California Deer Hunting

Home to Hollywood and the Walk of Fame, California also shelters over 500,000 deer. While most everyone won’t be having their name carved, or perhaps laser etched now, into this particular stone walkway, we still aspire to have our name written down. We’ll take our place among the Sequoias, weapon near, and hope the next buck will land us in the record books.

The gold rush of 1849, that continued for years to come, spelled decimation to the deer populace. Deer were marketed in order to keep mine camps supplied with venison. Hunted year-round, deer numbers continued a downward trend. Not until 1910 was legislation passed for deer hunting, resulting in a visual increase in herds. Though logging areas, which included clearing and burning, had a negative impact initially, what came about was an ideal habitation covered with new growth.

Today, the deer management plan is not geared towards having a plenitude of deer, but maintaining a healthy number by putting limits and regulations in place so that the herd can be large enough to persevere.

The rut begins as early as October in the north and as late as January in the south. Biggest of the breeds, a Rocky Mountain mule deer’s rack will inevitably become home decor.

California Deer Hunting Facts

  • Over 150,000 hunters
  • Around 500,000 blacktailed mule deer in the state, six subspecies, no whitetails, unless they’re lost
  • Deer occupy more than half the state
  • Top typical buck is 195 7/8, taken by Sulo E. Lakso in Lassen County in 1941
  • Top non-typical buck is 319 4/8, taken by Harold R. Laird in Mariposa County in 1972
  • California was named after a fictitious utopian island from Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo’s novel, Las Sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián). The true state of California is a peninsula, but a happy hunting ground all the same.

    Popular Public Hunting Areas in California

    North Grasslands Wildlife Area – Over 7,000 acres of wetland hunting. For more information, check out the California Department of Fish Game’s official web site.

    California Private Hunting Areas

    Do you own private hunting land or offer guided hunts in California? Contact us about a listing in this section!

    Other Resources

    For California hunting license information, rules and regulations, visit the California licensing information web site and the California regulatory web site.