28 California Nongame Mammal Regulations Every Hunter Should Know Before Hunting

California coyote hunting seasons, and California nongame mammal regulations.

Here, we fetch up California nongame mammal regulations from the California Fish and Game Code, as well as Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. For each one, we drop links to regulations and summaries.


Fish and Game Code

    1. FGC § 2003. Hunting contests, tournaments, and derbies
    2. FGC § 2005 (a) generally prohibits lights when hunting game birds and game mammals; (b) prohibits lights (i) on a highway, woodland, or forest where mammals are commonly found or (ii) upon mammals while in possession of a weapon (e.g. firearm) that could be used to kill it; (c) prohibits “night vision equipment” to help take any bird or mammal; (d) exempts (i) landowners with permits to take mammals causing damage to people or property per Section 4180, (ii) certain hand-held flashlight unless attached to a weapon, (iii) certain lamps and lanterns, (iv) normal use of motor vehicle headlights, (v) agricultural landowners and employees; and (e) prohibits arrest by anyone besides a peace officer.
    3. FGC § 3000. Night Hunting
    4. FGC § 3002. Shooting from motorized vehicles
    5. FGC § 3003.1. Ban on body-gripping traps
    6. FGC § 3003.5. Motorized vehicles to pursue, herd and drive
    7. FGC § 3005. Trapping during ongoing mining operations
    8. FGC § 3005.5. Capture, confinement, treatment
    9. FGC § 3012. Electronic calls
    10. FGC § 3031. Hunting licenses
    11. FGC § 3039. Purchase and sale of products and handicrafts from furbearers, nongame, antler sheds
    12. FGC § 3501. Motorized vehicles to drive nongame mammals to another person
    13. FGC § 4004. Illegal trapping
    14. FGC § 4150. Definition of nongame mammal
    15. FGC § 4151. House cats on a game refuge
    16. FGC § 4152. Property damage, methods of take, time of day, and traps
    17. FGC § 12156. Loss of trapping license

Title 14, Code of Regulations

    1. 14 CCR § 250.1. Ban on lead ammunition, use of nontoxic shot
    2. 14 CCR § 251. Hunting nongame mammals from boats, kayaks, and canoes
    3. 14 CCR § 251.5. Killing and possession limits
    4. 14 CCR § 251.9. Computer Assisted Remote Hunting
    5. 14 CCR § 263 prohibits night hunting in Monterey County and San Benito County east of Highway 101.
    6. 14 CCR § 264 allows lights of any size or voltage for hunting furbearing mammals and nongame mammals in Zone 1 and Zone 2 (as described) except (a) during the general deer season, (b) in a moving vehicle, (c) in a vehicle with the motor running, (d) from a vehicle on a public road or highway.
    7. 14 CCR § 264.5 generally allows lights for hunting furbearing mammals and nongame mammals outside of Zone 1 and Zone 2, as described in Section 264, but only if the light is (a) powered only with a 9-volt battery or smaller, (b) held in the hand or worn on the head, and (c) being used while on foot; and exempts landowners preventing property damage, e.g. livestock, by furbearing and nongame.
    8. 14 CCR § 354. Use of bows, arrows, and crossbows
    9. 14 CCR § 465.5. Ban on body-gripping traps, definitions, exceptions
    10. 14 CCR § 472. Seasons, limits, and contests
    11. 14 CCR § 474. Hunting hours
    12. 14 CCR § 475. Methods of take, poison, electronic calls, traps, bait, firearms
    13. 14 CCR § 700. Possession of hunting license

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California Nongame Hunting Regulations

In this section, we fetch up a selection of major California nongame mammal regulations from the Fish and Game Code (FGC) and Title 14 of the Code of Regulations. Warning shots!! Always check the website of the Fish and Game Commission for current and any additional regulations. Additional State and local codes often apply, like the Penal Code and county ordinances.

FGC § 2003 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Click here.

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FGC § 3000 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Methods of Taking

Click here.

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FGC § 3002 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Methods of Taking

Click here.

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FGC § 3003.1 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Methods of Taking

(a) It is unlawful for any person to trap for the purposes of recreation or commerce in fur any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal with any body-gripping trap. A body-gripping trap is one that grips the mammal’s body or body part, including, but not limited to, steel-jawed leghold traps, padded-jaw leghold traps, conibear traps, and snares. Cage and box traps, nets, suitcase-type live beaver traps, and common rat and mouse traps shall not be considered body-gripping traps.

(b) It is unlawful for any person to buy, sell, barter, or otherwise exchange for profit, or to offer to buy, sell, barter, or otherwise exchange for profit, the raw fur, as defined by Section 4005, of any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal that was trapped in this state, with a body-gripping trap as described in subdivision (a).

(c) It is unlawful for any person, including an employee of the federal, state, county, or municipal government, to use or authorize the use of any steel-jawed leghold trap, padded or otherwise, to capture any game mammal, fur-bearing mammal, nongame mammal, protected mammal, or any dog or cat. The prohibition in this subdivision does not apply to federal, state, county, or municipal government employees or their duly authorized agents in the extraordinary case where the otherwise prohibited padded-jaw leghold trap is the only method available to protect human health or safety.

(d) For purposes of this section, fur-bearing mammals, game mammals, nongame mammals, and protected mammals are those mammals so defined by statute on January 1, 1997.

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FGC § 3003.5 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Methods of Taking

Click here.

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FGC § 3005 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Methods of Taking

Click here.

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FGC § 3005.5 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Methods of Taking

Click here.

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FGC § 3012 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Methods of Taking

Click here.

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FGC § 3031 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Hunting Licenses

Click here.

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FGC § 3039 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Hunting Licenses

Click here.

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FGC § 3501 (California nongame mammal regulations)

General Provisions

Click here.

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FGC § 4004 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Trapping Provisions

Click here.


FGC § 4150 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Nongame Mammals

A mammal occurring naturally in California that is not a game mammal, fully protected mammal, or fur-bearing mammal is a nongame mammal. A nongame mammal may not be taken or possessed except as provided in this code or in accordance with regulations adopted by the commission.

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FGC § 4151 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Nongame Mammals

Any house cat (Felis domesticus) found within the limits of any fish and game refuge is a nongame mammal, unless it is in the residence of its owner or upon the grounds of the owner adjacent to such residence. [Add to nongame mammals page__]

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FGC § 4152 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Nongame Mammals

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FGC § 12156 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Forfeitures, Revocation, and Seizures

No person who is licensed or required to be licensed pursuant to Section 4005 and who is convicted of a violation of any provision of Article 1 (commencing with Section 4000) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 4 or of Section 4150 shall take any fur-bearing or nongame mammal in the state for three years from the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the commission held at least 30 days after the date of that conviction. The commission shall revoke the trapping license of the person who is prohibited from taking fur-bearing and nongame mammals in the state, if the person has one, for the period of prohibition. No person shall obtain, or attempt to obtain, a trapping license during a period of prohibition.

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Title 14, California Code of Regulations

14 CCR § 251 (California nongame mammal regulations)

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14 CCR § 251.5 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Game Birds, Game Mammals, Furbearers and Nongame Animals, Possession Of.

(a) Migratory game birds may not be held beyond the period provided by the federal regulations and in accordance with the daily bag and possession limits prescribed by these regulations. (See section 500.)

(b) Live mountain lions may be possessed only under terms of a permit issued by the Department pursuant to section 2150 of the Fish and Game Code or if the owner can demonstrate that the mountain lion was in his/her possession on or before June 6, 1990 under a permit issued pursuant to section 3200 of said code.

(c) Every game bird, game mammal, furbearer or nongame animal taken under the authority of a hunting or trapping license and reduced to possession by the hunter or trapper shall be immediately killed and become a part of the daily bag limit.

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14 CCR § 472 (California nongame mammal regulations)

General Provisions.

Except as otherwise provided in Sections 478 and 485 and subsections (a) through (d) below, nongame birds and mammals may not be taken.

(a) The following nongame birds and mammals may be taken at any time of the year and in any number except as prohibited in Chapter 6: English sparrow, starling, coyote, weasels, skunks, opossum, moles and rodents (excluding tree and flying squirrels, and those listed as furbearers, endangered or threatened species).

(b) Fallow, sambar, sika, and axis deer may be taken only concurrently with the general deer season.

(c) Aoudad, mouflon, tahr, and feral goats may be taken all year.

(d) American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

(1) May be taken only under the provisions of Section 485 and by landowners or tenants, or by persons authorized in writing by such landowners or tenants, when American crows are committing or about to commit depredations upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, livestock, or wildlife, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance. Persons authorized by landowners or tenants to take American crows shall keep such written authorization in their possession when taking, transporting or possessing American crows. American crows may be taken only on the lands where depredations are occurring or where they constitute a health hazard or nuisance. If required by Federal regulations, landowners or tenants shall obtain a Federal migratory bird depredation permit before taking any American crows or authorizing any other person to take them.

(2) American crows may be taken under the provisions of this subsection only by firearm, bow and arrow, falconry or by toxicants by the Department of Food and Agriculture for the specific purpose of taking depredating crows. Toxicants can be used for taking crows only under the supervision of employees or officers of the Department of Food and Agriculture or federal or county pest control officers or employees acting in their official capacities and possessing a qualified applicator certificate issued pursuant to sections 14151-14155 of the Food and Agriculture Code. Such toxicants must be applied according to their label requirements developed pursuant to sections 6151-6301, Title 3, California Code of Regulations.

(e) Pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 2003, it is unlawful to offer any prize or other inducement as a reward for the taking of nongame mammals in an individual contest, tournament, or derby.

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14 CCR § 474 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Hours for Taking

Nongame mammals may be taken at any time except as provided in this section.

(a) Area Closed to Night Hunting.

Nongame mammals may be taken only between one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset in the following described area: Beginning at a point where Little Panoche Road crosses Interstate 5 near Mendota; south on Interstate 5 to Highway 198; east on Highway 198 to Highway 99; south on Highway 99 to Interstate 5; south on Interstate 5 to the Los Padres National Forest boundary in Section 8, T 9 N, R 19 W, S.B.B.M near Fort Tejon Historical Monument; west along the National Forest boundary to Cerro Noroeste Road; northwest on Cerro Noroeste Road to Highway 33-166; north on Highway 33-166 to the Soda Lake Road; northwest on the Soda Lake Road and on the Simmler Soda Lake San Diego Creek Road to Highway 58 at Simmler; west on Highway 58 to the Cammotti Shandon Road; north on the Cammotti Shandon Road to the Shandon San Juan Road; north on the Shandon San Juan Road to Highway 41; northeast on Highway 41 to the Cholame Valley Road; northwest on Cholame Valley Road and Cholame Road to the Parkfield Coalinga Road in Parkfield; north on Parkfield Coalinga Road and Parkfield Grade to Highway 198; northwest on Highway 198 to the Fresno-Monterey county line; north along the Fresno-Monterey county and Fresno-San Benito county lines to the Little Panoche Road; north and east on the Little Panoche Road to the point of beginning at Interstate 5.

This section does not pertain to the legal take of nongame mammals with traps as provided for by Sections 461-480 of these regulations, and by Sections 4000-4012, 4152 and 4180 of the Fish and Game Code. (This regulation supersedes Section 3000 of the Fish and Game Code.)

(b) On privately-owned property, not included in (a) above, nongame mammals may be taken from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise only by the landowner or his agents, or by persons who have in their immediate possession written permission issued by the landowner or tenant that states the permittee can trespass from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise on property under the ownership or control of such landowners or tenants.

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14 CCR § 475 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Methods of Take for Nongame Birds and Nongame Mammals

Nongame birds and nongame mammals may be taken in any manner except as follows:

(a) Poison may not be used.

(b) Recorded or electrically amplified bird or mammal calls or sounds or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird or mammal calls or sounds may not be used to take any nongame bird or nongame mammal except coyotes, bobcats, American crows and starlings.

(c) Fallow deer, sambar deer, axis deer, sika deer, aoudad, mouflon, tahr and feral goats may be taken only with the equipment and ammunition specified in Section 353 of these regulations.

(d) Traps may be used to take nongame birds and nongame mammal only in accordance with the provisions of Section 465.5 of these regulations and sections 3003.1 and 4004 of the Fish and Game Code.

(e) No feed, bait or other material capable of attracting a nongame mammal may be placed or used in conjunction with dogs for the purpose of taking any nongame mammals. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an individual operating in accordance with the provisions of Section 465.5 from using a dog to follow a trap drag and taking the nongame mammal caught in that trap.

(f) The take or attempted take of any nongame bird or nongame mammal with a firearm shall be in accordance with the use of nonlead projectiles and ammunition pursuant to Section 250.1 of these regulations.

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14 CCR § 700 (California nongame mammal regulations)

Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Possession.

(a) Possession of Sport Fishing License: Every person, while engaged in taking any fish, amphibian or reptile, shall have on their person or in their immediate possession a valid sport fishing license, except when diving as provided in Section 7145 of the Fish and Game Code.

(b) Possession of Hunting License: Every person, while engaged in taking any bird or mammal shall have on their person or in their immediate possession a valid hunting license.

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While we try to fetch up all California nongame mammal regulations, we might miss a few or make a typo. If so, please leave a comment or question in the reply box below.

3 thoughts on “28 California Nongame Mammal Regulations Every Hunter Should Know Before Hunting”

  1. I’m having a hard time finding out the methods of take for Beaver shooting what type of shell you can use what type of blood what type of shot I know it has to be non-toxic but other than that seems to be hard to find out what kind of amo you can use outside of a wildlife area on Beaver

    1. That’s a great question because the hardest things to find are often what’s NOT there. In general, you can use “firearms” to take beaver. See FGC § 4002 and 14 CCR § 465. California hunting regulations have no definition of “firearms” but often defer to the Penal Code, which define them as a “device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.” See Penal Code § 16520. California hunting regulations do, however, identify several weapons as firearms: shotguns, rifles, muzzle-loading shotguns and rifles, combination rifle-shotguns, pistols, and revolvers.

      For some furbearing mammals, like raccoon, California hunting regulations restrict firearms after dark to certain zones and only “pistols and rifles not larger than .22 caliber rimfire and shotguns using shot no larger than No. BB.” See 14 CCR § 464(c). There are no such restrictions for beaver. For the take of any bird or mammal, the regulations prohibit the use of shotguns (1) larger than 10-gauge or (2) that holds or is capable of holding more than six shells. See FGC § 2010. For all game mammals and furbearing mammals, there’s also a restrictions against possessing a firearm while using most artificial lights (e.g. spotlights). See FGC § 2005.

      NOTE: I’ve personally used a shotgun with size “BBB” to take beavers. To find applicable regulations, search the Fish and Game Code and Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations with following terms: wildlife, mammal(s), furbearing, fur-bearer(s), and beaver, plus each of firearm listed above. You can also use those terms to search California Outdoors, which also answers questions like these on behalf of the CDFW. Keep in mind that this is not legal advice, so you might find additional restrictions in those sources and the DOJ’s summary of firearms laws, https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/firearms/pdf/cfl2016.pdf?. I hope that answers your questions and please let me know if you find anything else. Good luck.

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