California Upland Game Regulations for Bird Hunting, Possession, Transport, Preparation, Consumption or Preservation

California upland game regulations for resident and migratory birds.
California upland game regulations for resident and migratory birds.

Here, we fetch up California upland game regulations for hunting birds on public and private land with firearms, bow and arrows, crossbows, air rifles, and more. In addition to license, permit, and validation requirements, we retrieve rules for hunting seasons, bag limits, possession limits, and hunting zones. Besides hunting, we also find rules for transporting, cleaning, storing, processing, eating, mounting, and donating upland game birds.

Warning shots!! Also, see our pages with hunter-friendly summaries of additional rules applicable to all Birds and only Game BirdsMigratory Game Birds, and individual Species. Second, there might be other rules and regulations that apply, like criminal laws from the Penal Code and county ordinances. Third, always check the Fish & Game Commission website for any updates or additional rules. While the contents of this page is not legal advice, feel free to ask our Legal Labrador for help.


Menu of Topics

Menu for California upland game regulations.
Menu for California upland game regulations.
  1. List of all upland game birds, including resident upland game birds and migratory upland game birds.
  2. Summaries of major topics with links to the regulations and our pages with definitions, more details, and other related topics.
  3.  List of upland game bird regulations from the Fish & Game Code, Code of Regulations and, when applicable, the Code of Federal Regulations.

List of Upland Game Birds

List of California upland game regulations
List of California upland game regulations

California upland game regulations apply to all resident upland game birds and migratory upland game birds with hunting seasons. First, “upland game” includes birds with hunting seasons and tend to live over land versus water (e.g. duck and geese). Second, “resident” means the bird nests in California and “migratory” means they nest elsewhere.

Resident Upland Game Birds

There are upland game regulations for “resident upland game birds,” which are also included in rules for “resident game birds” and “resident small game.” FGC § 3683(a) identifies the following species and varieties as resident upland game birds:

California upland game regulations for species and varieties.
Species and varieties.
  1. Chukar (a variety of red-legged partridges),
  2. Doves (Eurasian-collared doves, ringed turtledoves, spotted doves, and others doves of the genus Streptopelia),
  3. Grouse (ruffed grouse, sage grouse or “sage hens,” and sooty grouse or “blue grouse”),
  4. Partridges (Hungarian partridges and red-legged partridges, including Chukar),
  5. Pheasants, (all varieties of ring-necked pheasant),
  6. Quails (all varieties of California quail and mountain quail, and the Gambel’s quail or “desert quail”), and
  7. Turkey (wild).

Migratory Upland Game Birds

There are also upland game regulations for “migratory upland game birds, which FGC § 3683(b) identifies the following species and varieties as:

  1. Doves (white-winged doves and western mourning doves),
  2. Pigeon (band-tailed pigeons),
  3. Ptarmigan (white-tailed ptarmigan), and
  4. Snipe (jacksnipe or “common snipe”).

Over 75 Topics for Upland Game Birds

Topics for California upland game regulations.
Topics for California upland game regulations.

In this Section, you’ll find links to topical summaries of California upland game regulationsagricultural landair riflesarcherybag & possession limitsbaitboardinghousesbreeder’s licensebuyingcallscaptivitychukar huntingcleaning servicesclubscold storageconsumptioncrossbowsdeer seasonsdefinitionsdisabled huntersdiseased birdsdog hunting/trainingdomesticated game birdsdonations & giftsdove huntingecological reservesexotic nonresident game birdsfalconryfirearmsfood servicesgame refugesgrouse hunting (ruffed, sage & sooty), hotelshunting zonesidentificationimportinglicensesmeat dealersmethods of takemigratory game bird shooting areasmigratory game birdsnational wildlife refugesnonresidentsparks & recreation areaspartridgespellet gunspermitspheasant clubspheasant huntingpigeon huntingpossession limitsprivate wildlife management areasproperty damageptarmigan hunting (white-tailed)private landpublic huntingquail huntingquail refugesraisingrefugesrelease to wildresident game birdsresident small game birdsrestaurantsseasonssellingshooting areasshooting hourssnipe huntingstampsstoringtaxidermytransportingturkey huntingvalidationsvehiclesviolationsweaponswildlife areas, and zoological gardens.


Agricultural Land

For California upland game regulations about taking resident game birds near baited areas, see the Section below Bait & Baited Areas.

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Air Rifles

For California upland game regulations about hunting wild turkeys with air rifles, see the Section below for Methods of Take.

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Archery

California upland game regulations for bird archery seasons, bag limits, possession limits, and more.
California upland game regulations for archery.

In this Section, we retrieve California upland game regulations for archery, including equipmentseasonsbag and possession limitsfirearm possession, permits for disabled archers and sage grouse, and hunting dogsmethods, and zones. Also, see the Section below for Crossbows and our page for Archery Laws.

Archery Equipment

For taking resident small game birds14 CCR § 311(e) allows the use of a bow and arrow, subject to archery equipment regulations in Section 354. There, Sections 354(a)-(b) defines “bow” to include long, recurve, and compound bows.

Arrows

In general, Section 354(c) allows use of any arrow except as Section 354(d) prohibits those with an (i) explosive head, (ii) poisonous substance, or (iii) tranquilizer. It also requires flu-flu fletching for taking pheasant and migratory upland game birds.

Casting Distance

Except for arrows with flu-flu fletching, Section 354(f) requires a minimum casting distance of 130 yards.

Lighted Nocks

Except with direction beams of light, Section 354(c) allows use of lighted nocks.

Vehicles

Wile in or on a vehicle, Section 354(h) prohibits bows in a ready-to-fire position.

Bag & Possession Limits

See Also, see Bag & Possession Limits for archery season limits for the early and general archery seasons for pheasant.

Deer Archery Season

See Hunting Dogs below.

Disabled Archer Permit

California hunting seasons for disabled hunters, including mobility and visual impairments.
California upland game regulations for disabled hunters.

For qualifying hunters, Section 354(j) provides application procedures for a Disabled Archer’s Permit. It allows use of crossbows during archery seasons and general seasons with an archery-only tag. Also, see the Section for Crossbows above.

Firearm Possession

In general, 14 CCR § 311(h) prohibits possession of a firearm while hunting in the field during any or during any general season with an archery-only archery tag.

Hunting Dogs

In general, 14 CCR § 265(a)(1) prohibits hunting dogs during archery seasons for deer and black bear.

Hunting Zones

California upland game bird regulations have “hunting zone” seasons for band-tailed pigeonquail, sage grousesooty (blue) grouseruffed grouse. For zone seasons and descriptions, see 14 CCR § 300.

Sage Grouse Permit

For sage grouse14 CCR § 300(a)(2)(D) describes permit requirements and availability.

Seasons

For for all upland game birds (e.g. pheasant), 14 CCR § 300(a)(2) sets the archery seasons.

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Bag & Possession Limits

In general, 14 CCR § 252 defines “bag and possession limit” as the kind of each “resident and migratory game birds” that may be taken and possessed by any one person. Section 300 sets bag and possession limits for resident and migratory upland game birds. In the subsections below, there are rules and exceptions for exceeding the limits. 

Exceeding Limits

In general, 14 CCR § 251.7(a) prohibits possession of birds in excess of daily bag or possession limits. There are exceptions, however, for game birds when properly tagged, as it provides, for commercial purposes, including:

  1. Transporting,
  2. Cleaning,
  3. Shipping,
  4. Taxidermy, and
  5. Storage.

Post-Season Possession

For migratory game birds after the close of season, 14 CCR § 251.7(d) prohibits possession of more than a possession limit.

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Bait & Baited Areas

In general, 14 CCR § 257.5 prohibits take of resident game birds, which includes resident upland game birds, within 400 yards of “baited areas.” The regulation exempts:

  1. Domestically reared and released birds at licensed game bird club and
  2. Over certain crops, harvests, operations, and wildlife management purposes on agricultural land.

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Boardinghouses

For California upland game regulations about serving domesticated game birds for consumption, see the Section below for Breeder’s License.

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Breeder’s License

For California upland game regulations about the breeder’s license, see the subsections below for class restrictions, requirements and exemptions.

Class Restrictions

With a “Class 1” breeder’s license, FGC § 3202 restricts sale to 175 Chinese pheasants and/or Mongolian ring-neck pheasants or hybrids.

Requirements & Exemptions

For domesticated game birds that normally exist in the wild, FGC § 3200 generally requires a domesticated game breeder’s license for raisingimporting, or holding them in captivity in excess of 30 days. The regulation exempts:

  1. Licensed pheasant clubs,
  2. Domestic migratory game bird shooting areas,
  3. Hotelsrestaurantsboardinghouses, or clubs serving the meat for consumption,
  4. Retail meat dealers selling the meat for consumption, and
  5. Public zoological gardens exhibiting the birds and for selling, exchanging, or donating them to public zoological gardens.

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Buying

For California upland game regulations about buying domesticated game birds, see the Sections below for Domesticated Game Birds.

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Calls

For California upland game regulations about bird call restrictions, see the Section below for Methods of Take.

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Captivity

For California upland game regulations about holding domesticated game birds in captivity, see the Section above for Breeder’s License.

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Chukar Hunting

California upland game regulations for chukar hunting.
California upland game regulations for chukar hunting.

chukar is variety of red-legged partridge. The chukar is a resident game bird, which the regulations also categorize as a resident small game bird and resident upland game bird. Refer to FGC §§ 3500(a) and 3683, and also 14 CCR §§ 257 and 300.

Clubs

For hunting Indian chukar on pheasant clubs, see the Section below for Pheasant Clubs.

Domestically-Reared Chukar

For validation requirements to hunt domestically-reared chukar, see the Section for Validations.

Release to Wild

For releasing Turkish or Greek chukars into the wild, see the Section for Release to Wild.

Seasons

For chukar seasons, see the Section for Seasons and our page for Chukar Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations.

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Cleaning Services

For California upland game regulations about cleaning services exceeding bag and possession limits, see the Section for Bag & Possession Limits. For authority to remove the head and/or wings, see the Section for Identification. For more on cleaning service laws, see our page for Food Preservation Facilities.

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Clubs

For California upland game regulations about all upland game bird clubs, see the subsections below for restrictions relating to firearms, ammunition, license, stamp, and validation requirements. In addition, see the Sections for Migratory Game Bird Shooting Areas and Pheasant Clubs.

Baited Areas

For taking domesticated game birds near baited areas, see the Section below Bait & Baited Areas.

Firearms & Lead Ammo

For hunting on licensed game bird clubs, 14 CCR § 250.1(d)(2)(A) provides a general exemption to us lead ammo when taking upland game birds with a firearmWarning shot!! The exception will expire no later than July 1, 2019. See Firearms below, and Lead Ammunition Restrictions on our page for Firearm Regulations.

License, Stamp & Permit Requirements

To hunt domestically-reared game birds on a licensed game bird club14 CCR § 600(a)(4) requires a hunting licenseupland game bird stamp/validation, and game bird club shooting permits. Also, see the Sections for Migratory Game Bird Shooting Areas and Pheasant Clubs.

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Cold Storage

For California upland game regulations about cold storage, see the Section below for Storing and our page for Cold Storage.

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Consumption

For California upland game regulations about removing the head and/or wings for immediate consumption, see the Section for Identification.

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Crossbows

For California upland game regulations about hunting with crossbows, see the subsections that relate to equipment requirements and restrictions, shooting near public roadways, and hunting seasons. For using crossbows with a Disabled Archer’s Permit, see the Section for Archery. For more details, also see our page for Crossbows.

Crossbow Equipment

When upland game bird regulations allow crossbows, 14 CCR § 354(b) allows all bolts except those (i) with an explosive head, poisonous substance, or tranquilizers or (ii) without flu-flu fletching when taking pheasant or migratory upland game birds. In addition, Section 354(e) requires minimum casting distance of 130 yards except bolts with flu-flu fletching. Finally, Section 354(i) allows use of lighted nocks without directional be of lights as exception to Section 2005.

Public Roads & Highways

When using crossbows, 14 CCR § 354(d) prohibits shooting across public roads and highways. When in or on a vehicle, Section 354(h) prohibits crossbows in a ready-to-fire position.

Seasons

For hunting resident upland game birds14 CCR § 300 set the general seasons for crossbows. In addition, it sets the archery seasons for all upland game birds using a Disabled Archer’s PermitWarning shots!! During archery seasons, 14 CCR § 354(f) prohibits crossbows to hunt any game bird during archery seasons except with a Disabled Archer’s Permit per subparagraph (j)Section 354(g) prohibits possession of a firearm while hunting during any archery season or with an archery-only tag.

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Deer & Bear Seasons

For California upland game regulations about bird hunting during archery seasons for deer and bear, see the Section for Archery and Dog Hunting/Training.

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Definitions

California upland game regulations provide definitions, most of which are  listed below or on our page for Hunting Definitions.

  1. Archery Equipment and Bow (see 14 CCR § 354).
  2. Baited Areas (see 14 CCR § 257.5).
  3. Commercial Preservation Facility.
  4. Dog Training (in general and on State wildlife areas).
  5. Exotic nonresident game birds (see FGC § 3514 for grouse, pheasant, and quail).
  6. Methods of Take.
  7. Migratory Game Birds (see list in FGC § 3500).
  8. Migratory Upland Game Birds (see list in FGC § 3683).
  9. Personal Abode.
  10. Resident Game Birds (see list in FGC § 3500).
  11. Resident Small Game Birds (see list in 14 CCR § 257).
  12. Resident Upland Game Birds (see list in FGC § 3683).
  13. Upland Game Birds (see list of resident upland game birds and migratory upland game birds in FGC § 3683).

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Disabled Hunters

For disabled hunters, 14 CCR § 354 allows use of crossbows to hunt game birds during archery seasons. For more details, also see our page for Disabled Hunter Laws.

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Diseased Birds

In general, 14 CCR § 680 requires a free written permit from the CDFW to dispose of a “diseased bird,” as it defines, including propagation, release, sale, etc.

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Dog Hunting/Training

California upland game regulations for bird dogs.
California upland game regulations for bird dogs.

For California upland game regulations about bird dogs and training, see the subsections below. For more details, also see our page for Hunt Dog Laws.

Baited Areas

For hunting dogs14 CCR § 265(b)(1) prohibits pursuit beginning within 400 yards of a baited area per 14 CCR § 257.5.

Archery Seasons for Deer and Bear

During archery seasons for deer and black bear14 CCR § 265(a)(1) prohibits bird dogs.

Dog Training

For bird dogs, 14 CCR § 265(b)(6) allows dog training in dog control zones from the opening day of the general deer season through the first Friday in April. In addition, it prohibits possession of any weapon capable of killing, injuring, or capturing any animal. Finally, it prohibits training from beginning within 400 yards of a baited area per 14 CCR § 257.5.

Domesticated Game Birds for Training

For buying birds for dog training, see the Section below for Domesticated Game Birds.

Wildlife Areas

For visiting Wildlife Areas14 CCR § 550(b)(13) and (15) provides general use regulations for bird dogs and dog training. For more details, also see our page for Wildlife Areas.

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Domesticated Game Birds

For California upland game regulations relating domesticated game birds, see the subsections below about baited areas, breeder’s license, buying, clubs, release to the wild, and validations.

Baited Areas

For taking resident game birds near baited areas, see the Section for Bait & Baited Areas.

Breeder’s License

For requirements to import, raise, or hold domesticated game birds in captivity, see the Section for Breeder’s License.

Buying

In general, FGC § 3216 requires buyers of domesticated game birds to kill them immediately without shooting. The exceptions for:

  1. Licensed pheasant clubs,
  2. Licensed domesticated migratory game bird shooting areas, and
  3. For dog training or practice.

Clubs

For license, stamp, and permit requirements for domesticated bird clubs, see the Section for Clubs.

Release to Wild

For releasing domestically-reared birds into the wild, see the Section for Release to Wild (e.g. chukarpartridgequail, and wild turkey).

Validations

See Validations [requirements for domestically-reared game birds, including Hungarian partridge, ring-necked pheasant, and chukar].

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Donations & Gifts

See Zoological Gardens [re domestically game birds].

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Dove Hunting

California upland game regulations for dove hunting.
California upland game regulations for dove hunting.

Some resident doves are game birds, which the hunting regulations also categorize as resident small game birds and resident upland game birds. They include Eurasian collared-doves, Chinese spotted doves, and turtledoves of the family Columbidae. There are others that cannot be hunted, e.g. common ground-doves, ruddy ground-doves, and Inca doves. In addition, there are migratory doves, which the regulations classify as migratory upland game birds. See FGC §§ 3500(a) and 3683, and 14 CCR §§ 257 and 300.

Firearms & Lead Ammo

For hunting doves, 14 CCR § 250.1(d)(2)(A) provides a general exemption to us lead ammo when taking upland game birds with a firearmWarning shot!! The exception will expire no later than July 1, 2019. See Firearms below, and Lead Ammunition Restrictions on our page for Firearm Regulations.

Identification

See Identification [authority to remove wings] and our page for Food Preservation Facilities.

Public Land

See Public Hunting [Ecological ReservesNational Wildlife RefugesParks & Recreation Areas, and Wildlife Areas].

Seasons

See the Section for Seasons and our page for Dove Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations.

Validations

See Validations [State Duck Stamp exemption for western mourning and white-winged doves, and Upland Game Bird Validation requirement].

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Ecological Reserves

When visiting Ecological Reserves14 CCR §§ 550 and 550.5 provide general use regulations for hunting upland game birds and related activities like the use of archery equipmentcrossbowsdogs, and firearms. In addition, 14 CCR § 630 provides reserve-specific restrictions for things like  species, permitsfirearms, hunting areas, and hunt days. Also, see our page for Ecological Reserves.

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Exotic Nonresident Game Birds

See Pheasant Clubs [authority to hunt exotic nonresident game birds].

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Falconry

California upland game regulations define “falconry” in 14 CCR § 670(c), which also requires (a) a falconry license and permit, (b) compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and (c) compliance with California hunting regulations, including upland game birds seasons, bag limits, and hunting hours. When practicing falconry, 14 CCR § 300 sets the seasons, hawking hours, bag limits, possession limits, permit requirements, and hunting zones for mountain quail and grouse. Also, see Methods of Take below and our pages for Falconry Hunting Laws and Season, Laws, and Locations.

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Firearms

For California upland game regulations about firearm and ammunition restrictions, see the subsections below. In addition, see the Section below for Methods of Take about approved methods for upland game birds. Also, see the Section for Seasons.

Lead Ammo Ban & Exemptions

California upland game regulations for lead ammunition with firearms.
California upland game regulations for lead ammunition with firearms.

When taking or attempting to take any wildlife, 14 CCR § 250.1 generally prohibits possession of both lead ammunition and a capable firearm. The Section exempts (1) mere possession of lead ammunition and (2) “concealable firearms” possessed solely for the purpose of personal protection. On all wildlife areas and ecological reserves, the ban has been in effect for all wildlife since 2015.

For most upland game birds, the ban has been in effect since 2016. While the Section exempts (1) dove, (2) quail, (3), snipe, (4) and all game birds on licensed game bird clubs, it expires no later than July 1, 2019. For eligible hunters, 14 CCR § 250.2 establishes coupon program beginning 2017-2018 with application procedures for a free or discounted box of 25 nonlead shotgun shells each month. Click here for program updates and see our page for Hunting Ammunition Regulations.

Seasons

For firearm hunting seasons, see the Section for Seasons, which include the use of shotguns, pistols and revolvers for grouse, and pellet guns for wild turkeys.

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Food Services

For California upland game regulations about serving domesticated game birds for consumption, see the Section above for Breeder’s License.

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Game Refuges

In a game refuge, FGC § 10500 generally prohibits the take or possession of any bird. It also prohibits the use possession of a firearm, bow and arrows, trap, or projectile devices, like BB guns and crossbows–or to shoot those weapons. Similarly, it prohibits the take or possession of quail in a quail refuge, e.g. the Bolinas Quail Refuge. See FGC §§ 10880 and 10881.

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Grouse Hunting (Ruffed, Sage & Sooty)

California upland game regulations for grouse hunting.
California upland game regulations for grouse hunting.

Several species of grouse are resident game birds, which the regulations also categorize as resident small game birds and resident upland game birds. They include the sooty (blue) grouse, ruffed grouse, and sage grouse. See FGC §§ 3500(a) and 3683, and 14 CCR §§ 257 and 300. In addition to the subsections below, see Pheasant Clubs about authority to hunt grouse and Validations.

Methods of Take

For authorized methods of grouse hunting, see the Section below for Methods of Take. And for hunting exotic grouse at pheasant clubs, see the Section for Pheasant Clubs.

Seasons

For grouse hunting, 14 CCR § 300 sets the seasons, bag & possession limitshunting zones, and permit requirements, including use of shotguns, pistols/revolvers, crossbows, and falcons. See the Section for seasons and our page for Grouse Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations.

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Hotels

For California upland game regulations about serving domesticated game birds for consumption, see the Section above for Breeder’s License.

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Hunting Zones

For the following species, 14 CCR § 300 restricts seasons to hunting zones:

  1. Band-tailed pigeon,
  2. Quail, 
  3. Sage grouse,
  4. Sooty (blue) grouse, and
  5. Ruffed grouse.

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Identification

Head or Wings

For identification purposes, 14 CCR § 251.7(b) requires a fully feathered wing or head on all birds–except only a wing on doves–while in possession or transport until (i) reaching the “personal abode,” (ii) being prepared for immediate consumption, or (iii) delivery to a commercial preservation facility, e.g. services for cleaning, processing, taxidermy, and cold storage.

Pheasant Carcass

While in the field or traveling, FGC § 3660 prohibits possession of a pheasant carcass and hunting equipment (e.g. firearm) unless the species and sex is easily identifiable.

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Importing

To import a migratory game bird14 CCR § 251.7(c) requires a declaration of entry per FGC § 2353. Also, see the Sections for Identification, which provides authority for removing the head and/or wings, and Breeder’s License about transport exemptions.

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Licenses

In addition to the Sections below, see ClubsValidations, and Stamps for additional requirements. Also, see our page for Hunting Licenses.

Breeder’s License

For breeder’s license requirements and exemptions, see the Section above for Breeder’s License.

Hunting License & Validation

To hunt upland game birds14 CCR § 313 generally requires a hunting license, which are available for residents, nonresidents, and for lifetime.

Validations

See Validations [requirements for domestically-reared game birds, including Hungarian partridge, ring-necked pheasant, and chukar].

Lifetime Licenses

With a lifetime hunting or lifetime sportsman’s license, FGC § 714(f) grants non-transferable privileges that would come with purchasing an upland game bird validation (e.g. privilege of hunting upland game birds).

Nonresidents

DOMESTIC GAME BIRD CLUBS

FGC § 3031(a)(5) offers nonresidents a one-day hunting license for domesticated game birds and domesticated pheasant on licensed game bird clubs and shooting areas.

UPLAND GAME BIRDS

FGC § 3031(a)(4) offers nonresidents a two-day hunting license for “resident and migratory game birds,” which includes all upland game birds.

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Meat Dealers

For California upland game regulations about serving domesticated game birds for consumption, see the Section above for Breeder’s License.

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Methods of Take

California upland game regulations restrict methods of take for resident upland game birds and migratory upland game birds.

Resident Upland Game Birds

In general, 14 CCR § 311 restricts methods of take for resident small game birds to:

  1. Shotguns* but the:
    • Gauge must be no smaller than 10-gauge,
    • Shell capacity must be no greater than three,
    • Shell shot must be loose, and
    • Shell shot must be no larger than No. BB except no larger than No. 2 for turkey;
  2. Muzzleloading shotguns;
  3. Pistols and revolvers but only for sooty grouse and ruffed grouse in open areas;
  4. Air or gas pellet guns except pellets for turkey must be at least 0.177 caliber;
  5. Bow and arrow per equipment restrictions in Section 354 and without possession of a firearm during archery seasons;
  6. Crossbows but only in compliance with per Section 354(d) and (g)4;
  7. Hunting dogs for take and retrieval;
  8. Falconry; and
  9. Bird calls except no electronic or mechanically-operated calling or sound-reproducing devices.

* In the past, 14 CCR § 311.8 prohibited shooting resident small game from boats [repealed].

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Migratory Game Bird Shooting Areas

For California upland game regulations about migratory game bird shooting areas, see the Section above for Breeder’s License requirements and exemptions. For buying migratory game birds, see the Section above for Domesticated Game Birds. Also see the Section above for shooting area License requirements.

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Migratory Game Birds

Migratory game birds include six birds that either live over water or land (e.g. ducks and band-tailed pigeon). For a complete list, see FGC § 3500. For birds that tend to live over land, upland game regulations refer to them as migratory upland game birds. As such, rules for all migratory game birds also apply to the following migratory upland game birds listed in FGC § 3683 and 14 CCR § 300:

  1. Doves (white-winged doves and western mourning doves),
  2. Pigeon (band-tailed pigeons),
  3. Ptarmigan (white-tailed ptarmigan), and
  4. Snipe (jacksnipe or “common snipe”).

Also, see Bag & Possession Limits [possession after close of season], Breeder’s License [requirement and exemptions], Importing [declaration of entry], Licenses [requirements and options], Public Hunting [opportunities], Seasons, and Shooting Hours [Morro Bay]

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National Wildlife Refuges

When visiting National Wildlife Refuges the CDFW designates as Wildlife Areas14 CCR §§ 550 and 550.5 provide general use regulations for hunting upland game birds and related activities like the use of archery equipmentcrossbowsdogs, and firearms. In addition, 14 CCR § 552 provides refuge-specific restrictions for species (e.g. dovesband-tailed pigeonquailsnipepheasant, and wild turkey). Finally, it provides requirements for things like passespermits, and reservations.

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Nonresidents

See Licenses above.

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Parks & Recreation Areas

FGC § 4501 identifies State Recreation Areas (SRA’s) on which California the regulations allow hunting for authorized species, but only as the regulations allow (e.g. doveband-tailed pigeonquail, and turkey). First, the Picacho SRA allows hunting for migratory game birds and quail. Second, the Lake Oroville SRA allows hunting for spring turkey and all game species between Sept. 15 and Jan. 31. Finally, the Harry A. Merlo SRA allows snipe hunting, etc. (See 14 CCR §§ 260260.2, and 260.5.)

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Partridges

Several species of partridge are resident game birds, which the regulations also categorize as resident small game birds and resident upland game birds. They include the Hungarian partridge and all varieties of red-legged partridges, including chukar. See FGC §§ 3500(a) and 3683, and 14 CCR §§ 257 and 300 [hunting season only for chukar]. For rules about releasing domestically-reared Hungarian partridge (e.g. chukar) into the wild, see the Section for Release to Wild.

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Pellet Guns

For California upland game regulations about pellet guns to hunt wild turkeys, see the Section above for Methods of Take.

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Permits

Clubs

To take domestically-reared game birds on licensed game bird clubs14 CCR § 600(a)(4) requires a game bird club shooting permit, plus a hunting license and upland game bird stamp.

Diseased Birds

To dispose of a “diseased bird” by propagation, release, sale, or otherwise, 14 CCR § 680 requires a free written permit from the CDFW.

Falconry

When practicing falconry14 CCR § 300 requires permits from the CDFW for falconry and hunting sage grouse.

Grouse

When hunting sage grouse14 CCR § 300 requires a permit from the CDFW.

Property Damage by Turkeys

To kill wild turkeys causing private property damage, 14 CCR § 401 allows depredation permits from the CDFW for landowners and tenants. Also, see our pages for Landowner Hunting Tags, Permits, etc.

Release to Wild

For rules about permits to release into the wild certain foreign partridges, e.g. Turkish or Greek chukars, see the Section for Release to Wild.

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Pheasant Clubs

For California upland game regulations about serving domesticated pheasants for consumption, see the Section above for Breeder’s License. For buying domesticated pheasant, see the Section above for Domesticated Game Birds.

Chukar Hunting

In addition to hunting pheasant, 14 CCR § 600.3 provides authority to hunt Indian chukar.

Dogs

Also, see Dog Hunting/Training on domesticated game birds.

Exotic Nonresident Game Birds

FGC § 3514 defines “exotic nonresident game birds” as those from the order Galliformes without wild populations (grouse, pheasant, and quail). 14 CCR § 600.3 provides authority for hunting them on licensed pheasant clubs.

Turkey Hunting

In addition to pheasant hunting, 14 CCR § 600.3 provides authority to hunt wild turkeys.

Zone A and B Clubs

 For “Zone A” and “Zone B,” 14 CCR §§ 600.1 and 600.2 provides authority for licensed pheasant clubs.

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Pheasant Hunting

California upland game regulations for pheasant hunting.
California upland game regulations for pheasant hunting.

Only varieties of ring-necked pheasant are resident game birds, which the regulations also categorize as resident small game birds and resident upland game birds. See FGC §§ 3500(a) and 3683, and 14 CCR §§ 257 and 300.

Archery

See the Sections for Archery and Crossbows about requirements to use flu-flu fletching arrows and bolts when hunting pheasant.

Baited Areas

See Bait & Baited Areas above.

Carcasses

When carrying hunting equipment (e.g. firearm), FGC § 3660 prohibits possession of a pheasant carcass while in the field or traveling, unless the species and sex is easily identifiable.

Clubs

See the Sections for Domesticated Game Birds and Pheasant Clubs.

Domestically Reared Pheasant

Also, see Validations re requirements for domestically-reared pheasant.

Release

FGC § 3010 prohibits the take of pheasant within 300 yards of release from a vehicle into the area for hunting.

Seasons

Also, see the Section for Seasons and our page for Pheasant Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations.

Shooting Hours

For pheasant hunting only, 14 CCR § 310.5 opens the shooting hours at 8:00 a.m. and, like most other upland game birds, closes them at sunset (see Shooting Hours below).

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Pigeon Hunting (Band-Tailed)

Public Land

See Parks & Recreation Areas.

Racing Pigeons

FGC § 3680 criminalizes intentional take of racing pigeons registered with a recognized organization, but not if incidental to take while hunting band-tailed pigeon or domestic pigeons.

Seasons

See the Section for Seasons and our page for Pigeon Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations.

Validations

See Validations below for State Duck Stamp exemption and Upland Game Bird Validation requirement.

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Possession Limits

See Bag & Possession Limits.

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Private Wildlife Management Areas

Immediately after taking an upland game bird on a Private Wildlife Management Area, 14 CCR § 601(c)(2)(C) requires the hunter to place the appropriate tag or seal on the bird. For license applications, wild turkey tags, and upland game birds seals, 14 CCR § 702 provides the fees for purchasing them.

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Property Damage

To prevent property damage that wild turkeys cause, FGC § 4181 authorizes the CDFW to issue permits for qualifying damage or threats, but prohibits use of poison and restricts the use, sale, or shipment of carcasses. Also, see our page for Property Damage.

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Ptarmigan Hunting (White-tailed)

California upland game regulations for ptarmigan hunting.
California upland game regulations for ptarmigan hunting.

White-tailed ptarmigan are resident game birds, which the regulations also categorize as resident small game birds and resident upland game birds. See FGC §§ 3500(a) and 3683, and 14 CCR §§ 257 and 300.

Seasons

See the Section for Seasons and our page for Ptarmigan Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations.

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Private Land

For California upland game regulations about private land, see ClubsPrivate Wildlife Management Areas, and Property Damage.

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Public Hunting

For special upland game bird hunts by the CDFW, 14 CCR § 715 provides application and drawing procedures. Also, see the Sections we list below and our page for Public Hunting.

  1. Ecological Reserves,
  2. Game Refuges
  3. National Wildlife Refuges,
  4. Parks & Recreation Areas,
  5. Quail Refuges, and
  6. Wildlife Areas.

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Quail Hunting

California upland game regulations for quail hunting.
California upland game regulations for quail hunting.

Several species of quail are resident game birds, which the regulations also categorize as resident small game birds and resident upland game birds. They include all varieties of California quail and mountain quail, and the Gambel’s (desert) quail. See FGC §§ 3500(a) and 3683, and 14 CCR §§ 257 and 300.

Firearms & Lead Ammo

For hunting quail, 14 CCR § 250.1(d)(2)(A) provides a general exemption to us lead ammo when taking upland game birds with a firearmWarning shot!! The exception will expire no later than July 1, 2019. See Firearms below, and Lead Ammunition Restrictions on our page for Firearm Regulations.

Hunting Zones

See the Section for Hunting Zones.

Private Land

See Pheasant Clubs re hunting exotic nonresident game birds.

Public Land

See Game RefugesParks & Recreation Areas, and Public Hunting.

Release to Wild

For rules about permits to release into the wild, wild bobwhite or cotrunix quail, see the Section for Release to Wild.

Seasons

See Seasons and our page for Quail Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations.

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Quail Refuges

See the Sections for Game Refuges and Parks & Recreation Areas.

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Raising

For California upland game regulations about raising domesticated game birds, see the Section above for Breeder’s License.

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Refuges

Refuges, see Ecological Reserves, Game Refuges, National Wildlife Refuges, and Wildlife Areas.

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Release to Wild

Prior to releasing into the wild certain wild birds–or domestically-reared wild birds, 14 CCR § 671.6(a) requires permission from the Fish & Game Commission if, in general, the bird:

  1. Is not native to California,
  2. Is diseased,
  3. Is a genetic danger to agriculture or native wildlife, or
  4. Has not been successfully introduced prior to 1955.

Chukar

To release certain foreign partridges into the wild (e.g. Turkish or Greek chukars), 14 CCR § 671.6(c) requires a permit from the CDFW.

Quails

To release wild bobwhite or coturnix quails into the wild, 14 CCR § 671.6(c) requires a permit from the CDFW.

Wild Turkeys

For domestically reared wild turkeys14 CCR § 671.6(b) generally prohibits release for propagation or hunting.

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Resident Game Birds

California upland game regulations provide a list of resident game birds in FGC § 3500. In general, the Section uses the same language to identify each resident small game bird listed in 14 CCR § 257 and resident upland game birds listed in FGC § 3683 and 14 CCR § 300. As shown on Table 1 in the Section for Resident Small Game Birds, the birds appear to be the same. As such, those rules apply to all upland game birds.

For authorized methods of resident game birds, see the Section below for Methods of Take. In addition, see Bait & Baited Areas about restrictions on where to be pursuit, as wells as the Sections for hunting License requirements and Seasons.

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Resident Small Game Birds

California upland game regulations provide a list of  “resident small game” birds in  14 CCR § 257. In general, the Section uses the same language to identify resident game birds listed in FGC § 3500, and resident upland game birds listed in FGC § 3683 and 14 CCR § 300. The differences are shown on the Table 1 below and, as shown in the Footnotes, appear to be the same birds.

Table 1. Resident / Upland / Small Game Birds

Resident Game Birds Upland Game Birds Small Game Birds
FGC § 3500 FGC § 3683 14 CCR § 257
Doves Genus Streptopelia (FN1) Genus Streptopelia
Ringed turtledoves (FN2) x x Family Columbidae (FN3)
Spotted doves (FN4) x x Chinese
Eurasian collared-doves x x x
Ptarmigan (white-tailed) (FN5) x x
Turkeys (wild) (FN6) Order Galliformes x Order Galliformes
FN1. Genus Streptopelia doves: spotted, Eurasian collared-, barbary (ringed turtledove); see Wikepedia, April 1, 2017.
FN2. The ringed turtledove is also known as of the Barbary dove; see Wikepedia, April 1, 2017.
FN3. Family Columbidae doves: barabry (turtledoves), collared (Eurasian), and spotted (Chinese); see Wikepedia, April 1, 2017.
FN4. The spotted dove (Spilopelia chinensis) is also known as the Chinese spoted dove.; see Wikepedia, April 1, 2017.
FN5. 14 CCR § 257 refers to white-tailed ptarmigan as a “resident game bird.”
FN6. Order Galliformes includes all wild turkeys, ptarmigan, pheasant, quail, grouse, etc.; see Wikepedia, April 1, 2017.

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Restaurants

For California upland game regulations about serving domesticated game birds for consumption, see the Section above for Breeder’s License.

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Seasons

For taking resident game birds and migratory game birds14 CCR § 258 defines “season” as the period of time during which they may be taken. For resident upland game birds and migratory upland game birds14 CCR § 300 sets the seasons for the following methods of take:

  1. Shotguns,
  2. Air rifles for wild turkeys,
  3. Crossbows,
  4. Pistols/revolvers for grouse,
  5. Archery for pheasant, and
  6. Falconry.

For more requirements and restrictions on bag and possession limits, see the Section for  Bag & Possession Limits. And for more details, see our page for upland game bird Hunting Seasons.

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Selling

See Diseased Birds [disposal diseased birds by sale].

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Shooting Areas

Shooting Areas, see Migratory Game Bird Shooting Areas and Pheasant Clubs.

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Shooting Hours

General Shooting Hours

For most upland game birds14 CCR § 310.5 opens shooting hours at one-half hour before sunrise and closes them at sunset. Warning shot!! Shoot times are based on the hunter’s location, and always check local rules that might further restrict shooting hours (e.g. Wildlife Areas).

Morro Bay

For migratory game birds adjacent to, over, or on Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County, 14 CCR § 506 opens shooting hours at 7:00 a.m. and closes them at sunset.

Pheasant

For pheasant season only, 14 CCR § 310.5 opens the shooting hours at 8:00 a.m. and closes them at sunset.

Spring Turkey

For the spring turkey season only, 14 CCR § 310.5 opens shooting hours at one-half hour before sunrise and but closes them at 5:00 p.m.

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Snipe Hunting

California upland game regulations for snipe hunting.
California upland game regulations for snipe hunting.

Federal law defines migratory game birds to include snipe of the family Scolopacidae (i.e. sandpipers). See 50 CFR § 20.11(a). The family includes “jacksnipe,” which the rules identify as a migratory upland game bird. See FGC §§ 3500(b)(3) and 3683(b)(1). For hunting seasons, validations, and shooting hours, the regulations refer to jacksnipe as the “common snipe.” See 14 CCR §§ 300(b)(1)(C)313, and 506. It appears, though, that jacksnipe” adults are smaller than common snipe and have [a] relatively shorter bill.

Firearms & Lead Ammo

For hunting snipe, 14 CCR § 250.1(d)(2)(A) provides a general exemption to us lead ammo when taking upland game birds with a firearmWarning shot!! The exception will expire no later than July 1, 2019. See Firearms below, and Lead Ammunition Restrictions on our page for Firearm Regulations.

Public Hunting

See the Section for Public Hunting.

Seasons

See the Section for Seasons and our page for Snipe Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations.

Validations

See Validations below for State Duck Stamp exemption and Upland Game Bird Validation requirement.

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Stamps

California upland game regulations for validations and stamps.
California upland game regulations for validations and stamps.

FGC § 3682.2 allows a free upland game bird stamp after buying an upland game bird validation, and prohibits take with only the stamp.

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Storing

For California upland game regulations about storage services exceeding bag and possession limits, see the Section for Bag & Possession Limits. For authority to remove the head and/or wings, see the Section for Identification. Also, see our page for Food Preservation Facilities.

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Taxidermy

For California upland game regulations about taxidermists exceeding bag and possession limits, see the Section for Bag & Possession Limits. For authority to remove the head and/or wings, see the Section for Identification. For more on cleaning service laws, see our page for Food Preservation Facilities.

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Transporting

For California upland game regulations about transportation services exceeding bag and possession limits, see the Section for Bag & Possession Limits. For authority to remove the head and/or wings, see the Section for Identification. For more on cleaning service laws, see our page for Common Carriers of Wild Game.

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Turkey Hunting

Wild turkeys of the order Galliformes are resident game birds, which the regulations also categorize as resident small game birds and resident upland game birds. See FGC §§ 3500(a) and 3683, and 14 CCR §§ 257 and 300.

Clubs

For authority to release domestically-reared wild turkeys, see the Section for Release to Wild.

Methods of Take

For authorized hunting methods for wild turkeys, see the Section for Methods of Take above.

Public Land

See Public Hunting [Ecological ReservesNational Wildlife Refuges Parks & Recreation Areas, and Wildlife Areas.

Private Management Areas

See Private Wildlife Management Areas [tag requirements].

Property Damage by Turkeys

To kill wild turkeys causing private property damage, 14 CCR § 401 allows depredation permits from the CDFW for landowners and tenants. Also, see our pages for Landowner Hunting Tags, Permits, etc.

Release to Wild

For releasing domestically-reared birds into the wild, see the Section for Release to Wild (e.g. chukarpartridgequail, and wild turkey). [domestically-reared wild turkeys].

Seasons

See the Section for Seasons, and our page for Turkey Hunting Seasons, Laws, and Locations.

Shooting Hours

For the spring turkey season, 14 CCR § 310.5 opens the shooting hours at one-half hour before sunrise but, unlike other upland game birds, closes them at 5:00 p.m. (see Shooting Hours above).

Violations

See Violations [penalties for illegal take of turkeys].

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Validations

Also, see Licenses [privileges of lifetime hunting or sportsman’s license] and Stamps above.

State Duck Validation Exemption

Snipe (jacksnipe), band-tailed pigeonwestern mourning doves, and white-winged doves Western mourning doves, and white-winged doves are exempt from the general requirement to possess a State duck hunting validation while taking migratory birds. See FGC § 3700.1(a).

Upland Game Bird Validation

Wild Birds

Prior to taking an upland game bird14 CCR § 313 requires a hunting license and upland game bird validation. In addition, FGC § 3682.1 requires that the hunter attach the validation to his or her license. Finally,

Domestically Reared Game Birds

To take domestically-reared birds14 CCR § 677(b) generally requires only a hunting license. However, to take Hungarian partridgepring-necked p

Also, see the Sections above for Clubs [validation requirements for licensed game bird clubs] and Stamps [free stamp].

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Vehicles

Vehicles, see 14 CCR § 354 [prohibits vehicles, on or in them, with bows or crossbows in a ready-to-fire position].

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Violations

Racing Pigeons

FGC § 3680 makes it a misdemeanor to intentional take of racing pigeons registered with a recognized organization, but not if incidental to take while hunting band-tailed pigeon or domestic pigeons.

Turkeys

FGC § 12013.3 authorizes up to $2,000 fine and one year in jail for the illegal take of a wild turkey, and 14 CCR § 748.6 provides for additional penalties.

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Weapons

For weapon requirements and restrictions, see the Sections for ArcheryCrossbows, Dog Hunting & Training, Firearms, and Methods of Take.

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Wildlife Areas

When visiting Wildlife Areas14 CCR §§ 550 and 550.5 provide general use regulations for hunting upland game birds and related activities like the use of archery equipmentcrossbowsdogs, and firearms. In addition, 14 CCR § 551 provides area-specific restrictions for species (e.g. dovesband-tailed pigeonquailsnipe, and wild turkey). Finally, it provides requirements for things like passespermits, and reservations.

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Zoological Gardens

For exchanging domesticated game birds with zoological gardens, see the Section above for Breeder’s License.

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List of Regulations

In this Section, we fetch up California upland game regulations applicable to all upland game birds, which include resident game birds and upland migratory game birds.

  1. FGC § 714(f) grants holders of lifetime hunting license and lifetime sportsman’s license the privileges that would come with buying an upland game bird validation per FGC § 3682.1.
  2. FGC § 3010 prohibits taking pheasant within 300 yards of release from vehicle into the area for hunting.
  3. FGC § 3031(a)(4)-(5) allows nonresidents to buy (a) two-day hunting license for upland game birds and other migratory game birds, etc. and (b) one-day hunting license for domestically game birds and domesticated pheasant on licensed game bird club and shooting areas.
  4. FGC § 3200 generally requires a domesticated game breeder’s license for raising, importing, or holding in captivity in excess of 30 days, domestically game birds, etc., that normally exist in the wild, except for (a) licensed pheasant club, (b) domesticated migratory bird shooting areas, (c) hotels, restaurants, boardinghouses, or clubs serving the meat for consumption; (d) retail meat dealers selling the meat for consumption; and (e) public zoological gardens exhibiting the birds and for selling, exchanging, or donating them to public zoological gardens.
  5. FGC § 3202 allows breeding with a “Class 1” or “Class 2” domesticated game breeder’s license, but restricts sale with a Class 1 license to no more 175 Chinese pheasant and/or Mongolian ringneck pheasants or hybrids.
  6. FGC § 3216 requires buyers of domestically game birds to kill them immediately without shooting except for (a) licensed pheasant clubs, (b) licensed domesticated migratory game bird shooting areas, or (c) dog training or practice. Also, see our page for Hunt Dog Laws.
  7. FGC § 3500 provides lists of resident game birds and migratory game birds.
  8. FGC § 3514 defines “exotic nonresident game birds” as those of the order Galliformes (pheasant, grouse, quail) without wild populations.
  9. FGC § 3660 prohibits possession of a pheasant carcass and hunting equipment (e.g. firearm), while in the field or traveling, unless the species and sex is easily identifiable.
  10. FGC § 3680 criminalizes intentional take of racing pigeons registered with a recognized organization, but not if incidental to take while hunting band-tailed pigeon or domestic pigeons.
  11. FGC § 3682.1 prohibits take without an upland game bird validation, attached to the hunting license, and provides for purchase and sale through the Automated License Data System.
  12. FGC § 3682.2 allows a free upland game bird stamp after buying an upland game bird validation, and prohibits take with only the stamp.
  13. FGC § 3683(a) provides list of all upland game birds.
  14. FGC § 3700.1 requires hunting license and State duck validation to take migratory game birds except snipe, gallinules (e.g. moorhen), coots, band-tailed pigeon, western mourning dove, and white-winged dove.
  15. FGC § 4181 (a) allows owners and tenants to apply to the CDFW for depredation permits to prevent property damage caused by wild turkeys; (b) identifies qualifying damage or threats and application procedures; (c) requires permit to include statements of facts, conditions, and violation penalties; (d) restricts carcass use, sale, and shipment; (e) for elk, requires CDFW to verify damage, evaluation potential impact on the herd, and develop longterm solution; (f) for bear, prohibits use of iron, steel or any metal-jawed traps; (g) for wild pigs, requires CDFW to provide written statement of control options–like special hunts; (h) for wild turkeys, prohibits use of poison; and (i) for grays squirrels, prohibits use of poison and allows CDFW to restrict use of traps and require capture and release.
  16. FGC § 4501 identifies State Recreation Areas (SRA’s) on which California the regulations allow hunting for authorized species, but only as the regulations allow (e.g. doveband-tailed pigeonquail, and turkey).
  17. FGC § 10500 generally prohibits, in a game refuge: (a) take or possession of a bird, etc.; (b) use possession of a firearm, bow and arrows, trap, or projectile devices, like BB guns and crossbows, or to shoot them those refuges; or (c) take or possess a quail in a quail refuge.
  18. FGC § 10880 identifies quail refuges.
  19. FGC § 10881 describes the Bolinas Quail Refuge.
  20. FGC § 12013.3 provides up to $2,000 fine and one year in jail for the illegal take of wild turkeys.
  21. 14 CCR § 250.1 generally prohibits possession of both lead ammunition and a capable firearms when taking or attempting to take (a) any wildlife on wildlife areas and ecological reserves; (b) upland game birds except (i) dove, (ii) quail, (iii), snipe, (iv) and all game birds on licensed game bird clubs, until the exemption expires no later than July 1, 2019; and (c) exempts mere possession of lead ammunition and “concealable firearms” possessed solely for the purpose of personal protection. Also, see our page for Hunting Ammunition Regulations.
  22. 14 CCR § 250.2 establishes lead ammo coupon program beginning 2017-2018 with procedures for eligible hunters to apply for a free or discounted box of 25 nonlead centerfire cartridges or shell shot on a monthly basis by entering a free drawing before December 1. (Click here for updates.)
  23. 14 CCR § 251.7 (a) prohibits possession of a bird in excess of daily bag & possession limits except game birds with proper tags, as it provides, for commercial purposes, including (i) transporting, (ii) cleaning, (iii) shipping, (iv) taxidermy, or (v) storing; (b) requires bird identification with a fully feathered wing or head on all birds–except only a wing on dove–while in possession or transport until (i) reaching the “personal abode,” (ii) being prepared for immediate consumption, or (iii) delivery to a commercial preservation facility, e.g. services for cleaning, processing, taxidermy, and cold storage; (c) requires a declaration of entry per FGC § 2353 when importing a migratory game bird; (d) prohibits more than a possession limit of migratory game birds after the season closes.
  24. 14 CCR § 252 defines “bag and possession limit” defines “bag and possession limit” as the kind of each “resident and migratory game birds,” migratory game birds, game mammals, and furbearing mammals that may be taken and possessed by any one person.
  25. 14 CCR § 257 defines “resident small game” as the species it lists for resident game birds and small “game mammals.”
  26. 14 CCR § 257.5 generally prohibits take of resident game birds or mammals within 400 yards of a baited area,” as it defines except (a) domestically reared and released birds at licensed game bird club and (b) over certain crops, harvests, operations, and wildlife management purposes on agricultural land.
  27. 14 CCR § 258 defines “season” for taking resident game birds, migratory game birds, game mammals, and furbearing mammals.
  28. 14 CCR § 260 allows hunting for migratory game birds and quail at the Picacho State Recreation Area per 14 CCR §§ 301, 500, 501 and 502.
  29. 14 CCR § 260.2 allow spring turkey hunting at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area per 14 CCR § 306, and game species during open seasons between September 15 and January 31.
  30. 14 CCR § 260.5 allows hunting for snipe, etc., at the Harry A. Merlo State Recreation Area per Section 502.
  31. 14 CCR § 265 subject to closures and prohibitions, prohibits hunting dogs (a) where prohibited, (b) during deer and black bear archery seasons, (c) inside dog control zones from the first Saturday in April through the day before the opening of the general deer season, (d) the possession of weapons (e.g. firearms, archery equipment, and crossbows) capable of killing, capturing, or injuring animals during dog training, and (d) more than one dog in the area where the general deer season is open. Also, see our page for Hunt Dog Laws.
  32. 14 CCR § 300 sets seasons, bag limits, possession limits, and hunting zones for upland game birds, including shotguns, crossbows, pistols/revolvers for grouse, archery for pheasant, falconry permits, mountain quail hunting zones, sage grouse permits and hunting zones.
  33. 14 CCR § 310.5 provides that shooting hours for upland game birds are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset except that (a) pheasant opens at 8:00 a.m. and (b) spring turkey closes at 5:00 p.m.
  34. 14 CCR § 311 restricts methods of take for resident small game birds to (a) shotguns except no smaller than 10-gauge or shell capacity greater than three, (b) loose shotgun shell shot no larger than No. BB except no larger than No. 2 for turkey, (c) muzzleloading shotguns, (d) falconry, (e) bow and arrow per Section 354 and (k) below, (f) air or gas pellet guns except that pellets for turkey must be at least 0.177 caliber, (g) rifles and pistols but only for rabbits and tree squirrels except Los Angeles County, (h) box traps for rabbits but only in San Diego and Orange counties and compliance with requirements and restrictions, (i) bird calls except no electronic or mechanically-operated calling or sound-reproducing devices, (j) coursing dogs but only for rabbits and as in (o) below, (k) archery without firearms during archery seasons, (l) decoys except no live decoys, (m) pistols and revolvers but only for sooty grouse and ruffed grouse in open areas, (n) crossbows but only in compliance with per Section 354(d) and (g)4, and (o) hunting dogs for take and retrieval.
  35. 14 CCR § 311.8 prohibited, in the past, shooting resident small game from boats [repealed].
  36. 14 CCR § 313 requires license and upland game bird validation, to hunt upland game birds.
  37. 14 CCR § 354 (a) defines “bow” and excludes crossbows from definition of “archery equipment;” (b) restricts arrow and bolt sizes for hunting big game, (c) allows any arrow or crossbow bolt for taking migratory game birdsresident small game, furbearers, and nongame mammals except no arrow or bolt (i) with an explosive headpoisonous substance, or tranquilizers on any animal or (ii) without flu-flu fletching for taking pheasant or migratory game birds unless to take waterfowl sitting on the water from a boat per Section 507(a)(2); (d) prohibits shooting across public roads and highways; (e) requires minimum casting distance of 130 yards (except flu-flu fletching arrows); (f) prohibits crossbows for game birds and game mammals during archery seasons except with a Disabled Archer’s Permit; (g) prohibits possession of firearm while hunting during any archery season or with an archery-only tag; (h) prohibits ready-to-firearm bows and crossbows in or on a vehicle; (i) allows use of lighted nocks without directional be of lights as exception t o Section 2005; and (j) provides procedures for Disabled Archer’s Permit..
  38. 14 CCR § 401 allows depredation permits from the CDFW for landowners and tenants to prevent property damage by wild turkeys, etc. (Also, see our pages for Landowner Hunting Tags, Permits, etc.)
  39. 14 CCR § 506 sets general migratory game bird shooting hours for one-half hour before sunrise until sunset except Morro Bay begins at 7:00 a.m.
  40. 14 CCR § 507 __ add in all rules for all migratory game birds
  41. 14 CCR § 550(b)(13) and (15) defines (a) “dog training” at wildlife areas, ecological reserves, and some national wildlife refuges, as it relates to hunting and retrieving upland game birds and (b) “upland game birds” per Section 3683(a). Also, see our page for Hunt Dog Laws.
  42. 14 CCR §§ 550 and 550.5 provide general use regulations for Wildlife Areas, Ecological Reserves, and certain National Wildlife Refuges, including upland game bird hunting restrictions (e.g. doves, pheasant, band-tailed pigeon, quail, snipe, and wild turkeys).
  43. 14 CCR § 551 provides Wildlife Area-specific regulations, including upland game bird hunting restrictions relating to species, permits, firearms, ammo, hunting areas, hunt days, etc.
  44. 14 CCR § 552 provides refuge-specific regulations for certain National Wildlife Refuges, including upland game bird hunting restrictions relating to species, permits, firearms, ammo, hunting areas, hunt days, etc.
  45. 14 CCR § 600(a)(4) requires a hunting license, upland game bird stamp/validation, and game bird club shooting permit to hunt domestically-reared game birds on a licensed game bird club.
  46. 14 CCR § 600.1 authority for licensed pheasant clubs, Zone A.
  47. 14 CCR § 600.2 authority for licensed pheasant clubs, Zone B.
  48. 14 CCR § 600.3 authority to hunt Indian chukar, wild turkeys, and exotic nonresident game birds on licensed pheasant clubs.
  49. 14 CCR § 601(c)(2)(C) requires hunters at Private Lands Wildlife Habitat Enhancement and Management Area to immediately attach a wild turkey tag or upland game bird seal on the leg of the bird.
  50. 14 CCR § 630 provides reserve-specific regulations for Ecological Reserves, including upland game bird hunting restrictions relating to species, permits, firearms, ammo, hunting areas, hunt days, etc.
  51. 14 CCR § 670(c) to engage in falconry, as it defines, requires (a) a falconry license and permit from the CDFW, as it provides; (b) compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; (c) compliance with regulations for hunting for species of upland game birds, migratory game birds, resident small game mammals, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, including licenses, seasonsbag and possession limits, and hawking hours.
  52. 14 CCR § 671.6 (a) requires written permission from the Fish and Game Commission to release wild animals–or domestically-reared reared stock therefrom– that (1) are not native to California, (2) diseased, (3) genetically detrimental to agriculture or native wildlife, (4) has not been successfully introduced prior to 1955, (b) generally prohibits release of domestically reared wild turkeys for propagation or hunting, and (c) requires CDFW permit to release into the wild certain foreign partridges (e.g. Turkish or Greek chukars) and bobwhite and coturnix quails).
  53. 14 CCR § 677 requires hunting license to take domestically-reared game birds, and an upland game bird validation, (except with a junior hunting license) to take Hungarian partridge, ring-necked pheasant, and chukar.
  54. 14 CCR § 680 requires a free written permit from the CDFW to dispose of a “diseased bird,” as it defines, including propagation, release, sale, etc.
  55. 14 CCR § 702 provides for Private Wildlife Management Areas fees for license applications, tags for big game and wild turkeys, and seals for upland game birds.
  56. 14 CCR § 715 provides application and drawing procedures for special CDFW hunts for upland game birds.
  57. 14 CCR § 748.6 provides for additional penalties for the illegal take of wild turkeys.

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FGC § 3514

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [3500 – 3516]

Exotic nonresident game birdsare those birds of the order Galliformes (pheasant, grouse, quail) which are not established as a wild resident population in this State.

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FGC § 3680 (Racing Pigeons)

ARTICLE 2. Other Species [3680 – 3686]

Any person, other than the owner thereof, who at any time, by any means or in any manner, purposely takes any racing pigeons currently registered with a recognized organization, is guilty of a misdemeanor. However, the incidental take of registered racing pigeons with the shooting or taking of wild band-tailed pigeons or domestic pigeons (Columba livia), is not a violation of this section.

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FGC § 3682.1

ARTICLE 2. Other Species [3680 – 3686]

(a) It is unlawful for any person, except a person licensedpursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 3031, to take anyupland game bird species without first procuring an upland game bird hunting validation, as provided in subdivision (b), and having the validation affixed to his or her valid hunting license.

(b) Upland game bird hunting validations may be obtained from the department or a licensed agent authorized pursuant to Section 1055.1 for a fee of six dollars and twenty-five cents ($6.25), adjusted pursuant to Section 713.

(c) This section applies only to licenses, permits, reservations, tags, and other entitlements issued through the Automated License Data System.

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FGC § 3682.2

ARTICLE 2. Other Species [3680 – 3686]

(a) Upon full implementation of the Automated License Data System, the department shall continue to prepare, or have prepared, upland game bird stamps depicting upland game birds.

(b) Any person who obtains an upland game bird validation pursuant to Section 3682.1 is entitled, upon request, to receive an upland game bird stamp at no additional charge.

(c) Any person may purchase an upland game bird stamp for a fee of six dollars and twenty-five cents ($6.25), as adjusted pursuant to Section 713.

(d) Possession of an upland game bird stamp obtained pursuant to this section does not entitle the holder to take any upland game bird species.

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FGC § 12013.3

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [12000 – 12029]

(a) Notwithstanding Section 12002, 12003.2, 12008, or 12008.5, the punishment for a person who knowingly violated and has been convicted of the following provisions where the violation involved a trophy deer, elk, antelope, or bighorn sheep shall be a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than forty thousand dollars ($40,000), and where the violation involved a wild turkeys, a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both that fine and imprisonment:

(1) Section 2001, if the person took an animal outside the established season.

(2) Section 2005.

(3) Section 257.5 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.

(4) Section 4304.

(5) Section 4330.

(6) Section 1054.2, if the person failed to procure the required license or tag prior to taking a deer, elk, antelope, or bighorn sheep.

(b) The commission shall adopt regulations to implement this section, including establishing a trophy designation and monetary value based on the size or related characteristics of deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, and wild turkeys.

(c) All revenue from fines imposed pursuant to this section for deer, elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep violations shall be deposited in the Big Game Management Account established in Section 3953 and shall be used for the big game management purposes described in that section.

(d) All revenue from fines imposed pursuant to this section for wild turkey violations shall be deposited in the Upland Game Bird Account established in Section 3684 and shall be used for the upland game bird conservation purposes described in that section.

(e) Moneys equivalent to 50 percent of the revenue from any fine collected pursuant to this section shall be paid to the county in which the offense was committed, pursuant to Section 13003. The county board of supervisors shall first use revenues pursuant to this subdivision to reimburse the costs incurred by the district attorney or city attorney in investigating and prosecuting the violation. Any excess revenues may be expended in accordance with Section 13103.

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