mammals, including gray fox, during the California gray fox hunting seasons. You can also use them to train your dog. Warning shot!!!  This rule does not apply in areas closed to dogs. However, there are several restrictions you should read about. Link to our page for Dog Hunting Laws, and see FGC § 400214 CCR § 465, and 14 CCR § 265.

Firearms

Firearms for the California gray fox hunting seasons
California gray fox hunting seasons firearms.

In general, firearms are allowed for hunting furbearing mammals, including gray fox, during the California gray fox hunting seasons. Warning shot!!! As of July 1, 2015, you can only use nontoxic ammo. on Wildlife Areas and Ecological Reserves. As of July 1, 2016, you can only use nontoxic ammo for furbearing and nongame mammals. See FGC § 400214 CCR § 250.1(d), and 14 CCR § 465.

Harassment

In general, it’s illegal to Harass furbearing mammals, including gray fox. See 14 CCR § 251.1.

Herding & Driving

In general, it’s illegal to herd or drive furbearing mammals, including gray fox. The only exceptions are for landowners and tenants preventing damage to private or public property, including aquaculture and agriculture crops. See FGC § 3003.5 and 14 CCR § 251.1 and Motor Vehicles below.

Infrared & Night-Vision

In general, you cannot use night vision equipment to hunt in California, including gray fox. Examples include infrared, plus binos and scope with light amplifying circuits. See FGC § 2005(c).

Lights

In general, you can use lights to hunt furbearing and nongame mammals, including gray fox, but it depends on your location.

Zones 1 and 2

In general, you can the Zone 1 and Zone 2, you can use lights of any size or voltage, and use a spotlight from your vehicle. However, you cannot use lights:

    1. During the general deer season.
    2. From a moving vehicle or with the motor on.
    3. From a public road or highway.

See 14 CCR § 264 for zone descriptions.

Balance of State

Outside of Zone 1 and Zone two, you use lights but only if you satisfy the following conditions.

    1. The batteries have to be nine volts or less (hand-held and headlights are okay).
    2. You must be on foot.
    3. You cannot use them from a vehicle.
    4. They can’t be powered from any other source.

See 14 CCR § 264.5.

There is another exception when gray fox are causing Property Damage (see below).

Motor Vehicles

In general, it’s illegal to:

“[T]o pursue, drive, or herd any bird or mammal with any motorized water, land, or air vehicle, including, but not limited to, a motor vehicle, airplane, powerboat, or snowmobile…”

The only exceptions are (1) with a permit from the CDFW, (2) landowners and tenants trying to prevent property damage, and (3) during agricultural practices. See FGC § 3003.5.

Poison Permit

In general, a poison permit from the CDFW is required to take furbearing mammals, including gray fox. The application must indicate the kind of poison that you want to use and the time and place you plan to use them. See FGC § 4002 and FGC § 4003.

Property Damage

If you’re a landowner or tenant, and a gray fox is causing property damage, you can kill it any time, day or night, and in any legal 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 must 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 gray fox in this manner, you can’t sell the raw fun. If traps are used, they must be checked and emptied daily.  See FGC § 3005(d) [exempt from restrictions on the use of any net, pound, cage, trap, set line or wire], FGC § 4180, FGC § 4181 [permit required only for elk, bear, beaver, wild pig, wild turkeys, or gray squirrels], and 14 CCR § 264.5(d) [use of lights].

Snowmobiles

See Motorized Vehicles below.

Traps

See our page for gray fox trapping.

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Shooting Hours

In general, furbearing mammals, including gray fox, can be hunted and trapped at any hour of the day or night.

Areas Closed to Night Hunting

One exception is that night hunting (one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise) is not allowed in the zones closed to night hunting. See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas. See 14 CCR § 466 and our custom map (rough draft).

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Purchase and Sale

In general, it’s illegal to buy or sell birds and mammals taken from the wild. However, there’s an exception for nongame and furbearing mammals.  The exception includes gray fox taken during the trapping seasons.  You can buy and sell handcrafted items made from the gray fox, including the carcass. See FGC § 3039(b).

If you kill a gray fox with a trapping license, you can also sell the raw fur.  You need a dealer license if you’re in the business of buying, selling, trading, or dealing raw fur. If you’re a domesticated breeder, you don’t need a dealer license. See summary for Buying and Selling Birds and Mammals; andFGC §§ 4030, 40344036, and 4042.

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Violations

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 or nongame mammals for up to three years. In fact, it would be illegal to even apply for a trapping license during that time. FGC § 12156.

If you misuse lights during the California gray fox hunting seasons, you could be arrested by a peace office. See FGC § 12156 and FGC § 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)

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Hunting Areas

In this section, you’ll find public areas where you might find gray fox during the California gray fox hunting seasons.

Forests

Cleveland National Forest

Lakes

In general, hunting seasons is allowed on land surrounding several lakes managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). See 36 CFR § 327.8(b).

Wildlife Areas

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 CWildlife AreasWarning shots!!!  Make sure you follow all the rules for California gray fox hunting seasons 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 gray fox:

    1. Cedar Roughs Wildlife Area.
    2. Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area.
    3. Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area.
    4. Imperial National Wildlife Refuge.
    5. San Luis Reservoir Wildlife Area.
    6. Cedar Roughs Wildlife Area.

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Gray Fox Hunting Forum

To participate in our forum for the California gray fox hunting seasons, just leave a question or comment below.

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While we try to fetch up all California gray fox hunting seasonslaws and locations, 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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