California Shooting Hours for Birds and Mammals

California Shooting Hours for birds and mammals, including bighorn sheep.

Here, we fetch up California shooting hours for hunting the categories of birds and mammals listed below, as well as any exceptions for species within the category. We also retrieve exceptions for certain locations, like licensed game bird clubs, wildlife areas, Morro Bay, night hunting zones, no shoot zones, private property, and parts of Monterey County and San Benito County. Finally, we bring back hawking hours for falconry.

Categories & Species

Warning shot!!! Shoot times are specific to the location where you kill the bird or mammal. It always means Pacific Standard Time, including Pacific Daylight Savings Time. See 14 CCR 250.5.


Big Game Mammals

Big Game Mammals include pronghorn antelope, black bear, deer, elk, wild big, and bighorn sheep. In general, the California shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Warning shot!!! See Exceptions below.

Antelope

California pronghorn antelope hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for pronghorn antelope are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR § 35214 CCR § 363(l)(3), and Exceptions below.

Bear

California black bear hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for Black bear are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR § 352 and Exceptions below.

Deer

California deer hunting seasons, including California deer hunting on public land and California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for deer are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR § 352 and Exceptions below. Depredation deer hunting is allowed from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.  See 14 CCR 400(i) and our page for California Depredation Permits.

Elk

California elk hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for elk are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR § 352 and Exceptions below.

Pig

California pig hunting seasons., including California Big Game hunting methods and California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for wild pig are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR § 352 and Exceptions below.

Sheep

California nelson bighorn sheep hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for sheep are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR § 352362(e)(1), and Exceptions below.

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Furbearing Mammals

Furbearing Mammals include badger, beaver, gray fox, mink, muskrat and raccoon. In general, California shooting hours for furbearing mammal are any time, day or night. See 14 CCR § 466. However, there are geographical closed zones for night hunting. See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft). On private property outside of those areas, landowners and tenants can take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. Also see Exceptions below.Warning shot!!! Check city or county ordinances for any “no shoot” zones.

Badger

California badger hunting seasons and trapping, including California shooting hoursIn general, California shooting hours for badger are any time, day or night. See 14 CCR § 466. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.  See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft). Warning shot!!! See Exceptions below, and check city or county ordinances for any “no shoot” zones.

Beaver

California beaver hunting seasons and trapping, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for beaver are any time, day or night. See 14 CCR § 466. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.  See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft). Warning shot!!! See Exceptions below, and check city or county ordinances for any “no shoot” zones.

Gray Fox

California furbearing mammal regulations for California gray fox hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for gray fox are any time, day or night. See 14 CCR § 466. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.  See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft). Warning shot!!! See Exceptions below, and check city or county ordinances for any “no shoot” zones.

Mink

California mink hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for mink are any time, day or night. See 14 CCR § 466. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.  See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft). Warning shot!!! See Exceptions below, and check city or county ordinances for any “no shoot” zones.

Muskrat

California muskrat hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for muskrat are any time, day or night. See 14 CCR § 466. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.  See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft). Warning shot!!! See Exceptions below, and check city or county ordinances for any “no shoot” zones.

Raccoon

California raccoon hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for raccoon shooting hours are any time, day or night. See 14 CCR § 466. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.  See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft). Warning shot!!! See Exceptions below, and check city or county ordinances for any “no shoot” zones.

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Migratory Game Birds

Migratory Game Birds include mourning doves, white-winged doves, band-tailed pigeons, American coots, common moorhens, common snipe (jacksnipe), and waterfowl. In general, California shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset (see CDFW timetables below). There is an exception for Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, which opens at 7:00 a.m. See 14 CCR § 506.

Coot

California coot hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for coot are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until sunset. There is an exception for Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, which opens at 7:00 a.m. See 14 CCR § 506, and Exceptions below.

Doves

California dove hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.Migratory Game Birds include western mourning doves and white-winged doves. In general, California shooting hours are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until sunset. There is an exception for Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, which opens at 7:00 a.m. See 14 CCR § 506, and Exceptions below. Warning shot!!! There are resident upland game doves, which may have different shooting hours, which include the Eurasian collared dove, Chinese spotted dove, and ringed turtle-dove. See 14 CCR § 506 and Exceptions below.

Ducks

duck hunting seasons for mallard.

In general, California shooting hours for ducks are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until sunset. There is an exception for Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, which opens at 7:00 a.m. See 14 CCR § 506, and Exceptions below.

Geese

goose hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours  for geese are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until sunset. There is an exception for Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, which opens at 7:00 a.m. See 14 CCR § 506, and Exceptions below.

Moorhen

California moorhen hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for moorhen are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until sunset. There is an exception for Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, which opens at 7:00 a.m. See 14 CCR § 506, and Exceptions below.

Pigeon

California pigeon hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for Band-tailed pigeon are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until sunset. There is an exception for Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, which opens at 7:00 a.m. See 14 CCR § 506, and Exceptions below.

Snipe

California snipe hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for Common snipe (jacksnipe) are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until sunset. There is an exception for Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, which opens at 7:00 a.m. See 14 CCR § 506, and Exceptions below.

Timetables

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) publishes weekly timetables with California shooting hours for birds between one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise to sunset.  Warning shot!!! If hunting at a Type A or Type B Wildlife Area, look for more precise shooting hours that may be posted at the check station window or self-registration booth:

Northern California

Timetables for California snipe hunting seasons (California shooting hours)
No. Cal. Shoot Times
  • Eureka
  • Tule Lake/Klamath Basin
  • Colusa
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Sacramento
  • Los Banos (e.g. Mendota WLA, San Luis WLA)

Southern California

Shooting times for California snipe hunting seasons (California shooting hours).
So. Cal. Shoot Times.
  • Paso Robles
  • Kern Co./Bakersfield
  • Bishop/Owens Valley
  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego
  • Imperial Valley

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Nongame Birds

Crow

California crow hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for American crow are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until one-half (1/2) after sunset. Warning shot!!! There are geographical areas closed to crow hunting. See FGC 300014 CCR § 485, and Exceptions below.

Sparrows

In general, California shooting hours for English sparrow are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until one-half (1/2) after sunset. See FGC 3000 and Exceptions below.

Starlings

In general, California shooting hours for starlings are from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise until one-half (1/2) after sunset.

See FGC 3000 and Exceptions below.

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Nongame Mammals

Nongame Mammals include all mammals that are NOT game mammals, fully protected mammals, or furbearing mammals. In general, California shooting hours are any time, day or night.  However, there are exceptions in areas closed to night hunting and for nongame deer and goats. See 14 CCR § 474

Bobcat

California bobcat hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for bobcat are any time, day or night. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.  See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft).

Coyote

Rules for California Coyote Hunting Seasons and Trapping, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for coyote are any time, day or night. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft).

Deer (Nongame)

California deer hunting seasons for sika deer, including California shooting hours.

Nongame mammals include certain species of deer (e.g. sika, fallow deer, and sambar deer). In general, California shooting hours for nongame deer are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR § 474(c) and Exceptions below.

Goats

In general, California shooting hours for goats are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, including tahr goats and feral goats. See 14 CCR § 474(c) and Exceptions below.

Opossum

In general, California shooting hours for opossum are any time, day or night. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft).

Moles

In general, California shooting hours for mole are any time, day or night. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft).

Rodents

In general, California shooting hours for rodents are any time, day or night. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft).

Skunks

California shooting hours for skunks
California shooting hours for skunks

In general, California shooting hours for skunks are any time, day or night. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft).

Weasels

In general, California shooting hours for weasels are any time, day or night. However, there are geographical zones closed to night hunting. On private property outside of those zones, landowners and tenants can also take furbearing mammals from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. See 14 CCR § 474 for a legal description of those areas and our custom map (rough draft).

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Resident Small Game Mammals

In general, the California shooting hours for all Resident small Game Mammals are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR 310 per FGC 3000, and Exceptions below.

Jackrabbits

California rabbit hunting seasons for jackrabbit, including California shooting hoursResident small game mammals include jackrabbits. In general, California shooting hours for jackrabbits are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR 310 per FGC 3000, and Exceptions below.

Rabbits

California rabbit hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.Resident small game mammals include various species of rabbits and hares. In general, California shooting hours for rabbits are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.See 14 CCR 310 per FGC 3000, and Exceptions below.

Tree Squirrels

California squirrel hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.Resident small game mammals include various species of tree squirrels. In general, California shooting hours for tree squirrels are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. See 14 CCR 310 per FGC 3000, and Exceptions below.

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Upland Game Birds

Hunting regulations for upland game birds include resident small game birds, as well as some migratory game birds that we summarize above (i.e. white-winged and mourning doves, snipe and band-tailed pigeon). In general, California shooting hours for all upland game birds are from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset. There are exceptions for pheasant, which starts at 8:00 a.m., and spring turkey, which ends at 5:00 p.m. See 14 CCR 310.5 per FGC 3000, and Exceptions below. NOTE: Upland game birds are also known as “resident game birds.”

Chukar

California chukar hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, California shooting hours for chukar are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. See 14 CCR 310.5 and Exceptions below.

Doves

California dove hunting seasons, including California shooting hoursUpland Game Birds include Eurasian collared-doves, Chinese spotted doves, and ringed turtle-doves. In general, these California shooting hours for doves are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. See 14 CCR 310.5 per FGC 3000 and Exceptions below. Warning shot!!! There may be different shooting hours for migratory doves, which include the western mourning dove and white-winged dove.

Pheasant

California pheasant hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.Upland Game Birds include all varieties of ring-necked pheasant. In general, California shooting hours for pheasants are from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. See 14 CCR 310.5 and Exceptions below.

Ptarmigan

California white-tailed ptarmigan hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.Upland Game Birds include the white-tailed ptarmigan. In general, California shooting hours for ptarmigan are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. See 14 CCR 310.5 and Exceptions below.

Quail

California quail hunting seasons, including California shooting hoursUpland Game Birds include the Desert/Gambel’s quail, mountain quail, and valley quail. In general, California shooting hours for quails are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. See 14 CCR 310.5 and Exceptions below.

Grouse

California grouse hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.Upland Game Birds include the ruffed grouse, sage grouse and soot (blue) grouse. In general, California shooting hours for grouse are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. See 14 CCR 310.5 and Exceptions below.

Turkey

California turkey hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.Upland Game Birds include all varieties of wild turkey. In general, California shooting hours for turkey are from shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to 5:00 p.m. See 14 CCR 310.5 and Exceptions below.

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Exceptions

Licensed Game Bird Clubs

In general, the California shooting hours for taking domestically reared game birds on licensed game bird clubs are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. However, shooting hours for migratory game birds end at sunset. See 14 CCR 600(a)(11)(A) and 600.4(f) [migratory game birds].

Monterey County and San Benito County

Night hunting for any wildlife from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise is prohibited in Monterey and San Benito counties east of Highway 101. See 14 CCR § 263.

Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo

When hunting for Migratory Game Birds in or around Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, California shooting hours are delayed until 7:00 a.m. See 14 CCR § 506.

Night Hunting

In general, it’s illegal to kill any bird or mammal at night between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise is illegal.  There are exceptions for (1) Nongame Mammals in certain areas and (2) with a depredation permits from the CDFW. See FGC 300014 CCR § 263, and our page for California Depredation Permits.

No Shoot Zones

California shooting hours near cities.Some cities and counties have no shooting zones that further restrict shoot times. Click image to the right for an example.

Property Damage

California depredation permits, including California shooting hoursWildlife can cause serious damage to people and property, including crops, domestic animals, and livestock. In general, landowners, tenants, and/or their agents and employees can kill or trap animals to protect people and property. For more information, see our page for California Depredation Permits.

Wildlife Areas

In general, California shooting hours at Wildlife Areas are the legal shooting hours for each species.  There is an exception for waterfowl, which is generally from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset except as specified in Sections 551(p)551(q), and 552 [e.g. shooting hours at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge end at noon]. See 14 CCR 551(f).


Hawking Hours

Falconry for California hunting seasons, including California shooting hours.In general, hawking hours for upland game birds are sunrise to sunset. 14 CCR 300(a)(3).

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