25 California Pig Hunting Laws Every Hunter Should Know Before Hunting

California pig hunting laws.
California pig hunting laws.

Here, we fetch up California pig hunting laws every hunter should know before hunting. We retrieve them from the Fish and Game Code, as well as Title 14 of the Code of Regulations. We bring them back to the Menu below with brief summaries and links to the text, as well as links to our pages with related topics (e.g. firearm laws).

Warning shot!! The laws on this page either add to or further restrict general hunting regulations for broader categories applicable to “wildlife,” “mammals,” and “big game mammals” (click here to see those regulations). Finally, for hunter-friendly summaries of California pig hunting rules—without the legal mumbo jumbo—see our page for pig seasons, hunting laws, and locations.


Introduction to California Pig Hunting Laws

Our Menu of California pig hunting laws include definitions, hunting methods, tags, and permits. You’ll also find rules relating to seasons, bag limits, tag quotas, and management programs. For practically everything else you need to know about pig hunting, also see our summary for pig seasons, hunting laws, and locations.  Warning shots!! While we include many California pig hunting laws, always check with the Fish & Game Commission for additional and current regulations.


Selection of California Pig Hunting Laws

Our menu includes major California pig hunting laws and some broader categories, including some for mammals, game mammals, and big game mammals, in general. In alphabetical order, topics include: ammoarcherycomputer-assist remotescrossbowsdefinition of big gamedefinition of game mammals, depredation permits (procedures and restrictions), dog for mammalsdogs for pigsequipment (e.g. tracking devices), herdinghunting methodslicense, management planspossession, season and limitsshooting hours, tags (applications, buying, duration, proceduresreplacements, and requirement).

California pig hunting laws.
California pig hunting laws.
    1. FGC § 3004.5 requires nonlead centerfire ammo when using pistols or rifles in the Condor Range to take big game, including pigs.
    2. FGC § 3950 defines game mammals to include “wild pigs.”
    3. FGC § 3960 prohibits use of dogs to hunt big game mammals during the mammals closed season or in an ecological reserve or game refuge where hunting is illegal.
    4. FGC § 4181 allows owners and tenants to apply for depredation permits to kill pigs causing or that will cause property damage, and generally prohibits sale or shipment of the carcass.
    5. FGC § 4181.1 allows owners and their employees to immediately kill wild pigs “molesting” or injuring property (e.g. livestock); requires permit holder to (a) self-report to the CDFW and (b) make use of the carcass without compensation, and requires a CDFW record, which has discretion to investigate damage.
    6. FGC § 4650 defines “wild pigs.”
    7. FGC § 4651 requires the CDFW to prepare a management plan for wild pigs.
    8. FGC § 4652 prohibits pig hunting without pig tags for the CDFW.
    9. FGC § 4654 establishes requirements for buying pig tags, including residency, age, license and fees.
    10. FGC § 4655 limits validity of pig tags to current hunting license year (ends on June 30) or what’s left of it.
    11. FGC § 4657 requires that pig tags include the hunter’s license number, and requires the hunter to (a) date and attach the tag to the carcass prior to transportation and (b) immediately report the harvest to the CDFW.
    12. 14 CCR § 251 prohibits use of (a) location devicesat any time–attached to big game (e.g. tracking devices); (b) devices capable of flight or orbit (e.g. drones)–from between 48 hours before and after the hunting season; and (c) motor vehicles to hunt mammals (e.g. shooting from a moving truck), but includes exemptions for unpowered boatsdepredation permits, and mobility-impaired hunters.
    13. 14 CCR § 251.1 prohibits mammal harassment, as it defines, and generally prohibits herding and driving.
    14. 14 CCR § 251.5 requires hunters to immediately kill game mammals taken into their possession, and add the to his or her daily bag limits.
    15. 14 CCR § 251.9 prohibits computer-assist remotes and sites, as it defines, for hunting mammals.
    16. 14 CCR § 265 prohibits use of dogs (a) during archery seasons for deer and bear; (b) to pursue mammals or dog training in dog control zones, as it defines, during certain times of the year; (c) in excess of the number of dogs it allows per hunter; or (d) with global positioning equipment.
    17. 14 CCR § 350 defines big game to include certain species of wild pigs.
    18. 14 CCR § 352 establishes shooting hours for big game, including wild pigs.
    19. 14 CCR § 353 allows hunting (a) big game with bow and arrowsrifles, and muzzleloading rifles, subject to restrictions for ammo, sights, tags, artificial lights, vehicles, the Condor RangeVisually Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permits, and Disabled Archer’s Permits, and (b) pigs with pistols, revolvers, and shotguns, subject to restrictions for shell capacity and ammo, and (c) crossbows during the regular deer season or with a Disabled Archer’s Permit.
    20. 14 CCR § 354 prohibits (1) crossbows, as it defines, during the any archery season except with a Disabled Archer’s Permit; (2) small broad head-type blades; (3) arrows and crossbow bolts using (a) lighted nocks with directional beam of light, (b) explosive heads, (c) tranquilizers, and (d) poison; (4) shooting across roads and highways; (5) possession of firearm while hunting during any archery season or with an archer-only tag; and (6) bow or crossbows in a ready-to-fire position in or on vehicles; and requires minimum casting distance of 13o yards.
    21. 14 CCR § 368 allows hunting of pigs, all year with no daily bag or possession limits.
    22. 14 CCR § 401 allows landowners to apply for depredation permits from the CDFW to kill pigs causing or or treating to cause immediate property damage, but only in compliance with permit (a) restrictions relating to methods of take, use of the carcass, and local firearm regulations and (b) requirements relating to reports and tags.
    23. 14 CCR § 700 requires hunters to carry a hunting license in his or her immediate possession while hunting.
    24. 14 CCR § 702 (external link) identifies fees for (a) applications to hunt big game on private wildlife management areas, (b) reservations to hunt on wildlife areas, and (c) hunts tags and drawing.
    25. 14 CCR § 708.13 establishes procedures for pig hunting tags relating to age limits, purchasing, tagging, and reporting.

California Pig Hunting Laws

FGC § 4650 (California Pig Hunting Law)

Wild pigs, as used in this chapter, means free-roaming pigs not distinguished by branding, ear marking, or other permanent identification methods.

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FGC § 4652 (California Pig Hunting Law)

It is unlawful to take any wild pig, except as provided in Section 4181, without first procuring a tag authorizing the taking of that wild pig in accordance with this chapter.

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FGC § 4654 (California Pig Hunting Law)

(a) Any resident of this state, 12 years of age or older, who possesses a valid hunting license, may procure the number of wild pig tags corresponding to the number of wild pigs that may legally be taken by one person during the license year upon payment of a base fee of fifteen dollars ($15), for each wild pig tag.

(b) Any nonresident, 12 years of age or older, who possesses a valid California nonresident hunting license, may procure the number of wild pig tags corresponding to the number of wild pigs that may legally be taken by one person during the license year upon payment of a base fee of fifty dollars ($50), for each wild pig tag.

(c) The base fees specified in this section are applicable to the 2004 license year, and shall be adjusted annually thereafter pursuant to Section 713.

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FGC § 4655 (California Pig Hunting Law)

Wild pig tags are valid only during that portion of the current hunting license year in which wild pigs may be taken or possessed in any area of the state.

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FGC § 4657 (California Pig Hunting Law)

The holder of a wild pig tag shall keep the tag in his or her possession while hunting wild pig. Before the taking of any wild pig, the holder of a wild pig tag, except for wild pig tags issued through the Automated License Data System, shall legibly write or otherwise affix his or her hunting license number to the wild pig tag. Upon the killing of any wild pig, the date of the kill shall be clearly marked by the holder of the tag on both parts of the tag. Before transporting the pig, a tag shall be attached to the carcass by the holder of the tag. The holder of the wild pig tag shall immediately, upon harvesting a pig, notify the department in a manner specified by the commission.

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14 CCR § 368 (California Pig Hunting Law)

Wild pigs may be taken only as follows:

(a) General Season: Open all year.

(b) Bag and Possession Limit: There is no daily bag or possession limit for wild pigs.

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14 CCR § 708.13 (California Pig Hunting Law)

(a) Any person, 12 years of age or older, who possesses a valid annual California hunting license may procure wild pig license tags as specified in Section 4654 of the Fish and Game Code through the department’s Automated License Data System terminals at any department license agent or department license sales office.

(b)Wild pig license tags are valid only during that portion of the current hunting license year in which wild pigs may be legally harvested as provided in subsection 368(a).

(c) Any person hunting wild pigs shall carry a wild pig license tag while hunting wild pigs. Upon the killing of any pig, the tag holder shall immediately fill out all portions of the tag including the report card completely, legibly, and permanently, and cut out or punch out and completely remove notches or punch holes for the month and date of the kill. The pig license tag shall be attached to the carcass of the wild pig. The report card portion shall be immediately returned to the department.

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Warning shot!! While we try to fetch up all major California pig hunting laws, 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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