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California Bear Hunting Prep: What You Need to Know [PICS]

Flickr/Jeannette S.

California hunters take note: It’s officially bear season.

California bear season began Oct. 10, 2015 with a black bear harvest maximum of 592. You can check to see how many tags are left by contacting the California Dept of Fish and Wildlife Office at 888-277-6398 (toll-free).

Previous rules still apply, as only one adult male bear may be taken. Females with cubs are protected. Adult females can be tagged so long as they are not with the cubs.

The chart below shows the current prices for hunting licenses and the tag fees from the California bear hunting website. Link is provided below.

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California Bear Hunting License site

Large changes in the type of ammunition that is allowed on the hunting lands has taken effect as of 2015. Non-lead ammo only is allowed on CDFW lands.

Certain California land areas are also being shut down due to fire/drought conditions and you should check accordingly before you go hunt to see what land areas are affected.

New reporting requirements are also taking effect for the 2015-2016 hunting season

Bear Tag Reporting Requirement

New shooters should take note of the requirements and documentation needed.

Proper government issued ID is required in order to purchase the hunter tags and license and an approved hunter education course is also required before you can purchase a hunting permit.

Below is a list of California state hunting laws to be aware of. This list is not exhaustive and should be used as a reference more than a legal guide. Feel free to contact CDFW at 888-277-6398 (toll-free) to clarify any questions.

  • CCR T14-257.5. Prohibition Against Taking Resident Game Birds and Mammals by the Aid of Bait.
  • CCR T14-263. Prohibition Against Night Hunting.
  • CCR T14-264. Use of Lights While Hunting— Specific Areas.
  • CCR T14-265. Use of Dogs for Pursuit/Take of Mammals or for Dog Training.
  • CCR T14-366. Archery Bear Hunting.
  • CCR T14-367.5. Presentation of Bear Skull.

The Black Bear Take Report shows regions where hunters have had the best luck in the previous years. Given today’s drought conditions, previous lakes and rivers may have dried up since publication.

Best of luck on the 2015 hunt. Please get your permits and stay safe on the trails.

Stay vigilant out there.

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California Bear Hunting Prep: What You Need to Know [PICS]