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California HUNT

California Outfitters

Western Trophy Connections CA - Mendocino County, CA, US

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Outfitter: Western Trophy Connections CA

Outfitters Summary: It is our hope that you will allow the dedicated and professional staff at The Trophy Connections and Associates to connect you to your next western big game hunt. We manage select private ranches in Mexico and California for the purpose of producing quality animals that will offer our hunters a chance to take a trophy of a lifetime.

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California Hunting

California's geography ranges from the Pacific coast in the west, Sierra Nevada Mountains in the east and the central part of the state is dominated by The Central Valley. CA contains both the highest and the lowest point in the contiguous US. 45% of the Golden State consists of federal public lands. California offers many excellent hunting opportunities for a wide range of species. Checkout the California hunting outfitters listed below to book your next CA hunt. 


The population of California deer is roughly between 400,000- 700,000. There are more deer in northern CA due to the rough terrain and the poor visibility. There are general season tags and “additional hunt” tags. California is divided into hunting zones and each zone has a quota for tags given out. X zone has the least amount of hunting tags given. Depending on the type of California deer you want to hunt this will give you the zone you will need to apply for. In 2010, 14,817 California deer were harvested. There are several types of deer in California:


Columbian Black-tailed deer: In terms of numbers, CA black tailed deer have the biggest population. They are seen throughout coastal mountains from Oregon to Santa Barbara and along the west slope of the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Range to Calaveras county and south along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada to Mariposa County.


The California Mule Deer is the second most abundant deer in CA. They are found along the west slope of the Sierra Nevada from Sierra county south into Kern County and from Northern Orange County to San Benito and Monterey counties. They are also found in the Tehachapi, San Gabriel, and San Bernardino Mountains.


Rocky Mountain Mule Deer is the largest deer in CA and the 3rd most abundant. They are seen in Modoc, Lassen, Shasta, and Siskiyou counties. They are also seen along the eastern slope of the Cascade Sierra Nevada chain to southern Mono County.


Other types of California deer include Southern Mule deer, which occupy portions of San Diego, Orange, and western Riverside counties. The Inyo Mule deer reside in Inyo, southern Mono and northeastern Kern counties. Finally the Burro Mule deer inhabit southeastern deserts in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial counties, especially along the CA/AZ sides of the Colorado River.


The California pronghorn population is roughly 6,000. They are seen in northeast California. The state is making efforts to re-establish herds in central and southern CA. The Lassen herd is the largest at about 1,650 animals. In 2010, 176 pronghorn were harvested by hunters. You must have a valid CA hunting license to apply for a pronghorn tag. This hunt is done by a drawing type system.


There are three types of Bighorn sheep in California: California, Peninsular and Nelson (desert bighorn). Nelson Bighorn sheep are the ones that are hunted in CA. The population is approximately 4,800. Nelson Bighorn Sheep are seen in the San Bernardino, Inyo, Mono, and Riverside counties. This hunt tag is given out by zone areas and is by a “draw” system. Some zones are very rugged and have limited access. The “tag allotment” is determined each year by the population estimate.


There are three types of elk in CA: The Tule elk, which is native only to California, the Roosevelt elk, which are seen in coastal NW CA., and the Rocky Mountain elk which are seen in northeast CA and they are some of the largest bulls on the planet. There is a population of Tule elk on La Panza and Grizzly Island. The ratio of bulls to cows is 80:100. There are many non-typical racks seen here. CA is one of the top states for elk reestablishment. The population of elk in 2009 was approximately 11,400. The elk tag is by “draw” also. You will need to put in for what type of elk you would like to hunt, such as Roosevelt, Rocky Mt., bull, anterless, or for the area you would like to hunt. Some terrains are very rugged for elk so make sure you are up to this hunt. Also you will need to specify gun, muzzleloader, or archery.


The California black bear population is between 25,000 - 30,000. There are two types of black bear: the Northwestern black bear and the CA black bear. There location is usually the defining factor to what type of bear it is. One half of this bear population resides to the north and west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Less than 10% inhabit the central west and southwestern CA bioregion. The California bear tag may be purchased and obtained directly from any DFG license sales office, license agent or online. The tag must be validated immediately upon completion of a successful hunt. If unsuccessful, the report card portion of the tag must be returned by February 1 of the current license year. In 2010, 1,503 bear were taken. Bear season closes when 1,500 bear are harvested or on the last Sunday in December. Over half of the California bear taken was done with the aid of hounds.


Hunters can hunt California Wild Pigs throughout the year but you will need to purchase tags. There is no limit on the number of tags that you may buy and they are good for the current hunting year. Wild pigs can be seen in 56 of the 58 counties in CA. In 2010, 3,574 pigs were harvested during hunts.


Bobcats are seen throughout CA and the population is roughly 70,000. You will need to purchase special tags to hunt bobcats in California. In 2010, 1,195 were harvested.


California waterfowl available to hunt includes ducks, geese, coots, dove, brant, snipe, gallinules, mergansers, and band-tailed pigeon. You will need a waterfowl license, a CA Duck validation, and waterfowl hunting passes. You will need to make reservations to hunt state operated wildlife areas. A Federal Duck stamp is also required as well as a HIP (harvest information program). Non-toxic shot must be used. Please check area bag limits for the specie you are hunting.


Small Game hunting in California includes pheasant, dove, ruffed grouse, quail, chukar, sage grouse (permit required), squirrel, rabbit, jackrabbit, snipe, and crow. Checkout the “Fund Raising Tags " for CA. These you can purchase as many as you like and are by random drawing or auction. These tags are for Bighorn Sheep, antelope, deer and elk. Hunter Education Certificate is required for anyone who does not have a prior CA hunting license, a “Hunter-ED” certificate from another state, or a valid hunting license from either of the previous 2 years from any state, province, European country, or South Africa. 


The California turkey population is about 250,000. They occupy about 18% of the state but most are seen in northern CA. There are Rio Grand and Merriam turkeys, with the Rio Grande being the dominant specie. To hunt turkey you will need a CA hunting license and an Upland Game Bird Stamp. In the general spring season, a hunter is limited to 3 gobblers per season. In the fall season, a hunter may bag 1 bird, either gobbler or hen. 


Trapping is also permitted in CA. You may trap for badger, gray fox, muskrat, mink, beaver, raccoon, and bobcat. You will require a trapping license and you must submit a report by July1 of the next year on the amount of furs you harvested. Mountain Lions are “Specially Protected Animal” in CA. More than ½ of CA is mountain lion territory and they can be found wherever deer are. Only troublesome ones are killed and you require a special permit to do this. 

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