Bear Hunting

Bear Hunting Regulations

2019 General Season

General bear season opens concurrently with general deer season in the A, B, C, D, X8, X9A, X9B, X10 and X12 deer hunting zones. In the remaining deer hunting X zones, bear season begins October 12, 2019.

General bear season closes on December 29, 2019, or earlier, if the Department determines that 1,700 bears have been reported taken. This includes bears harvested during the archery season.

The 2019 bear season is now Closed. The reported harvest as of 1/9/2020 is:  1,339 

A weekly bear harvest update is also available by calling (888) 277-6398 (toll-free).

2019 Archery Season

August 17, 2019 - September 8, 2019

Bag and Possession Limit

One adult bear per hunting license year. Cubs and females accompanied by cubs may not be taken.

link opens in new tab or windowAdditional Regulations - Bear Tag Flyer (PDF)

Mammal Hunting

Regulations for taking big and small game mammals, furbearers and nongame


Mammal Regulations cover - open web page in new window

link opens in new tab or window2019-2020 Mammal Hunting BOOKLET (PDF)
includes regulations for

  • hunting small and big game mammals
  • trapping furbearers (fox, badger, beaver and raccoon, etc.)
  • hunting nongame animals (bobcat, coyote, weasel, etc.)

Effective July 2019


License Requirements

  • A CA hunting license and bear tag are required for hunting bear
  • If a bear is taken, the bear tag must be validated by a CDFW employee before transporting the bear, except for the purpose of taking it to the nearest CDFW employee authorized to validate the bear tag. If CDFW offices are closed, the bear tag shall be validated within one business day of transporting the bear from the point where taken. The skull must be presented to CDFW within 10 days (link opens in new windowsee tag validation details)
  • Bear tags must be returned, regardless of success

Purchase licenses and tags ONLINE or at a local AGENT.

License and Tag Fees

Valid JULY 1, 2019 through JUNE 30, 2020

Hunting Licenses Fee Description
Resident Hunting License $49.94 Required for any resident 18 years of age or older who takes birds or mammals
Nonresident Hunting License $174.45 Required for any nonresident 18 years of age or older who takes birds or mammals.
Junior Hunting License $13.22 Required for any resident or nonresident less than 18 years of age who takes birds or mammals. To qualify, hunter must be less than 18 years of age at the beginning of the license year (July 1).
Tags Fee Description
Resident Bear Tag $48.34 Resident and nonresident licensed hunters 12 years of age or older at the time of application may purchase one bear tag per license year. Tags are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
Nonresident Bear Tag $309.40

Publications and Forms