On this page, you’ll find major hunting rules for cold storage plants and frozen food lockers in California. We cover validation of deer tags and record keeping requirements, including the required information, maintenance, and inspections. Also see Rules on California Preservation Facilities and California Wild Game Meat Processors and Butchers.
Bag and Possession Limits
The regulations allow cleaning and storage businesses to possess more than the daily bag and possession limits of birds with proper tags. See 14 CCR § 251.7(a).
When a hunter kills a deer, they have to comply with tagging procedures. One of the requirements is that they get the tag countersigned. Owners of frozen food lockers are allowed to validate / countersign the hunter’s deer tag. If you’re a corporation, a corporate officer can also sign the tag. Otherwise, a manager or operator of the business can sign. The same is true for cold storage plants. See 14 CCR § 708.6.
The regulations allow the CDFW to inspect businesses where birds and mammals are stored, including “boats, markets, stores and other buildings.” See FGC § 1006.
See Bag and Possession Limits above.
For each Game Bird or Game Mammal received, operators of clod storage plants are required to create and maintain certain records. You have to create a record at the time each animal is received at your facility. The same is true for or frozen food lockers. See FGC § 3086 and 14 CCR § 711.
For the person who delivers the game bird or game mammal, the date you received the animal. Next, record their name and residential address. Finally, record either their (a) ALDS identification number, (b) GO ID, (c) or hunting license number.
For the animal that was killed, record the species. Next, record the State and county where the animal was killed. Also include any applicable tag number (e.g. deer tag), deer zone, or special hunt numbers.
Finally, record the date when you received the animal.
After you record the required information, keep the records at the facility. You have to keep them for at least one year.
If a warden from the CDFW asks to inspect your records, you have to make them available.
Reindeer Meat Import
The regulations require proper tags or seals prior to import of domesticated reindeer meat into California for storage or sale. See 14 CCR § 675(b).
Sales of Wild Game
The regulations allow a hotel, restaurant, boardinghouse, or club to sell large mammals quarters and loins, and domesticated gamebirds and mammals, for consumption on the premises, and allows CDFW to inspect the (a) premises, (b) carcasses or parts held in storage, and (c) tags required in Section 3206. The same applies to a retail meat dealer, except that it must be for consumption, but not on the premise. Also, see FGC § 3212 and FGC § 3213.