Tuesday, May 22, 2018

California Big Game Drawing Deadline Approaches

The Big Game Drawing deadline to get your tag applications in to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is June 2, 2018. In case you haven't been paying attention it's coming in fast! Have you considered everything for hunting this year like the use of unleaded ammo, bow hunting vs. firearm, forest fires and time to spend in the field? These are all major considerations and you really don't have much time left to make that call. Decisions need to be made and you have less than two weeks to do it. I'll share some of my own obstacles and processes in the event they can help you narrow down your choices.

First thing I think about is family time and along with that my vacation time. Will I have enough vacation set aside for my family? Will I then have enough time set aside for the hunts I want to go on? Most times that isn't an issue, but those older my daughter gets, the more I find myself wanting to also spend more time with her before she grows up. It's a conundrum and a choice I have to make myself. 

Another factor to consider is the unit I apply for or the tag(s) I go for. Do I want to only bow hunt? Do I want options like being able to use a firearm? Do I stay close to home or am I willing to travel to go after that animal? Will my hunt partners be able to hunt the same units and are they willing to? Then comes the question of, do I have enough money for these tags? With this decision comes the non-lead ammunition factor and if you are using the allowed projectiles. Be certain you have non-lead ammunition on you and in your firearm when hunting in the non-lead zones. Next year it won't be an issue as you won't have a choice. You could be like me and already be utilizing non-lead projectiles when hunting. It takes the guesswork out.

Right along side of deciding which tag to go for is the closure of lands due to forest fires. I have heard from some hunters saying that while areas have been closed to fire, hunters are allowed to hunt there. They insist that DFW has informed them of this. Take it as you will, but verify it for yourself. I make no claims to that statement, but it would be nice to not be locked out of a region you hunt due to fire closure.

These are just some of the obstacles we face as hunters when it's time to go in for a California tag. Other things come into play, but don't be like I was last year and wait too long. I missed out because I was on vacation and thought my tag wouldn't sell out. Unfortunately it did sell out and I was left hanging. If you want that tag, put in for it and give yourself a shot! Good luck!

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